Cloth diapers are a must for many eco-minded parents, and with good reason. The average child goes through approximately 6,000 diapers in the first two years of life -- if they are disposable, all of it ends up in landfills where they sit, not decomposing.
Since many green parents also tend to be frugal or DIYers (or both) it makes sense that there is a lot of interest in sewing our own diapers and making our own baby wipes. With a sewing machine, it is really simple, and you can make your diapers for almost nothing if you use old clothes. Or, to save money, you can buy pretty new fabric for the outside of the diapers and reuse old fabric for the inside.
Make Your Own Cloth Diapers: 2 Options
These fitted diapers are easy to make, and have an absorbent layer inside, perfect for if you plan on using diaper covers to prevent leaking.
If you are interested in making a cloth diaper that won't leak (without having to use plastic pants outside the diaper) you might want to try this pattern. I love the fact that it reuses old shower curtains for the inner protective layer to replace plastic pants.
Make Your Own Baby Wipes
Commercial baby wipes (besides being yet another disposable issue) often contain chemicals that irritate babies' delicate skin. Even the ones made for "sensitive" skin are often not gentle enough. We often just use a wash cloth to clean up, but if you'd like something a little more convenient, why not make a stack of these quick and easy baby wipes to keep on your changing table. Just launder them with your diapers, and you'll always have a fresh stack of wipes ready when you need them.
These would also make excellent baby shower gifts for any eco-minded expectant parents you may know. In addition to the obvious environmental advantages, just think of all the money they'll save --- by some estimates, parents pay as much as $1,500 over two years for disposable diapers. Cloth diapers are a win all-around, and now you know how to make them yourself.