Babies and diapers

Diapers are, generally, a necessary part of taking care of a baby. Common knowledge. And I venture into the world of cloth diapers, because I think they are better for baby, better for the wallet and better for environment. But they can be frustrating.

All my pocket diapers (where you stuff an absorbent insert into the middle) started repelling moisture. The pockets I’d made are, apparently, made of a fleece that repels moisture — that was/is my bad for buying that fleece; but I hadn’t thought to check such things in the store. But when even my commercially made (and handed down) pockets started repelling, I knew I was doing something wrong. Detergent? Likely. Added oxygen cleaner? Perhaps. So, I tried stripping them.  I washed them with dish detergent, scrubbed them in the sink by hand, which should cut through any residue — hopefully. We shall see! Strangely, not had any of these issues with the flats or prefolds. And thus I begin my quest to find a new detergent.

Those with more cloth diaper-fu than I, any thoughts?

As for baby, we are slowly figuring it all out. My big, looming question at the moment is about falling asleep on your own.  Is this a taught skill, or one that develops on its own at some point? At what point, or age, can this skill be taught, or does it develop? I know I’ve got a few readers who have raised several children, that, I’m assuming, can all fall asleep on their own.  By “on their own”, I mean no rocking, nursing or being held. Use of a lovey, blanket, paci, or other aid doesn’t count in my book, because it does require the presence of mommy or daddy.  Fellow mothers, have you any thoughts, advice, or wisdom you might offer me?

Big questions today. Some days are just like that 😛


  1. I've stripped many a diaper, and yes, it works! Be sure to never use fabric softener! That will make your diapers nearly waterproof, lol. Considering the age of your babe, I'm surprised you need to strip already. Must be the soap you are using. Use a gentle detergent that isn't a soap. Soap can leave a residue. I'd look at come commercial diaper websites (like FuzziBunz who have fleece liners) for laundering and stripping instructions. I followed those faithfully and those diapers lasted for several babies without repelling. I used the sun to bleach and whiten my pocket dipes, so no need for oxygen bleach. As for sleeping on his own, none of our babies at that early age ever really fell asleep on their own. I always nursed them to sleep at that age. Yes, it's a time consuming process especially when babe wants to nurse ALL evening long, but soon he'll be older and you can work on transitioning him to falling asleep on his own. The first step is to establish a predicable routine, full of cues so that he knows it the end of the day… gentle baths, dim lights, quiet voices… slowly, gently, he will learn to sleep on his own… just not yet…Ignore comments that you're spoiling him by nursing him to sleep (if you are getting any). He's young and he need his Mama. Enjoy those precious hours of rest whilst nursing him to sleep – it is NEVER the same with subsequent children – you are always watching a busy toddler or trying to keep a chatty preschooler quiet while TRYING to quietly nurse the baby. You are up and down and it's just never as blissfully relaxing as with your first – ENJOY IT!!!!!!!!!

  2. Sleeping on their own is quite an individual thing for each baby. There doesn't seem to be a formula that just instantly works, unfortunately. And, darn it, once you think your babe is in a set pattern….voila! The pattern changes! Our first-born had colic for 4 1/2 months, and spat out his "dummy" (pacifier) and usually would fall asleep after the last breastfeed of the evening (around 10 pm) and then wake for another feed sometime after that until about 6-7 months old or so when he started stretching out the nights and beginning to "sleep through" til morning. We finally figured out that holding him on his tummy over our arms in a firm grip and moving ("the mother-baby sway") or in his pram (stroller) or driving in his car-seat would put him to sleep. Baby #2 took to a "dummy" (pacifier) right away and then "sucked" herself to sleep after breastfeeds or other times. It was tricky weaning her off the dummy at about 2 1/2 years old (only used it at night at that stage), but a nasty sore on her chin did the trick and we said "bye bye" to the dummy and hid it away and that was that. Many babies find their fingers or thumbs or some way to soothe themselves to sleep. Or music. Calming rituals like your other commenter said are fantastic and set the stage for a lifetime of childhood rituals like bath-and-story time. NOTE: My 17 yr old daughter (baby #2) nowadays plays worship music for 1/2 hr at the end of her day and has a Quiet Time all snuggled-up in bed reading her Bible and praying before sleep every night!As I've mentioned before, I had great success with my plain terry squares for nappies (diapers), a store-bought thin nappy liner that allowed the wetness to flow through to the nappy and 'caught' the poos and store-bought simple elastic plastic pants over the nappy. Used a snappi to close the nappy. This was standard fare in South Africa in the 1990s for cloth nappy users. I did use the occasional disposable nappy eg when out and not wanting to cart around smelly used nappies all day and sometimes at night. A nappy bucket with Steri-nappy powder, Skip washing powder (detergent), no oxy bleach and no fabric softener, line drying with plenty of sunshine did the trick and we never had any trouble with the issues you've raised. We changed our babies/toddlers' nappies pretty often. I tend to think that babies/children cry most from wanting human contact/comfort or hunger/thirst, not the wetness of a nappy but I could be wrong. My sister in the USA used an electronic baby swing — the motion/movement soothed her little ones. Other people swear by baby slings worn on an adult & rocking. Here in South Africa, babies are put on (usually black) mothers/grannies/aunties/nanny's backs–the close human contact and movement puts baby to sleep. But, EVENTUALLY, all babies find a way to go to sleep on their own….but not usually under 3 months of age….so hang in there! Yours will too. 🙂

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