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Ways to Fold Cloth Diapers

by Susan Revermann

Cloth diapers are not only more environmentally friendly compared to disposables, they also offer more freedom for a parent to fold and fasten them as they see fit. You can try any number of folding options and stick with the one that works best for you and your little one. After you get the hang of your favorite folding technique, you’ll find that cloth diapers can be just as easy and convenient as disposable diapers.

Newspaper Fold

The newspaper fold is one of the most basic and easy-to-use folds you’ll find. Place the diaper in front of you with the short edge near you. Fold the two side edges in so the fold lines are at the prefold stitching lines. Basically, you’re folding the diaper into thirds vertically. Place the diaper in the diaper cover with the thickest section in the middle of the cover. If the diaper is too long and spills over the edge of the diaper cover, fold the edge until it fits inside the cover. Secure the diaper cover in place on your baby and you’re done.

Short Fold

Short folds are a wise choice for newborns, because of their smaller size. These folds work exactly like the newspaper fold except that you are folding the diaper in thirds horizontally. Place the diaper in a cover and fasten the cover to the baby. This quick fold helps when you’re new to cloth diapers, and just getting used to the cloth diaper procedure.

Angel Wing Fold

If you want to try the angel wing fold, position your prefold diaper flat on the changing table in front of you with one of the shorter ends toward you. Lift and fold in the edge closest to you about an inch or two. Since the prefold has three distinct sections, use the stitching lines as a guide, as you fold in the two, long outer edges, with the fold line on the stitching. At this point, it should look like a smaller rectangle. Place the folded rectangle directly on top of a diaper cover so that the diaper is contained within the cover, and it doesn’t fall over any of the outer edges. Unfold the two back corners slightly so that only those two points flair out toward the back corners, resembling two angel wings. Position the diaper cover and diaper under your baby, with the back edge of the cover resting at the waistline on his back. Secure the diaper cover in place with fabric fastener or snaps on the cover.

Bikini Twist

The bikini-twist diaper fold works best for babies with heavier thighs or a baby who is small for most prefold diapers. Position the diaper in front of you, with the short edge nearest you. Place the baby on top with the upper short edge at the back waistline. Take the two corners closest to you, and twist so the corner that was at your right is now at your left and vice versa. Then, lift this diaper edge to your baby’s tummy. While holding the front fold in place with one hand, grab the back corners and connect them together with a rubber-and-plastic claw fastener. When you’re finished, the fastener should look like a “T” on the front of the diaper, pulling the back corners toward the front and each other. Secure a diaper cover over the cloth diaper.

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