Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Flats and prefolds are as basic as it gets when you choose cloth. They are also the cheapest way to go. Flats can cost you about 1.00 a diaper, and prefolds between 1.00-3.00+ depending on size and material. The difference between the two is that prefolds are already folded and sewn in place. You still have to fold prefolds on the baby, but not nearly as much.
Both flats and prefolds require covers. Now I have not personally used flats so the rest of my review will be on prefolds.
There are different types of prefolds out there. The main two are chinese and indian. You can also choose bleached or unbleached.
Chinese prefolds are a bit stronger than indian prefolds. They will last a bit longer. Indians will still last years, but they do show some more wear and tear. Indians, however, are softer than chinese prefolds. I find them to be equally absorbent. I also prefer unbleached prefolds. I like the natural aspect of them. You do have to wash the unbleached prefolds more times prior to use to achieve the ultimate absorbency.
You can also get prefolds that are organic or that are made out of other materials. They have hemp prefolds, and I have been tempted to try them! They come with a steep price tag though!
As far as folding goes, my favorite fold it the angel wing fold. It is easy and works well.
Here is a great picture tutorial.
I have also used the jelly roll, and although you lose some absorbency in the middle, it really does hold in the poo!
Here is that tutorial.
Sizing for prefolds is pretty easy. They offer preemie, infant (newborn to 15 pounds), premium (15-30), and toddler. Usually you will only need infant and premium. My children tend to grow very large and EJ grew out of the infant prefolds very quickly. We were using premiums by two months.
Snappis are wonderful! It is because of this little gadget that we don't have to use pins! Some still choose to use pins but I much prefer the snappi!
All in all, prefolds can be great. I love the fact that they are completely customizable. I fold them to meet whatever my needs are at that time. You can even trifold them and lay in a cover. They are perfect for when I am craving something very simple and natural. The down side for me is the absorbency. They just don't cut it for my heavy wetter. There is no way he could make it through a nap, let alone night time. He can soak a prefold in an hour. I still use them as my back up diapers and often use them in my pockets because of their quick drying times. They definitely have a place in any diaper stash!
When choosing prefolds keep in mind you MUST use a cover! I will go over those soon!