08 May 2008

Cloth diaper update

Abstract: For fitted cloth diapers with PUL liners, wool soakers are the best (though still imperfect) covers. Homemade soakers knit from organic wool yarn purchased from honest folk are the most economical option. Previous post here if you missed it.

I've been doing disposables overnight only for a week and a half (although I did take Food Poisoning Morning off). It's . . . ok. Grandma sent me three wool soakers, two knitted from organic wool and one made from wool/lycra interlock fabric. I'm lanolinizing that last guy right now and looking forward to trying it out. The other two soakers do a pretty decent job of keeping Baby Dude dryish, and I would say they are net beneficial as compared to those awful vinyl pants (and completely ineffective PUL wraps). If he takes a long nap, he's vaguely damp, but not drenched, and it doesn't really warrant a change of clothes.

The main drawback of the soakers is that they are another layer of considerable bulk. Baby is a big guy for three months and was on the verge of moving into 6-12M clothes when I started this. But with a diaper and a soaker on, I can barely get a pair of 12M pants over his bum. So if you're just starting out, invest in roomy rompers. If you're stuck with an older sibling's wardrobe, get yourself a shoehorn. The wool/lycra number is a little thinner so I hope it works well enough to be our default.

I think "organic"products are 99.99999999% marketing ploy conceived to manipulate people into allowing themselves to be ripped off, so I don't know why it has to be organic wool. But far be it from me to toy with something one short layer removed from my dear baby's dear bum.

I am still getting used to conveying nasty diapers from baby to pail--these things just don't wrap up so nice and easy with all the evil safely taped and plasticked inside. There are definitely more germs running loose in my house now. I'm trying to come up with a better system to cut down on this given our unique floor plan. I'm also not clear on why the soaker concept isn't considered gross. So these things soak up pee, and you wash them every couple of weeks, and everybody's just ok with that? I know, the miraculous properties of wool and all. Whatever.

I'll take An Album Cover for 300.

Although life is damper, I would be remiss not to tell you that I have not had a single blowout in a cloth diaper. Baby Dude is not as explosive as his predecessors (preferring the glurking route to making my life disgusting), but he still had some mishaps in disposables. CDs have been secure so far, both in the back and legs. I remember 4-6 months being prime blowout territory, so I'll report back if necessary.

One last thing. Grandma says the cost of cloth diapers is a crime. The materials aren't expensive, and a yard goes far when you're making something so small. Same goes for soakers, which I've seen online for such low prices as $48 (EACH). I heard a few places (maybe even in the comments of the last CD post? too lazy to verify) that smart shoppers buy organic wool sweaters at thrift stores and reknit them into soakers. I asked Grandma about this and she thought I was stupid. She said unless I could find an organic wool sweater for $2 ($3-4 is the base price for adult clothes at my local Goodwill, and they jack it up for premium items), it wouldn't be worth it.

The trick is to buy yarn at the right place, ie not from cloth diapering businesses. She got hers from those nice Mennonite types at the Amana Colonies at a reasonable price and dyes it herself with Kool-Aid. And as for the labor charges built into the prices, she says that when women in China are getting paid $.12 an hour to sew, seamstresses don't have any business charging so much for their work. Almost sounds like a liberal, doesn't she? :D


Gauntlets said...

So, how much is she going to charge us on our orders? She's working this into the family business, right? ;)

Kelly said...

Grandma rocks : )

I just scored 4 Bummis covers off of Craigslist. They have only seen one baby and are in great shape, and I got 4 used for what 2 new would have cost me. I'm planning on doing almost all prefolds for the first few months though, unless I get some of the fitteds (Kissaluvs & Under the Nile) that I registered for.

I am glad to hear the good report on blowouts. That was another factor in wanting to give this a shot.

I was a bit squicked out by the pee-on/don't wash directions for wool as well, but it is something I'd like to try. Has grandma knit any longies yet? I know that alot of wool aficionados prefer them for around the house - they're kind of like cover and pants in one.

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

We got really good deals from Pro Services, who is the main supplier of diapers to the diaper services. Their diapers are relatively inexpensive and LAST forever ($18.50 for a dozen, I believe. A better price than I've seen many places). My daughter's been out of them for 3 years and I am still using them as rags and anticipate that I will be for the next ten years.

Their covers are excellent. They are plastic lined, so not organic, but I have rarely had a leak out of them. They are Proraps for adjustable snaps, Prodiaps for velcro. Because these are often what the diaper services sell, they are the industry standard.

Here's the thing. Call the company and ask for factory seconds. You cannot tell what the flaw is, and you get them for about $2.00 a cover. They aren't fancy, just white or bluish, but they work great, and you'd pay $12.00 retail for them from many diaper services, or at minimum $8.00 online.

www.prowrap.net is the website, but you would need to call for factory seconds. They have factory seconds for diapers as well.

I'm just fine dishing out about $50.00 (2 dozen diapers, five or six covers, and shipping) knowing that I will never have to spend it again, except for an occasional ten dollars when they grow out of the covers. I'd spend that in three weeks of disposables.

Reb. Mary said...

Wow. They sure are cute. When admired from afar :) You're all so virtuous...

Rebekah said...

RPW, aren't you clever! Thanks for cluing us in. I still don't quite feel like my wrap quest is finished so I may well give them a call.

No longies yet, Kelly, but I see why they're a popular item. Regularly sized baby clothes are definitely designed for the disposabled bum.

I haven't been able to convince Grandma yet that she should add these to her regular inventory, sad to say. :(

Gauntlets said...


You'll rue the day you croshed me!

Rebekah said...