Diapering During An Emergency (Or the SHTF)

When you first become a parent, one of the decisions you have to make is the type of diapers you use for your little bundle of joy. Cloth or disposables? A lot of people will already have an answer in mind. When the SHTF, will your choice still be the same?

In the current state of our world, we are relatively free to make decisions about how we will raise our children. There may be many factors that may contribute to our decision making process, including:

  • Is the environment important to me?
  • Do I have the time to commit to cleaning them?
  • Do I need an option that is convenient?
  • How much money am I willing to spend?

Cloth Diapers

I always knew that I wanted to use cloth diapers. When you consider the impact on the environment, cloth diapers certainly win the question of what is going to cause less waste.

They tend to win the cost factor as well. You can expect to pay anything from $200 for a second hand diaper stash up to thousands if you’re buying them brand new. However, this still works out cheaper than buying a pack of disposables every week. Even if you are buying the disposables in bulk, you would have to get a really good deal to be able to beat the savings to be made with cloth.

Disposable Diapers

The convenience of disposables is undeniable. As much as it hurts the earth loving mama in me to admit, being able to roll up that ball of destruction and throw it in the bin is certainly convenient. No rinsing, pre-washing or stain removing. Washing, let alone the time spent hanging them out, bring them back in and folding them, certainly adds up.

When our family moved interstate, we were staying in temporary accommodation and didn’t have regular access to a washing machine. This means that when it comes to diapers, we had to either go to the laundry mat or use disposables. Yes, we took the convenient option. To make myself feel a bit better about this decision, we chose to go with compostable disposables. This bumped the price up.

I never thought that we would be in a position to want to use disposables. Overnight and outings are often times where even people using cloth may consider using an alternative. We were still happy using cloth. Our experience taught me one thing.

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Cloth diapering is completely and utterly impractical if the SHTF.

When you’re considering the items for your bug out bag, you will not be reaching for the bulky cloth parcels that would take up the majority of the space. You won’t be more than doubling your drinking water stash to make sure that you have enough to be able to wash them.

You’ll be packing disposables.

Cheap, easy to stock up on, disposables.

Of course, there is an exception to this. If you were in a long term situation where you had constant access to clean water and could wash cloth diapers, it may be more achievable and could even be more practical. Rather than trying to find a constant supply of disposables, you could try and make cloth diapers work.

If you need to pack diapers in your bug out bag:

  • Do a test run with your baby first – You don’t want to find out later on that the brand leaks or that your baby has an adverse reaction to them.
  • Keep an eye on your stockpile –  As with your other emergency supplies, they will need to be rotated. Good luck trying to diaper a toddler with newborn sized diapers because you forgot to do this.
  • Don’t forget the other accessories – As a parent, you already know that diapers aren’t the only part of the baby cleaning process. You’ll need to make sure you have a solution for wipes and creams as well.

There is always one more option. Hope that toilet training becomes easy and that your baby miraculously picks it up really fast!

Dreams are free right?


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