Prefolds and covers were the very first type of diaper I put on the wee Cub: more specifically, Bummis prefolds and covers! Bummis is as local as it gets when it comes to cloth diapering for me: they are based right here in Montréal. You can find out all about the Mama behind Bummis in this CBC news story (don’t blink or you’ll miss me and Wolf Cub’s cameo!).
Okay, so, what’s a prefold?
I’m a language teacher, so let me get right up in there and tell you it’s a type of diaper that you fold before (pre) you use it. (Insert your “Ah ha!” here.) Bummis makes three sizes of organic cotton prefolds, and I own all three!
Preemie size: [10.5 in x 8.5 in once shrunken] These are very tiny little things, and not every prefold-using Mama bothers getting such a small size as they don’t last very long. I used this size on Wolf Cub for a very short time: probably just the first month. For the eventual second Cub, I expect to use them again for the first few weeks. I never used them with a Snappi, only trifolded and laid in the cover as an insert:
Whether or not to buy the preemie-size is up to you, and will depend on how big you expect your baby to be and how soon you plan on putting him in cloth. When they’re too small, however, you can still use them as boosters in pocket diapers!
Infant size: [13 in x 11 in once shrunken] This size is the most commonly used because it is the most versatile. Cub was wearing this size from about a month onward, trifolded horizontally in a GroVia one-size cover on the smallest rise.
As Cub grew and we moved up to the middle rise and the largest rise, we folded vertically and also folded the top down at the front of the diaper:
So I mentioned that this size of prefold is very versatile. Personally, we always had one of these lying on the change table to catch errant poop and prevent pee fountains, as well as to dry Cub’s little tushy after being wiped. A lot of Moms like using this size as a burp cloth too! This size works very well as an insert in a pocket diaper, too!
And when diapering days are done, these are wonderful and absorbent rags for all your cleaning needs!
Baby size: [17 in x 12 in once shrunken] This is the largest size of Bummis prefold, and sometimes called “toddler” size. Although not yet a toddler, at more than 25 lbs, this is the size for Wolf Cub nowadays! Having always used prefolds trifolded as inserts, I tried to do the same with this larger size. Unfortunately, this was much too bulky. Then I tried the only other fold I’d ever tried: the newspaper fold. But the prefold is too narrow to secure around Cub’s hips in this style. It took me a while, but I’ve now discovered the Bikini Twist!!! It’s almost as fun as it sounds, and beyond that, it makes a trim fitting, absorbent SUPER POOP CATCHER!
This fold is easy to do and is leak-proof as long as the cover is put on top properly! (No parts of the prefold exposed to cause wicking.) Here’s the fold in action:
The first diaper of the day is always a bikini twist with a cover at our house. Why? Because the first pee of the day tends to be pretty heavy, and is often followed by a number 2. This fold catches poop perfectly, and it’s much easier to clean poop off a prefold than any other style of diaper!
Update [7/10/2014]: Cub is now bigger and close to 30 lbs. I can no longer secure a Bummis baby size prefold on him with a Snappi, but trifolded with the top folded down, I can use them as an insert in my larger-fitting covers (ie: Rumparooz).