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Thursday, October 18, 2012

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From The Cloth Diaper Whisperer Archives: Why Prefolds Are Easier Than You Think

From The Cloth Diaper Whisperer Archives! This is a favorite blog post about how prefolds can be so easy to use. Originally posted on Jan.20th, 2011.

I found a new favorite cloth diaper. It is very absorbent and I never have leaks. It is affordable and easy to use.

No, it's not the latest pocket or all-in-one diaper. It's not fancy. There's not even a whole lot of science behind it. In fact, it's a little bit old fashioned. What is it, you may ask? It's the prefold.

Scary, yes, I know. When I first started cloth diapering my newborn four months ago, I scoffed at prefolds. Why use those ancient things when there are so many awesome new diapers on the market? But then I found out their dirty little secret: they are cheap and effective, and not nearly as difficult as I imagined them to be.

I decided to try prefolds one day because my rapidly-growing son had hit a point where I was struggling to get his diapers to fit him properly. He changed so much day to day and I was getting frustrated. I was also getting lots of leaks. And, with so many great, convenient diapers on the market, there just had to be a reason that some parents still prefered to use prefolds and flats. What did I have to lose? If I didn't like them I wouldn't be out a ton of money, and I could always use them as rags or burp cloths. I placed an order for half a dozen prefolds, a cover, and a Snappi, then searched the internet to learn the best ways to fold them.

My package arrived a few days later. I prepped the prefolds right away, so I could try them the same day; I am impatient like that. Then, skeptically, I put one on my two month old son for the first time. It actually looked like the ones I saw online! I was pretty darn proud of myself but I knew I had won the battle, not the war... how would it hold up when my son peed? Or, worse, had an explosive poop?

Perfectly, as I soon found out. I have not had a single leak since I started using prefolds. I had a couple instances where I had some slight wicking and his onesie got a little damp--my own fault, for not being more careful when putting on the covers--but never a real leak. Over the past two months I have fine-tuned the art of putting on a prefold. Not to sound too full of myself, but gosh darn it, I am good at it. I can jelly-roll those things like nobody's business.

So yes, I love my prefolds. They are much easier than I ever could have imagined, and very versatile as well. I like that I can let my son go coverless to let his skin breathe. I like that I have the option of using a fleece liner to help him feel dry. I like that I can still have fun with them, and can find prefolds in fun prints, or embellish them myself, or even dye them if I want to. And I love that, with the help of a hemp insert, my son wake up every single morning with dry sheets and jammies.

I still love (and use) my pocket diapers, and I know my likes and needs may change as my son grows. I am already learning how to deal with a very squirmy four month old, which presents a new diapering challenge. I am so glad that modern cloth diapers have made more people (myself included) hop on the cloth diapering bandwagon... but, sometimes, it's okay to be a little old-fashioned.  

By Shanon O.
The Up North Writer Mama


Renea P. said...

I agree! Prefolds are SO much easier than I thought they would be, and probably work the best for me right now. My daughter won't sit still long enough for me to do a fancy fold and use a snappi though, so I just tri-fold and lay it in as an insert, and I think I get the best results! I even got my other half into it, he doesn't mind using them at all!

Charity Sloan said...

I've started using prefolds more with my baby, too. It started as a way to make use of some slightly worn out pocket diapers. The pockets leaked at the legs when stuffed but worked fine as covers for the prefolds. I was so happy with the way they worked that I got more prefolds, some snappis and a few more covers.

Rosemarie said...

I've been using pre folds on my son for 2 years so I agree! But question : do you put the hemp liner against their skin or tucked inside a folded pre fold? I've never used one.

mommiof3boys said...

I have used them, may have to try again, I currently use pockets and all in ones.

mommiof3boys said...

I am going to have to try to use prefolds again, I currently use pockets and all in ones.

j.nice said...

I'm almost 30 weeks pregnant with my second son and I plan on CDing with him. I'm getting my stash together and was interested in using prefolds along with other inserts. Which brand of prefolds do you recommend/prefer?