Image: Newborn Wrapped in Towel, by Florenciaaldaco on Pixabay

Image: Classic Turkish Cotton Bath Towel Sets | Thick and Soft Terry Cloth | Hotel and Spa Quality Bath Towels | Made With 100% Turkish Cotton
Turkish Cotton Bath Towel Sets
I cannot find good terrycloth by the yard either.

I use thick terry towels to make doublers, that I find on good sales.

Like Mervyn's, Sam's (like Price Club or Cosco) Walmart, etc.

This is the only way to go in my opinion... the other stuff is not absorbent enough!

My sister-in-law asked someone who makes a business of it.

She said to order true thick terry toweling by the yard you had to order something like 200 yards... ouch!

So I use towels. I end up not wasting a lot, because I use the ends for cloth menstrual pads.

You can always use your older towels, and then buy yourself the new ones too!

The older ones, unless showing signs of serious wear, will do just fine and they are more absorbent because of more washings.

Hope this helps!

Thanks to Christy for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Baby with puzzled look reclining in highchair, by Ben Husmann on freeimages

When my son started feeding himself, I got tired of cleaning up the sticky mess he left under his highchair.

Image: Paw Legend Washable Highchair Splat Floor Mat - Anti-Slip Silicone Spot Splash Mess Mat(53x53)- Food Catcher Art Craft Leak Proof Mat
Highchair Splat Floor Mat
So I went to Walmart and found they had rolls of heavy-duty clear plastic in two thicknesses, about 60" (152cm) wide.

I bought a 60"x30" (152x76cm) piece and cut one to fit under his high-chair - 30"x30" (76x76cm).

You could use a tablecloth from the Dollar Store, but since it's on the floor, I found the heavy-duty plastic lasted longer and didn't tear.

Image: Splat Mat for Under High Chair/Arts/Crafts | Reusable Waterproof Anti-slip Floor Splash Mat | Portable Play Mat and Table Cover
Splat Mat for Under High Chair
I still had a second piece of plastic left, so I put the second piece under his car-seat in the car, to protect our seats from wet, muddy or snowy boots and any food or drink spills.

You could reuse it when your little one gets older, and starts doing fingerpainting, easel painting, arts and crafts.

Or a picnic mat at a park, as a table cover for playtime, and just about anywhere you need extra protection.

Another idea is a Clear Heavy Duty Tablecloth Protector available in most dept stores, and maybe your local Dollar store?

Thanks to Cathy for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Sanitary towels, Sunny Days, by Yanasha Itch on

Image: Gerber Prefold Gauze Cloth Diapers | feature soft 100% cotton fabric | feels soft on baby's delicate skin
Gerber Prefold Gauze Cloth Diapers
I use cloth menstrual pads (or did before I got pregnant, anyway!).

I use my old cheapie cloth diapers - Gerber prefold diapers - the kind you can buy at Amazon, Target or K-Mart.

Those things are worthless in my opinion as baby diapers, but GREAT as menstrual pads!

I just fold them into the right size (shorter for daytime, longer for night-time), and place inside a snug-fitting cotton panty.

I almost NEVER have leaks or slippage - in fact, less than I did with disposable pads. Yeast infections are history, and washing is no big deal.

I just keep an extra diaper pail in the bathroom and toss in the used pad (and often a washcloth - much nicer to cleanse oneself with at that time of the month than toilet paper!). It is a dry pail.

The first time I did this, I soaked, and the smell was HORRID!

Took FIVE washes to get them clean again.

With the dry pail, there is no odor problem.

Image: Simfamily 7 Pieces Set Including 1 Piece Mini Wet Bag +6 Pieces 8 Inch Charcoal Bamboo Panty Liner Mama Cloth Menstrual Pads Reusable Sanitary Pads
Charcoal Bamboo Panty Liner
When my cycle is done (about 4-5 days), I just toss everything in the washer and run a cold cycle to rinse them.

Then I add detergent (my homemade stuff!), baking soda, and fabric-safe bleach or whitener.

Sometimes vinegar, if I think of it. Hot cycle, and then they go into the dryer.

Stains are minimal, and I don't care if they're stained anyway - no one sees these but me!

Best of all - the cost to me was essentially nothing, as I'd purchased the diapers years ago for my babies (and used them quite unsuccessfully - just not absorbent enough!).

Thanks to Amy for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Make Your Own Cloth Menstrual Pads Pattern

Make-Your-Own Frugal Cloth Menstrual Pads

Reusable Menstrual Products

Image: washing laundry in India, by alheyse on Photobucket

I've been meaning to post to you my letter which ran in the New York Times Sunday, August 1st.

It was a response to a June 27 article Taking Children to Exotic Places which told parents to use disposable diapers when traveling.

I would be happy to discuss diapering issues further with anyone who is traveling soon to India! -- Sujata

To the Editor:
I spent three months traveling with my baby daughter in India, and I have one tip contrary to Martha Stevenson Olson's advice: forget disposable diapers for travel and use cloth diapers instead.

Disposables, especially those with plastic exteriors, are too hot for warm countries.

They cause diaper rash, and public health problems in developing countries without good trash collection and landfills.

It's also inconvenient to have to keep looking for poorly made disposables at twice the United States price.

I brought my cloth diapers to India, and this turned out to be a wonderful convenience.

I never ran out, and they were washed daily for a minimal charge at all hotels and resorts.

