Make Your Own Cloth Diapers

I'm trying hard to have another baby, but don't want to use the disposable diapers like I did with my first. Actually, I had to use those store-bought diapers with him because he needed to be in daycare, and they don't allow cloth diapers.

When I worked as a nanny (over the last 4 years), the main family I cared for used fabric diapers. The mother bought them on e-bay and through friends who'd outgrown their use. The fabrics ranged from tiger stripes to plain blue or green to cute animals. Most had an insert that was cute useful, especially for these boys!

Whether or not I get pregnant again (I'm quite old!), I recommend families with young children to use something that will not harm the Earth further. Here's a bit of information on making your own diapers:

You Need:
  • Fabric - anything made from cotton will do just fine. Look around your home to re-purpose clothing, receiving blankets, shirts, old flannel sheets, towels, etc. You could also browse yard sales and remnant sections at fabric stores. I once found some great flannel material at the $1.00 table at Wal-Mart, but since Wal-Mart closed the fabric section in our neighboring stores, it will be difficult to find such deals again.

  • Notions - thread (various colors), sew-on velcro (1.5") or elastic and buttons, and 3/8" elastic.

  • Sewing Machine - you could do it by hand, but it would take longer. Be sure to have bobbins and extra needles for your machine, and keep it well oiled. Keep in mind, when sewing stitches for diapers (which get washed very often so tend to fall apart), be sure to stitch, and then back-stitch by going back over your stitches. This will help stop it from coming apart.
Here's a link showing how the author made diapers. It's demonstrated so wonderfully that I'm just linking!

Her instructions give the velcro-closure. I'm using 1-2" buttons and thin elastic loops to close the diaper. I don't like the sound of velcro in the middle of the night!

Also, for the soaker pads (insert to absorb the most liquid), I bought a lot of very cheap washcloths, and insert those. They are easy to change out and wash.

You can make your own outside covers by using water-proof material, and making them a "just-a-bit" bigger than the inside diaper so they'll fit over nice and snug. When in doubt, ask for help from the fabric store person.

To measure for sizing the cloth for the diapers, try:

The main things about using cloth diapers are:
  1. Check them often
  2. Cover with something that won't allow leakage
  3. Get rid of the poop down the toilet immediately, and
  4. As soon as the diaper is off the baby and the poo is down the toilet, throw it in your bathroom diaper pail immediately to start soaking!

Note: I hate to bring this up, but this pattern could be used to make adult diapers. Just a thought.


Jeff9 said...

The best way to clean cloth diapers is to pre-rinse them off in the toilet using a Hand Bathroom Bidet Sprayer. So convenient and if you are trying to help the environment (and your pocket book) you can give it a double whammy by virtually eliminating toilet paper use at the same time as you benefit from using it on the diapers, by using it on yourself. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off" Available at they come in an inexpensive kit and can be installed without a plumber. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain. One review:

Charndra at Part Time EC said...

'Dry Pailing' is a term to google in relation to using modern cloth and the environment!

No need to soak (and nappy sprayers are great too) Just pop them in a lidded bin with some drops of essential oil and wash when the pail is full.

Steven said...

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ThrtnWmsFam said...

Great additional info. We're working to get pregnant again, and if successful, I definitely plan to do 95% cloth diapers this time. It was almost impossible the first time, because day care facilities don't allow cloth - all must be disposable.

Welcome to all. Vikki

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