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Recycling a Prefold

By Christine Gross-Loh

Recycling Cloth Diapers and EC

I have about three dozen prefolds which I have used with all three of my children. They've been used as cloth diapers, of course, but also have been used to loosely hold under a diaper-free newborn, as burp pads, as an extra layer to cushion a sling, or to wipe up any number of household messes. With my youngest baby in training pants, they're just not getting a lot of use anymore. Ultimately, they'll be passed on to another family - there's lots of wear left in them - but I've taken a few of them and converted them into very thin, soft doublers to put inside a pair of underwear or training pants. These doublers are also very useful for EC'ing parents who use disposables. Having just a bit of cloth inside a disposable diaper allows both you and baby to tell if the diaper is wet, which helps parent and baby to remain aware of elimination. The cloth is so thin that it doesn't add up to much laundry, but it's sturdy enough that it holds its shape. They would make great doublers for EC'ed newborns as well.

To make them, simply cut an infant prefold into thirds or fourths horizontally (with the thicker middle section in the center of each doubler). Sew up the edges either with a serger, a zigzag stitch, or a straight stitch close to the edge.

There are many other ways to make cloth diapering and EC even more eco-friendly. Many parents use wool pants (diaper covers) made out of recycled wool sweaters. These are beautiful and affordable. Lots of parents sew their own training pants out of recycled prefolds - this allows them to tailor the fit to their own baby's body, and is especially useful for those EC'ing parents struggling to find training pants small enough for their little ones. The ECSwap Yahoo! Group is a quickly-growing group for parents looking to exchange EC gear, including diapers and training pants:

Look for more concrete tips about recycling and EC in future issues of Infant Pottying Today. Tell us how you make recycling and EC work for you by writing us at

For more tips on EC recycling visit:

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EC and the Environment


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