Flat Diapers Flats Flats Challenge

Flat Cloth Diapers vs. Prefolds – #Flatschallenge Day 6


I’m participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. This is the third annual flats challenge, designed to bring awareness to diaper need and how cloth diapers can solve the problem. I’m not afraid of flats anymore, but I know I’m not alone in my “what the what” reaction as a newbie cloth diaper user.

#flatschallenge 2013 - flats vs prefolds - my thoughts via @chgdiapers #clothdiapers

When I was brand new to cloth diapers, prefolds were intimidating enough. Show me a flat and I’d tremble with fear (OK not really but you get my drift.)

My kids summed it up perfectly. I had the following conversation with both of them separately during this flats challenge (guess they don’t remember last year?)

Kid: “What are those things hanging up?”
Me: “Diapers.”
Kid: “No, those big white things.”
Me: “Yeah, Diapers.”
Kid: “…”

My daughter added “Wow, that must be a really big baby!” Hee hee.

Of course, now I know that prefolds are no big deal at all; you can just trifold them and slap ’em in a cover. Flats are really not much harder. Fold in quarters, trifold, done. Oddly, I enjoy the fun folds now too!

Flats actually have a leg up on prefolds in my opinion.

  • Flats are super easy to get clean, whether you are hand washing or using a machine.
  • Flats dry quickly on a line or in the dryer.
  • Flats are super versatile. You can fold them to put the most absorbency anywhere you need it.
  • Flats fit any size baby. Fold them to fit small covers or large ones.
  • Flats are cheap.
  • You can use darn near anything as a flat!

Prefolds are a bit more convenient, but when you are on a super tight budget, a flat for $1 is a much better deal than a prefold, especially since you don’t need to buy several sizes.

I wish I had known years ago that flats do not equal scary!

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
1 Comment
  • May 26, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    I always try to tell people that flats are SO easy, but no one believes me! I even did a comparison video on YouTube over flats vs orange edge prefolds (http://youtu.be/lNLv8x69oeE) in my Newborn Cloth Diapering series. I love that flats are only ONE layer, so you know that everything is getting cleaned so well, and, just like you said, the drying time is amazing. I have really grown to love flats, and wish that people understood that they are an incredible one-size diapering system as opposed to buying different sized prefolds!

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