School of Cloth 2016 - Emergency Diapering, Hurricane Matthew edition

When we planned the blog posts for School of Cloth 2016 we had no way of knowing there would be a storm of such magnitude heading for the United States. Suddenly the topic of Emergency Diapering takes on a completely different feel. Hurricane Matthew is carving its way up the eastern coast of Florida after devastating the Caribbean as a slightly less powerful category 3 storm as this blog is being written. We're pulling together a "best of" blog post of previous blog posts to put all our best tips that can help families during this time, whether they cloth diaper or not, in one place. 

All of our basic tips sheets can be easily found here. Link to us and share widely with someone you know who may need help! 

Need to wash in a shared facility such as a hotel or laundromat? Check out these tips!

What if you don't have access to a washing machine or no power for your washing machine?

What if you run out of diapers or if the diapers you usually use are not as convenient during this time?

Some of the hardest hit will undoubtedly be low-income families. Even if cloth diapers haven't been used previously, some of these tips can help families get by, perhaps even convert to real diapers.

Real Diaper Association is here to support your cloth diapering as you weather this storm. We'll also be here as you rebuild. Contact us on any of our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. See if there is a Real Diaper Circle Leader in your area. Or please contact us directly.  

Above all else, be safe friends!

Angela Torres

Chair, Real Diaper Association



Emergency Diapering- The Day the Baby Wore Grandma's Kitchen Towel Home

When you become a parent (starting during pregnancy), you begin experiencing lots more little “emergencies”. There’s a food emergency when you’re in the car and can’t fathom making it home before the baby inside you eats you alive so you HAVE to stop at the drive-thru. There’s a laughing-pee emergency that sends you straight home from work for new pants. Then, of course, there’s the I-think-I’m-in-labor emergency which sends you rushing off to the hospital only to find out it’s not nearly as fast as it is in the movies.

After the baby arrives, there are many more little emergencies. It’s nearly a full-blown crisis if we run out of snacks, the water cup goes empty (gets dumped), or the favorite toy is left behind. When I look back on the early baby days, I have to chuckle at all the bodily-fluid-related emergencies. Our first kid once spit up all over me so badly that I didn’t know what to do so I just sat there calling for my husband to help. We both had just had a bath, but spit up was running down both my front and back as I sat in our rocking chair, with literally nowhere to turn. Babies are masters of manipulating gravity and the physics of liquids.

Now, I know I’ve saved the best for last: poo-mergencies! Somehow, it gets everywhere. You open up that diaper to find a lake of poo, and your baby promptly kicks her foot down and then up, gracefully and efficiently depositing poop in places you won’t find for a week. If you’re lucky, your baby might manage to kick the diaper off the table before you can take it away. Well, it was time to mop the floor anyway…With a 3yo and a 1 ½yo, I can look back fondly at those memories without a desire to be there again (just yet, anyway). You really will laugh someday!

One emergency that I felt better prepared for than most was a diaper emergency. The moment you’re on the road and realize you’ve gone too far to turn around and get the diaper bag you left on the kitchen counter: yep, we’ve been there. Being a cloth-diapering family, we learned to take this in stride, and we found a way to handle it. Since we hadn’t gotten used to relying on disposables, stopping in a convenience store to pay a ridiculous amount of money for a small package of diapers didn’t really enter into our minds as an option. So, what did we do? Improvised, of course!

First, we crossed our fingers that we didn’t have a poopy diaper while we were out. That always makes things more complicated (but not impossible) in a diaper emergency situation. I’ll get back to that later. The most common outing we went on when we forgot our diaper bag was to my in-law’s house, a brief 20-minute drive away. Our first non-diaper we used in this diaper-bag-on-strike situation was a kitchen towel. Using pockets, we pulled out the wet insert and then laid the folded kitchen towel on top of the shell. Not perfect, but it sure worked! This saved us many times. I’m pretty sure we used an extra pair of baby pants folded up in a diaper like that once, too. Cloth diapering helped me realize what kinds of fabric absorb well, and I got good at thinking fast about what we had laying around. Extra blankets in the car weren’t clutter that I kept avoiding cleaning out, they were diaper emergency insurance! Eventually we switched to regularly using flannel receiving blankets in our pockets because they absorbed so well (and we had so many). T-shirts, cloth napkins, pillow cases…just about any piece of fabric can be wrapped or folded around your baby’s bottom in a pinch!

