Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Using Prefolds: Diapering and Beyond

Me again, Melissa, owner of The Green Baby Store. WAHM to four great little kiddos, just trying to survive the day at home and spread the word about cloth diapers to as many people as I can. And here at The Green Baby Store we specialize in pockets and all-in-one (AIO) diapers. But that doesn't mean we don't love prefolds as well.

Prefolds make great diapers. They can be trifolded and laid in a cover, or folded any number of ways and pinned or snappied before being covered with PUL waterproof covers or wool or flecce covers, pants, shorts, and much more. And of course prefolds can be used as an alternative to synthetic fibers as pocket stuffings.
But who knew prefolds were good for so many other things. I recently polled my Facebook fans and they came up with a list of more uses for prefolds than I ever imagined possible. I've grouped them into a few categories: baby uses, cleaning, other household uses, and just plain ingenius!

Baby Uses:
There are a few obvious ones of course. We've all used prefolds as burp rags and spit up catchers. But let's dig deeper. How about using a preemie sized prefold as a wipe for babies messiest poos. Or as a nose wiper--so much softer than disposible tissues and better for the environment too. Prefolds can be laid under a baby or toddler as a changing pad to protect your furniture and floor. I especially found them useful for changing pads as I attempted diaper my first little boy after three girls--people aren't kidding when they say those boys can spray a beam of pee across a room. I woud cover him up with a prefold as I got the new diaper ready underneath him.

Out and about? Use a prefold in a pinch as a bib (tucked into baby's shirt) or to wipe up messy mouths and hands. Spill a little spot on baby's or your shirt? Dab the spot with a damp prefold, the stain will be absorbed into the prefold and off of the shirt.
Teething babies can use them damp, or even frozen, to chew on--and they absorb all the drool that goes with the teething too. Older babies can use them as a snuggly or blankets for their dolls. The uses seem to be endless.

Toddlers in your home? Use them water absorbant pads under potty training toddlers, just in case. You can use them in the bed, on the couch, chairs, even in the carseat to catch any "accidents" from older babies who are potty learning. Trifold a preemie or infant size one in training undies for extra protection from accidents too.

Cleaning Uses:
The uses are endless in the cleaning realm, but I'll name a few. Prefolds make excellent dust rags. When damp or used with dusting sprays they absorb and lock the dust in so it doesn't fly all over the room just to redeposit on different furniture. They are also lintless so they work great to dust those finicky plasma and computer screens. Being lintless also makes them great window washing rags, just spritz them with your favorite window wash, or better yet just a vinegar and water mix. One more use for these great lintless clothes: washing and drying the car! Also they won't scratch up your car, or your silver or leather either so use them to polish everything you can think of.
Use them to wipe down bathrooms, tubs, and counters. You can use them like paper towels to help cut down on your use of disposible products for wiping up spills, and drying your hands and face. I've been told they also work great for drying dishes, they work so well you no longer need to go through five or six dish towels drying one sink full of dishes. And finally, one facebook fan said she had heard of them being used on wetjet mops instead of disposible cloths. I know I've tried to rubberbanded them to my steam mop, but that didn't go so well (the rubberbands make it catch and not glide across the floor) but I would like they would work well tucked into the little holders on the Wetjet.

Household uses:
Besides cleaning there are a few other places you can use prefolds around your house too. Use them as spill catchers, on fabric chairs and couches, just lay one down before our child sits down. They are also good as placemats for kids learning to use cups without lids--spills can be easily cleaned up or absorbed with the prefold placemat. They are also great to keep strategically placed near electronics for when little hands are helping out and spills might occur. Trust me, Diet Coke is no match for a lap-top when prefolds are near by to soak up the spill quicky, even out of the keyboard!
The best response I got from my Facebook fans for household uses of prefolds: on top of the pillowcase after an evening bath or shower for little ones (or parents). It keeps wet hair from soaking your pillow, plus the prefold will pull the moisture out of your hair quickly to make sleeping with wet hair more comfortable.

Ingenius uses:
There were a few duties that I had never even imaged prefolds could do. But a little help from the Facebook fans and my eyes were opened to the truely endless possibilities. One mama uses them as mama cloth--cloth menstrual pads. Another mama used them during her homebirth to absorb all the fluid when her water broke, and still another mama uses them when working out to absorb the sweat. But the best use I heard was as bandages for horse hoofs, just wrap and duct tape! Now that is ingenius!

So even those of us who prefer our pockets and AIOs need to pick up a package of prefolds to use around the house. They not only work as diaperss, but are mega multi-taskers that will definetly save you a lot of money on single use paper and cleaning products.

Find The Green Baby Store online at http://www.thegreenbabystore.com/


  1. I used a prefold (the ones with the padding in the middle) for my aching breasts when my milk was coming in and my nipples were sore. I soaked them in water, stuck them in the freezer for 10 minutes and then folded into my bra, or for a quick relief (usually when i was too tired to do the freezer thing) I wrapped it around an ice back or ran it through cold water. It held the cold water for a good amount of time and didnt look silly in my bra.

  2. Ashley that is a great use! Thanks for sharing!



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