Initial Impression: They’re cute! You don’t expect flats to be cute but Swaddlebees has the option of printed ones that are adorable! I also had no idea how these were going to work for us (we’re a little lazy to be folding and pinning). Also, I love that they have instructions on how to fold them right on the package.
“Ooh Mom, these are cool!”
Day Use: Once I got them properly prepped (the unbleached flats need to be washed 5+ times to strip them of the natural oils that will cause liquids to repel off of them), these diapers worked like a dream. Since we mostly use Flip diaper covers, we used the pad fold a lot. They were easy for my husband to use too since you just lay the diaper in the cover like you would with the Flip inserts. We also used the origami fold (with a snappi – I don’t do pins) which I didn’t like as much for my little boy.
Origami fold (snappi at the top of the picture)
Overnight Use: We tried several different configurations (some of which leaked) for overnight but the one that seemed to work the best for us was 2 pad-folded flats laid into a Flip cover. We never had any leaks with this configuration at all.
Pad folded flat in a Flip diaper cover
Durability: These diapers don’t have a bunch of fancy bells and whistles. Since they are just a square of cotton there is no velcro to wear out, no snaps to break, and no PUL to tear. We’ve used them almost every day for 2 months and they aren’t showing any signs of wear. The printed flats did fade a bit during the prepping process though.
Washing: I use either bio-kleen free & clear or Rockin’ Green Classic Rock detergent in an HE washer. I store my diapers in a garbage can with a lid (lined with a homemade PUL wet bag) and just dump the whole thing in the washer. I do a cold soak followed by a “whites” cycle (hot wash with an extra rinse). I have also hand washed these diapers in a camp-style washer. I either dry the flats in my dryer or hanging outside. One of the best things about these diapers is how forgiving they are when it comes to detergents or the way they are washed.
Cons: Flats in general can be overwhelming to anyone, not just people who are new to cloth diapers. They bring to mind visions of pins and plastic pants of the past. It also takes a little bit of time to find the folds and configurations that work best for your baby, and that may change over time.
Overall: I love my Swaddlebees flats! They’re cute and they’ve held up amazingly well. They can be used in place of fitted diapers, of prefolds, or of any type of insert. They can be used to stuff pocket diapers. They can be used as lay in doublers for additional absorbency. These diapers are extremely versatile. They’re great for traveling, especially if you’re not going to have access to a washer and dryer. They’re lighter than most other diapers (good for strict rules about suitcase weight during air travel). They are just as effective if not more so than all of my fancy diapers and they fit much trimmer. I love these diapers.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. I received no compensation from the company, but I did receive these diapers for free. However, I did not receive these diapers for the purpose of this review. I received these diapers to participate in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge in May. All opinions in this review are my own.