In my efforts to save money, be a little more “green” and provide more natural care for my son, I decided to venture into cloth diapering last fall – when he was already 14 months old. When someone first mentioned cloth diapering to me, I balked at the idea. I was envisioning the cloth that you fold over and pin (called pre-folds). While those are still made and actually quite popular when babies are newborns, the world of cloth diapering has come a long way and it’s actually very overwhelming for a newbie.
As I began researching cloth diapering (CD is what those in the know call it), I was astonished to realize there were so many kinds of CDs – hybrid, all-in-ones, pockets, fitted, etc. No, CD today is not like it was 30 years ago – or probably even 10 years ago.
In my quest to learn more, I somehow came across the BEST online retailer I’ve found for cloth diapering – Mami’s and Papi’s. and also joined their Facebook community. I quickly learned “Mami” and “Papi” are Candace and Frank Laguna; parents of three, who began their business in July 2010 as a way to earn an extra income as a supplement to “Papi’s” military career. “Mami” and “Papi” were temporarily staying in the same city I currently live in while he received medical care for injuries received during training. Because of that, I had the opportunity to meet them in person.I found them to be as sincere and likable as they are on Facebook and their blog. They are genuine, down-to-earth people who love family, have a strong faith and a positive outlook, and put their “all” into everything they do, including their business.
Mami’s and Papi’s carries a full line of different types of CDs, (cloth diapers) and accessories, laundry detergent (newbies, you’ll quickly learn you have to use a special detergent to get the most out of your diapers), products for mama and more.
Their prices are in alignment with what other retailers charge (sometimes less), but they also offer a standard 10% off for families of heroes (military, police, fire, etc.), frequent deals and specials, free shipping for orders over $25 ($2.95 for orders under $25) and 5% loyalty credits you can use for future purchases.
What has made Mami’s & Papi’s stand out against other CD retailers, (and I’ve bought from several,) is their incredible customer service. They are quick to answer any questions you may have, including those that are not CD related. They are honest, never overpromise and ship products super fast. They also carry, promote and sell many products from work-at-home parents.
Here’s a little recent Q&A I had with Candace Laguna (AKA Mami).
Q. What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened since you began your business?
A. We’ve made an amazing amount of friendships without ever meeting many of the families in person
in a short amount of time. One even recently rescued Papi when his car broke down in Alabama. They
made sure he got his car to a safe place and even brought him food while he waited. True friendships
and honest, good people do exist!
Q. What are you most grateful for?
A. All the blessings God has given us. Sure, we have our bumps in the road and our hurdles to jump –
but the blessings far outweigh the trials. We have a fantastic marriage, amazing children, a roof over our
heads and food in our bellies.
Q. What would you say to someone venturing into cloth diapering?
A. Just GO FOR IT! We do so many harder things in this life – teaching children to read, to be respectful
and have manners and bringing them up to become amazing adults. Those are challenges! Budgeting for
a family, keeping a marriage exciting and forever lasting – that’s a labor of love and it takes effort. Cloth is
just laundry and easy compared to other daily challenges in life.
I posted a comment on Mami’s and Papi’s Facebook page about what people love about the community, and nearly all the comments were similar – you can be yourself without fear of offending someone, you can ask for input on anything (not just CD-related) and you’ll get helpful responses, and the friendships and bonding that has occurred in a short amount of time.
I highly recommend www.mamisandpapis.com to anyone who is or wants to begin cloth diapering. If you have any questions about where to begin, products, issues you’re facing with laundry challenges, or just want somewhere “safe” to share whatever is on your mind, head over to Mami’s & Papi’s Facebook page. You’ll quickly feel like you’re part of the “family!”
If you’d like to see a giveaway on MommyB Knows Best post Mamis and Papis on Facebook wall and tell them: “I’d love to win a Mami’s and Papi’s giveaway by @mommybknowsbest!! ”
This post was written by Jamie K., a first-time mom currently living in south Texas with her husband, an Air Force officer, and her 18-month-old son. She’s a professional communicator who works full-time and constantly struggles to balance work and personal responsibilities – and her addiction to chocolate. She’s making an effort to be more “green” by trying cloth diapering, buying organic food when possible and using natural cleaners – and she tries to do it while saving money and getting great bargains.