How-To: Cloth Diapers (Part 1)

Caribou Baby puts an end to cloth diaper-phobia with this 3-part series. First up: Prefolds.

Cloth diapering is simple to do once you know the ins and outs, but it is not a simple topic. There are enough options (and opinions) out there to make even the most dedicated researcher’s head spin! It just so happens that one of the most loved cloth diapers on the market is the incredibly simple and humble prefold.
Prefold
Yeah, yeah, we know, it doesn’t look prefolded. But if you lived a few decades ago, your idea of a diaper would be this:
Flat and Prefold
And compared to a flat diaper, a prefold would seem pretty easy. The prefold is sewn in such a way that it is smaller, most absorbent in the center (where the pee goes), and thinnest at the hips which makes it easier to fasten around little bellies. There is so much to love about prefolds!

Let us count the ways:

1. Prefolds are several thin pieces of cloth sewn together. That means they won’t wear out and there are no special care instructions. Use ‘em and abuse ‘em–they’ll last forever.

2. Prefolds are so versatile! Forgot your changing pad? Use a prefold. Need a burp cloth? Use your prefold! Spilled coffee all over your shirt? Prefold. Babies get everything wet, and it is always useful to have some spare cloth on you.

3. Prefolds are, hands down, the best at containing newborn explosive poops. A baby that is diapered in a prefold correctly just doesn’t have diaper blowouts. It’s true. If you don’t believe us, ask a cloth diapering friend–they will all tell you say the same thing.

4. Prefolds are crazy cheap. For the price of seven disposable diapers, you can buy one prefold. That’s less than a single day of diapers! And, it will last you through several children (before it eventually becomes your favorite dish towel…or sold, or passed along to a pregnant friend).

Right about now you’re probably thinking, “Yeah yeah yeah, this all sounds too good to be true…how does a square of fabric become an fabulous, leak-proof diaper?” Like this!
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pDYZJ0WFag)[/youtube] Easy peasy right? Prefolds are the cotton, absorbent part of the “diaper.” To contain all the, um, moisture, you’ll need to use a waterproof diaper cover on the top. Diaper covers used to look like this
Rubber Pants

… but now they look all kinds of cute like these Rumapooz and Flip Diaper Covers below.
Covers

Since the prefold itself does the job of absorbing and containing the messy stuff, the diaper cover usually stays relatively clean and should last you a few diaper changes. You’ll only need one or two covers for a day of diapering. You can also just fold a prefold (by threes, vertically, as if you were folding a letter to fit into an envelope), lay it inside a diaper cover and pop that on the baby. This is great trick if someone else will be caring for your baby, but might not be ready to learn diaper origami.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbWSRTxplf4)[/youtube] Not into the origami part, but liking how the rest of this sounds? Try a fitted diaper instead! A fitted is basically a prefold that has been sewn into a diaper shape, has convenient elastics around the legs, and built-in snaps for fastening. It still needs a waterproof cover to go on top, and will still contain that newborn poop better than any disposable. It’s much more pricey than a prefold, but you might love the user-friendliness during those beloved middle-of-the-night diaper changes.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLDXwUoIkp0[/youtube] Some beloved fitted diapers: the EsBaby and Sloomb Fitteds below.
Fitteds

If all of this is up your alley, stay tuned for the next post in this series, where we will tackle the (actually quite simple) details of laundering cloth diapers.

Stayed tuned for more info about cloth diapering in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime visit Caribou Baby online or in-store for loads of info and all your baby shopping needs (and wants).

Comments {1}

  1. This is so helpful–I’ve been considering cloth diapers but have had a hard time finding a good resource that explains them this well. Thanks!

    Rachel C.

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