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.
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!