A few thoughts on Prefolds

When I first started cloth diapering I tried a lot of different things.  I bought a large box of econobum prefolds with some covers and snappis off of E-bay.  After waiting forever to get them I put one on my daughter and…..hated it.  I just couldn’t get it to fold right.  And the snappi? Fail.  I guess I didn’t read the package, because I had no idea you are supposed to stretch them a few times before use. The box of prefolds went into a closet, not to be seen for weeks.  At the same time I was beginning my love affair with pocket diapers.  The prefolds just got left all by their lonesome.  At some point I traded the whole prefold/cover/snappi lot (holding back 1 econobum pre fold, just in case) for a bunch of pockets.

There, my journey with prefolds stopped until this spring. Once the baby started “helping” with the laundry, see Wordless Wednesday, stuffing pockets was becoming a pretty big pain. I would have everything stacked and ready for stuffing, only to have the baby spread my neat piles all over the living room.  Clearly, I need an alternative.

So I started back into the prefold journey. This time I had a better understanding of the hole prefold system.  For one thing you don’t need to know how to fold or use a snappi- just pad fold (fold the diaper into thirds) and lay on top of the cover.  So I bought the Econobum trial pack (this is a great deal by the way, under 12$ for a cover and 3 prefolds.) See my button at the end of the post, or sidebar, for where to buy! This time things went much better.  So I invested in a few different sizes of prefolds to see what would work. Now I have some really nice ones (think SustainableBabyish).

Some things I love about prefolds:

Economical: you can get the smallest size for around a dollar a piece.  Less if you wait for a sale.  Plus, you can make a variety of sizes work.  If the diaper is too small to wrap around baby, just pad fold it.  If it’s huge, just fold it to size and stuff the extra into the cover.  May be a bit bulky, but it works in a pinch.

Super practical: these babies wash well, can be boiled if you run into the stinkies, and dry fast.  Plus you can use them in a bunch of ways once baby is potty trained.  They make great rags.

No Stuffing! enough said there.

Pack small: good for travel.

Breathable: Paired with a wool or fleece cover these are super breathable and great when baby is getting rashy.  If the rash is really bad, but you can’t stand cleaning baby messes off the floor, then you can just leave these uncovered (change quickly! they will leak when coverless).

Open ended: Prefolds can be used in a lot of ways- so many fancy folds! Youtube it- so many good videos on all the folds.  Or, just fold it into thirds and put it into a cover.  Whatever works for you.

Natural fibers.  These are made with cotton, bamboo or I think some come in hemp.  Many come unbleached.  This means no synthetics against baby’s skin. Great for sensitive skin.

Better with use.  Prefolds actually get softer and more absorbent each time you wash them.  So if your diaper feels stiff and does not absorb very well, give it time. It may just need a few more washes.

The bad.

Huge learning curve.  At least there was for me- it took me six months to figure these out.  In fact, I gave up on my first attempts. It takes awhile to figure out how to put these on without getting leaks or blowouts, especially on exclusively breast fed baby poo. I still don’t trust my folding to hold up when outside of the house.  I haven’t had a leak yet- but I know I will as soon as we get in the car.

Wet on skin.  Unless you get a stay dry prefold, or put a fleece liner between it and baby, the wetness stays up against the baby’s skin. This seems to be a problem more for smaller baby’s then bigger ones.

The Bottom Line. 

Prefolds are a great diapering solution in general. They may not be quite as simple to use, at first, as a pocket or all in one, but once you get the hang of it they are pretty awesome.

Even if you choose not to use prefolds as a full time system (I don’t) you should probably have a few around.  These are good to have on hand when you are stripping your inserts and need something to stuff a pocket with.  Or when you can’t do laundry for a few days and need a backup diaper.  They are great to have around for when a rash develops and you want to air baby out a little.

If you want to try a few prefolds, but are nervous to, I suggest Kelly’s Closet.  They have a 30 day guarantee, and sell the econobum trial pack for just under 12$

Click here to visit Kelly’s Closet

*disclaimer* affiliate of Kelly’s Closet.  I did not receive any refolds free for review however- all my own honest opinion.

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Thirsties Duo All in One Review

IMG_2531 Inside of the diaperIMG_2532

The “tunnel” system, see how it’s not sewn all the way down?

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I got the scottish rose variation.

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On baby.  Tester stats: 1 year old, 20 pounds, 29.5 inches long.  15 inch rise, 19 inch waist, 9 inch thighs.  Diaper is snapped down, so not as big as it gets.

