Sunday, May 2, 2010

Indian Prefolds Review

SAP's Story

So, you ask, why, if there are these awesome new cloth diapers that fit from birth to potty training, are one entire piece like a disposible, and look super cute, would anyone want to use prefold diaper any more? Well, I'll tell you why!

When SAP was a few months old and learned how to roll over, she, of course, decided she would rather sleep on her side or belly instead of on her back! Although this was a no-no due to SIDs warnings, I believed she was safe. If she could roll onto her tummy, she could roll away from a blanket or something that might cover her face. However, what I did become worried and somewhat annoyed about was how every night or morning I'd be changing her pajamas and crib sheets due to her BumGenius One Size diaper leaking! The amount of laundry this created and the hassle was just unbarable, not to mention she was so wet she would wake up during the night multiple times, thus less sleep for me! I HAD to find a solution.

I had spent alot of money to purchase our supply of BumGenius One Size 3.0 diapers and I did not want to spend alot of money to solve our night time diapering leaking problem. My solution? Prefolds!

SAPsDaDa was iffy, but with some online tutorials and my discovery of the invention of the Snappi I decided it was worth a try! They were cheap, and they were supposedly very versitile, which ended up being very true! They were also toted to being very leak proof with a good cover, and thus with our Thirsties covers I decided to make the plunge and purchase a half dozen infant indian prefolds.
I chose indian prefolds over chinese prefolds because I liked that they were unbleached, and they were mentioned to be softer. Chinese prefolds are known to hold up longer and be more durable but since I was not useing these as my main diaper that was not my main concern.Not only did these diapers do their job wonderfully and there was no more leaking at night, but I now keep a dozen Indian Prefolds in my stash and use them whenever I can! Breathability, reliability, and versatility, I don't know any type of diaper that could do so much! I used thirsties covers over them to start out, then once in a while I used Good Mama One Sized covers in hook and loop or snaps, any cover, no leaks! I also had some fleece liners I cut out and placed that under SAP's butt to keep it dry since there is no stay-dry layer like on pocket diapers, this helped keep her butt dry and helped clean up if there was a poopy. Snappies were definatly a life saver with these! I seriously TRIED to pin, and it's more difficult than you'd think! Plus I kept losing those little pins! I do keep pins around for my emergency car stash with some prefolds (which is another thing I love prefolds, great for emergency diapers for car, grandma's, etc. since you don't need them in your stash all the time!), and I do use pins for our hemp diapers that we can't use snappies with, but although I love our hemp diapers, I always reach for our prefolds since I know how easy I can get them on with our snappi.
I was worried at first about the folding, and I tried MANY folds, following tutorials online and everything, but finally settles on a simple newspaper fold I believe it's called. Different folds work for different babies, but the main lesson with any fold is that you have to tuck it tight! You'll find out what I mean if you try prefolds, and I very much encourage every cloth diapering family, even if this isn't your main diaper, keep it around! Use it for night diapering, emergency diapering, believe me, last thing you want is to have to put your little on in a disposible because you're out of diapers or forgot it was wash day! And it does happen! lol

Now to all the technical stuff :)

  • Type of Cloth Diaper: Prefold
  • Sizes and Weight Recommendations: I purchased my prefolds from, sizing and type of prefold differs by store. The Indian Prefolds at Cotton Babies are sized/weighted as follows:
Preemie 2x6x2 ply 9.5" x 13" (4-8 lbs).Infant 4x8x4 ply 12" x 16" (7 to 15 lbs.)Regular 4x6x4 ply 14.5" x 21" (15-30 lbs.)
Premium 4x8x4 ply 14.5" x 22" (15-30 lbs.)
  • How Diaper Works/Features: This diaper is a prefold, and so has three sections that you fold it. Prefolds are probably the most versatile cloth diaper available and I consider them a staple in any cloth diaper stash. Prefolds can be used in many different folds, three of the most common are show on Diaper Jungle. These folds can be done with pins or a Snappi (my favorite!). You could also just fold the prefold in thirds and use it as an insert in a pocket diaper, or fold it in thirds and just lay it inside a cover, it depends on your baby and your preferences (i.e. it's cheaper to use covers, but using a pocket diaper keeps it dry against baby's skin). You could do what I do and use all of these folds and different ways of useing a prefold! If you're handy with a sewing machine you can even take a cheap prefold and sew it into a fitted diaper with velcro or snaps quite easily!
  • Prefolds are not waterproof and thus require a cover, however it is nice to have breathable diapers like this for hot summer days to prevent heat rash on baby's bum. Prefolds are very leak proof if the right cover is used, there are many covers available on the market, anything from "plastic pants", to fleece, or wool covers that cost more but require very little maintenance and are more breathable!
  • Some moms get fancy with their prefolds and dye them different colors, so you may personalize your stash with non-toxic dyed prefolds!
Style and Material

