When most people think of cloth diapers, they picture prefolds or flats. Flats, also known as squares, are thin square pieces of muslin fabric.Yes, these are the cloth diapers our ancestors used! Flats partnered with a waterproof cover was and still is one of the most cost effective cloth diapering systems!
Besides cost, why do many parents choose to use flats? * They are versatile! They make excellent burp cloths, cleaning rags, swaddling blankets, and nursing covers. You can even use them to help block some sun rays on those sunny days when your baby is in their baby carrier or stroller.
* They dry QUICKLY! After all, they are just a thin piece of fabric, right? They are perfect for families who like to go camping. Here is a blog entry about how to wash your flats while you are camping.
* Flats can fit teeny tiny babies to toddlers because you can fold them creatively to fit your child perfectly.
* Some parents just want to do something "old school". It is something their ancestors have done for several years and they feel there is no other way they want to diaper their baby. I asked a bunch of grandmothers one time about their muslin flats and they got teary eyed reminiscing about hanging their cloth diapers in the summer breeze.
There really are are a million different ways to fold muslin squares and I am sure you will find this out, especially if you are creative! The most popular folds are the birdseye, triangle, and kite fold which can be seen below ... or you can simply fold them into a rectangle as use it as an insert. The many folded layers provide great protection against leaks. If you think this sounds difficult, watch the little girl below do it in 24 seconds! Please Note: Your muslin flats need to be washed once before use and usually shrink 10%. Since they are made of muslin, folding your flats so all the edges fit perfectly can be challenging and sometimes nearly impossible because of this type of fabric.