Prefold Picture Tutorial

by Amanda Hearn · 97 comments

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So, there are so many ways to use a prefold, but I thought I’d try to show a few folds.

You will need:

*update*  If you would like to view video demonstrations of these folds, check out the Prefold Video Tutorial.

Here we go!

Meet Motta Motta.

Motta Motta is my son’s bear. No clue where the name came from, but it’s his best friend and he will be joining us today. Thank you Motta Motta.

Meet Motta Motta’s diaper. It’s not a prefold, but my son had me make it for him and so here it is.
Now, onto the prefolds!

Newspaper Fold

Angel Wing Fold

Bikini Twist Fold

Jelly Roll Fold

Ooey Fold

Diva Fold

Poonico Fold
This is how I fold a prefold on my daughter. She doesn’t have BF poo anymore and this gives her a trim diaper. I find it easy to do and so I thought I’d share, since this is really the only one I have a lot of experience with.

In addition to all of these folds you can simply lay the prefold in the cover after trifolding it.  This works fine for wet diapers and is fast and easy for older babies.  It can tend to sag in the diaper with movement because it’s not secured in any fashion.  It also is not good for containing breastfed and other looser bowel movements.

Fold it with the seams
Or against the seams.
This is my prefered method when doing it this way.  I like that the majority of the bulk is in wet zone.

I hope that some of this has helped you ๐Ÿ™‚ If you have any questions or folds that you would like to see, please leave a comment ๐Ÿ™‚

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Amanda Hearn

Amanda Hearn

Founder of The Eco-Friendly Family, design geek, serial tanktopist, content creator, mother, coffee addict, & lover of fun. I am also a partner at Green Child Magazine & Put A Cup In It!
Amanda Hearn
Amy August 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm

This looks great!

Alicia August 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Looks awesome!

Alison August 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Nice pics–but what is the difference between angel wing and newspaper? I'm not getting it….

Amanda Hearn August 27, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Yea, I don't see much of a difference either. I think it's how/when it's folded down… Meh!

Laurie September 15, 2009 at 1:50 am

I was just going to ask what the difference between the newspaper and angel wing fold was too?!! I guess maybe whoever “developed” it just called it something different? Seems you'd only need to fold down the back if the prefold was too big, right?

website May 16, 2013 at 7:31 pm

I’m very pleased to discover this web site. I wanted to thank you for your time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to look at new stuff in your site.

Mrs_Mam October 30, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Are there any reasons to use one fold over another?

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Beccalynn January 14, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Oh my goodness! Such a great tutorial! I've been wondering how to do prefolds forever and waiting for a tutorial like this one.

Anonymous February 19, 2010 at 12:11 am

The difference between the angelwing and newspaper is that with the newspaper you fold down the prefold essentially making it shorter…then cross one side and then the other side crosses and fits into the little “pocket” that the first crossed over part makes. With the angelwing you're not folding it down first. :o) hth!

website May 16, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I have
read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will
just bookmark this page.

Carla April 6, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I love this post. I am a visual learner and this has turned the lightbulb on for some of these folds for me. Thanks!

imperviouschild May 12, 2010 at 6:19 am

Fantastic! Thank you for posting all that, it is very helpful.

Birgit September 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Thank you for this great tutorial !
I hope it is fine when I link it there :

(which is a collection of some nappy folding / washing tutorial.

Thanks a lot !

Amanda Hearn September 29, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I'm glad that it's helpful. Please feel free to post it. Tank you ๐Ÿ™‚

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organicmamma June 4, 2011 at 6:17 am

I know this is old, but awesome tutorial!!!

Amanda Hearn June 4, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

website May 16, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m
going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask! October 17, 2011 at 7:46 am

I know this is an older post, but I'm expecting a surprise baby boy after having two girls. Are there any folds you prefer for a boy, particularly a newborn boy? Thank you so much, this is incredibly helpful!

