Learning that you are pregnant for the first (or second or third or even forth) time can be a scary but exciting and exhilarating time. When you finally let it sink in that there is a small human growing inside of you and will soon be in your arms, it’s time to start thinking about what you need. After thinking about the cot, the pram, the car seat and the carrier. The clothes, the bath, the bassinet and the toys, most parents will start to think about the nappies. If you have thought about using cloth nappies (good chance considering you are here!), the next question is which sort? Do you go old school and stick with traditional nappies or do you use a modern cloth nappy? Today I thought I would explain all the different types. As an added bonus, if you don’t want to read about them, Vicki and I have recently begun recording a Podcast and episode 1 is just this. You can listen to us discuss the benefits of each style here.
It’s no secret we love a good Basic here at Nest! It’s not a prerequisite to love Traditional nappies if you work here but it sure does help! More than 75% of our customers are first time parents wanting to cloth nappy their babies from birth (or soon after) and most of them walk away with at least one kind of Traditional nappy in their shopping bag!
Helping families to successfully cloth nappy from birth is about introducing them to products that are flexible, cost effective, dry quickly and are able to be used for a significant period of time (ie more than a few months). The added challenge is that most of our customers come to us before their baby has arrived, which means we need to provide them with a product that is extremely flexible in regard to sizing, shape and fit to give them the best chance of success when their baby arrives. Cue the Basics!
Pre-folds consist of two main layers of fabric with three or four extra layers of absorbency sewn into a centre panel. This creates a flat nappy with three distinct panels; one thin, one thick, one thin. Despite the name ‘pre-fold’ the nappy still requires three quick folds to get it ready for use.
When using a pre-fold on a newborn, take the nappy, which has already been folded into a pad and lay it on the change table. Spread out a small section of each of the side panels at the top to create two ‘wings’. Pull the front of the nappy up between your babies legs and then wrap the side panels from the back around your babies tummy and fasten at the front with a Snappi (you can just pull a good fitting cover over the nappy and skip the fastener).
(this is a great example from our friends at Oz Baby Trends)
If the pre-fold is too long for your baby you can shorten it by doubling over the front panel when you pull it up between your babies legs. This is particularly good for boys as it gives lots of absorbency up high where they need it most. Alternatively a less bulky way to shorten the pre-fold is to fold it angel wing style and then fold down the fanned out fabric at the back. This is also a great tip if you have an explosive poo-er as it creates a bit of a ‘scoop’ to catch anything that might try to escape out the back!
Another tip for using pre-folds on a newborn is to ‘scoop’ the fabric between your babies legs so it’s not so wide. Lay your baby on the back piece and then as you pull the absorbency up through their legs pinch the nappy so the piece sitting at their crotch is nice and thin, it will make a ‘scoop’ which helps to catch everything and makes it easier to get a tight fit around the legs. When fastening the back wings up and around your babies tummy, be sure to pull the fabric nice and tight around the hips and legs. As you pull the fabric it will create a gusset which should wrap snuggly around the legs and help minimize leaks.
A good fitting PUL cover will ensure your pre-folds are nice and trim and won’t leak. It pays to invest in one PUL cover for every 3 to 4 pre-folds in your stash (ie 2 covers for 6 nappies, 4 for 12 etc) and have at least two newborn size covers to cover you for the early days, even if you’re planning to use predominantly one-size-fits-most covers. We also recommend a Snappi for fastening your nappy in the early days. Microfleece liners laid inside can help make cleaning a breeze, whilst keeping your baby nice and dry.
If you are thinking about using prefolds or having issues getting a snug fit on your little one, take a look at this video that Elizabeth did for us. Of course, you are always welcome to pop into the shop and we are more than happy to do a fitting for you – we just ask for a snuggle in return (with your little one unless you want one too!lol)
Are you a prefold user? What are your tips and tricks when using them?