A quick note about cloth diapers: Many stores (Wal-Mart and its French-owned counterpart at least) have flannel sheets on sale right now with twin sets running between $6.24 and $10. Woolrich is one brand and they seem to be of decent quality. That is a lot of fabric for little money. I picked up a half dozen sets. They provide warm bedding, but large pieces of fabric, often in dark or natural colors could have many uses. I will set aside at least 2 sets of the chocolate brown ones to make more cloth diapers for the baby we are expecting in September- no concerns about stains! The scraps will be useful for cloth pads for the same reason.
Also, I have found that snaps are better than velcro. On the original diapers I made for my older children I used Velcro. Not only does it tend to stick to everything else in the wash, but it takes lots of it to make an adjustable diaper and that gets expensive. I bought a Kam Snap pliers set and have been happier with the results, though you have to squeeze hard to get them on well through so many layers of cloth. I put 6-8 “male” snaps across the front of the diaper and then the two “female” snaps on the tabs can be snapped to any front pair to fit the child as he/she grows. I also used the basic pattern provided in Backwoods Home and was pleased with the results. Be sure to use the narrow elastic she recommends.
With regards to diaper covers, I have had the best performance from ones with “leg gussets.” They tend to prevent many more leaks and I have been able to use them longer since they will accommodate a larger diaper. You don’t need many covers since they dry almost immediately, so I consider it worthwhile to get quality ones.
With regards to rinsing diapers, I have an unconventional method. We live out in the country on a farm so when weather permits, I take the diaper out to the hose and spray it off behind a bush. Newborn and young nursing babies’ diapers will usually wash clean in the machine without any special pre-rinsing. I hang dry my diapers so they don’t tend to wrinkle or ball up in the dryer. They take longer than an average load to dry anyway and it saves a lot of wear on them to hang dry. In good weather, they go on the clothesline in the sun. Otherwise, I hang them on skirt hangers, preferably near the pot-belly stove.
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