Prefolds... help me understand

Julie - posted on 07/10/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I am a pocket user mostly, but I have a few AIO's and AI2's. What is the deal with prefolds... and what are chinese prefolds?

I have some diapers from by baby shower that are birdseye They are thick in the middle so I guess they are prefolds... but they aren't very absorbant in a pocket for me... what is that about?

I guess I am curious as to what I am missing.

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Julie - posted on 07/16/2009

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Cotton prefolds are generally quite absorbant. I have a 1 and a 2 year old in dipes and use only pockets on them. I have an 11 day old and use mostly unbleached prefolds on him. I planned to just use the pfs until the cord stump fell off because you can fold it to go under the belly button, but still find myself grabbing for the pfs. I like how you can make them fit perfectly!

Leann - posted on 07/16/2009

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Prefolds are what most people think of when they think of cloth diapers. They are used by diaper services. They are not as absorbent as microterry, bamboo or hemp. They are the good old standby. I use them occassionally when I don't have any pockets or fitteds left. Chinese prefolds are considered DSQ (diaper service quality) It simply means they are heavy duty to hold up to industrial washing, and they are made in China.

Jen - posted on 07/14/2009

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If they are white white, good bet that they are gerber. Maybe rip a little bit in the middle and if you see the polyseter fluff in the middle, it's a gerber prefold and NOT designed for real diapering. Techincally, gerber sells plastic pants and pins to complete their prefolds and to be used as CDs but seriously, you get a real prefold and you will be a-mazed at the difference. When I got my prefolds, I was lazy and barely washed mine before using them, and they worked better than the gerber right away! After a couple washes the weird oily smell has gone away and they are even more absorbent and soft and fluffy.

Prefolds are cheaper, and they last longer than any other diaper ever. No snaps to wear off, no stitches to come undone. They are amazing for naps and at night, and they are great with a wool cover if your baby's bottom needs some more fresh air. And the wash and dry up very easily. I am now a devoted snappis fan. I thought I liked the pins better, but with some practice the snappi is now officially my friend.

Some cons to prefolds (my opinion)

They are bulkier. I don't really care, but it is an issue depending on the outfit. Not babysitter, church nursery, grandparent friendly.

The #2 can really be a mess in the fold. It's not a huge issue for me, but sometimes it annoys me if I'm busy that day.

Of course, I'm probably not really a pro and not really folding it on my baby quite right.

Speaking of busy, it does take an extra second to cloth diaper with prefolds and covers, so be prepared. I use my changing table with the contoured changing table pad to keep baby in place easier, and distract with a special toy only used during diaper times.

Either way, prefolds have a place in most every CD stash for their economy and how wonderfully thirsty they are.

Erin - posted on 07/13/2009

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Juile - I am a pocket & AIO girl too but when I finally figured out how to fold the prefold and get it to stay on I love using them. I mainly use the pockets but on the weekends I am a prefolding mama. Good Luck

Julie - posted on 07/13/2009

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thanks for the info ladies.. IDK if they are gerber or not I got them very long ago, and didn't even pay attention to the package, cause they were going to be burp cloths at the time... I didn't cloth Diaper then!

Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained I guess.

I will however give them a couple more washes and see how they are. I want them to work!

Naomi - posted on 07/12/2009

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prefolds have panels in them, 2 layers on the outside panels and the middle panel being thicker.
there are 2 basic types of prefolds, indian and chinese. I think it has to do with the durability/softness of the fiber (cotton). indian are softer but chinese are more durable/stiff.

you could have some repelling issues, b/c with them folded in three you have at minimum 8 layers of material for absorbency.
I love our prefolds, they're cheap, they're soft, easy to use, fit great, absorbant, and easy to wash and dry

ooohh, are yours gerber? if so, that's the worst brand to use for a diaper. and i've seen they're polyester in the middle which isn't absorbant

Tricia - posted on 07/12/2009

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I have plain cotton prefolds that I use 99% of the time with a diaper cover. My guess is the same as the other ladies... you have to wash them a few times in hot water with detergent before they'll absorb. "Chinese" just describes where they were made. The American brands tend to be burp cloth diapers, so they aren't as absorbent. Indian or Chinese is a good bet if you're thinking of buying more.

Stephanie - posted on 07/10/2009

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I had to wash mine a few times as well in hot but I used Dawn dish soap.I like the hemp prefolds best.I use the with Fuzzi Buns overnight or on the road.

Sandy - posted on 07/10/2009

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With my prefolds I had to wash them 3 times with tide detergent with the hottest water possible to get all the natural oils off before they are absorbent. The prefolds become more absorbent with more washes. I have used them with a snappi and diaper cover or stuff them into a pocket and they have been very absorbent.

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