Category: Cloth Diapers

Fleece Soaker Undies

I forgot to show y’all the fleece soaker undies I made around the same time as the wool soakers and longies for the new baby.  I used the same great pattern and cut the pieces from two fleece receiving blankets I had lying around, also making an extra layer in the wet zone.  One was a striped blanket, the other a pale blue, and as you can see I put the two together to make two pairs with alternate trim. 

Since fleece doesn’t fray I didn’t have to stress about the seams, which was nice.  When they were finished, I loved how they looked – but I thought they looked huge!  Well, since fleece isn’t stretchy, they ended up being just the right size – snug to pull up, but a great fit once they were on.

I’ve been a bit disappointed that Josiah has been having some potty setbacks; my mom wasn’t surprised and told me boys especially can have these problems so I guess it’s par for the course.  Since there have been quite a few mornings – or naptimes – he wakes up wet I thought these might do the trick.  He likes wearing them and doesn’t want to take them off in the morning!  I even resorted to taking out some of our old BumGenius pocket diapers, and he even seems excited to use them.  What gives?  Doesn’t he want to be a Big Boy?  It doesn’t really seem to bother him.  

Crafting for Baby and Building a Wool Stash

I’m so excited… now that I know that we’re having a girl, I can be a bit more focused in my baby crafting.  Shortly after I found out I was pregnant I upcycled some tees into some newborn undies, just like I did for the rest of the family.  I’m hoping to try elimination communication from the start and figured it couldn’t hurt to have these on hand.  And hey, they were free!  Since I have so many hand-me-down t-shirts I may make a few more.

I love Katrina’s patterns – they’re versatile and can be used for both undies and fleece or wool soakers.  In fact, when I decided that I was going to try wool for diapering this time around, I decided to upcycle some sweaters into soakers and longies (new ones can be really pricey).

I already had a beautiful, pink cashmere sweater that somehow got holes in it; it was laying around for the longest time because I didn’t want to throw it away and I didn’t know what to use it for.  I got another merino wool sweater at a secondhand store for a few bucks; it’s a men’s x-large or something so it’s quite big.  They were simple to whip up and I put an extra soaker layer in the wet zone.

Since I have quite a bit of wool left I decided to make a pair of longies with another of Katrina’s patterns; I forgot to add the seam allowance and I messed up on the waist, but I think it came out really well.  I’ll probably make some bigger soakers then see how much material I have left.

Is it weird that I’m excited about all this diapering stuff?  There’s just something so fulfilling about doing something healthy and natural for your baby, and wool has long been used for it’s beneficial properties.  Since most of my stash consists of one-size covers – which can be bulky on a newborn – I decided to add some smaller wool items.  In addition to the handmade items, I used some of my Etsy earnings to score some sweet secondhand deals on DiaperSwappers (DS): NB/SM Loveybums wool jersey cover (I was thrilled when I discovered that Loveybums is a family-owned business from the state next door), S Sugar Peas double-knit wool cover (these look very trim), S/M Clover wool wrap diaper cover (these look uber-adjustsable; because they’re inbetween sizing I’ll most likely get more use out of them), brand new one-size Tetro wool diaper cover (this is the only one-size item I purchased; I love how it adjusts and even though it was brand new it was being sold for a lot less) and two pairs of wool interlock longies (which can be used as their own cover).  If you have experience with wool diapering I’d love to hear about it.

I wasn’t very successful at my attemps to make fitted diapers – but practice makes perfect!  I forget which tutorial I used – I’ve bookmarked so many! – but I turned a prefold into a fitted, which should fit nicely under the covers.  There are a couple other things I may try, like upcycling t-shirts into “daddy flats” and buying some bamboo fabric to make my own terry flats (like these).  *Check out my Eco-Friendly and Sewing for Babies Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.

It’s been so long since I’ve picked up the knitting needles, but since I finished my sewing projects for Small Circle opening next month – yay!!! – I wanted a change of pace.  When I made a couple elf hats, I knew would want to make one if I had another baby – and now I have the chance!  It turned out more gender-neutral than I intended, but you can see bits of pink and purple in there.  Knitting takes longer than sewing, but if I have the time I would love to knit another in different colors, or perhaps try a different pattern (just check out all the patterns I have bookmarked!).

