If you’re reading a post about how to make cloth diaper liners, you’re probably on board with them and eager to get to the instructions, which I have here for you.
But for the few of you who found yourselves here by accident, or through the recommendation of a well-meaning friend, you might want to jump over to this post with general information about reusable and disposable cloth diaper liners to make sure they’re for you.
To recap, here are some benefits reusable liners offer:
- They make cleaning poops a lot faster and easier
- They protect your expensive diapers from diaper creams and ointments
- Depending on what they’re made from, they can give your baby a comfortable “stay-dry” feeling
- Depending on the material, they can help combat common diaper rash
You’ll notice those last two points mention that the fabric you choose to use to make your reusable cloth diaper liners will impact the benefits you get from them, so let’s talk about fabric choice for a minute.
Choosing A Fabric
Unlike cloth diapers themselves, which require absorbent materials, like the ones I list in this post about cloth diaper fabrics, reusable cloth diaper liners can be made from really any type of fabric you have lying around.
In fact, reusable liners are a popular choice for those wondering what the heck to do with all those baby receiving blankets they don’t seem to have a use for now that the newborn stage is over.
Receiving blankets, like the famous Kuddle-Up blankets we all get in hospitals, are flannel, and all-cotton.
While flannel is a great choice and using up fabrics that you have on hand is wonderful, the most popular fabric choice for cloth diaper liners is fleece, and for good reason.
The best thing about using fleece, in my opinion, is that you don’t have to sew anything to make them! I break every sewing machine I touch, so this was huge for me. Fleece doesn’t fray when you cut and wash it, so you literally just have to cut it to size and you’re done.
Fleece also washes up great. Because it’s not flat, the fuzzy “good side” of the fleece that you put against baby cleans easier, and often poop just peels off of it, whereas it can sometime set into cotton and other smoother fabrics.
Another reason to choose fleece as a cloth diaper liner is that it’s wicking properties (for some types of fleece only, keep reading for more info on what type you should choose) can help combat diaper rash. YouTuber Debt Free Dana ツ created a video explaining how cloth diapers helped her with her son and what she calls ammonia burns. Here’s her video:
What Kind of Fleece Can I Use?
What’s important to note here is that there are many kinds of fleece and they are not all created equal.
“Fleece” fabrics just describe fabric that is knit, and then at least one side is brushed to loosen fibers and create a plush nap. Types of fleece include cotton or cotton blended fleece, lycra spandex fleece, French terry fleece, slub fleece, sherpa fleece, polyester fleece, polar fleece, and microfleece.
The two types of fleece you’ll most likely find readily at your local fabric store, and the type of fleece you can find as cheap blankets either at your local Walmart or on Amazon are microfleece and polyester fleece.
The type of fleece that you want to use is microfleece. Microfleece is a lightweight and thin double-sided fleece that is nice and soft. Because it’s lightweight and does an excellent job of wicking moisture away from the body, which is exactly what you want.
TheSassyMonkeyKY made a great video showing just how microfleece absorbs water and polyester fleece repels it, check it out below:
Whether you choose fleece or cotton reusable cloth diaper liners can be added to any cloth diaper routine for little to no cost, when you make them yourself, so let’s get into the nitty gritty of liner DIY.
What Size to Make Them
After fabric choice, the first question I get a lot from people wanting to make their own cloth diaper liners is, “How big do I make them?” The easy answer is that if you have diapers that are all roughly the same size, cut them to fit those diapers well, from side to side and back to back. Poop has a mind of it’s own of course so you want to cover as much as you can.
If you have a stash that’s varied or if you’re making these before you have your cloth diapers picked out, here are the sizes of the three brands of cloth diaper fleece liners I have found that are available to purchase:
- Amp Stay Dry Liners: 5″ x 12″
- Smart Bottoms Stay Dry Liners: 5″ x 12″
- AppleCheeks MicroFleece Liners: 4.75″ by 11″
While there aren’t many brands that make and sell fleece liners— after all, they’re so easy and cheap to DIY — you can see that they are all roughly the same size. If you’re not sure about sizing, this is a good starting point, and if you’re planning on purchasing diapers from any of these brands, it’s an especially safe bet that this is the right size for you.
The DIY Tutorials
Now that you know what fabric you’re using and how big you’re going to make them, let’s look at the actual making of the liners. Below are two video tutorials for making DIY cloth diaper liners. The first is by Nurse Liz, and the second is by Love Fluffybums. As you’ll see, it’s crazy-easy and cheap!
How to Use Them
Once you have made your new reusable cloth diaper liners, you might just be wondering what is the best way to place them inside the diaper, and clean them when they are soiled. Here’s the simple step-by-step rundown:
- During the diaper change, place the liner on top of the cloth diaper so that it sits between the diaper and baby, meaning that it will be what touches your baby, not the diaper.
- After your little one does their business, remove any solids by taking the liner off and either swooshing it around in the toilet or spraying it off with a cloth diaper sprayer. This won’t always be necessary of course, especially with fleece liners which sometimes let the poop peel right off, which is awesome!
- If you’re using a cloth diaper cream that’s not recommended for cloth diapers, meaning one that’s made with zinc or petroleum, consider washing the liner with your regular clothes and not with your diapers to avoid the transfer of those creams onto your diapers.
- Wash, dry, and repeat until potty training.
April DuffyApril is the founder of Cloth Diapers for Beginners and author of The Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook. Since 2015, April has helped well over 75,000 parents and caregivers cloth diaper their children through this website, her book, her YouTube Channel, and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group.
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