Now, i know--you'd think i'd already be doing this. Lemme 'splain our choices. First off--having done the research when he was a baby, we decided to use disposables because it really was a trade off between land waste and water waste. Since we are in drought conditions here in So Cal, i opted for land waste. I didn't think we'd still be using these things so deep into the third year. Secondly--my husband has a real problem with diapers in general--or rather the contents of them. Like, i know most guys can barely handle the whole excrement party that is a baby, but he's really got a problem. And god help us if any of that matter should decide to escape or leak! I waited around for this to change, and it never did, so we stuck with the plastic because it was that or i would never get a break from changing diapers/pull-ups. Selfish on my part? no doubt. But with selfishness comes sanity. But now that ben is no longer using tons of diapers per day, it was time to break out my pattern for diapers and pull-ups, buy some PUL (a vinyl coated material now available at my local JoAnn's) and start cutting.
I started with two large diapers. I made an All in One--with the absorbent padding already in the diaper, and a pocket diaper, where i can remove or add padding. Both worked "ok" but leakage and fit were an issue. So i moved on the training pants pattern.
I made the pattern according to his weight, which was the large. For these, having learned a lesson on the diapers, i lined the ENTIRE pant with the PUL (waterproof). But sizing was an issue on this pattern. Ben was walking around with the largest bubble butt I've ever seen, AND they still leaked (at the leg). I can't sew a seam around the leg elastic or it "pokes holes" in the PUL, which would defeat the purpose. But without the seam, the lining fabric will "roll out"and thus, the leak. A catch-22 really.
So back to my studio. I created six more the next size down and these seem to be working well. I still can't solve the leg problem--but the better fit seems to be helping. They aren't as "tight" as the plastic ones, but Ben doesn't seem to mind. In fact, he really likes these cloth ones. It helps that a few of them have items like planets and rockets to help.
I also tried a new fabric (for me) for the lining on three of these: hemp fleece. Alot of the diaper making mavens use it. I think it has anti microbial properties or some such--but it also wicks away moisture, leading to less diaper rash and such. It was a little tough on my needles--fleece & PUL made for a diffcult sewing barrier--but i managed to get through.
I've developed a washing schedule, and have the advantage of this fine weather to hang them out on the line. And since we're not dealing with "baby poop" i don't have to wash as many times as suggested for diapers (once in hot, once in cold) to keep the stink away. We still use the plastic pull-ups for going out and he'll use them for school. But at least here at home he can be comfortable with his bubble butt.