Cloth Diapers

Posted on 2023-11-21

I’ve been thinking about cloth diapers a lot lately, because the small group of CORAC’ers in my town was talking about them at our meeting about 3 weeks ago. In preparation for that meeting, I was researching all the different places to buy various styles of cloth diapers; and I came upon the website where I originally bought mine years ago.

The last time we talked a lot about cloth diapers on the Sustainability team might have been when we put together the informational brochure for the 2021 national conference. I remember looking for cloth diapers during Covid; but the prices were exorbitant, and there were no “seconds” available. But when I looked a few weeks ago, the place where I got mine had seconds back in stock, in all eight sizes. For those who might be interested, here’s the link:

OsoCozy unbleached prefolds >

One does not need all the sizes. In fact, when we were cloth-diapering, we got along very well with just 3 sizes: Infant 4x8x4, Premium 4x8x4, and Toddler 4x8x4. (The 4x8x4 diapers are 4 layers thick on the sides, and 8 layers thick in the middle, whereas the 4x6x4 diapers are 6 layers thick down the middle.) A family might be able to get by with 2 dozen diapers in each size; but then the diapers would have to be washed and dried every day (which would be tough to do in a grid-down situation). For survival-diapering purposes, I would guess that 3 dozen diapers in each size would be the minimum that a family would want; and 4 dozen would be better for the Infant and Premium sizes. If a family were to purchase 3 dozen diapers in each of the 3 sizes that I mentioned above, they’d have diapers for children from 7 pounds to 45 pounds in weight; and the total cost (there’s free shipping for orders over $59) would be right around $240. Along with two 3-count packages of the Snappi diaper fasteners (which are way easier to use than diaper pins) at $10 per package, you’d be looking at $260.

Here’s the link for the Snappis >

Even if you also bought 2 pairs of plastic diaper pants in each of the 7 available sizes ($62 in all), the total for all of the cloth-diapering supplies from birth through toilet-training would be just a tad over $300. And if you or someone who know could knit you some wool soakers to use instead of plastic diaper pants, the cost would be even lower (under $40 for the cost of the wool yarn for 3 wool soakers in each of 3 sizes). Here’s the pattern for the wool soakers that I knitted for my kids (for those who crochet, this link also has a crochet pattern):

Pattern for wool soakers >

As long as you keep the soakers well lanolized with something like Eucalan wool wash (which lanolizes the soakers as you wash them), the soakers will work nearly as well as plastic pants without the downside of the potential to cause diaper rash (which sometimes happens with plastic pants).

Here’s a link for Eucalan wool wash >

Those of us with very young children or grandchildren could attempt to stockpile disposable diapers for a grid-down situation. But from both the sustainability and cost perspectives, stocking up now on cloth-diapering supplies seems like a huge win-win.

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