A little white towelling baby bum waddles across the room to chase the dog. Watching that baby in his old-school terry toweling flat brings a sense of nostalgia and warmth to my heart, as I think of my mum folding flats for me and my siblings. I feel a sense of pride in continuing this tradition with my children.

What exactly is a ‘flat’ nappy though, I hear you ask? Flat nappies, terry squares, terry towelling nappies, old school cloth flats (the list of names goes on) are a flat, square piece of fabric, usually made from cotton, bamboo or hemp and generally around 60cm x 60cm, that you fold to suit the needs of your baby. If you want them to be waterproof, just add a PUL or wool cover over the top.

So, what’s the big fuss about flats? I am sure there are many of you who already know what I am talking about, but these are my favourite things about them.

Flats are. . .

  • Adorable – Nothing says cute more than a little bub with a big, squishy bum and there is a pretty big chance that you wore them yourself – very cool!
  • Versatile – As there are so many ways to fold your nappies, flats can fit from birth to toilet training. Babies change all the time. One minute they have cute, chunky, cherub thighs, and then they have a growth spurt and end up with long spider legs! All of a sudden your nappy might not fit as well. This is where the flat nappy shines! Baby changes shape? “No problem!” says the Terry Flat! Let’s just try this fold instead! Too easy! They are also versatile in that you can use them for so many other things – burp cloths, change mats, car washing cloths, cleaning up spills, make shift baby bib . . . the list continues!
  • Simple- If you believe in living a minimalist lifestyle then these little babies are for you. One layer of fabric, folded how you like and nothing else to worry about (oh, Snappi’s to hold them close and covers to go over the top always come in handy!).
  • Easy to wash – As they are just one layer, flats are easy to wash and take seconds to fold. They also dry very quickly on the line and there is no PUL or elastic that can be degraded by going through the dryer on a regular basis.
  • Cost effective – They are the most cost effective of all cloth nappies and they last for a reeeeeally long time, so you can use them in other ways once baby no longer needs them.
  • Satisfying – There is just something totally satisfying about looking at a line full of terry flats blowing in the breeze!

There are many, many, many ways to fold a flat that suit babies of all different shapes and sizes. If you are after some hints and tips, just hit reply and let us know!

Don’t be scared of flats. Once you know how to do a couple of folds you are set. I was hesitant with the whole ‘time it takes’ thing but, the time it takes to stuff a pocket nappy or clip in an AI2 is really not that different to quickly making a few folds in a flat, fastening it in place with a Snappi (no more pointy baby pins) and if you want, throwing on a water proof cover.

As you can see there are many reasons why flats really do rock. Give them a try and you will experience the magic of the flat for yourself.

Happy folding!!

Heidi is a mum to two gorgeous boys and works at Nest Nappies, Brisbane’s very own, real life, cloth nappy boutique nestled in the heart of Brisbane’s eco precinct, Paddington.
Nest Nappies is the perfect place to visit if you are looking for some advice on where to start, are wanting to touch and feel cloth nappies before you buy or just want to chat to another mum about how they work.
With over over 45 000 nappy changes between them and more than twenty different brands on the shelves, there isn’t much the girls at Nest haven’t seen.
So, pop in and say hi, they’ll make cloth nappies easy, from the start!