DIY Reusable Nursing Pads

One of the many aspects of becoming a new mom, whether it be your first child or your third, is breast milk leakage. While I haven’t experienced any leakage yet, I have been told it’s coming. In an effort to produce as little waste to the environment and save some cold hard cash in the meantime, I have decided to make my own nursing pads.

I began my endeavor by watching countless youtube videos and reading how to after how to tutorials online. I noticed a pretty common theme amongst the various methods, which I mashed together to come up with an awesome nursing pad.

For this project you will need:
1 yard of 100% cotton flannel
1/2 yard of terry cloth
Cotton thread
A 5″ circle

1. Wash and dry the flannel and terry cloth. They will shrink a bit and fray at the cut edges.

2. Once you have the material washed and dried, you are going to trace the 5″ circle onto the flannel and the terry. Make the circles as close to each other as you can to maximize the cloth. You are going to need 1 terry pad and 2 flannel pads for each nursing pad. I got 24 pads from the terry cloth and 48 pads from the flannel.

3. Cut out the circles.



4. Once you have the circles cut out, you are going to use a cloth marker or chalk to mark darts in the fabric. The darts will be roughly 2 inches long and about an inch wide at the bottom.



5. Once you have marked the darts, it’s time to hit the sewing machine. Using a straight stitch, sew along the dart lines on each pad.



6. Once you have the darts sewn in, you are going to want to cut off the tip of the dart, leaving approximately 1/4″ of fabric before the dart seam.


7. The next step is to stack the various layers of the nursing pad. For each nursing pad you are going to need 2 flannel pieces and 1 terry piece. Making sure that all of the seams are going to be on the inside of the pad, place the terry cloth between the flannel cloth pads. It’s also important that the seams do not line up. This will create less bulk in one spot.


8. Pin the layers together.


9. If you have a serger, you are going to serge around the outside edge of the pad. If you only have a sewing machine, use a zigzag stitch to sew the three layers together. You are going to want to get as close to the edge as you can. Trim away the excess material, as close to the seam as you can get.

Congratulations!!!! You have just created your own reusable nursing pads.


Let’s talk cost factor. Nursing pads should be changed at every feeding to prevent infection. Given this information, it’s a reasonable assumption that from birth to 6 months old, you will be feeding your child roughly 750 times. That means that if you were to change your nursing pads as recommended, you would need roughly 1500 nursing pads in a 6 month period.

One box of 100 nursing pads is $9.99 at Target. You would need 15 boxes to get you through 6 months, for a total cost of: 9.99 x 15 = $149.85. Each nursing pad cost $.09.

The nursing pads that I made are significantly cheaper than that. I did use some coupons and catch some deals (which I highly recommend). The flannel cloth I got was on sale for $3.59 per yard. The terry cloth was not on sale. It retails for $11.99 per yard. I did use a 25% off total purchase coupon to save a little bit more. For one yard of flannel at $3.59 and half a yard of terry cloth at $5.99 minus 25% off, I spent a total of $7.11 and made 12 sets (24 total) of nursing pads. Each nursing pad has an initial cost of $0.29, but will be used approximately 60 times for a final cost of $.004 each.


7 thoughts on “DIY Reusable Nursing Pads

    • We do. I purchased the material to make the outer cover and will stuff them with store bought inserts. That tutorial is coming up when I get them finished. It will only cost $60 for the diaper life of this wee one to do it that way. We will use disposables though if we are out and about for ease.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Frugal or Crafty? | Eventual Momma

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