Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ladies' Stuff - A New Use for Worn Out Sleepers

I hate tossing out old, worn baby sleepers. The fabric is so soft and absorbent, but when the feet go and the seams rip and the snaps won't fasten, what can you do with them?

So yesterday, I was sorting through Starvation's pj drawer, pulling out ones that were too warm for the above-freezing nights and the ones that were completely outgrown. Most of them, by the way, have been worn by both Explosion and Starvation as they're only 26 months apart. A few of the sleepers, I realized, were far too grungy and ratty to be put away in my growing "just in case" box. (I figure if I hit full menopause with no new pregnancy, I'll pack the nicest away for visitors or future grandchildren and then some low-income mom will hit the jackpot with a complete baby wardrobe)

Anyway, WHAT to do with these? I'm pulling out the grungy ones, noting how they actually seem to get more absorbent with age. Soft, soft, hmm, so soft and absorbent and ... Absorbent. Soft. Washable. <.<

Okay, so now I have a decent-sized stack of legs and arms, feet and cuffs removed. The backs of the sleepers (and some of the front parts) have been cut into various sized rectangles so that they can be folded and slipped inside the arms/legs. There is even one that is both arms and the complete front of a super-soft lightweight cotton sleeper (a white cotton undershirt, hardware removed, is folded inside that one).

Yes, my friends, these are my eco-friendly, 100% reclaimed cotton, no-sew menstrual pads with adjustable thickness and choice of friction-held, snap-around-panty, or belt-style (must get a belt to attach that "overnight" one to!) The colors are pretty ratty, but that's because they've been well-used in their previous incarnation.

And you know, they're not really uncomfortable. Maybe it's because I hit puberty before menstrual pads went on a diet and got "thin", but I think I could deal with this. We'll see. Washing them shouldn't be any worse than washing my underwear out (my mom had a strict rule that "stained" panties were washed by hand instead of going in the machine, and I can't blame her!)

Let's see how I feel in the morning, after sleeping with this!


  1. Great idea! but I will admit that I am praying to God that I hid meopause before the SHTF...

  2. Clearly, I'm not. And I'm honestly tired of spending money on pads, even if it is only a couple of bucks a month. So I'll see whether this works. It might be that I can only do the cloth in the daytime, since there's nothing to hold them in place at night.

  3. Genious! What a great way to give good fabric a second incarnation before adding it to a landfill.

  4. Yea, I was feeling rather pleased with myself. AND they're working like a charm. The one where I basically cut a sleeper off below the arms - the sleeves safety pinned to my underwear and it worked perfectly all night.

  5. Fantastic re-use idea. I use a diva cup, but I always leak a bit on my heaviest night. I've been thinking I should get a couple moon rags. Maybe I'll see if my SIL still has any onesies that my younger nephew has recently outgrown...

    You might submit your idea to the website It's got nice ideas for re-using many items and seems to cheerfully accept suggestions.

  6. Wow ... talk about an unpopular post. I would have thought that I've written MUCH more graphic posts (like detailed family cloth posts!) but this one - I lost TWENTY feed subscribers because of this.

    Seriously, people, if you hate a post, at least tell me why. "Ladies' Stuff", though, is going to be about menstruation in some manner.

    Anyway, I finally found a store that sells the Diva Cup and they're $42 plus tax. OUCH!

  7. Some of us in my household use family cloth. But, I am still using free pads for the "cycle" I think folks should understand that the disposable pad has not been around all that long. The term "on the rag" came from literally being on a "rag" or sleeper, or left over towels whatever! The time is coming to use what we have, not what is affordable. Great post, great re-usable item. Melissa

  8. I'm glad several people were impressed. The arms/legs from old baby sleepers work well, I think, because the shape sits comfortably (at least for me) and they can be easily stuffed, emptied, washed and dried. Best of all, though, they require absolutely no skill to make, as long as you can wield a pair of scissors. :P The only they DO require is a strong sense of humour. :D

  9. I've read your post by watching it on recycle this.
    I use cotton pads because i'm allergic to plastics and latex etc.
    I have to use small pads every day because off.. well you know;)
    I use old towels and flanel shirts etc combined to make a small pad.(i do sew  them with a binding)
    For the menstruation pads i use several layers of towels, at the top goes flanel and at the bottom goes fleece, i wrap the fleece around the 'pile' to give me that anti leak that buyable pads have. And it works!
    At night i keep them in place with a black elastic sports short. At day time they just stay in place because of the fleece.


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