Flat Diapers…No Pins Necessary!

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I have been reading about the ease and simplicity of flats and it got me itching for a trial run. I wasn’t sure my interest would last if I ordered them online and had to wait days for them to arrive (that’s my diaper ADD).

So I hopped in the car and drove to Target. Someone had mentioned that Target carried Organic Flats and prefolds. When I got there I only saw Organic prefolds and regular flats. I didn’t need any prefolds, especially not gerber ones. They have a polyester batting as the “absorbent” middle. Horrible.

Before I go any further, let me define what a flat is. A flat is a square, single layer of cotton. Basically, think of what your grandma used to use as a cloth diaper. They can be fastened with pins or a snappi. At Target the price for a dozen is $10.29.

I grabbed the 100% cotton flats and off I went. Thankfully I have a couple of Snappis because I have zero interest in pinning! Flats are stiff when you first purchase them but after a few washings they soften up. I tossed them in the wash and thus began my experimenting. I had never used a flat before but I figure it can’t be that hard. Once I got it on my wiggly 16 month old I am beaming with pride.

Making a diaper can be somewhat challenging for those of us that are sewing-machine challenged. However, there is something about putting a flat on your baby that makes you feel like you actually made a diaper.

I attempted to do a sort of angel fold with one flat and used another flat folded together as a doubler.

Can you say TRIM?? I am so impressed! Not only are flats extremely trim but they are suprisingly absorbent. In the soaker area there are 10 layers of material. I usually just let my daughter walk around cover-less. When she is damp, I change her.

Flats are a great choice for me right now because I am really focused on changing my daughter more frequently. It may be easier to let her go a few hours in a Clover or a Baby Beehind diaper due to their extreme absorbency. But for the health of her skin, removing the moisture as soon as possible is a current goal for me.

Plus, having flats available insures that I’m never without a diaper. When the others are in the wash, I can reach for a flat.

Here is a picture of my daughter in a Gerber flat from Target with a red snappi (This picture is from the first time I used a flat. I have gotten a bit better at folding a flat but I look forward to learning specific folds.):


About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at https://www.facebook.com/beautifullyblessedlashes.

View all posts by Autumn Beck

21 Responses to “Flat Diapers…No Pins Necessary!”

  1. LaNita Says:

    Flats are working very well for us. I use birdseye flats and fold them into a triangle witha built in doubler using the flat. I cover them with thirsties duo wrap! Never one leak even after a a 5 hour flight! This is most cost effective diapering option out there and work perfect! Only extra work I do is fold the diapers after I was. And NO diaper rash!!


  2. Mandy Says:

    I have a simple folding technique here;


    I’m so glad you’re “spreading the love” about flats…I adore them!


  3. Patricia Says:

    I just started using flat gerbers in my gDiapers and I LOVE them… they turn out to be 8 layers thick but are VERY trim… and I place a microfleece liner over them to clean the messes easier and to wick the wetness away… I have NOT had a leak yet even after a 4 hour nap…. I must confess I have not tried them overnight but I am willing to bet they would be fine as long as I added a doubler (like a Kushies 3 layer flannel liner) under the microfleece…. I love them because they wash well (meaning I don’t get those finky smells because detergent does NOT get trapped in them and they dry super quickly either in the dryer or on the line… I am sooooo happy to have found a much more inexpensive insert for my gDiapers…. (really who wants to pay $29.99 for 6, ya I said 6, cloth inserts) I’ll take a dozen for $10 any day!!!! LOL


  4. Jessica Says:

    I just wanted to let you know that gerber has different prefold available and some are like you said with polyester and some are 100% cotton. I discovered this. I know our target has 100% cotton ones, our walmart has the polyester ones. So you just have to read the labels.


  5. Mel Says:

    We have flats and I am kinda giving up on them too, for now anyway. We also have to hang to dry. My boy soaks these things right away :( maybe that’s b/c he’s still little though. He’s only 3 & 1/2 months old and I left him diaperless b/c he got a rash after being in a flat too long. Maybe they’ll work better for us when he’s older and not peeing so much anymore. :) I am going to try adding a doubler though.


  6. Autumn Beck Says:

    They don’t really get more absorbent. I usually fold one up to use as a doubler in the middle of one and snappi it on. You have to change after every pee but as far as line drying goes, flats are the BEST option. I would suggest getting some bamboo doublers or even just bamboo fabric and folding it like a doubler. Bamboo is thin yet absorbent.


