04 August 2010

Return of the Diaper Drama

Mkay, I'm positive we're cloth diapering, for a whole lot of reasons. Most of them are purely economical, but I also (a) don't want a bunch of weird chemicals touching my tiny baby and his/her skin. S/he will have plenty of time to pollute him/herself with toxins later on; and (b) littl'uns potty train earlier with cloth than with disposables, which I'm sure I will appreciate; and (c) I don't like being a trashy person, and disposables make a LOT (I almost made a pun before I decided it might be too crude) of trash. And several other reasons besides.

But that was by far the easiest part. Now comes the, "okay. I have 6 months to figure out some sort of 'system' that I think will work for us, all the while not having a real live baby in front of me to try things out on."
Which is where I am now.

I'm currently leaning towards buying prefolds and making my own wool covers. I'm also currently leaning towards using bought wool fabric, rather than thrifting wool from old/second-hand sweaters and the like. My current reasoning is threefold: used sweaters have already been used - there's already been some wear and tear, and we want to have three babies after this one. Even though cloth will save us money during the diapered span of just one child, I'd lovelovelove for these to last as long as possible. Second, I have more control over what chemicals are on/in the fabric when I buy the fabric from a retailer, rather than at Goodwill. Third, I have doubts about the selection and quality of wool I will be able to find at thrift stores in the College Station area. It's Texas; how many wool garments do people buy here in the first place?

I know this isn't the dirt cheapest option, but ready-made wool covers are (it looks like) 5 or 6 times the price of buying high quality wool by the yard and making them myself. The link in the title has a pattern and instructions for a wool diaper cover.

Any thoughts? Clearly I'm not even a beginner in this area. Sigh... love.


  1. Great plan! I think that it is wise to buy wool fabric for all the reasons you mentioned. I've know I've never owned a wool sweater. Plus, those soakers are super cute. I've been planning on knitting a few, but sewing might be a better option.

    I started with four sets of hand-me-down prefolds and covers from two different moms of twins. All for free! Don't be afraid to tell people you want to try cloth, you might end up with your own hand-me-downs.

    As the budget has allowed, I've purchased a few fancy diapers. I've also received a lot more free diapers from friends. For us, the fancy diapers (all-in-ones, pockets) are too expensive to do exclusively. I also think they aren't that much of an improvement on a basic system.

    Did you get to hear the heartbeat today? We heard Baby #2 for about 10 seconds before s/he kicked off and hid at the other end of the pond.

  2. So wool diapers wouldn't be my first choice but since Jude developed a polyester sensitivity, it's what we use now. You will only need 3-5 covers and while you COULD make them, you also could register for them and have people gift them to you... We receive 20 Bum Genius 3.0s from showers. When I was sewing wool covers, I was struggling a lot with getting the fit right... So I don't know that it's a bad thing to purchase them. Also, many mamas on etsy make and sell wool diaper cover for much cheaper than Little beetle covers. I do love the LB covers because they are double layered with wool and will size from newborn to toddler, so you wont have to buy multiple
    Covers as the baby grows...

  3. Elaine, we didn't get to hear any stinkin' heartbeat other than my boring one! I was really nervous at first,because I'm 10.5 weeks along, but then I decided I still didn't want to be a slave to fear. and I definitely have plenty of signs of an ongoing pregnancy, so I shouldn't get all upset about it.
    That's great advice, Beth. I'll check em out on Etsy; there's so much to see on there! I am pleased I still have time to try and figure stuff out like this, esp to hear from other mommas who have actual, real-life, diapering experience.

  4. We did have good luck finding wool sweaters at goodwill... they were all brown or gray and boring, but you'd be surprised at what you can find in good condition. You can always make super simple pullover shorts using the arms of wool sweaters. I have two from etsy and use them from night time stuff. And register for bunches of different types of cloth dipes! People will buy you tons of stuff for your showers. :) Also, check craigslist for cloth dipes, people will give up on fluff after a couple months and sell it for pennies there. Just do a Rockin Green soak and everything is as good as new!

    Ok, lots to say about cloth dipes... I need to do a blog post about all this!

  5. I love cloth diapering!... because I never have to run to the store to buy diapers... and I don't mind the laundry because there really isn't any folding to it... just sorting.

    I promise a post is coming on my blog about how we have been doing the past three months.

