Homemade Nursing Pads

img_5632-1 I had been at my wits end trying to find a good absorbent nursing pad that would not leak through the night. I hate waking up to a nice wet spot on my sheets. I admit…I have problems, but my son is sure happy with all that good milk! I tried three different styles to no avail. I was just about ready to go find another one when the thought crossed my mind to try to make my own! I wish I had started here in the first place. I made these wonderfully absorbent flannel and fleece nursing pads in just a short time with fabric I had on hand and did not have to spend another penny. Flannel is soft and comfortable and fleece is waterproof and will keep the moisture away from your clothes. Horrah!

Making your own nursing pads is simple, frugal and fun! Choosing cloth reusable pads is an excellent way to avoid the waste of disposables and another way to be a good steward of our environment. Cloth is so much more comfortable overall!

This was a fun and easy project and a great gift for an expectant mother as well. I made a few sets for a friend at the same time. Too fun!


Flannel (I used two standard receiving blankets. Everyone has an abundance of these lying around! One receiving blanket made 10 pads. You can also use an old flannel sheet. Make sure it is washed to avoid shrinkage or tearing.)
CD or bowl with 4-6” diameter (5” is the standard size, but you can choose what works for you. I chose a small bowl that was 4 1/2 inches in diameter and it worked great!)


img_56061. Take your bowl/CD and trace around it on your flannel and fleece fabrics. You will want 3 layers of flannel and 1 layer of fleece per pad. This quantity works especially well for nighttime use, but you can use just one or two layers of flannel for daytime pads if desired. I folded my receiving blanket in half to shorten the task, thus cutting two circles at a time. One reader suggested you can cut two of the layers of flannel in a smaller circle than the others to help prevent bulkiness and visibility around the edges of the pad. Place these smaller circles between the larger fleece and flannel circles.

2. Layer one piece of fleece with three layers of flannel on top and sew a straight stitch all around the outside of the pad about 1/8 inch from the edge. The flannel will be on the outside of the pad and you will wear it towards your skin and the fleece toward your clothing to prevent leaking.

3. After the straight stitch, sew a zig zag stitch around the edge. If you have a surger, that would be even better! img_5633-1

4. Trim all the excess around the edges by cutting as close to the seam as possible. This will prevent any excess fraying in the wash.

There you go! That’s my frugal tip for the day! I made about 10-12 sets to get me through a week before washing and we are set! Usually one set for nighttime and one set for daytime wear works for me.

Visit Life as Mom for more frugal ideas.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

88 Responses to Homemade Nursing Pads

  1. Natalie December 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Could I do a layer of flannel, a layer of fleece, and then 2 layers of flannel?

  2. Crystal November 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    I used suedecloth, micro-terry/micro-fleece and PUL for my cloth diapers. Could I use these same three fabrics for nursing pads or do you think it would be too thick?

  3. Tasha October 7, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    Is there a special type of fleece you should use? I imagine the fleece used for blankets is too bulky but I’ve looked at my local fabric stores for other fleece and have not been successful. Any suggestions on where to look as well?

  4. Ivon May 30, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Thank you so much for these! I was shocked to see how much wool breast pads are in Amazon.com. Are you kidding me? over $20 for one pair?? I figured that it would be much more cost effective to just make them.

    I’m wondering if I can recycle old wool sweaters as well. That might be a thought.

    Thank you for these.

  5. Jen April 2, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Thanks so much for the instructions!! I will be trying to make these :0)

  6. Mel Brooks December 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    I dug up some of my more hideous flannels from my stash and a polar fleece throw, and managed to prep 2 dozen pairs! now I just have to get my overlocker (serger) back from my mother in law to finish them off! thanks for the tutorial :) great idea

  7. Julie December 21, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    If you are a “crafty lady”, you can use a Sizzix Bigz die in either scalloped, or not circle to cut out the circles. I cut using the Tim Holtz Vagabond, and it worked like a dream. No more tired hands. I am making these for my daughter (8th grandchild).

