Cloth diapering, in my experience, involved a rusty diaper pin that would never pass airline security these days, a stained (once white) rectangle most recently used as a dusting rag, and some *stuff* that should otherwise go sight unseen to the toilet. Compared to the convenience of a plastic-spun, disposable nappy, I wondered who would ever bother to choose cloth? Considering the fact that cloth diapering has become a $200 million a year industry, according to Chicago-based market research firm Mintel International Group Ltd, I deduce a LOT of moms have opted for cloth diapers. Add me to the list.
What made me switch to cloth diapers?
The cost savings? The environmental factor? The elimination of plastic from my consumer diet? Friends’ recommendations? Julia Roberts, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Dave Matthews (all of whom reportedly pamper their babes’ bums with something “clothier” than Pampers)? In a word, YES! I switched for all of those reasons (with the exception of the star-studded endorsement—just found that tidbit researching this post.) Probably the financial factor weighed in equally with the nurturing factor and resulted in keeping a sheet of plastic away from Little Friend’s tush. And today’s cloth diapers? They’re so stinkin’ cute, I’ve given serious consideration to letting Little Friend run around town in nothing but her knickers.
Who helped me on the path to cloth enlightenment?
The thanks go to Adam and Lilli, loving husband and wife masterminds behind Pittsburgh-based Happy Baby Company. This lovely dynamic duo was the Beatrice to my Dante on my cloth-diaper-paradise journey. Without Adam and Lilli’s ultra-cool, ultra-competent, ultra-parenting example, I probably would never have delved further into the cloth diapering world than a few tentative Google searches.
Not only do Adam and Lilli have the goods. They have the know-how to make any new-to-cloth parent feel capable and empowered to make the switch. In the long run, I’ve found cloth diapers to be (almost) as easy and eons more affordable (not to mention adorable) than disposable diapers. With the Happy Baby Company cheerleading squad lining up behind each and every customer, it’s impossible to fail at cloth diapering.
What makes Happy Baby Company so great?
Happy Baby Company embraces a warm, hip vibe that eeks out of each candy-colored cloth diaper and organic baby toy on the shelves. One step into the Happy Baby Co. store in Robinson Township and the fortunate customer is bathed in a philosophy of parenting that says, “Let’s be eco-citizens, let’s be thrifty, let’s look fabulous, and let’s have a blast while doing it all.”
I’d planned for weeks to stop by the newly-opened retail store (I’m a satisfied client from their internet store/”stop by our house” days), and finally found an excuse when I decided I needed a new baby carrier. Falling in love with a Moby wrap was a great thing, but I decided my long-term monogamous relationship needed new zest. Since Happy Baby Company carries a wide range of baby carriers, all of which I’d lusted after upon reading online reviews, I was confident I could leave Happy Baby Company, once again, a satisfied customer.
They did not disappoint. One Becco and many carrier-tries later, I walked out of the cheery store one happy gal. Originally, just Adam was in residence, and he dropped his busy task of filling internet orders to help me try on carrier after carrier, often donning a backpack himself (complete with passive baby doll) to demonstrate a specific feature. Little Friend amused herself by befriending a family of Manhattan Toy cats and exploring the inviting, inventive play room located conveniently off of the main showroom floor.
Lilli showed up with her kids in tow half way through my decision process, and her input, both judicious and honest, sealed the deal. I remember her same confident, expert, yet supportive manner sealing the deal in my first interaction with her when I bought my base supply of cloth diapers and accompanying accessories. Lilli’s ability to tailor each purchase to the buyer’s needs is one of her greatest strengths and a compelling reason, if possible, to visit the retail store instead of just filling a shopping cart through their online store. At the very least, an email exchange will provide the personal touch in which Lilli wraps each and every purchase.
How can Happy Baby Company help me?
Three words: “Cloth Diaper Orientations.” And a fourth word: “Cookies.” Happy Baby Company offers FREE cloth diaper orientations twice a month in their store in Robinson Township. Eager new moms and dads can squeeze into the folding chairs, snack on a cookie from the generous refreshments table, and soak in a thorough road map on how to adopt cloth diapers. Happy Baby Company stocks only the leading cloth diaper brands, but even so, many, many decisions need to be made. Lilli is there to guide each and every customer toward a custom fit, as it were.
Even though I’m fourteen months into using cloth diapers, I’m giving serious consideration to attending an Orientation just to find out about new brands and types of diapers. Ok. Honestly, I’m just looking for another excuse to get my Happy Baby Company fix. What can I say? They (both the owners and their cloth diapers) just make me so darn…happy!
How can I learn more?
- If you’re interested in pursuing cloth, Happy Baby Company offers a clear, concise Cloth Diapering 101 explanation. Start with their information and then, if possible, attend an Orientation.
- Visit Happy Baby Company’s website to find out the dates of upcoming Cloth Diaper Orientations. Participants also receive a 10% in-store discount for attending.
- Friend Happy Baby Company on Facebook. Their fan page frequently advertises sales and specials. The 1,482 (and growing) fans also offer fervent, if not outright rabid, support of the decision to go cloth.
- Create a gift registry with Happy Baby Company and let your friends and family treat you to a gift that keeps on giving, each time you pull it out of the wash and snap it back on a little one’s behind.
Happy Baby Company is Pittsburgh’s first and only store devoted to cloth diapers, baby carriers, organic baby clothing, unique toys, and so much more. They are located in Robinson Township (five minutes from IKEA, and about one minute from the new Giant Eagle Market District and REI). For out-of-town customers, the store is located ten minutes from the Pittsburgh International Airport. Order via the company website and enjoy free shipping on all orders to the USA.
Happy Baby Company/Pittsburgh Cloth Diapers
5998-A Steubenville Pike
McKees Rocks, PA 15136
(On the left side of Chiodo’s Plaza on Rt. 60 in Robinson)