I have spent the past 3 years trying out diapers, and let me tell you… I’ve tried them all! I’ve tried fancy pocket diapers, fancy fitted diapers with wool, and all kinds of expensive diapers. And finally, after 2.5 years of cloth-diapering, I found a new love. And it came in the most inexpensive package possible- cotton flats! These little buggers cost under $2 each, yet they are one of my favorite diapers of all time! I “discovered” these diapers about 7 months ago, and let me tell you, I am now a flats convert or flats fanatic.
First, let’s talk about versatility. Cotton flats are seriously a multi-use diaper. If you have stinky microfiber in your pocket diapers, replace them with folded cotton flats. If you want natural cotton against your baby’s skin and want to do diapers the “old-fashioned” way, fold the diapers on your baby using the “kite fold” or the “origami fold” (you can see videos of these on YouTube) and use pins or a Snappi to hold them on- there is no diaper out there that is trimmer! And if you use covers, and want a simple insert to lay in them, pad-fold a flat and lay it in the cover and you’re good-to-go!
Now the real benefits to flats. These large, square pieces of fabric look like a tablecloth coming out of the package. When I first saw them, I thought, “Huh?” They certainly don’t have the “wow” or cuteness factor that some diapers have. So why do they rock? Well, because if you’ve dealt with microfiber stink, or ammonia problems, or other stink issues, you know that they’re frustrating to deal with. Flats are a single layer of fabric- there’s nowhere for ammonia salts or other “gunk” to get stuck. There’s nowhere for buildup to form. They just clean super well! And, because they are so thin, they also dry SUPER fast. Twenty minutes in the dryer is all it takes to get them dry. And if you prefer to line-dry, they dry overnight easily, or within a couple of hours outside!
I use flats in all of my pocket diapers- I’ve replaced all of my microfiber inserts. I do a “pad fold” in this way: First, fold the flat in half one direction, then in half the other direction, then in thirds. Now the flat is roughly the same shape as a microfiber insert. People ask me if the flat is more bulky than a microfiber insert, so here’s a side-by-side comparison. On the top picture of this blog post, you have a bumGenius 4.0 pocket with a microfiber insert (diaper on right). On the left, you have the same pocket with a pad-folded flat inside. The bulk is almost identical- pretty trim! But the benefit to the flat is that my kids can only go 30 minutes in a diaper with a single microfiber insert, but they can go 2 hours in a pocket with a flat! Not only that, but compression leaks are much less common with flats than with microfiber- they hold onto the pee and don’t let go!
I also use flats in my covers. I pad fold again, but I will do tight or loose thirds in the final step, depending on how wide the cover is. The pad flat fits PERFECTLY in a GroVia shell, and this is one of my favorite diapering options. You can see that on the left in this picture. On the right is a pad fold with looser thirds to fit in a Flip cover. It works great in both! And in this picture, you can see the trimness of the flats/covers.
I have so much to say about flats that I’m going to be talking about them all month! Stay tuned for the second installment of “How Flats ROCK!”
From blog contributor, Stacy:Stacy is a stay-at-home mom to four kids ranging in age from 1 to 8. She has been cloth-diapering for almost 3 years and is a self-proclaimed “diaper addict”. She loves trying new diapers and discussing all things diaper-related. She’s also striving to live more “greenly” in her home and loves finding new ways to do so. Disclosure: The blog contributor was compensated monetarily for writing this post. The review is honest and written from the blog contributor’s view point.