Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Making your own fleece diaper liners




I wanted to do a quick "how to" on making your own fleece diaper liners to protect your baby from wetness or protecting your diapers from unsafe creams and ointments.  It seems like I'm asked
at least a few times a week (and anytime I recommend them) where to get them and/or how to make them.  I want to start by saying I use them every day for every diaper change.  I found out early in our cloth diapering journey that our Dirty Little Hippie is very sensitive to wetness.  It's sometimes easy to forget, but baby skin is much different than our own.  It's new, unmarred and certainly unweathered.  The least amount of wetness irritation can cause devastating effects.  These effects can range from a little redness to peeling or blistering raw spots.  Their skin can literally be peeled or eroded away from wetness.  We found out just a few weeks into our diapering days (even before switching to cloth) that our daughter was one of the super sensitive.  Since that time, it's been important for us to use a barrier to keep the moisture away from her skin.  Many of the common barrier "creams" and "ointments" are not cloth diaper safe.  The others that we tried were either ineffective or contained ingrediets that we would prefer to keep off of her skin and therefore out of her body.  The solution, fleece diaper liners.

You'll need a few things to get started:
A piece of micro-fleece (For this post I am using .222 yards of micro-fleece to make 13 liners)
Scissors
A template (I use a piece of junk mail)


Choosing Fleece
I get a lot of questions about the "type" of fleece.  "Does it have to be micro-fleece?"  The short answer is no.  It really doesn't.  However, I will add that micro-fleece is the best choice and will hold up the longest and withstand the most washes without repelling liquids.  What you're really looking for is for the liquid to pass through the fleece into your insert/soaker.  Once the liquid has passed through the surface of the fleece will remain dry against baby's skin.  Thicker fleece tends to become less effective at this over time.  How much time?  That is dependent on the number of washes it goes through and I'm sure a plethora of other factors that I honestly haven't had time to evaluate.  The
down and dirty is that these are so cost effective to make, that even if you're only using them a few times (and I am still using some thicker fleece liners two months in, which equates to around 30+ washes), you're saving money. I happen to get my fleece at JoAnn fabric for three reasons.  Reason number one is that it's the closest fabric store to my home.  Reason two is that they almost always have fleece in the remnant bin and reason number three is that they often put fleece on sale for 30-50% off.  Here's the great thing about their sales.  The remnant bin is 50% off regular price.  When fleece is on sale for say 40% off, then the fleece I buy is already marked down 40% and I get 50% off what is already marked down by buying a remnant.  Buying remnants also allows me to change it up more often at home.  An entire yard of fleece will make a whole lot of liners! 

I'll be using .222 yards of fleece for this post.  The fleece is labeled "Chan Monkey See Monkey Do" at JoAnn fabric (in the event you want to find it).  The regular price is $12.99.  .222 yards at $12.99 came out to $2.88.  Fleece prints just happened to be on sale for 50% off that week reducing the price to $1.44.  I purchased this out of the remnant bin which gave me an additional 50% discount bringing the total cost to $.72 for my materials.


DO NOT WASH FLEECE PRIOR TO CUTTING.  Doing so will cause the edges of your liners to curl making them difficult to cut. 


Scissors
I suppose you could use any scissors that work for you.  I use a pair of common sewing scissors.  I'll let this be your call.  Fleece does not fray so there is no need for special scissors, edging or serging!

Template
As I stated above, I use a piece of common junk mail.  Once of my new years resolutions is to deal with mail as it comes into the house, but I still always have a piece of junk mail lying around.  This particular one is from Dish Network.  I'm sure they're wanting me to subscribe to their service no doubt.  However, I doubt that will ever happen so instead I will use their junk offering as a template for my diaper liners.  I find that this size (roughly 9x4) works great in our diapers.  Our Dirty Little Hippie is 3 months old now and I foresee that this size will continue to work well into the future.  If there comes a time that these become too small, I will use them as fleece wipes instead.

Junk Mail 9 inches long

Junk Mail 4 inches wide

If you purchase a fleece remnant, the first thing you'll notice is that you're going to get a label side.  I usually just leave this on, but to make these "pretty" I cut it off.  This particular piece (and they do come in all shapes) was one very long thin swatch of fleece.  At the largest point, it was less than 12 inches long. 

 
Fleece - Label side
Lay out your template
I usually just eyeball the piece of fleece to see which cuts will give me the most liners.  I haven't found much difference in many pieces.  Only once did cutting one way vs. the other give me two more liners, so don't spend a lot of time worrying about "where" to cut.  Lay your template on the fabric and cut around it.  It really is that easy. After you've cut your first liner, move your template and cut a second liner.  Continue with this until you've used all of the available space in your fabric.  When there is no more available space, you're done!
Continue moving template to available fabric
Cut liner after liner until you can cut no more!
Completed stack of 13 liners

 You're likely notice (if you're anything like me that your liners are not perfect and they aren't all exactly the same size.  I struggle with wanting them all the same size and being too lazy to be that attentive to detail.  I've sided with the theory that it doesn't matter if they're not all exactly the same size, if there are some off edges or if I hacked one silly, because they're all eventually going to be pooped on.  They're diaper liners.  They don't have to be perfect.  Just let it go.  Rejoice in the fact that this is one thing that you don't have to fix as a mommy!  Ok, if you're really that concerned about it, trim a few edges and have done with it!  Wash liners prior to use but after cutting.  You never know who touched your fabric in the store and what they may have had on their hands or the factory may have on/in it's machines.
Completed Stack of almost the same size liners

When using your liner, simply place a liner between the diaper and your baby and voila!