  • Material Feel: Indian prefolds are softer than other prefolds on the market, hence why I prefer Indian prefolds over Chinese prefolds, but they are not as soft as other cloth diapers such as minky or bamboo fabrics commonly used in fitted diapers.
  • Materials Used: Indian prefolds are made of pure 100% cotton unbleached twill weave.
  • Colors/Aesthetic: Because they are unbleached Indian prefolds are a kind of Ivory color, more of a natural color than white bleached diapers, and better for your baby! Also, when you get these diapers they will not look like in the pictures online, you will have to wash them 3-5 times to strip them of their natural oils and get them to be absorbent and fluff up nice and soft like in the pictures. They will also appear alot bigger at first but will shrink with these initial washes to fit your baby as it states in the sizing chart. As stated before if you wish to get more color to your prefolds there are non-toxic dyes available to make them any color, or tie-dye!, that you wish!
Ease of Use
  • Closures: It is believed that prefolds are very difficult to use since they are not like disposable diapers and they require difficult folds and pins that will poke you and your baby...not true! Although pins are still available for use and some parents do prefer pins (I use pins for my Hemp Babies diapers), prefolds do NOT require pins any more! The invention of the Snappi has mas prefolds more accepted and easier to use for families who wish to cloth diaper cheap with prefolds! If you chose to use pins or keep pins around check around the forums for tips on how to use them and ease of use for pins, such as sticking pins in a bar of soap to get them to slide through the prefold easier and such :)
  • Similarity to Disposables: These diapers are just about as far away from a disposable you can go save for a flat diaper (which is alot more tricky to fold). They are not shaped nor do they fasten the same as disposibles, and they require a diaper cover, which is another step. If you are looking for something that everyone would be able to use without instruction or something simple hubby won't complain about, these might not be for you right away, but after you become a seasoned cloth diapering family, give them a try!
  • Trimness: The trimness of useing a prefold entirely depends on the way it is used. Some folds like the twist fold are very trim, but don't provide as much protection for some babies as other fold such as just folding it in thirds and stuffing it in a pocket diaper. Trimness also depends on the type of diaper cover that is used. Some diaper covers are very trim and other bulky depending on fabric and design. So depending on how heavy a wetter your baby is, what type of stools they have, if you have a little boy or girl, and many other factors, certain folds and covers will work for you and others don't, thus experimentation will tell the truth :)
  • Adjustability for Size/Absorbency: Prefolds usually come in 3 different sizes, but many different forms of absorbency. A premie size will fit those very small babies, an infant size for most young babies in those first few months, and a regular size for older babies. While your baby is wearing those sizes the sizes may also be adjusted slightly by how it is put on. Even when your baby outgrows a size that you were using with a snappi or pins it can still be used as an insert usually! Besides the different sizes prefolds come in different absorbency. The numbers you see for a prefold (for example: 4X6X4 ply) corresponds to how many layers each of the three sections of that prefold have. This prefold has 4 layers on the left and right sections, and 6 in the middle soaker zone, and this is a regular sized prefold. A premium prefold has 8 layers in the middle soaker zone, but is the same size as the regular, and thus would be a bit more bulky but would absorb more and work well for heavy wetters or older children. Premie size has the least layers as newborns don't urninate as much as older babies, and so premie size is 2x4x2 ply, making it more trim for a newborn, yet probly not absorbent enough for a slightly older baby.
  • Besides the different options to purchase for sizing and absorbency, you can increase the absorbency of your prefold by adding a doubler to it, either stuffed in a pocket diaper with the prefold or placed in the middle section soaker zone and folded in when it's pinned/snappied on baby.
