Thanks to Bridget for this Frugal Baby Tip!
I switched to cloth about a year ago and haven't looked back once. I heard about this on a neat radio show by Susan Powter and thought I'd give it a try. For pads, I picked up some terry cloth at the fabric store as well as some linen. I made rectangular shaped pads with the linen on the inside. The terrycloth I cut so that it was one layer, and I put (I think) about 8 layers of linen inside as a liner. I sewed the linen layers together into one bunch, slid them into the terrycloth cover and sewed up the end. I find them extremely comfortable and easy to care for.
To use them, I just soak them in an ice cream bucket full of cold water when they are full, usually for about a day. If they are really stained I put a couple tablspoons of Amaze laundry soap into the bucket too. When finished soaking, I drain the water out and throw the pads into the washing machine with the rest of the wash and they wash up fine. I noticed after months of use the four pads that I'd made had the dye fade a bit where they commonly get stained, but it hasn't affected their efficiency at all. As well, after washing, it's good to make a point of straightening out the linen inside to keep it from scrunching up when drying. Since I've been
using them, I've never had a leak to stain my clothes - Yay!
In addition to the pads, I searched and found a couple large sea sponges. I cut them to the appropriate size and use them as tampons. I find they are quite comfortable if you get the outside edge of them a little damp before using them (so they are not scratchy and dry thus making me uncomfortable).
They absorb quite alot which is very good for me as I always have quite a heavy flow. When things are the heaviest I use them in conjunction with my cloth pads, and have no worries about leaks. I find that I need only one pad per day, and if I'm busy at work only 2 sponges in an 8 hour time period. I bring a small ziploc bag with me to work, and after thoroughly rinsing out (and then wringing out) the used sponge I store in the ziploc till I get home.
The sponges don't need near as much soaking as the pads do, and I throw them in the wash with everything else as well. It helps to throw the pads and sponges into a mesh bag for washing so you don't have to dig through the whole wash to find them after. The sponges I don't put into
the dryer as they dry really fast on their own. The pads go in the dryer with everything else.
Oh yeah, I don't use anything to attach them to the panties as I made the pads quite long and they don't seem to move around at all. (I found the commercial plastic etc. pads were never long enough and I was always getting stains so made my cloth ones the right length for me). But I guess if you need snaps, you need them right?
I hope this info on my experience helps. I found the whole process fairly easy, and it makes things much easier for me cost-wise, health-wise, and in peace of mind as well.
Category: Mom Clothing