There are so many cloth diaper options out there. Flats are the oldest kind. But just because they’re old, doesn’t mean they are out of date or haven’t had upgrades.
Flat cloth diapers are all Sara has worn so far, and we love them!!! They have so many uses beyond diapering. Every household with children should use them!
The most obvious and intended use for flats is for diapering. I found a great post by Baby Tooshy describing easy flat folds. Before Sara was born, I looked through them to decide which fold we wanted to start off with.
**My experiences with these folds have to do with the size of our flats, Sara’s long and skinny body, and our folding abilities. Different families will have different experiences based on the size of flats they use, the shape of Baby, and parents’ folding skills.
I decided the triangle fold looked the easiest. And it was. You just fold the flat into triangles until it’s a size that fits your baby. It worked well for us during Sara’s newborn days. The one issue with that fold was that the cloth would not stay completely in the shell.
While Sara was a newborn, that wasn’t a big deal. She didn’t pee a lot at once and it allowed us to easily know it was time to change her because the cloth would be wet. But as she got older, I knew that was not a fold that was going to work.
I straight up didn’t like this one. I tried it a couple times then moved on. It did not hold poop at all.
This has been our favorite so far. It fixed the problem of the cloth not being contained within the shell.
Our flats are so big that we had to add extra folds to get a proper fit.
Lately, it has not done a good job containing poop. The shell does, but we would like more of the poop to be in the cloth than outside of it. We’re not sure what has caused the issue.
Update: The problem was not with the fold but the laundry detergent. Once we switched the laundry deterent we had no more problems.
Angel Wing Fold
We gave this a couple tries and didn’t care for it. We found it more complicated than it was worth. I know it is a really popular fold, so it may have just been user error.
Diaper Bag Fold
Same results for this one as the Angel Wing fold. It appeared promising at first but we didn’t like it. We went bag to the origami fold.
And in addition to being used as a diaper on their own, flats can be folded into an insert for other cloth diapers like pockets.
Flat Cloth Diapers are used with shells and snappis. Snappis have taken the place of using pins. Pins are still available and are cheaper than snappis, but snappis are safer and easier to use. They have little prongs on them that catch the fabric and stay on.
The shells are used to keep the wetness from getting on your baby’s clothes. They are waterproof. You can use ones that are velcro or snaps. Both options come with adjustable sizing.
Using folds for diapering is the basics. But did you know there’s a bunch of other uses for them? I’m constantly grabbing a flat to use around the house or when we are in public.
- Burp Cloth – best burp cloth you’ll ever use
- Rag – when there’s a mess, the nearest flat is often what’s grabbed to deal with it
- Towel – we’ve given Sara a bath and realized after the fact we didn’t have a clean towel for her. We grabbed a flat
- Blanket – I’ve wrapped Sara in one when we were in public, and it was a little chillier than I had planned for
- Rain Cover – I’ve had it rain unexpectedly on me and had no umbrella. I threw a flat over Sara and made a mad dash for the car. I got soaked, but she was dry.
- Clean Surface – Flats are great to place down before you lay your baby on something that may not be clean (like a public changing table). It also doubles to keep other surfaces clean if you’re changing a diaper on a surface you don’t want to get poop on.
- Pot Holder – Yup, I’ve used a flat when I’ve needed to grab a hot dish real quick.
- Sun Shield – I’ve gone on a long car ride and realized the sun was bothering Sara. I rolled down the window enough to put an edge of a flat through and rolled it back up to hold in place. The flat shielded Sara from the sun.
- Insert- flats can be folded and used as inserts for fancier cloth diapers
- Large Wipe – on extra messy diaper occasions, we’ve grabbed a spare flat to wipe up the worst of the poop before using a wet wipe
- Bip- we excusively use flats for bips now. They cover her whole body and wash well.
So I didn’t come up with a list of a full 101. But the point remains that flats can be used for ANYTHING. They are so versatile and handy. Even when Sara no longer needs diapers, we’ll be grabbing these things for random uses.
These Are Our Reasons for Loving Flats
Have you tried flats? If so, let me know your thoughts! Would you like to try them? You can see my post on cloth diaper deals to learn where to find the great prices and learn about modern cloth diapers (and even have a chance to get some for free).