My Green Nappy Discovering Modern Cloth Nappies and Eco-Friendly Disposable Nappies

February 16, 2012

The Simplest Modern Nappy: Prefolds – Trifolds? What Are Their Benefits and How Can I Use Them?

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Time to Discover More About the Simplest Modern Nappy: Prefolds and Trifolds…

What Are The Benefits of Traditional Nappies and How Can I Use Them Effectively?

Our Nappy Experts are invited to contribute to these cooperative questions so that you get a range of informative and experienced responses about the topic. Enjoy and discover something new, and share with us in the comment box below. This is MCN advice from a series by the Autumn 2011 sponsors of the Green Promise Nappy Event.

Let’s see what they have to say:

The Simplest Modern Nappy: Prefolds – Trifolds? What Are Their Benefits and How Can I Use Them?

Kelly from Nappy Needz:

Everyone should have a few flat nappies in their stash, such as prefolds.  They are great for boosting nappies, and as they dry quickly, make a great emergency back up nappy when all else fails.  The flat nappies in my stash also get used for all sorts of non-nappy things, wiping faces, polishing rags, you name it, we’ve used a flat nappy for it.

Fiona from Darlings Downunder:

Prefolds are cheap (bamboo or hemp ones retail for about $10 each, cotton ones are much less), versatile (they can be used as inserts for pocket nappies or for boosting, and have 101 uses around the home – especially as cleaning cloths), and are a great way of increasing your stash on a budget. They come into their own for newborns who need so many changes a day, but don’t require huge absorbency.
Folding prefolds can seem confusing, but it’s a lot easier than it looks! If your prefold is too long, you can just fold down the front (good for boys) or the back (poo containment!) so it fits. These are the most common ways to fold a prefold:
 Fold your prefold into thirds lengthways (a prefold is usually divided into 3 panels of varying thickness anyway, so you will be able to see which lines you should be folding on). The prefold become a long pad. Tuck this pad into a well fitting cover and place it on the baby.
 Fold the prefold as above and then fan out the back (like in this picture).
Place the baby on the prefold, pulling the narrow part up between the legs. Then wrap the ‘fan’ part around the sides and secure with a Snappi – or even just hold it in place with a snug fitting cover. This is called the Angel Wing fold.
 The Bikini twist is popular for girls, or when the baby has chubby thighs. It works best if the prefold is rectangular in shape. Lay the prefold out flat and lie the baby down so the short back of the nappy comes just above the waist. Keeping the back flat, take the front corners of the prefold and ‘twist’ the prefold in the middle in between the baby’s legs so that the left corners in now on the right and vice versa. It should look a bit like this:
Then pull the front up between the baby’s legs and secure with a Snappi.

Liz from Hatchlings Cloth Nappies:

Prefolds/trifolds are great, you can use them under a cover with a pin or snappi or tri-folded and placed inside a cover. They are comparatively inexpensive and in a lot of cases you don’t need as many different sizes as with fitted or all in one nappies. Watch out if you have a wiggly baby though, any system that is not all joined together can be a nightmare to get on!

Liz from Hatchlings Cloth Nappies:

Prefolds/Trifolds are a cheaper option initially (although some people do use them the entire time their babies are in nappies). There are many folds you can use. The simplest just requires you to fold the nappy in three and place it in a cover. My favourite was the angel fold. To do this you place the prefold flat onto the changing area and put babies bottom on it then fold over the lower edges of the prefold to meet in the middle.
Finally bring the front up between the babies legs. Then bring the back of the prefold around and snappi/pin it together (See Pictures).

Melanie & Diana of Bodeo:

Prefolds are shaped like a traditional terry square, but they have an extra layer of absorbency sewn into the middle. They are easy to fold up, as you don’t need to do any complex folds to increase absorbency in the wet zone. They can be done up with a snappi/pin, or laid into a cover, using the cover to hold the prefold into place. The cover must be well fitted for this to work! Trifolds are often a 30cm x 30cm square, and are able to be folded into 3 and used as a booster. They can be stuffed into a pocket nappy, or laid into any nappy of your choice.

Misty from FluffyBuns:

Prefolds are awesome for new bubba’s, they are cheap and you can use them as inserts once bub grows out of them.
Trifolds can be used in the same way however they are better for older bubs, I find them a tad bulky for new babies. They work great as night time boosters.

Our Comment Question is about Traditional Nappies:

If you’ve chosen them, tell us why?

– Charndra

– Our Nappy Experts –

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