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What Is A Flat?

flat cloth diaper

What Is A Flat Style Cloth Diaper?

Flat cloth diapers are what you might associate with how your grandmother cloth diapered.  They are the simplest version of a diaper; a large, usually square, single layer piece of fabric that you fold into shape before placing on baby. 

Traditionally a flat may have been secured on baby with diaper pins, but now we have Snappis for that. 

Flats are most often made from natural fabrics. You will often find them made of cotton, but you can also find hemp blends and bamboo too. If you hear the term 'Flour Sack Towel' those are a form of flats are well. 

To make a flat diaper waterproof you put a diaper cover on top and away you go. 

Sometimes new parents shy away from flats because the different ways of folding (of which there are many) can seem intimidating.  But they are really a very economical and absorbent way to diaper a baby and because there are so many versatile ways of folding them you can always find a way that fits any size of baby.  

When it's time to change baby, remove the diaper, dump any solids into the toilet and store the flat diaper in a wet bag until wash day.  Reuse the cover with a fresh flat diaper if it isn't soiled. 

Generally speaking, similar to prefolds and AI2 diapers where you can re-use the diaper cover until it's soiled you'll want about a 3:1 ratio.  So 3 flats to every 1 diaper cover. Flats wash and dry very easily and are a good option if you are in a hand-washing situation without access to a washing machine or if you are using a manual washing machine.

 PROS of Flat Diapers
- Least prone to washing problems, odour or detergent buildup.  Wash and dry very easily with any method of washing.
- Very economical
- Multiple ways to fold to always fit the size of your baby

CONS of Flat Diapers
- There is a bit of a learning curve and some practice to get the right fit. 
- Requires a cover on top and sometimes a Snappi or diaper pins to hold it together with some folds. 
- They may not work overnight for all babies without an additional insert or booster folded within it.   

Flat cloth diapers we stock here at Cloth Diaper Kids:
Thirsties Organic Cotton Flats
Kanga Care Flats

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