potty training

Preparing for Baby: Portable Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial

We’re preparing for baby number five over here, and while we have most of the big things, there are a few things I’ve had on my to-make list. Somewhere along the line, I lost our portable diaper changing mat, and I really missed it with my fourth baby! And since you spend about thirty trillion hours changing a baby’s diapers, I had to make a new one.
Portable Changing Mat Tutorial

 

I just hit my third trimester, and I’m in full baby prep. I still have a ways to go before baby arrives, but you just never know when he will arrive! So I’m stocking up on everything we might need: clean onesies, pacifiers, nursing pads, and of course, DIAPERS! Walmart Neighborhood Market has everything we need for baby and more.

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When it comes to a portable changing pad, I wanted to have something that I could grab from my diaper bag and have everything I need. I don’t always like to take the diaper bag everywhere, so having a pocket for diapers and wipes was very important to me.

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One side of the changing mat is waterproof PUL (I also used that when making this wet bag), the other is cotton, with a layer of fleece in between.

Supplies:

  • 1 piece of cotton, fleece, and PUL fabric, each cut about 29x12in. (You can change this to suit your needs, of course)
  • 1/2in wide double fold bias tape, approx. 66in.
  • 1 small lingerie bag
  • KAM snaps
  • 1 button
  • 1 small piece of 1/8in. elastic
  • pins or Wonder Clips

1. Cut your three pieces of fabric to about 29x12in. My PUL was not long enough, so I pieced it together to get my desired length.

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2. Stack all three layers together. The fleece should be sandwiched between the cotton and PUL. The wrong sides of the PUL and cotton should be facing the fleece. Fold the fabrics in thirds as shown:

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3. Decide where you want your snaps to go – these will hold your mat closed. Unfold one third and mark where you’ll place your snaps.

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4. Apply your snaps. The snap in the PUL layer should ONLY go through the PUL. The snap on the cotton should ONLY go through cotton and fleece.

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5. Round out the four corners of ALL layers.

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6. Clip or pin the layers together.

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7. Take your lingerie bag and cut a few inches off the bottom (this will depend on how long your bag is and how large you’d like your pocket – you want it to be no bigger than 1/3 of your changing mat)

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8. Lay the lingerie bag down on top of the cotton side of your mat – the end WITHOUT the snap. Cut around the edges to round it to the same shape. You will cut off a small bit of the zipper on each side, so make sure your zipper is open slightly.

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9. Sew a small loop of elastic to the center of your lingerie bag (don’t sew onto your changing mat fabric, though!!)

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10. Hand sew one button onto the cotton/fleece fabrics. Do NOT sew through to the PUL.

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11. Now begin sewing on the bias tape around the edges. The bias tape and the mat should be right sides together. Fold 1/4in of your bias tape back as shown, and begin stitching it down along the first fold.

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12. Sew all the way around, taking care to sew the edges of the lingerie bag too, until the ends of the bias tape overlap 1/4-1/2in.

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13. Now fold the bias tape over the raw edge of the mat, clipping or pinning it together. Stitch it down carefully.

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Now you have a changing mat with two pockets, ready to be stuffed!

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Here it is, folded up and stuffed to the max with Huggies diapers, Huggies wipes, and anything else we might need.

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Over the years, we’ve used just about every type of Huggies diaper there is – we currently have kids wearing Good Nites to bed and one nearly-completely-but-not-entirely potty trained kiddo using the occasional Pull-Ups. And in a few months, we’ll be adding a newborn to the mix. Goodness…. so. many. diapers. I’m so thankful for diaper coupons!!

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Your Walmart Neighborhood Market has coupons for Huggies Diapers and Wipes, because with as many diapers as these babies use, we could all use a few coupons! But Walmart Neighborhood Markets have great prices to begin with, so the coupons are a bonus.

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I forgot how teeny baby diapers are! Eek!!

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Is it weird to be excited about changing diapers again?? Probably. ;)

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I’m so glad I have a portable changing mat again! It will be perfect for throwing in the diaper bag or stroller and giving me a nice clean, soft surface to change baby wherever we are.

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I love that I can stock up on all our baby diapering needs at Walmart Neighborhood Market, grab GoodNites for our bigger boys, and find whatever else we might need for all the kiddos – all at the same spot. One stop shopping is a busy mama’s dream!

Portable Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial

Before I know it, there will be a real baby lying on that mat!

