Monday, May 19, 2014

Flat Diapers = Old School Awesomeness

When I first started researching cloth diapers I NEVER considered using flats. Not once. Those were the diapers our great-grandmother's used. The diapers you see hanging outside of an East End flat on Call the Midwife. Certainly not a modern solution to an age old problem!

Two months into my cloth diapering adventure I had a change of heart. Ammonia hit my diapers....hard. I headed to Google with my problem, as one does, and soon discovered that my ammonia issue was probably due to hard water and insufficient detergent. Oh, and that darling of the modern cloth diaper, microfiber. Apparently the multiple layers are hard to get completely clean and can start to stink. After trying all of the "cures" Google provided me with I ordered flats. I. had. had. it.

I changed my detergents while waiting on the flats to arrive. Stink, cured. Yay! The flats were already ordered though and I was determined to use them. I needn't have worried. Because I discovered something when they showed up. I LOVE flats! And here's why...

1. Dry Time
Flats dry. FAST. If you hang them on a drying rack to dry before you go to bed they are dry in the morning! And outside on a sunny day? Three or four hours, tops. Only use a dryer? No problem. One cycle. Done. If you've ever tried to dry prefolds or thick inserts you understand why that is awesome. Usually after one cycle prefolds are still damp and need a second cycle or time on a drying rack. If you have a limited budget this is a HUGE benefit because you can make do with less diapers since the turn around is so fast!

2. Affordability
Compared to an All in One or Pocket diaper flats are a steal! I purchased twelve flats for only $24.97. That's just over $2.00 a diaper! Throw in three or four wipe clean diaper covers (such as Flip or Thirsties) at around $10.00 each and you are in business! That's incredible! You could easily have enough cloth diapers to start cloth diapering your baby for under $100.00!

3. Easy Care
This is what convinced me to give flats a try in the first place. Because they are only one ply there is no oppurtunity for stink to build up inside of them like there is with microfiber inserts. They wash easily with no buildup or residue issues. And if you ever need to bleach for some reason? No problem.

4. Versatility
You can fold a flat to fit whatever size your baby is. You can customize the fold to put the absorbency where your baby needs it. I tried several different folds before settling on the pad fold. It is super easy to learn and just as easy to put on baby. Just lay the pad folded flat in a waterproof diaper cover and you're ready to go. No pins or fasteners needed. And they don't slide around in the cover either. That was one of my concerns before trying flats. If you fold the diaper to fit in the cover (not to short or it will slide back and forth) it will stay put. You can also use them to stuff pocket diapers!

How to Pad Fold a Flat
{Open flat completely}

{Fold top and bottom in to the length needed to fit in diaper cover}

{Fold from the side to create the width needed. Keep folding until...}

{ have a "pad".}

{Lay in diaper cover. Done} 

5. Lifespan
Flats are very durable. No elastic to wear out or microfiber to loose absorbency. They usually last through cloth diapering several children! And when you are done using them as diapers they can always be repurposed as rags or towels.

If I could start all over again and rebuild my cloth diaper stash, I would start with flats. I reach for them first now and love how versatile they are. I always keep one in my wetbag for when I'm out and about to throw over whatever I am changing my baby on. They are a breeze to use and I couldn't be happier with them! Learn from my mistake, try some flats!

(This post is linked up to The Homestead Blog Hop.)


  1. I am finally using my cloth diapers! I had years of trying on and off again (just had baby number 8), but had horrible problems with each baby getting rashes. I would use disposables, and no rashes. I stipped them, I bleached them, I washed them with tea tree oil. Nothing worked. Until I was talking with a friend at the end of my pregnancy and she said her sister had the same problem. It was solved by adding 5 drops of GSE to each diaper load. BIngo!!! My sweet baby girl is now wearing cloth diapers without any rashes. Finally! I just got some new prefolds (flats), and didn't think I would like them as much as the pocket diapers, but like you, I LOVE them. I reach for them first as well.

    Were did you get your flats? My prefolds have multiple layers in the middle, and a couple of layers on the sides (it's in thirds). I haven't seen the ones you have pictured here on your blog. I bought the large size thinking I can fold them down, and had to wait until my babe was 3 months old before I could make them work, as they were way too big. Your's looks like they would have worked perfectly!


    1. Oops! See below! I commented instead of replying to you! :-)

  2. Hi Kerri,

    Congratulations on your new baby girl!! I'm so glad you are able to use cloth now!

    These flats are the Birdseye cotton flats from I have a couple of prefolds but I much prefer the flats. I use a Snappi with my prefolds because they are too long to pad fold and fit in a cover. Since flats are only one ply you can easily fold them to fit whatever you want!