Image: Cuddle Baby Carrier, by, 1980

Turn your old jeans into a sturdy denim baby carrier!

You'll need TWO pair of adult jeans, with no worn spots on the backside.

Remove the back of the jeans from the fronts, leaving the thick side seams attached to the discarded fronts.

Cut off waist-band, belt loops and leg hems. Make a T-shaped cut up the centre from each crotch, as follows:

-- On one jean-back - T is through the centre of the back pockets.
-- On the other jean-back - T is midway between the crotch and bottom of back pockets.
Image: How to Make a Baby Sling From Old Jeans, By E. A. Byrnes, May/June 1982
How to Make a Baby Sling From Old Jeans
-- Fold the legs in on themselves to form 4" wide straps.
-- Double-stitch along the length of both sides of these straps.
-- Place one jean-back on top of the other, to form an H shape - lining up one jean-back along the top of the other's pockets.
-- Double-stitch the two jean-backs together.

Tie the shorter straps around your waist.

For a front carrier, have a friend help place baby's stomach against your stomach, baby's legs on either side of the carrier seat.

For a back carrier, baby's stomach is against your back.

Bring carrier and longer straps up over baby, with one strap over each of your shoulders.

For a front carrier, you could cross the straps at your back.

While you hold securely onto the longer straps to support the baby, have your friend mark or pin where these longer straps meet the seat part, making sure this is a comfortable position for baby and you.

Remove the baby and carrier, double-stitch longer straps to marked spots, on the inside of the seat part.

Finish by folding and hemming any remaining cut edges.

Make sure all stitching seams are strong and sturdy for safety.

Thanks to Catherine for this Frugal Baby Tip!

 • For more pictures and instructions, including a slideshow: How to Make a Baby Sling From Old Jeans, by E. A. Byrnes, May/June 1982, MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Image: Baby sleeping POV, by Robert Freiberger, on Flickr

You rock or nurse baby off to sleepy-time, but the minute you try to lay him or her down - the eyes snap open and the screams begin!

Oh, dear...

The reasons your baby often wakes when being laid down are:
• your baby was not completely asleep,
• the feel of the drop in height onto the bed,
• missing the motion, warmth and/or scent of your body.

Image: baby cryingBut what can you do?

Not Completely Asleep:
If you aren't sure if your baby is completely asleep, use the Limb Test.
Lift baby's arm or leg, and let it fall a (very) short distance.
If your baby doesn't react, then it is usually safe to lay baby down and creep away.

Feeling the Drop:
Place a small step stool next to baby's crib, step up and lean as far into the crib as you can, before laying baby down.
If you can reach in far enough to lean on the crib mattress with your elbow, that's perfect. The shorter the drop, the better. Then lay baby down gently.

Or wear baby in a sling, and use the sling to lower baby into the crib.
Once you know your baby is asleep, lift the sling over the crib rails, and slowly lower the baby down, unfasten sling and leave your baby to sleep with it.
The sling will carry your scent and some of your warmth.

If you use a family bed, simply lay down on your bed to nurse or cuddle baby to sleep, then quietly creep away once your baby is snoozing - making sure baby is safe before you leave.
Have a baby monitor nearby so you can return if your baby should start to whimper or move about.

Lack of Motion:
Wear baby in a sling to nurse or rock to sleep.
Then you can either leave your baby in the sling to nap or - making sure baby is completely asleep - slowly lower the baby, sling and all, onto the family bed or into the crib.

Image: cut pant legWarmth and/or Scent:
Make a rice bag out of the leg of an old pair of pants, and a pound (2 kg.) of rice.

Simply cut off one pant leg about 24-28 inches (38-46 cm).

Stitch closed one end of the cut-off pant leg, and pour in the rice.

Stitch the other end of the cut-off pant leg closed.

To use, place the rice bag inside the microwave and heat on HIGH for 1-2 minutes.

Or you can wrap it in tin foil, and place in a regular oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F. (Remove foil wrap before using)

Give the rice bag a good shake, and make sure it isn't too warm.

Image: t-shirtThen get a T-shirt (or any type of shirt) you have worn, but not yet washed. Wrap it around the rice bag. The rice bag will hold it's heat for about 30-40 minutes.

Before nursing or rocking your baby, place the rice bag in the crib or bed. It will warm up the bed nicely.

So when you remove the rice bag and lay baby down, he or she won't notice such a shift in temperature.

And that smelly t-shirt? The warmth of the rice bag fills the baby's crib with the wonderful scent of you.

