I am all about cutting costs when it comes to baby products, and very interested in reducing the massive carbon footprint that accompanies every North American bundle of joy (fun facts can be found here). Most of Ladybug’s clothing, furniture, and other baby accoutrements are hand-me-downs from friends or amazing Kijiji.com finds.
I knew I would use cloth diapers long before I knew I was pregnant. Modern cloth diapers are wonderful and nothing like your mother’s massive, shapeless cotton swaths that required pins, “rubber pants”, and a PhD in Origami to hold back the relentless offerings of a well-fed newborn. Choosing a diaper today is a head spinning decision for a mother-to-be. I ended up going with the advice of a friend who, although I have mixed feelings about the PUL fabric, did not steer me wrong. I would advise waiting until your baby is born, trying a few different styles, and choosing the one that works best for you, fits your budget, fits your babe, and doesn’t hurt your conscience. Of course, there is always Elimination Communication but that is a topic for another day …
A dear friend asked me about wipes when she was expecting, and has asked me to share my set-up here. I use cotton flannel wipes that I purchased locally. They are manufactured by Gabby’s, an Ontario swim diaper company. Ambitious and crafty types can certainly make their own out of just about any natural, absorbent material (hemp, bamboo, etc.). Cut the fabric in squares (mine are about 6″ square), and serge around the outer edges.
For solution, I use a cup of water with 2 tablespoons Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, 2 tablespoons almond oil, a few drops of tea tree oil (anti-bacterial), and a few drops of lavender oil (soothing). Mix the whole shebang in a mason jar. I put the wipes in a sealable glass container, pour the solution over them, and keep them in a handy location. I find this covers around 20 – 25 wipes, and I use them fast enough that nothing funky happens to them.
The equation above is extremely versatile: you could use a different type of carrier oil (calendula is a great, healing choice), you could change up the essential oils to your liking, you could add skin savers like aloe vera; and you could put the solution in a spray bottle, or a sports top bottle, and apply to wipes or directly to the babe’s bottom as needed (this will likely only work if you have a placid and cooperative little one).
If you are heading out on the town, do not resign yourself to wetting down the sandpaper-dressed-as-toilet-paper most public washrooms offer up. Wet a few wipes and put them in a mini wet bag, or one of those cute reusable, washable waterproof sandwich bags, and toss that in your diaper bag. Alternately, fill a travel-size bottle with solution and bring along some dry wipes. Either way, you’ve got a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution to a dirty problem.