Flat diapers are what most people would consider "old-school" diapers. They are probably what your grandmothers and great-grandmothers used for diapering their babies.
What is a flat diaper?
Flat diapers are large, single layer pieces of fabric in a square or rectangular shape. They need to be folded to fit onto your baby and secured with either diaper pins, Snappis, or Boingos. Flat diapers do require the use of a diaper cover. I like to equate the size of a flat diaper to the size of swaddling blanket. Flats are generally made of cotton, but they can also be made of other absorbent materials, such as hemp.
There are various ways to fold a flat diaper. The easiest is a simple pad fold. With this fold, you can just lay the flat in the cover and there's no need to secure with pins or a Snappi.
My favorite fold is the anteater fold! I love the way this fold fits on my son.
Note: If you stop at step 7, you've created the origami fold!
There are a lot of great fold tutorials available on YouTube. It can be a lot of fun spending an afternoon teaching yourself the various folds.
Cost - Very inexpensive! Each diaper cost less than $2 a piece!
Easy to care for - With cotton flats you can use them pretty much however you want! They are less likely to have build-up from detergents or diaper creams.
Absorbency - You can adjust the absorbency by the way your fold your diaper.
Availability - If you can't afford to buy flat diapers or get your hands on any in a pinch, you can make your own flat diapers from cut up towels, sheets, t-shirts, just about anything!
Learning Curve - it can be intimidating to learn new folds.
Time to change a diaper - With a super wiggly baby, intricate folds can be difficult. This is when I recommend the pad fold!
I love the flat diapers in my stash. Here's a list of some of my favorites:
Hemp Babies Flats
Flip Package $66.67
I also really love these flat packages put together by Kelly's Closet!
Flip Package $66.67
Earlier this year I participated in the Flats Challenge! For a whole week, I used nothing but flat diapers and hand washed them! You can read about my week here.
Have you tried flat diapers? Are you intimidated by them? They really are a great, economical way to diaper your baby!