Question about prefolds and flats

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Joined: 01/14/07
Posts: 14
Question about prefolds and flats

What is the difference between prefolds and flats? I am needing to buy more diapers since my DS is outgrowing the ones I have bought. If you use prefolds, which do you prefer and why? I got my last ones at Cotton Babies and they seem to be good.

Also, do they make such a thing as a one-sized prefold or flat? My MIL said she only bought one kind of cloth diaper and did not have to buy bigger ones. She used them the whole time she CD'ed DH when he was a baby. Do you think she is talking about flats? She didn't remember.

Sorry about all the questions...I'm still a newbie at this!

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

A flat is a big square sheet, roughly the length of a pillow case on each side. You fold them in various ways to get them to fit any size baby. A prefold has multiple layers and usually has a thicker part down the middle. Prefolds now come in like 6 sizes. When my mom CD'd she only remembers having one size and I know they were prefolds because she still has some. She remembers just folding it differently as we grew.

We have all Green Mountain prefolds. I haven't used any other brands. I'm extremely happy with them. I'm pretty sure they are the gold standard.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

I use the old terry flats, they are just a squarish/rectangle of towel like material which can be folded a numder of ways. I was folding them a special way for boys, but the sides weren't meeting in the middle right to snappie and I don't want to use pins so I just changed the fold. My Mum used these on us the whole time we were in nappies and just changed folds or pinned further out as we grew. She also refused to have us in nappies past 2 so we were toilet trained by then whether we liked it or not.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

Yep, flats are one layer of huge cloth you fold to the size of the baby. Prefolds are basically flats that have been sew into a smaller rectangle with more layers in the middle than sides.
I have three different types of perfolds and they all work fine. I really like just regular ol' basic unbleached Indian prefolds. DS is in a standard size for 15-30ish lbs. I can't trifold them in a diaper since it's longer than the multisized ones like Erin has. But I find trifolding boring and prefer to snappi. I do have 3 econobum prefolds and those I leave for DH because they can be trifolded. lol.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

I have GMD prefolds, and have only needed two sizes: Newborn and Small. My daughter is now too big to do a fancy fold and snappi the smalls around her anymore, but they fit perfectly just laid in the cover as a trifold, and now that her poop is solid, trifold works great for us. (DO NOT TRIFOLD A BREASTFED NEWBORN, though. Their poop is liquid and runs everywhere. We found this out the hard way...)

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

To add on to what Leigh said about trifolding .. yes, tri-folding is very effective for older "solid-poo" phase kiddos. Unless, your kid goes in and out of solid poo phase because she refuses to eat food sometimes and on top of that only poos every other day ;). We only trifold when we know she won't poo for awhile.

What size prefold you'll need totally depends on the kid. My DD is a chunker butt. Here's what her progression was like:

0-6 weeks- size NB
6 weeks-11 weeks - size S
11 weeks- 4.5 months - size M
4.5 months-8 months - size L
8 months-now - size M fits again but we use L when snappi'd

Joined: 10/24/10
Posts: 470

Now that I've read this, I have a question. If I am using prefolds on a newborn, how do I fold them? If they are not to be tri-folded, how do you do it?

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

This lady does a good job showing different folds and how to do them! Have fun playing around with them and after awhile you'll find what works best for you and your baby. Smile

http://diaperpages.com/pf_folds.php

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

When I'm not tri-folding, I do the angel wing fold. It's super fast and does the job. I started using the jelly roll fold after Jackie posted that link awhile back and it does help to hold in "special" poos a little better. Not that they get out of the cover but its nice not to have to clean poo off the cover. The best fold for you will depend on the dimensions of your baby and your personal preference. I tried the bikini twist because my DD has super chunkster thighs but it didn't work at all. My diapers aren't long enough to make it around her thighs like that. I suppose it would work well in a size larger prefold but who wants the extra bulk? Also, the twisting makes for messier diaper changes. Especially once they decide diaper changes are the perfect time to practice their acrobatics.

Joined: 01/14/07
Posts: 14

I forgot about tri-folding!

I will have to try this so I won't have to buy any more diapers when he outgrows the prefolds he fits into now. If it doesn't work for some reason, I'll buy more. But I'll try it first before purchasing more.

Joined: 01/14/07
Posts: 14

"alwayssmile" wrote:

This lady does a good job showing different folds and how to do them! Have fun playing around with them and after awhile you'll find what works best for you and your baby. Smile

http://diaperpages.com/pf_folds.php

Thanks for the website. This is really helpful.

Joined: 10/24/10
Posts: 470

Thanks for all of the info ladies. I'll probably be back in October when the baby is born, but I have forgotten everything due to pregnancy and lack of sleep. Smile