Baby, Cloth Diapering

We Love our Flat Cloth Diapers!!

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 But just because they’re old, doesn’t mean they are out of date or haven’t had upgrades.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!

For Diapering

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.

Triangle

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.

Bikini Twist

I straight up didn’t like this one. I tried it a couple times then moved on. It did not hold poop at all.

Origami

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.

Insert

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.

Accessories

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.

101 Uses

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).

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Heku
Guest

Hey Nicole! Never thought that flat diapers can actually still be useful up to this day, in the 21st century we are in when there are new material and kind of diapers on the market coming in every other day. Apart from that, who could think of all those others uses of a flat diaper? That was impressive. I loved your article top to bottom, and mostly your voice that could be heard pretty clearly!

-Heku

violet
Guest

I like cloth diapers they really helped your Sarah. They are interesting ,the fact that they can be used for anything, they are therefore convenient. Do they come folded already or do I need to fold them myself?

Tim Bennett
Guest
Tim Bennett

I found your site as a member of Wealthy Affiliate and although I am not a woman or about to give birth anytime soon (male and 55), your post did take me back to when my son was born 10 years ago. He was brought up on the new fancy diapers and they cost a small fortune. I seem to remember my sister and myself being brought up on flat cloth and although my mom was always washing, she did save a ton of money. I am sure that this is great valuable lessons and I did like the different… Read more »

admin
Admin
admin

It does take a lot of washing, but with modern washing machines that doesn’t make much extra effort. And the cost benefits are amazing. Because we put cloth diapers on our registry, we have not had to pay for any diapers yet.

Roger Bohn
Guest

Hello, are you a new mother? If you are congratulations. I don’t know many women who are new mommies. In case there is I can share this on Facebook.

Noke
Guest
Noke

Nicole,  Wow, I didn’t even know cloth diapers were still around. I’m on my 5 child currently and he’s wearing #5 so he’s close to potty training.  I only remember cloth diapers when I was a young kid  of 5 or so and my little sister was still in diapers. I do remember the safety pins, and she had to wear the bottom cap. Mom was to poor for diaper service so it was a lot of laundry all the time. Wasn’t that a pain for you, laundry and the need for a separate hamper?  How did you decide to… Read more »

Courtney Hunt
Guest

I am an advocate of cloth diapers, because of the environmental impact of disposable diapers. I think it’s great you are bringing awareness to the use of cloth diapers.

Regards
Court

Johnny
Guest

Thank you Nicole for a useful post and the detailed information about pros and cons with the different folds. I’m not a father yet, but I hope to be it someday and that day I need to learn a lot about diapers. I will remember to try Flat cloth diapers. Sounds handy to use flats as sun shield in car, creative.

suzanne
Guest

Hi Nicole, lovely article!

I wish I knew about folds like this when my children were babies. That was over 30 years ago, lol. We used cloth “squares” in the beginning. That’s all they had. No fancy ones with elastic and snaps. It was a triangle and safety pins!

They were fine as babies, but once they started crawling and walking, they just didn’t hold anything in. The nice folds and fancy covers are wonderful now.

Cheers,
Suzanne

Babsie Wagner
Guest
Babsie Wagner

Wow, you really give a lot of information on all the various ways to fold a diaper, and here I was thinking that there was just one way.  Well, with the passage of time comes innovation, and I have to say that since my kids were babies to now, cloth diapers have gone through a complete overhaul.  I used the plain white cloth diapers, which was all there was available.  Now with the awesome covers, Velcro (no pins!!!) and the decorated covers, it is a whole new world.  My daughter-in-law is thinking of using cloth diapers, so she will have quite a… Read more »

Jennifer David
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Jennifer David

Hi Nicole It is so good to see things going back to the good old days. lol I mean that these cloth diapers are in my opinion a lot better and kinder to baby than the so called modern types of diapers. Once you get used to folding and putting on baby it will become a breeze.  Also you will get a much better fit for baby. Not to say that the more modern types do not have there place because they do but nothing beats the cloth version. Love you images showing how to fold and use them.   Thank… Read more »

jeysatified
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jeysatified

I used to think cloth diapers were unhygienic. Now i know otherwise. It depends mostly on the momma.  Really cool uses you aligned here. Love how you carefully structured it all.

