Quick and easy pre-folded cloth diapers

Flannel receiving blankets can often be purchased very inexpensively at thrift stores or garage sales. These flannel (100% cotton) receiving blankets make excellent pre-folded cloth diapers, with very little sewing involved.

First, be sure you're watching for a good deal. Ideally, you should be able to find the used blankets for about ten cents each, and never more than fifty cents each.

Be sure you're using 100% cotton blankets. Receiving blankets commonly come in two sizes, a smaller square blanket, and a larger, rectangular blanket.

Here is a pre-folded diaper made from a smaller, square receiving blanket. The diaper is folded in a "z" shape, with three layers in the middle and one layer on each side. Sew in two straight lines, to hold the fabric in place.

The finished diaper can be folded in half (for a newborn) and then used as a pre-folded diaper.

For an older baby, fold down as much as necessary to make the size of pre-folded diaper needed for your child.

Fold sides in...

...and fold front up. There's the diaper, ready to be pinned on the baby!

Here is a diaper made with a larger, rectangular blanket. Depending on the size of the blanket, your diaper will have three layers in the middle and either two or three layers on each side.

Lay your rectangular receiving blanket horizontally. Fold each side inward, basically folding the blanket in thirds. Overlap the two sides, so that there are three layers in the middle. Sew in two straight lines to hold the blanket in place.

To use this pre-folded diaper (it will be a larger one, since it is made from a larger blanket), fold front down according to the size of diaper you need.

Here is the finished pre-folded diaper!

I have made homemade pre-folded diapers from cotton t-shirts, but wasn't pleased with the results. Flannel receiving blankets make excellent diapers, with less sewing involved.

Leave a comment if you have more questions... I'm not sure if this was clear enough but my children just woke from their naps! :)

Edited to add: Here is more detail about folding the larger, rectangular receiving blankets! :)

Start with the blanket horizontally in front of you.

Fold one side in -- probably a little more than half way, but not two-thirds (unless the blanket is very large!).

Fold the other side in the same amount. The idea is to fold the sides in enough so that your diaper will be about 13-14 inches wide -- the width of a standard pre-folded diaper.

This is what your layers will look like. Three layers in the middle, two layers on each side. You'll need to pin this so it doesn't come apart while you sew. You just need to sew two strips down the middle, to hold the layers together.

The finished diaper will be longer than a normal pre-fold from the store. For boys, I folded down the front of the diaper. Now that I'm using these diapers on a girl, I fold down the back so the extra fabric is there. :)

Also, the amount of fabric that gets folded depends on the size of the baby. These diapers are very flexible and can be use for big or small babies!

Some of my receiving blanket diapers were fairly thin (made from smaller square receiving blankets). I sewed two of the homemade pre-folded diapers together to make a thick night-time diaper. This works nicely, though you could get the same effect by just using two thin diapers for night time. (I like them sewed together since it's less work to hang one piece on my clothesline than it is to hang two!)

Someone emailed and asked:

I noticed at the end of your post on making prefolds from flannel receiving blankets you mentioned that you did not particularly like the end result of prefolds made from t-shirts. I had planned on making several using that method (having found that site myself), so I would very much like to know what in particular you did not care for. I was going to start making some of those prefolds today, but I think I'll wait a little, until I hear back from you! Perhaps if it is a matter of the diapers being too stretchy, using an inner layer of knit and an outer layer of flannel would work better? Any insight would be helpful.

Personally, I found that t-shirt material wasn't as absorbent as flannel. I made sure to use 100% cotton t-shirts, and was optimistic, but ended up disappointed.

I thought that cutting the numerous layers and sewing the diapers took a whole lot more time than pinning and sewing a receiving blanket.

I also used pins on mine, and after a while the pins made holes in the outer layers of t-shirt. Not a functional hindrance, but they definitely didn't look as nice as any of my other diapers! :)

If I were to ever use t-shirts for diapers again, I would probably use some flannel along with the t-shirt, at the very least. Even better would be to just use old flannel shirts. I have a couple of diapers made from an old flannel night gown, and they work great!

I'd love to hear from anyone who has actually made t-shirt diapers and thought they worked as well as flannel or Chinese Pre-folded/DSQ pre-folds! :)

Some final thoughts for you:

The Chinese/DSQ pre-folds are relatively inexpensive and are good quality.

Receiving blanket diapers are cheaper for me since I get my receiving blankets for about 10 cents each.

