God Forbid Guarantee by Lil Helper Cloth Diapers

God Forbid...
God Forbid…

The conversation that sparked the need for God Forbid Guarantee

The following is an exchange that took place between a Lil Helper cloth diaper customer and me, let’s call her K., in February 2015.

K. is a loyal Lil Helper customer and I distinctly remember packing her orders and communicating with her on a number of occasions.

I came across K’s post when she was trying to sell her Lil Helper cloth diapers on a Lil Helper Buy/Sell/Trade forum on Facebook.

Here are screenshots of that exchange:

lil helper cloth diapers God_Forbid_Guarantee_Lil_Helper_Cloth_Diapers_2God_Forbid_Guarantee_Lil_Helper_Cloth_Diapers_3

What kind of a company do we want Lil Helper to be?

When I had this conversation with K., I had no intention of posting it anywhere. But the thought kept bugging me for weeks that there might be other customers of ours who are probably in the same unfortunate position as K.

And since we didn’t have an explicit policy in place wherein customers can get in touch with us in the case of a tragedy, we might be inadvertently causing already grieving parents to relive their loss by selling their diapers.

Even my wife and I had lost a child early on in our pregnancy so I know the pain to a certain extent and wouldn’t wish it upon anybody.

Doubts on Reddit about Lil Helper Cloth Diapers…

A couple of weeks after the above took place, we started posting on Reddit to introduce Lil Helper to new customers.

A prospective customer commented that she had doubts about our diapers and company. In order to explain to her why Lil Helper was different, I uploaded the above screenshots to Imgur.

As an aside: I had made my account on Reddit weeks before posting for the first time and had just made an account on Imgur to post the screenshots there. I had no idea how either of the places worked.

Here’s the exchange on Reddit:

lil helper cloth diapers Reddit Conversation

Why we posted the conversation with K. publicly

The purpose of posting the screenshots was to give a recent example of how we treat our customers. The screenshots were only meant for the Mama and nobody else. I named the image gallery God Forbid Guarantee as I couldn’t think of a better way to address such a sensitive topic before prefacing it with god forbid.

Lil Helper Cloth Diapers going viral

Little did I know that the screenshots would be voted on to the front page of Imgur, and it eventually garnered more than 550K views and spread across the Internet. We were learning what it means to go viral.

How Lil Helper operates when nobody is watching

Now, this isn’t the first time that we have gone out of our way to treat a customer right.

Nader, the mad-scientist-half of Lil Helper, drove in the Canadian winter for 2 hours, one-way, to deliver a $90 order to a customer because her original order was at the Post Office and she had an early morning flight.

I have delivered diapers at 1 am because a customer had a baby with a diaper rash as bad as second-degree burns and the whole family hadn’t slept in days. I could hear the baby wailing as the mom inquired if our charcoal diapers would help her baby. Based on my experience and feedback from customers, I knew for a fact that our charcoal diapers would help the baby sleep and allow the stressed mother to relax, so I went and delivered the diapers in the middle of the night.

As you might already know, each and every order, no matter how small or big leaves our premises with a hand-written thank you card from yours truly as a means of showing that we truly appreciate the business that good folks like you give us and not for a moment do we take it for granted.

Everybody who works for Lil Helper would have done exactly the same thing or more had they been in my place. Yes, but this was the first time more than 2 people knew of our ethos as a company, something that we’ve had from the start.

Update on K.

The good news is that K., our loyal Lil Helper mama, was blessed with a beautiful baby boy soon after the post went viral. And when she ordered more diapers from us, I had the pleasure of telling her that her money was no good at Lil Helper. She was as touched by our small gesture as much we were by her courage to allow us to share her story and help other families who might, god forbid, find themselves in a similar situation.

All’s well that ends well.

Share your thoughts

If you have anything to say about this policy or ways in which we can improve how we run Lil Helper, I would love to know your thoughts.

You can leave a comment here, email me directly at mgandhi@lilhelper.ca or call me on my cell at 647 885 4642.

If you are in the US and would like to try our diapers, you can go here: www.lilhelperdiapers.com

If you are in CANADA, please go here: www.lilhelper.ca

Still Afraid of Cloth Diapers?

