how to make nursing pads

3:42:00 PM

I was introduced to some lovely nursing pads at the end of my last pregnancy that turned out to be my favorite thing ever after my milk settled down. It made all the disposable pads feel just like a non-breathable disposable diaper. You'd think I'd feel compassion for my child and start using cotton diapers, but he's not complaining, so I continue to be lazy/sane. Besides, throwing nursing pads with milk in the washer is way easier than cleaning out poopy diapers and then throwing them in the washer.

Anyway, I just loved the wonderful soft cotton flannel nursing pads. I wanted more, but I had paid a lot just for one pair, and I couldn't go out and buy four more pairs. Turns out, they are pretty simple and very inexpensive to make, so here is a tutorial in pictures mostly. My brain is at an all-time low in stupid mode, so it's better for me to explain things minimally.

Supplies (for 2 pairs):

  • 1/2 yard white good quality 100% cotton flannel* (if you get 1 yard, it will make 5 pairs)
  • white thread
  • paper for making circle template
  • scissors
  • pins

*I usually ALWAYS recommend pre-shrinking*, but if you're giving these as a gift, I wouldn't unless your flannel runs about $9 a yard. Anything cheaper than that will sort of ball up and not look new for your little mommy. Any flannel cheaper than $3.99 (regular price) is junk. Don't get it.
          *If you pre-shrink your fabric, you may want to make your circle template closer to 5 3/4" in diameter.

Step 1: Make a circle template that is 6 inches in diameter.

Step 2: Cut out your circles using the template. You will need 16 circles total for 2 pairs (4 circles per pad).

Step 3: Fold each circle in quarters (fuzzy sides together) and mark with a pin 1/4" from center of circle. Or just pinch the center and eyeball the next step.

Step 4: Sew a dart with widest point at 1/2". End the dart 1/4" away from the center of the circle. I like to chain link them to save time.

Step 5: Lay four circles out and then four more with the darts facing each other. Press all the darts one way. (You may have to change the direction of the darts later on. I didn't figure the whole math thing for this step.)

Step 6: Lay four circles on top of each other. Start with one dart on the right facing up, then one on the left facing up, then one on the right facing down then one on the left facing down. (Basically just alternate directions each layer.)

Step 7: The photo show this step in the wrong order. Pin the circles trying to follow the natural curve of the circles (don't lay flat) and baste around the edges 1/4" away from edges.

Step 8: Trim edges so the four layers all end at the edge of the circles.

Step 9: Set your machine with a very wide zig-zag, but short stitch and sew around the edges. (If you have a serger, I recommend using that instead.) If you're lucky, they will look perfect. If you're not, they will look a little lopsided, but nobody will see them, right?

The End.

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  1. I'm going to remember this for the next baby. If we decided to have another one. Speaking of cloth diapers, we recently switched to them. You are right. There is a lot of work.


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