Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How to Make Your Own Cloth Diapers.

I love cloth diapers! With my twins I used the old fashioned prefold with pins. I liked them because I wasn't always having to go buy diapers. Washing a load of diapers was a lot easier than hauling two infants to Wal-Mart for diapers, let me tell ya!I also felt good about keeping HUNDREDS of diapers out of a landfill. However, those old prefolds weren't much fun. They leaked on occasion and that wasn't fun when there were two messes to clean up!

When I learned I was pregnant with my daughter, I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers with her but I also knew the old kind wasn't going to work in my busy household. I cruised the internet and found a lot of wonderful patterns to make your own fitted diapers and diaper covers. For the diapers I relied mostly on this pattern. After a bit of trial and error, I made a few adjustments which I will get to in a minute.

I attacked my closet, my husband's closet (sshh, don't tell him), my fabric stash, cheap (and ugly) walmart fabric and the local consignment shop for all the fabric used. The pattern does say that you can use old knit t-shirts but I didn't just because I don't like to use stretchy fabrics but that is just my preference. Overall I used a variety of cotton, flannel, fleece and wool(for the covers). For the inside soaker part of the diaper I actually used the cloth diapers that I had already but you could easily use bath towels. I cut one diaper in half and used it for two diapers. They have worked great! My daughter is 11 months old and has been in cloth diapers since her umbilical cord fell off and I HAVEN'T HAD ONE LEAK with these diapers. Often I can't even SMELL a dirty diaper with these. How amazing is that?

The diaper on the left is size small which I started putting on her after her umbilical cord fell off. I was afraid the diaper would rub it too much so used the fancy disposables with the belly button cut out. She only wore the size small for 2 months because I didn't attach the velcro in a way to extend their wear. It probably didn't help that she was over 9 lbs. when she was born...not exactly a size small kid!

I didn't take a shot of the mediums because I gave them away to another mom but I think you get the idea of the sizes.

The diaper on the right is a large size which she started wearing about the age of 10months. I am anticipating that this size will last her until she is potty trained.

Here they are open...duh, didn't really need to tell you that did I? I did add longer pieces of elastic down the leg openings and across the back. I used 3/8" elastic; 1/2" might work well too. I found 1/4" just wasn't strong enough to gather together all the layers.

This is the major diversion I took from the pattern. The pattern called to place the velcro tab inside the diaper (left) but when you do that the diaper isn't as adjustable. With the large diapers (right) I placed the soft velcro tab so it extends outside the diaper. By doing so the tabs will overlap when closed when the baby is smaller but will grow with the baby and will be able to wear the diaper for much longer. I also make sure I used a larger size velcro since at the age she was wearing the large diapers she is so much more active and the large velcro helps keep everything securely in place.

After much searching I found this great pattern for the diaper covers where I could print off an actual pattern for 5 different sizes. This is by far the best diaper cover pattern/instructions I found anywhere.

Do make sure that you felt any wool sweaters you decide to use a few times before you cut them up to make these covers. I didn't felt mine enough and they shrank a whole size and I was unable to use the first few I made.

If you are thinking about using cloth diapers and entertaining the idea of making your own..don't let these patterns scare you. They aren't that hard and they are SO CHEAP to make! With a little creativity and imagination you can obtain most of your fabric for free. I'd love to see any diapers you make and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I'd love to help! Good luck!

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