Flats and traveling - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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We're going to be moving when the new babe is a few months old, and will be hotel living until we get settled. We also plan on traveling and using up some vacation time. Laundromats aren't common in this part of Europe, so I might have to wash some dipes by hand. But it would definitely be nice to have something that hang dries well.
What do I need to know about flats? I've used prefolds, but flats seem easier to clean and dry. Gerber birdseye is easy to get, and I'm thinking about cutting up some old bath towels. Would they hold new baby poo well enough? I love my fitteds, but they are harder to dry. I've seen flats for sale out of various materials, are they worth buying? I doubt we would use them much(maybe camping if they work out) after we get settled.
What has worked for you?

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#2 of 11 Old 02-20-2010, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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wow. nobody?

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#3 of 11 Old 02-20-2010, 07:14 PM
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I wouldn't get Gerber. They are tinier and thinner than the other two types of flats I have. A month old baby would pee out of it like crazy.

I have the regular birdseye flats from clothdiaper.com and some unbleached birdseye flats from Little lions. Little Lions is a bit bigger, but both are about the same in absorbency. I also use receiving blankets as flats.

You can get a nice tight fit with flats IF you can get one with a prefold. Just jellyroll the sides in after snappying.

As far as materials, you can make flats out of anything, even an old bedsheet. I wouldn't use old towels because those are pretty bulky already. Any cotton or flannel would work. For really cheap flats, use receiving blankets. Work just as well, and with cute prints! I've never washed them by hand, but they do come out clean in a wash and dry super fast!


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#4 of 11 Old 02-20-2010, 09:50 PM
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We used flats for travel. Specifically, cut up flannel sheets from the thrift store. They wash by hand easily, seem clean, line dry quickly and make great rags when they are no longer needed. My favorite fold was the origami fold, but just folding it to fit in a cover works well too. My kids used the potty as babies, so their diapers weren't soaked or poopy and I can't speak much about absorbancy. Try them at home. If they don't seem to hold enough you can always double them up.

Happy travels!

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#5 of 11 Old 02-22-2010, 06:53 PM
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I love flats - I agree, I wouldn't get Gerber... much smaller and thinner. I love our unbleached flats from GMD and Little Lions seem well-loved. Imse Vimse's muslin flats are also very well-liked but more expensive. I think you should be able to hand wash/line dry ok. I switched to flats just because they line dry so well... I have a doubler for every flat though. You can use a flat as a doubler, but that's a little more bulky. I'd probably cut some flats in half in your situation, to fold into a doubler that will still dry fast but not be too bulky.

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#6 of 11 Old 02-22-2010, 06:56 PM
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I loved using flats for my newborns, but I must confess, it's been so long, I don't remember any specifics. I think I used square ones of some kind of cotton weave, folded with (I think) the kite fold. If I needed extra absorbency, I used a wash cloth, or doubled up.

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#7 of 11 Old 02-24-2010, 12:06 PM
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I use flats almost exclusively until babies are 3 months or so. Work great for me. I haven't hand washed but it would work fine, I'm sure. They dry quickly depending on the fabric.

I wouldn't go with Gerber - I've used them and they worked okay but once I realized that there was a whole huge world of cloth diapers out here (LOL) I switched to nicer diapers and found there were much better options. It's been a few years so I can't give you a specific recommendation though.

I've used wash cloths as doublers and flannel receiving blankets as diapers, too. Both worked great.
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#8 of 11 Old 02-24-2010, 03:44 PM
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I am a big fan of flats and covers while traveling. PUL covers dry so quickly and flats will as well. I echo the other comments and suggest avoiding the Gerber diapers. They are great for burp clothes or wipes or even liners but just are not sturdy enough for an every day diaper. The only downsize with flats is their weight. How many do you think you will need and how heavy will they be? They might be a total pain to haul around. Weight limitations for airline baggage and the ease of hauling luggage on and off trains should be part of the equation.

You might want to invest in some disposable liners. That will make clean up and laundry much, much easier.

Good luck. We LOVE to travel with our kids. Our next trip is next month when we take them to Asia. Going to be a LOOONNNGGG flight but I think it will be wonderful once we get there!

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#9 of 11 Old 02-25-2010, 04:32 PM
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gerber are easy to get and in a pinch, they will work. but let's face it, you can SEE through them. Not conducive to holding peeing right? They actually are only like a dollar cheaper than little lions flats. In my so very humble opinion, the little lions flats are worth it. Gerber flats are smaller and not a true square so they are harder to fold and you can actually see through them because the weave is really loose. That means they leak more and they won't hold up to everyday washing real well. Don't get me wrong, I use them. But I use them as doublers in my little lions flats. So yeah, you could use them. And they would work, but why spend nearly the same amt for an inferior product that won't last you long and will probably cause you a little more trouble? Ya know? Makes more sense to get quality flats for only a few dollars more.

OH and for making flats. Bath towels would be really thick and bulky and unmanageable on a newborn. Try flannel. Old flannel sheets from the consignment shop work great to cut up for flats. I bought a king sized sheet and cut it up and zigzagged the edges with my very basic sewing machine. They work awesome. Made the scraps into wipes too. Anything 100%cotton would work but thicker fabrics yield more bulk obviously.


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#10 of 11 Old 02-27-2010, 10:37 PM
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I bought flats for a trip to the caribbean. I ended up liking them so much that they often my first choice for diapering. I used one flat diaper folded up in a wool cover for evenings/overnight and then did laundry every other afternoon while DS napped. They were very easy to wash. I did use disposables during the day though so I only had to wash 3-4 at a time.
I didn't have to do poopy ones though. I've used a wash cloth to double up before too. They don't hold a lot of pee so if you have a heavy wetter or don't change with every pee you might want to use a doubler. Something like an old towel or t-shirt that you don't mind throwing out would work well for poop if you'd rather not wash poopy diapers by hand. I have washed poopy covers by hand & it's really not that big of a deal though. Flats dry super fast. If you're washing everyday & it's not too humid you can probably get away with 24.
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#11 of 11 Old 02-28-2010, 12:05 PM
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Another vote against Gerbers. You have to wash and dry them about 3 times before the weave closes up and at that point they end up too small to do anything but fold them into a rectangle and set them in a cover. We ended up with just 48 of them because we were out on a trip and still using a pack of sposies when Lina got a rash and those were the fastest cloth diapers available.

As for covers, any close-fitting cover will work well. PUL will dry faster than wool.

With a PUL cover, I was able to just put a rectangle folded flat into the cover and then I could pull it out and put in a new one without taking her pants off for pees. That was really convenient!
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