Friday, February 12, 2010

Prefolds for your Stash

Prefolds are necessary to any cloth diaper stash. Some people choose to use prefolds and covers exclusively. Even the all-in-one diaper user can find a use for prefolds. Prefolds make great inexpensive absorbent diapers. They can also be used a burp diapers. They can be folded and stuffed inside a pocket diaper. They can be used as an extra layer between the changing table and your baby when you are changing one of those super messy diapers that all parents encounter from time to time.

Prefolds come in various sizes. Typically the preemie or newborn size should be used with tiny babies. When your baby is about 10 lbs he or she should start fitting into an infant size without being overwhelmed by it. Infant sizes can be used for quite a while if you are simply laying the diaper in a wrap. If you are fastening the prefold with pins or a Snappi then you will need to move up to the premium size around 15 lbs and the toddler size around 30 lbs.

If you want to use your prefold without fastening it you will need a snug fitting cover. Just fold the prefold in thirds and lay it in the wrap. If it is too long for the wrap you can fold it in fourths the other direction and lay it in the wrap. You can also fold down the top part of the prefold and then fold it in thirds. The fold down option is usually a better choice for boys and the fold in fourths option is usually a better choice for girls.

If you want to fasten your prefold you will need diaper pins or a Snappi. One common fold is a newspaper fold. To do this you need to fold down the end towards your baby’s belly and then fold the diaper in thirds. Spread out the diaper at the back. You can then fasten this on your baby by fastening a snappi or pins connecting the spread out wings with the front of the diaper. The twist fold is also another good option. You place the spread out prefold under your baby lengthwise. You then twist the diaper and bring it up to fasten at your baby’s waist. You may need to fold down the front of the diaper if it is too long.

There are many different kinds of prefolds out there. Cotton prefolds are absorbent and fluffy. Thanks Mama offers Indian Cotton bleached and unbleached cotton prefolds, Econobum prefold and cover system, and organic cotton prefolds from Bummis. They also offer Babykicks hemp fleece prefolds which are excellent diapers for a heavy wetter or for nighttime. Blue Penguin hemp fleece diapers are prefolds, but with snaps so you don’t need a Snappi or diaper pins to fasten the prefold.

Prefolds are a popular choice for those who cloth diaper for economic reasons. But prefolds have their place in any diaper stash. Whether you use them as your main diaper, a doubler, or on your changing table prefolds are an essential part of any diaper stash.


  1. I love my prefolds. I use when I'm home with my daughter. I use Wonder Wraps covers, which I *love*. I don't have different sizes of prefolds so when she was small, I just folded them as you described to the size I needed. They are the most reliable diapers in my stash. I fold a microfiber insert inside them, and that, with the Wonder Wraps, is the most leak-proof system I have found. Even overnight (with an extra insert), they do not leak. Thank you for this great post on the positive aspects of prefolds.

  2. What a great post! I used prefolds with my newborn and actually thought it was the best option for that age. It made me smile when you mentioned using them on the changing table when you change a messy diaper because I did this all the time!

  3. I love my prefolds! I use one-size fits all cloth diapers--but on laundry day I put baby Collin in a thirsties diaper cover with the prefolds. It's great! And I love them for burp cloths as well!


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