  8. Jennie October 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I recently made 2 dozen of them for myself… I’ve never had luck with the thin, expensive cloth ones in stores; I soak through immediately. I like to use reusable products whenever possible, & thought about making my own. I found your post & tried it out… I love how they came out! I used 4 layers (3 layers of flannel, 1 layer of fleece) & have yet to have any issue with leaking or soaking through. I made them on the larger side; that definitely helps. I used pink thread on the inside & white thread on the outside, to help me (Mama Brain!) tell which side should be facing me. I noticed the stitching lines on the inside of one of the white nursing pads in your picture, which I thought was a fabulous idea, so I used a floral stitch on my sewing machine to make those lines. They’re pretty, they’re functional, & I truly appreciate your help! Great job!!!

  9. Kate November 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Thanks for the idea! I was about to buy a few sets of nursing pads online – until I found your website! I finished making two pairs in less than an hour, and will make more if they work well. Thank you so much – you just saved me $17!

  10. JoJo November 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    This is a wonderful idea and I am so excited to try this! Thank you for the great idea!!

  11. Mac August 31, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    I linked to you in my blog today, because I’m expecting my second kiddo in about a month and think I’ll be making several of these once things get kind of normalized up there. ;) (I went through several disposables a day with my first son before things eventually evened out!)

    I’m really terrified about getting thrush, so I’m changing up your recipe just a little bit. Instead of flannel (I have none on hand anyway) I’ll be using thick microfiber. It’s only five dollars for 8 big cloths in the automotive department at Walmart, so I still think it’s a pretty inexpensive option. Someone recommended it to me for burp cloths, but now I’m thinking they’d make great diaper stuffers and nursing pads, too!

    Also, I’ve only just started experimenting with cloth diapers. I’m currently using SunBaby diapers, and I’ve been so surprised by how dry my son’s bottom stays with that thin anti-pill fleece pocket. I think I’ll like my nursing pads with that stuff on the skin side, too. Just to make sure I stay dry! Think it will work?

    • Charlotte October 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

      Microfiber is very drying so do not use it directly against the skin. It can be used as an inside layer in both the diapers and the nursing pads, but not right against your skin or your babies skin. It should not be used as a burp cloth, baby’s skin will be terribly chapped and may crack. I made mine with 2 layers of bamboo fleece and 1 layer of leftover PUL baby print that I had used to make my all-in-two diapers.

      • Charlotte October 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

        Also, there are 2 kinds of microfiber cloths. One is for dusting only and will not absorb, so be sure if you use it you get the cloths that are for getting wet.

  12. Monster Beats Discount August 10, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    Just a suggestion about the two inner layers being smaller in diameter than the outer layers -make sure they are secured somehow, perhaps by running a stitch down the middle, so they do not crumple up inside and make your pads lumpy. Great idea, though!

  13. Sheila August 6, 2011 at 5:29 am #

    I was wondering if the fleece caused any problems with the moisture being kept in and causing nipple irritation or chaffing?

  14. drebeats May 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

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  15. Erin April 12, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    I spent $$$ and $$$ on nursing pads with my first baby…why in the world didn’t I think to make them myself! I will definitely be using these this time around!

  16. Amy February 20, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    Thank you for posting this! I was searching for a great homemade nursing pad as I’m expecting my first baby in May. I already have all the materials so I’d better get started! :)

  17. TJ November 1, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    So glad I found your blog and this tutorial! I have a terrible time finding nursing pads that will work for overactive letdown. I’ve purchased a Milkies Milk Saver (yay for saving letdown milk while you nurse) and am now off to make these pads! Hopefully this will finally solve my dampness issues. I love the idea of contouring to help the pads show less, and I think the larger diameter will also help them show less under clothes. The tiny reusable kind from the store do not work and show really badly.

  18. Sarah June 9, 2010 at 6:09 am #

    Thank you for the tutorial!
    I had bought a few pads from a WAHM and loved them, they don’t show up through my clothes. So, I used your tutorial and made a *similar* nursing pad. The changes as follows:

    I made a few layers smaller and used some terrycloth scraps from an old prefold I had cut up long ago. I sewed those to the larger flannel layer with a zigzag stitch through the middle.

    Then, I cut the fleece slightly larger than the flannel (say, 1/4 – 1/2 inch) and sewed a tricot stitch around the fleece edge. You don’t have to sew the edges on fleece, since it doesn’t fray! This helped to hide the seam lines.

    All in all, I’ve got a couple new nursing pads made entirely for free! Thank you!

