Keeping your baby happy and dry

Prefold diapers are guaranteed to work wonders for your baby for a number of reasons. Prefold diapers are usually made out of layered and organic fabrics; eight layers in the centre and four layers on the side are the most common type. These are designed such that maximum absorption takes place in the center of the diaper. The standard fibers used are usually cotton, hemp and bamboo, though others are also used for their softness and absorption capabilities. Pre-fold diapers ensure that the infant’s pelvic and pubic region remains dry, this preventing conditions like rashes, infections and allergies which might occur due to continuous presence of moisture.

The primary benefit of prefold diapers is that the fabrics they are manufactured with breathe and allow free flow of air to the body of the baby while also ensuring adequate insulation. Usually soft to the touch, these diapers can be worn for longer periods of time than those manufactured with synthetic fabrics. Coarser fabrics, plastics and some synthetic fabrics can also cause skin irritation over long durations, especially when combined with sweat.

Prefold diapers don’t completely eliminate the work for you – they still have to be secured around the infant’s pelvis with clips or pins. However, they also allow for the greatest flexibility in terms of body shape – allowing a snug fit and minimum leakage. Care should be taken to adequately prepare new prefold diapers depending on whether they are bleached or unbleached. In either case, a few wash-dry cycles are definitely in order.

Prefold diapers: Being good to your baby

A sure way to warrant that your baby has a happy infancy is by making use of right diapers – ones that they are comfortable with and in which they can blissfully spend care free hours. Prefold diapers are good for your child as they ensure that these needs of your child are met.

They are made out of light and airy fabrics such as cotton and hemp, which allow the baby’s skin to breathe through the moisture and sweat that might accumulate there during the day. This prevents bacterial and fungal growth that otherwise breed in such environments and save the child from allergies and infections. These diapers are designed for the comfort of your infant.

As each child is comfortable under different circumstances, a prefold diaper can be tied and pinned around a baby in different ways, such that the baby can move easily and feels no discomfort during the day. Since the fabrics breathe, it is possible for the child to continue wearing such diapers for long durations of time during the day, without any hassles.

Prefold diapers are a safe and secure option for your baby as the diaper covers keep the diaper insulated and prevent any leakage. These are also found in various sizes to suit the change in the needs of your child’s requirements. They are available in small, medium and large sizes.

These diapers are made keeping in mind the needs of a child who is yet to be toilet trained and are hence suitable and useful.

Comparing Prefold Diaper Materials

Comparing prefold diapers usually means taking a look at what they’re made of, and deciding which type works best for you. Since prefolds themselves are not much more than large squares of fabric, it’s the material itself you need to start looking at rather than the design or format.

Cotton

This is your typical prefold diaper material, and the standard you’ll compare other types of diapers to. Cotton is soft, absorbent and makes for a very inexpensive diaper. Nothing wrong with cotton.

Hemp

Hemp is one of the newer fabrics you can get diapers in, and it’s considered a more eco-friendly material because it requires far less water to grow than cotton does. Aside from its origins, material made from hemp is going be more durable and more absorbent than cotton, which are two features you really want in a good diaper. When you’re looking for a prefold that will really stand up to regular rough use, look for hemp.

Bamboo

This is another new eco-conscious fiber that can be found in the world of diapers. Like hemp, it uses a lot less water to grow and it grows amazingly quickly for a highly renewable resource. But what’s the scoop from a diaper perspective? Bamboo is the softest and silkiest fabric of all your options and it has a great deal more stretch to it than cotton. This makes it ideal for the harder-to-fit or squirmy baby. It’s just as absorbent as cotton, too.

Bleach or No Bleach

Though more and more responsible companies are switching to non-chlorine bleaching processes, the best option for an environmentally-friendly diaper is still the non-bleached one. The material of an unbleached diaper is a darker beige but since prefold diapers are worn inside a cover, you won’t even see it except while you’re doing a change. The bleaching doesn’t make it a better diaper and it will work just the same when unbleached.

Organic?

