How to Fold a Prefold Diaper

Tips & Troubleshooting


Take some time to get accustomed to your new cloth diapers, and don't be afraid to play around with folding, stuffing and fastening, etc.

If you are making the switch to cloth from disposables, mixing your cloth diapers with disposables in the beginning (for outings or overnight) can make this transition easier. Most parents find that using cloth diapers is easier than they thought it would be, and quickly become avid full-time users.

If you are starting with a newborn baby, don't be afraid to dive in full-time with cloth diapers. It's pretty easy and you'll get the routine down fast.

By the way, you may find that you will need to choose baby clothes that can accommodate larger bums!

Important Reminders:

  • Using a diaper cream? Protect your diaper with a liner! Avoid ointments with petroleum, fish oils or zinc.
  • If using flushable liners, be wary of thick ones if you plan to fold them. Folding may result in a liner that is too thick to allow liquid to penetrate through to the diaper, causing it to leak out the sides.
  • Runny newborn poop? If using prefolds, use the fan fold. And don't be afraid to try out the bikini twist! It may take a few tries to master it – but it works well for runny poop. A Bio-Soft liner can also help to absorb runny poop.
  • Be sure the wrap is fastened snugly enough so that it fits well and does not sag. Saggy diapers will leak! You will need to pay special attention to this once your baby starts to walk.
  • Reduce drying time by doing an extra spin cycle and/or throwing a dry towel or dryer balls into the dryer.
  • Don't use dryer sheets, even in your regular laundry – they will leave a stubborn residue on everything.
  • Dry your diapers occasionally in the sun – it brightens and disinfects. 


Leaking problems?

Level 1

  • Check the important reminders above
  • Did you pre-wash your diapers/inserts and test for absorbancy?
  • Do you have the proper size of diaper/insert/wrap for your baby?
  • Does the wrap fit snugly around baby's legs and belly? Is it fastened tightly enough to get a good fit?
  • If using a 2-piece diaper, make sure that diaper/insert and liner are completely contained inside the wrap. Any bit of cloth sticking out of the wrap can cause leaking.
  • Don't tuck your prefold insert into the front flap on the inside of the wrap - it is meant to prevent leaking through the sewing line!
  • If using a prefold insert or other type of diaper with an adjustable insert, experiment with different ways of folding the insert to create more absorbency where it is needed. As your baby grows, you may have to adapt the way that the insert is folded and/or the way the diaper is adjusted. Sometimes experimentation is the key to success!

Level 2

  • Is there leaking straight through the fabric of the wrap?  Is the diaper completely saturated when these leaks happen? If it is, then you need to change the diaper more frequently or add a diaper doubler to increase absorbency. If the diaper is mostly dry when these leaks happen, check that the PUL waterproofing layer is intact inside the diaper cover.
  • Is the suede-cloth on your synthetic diapers repelling moisture completely? This is most often caused by using a non-cloth diaper approved diaper cream without a liner. If this happens, use one drop of blue Dawn dish soap in the sink and a toothbrush to scrub the suede-cloth inner of diaper to remove the oily residue. Only do this on diapers that are actually repelling. Rinse the diapers well before washing in the washing machine. Never put dish soap in your washing machine.
  • Are you changing your baby's diaper often enough? Newborns need to be changed about every 2 hours! A huge advantage of using cloth diapers is that you know when your baby's diaper is wet, so you change it more often.
  • Is your baby going through a growth spurt or sleeping more soundly at night? If so, you may need to add a doubler or liner for increased absorbency. 
  • Are you reaching the limit of the diaper's size range? If so, you may need to add a doubler or liner for increased absorbency. 

Smelly Diapers or Wraps?

Once washed, your diapers should not smell like urine or detergent!

  • If they smell of barnyard out of the dryer, you need to increase the amount of detergent being used to wash them.
  • If they smell like ammonia once your baby wets them, make sure that you are following the washing guidelines, using enough detergent, and adding a water softener if your water is even moderately hard.
  • Do your diapers smell clean when washed, but utterly horrible after the first pee? This could mean that urine crystals are trapped within the fibres of your diapers causing ammonia. This is most often related to an ineffective wash routine and/or not using a water softener in hard water. Ammonia build up can also lead to diaper rashes. Ensure that you are using enough detergent and following the Bummis washing guidelines. If you’re not sure how hard your water is, you can test the total hardness using test strips sold in the pool care section of home/hardware stores.
  • Are your diapers and wraps stinky or discoloured? Be sure to wash diaper covers every 2-3 days with your diapers. Refer to the Bummis washing guidelines, and if you need additional assistance contact our customer service department at 1-888-828-6647. We would be happy to help you out!
  • If your smelly diapers or diaper covers are not resolved by adjusting your wash routine, you may need to take further action. You can find additional instructions to combat smelly diapers at or contact the customer service department at 1-888-828-6647.

Does Your Baby Have a Recurring Rash in Cloth Diapers?

If the rash persists in disposable diapers, it could be a yeast rash. Consult your baby’s physician to determine the nature of the rash and a course of treatment.

If the rash clears in disposable diapers and the cloth diapers are smelly when wet, then it’s possible your diapers have urine/ammonia build up. Ensure you are following the washing recommendations and making necessary adjustments for hard water. If adjusting the wash routine does not resolve the smell and rash, you may need to take further action to eliminate the build up by stripping and disinfecting your diapers. Refer to for further instructions or contact us at the number below. 


Customer service is our passion. Call us at 1-888-828-6647 and we will be happy to help resolve any issues you may be having.