If you use all-in-ones or experience the simultaneous diaper and poo-mergency, you may need to get a little more creative. It’s all about keeping the fabric on the bum. Let your imagination run wild, and don’t be constrained by practicality or thinking about only long-term options. A T-shirt folded around and Scotch-taped (carefully) will probably get you to your next destination, despite its lack of runway-caliber couture. You can also use their pants to keep the fabric in place!

Here’s hoping you’ll always remember your diaper bag, you’ll have remembered to reload it with diapers, and you’ll have brought enough for the day. If ever that isn’t the case, know that you now have a trick up your sleeve and an extra blanket or pair of baby pants in the car. Keep calm and diaper on (or t-shirt, or blanket, or towel…)

Making good use of those Bookstore Tshirts!

About the Advocate Author
Megan is a member of the Real Diaper Circle of Butler County, mom to two amazing little girls, and an Instructor in the Department of Family Science & Social Work at Miami University.  She has been cloth diapering for over 3 years, and is an active volunteer in her circle, helping to organize the local Great Cloth Diaper Change and teaching Diaper Repair classes.  


School of Cloth: Week 1- Emergency Diapering

We've all been there. You're in the middle of the drying cycle on your cloth diapers, just crossing your fingers that last diaper holds up until you're done... and your baby decides, as usual, now is the perfect time to have a nice big bowel movement. You smell it a mile away and you know they can't sit in it long enough for the load to be dry. Or, maybe you're out longer than you anticipated, you didn't bring enough diapers with you, now you're an hour from home, and your baby is leaking out of the diaper. OR maybe it's a worse scenario, you're in a shelter because there is a massive storm with high winds that may be a hurricane... you've got limited supplies at your disposal and you've forgotten or misjudged the amount of diapers needed. What now?


This calls for emergency measures! Some of these measures even can be used by disposable users!


Receiving Blankets. They're great for quick bundle ups, swaddling, spit cloths... and prefolds! Flannel and cotton prefolds make great cloth diapers. Some people even use them regularly. Back when I started diapering, when I only had enough diapers for a day or two with my now almost 6 year old, I used these during wash time! You can use a fleece pant, a regular cover, wool, or even let them roam free in just a prefold. Here are some examples of receiving blanket diapers:


Tshirts. Don't have any blankets with you? No fear! Tshirts can also be used in an emergency! We've all got lots of those right?!

This classic Real Diaper Association video shows how to fold, step by step; it is so simple!!

One of my favorite photo tutorials is by dirtydiaperlaundry, who makes two flats from one xxl t-shirt.

Don't have any of those handy? Think of other textiles and fabrics you have around! What about washcloths? They're made to absorb. Need something to shove in a pocket or line a cover? This is a great alternative! They may not last quite as long, but they can get you through a short time period. Or, even a dish or hand towel! Flour sack towels are a popular use option in the cloth community now, but any towel really works! Larger bath and beach towels may require some trimming.


Now you've got your absorbent core. What about a cover?


Think of other materials and items around your house. Does your child have fleece pants? Perfect! These work great as a cover all on their own without needing to do anything! Fleece sweaters wrapped similar to a t-shirt like above work too! Don't have any fleece clothing? Fleece blankets works too! Wrap and snappi or pin it just like the flannel or cotton receiving blanket, just on top. Wool is also great! Usually wool would require lanolizing to become water resistant, but in an emergency, throwing some wool interlock pants over top of a quickly made diaper is better than nothing. Water resistant clothing like “splash pants” work as well, or plastic/vinyl diaper covers. Reusable swim diapers may work in a pinch too.

Adout the Advocate Author:

Tracey Valade is a mother of 5, Real Diaper Circle Leader in Ontario, Canada, Great Cloth Diaper Change committee member, works at home and out of the house, owner/operator of Darolotty's Natural Parenting Online Store, and blogs about parenting. Tracey is a busy woman with a passion for cloth!