  19. Dorothy March 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    One thing you may want to mention is to use only polyester thread… cotton or blend will wick wetness through the pad onto your bra/shirt.

  20. Linda March 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Thank-you for sharing the directions on how to make these. I am in the process of helping a mommy in need on “needy mommies” on cafemom.com, and now I can whip up some cloth breast pads to donate to her and other woman who need these..
    *also these are great as less in the landfill…I am all for living a more eco-friendly life style..

  21. spipes October 9, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    all the flannel i have seen, and old flannel shirts i have on hand, is 100% cotton. i also can’t find any fleece that isn’t polyester. since the fleece will go towards the bra rather than sit against my skin is it ok to use the polyester? if not, can you suggest a source for acquiring a wool fleece? thanks in advance.

    • Lindsay October 10, 2009 at 5:58 am #

      Just use whatever flannel you can find. I did not use anything special myself.

  22. Kara August 4, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    I cant believe I never thought to use fleece until I read this. I still had problems with leaking with 4 layers of flannel. And I should have thought of it, I used fleece in the diapers I made for my daughter.

  23. Shay July 28, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    let me just say… LOVE IT!!! i don’t like the idea of having to spend $10 per box of disposables when they run out so quickly AND they still leak. i found this site today and made myself a set of 4 in about 20 minutes or less. i used an old baby blanket and some thick cloth diapers as my inside. thanks for the grea idea!!

  24. Amber May 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm #

    I liked these so much, I had my mom make me 7 more sets! She added a layer of fleece on the inside as well, keeping the moisture off my skin (I have lots of thrush issues), and it feels so nice on a sore gal like me. She also made them an inch bigger than suggested (the size of a Cool Whip lid) to reduce visibility. The inside flannel is also a half inch smaller than the fleece and sewn to the outside fleece layer (she used white fleece, so they look a little like softballs, lol). Thanks, Lindsay!

  25. Tami May 27, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    I am a novice sewer and am still learning about fabrics, so I have silly fabric questions. I’d love to use what I have on hand for these, but my old receiving blankets are 100% cotton, not flannel, and I have baby blankets that are 100% polyester but I would have described as soft fleece. I looked online to understand the difference and learned that real flannel is from wool and fleece is polyester.

    So, do I have the right kinds of blankets to make these nursing pads or should I keep looking or maybe buy a small bit of real flannel and use the polyester (fleece) baby blankets?

    Thank you!!

    • Lindsay May 27, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

      I am sure they will work fine with what you have…but I do know that real flannel will absorb better than cotton. You will probably experience more wetness against your skin than with flannel and fleece which absorbs it.

  26. Tamela May 27, 2009 at 5:30 am #

    I recently made 16 of these pads~ They turned out great and my sweetie said they looked better than the one that were store bought~ We are not yet with child however a girl can not be too ready~ I am now working on cloth diapers one done and many to go~
    I enjoy the things you share on your blog~ You actually look a bit like I did when I was younger~

    Many Blessings to you and yours~

  27. Brenda May 5, 2009 at 5:10 am #

    Has anyone tried using microfiber to make these? If so, how well did it work?

  28. Crystal April 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    I am expecting my first in 6 weeks and just bought some old wool sweaters from a thrift store to make into diaper covers. I was thinking about using the scraps to make some nursing pads. To those who have used wool, do you use just one layer? And do you stitch up the edges? I know that if they are felted tightly, they shouldn’t fray.

  29. Mrs. Jo April 21, 2009 at 11:08 am #

    Great minds think alike! I did a Frugal Friday post on this a while back and did the exact same thing only I traced around a wide glass or a CD. I used two layers of flannel with a layer of fleece in between and zigzagged around the edges. I think it took an hour to do 8 sets and I’ve used them through 3 newborns!

    Great work!

  30. Cara April 21, 2009 at 5:06 am #

    I just found out I’m expecting #4, leaking has always been a huge nursing problem for me (the only one thank God!). I’ve spent untold dollars on disposable nursing pads b/c those little reusable ones you buy are a joke (for heavy leakers)…I am only 5 weeks 1 day pregnant but have already asked my mom to make me some of these–or to help me make them I should say. Where did you get your fleece? Could we just use an old sweat shirt????? Will that be enough?? Oooooh, I can’t wait! :D

    • Lindsay April 21, 2009 at 7:15 am #

      I just had some leftover fleece scraps of fabric that I had purchased at a fabric store a while back. I am sure you can use an old sweat shirt if you desire!

