Prefolds vs Flats

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hoaenz
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Prefolds vs Flats

Post by hoaenz » Thu May 26, 2005 11:29 am

Up until now I haven't used prefolds at all.

I have decided to do the newborn period in mainly flats/prefolds and covers. I already have a dozen plain flats left (red stripe ones) from my other babies and am trying to decide whether to buy more. (will be using pockets at night as soon as resonably possible).

If I do need to buy more should I go for prefolds or more flats - and then should I get hemp, towelling or plain??? Its an embarrasment of choices really! :lol: this is our last baby and I have nothig against washing every day or so - so don't want/need a huge stash but would prefer them to last well the 2-3yrs i need them too.

I have been suspicous of prefolds as they just don't look thick enough but I have been assured that they are fine - do they absorb as much as a flat?

What do people recommend??

AND *who* do you recommend buying off for best quality (I have had all my flats given to me so far so never had to choose any in a stiff, new, unwashed state).
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Happy@home
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Prefolds/flats

Post by Happy@home » Thu May 26, 2005 12:03 pm

I guess it depends how you are going to dry them, to an extent.
I live in Wgtn too. And at the moment the prefolds aren't drying on the line unlike the flats. So I just throw the lot into the dryer. The covers and pockets I line dry in the garage.

Flats are good for days and as others have pointed out while on holiday.
Recenlty we were in the Coromandel and I took pockets and prefolds and flats. I ended up drying prefolds in the hot water cupboard or in front of the heater. There was no dryer at our holiday home, and yes it rained a lot. But the pockets dried fast and I lots of spare flats/prefolds.

HTH
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hoaenz
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Post by hoaenz » Thu May 26, 2005 12:48 pm

We do mostly linedrying but do have a dryer (and heated towel rail) for use when needed (like most of the last two weeks!).

We don't have any fire or garage or anyother place to dry things (not even any logical spots by a sunny window to leave an airig rackat) and our airing cupboard has a new energy efficient cyclinder that doesn't let much heat out for airing.

So flats dry quicker than prefolds then......but prefolds would still be alot quicker than say a Zappy??

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Post by garbanzo bean » Thu May 26, 2005 1:00 pm

Hi there, I recently bought some prefolds from snazzipants for my soon to be two year old boy. Have used flats on him up until now. I've being using the prefolds for a couple months and don't think I'd ever want to go back to a staple diet of flats! They are way way more absorbant (I was sceptical too). I bought regular and premium.

In total because they are more absorbant (unless I have to change for a poo, I use 4 a day (including night) about the same as disposables I'd say. I use the bummis covers over the top. They do take a bit longer to dry (I live in Palmy) but I hang them outside under cover and put them over the fire railing at night. But you aren't able to so not sure about that.

The prefolds get softer and more absorbant the more you wash, (I think much softer than flats), also easy peasy to fold, really quick.

Also haven't used prefolds on a new born, about to in June (when our baby is due) so it'll be new ground for me too. I don't think absorbancy is so much a prob with newborns - mainly poo issues. So maybe I'll use some flats? Will have to experiement but I have hired a newborn kit from sarah@greenbeans for the first 7 weeks which has a variety of different things in it. Will decide from there what to add to my stash.

Hope thats helpful.
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Post by kiwi101 » Thu May 26, 2005 1:38 pm

ok, the main difference (imho) between flats & prefolds are this...

flats are bulkier on a newborn than an infant prefold & it may be harder fitting a cover over a flat on a little bum (depends what covers too)

flats absorb more than an infant prefold, but a premium prefold is much thirstier than a flat (i dont have reg prefolds, so cant comment on them)

prefolds can be snappied padfolded or pinned, flats cant be snappied & are too big to padfold on a wee bub (ime) so you are left with either pinning, or using a no pin method (prob not as reliable)

as for buying, dont buy new flats, you'll lose money, look on TM for 2nd hand ones $1 per flat is prob the most i'd pay

hth
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Post by Sharonnz » Thu May 26, 2005 2:48 pm

Honestly, if I was starting out I doubt I'd even bother with flats now. I think prefolds are very versatile: snappied in a cover, pad folded in a cover, stuffers for pockets & good burp cloths. I hardly used flats on Angus at all & they ended up really bulky once I'd done the fold & put a big enough cover on to hold it all in. I'm still using my infant prefolds on him now (JUST!) at 9wks/approx 7.5kg. I add a Snazzipants doubler or hemp flat booster.

If you LIKE flats I'd try to get hold of some hemp flats as they've got great absorbency but would dry quicker than prefolds.

We're using our drier all the time at the moment...I had washing on the line that was as wet when I brought it in later that day as when I put it out...the ONLY benefit to linedrying nappies in this weather is the sun removing stains! Sharon

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Post by embejo » Thu May 26, 2005 2:56 pm

I've used flats and prefolds, and at first preferred the flats, but it turns out prefolds are more absorbant and give a trimmer finish. They do take a little longer to dry, but I'll probably be getting some more cause I cut up most of my flats to make fitted nappies! lol!

