I never thought I would use a “flat” diaper. A “flat” is basically the diaper our grandparents would have used: one-layer large pieces of cotton (or other fabrics, I suppose, but usually cotton) that you fold into the proper shape and wrap around your baby’s bum.
It sounds really difficult. Most people are of the mindset that it was terrible, with plastic pants and tying and wrapping and all kinds of annoying steps. I’m sure the plastic pants really were terrible, actually. I tried a pair on Noah once and I immediately relegated it to the back of my stash before I gave it away. (The potty training ones melted in my dryer…oops.)
Well I’m here to tell you, it’s not! You see, I completely procrastinated on diaper laundry. I have enough diapers to get Liv through 3 days, really, because of prefolds and a few spare fitteds, but she pooped a TON the last couple of days which meant I changed the covers more often (I will not re-use them after a poop) and we went through all 12 covers! I also needed to re-wash all of our prefolds because we’re having some stink issues. I apparently didn’t know Houston had hard water. Go me. (Hard water vs soft water can mean you need to change up your wash routine a little bit to accommodate either type.)
Anyway! So I’m out of diapers, I’ve used all of the spare fitteds, Liv has had naked time and the diapers aren’t quite done. I’ve read online that you can use a receiving blanket as a flat and I don’t mind her being coverless because I have a waterproof mat to lay her on. Actually, it sounds pretty cool considering the hot weather. So I grabbed one of the softest receiving blankets we have, used an origami fold and then tied the front. (You can use a Snappi, Boingos or pins, too, but I didn’t want to use a Snappi on this blanket and tying worked fine since I wasn’t putting a cover on and wasn’t worried about “trimness”.)
It worked beautifully. There is nothing on my baby’s bum but super soft cotton and she went right to sleep. I know it will be reasonably absorbent for an hour while the diapers finish drying and it’s kind of adorable.
If I’m not careful, I might end up converting. Uh oh. ;)
PS: An added benefit to flats would be the laundry routine. They are easy to wash since there are no layers for build up. (Including hand washing, which is why there is an annual challenge!) They are also fast to dry for the same reason and they are probably more forgiving with detergents and water types because they are just one-layer pieces of cloth. They’re also typically “one size fits all” unless you have a very very small baby (and even then) or a very big toddler. There are all kinds of folds you can do, including just folding it over a few times and sliding it into a cover just like you would when trifolding a prefold. There are so many options that you can almost never get bored.
The only downside I’ve really heard is that some people abhor folding laundry, which I do understand. (One tip is to fold them in advance – pre-fold, hah! – and leave them stacked by your changing table.)