Saturday, September 19, 2009

A bit of history....

I was reading through the Real Diaper Association web page and saw they were looking to interview people from older generations to get the scoop on cloth diapering back in the day. It reminded me of the chats I used to have with my Great Aunt Jenny about cloth diapering. When she saw Adrian's diapers she thought they were so neat and proceeded to tell me ALL about how it was done when her son was a baby. Well, Aunt Jenny passed away almost 2 years ago, while Charlie was in the NICU. And I may be the only person who would remember such conversations in detail, so I think it is a good idea to get it down and preserve a little history. :-D

So Aunt Jenny had one child, Davey, back in ??? 1950 something? She used old-fashioned pinked flats with pins and mostly WOOL for covers! How neat to meet someone else who used wool. :-) Most people then used plastic pants. Wool went out of style a long time before. But her mom remembered how nice it was and made her 3 or 4 pull-up soakers. So she kept a bucket in the bathroom and put the dirties in there. She said she would hand wash them several times a day, after she had about 4 diapers to wash. She said it only took about 5 minutes 2-3 times a day in the wash sink and since she had limited drying space, it worked out well. She hung them right out the bathroom window. The flats were good quality and never wore out, even though she used the same ones from birth to potty-training. She even had one still pinned on a doll in her house, 50 years later! She showed me what a "pinked" edge was and was horrified when I showed her what a flat looks like now, with a rolled hem. LOL She thought it would be uncomfortable for the baby. I showed her wool now...longies and shorties and the wonderful colorways and emellishments. She was amazed until she saw how much they cost. And she said simple was fine. Oh, and she didn't know anything about lanolizing wool...she just used it as-is and said it worked great.

So that's Aunt Jenny's cloth diapering experience. A lot simpler than it is now, what with all the choices in diapers and additives in soap and worrying about drying times. I think she was on to something with the flats and wool. Simplicity at it's best. :-)


RDAHeatherMc said...

What a fantastic oral history from Aunt Jenny! It's stuff like this that needs to be preserved from generation to generation. Thank you for sharing.

Lori said...

Shauna, that is so great that you know all of this about your aunt. May RDA add this story to our Your Grandmother Should Know archive? Is there possibly more to add?

I have often thought that if I had it all to do over again I would go very simple. Flat diapers and wool do the job. Love it!

Real Diaper Association

Shauna said...

That's all I can really remember about what she told me. Her daughter in law talked with us one time. She had twin girls in the 70's and used prefolds, pins, and plastic pants. She said she had 9 dozen prefolds for the girls! And she had a washer and dryer so nothing out of the ordinary there.

Our fancy new diapers have started a LOT of conversations over the years! Oh and the twin daughters each had a daughter the same age and they were teens when I last saw them...they both said they were going to use cloth after they saw ours. ;-)

And of course you can add our story!