Posts tagged pocket diaper

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

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Alright, this has been a long time coming! You may remember the diaper shower that I helped throw and the cloth diapers that I whipped up for the mama to be! I promised you guys a tutorial, and a tutorial you will have. There are many reasons to make your own diapers – cute fabrics, custom fits and we averaged our cost per diaper to be about $7 a diaper – much cheaper than what pocket diapers typically sell for!

Here are the materials you need:

  • ~25″ of 1/4″ wide swimsuit elastic cut into two 6″ pieces and two 4.5″ pieces
  • 18″ x 20″ butter suede cloth (we found this at Hancocks for $5.99 a yard), there are option options that you could use, but we found that this was the cheapest and most widely available
  • 18″ x 20″ PUL Fabric
  • 1.5″ wide Aplix Hook and Loop Tape (Velcro is not a good option – it won’t stand up to the wear and tear like aplix): 14″ Loop tape and 4″ of hook tape, if you will be making lots of diapers, you could invest in plastic snaps and a snap setter, but it is a tad pricey.
  • Coordinating Polyester Thread
  • Printable Pattern (pdf) – this pattern is approximately a small/medium size diaper so I think it would fit a 6 month old up to a thin 2 year old – Jude still fits in his!

I modified the pattern because the rise seems too long and the front tab didn’t seem wide enough to me. . . Our diaper cuts ended up being a little narrow, so I modified the tabs to be a bit shorter as well. Ideally, I would have left the width on the tabs. You could also trace a cloth diaper you already have.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Using the modified pattern on the fold, trace and cut the pattern on the PUL and the butter suede.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Center 7.5″ of the loop side of the Aplix (the soft side) on the front of the PUL. Edge stitch in place.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

The pattern has marks showing where to tack the elastic, I moved the elastic up just a bit on the front of the diaper. The 6″ pieces are for the legs and the 4.5″ is for the pocket opening on the back. Using a satin stitch or a tight zig zag stitch, tack the elastic onto the wrong side of the suede cloth as shown on the pattern and this photo:

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

On the PUL, tack one 4.5″ piece of elastic on the back (if you are making a pocket diaper – if you are making a diaper cover, there is no need to double up the elastic or have the extra flap on the PUL).

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

I used quilting clips to clip the PUL and the butter suede right sides together.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Make sure to sew with the butter suede on top otherwise the PUL will stretch (you could use a teflon or walking foot if you want to sew with PUL side up). You want to start the stitching at the edge of the pocket opening – stitching around the whole diaper  leaving the pocket open. So, with the suede facing up, starting at the right side of the pocket, stitch as close to the edge as possible – making sure that you are going through both layers of fabric. Be careful not to catch the elastic in your stitching.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Here’s what the diaper will look like:

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Trim any excess fabric, especially around the curves.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Now you have to create the tubing that the elastic will sit in around the pocket. I started with the elastic around the pocket on the PUL side. Fold over the PUL using the existing stitching to guide the depth of the fold.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

With the needle in the down position, stitch down the short side to the corner and turn. Often, I would make sure to stitch over the elastic once more to secure it even further.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Carefully stitch the long side, making sure not to catch the elastic in your stitching.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

It helps to pull the fabric tight as you stitch, allowing the fabric behind the foot to bunch.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

This is what it will look like once you have encased the elastic.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Do the same for the butter suede!

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Turn right side out – it’s starting to look like a diaper now, isn’t it!

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Now it’s time to edge stitch the diaper and encase the elastic around the leg holes. With the butter suede on top, starting at the right side of the pocket, edge stitch.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

You should be able to see the tack you make to secure the leg elastic, so edge stitch until you get to the tack. Make sure the needle is in the down position. Turn and stitch about 3/8″  away from the edge. You want it to be far enough away for the elastic to have plenty of room in the casing.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Turn again to stitch parallel about 3/8″ from the edge for the length of the elastic. You will stop once you get to the second elastic tack mark. Turn and stitch the 3/8″ back to the edge.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

The stitching around the elastic casing will look like this:

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Complete the edge stitching, creating another casing around the other leg hole. Here is what the completed edge stitched diaper will look like.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Now it’s time to add the remaining aplix to the tabs. I included ‘washing’ tabs to fold the hook side down during washing to prevent snagging. These pieces around about 1.5″ wide. I rounded the corners of the pieces that will be on the ends of the tabs for aesthetics. It’s not necessary if you don’t want to create the curve.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Edge stitch the hook portion on the interior tabs of the diaper. Follow with the loop part of the aplix. Repeat on the other side.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

I included a loop piece of the aplix on the exterior of one side of the diaper to allow for crossover securing of the diaper. This isn’t necessary, but I find it nice to have.

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

Here is the completed front of the diaper:

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

And here is the back!

