I always have the best intentions over April Break, when spring is warming the air and it seems like maybe, just maybe, I’ll have time to update the blog as regularly as I want to. But then we start amping up for AP exams and finals week, and before I know it, it’s mid-June. Add a pregnancy (albeit a pretty comfortable one at this point), and things go a little haywire.
One of the first real decisions we made (and perhaps one of the most controversial among family members) has been to cloth diaper. We are going in this direction for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being our desire to keep thousands of diapers out of the local landfill, while also saving money and trying to avoid skin irritation, given my history with eczema.
Our tentative plan right now is to start with prefolds (large squares of absorbent cotton that you fold around baby and attach with a Snappi)
Photo Credit: Green Mountain Diapers has great images and explanations of the various options. We purchased both our Snappis and Cloth-eeze Prefolds from them and were amazed by the quick shipping and great customer service! In addition to that, they also sent along an awesome guide to cloth diapering and diaper preparation.
and covers for the first few months, while I’m on maternity leave, before transitioning to daycare, where we’re hoping to encourage our provider to use all-in-one pocket diapers. For those unfamiliar with cloth diapering The Cloth Diaper Whisperer is a another great resource for more information.
But one of the easiest hurdles that I was able to explain to family, was my desire to make our own cloth wipes. Because in my opinion, if you’re already doing a pile of baby laundry, why not just be able to toss your wipes into the washer with everything else and limit the garbage that the dog could potentially get into?
I was fortunate that given the baby boom at my school in the last year (we’ve had more 5+ baby showers) and my tendency to make quilts as gifts, I had more than enough cotton flannel (which I use to back baby quilts) left over to work with. Most sites recommend 100% cotton flannel because it’s easy to work with, soft, and grows more absorbent with regular use.
One of many baby blankets made for the “baby boom” at work.
I began making cloth wipes by cutting out squares of flannel that were 8” x 8”. Since Green Mountain Diaper suggested that a baby typically needs about 50 cloth wipes, I cut 100 squares from four different fabrics that I had in my scrap bin (roughly three or four yards of fabric).
I decided to double stitch mine for a stronger, more long-lasting wipe. As such, I laid the fabric right sides together.
Using a basic straight stitch, I seamed along each edge at 1/4”
Being careful to leave a two inch opening, so I could turn the fabric right-sides out before sewing the final seam.
Turning each wipe right-sides out made them look a bit puffy, which worried me, at first.
However, after zig-zagging at 1/4” around the entire outside edge of the wipe (carefully tucking under the edges where the wipe had been flipped right-sides out, so they would be seamed in with the rest of the edges, I was quite pleased with the result.
I ended up with fifty wipes of various design.
I should note that this project took about eight hours, spread over two days. On day one, I focused on cutting and sewing the initial seams, and on day two, I turned the wipes right-sides out and sewed the final seams. While I probably could have started with only twenty-five, my sewing machine is the one my mom got for her bridal shower in the early eighties (a Singer Dial-and-Sew), and it’s a little loud, so I’m not sure how little one will sleep, if I’m also trying to sew during nap time. Overall, the results were more than I was initially hoping for, and I can’t wait to have our little one here to try them out!