If you ask most new parents, what are there reasons for NOT using cloth diapers, you will hear a 100 explanations but it can all be summarized to one thing- FEAR.

Cloth Diapers are EASY to use & FUN!
Original Illustration by Nader, co-owner of Lil Helper, & Sophia.

Here are things that people fear most about cloth diapers.

Fear of looking like hippies
We have been selling cloth diapers for over a year now and I can comfortably tell you that more than 80% of our clients live in urban areas and almost all of them are professionals. They could very well be hippies, but at least they are highly educated hippies, who hold a steady job.

Afraid of the extra work involved in cloth diapering
As long as you can figure out how many cloth diapers you will need to last you a couple of days and an accessible washing machine to clean the dirty cloth diapers, the work involved is minimal. Store the dirty diapers in a pail and wash them like you would wash your undergarments.
A lot of parents who were forced into cloth diapers because their kids had terrible reactions to disposable diapers were shocked to find how easy it is to cloth diaper.

Stressed about asking silly questions.
We have a no judgment help-line: 1-877-2-877-930 where you can call and talk to a cloth-diapering expert. You can ask as many questions as you like. Believe us, there are no silly questions when it comes to the comfort and safety of your child.
I once asked a sales lady if wearing a baby sling makes me look effeminate. Both my wife and the sales lady looked at me weird but somebody had to ask the important questions.

Petrified of having no support.
When you purchase cloth diapers from Lil Helper, you are not just buying a product you are becoming a part of community. Any questions or queries you have about anything- you are first advised to call our helpline.
If you’d like more than 1 opinion about something then you can post a question on our Facebook page.
If we do not know the answer for your quandary, we will research it till we do find an answer.

Not only do we make awesome cloth diapers, we provide GREAT customer service!

Terrorized of handling THE POOP.
Exclusively Breast Fed baby’s poo is runny and water soluble. It comes right off.
When the baby starts eating solids, you could use a flushable liner, which can be tossed in the toilet, so there is little to no dirt on the diaper.
You could also use a washable thin cloth liner that is far easier to rinse off after disposing the stuff in the toilet.
If you have a child, poo is inevitable. Just like a coal miner always gets his hands covered in soot; a parent will get their hands dirty with poop. It’s going to happen.

Poop happens, but trust us, you can handle it.

Nervous about choosing the WRONG cloth diaper.
There are a lot of choices out there for cloth diapers and admittedly its confusing. And every diaper company bills their diaper to be the next sliced bread. NEWS FLASH- our cloth diapers are probably no better or worse than other diapers.
Yes, you have a lot more flexibility with AI2 in terms of adjusting absorption and fabric options than AIO or pocket diapers.
Where we go above and beyond any other company is the customer service we provide to each one of our patrons.
Returns and exchanges are done without questions and swiftly.
We ship out replacements for faulty products right away and you have 15 days to return items to us after receiving your new item.

Frightened that cloth diapers leak.
Lil Helper cloth diapers are not the same diapers that your grandma used. They are designed with the average busy parent in mind. All our diapers covers are waterproof with at least 8 layers of cloth inside the cover to soak up messes.
There are accidents that will happen when you have a child that cannot be called anything less than a POO-NAMI. I tell parents all the time that you could use cloth, disposable or cover them with cling wrap and crap will still find a way out.

Dread putting down the initial investment for cloth diapering.
You might feel that putting down $400 to buy a stash of cloth diapers is way too much money to spend on poop catchers.
If you use disposables you will spend upwards of $2500, only difference being that you’ll be giving it in installments of $200 every month to Walmart.

When you buy cloth diapers, especially from us, you not only save yourself a ton of money but also help another family, much like yours, that wants to cloth diaper their child but cannot do so due to their current station in life. Lil Helper gives one brand new diaper for every 3 diapers you buy to a struggling family through our Baby Do Good project.

If you know any mama who is on the fence about using cloth diapers and using FEAR as an excuse than send her this article.

Leave a comment, to tell us of other excuses you hear from your friends about NOT using cloth diapers.

What happens when two engineers design your cloth diapers?

