Ode to the Humble Prefold: Part I of the Diaper Duel

Joy and I had a friendly little diaper duel a few years ago, which I am reprinting this week in honor of our cloth diaper week. (And because I am on spring break!) On Thursday, prepare to hear Joy defend the pocket diaper. Today, I bow down to the prefold!

Don’t get me wrong–I think pocket diapers (like these pictured from BumGenius) are adorable. They come in a variety of prints and colors, look cute flapping in the breeze on the clothesline, and go on just like disposables. That last reason is why I see many parents recommending pocket diapers to new parents or cloth diaper novices. Pocket diapers are advertised as “daddy and daycare approved;” meaning, I suppose, that once they are stuffed with an absorbent liner, they go on just as easily as a disposable.
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The Green Baby Guide’s Best Prefold Diaper Posts

Ah, good old Chinese prefolds with diaper covers! Your basic workhorse of a diaper system. Over the years we’ve written almost 100 diaper posts. Here are the most informative posts about prefolds.

Prefold diapers
with simple, affordable diaper covers are the reigning champions of diapers everywhere!

First check out how to choose an eco-friendly diaper system to make sure prefolds are right for you. (And remember, you don’t have to be monogamous with your diaper system. Playing the diaper field is not only allowed—it’s encouraged.) More of the marrying type? Perhaps you will be interested in my emotional ode to the humble prefold, in which I swear my love and devotion to this absorbent wonder diaper.
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Cloth Diaper Options

During my first pregnancy, I didn’t know the difference between a pocket diaper and a prefold, but after much exhaustive research, I finally decided on the ultimate cloth diapering system for our family.   Unfortunately, I didn’t have the diaper diagrams and descriptions in The Eco-nomical Baby Guide to refer to because we simply hadn’t written it yet!

Four years and another child later, I have been given a huge assortment of absorbent and adorable diapers.  My daughter Jovi often sports cow print happy heinys, homemade hemp diaper liners, prefolds with various covers, and even colorful fuzzibunz pocket diapers.

What have I realized after gathering up this diverse collection of cloth diapers?  You don’t really have to choose just one type!  Of course paying full price for all this loot could be prohibitively expensive, but if you’re open to buying gently used cloth diapers, you can try an assortment and know that you don’t have to rule out any one kind.
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What is the ONE Cloth Diaper You’d Take with You on a Desert Island?

Let’s say you’re stranded on a desert island. You have nothing—nothing except your baby, a high-efficiency washing machine that magically appears to work without electricity, and one type of cloth diaper. That’s right! You can’t have your Fuzzibunz diapers and your bumGenius diapers and your beloved Chinese prefolds with Velcro diaper covers. You have to choose one kind—so what will it be?