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I have been very hesitant to pick up any all in one diapers. I always felt like they were more for the daycare/babysitter crowd. Or for the person who is scared of cloth diapering and doesn’t really want to try pinning and folding. Plus the price point on them made me feel like having a stash of all in one’s is more for a dual income family than mine.
On the other hand, I couldn’t ignore them on my journey with cloth diapers. If I want to try and master every system I needed to try an all in one. And so when the Thirsties Duo all in one went on sale I grabbed one.

*Disclaimer*: I bought and paid for this diaper with my own (OK, my husbands hard earned) money.  It was on sale at the time.

My first impressions were that it looked very trim and felt very soft.

Let’s get the bad out of the way first, shall we?
First off these seem to have a very long dry time. They take almost as long as my fitteds to dry. Of course, the more absorbent a diaper is the longer it takes to dry. I guess this is why all in twos are popular- you can take the soaker apart for faster drying.
And the bottom part of the sewn in liner is microfiber. And I swore NO MORE of that stuff. It does feel like a bit of a cheap out. It doesn’t really touch baby’s skin though so I guess it’s ok.
I think my biggest pet peeve on these is that there is only one row of snaps on the wings. I like having the extra row to prevent wing droop. I’ve seen the same thing on Thirsty covers.
Also, coming from pockets, I’m disappointed in the selection of prints. Sure, the prints are very cute. Just not nearly as many as in pockets.

The good. Because the soaker is only sewn in on two sides you can easily flip the diaper inside out to dry it, which I did about half way through it’s dry time. It was hanging inside so it took a long time. Next time around it will be outside, so maybe the sun can speed that up.
That soaker style- called a tunnel- means that there is a little room for customization on these. If you needed more absorbency, for say overnight, you could slip (a small) doubler or folded flat and stuff it. I chose to leave the diaper as is for testing.
It is super trim. Coming from the pocket world I thought all in one’s would be really bulky, but this is the trimmest diaper I own. Perfect for showing off that rump, but also great for getting those jeans on.
They come in snaps or velcro. I personally much prefer snaps to velcro (no more velcro in this house, either). So I was glad to see these have both options at the same price. Especially since this diaper caters to the “cloth is too hard” crowd. Say, daycare workers. Often those diapers only come in velcro for easy on/off and fit.
Softness. After I washed the diaper I put it in the dryer on air dry (no heat) for ten minutes, and then line dried. And it was still amazingly soft! Even my fitteds come out a bit crispy after that treatment. I am very impressed.
Absorbency. I had to test this baby out. Actually, it came about by accident. Since I just finished stripping all of my pockets, and they were on the line, I needed a solution for our errand run. I have only relied on pockets for our outings, I just haven’t trusted anything else. But all of my pockets were a no go. And I really don’t trust my prefold folding techniques to keep accidents from happening in the car or in public. So i snapped on the all in one, expecting to have to fall back on my prefolds and covers when we got to town. I live 30 minutes from anything, so my usual routine involves at least one change while we are out. And that’s if we go to the store and come straight home. Well, we got to the store, and she was still dry feeling. After shopping, still dry. So we headed over to the pizza place. Still dry. So I drove home. Even at home, she still felt pretty dry. This baby is just about as absorbent as a fitted. I just can’t believe it lasted the whole trip and then some.
It was just so cute on, and trim and soft. I was sad to have to change her bum when it finally did feel wet enough. Not full, mind you, but wet.

I have fallen in love.  These are super easy to wash.  No unstuffing, no stuffing! No touching poopy inserts.  And I’m pretty sure these will be my new go-to diapers for outings.  I hate having to unstuff a diaper while on the go, and hate having to do it after it’s been sitting in the hot car for hours.  These can go straight into the dirty laundry when we get home, no fuss.  The softness is nice next to Moppet’s skin while spending extended periods of time in the car seat.  Plus, they are absorbent enough to handle it.  And the trimness means easier changing when Moppet is in pants.  I will be getting more of these as soon as possible.
Bottom line: These are a great diaper to add to your stash. Easy on/off, no guesswork. Soft, comfortable, absorbent and will hold all that baby and throw at it, I’m sure. I would definitely suggest these. But, because of price point and dry time, I wouldn’t want these as my entire stash. While they aren’t the most expensive all in one out there (16$ not on sale) they are still more costly than prefolds or most pockets. And because of the longer dry time you’ll need more in your stash if you plan to hang dry.
I really do love these diapers and plan on stocking up on a few more this week.

PS: The spellchecker does not believe that “poopy” “fitted”or “unstuff” are words.  I assure you readers, they are.