      • Cara April 21, 2009 at 8:20 am #

        Thanks Lindsay! (Nice name by the way–same as my first daughter!) My mom actually said she found some at Walmart for like 4.44/yd and she said we’ll only need prob’ly half a yard b/c it’s very wide! :) I can’t wait!

    • Candice May 31, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

      Congratulations on your pregnancy! You can use an old sweatshirt, as long as it’s polyester or mostly polyester – the trick to the waterproofing is in the polyester, and a cotton fleece sweatshirt would just absorb the moisture! A lot of people use the anti-pill fleece at JoAnns (the stuff people love to make into tie blankets.)

  31. suzannah April 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    i’m a huge fan of washable nursing pads! i’m not especially crafty, but what worked great for me are wool pads–breathable, soft, and not itchy at all–and leak-proof! (wool is a great and trusty cloth diaper cover material, so i figured it would be great in a nursing pad.)

    they’re $10 a pair, but i found i only needed 2-3 pairs, since they stayed so dry. they are so great on your skin, too–i think it’s partly why i didn’t experience any nipple problems.

  32. Crystal April 20, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    First, congrats on the birth of Titus! Secondly, I have been driving myself crazy lately about having to use disposables. After starting the journey to become as green as possible, I just can’t stand to use disposable nursing pads, but just haven’t yet made the effort to search for some re-usables (I wasn’t even sure they made them!)I will definitely be trying this asap! Thank you & God Bless! I love your blog and read it daily! (My third son Ollie, was born 3/12/09 and was 7.4 like Titus. I was so happy when I read Titus was born because it gave me hope that Ollie would be coming soon as well lol)

  33. Carol April 20, 2009 at 8:33 am #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been looking for a free pattern for nursing pads, and so far had not come up with anything that would work for me. I plan on sewing some of these up soon!

  34. Dawn Jenkins April 20, 2009 at 8:11 am #

    Beautiful girls!!!

  35. Diana April 20, 2009 at 7:12 am #

    I was very blessed to have a Nana and my Momma make me nursing pads for all three of my children when I had them. It was a tradition for my Nana to make nursing blankets (very soft flannel & large enough to cover us so that we were modest when nursing) and also nursing pads.They were so much softer and fit much better than the store bought ones. My youngest one still uses several of his “bb’s” (nursing blankets)for superhero capes. So funny.
    Blessing to you and yours. Enjoy your little ones while they are little for they are only little once.

  36. MishaLee April 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

    Thank you for the tutorial. I planned to make my own for this round of nursing, because I tried every brand known to man with my first baby and leaked through them all…day or night! Thanks again!

  37. Liz April 19, 2009 at 6:04 am #

    Oh this kills me. I used to leak like that with my birth babies. Now I’ve been able to nurse my adopted ones, but one doesn’t get enough milk without the pregnancy. Anyway, I hope those of you who put extra milk in the freezer, save it for some local person in need. We are in the process of adopting a baby right now and now I wonder how much I lost in nursing pads! LOL.

  38. Sue April 17, 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    Re the Lilypadz, I had a pair for my first and now have purchased them for my second, I used them from the start and never had any problems, didn’t know about the waiting for a month thing? They do tend to have an opening at the bottom but the reason I still recommend and use them is they really help to soothe while getting over the first week or so of nipple soreness/cracking or tenderness. I just use for a few hours each day and it makes all the difference in the world.

  39. Kathryn April 17, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    Genius … sheer genius!

  40. Amanda April 17, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    Those first few months I pretty much had to use disposable for awhile due to major let down issues on the “non-starting” side as Sarah above mentioned. But then as I got better and things leveled out I learned how to compress that breast while nursing preventing let down. I would also use a cloth diaper shoved in my bra (of course I only did this if I was home LoL)I would do this when at home or in comfortable situations but I would wear wear disposables when I went out because I found that (for me) the reusable allowed me to leak through at the most inconvenient times! I also had trouble at night, I would soak everything, me, baby, bed. After nights of late night changes for all of us I started using disposables at night until the late night leaking stopped.
    Thankfully now at 18mnths my milk is completely regulated and no more worries ;) Although that is a GOOD worry to have! Love your blog!

