Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Newborn Cloth

In my last post (months ago) I mentioned sewing newborn cloth diapers, a project I undertook to try and keep costs as low as possible. Now that my 5 week old squish has sailed past the 10 pound mark, I feel like I can comment on what worked, and what didn't, in my newborn stash.

My stash had a little bit of everything in it, as I wasn't sure what would work the best, not having diapered a newborn before. Most of it was sewn by me from old stash fabrics or upcycled materials. Knowing that cloth diapers used in the newborn stage won't be used for long, I upcycled some t shirts from the "too worthless to donate" pile, repurposed some inserts I'd messed up from previous diapers I had sewn, and seamed some free receiving blankets from a buy and sell group into prefolds. The goal in using cloth during this was to reduce our trash, but also to do something useful with old materials. I don't believe every t shirt will find a new home via Value Village.

I should have trusted my instincts a bit more. I'm inherently suspicious of AIOs, and I shouldn't have made them - I didn't use them more than once, when I felt moisture around the legs. I knew I needed more covers but didn't bother buying or sewing more. This held me up a couple of days when we ran out. I also had a feeling that the "little bit of everything" approach was going to be a bit confusing for my husband, who likes the easy peasy inserts and Flip style covers we use on our eldest. The little bit of everything approach was flexible as babe grew, but not that easy to keep up with.

The tuckable covers with preemie prefolds worked very well for the first week or two, but after that point needed to be doubled up to have enough absorbency. The flannel prefolds were slightly more absorbent than premie ones I had bought at a diaper swap. However, I found getting doubled prefolds to fit in a cover was a bit tough when baby was fussy, so I preferred fitteds from the third week on.

Before my oldest was born, I had made 15 or so flannel fitteds from the small Cloth Revolution pattern; after learning more about cloth diapering and sewing, I decided to add another half dozen fitteds made of stretchy materials. These latter fitteds still fit the best as the babe nears 6 weeks, and probably almost 11 pounds. However, they're made with better materials, and more experience. I found them too bulky during the first couple of weeks, but am preferring them as the last diaper before we move to a one-size system.

Ultimately, my overall stash was larger than I needed. I had way more fitteds/prefolds, and less covers, than I needed. I haven't found new love for fitteds and won't incorporate them into my one size stash, but I did have fun sewing them.