Three Letters Re: Your Post-TEOTWAWKI Diaper Insurance

Mr. Rawles,
Regarding the blog entry “Your Post-TEOTWAWKI Diaper Insurance,” I wanted to add that the problem with the messiness of cloth diapers can be lessened by using disposable liners. Special liners are sold for use in cloth diapers, however a more cost effective solution is to dry out cheaper baby wipes and use those [as liners]. Thank you for your diligent service to the survival community. Keep up the great work. Sincerely, – JD in Richmond, Virginia

I love your blog site. About the article about cloth diapers — they are easy to make and cheaper than bought ones. There was an article in Backwoods Home Magazine about making them.

Last year we had two grandbabies born and I made 3 dozen of each size for each baby. Cutting that much terry cloth was messy and the project time consuming, but well worth the effort. Their mothers used them and were glad to save money on disposable diapers. I suggest getting the snap machine and snaps to close the diapers, I never was successful sewing on the velcro.

Also, for the ladies, there are patterns on the Internet for making [washable] ladies menstrual pads. The same materials for babies diapers can be used to make these pads. Here is one of the web sites for patterns for making these.

Thank you for providing such a great site to share ideas for survival. – A Granny in the Woods


Mr. Rawles:
This was a good, informative article. There are a few things that I’d add for your readers:

1. You can save money on cloth diaper systems by buying them used.

2. You can also sew diapers yourself. I sewed pre-folds for our children from old flannel sheets and cotton terry cloth towels: a rectangular center pad of 6 layers of cotton flannel or 1 layer of terry cloth, sandwiched between two wider rectangles of flannel. I made them in three sizes, for newborns up to older toddlers. Leftover flannel scraps went into diaper doublers, cloth wipes, or “mama cloth” (see below).

3. If you can’t spray dirty diapers, they can be scraped with an old spatula or an ice scraper for windshields. I’ve never dunked or sprayed diapers, though the hand-powered sprayer does sound useful.

4. For an emergency diaper, fold a washcloth into half or thirds and put inside a onesie; or use a flannel receiving blanket as a flat diaper, by folding it into a rectangle or triangle. Cloth diapers are easy to contrive–just look at what cotton fabrics you have on hand, and fold them into a shape that is thick in the right places and can be pinned onto the baby. Diaper covers are not quite so easy; in a pinch I would cut a triangle of polar fleece or old sweatshirt, and pin it on over the diaper.

5. Diaper pins are strong and don’t rust, you may want to keep some around even if you don’t have a baby.

6. At night and while traveling, the key to avoiding overflows seems to be to simply provide enough absorbency. We put a “doubler” (an extra pad of flannel, using scraps leftover after sewing diapers), or a smaller pre-fold diaper folded lengthwise, inside the diaper.

7. Cloth diapers may require some troubleshooting. Typical problems are recurring diaper rashes or diapers that are stinky after being washed. “Stripping” the diapers by washing them with a little Dawn dish detergent, and improving the diaper washing procedure may help. Direct sunlight will help disinfect diapers.

8. For the ladies, flannel “mama cloth” pads can also be made: 6 layers of flannel, or 2 layers of terry between 2 layers of flannel, sewed together into a pad shape. These are comfortable and do the job surprisingly well.

Thank you for your excellent blog, – Peggy