Do you plan to use cloth diapers for your baby? The current practice, at least among the young mothers that I know, is to buy the fitted (and expensive) diapers. I would like to suggest an alternative...
I raised six children. All were cloth diapered. The fitted diapers were not available in those days. Folding and pinning on cloth diapers is so very easy. I am puzzled why anyone would want to go to the expense of buying, or even sewing their own fitted diapers. Here are the types I used and some thoughts on each:
My first diapers were gauze pre-folded diapers that my sweet mother-in-law bought for me. She gave me 4 dozen. They were great and lasted for two of my babies before they got kind of thin and pathetic. When the baby is newborn, they are easy to fold to fit, and by the time the baby is walking, I used two at a time. Voila!
Somewhere along the line, I procured some square, flat, Birdseye weave diapers. They were particularly nice for a newborn, but I used them all along, more than one as the baby got older. I can still remember exactly how I folded them. In fact, now that I think of it, I still have some of them and use them for other things. For other things they are so great that a couple of years ago I bought some more!
My Very Favorite diapers appeared for my 4th baby. They were squares of white terry cloth from England. There were two weights. One heavier than the other. The lighter weight was used when the baby was littler. Oh, my... such lovely and absorbent diapers!! I was still using them for baby #6. :)
Flat, as well as the pre-folds, wash easily, dry quickly, are Very Cheap compared to the sewn and fitted diapers. I was in Wal-mart the other day and they had guaze pre-folds for about $12 a DOZEN!!! If you would like, you could buy cotton terry cloth by the yard and either make your own (they should be about 27 inches square after washing and drying so wash and dry the fabric before cutting) OR ask a sewing friend to do it for you.
Another thing is, to help with the poop issue, if you wish, you could buy disposable liners, or even make cloth liners. Want a frugal alternative? Go to your local thrift store and purchase a flannel bed sheet. You can easily tear it into the shapes you want your liners to be. Just cut through the edge of the fabric, and then enthusiastically rip it all the way across!
Now, if money is Really Tight, scrounge up all the used flannel sheets you can buy or beg and make diapers out of those! 27 inches square. Zig-zag the edges, or not.
Come to think of it, I remember now that I had some cotton flannel diapers at one time, but I don't recall when.
You will also need some "plastic pants" for covers. They come in all sizes. And some diaper pins or one of those cool things that stretches and ... well, like THIS.
Part of the time, I made wool diaper covers. The first ones, I actually knitted from woolen yarn I had spun, later from some purchased wool yarn, and lastly, I would purchase wool sweaters at a thrift store, felt them in the washer and dryer, and then cut them up and make soakers out of them. They were great!
The reason I am writing about this, is I think that some young mothers think that the expensive all-in-one diapers are the only alternative. Simply Not True! And if you find yourself in a situation where you can afford next to nothing, you can cut up and use old t-shirts, or anything that is soft and absorbent. Baby won't care one whit!
I had older women to show me how to fold cloth diapers. Now, we have YouTube! :D
Best wishes to all of you mothers of babies. I hope these thoughts will help at least one.
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