I would buy chinese pre-folds over making diapers from t-shirts. And the cheap flannel at Wal-mart will wear out fairly quickly, whereas the Chinese pre-folds will last a long time.

Comments

I love cloth diapers. I really do. I love having my babies in cloth....I love being able to change them and not worrying that I'm "wasting" a diaper...I love holding them in cloth. But I *HATE* poopies!! How do you handle it?!? I gag and almost throw up when I have to deal with them. Help! Any advice?!?

Thanks~Kelly

For dealing with poopies, there is a wonderful invention called a diaper sprayer, availabe at many places where cloth diapers are sold. It looks a lot like a kitchen sprayer, and hooks up to the faucet behind your toilet. Actually, DH and I were thinking that someone with plumbing skills could probably make a kitchen sprayer attach there and save a bundle of money.

Cathy

on youtube there is a guy who shows you how to make one!

I actually attempted to make one, but it ended up leaking and cost a little more than expected. I returned the parts to the store and looked on ebay where I found one preassembled, leak-free, and for much less than what I spent at the store. It works great!

My husband and I the problem, that our toilet wouldn't hook up to a sprayer because it has a special easy shut off valve. So we went to lowes and got a kitchen sprayer, a shower hose and about 6 brass fittings that allowed the hose to gauge down to the sprayer. it was approximately $45 but totally worth it. A toilet hook up would actually be cheaper because the gauge is smaller so you wouldn't need as many fittings. Hope this helps!
~Rachelle~

I actually found the dog bather shower head at Wal-Mart for $15 that I hooked to the showerhead and it is long enough to reach the toilet. It works wonderful!

a lot of times your shower head sprayer will reach the toilet to spray! :-)

Those are great pictures! Making the diapers this way looks really easy.

Laura

I have bought receiving blankets at the thriftshop for making fitted cloth diapers. They often have so many and in great condition too. ~Tanya

This is great! I've never CD'd before but with the next one/ones I certainly plan to. I'm going to start scouring yard sales & thrift stores for these & make most the dipes myself.

Thanks!
~Tara~

I read that the flat fold diapers (just a plain cloth where you have to do all the fancy folding yourself)get cleaner than prefolds since all of the surfaces are exposed to get clean. Have you ever had any trouble getting prefold diapers nice and clean? I think prefolds sound more convenient, but wasn't sure about the cleaning issue. I just wondered about your experience.

Thanks!

As a matter of fact, I had that exact problem. I found myself having to use Oxiclean and vinager in the rinse cycles to get my prefolds clean and then they took at least two long dryer cycles set on high to get dry, unless I hung them outside to dry. I switched to flat fold diapers when my daughter was 5 months old and they took some getting used to, but they were really cheap ($1.25 or $1 each) they were very trim, I could completely customize the fit, and they were quicker to wash and dry. I also found that I could fold them up as a rectangle with more layers in the middle and use them just like a prefold, so it wasn't much more work. However, when my daughter's bladder got bigger the flats just weren't cutting it. However, I have a new idea so I'm thinking about switching back to my flats. If I take a high absorbancy soaker, like microfiber, hemp, bamboo or Zorb soaker and layer that as the thicker center layer of the diaper I can have the increased absorbancy I need with the washing convenience, cost efficiency and customizablity of flats. One thing I found about using flannel recieving blankets as diapers though. I personally prefer Snappi's over pins, and Snappi's don't work with ordinary flannel. They work just fine with high quality birdseye flats though, and flannel recieving blankets do make good soakers. I've also found a bunch of great household uses for my flats, so they are definitely worth the $1 a piece price. I hope that helps!

I think prefolds get really clean if you make sure that you unfold them before putting them in the washer, so that there aren't any hidden pockets or creases with bf baby poop or concentrated urine in it. Also a good wash routine including not too much detergent and a thorough rinse cycle will get 'em nice and fresh too. Line drying helps but, isn't mandatory.

God bless!

Kelly, for babies who are exclusively breastfed, you don't need to rinse out the poopies before laundering. I never did with Yehoshua, but I did end up doing that with Eliyahu when he had blow-out diapers every couple days! ;)

But you're probably talking about babies who are on solid foods... in which case, fleece liners help a lot (the solids just fall off and not much sticks!)

