Cloth nappies in practice

Cloth diapering is going well, but at three weeks little Madeline began soaking her flannel prefold diaper! Even during the daytime! She’s too young to have a ‘naptime’ that’s longer than anything else, her diaper gets changed every 2-2.5 hours during the day and even then, more often than not she’s soaked. I hate that about cotton, when it gets wet it stays wet. If I had a little time doing something other than mother duties I’d serge together some cut-up towels to make a soaker pad insert. Luckily we use wool ‘culottes’ (covers) which keep her clothing dry, but I’m not too happy about her being wet up to the waist!
Meanwhile, I found a bamboo fabric source in France. Anything special, and mail-order, is usually found in France. Or Germany, probably, but I don’t know any German. Belgium and the Netherlands are too small to support a niche mail-order market; I don’t even bother with Luxembourg. Anyhoo! Bamboo is apparently several notches up in absorbability to cotton, and hemp is very absorbant too. In the States I found bamboo-hemp mixes, but in France I’ve only found bamboo-poly. Yuck. Because poly retains smells, and oily stains (read: nappy rash cream) so obviously it’s a distant second choice. Madeline got a nappy rash from disposables within 4 days of life, so she’s very sensitive to diapers that don’t breathe. But the bamboo alone can’t ‘stand’ a 60C wash, so 100% bamboo is out of the question. Poly doesn’t breathe but at just a 15% blend it’s not gonna make a big diff. Anyway. When I get time to sew another batch of diapers… huh. These prefolds are size 0-6mos, but obviously they won’t be able to make it till 6 months. At least they can become serviceable doubler/inserts to beef up her new diapers.

Hey, I’m glad that I went the prefold route, because they were easy and cheap to sew, which made them perfect for a cloth nappy experiment, sewn while pregnant and working full-time. DH wants fitted nappies for the next batch, which means a nappy that’s like a disposable, but made from resuable cloth: contoured to the body instead of a rectangle, and with elastic on the legs and back waist.

For experimental purposes, we bought two terry cloth diapers, a fitted and a pocket diaper. The pocket means it has a removable pad insert; otherwise they are the same thing. I thought they were bamboo, but well–I hope they’re just cotton. Because she soaked through them too!

Madeline had her first wild night last night, she was restless and nothing settled her from 3:30 to 7 am. At least babies aren’t too complicated. She probably alternated between hunger and exhaustion, and wore herself (and me) out by wailing; which caused her to swallow a lot of air. Acid, bubbles of air–just like a volcano her tummy rumbled, and she spit up. Perhaps I ate something off yesterday ecause she had a lot of problems with gas. She drew her little legs up and squealed in pain from gas, but threw a fit if I stopped feeding her to burp her. Poor little mite, but at least she knows I was there and tried soothing her through her discomfort. By 6:30 though I was pretty worn out and my entire bag of tricks had been gone through. Thank GOODNESS it’s over now!


One thought on “Cloth nappies in practice

  1. Ok, here’s the thing about colic:

    1) midwives will insist that breastfed babies don’t get colic. They are WRONG and I don’t care what they say. They do get it. Usually not as bad as bottlefed, but they do.

    2) Colic age is usually 1-3 months, so you’re entering The Colic Zone.

    3) I have a solution. A really good one. It’s for adults and babies alike, which my father taught me after poor TLo screamed and screamed for what seemed like hours (she had terrible colic, but she was a bottlefed baby and continues to have digestive issues). So here’s the fix for “Gas That Won’t Move” as taught to me by a certified gastroenterologist (and why they don’t teach EVERYONE this trick is beyond me):

    Lay the baby on a soft mat or you can try your lap (a flat surface is better). ROLL her onto her side and then gently pat her tummy for 1 minute. Now ROLL her over on to her other side and repeat patting gently for another minute. Repeat this rolling and patting for up to five minutes and then you can pick her up and try standard backrubbing/patting for burping. This works wonders most of the time. The rolling motion and patting is key to moving the gas through the system. This also works wonders for adults, which is what my dad teaches to his patients that have gas issues. We just experimented on TLo to see if it would work on babies and most of the time it did! Good luck!

    Or, quit eating jalepenos for lunch. Whichever.

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