Granola Bits of the Day: Prefolds and Covers

Posted by Camille , Tuesday, May 18, 2010 2:32 PM

Today I will show you how to use prefold cloth diapers (PF) and polyurethane laminate (PUL) diaper covers. Prefolds and covers are a great option for cost conscious families, and are honestly, just as easy as other cloth diapering options. You will need about 4-6 covers and 30-36 prefolds if you prefer to wash every 3 days, less if you wash more often.

Prefolds are most commonly made of cotton, though they can be purchased in bamboo and hemp. A washed (prepped) high quality cotton prefold should look like this:

When you buy prefolds they start out looking smooth, you have to wash and dry them 4-5 times to 'prep' them. Prepping means you are making the fabric so that it will absorb more moisture. Most natural fibers reach FULL absorbency after 10 or so washes. You don't need to use detergent for the prepping process and you can throw a dry towel in the dryer each cycle to shorten the dry time. Once they are prepped they are ready to use. There are several sizes of prefold. I have here a preemie, infant, and premium sized prefold. You really only need to worry about the rise of the PF unless you plan to actually pin the diaper on the baby. In most cases you don't need to do that, you can just fold the diaper like a brochure as picture in the next few steps.

Pictured below: preemie, and infant sized prepped prefolds:

PUL covers come in several sizes and types as well. I have here a Thirsties Duo Wrap and a Blueberry One-Size cover.

You do not have to wash a cover every time you use it. Simply wipe it out and use it again, unless it is soiled. I generally use my 4-5 times before washing them.

When you wash an aplix cover don't forget to fasten the laundry tabs!

Once you pick which size you need and prep your diapers, you simply fold the diaper into a 'burrito' or 'brochure' shape. Since I have a girl I turn my PF and fold it so that the thickest part is concentrated so that I have about 18 layers of cotton where she pees the most. After you fold the diaper, you simple place it in the cover and put it on the baby just like a disposable diaper.

If you prefer to pin or snappi the diaper on you can do several different folds. This link shows how to do the bikini twist.

Putting on the diaper:

Fold prefold:

For extra absorbency you can try folding a smaller PF inside your larger PF like so:

Fold in the same manner pictured above.

Place folded PF in your diaper cover:

Prefolds do not wick moisture away from the baby's skin so if you want a drier bottom but still like the cost of PF's and covers, you can use a stay-dry liner of some sort. I purchased these bumGenius! stay dry liners from Mom's Milk Boutique. You can also buy fleece and make your own. Simply lay the liner on top of the PF.

Place baby on the diaper and apply diaper just like a disposable!

I'm going out of town so check back next Monday for how-to wash cloth diapers!

5 Response to "Granola Bits of the Day: Prefolds and Covers"

Valerie Says:

Thank you for reminding me I need to work on my fleece liners!

aimee Says:

okay, sp this was the method i understood the least, but it looks so easy! you're awesome, camille!

Anonymous Says:

i need to know how to wash them today though!! lame. i also like how the doll doesn't fight the diaper being put on like my son does.

Camille Says:

Yes the doll is easy to diaper ;) Rosie is pretty easy too she just likes to clamp her legs together!

Paula Says:

you are so awesome! thank you!