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Intro To Cloth Diapering

Please punch me square in the vagina if I turn this into some sort of back-to-nature parenting bog. I am in fact, a parent, as evidenced by…belly shot of Sprog 3:


I suppose those are all right and all, but that’s really not my style and my personal blog sort of went there for a bit. It freaked me out, man. This is the real parent trap- where you go from being able to sit and discuss books, music, travel and all manner of things and suddenly find that the most involved conversations you have involve bodily functions. I love being a parent- don’t get me wrong, I just live in mortal dread of becoming one of those people for whom there is nothing else.

Biological imperative: achievement unlocked, but I’m not dead!


I’m not going to get very involved here, it’s just I noticed that many of the Homesteading and Prepper pages don’t address the issue of babies, much and one area of my supposed “expertise”, I guess, is cloth diapering on the very, VERY cheap and sustainable.

If you’re scared of cloth diapering for the “gross factor”: don’t be. I’m about to tell you something that should be incredibly obvious to anyone who has kids, or hell, even if you have pets. This is going to be a profound realization for some, I know, but bear with me and try to suspend your disbelief for a second:

Shit is disgusting.

Sprog 1, prepared for a diaper change.
Sprog 1, prepared for a diaper change.

Whew. That was a tough truth to type out. The truth of the matter is, it is and you can have a huge pile of potty plastic until whenever you dispose of it- which, will then go on to be added to an even BIGGER pile of potty plastic somewhere. If you’re not the environmentally friendly type and that doesn’t bother you: know this- you will have a pile of shit and piss soaked plastic in your home at some point. Mark my words, you will. Also, if poop and pee squicks you beyond all reason: it’s probably not a great idea for you to have children. I am not saying that to be judgmental- I am saying that because kids make a lot of it and it’s really only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the grossness you’re about to endure as a parent. Believe that. I’m not sure that ever ends.

Sprog 3: This does not count as putting a diaper on the baby.
Sprog 3: This does not count as putting a diaper on the baby.

This is not an issue with cloth unless you procrastinate and then end up using your husband’s Rancid shirt for a cloth diaper. I don’t recommend that at all. Mine got really weird about it, but in my defense, I was desperate.

Anyway- the second truth here is this: when you cloth diaper, you never, ever have to have a pile of…anything. You get yourself a bucket or a bag, you put the diapers in there and at the end of your day or even in the middle of your day- you wash and dry them. Now, I’ve always breastfed, so I have never dealt with formula poo and cannot speak to it- but breastfed baby poo is shocking in how easy to clean it really is. It’s water soluble, so, a rinse and a hot vinegar wash is honestly all you need. If you’re not as cheap as I am, well, then you can use the free and clear type detergents- but, I wouldn’t use them every wash. The residue from the detergent hangs out in the diapers and it does build up. Next thing you know, you’re changing a diaper that reeks of ammonia and in some cases, if that gets too bad, it can cause a burn. If I use detergent, I only do it about one load every week. If you have issues with mustard yellow poo stains- pop those babies out on a line to dry in the sun. The sun will also take care of ammonia build up and other baddies you don’t want against your kid’s butt. (And when your diapers get too crispy that way, fluff them in the drier if you need to. I usually do. I honestly don’t line dry my diapers all winter- which for some purists is gaspworthy, but I’ve never had any issues.)

Flats and prefolds- not complicated.
Flats and prefolds- not complicated.

When I started cloth diapering with Sprog 2, who is now 7, I had absolutely no clue. You might take a peek at the cloth diapering prices and think, “Holy shitballs, man, I gotta take out a mortgage!”

Not true- I spent about $50 total on diapers for Sprog 2, his entire life. Sprog 3…well, things are a bit different, now, and I’ll get to that in a later blog. (I am now exceptionally spoiled as a friend gifted me her entire 3-child spanning diaper stash. I still use prefolds, though. Can’t go wrong with a classic.)

How did I spent only about fifty bucks? Ebay and plain old prefolds. We’re talking extremely old school, here, I even used pins. (I use Snappis, now, but don’t be fooled- those hooks can get you, as well.)

I am going to write up a short tutorial in a later blog- but…this was just an intro. Finally,  you will see a good example of what you really should never do with a prefold baby with no cover. When you do prefolds, you really, really want to get some barrier covers- and now, if you’re going exclusively prefold, and trying to go on the cheap: I’d get maybe 5-6 covers, initially. Basically what you’d do is if the diaper’s just kinda wet and your cover isn’t soaked out- just reuse it. If it is, change the kid, rinse the cover, hang it some place to dry and move on to the next. They dry pretty fast because they’re usually made of material for the purpose of keeping pee off of everything else.

This is Sprog 2 and his dad- several years ago:

This is not a good idea because about five seconds after these shots were taken, Sprog 2's dad screamed like a little girl. Why? Because Sprog 2 didn't stop playing to pee. No cover- no barrier.
This is not a good idea because about five seconds after these shots were taken, Sprog 2’s dad screamed like a little girl. Why? Because Sprog 2 didn’t stop playing to pee. No cover- no barrier.

And, for the tutorial- move right along to How To Cloth Diaper a Baby.

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