Since Gwen and Josiah are both November babies, it feels like I should be almost done with this pregnancy… but then I remember I will be pregnant all winter!  *sigh*  I should have time for a few more projects.  Here’s what’s on my list:


And on my immediate project table are butterfly wings for Gwendolyn and her “Princess and the Pea” gift set (I’ve already made the doll and just need to finish the mattresses) – I’m so excited!  Here’s my inspiration:

Early Potty Training

Infant potty training, potty whispering, elimination communication – call it what you will.  There are many names for this practice which seems to be a growing trend… and yet… this is the way things were done before the convenience of disposable diapers. 

I cloth diapered my first baby on and off, and have done so exclusively with my second since he was a few months old, so I’m familiar with many of the more natural methods surrounding all things potty-related.  I became especially interested in elimination communication (EC) when I discovered that one of my cousins was practicing this with her baby.  When they came to visit, her baby was maybe six or seven months old, and her diaper was already staying dry for a large portion of the day.  Of course, this sounded wonderful to me!  Using cloth diapers provides an extra parental incentive for wanting to catch those nasty diapers before they occur.  But wait till you read about the many other benefits of EC.

I decided to start Josiah on the potty around the same time I started him on cloth diapers, and it just so happened to be when it started getting warmer so I was able to keep him diaper-free at times.  I didn’t stress myself out with rigid schedules, just put him on the potty at specific times – before and after nursing or meals, before and after nap- and bedtimes, before going out and upon returning home.  He never really gave me any specific signals that he was going potty or about to go potty in his diaper, so that provided an extra challenge.  If Gwen or I used the potty, I would put him on as well.  In fact, it was the start of Josiah’s potty-training that motivated Gwendolyn to get out of her diapers once and for all.  If Josiah could use the potty, so could she!  A definite win-win in my book.

In the beginning, I employed a cueing sound when putting Josiah on the potty, which not only provides a verbal correlation to what he was doing or was supposed to be doing on the potty, but also makes it more fun when they get older.  Potty songs are da bomb for an older baby as well.  High praise was given when successful – much clapping and rejoicing (and perhaps some dancing) ensued.  These all help to affirm the correct responses.  I practice simple baby signing with both kiddos, and now that Josiah’s spoken vocabulary is expanding, we now communicate in this way rather than cueing (although we often revert to it for the sole purpose of silliness – c’mon, just try not to smile when making pooping noises).

I wish I had started earlier with EC, and if we have another I will attempt to start from birth.  The idea of going diaper-free is exciting – imagine not having to buy all those diapering supplies and do all that laundry??  Recently Josiah got a yeast infection, and one of the ways of treating it was just letting him air out, go without a diaper for as much as possible.  It got me thinking – why not let him stay that way all the time, at least while we’re at home?  Once again, this has been more easily accomplished since the weather has gotten nicer, especially when the kiddos are outside a lot. 

I was putting pants on him without a diaper, and was thrilled to realize all of his poops were going into the potty!  I decided to look for some baby undies online, since it’s hard to find small sizes in stores, and found a comprehensive listing of websites that offer undies and training pants specifically for EC- families – but man, are they expensive!  I finally went to Diaper Swappers, one of my old standbys, and found a listing for a whole bunch of 18-month undies.  I got so excited over tiny toddler undies!  Now, during the day I keep Josiah in his big-boy undies, and use his cloth diapers for going out and bedtime.  The next step will be trying to forego diapers at naptime – wish me luck! 

Just like walking, talking, and other things your baby learns over time, it takes patience, guidance, and consistency.  And don’t get discouraged when you’re not “successful” overnight!  This is one of the biggest things I see when people attempt sign language with their babies – they may keep at it for a couple weeks, but then they give up because they’re not getting a response.  Even if you don’t get an immediate reaction, it doesn’t mean you’re not making progress!  Those little brains are making connections.  Do you stop speaking to your baby because he or she can’t speak by 3 months?  Of course not – you realize that some things take time to develop, and your baby often understands a lot more before he or she can effectively communicate.   

There isn’t any one way to practice EC and you see variety all across the board – from those whose babies are completely diaper-free to those part-timers who perhaps utilize disposables but put their babies on the potty.  Though it may be best to start from birth and employ specific methods, it’s never too late to start!  Here are some excellent tips for those starting with an older baby.

EDIT: I found a copy of Diaper Free Baby at a consignment shop and snatched it up.  It makes for an excellent, informative read.  It also lists some great resources for finding cloth diapers, small trainers, potties, and other EC gear.  Many cloth diapering and online retailers of baby items have jumped on the CD and EC bandwagon, so some of these items aren’t hard to come by if you go looking around.  Here are some they cite, in addition to others that I’ve come across and those listed in my cloth diapering post:
The EC Store
Gap – small undies
Hanes – toddler undies