Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

I'm about to have another baby, and I have been considering cloth diapers for quite some time. I found some statistics that finally cinched the deal for me:

*Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S..1

*Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.2

*In 1988, nearly $300 million dollars were spent annually just to discard disposable diapers, whereas cotton diapers are reused 50 to 200 times before being turned into rags.4

*No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years, long after your children, grandchildren and great, great, great grandchildren will be gone.5

*Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.5

*We estimate that each baby will need about 6,000 diapers7 during the first two8 years of life. The following estimates are based on prices in San Francisco, California.

*Disposables. For these calculations, let's assume that a family needs about 60 diapers a week. In the San Francisco Bay area, disposable diapers cost roughly 23¢ per store-brand diaper and 28¢ for name-brand. This averages to 25.5¢ per diaper. Thus the average child will cost about $1,600 to diaper for two years in disposable diapers, or about $66 a month9.

After seeing these statistics, I decided to give them a go. I wasn't interested in prefolds, and buying the ready made diapers is expensive, so I decided to figure out how to make my own.
I started by making a pattern using a size 1 diaper. I figure I'll make 15 about size 1, and then I'll make 15 about size 3, and that should last me.

Then I cut the fabric. I chose a really soft cotton fleece, and that kitten fabric you see will be on the inside of the diaper. It was super cheap, and even though I don't love it, no one will see it. I cut 2 of each kind.
Next, I made a soaker by cutting 6 layers of the cotton, and I sewed it to the kitten fabric only.
Next, you sew the white and the kitten together and turn it to make a finished edge.
Next comes the elastic down each side. Make sure to stretch it, so it will conform to baby's leg.
Last, comes the Velcro. I sewed a long strip to the middle, so the diapers can grow with baby, and then I sewed a square to each of the sides. (This picture was taken before the edge was finished, so that's why there is still a rough edge.)
And then you fold it all together! This way, I don't have to deal with prefolds and plastic covers, and the like.
Let me know what you think. Would you cloth diaper your child?


  1. We cloth diaper. There are patterns online for CD's and I know that there are also tutorials if you are planning on making them. You can also get on diaper swappers and find some used ones that are a lot cheaper. I have quite a few One size all in one diapers that are nice for when people are babysitting or for the hubby. We didn't start CDing until my little guy was about 4 months old and he is now 2yo and the same one size diapers fit him. They are more of an investment but they have lasted us forever and I plan on using them with next baby soon. The Econobum covers from Cotton babies are reasonably priced and using the prefolds really aren't that bad. Blueberry/Swaddlebees diapers sometimes sells the fabric with the PUL on the one side in their clearance. Also make sure to get a good wipes warmer and use cloth wipes too. Good luck on your experience. I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have. So far we have had a pretty good experience CDing. Wish I would have done it with my other kids.
    My email is:

  2. The cloth diaper is the best diaper for children because it absorb the moisture and it's SO EASY!! I love all in ones, but I hate how long they take to dry!

  3. Your blog is awesome :). It looks like you have done a lot more research when is comforting in the diapering word. I am definitely curious to try one of your diapers when we have money. I hope you sell a lot of diapers :). Feel free to send me a message of how things are going for your business... I am very curious. Glad you found you niche!

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  5. Love this idea! Thank you for sharing the post!
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