How to Fold Prefold Diapers: A Picture Tutorial

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 🙂 If you have any questions or folds that you would like to see, please leave a comment 🙂

This post contains affiliate links.

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  • 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?

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  • 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!

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

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  • 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!

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  • 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:)

  • 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.

  • 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

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  • 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”. 🙂

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

  • 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?

    • 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 🙂

  • 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.

    • Hi Lily,

      Congratulations on your pending arrivals! How exciting 🙂 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.

  • 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! 🙂

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  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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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  • 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.

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

  • 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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