Performance and Functionality
  • Leaks: When you find the fold that works well for you and your baby there should be no leaks with a prefold! Of course, make sure the prefold is tucked inside the cover all the way, this is the only time I get leaks. Also, if your baby takes long naps or you use these for night time use a doubler for extra absorbency to prevent leaks due to being overly saturated, and enjoy how great a simple prefold can be!
  • Absorbency: The absorbency of the prefolds I find is great, I do not have a heavy wetter and I do use a hemp doubler for night time to prevent any chance of leaking with over-saturation, but I feel as if these diapers are sufficient for daily use and nap times, as well as night times when paired with a doubler and a good cover.
  • Leg Gussets: Prefolds need to be folded and thus do not have leg gussets, however, depending on the type of fold you use, you can make a type of "pocket" that can similate leg gussets.
  • Nap/Bedtime Use: As stated previously, I do use prefolds for nap times and bedtime use. When SAP was younger I used just a prefold with my trusty Thirsties covers, but now that she's older I do use a hemp doubler folded inside the prefold with a good cover to make sure the prefold does not leak due to over-saturation. I find these diapers are GREAT for side and tummy sleepers as other diapers, like pocket diapers that have that stay-dry barrier between baby and insert, tend to leak if baby is on their side if they are not snug enough on the legs.
  • If Fit is True: I have only used the infant and the premium sized diapers in the Indian Prefold category, and I found the fit is true for both. When it became hard to get diaper to snappi on it was at the top of the weight recommendation and so I feel that they are reliable. I did not try to use prefolds when SAP was first born so I do not know if the infant would fit a newborn until they are a month or two old.
  • Wear and Tear: Although it is mentioned on some sites that Indian prefolds do do not stand up to long term, every day use as well as Chinese prefolds, my Indian prefolds have withstood being used a couple times a week each and washed at least once a week going on over a year now without any sign of wear and tear! The infant prefolds were outgrown before they were worn out and are used daily as burp clothes, then passed on to a friend to used on her newborn, and are still going strong without any holes or fraying thread! For the increase in softness over the Chinese prefolds I think these are wonderful diapers that will truely last more than one baby and additional usage!
Quality/Cash Analysis
  • These diapers start at $1 each for the premie size, and are at most $2 for the premium size, extremely reasonable for a cloth diaper! Considering most people only need two dozen diapers and two sizes of prefolds, you could easily cloth diaper your baby VERY cheaply with these diapers, even under $100! When bought a dozen at a time most diaper shops have a discount as well.
  • The life of these diapers and their versatility is amazing, they may not be the "modern" cloth diaper but they so far have surpassed the life span of many of my nice expensive cloth diapers! Even if you don't think you can use these all the time, they're cheap enough to have around for those odd times you might need them, like what happened with me and SAP, or just use them as cheap durable burp rags for the majority of your baby and toddler's years, and your next baby's years! Worth every penny and I'd be willing to pay more!


Madeline said...

I'm a big fan of the simplicity of prefolds...and the ease of washing. You have quite a cute little model there.

SAPsMaMa said...

:) Thanks Madeline! Many people think prefolds are difficult, but I agree with you, they are very simple and sometimes simple is better than all these new modern types!

figwittage said...

This was extremely helpful, thank you! My little guy is due in 5 weeks & we have gDiaper pants & I bought one pack of the gCloths (but those are $30 for 6!) That's a little pricey. I did see a YouTube video showing how to use a prefold in the gPant, but I wonder if your folding method with the Snappi will work too... I'm excited to cloth diaper :)