Yeah, poopy diapers are an unpleasant fact of life. If every diaper were poopy, I wouldn't like using cloth diapers so well! ;)

However, I don't feel like I'm exposed to that much more smell when using a cloth diaper. The changing part takes the same amount of time, whether using cloth or disposables. Rinsing the poopy diaper in the toilet literally takes less than a minute. Maybe try a nose plug? :)

Tanya, I want to see your homemade diapers sometime! I've never used fitted ones. :)

Tara, good for you! :) I love cloth diapering. And it's so much better for the baby and the environment! :)

Anonymous #2, good advice! I've never had trouble with my prefolds not getting clean. I usually do a pre-rinse, a wash, and an extra rinse. :)

Thanks for the answers about cleaning prefolds.
I am working on making our own baby wipes right now. So far, I like them. Maybe cloth diapers will be the next step. :)

I just wanted to comment that my husband did make a homemade diaper sprayer for me. THe only thing is that after buying all the parts etc. it really didn't cost any less than the ones you see online. However, he also made a bucket thing that could 'hold' the diaper for me while spraying and let it drain before putting it in the pail. For some reason my computer isn't working with me so you can go to greenmountaindiapers.com and then click on accessories I think and they have a link showing the bucket/sprayer combo.

I had two in cloth for awhile and I used a combo of prefolds and fitted diapers, then shelled out for the Fuzzi bunz pocket diapers. They are on my third child now and have held up beautifully. Poopies still aren't fun, especially with my kids cuz the poop a lot!
However my baby is about to grow out of them, so i'm going to try flats and pins for the first time. (my dryer takes a long time to dry and no clothesline outside yet)

Thank you for this article, those look so easy to make! And who doesn't end up with way more receiving blankets than necessary? =) After three children, I've got a good stack of them and was trying to think up a good use for them.

I also make my own wool covers. You can find 100% wool knit sweaters for very cheap at places like Goodwill and so on. There are all kinds of instructions on the web for making "bum fuzzies" out of these. I really prefer wool covers at night because my boys have sensitive skin (reason we starting using cloth in the first place)and they need something that breathes through the night since that's when they are in them the longest.

I am loving your blog!

I have done cloth when I had 2 in diapers for cost efficency. I had to buy expensive diaper soap because my son was sensitive even to All free and clear. When my daughter potty trained I quit since the soap and the store brand diapers were the same amount per month. I am now pregnant with #4 and will have 2 in diapers again in August. I am using cloth again, and I love it again. Also, I'm going to try your homemade laundry detergent to cut out the cost of diaper soap. All the store brands seem to have too much build up.

PS I use rubber kitchen gloves when rinsing out the poopy diapers in the toilet. I have used a diaper spayer and it was wonderful, but I'll have to wait a month or so to get one again. This is day 2 of cloth diapering:)

I wanted to see how the soap worked om cloth diapers. Do you have a lot of build up, are they still absorbent. Do you have to ad vinegar to your rinse?

Thanks for helping out a new mom!

I couldn't use All Free and Clear either, but the All Small and Mighty, Free and Clear has fewer ingredients and worked great for me. It does have optical brighteners in it, but no enzymes, no perfumes, and no dye. However, I've found something that I think is even better and actually slightly cheaper. Arm and Hammer just came out with a new detergent. It's For Sensitive Skin, FREE of Perfumes and Dyes. It's in a golden yellow bottle with a green cap and the ingredients label says it only has baking soda and biodegradable surfactants in it. I use it for all my laundry now.

I have been cd'ing for the last 4 years and I have used kissaluvs, motherease and chinese prefolds. I have been having a hard time with the amonia smell that comes with my son urinating. The problem mainly is with the kissaluvs. I have boiled them, I have ran them through numerous rinse cycles to get the detergent build-up off and still they seem to smell AWFUL when peed in! I actually had to put the cloth diapers away and I started using disposables...that bad! Do any of you have any advice?

Blessings,
Annette

Annette,

My suggestion would be to "strip" the diapers. Wash the diapers in hot water with no soap, but put in at least a cup of white vinegar. Rinse and then dry the diapers (outside in the sun if possible!).

This should really help with stinky diapers -- I have experienced what you wrote about (awful smell when wet!) in the winter when I wasn't able to line-dry the diapers outside.

Usually the hot vinegar wash will cure the problem, at least for a few weeks. I think I usually have to do it every 2 months or so in the winter (i.e. 2-3 times each year/winter). In the summer, it seems that the sunshine takes care of any detergent build-up or whatever causes the stink... hard water build-up can cause the bad smell, too. The vinegar gets rid of the build-up. :D 

Hope this helps!! :) 

Thank you, Tammy...I will try this! I will try anything at this point. But now my 23 month old is potty trained!! YEAH!! I have some time to get the cloth diapers ready before baby #7 comes in September...

