Home-made diapers vs. store bought - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-28-2008, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For those of you who have made your own fitted, pocket or even prefold diapers, do you find that your creations are as absorbant as the store bought versions available out there?

If yes, what fabrics did you use?
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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I haven't had any leaking problems with 100% cotton, mostly flannel or sheets, and old towels. I did pocket diapers first, just to get the hang of the absorbancy. The next set were Mamabirds with a sewn-in soaker and have been amazing. I lay-in soakers or use sposies overnight.
Now that she is 2.5, her training pants have micro-fiber stuffers just so they will be a little trimmer.

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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I first made fitteds with covers and had no problems with leaks after I improved my technique. I used flannel for the fitteds, with flannel and terry cloth sewn in soakers. The covers were fleece, anti-pill from Joann's.

I then moved on to the free Mama Bird AIO pattern. I used fleece for the outer, flannel for the inner pieces, and terry cloth for the soaker. They are much trimmer than the bulkiness that I was dealing with in my fitteds/covers.

Those were what I made for my boys. Now my dd is three weeks old and up to this point she's been in sposies. I made two diapers today that I'm going to try on her when she wakes up. I did the newborn pattern but they look kind of big and wide in the crotch. I'll probably have to tweak the pattern when she gets up. But to answer your question, yes they are absorbant.

Mama to two boys and a girl.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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It depends on what you mean by "store bought". If you're talking about the better brands that are only available in boutiques of online, or from small-time WAHMs, then yes, your homemade diapers should be comparable so long as you use comparable fabrics.

However, if your "store bought" means the junk that you can find in variety and big baby stores, or the bigger-name factory stuff like Bumkins or Dappi....well, just about anything you make will absorb WAY more and will leak a lot less.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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I love my home made diapers. We started out 8 yrs. ago with prefolds, pins, and snap on covers. My first home made diapers were out of towels and flannel sheets from the thrift stores. Now I'm a little more "refined" . It's a lot of fun to make fluff for your own baby
How many layers of fabric you use depends a great deal on the fabric. It's always best to make 1 test diaper and see how it washes/drys/absorbs before diving in and making a whole bunch.

Amber - married mama of 5. Cloth diaperer, babywearer, homeschooler.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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Forgot to add what fabrics I used.
Old t-shirts, and sometimes blue jeans for an outer layer. I have some AIOs I made from flannel and PUL or Procare (the Procare ones leak WAYYY less than the PUL ones, for some reason), but the most absorbent diapers I have are the ones made from t-shirts. They work even better than most of the diapers I have that are made from cotton fleece, or hemp fleece, or cotton/hemp french terry, and can be just as trim as any of the other diapers out there.
I have a free instructional site on how to make different types of diapers from t-shirts - it can get you started at the very least, and you can use them with just about any pattern.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ohh thanks all for the great tips. I feel like going to the Salvation Army today to get some test fabric!

mehndi mama...I notice your t-shirt diapers are serged. Does the pattern you have on your site allow for simply zigzag stitching and turning the diapers inside out? I don't have a serger!
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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You don't need a serger to do a "mock serge". This involves stitching the fabric as close to the edge as possible, then trim it closer after sewing if needed, then zig-zag the edges to keep them from unraveling in the wash.

Thick fabrics really don't work well with turning and topstitching. Do make a diaper with that technique, you need to have a thinner fabric for the outer layers, and thick absorbant padding sewn inside- but not all the way to the edge seams. It makes for a more complicated sewing pattern, but the end result can look quite professional if it's done carefully. The mock serged edge is just as practical as the "real serge" but doesn't always look quite as neat or professional. It also takes twice as long since you need to stitch twice. (Then again, if it takes you half an hour to rethread the serger every time the stitches get tangled, it can be quicker to do a mock serge- which is why I sold my serger a few months after purchasing it! )

I sewed most of my son's diapers, but I couldn't compare them to prepackaged diapers because I never used them. The ones I sewed were certainly more absorbant than the cheapie prefolds I'd originally purchased as burp cloths- I could use one handmade diaper at a time where I'd need to double up on the cheap ones.

