Whether you have a frugal, no-fuss stash or have gone overboard and filled an entire five-drawer dresser with your cloth diaper collection, there will come a time when your cloth diapering days have come to an end; or when a diaper or cloth diapering accessory has reached the end of its life and needs to be given a new purpose, recycled or discarded. I have been thinking lately about all of the different ways I have used cloth diapers and accessories while cloth diapering and other ways they can be used after all of your children have graduated from the diapering years.
As cloth diapering parents, we are already saving a significant amount of money compared to disposable diapers, so why not go the extra mile and save even more by continuing to use our investments, right? Assuming you have set aside all of your diapers in good condition for future children or passed them on for other bottoms to use, there are many uses for cloth diapers and accessories other than their main purpose for cloth diapering. I am sure many of you have used your diapers and accessories in some of the ways outlined below, but hopefully you will find some new inspiration, have a laugh or share your own ideas with everyone in the comments below!
*Newborn cloth diapers, size small diapers or one size diapers on the smallest setting can be used as a doll or stuffed animal diaper now or later.
*Prefolds are great to put under bottoms at night in case of accidents especially after potty training.
*Prefolds are great for cleaning the car or around the house after you are no longer using them on little bottoms of course.
*If you are throwing a baby shower, use some of your cutest and most colorful diapers pinned on a rope as an adorable garland.
*Although it may be hard to resist a reason to shop for new reusable trainers, cloth diapers can be used in most cases as trainers for potty training. You can buy separate trainers if you little one need to “big kid” motivation, but it’s not necessary.
*Wool covers can continue to be used for added protection during potty training or overnight, and are soft, snugly pants to wear around with their new big kid underwear.
*If the elastic is shot in an old one size snap-front diaper and cannot be repaired, consider cutting out a square portion of the front and using it in a quiet book or activity book page for your little ones to practice snapping!
*A pocket diaper can serve as a car sickness bag in a pinch, although make sure it’s not a sleeve style pocket diaper!
*Your baby is screaming at the top of their lungs and you’re hanging by a thread. Stick a diaper on your head, then on their head, make it a silly game and laugh off your anxiety (hopefully) turning those tears into giggles!
Inserts & Wipes
*Diaper inserts can be used to wipe up a wet slide at the playground or other messes when you are out and about.
*Cloth inserts can also be used as a cloth wipe of sorts when you’re away from home and have misplaced them, ran out or forgotten to bring them. Grab a clean insert from another diaper and it will get you through until you get home.
*As long as you are cleaning your wipes as well as you should they can easily be used to wipe sticky hands and noses, both during and after they are in diapers.
*If your “monthly visitor” comes unexpectedly a stay dry insert can be used as a mama cloth pad. A little bulky perhaps, but better than sharing your gift with the whole world.
*A wipes warmer and cloth wipes can be used for family cloth or added to your family cloth wipes collection if have already ditched the TP.
Wetbags & Pail Liners
*Laundry bag for dirty kitchen towels and bibs. I have kept a hanging wetbag on my pantry doorknob for a couple of years now, especially since I use cloth towels for the majority of my kitchen tasks and clean-up.
*Dirty laundry. Hanging wetbags are especially nice when you are traveling since you can hang it on the bathroom or closet doorknob, but any wetbag will do the trick at home or on the road.
*If your wetbag has a handle with a snap, try snapping it to the back of a headrest in the car to use as an auto trash bag to keep things a little tidier in the back seat!
*Wet swim suits. We use this the most during the summer months, but I am sure to bring one along when we are staying at a hotel with a pool and I even grab on to take to the gym when I am able to attend a water aerobics from time to time.
*Dirty, muddy or wet gear. In addition to messes your kids may bring home from the playground, a wetbag may be a nice way for anyone to carry a small wet umbrella once you are indoors so you don’t leave a wet trail behind you.
*Soiled clothes or trainers after potty training accidents. It’d also be perfect to toss one in a preschool or daycare bag for caregivers to use instead of plastic bags.
*Laundry hamper liner. This is nice for the months or years after potty training when frequent overnight or even daytime accidents occur. Toss the liner in with the load of laundry and your don’t have to bother wiping the laundry basket clean.
*If you have the kind with a drawstring, use them to store balls and outside toys in the garage.
*Use the PUL fabric from the liner to sew an art smock or apron. Alternately, use the PUL fabric to make a little splatter mat for under a highchair or art easel.
*Once your kids have started sports, toss a wetbag in their duffel for dirty and sweaty uniforms, socks, shoes or other athletic gear.
*If you purchased a diaper pail or use a kitchen trash can, go ahead and use it as a trash or recycle bin. One of the reasons I never bought a cloth diaper specific pail!
What other ways do you use your cloth diapers and accessories?