The following review of our Lalabye Baby Cloth Diaper Covers was written by Alexandria Nuñez. Alexandria was given a Lalabye Baby Cover in exchange for her review.
This May, I put my Lalabye Baby covers to good use when I took part in the Flats & Hand-Washing Challenge. This week-long exercise (and – holy sore arms – it was exercise!) consisted of using, hand-washing, and line-drying flat diapers and covers. The Challenge is meant to be a resource and an encouragement to the 1 in 3 American families who struggle with diaper need. (If you are one of those families who faces diaper need, please be sure to check out organizations like Jake’s Diapers and Giving Diapers, Giving Hope, which provide diapers for families in need.) It shows that the flat cloth diapers our great-grandmothers used are still an effective and viable option today. And in my experience, I have found flats to be a personal favorite option to use with my Lalabye Baby Covers year-round.
When it comes to modern cloth diapers, flats (literally, just a single-layer of absorbent material) are usually overlooked in favor of the more popular styles such as AIOs, pocket diapers, prefolds, etc. But flats can do everything and have stuck around the cloth diaper world for a few reasons!
Why I Love Flats
- They are surprisingly absorbent – even for nighttime use!
- They are a true one-size diaper that can go from birth to potty-training.
- They are very trim – more so than a prefold.
- They are incredibly easy to clean and they dry very quickly.
- They can be padfolded like a prefold and stuffed in a Lalabye Baby shell or simply laid inside a Lalabye Baby cover.
- Flats can also be folded in many different ways so that they wrap around your little one like a trim fitted diaper with your favorite Lalabye Baby cover on top.
Flats have also evolved since your great-grandmother pinned a flat onto your grandmother. Cotton birdseye flats were the standard then, but now they are the baseline of a much wider range of flat diapers. Today there are a variety of different weaves (birdseye, muslin, french terry or jersey knit) and fibers (cotton, bamboo, hemp, and some with a bit of spandex thrown in) available, each of which offers specific qualities to meet your particular needs. There are super-budget-friendly flats like flour sack towels (FSTs), better-absorbing-but-still-relatively-inexpensive birdseye flats, super soft double-weave muslin flats, and luxurious 4-way stretchy flats. There is a whole world of flat cloth diapers, and it is definitely worth checking out to find out which works best for you in your favorite Lalabyes.
Flats With Lalabyes
Now that my daughter is a toddler, I find that she often floods her Lalabye diapers. For a few weeks, I thought I was going to have to give up my Lalabyes, and I was crushed because they are my favorite diapers – and my husband’s favorite, too! They constitute the majority of our stash. I tried just about everything recommended, but I have discovered the best solution for us is to use flats in our Lalabye diapers. While flats work well enough in the Lalabye shells, I am so glad Lalabye Baby has covers as they are now my preference. I am thrilled that I get to keep so many of the advantages of the Lalabye diapers when I use the covers: great solid colors and cute designs, rainbow colored waist snaps, stretchy TPU, hip snaps, etc.
How I Use Flats
Padfolding a flat is the go-to fold for many caregivers, and while it works perfectly well, I personally prefer the absorbency and beauty of folding a flat onto my daughter. My cotton flats absorb very quickly and are a great option for those who have kids who are fast pee-ers. I am also a cloth diaper aficionado who finds it very relaxing to stuff diapers; I find that same peace while folding flats in advance. For me, I don’t find using flats with my Lalabye diapers/covers to be any less convenient than using the Lalabye inserts. The only downside to using a folded flat (in my husband’s opinion) is spraying the poop off – not as easy as a padfolded flat or a Lalabye insert.
What I Use
During the day, I like to store my flats in the kite fold (see above) to make diaper changes quicker and easier. Alone, my cotton birdseye flats last about an hour or two on my moderate-to-heavy wetter. So, I also keep a few birdseye flats folded with a hemp/cotton insert between the layers to use for naptime or whenever it is going to be a bit longer between diaper changes. Equally effective, the other flats I keep in constant rotation are work-at-home mom (WAHM) stretchy flats. The majority of those flats are a bamboo/cotton blend – they can easily last 3-4 hours without any additional inserts! I love using these WAHM stretchy flats at night because they are so absorbent.
My overnight diaper is either a heavy-duty fitted diaper or two flats. The key to an overnight diaper is the absorbent material; FSTs aren’t going to cut it and birdseye flats may not either. I always choose a bamboo/cotton stretchy flat to fold and a hemp/cotton flat to padfold inside the stretchy flat. When the hemp flat is padfolded, I have twelve layers of hemp/cotton to soak up all the overnight pee – and the diaper is reasonably trim too (for an overnight diaper, that is)! Hemp/cotton inserts can also work if you already have them in your stash. But, as we all know (or will know), a night’s worth of toddler pee needs to be rinsed in the morning, and it isn’t as easy to do that with an insert or a fitted diaper. Flats are much easier to rinse out… and that counts as a daily pre-coffee #win!
The Flats Challenge
During the Challenge this May, I chose to use only Lalabye and wool covers over my cotton birdseye flats and my stretchy flats. I was easily able to rotate between two Lalabye covers a day with another cover at night. I could have chosen any of my other PUL/TPU covers to use during the Challenge, but I picked my Lalabye covers because my daughter’s other caregivers (my husband, my mom, babysitters) were familiar with our Lalabye diapers. It wasn’t a problem for them to put on a Lalabye cover with a padfolded flat inside. The covers worked so well for us all week and contained everything. My only complaint is that I want more covers! And I wish the covers came in some of my favorite older prints too (Seven Seas, Doodle Zoo, Quantum, Azulejo, and more).
So, if you love Lalabye Baby, but are looking for something a bit different – maybe because you need more absorbency, or are going camping and want to handwash your flats, or you just don’t want to buy more inserts and need something else to put inside your shells/covers, or you need a new nighttime solution – then I would encourage you to give flats and Lalabye Baby Covers a try!
The navy Lalabye Baby cover featured in today’s blog post is called Starlight and is now available in matching snaps in Lalabye Baby One Size Cloth Diapers and matching snaps and matching trim Lalabye Baby Cloth Diaper Covers! Available at all participating retailers and at LalabyeBaby.com starting Friday September 28 at 11 AM CST!