Brrr….baby it’s cold outside! The winter storm just hit and you have just lost power…now what? The bad thing about power outages is that you have no idea how long it will be before it comes back on. It could be later today – it could be next week! If you cloth diaper, this brings in another hurdle you weren’t prepared for. Most cloth diapering parents don’t keep disposables in the house and if the power is out, the roads are usually pretty bad too! Don’t panic, there are a few things that may work for you….
Challenge #1: You run out of clean diapers before the power comes back up!
Solution #1: Chances are you are out of hot water too but most people still have water when their power is out. However, since you don’t have power you can’t wash in your machine. You can hand wash your diapers in a sink, tub, basin, or bucket though. You can read more about how to hand wash your diapers in our Flat Cloth Diaper section.
You can use the tips above even when washing pockets, AIOs and other styles of diapers. Just note that they won’t dry as quickly as flat diapers.
Challenge #2: You don’t have water or power and you’re out of clean diapers!
Solution #2: Grab your receiving blankets, kitchen towels, or tshirts and turn them into diapers!! Any absorbent material can be used as a diaper. You can reuse a diaper cover or shell to cover the insert materials. If you don’t have water supply at all, you may end up reusing a cover a few times before it’s too dirty to use it any longer. If you have access to water (even just a small amount), you can rinse the covers and let them air dry before using them again. Other materials that can be used as covers include fleece or wool pants/shorts/covers/pajamas. There is a great list of resources on the Dirty Diaper Laundry blog on how to make diapers from tshirts. Worst case, you use the tshirt diapers and just change them as soon as they are wet (without a cover). It may not be ideal but it will work if you really need a diaper.
Before the storm arrives! If you know in advance that a storm is approaching here are some tips for you to prepare in advance before you lose power.
Handy cloth diapering resources to have available during a storm:
- Storage bin for emergency supplies
- Camp style washer or hand washing supplies
- Flat cloth diapers, flour sack towels, or tshirts
- Diaper covers
- Back up stash of disposables
- Jugs of water
- Roll of quarters (if you can get to a laundry mat)
If you know a storm is approaching, now would be a good time to catch up on your diaper laundry. You could even fill the bath tub up with water just in case you need to hand wash. If you have to evacuate, be sure to carry along your emergency bin of supplies.
Additional links and resources:
How to prepare an emergency kit when you cloth diaper, The Eco Chic blog.
10 Things to do before a power outage, The Eco Friendly Family blog.
How to make a camp style washer, Dirty Diaper Laundry blog.
How to handwash cloth diapers, Dirty Diaper Laundry blog.