3 June 2015
My children are all grown, but I am blessed with 9 grandchildren. My oldest daughter will be getting married next week, and since she is 32 I see another grandbaby in the near future. I was considering this today, and all of a sudden I realized I had not prepared with babies in mind. All of my present grandchildren are long out of diapers, so I didn't even think of purchasing any. I also realized that it is not feasible to stockpile disposable diapers. I don't have the room for 2 years worth of disposables, and it would be too costly. I was in town running errands and decided to stop at Target and purchase some cloth diapers, pins and plastic pants just in case we need them in the future. Boy, was I in for a surprise! There were exactly 2 packages of Gerber pre-folded diapers on the shelf. I used cloth diapers with my three older children, so I knew firsthand which diapers absorbed the best. I also knew 20 diapers were not going to be enough, especially in primitive conditions. I grabbed the 2 packages and began searching for diaper pins and plastic pants. I also searched for the necessary diaper pail. None. Zilch. Nada. What? I couldn't believe there wasn't even an empty hook for these items. Items that used to be ordinary and in plentiful supply. There were shelves upon shelves of every kind of disposable diapers and wipes imaginable. They are great, and I used them with my last two children, but I was really surprised that there were none of these items to be had. I made two more stops at Walmart and Kmart, and managed to find two more packages of diapers, but once again no pins, pants or diaper pail. I made a mental note to get on Amazon and hopefully get some of these supplies ordered when I got back home.
During the drive home I began wondering what people will do when they run out of diapers, and can no longer purchase any? Can you imagine the unsanitary conditions that will ensue after that last diaper is used? I realized that not too many people even know how to soak, launder, fold and diaper a baby with cloth diapers. For those of you with little ones, I urge you to start gathering these necessary supplies now before you really need them. Those dishtowels are not good substitutes, and regular safety pins spring open under the stress of a wiggling baby and poke them. If you have never used cloth diapers and are intimidated at the thought, don't despair. They are a little time-consuming, but easy to use. Just fill the diaper pail about half full with a mild detergent and a capful of bleach and mix it up. You will be putting your wet and soiled diapers in the pail until you have time to wash them. Make sure and dump and rinse the soiled diapers before you put them in the pail. When you get a day's worth of diapers, just put them in the washer (unless we no longer have water and electricity) along with dreft or some gentle detergent, and I recommend a fabric softener because diapers can be a little rough. Plastic pants can be machine washed, but drying tends to make them brittle and they will crack. When they're done just pop them in the dryer and fold. Fold in the front of the diaper for an extra layer for little boys, and fold in the back for little girls. Pull together and pin each side, and put a pair of plastic pants on over the diaper. If we no longer have running water and electricity the inconvenience is increased. I have been known to wash diapers in the bathtub in emergencies. It is not fun, and is tedious. Basically use the same laundry supplies, but you have to rinse, rinse, rinse. This will mean hauling alot of water to get the job done. You can wash them outside just like any other load of laundry with the supplies you have accumulated to do the job. I have a handwringer to attach to a washtub, because your hands can't stand much wringing and you can't efficiently get the water out of the fabric. Diapers dried on a clothesline are stiff and scratchy, and ideally this is not what we want on our babies. However, it sure beats nothing and hopefully fabric softener will help if you have it. I would stock up on some Desitin or other diaper cream to help with rashes that are more prevelant with cloth diapers.
Babies really don't need much else. Hopefully you will already be breastfeeding and won't require formula, and children can sleep with you if you don't have a crib available. I hope this article helps you prep if there is a baby in the house!