  7. Rochelle Says:

    I’m wondering, after you washed and dried your Gerber Flats, did they shrink and puff up at all? I’ve moved to India and gave birth to my daughter here, and 99.9% of people don’t have clothes dryers. A couple of my friends heard about the terrible cloth diapers available in this area (one layer of thin cotton, triangular shaped) and sent me a package of Gerber flats. We don’t have a washing machine yet, so I hand-washed them and tried to pin them on (not knowing I could use a Snappi) and gave up on them. They don’t look like they can absorb anything–I can see right through them! So right away I gave up on them. Do you think they’d still absorb well without any “prepping” in a dryer?

    And speaking of no clothes dryers, it would be great if you did a post on line-drying diapers. I’ve read of other moms who line-dry their diapers. The monsoon has arrived to India, so it’s very humid, and I’m hanging my Chinese prefolds in our air-conditioned room to try and dry them. They won’t dry outside.

    Thanks for the great website! Great information!



  8. yanira Says:

    my favorite flats are from googiebaby at hyena cart. She makes the bamboo velour. love them!!


  9. Diane Says:

    I try your sugestion since a couple of week

    – “I usually just let my daughter walk around cover-less. When she is damp, I change her.” …

    … and my daughter ask me to change her diapers when she feel the wetness of her diapers …



  10. Summer Says:

    Flats and snappis are all I use, mostly because I’m cheap. But also because I’m lazy, just fold them on and hook with the snappi. So easy!


  11. Jenny Says:

    Thanks for submitting your post to the Mommy Blog Carnival. I’ve included it in the next edition on May 15th hosted at my own site The So Called Me. Be sure to stop by and see what other participants are talking about! :) Have an awesome day!


  12. JHS Says:

    Thanks for participating in this week’s Carnival of Family Life hosted at Vanilla Joy. The Carnival will be live tomorrow, Monday, April 21, 2008, so stop by and check out all of the other wonderful submissions!


  13. Diane Says:

    Good idea Autumn, I will try to use flat diapers without nylon pants like you … and I will put more soaker in the diapers ( 10 layers must be good ) anyway, Curity stretch are so soft and absorbant and realy make good trim around the legs and waist … I will let you know about my new experience …


  14. Diane Says:

    Hi …
    We were using flat diapers, plastics pants and diapers pins with our 24 month old daugther and never had diapers rash problem since. We found two dozens of brand new Curity Stretch who are realy realy good diapers. They are soft and absorbant.


  15. Heidi Says:

    Your right about vinyl…not my favorite, but for a little over $2 great for trail and error = )

    What do you think about nylon covers? I did some research and haven’t found anything to suggest they are harmful. I also noticed that granitesmith has them in their ebay store for a great price.

    Thanks so much for answering all my questions! Its so much easier to come here than spend hours searching the forums. I’m able to use your info to help encourage my friends to cd = ) I even have one borrowing my newborn things right now!


  16. Autumn Beck Says:

    With a bit of sewing you can make some great covers to go over flats. There are free patterns online for making fleece soakers and recycled wool longies. Very easy and much much healthier for your baby than vinyl pants (I do own some for those times when I’m in a pinch).


  17. Heidi Says:

    Ok, so after I thought about this for a while I realized that I have lots of flats…I’ve just been using them for spit rags. Duh! I really wanted to give these a try and don’t have any snappis so I ran to my Target. I actually found the organic flats and grabbed a pack of those along with a few pins and vinyl covers. I just put some on Josh and can’t wait to see how they work!

    Thanks for posting about this!


  18. Heidi Says:

    Hmmm, interesting. I see these at the store all the time and have been tempted to grab a bag. You can’t really beat the price…

    So you don’t put any kind of waterproof cover on?


  19. Melisa Carter Says:

    These past 2 posts of yours, Autumn, have been right in time! I LOVE my All in Ones and Pockets, but my friend Jenn made me the cutest fitted diaper for Jordan, and I am in a phase. After selling a lot of my covers recently, I am in the market.

    Flats… interesting. Fun to go back to the basics sometimes. I’ve seen these at Target and wondered, but I saw Gerber and shuddered in fear! :-)

    Funny how I go through CD phases!



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