This week is my Frenzy of Fabulous Folds! Every day, I will explore different aspects of prefold cloth diapers, and every post will include a video that demonstrates folding and securing the diapers.
To start out the Frenzy, I would like to talk about the pros of choosing a prefold diapering system, as compared to other cloth diapering systems. One of the biggest questions that has been presented to me is "why choose prefolds when there are fancier, more convenient styles of cloth diapers on the market?"
The most prominent answer is cost. If you are cloth diapering to save money, prefolds will certainly help you achieve this. If you buy your diapers individually, rather than in a startup kit, you would probably want to start out with 24 prefolds and three covers. 2 dozen prefolds would average about $70, and the covers about $30. So your initial investment would be $100. While it's true that you do have to size up as your baby grows (buy a bigger size) there are many covers on the market that grow with the baby- they snap up and down to fit babies of varying ages. I also do not size up as often as other prefold users, because I start out with slightly larger diapers and fold them to fit the baby. Evie is eight months old now, and still wearing the same diapers we put on her when she was first born. Jonah didn't need new diapers until he was about 18 months old, when we ordered toddler sized prefolds. While one size pockets and all in one diapers grow with the baby, they are $15-$20 each. Even if you conservatively buy only 20 diapers, that is $300 if you go with the cheapest option, and you would most likely need to do laundry every day.
The second reason you might choose to use prefolds is durability. The pockets that we bought for Jonah are nearing their lifespan. The elastic in the legs is stretched, the hook and loop closures (generic term for velcro) are not holding as well, and the inserts are not as absorbent as when we first started using them. On the other hand, I have prefolds that I put on my children, that my mother used for her children! These diapers last a long time!
Someone might choose prefolds because they are easier to care for. They are much more forgiving in the wash, which is one reason why I think they are more durable.
And finally, one of the biggest reasons that I like prefolds, is because they are so versatile. You can fold it to fit your baby exactly. You can fold it to hold poop in, or to be extra absorbent in the front or the back. You can fold the same diaper to fit two different sized children. You can pin it or snappi it, leave it covered or uncovered (to know right when your baby has gone potty, and to give their personal parts some air circulation!)
But aren't you sacrificing convenience?
Perhaps, however here is a great way to fold prefolds if you are short on time, have a wiggly baby, or are new to folding diapers. This is the way that my mom used prefolds. It is easy, no pins needed, and absorbs really well. It is not as trim as other ways of folding, and the diaper might shift a bit because it isn't as secure as a pinned fold. However, it does its job.