Indira May 16, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Great site. A lot of useful information here. I am sending it to several pals ans additionally sharing in delicious.
And of course, thanks on your effort!

Amanda Hearn October 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm

If your diaper needs folded down, they recommend folding it down at the front of the diaper for a boy ๐Ÿ™‚

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Rachel N July 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Thanks so much for all the pictures. I only used the newspaper fold on my last baby but I think I want to get a little more adventurous with this new one on the way:)

Amanda @ The Eco-Friendly Family July 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Congratulations and I hope they help! I loved the jelly roll method for younger babes. It is great for containing messes.

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Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give one thing back and help others like you helped me.

Kelsey October 9, 2012 at 11:50 am

This is so helpful! We are expecting in 4-5 weeks and decided to go the cover/prefold route. This is going to help so much! I saw that you recommend the jellyroll fold for newborns- does it matter if its on a little girl or boy? We’re having a girl.

Kelli December 5, 2012 at 11:51 am

I looked at this one sleepless newborn leaky diaper night and no kidding you saved me with the “bikini fold” great for my BF daughter! LIFESAVER!! Thank you! -Kel

Amanda December 12, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I’m so happy that it helped, thank you so much for the kind words ๐Ÿ™‚

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Lucy March 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Not only do I still refer to this post after 3 years, when I want to find it I google the phrase “Thank You Motta Motta”. ๐Ÿ™‚

Amanda March 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Oh I love this, thank you so much Lucy ๐Ÿ™‚ May 16, 2013 at 7:29 pm

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claire June 26, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Hi, I found your site via pinterest. I’ve got some prefolds, but I’m struggling! When I do the folds, I can’t get the nappy to fasten,there doesn’t seem to be enough material to go round my dds tummy! She’s six months old, a bit chubby, but even ones for toddlers don’t go round her! I’m managing fine with sized and pocket nappies, but would like to get t grips with prefolds aswell.

Sarah September 26, 2013 at 11:47 am

SO helpful! Bookmarked!

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Mary December 29, 2013 at 8:55 am

Thanks for this! I’m planning on using prefolds a lot of the time when our second child is born so this is very helpful!

Tracy Z. Hines January 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Wow, this article is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing these things, therefore I am going to tell her.

Shawna January 16, 2014 at 6:32 am

So , do you have to use a cover for a prefold? or can you just leave it as is? What is best for a new born?

Julie January 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Is there a reason in the last two the bear is on its belly?? Great tutorial though!

Anonymous February 18, 2014 at 7:59 pm

I must be stupid. Diva and Angel are different?

Amanda Hearn February 19, 2014 at 8:55 am

Not stupid at all! The difference is that the Diva is put on backwards to prevent little hands from trying to remove the diaper. Other than that, it’s the same fold ๐Ÿ™‚

Lily March 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Dear Amanda, I am so glad that I’ve found this site, It has been very usefull for me. As I am specting twins, I decided to cloth diaper, to save some money and much better if it helps to protect our planet. I’ve al ready bought some blueberry capri covers. As I am a new mom and live in Ecuador, I dont know much about cloth diapering, so I wanted to ask some questions. I first decided to use better fit prefolds, I think they are my best option; but I wanted to know about using inserts instead of prefolds. So I wanted to know how they work. Do you have just to place the insert inside the cover and it would be enough to prevent leaks? Or you have to use a cloth diaper plus inserts?
I will be thankfull for your answer and tips for my cloth diapering choice.

Amanda Hearn March 3, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Hi Lily,

Congratulations on your pending arrivals! How exciting ๐Ÿ™‚ I would need some clarification to tell you more specifically about the diaper inserts, but I’m including some basic information below.

To start, microfiber can’t go directly against baby’s skin because it is too drying and irritating, but some microfiber inserts have a fleece lining on one side that can go against baby’s skin. There are many diapers that have this and include only one insert (though I didn’t find it to be enough for an older baby/heavy wetter.) If the insert does not have a lining, you will need to place something (a piece of fleece or other insert) between it and baby.

