How to Fold a Diaper

Cloth Diapering Made Simple!
A division of Simple Cloth 

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Welcome to How to Fold a Diaper!

We are pleased to serve as a resource as you delve into cloth diapering. With a little advice and a few tips, modern cloth diapering is quite simple!  This site focuses on the use and care of prefold style cloth diapers and modern diaper covers.

What is a prefold? 

A prefold is a rectangular piece of cloth with a thick, absorbent layer sewn into the middle.  Unfortunately, most prefold diapers available in mass retail stores are not very absorbent.  We recommend using Diaper Service Quality (DSQ) prefolds with a middle layer of 8 ply.  These are available for sale on our website or in cloth diapering and natural parenting boutiques.

What about covers and pins?

For the most part, rubber, plastic, and vinyl are things of the past when it comes to cloth diapering.  Most of today's diaper covers are made of soft, polyester fabric that has been laminated on one side.  This breathable yet waterfroof fabric is called Polyurethane Laminate and is commonly referred to as PUL.  Diaper covers are available for sale on our website, .  Most parents choose wrap style PUL diaper covers that open and close with snap or velcro closures, much like disposables.  When using a good wrap style cover, diaper pins are not necessary!  That's right...NO PINS!

Some parents choose to use pull up style diaper covers or like the added protection of a pinned diaper under a cover.  A modern fastener called a Snappi can be used to secure a diaper without the risk of pricking the baby.  However, it is most common to simply fold a prefold and lay it inside of a wrap style cover without pins.

How to Fold a Diaper

There are several different ways to fold a prefold diaper.  The method that works best for you will depend on your baby's gender, size, and shape as well as your own personal preference.  Experiment and find the fold that you prefer.  As your baby grows and changes, your preferred fold may change as well!  Bookmark this page so that you can easily return in the future. Click Here to Bookmark Page

The Newspaper Fold

Image Copyright Simple Cloth, 2008

This is the most basic and commonly used fold.  Fold the diaper in thirds with the thick part in the middle.  If it is too long, fold the excess over in the front.  Lay the folded diaper in a wrap style cover and close.

If you prefer to avoid the fold over in the front, we recommend trying the "Better Fit" infant and "Better Fit" premium, which are shorter than traditional infant and traditional premium  prefolds.

The Angel Wing Fold

Image Copyright Simple Cloth, 2008

This fold is also quite simple and creates a "poo pocket" at the back of the diaper.  Fold both sides of the diaper toward the center at an angle, leaving the back open wider than the front.  (This is often easier to do when the baby is in place on the back of the diaper.)  If the diaper is too long, fold any excess over in the front.  Secure inside of a diaper cover.

The Infant Prefold works best for Angel Wing fold for babies weighing 7 - 15 pounds.
The Premium Prefold works best for Angel Wing fold for babies weighing 16-40 pounds.

Here are some step-by-step images showing our favorite way to create the Angel Wing Fold for newborns:

1. Open cover.    2. Place baby on diaper and fold front in thirds.       3. Smooth front of diaper. Wrap back sides of prefold       4. Fasten cover snugly.
Lay prefold on cover.        Bring diaper and cover up in front. around hip.

The Bikini Twist

Image Copyright Simple Cloth, 2008

A great option for newborns and girls!  Just lay the diaper flat on top of the diaper cover and place the baby at the back of the diaper.  Pull the diaper between the baby's legs and twist 180 degrees.  Secure the diaper cover and do a quick check to make sure that the diaper is completely tucked inside of the cover.

Here's a great video from Bummis showing the Bikini Twist fold:

Bummis organic prefolds are available at Simple Cloth in a variety of sizes. This fold also works with OsoCozy infant and premium prefolds.

The Short Fold

Image Copyright Simple Cloth, 2008

This fold is perfect for newborns, girls, or anyone struggling with too much bulk at the front.  Simply fold the diaper in thirds "the other way," then lay it inside of a cover and secure to baby.

Here is a video from Bummis demonstrating the Short Fold:

Also demonstrated in the video are flushable liners, which make cleanup simple once baby has started consuming formula or solid foods.

Looking for diapers that don't require folding?  Visit our sister site,
Simple Cloth.

You will find a wide variety of accessories to simplify cloth diapering at this site as well, including diaper sprayers, flushable liners, and wet bags.  All orders of $50 or greater SHIP FREE!