The last main way to compare prefold diapers is whether or not you want to go with organic materials, or those that were grown conventionally. When you consider that a cloth diaper is going to be worn next to your baby’s skin for hours at a time, most people prefer to go with an organic alternative though you will probably pay a little more. Finding organic prefold diapers isn’t hard as most brands offer them due to their popularity.

Basically, comparing prefold diapers involves checking out the material and seeing if it fits with your personal ideals and needs. After that, you should be able to make an informed purchase and get started.

Using Prefold Diaper Covers

Prefold diapers are just large squares of cotton, and won’t provide any moisture-proof barriers on their own. That’s where the diaper cover comes in. A diaper cover has that hour-glass shape like a disposable, and is used on the outside of your prefold. It’s the cover that has the snaps or fasteners, and it usually has a sturdy water-proof layer on the outside.

Adjustable Sizing

To get the most use out of your prefold diaper covers, get a design that has some adjustable sizing. They accomplish this with a row of snaps or a longer strip of Velcro to allow you to change how snug the fit is around the waist. There is a limit to how much adjusting you can do though, so don’t expect a diaper cover to last from newborn right up to toilet-training. You should only need 2 or 3 sizes over the course of your diapering, usually a smaller than a larger one as your child outgrows the largest setting of the smaller cover.

Watch the leg openings as well as the waist when getting the right fit. The elastic should fit snugly around the legs without pinching or gaping, or you run the risk of leakage.

Waterproof or Not?

Though it seems like the obvious route is waterproof, not everyone goes that way. The typical style of diaper cover is made with some sort of plastic layer (usually polyurethane laminated fabric, or PUL). Depending on the make, there may be an additional fabric layer so that the PUL does not touch the skin. This keeps all the moisture inside, and prevents leaks.

But you can also go with a wool cover for something a little more natural than the PUL option. Wool is wonderfully absorbent, and can handle a lot of moisture before letting any of it through. The catch is that it will start to leak once it’s held its maximum liquid load. As long as you change out the cover before that happens, you’re good to go. Just remember that the cover has a thick layer of cotton on the inside to really do the absorbing.

Colors and Designs

Unlike the prefold diapers themselves, the covers are where you can get creative and flashy. Covers come in a huge range of designs and you can be pretty fun with your choices. Even though they may be covered by additional clothes, there is no reason why your prefold diaper covers have to be boring.

How to Buy Prefold Diapers

Knowing how to buy prefold diapers isn’t too complicated, but you do have to plan out your usage a bit more than when using buy-as-you-go disposables. Mainly, you are buying a complete set of these, and that means you need to know what you’re after right from the start.

Overall, you are going to need a collection of prefold diapers, several diaper covers and possibly a supply of thin diaper liners (for easier removal of solid waste). Though your needs may vary, a good basic supply would have 24 diapers and 4 diaper covers. That should allow regular changing without having to do laundry every single day.

Sizing will also need to be taken into account. Your diaper covers should cover more than one size level with adjustable snaps or fasteners and the sizes aren’t really set in stone for the prefold diapers themselves either. Even so, you should plan on getting that full set of 24 in at least 3 sizes (small, medium and large) which will likely end up as 72 diapers in total.

It may be tempting to buy prefold diapers all at once so you’re ready to go after just one purchase, but getting additional sizes really should wait until your baby has grown to need them. You never really know what sizing you’ll need right at the beginning. An unexpected growth spurt might take you directly from a small into a large. Babies can be unpredictable like that.

Many prefold diaper dealers have bundles or packages to help you get everything you need at one go, usually saving a bit of money compared to buying diapers or covers individually.

Of course, you have to make some decisions on what fabric to go with as well when you’re buying prefold diapers. You’ll likely have to choose from cotton, hemp or bamboo. The cotton diapers will be the cheapest but hemp is more durable and bamboo is softer. They all have their own benefits so you can take your pick based on your own needs.

Since they are completely reusable, you’ll only need to make a few purchases of diapers when you need to go up a size. Other than that, it’s a one-stop-shop kind of experience.

You should also remember that good-quality prefold diapers can easily outlast the few years of use you’ll need with one baby. They will most likely be very usable for a second child after that, making your investment last even longer.