How Many Prefolds Do I Need For A Newborn?

If you are having a baby soon or is starting to plan the arrival of your new little bundle of joy, you do a checklist of the things that your baby will need, I know I did (a little too much, to be honest). One of the many important choices that moms make besides how they will feed their baby is choosing what diaper to use, mainly depending on their means and lifestyle as a family.

If you decided to lean towards the organic option which is cloth diapers, you might want to prepare a few dozen. For newborn babies (the first 5-6 weeks) 2 to 3 dozen Orange Edge Newborn prefolds and 4 or 6 newborn covers, 3 dozen and 6 covers is really better than 2 dozen and 4 covers because some days a newborn baby will go through 20 diapers in just one day! This of course decreases as the baby gets older, but newborns really eat and pee pretty much constantly. A new baby’s bladder doesn’t have much capacity to hold pee so your baby pees very often.

What is a prefolds cloth diaper?

If you search Google you would see the modern one-piece “cloth diaper” that shaped just like the disposable diapers with more sturdy seal, but once upon a time cloth diapering was originally a large white cloth (along the lines of a flour sack towel, now called flats or flat diapers in the cloth diapering world).

As cloth diapering progressed, they started “prefolding” the cloth and sewing it into the smaller rectangle, so the only step was to safety pin it onto your baby, no folding necessary.

Prefold diapers are 3-panel diapers made from multiple layers of lightweight, woven fabric with extra layers in the center panel for absorbency. Prefolds and diaper covers are considered by many to be the most economical diaper system.

Why choose prefold diapers?

Why choose prefold diapers?

I’m sure that by this time you’ve thought about the pros and cons of choosing prefolds as a diaper system for your baby, here are few more reasons you might have missed why using cloth diapers, specifically prefolds fits you and your (and your baby’s) personal preference and lifestyle.

  • Comfortable – I don’t know for all other moms but for me, my baby’s comfort always comes first. Because if they are comfortable, they don’t cry or fuss, if they don’t fuss then we feel peaceful and accomplished! Indian prefolds in particular wash up to a nice, textured softness.
  • Customized fit – I know that there are “standard” sizes indicated in disposable diapers but some babies just don’t fit those standards. It’s nice to know that you can adjust the prefolds exactly how it fits your baby. Because you choose the fold every time you put a diaper on your baby, you can always make needed adjustments.
  • Washable – Simple cotton fabric is easy to keep clean. DSQ (diaper service quality) Prefolds are cotton, and no matter if you have Indian or Chinese, they wash the same.  It would take a lot of abuse to cause a prefold to have detergent buildup.
  • Natural Fibers – No microfiber or polyester which means only soft cotton durable cotton touches your baby. Another less thing to worry about, diaper rash. It’s all too common because of babies’ extra sensitive skin.
  • Affordable – Don’t we all just love hearing that? Especially during these times? Most specifically during babies’ first few months? A dozen will run between 15 and 40 dollars but you can find them even cheaper used.  Used prefolds should cost more because the work of “prepping” is already done.
  • Very durable – Prefolds are very durable and should last through more than 2 kids, but probably even longer.  When it finally starts showing wear, they make excellent dusting rags.

Check price on Amazon.

Types of prefold diapers

  • Bleached – Bleached cotton prefolds tend to wash up extremely well and require only 1 wash to prep them before use.  If you want to keep it simple, bleached prefolds are for you.
  • Unbleached – Unbleached prefolds take 3-5 full washing cycles to prep before using.  This is because you have to wash the naturally occurring oil from the cotton out before use.  However unbleached prefolds are usually softer than bleached.
  • Organic – Organic prefolds are even softer than unbleached prefolds. Some Organic prefolds are 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. You can’t get any more natural than these. These also take 3-5 washes to prep.
  • Bamboo Organic – These are an ultra-soft bamboo cotton blend, made from 50% rayon (made with bamboo) and 50% organic cotton, grown and harvested according to SKAL International Standards for Sustainable Textile Production. These prefolds are extremely absorbent and luxuriously soft. These also require 3-5 washes before use.  However, with that buttery softness comes a more delicate fabric.  No washing or drying at high temperatures. Instead, use only warm water and medium heat.

