Sunday, January 1, 2012

Naptime Adventures: The Anatomy of a Gerber Prefold

If you go into a Wal Mart, Target, or Babies R Us in search of cloth diapers, the only thing that you are going to find are Gerber prefolds.  Unfortunately, these don't make good diapers, not even in the slightest, and yet these are the diapers that are widely available for people to use.  It's no wonder people think that cloth diapering is ridiculous and doesn't work when these are the diapers that they have to work with!

The top picture is a Gerber prefold, the middle is a premium ("large") sized cotton prefold, and the bottom is a comparison shot of the two.  You can see that the Gerber diaper is flimsy and thin, compared to the thick "quilted" cotton one.  But the sizing is what these pictures are really about.  Gerber prefolds only come in one size, and that size is awkward.  It is way too big for a newborn- as you can see, the length is almost the same as the length of a large sized cotton prefold.  My son is 30 pounds and (I think) 32 inches long, just to give you an idea of what sized kid fits into a diaper of that length.  

These diapers are not absorbent.  By the time your baby is the right size to wear these, they will most likely be able to pee straight through in one pee.  This is not true with a cotton prefold.  The difference is that a cotton prefold will have anywhere from 4-8 layers of nice, absorbent cotton in the middle panel.  A Gerber one will have...

a nice wad of polyester batting sandwiched between two layers of very very thin cotton.  Obviously that isn't going to absorb any significant amount of urine from your baby.  Maybe that level of absorption would work for a newborn, but as I said- these are way too big for a newborn to wear.  Back in the old days, Gerbers were made with 100% cotton and worked a lot better than the ones that they make now.

If you have somehow acquired a stack of these, don't worry.  You can still use them.  In an absolute pinch you can use them as a diaper- just don't expect it to hold very much and plan on changing your baby every hour or so.  These make awesome burp cloths, spit up rags, changing pads, and eco friendly replacements for paper towels.

No comments:

Post a Comment