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Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Journey to Cloth Diapering

I've always wanted to cloth diaper. No, really! With my first child, my mom kept her while I worked and she said pampers or the highway, so.... But this time around, since I'm home (currently anyway) with my second I am trying to progress to cloth diapering.

There are SO many choices! I had no idea! I knew
about pre-folds, but there are all-in-ones (know as AIOs), and other random things too. So the more I read about it, the more I found out the benefits of cloth diapering. They include: the baby doesn't learn to live with waste next to their skin, so they should be easy to potty train, they are not wearing toxin releasing disposables next to their skin, they are not filling the landfill, and they SAVE MONEY!! I also read a bit about making your own.

Now anybody that knows me knows that I.CANNOT.SEW. Yes, in all caps, it's really that bad. I've been know
to replace a button on a blouse only to realize later in the day that said blouse is gaping open at work. (Which I've typically resolved by taping it shut!). But in the spirit of recycling, self-sufficiency, and wanting to learn something new, I borrowed my mom's sewing machine. A sewing machine, which is, at least as old as I am. But the darn thing works. I determined both for financial reasons and environmental reasons to recycle old clothes to make these cloth diapers.

My first foray into diaper making was to make a woolen diaper cover. I used a very simple pattern I found online, and sewed one from a wool sweater of mine that I've ahem, outgrown. The bonus with this sweater is that I bought it at a thrift store to begin with, so now it's double recy
cled. And I was able to get two diaper covers out of it, even after felting it.

I won't say they are beautiful, but they fit him and hold and work beautifully! The other night, I was extremely tired and forgot to change R before bed. Now if that ha
ppens in a disposable diaper, something is getting drowned in the night, usually me when I nurse him at about 4 am. However, in a pre-fold diaper and one of my woolen covers, he slept all night, only waking and leaking at about 7am. So I got three more hours of peace, and a new respect for the water retaining properties of wool.

Next, I decided to make an AIO. My husband, Mr. Former-Art-School student drew out a pattern for me on a Trader Joe's bag and I set to work, with an old pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt. I made a beautiful red diaper, but since I insisted on turning the seams in to make my diaper pretty and so M ended up with a cloth diaper for a Build-a-Bear because there was NO way R was fitting into that. It was super absorbant too, with 6 layers in the front (for boys ha, ha) and 2 in the back. Too bad M's Build-A-Bears don't make that kind of mess!

So for my next attempt, I made an AIO with moisture resistence, I had read on a message board about people using a shower curtain to line it. So I made one this way. Interestingly enough, purple on the inside, red on the outside, reversable. Yeah, so that shower curtain idea? Not so great. It leaked within 1 minute of putting it on. We'll be sticking with all-in-ones with absorbancy or pre-folds from now on.

It's cute, though, says SHAZAM! across his little bum.

Ah, yes, and some of the leftover purple material made the world's ugliest Barbie skirt. But M loved it, felt like I was sewing something for her too and therefore she was not left out.


  1. OMG, I love funny, CC's shirt, lol!! I admire your hard work! WOW!!! You deserve the #1 mom award...seriously!!!!

  2. Gotta get an A+ for the effort!