Posted by: Amanda | May 24, 2012

Flats Challenge 2012: How We Use Our Flats

For the challenge, we are padfolding all of out flats, all of the time and just laying them in a cover. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s our go-to fold for flats.

Flats are, however, our daily diaper, so I’d like to write a bit about how we have used our flats over the past year.

  • Padfolded in a cover: The padfold is the flat equivalent of trifolding a prefold diaper. It’s not as good at containing messes as folds that require a closure, but it functions similarly to popular all-in-two systems when paired with a cover.
  • Assorted folds that require a closure: I liked using other folds when our son was younger in order to go coverless, place extra absorbency where he needed it, and to contain bowel movements within the diaper rather than getting the cover dirty. I used the kite fold and the diaperbag fold most often along with a snappi.
  • Pocket Diaper Insert: When away from home for an extended period of time, we used pocket diapers for their ease of use on-the-go and their stay-dry lining. The inserts that most pocket diapers come with were difficult to clean in our extremely hard water, but stuffing our pocket diapers with flats allows us to use our pocket diapers and avoid stinky inserts.
  • Overnight: Overnight, I stuff our pocket diapers with two flats. Our son feels dry and I do not have any designated “night diapers” that give us worse-than-normal ammonia problems. We started using flats when our son was nineteen months old, so he was past the super-heavy wetting stage, but if we have another baby, I’ll be investing in some (much pricier) hemp flats for overnight use.
  • In Flip Trainers: We do have the organic cotton Flip training pants inserts, but we have had pretty good luck using flats in these trainers as well. Since my flats do not have a way of being secured within the trainer, they are more likely to shift around a bit than the intended inserts, but we haven’t encountered leaks. I’ll be using our flats in a Flip trainer during the Flats and Handwashing Challenge while we are away from home all day on Saturday.

Finally, you may be wondering why we decided to switch to flat cloth diapers, when there are so many other options out there? The answer: It’s actually easier for us. We have hard water, and the minerals cause buildup and ammonia to form over time. I have found that flat diapers, being only one layer, are more resistant to this problem, and the problem has been relatively easy to solve when it does come up. Sure, I spend a few extra seconds per day folding the flats, but it is well worth the time and cost savings involved in having a simple wash routine.

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Versatile flats. A Flip trainer, BumGenius pocket diaper, and Flip cover, all with a single pad-folded flat.

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