If you use a family bed, the warm rice bag is great to tuck next to the baby, as you creep away.

This scent-filled bag will make baby think you are still near-by.

Image: Bubzi Co White Noise Sound Machine and Sleep Aid Night Light. New Baby Gift, Woodland Owl Decor Nursery and Portable Soother Stuffed Animals Owl with 10 Popular Songs for Crib to Comfort Plush ToyShopping Suggestions:
Stuffed Owl Sleep Aid | White Noise Sound Machine

Cloud B Plush Aroma Pillow Sleep Aid

Newborn Head Support Pillow

The Shrunks Sleep Secure Inflatable Bed Rail

SwaddleMe Original Swaddle

Image: Diaper Change on the Fountain Bench, by Sean Dreilinger on Flickr

Need a diaper cover in a hurry, and they're all in the wash!?

I used to keep nylon pull-on pants around for just such an emergency!

They are all in the wash too?? Use a plastic bag!

Cut a T-shape out of a grocery bag for a baby under about 16 lbs., or a kitchen garbage bag for a bigger baby.

Cut the bottom part of your T about 10" (25cm) wide on the bottom fold of the plastic bag.

This is the crotch part of your emergency diaper cover.
Image: Emergency diaper
Photo credit: Catherine McDiarmid-Watt

Image: Angel wrapImage: Angel wrap
Cut the top part of your T across the width of the plastic bag. This will be the waist ties.

Make your T about 8" (20cm) high for small, 10" (23cm) high for medium or 13" (33cm) for large.

Image: Angel wrapCut the sides of your T curved, for better coverage. Cut open the waist ties, so you can tie it on over baby's diaper.

Ties can be about 20" (51cm) long for small, 23" (58cm) for medium or 27" (69cm) for large.

Trust me, it sounds more complicated than it is . . .

Image: Angel wrap
When you open up the cover, you should have a giant H shape.

Place a folded prefold diaper inside, place baby on top, and tie at each side of baby's waist.

Image: Angel wrapIf you really like this style of diaper cover, you can cut some more out of waterproof, rip-stop nylon for no-sew, indestructible, washable tie-on diaper covers.

Thanks to Catherine for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Diaper How-To Photo credit: Catherine McDiarmid-Watt
All rights reserved

Image: Munchkin Arm and Hammer Disposable Changing Pad | Ideal for safe and sanitary diaper changes | Pads are infused with baking soda for safe, natural and effective odor protectionShopping Suggestions:
Diaper Quick Change Emergency Kit

Fun Diaper kit

Mom's Compact Emergency Essentials

New Parent Survival Kit

Diaper Bag Buddy

Image: Little Girl May Basket, by SewWithJan from Flickr

Too many receiving blankets? Make a couple dozen of them into great prefold diapers. Even with a high-needs baby, I was able to make at least one of these diapers per day.

Here's how:
1. Cut one receiving blanket down to about 20" x 36" to 40". This should give you a second strip about 7"-10" wide.
2. Fold this narrow strip in half or thirds to about 20" long.
3. Place this down the center of the large piece, as shown:
[ :: [] :: ]
4. Fold in the sides of the larger piece about 2/3 of the way across.
5. Overlap them on top of the folded strip down the center, leaving the diaper about 15" across: [::[]::]  =  [[]]

1. Zigzag stitch across the top and bottom raw edges of the folded diaper, making sure to catch in all layers.
2. Stitch down the center pad about 1/2" in from the edge of the center pad.

NOTE: All measurements depend on original size of the blanket. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Thanks to Catherine for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Simple Joys by Carter's Baby 7-Pack Flannel Receiving Blankets | ideal for swaddling, burping, or cuddling
Shopping Suggestions:
Simple Joys by Carter's Flannel Receiving Blankets

Luvable Friends Flannel Receiving Blankets

Gerber 100% Cotton Receiving Blankets

Spasilk 100% Cotton Receiving Blankets

Swaddling Hospital Receiving Blankets

Kidalog Prefold Flannelette Cloth Diaper

4 Little Bits Boutique Prefold Diapers

Image: Soaker Butt, by Devon on Flickr

Do you have any old, shrunk and matted wool sweaters?

Then you can make two excellent diaper covers per sweater. The more matted the sweater - the more waterproof the covers!

To Make: Cut equal-sided triangles from old, shrunk and matted 100% wool sweaters, and zigzag-stitch edges to prevent unraveling (optional).

You can usually get two small "baby bum sweaters" from one adult sweater, or one large baby bum sweater.

