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Old 01-28-2013, 09:05 AM   #11
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We LOVE flats and use Flips and Diaper Safari covers over them. We have diaper rite larges and flour sack towels. The FST are my favorite for daytime. They are so TRIM.

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She's in her correct size onesie. No sizing up

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Old 01-28-2013, 09:08 AM   #12
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Re: School me on Flats... Blank slate!!

Love, love, love flats especially on newborns. I have 4 dozen flats. Smaller sized ones like Diaper Rite and Osocozy are wonderful on newborns. I use the mini-kite fold. Then after that they are great for padfolding in a cover or a pocket. My DD wore the same ones from birth to PLing. Larger sized ones like Diaper Rite and GMD large are great for an older infant all the way up to PLing, still prefer the kite fold. I love Nikky covers, Dappi and wool over flats.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:42 PM   #13
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Re: School me on Flats... Blank slate!!

Wow!!! Wonderful information! I'm definitely archiving this for future reference. Thank you SO much!!!
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:07 PM   #14
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Re: School me on Flats... Blank slate!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by supermomof2 View Post
^ This lol. Definitely.

Flips and Thirsties covers will definitely work with flats. In fact, a Flip is my favorite cover to use with my flats when I'm padfolding (folding the flat into squares, then into thirds to create a "pad" that you just lay in the cover). If you're wanting to try folding (kite fold, origami fold, etc.) and pinning/snappiing, you might find that you'll want a cover that provides a little more coverage than the flip. My Flips *can* work for this, but because they're so trim I found that I was having to shove and push the edges of the flats inside the cover too much, which got annoying after a while. The Thirsties are a little fuller than the flip, so they would probably work well for that (I can't say for sure because I've never used Thirsties with flats); two other covers that I absolutely love that provide the fuller coverage are the blueberry coveralls and swaddlebees capris.

Common flats that are out there include

1. Green Mountain Diaper (GMD) flats (only sold by GMD) = considered by many to be *the* best there is when it comes to flats, they are all-cotton birdseye flats that come in two different sizes -- small (which shrinks down to about 27x27) and large (which shrinks down to about 30x30), cost about $2.00-$3.00/flat, depending on size and how many you get

2. Diaper Rite (DR) flats (from Diaper Junction) = these are also considered to be really good by a lot of mamas, they're also an all-cotton birdseye flat that comes in two sizes, too -- small (which seems to shrink down to about 24x25) and large (which seems to shrink down to about 26x29) Cost about $2.00/flat, depending which size and how many you get

3. Osocozy flats (sold a lot of different places) = all-cotton flat, I've never used these, but I've heard good things about them. One important thing to note is that these do seem to shrink up to be pretty small (I don't have exact dimensions, but I *think* I've heard they can be as small as 23x23?), so if you're planning on using flats on a larger or older baby, these might not work as well. Cost about $1.75-2.00/flat depending on the type and how many you get

4. Imagine cotton flats (from Nicki's Diapers) = all-cotton flat that comes in organic cotton, as well as unbleached and bleached, same thing as the osocozy flats -- I've never used them, but I've heard they shrink up pretty small, so they might not work very well for larger/older babies. Cost about $1.50-$2.00/flat

5. Imagine bamboo flats = These just came out recently, they're a birdseye flat made from bamboo and organic cotton, so are a bit softer than all-cotton flats, they seem to shrink up to be about 27x30, the bamboo makes them very absorbent, right now I'm loving using them for night time with my LO, cost about $4.00-4.50/flat (*Swaddlebees also has a bamboo flat that they came out with recently, it has serged edges

6. Flour Sack Towel (FST) flats = these are just all-cotton flour sack towels that you can get extremely inexpensively at Walmart, Target, or Ikea, look for them in the kitchen towel section, they vary in size depending where you get them from, mine from WM seem to measure about 25x27 after a lot of washings, these are great if you're on a really tight budget or just want to try flats out to see if you like them, they don't seem to be as absorbent as the ^ birdseye flats, seem to cost about $1/flat on average

7. Receiving Blanket (RB) flats = these are just all-cotton receiving blankets, (you know, the ones you have a bunch of laying around from baby showers, etc. lol), these also vary a lot in size, a lot of mamas love them because they are absorbent and generally have serged edges which makes them lay flatter (all the ^flats have t&t edges), they're also great if you're on a tight budget or just wanting to try flats out, if you don't have any at home you can often find them really cheap at thrift store or clearanced at Walmart or Target, cost varies a lot but is on average free-$1.50/flat

8. Specialty flats = these can get very expensive (like a lot of cloth diapering, lol), specialty fabrics like hemp, bamboo velour, bamboo terry, etc. Just off the top of my head some of these are Orange Diaper Co bamboo terry squares, Zabi Baby bamboo flats, Hemp Baby hemp flats, etc. Cost varies a lot = between $5.00-$12.00/flat, I think?

