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