My baby brother and my baby sister-in-law recently added a lovely little person to their household, and as I am wont to do, that throws me into a frenzy of making Nifty Things for the Noob. This particular Noob comes with some exciting accessories that no one was anticipating, so there was the added frenzy of making Nifty Things That Are More Boyly, Because Noob Has Outdoor Plumbing, and We All Expected Otherwise.
(I’m going to go ahead and finish the pretty white girl gown for his Eventual Sister… and we’ll be making a bitty man-kilt for Sir Noob in a few weeks, instead.)
I’m content to let others concentrate on the cute little clothes and things; I was very excited to get to help out with some of the nitty-gritty basics that make for one-time investments with long-term use. And that means: diapers. Diapers and burp cloths. And diaper covers. And some other stuff, because once I get going I can’t stop!
I found a great deal on unbleached pre-folds, and ordered 24 in the small infant size, then washed and dried them to fluffy perfection. Those went in a boring box, because they’re pretty utilitarian and boring, but useful. The advantage of pre-folds is that they wash and dry pretty easily and quickly, and last a long, long time, and can be used as doublers when Sir Noob outgrows them for daily diapering. Unbleached pre-folds start out a creamy natural light brown, so they actually do a nice job at hiding the long-term evidence of their use, too!
In the fun box, we tucked:
- 24 burp flannels, made like this.
- 5 tiny-newborn-with-umbilical-scoop-section diaper covers, with white PUL inside and fun fabric outside. These are made smaller than normal, and have limited usefulness, but Sir Noob is a tiny thing, and “newborn” is a bit big on him just yet! Our Lefty was in preemie clothes for six weeks for the same reason, and I remember how hard it was to diaper her in “newborn” things. So, to adapt the pattern I used, I folded out the section that would be snapped together for initial use, to make them a bit shorter in the rise, and used shorter elastic stretched more (4″ in the legs, and a 5″ stretch across the back), to snug up the legs. This blog has about nine-billion free printable patterns for different styles of cloth diapers and cloth diaper covers. I marked the umbilical scoop covers with a little green dot center front.
- 6 regular newborn diaper covers, made with the pattern out at normal length, and slightly larger elastics (4.5″ in the legs, 5.5″ across the back). All the diaper covers fasten with sewn-on hook-and-loop. I decided on the elastic lengths using Annie Tuttle’s suggestions, and used a simple method of sewing the body of the cover right sides together, and using a long narrow zig-zag to attach the elastic to the seam allowances. When the diaper cover is turned right sides out, I can go from topstitching next to the edge to curving in a bit and creating the final casing for the elastics, all in one step. I also turned all the diaper covers through the short end of one of the front side tabs. The PUL in the diaper covers is shiny-side-up, so the covers can be wiped clean easily, and won’t need full laundering after every use.
- 4 sets of old-fashioned diaper pins. If you store the points in a bar of Ivory soap, they go through the cloth of the diaper insert smoothly.
- 2 size 0-3m onesies in neutral colors.
- 1 newborn snap-shirt that Lefty wore as an infant, which she found and was determined to wash up and send to her new cousin. So we did.
- A copy of the Garth Williams illustrated “Baby Farm Animals” Golden Book, because it has lovely pictures. I think every child should get to see those pictures.
Previously, we made a baby blanket with the owl fabric in the diaper covers, backed with a pretty pale greys/taupes spotted flannel. I make those kinds of blankets with the same process as the burp flannels, and machine quilt the layers together. They’re cozy… my baby sis-in-law reports that it’s already one of her favorites for swaddling.
I’m pretty much in love with making the diaper covers. The PUL was easy to work with, and the option of combining it with a range of personalized cloth for the outer layer was a lot of fun. One thing I did notice: with the very directional prints, my own sensibilities required that I flip one half of the fabric “upside down” so when the diaper cover is worn, the words are right side up on both the front and back. The join is at the base of the crutch, so it’s not very visible. The PUL is cut in one complete piece to avoid any leak points.
As Sir Noob gets bigger, I’ll be able to make new sets of covers for him. We’re planning some pretty nerdly coolness for summer use, when his fluffy bum will be on display more often.