Prefold Cloth Diapers: Practical and Effective

Prefold cloth diapers get a bad rap sometimes. Yes, they require some degree of folding, but it is easy to learn how to fold a prefold cloth diaper. Yes, they are a bit less convenient for cleaning up after a messy diaper (flushable liners or a diaper sprayer help a lot!). However, they are absorbent, inexpensive, and with a tiny bit of practice they are really easy to use.

We have been using prefolds part time since my daughter was born. They hardly ever leak and they are a natural fiber option that is very cost-effective. You can get started with a prefold cloth diaper package for around $100 or so. Bummis organic cotton prefold packages from are still well under $200. One of the most amazing features of prefold cloth diapers is that they can be used for so many things other than diapering.

A mom just told me that her mother is still using leftover prefolds to clean her home – 30 years after she used them for diapering! Try that with a disposable – ew, wait, don’t!

Other moms have told me that they use prefolds as burp cloth diapers, for cleaning up spills and pet accidents, as impromptu bibs, doll blankets, converted into training pants, and more. Preemie size prefolds are easily folded into thirds for use as cloth menstrual pads. We use a clean prefold cloth diaper underneath the dining room booster seat to help protect the chair underneath from spills.

What is your favorite use for outgrown or leftover prefold cloth diapers? The comment with the most creative use (as judged by me, though user comments will count heavily in favor!) will win a 3 pack of large colored prefold cloth diapers. If you make prefold burp cloth diapers, include a link to your creations.

Comments will close August 23.

Update August 24: Jeanice, you are the winner! I’ll email you with details on how to claim your colored prefolds!

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3 thoughts on “Prefold Cloth Diapers: Practical and Effective

  1. I can’t wait to use my prefolds! My little guy isn’t due until December, so for now I just look at how cute and tiny they are. As a child I use to use my old prefolds to dust the house and polish the furniture. They made the softest cleaning rags.

    • Hi Jeanice!

      December seems like a long way off when you are waiting for a new baby, eh? At least nesting gives you a chance to enjoy the baby a bit even before they arrive.

      I agree, prefolds are awesome for cleaning. My 2 year old made a huge mess at the sink the other day, I grabbed some prefolds and quickly stopped the flood.

  2. The preemie prefolds are just the right size for my Swiffer. They are much cheaper than the replacement pads and they are washable so nothing to throw away.

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