Cloth Diaper Advice – Mailbox Mondays 3/19/12 – Flat Cloth Diapers

by Maria Moser on March 19, 2012

in Affiliates,Cloth Diapers,Flats,Mailbox Mondays

flat #clothdiapers via @chgdiapers

Do you have a cloth diaper question? Each Monday, I answer a reader question, and ask for my other readers’ input as well.

Questions don’t have to be cloth diaper related, just email maria at change-diapers.com with “Mailbox Mondays” in the subject, or fill out my contact form for readers, which you will always be able to find on my Contact Page.

Leigh says::

Tell me all things flats! I don’t really understand how they are so simple when the folds seem so confusing…

Carolyn says::

And are there different kinds of flat? (What the HECK are flour sack towels, anyhow??) But do they come in different sizes and materials? (Like prefolds?) Or is a flat always a certain size and a specific kind of material?

Ok, you all know I’m a pocket diaper loving Mama, and I am very glad I don’t have to use flat cloth diapers & pins like our Grandmothers did. Even so, lots of people love flats. They can be very affordable, are easy to wash & dry (they are a single layer of material) and can be customized based on how you fold them. Hannah wrote a guest post about using flats while traveling to Italy.

You can get flats for as little as $1.46 each for birdseye cotton and as much as $7.50 each for hemp flats. You may hear people refer to flour sack towels used as flat diapers as well. They are simply lint-free, absorbent kitchen towels very similar is size and makeup to flat diapers. They are available in different sizes.

Flats are generally about 27″ x 27″ before washing (some you can get larger, like Diaper Rite’s) and can be folded into quarters and used pretty much like a prefold; trifolded, or folded & snappied, pinned or simply placed under a cover. Green Mountain Diapers has a page about flats that includes folding a flat to prefold size with another inside as a doubler, flats on a newborn and many other babies, and a photo tutorial of the origami fold. Diaper Pin’s Diaper Pin Corner has lots of flat diaper posts including a photo demo of the mini neat fold and how to pad fold a flat.

I didn’t participate in Dirty Diaper Laundry’s flats & hand washing challenge last year because I wasn’t able to commit to it the week it was being done. However, I believe 50 (or more?) moms participated & blogged about it.

If I had to choose between diapers or food, I would definitely use flats, t-shirts, towels or whatever I needed to. Especially if I didn’t have access to a washer & dryer. Fortunately I have a stash of modern cloth that I love and my own washer & dryer! I know I need to master all the flat folds so I can really be a cloth guru, but it may have to wait until my little one is a bit bigger and I have a little more time on my hands!

Have you used flats? What do you think of them? How did you fold them?


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen March 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I use old receiving blankets as flat diapers. Flats work great as inserts in pocket diapers (mainly for Med to large) They wash great and don’t have any of the stink issues that microfiber has. Also insanely absorbent. :) I don’t exclusively use flats but they are great pad folded into a cover (think tri folded prefold style) or pad folded and used like an insert.

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2 Maria March 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm

If I had a like button, I’d click it. Thanks Karen!

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3 Randi Minney March 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I use green mountains birdeye flats with a thirsties duo wrap and I love them. When my daughter was a newborn I used the kite fold, now I use the origami fold. I love the fact that they are easy to clean and dry, after just trying a pocket diaper recently which took 2 days to dry. Plus they are so inexpensive, for around
$20/dozen I can cloth diaper my daughter till potty trainer. Also I like how they are not as bulky as some other diaper types are.

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