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

There is definitely a learning curve in making these diapers, but after you complete one, you’ll find a rhythm! I could make about four in two hours.

As far as what to insert in the diapers for absorbency,  you can use 4-6 layers of flannel or hemp sewn together with a zigzag stitch. Really any absorbant material will work – layers of old towels, cotton . . . Or you can just buy inserts!

Lots of Diapers!

Have fun making diapers with this tutorial! And let me know if you have any questions!

Cloth Diapering 101

Ahh yes, the world of fluff. CDing. Almost a lost art but lately there has been a resurgence. There are so many reasons to use cloth diapers – saving thousands of dollars, reducing the amount of trash sent to landfills, reducing baby’s exposure to chemicals. Lately I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about cloth diapering from my friends that are new mamas or expecting mamas. I thought it might be easier if I can concisely sum up some of the different methods available on the blog and talk about some of the items that have worked well with us. This is by no means an exhaustive study of all of the brands and methods out there, just some of the more common.

One size vs fitted diapers – Regardless of what method you go with, this is an option.

  • One size (fits all) diapers size up and down, usually with a series of snaps on the body of the diaper (Fuzzibuns uses elastic around the leg holes and the back). We have used both types and I prefer one size because of the cost savings. The benefit is that you never have to worry about buying diapers and covers as they grow, you just redo the snaps. The downside to using one size diapers is the bulk when they are small. Examples of these are the Bum Genius 3.0, SmartiPants and Little Beetle Wool Covers.
  • Fitted/countour diapers and fitted diaper covers are sized based on weight and age. Usually sized as S-M-L-XL. The benefit is that fitted diapers and covers are significantly less bulky. The downside is that they are significantly more expensive because you have to buy a stash in each size as your baby grows. Example of the fitted sized diaper cover is Bummis Whisper Wrap (requires a prefold, insert or contour diaper underneath). Example of a fitted diaper is Imse Via Contour diapers. Fitted diapers can come with snaps, velcro or flaps that require a snappi to secure. You can also make your own from prefolds.

Pockets vs Prefolds vs Hydrid vs. All-in-Ones (AIO)

  • Pocket diapers are exactly what they sound like: they have a pocket where you insert a absorbant core. When you wash them, you remove the absorbant core and wash both the outer and the inner. Benefits are that they don’t take too long to dry. Downside is that you have to stuff the diapers before using. Examples of this system are Bum Genius 3.0FuzzibunzSmartiPants. A stash of about 22-26 is a good place to start an exclusive stash.
  • Prefolds with covers are what most people think of when they hear cloth diapering. It’s a sized by weight rectangle of fabric that is secured with pins or a snappi and then a waterproof/resistant cover is put over it. When wet, the prefold is washed but the outer cover does not have to be unless pooped on. Benefits are that you don’t have to have as many covers (especially if you go with a one size cover), which makes this system the cheapest. Downside is you have to buy more prefolds as your baby outgrows the size you have and that this is the more difficult method and harder to teach how to put on (not the best for babysitters). An example of this is Econobums, Bummis Whisper Wrap with diaper rite prefolds. 22-24 prefolds and 4-6 covers is a good place to start an exclusive stash.
  • Hybrid – These are like a combination of prefolds and pocket diapers but without the pocket. You lay/snap the insert in the diaper and put it on. So similar to prefolds, you don’t need as many covers because you just launder the soiled insert. Another benefit is that often there are flushable inserts, disposable inserts, and cloth inserts all available within one brand. This is like gdiapers, Flip diapers, BumGenius elemental and GrowVia. 22-26 inserts and 4-6 covers is a good place to start an exclusive stash.
  • All-in-Ones are most like disposables, nothing to insert, just put on the diaper and go. Once soiled, the whole thing goes in the wash. Benefits are that it’s easy to use. Downside is they take a long time to dry. Examples of this are Rumparooz and many of the cloth diapers sold on etsy. 22-26 is a good place to start an exclusive stash.

Waterproof vs Wool

  • As you may know, we used to use Bum Genius 3.0 AIO diapers. I loved them and they are waterproof diapers. Waterproof diapers use a type of fabric called PUL or Polyurethane Laminate. That is what makes them waterproof. It contains polyester though. About 8 months into cloth diapering, Jude developed a polyester sensitivity and I had to sell the BG diapers. Benefits are that waterproof covers can be machine washed and they are inexpensive. Downsides are that they are not as breathable as wool.
  • I looked for natural alternatives and came across wool diaper covers. Wool diaper covers are not waterproof, they are water resistent because of a natural occurring compound called lanolin. When wool is on the sheep, their skin produces lanolin to coat each wool fiber. This is how sheep’s coat repel water when it rains. And once the prefold is saturated, wool diaper covers can absorb up to 30% of their weight in liquid before feeling wet. Benefits are the breathability, all fibers are natural and you can use 100% wool thrifted sweaters to make your own (or knit your own). Downside is that wool covers can be expensive, need to be handwashed with a special wool wash to restore lanolin and line dried, require more diaper changes. Examples of this are Little Beetle and Kissaluvs wool diaper pull ons.