Other titles that were considered for this post:

Why it took us more than 2 years to design a cloth diaper?
Why our seamstress thought we were crazy?

Going through stacks of documents to find a long lost receipt for tax purposes I came across this drawing of one of our initial cloth diaper designs.


Lil Helper Cloth Diaper Toronto  Ontario Canada
Initial Design of the Lil Helper Cloth Diaper.

I hadn’t seen this drawing in more than two years; all soft copies were lost with Nader’s crashed hard drive.
This drawing in essence summarizes the entire philosophy behind Lil Helper Cloth Diapers. We make mistakes, we learn from them, we make different mistakes and we try to have a sense of humor while going through the ordeal.

Sophia, my wife, thinks Nader & I run this business as if we are running an uncontrolled science experiment. She doesn’t realize that there is method to the madness. Well, maybe not. The rest of this post will try and make sense of how we go about getting our cloth diapers to market.

    Step1: Find a problem and research the crap out of it.

When we first decided to design a diaper we spent countless hours meticulously studying each and every top-selling cloth diaper in the market. We prepared a list of things we like and features that were missing.

Our biggest hope is to contribute positively in the lives of our end users. Our utmost concern is to harm no one. Whenever we deem something not worth pursuing, be it a cloth diaper design or a certain component of it, we lay it to rest.

Actually all bad ideas are blamed on each other and the lack of sleep, causing impaired judgment. The only casualty at this stage of the process is our battered ego. We’ve taken an oath of secrecy that the most ridiculous ideas cannot be shared with anyone.

    Step 2: Getting it down on paper

We usually over-think and over-design all of our products. When we were designing our cloth diaper we made the mistake of doing it on SolidWorks, a software that is usually used for contriving complicated mechanical structures and devices. Our caffeine induced brains went on a nerdy trip and we put features on it most robots would not be able to make.

I kid you not, Nader wanted to have a sensor on our diapers that would ring an alarm after a certain amount of moisture saturation. I considered it for a passing moment before realizing we cannot even find a reliable supplier of Velcro. Nader doesn’t take rejection well, so I had to tell him that we can add this feature to a future design iteration.

Prototype Number 187 (or somewhere around there)
Prototype Number 187 (or somewhere around there)
    Step 3: Making a physical sample

The next step is to get a few samples made from one our many seamstresses. This is also the point where women who are as old as our grandmothers usually mock us for our CAD generated drawings.

Most seamstresses shook their head when they looked at our designs, giving us a look of disgust mixed with a sprinkling of amazement. The puzzled expression on one seamstress’s face almost spelled out, ‘Why would you make such a detailed drawing of a cloth diaper? And how much time do you have on your hands?’

We had to go back and simplify the things that a sewing machine could not do and come back for another round of shaming.

One of the seamstresses jokingly said that she would think twice about flying in planes after finding out that both Nader and I, design flying machines at our daytime jobs.

We’ve quit designs and prototypes at this point of the process many times.

Apart from a bruised ego, we’ve also lost valuable time and money. So now you know why I drive a beat-up Hyundai Elantra.

    Step 4: Cost of Materials?

Whenever a design passes our acid test and is realized into an actual product, we go ahead to procure materials that are safe, sustainable and readily available. We price it out and get our material cost.

We have detailed costs of everything. We had priced out things like the cost of elastic that would be used for the cloth diaper. For the curious, when the diaper was made in Canada, the elastic cost 11 cents.

Best Cloth Diapers Toronto

    Step 5: Get feedback

Then we go about finding moms who will use our cloth diapers. We like to get feedback on how the diapers fit and if they perform as well as we think they should. We also ask moms if they use it in a way we intend for them to be used.

We try and address the biggest and most persistent complaints by making changes to our design.

    Step 6: Getting it manufactured

This process is not as simple as it sounds. Read our post about how we went about manufacturing our last batch of cloth diapers here.

Even after doing due diligence, we come across a bunch of problems that we compensate by providing excellent customer service to our patrons.

And all this, came to my mind because of the lone sheet of drawing that I found yesterday.

    What do you think?

Please leave us a comment and tell us what you like or dislike about our process? Also tell us if you’d like us to share any aspect of our business that might currently be a mystery to you.