Disposables for Shower Gifts

People love to give disposable diapers as shower presents.  Cloth diaper people tend to get offended. I’d like to try to bridge this gap.  People aren’t trying to be offensive when they give cloth diapering hopefuls disposable diapers at their baby showers.  The people who give you disposable diapers are really trying to be helpful. They figure, “Why give a cute little outfit, when the baby probably will have hand-me-downs from friends?”  They figure, “Gift cards don’t feel like real presents.”  They figure, “Money seems tacky.”

They don’t think, “This pack of disposable diapers will be the best pack of diapers ever!” They don’t think, “I hope I get a picture of the new baby in one of the diapers I gave her.”  They don’t think, “I know she said she wanted to use cloth, if I give her disposable diapers I will force her hand and she will have no choice but to use disposables. Bwahahaha!  I am the dominator!” Nope, in truth, the majority of people won’t put much thought about what catches your baby’s poop at all.

So, if you get a few packs of disposable diapers as shower gifts, you have a couple of choices that fall within the realm of not getting angry or offended:

  • You can say, “Thank you.” and then return the diapers (with or without tags and receipts) to Wal-mart. They take everything back. They may give you store credit, but you could always take that store credit and buy some produce to make your own baby food  or school supplies for the older kids.
  • You can say, “Thank you.” Then explain that you will be cloth diapering and ask if they would mind if you returned the diapers and used them to purchase cloth. Explain that the generous present they gave you will last for years. Then you can even ask if they would like to help you pick out the colors that their support has allowed you to purchase.

Either of these options will work. It will depend on your relationship with the person. You are not obligated to use disposables, when Wal-mart will allow you to return them even if they came from a different store.

If it’s a distant aunt, there’s really no need to even mention returning the diapers. If you are very close with the person and they see you using cloth right away, they may feel like their money was wasted, and so the second option might be best.  Take the time to show them you’re thankful for their well wishes and them go one step further and create a memory. Get online, show them the Pocket Diapers. Show them the Hybrids. Show them how much further you can stretch their money. And most of all, take the time to tell them, “I know that you got me diapers because you were thinking of what you felt I will truly need and not just trying to get yourself attention at my shower by having the cutest present. For that, I am so grateful. It shows you genuinely care about me and my child.”

Hormones run strong while pregnant. Hopefully this post reminds prospective cloth diapering moms to keep their cool and offers a few alternatives to feeling offended when they end up unwrapping a package or two of Huggies.


  1. or you can make a diaper cake! me and my sister who both use cloth got TUNS of diapers for our baby showers. so we got creative and made diaper cakes with themyou can utube them and they are a cinch so we have a cute keepsake on the shelf and not more poo in the landfill. the rest of the diapers we donated to the womens shelter.

  2. I’ve gotten disposable diapers as random gifts from people who know I use cloth diapers. I thanked them and put them in the garage. They will be going to some close friends who are due at the same as me and I know use disposables.

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