My eldest was born in 2008. At that time our council had a free trial pack running which I decided to try out. Our pack of prefolds and a couple of wraps arrived at the house with a pack of cheap flushable liners and not much else to help me get going. I followed the instruction on the pack and did a 'girl' fold - well really there wasn't much folding involved and this huge pad of fabric was supposed to be covered up by a wrap!
The Junior Joy liners were reminiscent of cheap school toilet roll, those of you of a certain age will remember the greaseproof paper like toilet roll!
Anyway this was enough to put me off altogether, bulky was not the word, these were huge!
Prefolds to Pockets
It wasn't until a few months later that a friend showed me pocket nappies and I was tempted to try out cloth nappies again.
This coincided with our council starting a fortnightly waste collection. The thought of two weeks worth of nappies hanging around the house was a huge incentive for me. Our council don't provide wheelie bins so really you have to have somewhere to store your used nappies and they do mount up when it's two weeks worth!
one month of nappy waste compared to what you need to use cloth
image by Worcestershire Nappy Advisory Service, Malvern Branch
We all have to start somewhere and I have to admit, that although at the time, I found prefolds very off putting I have since come to really appreciate them. I used them in the buggy to catch accidents when potty training. I've used them in the car. Once you know how to fold them into a more manageable pad shape (I like the boy fold now even though I've got three girls as it's a nice neat shape) they fit in really nicely into pocket nappies if the inserts you have aren't absorbent enough, they fit well into a flip cover - I've taken flips on holiday and the cotton prefolds wash and dry easily and you don't need a fresh wrap for each pad you can reuse a few times (obviously you need to change it if it gets soiled with poo).
From pockets I went on to try all in ones and night nappies but with my first blog post I just wanted to reassure you that we all start somewhere and cotton prefolds are definitely worth trying out as they are very cheap, versatile and easy to launder.