Thank you again!
Annette

what do you think about using the flannel blankets as flat diapers without sewing them first? has anybody tried this?

My mom used flannel receiving blankets for flat diapers. She's the one who gave me the idea of making diapers from receiving blankets, and since I prefer pre-folds, I sewed mine.

There are two common sizes of receiving blankets -- a smaller, square blanket, and a larger rectangular size. The rectangular ones could be easily folded (into thirds) and used, but the smaller square ones, when folded in half, wouldn't give many layers. My sewn pre-folded diapers from the smaller size blankets have one layer on each side and three layers in the middle.

But anyway, there are lots of different folding techniques and receiving blankets would make great flat diapers! :) 

I found the vinager helped too. If you are still having problems with smell and build up though, Once a month, wash your diapers with 1 tablespoon (absolutely no more!) of the original Dawn dishsoap in with your wash and an extra rinse cycle to make sure all the soap is out. I did this and it worked wonders! It really helped to strip the buildup from the diapers. I love Dawn. you can use it in your hair too if you have build up or on your dogs to kill fleas. Great stuff, Dawn dish soap. Anywho, I hope that helps.

I found a bunch of receiving blankets at the thrift store. I have made these diapers and I really like them. At first I was afraid they wouldn't be absorbant enough, but they are great. I also made your detergent and it works well too. Thank you so much for keeping the site current...I like seeing what new adventures you are going through.

That's great to hear! :) I am so enjoying my designed diapers -- the variety is fun! :) I'm glad you like the ones you made! :)

I am a bit confused about the larger rectangle shaped diapers. I am a visual learner and I think the pictures got me all confused.I just don't get how you folded them. I know that it's simple but the light hasn't clicked yet. Do you think you could do a more detailed post? I am very intrested in making my own diapers and this is truly simple. I believe making them this way would be cheaper than any other way I have found. Thanks
~JENNIFER

Jennifer, I will try to take pictures soon and add them to this post, and hopefully I can explain it better! :)

We recently taken the plunge into cloth diapering with our 3rd child who is 21 months and we are expecting #4 in september. This morning I actually commented that We should have done this with our first and probly would have saved a ton of money $$$.. The only thing I'm having a problem with is the Kushies Diaper covers since they have velcro on them she tries to get them off or else when she is running around and climbing on things they open.. Anyone have any advice on this??

Cryssie

Going back to when they used safety pins to close the diapers? As long as you grip the sides of the diaper, I can't see how you could poke the baby. And then just put rubber pants on top? (do they eve make rubber pants anymore??)

Ooh, I would worry about poking holes in the cover using pins, I don't think they're really made for that. Offhand, I might recommend putting the diaper on backwards, but knowing how my little one (ahem) *doesn't care for* diaper changes, that might be difficult.

Pants? A onesie? Other ways of covering it up - if you're crafty, maybe sew a band out of an old t-shirt with a velcro closure to keep it covered?

I have found lots of good cloth diaper information on www.diaperswappers.com - you can look things up by type of diaper, do searches, and if you register, you can post questions. I'd bet others have the same problem and you could find some solutions there.

Yes! :) I kept my babies in onesies until they were out of diapers.

Covers with velcro would be ruined with pins. Pins (if used) are for the diaper, not the cover. :) 

THANKS! That cleared it up.

Been reading your site for a while and LOVE the recipes. I am cloth diapering my 2nd and we've been using Fuzzi Bunz for a year. I had major urine ammonia smell after about 2 months of use(she was 8 mo old) despite using the recommended detergent, in the recommended amounts. I tried the manufacturers recommendations to eradicate smells to no avail. I researched and found that a cold wash (not just a cold rinse) with some baking soda, followed by a hot wash with the recommended amount of detergent for your diapers (generally half the amount that you would use for a normal load) and white vinegar in the rinse cycle works wonders. I haven't had any problems with detergent build up, repelling, smells, etc since changing to this. I even switched to just regular detergent several months ago and have had no problems. If I wash them before I go to bed, I run a cold rinse in the morning and they still have no foul odors after sitting damp while I get some sleep. Hope this helps - it's worked for me and my diapers are still in great condition!