  41. Rachel April 17, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    Thank you!!! What a great way to save money and feel crafty at the same time. I spent a LOT on nursing pads with my first since I am a huge leaker. I was wanting to use lily padz, but was hesitant to take the plunge since they’re so expensive. I thought it was weird to “plug” the milk in at first… but I am such a forceful leaker when I leak, that I “plug” my non-nursing side by squeezing the ball of one hand against my nipple to keep it in. I’ve never found a single pad that could hold that flood back when it lets down (especially in the morning – whew!).

    Anyway, I will definitely be making some of these for nighttime and around-the-house use. Maybe I will try the lily padz for going out or just use some of my favorite (but expensive) disposable types. Thank you again!!!

  42. Carey April 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    I had made similar nursing pads also when I was nursing my 2 babes. I had so much milk I could of fed a farm. They were also the only ones that worked for me not to leak and that were comfortable and non- irritating. I can rememberer when I started running again, one fell out and I had to back track to get it as they were that important to me and my chest:)!

  43. Shannon Hazleton April 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    Awesome. When my youngest was a newborn, I was desperate for good nursing pads, and I ended up using WOOL. I had a very soft wool sweater I had used to make a diaper cover, and with the scraps I cut circles for nursing pads. Let me tell you – they were awesome. Wool is great for absorbency, and it was not scratchy at all. Just an idea.

  44. Christina April 17, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    So smart! I do not know why I didn’t think of this. I always feel so wasteful with my disposable nursing pads.
    Thanks for the great idea!

  45. Sara April 17, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    I used pads similar to these with Bella…I bought them from a WAHM and they worked great! All of my friends swear by these: http://www.cottonbabies.com/product_info.php?cPath=29&products_id=124

    They are made of wool…so they hold 30% of their weight in liquid. I’m excited! :)

  46. M.I.A in Minnesota April 17, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    There’s a reason this website is so popular!: ) Way to go girl. Glad you found something that works!

  47. Alicia Johnson April 17, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    Love this tutorial. I will definitely have to make some of these when I have my next baby. Also they might make a nice accompaniment to a nursing shield for a shower gift.

  48. Kelly April 17, 2009 at 8:40 am #

    I did the same thing after a middle of the night feeding when I discovered a nursing pad that was super saturated had broken open and I had little bits of gel goo stuff stuck to my breasts. I discovered this after I had fed my daughter, so I to this day have no idea if she ingested any! But a year later, she seems okay. That was enough to scare me into re-usable pads. I made my own, a little different than yours, but very similar. I never had any problems with them leaking through to my clothes, which I had with some store bought washable pads. They were, however, noticeable through my clothes most of the time. Honestly, I stopped really caring after a while. I was, how to put this nicely, a very good milk maker so I was always leaking. I wore these straight through until my daughter was about nine months old.

  49. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home April 17, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    Thanks for showing what you did, Lindsay. I’ve always bought my cloth nursing pads before (I like the Kushies brand quite a bit, and the Gerber ones are nice and thin for certain shirts or bras that need something less bulky looking). I was also given some homemade ones when I had my first child, and though I liked them, I didn’t wear them out much because they showed through, comfy and absorbent as they were.

    I was planning to figure out how to make some more for this upcoming baby, so it’s nice to see how someone else did it. I like Tammy’s suggestion to make the inside a little thinner, and also to make some with less layers for daytime!

    • Heather R June 25, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

      I tried the Gerber brand ones, and they leaked honorably! (I have a heavy let down though…)
      Thanks for all the info! I cloth diaper, but was using disposable breast pads, simply because I couldn’t find anything else reliable enough! I will definitely be making some of these!

  50. Christine April 17, 2009 at 7:24 am #

    I have a simple question…what way do you place the pads when yo wear them? Is there a more absorbant way – placing fleece or flannel next to the skin? I am excited to make these! Thanks for the post.

    • Lindsay April 17, 2009 at 8:04 am #

      You want to place the fleece side towards your clothes as it keeps the wetness from going through to your clothes.

