When people think about cloth diapers, they often think about flats. Flats are the classic cloth diaper – the diaper your grandmother used. Nowadays, with the boom of disposable diapers and our easy on, easy off mentality, when people think of flat diapers, they often think EEK! That’s way too much work! All that folding, pinning and those ugly plastic pants.
Believe it or not, flat diapers are very easy to use! They are super easy to wash and travel friendly. Throw them in the washing machine with a little detergent and bleach, and they will come out nice clean and smelling fresh. Those ugly plastic pants are long gone. PUL (polyurethane laminate) diaper covers nowadays are cute; they come in prints or solids you choose. They come in many different configurations, with snaps or velcro closures, in one-size (around 6lbs-30lbs) or sized (s,m,l) varieties. PUL diaper covers are easy to clean. Just wipe the inside down with a little soap and water, let it dry, and it’s ready for its next diaper change.
Traveling or don’t have your own washer and dryer? Wash your flat diapers in the sink, bathtub or bucket, then hang dry. While we were on vacation in San Francisco, we did just this. I packed flats and covers. We brought a couple samples of cloth diaper detergent, washed them up in the sink, and hung them to dry over the shower in our hotel room.
Short on cash? Flat diapers are also cheap! You can flat diaper and cover your child for less than $200.00 all the way to potty training, depending on how many flats and covers you buy. A dozen flat diapers is around $18.00 and diaper covers anywhere from $10 to $17. You don’t have to buy flat diapers though. Flour sack towels are also a great option for cheap diapering. They are found in the kitchen department of your local Walmart/Target store for around $4 for 3 or 4.
Looking to be green? Flat diapering is recycling at its best. Any old t-shirt can easily be made into a flat diaper with no sewing required. Cut your t-shirt into a 27×27 square for a small flat or a 29×29 square for a large flat. No old t-shirts? Use what you have on hand to cover baby’s bottom. Cut down old sheets or receiving blankets. After baby is potty trained, flat diapers make excellent dish cloths and duster!
How do you get that large square around baby? Easy. You have the option of a number of folds — origami, bikini, twist. Once you fasten it around baby, secure it with a snapi or diaper pins, and place a cover over it. Don’t want to fancy fold? No problem! Fold your flat into quarters, then fold the sides, place it in your diaper cover, then put it around baby. Easy as that!
Flats are classic diapering at its best. Don’t run away scared. You will be surprised at how easy it is!
- Dawn Marmorstein, RDA Volunteer