Helping families to successfully cloth nappy from birth is about introducing them to products that are flexible, cost effective, fast drying and 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.
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!
Along with fitted nappies, prefolds are one of our biggest sellers and with good reason.
Prefolds consist of two main layers of fabric, sometimes with three or four extra layers of absorbency sewn into a centre panel. This creates a flat nappy with three distinct panels. Despite the name, the nappy still requires three quick folds to get it ready for use.
When using a prefold 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 side panels at the top to create two ‘wings’. Pull the front of the nappy up between your baby’s legs and then wrap the side panels from the back around your baby’s 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 commonly referred to as the ‘angel wing’ fold.
If the prefold is too long for your baby you can shorten it by doubling over the front panel when you pull it up between your baby’s 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 prefold 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 prefolds 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 baby’s 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 minimise leaks.
A good fitting PUL cover will ensure your prefolds are nice and trim and won’t leak. It pays to invest in one PUL cover for every 3 to 4 prefolds in your stash (ie 2 covers for 6 nappies, 4 for 12 etc). 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.
For some great folding techniques and tips for fitting pre-folds on a newborn, check out this video put together by the girls at Nest Nappies.