Congrats on your new delivery. I pray your bbaby grows up to be very healthy. Lot of love!

Cheers and great post.

Sharon Jey.

Steve Crozza
Guest
Steve Crozza

With my youngest being 27 it has been a while since I folded a nappy, and the one we liked best was the exact fold you like, the Origami. In fact it was the only one we ever used, and we did not even know about most of the other folds you describe apart from the Triangle fold. Once we got over this stage of our lives we used these flat fold nappies for a million purposes as well. The final stage of the nappy life was to become a rag for me when I was working in the shed… Read more »

Alicia
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Alicia

I used these with my first child, before they invented the fancy new ones.  I did find the snappis a little frustrating but they have probably improved now.  We still use them for little spills and accidents.  With my second, we just used them as burp towels (he was a spewer).  We went through 10 a day with him.  It’s great that they are so cheap and you don’t have to worry about them.  If they get stained, just throw them out, or use them in the garage as a rag.  I have to say that as a nappy they… Read more »

Shy
Guest
Shy

It’s great to know that when your baby outgrows all of those flat diapers you will still have many uses for them.  I think that using cloth diapers are better then disposable both for your budget and the environment.  I will have to keep this in mind for when my oldest daughter decides to have children, this would be a great way for her to save some money, babies are really expensive.

kingsleysbeauty
Guest
kingsleysbeauty

Hello,

I’m not a mommy, and I didn’t know there were so many ways to fold a diaper. I vaguely remember my mother using diapers with my younger sister. When she explain to me what they were, I quickly found “busy work” so I wouldn’t be asked to help LOL. 

I believe she used a folding technique similar to the angel wing fold. 

This is interesting and educational. I will be sharing this with friends and family members that are expecting a bundle of joy.

Nicki V
Guest
Nicki V

I have always wondered how they fold and pin these old school cloth diapers.  This was a really great explanation on the different ways to fold flat cloth diapers.  A good friend of mine is about to have a baby, and they are going to use cloth rather than disposable.  They’ve told me about diaper services that come and take away the diapers for you, you just have to pay a monthly fee and that covers the diapers as well.  I’ll show them your site in case they want to save a bit of money and order the flat ones … Read more »

freddie
Guest
freddie

Hey Nicole ;

This is the first time ina long time I have heard of anybody using  flat diapers.When there are so many to choose from .I did not know  this was still a choice.However its good to know that old school diapers is back in style.I do like that there are many other uses for the flat cloth diapers.Where can you buy snaps and velcro,I have a new grandbaby on the way. 

Thanks for sharing your experience.

 

Kelyee
Guest
Kelyee

The last time I saw flats was way back when late 70’s  and early 80’s when my mom used them on my younger siblings. A friend of mine use it for his newborn and loved it but when his wife went back to work she quickly relised that it was just too much work because she is a teacher and she didn’t have time to wash them fast enough. Where do you find the time? 

Vanna Denham
Guest
Vanna Denham

Hello Nicole,

I love the old fashion flat diapers.  I think they are so versatile.  You just fold them to the size you need and you’re ready to go.  I like some of the other uses you listed for the flat diapers.  The one we use the most is the burp clothe.

My granddaughter has a new baby girl and she uses the more modern reusable diaper that is already sized.  They also keep the disposable ones on hand for when they are away from home.

I wish you all the best,

V. Pearl

Henry
Guest
Henry

Thank you very much for calling our attention to this option for diapers that may have been forgotten by most of us. The benefits encourage us to start using them.

I greatly appreciate you have shared your experience concerning the different folds you have used. It gives us an idea of what to expect with each fold.

It’s also good to get acquainted with the other uses we could give to these flats. It’ll always be good to have a couple of them handy. Thank you very much!

Karin Nauber
Guest
Karin Nauber

I found your site while looking for  some ideas for a co-worker of mine who is expecting her first baby in January. She is looking for options and I think your site will provide some great insights for her! I spent the first 14 months of my life in cloth diapers and I seemed to turn out okay! I think all these disposable diapers—while convenient—are ruining our environment!

I love that you listed some other uses for the diapers.

Just a few questions: Are the cloth diapers absorbent? Do they wash out well? Are the folds hard to master?

Thank you!