The two-piece diapering system with covers/overpants and prefolds is very popular! Prefolds ensure less washing compared to other systems, because you usually only change the wet inserts and can often use the covers again. Plus, this system is inexpensive and looks chic! In this tutorial you will find all the info around the topic, so you can get started right away.
How many covers and prefolds do I need?
For full-time diapering, we recommend the following number of diapers and accessories when washing every 2-3 days:
Which accessories are useful?
Nappy fleece/nappy liners and/or 20x Little Lamb Fleecy Liners or dry fleece/ stay dry liners (washable diaper fleece).
A container for dirty nappies at home (diaper pail with laundry nets or 2 Wet bags size L/XL).
10-15 extra inserts/boosters for extra absorbency e.g. avo+cado bamboo inserts or Thirsties hemp inserts..
2 wet bags size M for diapering on the go.
A suitable detergent for cloth nappies (see washing instructions).
I Provenzali vegan Stain Soap or Ulrich stain remover spray.
Snappi Nappy Fastener.
The overpants/covers and prefold system
The covers/overpants made of laminated polyester or wool provide the wetness protection and must be filled with absorbent material. The size is adjusted by several rows of snap fasteners on the front of the diaper. That way the cover can be made bigger or smaller to fit the growth of your baby. For closing the nappy, you can choose between Velcro or snaps. Velcro (hook & loop) is the most practical and easiest option. Nevertheless, snaps are often the better choice for toddlers.
A prefold is a rectangular nappy made of several layers of absorbent fabric. You take a prefold, fold it to a third of its size, and place it in your covers as an insert. Shown is an avo+cado prefold folded along the seam (for boys).
You can also fold it along the edge (against the seam), then you have more absorbency in the middle & the prefold is a little shorter (for girls).
The folded prefold is tucked under the flaps in the cover. For covers without flaps, simply place the prefold in the center of the covers.
To increase absorbency you can use boosters made of bamboo or hemp. Since they have a slower absorption speed, they should be placed under or inside the prefold.
4. Nappy liners/ Stay dry liners/Fleece
To catch the poo, you can put a sheet of paper nappy liner or fleecy liner or stay dry liner on the prefold. For newborn diapers (size 1), we recommend the avo+cado nappy liner because of its thickness and size. For fully breastfed children in the size 2 covers we recommend avo+cado or Disana nappy fleece. Generally, it depends on age, food and nappy type to choose the best suitable nappy liner. If you are not sure which nappy fleece suits you, you can try different types with our nappy fleece test package.
5. Putting nappy on baby
Place the child on the prepared nappy and close it. Check that it fits snugly at the leg cuffs and that no absorbent material or fleece is sticking out. The covers should fit snugly, yet comfortably, at the tummy so that there is enough room for movement. The leg cuffs should sit in the leg crease, just like normal underwear.
6. Changing nappy
If the inserts are only wet, they can be put into the laundry together with the fleece (diaper pail or wet bag). Take a fresh prefold and continue to use the covers.
If there is poo in the nappy, dispose of the large business in the household trash along with the paper nappy liner. If the covers are still clean, you can continue to use them with a new Prefold.
If the covers have become dirty, rinse them with water and place them in a diaper pail or wet bag until laundry day.
How to remove stains?
Questions and answers
Can I use the covers overnight?
Yes, if they are combined with a fitted nappy. Prefolds are great for daytime and depending on the child's pee behavior, they will last several hours. However, for nighttime, babies and toddlers need a proper night nappy that can last 10-12 hours. We recommend the Petit Lulu or TotsBots Bamboozle fitted nappies. Many children still need an extra hemp or bamboo booster, and for comfort over several hours, a piece of stay dry fleece/liner (not nappy liner/ paper fleece) on top of the nappy is very helpful. With the covers around, this makes a super night nappy! But not all fitted nappies and covers fit together. If you have a very wide fitted nappy or big children, you may find that a slip overpant made of wool or PUL fits better.
My child is breastfed and has poo several times a day. What can I do to keep the covers cleaner?
Using the Prefold folded thirds as an insert is quick and easy, but in some case, the wet poo can get contact with the covers easily, especially by newborns and fully breastfed babies. For this case, the Snappi nappy fastener is a super invention! The Prefold is folded over baby's bottom as a normal muslin and secured with a Snappi - much easier than safety pins! When the Prefold is used this way, it holds the contents back better by covering more of the nappy area. Worn this way, you can also use other overpants with the Prefold, such as pull-up pants and wool covers..
Can I use the covers with other inserts?
Yes, for sure! Covers are flexible and can be filled with anything. Muslins can be used like prefolds. Many receive muslins as birth gifts and with a matching overpants, the cloth nappys from grandma's day become usable again! However, muslins need to be folded several times to be used as inserts because they are twice as long and wide compared to prefolds and because they are also only one layer thick. You can also wrap the muslin diapers around the child and secure them with a Snappi nappy fastener. Most of the time you need more than one muslin to get the right absorbency for the child. This is easily done with a bamboo or hemp booster.
Here you can download the PDF version of our instructions for printing! (in German)