    We use prefold and econobum covers (because they were pretty much the cheapest) HOWEVER, I do have the a nicer cover for my prefolds and I find that I am always reaching for my econobum cover (see CottonBabies.com).

    I HIGHLY recomend one sized covers... be it wool or polyester. I mean, take what you can get... if you get a free small wool cover from your showers use it... but if you are spending the money and time invest in one size. You are more than welcome to look at my econobums, flips or bumgenius to maybe tweak your pattern.

    Beth! What a blessing to get 20 free bumgenius!!! I have to say, I'm a little jealous. When we have extra money to spend I'm definitely buying more bumgenius! I love the six I do have and I use them a lot!

  6. I've been really missing ultrasounds for the assurance that everything is alright, but I'm trying to trust God and my body even if I can't see what is going on.

    Don't underestimate the generosity of friends and family! If you enjoy making things yourself, go for it, but know that if you want some store bought things, there are plenty of people who enjoy buying. I'm always looking for an excuse to spend money at Cloud 9 Baby!

  7. Debi's a wealth of information on this subject if you want to pick her brain. She made most of our diaper covers or we had people give them to us.

  8. So one of my favourite blogs just posted a huge entry on their experience with cloth diapers:

    I would say it's a cool coincidence, except I don't believe in coincidences. I think God has a hand in the little stuff in our lives as much as the big stuff :)

    Hope it helps, that entry sure reassured me! I registered for cloth diapers at Target...I really hope I get them!

  9. Hi, I'm delurking because I love to talk about diapers (but I think I met you at one of Neva's womens events so I'm not a totally stalker, I found you through Elaine's blog I think).

    I love prefolds! I have pockets but they just don't fit my girl right and I have a few fitteds but those are way to expensive to do for anything but nighttime use. I have several different cover types but thirsties duo covers are my absolute favorite PUL cover. They are two sizes fits all. I think you get a better fit that a one size cover but they are cheaper than most sized covers, they work really well (love gussets for hold...stuff...in) and they are super cute!

    I've also crocheted a few wool covers. I use this pattern http://withatangledskein.blogspot.com/2008/02/little-fire-crochet-soaker-pattern.html and I love it and it isn't difficult. I can get two soakers made from one skein of fisherman's wool from Hobby Lobby (with one of their weekly 40% off coupons, it runs about $6 or $3each, you can barely beat that with goodwill). They are my main nighttime soaker. But if you do plan to use wool, try to make as many before hand as possible. I only made smalls and know that Lucy is actually born and had grow big enough to need a medium, it is taking me much longer to make one, lol.

    Also, we couldn't hear Lucy's heartbeat until 12-14 weeks and never did a big ultrasound and she is perfect. Sometimes I doubted myself and wanted to get one but in the end, I'm glad we didn't.

  10. We've totally met, MacKenzie! [tho I did need a picture as a refresher. I still completely know who you are. (: ]
    Mkay, it looks like what everyone says: it's personal.
    faaaabulous. mkay. I'll just keep... guessing. ;)

  11. wow, i am so glad you guys are so excited about cloth diapers! personally, i think i wash plenty of clothes with our having to wash diapers (thanks to my little one who used to go through several outfits a day due to spit up). maybe someday i will get on the cloth diaper bandwagon..seems lots of people are really in to it..and yes, i can see the benifits..and the draw backs (one being using lots of water)one question..what do you do about poop diapers? do you prewash it before sticking it in the washing machine? sounds kinda gross to me but i remember my mom having us dip them in the toilet to get some of the poop out before we wash them (of course that was like 15 years ago)..Esther

  12. Hey Esther,
    sorry it's taken me this long to reply! They have diaper sprayers for spraying off poop; the water pressure at our house in College Station is super high, so I don't think we're going to get one cause neither of us is handy with household adjustment type things.
    With an exclusively breastfed baby, you can just leave the poop on and throw it in the wash because it's loose. I've also heard, however, that rinsing the poop off helps with minimizing staining. But I've also also heard laying your dipes in the sun for a while bleaches the stains out really well (and dries them for free!)
    You can also buy flushable liners (which we're going to try) so you don't have to dip or scoop or spray. I decided we can try that since Stephen complained so much about having to do that with Mary or Grace.
    I'll update with how that works when the time comes!