One of the cloth diaper pages I follow on Facebook recently asked about using flat fold cloth diapers with pins, and pull-on rubber pants. While I am relatively new to the world of flat diapers (nothing like waiting until baby #6 to try out the most basic of systems), I was a regular user of the pull-on vinyl and nylon taffeta covers when my now teens were in diapers. We just used them over prefolds or fitteds back then.
Flat diapers can be extremely intimidating for someone new to cloth diapers. You mean I’m supposed to fold this gigantic piece of fabric, that is big enough to be a blanket, into a tiny diaper for my baby, and then PIN IT!? Honestly, they are super easy to use – just check YouTube and you will see videos of toddlers and young children mimicking their mommies and folding blankets and tea towels into flat diapers for their baby dolls.
Flat diapers are a cheap, affordable, and easy to find diaper. It is an ideal choice if you are struggling with a small budget and a new baby. They are versatile and easily grow with your baby from newborn to potty training. You don’t have to special order anything online – your diapering supplies are as accessible as your nearest WalMart or other mega-store.
What do you need?
- a baby (the baby shown is 26months and 29lbs)
- large square pieces of fabric to use as flat diapers (flat diapers, birdseye flat diapers, flour sack kitchen cloths, burp cloths, receiving blankets)
- something to fasten your diaper with – diaper pins, snappi
- a diaper cover (vinyl pull on pants can usually be found in larger sizes next to the padded potty training underwear. the smaller sizes are harder to find in stores these days and you may need to order online.)
These are the Flour Sack kitchen cloths available at Walmart. They are in the kitchen supplies area where you would find all your regular dish towels. For a 5pack, you are looking at a cost of under $5.
You might find Gerber flat diapers while you’re at Walmart. Don’t buy them. Go ahead and pull a diaper out of the corner of that package and see how thin and see-through it is compared to the flour-sack towels. The towels are thicker, more absorbent, and way more durable… and they’re actually cheaper.
- Gerber 10 pack Flat Fold Birdseye Cloth diaper: $14.29 (link: Gerber)
- MainStay 5 pack Flour Sack Kitchen Towels : $4.88 (prices vary by store: Flour Sack)
There are tons of different ways to fold flat diapers. One of my favorite folds is the origami diaper fold.
This is the origami fold, fastened with a snappi.
This gives a super trim fit. (Shown under a http://www.Mudshrimps.com cover)
If you don’t have a snappi, pins work just as well. Make sure to use DIAPER PINS and not just safety pins – diaper pins have a special locking head that helps keep little fingers safe. There are different styles of diaper pins – some even have a special locking head that clicks up and down for added security.
This “flat diaper” is actually a burp cloth from Ikea. They come in a 2 pack for $3.99 and make very nice, soft, quilty flat diapers. (Ikea burp cloths, Vandring)
While the pull-on style diaper covers may give the baby’s bottom a “poofy” appearance, this is still a very trim fitting diaper.
If you get bored with plain white diapers, you can tie-dye them. (Tie-dyed flour sack flat diaper from Happy Yia Yia Tie Dye).
Try some different folds out and see what fit you like the best on your diaper. This is a diaper sack fold:
If you prefer to buy your diapers online, this is an Osocozy unbleached birdseye flat. This diaper is pinned using the kite fold. (I didn’t buy this flat online though – I am lucky enough to have a local cloth diapering store – The Tender Tush.)
- Origami fold (demonstrated by a five year old): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2cgzRbPKro
- Diaper bag fold: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2Q7BEh_4Ow
- Kite fold: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyDOya48WIc
Version 7.0 has arrived, and flats quickly climbed my list to become one of my favorite diapers for her!
She was a tiny 6lb 4oz at birth, but the mini kite fold was a perfect fit on her, even in the hospital. Favorite covers include Thirsties Duos size 1, and Rumparooz NB.