I've used the snazzipants regular.
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DD 8 years. DS 6 years. DS 4 years. DS 1 year.

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Post by Razz » Thu May 26, 2005 3:02 pm

I prefer flats over prefolds for a bigger boy. I found prefolds trifolded didn't give the absorbancy where it was needed most, ie the thickest part was underneath him (so would be great for a girl, i'd imagine), but he weed into the front of it. If i trifolded the other way it was just to wide and long for my covers. I haven't used prefolds on a small baby and am keen to try. I love hemp flats and use a mixture of hemp and normal flats in my pockets and covers. I got my flats off trade me for $10 for 15, definitely wouldn't buy new.
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Post by Dunners » Thu May 26, 2005 3:22 pm

We have a range:

Flats - very versatile & quick drying. Sometimes I find the bulk where the seams meet a nuisance.

Small prefolds - great for the smaller wraps, then as boosters when the wraps increase in size as baby grows. I haven't tried in the past month, but I used to be able to snappi this size onto Emily - it was a wonderful fit.

Medium prefolds - used daily in our house! Excellent for pocket stuffers and in wraps. Extra middle bit perfect for Emily.

Toddler prefolds - haven't used these yet - they're quite huge compared to the others.

Homemade hemp flats - 2 layers the same size as the Medium prefolds. Used at night folded into 4 and stuffed into a pocket with a cotton booster (for fast absorption). Marvellous!

With the weather being cooler all the washing is bundled up and put through the drier for about 10 minutes before being folded. This makes the flats & prefolds lovely & soft.

I've not compared absorbency of them before. I change Em frequently, so that's not an issue for us (and she's not a big wetter). Maybe I'll get some kids at school to find out for a Science Fair Project!
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Post by hoaenz » Thu May 26, 2005 4:35 pm

:D Thanks ladies for all the prompt and informative replies. What a wealth of information!

You have certainly helped me to a decision - I have purchased a couple of hemp flats to try and I think I will get 6 or so prefolds too. I did plan to keep this inexpensive and simple - but I seem to be ending up with one or two of everything! It is indeed addictive. Can't say I wasn't warned! :wink:

So, I have small size wraps (proraps and bummis) - how big a prefold would still fit in these?
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Post by Dunners » Thu May 26, 2005 5:42 pm

I have a size S Bummis Wrap (but only size newborn and M Prorap) in the demo kit.

There's a huge range of prefold sizes, and places seem to list them differently. Now, I hope I have this right:

Prefolds made from birdseye, available from Real Nappies, Snazzipants, Ecobots (some may not stock all sizes):
Prem (26 cm x 37 cm)
Newborn or small (30 cm x 40 cm) (Newborn Extra absorbent at Real Nappies)
Regular or medium (37 cm x 53 cm) (super or premium have an extra 2 layers in the middle panel)
Large or toddler (42 cm x 60 cm)

Prefolds made from flannelette, available from Designer Bums (4 layers)
Size 1 (29 cm x 29 cm)
Size 2 (29 cm x 44 cm)

I hope I haven't missed anyone out.

Now, using the samples out of the kit, the following sizes will fit in the size S Bummis Wrap.
Birdseye prefolds: size small/infant would be perfect (regular at a squeeze - would be a bit bulky)
Flannelette prefolds: both sizes would fit
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Post by hoaenz » Thu May 26, 2005 7:04 pm

Thanks Leanne! I didn't realise that prefolds came in two fabrics. Birdseye is the most commonly used/recommended one?

Whats this demo kit of which you speak? - sounds interesting!
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Post by Dunners » Thu May 26, 2005 10:16 pm

Yes, I interpret a prefold as anything that has had some folds already done for you (I'm open to correction here). I would say that the more traditional prefold is made out of birdseye, but anything absorbent would work!

The kit is the Dunedin Nappy Network Demo Kit - a fantastic collection of samples donated by very generous makers/importers, to bring web photos/pamphlets alive and help with figuring out sizing. (as you can imagine, it makes a huge difference when people can see and touch the nappies!).
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prefolds

Post by Louise » Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:42 pm

But remember you can't snappi a flannelette prefold, you can use them pad folded in a wrap or a pocket nappy.

Birdseye prefolds are snappi-able so are very versatile. I am using regular prefolds on my 9 month old girl and 2 year old boy and find them great. I usually pad fold them but also like using the snappi and good old bummis whisper pants over the top. I sometimes use a booster.

They take longer to dry than flats which are super-fast drying but for some reason they just seem so much easier to use.

I also wonder - do most people tend to fold their prefolds in 4 or 3 for the pad folds? I fold them in 4 across ways so the thick part is in the middle or for my boy sometimes I fold them up at one end and then in 3 length ways which leaves a thicker part at the front. I think folding them in just 3 across would make for quite a wide crotch!

I also have infant prefolds which I used pad folded in 4 in wraps and in pockets. Now I use these as boosters or pocket stuffers folded in 3 lengthways - perfect length.
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