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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was just thinking about how much cloth diapering has changed in the time I have been doing it (only about 4 years). And I got to thinking what it must have been like long ago when you hand washed and the like. I wish my great grandmother was still alive so I could ask her about it. But, I was wondering back in the early 1900's did they have covers? I would assume not because plastic wasn't around. So did they just wrap a baby in a diaper and when it was damp change it? How did that work??? Or did they use ECing practices more? Just wondering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok, so I was too curious to wait and found this info:
It wasn't until the 1940's that a plastic cover was made and the first pre-fold was in the 1950's Prior to that many moms did ECing and would just air dry soiled or wet diapers :0 Wow...we are blessed to be using cloth in this era! Here is a fun link...http://www.diaperjungle.com/diaper-h...-timeline.html
What kind of surprises me is that it seems like wool soakers weren't used through out history. I would think that would have been the grand solution, easy to make, water proof and for most a textile that would have been easily acquired. Hum...
 

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I have a knitting book copyright 1948 with instructions to make soakers (doesn't say how to use them but I assume its for diaper covers). I wouldn't be surprised to find soaker patterns in older sources too (I haven't really looked). People certainly wore wool underwear and socks (men and boys too were expected to know how to knit their own- at least in Colonial America) and women wore wool clothing when cooking on open hearths b/c of fire retardant properties. People would have been well aware of wool's properties. I don't know anything about colonial era daipers, but I do know that kids and babies wore cut-down an repurposed adult clothes. Boys and girls both into the 1900s exclusively wore dresses/shifts, and that certainly makes sense if you think of sopping dipes and/or EC. I am sure diapers and covers were made out whatever scraps and rags people had available. Textile or apparel curators at museums would probably know more about this sort of thing- or could easily find out- or someone working in costumes at a living history museum. What was available as manufactured products and what families were actually using in their households might be very divergent in the early 1900s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
I have a friend in her 70s, and she remembers her MIL knitting soakers for the grandbabies.
It totally makes sense that this would be the best option. I just found it interesting that that site didn't say they were used. Thanks for sharing. I really can't wait to ask my grandma about it at christmas!
 

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My mom raised all three of us (children) with just prefold cloth diapers in Korea. There was no diaper covers. No fasteners. From the picture, what I see is just prefold diaper and rubber band around our waist to hold the diaper.

My mom handwashed all the diapers (no laundry machine back then). She boiled them in the hot water to sanitize/remove stains. Sun dried all the cloth diapers.

My grandmother lived with us and she potty trained us by one year. More like EC. I remember we had a little potty in our room (not in the bathroom). And the potty was simply a metal bowl. Whenever we had to go, my grandmother simply placed the bowl under us. (we didn't go to the potty, she knew when we had to go and simply brought the bowl to us) All Korean caregivers make certain sound (sheeeeeee) like a S sound (which is similar to sound of the water running) whenever young children go to potty. It helps to associate the sound and need to go pee.

My cousin was potty trained by 6 months and my aunt tells me that she did not wet the bed at night!

None of the Korean houses had carpet. All hardwood or something similar to hardwood covered with paper-like/oil-like covering. So, there was no need to worry if babies accidently wet the floor. Simply wipe and clean.
 

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Yeah, I think covers are a pretty new thing. I know some of my parenting books from the 70s talk about how you will have to change the bed sheets every morning, and how if there is the slightest rash you should banish plastic pants.
 

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I have a half dozen pictures of my grandmother and her younger siblings each as babies (my grandmother died almost 4 years ago, she'd be in her late 70's now) and all of them have the same white floursack diapers held with safety pins and no covers on them. (I asked my great-granny about it once after seeing the pics the first time as a teenager, grandmother was born during the depression and granny was a cook at the hospital so they had access to flour sacks apparently and used to pinch one on occassion to make flat diapers from)
 
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