Cloth Diapers and Accessories · DIY

Cloth Diapers and DIY Inserts


When Maxson was born it never really occurred to me that cloth diapers were an option. We went with disposables because that’s what everyone expects you to do. At this point I knew nothing about babies or parenting (I could argue that I still don’t know anything about parenting – but hey I’m trying here!)

Lately we’ve been trying to reduce waste as well as rid ourselves of unnecessary chemicals. So when I became pregnant with baby #2, I started researching cloth diapers. The more I learned, the more I was excited to try it out. It was a bit discouraging finding out the cost of new “quality name brands” though, as we are on a tight budget. I searched Amazon, found some China knock offs for a bit cheaper with mixed reviews, but I still wasn’t satisfied. So I decided to do a quick search on Kijiji, and I found an incredible deal! I was able to find 17 adjustable pocket cloth diapers for $25.50 ($1.50/each) most of them had been washed but never even used. I had never been so pumped about purchasing diapers! If you’re in the same boat as me, don’t get discouraged – it just takes a little bit more time and research, but you CAN find an awesome deal.

I’ve also decided to try and transition Maxson to cloth since he is currently potty training and I really dislike pullups. They always seem to leak on us and/or give him a rash. He also likes to pull the tabs off of his regular diapers. I’m hoping that not only will the cloth be easier on his tender little bum, but that they might help him complete the potty training phase faster. Time will tell, and I will update as we go.

If you know how to sew, you can also make your own inserts. I made all my inserts 6”x14” because that’s what size fit my pocket diapers the best. You can adjust size as necessary. (I plan on making smaller ones for baby as well)

Since I am new to this whole cloth diapering thing, I decided to make a bunch out of different fabrics I had laying around the house and then compare them.

Insert #1: Terry Cloth

1. Cut 2 or 3 layers of cotton terry (I used an old towel)
2. Zig-zag or serge all the layers together

The terry cloth absorbed everything really well. I made one insert with 2 layers and one with 3. For everyday wear I think 2 layers is more than adequate coverage, and 3 layers is just a bit too bulky. However 3 layers works well for overnight. (I like to use the 3 layered insert with a microfiber/terry cloth insert layered over it).  Both the 2 and 3 layer versions do take a while to dry though.

I’d like to note that the first time you wash them you will likely get a lot of loose threads coming off around the edge stitching. Don’t panic, it won’t fray any further than your zig-zaging. Just cut them off.

Insert #2: Cotton Flannel

1. Cut 6 layers of cotton flannel (I used an old receiving blanket)
2. Zig-zag or serge all the layers together

It took approximately the whole receiving blanket to make 1 insert. It held in leaks well and didn’t seem to bulky. However, since there are 6 layers, it does take a little while longer to dry after it’s been washed.

Insert #3: Fleece/Flannel

1. Cut 4 layers of fleece
2. Cut 1 layer of cotton flannel
3. Zig-zag or serge all the layers together (the flannel will be the top layer)

This one is BULKY. Since it’s so bulky I wouldn’t use it for everyday use.  I thought it would work well for overnight, but we ended up with a major leak.  I am going to try this with a microfiber/terry cloth insert layered on top.

Sewing Tip: Use a fresh, sharp needle when sewing these, because it’s so bulky your machine might want to skip stitches.

Insert #4: Microfiber/Terry Cloth


1. Cut 2 layers of microfiber cloth (I used an old dish towel)
2. Cut 1 layer of terry cloth
3. Sandwich the terry cloth between the microfiber
4. Zig-zag or serge all the layers together

This one is one of my favourites. It’s very absorbent, and pretty sleek as far as inserts go. It also dries fairly quickly. I am definitely going to make more of these ones!

Note: Don’t put microfiber directly next to baby’s bum, it dries out the skin and can irritate it.

Insert #5: Cotton Flannel/Microfiber
1. Cut 4 layers of cotton flannel
2. Cut 1 layer of microfiber
3. Sandwich the microfiber between the flannel (2 flannel, microfiber, 2 flannel)
4. Zig-zag or serge all the layers together.

This was also another one of my favourites. It’s soft and very absorbent, and it’s safe to put next to baby’s skin if the need arises. It’s slightly more bulky than the microfiber/terry cloth inserts, but doesn’t take much longer to dry.

Also check out my post on DIY cloth wipes!


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