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For those of you who are wondering what a cloth diapering post is doing in a craft and gift blog, well . . . A couple days ago, I was doing our diaper laundry and as I folded the microfleece inserts I had made, I thought how I really should write a post about them. Which led me to think about the homemade cloth diaper detergent we use and the cloth wipes my mom makes for us.
I figured since there are many moms-to-be out there today that are going to cloth diaper, you might as well have a few gift ideas up your sleeve, right? Here are some DIY Cloth Diaper gifts for you to share with that friend, or if you’re cloth-diapering at the moment, maybe you’ll want to try them yourself! So, first off . . .
How to Make Your Own Microfleece Inserts
You will need:
1 yard microfleece fabric (1 yard will make 13 inserts; you can buy less if you want)
Small prefold diaper to measure
The microfleece inserts you buy come in cute packaging but they’re nothing compared to these. (I say this because I bought some before it occurred to me that I could make them for a fraction of the price!)
For those who are new to cloth diapering, an insert on top of a prefold cotton diaper wicks away the moisture so your baby doesn’t get a rash. This tutorial is for that kind of insert since I use prefolds and diaper covers.
I have found that using a small prefold diaper to measure works the best. A smaller insert will bunch up, which I am not a big fan of.
Wash the microfleece according to manufacturer’s instructions. Air dry. Using the prefold as a guide, cut your microfleece fabric into squares. Done! No need to hem it because fleece doesn’t unravel.
I highly recommend air-drying these inserts rather than tossing them in the dryer with the rest of the diaper laundry. They will air-dry very fast. Also note that you really need to buy microfleece for this project. Any other fleece will be much too warm for baby. If you’re concerned about the price, keep an eye out at your local fabric store for seasonal sales.
For a gift, I would fold these into squares for your cloth-diapering-to-be mom and tie them with a ribbon (and a note as to how to wash/dry them.)
Since I use cotton prefolds and covers, I also made the switch last summer to making my own cloth diaper detergent. My favorite thing about this detergent ‘recipe’ is I only have to use 1 Tablespoon per wash. You read that right. If the diapers are particularly bad, I’ll up the detergent to 2 Tablespoons. Since the worst thing for cloth diapers is residue, I don’t use more than that. Please note again, that I use cotton prefolds. If you’re making a batch of detergent for a friend’s baby shower, make sure that you ask her what kind of diapers she’ll be using. The jury is still out as to whether this is a good idea for ‘fancier’ cloth diapers.
I found these cloth diaper detergent measurements on The Eco Friendly Family. Her post is incredibly informative and helpful (as are the comments!) so be sure to go over and check out her post for more information if you’re interested. She shares a large batch recipe and a small batch. I use the smaller one since we are limited in storage space in our apartment.
How to Make Cloth Diaper Detergent
(I am including Amazon affiliate links above so you can see what these materials look like since I was initially unfamiliar with what 20 Mule Team Borax even looked like!)
Mix together. Use 1-2 TBS per load.
The great thing about this formula is if you buy a box of each of the above items, you will have enough detergent for a long time. I’ve made several batches since last summer and am still on the same boxes of soda, borax, and Oxi-clean. Yay! (You can also use this no-soap detergent on your regular laundry.)
Update: Now that we’re out of the cloth-diapering world, I’ve updated this detergent. My recipe is now as follows:
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 cup 20 Team Mule Borax
2 drops essential oil
I also put a couple of drops of essential oil on wool dryer balls and don’t use dryer sheets anymore. (Dryer sheets are really bad for you anyway. :/ Wish I had known that sooner!)
Our laundry comes out clean every time, so I’m really pleased with this formula!
Here’s one last idea for those who like to sew. I realized early on that if I was going to use cloth diapers, I would also be using cloth wipes. You can buy these online at Etsy, which I initially did, but they were rather expensive (even though they were really cute!) After that initial purchase, I realized you can easily make cloth wipes.
How to Make Your Own Cloth Wipes (or Baby Washcloths)
You will need:
1 yard of cotton flannel
Sewing machine + thread
Wash the flannel (it will shrink slightly). Cut off the threads on the edges and cut into squares. Hem the sides.
My mom has graciously made these for us the last couple of years because my sewing machine is very pathetic. Cloth wipes make a darling gift as well. Just fold in squares, stack, and tie with a ribbon. (They also make very soft baby washcloths; I loved to use them as washcloths when my daughter was a newborn!)
So there you go, three easy DIY Cloth Diapering gifts. You never know when you’ll need these for your arsenal of baby shower gifts. Enjoy!
P.S. I made the Laundry Detergent label using a tutorial at Just a Girl and Her Blog. So easy and fun!