Rethinking Prefolds

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Prefolds used to scare me. I had visions of pricked fingers and droopy drawers. I took one look at that flat piece of cloth and ran the other direction into the arms of nice and simple fitted and pocket diapers. I wanted nothing to do with a diapering system that required an engineering degree to use.

So, I ignored prefolds for 4 long years.

That is, until a friend made me some gorgeous embellished prefolds, and I fell in love. I was determined to use them. I could not let such cute fluff go to waste.

However, finding decent step-by-step instructions on the internet seemed nearly impossible.

Organic cotton prefold cloth diapers

I finally enlisted the help of an avid prefold-using friend of mine to show me exactly how to make this cloth diapering method work for me.

I’d like to share some of what was passed on to me that has made using prefolds a much friendlier venture.

  • 1. Practice, Practice, Practice. The only way to get to know a prefold is to use a prefold. Find diagrams online and go over and over them with your baby.
  • 2. It’s okay to make the diaper snug. As I tried all the different folds, I found I never had a diaper that was tight enough to work. I was afraid to tug on the wings and get them plenty tight around baby’s waist and legs. Therefore, it seemed as if none of the folds were working and I was discouraged.
  • 3. Tuck around the legs. It is perfectly acceptable to tuck the fabric snugly around baby’s legs to act as a gusset for holding in what diapers are meant to hold in. Needing to tuck a bit does not mean you’ve failed.
  • 4. BUY A SNAPPI! I cannot even begin to tell you how much better this is than using diaper pins. I know there are die-hard diaper pin folks out there, but for a prefold newbie, you just can’t beat a snappi.
  • 5. The Snappi is supposed to stretch. You are not going to break it. Stretch it from baby’s side to baby’s other side and down the center. That stretch is what holds the diaper on. If you don’t stretch the snappi, you’ll lose the diaper.
  • 6. Just laying the diaper in the cover really does work (on an older baby, that is). My friend showed me on her toddler how she could just lay a trifolded prefold in the diaper cover and then fasten the cover. I thought she was crazy. No way, no how would that ever work, right? Oh, but it does! That right there makes this the fastest diapering system in the west! Perfect for babies on the go!

Honestly, now that I’ve become familiar with prefolds, I’m quite smitten by them. They are incredibly absorbent and really very easy to use. So glad I gave prefolds a chance!

Amy of Raising Arrows received the greatest number of your votes for The Most Inspiring Blogger in our Blog to Inspire contest.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and not necessarily those of Eco Baby Steps or Parenting By Nature.

Throughout March we will offer guides to getting started with some of the basic practices of attachment parenting. This is Cloth Diaper Week with tips, products, resources, and personal experiences.

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