I'd love to cloth diaper, and have a lot of AIO and pre-folds I have bought very cheaply at 2nd hand stores, but haven't had the courage to use them long-term, as my (now 2.5 yrs) girl has toddler diarrhea. I am really hoping any future children we have don't have this frustrating and at times painful problem! But thanks for the tips with the receiving blankets, they are great ideas!
Sue.

A good probiotic from a health food store always clears my kids diarrhea up almost immediately. I've heard yogurt is good too. Hope she feels better soon!

I have sewed up a number of my own fitted diapers. I found flannel works best, I tried t-shirt material, but it just is not as absorbent as flannel. I used flannel and t-shirt material in the same diaper, hoping it would work, but not as well as I would have like. I will have to try making some from receiving blankets, I have bought used ones and cut them up into fitted diapers. Cheaper than buying the flannel new. :) ~Tanya - mama to 5 :)

Hi, I have learned alot from this website, but I still have questions. I am going to try the reciving blanket diapers but do I need to make a diaper cover? If so, how and what kind of material do you use to make it? My Aunt is willing to sew the covers for me. I know how to use the prefolded diapers and pins. But if she makes the covers, do I put on the prefold diaper and pins and then a cover with pins? Please email me back with tricks of the trade. patoblisk@yahoo.com Thanks everyone!! Patty

You will need a waterproof cover with the receiving blanket diapers. I use the Gerber plastic/vinyl covers from Wal-mart or else my favorite cheaper cover -- Dappi Nylon covers from http://www.babybestbuy.com. (The Dappi nylon ones are soft and durable; the sizes run a little small in my opinion.)

You can also make diaper covers from fleece or wool or PUL (polyurethane laminate -- a waterproof-like fabric). Usually the covers don't have pins -- they are either pull-on or else have snaps or velcro.

You'd need either pins or a Snappi (google for more info) to hold the diaper on. 

Hi, I'm new to the site, but I was under the impression that vinegar ruins waterproof diapers. I use a one size fits all AIO, and sometimes it still smells, so I run a cold wash with half the amount of detergent, then a hot wash, without adding any extra detergent. The second wash seems to get all the detergent out. I use the Pyrex Natural Elements. I love cloth diapers!!!

Yes, most diaper covers, pocket diapers, and All In One diapers are made with PUL (polyurethane laminate)
Using vinegar on that material definatly hurts the water-proofing qualities.

What I do is pull the diaper covers, pocket diapers, and anything with PUL out of the washer before using vinegar in my final rinse cycle. It's one extra step, but it certainly has helped me. I ruined some Bummis Whisper Wraps and Kushies AIO because of the vinegar thing. Over time, they would be moist on the outside from urine -- no protection at all.

The most important thing is to have the vinegar with the stuff that actually absorbs such as prefolds and inserts. There's no need to ever use vinegar on diaper covers. You want your diaper covers and pocket dipes to hold up for as long as they can.

I totally agree with Tammy on the sun taking care of nasty diaper smells. Here in Missouri, it's pretty cold out, but once a week or so I still hang my diapers on the line outside to kill off bacteria.
Isn't it wonderful that something so simple as sunlight can wipe out stains and kill bacteria? God certainly saw about every detail when he created this place. : )

Donna Sue

I have to say thank you so much. i was just looking at my blanket stash and wondering if i could make a diaper out of my recieving blankets. i only use them to swaddle a baby and he is now to big for them so i dont use them. some say use as a burp cloth, but thats just too much to haul around. expecially since my baby only drools a little bit out every now and then. i can actually use a bib for a burp cloth. i was sooooooooo excited to see were someone used a recieving blanket and didnt cut them. (all the other sites i have seen say cut up the material.) i am too lazy for all that i wanted something easy. so thank you again this helped soooo much

You're welcome! I'm so glad the info was helpful. :)

I am on my third CD child, and pregnant with my fourth! I have really gotten my money's worth from my cloth diapers. Some of my prefolds are getting ratty and someone gave me homemade flannel flat diapers. I found this site hoping my mom can sew them into prefolds. I use fleece liners and the poop rarely sticks. It also keeps the moisture away from baby's butt. I don't use pins. I just fold the diaper into the velcro cover and fasten. I have never had a problem with stinky diapers. I just put them into a reusable diaper bag (washable and mostly water proof that I got from borntolove.com) and let them sit in the diaper pail until ready to wash. I use A&H detergent or Sun and Earth with Oxyclean (not bleach- bad for baby and environment). I wash in hot water and put vinegar in the cup used for the fabric softener.

