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Cloth Diaper Basics: How to Fold a Prefold
October 12, 2014 3:21 pm | by

When it comes to cloth diapers, there are A TON (yes, a ton) of options and styles available. That’s the beauty of it. From pockets to hybrids to all-in-ones and all-in-twos, you can use many different systems to diaper your baby. But, if you want to go back to the basics of cloth diapering, try prefolds, flats and covers. This classic system works great for heavy wetters, newborns, or when you want to save a few bucks.EcoPrefold400x4001

Like today’s cloth diapers, prefolds, flats and covers have become more advanced over time. You don’t have to use plastic pants and diaper pins anymore! You do, however, need a diaper cover like a wool soaker or Econobum. You can simply fold your prefold, lay it in a diaper, or fasten it with a Snappi. Here are some of the most common folds:

Newspaper Fold
This is the simplest of all diaper folds. Fold the diaper in thirds with the thick part in the middle, fold any excess length towards the back and lay in a self closing diaper cover.

Angel Wing Fold
Follow instructions for the Newspaper Fold. After laying the diaper in the cover, fold the back edges open like wings. Use these wings to secure the diaper with a Snappi.

Bikini Twist Fold
Lay the diaper flat, place the baby on the back of diaper, pull the diaper between baby’s legs, twist 180 degrees. Using the back wings of the diaper, use a Snappi or diaper pins to secure the diaper closed.

Too Much Bulk Fold
This is a little harder to manage because it requires an extra step but if you’re having problems with the front of the diaper being too bulky you can try one of the two following solutions:

  1. Using the Newspaper Fold, put the excess diaper length folded towards the back of the baby instead of the front. This will cut down on absorbency for a little boy but will reduce the amount of bulk in front.
  2. Using the Angel Wing Fold, fold the diaper down a few inches in back BEFORE starting the instructions for the newspaper fold. This option was the most effective for us.

PS: When you’re finished with your prefolds, you can use them around the house as rags!

About the Author

Brittney is a social media coordinator for Cotton Babies. She has three sisters, loves pizza and enjoys listening to obscure bands no one has heard of. Outside of posting on the Cotton Babies Facebook and Instagram pages, she babysits a few cloth diaper-wearing kids and likes playing with her dogs.



  • Anna said...
    October 14, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Do you think you could post some pictures of these different folds. I lean a little better from pictures as well as text. Thanks!

  • Deana Tollerton said...
    October 13, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Prefolds are not the basics of cloth diapering — that’s flats. It’s a shame that with all the advances made in cloth diapers, we’re loosing knowledge of the basics. I’ve come across parents who didn’t even know flats exist!

  • Anel said...
    October 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    This is great! I got a bunch of prefolds and this is a great reference! I love that there are multiple ways to use them. Thanks for the post!