2016 School of Cloth


Real Diaper Association has been supporting cloth diapering advocates and cloth diaper users just like you for more than 12 years! We want to continue to help you successfully use 100% reusable cloth diapers and we want to applaud those of you educating others about the benefits of cloth diapers. One of the best ways to educate others about cloth diapers is to get together with your community and share what you know about cloth diapers. In order to support and encourage your efforts to teach your community about cloth diapers, we are hosting the third annual School of Cloth event!


School of Cloth is all about education and giving back. Although anyone can register to teach a School of Cloth class, Real Diaper Association donors and Real Diaper Circle Leaders may sign up to teach School of Cloth Classes at no charge.


What are the benefits of teaching a School of Cloth class? Well, other than the fact that you get to share your knowledge about cloth diapers, all attending students will be entered to win cloth diapering related prizes from the generous businesses supporting School of Cloth. That’s not all our winners get… Remember when I said this was about giving back? Our winners will get to choose one of the registered 501(c)3 cloth diaper charities to receive a matching prize pack!


              To register your 501(c)3 charity to be eligible to win, sign up HERE.

              To learn more about how School of Cloth began, click HERE.

              If you are a cloth diaper business, and would like to donate, register HERE.

              Sign up to teach or attend a School of Cloth class near you HERE!


No classes near you? If you can’t attend or teach a class, you can still join in the fun by following our blog posts and blog hop and by answering our School of Cloth questions with the #SchoolOfCloth and #realdiapers on social media. Keep your eyes open for some virtual School of Cloth classes this year!


Are you a blogger that would like to learn more about how to participate in this year’s School of Cloth Blog Hop? Blogger suggestions and tools can be found HERE.

What's a Blog Hop? A Blog Hop starts with a primary blog post. Other bloggers write a related post and link it up to the primary post (or blog hop home post). Blog hops allow readers to reach many sources of information on the same topic or theme in one convenient place!

This year’s School of Cloth blog hop posts will post every Saturday in October and will include the following topics:



3) October 15, 2016: HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR CLOTH




Thank you for your continued support of the Real Diaper Association! Become a member or a Real Diaper Circle Leader today to help us help more families learn about the benefits of 100% reusable cloth diapers!

How to Cloth Diaper at the Hospital

During the month of May, Real Diaper Association's #getREAL campaign will provide REAL Facts about the RDA, REAL Member Advocates and cloth diapering. 
Are you ready to make a REAL difference in your community? 
Join the RDA today!


How to Cloth Diaper at the Hospital

If you follow my blog you know I have much love for cloth diapering. Some may say I'm a bit obsessed, and if you meet me you will quickly see they are right.

I started cloth diapering my son at about five months old because he was severely allergic to disposables. I knew going forward with my second child that I was definitely going to cloth diaper. I was after all a full-fledged cloth addict and was more than willing to spread the word of cloth to anyone willing to listen. I knew I wanted to save my baby the pain, and myself the heartache and frustration, and go for cloth as soon as she came earthside. This notion came out of a fear that my new baby girl would also be extremely allergic to the chemicals found in disposable diapers. Even though I was a very seasoned cloth diapering mama, I was still a little apprehensive of using cloth diapers at the hospital. I did not do it with my first, and so did not have first-hand experience with it. However, it was no longer a question of if, but how. After deep deliberation with myself, sometimes out loud, I came to the conclusion that I would approach my hospital stay with cloth diapers like I would if I were on a short getaway.

So here are my five recommendations to successfully cloth diaper at the hospital.

1- Write it Down

Yes, write it down. No, not on a post it, but in your birth plan. It's very important to write down what you expect and want for yourself and your baby. This can be a hectic and crazy time and this plan will help keep you on course and make your health care providers aware of your desires and expectations.