While staying in a private home in Calcutta, I contacted an agency providing a cheerful young woman to wash baby laundry, and do nanny duty -- all for just $1.50 a day.

I bet similar excellent help is available in other countries.

Thanks to Sujata for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Photo Credit: Washing laundry in India, by Alheyse

Image: Baby wipes and cleaning rags. Week 6 for Needle Down. Fabric is mostly scrap from old clothing, by J. Whyte on Flickr

For cloth wipes, I make my own, and I am not a good sewer.

I bought some diaper flannel and just double layered it cut the size I wanted, and doubled it.

Image: Ubbi Baby Wipes Dispenser | Baby Wipes Case | Baby Wipes Holder with Weighted Plate, Keeps Wipes Fresh and Non-Slip Rubber Feet
Baby Wipes Dispenser

I did a single stitch around (with a machine), leaving a small hole so I could turn it inside out, and then stitched the edge again.

I bought three yards of diaper fabric, and have plenty of wipes.

Mine would fit in a standard disposable wipes container.

I have also used old receiving blankets to make wipes.

Thanks to Kellie for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Wool Blanket photo, by Pascal THAUVIN on FreeImages

I am curious if you know any tips for making a wool mattress protector or puddle pad? I searched your site but didn't see anything. I figure it doesn't hurt to ask.

Thanks, I love your site, Jen

A frugal wool mattress protector would be to buy a used wool blanket or rug from Goodwill, Value Village, Salvation Army, etc. and put that under your sheets.

Readers - any other suggestions?

Image: Ooohhh...Baby Wipes, by Mitch Bennett on Flickr

Image: Prince Lionheart EVO Wipes Warmer | Features new water reservoir | keeping wipes moist longer than before
Prince Lionheart
I always have used a Prince Lionheart wipe warmer.

Most of the time I use it with just water, occasionally with ONE DROP of True Lavender Pure Essential Oil.

I unplug the warmer at the first diaper change of the day and plug it in again at pajama time.

It stays warm enough all day.

I don't plug it in at all in warmer weather, it's just a convenient place to hold wipes!

Thanks to Kimberly Walsh for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Baby Changing Table, by HeyMattAllen on Pixabay

Image: Summer Infant Ultra Plush Change Pad Cover
Summer Infant Ultra Plush Change Pad Cover
I borrowed a changing table from a relative with MAJOR splits in it.

I used duct tape over the splits, then I bought a cover -- it is a stretchy terry one that works great -- at Walmart for about $5.00.

I also have some from Kooshies made of super soft flannel -- I bought them at Toys r Us -- they sometimes have sales on all Kooshies stuff. These were about $10.00.

Image: 4Pcs Bed Sheet Holder, Luxsego Fasteners Suspenders Gripper, Adjustable and Elastic Straps Clips for Various Bed Sheets, Mattress Cover, Sofa Cushion, Hospital Beds, Inflatable Beds
Bed Sheet Holders

After using these covers for a while -- I realized I could achieve the same thing with receiving blankets and those elastic clip thingy's you use to keep sheets in place.

Anyway - I love my new DIY covers -- the baby never has to touch cold plastic, and my DIY covers are super easy to keep clean - just throw in wash!

Thanks to Lisa for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Money Laundering, by Karen Barefoot on freeimages

Here's an excerpt from idalog: Alternatives in Diapering: Comparison of Alternatives:

Following are sample calculations.
Practices, supplies, and utilities cast vary.
You can insert your own current costs for a personalized total.

6,500 diaper changes over 2.5 years represents an average of 7-8 changes/day (10-11 for newborns, 5-6 for 2-year olds.)

Laundry (based on 6,500 diaper changes), 24 diaper changes/washload = 271 loads:

Detergent (@ 27 cents/load x 271 loads) $73.17;

Diaper pail additive (200ml of vinegar @ 15 cents/load) $40.65;

Water and sewer (for 4 toilet flushes, 16 gal; 1 normal wash cycle, 45 gal; rinsing and filling pail, 7 gal. Total of 68 gal. @ $.0067 = 46 cents/load) $124.66;

Natural gas to heat water (20 cu.ft. of natural gas @ $.0015 = 3 cents/load) $8.13;

Power to run dryer (5.76 kw/hr. for 1 hr., 5.76kwh @ 7 cents = 40 cents/load) $108.40;

Power to run washer (.76 kwh@ 7 cents = 5 cents/load) $13.55;

Depreciation on washer and dryer (16 cents for washer + 9 cents for dryer = 25 cents/load [a] ) $67.75 = $436 ($1.60/load). [b]

To calculate labour costs for home laundering, allow at least 40 hours over 2.5 years. [c]

[a] A $600 washer is estimated to last a family of 4 for 12 years.
Based on 6 loads/wk x 624 wks., a washer will wash 3,744 loads before having to be replaced.
$600 / 3,744 loads = 16 cents/load.
Dryer is estimated to last 15 years and dry 4,680 loads.
$400 / 4,680 loads = 8.5 cents/load.

[b] Laundromat: detergent $73.17, vinegar $40.65, flushing $29.05 = $142.87 + washing ($1.25 x 271 loads = $338.75) + drying ($1.00 x 271) = $752.62.

[c] 8-10 minutes per load x 271 loads = 40 hours.
Time test assumed:
10 washer and dryer in the basement;
20 no-fold diapers left in basket until used (i.e. no folding or stacking); and 3) exclusion time when washer or dryer runs unattended.

Thanks to Grace for this Frugal Baby Tip!

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