Lorraine Storch

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since Nov 22, 2014
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Recent posts by Lorraine Storch

R Ranson wrote:I have a very close friend who is trying for a baby.  She's a city girl trying for a natural lifestyle.  So for example, she hopes to use cloth diapers about 95% of the time, but be flexible and use disposable ones very occasionally.  She values handmade things and is a textile artist herself.  She's also asked me to help as much as I can with teaching the kid about where food comes from and supplying home grown healthy food.  I'm glad to do it.  I want to do more.  

What kinds of things is she going to need once the 'bun is in the oven'?  Is there anything I can make for her?  What can we do to help make this more affordable for her?  Is there something I can sew or weave for her?  

I have absolutely no clue what is involved here.  Where do I start?  

Keep it simple... just the basics.

- plain old-fashioned white crib
- 3-4 dozen flat fold cotton diapers
- diaper pins
- rubber pants
- plastic diaper pail
- 2-3 baby sleepers
- 6 bottles (4oz size if you can find them)
- a couple of plastic baby bibs
- 2-3 changes of crib bedding
- 1-2 soothers
- socks
- one or two pyjama outfits
- rubber crib sheet
- mild baby shampoo

As for other baby needs, those can be purchased as the mother gains her energy back and as the child needs them.
3 years ago

Carol Oliver wrote:On the subject of diapers.  As a mother of four who ALL wore cloth diapers, while those around us were scoffing that they didn't have to rinse out dirty diapers with their disposables, I can give you a bit of insight:
- If you're trying to save money and time, prefolded diapers are okay but realize that all those layers make it take far longer to dry, and once baby starts to be mobile having all that padding between their legs is not the most efficient method of locomotion
- also things tend to soak in to those layers making them far harder to wash them thoroughly.
- I would go with cotton not-quite-gauze and fold them myself.  That said there are two different sizes of cloth diapers.  The square ones which you fold to look like the prefolded padded ones, and the long rectangular kind which you fold in half and then sort of like a kite.  Either way, no need to hem them all.  Invest in a good pair of pinking shears (or borrow a pair from your friendly seamstress) and just cut the diapers with the shears.
- For many reasons, I preferred the rectangular ones, not the least of which is that you won't need to upgrade to a larger prefold once they're a toddler.  You can fold them to the exact size of your baby.  (used to be made by Curity and you can still find them on the web sometimes).  They're about 18" x 36" or so.  I have a cartoon tutorial somewhere on how to fold them.
- It may seem like folding diapers is one more unneeded chore.  But a line of white diapers that are not prefolded dries outside in less than 15 minutes with a breeze.  And when you bring them in and sit down with baby to fold there are SO many imaginative ways to make it fun.  Nothing more beautiful than a baby in a basket of diapers.  Folding diapers is somehow very therapeutic.
- As baby grows, they are easily doubled to provide more absorbent padding.
- as for quantity, when we had two in diapers (one doubled and one not) at our maximum we had 5 dozen.  I think that 3 dozen is enough for two days plus an extra in case something comes up and the laundry doesn't get done on the second day.  No one can stand the smell of a diaper pail for more than 3 days.  Most people wash them every other day.  

When baby is young it forces caretakers to actually sit down for the time it takes to fold the load.  It's a chore that is very easily shared.  Mama might be leery of others doing things elsewhere at home but anyone can sit and fold diapers (or hang out a line of them or bring it in).  It's a great task that almost always needs doing and is the perfect answer to the people who show up and want to have a peek and ask "what can we do?"  When baby gets older they LOVE to help try to fold them.  Endless games of peek-a-boo with something so light they can get it on their own head pretty easily (as well as pull it off) but it's also pretty see-through so no dark under there.  When they're older they will love to pass you the didie, or play tug of war for the last one in the basket.  As well as using them for a cape or a flying pair of wings.  

As for wipes,  we just took a couple (actually more like three) of baby washcloths with us in a zip lock bag.  We put them in there pretty wet and then wrung out the water before wiping.  The wringing out heated them up enough to not be a shock to baby's skin.  You only need about 7-8 inches square.  When you squeeze the water out the warmth of your hand heats the cloth.

Hope this helps.

As a mom of 5, all of whom were put through old-fashioned flat-fold diapers, safety pins, and rubber pants, I agree with all said, other than, your suggestion to "pink" the edges of the diapers. Actual pinked-edge diapers went out with the 70's. Flat cotton diapers, the ones you can get today are all selvedge hemmed, so taking a pair of pinking shears to them would cause the diapers to fray and come apart, thus ruining them.  
3 years ago
One thing I remember about diaper rash, not only in my home, but in the homes where I babysat and/or changed diapers, was babies who wore disposables seemed to suffer the consequence of red and irritated bottoms more than their cloth counterparts.

In my home, elastic rash from the rubber pants always seemed to be more of an issue than common diaper rash itself... ghastly red-elastic rings the child wore around the tops of their legs throughout their diapering years, because once the diapers were wet, the elastic gathers around the legs would get wet/damp, and in no time at all I had a kid with rubber pants rash.
4 years ago
I raised my kids in the era of cloth diapers and rubber pants, and one thing I found that worked wonders for diaper rash/rubber pants rash, was cornstarch and/or browned flour.

I used the cornstarch and/or browned flour (whatever I had on hand) exactly like baby powder, making sure I changed diapers the instant they were wet or soiled.

Additionally, allowing your child's bottom to air-out between changes, helps dramatically.
4 years ago
Though we haven't made the progression to cloth wipes in our house (yet), I practice what's referred to as pee-cloths, which I store in an old plastic diaper pail until laundry day.

Old flannelette diapers and/or baby washcloths work wonderful for such (which is what I use).
4 years ago
I can't imagine the amount of time I would have had to invest had I gone the route of EC. Even as the stay-at-home mom that I was, I wouldn't have had anywhere near the time needed to commit to such a thing.

The closest I got in the diaper-less department, was sending my kids outside (bare-bottomed) to play... something I did regularly when I was toilet training them. Otherwise, I used diapers 99% of the time (cloth diapers), so expense was never an issue.
4 years ago
I used cloth diapers for all of my children (1983-1990). In those days there wasn't a lot of choice when it came to diapers... You had two choices... Pampers, or traditional old-fashioned cloth diapers. Most everyone I knew (neighbours, friends, family) were using cloth diapers and rubber pants, so choosing the same in my home was automatic.

I opted for easy-care flats, as I wanted a versatile diaper that laundered well and dried quickly. As for fastening I used diaper pins, and to waterproof the package... old-school white pull-on elastic-opening rubber pants with the stretchy waistband and leg holes... diaper liners, too (beginning weeks after each child's birth).

I double-diapered almost from the very start... triple diapered at night or when needed (travel, visiting, etc), and diapers were laundered every second to third day. Diapers and rubber pants were hung outside on the clothesline to dry, which helped keep the diapers looking white, while at the same time bleaching unsightly stains out. Natural sunlight works to kill bacteria and sanitizes, which IMO helped keep diaper rash away in my home, though with the rubber pants which held in the heat and moisture, diaper rash still made it's rounds now and then. No matter what type of diapers you choose, diaper rash will happen. I tell people, "diaper rash is the price baby pays for wearing diapers".

As for using diaper pins, I babysat and changed many a baby that wore cloth (long before I had children of my own), so pins never scared or bothered me, and pins made for a secure fitting diaper.
4 years ago