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!
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.
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
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.)