EMME MAMAS: Talking motherhood and cloth diapers with Grace

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
My name is Grace and I'm a first time mom to my 15 month old son and rainbow baby, Abel! We live in sunny California and are based in the SF Bay Area. I strongly believe that there's something so powerful and connecting when we share our personal stories and experiences with one another, especially when it comes to navigating motherhood. I hope that by sharing a little more about my story will encourage other women and mamas to share theirs. I also love sharing my journey towards living a more sustainable lifestyle along with my love for plants :)
Do you have a favorite routine or activity that you do with your child? 
I'm teaching my son how to do a customary greeting in Thai, where my parents are from. It requires putting your palms together in front of you and nodding your head towards your fingertips. This is how we greet others and show respect to others in Thai. I love being able to share and pass on bits of my heritage with my son!

We’d love to hear more about the cloth diapers you use?  What got you into them, how long you have been using them, and how exactly do you use them?
I'm so glad you asked! I have always been intrigued about cloth diapers. My mom had briefly used them when I was a newborn and so it was one of those things that I knew I wanted to try out one day.  The few years prior to becoming a mom is when I really started taking living a sustainable lifestyle more seriously. I wanted to both reduce my plastic consumption as well as vote with my dollar to invest in items that were made to last.  When I became pregnant, I did some quick research about cloth diapers, told my husband that I wanted to try it out (thankfully he was very open to the idea :D), put them on my registry and once I had a few, I had everything I needed to start! We started using cloth diapers when my son was around 3 weeks old. Both the hardest and easiest part of the transition was just going for it and reaching for a cloth diaper instead of a disposable. My son is now 15 months old and we've been using cloth ever since!
If you're curious about how a cloth diaper works, I'll share a little more on what they're made from to give you a better idea. In a nutshell, the modern cloth diaper has two basic parts - an inner or insert that is absorbent, usually made from a natural material like cotton, bamboo, or hemp - and an outer shell that is made from PUL or Polyurethane Laminate which is soft and waterproof material. Both are washable which makes cloth diapering super sustainable! 
Any tips, tricks, or good things to know before switching over to using cloth diapers?
I think most people think that cloth diapers are an all or nothing decision. It definitely is not! You can still use disposables even if you cloth diaper. If you are interested in trying out cloth for the first time, I recommend buying 2-3 to start with. Start gradually with baby steps. Test them out and see what it's like before buying more. 
If you have zero interest in cloth diapers, the other thing I like to share is that swim diapers are basically cloth diapers! So if you have ever used a swim diaper before, you've already experienced cloth diapering or if you are on the market for a swim diaper, consider buying a cloth diaper! Any cloth diaper without the insert can be used as a swim diaper. If you are nervous about justifying the cost for a cloth diaper and are afraid you might not use it, know that you can use one as a swim diaper! Being able to use a cloth diaper as a swim diaper has been a lifesaver for us this past summer when my son spontaneously wanted to go swimming at Grandma's house. 
What is one thing you wish you would've known before pregnancy or having a baby?
This is actually more so something that I wish I knew before I was even trying to conceive. I wish that I knew how common miscarriages are. I wish this was shared more with women. I had no idea that 1 in 4 pregnancies result in miscarriage. My journey to motherhood included two miscarriages before having my rainbow baby. It was shocking for me to learn and experience how common miscarriage and infertility is and my heart goes out to all the women who are currently experiencing something similar. If you are going through infertility and miscarriage, know that you aren't alone. I've experienced it too and see you.

What is something your baby has taught you?
Oh, so many things and from different stages of being a mother! From pregnancy and through postpartum, I learned that mamas are so tough and that our bodies are so resilient. That we're made to give birth and nurture a sweet babe. That our bodies will heal overtime. From navigating life as a new mom caring for a newborn, I've learned to trust my gut and instinct as a mother. One of my favorite quotes I read as a new mother was "When you bring home a baby, you bring home a mom too." I love this quote so much because becoming a mother is such an incredible experience and privilege. My postpartum experience was a wonderful time of rest, healing (both physical and spiritual), and time of reflection and discovery. My baby and becoming a mother has motivated me to have courage and try new things, including sharing my experience with mamas online!
Where can people follow you and support you?
You can follow me at instagram.com/onelittleyuan and onelittleyuan.com! I share a mix of cloth diapering, sustainable swaps, plants, and every day motherhood. I'd love to connect with you!

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