A billion years ago (so it seems), the only diapers that were used were flat-style diapers. Many cultures across the world did and still do practice elimination communication, but many cultures also still use flats. Don’t get me wrong, flats have plenty of upsides—they’re easy to wash by hand and quick to dry, and you can make a flat diaper out of almost any spare fabric you have lying around, in a pinch. I totally went through a “flats phase” and understand the benefits. One of the reasons I liked flats for a while was because my daughter did best in cotton fabrics. Anything else she was more prone to getting rashes in, but that good ol’ 100% cotton was cheap and breathable.
Flats: as close to a universal diaper as you can get
However, the upsides of flat diapers can quickly become the downsides as well. They can be difficult to fold quickly, and aren’t as absorbent as some modern manmade fabrics. Another downside I only discovered after my second child was born: Some kids simply do not like sitting in a wet diaper.
When talking about diaper fabrics, you probably hear the same names over and over again. Bamboo, hemp, birdseye, cotton twill (commonly known as “prefold fabric”); less commonly you may hear about minky, fleece, and velor. These fabrics all have their pros and cons when it comes to diapers in terms of absorbency and softness. However, there is one fabric occasionally used in cloth diapers that I don’t hear about often and I think it deserves some recognition: cotton sherpa.
“Sherpa” is kind of a catch-all phrase for man made fabric made to resemble sheep’s wool (as opposed to coming from the sheep itself). “Man made” doesn’t mean it’s made from synthetic material, though; it’s often made from cotton, although there are some synthetic varieties out there. Of course the common use of the word “sherpa” is to refer to the Himalayan men who are expert mountaineers; how this word came to be used to refer to fabric I have no idea (but if you do, let me know! I’m always up for learning new things).
A tiny portion of my sherpa-related cloth diapering items: one minky/sherpa wipe and two sherpa inserts.
I remember the first time I put a cloth diaper on my son Jaylen!
I was so excited, I watched video after video on YouTube, and stalked DS posts about the fluff I had on the way. When my package got here, I ran to the local laundromat to prep my diapers and smiled knowing that my journey was well on its way. I put on his first pocket diaper and smiled as I admired his cute cloth buns. It wasn’t until we had to cover the fluff did I feel like cloth might not work with our lifestyle! Think about my doom as I tried to shove a onesize diaper into a size 6 month onesie that was a perfect fit the day before. I knew cloth diapers were called fluff but had no idea all that fluff, all that cuteness, would change the way that my son wore clothing. How on earth was this cost effective? But when you’re a cloth diapering mom, and have to have the fluff you find ways to ensure that your little ones stay that way!
Here were the 5 things that helped me fit the fluff, while cloth diapering:
I found the greatest invention ever when cloth diapering and wearing clothing. Onesie extenders kept my little one in his fluff and gave him room to grow as well. There are also companies that make “Grow with me Onesies” that have the onesie extender built into the onesie already, which is way more convenient than a separate purchase ! I never got enough of this option and it solved a big issue for our family!
Several companies and WAHMs sell leg warmers for littles that come in many prints from football teams to hearts. Matching them wth fluff and lap tees or funny screen tees became a hobby of mine for a while. I remember going to botcon with a transformers cloth diaper, matching autobot leg warmers and a funny autobot screen tee and my son was a complete hit! It was one of the most fun events ever and there’s nothing like flaunting the fluff .
There are tons of them floating around the WAHM market now, and they are truly accommodating for the cloth diapering family. Forgiving knit fabrics that have tons of stretch are amazing for the fluffy buns, and equally forgiving for the chunky thighs or fitting for chicken legged littles as well.
I like crafty things. Even better, I like an excuse to buy crafty things. So the last time I was ordering from KAM Snaps, I noticed that they now have do-it-yourself fabric covered button kits and, oh hey, they randomly ended up in my shopping cart along with the snaps I actually needed. I immediately tried them out as soon as my daughter went to bed, and was shocked at how absolutely FAST you can make these—less than a minute per button, and you can use them in a million different ways. The equipment to make these is tiny, and your local fabric or craft store probably has button making kits as well.
- Fabric scraps—this is a great way to use up small scraps that are sitting around taking up space, not that I know this from experience or anything…
- Buttons and button making kit—you should have a round button front, a button back, a small, flexible plastic “bowl” and something similar to a plastic thimble in your kit.
- Scissors—for cutting things
My 20 month old has been showing a ton of interest in what we do in the kitchen. She likes playing with her own toy pots and pans and felt food, but when we are cooking something she NEEDS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW what Mama and Dada are doing waaaaay up on the counter she can’t reach. As an anniversary present for both of us (and to save our arms from the constant barrage of “Up, up up!” demands) I bought a Guidecraft Kitchen Helper and now little Lainey can stand at counter height and cook along with us.
It’s Use Up The Scraps In The Fabric Bin Week! I have a large amount of virgin, uncut flannel and minky half-yards boxed up in a corner of the apartment. You see, months ago I had some grand plan to make the most amazing…um…sewing…project…thing…yeah. I’ve completely forgotten what it was. But since I have a baby on the way—it’s time to make burp cloths! This is a really easy, quick project you can whip up at the last minute for a neat little baby shower gift.
A pile of fabric: A happy sight. The credit card bill: Not so much.
Download the pattern here, or trace an existing burp cloth you have.