How many covers do you need for prefolds?

How many covers do you need for prefolds?

After stocking up your prefolds you now need to match that up with covers, a good starting rule of thumb is to have one cloth diaper cover for every three (3) cloth diapers. A good number of 6 diaper cover as a start to support an every other day wash routine. Diaper covers can be quickly hand washed and aired out between uses.

With careful use, and the occasional spot removal using a mild detergent, you should not go more than two to three days between washings. Just be sure the diaper cover is wiped down, aired out and any spots removed as soon as possible.

How many cloth wipes do I need for a newborn?

So you have decided what cloth diaper to buy, you are also done choosing what material and what diaper cover your baby is going to use, now with the wipes. If your are going full economical, cloth wipes are the best option. You can easily throw them in with the prefolds and wash it altogether, but how may would you need for a newborn? The general recommendation is 48 pieces of cloth wipes, although needs vary.

Newborns go through a lot of diaper changes than an infant or a toddler. You would need more wipes at this stage. Although, It is difficult to give you a set number that you’d need because every baby is different. Generally, newborns poop up to 4- 6 times a day, but it is not unusual if your baby poops after every feeding. For the newborn stage, I recommend at least 50 wipes to get started with; you can add more if you find you need more.

Check price on Amazon.

What are the disadvantages of cloth diapers?

What are the disadvantages of cloth diapers?

Let’s be real, disposable diapers were invented to make our lives easier, from reasons which many parents or moms experience, convenience. So before you jump into stacking up your nursery with dozens of prefolds we’ll list down below some of disadvantages you might want to take a closer look at.

  • Not convenient – unlike with disposable diapers that will take you no time to learn how to use, cloth diapers require extensive research. You’ll read about it A LOT to prepare yourself for what you need to expect once you start using it for your baby. You’ll ask other moms for their experience and compare if your situations are the same of different.
  • Additional laundry – yes, we now have automatic washing machines but some cloth diapers are extra delicate therefore might require hand washing. And even if you use a washing machine, that means an increase of utility usage (electric and water) which you also might wanna look after.
  • Time consuming – having a newborn or a baby in general is time consuming as it is, adding in the time to wash, prepare, and change your baby’s diaper will sure consume your entire day. Not to mention, you have to wash it while the stain is still fresh. Otherwise, you will have a hard time removing it.
  • Frequent changes – cloth diapers get wet quicker, and your baby will feel the wetness just as quickly. As a result, they require changing much more often. The estimate usage of 2 cloth diapers is equivalent to 1 disposable diaper. This translates into more changing and a bigger load of dirty diapers.
  • Less absorbent – cloth diapers does not absorb better than disposable diaper. You need to be alert at night (or if you are outside) to check if it already needs changing unlike disposables which you can just leave overnight without much checking. Baby’s skin is more prone to rashes if the diapers was left wet or dirty for too long.


At the end of the day it’s up to you and what you think will work for you and your baby. Given all these guidelines, we hope to help you decide whether to use prefolds and if it will work out for you. You don’t have to go full time organic and use prefolds exclusively, you can start small by borrowing some used prefolds of a friend or your sister who had kids that are now older. Try it in between disposable diapers if that’s the easiest way to start for you.

Chill a little moms, we’ve got so much in our plates just by having a baby to take of. No matter what diaper you decide to use for your baby, the most important thing is that both of you are comfortable and well rested. That’s really all that counts!

If you have any other questions, suggestions, or a story to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below. We at 1happykiddo would love to hear from you!

Was this article helpful?

Currently located in the Philippines. Mother of an active curly boy whose energy rarely runs out. When I am not busy keeping up with my son, you'll find me reading, cooking, or most of the time keeping the house clean.

Leave a Comment