I made a fitted diaper out of a flannel receiving blanket and used birds eye prefolds on the inner layer. They leak very bad. I want to make my own diapers and cover but am at a loss. I also have some polyester fleece. I guess my question is can you make diapers and diaper covers with out using PUL. I really do not want to use them or have them available where I live.

i made a diaper using ritas rump free pattern. then i bought some flannel and some fleece all from the "remnant" bin at jo ann fabric. i made a homemade diaper that rocks!! its a pocket so i stuff it with a prefold and i use it at night (i put a wool over top just in case) so YES you can make them from fleece. in fact you can actually buy fleece covers instead of PUL or wool. if you are looking for alternative to PUL you may also want to look into making your own wool cover (you tube or google it) cove r either from an old sweater or from soemone knitting it. I LOVE MY WOOL COVER LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! i use only wool at night and sometimes during the day on my son. bought mine from craigslist for 10 bucks. if buying look for these brands :
disana (super soft and double layered so even more absorbancy) o
aristocrat is another good one though i find taht its not as "squishy" between the legs (perhaps woven more tightly?)
heard sustainableish is awesome (but expensive)

i would NOT recommend buying babyology. kinda scratchy and my son sleeps horrible when wearing this one.
good luck! check out a blog that i use alot its www.allaboutclothdiapers.com. she answers questions in her comment section (on any given blog) which is helpful
good luck to you! dont know if you need anymore help withcloth dipes but im happy to help if i can! mcswiggen@hotmail.com

ps all fitted diapers that you make or buy are going to leak they need a water proof cover. (unless baby is very newborn and can get away with no cover for a bit bc they dont pee tons lol

I'm new to cloth diapering, but am not new to allergies. I can only clean with natural things like vinegar and baking soda. I thought I'd add an idea I came up with several years ago with the laundry. I have a Downy Ball. It's a fabric softener dispenser (bought it when I wasn't having as much trouble with my Asthma). I stopped being able to use fabric softener some years ago, so the "ball" just sat around. I have since discovered that I can use it to "automatically" dispense vinegar in the rinse just like it would fabric softener. Hope this helps, and since I am new, and haven't read all of the posts yet, I hope I haven't been redundant.

I know you said that for diaper covers, you use the gerber plastic pants from walmart. I have found them there, but only in sizes 12-18 mos, and then a size even larger than that. I have looked on the back of the packaging and it lists these two sizes, which makes me think there are no smaller sizes. I have even spend time online trying to find plastic/vinyl diapers covers (like my mom used to use) in a smaller size, but to no avail. What do you do for a newborn or even a 6 month old? My son is 4 mos and have wanted to do this all along, but have waited because the size of the covers. Do larger covers work for a smaller baby? Im curious to know what works for you. Thanks!

Sometimes larger covers do work for a smaller baby.

I haven't bought any Gerber vinyl covers in several years, since I discovered Dappi Nylon covers (cheapest place to buy is http://www.babybestbuy.com and I have ordered from them several times) which are sold $3.99 for a 2-pack and are comparable to the Gerber ones but much more durable and comfortable! :)

Over the years since this post was written (about 4 years ago) I have been given or purchased a few wool covers and other PUL covers (like Bummi's or Thirsties brands) and now use more of a variety rather than only one kind of cover. :)

I agree, I love my Dappi covers. I had zero problems with diaper rash until I convinced myself I needed some of those expensive PUL covers and pocket diapers. *sigh* I'm going back to Dappi's for the hot summer months. I may give wool a try though. Any suggestions on how to make inexpensive wool covers?

If you or someone you know can knit or crochet, wool covers can be easily made (or so I'm told). I have a hand-knitted one that was a gift from a friend, and I loved it so much I asked her if I could pay her to make a couple more! It still wasn't "cheap" but I would much rather pay a friend than a big company! :)

I've also heard that wool covers or wraps can be made from old wool sweaters, or anything that's 100% wool. I found a big wool hat and tried to use it! But by the time I had felted it, it was too small. :)

I bought some old merino wool sweaters at the local thrift shop. Felted them, then cut out the same pattern I used for making my AI1 from the body of the sweater. Serged the edges and sewed on velcro for closing. Oh, I also cut out gussets and put on the leg openings to hold in explosions.

I just heard from a friend that made it from a plastic tablecloth and covered with the fleece, towel or cotton fabric. May this help you. Thanks.

