Cloth Diaper Info

We'll use Mommy Bear to show how to install a cloth diaper.
Also, how to make cloth wipes and diaper doublers.
And many other goodies and tips.

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Cloth Diapers
What to Buy
How to Install
Dealing with a Bowel Movement
Cost Savings
The Night Time Sleep
Making Cloth Diaper Wipes
Making Cloth Diaper Doublers
Diaper links and other sources of information

Gardening Info


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Diapers; Cloth Diapers

An important detail for families with young children: Cloth Diapers, when you run out those nice nifty paper diapers what are you going to do?  Don't you hate that feeling that you never even tried a cloth diaper?  Don't you wonder what would happen if you ran out and had to make due with towels?  Yuck.  Get to Baby's-R-Us or Target and buy 36 pairs of Gerber "Tri-fold / Prefold" diapers. (details below) Your child's bottom will never look better . This is more work in short run, but you'll learn you child's "voiding" pattern and will learn when a change is needed, as opposed to the "change when obvious" method that disposables lull you into. Also get two diaper pails and 4 pairs of diaper pins (stick the "working pair" of pins in a bar of soap -- this makes them easier to insert).  Don't be shy about doing this, we've saved a serious amount of money doing this, and our child's bottom looks great (when we take our child to the doctor, he always comments about how good the bottom looks) and the landfill has less diapers.   We wash every 4 days, the pails won't hold any more, & you don't want to ripen the product any longer than necessary :^).

Many daycare allow cloth diapers, you must take home the diapers every day, and deal with the solids promptly.  Is the $558 a year an incentive? You bet!

A tool to add to the list is the diaper duck   link broken Be sure to get two.

Diaper Changes., a good book.

What to Buy
Gerber "Birdseye weave" cloth diapers cost $12-$16 per dozen, Plastic Pants ~50¢ each, and pins were $1 per pair. The Diaper bucket ranges from $10 to $20 depending on the size and brand.  We bought our first at a garage sale for $3 in excellent condition.   "Birdseye weave / Gauze weave" is a very absorbent weave, avoid synthetic fibers when ever possible.  36 pairs of Gerber "Tri-fold / Prefold "diapers UPC #15000.82913 (12- Prefolded with absorbent pad, Gauze weave cloth diapers 14.5" x 20.5". Or get the Diaper service version $12 per 6 - 14.5" x 20.5" UPC #15000.82906. We were very disappointed with the Dundee Prefolded Cotton Diapers, very thin compared to the Gerber's.) (Buy only the 14.5" x 20.5" Size, 12 pairs should be about 8" or thicker) and 18 pairs of plastic pants all sizes (they will wear out -- stiffen/  harden up).

Installing a diaper :)

How to place "Tri-fold" cloth diaper on a child:
This method will contain even those BMs that would make a disposable diaper will fall off and run away & hide.

Disclaimer: This is what works the best for me, my wife uses a slightly different fold -- she likes my method but can't seem to make it work for her.  She does the fold over on the backside.

How to deal with a Bowel Movement (BM):

BTW:  You should be doing this for disposables too! Toileting the solids that is.




Cost Savings:

¢= the cent sign - i.e. 75¢ == $0.75 -- Some web browsers don't read this correctly.

[Based on early 1999 pricing]
The load is 25-35 diapers and ~50 wipes every four days, bladder control is getting better.
We had used Pampers (regular) @ ~ 20¢ each
Huggies' wipes @ ~2¢ each
Minus 80¢ for detergent & energy (hot water and dryer)

Savings: 30* 20¢ + 50* 2¢ - 80¢ = $6.20 per 4 days == $46.50 per month == $558 per year
We do use Pampers for some trips and other times when you can't get to a washing machine.
This does not include the initial cost of the supplies, which is less than $200.  You can search on the net and find some great deals and or used items.
Diaper Pail          2* $35    =    $70
Cloth Diapers      4 * $15    =    $60   that's 4 dozen diapers.
Plastic Pants       3 * $3      =    $ 9
    Get three 6 packs for $3, in each size - this is the only wear item.
Pins                    2 * $3      =    $ 6
Fabric        10'+12' * $2      =    $44  10' for wipes, 12' for doublers
     The doublers are not needed until your child is older.
     Try to get pre washed fabric to avoid excess shrinkage prior to cutting.

Bare bones getting started and to keep going:   $125
Diaper Pail          1 * $35    =    $35  -- You'll be washing every 2 days
Cloth Diapers      3 * $15    =    $45   that's 3 dozen diapers.
Plastic Pants       3 * $3      =    $ 9
    Get three 6 packs for $3, in each size - this is the only wear item.
Pins                    1 * $3      =    $ 3
Fabric                10' * $2    =    $20  for wipes
    You can double diaper larger children for night time diapering.
     Try to get pre washed fabric to avoid excess shrinkage prior to cutting.

You can do a really bare bones of not using a NON child proof container, if you have a NON Mobile infant and no other children. You MUST get a child safe pail once the infant starts to move around or have any young children!!!!  I will be exploring some other pails.


The Night Time Sleep
[Old Info]
And we still use Pampers for the sleeping diaper, we just aren't ready for the "Big" 11+ hour sleep in cloth,
this amounts to one diaper a day.  Which is a big difference from the 7 - 10 a day usage.
We have a good supply of disposables, so the bed time issue can be tabled for a while.
[end Old Info]

Making Cloth Diaper Wipes:
Try to get pre washed fabric to avoid excess shrinkage prior to cutting.
Get any soft flannel fabric available in the sewing /fabric section (inexpensive / close out).

