Cloth Diapering

Wordle: Diapering a baby

I do intend to add pictures of the diapers Mom and I have made to this page at some point. I’m apparently very hard on cameras, though. :( Meanwhile, enjoy the links!

About the time Noodle Girl was starting to use the potty, we discovered gDiapers, which are reusable shells that hold (biodegradable and supposedly flushable) disposable soaker inserts. At the time, it seemed silly to invest in a new diapering system with our only child getting ready to leave diapers behind, but when I found out were were finally expecting our second one I started looked at the gDiapers again. The gDiaper disposable inserts cost as much as disposable diapers! But they also had cloth inserts, which started me off on research into cloth diapers.

I immediately discovered that there were a lot more hybrid and cloth choices than there are disposable choices! In the hybrids, Flip and GroBaby/Grovia also have disposable inserts with reusable washable covers, plus I found disposable diaper doublers that are a similar size to the brand name inserts. There are all-in-ones, all-in-twos, pockets, and fitteds. There are wrap covers that look like disposable diapers but cuter, and pull-on covers with and without legs and skirts. Then there’s the actual cloth – everything from old fashioned cotton flats and prefolds to specially shaped microfiber inserts.

We picked AI2 for ease of diaper changes, quicker laundering, and the flexibility of using different inserts with whatever covers we liked. With lots of help from Mom, I chose to make some of our covers and lots of soaker inserts from recycled and thrifted materials: flannel sheets, t-shirts, microfiber towels, wool sweaters, and old poly fleece pullovers. We also bought some PUL, suedecloth, and some commercial diapers: AI2 (all-in-two) and Wonder Wrap covers from GroBaby/Grovia to use with my inserts and fitteds.

All our newborn covers were made from old poly fleece pullovers covered on the outside with vintage polyester knits from my mom’s stash, and finished with reclaimed FOE (fold-over elastic).
The diaper covers I made
I made tiny fitted diapers from old t-shirts and old flannel sheets. Even though she could only wear these tiny diapers for about six weeks, it was worth it! No runny newborn poop blowouts. Very few leaks of any kind, actually, and that was only when my faulty Velcro placement made it hard to get the legs snug.
One week old in cloth diaper

I felted wool sweaters and skirts to make wrap covers that can be machine washed. I’m also making some longies – basically wool pants that function as pull-on diaper covers – with unfelted or gently felted wool sweaters, because a pull-on cover needs stretch. Wool should have a lanolin rinse to be waterproof, but will absorb up to 40% of its weight in moisture without lanolin and works pretty well as a diaper cover either way. I lanolize with the Lansinoh I got for breastfeeding.

One surprise about cloth diapering: it’s way less smelly than disposables! We have an open pail, and even if I end up going three days between washes, it only smells bad if you are standing right over the pail. We do spray off the poop, and sprinkle baking soda in the pail to cut down on ammonia, which also helps in the wash.

I would say that we are not using noticeably more water or electricity to wash the diapers. I only do one extra load a week, even though I wash diapers about every two days, because I wash socks, underwear, and towels with the diapers whenever possible. What, you think your socks and underwear don’t have as much bacteria as diapers? Wrong. It’s just less visible. Have you smelled some people’s socks?! That’s bacteria, and your washer gets it out with the help of detergent and hot water.

Here are links to the sites that were the most helpful during my cloth diapering research:

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  1. Pingback: I wrote a post and the internets ate it. » MadScientistK

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