Liner in Diaper
I've used these liners with flats, prefolds and pockets alike.  I use them at every diaper change to protect our daughter from wetness however, not every baby is as wetness sensitive.  Some mommies choose to only use diaper liners when using creams or ointments that are not cloth diaper safe and may cause repelling.  These liners are also perfect for that!  I do recommend that if you choose to use liners for this reason that you always use that set of liners for that reason.  There should be no need to go about constantly stripping petroleum products from diaper liners that cost $0.77 cents to make.  But do remember that this $0.05 cent diaper liner can save your $20 diaper from having to be stripped of petroleum based cream!

Have you made your own fleece liners?

Will you be making some now? 

Please don't forget to Pin this post and add your comments below.



18 comments:

  1. I linked to your blog from the TCDC site and I love it!! I will DEFINITELY be making my own fleece liners because I have noticed when using fst, flannel fitteds, or prefolds that my little man's skin gets red and he seems a bit more irritated when I'm changing him. I'm so happy I found your blog!

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  2. Yes I'm going to cut up an ugly red fleece blanket right now. My 9 month old is wetting a lot more at night and is getting sores on his penis. I want to be able to use ointment, and keeping p his skin away from the prefold will help him I'm sure.

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  3. Wow, now I'm wondering if I have any fleece blankets lying around lol!

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  4. Wow, now I'm wondering if I have any fleece blankets lying around lol!

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  5. Thank you so much for posting. I knew there must be something thin that can go in the cloth diaper, that would protect my baby's bottom. I'm on Joanne's website right now! I couldn't find the same pattern, but they do have a 50% off sell right now with some cute boy patterns. Thanks again for posting. I'm glad to see it will be a simple project that doesn't require sewing as well. :-D

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  6. Will these work for the use of extra protection of leaking diapers too? I'm new to this entire cloth diapering thing, so I'm not sure. Thanks!

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    1. @Kelley fleece liners won't add any absorbency to your diapers, for that you'll need a booster made of material such as cotton, hemp, bamboo, or microfibre.

      http://mamanloupsden.com/2014/08/26/need-a-boost/

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    2. @Kelley fleece liners won't add any absorbency to your diapers, for that you'll need a booster made of material such as cotton, hemp, bamboo, or microfibre.

      http://mamanloupsden.com/2014/08/26/need-a-boost/

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  7. I just found this page, thank you! I have one question, though: Would you wash your liners in the wash with all the diapers if you use them to protect the diaper from a barrier cream? Or would you wash them in their own load?

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  8. I went to JoAnn Fabric today and bought a yard of grey micro fleece. I even asked for help to make sure I got the right thing. I cut it up and washed it. Then I decided to see what happened when I put water on it. It repelled it completely. No water soaked through. That is the exact opposite effect of what I wanted. Any ideas?

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    1. I make cloth diapers and I also found that out the hard way. Using just normal fleece works (not polar or anything) like the kind they have at walmart works great! But ya I bought a ton of microfleece from jo's thinking Yay I don't have to order it from the Internet and it pretty much repelled even after washing. But ya I've heard great things about the blankets that are rolled up at walmart. If your just wanting a barrier for selling later but not worried to much about wetness you can use flannel :0

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  9. That is weird. I always just use the thin fleece blankets from Walmart because you get a ton of liners and it is only 2.50. Maybe the fleece is too thick that you bought? Sorry this reply is so late compared to when you posted it but I saw no one ever replied to you! :(

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  10. It also depends on the number of washes. Some fleece requires you to do more hot water washes than others. And also make sure you are not using fabric softeners or dryer sheets at all. Those will add a coating to the fabric. I learned this when prepping a fleece blanket for my guinea pigs. (and now I'm prepping for cloth diapers--fleece is so versatile! lol)

    I'm currently prepping just regular fleece off the bolt (anti-pill, and from Walmart). The first load I used a free & clear detergent. Currently on the 5th wash and I haven't used any soap since that first load.

    Oh, and wool dryer balls will help a ton too! You can make your own (fisherman's wool is the cheapest, just make sure whatever you choose is 100% wool and not labeled superwash)

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  11. i came to find a template as i bought remnant fabric and already washed it :( shoot!

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  12. Which side goes against the baby? The nice print (outside) or the inside?

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  13. Thank you so much for this! I was wondering if anyone else had kids that were sensitive to wetness. Thanks for the share!!!!!

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  14. Bought a .444 yard remnant of anti-pill microfleece from Joann @ $4.99/yd. Remnants were 50% off so I ended up paying only $1.11. Cut into 5.5" x 9" rectangles I ended up with exactly 24 liners. That's $0.05 each :-)

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