Baby Care, Crafts and Sewing, Green Products

Homemade Cloth Diapers

changing-tableI used disposable diapers with Maggie and Joshua (in 2000 and 2003) but during my pregnancy with Samuel, I started looking into cloth diapering. I simply wanted to save money and avoid unnecessary waste. I decided on one-size, waterproof covers (EconoBums) and basic prefolds. I started when he was five months old. I liked them…until he was mobile, then it became a losing battle trying to keep everything from shifting around inside the cover. Leaks were a problem and it just didn’t seem like it could be comfortable at all (though he never showed discomfort). I decided I wouldn’t use them if/when we had another baby.

A few months into my pregnancy with Elizabeth, I started looking (again) at cloth diapering options.  I liked the look and concept of pocket diapers but I was frustrated by the cost of most of them.

I decided to do something that totally shocked me – I was going to look into making my own! I wanted to learn more about sewing anyway, so why not learn on cloth diapers?

And I did it! I made forty one-size, pocket diapers in eight different colors.

diaper

It took me over a month to do. I made some mistakes, which I’ll get to further into the post, but here’s how I first made them:

Making the Diapers

I searched the web and found inspiration from a YouTube video, then printed and put together a paper pattern that was provided in the video’s description. Her diapers were not waterproof (they were meant to be worn with a cover) but I decided I could make mine waterproof by using a layer of PUL inside.

So, I bought three kinds of fabric: Flannel for the outer layer, PUL for the waterproof layer, and microfleece for the inner layer. I spent a fair amount of money…probably between $75 and $100 when all was said and done, but that was for forty diapers! And that was significantly discounted by using JoAnn coupons and my educator discount card.

I then did all the fabric cutting, assembling and sewing. I attached Velcro to use as the closure, but I only did this with ten of the diapers – the rest I’d planned to do once baby Elizabeth came because I was burnt out from all the sewing I’d done and also because I wasn’t sure how the Velcro was going to do and didn’t want to regret it.

Related post: Our {Cloth and Disposable} Changing Station 

Newborn Cloth Diapers?

I also made ten newborn diapers in the same way, but I had to make my own pattern. I used the same design as the one-size (OS) but just scaled it down.

I had planned to use disposables with Elizabeth for the first few weeks and then transition to cloth – at least part time – but that didn’t happen. The newborn diapers I made were just a little too small for her when I first attempted to put them on her at two weeks old. I guess because she weighed 8lbs 10oz at birth. I was bummed about that! I actually put the cloth newborn diapers in with our baby dolls stuff, lol.

Related post: The Benefits of Cloth Diapering Before Six Months

Beginning to Wear Homemade Diapers

When Elizabeth was six weeks old, I began using the one-size diapers I’d sewn. I couldn’t use the Velcro-ed ones because it makes the waist too large, but that will be fine once she’s bigger. I’m glad I decided to wait on the other thirty diapers otherwise I wouldn’t be able to use them without modifying them. But then how am I closing them? With diaper pins. I can’t believe you can actually still buy diaper pins at the store, but you can!

diaper-pins

I hadn’t been able to decide what I wanted to do for the inserts while I was still pregnant (again, I was burnt out!) and just left it alone until it got closer to the time that I was actually going to start using them. Well, I decided on wash cloths. Just everyday, normal wash cloths used in the bath. They’re really soft and absorbent. Instead of stuffing one into the pocket, though, I just place it on the inside of the diaper. For now, they work fine but we’ll have to do something else once she’s crawling. I bought three packs at Walmart and spent about $12.

early-cloth-diapers

Do they leak? Do they contain blowouts?

Unfortunately, they tend to leak at the leg gusset(s) if not changed promptly. This is, I’m sure, for two reasons. One, they will fit her more snuggly when attached with Velcro instead of the diaper pin. I only pin the two folds, not the other part, because I’m scared I’ll poke her. And two, I used microfleece as the inner fabric and (apparently!) it is water resistant so it wicks away moisture…to the leg openings. Fabulous :| So, I’m thinking about getting a few of those plastic-y covers to put over the diaper, at least while she’s napping. And if/when I make more diapers, I will NOT be using microfleece!

These diapers are awesome for poop, though! lol They completely contain blowouts, thank goodness. It’s amazing! Anytime she soils a disposable diaper, it goes up her back, but never while wearing cloth.

after the bath

Part-time Cloth Diapering

So, we use cloth while at home, Monday through Friday. I still use disposables while we’re out, in the evenings, and on the weekends. And I don’t feel bad. :) I will likely switch to cloth for outings and weekends in the future, but for now this works best for me.

10 thoughts on “Homemade Cloth Diapers”

  1. Valerie you are such a smart lady ! I used cloth diapers because there was very few choices in the 1960’s. I never once thought about making them. Clever idea! BTW I still have one of my son’s diaper pins! I kept it as a momento .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I really wasn’t sure I could do it but seeing all the ladies making them for Etsy was encouraging! And I learned a fair amount about sewing (like elastic!) during the process. ^_^

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