Using Cloth Diapers – Giving Prefolds a Chance

I am no stranger to using cloth diapers.  After all, I’ve been using cloth diapers for over two years now.  While I wouldn’t call myself an expert, I’ve definitely done more than my fair share of experimenting with different brands and designs.  There was, however, one type of cloth diapers that I’d always shied away from.  They always seemed too hard, too old fashioned, and just plain intimidating.  I’d skipped out on prefold cloth diapers.

At least, I’d always skipped out on them until now.

Eudora models Bummis prefolds and snap wrap

For the first little bit, we’d planned on using disposables with Eudora.  Just until she’d finished passing her meconium and until I’d gotten a better handle on the house, the routine, and having two little kids at home.  It was good that we’d already had some disposables at home; when I got out of the hospital, the husband and I were both terribly sick and using cloth diapers would have been just one more hurdle that we weren’t ready for.  Eudora, however, seemed to have a different plan.  She gave us time to recover from our bouts with stomach viruses, but she developed a nasty diaper rash.

I called Cozy Bums, my trusty local cloth diaper distributor (and my chief enabler when it comes to my cloth diaper addiction), and ordered some Bummis prefold cloth diapers to be ready that day.  I did my cloth diaper laundry as soon as I got them so that I could get Eudora’s red and raw little butt on the road to recovery.  And I ordered a Bummis Super Snap wrap (in bloom) for a diaper cover.

Now that I’ve been using them for nearly two months, here’s the skinny on using prefold cloth diapers.

They are not as easy as my all-in-one or pocket diapers.  That being said, though, they are still pretty darned easy to use.  I just fold the diaper into thirds, lay it on the cover, and snap it on her.  I don’t use pins or snappis, just the cover to hold it in place.  While I find it easy and have gotten over the intimidation, the husband has not.  He won’t use the prefold cloth diapers.  He still prefers the FuzziBunz diapers.

As far as absorbency goes, it takes a few washes for them to be at maximum effectiveness.  The instructions said to wash them five or six times prior to use, but I was desperate and used them after one wash.  At first, they were only good for about an hour.  After they’d been washed enough times?  Now they’re just as absorbent as my favorites.  More absorbent than some diapers in my stash.

Price wise, it doesn’t get more cost effective.  You can have a plentiful stash of prefolds and covers for around a hundred bucks.

For drying time, the prefolds take longer to dry than my pocket diapers.  After I pull out my dry stuff from the dryer, I leave the still damp diapers (which always includes my prefolds) in for another twenty minutes on low.

The prefolds are also most definitely not a trim diaper.  Not even remotely trim.  I’d never try to put them on under, say, a pair of jeans.  And I don’t think I’d relish trying to put them on a toddler.  But for a newborn or young infant?  Oh, yeah, prefolds are awesome… especially if you’re out to give baby a little more time to grow into the rest of your cloth diaper stash.  They’re a purchase that I don’t regret at all.  (And there have definitely been some cloth diaper purchases that I’ve regretted!)

Have you used prefold cloth diapers?  How was your experience?


About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I started using prefolds a couple of months ago, after much apprehension, only to discover that I absolutely love them. Easy to clean, quick to dry and they get stronger and more durable with use. And they can be used with an array of funky covers. I love them!

  2. I love this — as you know, prefolds are my diaper of choice (for babies a year old and younger). Bummis preemie prefolds were the first cloth diapers on my little man’s bum – love Bummis prefolds!

  3. I like prefolds when I need to use rash cream and don’t have a liner. They wash so easily! I prefer flats, though.

  4. I prefer covers over pockets. However, I did not like the prefold that I tried. I prefer other inserts (like Best Bottoms) over prefolds. However, I prefer prefolds over stuffing pockets. To each her own!

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