Tons of prefold cloth diaper questions!! Please help.

Momof1 - posted on 05/12/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )




Hey mamas. My son is 18 months and I'm just starting out with cloth diapering. I was able to get a fabulous deal on prefolds, so that is what I am using. I have a few questions, so I'm going to try to post them by types of questions so it doesn't get too confusing.

Washing: How do you wash prefolds, liners and covers? I've seen a bunch of info about it, but I wasn't sure if that was only for new diapers to break them in.

Prefolds: Just wondering if anybody can post a link or explain how exactly to fold it. :) Also, is it better to use safety pins or snappis? The lady I bought from said that with cloth, you had to change the diaper every one to two hours? Is that correct, or can he wear it for the normal length of time that he wore his disposables for?

Covers: Do you have to change the cover with each change? I'm hoping not! We are just trying them out today because I am excited to try, but I only have two liners so far. And when I changed his diaper after about 4 hours, he was soaked, the cover wasn't, but it smelled like pee. I just replaced the liner and the prefold, but kept the cover. Was that wrong?

Supplies: Right now, I have 24 prefolds, 2 liners (with 5 more on the way), 6 covers and 2 AIO. Starting the middle of June he will be going to daycare 2 days a week and he will be home with my husband while I work the weekend. I will just have him in disposables during daycare and while my husband watches him. So I figure I'll need enough supplies for 3.5 days of cloth diapering. I know I'll need to order at least another 5 pack of liners, but otherwise am I set? Should I buy 2 more packs of liners? Is it worth is to get disposable liners? And will I need more covers and where can I get the cheapest (and I do mean the cheapest) covers?

That is all for now, I think.

Thanks in advance for all your help!


Carly - posted on 05/12/2011




Hi! I LOVE prefolds! I wash them with Charlie's Soap detergent (detergent is important!). I wash them on one short cold wash, and then one warm or hot. If you want to wash the covers with them, don't do hot, because it can often damage the waterproofing, and warm is really fine.

Covers: You don't have to change them if they aren't dirty yet. Cover companies say 2 a day is generally what they recommended, but some people like 3.

Supplies: Sounds great! You don't want to go more than 3 days between washing them, because they can get really bad! I LOVE disposable liners, but some brands are terrible. I've tried a lot of bands, but I only like Kushies Flushable Biodegradable Diaper Liners. The cheapest covers are plastic pants, but I really hate those. You can get them at walmart or kmart. I'd definitely recommend the thirstie's duo wraps, tho. They cost more, but they work better, are easier to get on and off (plastic pants can make a real mess with a bad diaper!), and you don't have to buy a bunch of sizes like a lot of brands.

Prefolds: Maybe every 2 hours, maybe not! It depends on how often your LO wets his diaper! At 18 months, my son could sometimes be dry for 4 hours, but sometimes he'd need another diaper right after I changed him! You just don't want them in a wet or dirty diaper for long, or they can get rashes. Test the wetness from time to time, and you'll soon know about how often you'll have to change them. They generally do NOT hold as much as disposables, however. Plus, the chemicals in disposables absorb the wetness and keep if off the baby's skin, and cloth doesn't do that.

Megan - posted on 05/23/2011




I love love love prefolds and covers! Ok first washing...prefolds are pretty easy to care for. I wash my prefolds and covers all together I do a cold rinse, then a hot wash, and then another cold rinse. I dont dry my covers even though some brands say its ok...I line dry mine and they all look like they did when I bought them. As for drying the prefolds you can tumble dry them on low and I throw a dry towel that has been washed in the same detergent in with it so they dry faster. Make sure there are no dryer sheets left in the dryer they will affect the absorbency of the dipes. Prefolds- There are great folding videos on youtube. I like the one called the jelly roll. I prefer to use a snapii over pins personally. As for the time betweens changes that all depends on how often he wets and if he is a heavy wetter. Covers- you do not have to change them every time. I change mine after every two diaper changes usually unless of course she had a bad poop and it got on the cover. Supplies- you seem to have a good stash built up right now. That does depend on if your baby is a heavy wetter too. I have 24 prefolds 4 covers and 3 pocket diapers. As for the disposable liners I wouldnt get them I did and felt like I wasted money. I suggest and diaper attaches to your toilet and you can spray poop right into the toilet. My favorite cloth diaper wedsite is cottonbabies. I love econobum covers and prefolds. Also make sure you have a couple pail liners too I got one at first and on wash day i had nothing to put the dirty ones in while I was waiting on my other one to finish washing. Oh and make sure you get a good wetbag too. I hope this helps! Good luck!

Carly - posted on 05/12/2011




More: Snappis are so much better. You only need one or two! And here's a video:

(sorry I missed answering those the first time, lol)


View replies by

M - posted on 06/04/2011




My thoughts...

1 - Snappis vs. Pins
Definitely snappis. They're much easier to use and you don't have to worry about sticking yourself and they're alot easier to put on wiggly babies!

2 - Here's a video on how to fold a prefold

3 - You do need to change every 2 to 3 hours, but if you put a hemp or bamboo liner in each one, you can stretch it to about 3 to 4 hours. Here's a link to my fave hemp liner. It's super absorbent:

4 - Covers
you don't have to change each time unless they're dirty. However, my personal preference is to change them when they smell like urine. I just let them air dry in between uses if they have an odor.

5 - Liners
I recommend 10 to 15 only because your little one is older and will need the absorbency in each prefold diaper he wears.

6 - Daycare
My oldest at 18 months went to daycare twice a week with cloth diapers and disposable liners were my life saver. I put them in each diaper he wore to daycare. They caught the poop and tossed the liner when they changed him. It saved us a lot of money and made it super easy for the daycare. At first they were hesitant, but were totally on board after I showed them how they worked. With that said, I think disposable liners are TOTALLY WORTH IT. I've tried several brands and honestly, my personal fave is Motherease Biodegradable liners. Unlike the other brands, these liners are made from wood pulp - making them much easier to clean up. You can find them online here:

7 - Covers
When it comes to prefolds the cover will make all the difference. A good cover keeps leaks in no matter what and lasts. With that said, there are only two covers I recommend - Thirsties Duo Wrap and Mother Ease Air flow cover. You can find both here:

You can also check out sites like, and for gently used diaper covers. I still recommend sticking with these two brands though. They're the best.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms