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When You Can’t Afford Diapers
All over this country, there are people who can’t find or can’t afford diapers.
Some are forced to choose between buying food or buying diapers, but some don’t even have the “choice” between food and diapers because the only food they buy is purchased with food stamps or WIC…and food stamps and WIC do not buy diapers.
Those who use wage earnings to purchase diapers are also hitting on hard times, as a huge portion of them have lost their jobs due to Covid-19.
In the back of my mind, I always kind of “knew” this, but I was forced to really think about it after reading a recent article called “What if I run out?’ Cost of diapers and rush to potty train strain, low-income parents”. Besides leaving their babies in disposable diapers for WAY too long, they are also reusing disposable diapers! These babies are getting horrible rashes, infections, and even diseases from this.
Why Not Cloth?
Being a mother who cloth diapered her children and still cloth diapers her grandchildren, I immediately wondered why these people didn’t try cloth diapers. Yes, establishing a “good” cloth diaper stash is expensive upfront. Yes, you need a washing machine to wash the “good” diapers properly. And yes, cloth diapering can be “icky.”
However, there are ways to cloth diaper very inexpensively (under $15) as seen here on Amazon, and without a washing machine. Unfortunately, you just have to get over thinking about cloth diapering as icky, but I think that would be easy if you are in a situation that requires you to reuse disposable diapers. Besides, I think reusing a paper diaper is definitely grosser than using a cloth diaper – you can get cloth clean, but you can’t get that disposable clean.
Flats Are A Great Option
Remember “way back when” before disposable diapers were invented? Okay, if you are currently trying to diaper a child, probably not. But, before disposables, people would use flats and profiles.
Flats are one layer, a cotton square diaper. It looks sort of like a receiving blanket, although it’s usually not flannel. To use it as a diaper, you need to fold it to fit your baby and secure it using pins or a Snappi. This sounds hard at first, but it’s actually really easy to do, and it takes less time than it takes me to stuff a pocket diaper.
Flats are great because they are VERY inexpensive – in fact, you can get 15 “flour sack flats” at Target or Amazon for under $20 (flour sack towels). They work awesomely as flats – even better than some of the “real” flats I’ve bought.
Make Your Own Flats
You can also use receiving blankets as flat diapers or even a flannel sheet cut into smaller squares. Flat is very easy to wash and are the best choice for someone without a washing machine. Swirl them in the toilet to get any poop off them, and then just hand wash them in a sink or tub with a tiny bit of soap. Hang them up to dry – they will dry very quickly, especially if put into the sun.
Covers For Flats
As for covers, you can get nylon pull-on covers for very little also. Amazon has Dappi covers as low as $6 for 2 with free shipping, and you can probably also find Gerber pull-on covers in local stores.
I know the thought of using flat diapers with pull-on covers and handwashing them in a sink doesn’t sound fun, nor is it what most people are doing when they say they cloth diaper. However, if you are frantically trying to figure out how you are going to diaper a coming child, or you are currently struggling each week to buy diapers, this may be a real option for you to try.
Use What You Already Have
Also, if you really don’t have even an extra dime to your name, you can use anything made from natural fibers (cotton, hemp, bamboo, etc) as a diaper. This includes t-shirts, towels, sheets, or even pillowcases. It might be rough, but there are many safer alternatives to reusing a disposable diaper.
I have decided to change things up a bit in my cloth diapering routine. I’ve decided to put away my entire cloth diapering stash and challenge myself to cloth diapering an entire week without any modern cloth diapers! No washer! No dryer!
I will be bagging up my fitteds, and few pockets that I have, along with the majority of my covers, and stocking my changing table with my dozen flats from Amazon, 2 Snappi’s, and 5 Covers. I have them already set aside and waiting to be swapped out with my regular diapering stash.
I already do use flats on occasion, but very recently, my granddaughter has started to try to roll over while I’m changing her. She throws a fit and tries to get away, and so using flats has become hard to do! Right on time, eh? I have been finding it easier to change her on the living room floor than on her changing table, so I think that will probably be my best bet during the event.
Why am I doing this?