Sizing as follows:
Premie.....cut three sides of triangle by 10 inches (26cm)
Newborn....cut three sides of triangle by 12 inches (31cm)
Medium.....cut three sides of triangle by 16 inches (41cm)
Toddler....cut three sides of triangle by 20 inches (51cm)
Super......cut three sides of triangle by 24 inches (61cm)

Image: Cut along cutting lines for one baby bum sweater. Set aside the wrist-bands for use as leg bands on your baby bum sweaterPicture one: Cut along cutting lines (red dashes in picture) for one baby bum sweater. Set aside the wrist-bands for use as leg bands on your baby bum sweater.

Image: This is what your pattern should look like - using the sweater's waistband as the baby bum sweater waistband
Picture two: This is what your pattern should look like - using the sweater's waistband as the baby bum sweater waistband.

Image: Fold up the material towards the waist band. Bring waist-band sides together at frontPicture three: Fold up the material towards the waist band. Bring waist-band sides together at front.

Image: Sew along lines, about halfway along sides to form leg-holes. Be careful not to sew the leg-holes completely shut. You can adjust the leg hole openings, larger or smaller, to fit your baby's legsPicture four: Sew along lines, about halfway along sides to form leg-holes. Be careful not to sew the leg-holes completely shut. You can adjust the leg hole openings, larger or smaller, to fit your baby's legs.

Image: Your bum sweater should look something like this. Now take the wrist-bands you set aside earlier, and sew around the leg openings
Picture five: Your bum sweater should look something like this. Now take the wrist-bands you set aside earlier, and sew around the leg openings.You can thread a crochet tie through the waistband.

To use: Multi-layered or double diapers work best with these covers. Pull-on over diaper and tie in front.

TIP: Check out your local Goodwill, second-hand stores or other thrift stores for second-hand wool sweaters to use - very cheap!

Thanks to Catherine for this Frugal Baby Tip and instructional pics!

Image: Baby Soakers Vintage Knitting PatternShopping Suggestions:
Princess of Patterns - Baby Soakers Vintage Knitting Pattern - Baby Soakers Vintage Knitting Pattern

Pea Patch Diaper Soaker Knitting Pattern - This pattern is for a knitted wool cloth diaper cover much like your grandma or great-grandma may have used!

Unisex Diaper Cover Pattern - This adorable knit diaper cover is perfect for baby to wear anytime, or for pictures.

PATTERN PDF - Little man diaper cover and bow tie set -- 2 sizes From CrochetMyLove

Image: Pecho y lectura. Photo Credit: Daniel Lobo (Daquella manera) on Flickr

I used Dr. Jack Newman's recipe for the homemade version of All Purpose Nipple Ointment, which one of the labor and delivery nurses gave to me after she saw all the blisters.

Dr. Jack Newman's recipe for All Purpose Nipple Ointment

1. Mupirocin ointment 2%: 15 grams

2. Betamethasone ointment 0.1%: 15 grams

3. To which is added miconazole powder to a concentration of 2% miconazole

Total: about 30 grams combined. Apply sparingly after each feeding. Do not wash or wipe off.


Take equal parts Polysporin, Lotrimin, and Cortisone.

Mix in small batches and use after anywhere from 4 to all feedings in a day, remix every 3 to 4 days.

The Polysporin has to be the brand name but the others can be generic.

It was a lifesaver and no need to find a compounding pharmacist to mix it.

Thanks to Emily for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Polysporin Ointment | Bacitracin Zinc/Polymyxin B Sulfate | Helps prevent infection in minor cuts, scrapes and burns
Shopping Suggestions:
Polysporin Ointment

Lotrimin AF Antifungal Cream

Cortizone Anti-Itch Creme

Image: Sam's big girl bed at my mom's house has Elmo bedding!, by Abigail Batchelder (abbybatchelde) on Flickr

Well, after Sarah leaked out of a disposable diaper Friday night, I knew I could no longer put off making her a pull-on fleece diaper cover (I was going to wait till my mom arrives Tuesday).

So I bought some sewing elastic and snap tape (metal snaps), and yesterday afternoon started sewing.

It went quickly, and last night Sarah wore it.

I did make it a bit large and had to pin it closed, as it was too loose with just the snaps, but it still worked!

Yes, she had a HUGE diaper bum, but this morning, despite a thoroughly sopping diaper, the cover was DRY!! Which means so were our sheets!

Image: Mother-Ease Bedwetter Training Pants (Small: 40-55 lbs) | Carefully designed with a 100% polyester waterproof outer barrier that looks and feels like cotton
Mother-Ease Bedwetter Training Pants
I made the cover out of a single layer of 300wt polartec fleece. I just traced around one of her old covers and enlarged it accordingly.

