Friday, October 16, 2009

The Dish On Diapers

I'm an advocate of cloth diapering. Disposables are simply not an option for our house. It just fits in line with a lot of the other choices we've made around here - green cleaning products, high-efficiency appliances, composting, etc. And now cloth diapers.

With that in mind, the last time I put a cloth diaper on someone would have been around 1976 - my little brother. But in 1976, diapers were panels of flannel folded and pinned and covered with rubber pants. Surely something must have changed by 2009. But where to start?

An answer came to me in the form of a free information night at one of the local libraries, "Eco Baby." It's where I met my friend, Kim, of Clothology, she's the local cloth diapering guru. Not only does she carry all kinds of different brands/styles in her online store, she also gives parents support on how to clean and care for them, which ones will suit baby's body type, how to adjust for the different stages of baby's development, and on and on. In short, she's a cloth diapering wonder and the reason I feel so well prepared today.

After a few sessions with Kim and a visit to her local store, I selected several diapers that we felt would cover a lot of the issues that baby might encounter. (I also discovered many styles of baby carriers - but that's a post for another day!)

As a seamstress, I knew I also had the ability to add to my stash if I could find a pattern/style that I felt I could work with - both in making them and in using them. Kim's information and support started me on my search for what I needed in this area, too.

Some online research brought me to the pattern for Rita's Rump Pockets. Seriously cute name for a rather versatile but not complicated diaper.

I used white flannel inside (that I got on sale for $4.99 for 2 metres, Score!)

And I used colourful, fun flannel in boy themes on the outside.

I made twenty of these in total, to supplement my brand name diaper stash, and I now have about 50 cloth diapers altogether, in varying sizes. With the average newborn using 10-12 diapers a day, this means I don't have to wash daily but can stretch things out to every third day and still have room to breathe. Whew!

This style of diaper is called a pocket diaper, as you can see below, because you insert absorbant layers inside, depending on what you will need.

For a heavy overnight wetter, for example, a large microfibre insert might be the best thing to soak up all the urine. A tiny newborn might only need a small pad-shaped insert for daytime use. Like I said, versatile.

We have accumulated a pile of inserts of varying sizes and absorbancies, too, to make sure we can keep up with whatever the little guy is going to need. (Keep in mind that microfibre should not stay in direct contact with baby's skin for very long as it's so absorbant it will dry his skin out in a very short time. Much better as an insert in a pocket diaper!)

So that's my story on cloth diapers. Now if baby would just come on out, we could figure out if I actually remember how to install the things!

Happy Friday, M


Katharyn said...

so wonderful and cute, I look forward to hearing about how they work out!

Knatolee said...

I'm glad you're going with cloth!!

I still have one of my OWN cloth diapers. My mum used it as a duster, if you can imagine, and for reasons I can't explain, it sits in my linen closet. 45 years old... pretty darn durable! And not in a landfill.

La Tea Dah said...

We were cloth diaper advocates as well --- but wow --- that was already 20 years ago. Babies are so comfy and much sweeter in cloth diapers! Maybe it's because they are changed more often, I'm not sure.

:D LaTeaDah