Your Step by Step Guide to Making Reusable Diapers
Are you thinking of hopping on the reusable diapers bandwagon? There are good reasons to. The average infant goes through a dozen diapers per day, and even toddlers still use four to six daily. Imagine the difference you can make by switching from disposable to reusable diapers.
About Disposable Diapers
Disposable diapers are made of wood pulp, synthetic materials, sodium polyacrylate, and polypropylene, which create environmental waste. It takes a ton of water to make wood pulp and creating it causes additional waste.
Where diapers are made is another factor. It’s best if they’re made within the country, or even better, in the same state in which you reside, so you can reduce your carbon footprint. If the diaper brand is made from imported ingredients, that adds to your carbon footprint.
And where do diapers go? Most of them end up in landfills where they sit for hundreds of years, along with the disposable wipes and trash bags that go with them.
Simply put, disposable diapers aren’t the best if you want to be environmentally conscious. But the other option–reusable diapers–can seem overwhelming and intimidating. But what if we told you that reusable diapers are easy to use?
Spoiler alert: they are.
About Reusable Diapers
Most reusable diapers are made of cloth. Fabrics vary, but a super-absorbent material is ideal. The cloth diaper has an outer shell with an inner lining. These need to be waterproof and absorbent respectively. The cloth diaper wraps around your baby and is secured by snaps or hook & loop.
The insert is either disposable (more on this below) or made of synthetic microfiber or natural fibers like cotton, hemp, and bamboo cotton. The best option would be Zorb fabric. The inserts are super absorbent, so when your baby soils their diaper, the fabric absorbs everything and holds it. The outer shell that is waterproof does the job of preventing it from leaking out.
Where do reusable diapers go? They stay far away from landfills. They can be re-used for years. Once you’re done using them, you can sell them or donate them to a cloth diaper bank where struggling families can get what they need for their families.
Do we have you interested? Are you thinking of making the switch to reusable diapers? The great thing is that, you can always start out by buying reusable cloth diapers and eventually make the switch to making them yourself. In fact, it’s not that hard to make them yourself. Check out The Best Fabrics You Can Use to Make Reusable Blog Article. Meanwhile, let's dive into how you can make them yourself.
The Reusable Diaper Manufacturing Process
To create reusable diapers, you’ll need the following components. :
- Two to three layers of fabric
- Plastic snaps or hooks and loops
- Sewing machine
Step 1: Choose Your Moisture Wicking Layer
If you don’t want to use disposable inserts (we don’t recommend them either, because disposable inserts also end up right back in a landfill), you can easily create them on your own with these tools:
- Stay dry fabric for your wicking uppermost layer
- Precision knife
- Cutting mat
You’ll need to choose which fabric you want for your wicking uppermost layer. This layer must keep your baby’s bum comfortable and dry since they’ll be sitting in it. We recommend trying ProCool Performance Jersey, ProCool Performance Interlock, or ProTEC Microfleece.
These fabrics will reduce the risk of diaper rashes and a downright uncomfortable baby. Our ProCool Performance Jersey is ideal for a lightweight material that still wicks away moisture. ProCool Performance Interlock is the more affordable option, while ProTEC Microfleece is very soft.
Step 2: Choose Your Absorbent Core Layer
Next, you’ll want a super-absorbent core layer for your reusable diaper to absorb your baby's waste.
Your core layer is the next layer of your diaper closest to your skin (after the moisture wicking layer). We recommend using Zorb Original, Zorb 3D Organic Cotton Dimple, or Zorb 3D Bamboo Dimple. These fabrics provide the absorbency you need.
How many layers of fabric you use will depend on how thick and absorbent you want your inserts to be. You’ll use your cutting mat and precision knife to measure out how long and wide you want your inserts to be.
Once you have enough layers, you’ll pin them together evenly and sew them in place. You also can serge them together for an even more secure hold.
Step 3: Choose Your Waterproof Layer/Diaper Cover
Your next step is choosing the right fabric for your waterproof layer. What’s great is that this layer can double as your diaper cover, so you won’t need yet another layer. ECO-PUL fabrics are perfect for this layer because they come in fun colors and patterns while being waterproof.
Do you want fewer layers for your cloth diaper? Try 4D Zorb Stay Dry Dimple CORE ECO-PUL, Bamboo Fleece ECO-PUL, or 4D Zorb Organic Cotton Dimple CORE ECO-PUL fabric. These fabrics are waterproof and super absorbent, so your baby will stay warm and dry with less fabric in their diapers.
Step 4: Sew the Pieces Together
Using a cloth diaper pattern, you’ll cut out your fabrics and sew them together, using elastic where needed. Most patterns come with a step-by-step guide for this process. On a side note, we don't advertise any particular pattern or design to be used. If you have a pattern to share with the Wazoodle community, drop us a line and we can post it here for everyone to follow.
If you can’t find a pattern you like, you can always draw out a diaper pattern from a disposable diaper. Butcher paper is ideal for this option. You’ll sew two or three layers together (depending on which fabrics you choose), and then you’ll have your insert unless you use disposable inserts.
Step 5: Add Plastic Snaps or Hook and Loop
You want your baby’s diaper to stay on so you can have a mess-free day. You can easily and quickly secure their diaper with plastic snaps or hook and loop. Latex-free Mobilon, Cotton or Polyester braided elastics, knitted elastics, and latex-free fold-over elastics are great options. They can be easily sewn into place.
Let's Make a Difference
As you can see, it’s not too tricky to make reusable diapers. It’s a great way to save money and limit your carbon footprint. As for Wazoodle Fabrics, there’s no better fabric to use for your reusable diapers. Our fabrics offer the absorbency and comfort you need. For more research, check out The Best Fabrics You Can Use to Make Reusable Blog Article.
Are you unsure which fabrics you’d want to use for your reusable diapers? You can order swatches of different fabrics to help you decide. Then, you can order as much or as little as you need to make your reusable diapers.
Have questions? Need help? Ready to shop? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Wazoodle Fabrics today!
Top 5 Fabric Layer Choices for Cloth Diapers
*Disclaimer: The above article and recommendations are based solely on the author’s knowledge of our fabrics, understanding of the guidance documents and the articles referenced. Links to all references have been provided above so you can read and understand them yourself and make your decision. We do not make any claims to the effectiveness of the product. No tests were performed to substantiate the recommendations.