Laundry Detergents– Cloth diapers require a different laundry detergent than your clothes for a variety of reasons. Smell control, stain control, proximity to baby’s genitals, use of fragrance/dyes/enzymes/brighteners. Rockin’ Green has worked the best for us. That being said, here’s a chart with a bunch of different options and their costs and ratings. Also, make sure to read the washing instructions that come with your diaper – they are usually very specific and sometimes if you don’t follow them, you will void the warranty on the diaper (like Bum Genius 3.0). Most of the time, you can ‘strip’ the diapers using dawn dish detergent and that will get rid of the most rank build-up and smells!

Diaper Creams – Typically, you won’t have to worry about diaper rashes when you are using cloth diapers. It is one of the benefits of increased air flow. If you do encounter a rash, the best rash cream isn’t actually a cream at all – it’s breast milk! Breast milk has antibacterial properties that heal most minor infections. Baby has an eye infection, try breast milk! I know it seems strange, but it works and it’s free. If you do find yourself needing diaper cream, you can’t use it with pocket diapers or all in ones. The cream can block the absorption and cause leaks. This is less of a problem with hybrids and prefolds, but I still might use a flushable diaper liner to serve as a layer between the bottom and the absorbant material.

Nighttime SleepingDoublers are the best solution here although we are still working on a solution for our heavy nighttime wetter. Wool just doesn’t contain the way that waterproof diapers do.

Wipes – This might be the easiest cloth diapering product to use! We use these but I’m sure any are great. If I had a serger I would have made my own. We use a spray that I make at home and it works well. Here’s the recipe:

  • Baby Wipe Solution
    1 cup water
    1 tbsp baby wash (I used Burt’s Bee’s)
    1 tbsp olive oil
    few drops of tea tree oil

    Mix together and either soak your cloth wipes or use as a spray.

Smell– Ah yes, the dreaded ammonia smell of a cloth diaper. It’s not pleasant. It’s a sign that your laundry detergent isn’t working well. It’s a sign that it’s time to do laundry. Some people will not allow the dirty diapers to sit longer than 2 days. We can make it about four before it starts to smell. Here’s what we do. We have a laundry basket lined with a large wet bag (use small wet bags when out and about) and toss soiled diapers in there. We give it a spray with some biokleen bac-out odor and stain eliminator and we’re done. No smell. Biokleen is all natural and not to expensive either. Whole Foods carries it locally or you can order it online.

Poop – This is the question that I get asked about the most when people find out I cloth diaper. How do you deal with the poo? Well when babies are exclusively breastfed, their poo is water soluble and does not smell bad. So you toss the whole soiled diaper in the wash, poo and all. Once solids or formula are introduced you have to figure out how to get that poo from the diaper to the toilet. There are several different methods. Many pocket diapers have microfiber interiors. This allows the poo to just fall right into the toilet with some shaking. You can also use flushable liners like these. Then all you do is lift the liner out of the diaper and flush. We also have a sprayer that hooks into our toilet that will spray the solids into the toilet. And really, it’s just not as bad as you think it’s going to be. Poo is supposed to go in the toilet, not the landfill.

My final thoughts

  • Buy different brands, try different types. Heck, get a kit like this one to help figure out what you like. Don’t get too sold on one system because other systems may work better for you!
  • Don’t be afraid to search craigslist for deals. A lot of times you can find ‘like new’ sets of diapers because a mom has gone back to work and the daycare won’t take the cloth diapers.
  • Register for cloth diapers. Target carries Bum Genius and FuzziBunz, Babies R Us has Flips, Econobums, Kushies, Bumpkins, FuzziBunz and gdiapers (at least online). We received almost all of our cloth diapers as gifts, reducing our diapering costs even more. You can find local stores that carry cloth diapers that will allow you to register as well.

Alright, what questions still remain? What have I missed? What works well for you and your little one if you cloth diaper?

Bum Genius Diaper Success!

The Bum Genius 3.0 fit now and they’re super easy to use! Yay for not having to depend on disposables now! We’re also still using these cloth wipes and I like them a lot. I’m about to try a homemade diaper wipe solution that I will spray on the wipes before using.  I’ll share the recipe if it’s successful. We’ve been using crunchy clean diaper detergent because if you use traditional detergents, the diapers can leak. . . we do have to double up on the inserts at night because he’s sleeping for longer stretches at a time now = lots of pee. Overall I’m really happy with these! We should reduce the amount of trash we’re producing and save a lot of money! Success!