  51. Krista April 17, 2009 at 6:12 am #

    Ok, so all this is new to me. I’d like to make some of these for my sister-in-law who is having a baby in a few months. Where in the layering did you put the fleece? Is it on the back with 3 layers of flannel on top, or is it in the middle with one layer of flannel on top and two on the back? Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!

    • Lindsay April 17, 2009 at 10:35 am #

      I clarified this above. The fleece will be on the exterior of the pad with the three layers of fleece on the top.

  52. Vehement Flame April 17, 2009 at 5:57 am #

    Has anyone ever tried wool nursing pads? They work the same as wool soakers- asorbing up all the excess without feeling wet or heavy. Lana care makes some nice ones, but i am sure you could make your own as well!

  53. April - Team Tottle April 17, 2009 at 5:43 am #

    I LOVE THESE! http://lilypadz.com/ But I’m afraid they wouldn’t be good overnight if you leak a lot! They work well during the day when you spring those little leaks, nothing comes out! But when you’re really FULL and about to pop, they do not seem to be able to keep you plugged! Although, the times that I have leaked while wearing these, the milk stayed inside the pad, just puddled up around my nipple but the outer seal never gave way! Just another eco-friendly option if A: you can’t sew like me or B: you want something no-show for the daytime.

    • Lindsay April 17, 2009 at 10:47 am #

      I looked into lilypadz myself but my research showed you could not use them for the first month while your milk was coming in and then they really only lasted 2-3 months before you had to replace them. What was your experience? I also didn’t really like the idea of blocking your breasts from leaking…it just doesn’t sound natural. Just my thought…

    • Maria July 15, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

      I bought the Lilly Padz as well, but I found that they were very uncomfortable and also you could see their shape (cause they are slightly more pointed than a real boob) through the bra and shirt. I think cloth is way more comfortable and also affordable (I think I paid 30 for my Lilly Padz)

      • Kristine March 29, 2010 at 11:08 am #

        I liked the lilypadz for night time, because I never fit into the night time nursing bras very well. When wearing the lilypadz, I could just put a nightshirt over and not worry about leaking!

  54. Melissa April 17, 2009 at 5:19 am #

    Something else I’ve seen on some nursing pads… If you cut a small pizza slice shape out of the circle and then overlap the cut edges and sew the same as your edge, it will contour the shape just a hair, which may prevent some of the visible bulkiness.

  55. Risha April 17, 2009 at 4:43 am #

    I’m so glad for this post! I’ve been using disposable pads but deep down wanting to use cloth. In a pinch a couple weeks ago, I cut up a birdseye cloth diaper and used them. They worked okay until one day I had a lot of leakage while I was nursing. It completely soaked the pad and my bra. So I went back to disposable until I could come up with some different.

    Another solution for making them a little more trim- cut a little wedge out of the circles and sew the edges together. I saw this on another tutorial. This would make the pad more cup-like, but would be another step.

    • Mandy April 18, 2009 at 6:53 am #

      I made all sorts of kinds when I was preg… nesting :) . I would cut the wedge…. I pin 2 pieces together, cut the wedge, sew the wedge together and then sew the 2 wedge pieces together… making 4 layers of cloth. I used flannel on the outside and old towel on the inside for more absorption :) . I found my nipples did not near as cracked up using these as when I used disposables.

  56. Sarah April 17, 2009 at 4:04 am #

    How often do you have to change pads? I have tried the reusable pads but to no avail because my let-down is so strong; I easily leak through the “non-starting” side at each feeding and then I end up with a soaking wet pad and often a wet shirt that needs to be changed several times a day. I would love to stop using disposable pads but I have yet to find anything that will absorb enough to be practical…and allow me to stay in the same outfit all day! :)

    • Lindsay April 17, 2009 at 10:49 am #

      I am a heavy leaker as well but usually only need at the most one set for daytime use and one set for nighttime use. I usually don’t have to change them as frequently later on when my milk will not be so abundant.