Families with no money and no resources for new diapers are hand-washing dirty disposable diapers and hanging them to dry in the shower for reuse! This breaks my heart!
To think there are parents out there who feel they have no other alternative than to try and reuse a disposable diaper. I want to help light the way for those who think there is no way out of this mess!
What do I hope to accomplish?
I would love for this experience to encourage us all to become better cloth diaper ambassadors. I want to help others understand there is help, there is hope, and there is a better and more sanitary way to diaper your baby during these difficult times. I want to bring hope and encouragement to others facing diaper shortages!
Who can participate?
Anyone! If you have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or your own blog, you can participate.
When will this happen?
The event will be from May 18th to May 25th.
A Few Rules
- You can only use flats, prefolds, flour sack towels, towels, repurposed material, or t-shirts — no modern cloth diapers.
- You can use pins or snappis.
- You can not use anything electric to wash. Try bathtub, sink, large washtub, or bucket/plunger. Or come up with something different.
- You can not use anything electric to dry. Try hanging over the shower, outside on a clothesline, etc.,
- You can only have five or fewer covers. Remember, we are mimicking “back-to-basics/making-do,” so if you can come up with something that’s not store-bought covers, that’s even better!
- You can use your regular cloth diaper detergent, whatever that may be.
- You can not use liners, inserts, or doublers.
- You can not use a diaper sprayer. Dunk & swish!
- You must start on the morning of May 18 and end on the evening of May 25
** Night-time exception: You can still use your nighttime diapers if you can not get by without them, but it would be better if you could make do with your flats and covers. Get creative!
** Part-time cloth diapering is good too.
** Do what you can when you can. There is no “wrong” way to do this!
** Anyone who participates, will be entered into the drawing. Yes, this includes everyone! Using disposables or other types of cloth diapers will not disqualify you! If you have to use something other than flats, prefolds, flour sack towels, towels, repurposed material, or t-shirts, let your readers know why. We want to hear it all. Let your readers know your challenges and successes. There is no wrong way to do this!
How to get started
- In the comment section below, leave your name, the URL where you will be blogging, and who referred you/how you learned about this event. ** If you are asked to login to comment, you will find the login/register page here. If you have ANY problems, please use the “send message” button on our Facebook page here. I am always here for you!
- On your own URL (Facebook, blogger, twitter, etc.) create a post announcing the coming of this event, your participation in it, and why you’re doing it.
- Tell your readers what you’re doing to prepare for it.
- Invite others to join in and provide a link back to this post. There is a prize for the participant with the most recruits!
- You must also use the hashtags #backtobasics #clothdiaperevent and tag @yourclothdiaper in every post you make during the event. This makes it easier for others to search your post on any search engine.
Day by Day
Each day beginning with May 18th, you will post/blog about your experience. You MUST include photographs! Tell about your accomplishments, thoughts, challenges and how you solved them. Point out any mistakes and how you could do it better (if any). If you’ve done something creative like making your own flats, tell your readers how you accomplished this!
Be sure to include any words of encouragement (where appropriate) to those looking for a way to diaper their child, without any resources or money. The goal here is, to be honest but helpful and encouraging to those who need to hear some words of hope right now.
Come on cloth diaper moms and dads, let’s light the way for those who are in total financial darkness right now!
There will be a RANDOM DRAWING to select one event participant who will receive two prizes. One for them to keep and one for them to award to one of their followers/readers/commenters (you decide). The winning participant must announce in the comment section below who their winner is, and it can not be a relative or close friend.
I will also select one participant who demonstrates resourcefulness, creativity, and unique problem-solving to receive a $25 Amazon gift card!
In addition, there will be a $25 Amazon gift card prize for the participant who recruits the most participants to join this event!
Random Drawing Prizes:
(2) Anmababy 4 Pack Adjustable Size Waterproof Washable Pocket Cloth Diapers with 4 Inserts and Wet Bag (Blue) Can be seen here
(2) Premium Stainless Steel Cloth Diaper Sprayer Can be seen here
(2) Spray Pal – Original Cloth Diaper Sprayer Splatter Shield Can be seen here
(1) $25 Amazon gift card.
(1) $25 Amazon gift card.