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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

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Back to the Basics

There are dozens of different brands and types of cloth diapers on the market, from the relatively cheap (though often more complicated) to the much more expensive (but easier). Often, it’s the expensive all-in-ones that are a gateway into cloth diapering. Parents feel like they can “handle” all-in-ones…and then they feel like they can handle pockets…and then they decide to check out prefolds and covers. It is a rare parent who feels up to the challenge of prefolds and covers as their first cloth diapering experience—but the truth is, in many ways, prefolds and covers are the easiest method of cloth diapering.

This week, I’ve gone back to the basics myself. Following a root canal, I’m on penicillin; and after a nasty experience with thrush when my third child was born, I’m well aware that if I’m on antibiotics, the odds that either the baby or I (or both) will end up with some yeast issues are fairly high. As a precautionary measure, I’ve been taking probiotics daily, bleaching every load of diaper laundry just to be safe…and using cotton prefolds and covers, which, according to a study I read back when I first started cloth diapering, won’t hold yeast through a wash cycle.

I had forgotten how much I like this very basic approach to cloth diapering.

I like that one cover can last me for the better portion of a day (unless she poops…which, because I have a limited number of covers, since that’s not my usual cloth diapering method, she is of course doing at least three times a day), and that if I’m matching it to an outfit, it can just keep on matching all day long. I like that it’s a quick and easy change—prefold out, new prefold trifolded into the cover, and done. I like that it doesn’t really stack up as much diaper laundry.

I like that they dry faster than any other diapering method—especially the handful of flats that have also made their way into my diaper collection. I like that they can be folded in a variety of different ways to customize absorbency if I need to. I like that they’re quick to fold—I do prestuff my covers, but it takes less time than stuffing pockets. I like that they’re super easy to wash—regular wash, maybe an extra rinse at the end, and most of the time, they’re good to go. No standing over the washer all day, hoping that whatever is in there will come out with a minimum of stink. (Hello, microfiber all-in-ones. I’m talking about you.)

I also like that it’s not the end of the world if something happens to a prefold. If baby has a massive explode-a-poop made of blueberries and, I don’t know, food coloring (I don’t usually let any of my children have this, much less the nine-month-old, but I guess it could happen) and it gets stained…no big. Prefolds don’t have a whole lot of resale value anyway.

I even kind of like the expressions on the faces of the nursery workers at church when I come in and say, “Oh, she’s in a prefold and cover today, sorry—but all you have to do is fold it like this and stick it in the cover. See?”

What about you? Do you have a few prefolds and covers in your stash, whether for “just in case” you run out of your other diapers, or because you use them regularly? What’s your favorite thing about them?


By Emily

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Quanna B said...

I'm expecting my first in 4 weeks and we're starting off with prefolds... it's cheaper and we would like to start with our baby as a newborn if possible... I need to get to practicing those folds! :)

Le Wife said...

I'm also pregnant with my first and planning on starting off with per folds and covers. Does just tri-folding really contain the mess? I thought I'd have to do the traditional fold (not sure what it's called) with a Snappi.