Prefolds and Covers – the old school way made new
Over my two years of cloth diapering I have found that there are many, many options out there! One of the most
economical options are prefolds and covers! Using this system, you really only need a few of each! I love this option
because unless my child poops, I can simply wipe the cover out, and put a new prefold on, which means I get to see my favorite prints longer! Not only can you save money going this route, but you can love it at the same time with all the fun print options among the numerous brands.
From the Beginning
A lot of families choose to forgo the option of cloth from birth because babies tend to outgrow newborn diapers rather quickly. Yes, newborn AIOs are the priciest option because of their ease of use, but I think people who are new tend to skip this stage because they do not realize how simple prefolds and covers actually are. Don’t get me wrong, we will have some newborn AIOs around the house when we have another little one, but the majority of what we will be using is the cover and prefold system. A newborn will indeed grow out of the smaller sized prefolds quickly, but the best part is these make fabulous boosters later on when a baby becomes a toddler.
Keep it simple
A little over 2 years ago, I ordered my first dozen Ozycozy infant sized prefolds. I had no clue how to use them, but I
knew I wanted to cloth from birth so I had to figure these things out. Off to Google I went. Holy moly guacamole was
there a lot of different “ways” to use a prefold. I was overwhelmed to say the least. For this reason, I’m going to show
you the 2 most common ways to use a prefold.
Snappi it up!
Snappi’s are the clothes pins of today. It’s a cool design with teeth to grip the fabric and hold onto it. As you can see
from the photo below, it holds the fabric on both the sides and down the middle. The prefold isn’t going anywhere with one of these bad boys snapped on. Folding a prefold into a V in the front was super easy for both myself and my husband. It was a simple fold over, pull up and then snap.
Once you have pulled the prefold up, grab your Snappi and hook the right side.
Check to make sure the prefold is fully covered. If you see some white poking out of the cover, lightly tuck it in.
Using a Snappi ensures a snug and secure fit that isn’t going anywhere, but babies tend to turn into little wiggly worms as they grow. These baby wiggles make using a Snappi more difficult. Pad folding (sometimes called tri folding) a prefold is definitely my favorite fold style for an older baby. Using a Snappi on a squirmy toddler is a no-go. To make this option work, it’s best to have a cover with an inner flap in the front, back or both. You can also use a cover that has a thicker elastic waistband on the back. You need some way to keep the prefold secured in place.
Thirsties with Velcro are one of my 3 favorite options since the Velcro front allows for a front flap feature on the cover. The snapped version doesn’t have a front flap because it is snapped down. Velcro always gives us a perfect fit and when you combine this with the double gusset leg elastics, you have a winning combo every time.
The Lalabye cover would be my next favorite with its front and back flap to hold down prefolds (or inserts). Since it’s a one-size (OS) cover, it has a wide weight range allowing it to be able to be used from the newborn to potty training
Even though it doesn’t have inner flaps, the Lighthouse Kids swim/cover is a favorite. The back elastic band is thicker
which helps prevent the prefold from slipping out the back. I love being able to use it as a swim as a bonus. Dual feature products are always a fan favorite in our home.
Now that you’ve seen some ways to use a prefold and cover, let’s go over a few more benefits to choosing this option
for your cloth diapering journey:
No matter what kind of wetter your child is, you can customize absorbency in about a bazillion ways using any number of combinations. Some people use prefolds and inserts if they have a heavy wetter. Some only use a insert if they have a light wetter.
Blowouts…we all know about them and we all despise them. No one wants to clean a baby while on a long drive to your destination or in a airport restroom. Even if traveling with cloth isn’t an option, having a handful of covers to put over your disposable diapers is a traveling life saver. The likelihood of a blowout is slim to none when a cover is on your little one. This system also saves precious traveling space. We have an upcoming trip that’s going to be 5 days out of town. That’s a lot of AIOs to pack! And all those AIOs mean a lot of space in our suitcase. We decided to go with the cover and prefold system for our trip. All we will need are a handful of covers that can easily be hand washed if needed and some prefolds.
Most covers can double as swim diapers. Simply pull out the insert, move up the rise and bam, you have a swim diaper.
Most cloth diaper users wash their diapers every 1 to 3 days so for this example, we’ll assume washing is done every 2
days. Newborns go through roughly 12 a day, older babies going through about 6-9 diapers a day and toddlers using around 4-6 diapers a day on average. For math purposes, let’s say you choose to use Ozycozy prefolds and Thirsties covers. At an average of $3.50 a prefold and $11.50 a cover, you can build a newborn stash for around $150. You’ll spend about another $100 as you move up in sized bringing your total cloth diapering journey to only $250. I will warn you though, sticking to a stash of 6 covers isn’t all that likely. The prints some diaper makers come up with are
too cute not to buy and enjoy. Even if you spend over the $250 bare minimum, you will still save a lot of money
compared to disposables.
No matter the choice you make when cloth diapering, remember each time you put a cloth diaper on your child no matter the style, that is one less diaper in a landfill. Join us over in the Abby’s Chatties Facebook group to learn more and ask questions! Feel free to tag me anytime.