Praise for the Prefold

I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL for a while.  Life. It happens.  I’m hoping to be back to a more regular posting schedule in the coming weeks…and I’m going to try to get one Rear-View up this weekend at least. Thanks for bearing with me.  🙂

I know in some of the very early introduction posts I mentioned prefolds, but to this point, I haven’t really said much else about them.  You probably think I just mentioned them in a “had to cause they’re part of the diaper world, but not one I really care about” kind of way.  You’d be wrong though.  I love me a prefold.  I started with prefolds.  I still use them on the weekends almost exclusively.

They’re incredibly easy to care for and are very versatile.  While they can come off as intimidating at first, once you get the hang of them, they’re likely to be at least a part of your arsenal as well. Had I known how much I’d like them and how easy they’d be, I probably would have started with about two dozen of these, and a dozen workhorses (More on those later) for a newborn stash.  Now I know.  I will be employing that stash for eventual baby number two.

There are a few folds you can use, and finding one that works best for you may be trial and error.  I suggest looking up The Angel Wing Fold (this is the one I use), The Bikini Twist, and The Jelly Roll (good for bitty babies with runny EBF poo).  I’ll try to give a brief rundown of these three, and use Sleepy Bear, my childhood Care Bear, as E is cranky, teething, and currently fighting sleep with her Daddy.

We’ll start with the Angel Wing Fold.

Start with the prefold laid out flat.

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GMD small prefold


Fold one side over, followed by the other, to give a long tri-fold.

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Flare the back out.  This part will be on your baby’s back, and the wings will wrap around to hold the diaper closed.

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Place baby on diaper. (Once you’re comfortable with this, you’ll be able to fold it up and slip it under the baby already on the changing pad…but while you’re getting started, it helps to get it to this point before the little bum is introduced.) Pull center up between legs.  If the diaper is a little too large, you can fold down the front, or the back to make the fit a little more optimal (I usually fold down the front.)

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Pull wings around the front and snappi (what I prefer) or pin into place.

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If you’re just hanging out around the house, this is a great way to air out a booty, but this is, of course, not waterproof.  You will feel dampness when wet.  To make clothing worthy; employ a cover.


Here are a few pictures of E actually modelling the prefold and cover combo.

IMG_0268 - Copy

Note the folded down edge in the front? This is before she fit into a medium really well, but was a bit too big for a small.


Fit around the leg


Cover snapped into place. (Flip cover, in Bubble)

The Jelly Roll is essentially the same fold, but the legs are rolled in to give a greater barrier to catch runny poo.

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Once legs are rolled in, snappi or pin into place.  Or you may find it easier to roll the legs in once it’s already pinned on.  Again, this takes a little bit on finagling to figure out what works best for you.

The Bikini Twist is another option that gives a little more absorbency in the wet zone.

To do this lay a prefold out flat. And either place the baby on top, or go ahead and fold over.  You will be grabbing the front two corners, and crossing them over.

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Bring front up between legs, and pull wings around and snappi or pin into place.

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I’ll be honest.  I was never able to get a good fit around the legs with this fold on E. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

But wait!  There’s more!  Not only can you use a prefold as a diaper alone.  They can also be used to stuff a pocket, or just tri-folded and placed in a cover.

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Tri-folded in a Blueberry Capri cover

Because of their versatility, I highly recommend having at least a dozen prefolds on hand.  If you’re having rashes, they’re nice to use to air out booties.  If you’re having yeast, they’re a good option because you can bleach the heck out of these guys and they’ll just keep coming back for more. Oh crap, you forgot to get the wash started early enough to hang out? No problem, these guys can be dried in a tumble dryer on high (unlike some of the AIO that take longer and need a lower heat) so you can get them in and out and on the booty.  Stained?  Lay these bad boys in the sun after you wash them and just watch them disappear.  Need a burp cloth?  Well, there you go.  Need a little extra padding under a booty at changing time cause you have a baby with a tendency to squirt a little.  Here’s your guy.

I personally have a dozen smalls, which we used from 2 months to about 8 months.  Then we switched to the dozen medium.  I prefer Green Mountain Diaper prefolds (Cloth-Eez) They come in organic, bleached and unbleached cotton.  I also have some super plush Bamboo Terry prefolds from Sustainablebabyish (although they call them flats, they are the same measurements as a prefold and much thicker than a flat.)

If you’re planning to use from birth, I would recommend going ahead and investing in the newborn size instead of just skipping ahead to small, unless you’re planning to have a large baby.  Follow the size guidelines on your order site of choice, but use your own judgement too.  I personally wouldn’t invest in a large stash of AIO’s for a newborn since they’re going to be used for such a relatively short time…but newborn prefolds make excellent inserts for pockets, and burp cloths.  Since new babies need to be changed more frequently than older babes, I’d recommend at least 24, but ideally 36 changes for your newbie in order to be able to wash every other day.

When you receive your prefolds in the mail, they most likely won’t look like the ones pictured.  They’ll be a little flatter.  They will quilt up as you wash them. I suggest four or five washes with drying in between.

You can buy Gerber prefolds in most storms, but I personally would stay away from these and buy a pure cotton version.  From what I understand, the Gerber have almost a batting in the middle that’s not as absorbent.

Sure flashy AIO stashes are pretty…but there’s a lot to be said for this little fellow. Prefolds are cheaper by a long shot and very easy to maintain.  You could easily get by with an entire stash of a few dozen prefolds and maybe six covers.  If you’re CDing to save money, this is certainly a route I suggest  you look into.


Happy Diapering!


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