Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

I'm about to have another baby, and I have been considering cloth diapers for quite some time. I found some statistics that finally cinched the deal for me:

*Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S..1

*Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.2


*In 1988, nearly $300 million dollars were spent annually just to discard disposable diapers, whereas cotton diapers are reused 50 to 200 times before being turned into rags.4

*No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years, long after your children, grandchildren and great, great, great grandchildren will be gone.5

*Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.5

*We estimate that each baby will need about 6,000 diapers7 during the first two8 years of life. The following estimates are based on prices in San Francisco, California.

*Disposables. For these calculations, let's assume that a family needs about 60 diapers a week. In the San Francisco Bay area, disposable diapers cost roughly 23¢ per store-brand diaper and 28¢ for name-brand. This averages to 25.5¢ per diaper. Thus the average child will cost about $1,600 to diaper for two years in disposable diapers, or about $66 a month9.

After seeing these statistics, I decided to give them a go. I wasn't interested in prefolds, and buying the ready made diapers is expensive, so I decided to figure out how to make my own.
I started by making a pattern using a size 1 diaper. I figure I'll make 15 about size 1, and then I'll make 15 about size 3, and that should last me.

Then I cut the fabric. I chose a really soft cotton fleece, and that kitten fabric you see will be on the inside of the diaper. It was super cheap, and even though I don't love it, no one will see it. I cut 2 of each kind.
Next, I made a soaker by cutting 6 layers of the cotton, and I sewed it to the kitten fabric only.
Next, you sew the white and the kitten together and turn it to make a finished edge.
Next comes the elastic down each side. Make sure to stretch it, so it will conform to baby's leg.
Last, comes the Velcro. I sewed a long strip to the middle, so the diapers can grow with baby, and then I sewed a square to each of the sides. (This picture was taken before the edge was finished, so that's why there is still a rough edge.)
And then you fold it all together! This way, I don't have to deal with prefolds and plastic covers, and the like.
Let me know what you think. Would you cloth diaper your child?

4 comments:

  1. We cloth diaper. There are patterns online for CD's and I know that there are also tutorials if you are planning on making them. You can also get on diaper swappers and find some used ones that are a lot cheaper. I have quite a few One size all in one diapers that are nice for when people are babysitting or for the hubby. We didn't start CDing until my little guy was about 4 months old and he is now 2yo and the same one size diapers fit him. They are more of an investment but they have lasted us forever and I plan on using them with next baby soon. The Econobum covers from Cotton babies are reasonably priced and using the prefolds really aren't that bad. Blueberry/Swaddlebees diapers sometimes sells the fabric with the PUL on the one side in their clearance. Also make sure to get a good wipes warmer and use cloth wipes too. Good luck on your experience. I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have. So far we have had a pretty good experience CDing. Wish I would have done it with my other kids.
    My email is: daciadoo@gmail.com

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  2. The cloth diaper is the best diaper for children because it absorb the moisture and it's SO EASY!! I love all in ones, but I hate how long they take to dry!

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  3. Your blog is awesome :). It looks like you have done a lot more research when is comforting in the diapering word. I am definitely curious to try one of your diapers when we have money. I hope you sell a lot of diapers :). Feel free to send me a message of how things are going for your business... I am very curious. Glad you found you niche!

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