Welcome to the CoronaVirus Pandemic.
I could rant about the panic is creating a vicious cycle of more panic, the ignorance of both the hyper-paranoid and the indifferent, the selfishness of those hoarding materials from people who truly need to quarantine themselves, but I’ll try to refrain from too much complaining.
Fact is, supplies are running short, but that’s only the first problem. They will restock. Many people, however, are losing work, losing hours, losing business, losing their jobs, losing money….
And losing their minds.
We are stressed. This is not something people are often mentally prepared to deal with. So when word gets out, for instance, that toilet paper is disappearing, more people panic and buy more, which instills more panic, which becomes a vicious cycle.
Listen, having been through some pretty serious financial crises, I know that when money and supplies run short, cloth has been a mind (and behind) saver!
If running out of diapers in the near future is a legitimate concern for you, it’s okay to switch to cloth temporarily. Seek out any local cloth diaper banks, check out The Cloth Option. If you’re local to me (York County, PA or the surrounding area), check out Plumbum Diapers.
If you don’t qualify or you struggle to find a local source near you, then what?
If it wasn’t obvious from context, your most affordable option is to implement the use of covers, flats, and possibly pins (or a pin replacement).
Plumbum diapers offers this system of diapering for those in need here in York County, PA, and it comes with an illustrated booklet detailing all the basics you need to know about what they are and how to use/care for them, and you can download it for free as a guide for yourself!
I have to say, though, that by downloading and using the booklet, you acknowledge and agree to the following:
You will not claim ownership or authorship.
You will not alter, edit, add, remove, or otherwise change any of the contents of the booklet (without prior written permission to do so).
You understand this is property of Plumbum Diapers, Inc.
You will not sell or lease this booklet in any way for any sum for any reason.
Plumbum Diapers, Inc reserves the right to revoke any privileges if there is any reasonable cause to believe that the booklet is being misused or abused in a way that goes against these terms or misrepresents Plumbum Diapers, Inc.
That said, you can download the PDF here: PLUMBUM DIAPERS BOOKLET PDF
Theoretically, you can cloth diaper without covers or even pins (or equivalent), but you are going to have far more success with them.
A comfortable minimum (which you can always keep on hand in case of emergencies later) is 2 dozen flats and 6 covers. If you plan to wash by hand every evening (it’s surprisingly easy, check out the booklet for instructions), you could swing by with just 18 flats.
The local cloth diaper kit is 12 flats and 3 covers with a snappi. This is, what I would call, an uncomfortable minimum. It would get you by in an emergency, but you would need to wash the covers and the flats as they’re soiled to ensure they have plenty of time to dry before next use (assuming you hang them on a rack to dry). Like I said, it’s an uncomfortable amount that would work, but barely. A comfortable minimum would be twice that amount, and that still assumes washing once a day.
You can get 6 covers from a shop like Happy Beehinds for around $36+shipping, give or take. Not too bad, but what if that’s too much for you?
Fleece! Fleece blankets can be made to accomodate a baby, and fleece pants over a diaper work, too! While fabric softener is a huge no-no for cloth diapers due to repelling, fleece that has been washed with fabric softener becomes your best friend because you want it to repel moisture back into the diaper. Yes, I’ve tried it. Yes, it works. If you’re sew-saavy, you can even make some, but even if you aren’t, there is a tutorial on YouTube for hacking a blanket into a diaper cover. Most dollar stores carry fleece blankets, as does Walmart. But then what about the flats?
There are actually many things you probably have around the house you can already use as a flat diaper. Have excess amounts of burp cloths? Padfold those into the covers. Old t-shirts that are at least 80%+ cotton? You can actually fold those right into a winged diaper flat! Swimming in flannel receiving blankets? They make great flats! Honestly, any cotton tea towel would work, too, if push comes to shove.
If you don’t have any of these things, check out the local clothing closet. Many actually have a hidden stash of flannel receiving blankets laying around somewhere that most people pass on, but as I said, grab some 100% cotton tshirts, too! (Be wary you don’t grab a shirt with too many other blends like polyester, nylon, etc, because those fibers aren’t absorbent!) Be sure to look for a fleece blanket or baby pants while you’re there!
You can also use a flour sack towel as a flat. Those can be found at places like Dollar General or Target for a buck a piece, or at Walmart for $7.88 for a 10-pack!
Avoid microfiber Microfiber towels are cheap and in abundance but they are so absorbent that they can actually absorb your baby’s skin oils and leave them with a rash!
How do you put these things on? With pins. Or a pin replacement… Honestly, if you purchase PUL covers, you can just fold whatever you put in the cover into a rectangle, so there is no need for pins there. If you want to fold the diaper onto the baby, you can use something called a Snappi to hold the flat in place without needing pins. Pick that up from Happy Beehinds or Prime it off Amazon. Yes, I verbed “Prime”. And I verbed “verb”, too. If you want, something like a Bandie Band can be used instead, too. It’s a piece of elastic with velcro on the end that holds the diaper on like a belt… and works surprisingly well. But, seriously, old fashioned pins will do the trick and cost very little. They’re scary, but many people get used to them.
Wipes are running out everywhere you go, too, as people who normally use toilet paper can’t find them and are turning to wipes instead of leaving them for people who actually have babies. May they flush them and extensively damage their plumbing. Just kidding, I don’t really wish ill on people, I just wish more people would be considerate of others.
That being said, if you don’t have napkins/papertowels you can use instead, you can use cloth wipes! You can purchase those, but baby washcloths can be bought from the dollar store in a four pack for a buck and they work just as well. Just wash them with your diapers.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and God bless!
If you have any questions, concerns, advice, or need help, feel free to comment below or email me at Pam@normalizecloth.com or use the contact form on this site!