Wash the whole batch flannel in hot water and soap, and dry well.  Make sure it is not to wrinkled, or you will need to 'coarsely' iron the fabric for easy cutting.  This washing will pre shrink the flannel.

Make about 50-70 squares, from a 45" bolt of fabric get 90"-108" in length.
Cut them into ~9" squares and double fold (hide the raw edge) + sew the double fold.

Store them in a any old disposable diaper wipe container, covering them only with water (some folks make an herbal oil mix).  We keep a few dry for clean up purposes.

When on a day outing we still use regular paper wipes (from an abundant supply), and just toss them in the pail too, they wash out very nice --but we still pitch them.

Making Cloth Diaper Doublers:

For an older child you will need to make Diaper Doublers, these are inserts into the cloth diaper for naps and night time sleeping - used like a feminine napkin, front to back.  During the day time, if your child is holding back on urinating long enough to cause a soaking wet diaper then consider potty training.  Peer pressure and positive reinforcement is the best motivation. NEVER EVER try to force the issue of potty training, it will happen when your child is ready and nothing you do will hasten the process -- you may end up delaying the process. Be concerned when your child is going to Kindergarten.

When wetted just the drop doubler into the diaper pail like all of the other items, the diaper, the wipes, plastic pants and now the doublers.  If BM'ed then you'll need to soak them see dealing with a BM, a diaperduck link broken will be handy for this operation.

The sewing is not hard just a bit tedious and well worth the effort. Make 12 diaper doublers from 4 yards of fabric.  We had doubled up cloth diapers, but this is hard to do on an older child since the waist is growing in size. Also, a doubler is smaller between the legs. These Diaper Doublers are 3.5" x 12" and made from a 12" by 42" section of soft flannel fabric and folding them so there are no exposed ends to fray. Try to get pre washed fabric to avoid excess shrinkage prior to cutting.

Before cutting wash the whole batch flannel in hot water and soap, and dry well.  Make sure it is not overly wrinkled, or you will need to 'coarsely' iron the fabric for easy cutting.  This washing will pre shrink the flannel.

Folding instructions:

  1. Hint: Make the first fold about an 1/8 of an inch shy of the center and the next about 3/16 th and all of the following folds a little bit less (a 1/16 th) than the previous, this will allow for a nice main fold.
  2. Lay flat the 42 inch section from both ends fold 7" from each end. Now 28" wide.
  3. Fold the end to the middle, now 14" wide.
  4. Fold again, now 7" wide.
  5. Fold in half - resulting in a single thick fold and two thinner folds on the other side.  Now 3.5 wide."

Start (M= middle) Lay flat
Total width 42"

Step #2  fold each end in by 7"
Total width= 28"

            ______  7                     7______

Step #3  fold over by a full half
Total width= 14"

                     ___7 _____      ______7_____
                    |   7_______|    |______ 7 ___  |
                    |__14_______M____________ |

Step #4  Fold over by a full half, again
[It will look something like this, please don't hold me to it.]
Total width= 7"

                     ____3.5____     _____3.5_____
                    | ___3.5___  |    |  __3.5____    |
                    | |  _ 3.5--  |  |    |  | --3.5_     |   |
                    | |  |_3.5__|   |    |  |_3.5__|    |  |
                    | |___3.5____|    |____3.5___|   |

Step #5 Fold over by half,  again
Total width= 3.5"

                  |   ____3.5__|   <-- Lots of layers inside
                  |   ____3.5___  <-- Lots of layers inside

                     ^-- Be sure to stitch the inside raw edge
                          and get all of the inner folds stitched
                          so they would not bunch up.

Step #6 Begin sewing.

Start with a regular stitch and then finish using a serger like stitch.  Sew the thick main fold, making sure you sew the raw edges deep inside- do it three times.  Then sew the double fold do it three times. Then sew the raw edges on the top and bottom.  Wash them about four or five times before the first use - throw them in any load you can, this will soften them up.

Some other interesting cloth diaper links:

Born to Love  A really good cloth diapering resource and starting place. Some nice links on how to make the 'Pre-Fold' Diapers.  You can make the 'Pre-Folds' out of flannel and terry cloth (read: old towels).

Getting Started With Cloth Diapers  I really like her introduction.  We tried the fancy diapers and covers and found the inexpensive covers and diapers listed above have worked far better than the fancy ones - this is manily because our little one's legs are thinner than most childrens. You REALLY don't need to spend a whole lot of money!

My Diaper links page

Comments or questions? Email us:

Off topic section:

Garden supplies:
Epsom Salt (great for tomatoes), Fertilizer (costco sells miracle gro now for $10/ box!)
Garden tools: See the Disc Hoe (not the music genre', but music to your soul when clearing ground cover for zee garden.)  Please mention when you buy one.
It's a must buy, what took me 30 minutes to do with a shovel, took me 10 minutes to do TWICE as much.
BTW we just planted our garden, and we used some beans right from the grocery store.  Black, Pink, Garbonzo, and Soy.  These came right out of the bag for cooking, had over 80% sprout!  They produced very well, amazing well.
[2000April] Also we planted sweet potatoes grown from a grocery tatter that had some root left on it, stuck it in a wide mouth jar and supported it with tooth picks.  It and sprouted some nice stems within 2 weeks and we snipped the stems and stuck them in wet soil and watered them daily for about a week. After 5 months of near total neglect, every else during the summer had died, we had solarized our beds to kill the nematodes, and planted summer hardy stock in some pots - the only thing that had survived was the sweet potatoes, with near total neglect. We yielded ~3# from 5 vines in 3 pots!  We're totally amazed.



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