Today was the third day of the Flats Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For 7 days, I have agreed to give up the conveniences of modern cloth diapers, washing machine and dryer to use flat diapers (large squares of absorbent fabric) and covers. The good news is that I’m not the only one crazy enough to do this! There are over 450 participants throughout the world!
One of the things I love about flats is how versatile they can be because of all the available ways to fold them to maximize absorbency and tailor the fit of the diaper to each particular child. I’ll admit that folding flats is something that has long intimidated me. Prefolds intimidated me for a long time as well, and now I feel like I’m a pro with the prefolds. I still have some fine-tuning to do with the flats, but to my credit, I’ve only been using them for about three weeks occasionally and full time since Monday.
The pad fold is by far the easiest way to fold a flat. I will say, that this is perhaps the most Daddy-friendly fold in my household because it is easy to leave a stack of pad-folded diapers and covers for dad to use. We will be testing this theory on Saturday when I work at Babies Bottoms and More for a few hours. I generally don’t use he pad fold because I love snappis! I have learned that I prefer to leave the Osocozy flats for the pad folding as they aren’t as roomy as the flour sack towels, Hemp Babies flats or receiving blanket. I generally don’t prefer the pad fold for a child with runny poop because I did have bad experiences with pad folded prefolds and a newborn Norah. However, now that she is older and regularly poops on the potty, the pad fold is a viable option for us at this time.
My current favorite fold is the Diaper Bag Fold. I feel that this fold is the most comfortable fold for Norah as it create a few extra layers of fabric for the snappi to hook on to. I also think it’s he easiest for me to get on her in a hurry aside from the pad fold. I like the way this fold looks and I’m not left with extra tabs that I don’t necessarily understand how to tuck under the snappi. This fold is also easy enough for my husband to use when he’s feeling up to it. I’d say we use this fold 95% of the time.
We also use a variation of the origami fold called the Happy Anteater. I like this fold because it creates a nice looking, well-fitting diaper on Norah’s small bottom. I don’t like the amount of time I feel I put into folding it. That being said, I had to iron dry some diapers this evening and will most likely iron more of the Osocozy flats into the Happy Anteater fold. I like that this fold allows the diaper and cover to fit well under more form fitting pants. I will most likely use this fold when it is colder out and Norah has to wear long pants.
For overnight, we use a Diaper Bag-folded flannel receiving blanket with a pad-folded Hemp Babies flat, stay dry liner and Tiny Tush Woolie. This solution appears to work well and has been very absorbent. Norah sleeps through the night, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that flats are a feasible option for overnight diapering.
So how did Day 3 go? Well, it was alright. I was lazy and didn’t wash diapers last night, so I had a rather large load to wash today. My arms are very tired. On a positive note, I’m reasonably certain I will have more attractive arm muscles at the end of he 7 day challenge!