When you first make the decision to try out this cloth diapering thing, it's normal to be overwhelmed by the many options and brands. Big strides have been made in the cloth diapering and nursing clothes departments, and that means there are more colors, prints and types to choose from than ever before. While prefolds may seem like your grandma's cloth diaper, they're actually one of the great workhorses of the crunchy mommy world. Here are three reasons prefolds are almost as good as your favorite maternity nursing tops.
Just a quick brief...prefolds consist of many folds of cotton, sewn more in the center and less on the sides, that absorb and can be easily reused instead of regular disposable diapers. There are many colorful options for prefold diaper covers, or you can use prefold diaper closures.
Materials like microfiber and bamboo are great for comfy breastfeeding clothes and nursing tops, and they certainly have their place in cloth diapering too, but 100-percent cotton prefolds are just plain easier to deal with.
Why? Once they are prepped, you can launder them with most detergents without worrying about repelling, and a little bit of bleach is a quick and easy disinfectant and brightener. Unlike other materials, cotton prefolds just get more absorbent with time. Be sure to wash and rinse very throughly to avoid any residue and irritation to baby.
Adding cloth diapers to your registry right next to nursing shirts is a great way to cut some of the initial cost, but what if you find you don't like that awesome, all-in-one your friend recommended? Or maybe you've got a baby that soaks a pocket diaper in one pee. It can be a big disappointment to find out that the cloth diapers you bought don't actually work for the baby you have. With prefolds, though, this is rarely an issue because the sheer volume of folding options ensures that you can make them work for your baby. You can double -- or even triple -- up for heavy wetters, and cotton is a great natural fiber if you find out your child has sensitivities. Prefolds can also double as pocket inserts or an extra layer in an all-in-one if you decide to use those at any point.
Prefolds aren't just good for diapers, and they have plenty of use in them after potty training or even if you decide you want to switch to elimination communication. They also double as burp cloths and can be held over your breast while nursing to protect against sudden streaming on the other side. While they may be too bulky to use as pads in regular nursing clothes, you can cut, fold, and stuff them into your sports or sleep bra under nursing tanks at night if you're prone to leaks. They also work exceptionally well as cleaning rags, but it's best to use well-loved prefolds (and super duper washed and cleaned) for this purpose so you don't have to worry about cross-contamination with chemicals.
So consider this nifty choice that goes beyond being a green mom. It can work for anyone. Save some money in conjunction with breastfeeding (because newborns can easily use up to 20 diapers a day!), and spend those dollars on something to treat yourself with.
Keep going mama! Your doing great!
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