Natural fiber inserts are my preference, and they can go directly against baby’s skin. The quantity you need will depend on how absorbent the insert is.

Either of these types could be used as additional absorbency with prefold diapers, just be sure that any microfiber is not against baby’s skin.

Lily March 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Hi Amanda. Thank you for sharing your cloth diapering experience with us. Well, I was planning to use the alva baby bamboo inserts, it is made of 4 layers, the outside 2 layers are bamboo, the inside 2 layers are microfiber, so I think there wont be problems with the babies skin, but thank you for the microfiber instruction, I didnt knew that. But now I think I will use the prefolds ’cause it seems using just inserts wont be enough absortion.
Thank you, again! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Cheri P April 19, 2014 at 11:47 pm

As crazy as it is to be cloth diapering for months and months with prefolds, covers and snappis – I have found myself researching different prefold folds to find a new and better way. It seems so simple but if not done right to fit your babies needs, can be messy.

Anne-Marie April 20, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Thank you so much! We just got some lovely bamboo/cotton prefolds, but other than putting them in PUL liners, I have been at a loss about folding them. I might switch to that Diva fold if my toddler keeps trying to play with the Snappi! I would have to sort of body check him into it… Oh, changing diapers… It becomes a full contact sport, eventually, sposies or cloth!

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Julie Clark April 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm

I love all these prefold folding techniques! The angel wing and newspaper fold were a couple of my favorites!

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My favourite would be the ooey fold. The bikini fold however looks like it would be messy if the child has done #2.

Your pictures are so cute as well with the little teddy bear. So many techniques thank you.

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Katie Miller November 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Thanks for the tutorial. I think we’ll be trying all the folds when the baby comes but the angel wing fold looks the easiest to remember.

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Morgan Schwall December 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Thank you for this post! We just purchased a dozen prefolds on Black Friday and now I won’t be lost when they arrive ๐Ÿ™‚ I think we will try the angel wing fold as it looks to be the simplest to begin with when using a snappi!

Irina Johnson December 17, 2014 at 2:35 am

Thank You for the wonderful post. It gives me an insight into musing prefolds for my five year old baby.

JWalker January 13, 2015 at 12:32 am

The bikini fold seems ineffective, can you tell me how it works? It seems like it would be uncomfortable as well.

I do hear a lot of good about the jelly roll, it makes sense how it’d be effective.

Irina Johnson January 28, 2015 at 2:29 am

Thanks for this brilliant tutorial.

Amanda Hearn February 1, 2015 at 3:21 pm

I’m glad you like it, thanks!

Margaret May 29, 2015 at 12:18 am

motta motta came from Madagascar 2 im pretty sure lol… Funny name .

Beryl October 1, 2015 at 1:42 am

Thank you for a wonderful tutorial. The diva fold was new to me.
For those asking about the difference between angel wings and newspaper folds, angel wings is narrower through the crotch.
As for bikini twist, it’s good for shortening a long prefold and puts a lot of fabric in the middle section, so it’s good for little girls. The prefold is supple, so the bulkiness doesn’t appear to be uncomfortable.
I love the little helping hand in the jelly roll images <3

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Byam December 24, 2015 at 6:48 pm

I spent a month researching before taking the leap into cloth diapers. We decided on an entire stash of pocket diapers. While I do love pockets, I wish I had been open to more of a variety. I was just so convinced that pockets were the end-all-be-all.

Melissa G January 20, 2016 at 11:52 am

This is one of the most useful posts I’ve seen – I refer to it frequently to try out new folds for my squish!

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Dfh June 11, 2016 at 1:27 pm

Thanks for this! I’m learning new folds and love this post! Just wanted to say, the trifold is not to be placed under the tab–the tab is to give one more layer behind the aplix (or snaps), not to be used as a placeholder for the trifold.

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