Tag Archives: cloth diapering

DIY Toddler Training Underwear

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Well I now live in the wonderful world of potty training a toddler. About a month ago my saint of a mother kept my 2 year old for 2 days and got him well on the path to potty-land. thomas-the-train-toddler-underwearHe is doing really well and goes peepee in the potty about 75% of the time, but he hasn’t yet learned to let me know before he has to go. I just have to take him to the potty every 45 minutes. He willingly goes when I take him, but sometimes I get busy with the baby, or making dinner, or I just plain forget. And then we have accidents. He is very good at announcing that he has gone (or is going) peepee, so sometimes I can catch him in the middle of it and rush him to the potty. We have about 10 or so pairs of adorable little tiny toddler boy undies, but they are so thin that we had little puddles of pee on the floor.

 

  • Disney Toddler Boys' Mickey 3 Pack Training Pant, Assorted, 3T I found these great toddler trainers on Amazon. They do have a little padding which helps with small accidents if I catch him in time, but they weren’t incredibly absorbent and we still had soaking through his pants. They are also not cheap. They run about $5.50 a pair compared with $1.35 a pair for the regular toddler underwear. You can also find many cloth diaper brands offering toddler training pants for as much as $20 a pair. Although I’m sure they’re quality products, its just not really something I wanted to spend.

make-toddler-trainers-out-of-boy-underwearSince I have recently switched from pocket cloth diapers to All-in-ones for my youngest baby who is in diapers, I have a lot of extra charcoal bamboo inserts lying around that I’m not using. So I decided to utilize that little pocket in the little boy undies to make my own toddler trainers! The charcoal bamboo inserts are $2.50 a piece new, but 1 insert will make 4-6 pairs of trainers and I already had them on hand so they were no extra cost. You could really use any cloth diaper inserts including microfiber (which are cheaper at around $1 each) or regular bamboo (around $2.15 a piece). I don’t recommend hemp because it is slower to absorb which wouldn’t work well for this purpose. Or if you’re really on a budget you could also use a cut up piece of a microfiber cleaning cloth. As long as its not touching the skin directly. Amazon sells a 12 pack for $10.50 and you can use the rest to wash your car or clean your floors! Boom! These are pretty thin so you will want to tri-fold your piece for enough thickness that it will absorb accidents well.

So here’s what you do:

DIY-toddler-training-pantsCut your insert into pieces. For 2T/3T sized undies I cut a piece that was about 2″x4″.

 

 

 

 

sew-your-own-toddler-training-underwear-insertsSew the open edges down. This is simple enough to do and does not require any advanced sewing skills. I used a zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine to quickly sew down the open edges. You could just sew a straight line. Make sure to back stitch so it holds up well in the wash. You could also hand stitch the open edges down.

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Stuff the undies with the tiny insert. 

Put the insert in the tiny little pocket opening in the front of the diaper. Note: Only “boy” underwear has the convenient little pocket. Now if you’re wanting to do this for little girls you can do a couple options. 1) Put “boy” underwear on her. Unless she is particularly inclined to wear princess undies, she won’t know the difference. 2) Sew the insert directly onto the panties. You can do this if you’re using a natural fiber insert. DO NOT put microfiber directly against a child’s skin. It is TOO absorbent and will pull moisture and oils from baby’s skin causing uncomfortable rashes and dryness.

Tada! For less than $2 a pair we have great accident protection and little buddy still feels like a big boy in his goofy undies! Win! To wash these just throw them in with your regular laundry (or cloth diapers). The inserts should agitate out on their own in the wash.

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DIY Dollar Store Cloth Diaper Inserts

So in my last post I talked to you about Modern Cloth Diapers and all the awesome benefits of using them! Today I want to share with you a quick and easy way to make your own Microfiber inserts to use with Pocket Diapers.

There are many different types of inserts from lots of different types of fabric, but microfiber is the main type that will come with your new diapers from the manufacturer. It is incredibly absorbent but it is important not to put microfiber directly on your baby’s skin. This is because it SO absorbent, it will actually pull moisture out of their skin and cause drying and rashes. So make sure you only use these as inserts in a pocket, or under another natural fiber insert.

photo-3All you need to do is pick up some of those microfiber cleaning cloths at the dollar store. I have found them in the auto section as drying rags for your car, and also in the cleaning section.

I found two sizes 12×12″ and 14×16″. The smaller ones are great to be used in Newborn sized diapers, or as soakers used with another insert. The larger ones are great for regular sized diapers.

make-your-own-cloth-diaper-insertsFirst cut the tags off and wash the cloths in your regular diaper laundry. Then all you do is fold them over so you have three layers. This will make your insert even more absorbent. Finally sew a simple rectangle stitch around the entire insert. And that’s it! If you have a serger that would be even better but I just have a regular sewing machine. I did make the tension on my machine very high so I could ensure nice tight, close stitches.IMG_8127

I like to use these doubled up, or folded up inside a prefold. Yes you can use prefolds as inserts too! I have some newborn prefolds that no longer fit my big boy and they work perfectly with one of these Microfiber inserts in the center for extra absorbency!

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FYI – you could do this with a range of different fabrics! All you have to do is cut out a piece of fabric, fold it up, and sew it just like this. You could use old t-shirts, fleece blankets, towels… Try some different things out and see how it works!

Have you made your own inserts? What fabrics did you try?

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Cloth Diapers in the 21st Century

So you may or may not have picked up on the latest craze in cloth diapering in the last few years. If you follow any kind of mom group or Facebook page you will probably have come across someone, who knows someone, who is cloth diapering. You may have even seen them featured on Shark Tank. In an effort to save money, to keep my baby more comfortable, and to seek a more natural solution to disposable diapers I chose to cloth diaper Luke from birth AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

Now, its not what you think. Cloth has come a long way from the archaic methods of the past. These days when I say “Pin it” I’m not talking about diaper pins. A whole new world has opened up and its going to blow your mind.