The beauty of flats (at least for me) is how versatile they are. In previous threads that I've read, I think I remember mamas have seemed to agree that a flat (after being washed) that measures 27x27 can easily go from birth to potty training.

So if you're wanting to get just one size of flats, the GMD smalls would probably be best in terms of absorbency, size, and longevity (actually, I think if you go on their website, GMD has a birth-to-potty economy CD pack (under "package deals"?) that has 4 dozen of their small flats and a bunch of thirsties covers for something like $230). If you'd rather do two sizes of flats, then you can really get any combination of the ^above flats and I don't think you can really go wrong.

In my personal stash, I have about 2 dozen small birdseye flats (GMD and DR), 2 dozen large birdseye flats (GMD and DR), 7 imagine bamboo flats (for night time), and a small mix of others for back-up just in case (RB flats, FST flats, etc.). I use my flats for everything -- stuffing pockets, padfolding, folding and snappiing, burp cloths, light blankets, wiping up big spills, baby towels, etc. They are SO useful.

How to fold? However you want lol. Seriously, there's really no wrong way to do it. It can be as simple as just folding the flat into quarters and then pinning it on like a prefold or you can do something more elaborate like a mini kitefold. There's a thread somewhere around here that has a bunch of different folds for flats and you can also always check youtube, which has some awesome videos on it. If you're in a hurry, definitely just padfolding is fantastic. If you're wanting to contain the poo more, experiment with using a snappi, pins or boingos with one of the other folds and be sure to jelly roll the legs just like you would do with a prefold. (I love the kite fold and origami fold, but it's really going to vary depending on your baby's age and shape).

Best age to start? Whenever you're up to it. I would start as soon as possible, but that's just me. The cool thing about using flats with a newborn is that you don't have to rinse them out since the poo just washes out in the washing machine. I didn't start using flats with this LO until he was about 3 months old, but that was just because I was afraid of them and how hard they would be to use. I started out using them in pockets, then started experimenting with padfolding and everything grew from there. With our next LO, I'm definitely starting with flats from the beginning (with a few fitted and pockets for easier changes).

Wow, that was crazy long. Didn't mean to hold forth so much but anyway...HTH Good luck and feel free to ask any other questions you want.

Thanks momma! You rock in the info dept! I am thinking that I am just gonna start with some flour sack flats and maybe receiving blankets. The bamboo flats interest me too, but I might wait until I have an older baby and have had the chance to play around a bit before investing in a lot of $$. Definitely want to look at some more Flips too! Those with a padfold look like they will work well in the diaper bag.

Do you *pre-fold* your flats into some kites, origami, padfolds to give yourself a head start, or do you just fold at the moment? I think it would work best for DH if I had them already folded for him, although he will probably just use the fitteds and prefolds and not mess with the flats.

Also, do they need any prepping before use like other diapers? I wasn't sure since it was just a single layer.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:38 PM   #15
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Re: School me on Flats... Blank slate!!

You want to prep your new flats separately from your other diapers just to make sure the natural oils wash out. I think you're *supposed* to prep by washing at least 5 or 6 times which is supposed to help absorbency but if you don't want to do that many washes just remember that they may not be as absorbent until they've been washed a few more times. It just depends on how patient you are. As long as you wash them separately(like with a load of towels or something) once or twice to remove the oils you should be good

As far as prefolding them, I sometimes fold them right out of the dryer, and sometimes I just fold as I go.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:57 PM   #16
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Re: School me on Flats... Blank slate!!

Subbing for reference. Thanks so much for all the great info, everyone!
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:19 PM   #17
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Another question!!! Are there any stay dry flats??? I need something suitable for my 15 month old.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #18
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Re: School me on Flats... Blank slate!!

Also, I have a TON of snuggle flannel from JoAnn's... is that *thick* enough to be used as a flat?
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:48 PM   #19
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Another question!!! Are there any stay dry flats??? I need something suitable for my 15 month old.
As far as I know no stay dry flats but you can use fleece liners. That is what I did for dd2 who had to have stay dry. I just lay the liner on top of the flat fold lay her down on top of it and pulled it up between her legs so it was covering her and then pulled the flat up and snappied.
If you are padfolding you could either lay a liner or sew some stay dry onto the part of the flat that will be facing up in the cover.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:00 PM   #20
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Re: School me on Flats... Blank slate!!

Love all of this info! I am fairly new to flats and need to branch out to try some of the other folds. I purchased some GMD flats here as an add on to some other inserts I was purchasing and fell in love. So far I have only used the origami fold and jelly rolled the legs. Our DD is now a year and still fits great with the small GMD (we use predominantly Flip covers). If we are blessed with another I will start out with flats.
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