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Published on February 9th, 2014 | by Brittney French


Cloth Diaper Basics: Low Cost Diapering Solutions

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 2.09.48 PMEvery family will experience hardship. It could be through the loss of a job, a death in the family, natural disaster, or having to pay an unexpected expense. And when a family faces a difficult time, it may even become a struggle trying to care for everyone, especially a baby. 

One of the biggest costs for some families with children is diapers, which are often considered a luxury and are among the first few necessities to go, if need be. Some parents are forced to reuse disposable diapers because they can't afford new ones. This sad, yet true reality happens more than you would think, so it is important to know that are alternatives when you can't afford disposable OR cloth diapers.

For little to no cost, we want to show you how to diaper your little one.

Here's what you need to create T-shirt soakers:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread
  • T-shirt (100-percent cotton)
  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors


  1. Use a 15"x5" piece of paper as a pattern to cut rectangles in the T-shirts
  2. Sew 3 to 5 layers together with a wide zig zag stitch or serger
  3. Sew back stitch so threads do not unravel
  4. Use multiple soakers for added absorbency (this is what you just created with the T-shirts)
  5. Place soakers into a diaper cover (Need a cover? Upcycle an old wool sweater into a diaper cover or use a folded T-shirt — takes no sewing, no cutting and just a diaper pin to secure it. Watch this video to see a demonstration)

Washing diapers: If you don't have a washer and dryer, you can easily wash your diapers out in the sink with a little dish soap. If the diaper was soiled, rinse it out in the toilet before washing in the sink. Wash each night and hang the diapers to dry in the bathtub or over a railing. Most diapers will be dry by morning. This will only take a few minutes.

If you are in need of diapers, please click here for more information about Share the Love, a locally sustainable, nationally accessible cloth diaper bank with more than 100 host sites throughout the U.S.

For even more low-cost diapering solutions, check out Econobum, a budget-friendly cloth diapering line that allows parents to diaper their baby from birth to potty training for $100.


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About the Author

Brittney is a social media coordinator for Cotton Babies. She has three sisters, loves pizza and enjoys listening to obscure bands no one has heard of. Outside of posting on the Cotton Babies Facebook page, she babysits a few cloth diaper-wearing kids and cheers for her favorite sports team.

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