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It absolutely amazes me sometimes how fun something like cloth diapers can be. We used cloth with S, so when we found out about this baby, we figured we’d use cloth this time around too. I wanted to make some changes though – while I didn’t mind the folding and pinning and using a cover, I wanted an easier system for this little one than I had with S. . .especially now that I’ll have a pre-schooler and a newborn in the house.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against using disposable diapers. But after using cloth for one baby, I just can’t justify spending that much money on disposables now. It saves enough money that I don’t mind the extra work of cloth. And really – the only extra work (outside of actually sewing them) involved is throwing an extra load or two of laundry in a week. I can handle that.
A friend asked me if I would use the cloth diapers from the store if I had them. I do have them – probably a good three dozen or more of the typical storebought pre-folded cloth diapers. The problem with them is that it is very hard to find good quality ones anywhere around here. Most of what you can find is so thin that they’re only good for burp cloths. I found that out the hard way with S. And the thicker ones that I do have are pretty big. Great for an older baby. . .not so great for a newborn. That’s another lesson I learned the hard way with S. Seeing a newborn baby with a massive diaper so big he has to almost do the splits to keep the diaper on. . .um. . .I’ll pass this time on that one.
Toward the end of S’s time in diapers, I made him some fleece diaper covers. I really enjoyed sewing them, and it was nice knowing that I was making something that he needed for such a low price. Some of the diapering stuff I made him I was even able to make with supplies I already had in the house. When I started mentally going through the cloth diaper supplies I have for a newborn, I realized that even though I could use what I had, I wanted an eaiser system.
After some asking around and a whole bunch of research online about the myriad of cloth diapering systems, I finally decided I wanted to try using pocket diapers this time. I really wanted some All-in-one diapers, but didn’t want to have to make or buy a couple dozen new diapers each time the baby grew out of the ones we already had.
Someone recommended the Mama Bird pocket diaper pattern. It’s free, and comes in several sizes. I made up 11 of the newborn size, using fleece for the outside (it’s water resistant) and flannel for the inside. The best part – I already had all the fleece and most of the flannel in the house from other projects. I only had to buy a bit of flannel to finish making them! And since the flannel was $1 a yard at Wal-Mart, even better.
The navy and light blue ones I tried to lengthen the tabs some, but forgot to increase the seam allowance too, so they ended up with really narrow tabs. They’ll still work, but I like the wider ones better. My father-in-law likes them because they’re Carolina Blue. That wasn’t intentional – when I bought the light blue flannel, I was just trying to get flannel that would coordinate with the fleece I already had – but since Stephen’s a Carolina fan too, it works.
I put velcro (well, actually it was Touch Tape) closures on these to make them even easier. I will stuff the opening with flannel and terrycloth soaker pads that I made to go with S’s diapering system. Nice and easy all-in-one diapers that anyone can use. They probably won’t fit for that long, but I’ll be able to use them on the next baby if God decides to send us another one some day.
Then I discovered the pattern for Rita’s Rump Pocket – it’s a pocket diaper that fits most sizes. I was thrilled! It’s pretty similar to the Mama Bird pattern that I used, except it’s larger and can be folded down to fit a smaller baby. I actually liked sewing this one better – it doesn’t have elastic at the back opening like the Mama Bird pattern does (to make it easier to fold), and it sews up a lot faster.
A friend had some fleece that she wasn’t using, so she gave it to me. I like all the different combinations of the flannel and fleece. My favorite is the one in the upper right hand corner. You can’t see it very well in the picture, but it’s light blue and white plaid, with a solid light blue inside.
After I had decided to sew so many diapers, I mentioned it to a lady at church. She told me that she had done cloth with her babies, and asked me if I wanted her cloth diapers. I said, “Sure,” and she invited us over to come pick them up. I was NOT prepared for what she had for me. There were so many diapers that it filled a plastic garbage bag so full we couldn’t tie it closed! They weren’t the cheap, no-good “regular” cloth diapers – these were the fitted ones that you just place under the baby and pin closed. No folding. She gave me several covers and even some crib sheets and waterproof covers. Between the diapers that she gave me and the ones that I made, I should be able to easily go three days between washing diapers, possibly even longer. What a blessing!
I’d say we are definitely set for cloth diapers for a while!