At this point, I have about two and a half months (or so) before my fifth baby arrives. I’ve been sewing like a madwoman, trying to get all the projects done before baby’s arrival. Most of the projects are actually for the baby. But this one isn’t.
Mama pads — also known as mama cloth, or homemade cloth pads. I’ve been using them since my second was born (and he’s almost 6 — yikes, time has gone fast) and much prefer them to disposables. Plus, they’re much more frugal since you buy or make them once and then you have them.
Of course, I lost the set I already had when we left our home last summer due to a serious mold issue. But that’s okay because I was ready for an update. The original set I made wasn’t quite wide enough, especially the larger ones (the small ones didn’t really need to be wide). Plus, I wanted to add some specifically for postpartum use. For the last two babies, I used disposables for the first 2 – 3 days and then switched to cloth. This time I don’t want to need to do that.
So, I have homemade mama pads in three sizes! They are flannel on top for absorbency and softness, and they are PUL on the bottom so they are waterproof. After the pads were finished, I went back and sewed wings onto them. Some patterns do the wings as part of the original piece, but I think this wastes fabric and makes it harder to sew. I’m a multi-piece girl.
The three sizes are:
- Mini (8″ long, 2 layers thick)
- Regular (12″ long, 3 layers thick)
- Postpartum (15″ long, 4 layers thick)
Those postpartum ones are big. You would only need them for postpartum use, or if you are a heavy bleeder and wanted them for overnight. They almost look like diapers, they are so big. In fact, my husband thought that’s what they were, except they are the wrong shape.
Anyway! These are fairly easy to sew, and require only two different pattern pieces. (The pattern is not in here yet, but I promise I will add it very soon!) A snap press or pliers would be very helpful, but you could simply sew on Velcro if you prefer. Either way, you’ll have some great homemade mama pads that don’t take too long, work wonderfully, and last for a long time.
Homemade Mama Pads
To sew these, you only need basic sewing skills and a sewing machine with a straight stitch. Homemade mama pads are very easy.
You will need:
- Flannel (about 2 yds to sew a set of 12 – 18, depending on size)
- PUL (about 1/2 – 1 yd)
- Snaps or Velcro
First, you need to cut out your pattern pieces. For mini, you will cut 1 of PUL and 2 of flannel. For regular, 1 of PUL and 3 of flannel. For postpartum, 1 of PUL and 4 of flannel.
Then, we need to stack it up. For mini, put PUL dull side up, then lay flannel on it pretty side down. For regular, put a layer of flannel pretty side up, then a layer of PUL dull side up, then the remaining two flannel layers pretty side down. For postpartum, start the same as regular, but lay three layers of flannel pretty side down on top (instead of 2). This is so your outermost layers will be PUL and flannel when you flip it right side out.
Start at the top of the pad and sew all the way around it, trying to catch all layers.
Cut off any extra fabric around the edges, so that it’s about 1/4″ from the stitching. Then, flip it right side out.
Tuck the open edges inside. Sew across this to close the pad. Then, keep sewing all the way around, about 1/4″ from the edge. This is called top stitching, and it makes the pad lay flat and look pretty.
Now, use flannel scraps to cut your tabs. This is one of them.
Fold your tabs with right sides together, and sew around it them. Sew most of the way around, starting and stopping like this.
Then, flip the right side out. Tuck the edges inside, then attach them to the back of your pad, trying to sew along the same line as before (where you did the top stitching).
You could choose to top stitch the tabs, too, if you want, but it’s not necessary. I did to make it pretty and look even and nice.
Attach your tabs to the pad. I like to sew along the topstitching as much as possible to it matches up.
Then, attach either your snaps or your Velcro. I’m choosing snaps. I didn’t get a picture of that…sorry. Basically, fold your tabs over and see where they meet naturally, like this:
Then, simply place your Velcro or snaps so that they meet where the tabs overlap. That’s really simple and frankly if it doesn’t line up quite right…who cares. No one’s going to see this.
That’s it — your homemade mama pads are done!
How cool is that? Softer, easier to use, better for you (no bleaching chemicals against your lady parts) and so frugal. And pretty! It’s a no-lose situation.
If you have a baby in cloth diapers, simply toss these into the dirty diaper bin and wash with those. If you don’t, sew yourself a small cloth wet bag and keep your pads in there until it’s time to wash. You can travel with a small bag in your purse for changes on the go, but I personally prefer to change before I leave and try not to need another until I return — it’s easier. Homemade mama pads really are pretty simple!
Have you ever used homemade mama pads before?