2- Educate Yourself (for newbies)

If this is your first rodeo, increase your chance of success, by doing the research. Ask friends who cloth diaper, talk to cloth diaper services, take a cloth class, join a Real Diaper Circle, get educated! That way you have the knowledge to pass along to your nurse if need be. (For information on how to cloth diaper and where to find local support go to

3- Bring what you need for at least a 3-4 day stay

Not packing enough was my biggest mistake. The day my baby arrived was a complete surprise, as was my c-section. Lucky for me I had a wonderful best friend who also cloth diapered so she was able to run home and do a load of diapers for me. Save yourself any worry or trouble and bring enough for 3-4 days.

4-Bring what you need, not what you want

Once you start buying diapers you may (like me) find yourself falling in love with all the colors and prints, eager to show them off. But when cloth diapering at the hospital, it's best to keep things simple. I suggest newborn prefolds and/or newborn fitted diapers and a couple of PUL covers. This is the simplest way to conveniently and successfully use cloth in the hospital for a few days. “How many?” you ask. If you are doing a mix of the two you need about 15 prefolds, 10 fitteds and about 3 covers. The great thing about covers are you can easily wipe them down and let them dry, thus not needing as many. Also, keep in mind your baby will not be eliminating as much in the first few days of life. You will also need one large wet bag or two small travel wet bags to hold soiled diapers. A couple of fasteners (like a snappi) and that's it. Simple!


That's right don't even think about it! As I said before make it absolutely clear to every nurse you have (you will have more than one) that you will NOT be using disposables diapers, so please do not fill baby's bassinet with them. Have someone write it on the chart, the door, or bassinet itself. You may be encouraged to use them, you may even be told the meconium will ruin your diapers - it won't. In fact my husband found it super easy to rinse meconium off in the toilet and I had no lasting stains at all. It could not have been any easier. Using cloth is the same as using a sposie with one exception, you throw them in a wet bag; not the garbage. Trust me when I say even this seasoned mama was a bit leery, but truly it was so simple and easy. I do warn you though, you may get plenty of questions and shocked looks. Let me encourage you by saying I was proud of what I was doing and you will be too!! So go on make cloth mainstream...I dare you!

Baby Girl In Cloth EarthSide

Tamaira Kaster, ecoCouture Baby
Real Diaper Association Advocate

From GCDC to Business Owner

During the month of May, Real Diaper Association's #getREAL campaign will provide REAL Facts about the RDA, REAL Member Advocates and cloth diapering. 
Are you ready to make a REAL difference in your community? 
Join the RDA today!

It is an honor (to have been) part of GCDC since it's beginnings. We've been involved in the Great Cloth Diaper Change since the first one (2011) and our community has grown exponentially. Today we can feel the love for cloth and say proudly in Puerto Rico: ¡Viva la Tela!

I proudly started my own business in 2011, the first cloth diaper store in Puerto Rico, a small brick and mortar called Hamaquitas y Culeros which has served to offer education and basic products for those wanting to start using cloth diapers. After that, we developed our exclusive line of cloth diapers and products made in Puerto Rico, Frankendiaper, having the opportunity to offer jobs to other moms. We are still growing and continue spreading the love for cloth diapers. We all know it is a tough job but with the satisfaction of unifying families and moms with the same ideals of the well being of our babies and our Earth.

Isila Loto, Real Diaper Advocate
San Juan, Puerto Rico
‪#‎teamfrankendiaper ‪#‎vivalatela


I Choose Cloth - I Chose Advocacy

During the month of May, Real Diaper Association's #getREAL campaign will provide REAL Facts about the RDA, REAL Member Advocates and cloth diapering. 
Are you ready to make a REAL difference in your community? 
Join the RDA today!

I love putting a natural product on my babies. Being chemical free helps our family stay safe. We enjoy being kind to the environment by lessening our trash. The cost savings is also a wonderful thing! Thank you Cloth for enriching our lives! Cloth diapering has been so rewarding for us, however, I know being part of a circle would have made it more enjoyable. It has been hard finding a cloth community local to me and outside the context of online forums. I really think a circle is an amazing way to encourage and support parents who cloth diaper and I would like to make that happen for my region.  

Anna Quartuccio, Circle Leader in Training, New Jersey

Do you have the passion to #getREAL?