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There are several different types of cloth diapers to choose from now. The basic three are All in Ones (AIOs), Pockets, or Pre-folds.  They are made of a state-of-the-art breathable plastic lined fabric called PUL. The insides are lined with highly absorbent fabrics like cotton, microfiber, hemp, bamboo, or fleece.

  • AIOs are virtually the same as a disposable in that all you do is put the diaper on the baby. All the absorbent fabric is sewn right in and you wash the whole thing in one piece. They do take at least an hour, and usually two hours to dry in the dryer.
  • Pockets are similar, but they feature a pocket where you stuff separate inserts. The nice thing about this is that you can change what sort of insert you use based on your baby’s needs. This also means that the diapers wash and dry much more quickly because the inserts come out in the wash. They require extra time to stuff the diapers each time you wash which is annoying to some people.
  • Pre-folds are the old fashioned fold on diaper, but now they come with super awesome diaper covers with a plastic PUL lining that keeps them from leaking. They are also made much better than the old fashioned ones your mom used. They are thicker and way more absorbent. They are also a cheaper option and make great burp cloths.

This is what the Modern Cloth Diapers look like:

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7 Things I’ll Bet You Didn’t Know About Modern Cloth Diapering

1. You don’t have to use pins –                                                               velcro-or-snap-cloth-diapers

New cloth diapers come in either velcro or snap closures. They’re easy as pie! Its basically just like a disposable. You just put the diaper on the baby and close er’ on up. And if you still want to use pre-fold diapers (which is totally doable!) there’s a new invention for them too! Its called the snappi.

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Its sort of like the teeth on an ace bandage, except its plastic and rubber. prefold-snappiThere’s no need to worry about sticking your baby anymore. My mom tells an awesome story about how she was trying to change my brother’s diaper and my sister stuck diaper pins in their water bed and water was squirting everywhere. I picture my mother looking like Lucille Ball, trying to hold the baby and wrangle my toddler sister all while trying to put a finger on each hole. Hilarious as this picture is to me, it is a thing of the past.

2. They’re easy to wash-                                                                             We don’t have a diaper service in my area, but its really not a big deal to wash them myself. You see, there’s this fantastic invention called a Washing Machine that cleans the diapers for you! I know, I know… you thought you were going to have to go down to the river with a washing board and go to town on those bad boys. Nope, you can just throw them in and the machine actually does the work. Amazing, I know. What will they come up with next?! Many people act like washing cloth diapers is a crazy science but its really not. Don’t listen to anyone when they tell you to use special soap, or to only use a tbsp of detergent. Its not true. Because my baby is exclusively breastfed, his poop is water soluble, so there’s no need to rinse the diapers off or anything before I wash them. I use Tide powder, the same amount I would use for a regular load of laundry, I throw the diapers in (poop and all), I do a hot presoak and an extra rinse, and then I tumble dry them on medium heat. That’s all she wrote! There’s no big secret.

3. Chemicals in disposables are toxic!

disposable-diaper-gel-sapYou know when a disposable diaper gets full and you can tell the baby needs to be changed because it gets all saggy and hangs between their legs? Have you ever seen one of those full diapers break open and all the weird gel stuff spills out? Did you know that substance used to be used in Tampons but had to be removed after is was found to cause Toxic Shock Syndrome? The diaper companies claim that these chemicals are in trace amounts and are not harmful to the baby, but when can you ever trust a manufacturer’s claims about anything? Perhaps it does not cause TSS in such small doses (I’m not buying it), but it is certainly a skin irritant and can cause diaper rash and chemical burn. I personally don’t want to take the risk. Read more about some of the toxic chemicals found in disposable diapers here.

4. It is WAY cheaper to use cloth – 

Because these modern cloth diapers are so well made and last for so long they are a little bit more of an investment on the front end. They average in cost around $15 each new and even cheaper if you get them second hand, but that is a one time investment because the diapers are adjustable fit which mean they can be used for the same baby from birth to potty training. And if they are well cared for they can be used for future babies, making the cost even lower. Depending on how often you want to do laundry you will need between 12 and 36 diapers in your “stash.” So for between $300-$500 you can diaper several children from birth to potty. Plus if you decide to go the old fashioned route, prefolds are even cheaper running around $4 each. Disposables are much more expensive as you can see in the infographic below.

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5. Bye Bye blowouts!                                                                                   I’ll spare you an image to prove my point (although a quick google image search and you’ll find plenty of evidence). If you’ve used disposables for any length of time you’re all too familiar with the good ol’ fashioned blowout. It happens because disposables are flat against the baby’s back and it just can’t hold in a serious poop. I’ve been cloth diapering for 3 months and have yet to have a single blowout. Don’t believe me? Just ask anyone who cloth diapers and I’ll bet you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who has experienced a blowout in cloth. Its because they are so absorbent, and are lined with elastic around the legs and waist. When they are put on properly and tightly they will hold everything in beautifully!

6. The environmental effect of disposable is huge –

Did you know that disposable diapers are the #1 single use item found in landfills? Now I’m not a big environmentalist activist by any stretch but I do believe that we should be good stewards of the planet that God has given us, and we should leave this place in one piece so these babies can still have a beautiful place to live and grow up. Here is an awesome image that shows just how many diapers end up in the trash.

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7. They’re super cute!

Oh girrrrrrrl, don’t even get me started on how CUTE these things are! I’m slightly addicted. There are so many precious colors and patterns to choose from, and they look adorable all by themselves, no need for a diaper cover to hide those lame looking disposables. You could seriously get lost in the world of adorable cloth.

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