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Wet Bag with Pocket Tutorial and tips for potty training

We’re about to enter a stage of life that I have to admit, is not my favorite. The potty training stage. Potty training seems to go one of two ways in my house: complete and total disaster or epic triumph. I have yet to have an in between experience. Having been through this three times already, I have a few tips, as well a tutorial for my number one must-have for potty training: a wet bag! With this in hand, I have all that I need to survive with hopefully as few disasters as possible.Wet Bag with Pocket Tutorial

Tips for Potty Training

  1. Follow your child’s leading. If he or she is not ready, you can’t force them to potty train. If they are showing signs that they are interested or ready (telling you when they go in their diaper, asking to use the potty, etc.) give it a try!
  2. Relax. Seriously, don’t freak out. Barring a medical issue, your child will not go to high school in diapers. You will get through this.
  3. Set a timer. Put your child on the potty every thirty minutes during the first few days of potty training. Even if they have accidents, you’ll probably get lucky and some of those times he or she will have to go, and they’ll start to get the hang of it.
  4. Be consistent. Come up with a mantra, potty routine, reward, a song you sing, whatever works for your family. Say it often and be consistent about it. Kids love routine!
  5. Remember that accidents happen. Your child could be one of those kiddos that gets it from the first try, but more than likely, accidents will happen. Keep calm and positive, and remind your child what to do next time.
  6. Use Pull-Ups when you’re out-and-about and for naptime. Since they pull up and down, they give your kiddo the independence of underwear, but they’ll help prevent a major disaster in aisle five. (see below for a coupon!)
  7. Carry a Wet Bag. Once you’ve started potty training, and for awhile after you think your little one has it down, you’ll want to carry a wet bag. This will give you a waterproof bag to carry soiled clothing, so that your diaper bag or purse stay dry. Much nicer than carrying plastic grocery bags everywhere. Wet bags have saved the day on numerous occasions!

Wet Bag with Pocket Tutorial

Supplies:

  • 4 pieces of your chosen non-stretchy fabric 10×13 inches (for the outside of the bag)
  • 2 pieces of PUL 10×13
  • Ribbon or twill tape (optional)
  • 7in. zipper for pocket (or longer – you will shorten it)
  • 9in. zipper for top (or longer – you will shorten it)

1. Take two of the main fabric pieces and put them right side together. Draw a narrow rectangle approximately 6 3/4in. long by 3/8in. high on the wrong side of one piece. I did this about 4.5 inches down from the top.

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2. Stitch around the rectangle (through both pieces of fabric). Then cut down the center of the rectangle, making two small cuts toward the corners on both ends, as you can see in the photo. Make sure you don’t cut your stitches.
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3. Flip the top piece to the other side and press. You will now have an opening for your zipper pocket.

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4. Pin the zipper behind the opening and sew it to the fabric. Stitch close to the ends of the fabric.

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5. Now place another fabric piece down right side up. Place the zippered piece on top (zipper pull on top). Then stay stitch these two pieces together all around. (In my photo, I accidentally put my bottom piece wrong side up. If you do this, you will see the wrong side of your fabric when you open the zipper.)

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6. Sandwich your zipper in between your PUL and your outside fabric. The right sides of the fabric should be facing each other, and the outer fabric should be against the zipper pull. The right side of the PUL is the waterproof side – it’s shinier. Sew along this side, next to the zipper.

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7. Flip those fabrics back and top-stitch them onto the zipper. (The picture below isn’t the best and it shows both sides sewn on, but it shows you the final product after top-stitching)

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8. Now repeat with the second piece of PUL and the last piece of outer fabric. Again you will sandwich the zipper between your outer fabric and PUL with the right sides against the zipper (and the outer fabric against the zipper pull). The fabrics you just sewed will also be in between.

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9. Now repeat the top-stitching on the zipper as you did in step 7. Now it really will look like this picture.

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10. If you would like a handle, choose a ribbon or a piece of twill tape and fold in half. Place it in between the two zippers, with the raw (not folded) edge toward the outside. Pin the ribbon in place.

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11. Open the zipper 3/4 of the way. Now lay the fabrics flat, right sides together. You will have your PUL on one side and the outer fabrics on the other. Pin/clip the sides together.

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11. Sew around all four edges, leaving an opening to turn the bag right side out. Clip the corners and extra seam allowance.

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Then turn it right side out, hand stitch the PUL lining closed, and you’re officially prepared for potty training accidents on-the-go! Or anything else you might need a wet bag for: swimming, road trips, canoe rides, etc.DSC_0788

Pull-Ups and Family Dollar have teamed up to ease the pain of potty training a little bit by giving you a deal on Pull-Ups. I do love a good deal. ;)

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This being the fourth time we’ve potty trained, this really is a product we use at our house. And diapers are expensive, so I take a good deal whenever I can find one!

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The wet bag is nice and roomy, and you can easily alter the dimensions to make a larger wet bag for traveling or even at-home use, especially if you’re a full-time or part-time cloth diapering family.

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You can use the inside PUL-lined pocket for wet items, and then use the outer pocket for extra diapers, wipes, underwear, etc.

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And you can carry this bag around without everyone knowing you’re hauling diapers and wet undies around with you. And then when your kids are out of diapers, use the bag to carry your phone and keys to the pool!
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You can click here to locate a Family Dollar store near you.DSC_0810

Happy sewing, friends!