Or The Continuation Of The Diaper Saga. Either way, it’s a good way to save a lot of greenbacks.
With a new baby on the way, I recently came to the conclusion that it was time to expand the diaper stash.
With Garrett in the process of potty training (and doing quite well, I might add), I hope we won’t need too many more, but when Garrett was a little(r) guy, he went through the two dozen we had quickly enough to make it hard to keep up with the laundry, so we want to be on the safe side.
Now that I’m a little bit more established in cloth diapering, I feel much more comfortable branching out, away from pocket diapers. Part of the reason I want to do this is because I’d like to start using wool as the waterproof cover, rather than PUL.
The advantages of wool, other than its being a natural fiber, are that it’s both breathable, and antibacterial… But I’ll get to the covers later, for now I want to talk about the moisture wicking layer.
Most modern cloth diapers contain a “wicking” fabric which is next to the baby’s skin in order to suck the moisture into the “doubler” and keep the baby dry. The two most common fabrics for this are micro-suede (used in diapers such as smartipants and Bum Genius), and micro-fleece ( used in Fuzzibunz).
I decided to go with fleece since my research has led me to believe that micro-suede can cause a rash in some kids.
Did I mention that new cloth diapers aren’t in the budget right now? Yeah, and those things are expensive too, let me tell you.
I’m no seamstress, so it took me a while to finally come around to the idea, but I finally concluded that the only way to get new diapers was to make them.
I knew it would be cheaper, but I didn’t realize how much!
Out of a total cost of $13.08, which covered fabric from the remnant bin, elastic, and Velcro, I made four diapers, and had elastic and Velcro left over. It could have been five if I’d made the first diaper differently. Live and learn. But the point is, these four diapers cost less than a dollar more than one -one! – Smartipants diaper.
As it turns out, they weren’t that difficult to make either.
The first thing we did was to stretch a smartipants diaper (because that’s our favorite diaper design) out on top of the fabric and trace it. Gabriel did the stretching, I did the tracing.
Then I proceeded to cut as many diapers out of the fabric as I could. It ended up being five.
I took the first two and stitched them together with the elastic at the back and around the legs (again, copying the Smartipants as best I could), turned it inside-out, and top stitched it, sewed on a couple pieces of Velcro and, voila! Done.
That was the easiest way, but after that one, I started feeling guilty about the waste of fabric, so I cut out 6×16 inch “pockets”, sewed them onto the remaining diapers, and hemmed them instead of turning them inside out. It wasn’t as quick and easy, but I got more diapers out of the fabric, and they’ll be cooler in he summer.
It kills me that the two-dozen diapers we had for Garrett cost $250, while I could have made the same number for only $80 plus another $20 for the woolen covers.
Ah yes, the covers. When I first started looking into wool covers, I was really put off by the prices. $35 for one cover? Yikes!
I talked to my sister-in-law, and she lent me a few of her hand knitted covers for the experimental stage.
Next time I get a chance to go to Goodwill, I plan to scour the racks for woolen sweaters and make my own as per this tutorial, or this one. Who knows, maybe both.
So far, the homemade fleece diapers, with woolen covers are working well. I stuff the pocket with either a doubler from a smartipants diaper, or a folded pre-fold. One day, I’d like to try some hemp doublers, as I like the idea of using natural fibers, and that hemp is both super absorbent, and antibacterial.
So there you have it, my latest weird and wacky way to save some money. Hey, just think, $150 saved on your diaper stash leaves you with a nice chunk for your car seat fund.