Then I put elastic at the waist and legs, snap tape at the sides, and that was it.

The cover will likely fit her till she is at least 70 lbs, and hopefully, by then she will be dry at night anyway.

For a diaper, I used a flannel receiving blanket, folded in half, with two terry hand towels folded in fourths inside it. Pinned it on.

Poor kid slept with SIX diaper pins last night! But the whole thing worked!

We've had to wash our sheets four times in the past week, and we were really getting tired of that.

Thanks to Amy for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Personalized merino wool baby cloth diaper cover soaker
Personalized merino wool diaper cover soaker
I wanted to make some soakers for my baby, but I am a crocheter, not such a great knitter.

I haven't found a whole lot of crochet patterns but have found a few, and I thought I would share them with you.

A good place to go is - a free site for knitters and crocheters.

I just found this site last week and I'm completely in love with it! The wool soaker group on Yahoo also has a few good patterns.

Here are a few others I found...

Image: Quick to Crochet Baby Boy SoakersQuick to Crochet Baby Boy Soakers

-- Once you make your first couple of crocheted diaper covers, you'll be hooked on them and so will your little boy!

Click for pattern: Quick to Crochet Baby Boy Soakers

Image: Curling Baby SetCurling Baby Set

-- Julia says, I wanted something absorbent so I chose the front and back post stitch to give it extra padding. The moms who have tried them have been really excited about how well the diaper covers work.

Click for pattern: Curling Baby Set

Image: Simple Diaper CoverSimple Diaper Cover

-- Jennifer says, I love these diaper covers! They make great gifts for new moms.

Click for pattern: Simple Diaper Cover

Image: Little Fire Crochet Soaker Pants
Little Fire Crochet Soaker Pants

-- The first one is super easy!
This pattern is written in four sizes

Click for pattern: Little Fire Crochet Soaker Pants

Image: Tickle Turdle Wool WrapsTickle Turdle Wool Wraps

- Allows you to select the closure method you prefer. A Snappi works great! So do diaper pins!

Click for pattern: Tickle Turdle Wool Wrap

Image: Rolled Edge Wool SoakersRolled Edge Wool Soakers

-- Crochet it, put it on your baby and adore how cute it looks!

Click for pattern: Rolled Edge Wool Soakers Pattern
(archived on the Wayback Machine)

Image: Easiest Crochet Wool Soaker PatternEasiest Crochet Wool Soaker Pattern

-- This soaker pattern is the simplest of the simples to crochet. It is very economical, as it will fit most babies from start to finish because it is so S-T-R-E-T-C-H-Y. Even the most novice of crocheters can work it up in no time.

Click for pattern: Easiest Crochet Wool Soaker Pattern

Image: Learn to Crochet Wool Diaper CoversLearn to Crochet Wool Diaper Covers

-- Although these pants can be knitted, Stephanie found it faster to crochet them ... and all I need to make a pair is a size J crochet hook and four ounces of wool.

Click for pattern: Learn to Crochet Wool Diaper Covers

More Crochet Diaper Cover Patterns:

Princess Diaper Cover

Mickey and Minnie Inspired Crochet Diaper Covers

Bubbly Diaper Cover

Adirondack Babie Crocheted Soaker

Image: Celine lin One Skein 100% Wool Thick Hand Knitting Yarn | 100% Pure virgin wool containing natural oils

Shopping Suggestions:

Celine lin 100% Wool Thick Hand Knitting Yarn

Patons Classic Wool Yarn

Susan Bates Luxite Plastic Crochet Hook Set

Boye Aluminum Crochet Hook Set

Image: ALEX Toys Rub a Dub Draw in the Tub Bath Crayons | draw colorful pictures on bathtubs, tile or your body!
Rub a Dub Draw in the Tub Bath Crayons

Here's how to make soap crayons for bath-time fun and easy quick clean-up!

I am wondering if we could use cookie cutters or somehow get them into better shapes than just the ice cube tray, but I haven't tried it myself yet.

🖍️ 1 3/4 cups Ivory Snow (powder or soap flakes)
🖍️ 50 drops food coloring
🖍️ 1/4 cup water

🖍️ Mix water and soap flakes together.
🖍️ Add food coloring.
🖍️ Put mixture into an bottle stick ice cube tray.
🖍️ Allow to harden.
🖍️ Break or cut into pieces.
🖍️ Fun to write with on the tub when bathing as well as your face and hands!

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