Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cloth Diaper So Far

The sewing room is in upheaval at present. The very large cupboard/wardrobe thingie I have long used to store my fabric is now needed elsewhere in the house so I have now have no where to put my material. It is all neatly folded and stacked (and I rediscovered some pretty amazing fabric I forgot I had) but it's going to be impossible to sew until I have figured out where to put it all. I am looking into wall-mounted storage right now and hopefully I can find something out that won't be too time consuming or too expensive. In the meantime, we can talk about diapers.

So, how is cloth diapering going? A few of you have asked. Perhaps some have wondered, not wishing to verbalize an interest in diapers, which are at best utilitarian and at worst gross and unconversational.

It is going! Rather well, I would say, but honestly it has become so routine I rarely think about it anymore. The few times I have used disposables I have had to pause and pick the disposable diaper out of the wet pail I threw it in by habit. I like cloth diapers. I don't feel all hippie and eco-friendly or anything like that, but they just make so much more sense to me than disposables. It's like using paper plates and plastic silverware all the time versus washing your dishes in between uses. It makes more sense to just wash the dishes.

The linen and hemp cloth diapers I made before Anne was born are still going strong, now that she is past 16 weeks. I had planned for the diapers to hopefully last her til 8 weeks so they are exceeding my expectations! Besides being a bit rumply they are as good as new and still fit her although I think that after Christmas it will be time to make up a new, larger batch.

The one thing that did not work out so well were the wool soakers. In the beginning, I carefully pinned the linen diaper around Anne's tiny little waist and the wool soaker just would *not* contain all the diaper. The soaker was either too small or the diaper too large or both but it is certain they did not work together the way I had hoped. Every time I changed her she was wet all the way through - the wetness escaping from the diaper that peeked out of the legholes and around the waist. It was disheartening.

I made some shaped diapers from wool flannel. They worked much better than the felted-sweater soakers but dampness still escaped from around the legs. I tried to figure out how to make a leg gusset to keep the wet out but it was very frustrating to me. Working on so small a scale is always challenging and I did not feel up to the challenge!
A Very Small and Very New Anne in her shaped wool cover -she was so tiny! Was this really only a few months ago??

My friend Jenny, who owns the business Gabi Sunshine, sent me two PUL diaper covers that she had made as a baby gift. I tried them! And guess, what? They worked brilliantly! I was in love. Plus the covers were just *so* cute!
Newborn Anne in her itsy bitsy cover from Jenny - look at those skinny legs!

For the next month or so I used the PUL covers and the shaped wool covers but I realized more and more the advantages that the PUL covers had over the wool ones. So when Anne received some designated funds for "diapers covers" at her baby shower, I knew what I what kind of diaper covers I was going to get!
Skinny legs no more. Miss Chunky Thighs fills out her new diaper covers quite nicely. 

Jenny made me 6 more covers for Anne and that is what we have been exclusively using the last month or so. I cannot say how happy I am with this arrangement. Now that Anne is almost 4 months old she is more predictable in her habits of excrement and I just simply fold the diaper and lay it in the cover and then put it on just like a disposable would be put on, except of course, the covers snap closed.

Jenny's workmanship is just beautiful and the covers will last us a long time. I'm so relieved to not have to worry about making covers myself. Give me a detailed historical frock coat to make any day, but never diaper covers!!! :P

So, that is, in a nutshell, our experience with cloth diapering so far. Those rare times when I do not have any clean pre fold diapers on hand I use those gauzy flat diapers and two of them folded together into a rectangle work just as well as the prefolds.

I will never go back to disposables.



  1. When I first saw your wool covers, I guessed you'd have those problems. I didn't say anything because, not being able to see them or feel them, I didn't know exactly how they'd perform, and I didn't want to rain (pee?) on your diaper parade. I have done some experimenting with wool cover making myself. I've made them from sweaters and I've knitted them. I like the knitted ones much better. Two things I know about wool: it is not nearly as reliable as PUL, and it must be lanolized regularly with lots of lanolin.

    Your friend's PUL covers are adorable! I use Thirsties Duo Wraps. I buy them in solid colours because the prints cost more and I'm cheap, but I love printed diaper covers. So much cuter than disposables! And don't you love how cloth makes their bottoms so fat and cute?

    I'm glad you're happy with cloth.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out! Your little miss is growing like a weed!!! Like you, I'll never ever go back to throw-away diapers. They're stinky :)

  3. I have used cloth on both of my kids and I just love them! You're right, it is like washing the dishes. Insoluble impressed that you madeyour own! I used prefolds and thirsties duo wraps, which are very similar to your pull covers. Aren't they Fab? I had to pick up a few hemp babies soakers when my oldest staryed soaking through the night. We've been doing disposables again for the past few months but I have a washer and dryer again and can't wait to get back to cloth!your little peach is such a cutie! Is there anything more munchable than a chunky baby thigh? I don't think there is!;)

  4. We had the same problems with wool covers. My mom, who can literally make anything, made some knitted/crocheted wool soakers for our youngest son. They are cute and pretty, but always leaked. We stick almost exclusively to folded diapers and PUL covers. With two (19 mos. and 2 mos.) in diapers I think they're the best at not leaking and clean up easiest. I now hate smelly disposables, and since we use cloth wipes, the handful of times we've used paper I'm annoyed at having to find a trash can. I'd rather Use cloth and a wet bag and never drag all the kids across a parking lot to a trash can ;)

  5. I loved doing cloth too! I got the Flip diaper covers and really loved them. My daughter almost never leaked. My only frustration was that as she got older, her diapers were always smelling of ammonia once wet and I could never make that smell go away except in a really good wash, but as soon as she got it wet, the smell would be back. It got to be overwhelmingly frustrating.

    It's really neat that you made your own liners. How did you put those together? Did you use a tutorial?

  6. I enjoy reading your blog. Your children are beautiful. Anne is very lucky to have such a loving, caring Mama.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!