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Free Inserts for Diapers - Repurpose These Things!

The beauty of cloth diapering is not in our products, but in the versatility and accessibility it has to offer families. You don't have to use our prefolds, inserts, or fitted diapers to cloth diaper. You can repurpose, re-use, and put to use common absorbent materials around your home. Match these products with the Nuggles  Tuck-Wrap-Go cover for a waterproof exterior and you have an easy and affordable diaper choice. 

Free Diaper Inserts

You can use any material in your home that absorbs liquids. These products are nearly free; if you can't find them in your home, you can often visit thrift stores, post on free swaps, or ask friends for scrap material or products they aren't using.

Materials made from natural fibres (100% cotton, cotton/bamboo blends, cotton/hemp blends, etcetera) will absorb quickly and effectively. Stay away from synthetic blends. You're looking for the tag to have at least 90% natural fibre. 

No tag? Not sure if it's a natural fibre. Spill some water, and see if the material will absorb the mess. If it just sits around and spreads liquid around, then it's not a good choice. Opt for materials that quickly absorb water. 

  • Old T-Shirts: that stash of shirts from every 5K you ran, every cancer-fundraiser, and high school field trip comes in handy! You can use the shirt as one single piece, or cut it into two halves, or custom cut it into absorbent squares. Use any size shirt.
  • Receiving Blankets: cotton flannel receiving blankets are incredibly absorbent. They can be big, don't worry about cutting down to size if you need less absorbency, or bulk. 
  • Towels: cut towels down smaller than a flat and use them more as a prefold diaper - check out prefold fold ideas. The terry cloth is absorbent but bulky. Old towels can be cut down to 8x10 squares. Use two if you need extra absorbent. 
  • Bed Sheets: repurpose natural fibre sheets into flat diapers. These are easy to hand wash and can be a trim absorbent diaper. Avoid any microfibre or micro fleece sheets. These will not absorb efficiently and cause problems. 


If you normally use fabric softeners or dryer sheets with these products, test the absorbency first. If they fail to absorb try washing in hot with detergent. This will often kick out some of the build up that happens from fibre-coating synthetics. 

How do I fold these things?

Anyway you want. It needs to be about the same length of the diaper. 

I usually start by folding it in half, and then in half, and then into thirds. To make an insert smaller or larger play around with folding down just a quarter, or a third to make it fit right. Need some inspiration, check out the blog post on how to fold a prefold. 

You can also fold many square products to fit onto baby and use a diaper pin to hold it in place. Ideal square shapes start at 20" square for newborn babies, about 25-27" for infants and babies, and 30" for toddlers and big kids. 

How do I wash cloth diapers

Start with a simple wash routine. If problems arise, connect with us, or join the group, to problem solve a strategy that works for you. 

1. Remove poop and flush in the toilet. To learn more about poop removal check out this blog post. 

2. Pre rinse diapers on a short cycle on cold. 

3. Wash diapers on a long cycle on warm/hot

4. Covers will hang dry within 2-4 hours. You can hang dry any of the products listed in this post or add them to the dryer. 


Bailey Bouwman
Contributor

Bailey is a mom of two young and wild children living in the cold tundra of Northern BC. She fell in love with cloth diapering where she continues her passion here at Nuggles as the Director of Happiness.  Bailey loves social media, chewy candies, and chasing waterfalls.