I have a burning questions. Just starting the clothe diaper adventure and I've decided on Indian Prefolds. HOWEVER - everywhere I go, everyone talks about ALL the sizes you have to buy! Can I not buy the largest size (Toddler) and fold over or whatever fold I need and use it infant - training? Yes, I understand there will be bulk. It looks like you use pretty much one size and that your homemade prefolds get folded for smaller babies. I want to do this as economically as possible! What size do you make your homemade prefolds? I assume you make them to last.

I am also thinking of getting unbleached prefolds. Any draw back? If I ever need to bleach them for any reason are they going to look funny?

So happy to have discovered your threads on cloth diapers! I wish it would show up when googling for cloth!!!

Here's my personal recommendation. I bought 3 dozen GMD birdseye flat fold diapers for like $45 bucks. You can fold flatfolds so that there are more layers in the middle and it's shaped like a rectangle, and wha-laa! you can fold it exactly like a prefold diaper. you can adjust the rise and width of flat folds to exactly what your baby needs until his or her bladder gets big enough that the flats don't absorb enough anymore. This happened to me at about 6 months of age for my daughter. Then, buy or make some super absorbant inserts. You can order specialty fabrics and premade soaker insterts online or recruit some old cotton terry towels for service as soakers. Also, I read a recommendation from a lady who bought microfiber towels very cheaply from the automotive department at walmart, prewashed them a few time to wash out the extra dye, and then used them to make ultra-absorbant doublers. When you fold up your flat fold diaper, sandwich the ultrabsorbant soaker between two or more layers of flat fold diaper in the center, fold however you like, and then you have the increase absorbancy you need for older babies without alot of extra bulk. You can continue to taylor the diaper to your baby's shape and adjust the absorbancy to your baby's needs without buying 5 different sizes of prefold diaper. Also, I found that my flat fold diapers were much easier to get clean and dry without having to resort to extra time in the washing machine or the dryer.
If you buy high quality GMD birdseye flannel flat fold diapers, you can use Snappi's on them which is faster than pins and won't risk sticking the baby. Also, I found alot more household uses for my flat fold diapers than for my outgrown prefolds.
As far as buying unbleached diapers, I bought my flat folds unbleached. It takes several runs through the washer on hot to get the natural waxes out of the cloth. When I was first stripping my unbleached diapers, I put 1 tablespoon (exactly 1 tablespoon, no more!) of original Dawn dish soap in with the first or second wash and it helped speed up the process alot! I've also read that Tide Total is good for stripping unbleached diapers, but only use it in the initial stripping period and be sure to have plenty of hot washes and rinses after using Tide or Dawn. And no, they don't look funny, per se. They are not white, however. They are a light beige or "natural" color. I don't think home strength bleach will make them look funny unless you pour the bleach straight onto the diapers, which I strongly advise against. Only use the most miniscule amount of bleach on your diapers and only under the most dire circumstances (like your child is recovering from a yeast infection and you need to really sterilize your diapers). If you have problems with smell or stains, try drying them in the sunight.
If you are looking for economy in covers as well, try Dappi Nylon Pants. Also, periodically check sites like diaperswappers.com (which has a marketplace where moms can sell their good quality used diapering supplies) and cottonbabies.com (which occasionally sells good quality used diapers and covers as well as brand new second quality diapers and covers) you can get some great deals on covers and other diapering supplies by keeping your eye on these used diaper marketplaces and auction sites like Ebay. You can even make wool covers from old 100% wool sweaters, or crochet or knit your own. There are plenty of free patterns and instructions on how to do it online. Anywho, I hope that helps

If you are lucky you can find flannel sheets at thrift stores. I bought a King sized Xmas print flannel top sheet and made SO many diapers out of those. I am currently pregnant with baby number 2 and I am thinking of using flat folds only, I used every other type with my now potty trained 2 year old, but they started to smell after she would pee. Its just SO much work to strip them all the time. I also now hand wash most of our clothes, since I live in an apartment and it costs about 2.50 to wash and dry just one load of clothes (ridiculous! and its small washers) Flats wash out better and dry a TON faster, When my two year old was 3 weeks old I started cloth diapering her, and I had 5 prefolds to my name, I was washing diapers by noon to hang them in the sun to dry to use the rest of the day, LOL I started using receiving blankets at that time when I sometimes didnt have the diapers dry when she needed them.

Has anyone made wipes with the receiving blankets?

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