Post may contain affiliate links. Your grandma’s cloth diapers are making a comeback, the flat cloth diaper! Regardless of how intemidating and outdated flat cloth diapers may seem, there is no denying they are easy to care for, versatile, and affordable. In this post I will show you everything you ever wanted to know about the flat and why you may want to give them a second look! 

About Flat Cloth Diapers

Flat cloth diapers are typically made from cotton, hemp, bamboo, or a combination. They are simple flat sheets of material, yet deemed as one of the most complicated diapers to use. There are a lot of different ways that you can fold a flat, some are super simple (borderline lazy) and some require skills in the ancient art of origami, hence the origami fold. Flats will need to be secured by a Snappi, Boingo, or a diaper pin and you will need a waterproof cover to go over them. There are a variety of flat diapers that you can choose from ranging in size, softness, material, and price. Flats are one of the most affordable cloth diapering systems, they will normally fit from birth to potty, and will last through multiple children. You can buy a dozen flats for around 12 -30 dollars and they are easiest cloth diapers to wash. You can even use flour sack towels which cost about a buck a piece at the store, or you can use your old receiving blankets that are lying around the house and taking up precious space.

More Deets On Flat Diapers

Flat cloth diapers are usually made of 100% birdseye cotton, but some are a blend of 55% hemp or bamboo and 45% organic cotton. Some flats are large and square and some are more of a rectangle. You can sometimes purchase them in different sizes but the average flat will measure roughly 27″x 27″ or 70cm x 70cm after they have been pre-washed. Sometimes the dimensions are listed before pre-washing, but be aware that birdseye cotton and hemp both shrink considerably! I mentioned earlier that you can use flower sack towels, receiving blankets, and even t-shirts as flats but the higher quality cotton, hemp, and bamboo flats will be more absorbent and durable options. Just keep that in mind before you cut up all of your husbands’ ugly t-shirts that you hate in order to save a buck or two…

Why Flats?

There is definitely a learning curve to using flat cloth diapers but it’s a challenge I have willingly accepted. Yes, I will admit I rarely do any of the fancy folds but I do use flats every day. You may be asking yourself why anyone would take the trouble to use flats when you can buy diapers that are pretty much, slap-on and go (aka All-In-Ones). Well before you snub your nose at these simple sheets of fabric, let me school you on why your grandmas’ flats may be a better *fit for you.  When you are expecting a baby, you have no idea what shape or size that baby will be when he or she comes. They could have super chubby thighs and a small waist or the opposite. Flats are guaranteed to fit because you can custom fold them to the shape of your child whereas other (more advanced) diapers are already cut and sized. Also, once you learn all of the fancy schmancy flat folds, you can make videos showing off your ninja folding skills like I do. 😛

Flat Cloth Diapers
I secured this organic bamboo / cotton flat using a Boingo fastener. 
Flat Cloth Diapers
Here I secured my diaper flat using a Snappi fastener. 
If your flats start to get a little on the small side, you can even fold them up and stuff them in your pocket diapers as inserts. We have already discussed how affordable flat cloth diapers are but they are also the easiest cloth diapers to wash out of all cloth diapers. The natural fibers don’t cling onto smells like other materials do. They are a no-fuss diaper when it comes to washing and you can bleach them every now and then without panicking that you ruined them. If your washing machine breaks down or you simply don’t own one, flats are the BEST cloth diapers for handwashing. You are not dealing with layers and layers of thick fabric to scrub clean, it’s a thin sheet of material. Flats are not only the easiest diapers to wash but they are also the fastest drying cloth diapers! You can cut down on energy by just hang drying them for a few hours. You also never know when a zombie apocalypse will strike and you need to be on the move. here is a great video my husband and I did for a campaign called Plan C for the CLOTH ALLIANCE last fall. We were trying to bring awareness of cloth diapering for emergency situations.
Click the image above to play the video.

Want to learn how to handwash your flats? Here is another little video my husband and I did for the Cloth Alliance (Plan C campaign) that will show you how to build an emergency bucket washer and wash your cloth diapers!

The Disadvantages Of Flat Diapers

Some of the disadvantages of flat cloth diapers are a bit obvious like you will need to purchase additional covers and SNAPPIS, BOINGO’S, or diaper pins to secure them. They can be intimidating to start out with and not the best type of cloth diapers to leave for babysitters to use. You will also need to spend time folding them after every wash unless you are lazy like me and stick with the pad fold most of the time. Honestly, I don’t have a lot of complaints to list about this type of diaper and I am starting to like flats even more after writing this post! 🙂 I want to show you how to fold your flat cloth diapers so I will be making a video in the near future about just that. Stay tuned Nesties!  

Check out my affiliate link image if you are interested in trying out flat cloth diapers!

Flat Cloth Diapers
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