      • Sonja April 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

        I am a heavy leaker too. When I would nurse, I would have to strip down and hold a towel to the other side because I would lose three to four ounces on the side baby was not attached to. How do I know how much, you ask… I had an duh moment one night when I was a little less tired. When I sat down to nurse, I tucked an empty bottle up to my other side before baby latched on. That way, nothing was wasted. We all know how we view that as liquid gold, and now I was saving even more, without having to pump! I miss that time too…

    • Tracy G. April 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

      A trick that has helped me is to push (kind of hard) on the “non-starting side” with your free forearm before and during your let down. After the initial let down, you can stop pushing and use that arm for more important things, like cradling your little bundle of joy.

      • Heather April 18, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

        Tracy, this is what I was taught by a laleche league leader! It works in that it does not let out as much milk than if I was not applying pressure. Good advice. I will add that if one has trouble with engorgement not to use this technique or at least to wait until milk has adjusted to baby’s demand.

      • joanna March 13, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

        I have nursed all 5 of my children, and found if I push in on my unused nipple with my thumb passed the let down, I don’t leak at all. I do this on top of my clothes and have no problems.

  57. Rachal April 17, 2009 at 3:33 am #

    How many do you suggest making…I wouldn’t want to do laundry every day! And do you wash them with any other fabrics of like color?

    • Lindsay April 17, 2009 at 10:51 am #

      I recommend 10-12 sets. Two sets per day assures you enough to get you through the week. I just throw them all in with the colors when I wash, but sometimes they get in with the whites and still they are fine.

      • Rachal April 17, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

        Thanks for the information!

  58. Tammy L April 17, 2009 at 1:11 am #

    My mom made me these kind of pads for my babies. I agree — they’re great and breathable and frugal too! :)

    One thing my mom did to help them fit better was to cut the two inside layers of fabric into slightly smaller circles. (Maybe an inch smaller in diameter — so you have an extra half-inch around the edge that is just two fabrics.) Then they were sewn to hold it together.

    So it would be like a 5-inch bowl for the two outside layers and a 4-inch bowl for the two inside layers. It just helps the pads not be as thick at the edges, which is what tends to show through the clothing more. :)

    I hope that makes sense and isn’t too confusing! :)

    Yay for you, having all that yummy milk for Titus! :)

    • Lindsay April 17, 2009 at 1:26 am #

      That is a very good suggestion! Thanks for sharing Tammy!

    • Kris April 19, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

      Just a suggestion about the two inner layers being smaller in diameter than the outer layers -make sure they are secured somehow, perhaps by running a stitch down the middle, so they do not crumple up inside and make your pads lumpy. Great idea, though!

  59. Gretchen April 16, 2009 at 8:34 pm #

    I love this idea. I only use reusable nursing pads – I cannot stand the disposable ones. I am going to have to link this on my blog. And this tutorial is timely since I am going to have my third child in less than 10 weeks. I will be putting this on my to do list! Thank you!

  60. Brianna @ Heart(h) Management April 16, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    Do you just use these at nighttime, Lindsay? I must admit that I’m in love with Lansinoh nursing pads because of their fabulous absorbency and their thinness–I hate seeing my nursing pads through my shirt. I look absolutely ridiculous with these little circles perched at the end of my…well, LOL, that is probably enough information already!

    But seriously, do they fit well and look right under clothing?

    • Lindsay April 16, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

      These are actually my favorite now so I often wear them in the day as well. They are visible unless you are wearing a cup bra and then they are hidden nicely. You can make then thinner if desired for day time use if you use a different style of bra. They will not be as perfect of a fit as the disposable kind but they hold it all in for sure!

      • Annaleah April 22, 2009 at 6:46 pm #

        Another way to make these less visible under clothes is to make a cut from the edge to the middle, overlap the cut edges, and then hand or machine sew the cut edges down. This makes a “cone” shape that fits nicely and is not as visible. This also can be nice for sensitive nipples.

  61. Toni April 16, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    I bet old cloth diapers cut up and sewn would make an awesome fabric for these! Just came to me as I was reading your post, I’ve never tried it though. :)

    • Lindsay April 16, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

      I actually did think of that and tried it first but they were too thick and the fabric is rather scratchy to a sensitive nipple.

  62. krystal April 16, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    how crazy! i absolutely just had this discussion this evening with my mother. i’ve switched from disposable to reusable nursing pads recently in effort to safe money and trash, but i have not been completely satisfied. i will get on this project this weekend… why didn’t i think of that?