Today is day six of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For one full week, participants from all across the country promise to use flat cloth diapers, just like our grandmothers and maybe even our mothers used to use, AND wash them by hand. The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness and spread the word that cloth diapers are a viable option for families struggling to afford clean diapers for their babies, even if they may not have easy access to a washer and dryer. 


flats challenge header

Today is an open topic day, so I thought I would talk about why I think using flats can be just as easy as using pockets… if not easier!


I admit, I’ve been a pocket girl from the get go. Not necessarily because they are my favorite style of diaper, but because I just have so many of them! I built my stash out of these diapers and whenever a cute new print was released, staying with my theme, I bought it in a pocket. Don’t get me wrong, I still do love pockets, but I also love flats and covers… maybe just a tad bit more. :) The more I use flats full-time, the more I realize that they really are not much more difficult to use than pockets! Here’s why:

Stuffing versus Folding

Pocket diapers must be stuffed with an absorbent insert before putting it on baby. I typically stuff my pockets in the evening when I’ve got a second to just sit down and relax and catch up on a little tv with my hubby. I sit down on the floor and separate my shells from the inserts and wipes and then get to stuffing. It takes me less than five minutes. But in the same amount of time it takes me to stuff a load of pockets, I can pad fold a load of flats! It’s true! I timed it. :)

Ease of Use

In my opinion, flats can be just as easy to use as pockets. When it’s time for a diaper change, I just keep the shell underneath my son, remove the wet flat, and replace it with another that I already have pad folded, ready to go. I can reuse my shells a few times before switching them out, unless it’s a poopy diaper them I go ahead and wash it. With pockets, they’re a one-time use deal.

flats and pockets

Washing and Drying

For me, flats win this one, hands down. Being that they are only one layer of fabric, flats wash up super easily. If they wash so easily by hand, just imagine how easy it is to get flats clean in a washing machine! Being one layer is also pretty handy when it comes to drying time. Compared to most pocket diaper inserts, flats dry at lightning speed!

Less Prone to Stink

Another benefit of using flats is that many pocket diapers come with microfiber inserts. Over time, synthetic fabric inserts tend be prone to build up, which can cause problems with leaking and stink. Although these problems can be fixed with some troubleshooting and wash routine tweaking, some find it more trouble than it’s worth. Natural fibers, like those used to make flats, are less likely to have these issues. If you’re having trouble with microfiber stink, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on pockets… You can have the best of both worlds! Ditch the microfiber and try stuffing your diapers with flats instead!

pocket stuffed w/ flat

Although I tend to be favoring my flats and covers lately, I’m not ready to get rid of my pockets just yet. I love having variety in my stash. I really love all the different styles of diapers, from the super modern pockets, all-in-ones, hybrids, and fitteds to old school prefolds and flats. I tend to go through phases, loving ones style for a while, then switching it up and finding something that works better for us. Depending on your situation and preferences, one style may work better for you than another. Right now, flats and covers are my thing.

Head on over to my personal blog, Apron Strings Attached, find out how using flats and Elimination Communication is helping my son potty learn naturally! 


Also, follow me on Instagram where I’ll share the good, the bad, and the yucky throughout my week participating in the Flats Challenge! (@apronstringsattached) If you’re participating in the challenge, be sure to use the hashtag #flatschallenge and #bringingflatsback so we can follow you too!  :)





Stephanie Beck is a busy mama of four. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family. Stephanie started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN.


*Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions expressed are genuine and 100% my own.