Mini Pad Fold (a Newborn Flat Diaper Fold)

There’s a first time for everything and for me that includes trying out flat diapers on my newborn son, Erik. In November I posted a quick tutorial about how to do the easy “pad fold.” It takes a mere 10 or 20 seconds and is very simple. Here’s the photo again for a basic pad fold. I use this easy fold for my older babies:

I quickly discovered that I could not use the pad fold for Erik, however. It renders a rectangle-shaped diaper that’s too long to fit in his newborn covers. And when I tried to fold the top down there was way too much bulk, and it caused the waistband to gape open.

I did a little Googling and got a bit intimidated by tutorials for the “trapezoid,” the “origami” and the “mini kite” for newborns. I just wanted something similar to my pad fold that did NOT require pinning and that could be laid in a cover. And so because there’s no right or wrong way to fold a flat….I just figured out my own quick and easy way to fit it in our tiny covers without creating too much bulk in the front or back. I dubbed it the “mini pad fold.” Here’s the rundown:

I’m holding up the diaper so you can see that this method creates the same number of folds at the front and back, so you don’t get a lot of bulk at one end and not the other.

And here’s Erik sporting a flat inside a Bummis Super Brite newborn cover:

Erik in a Thirsties Duo Wrap – this cover is roomier in the rear, so it easily accommodates bulkier diapers, which is great if using fitteds or when adding a doubler to your flat.

thirstiesduowrap

Note: you can read more newborn diaper cover reviews here.

Flats are amazingly absorbent for newborns because there are so many layers of thirsty cotton fabric. And the unbleached flats are so soft they might surprise you. I like them better than thick prefolds! Other perks: flats are just a big square piece of cotton so they wash and dry better than any other diaper in our stash. And I’m using the same flats for Erik that I am for Samuel and Susanna – just with different folds. Later on, they work great as burp cloths or doublers. Flats also have a good re-sale value on diaper swap sites like Cloth Diaper Trader or Diaperswappers.

The softest flat diapers I’ve found (that are within budget) are the unbleached birdseye flats at Diaper Junction; it’s their exclusive Diaper Rite brand. It’s important to choose the unbleached diapers, which are a natural color. The white ones are not as soft and smooth.

Hope you have fun with flats! 

 

 

 

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  1. We do not have children, but we have animals. I’m also studying to become a master herbalist. Where can I find just regular organic diapers? It’s recommended for poultices (animals and humans) and also having on hand to dry off newborn goat kids..or just old towels. I like the idea of cotton diapers designated for animals that you can wash. Any ideas of where I can get these without breaking the bank? I saw your post about diapers…but most were contoured for human babies. I just want the flat kind that can be washed over and over again with many uses:) Thanks!

    Chaparral Hill Farms
    -Heather

    • I would reccommend using flour sack towels in the kitchen section of walmart/target. they are just like diapers marketed as flats but cheap and work just as well if not better in some cases. i have about 25 in my collection that i love love love. they are also highly reccomended by many cloth diapering mothers and since they are less than $1 a piece they are cheap!

  2. We do not have children, but we have animals. I’m also studying to become a master herbalist. Where can I find just regular organic diapers? It’s recommended for poultices (animals and humans) and also having on hand to dry off newborn goat kids..or just old towels. I like the idea of cotton diapers designated for animals that you can wash. Any ideas of where I can get these without breaking the bank? I saw your post about diapers…but most were contoured for human babies. I just want the flat kind that can be washed over and over again with many uses:) Thanks!

    Chaparral Hill Farms
    -Heather

  3. How are they working to contain newborn poo-splosions? I purchased the flip/flat set you mentioned above since I’d never tried either Flip covers or Flat diapers. I’m glad I tried them. They’re not my favorite but they definitely work. I do love how they come out of the wash so clean and no stains. I also bought some four sack towels and some flats from Buy Buy Baby. Both are bleached and I just don’t like them as much as the OsoCozy unbleached. They’re not as absorbent and the four sack towels are not nearly as soft.

    As my baby girl grew and I had to start up-sizing my multiple sized diaper covers I had a hard time making the flats fit but after thinking about it for a bit I simply folded them asymmetrically and now they work just fine once again. 🙂

    Thanks for the information. It’s highly unlikely I’ll have more babies (even though I’d like to, I don’t think I can handle more c-sections) but if I ever do I’ll keep this in mind.

    • Julie, I definitely agree that although flour sack towels are certainly a bargain, they just aren’t as soft. And I LOVE soft, especially for a newborn! I like how you found a new fold as your baby girl grew – flats are so versatile, aren’t they? Thanks for commenting! ~Anne

  4. What is the diaper cover in the pictures where you demonstrate the fold? I’m looking for a newborn cover with a fleece inner… Thank you!

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  9. Thank you for this tutorial, my daughter is having her first baby and she wants to try flats and prefolds.