The first diapers I made were from an old king sized flannel sheet set, and I made DS a set of contoured diapers that fit in size large wraps. When he outgrew those, I made him side-snapping fitted diapers with interlock for the outside and several layers of french terry for the soaker. These diapers doubled as training pants since they could slide up and down easily.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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For the t-shirt prefolds, so long as you're using all knits, you don't even really need to finish the edges - just straight-stitch or zigzag around the edges of the diaper to hold the layers closed, and call it good. They won't unravel, even though they won't look "professional".
For the fitteds, though - the instructions for that on my site don't need a serger at all. If it says to serge around an edge, just substitute zigzag. They'll look exactly the same when you're done.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:27 PM
 
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Mendi Mama-

I love your site. Have some questions.

When using wool for an outer of an AIO or a wool wrap, can you take me through the process of preparing it? Felt it/how? How many layers for the covers/outers? The reason I am asking is I went to make some longies out of recycled sweaters last winter, and they leaked terribly. I have other wool that I love, but I do not know what I did wrong with these.

For your pattern, how does the small size diaper/cover work for a newborn?

Thank you so very much.

In Christ, Bridget Riedell

Crunchy Christian Wife to Dan , Mama and educator to 3 girls and another on the way in July
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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I do a lot of different things with wool. If it's thick, or has an allover pattern that I think will felt up funny, I don't try shrinking it at all, and usually leave sweaters for soakers & pants completely unfelted so they still have stretch. For wraps, I use thinner sweaters that use finer wool - my favorites are Gap or J. Crew lambswool sweaters. Those I run through the washing machine and dryer on hot a few times, to get them to shrink up nicely.

I haven't used the fitted patern on the site to make covers, so I can't help much in that respect. The only wool wraps I have made are the ones from my pattern line. I'm also not sure what could be the trouble with the recycled wool that you had leaking. In my experience, wool only leaks if the diaper under it is not stopping the urine from blasting through and dripping out of the diaper itself. SOME wool will resist drips and dribbles, but in general wool sweater-knit will not. So, in most cases, the fault lies with the diaper, not the wool when you get leaking with wool covers.

I don't think the small diaper would fit a tiny newborn. It would be good for about 10lbs and up, but you'd want something smaller for a brand new baby. You ca apply the same recycling techniques to any other diaper out there, so if you can find a good newborn pattern, give that a try. Most of my babies were 9lbs+ to start out with, so I haven't had to do the teeny baby thing in a while!
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again mehndi mama for all your insight. I'm picking apart your posts to get the most info I can out of them.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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I LOVE my homemade diaps!!!
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:55 AM
 
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i dont hv any "store bought" diapers or anything from diaper brand names like fuzzibunz or HH to compare too. i sew my own, mostly microfleece inner and whatever as outer. the inbetween layers, i use recycle nylon fabric since i dont hv access to PUL. i must say no leaks yet, no blow outs and i love that i can measure my 2 kids and make it their size instead of fumbling with sizes.

i currently am making training pants for my 17 months old DD and pocket AIO for my 2 months old DS.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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Kushies was the other brand-name that I was thinking of that are CRAP for absorbency. ANything you make will be better than those, too.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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We've used both and prefer mommy made by far!
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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Love our home made diapers. When I first switched I bought some then took the plunge into making my own. They are just as nice and I am a beginner still. Diaperdivas.com is a great site to explore if you want to make your own. Lots of tutorials and patterns, and wonderful ladies to answer any question you can throw at them.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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We prefer homemade as well. I can make them to fit DH's body type and absorbancy needs. I have used a variety of materials. It just takes a little bit of experimenting to find what works best for your LO.
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:06 PM
 
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are you sure diaperdivas.com is the site you meant? It took me to what looked like an adultsite.
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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Heck no - you want diapersewingdivas. Sewing. Sewing is essential in this case
http://diaperdivas.proboards57.com/index.cgi#general
See ya there

Amber - married mama of 5. Cloth diaperer, babywearer, homeschooler.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twead View Post
are you sure diaperdivas.com is the site you meant? It took me to what looked like an adultsite.
Oh I made the same mistake at first and had to quickly close down a site with a large colorful pic of female anatomy before DSS came over to the computer to look
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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Mine are more absorbent than most. I use 6 layers of hemp fleece or terry; either a 1-layer trifold insert or 4-layer soaker with 2-layer doubler.
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