Hammer time

Ok I realise this post will make some people think I am mad. Why? Because I’m swapping over to cloth nappies for Little D. Well, WE are-Mr Hen is in on it too, of course.

We are doing this for a number of (the usual) reasons. The amount of landfill the nappies create. The length of time it takes for the nappies to break down. The chemicals that absorb the wee and make the nappy puff up, smell odd and supposedly stay feeling dry for the baby. And finally, the clincher-or maybe even the main driver if we are going to be really honest here. $$$. Those nappies are really expensive! And I have read the crazy comparisons that try to prove that disposable nappies will cost the same (financially and environmentally) as cloth when you factor in detergent, electricity, water etc. Nuh-uh! Well, I don’t know what kind of gold plated electricity deal those people are on, or what kind of caviar-laden detergent they are using. But here at the tree house we get greywater-friendly detergent in bulk and are able to use cold water and a special enviro-safe sanitiser to wash the nappies so we don’t need hot water to wash. And our greywater goes out on to the garden. So for us, it is WAY cheaper to use cloth. Especially if I make the nappies myself.**

We did a few experiments with some of the nu-skool fitted cloth nappies in various fabrics-bamboo, hemp and polyurethane-lined (PUL)/microfleece nappies with an absorbent insert. These were generally pretty pricey (up to $30 each!!), kind of bulky, sometimes a little too soggy (I’m looking at you, hemp), and took a while to dry on the line because they have gathers, elastic gussets and multiple layers sewn up together. I even tried the old flat terry towelling nappies that my mum used with us, but they felt wet straight away so that little D cried A LOT. And they were really bulky. Hmm. What to do?

Aha! Flat bamboo sheets, folded into 3 to form a pad, with a microfleece liner on top, all tucked in to a PUL liner which can be bought or made, you only need a couple of these they dry really fast and are sized to provide a good fit and leak protection. The microfleece liner keeps Little D feeling dry, the bamboo is really absorbent, and because it is not sewn into shape it can be hung out to dry flat and therefore, dry fast.

So after a lot of research, I ordered some bamboo fleece online, cut it into 35cm x 40cm squares, overlocked 2 sheets back-to-back, fluffy side out and used the leftovers to make long thin booster pads for overnight or long car trips. I was a bit silly because I didn’t realise that I should overlock the corners in a continuous round, rather than as separate seams ending at each corner until I had done most of them. Why? Because the cut ends would fray with continued washing. So I went back and rounded the edges with one continuous seam so there was only one tail-end of overlocking, which I then threaded back through the seam with a large needle. Hopefully this little bit of extra effort will pay off with longevity in the end.

For the liners, I had some microfleece left over from a project years ago and tried out a few shapes before I got one I liked and cut the rest. No overlocking/finishing necessary! I also ordered a few PUL covers from a brand that I found worked and were not too expensive, but I do plan to try to make some of my own soon. But time is of the essence for me right now, so for $12 each I just got a few to start with. And we’re off.

bamboo flat on left, PUL covers at the back (cute colours!), hot pink microfleece liners, booster pads made from leftovers on right

Bamboo 'flat' on left, PUL covers at the back (cute colours!), hot pink microfleece liners, booster pads made from leftovers on right

A nappy, ready to go (well, the line is folded back)-& pink liner=stains hidden. Sorry, gross but true!

A nappy, ready to go (well, the liner is folded back) & pink liner=hidden stains. Sorry, gross but true!

**I must point out that I feel no compulsion to convince others to use cloth too-it is not the right choice for everyone, and if there is one thing I have learned in this parenting gig, it is that you have to shut your ears to the naysayers and do what works for you. So if that is disposables, then use disposables. And for the sake of honesty-I will still be using ‘sposeys sometimes. See-no high horses here.


~ by Little Red Hen on April 15, 2009.

7 Responses to “Hammer time”

  1. Great idea!! I don’t have children yet, but I am pretty sure when I do, I will use some cloth alternative to the commercial diapers out there. Your diapers are very cute too!

    • Thanks! I am pleased to have figured something out after trying so many options and not finding that they worked too well. There are so many forums and info sites on this topic, I was getting quite confused-I thought that making cloth nappy decisions would be simple… And I think that the baby is pleased to no longer be a guinea-pig…

  2. You PMed me on Twitter just now. Very cool little article! I’d love to CD if we have another baby. 🙂

    • Thanks! It is a good way to save a lot of money-from what I could see, buying modern cloth nappies was quite expensive, or I could have sewed them up myself but I’d rather hang out with the baby or make something else when there is a simple solution like this that takes almost no time…

      • Yeah the price was what turned me off the most… aside from the obvious fact that we didn’t have a washer/dryer in our own apartment (shared facilities would have made it hell on earth to keep up with the laundry. We had a hard enough time as it was!) I like your solution. Meet in the middle! And there are sites that actually sell the materials for making CDs. Very cool! 😀

  3. Awesome instructions here! 🙂 Think I’m bookmarking you. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: