Friday, 7 March 2014

A SENSIBLE CLOTH DIAPER TEST - waste not, want not

My partner (Daddy moss) will be cloth diapering for the first time this April.  Like many using cloth for the first time he asked "how do you know the diapers will work?"  I told him I just do based on fabric choices.   He wished he could just see that they do.  OK, I get that.mp60;

But I also think the other cloth diaper tests I have seen are a little ridiculous.   As I've said the diaper doesn't need to absorb 1/2 a cup of fluid or more, and it certainly doesn't need to do so all at once. 

So why not test to see that it functioning in a realistic way?  Yeah I can do that.  Now I do have 2 versions to test, plus a night wrap.  And since I was contemplating weathered to use 1 or 2 layers of batting in my %100 cotton version, rather then going with more to just be safe, why not use this as a way of seeing if I need 1 or 2 layers?

See I was raised by environmentalists. And an environmental lifestyle is more then recycling, less garbage, upcycling and all natural.  Being environmental is also about not consuming more then you need.  That's why with baby #5 I bought the baby basic fitted diaper by Kushies over the ultra; because I knew the multiple extra layers were 1. Un-necessary (in amount of materials consumed and money spent) & 2. Longer to dry, which can result in an increase in energy usage. 

So I'll use this as a test to see what is needed. 

WHAT A DIAPER NEEDS TO DO:
• Hold 2-3 urinary outputs for daytime use, a bit more at night. 
* rather then leave baby in a diaper all night I tend to change baby again when I go to bed so as not to leave baby in a wet diaper longer then needed.

That means the diaper needs to hold about 1 1/2 oz of urine (a baby urinates about a 1/2 ounce per pee, or 1 tablespoon).  Also it doesn't come all at once, but over time. 

HOW WILL I TEST WHAT IS NEEDED:
1. I will lay out the 3 diaper versions (with a liner) on  some toliet paper:
• diaper A - first prototype with zorb and bamboo Terry
• diaper B - all cotton with core made up of 2 layers cotton needles batting
• diaper C - all cotton. With core made up of 1 layer batting, 1 layer flannel.

2. Next I will pour 1 tbsp of coloured warm water on each diaper.

3. I will repeat every 20 minutes, checking toilet paper for signs of leak. 

4. Results: I will score each as pass or fail. 

5. The diaper that is made of the least amount of fabric receiving a pass will be tested in the same manner with a night wrap and liner  

6. Record results.   Some babies need 1 night time liner, some need 2. 

I like that this will do two things:
1. Use only what is needed to make a good diaper that properly functions without wasting resources (making it more environmental).  2. Show that my diaper is a great and reliable choice.

Note about the test:
Because I am testing before all these diapers are sewn (so I can make a good decision), these diapers have not yet been pre-washed.  Cloth diapers (particularly prefolds) need 3-5 pre-washes to get rid of natural oils ands fluff them.  This makes them more absorbent.  consequently these diapers will be more absorbent when finished then at the time of this test.

And now onto the test. 
1. Diapers A, B, C (left to right).

2. Pour one tblsp of warm coloured water onto each. I added some compression since baby would have diaper against the body.

3.Re-testing after 20 minutes. 3. Again, another 20 minutes 4. Every diaper received a pass. Each one staying dry after 3 urinary outputs if an average baby amount of 1 tblsp. At this point a diaper should be changed (at the latest), even if the diaper is still dry.

5. A construction of flannel / batting core / flannel core / flannel is all that is needed in this diaper. The diaper is fully functional without access use of material. So now we test it with a night wrap.

6. Added night wrap and continue testing And another round (that's 5) RESULTS AND COMMENTS: After 5 urinary outputs or 5 tablespoons , both pieces of toliet paper are still dry. I can feel dampness on the outside of the prefold diaper for the first time. This is with one liner. If baby sleeps more then 5 hours, or is a heavy wetter you would add a second liner (as is common nighttime practice). Yay. My diaper passed. *big smiles* I now feel very confident I have created a great diaper and am also pleased with my prefold hybrid gathered leg design. Yep, these are a good diaper to proudly sell to others and use in my own newest baby.