Between potty training J., diapering and rediapering the rapid-fire pee-er who is my younger daughter, and cleaning up after all of this (endless loads of laundry), I feel like my life is primarily dedicated to those things diaper-related. So, of course this tendancy has extended into the realm of my sewing.

After creating some underpants for J., I then turned to C.'s collection of undergarments. C. is, well, not what you'd call a petite baby. Although she was only 6 lbs, 15 oz. at birth, she sprinted into nursing and then into eating solid foods, and is now a lovely, hearty 18 lbs, 1 oz. at 6 months. Consequently, the infant prefolds no longer fit, but our bigger diapers are wearing out and still are needed for J. at night. Also, the infant ones are in really good shape, so I have been trying to adapt them to the new situation.

I first tried sewing two together. Not so good. Too thick for her to be comfortable and difficult to get dry. We figure we'll use these for overnight--she doesn't need to be able to move around much and more layers to soak is good. But, not the solution I was looking for.

So far, this is the best I've done. I sewed a piece of flannel on top. It is nice and soft on her back and snugs in nicely around the waist. The Snappi doesn't grab the flannel as nicely as it does a diaper, but it's good enough for us now. I'm still plotting, though.

So diapers on my mind...
Throughout all of this I've been stewing a bit. Yes, I realize that I'm a bit obsessed with cloth diapers and blogging about my adapting them does take it a bit far, perhaps. But, I am not a weirdo for using them, and, frankly, I'm tired of being made to feel like I am. I do understand that disposables have their uses. We do use them much of the time when we travel. On the days when J. goes to daycare, we don't get much of a choice. I know that lots of my precious time is taken up by laundry, and many people don't have this time or the easy access to a washer and dryer we have. We're lucky, also, to live in a part of the country with abundant water. So, I get it. It's not easy and not practical much of the time for many people.

However, it is so seldom that I encounter people who see using cloth as the preferred choice, even if they do not feel they are in a position to use them. I so often get weird looks and incredulous questioning. Really, though, what is so strange about using cloth to diaper your child? Isn't this what most of the world is doing now and what all of the world did just a few short generations ago? Why does our culture fall so hard for disposable everything?

As I think (and rant) about this, I think about what a challenge it is to shift paradigms. To change the thinking back to reusability and conservation seems like such a herculean task. We have been taught to think that being able to throw something out is of primary importance and that dirt and mess are to be removed from our homes at any cost (that is filling landfills, exposing ourselves and our kids to toxic cleaners, etc.). It can be so frustrating to chip away at these strongly held beliefs and try to change the thinking.

As one who has examined social change as a part of my education, I know that this sort of thing takes time and moves incrementally. But, I get tired of waiting. I wish greater numbers of others saw cloth diapers (and other environmentally conscious choices) as I see them: an act of love for my kids and an investment in their world.


  1. oh goodness I don't understand why anyone in this day and age would think cloth diapers are strange. I regret not using them...I had them all set and ready to go, all laundered, a bucket to put them in once I got baby home from the hospital, and lo and behold, after a 40 hour labor I had to have a c-section - much to my disbelief and dismay (I held out for a natural birth as long as I could, was in a hospital with one of the lowest c-section rates in California, but in the end I felt very sure that it was necessary, as I pushed for 4 hours and nothing was happening due to a supposed upturned tailbone) anyway, I digress, but healing from a major operation was not conducive to doing any sort of laundry, and once I healed I had gotten very accustomed to the disposables. More recently I tried using cloth on my son once and he didn't like them. So, count me in for being a bad steward...I'm trying to make up for it in other ways, but I still have guilt about it. Anyway, he'll hopefully be potty trained soon...it's coming along.


  2. Genny-

    I feel that you and I were on sort-of the same wavelength this week--thinking about ways to reduce our impact and the long-term meanings of our choices. But I really like that we got to it from such different starting points--you from a National Geo and I from my diaper obsession!

    I very much hope that my rant did not make you feel guilty or like I was pointing fingers and disapproving. The way I see it, we do the best we can. I try to reduce my impact as much as possible and keep the idea of stewardship in my mind when I can. But, we also have to get through the day. For example, may I say, I am impressed by your use of dishrags! I can't make it work! Sponges and paper towels are wasted way more than I'd like in this house. Not to mention that I'm using way more jars of (organic, but still) baby food for baby #2 than I would like. I'm trying to keep myself on the right track but also trying not trash myself at the same time--a tricky line for me.

    (Also, thank you for sharing a bit of your birth story. It sounds really exhausting and hard. It sounds like you made a good choice in having a cesarean birth.)


  3. Becca, I greatly respect cloth diaperingand your commitment to it. I wish I could say i've done as well on this front, but I have not. I just could not get the hang of getting everything clean and dry and not dirtying the clothes with the diapers... We do use completely compostable diapers but I truly admire those who can fit cloth diapers into their work/life routine. Good job!

  4. oh my gosh! you are speaking to me, aren't you? i love cloth diapers and obsess a bit over them. (you should go look for my post from last week!)
    you are so creative with your alterations!i have managed to get lots of diapers for free over the 5 years i have had kids, so it never occurred to me to alter or sew some from scratch.