I am quite excited. After a rather dismal failure, I found two diaper patterns that I think will work quite nicely. In case you are wondering, I vetoed Rita's Rump Pattern, and am going full-steam ahead with the Mamabird Newborn Pattern and the Wee Weeka one size pattern. These are all free patterns. I like to use a pattern until I am a little more sure about what to do, but I don't guarantee I will follow them. After all, a pattern is just a recipe, and we all know how well I do with following recipes. =)
I really liked the Rita's pattern at first because it said it would fit the whole time from birth to potty training. Obviously, I can't try any diapers on yet, but after cutting out some fabric (note: do not start with your favorite fabric when using a brand new untested pattern), it just looked way too big. Then our friends with children vetoed them, as also looking way too big. So I dismissed the "I want to use just one size of diapers the whole time" idea. Sure, if I buy BumGenius or Mommy's Touch One Size diapers, they will theoretically work. But they are expensive- almost $20 a pop. I have checked for used ones, and haven't had any luck in our area. Not enough hippies using cloth I guess. =)
So I went searching. I found the Mamabird and Wee Weka patterns. (Note, the wee weka pattern is in metric units. Not difficult, just different.) The Newborn size Mamabird makes an adjustable diaper that is, at it's smallest, roughly the same size as the Newborn size disposable sample that I have, but gets quite a bit bigger also. I am quite proud of it personally. It looks like a diaper. My plan is to use mostly pocket diapers.
Now, for all you non-cloth folks, and I know there are a lot, there are many different styles of cloth diapers out there. Here is a crash course.
So, the plan. From the Mamabird Newborn pattern, I am going to make 12 waterproof pockets, and 12 fitted pockets (pocket diapers without a waterproof lining). I am also going to make 6 "wipe-clean" covers. The covers only need to be washed every few wears, so they will go the distance until laundry time. We will also buy 3 dozen infant prefolds. These will be the stuffing. Why not just make 24 or 36 waterproof pockets? Price. The waterproof material is expensive. The price pretty much doubles per diaper if I add waterproof material in. (What do you use that is waterproof? PUL- basically, laminated fabric or barrier fabric.) This way, we can have the waterproof pockets for naptime and bed time (and daddy-changing time. He is slowly being converted, but I am sure will prefer these). Then we have the fitteds as a convenient backup. And as a backup to all that, we will have plain old prefolds, which also go in the covers. So we will have 36 diapers in rotation. That should give us 2.5-3 days between washes. This is all in the newborn size, which should fit until she is about 15 pounds. I won't place any bets on how long that will be. Maybe she will surprise us and be tiny, but I was large and Alann was a chunky kid. So we will see.
After she outgrows the newborn size diapers, we move to phase two of the plan. This is the Wee Weka pattern. I am planning on making 12 waterproof pockets and 12 fitted pockets and 4 waterproof covers. (As older children need less changing, I'm not planning as many covers. I may make more if I have the fabric.) This gives us 24 diapers in rotation. We may need to buy some larger size prefolds if we find we are running out of diapers a lot, but this should last us 3 days or so. (I wouldn't go longer than that anyway without washing.) What will we stuff them with? The same infant-size prefolds. These diapers should fit her until she potty trains, I hope. And as long as the integrity of the sewing and cloth holds up, this should see our next few children to the toilet as well. Depending on the actual cutting of fabric, I just might end up with more diapers than this. But this is the bare minimum I will get.
So what is the projected cost of all this? About $250. Shocking, I know. But think about this- I won't have to rush to the store to buy diapers in the middle of the night. I don't have to worry about the chemicals on her sensitive parts. And, I don't have the ongoing cost of diapers to budget for. If I were to buy the diapers premade, I could buy covers and prefolds for about this much, a little less. Or I could buy just 12 one-size diapers (not enough to see me through 3 days). I see it as an investment in our future. These should last us. Sure, I might have to make a few more as our favorites get worn time and again. But overall, I am excited about this project. And, if it all goes downhill, I can always sell them.
She is getting so big. Last night, she was kung-fu fighting or something. She was kicking and punching and rolling around for almost 5 minutes straight. Of course this was as I was laying down to go to sleep. It kind of tickled when she rolled from one side to the other. It was fun.
Also, I went to Joann's to get some more fabric so that I have everything I need and I can just sew to my heart's content. I found some really fun fabric for slings. I found one for Alann that he is going to really like, but I'm not showing it to him until I finish it. It's awesome though.