Although I enjoy pocket diapers and other modern diapers, I love knowing that I can cloth diaper really affordably, and even with things I have around the house. We have well water so a power outage means no well pump, no water and not even hand washing is possible. Things like receiving blankets and kitchen towels can be used as diapers in a pinch, and when you’re doing it by choice (rather than out of necessity) there can be something a little fun and relaxing about folding flats!
I picked up a dozen Diaper Rite unbleached Birdseye cotton flats in the large size (about 32″ x 32″ pre-washing) for $22. They are also available in a small size (27″ x 27″ pre-washing) which would be fine for pad folding or for smaller babies, priced at $17.50/dozen. Both sizes are also available in white.
Naturally, cotton shrinks quite a bit in the wash.
Even after shrinking, the large was large enough to snappi on my 2 yr 10 month old son, who is around 29ish pounds.
When you look at these next pictures, you will probably say “but Maria, you didn’t…and it isn’t…and it wasn’t…” You’re probably right. I didn’t and it isn’t and it wasn’t. But that’s the beauty of flats. You can fold them any way you want, totally customizing where you put the most layers, and they are very forgiving. I know some people have amazing flat folding demos where all the folds are crisp and the corners are sharp. Mine were done with an audience and were done very quickly, as they are in “real life!”
This is my sloppy version of the Diaper Bag Fold:
Fold the bottom up (this is a great time to adjust the “rise” of the completed diaper, and put the absorbency where you want it. Then you’ll trifold and fan the back out, then fold the “waist” down.
Then fold the front up and wrap around baby!
When I was doing this one, my husband said “what’s this wacky diaper origami?” I said “yeah, it’s pretty much diaper origami!”
Again, flats are very forgiving! Nothing terrible will happen if it’s not exactly square or even. Fold in half, then in half again, so the flat is folded into quarters.
Grab the bottom corner and pull it up to the top to form a triangle.
Then flip the whole thing over
And fold the rectangular portion to the middle.
Tuck the legs in and pull up over baby.
Wrap the wings around baby and cover. You can secure with pins or a snappi first!
Flats are just a single layer of fabric, but you can get 8-12 layers in the wet zone depending on how you fold. You can pad fold (basically just quartering and trifolding) another flat to use under for extra absorbency, fold two up together, or combine with an insert or whatever you like!
The large size fits just fine even on my not-quite-4-month-old.
Have you used flats? I know many of you participated in the flats challenge last year. What was your favorite fold? What brand did you like best?
FTC compliance: Although I paid normal retail prices for the pictured items, this post contains affiliate links. I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.