top view of prefold laying on cloth diaper

Using Prefold Diapers

Prefolds are amazing. Different folds can work for runny newborn poop all the way to fire-hydrant like toddler pees. To the casual observer though, it looks like complex origami performed on a totally unwilling participant. Never fear - if someone with a total lack of spatial reasoning can do it, believe me, you can too! Seriously, a gerbil with a broken screwdriver could assemble Ikea furniture with more finesse than me, and I have still mastered prefolds.
There are tons of different folds, but here are three of my favorites.

Pad Folding

This is probably the easiest fold of all. It has the benefit of having tons of absorbency right where baby needs it, and you can fold it to add even more where you need it (e.g. up front for a boy). It is also great if your prefolds are getting a wee bit too small to do any of the other folds.
Pad Fold Steps:
  1. Fold in thirds crosswise
  2. Place in cover
  3. Put on baby
If the prefold is too large for the diaper before Step 1 fold the excess length down (to the front for a boy or to the back for a girl)
Here is a YouTube video from Bummis showing this fold.

Fan Fold

This fold is excellent for newborns, as it really holds in runny poop! This is the one that we used most on our newborns.
Fan Fold Steps:
  1. Fold prefold into thirds (lengthwise - fold along the stitch lines)
  2. Fan out the back half to create a "poo pocket"
  3. Place baby on the prefold
  4. Pull the back corners forward to create "tabs" to fasten the diaper. If they don't quite reach, fan out the front to give yourself some more room.
  5. Fasten with a Snappi (this step is optional - you can just put the cover on over)
  6. Put the cover over top.

Bikini Twist

Another great fold for holding in newborn poops, with the added benefit of having lots of absorbent material right in the "wet zone". Plus it just sounds super cool!
Bikini Twist Steps
  1. Place baby on spread out prefold
  2. Grab the left corner with your right hand and right corner with your left hand (your arms will be crossed)
  3. Uncross your arms while folding the prefold up between baby's legs (this will create the twist)
  4. Secure with a Snappi (optional)
  5. Put the cover on over top.
Since explanations like this go right over my head, here is another video from Bummis showing how to do this fold.
None of these folds are difficult, and if you are still expecting a baby, stuffed animals are great for practicing on (added bonus that they don't wiggle!). I returned home from work one day to find that my hubby had cloth diapered all of our dog's toys. It must have worked because he can put a prefold on a baby at 2 am with his eyes closed!

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