Prefold Cloth Diapers…which size to choose?

Can you use only Premium Sized Prefold Cloth Diapers for the entire time a baby is in cloth diapers?

We’ve gotten quite a few questions about prefolds lately, and this keeps coming up so I thought I’d post my responses here. Please keep in mind that every parent is different in terms of what will work for them, just as every baby is a different size and shape. What may work wonderfully on one baby, may not be such a great fit on the next. In general, the suggested size/weight for prefolds are as follows:

  • Infant Size Prefolds 6-15 lbs
  • Premium Size Prefolds 15-35+ lbs

You can absolutely use only the Premium size prefolds for the entire time a baby is in diapers. What you may find, however, is that they are rather bulky for the first few months. For parents on a tight budget, an alternate suggestion would be to have at least 12 Infant size prefolds on hand for during the day or when bulkiness isn’t favourable. I think most parents will find infant clothing today is NOT made with cloth diapers in mind, and will be rather snug over a larger cloth diaper. However, this generally is not an issue at all for nighttime, and it really doesn’t matter if there is extra bulk during this time. This is when you will more than likely use the larger-sized prefolds the most, until your baby grows into them better.

Another thing to consider is the fit of the cover over your cloth diapers. Your diaper covers are generally doing a lot of the work at keeping everything “in” your diapers and if there is gaping at the legs and waist, or too much diaper sticking out, the diaper cover can’t do it’s job effectively. You will get a better fitting diaper cover over the right fitting prefold which means less leaks both in the liquid and solid department. If a few leaks won’t discourage you, however, than this is less of an issue. ;)

The nice thing about the prefolds is that you will still be able to get a lot of use out of them, even when a baby has grown too big for the Infant size. You may need more absorbency with an older baby, and these make excellent doublers when folded in thirds and laid inside of a Premium prefold. They also make great burp cloths, rags, changing pads…etc. It’s never a bad idea to have a few Infant sized prefolds on hand as they will not go to waste!

Most parents get 3 months use out of their Infant sized prefolds, at the very least. I was lucky enough, based on my daughter’s shape and size, to get close to 10 months! Of course, every baby is slightly different in size, shape and weight, but I think most parents will find that it’s not a bad thing to have a few smaller sized prefolds on hand. As a bare minimum, 12 Infant prefolds and 24 Premium prefolds will do for the whole 2-3 years a baby is in cloth diapers, which is a very economical and environmentally friendly system. :)

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