Cloth Diapering

Waaaaay back 20 years ago when I had Christina, I started cloth diapering.  Back then, we were broke and cloth diapers were cheaper seeming.  We used these huge diapers that you fold to the right shape, big diaper pins, and plastic pants.  They frequently had leaks when she was a newborn, but we were broke, so we went with it.  We hated it.  I hated touching nasty poopy diapers.  I hated cleaning them.  We would actually have stand-offs to see who could go the longest before washing the obviously full bucket of cloth diapers.  To save our marriage, we eventually changed to disposables.

Fast forward to 2010.  I had Daniel, my precious number 5. By now, I have purchased countless diapers.  I have thrown away countless diapers.  And, I have friends using these new adorable cloth diapers that are well- fitting, have velcro, are waterproof, etc.  Considering our current budget and our financial goals, I started toying with the idea of TRYING cloth diapers.  But you know those things are EXPENSIVE to try.  You have to have quite a number to have enough to get through a day.  So, still I hesitated when I saw the cost of those easy cloth diapers.

After lots of encouragement, I decided to try to make my own diaper covers. A friend mailed me her pattern.  I bought the material for about $4.00 per cover, including the PLU to make them waterproof.  I should mention now, I hardly ever sew.  I have sewn about 3 things in my life, and each time with much nervousness and pain involved.

But, even for me, these were fairly easy.  I watched several YouTube videos on sewing cloth diaper covers, called my friend 4 times,and did it.  I made my first cover.  It took all day. (Remember, I never sew and I am not very good at it.)

Here is what it looked like:

From 2010-12-17

Then, as soon as I finished that one, I was hooked!  I LOVED how adorable it was, how easy it was, and how well it fit.  It was planned to fit him until he was 22 pounds.  After that, I did the remaining four assembly line style and finished them all in about 3 hours.

From 2010-12-17
From 2010-12-17

Now, I take a prefold cloth diaper (free from freecycle.) and put it inside there, then velcro it onto him.  Five were plenty to get me through the day, since you can wipe them out after each use (hence, the PLU).

Here is an example of a prefold diaper:

Well, sadly, Daniel is growing so fast, he is well over 22 pounds now and my awesome homemade covers are too small for him.  I was thinking I needed to make some new ones, but was not sure how to adjust the pattern, when lo and behold someone on facebook was selling their FuzziBunz brand diapers – in large size.  I was concerned that they would be too large, but instead of using them the way they were intended, I am just using them like my covers, putting my prefolds inside them.  They fit great that way, and as he gets bigger, I can just remove the prefold or expand the waistline with the adjustable snaps.
Here is what these look like:

I am the only one doing the cloth diapers now.  When Daddy is home, he puts Daniel in disposables.  If someone else is helping me with him I use the disposables.  When I am sick or overwhelmed or just too busy, I use disposables.  At bedtime, I put him in a disposable.  So, I am not legalistic about it, but when I can, I used the cloth.  Now that it is because I *want* to, and not because I am too broke to buy diapers, it is a lot more fun.  And these modern day diapers are so much easier to use than the way it was 20 years ago.Having a system for dirty diapers is absolutely essential.

When I change Daniel, I take the soiled diaper to the bathroom and rinse the soil into the toilet.  Then, I drop the diaper in a bucket in there, already partially filled with water and a small amount of detergent. When I wash them in the machine, I first drain the water from the bucket, then put them in the washer with detergent and wash them in HOT water.  I hang the covers to dry and put the prefolds in the dryer.  Usually one time through the dryer is not enough, so I will lay them out to finish drying.  I would like to get a drying rack, but I do not have one yet.



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About the Author

Malia M. Russell Malia Russell is the blessed wife to Duncan, thankful mother to six children, ages 1 to 23, grandmother to one, and an author, conference speaker and director of www.homemaking911.com. Visit her site for inspiration, encouragement and practical help in your roles as a godly wife, mother, homemaker or home educator.

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One Response to “Cloth Diapering”

  1. April says:

    Oh, I can so relate to your newfound delight with these updates to cloth diapering! I used cloth and pins almost exclusively with my 1st-3rd babies and then less with the 4th and 5th as homeschooling just didn’t allow the time to change those drippy rubber pants as so often was required. Now, expecting our 6th, I’m up to the challenge to try out some new options and enjoy cloth diapers once again! I love so many things about using them, especially all the new options available! Your homemade covers are adorable! Congrats on a job well done!

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