With Baby Three coming in three weeks (or less?!), I’m in full prep mode. I still have a relatively long list of things I’d love to make for her, but I’m at least trying to get the essentials finished before she arrives. One of those essentials? Handmade, reusable nursing pads that are SUPER absorbent! I’ve used many kinds of nursing pads in the past from disposable to purchased cotton flannel ones, but I wanted to make some that were the best combination of the ones I’ve tried. I think these will definitely fit the bill!
I’ve found that disposable nursing pads absorb really well, but they can be itchy and scratchy on the skin. Washable, flannel nursing pads are more comfortable, but all the ones I’ve tried don’t absorb well and get really wet, really fast.
The ones I quickly whipped up the other day are soft and washable, PLUS they absorb liquid so well! I poured 1/4 cup of water on them to give them a test run, and the water was instantly sucked into the middle layer of the pads and I couldn’t even feel it on the outer layer. Success!
The secret to the wonderful absorbency of these DIY nursing pads is the middle layer of fabric – it’s actually microfiber diaper soaker fabric! This type of fabric wicks moisture away so quickly that it’s not recommended to be put directly next to the skin. However, if it’s sandwiched between a couple of layers of natural fibered fabric (like bamboo or cotton), it’s an excellent way to make nursing pads work so much better. Ready to make some for yourself?
- scraps of cotton flannel, cotton fleece or bamboo fleece (I used organic cotton fleece for mine)
- scraps of microfiber terry soaker fabric (I found mine at Fabric.com – search for “microfiber terry soaker”)
- something round and your preferred pad size to use as a pattern (I used an Ikea plant pot) or you can use this printable pattern from DIY Maternity
Make sure to pre-wash your fabrics since cotton/bamboo and microfiber will shrink differently.
First, trace circles using your template (or the free pattern) onto your fabrics. For each pair of nursing pads, you will need 4 circles of cotton/bamboo and 2 circles of microfiber terry.
(If you’re using your desired size of template rather than the pattern for your circles, start by tracing just one and then do the next step. Then, trace the rest using your first circle with the notch cut out.)
Fold the circle in half, and then cut a notch out of one side as shown. The top should be about an inch wide (so, 1/2″ when the pad’s folded), and the bottom of the notch should end at the center of the circle:
(Use your first notched circle as a pattern to cut the rest of the circles if you’re not using the printable.)
Remember, for each PAIR of nursing pads you need 4 cotton/bamboo circles and 2 microfiber terry circles.
Using a serger or a regular machine, sew the notch together (like a dart) using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Repeat with all of the circles.
Finally, stack the fabrics together in this order: cotton/bamboo (with the wrong side up), microfiber, and then cotton/bamboo (with the wrong side down). Place the notch seams in different spots as you layer the circles to lessen bumps.
Serge or zig-zag around the entire perimeter of the pad ensuring you catch all layers. Repeat with the second pad.
I’ve packed a few pairs of these into my hospital bag and I know they’ll definitely come in handy once Baby is here. I love the fact that I can wash these, but that they work a lot better than the reusable ones I’ve had in the past.
Now I’m just missing one thing… baby! Come on, baby! I’m SO ready for you to be here.
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