I see lot's of questions online about how to use prefold diapers. I hope this little play by play of the ways I personally find them easiest to use will help dispel someone's apprehensions of taking this economical route to cloth diapering. I recruited a rather cute bunny for the cause. We'll call him "Fluffy" ;).
Sometimes I simply tri-fold the diaper and lay it in the cover. I primarily do this when I'm using prefolds while out and about.
1. Lay cover out, fold diaper into thirds, and lay in cover. You can also tuck one end under the tab as in the second picture:
2. My daughter has sensitive skin, so I lay a stay-dry liner on top. It does not absorb, but wicks the moisture away from the skin. Most pocket diapers are lined with fleece for this very reason.
*****MONEY SAVING TIP*****You do not have to pay a lot of money for stay-dry liners! I ordered a yard of micro-fleece and cut it into rectangles. No sewing is involved!
3. If I'm changing my baby right then, I just slip it under her and close it up just like a disposable! If I'm going to be out, I'll do that with a few of them and close them up as in the picture below and put them in the diaper bag. This way when I'm out shopping or visiting and have a less than ideal situation for changing, I can put it on just like a disposable! If you want to do this all the time, you can just prep as many as you have covers ahead of time so that they're easy to just grab and put on.
****MONEY SAVING TIP**** If you're really on a budget, consider this. Before I had any pockets, this is how I figured out to diaper my baby on the road very conveniently. It doesn't take any longer than stuffing a pocket diaper! Essentially, it is all the elements of a pocket diaper, just not sewn together. In my opinion, the best covers for using prefolds this way are Thirsties, Thirsties Duos (what you see pictured), and Bummis.
The above method seems to be what is considered the easiest way to use prefolds, but most of the time I use what is known as the "angel wing fold," using a Snappi fastener to hold it together.
Believe it or not, in my home where I have a system down, I find this the easiest. Here's a play by play:
1. I lay baby on the changing table and grab a prefold out of the drawer and lay it flat under her.
2. With baby on the diaper, I "trifold" the bottom part with my right hand while holding her legs with my left hand. Her body keeps the top flared out.
3. Since I use stay-dry liners, I then hold baby's legs down to hold the diaper in place as a reach for a liner and then lift her up slightly to place it on the diaper. (I keep prefolds, liners, and covers in the top right drawer so that they are easy to grab.)
4. Next I lay baby's legs down, which continues to hold the diaper in place so that I can bring it up through her legs.
5. Continuing to hold diaper as shown with my left hand, I grab those little "wings" or "tabs" that you see on the side there with my right hand and slip them under my left thumb and forefinger that are already holding the diaper.6. With my right hand that is still free, I grab the snappi and put it on. To put on the Snappi, you put the claws on one side into the fabric and since it is rubbery, you just take the other side and pull it over and put the claws into the opposite wing of the diaper. Then you pull the bottom claw down and put it into the fabric.
7. Now your hands are free to grab a cover and put it on!(I used a Gen-Y cover in this picture because I've recently found that I LOVE these for using over a "snappied" prefold! The side snaps are great and I love the fabric!)
That is it! I hope this is helpful and assuages some one's fears of using prefold diapers!