Making cloth diapers at home is much simpler than it sounds. A little time invested can save quite a lot of money. Let's see how...
Babies and in certain cases adults who can't control their bladder, wear diapers to keep them dry and prevent their clothes from getting soiled. Although they have been used since centuries in some form or the other, it was only in the 19th century that they emerged in their present form in Europe and North America.
Many companies make disposable as well as cloth diapers. But, many mothers prefer homemade cloth ones as they are economical and easy to make.
How to Stitch
Choose the Material
In case your budget is flexible, you could choose designer fabrics. However, cotton, flannel, cotton knits, and terry are all considered to be good materials for making diapers.
Many prefer fleece for the inner layer as it quickly soaks wetness from the baby's skin and keeps it dry for longer periods. Hence, it reduces the chances of a diaper rash. Terry could be used for the soaker, and a cute flannel print could be used for the outer layer of diapers.
Make the Pattern
The easiest way of drafting a pattern for baby cloth diapers is to open a disposable diaper if you have one at home. Trace out its outline leaving ¼ inch for the seam. If you don't have one at the moment, you would anyway know that they are in the shape of hourglass with back tabs that can be pulled around and closed in front.
Use a measuring tape to measure the baby and decide on the correct dimensions for the diaper. While you are stitching, ensure that the tabs are big enough so that they can be adjusted as the baby grows. This way, one could use them longer. One could also refer to the free diaper patterns that are available online.
Stitch the Diapers
According to the pattern, cut out 2 hourglass shapes one from the interior material and the other from the exterior material. Cut out a rectangular shape from the soaker that would go between the exterior and interior material. Let the soaker be as long as the diaper.
It should run along the full length of the baby's diaper. Put it on the wrong side of the interior material and stitch it in place. Measure the baby's thigh and cut 2 strips of elastic bands that are ¼ inches wide for the leg opening. The elastic could be wider as per your preference or according to your baby's comfort.
Stretch the elastic to cover the whole leg opening. Stitch it to the wrong side of the exterior material along the curved side for the leg opening. Measure the baby's back and cut out a ½ inch wide elastic piece to fit. Stretch the elastic so that it covers the full width of the diaper, and then stitch it to the back of the exterior material.
Now, put the two hourglass materials together so that the right sides face each other. Sew around the diaper leaving a small opening in the front so that the diaper can be turned right side out from the opening.
Get the seams where they should be using a pencil or a butter knife. Fold in the seam allowance. Then close the front opening by stitching it either with hand or machine.
One could use velcro or snaps to the tabs. However, velcro tends to get spoiled with repeated washes. Diaper pins could also be used to secure the diaper. With appropriate measurements, the same method could be used to make adult cloth diapers too.
Cloth diapers are good for the environment as well the family's budget. While most people find disposable ones to be more convenient, they can't be reused. Cloth ones on the other hand can be reused after a proper wash. They also solve the problem of environmental pollution that is a major concern with disposable ones.
Diapers are an intrinsic part of baby care. If you are using cloth ones, make sure that they are properly washed and completely dry before being used. Making them at home is easy. Although it might take a little time, the effort is totally worth it!