Homemade Nursing Pads

*This post is taken from my old blog. Original writing, May 2009.

nursing1-150x150I much prefer the feel of 100% cotton flannel nursing pads to store bought pads. They’re softer and of course – washable! (Tip: washing them in a lingerie bag will keep them all together.)
I made myself a few additional nursing pads recently to bolster my stash. I chose to keep one side neutral (plain white or ivory) and the other side patterned. This way I have some cute prints, but they won’t show through my clothes.
I use 100% cotton flannel. Be sure to pre-wash and dry the fabric on hot before you begin. I then lay out my fabric two or three layers thick and use a Pyrex bowl as my template. You can make the circles any size you like (another perk to making your own), I just happen to like the size of my little Pyrex storage bowl. A large mouthed glass or other round item will work just as well. You can use water soluble fabric pens/pencils/markers, or just grab whatever is at hand – which in my case was a ball point pen. I would NOT use regular markers or gel pens – nothing that is going to bleed into the fabric.nursing2-150x150
I then cut out my circles with a rotary cutter. I like my nursing pads to be 3 -4 layers of flannel. This is a personal preference and you might like (or need) more or less. I would probably not make them thicker than maybe 5-ish layers unless you are using very thin flannel. You want them to be thin enough to wash and dry well.
Once they are cut out I use my serger and serge around the edges. If you don’t have a serger you can either zig zag or overlock them with your standard machine, or add 1/4″ to the diameter when cutting (ie: get a bigger bowl) and then sew them inside out with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving an opening to turn them (like that pillow you made in the 6th grade).


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  1. Eve

    I have an even better idea for home made nursing pads… when you make bibs for your child use the neck hole as nursing pads. Then they are essentially free too!

  2. Amber

    That is a great idea! My only caution would be if you use fabrics with pile (terry cloth, velours, etc) for the bibs like me, you may want to add a layer of a smother fabric to be next to your skin. Though any fabric can “stick” a little when you have leaks, higher pile = more sticking.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. AnnaMichelle Worthley

    Just thought I’d mention that I tried making my own pads a little over 5 years ago, and I sewed them inside out and and then flipped them….I hated them like that…it made them too bulky. Surging them or zigzagging them, I think, would make them much more “thin” and comfortable.

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