Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Princess's new clothies

When Pirate Jim was a mere bump and we were getting ready, as you do, I was quite determined that disposable nappies were the way to go. I had read what little information there was on the question of disposable vs. cloth, and to me there was no question. The production and landfill costs of disposables were preferable to me compared with the cost of producing and washing cloth nappies.

In my mind, though, cloth nappies = the large terry squares that I was nappied in back in the 70s. That had to be folded, that leaked, that needed pins and horrid plastic pilchers and to be soaked in a stinky bucket of bleach, that had to be somehow dried in winter. All that water, detergent, power, time...it was not for me. I had my arguments sorted and I was quite adamant.

But every time I ditched one of those things in the bin, I felt just a little uneasy. Although I liked to think I was trying to tread lightly, since cotton is so intensive to grow, all that water and detergent and power, yadda yadda, I thought that there had to be a better way.

Luckily there are many, many way cleverer people in the world than me, and they had it sorted ages ago.

I stand here before you, admitting I was wrong, and shouting from the rooftops that there is a better way. I am a true believer!

In the months before the Princess was born, I became aware of this "new" thing: Modern Cloth Nappies, or MCNs as those of us in the know like to call them (Yes, as usual I'm light years behind. Stop laughing down the back).

I did some research, talked to some friends who were there before me, got myself a mentor (not a compulsory step, but when you're like me and need hand-holding for something new, it helps) and I was away.

Pockets are my nappy of choice, and I love them. They are easy to use and dry so quickly. I wont bore you with the details (I suspect I'm nearly the last person on the planet who knows about these anyway), but suffice to say I am sold. Love them.

I wasn't initially sure about what they looked like or how they worked (thank goodness for my very patient mentor!), so I bought my initial stash (yes, we MCNers have another sort of stash - another selling point if you were still wavering!!) from a respected seller who carried lots of different brands and types.

But then my mentor suggested building up the stash by sewing my own. I was astounded - I could do that?

Yep - and I did. Lots of free and purchased patterns are available online; I found one that I liked, bought in the supplies and had a bash.

Behold, nappy stash!

Aren't they groovy? And it's enormously satisfying - not only am I reducing all that waste but I made these myself. The first one (front centre) is a bit gumby, but it still does the job.

Bring on summer so the Princess can get out in her funky new bum wear!

And whats even better - shhh, don't tell Beloved - is that now I have the perfect excuse to maintain yet another stash: the nappy fabric one. Sometimes I am so sneaky I amaze even myself!


Bells said...

Go George. You rock.

amy said...

Oh yes, I used cloth with my first and I LOVED them. I used the prefolds, not the all-in-ones, and fairly quickly I got the system down pat and it was all good. Then we moved from city water to well water and something was different but I couldn't tell what. I was pregnant, the toddler got a rash, I couldn't figure it out, and I switched the toddler to chlorine-free disposables. The second baby used disposables because I never had the wherewithal to figure out the water issue, but I think I've got it now (slightly hard water) and I'm very excited to go back to cloth for baby number three. Beyond the environmental and cost issues, I don't like the idea of swaddling little baby bums in hot, chemical-laden plastic disposables. Ick.

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

When I was expecting my first I sewed diapers as well. Unfortunately flannel didn't come in the crazy and cool patterns that it now does. All I could find was white with pale pastel babyish type motifs.

Seeing all those great colours and patterns almost makes me want to change diapers all over again. I said ALMOST. :)

Michelle said...

Clever thing!

Em said...

Way to up the bar for domestic-awesomeness for those of us who are thinking of spawning any time soon! :P I think Momolla used to use cloth diapers for a while, I remember using the old, worn-out ones as dust rags. I was way too young at the time diapers were in use to remember, though.

Geek Knitter said...

Any excuse for stash!

kms said...

very cute. who knew 'bum wear' could be so interesting :)

sweetp said...

Gasp your nappy stash is lovely! Cool prints. I have 2 in cloth :D well one almost TT'd but have just done 2 (!!) winters with 2 in cloth. Mainly pockets.

You know wool is fab for nappy covers too? So that becomes my excuse for having a big wool stash...for the kids hehe

Lynne said...

My one-and-only is now 22 so I used the fold-your-own variety! Back then, we didn't give the environment a thought except to realise that cloth nappies were re-usable and that disposables made landfill! Not only that, they gave DD a very bad rash so were only used for emergencies!!
Not only that, the choice was plastic pilchers or acrylic 'fluffies' - I used the latter, at least they were woven and sort-of breathed!
I'm glad mums have a better choice today!

TinkingBell said...

How lovely to catch up!! I used Zappy Nappies (one lot lasted for both kids) and added by making my own - but I didn't know about the patterns so I designed mine from scratch.

Yours look WAY cooler though!

Rose Red said...

you can breathe feel George in the knowledge that you were not the last person in the world to know about these things. Because that would clearly be me!!

You go on the sewing - very cool. And hardly any pink in sight (yay!)

Leonie said...

Go you!! I'm too lazy to sew any so number 1 was in traditional cloth, number two was in disposables until number three arrived and then both 2 and 3 have been in bamboo fitteds (baby beehinds) and both me and J have found them to be better at containing anything that is thrown at them than the disposables ever were!!

Bec said...

I'm just glad that I could share my cloth love with another new little one. Also glad it's working out so well for little G.
Cloth rocks!

Jejune said...

Man, I wish these had been around when MY kids were babies - I did the whole white terry cloth, pilchers, buckets, bleach deal, and boy was I glad when THAT phase was over!

Yours are simply gorgeous - but, come on, clearly you need more fabric - off to the fabric shop for you ;)