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How To Make Cloth Diaper Inserts: A 10 Step By Step Guide

Cloth diaper inserts are essential for keeping your baby dry and comfortable during the day and night. While there are different types of inserts that you can purchase, making your own inserts can be a fulfilling option that can be done with just a few materials and some basic sewing skills. 

In this article, we will give you a complete step-by-step guide on making cloth diaper inserts and tips on caring for and maintaining them to get as much use out of them as possible.

sewing cloth diaper inserts

Materials Needed

  • Absorbent Fabric: The primary material used to make cloth diaper inserts is an absorbent fabric, such as cotton, bamboo, hemp, or microfiber. This fabric’s function is to absorb moisture and keep your baby’s skin dry.
  • Stay-Dry Fabric: Stay-dry fabric, such as fleece, is used as a layer on top of the absorbent fabric to wick moisture away from the baby’s skin and keep them feeling dry.
  • Sewing Machine: A sewing machine is required to sew the fabric layers together and create the final product.
  • Thread: High-quality thread that can withstand multiple washes and heavy usage is recommended for sewing your inserts together.
  • Scissors: You’ll need a pair of sharp fabric scissors to cut your fabric to the correct size.
  • Ruler: A ruler is needed to measure and cut your fabric to the correct size.
  • Pins or Clips: Pins or clips hold the layers of fabric together while you sew.

Types of Inserts

Prefold Inserts: Prefold inserts are made from multiple layers of absorbent fabric sewn together in a rectangular shape. They’re easy to make and highly customizable, making them a popular choice for cloth diapering parents.

Pocket Inserts: Pocket inserts consist of a layer of absorbent fabric and a layer of stay-dry fabric sewn together to create a pocket. To increase its absorbency, you can stuff the pocket with additional absorbent material, such as microfiber or hemp.

All-in-One Inserts: All-in-one inserts are made from multiple layers of absorbent fabric and a stay-dry layer sewn together in a single piece. They’re easy to use and require minimal preparation, making them a popular choice for busy parents.

Fitted Inserts: Fitted inserts are made from a single layer of absorbent fabric contoured to fit your baby’s shape. They provide a snug and comfortable fit, making them a popular choice for overnight use.

Each type of insert has its own unique features and benefits. For example, prefold inserts are highly customizable and easy to make, while all-in-one inserts are convenient and require minimal preparation. 

To determine the best type of insert for your situation, consider your baby’s needs and your own preferences. Make a variety of inserts to suit different conditions, such as overnight use or daytime outings.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Cloth Diaper Inserts

1. Measure and cut your absorbent fabric to the desired size, depending on the size of your baby and the type of insert you’re making.

2. Cut your stay-dry fabric to the same size as your absorbent fabric.

3. Place the stay-dry fabric on top of the absorbent fabric, with the right sides facing each other.

4. Pin or clip the layers of fabric together, leaving a small opening at one end.

5. Sew around the edges of the fabric, leaving the opening unsewn.

6. Turn the fabric right side out through the opening.

7. Topstitch around the edges of the fabric, making sure to close the opening as you sew.

8. If you’re making a pocket insert, sew a strip of fabric onto the top of the insert to create a pocket.

9. If you’re making a fitted insert, sew elastic onto the edges of the insert to create a snug fit.

10. Repeat these steps to create as many inserts as you need.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use a rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut your fabric, saving you time and ensuring more accurate cuts.
  • Pre-wash your fabric before cutting and sewing to prevent shrinkage.
  • Use a ballpoint or stretch needle when sewing with knit fabrics, as they are less likely to damage the fabric.
  • Customize your inserts to fit your baby’s specific needs by adjusting the number of layers of absorbent fabric, the size and shape of the insert, and the type of stay-dry fabric used.
  • Consider adding additional absorbent material, such as microfiber or hemp, to increase the insert’s absorbency.
  • Use a snap press or pliers to add snaps to your inserts, making them easier to use and preventing them from shifting around inside the diaper.
  • Experiment with different fabrics, such as bamboo or cotton, to find the best ones for your baby.

Care and Maintenance

  • Proper care and maintenance of your cloth diaper inserts will ensure they remain absorbent and in good condition. Here are some tips on how to care for and maintain your inserts
  • Wash your inserts before using them for the first time to remove any residues from the manufacturing process.
  • Wash your inserts separately from other laundry to prevent them from getting tangled or damaged.
  • Use a cloth diaper-safe detergent free of additives, fragrances, and fabric softeners.
  • Wash your inserts in warm or hot water, depending on the fabric’s care instructions.
  • Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, which can damage the fabric and decrease the inserts’ absorbency.
  • Hang your inserts to dry or dry them on low heat in the dryer, avoiding high heat settings that can damage the fabric.
  • Store your inserts in a dry and well-ventilated area to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Cloth Diaper Insert FAQ

Can I use different types of fabric for the layers of the insert?

Yes, you can use different types of fabric for the insert layers to create a more customizable and absorbent insert.

How often do I need to change the cloth diaper insert?

It would be best if you changed the cloth diaper insert whenever it becomes saturated or every 2-3 hours.

Can I use bleach to clean cloth diaper inserts?

No, it is not recommended to use bleach as it can damage the fabric and reduce absorbency.

Can I make cloth diaper inserts for newborns?

Yes, you can make cloth diaper inserts for newborns by adjusting the size and absorbency of the insert.

By following the step-by-step guide, you can make your own cloth diaper inserts that are more absorbent and effective than store-bought ones. Here is more information on all about cloth diaper inserts.