During the month of May, Real Diaper Association's #getREAL campaign will provide REAL Facts about the RDA, Real Member Advocates and REAL Diapering. Are you ready to make a REAL difference in your communtiy? Join the RDA today!

Why I Choose Cloth

For me, cloth diapers were the only choice. My son was premature; his delicate skin was unable to handle the harsh chemicals of disposable diapers. In fear of the same reaction with my second child, we cloth diapered right out of the gate. I even held a mini Cloth 101 class for the nurses who were in shock I even decided to cloth diaper, let alone at the hospital!

When I looked deeper into cloth diapers, it was an eye opening realization that this was not only the only choice for our family, it was the BEST choice! I knew that this would ring true for so many families. During my journey into cloth, I found that the perception of cloth diapers really had not changed in over 40 years. That is when I realized that the education for modern cloth diapering was greatly needed. My passion and my devotion to cloth diapering goes way beyond the personal choice I made for my family. As I educated myself and learned more about cloth diapering, I realized the importance it was for our community as a whole. I often found myself having conversations with other mothers about diapers in general. Cloth diapers, in my opinion, is the obvious choice. Unfortunately, many new parents and come who are not new, don’t realize that real diapers are the real choice for their family. Then after asking may questions I realized that it wasn’t so much the idea of cloth diapering, it was more about not being supported in the community, including cloth diapering in daycares, schools, etc. Here is where I see the most need!

Tamaira Kaster is a Circle Leader in Training in Ventura County, CA. 


During the month of May, Real Diaper Association's #getREAL campaign will provide REAL Facts about the RDA, REAL Member Advocates and cloth diapering. Are you ready to make a REAL difference in your community? Join the RDA today!

Real Diaper Advocates #GetREAL about why they choose cloth diapers.

"Cloth was a no brainer to us! We wanted a safe, earth-friendly option to diaper our children."

Casey Yeager, New York
Real Diaper Advocate and Circle Leader in Training

They need to see us to believe us!

April 23rd is right around the corner! Have you found your local GCDC event yet? You can still register to Host GCDC in your community for just a few more days! Join us, we're cool people!

Throughout your cloth diapering journey, I know you've heard at least one surprised response after someone learned you cloth diaper your baby. The Great Cloth Diaper Change was conceived, in part, because of how often people express disbelief that cloth diapers are "still used." Of course cloth diapers are used! They're REAL diapers. The method has stood the test of time, is safe for babies, and can be adapted to any parenting situation life throws at us.  This is why cloth diapering families are always eager to share their love for cloth with anyone who will listen. 

Our annual Great Cloth Diaper Change event gives us the opportunity to share that enthusiasm around the globe. This year we have 18 countries participating in the change! It's truly amazing! When Judy Aagard came up with the idea for the very first GCDC, she organized a community building event to bring cloth diapering families together for a little bit of fun. GCDC has always been free and open to the public so that anyone can come and try out a cloth diaper for themselves. We hang out, change our babies, share a Saturday morning with our tribe, and we show the world that, "Yes! People do choose cloth!" 

Join us as we promote the Great Cloth Diaper Change throughout the month of April with a fun photo challenge.  We want to see your favorite photos showcasing your experience as a cloth diapering family.  We have chosen a theme for each day from April 1st - April 23rd. Share one photo per day, according to the theme. Be sure to include the hashtags #GCDC2016 and #realdiapers with every post and tag your local event as well. 

On April 23, share a photo of yourself after you've attended your GCDC event, and tell the world #Ichooseclothbecause ...

Perhaps you choose cloth because it saves your family money. Maybe you choose cloth because you can't stand the thought of throwing that much poopy plastic into the ground to slowly decompose for 500 years, or because you make it a point to choose simple, reusable items for your family, or because you just can't get enough of natural fibers. There are more reasons than I can list here! 

Join our GCDC Photo Challenge and let the world see all the things we love about simple, reusable, cloth diapers. 

We'll choose a winner at the end of the challenge so make sure your photo is public, and tagged. Some of our local events are offering participation prizes and others are joining just for fun. Either way, this is the time to proudly wave your cloth diaper flag! Visit our Facebook page to see our daily example photos.