Flat Diapers (Birdseye and Muslin)
See the tutorials to learn some of the various ways to fold flat diapers.
One-size Muslin just wrapped around baby with no fastener or pins. The wrap style diaper cover you put over it helps it stay in place pretty well.
The birdseye diaper looks like it is fastened but it is not. The diaper is folded in the origami fold and the ends are just tucked in near her hips. The Flip cover holds it all together. A nice trim fit with more effective containment than padfolding can offer. Flats are easy to use and easy to wash. This baby is 7 months old and 18 pounds.
3 months old, 14 pounds in a one-size muslin flat, pinned with GMD Slide-lock pins, Pickman Fold.
Kite fold with 2 pins.
Newborn muslin flat with one Slide-Lock diaper pin. 2 weeks old, 8 pounds 13 ounces. You can tell this duaper is a size newborn muslin because of the orange edge thread. Size newborn has orange edge thread while size one-size muslin has off-white edge thread.
Size one-size birdseye white on a newborn baby.
One-Size Muslin flat on a 9 pound baby. It is bulky and very absorbent. This shows that it is possible to get in a young baby. The amount of cotton in this diaper is the same as a medium prefold, so choose a roomy cover over it. Many will prefer the size newborn Muslin flat for this age for a trimmer fit. Scroll down for more pictures on babies.
Size Half Birdseye
Size Half is available only from Green Mountain Diapers. This is about 16.5 x 27.5 inches. My (Karen's) reason for making this size is that sometimes one flat is not enough absorbency, but double diapering (using two flats at once) is too much diaper. So adding half of a flat is just right. Size Half also makes a really nice newborn diaper or preemie. They also work well for customizing absorbency in pocket diapers, or any diapers. Boost absorbency of any diaper with easy washing, quick drying Half Flats.
or adjust the length (or width) of the pad-fold by varying the first fold.
for little babies, size half works nice. By around 8 or 9 pounds baby will out-wet this little diaper and need a doubler added to it or move up to the size One-Size flats. Then later on, use the size half flats as doublers in your size One-Size or size large flats.
Size half is good for preemies and tiny newborns. The same fold ideas work for the Newborn Muslin Flats and the One-Size Flats, too.
How to pad fold
the diaper shown unfolded
fold into quarters (fold in half and then in half again). Then fold in one side and then the other side
A pad folded One-Size flat is about the same as a size small yellow edge prefold. If you need it to be longer, just don't fold down the first side as far and you can make it any size you want it to be.
total comfort. Size One-Size fits all shown.
Snappi fasten, pin, or pad-fold. There are so many ways to use them.
One-size birdseye organic flat on a young baby.
Snuggly folded size One-Size fits all on a newborn
Loosely origami folded and Snappi fastened. Almost 3 months old in size One-Size fits all.
It is very easy to fold a flat diaper. Just pad-fold it and place it in the cover. If you can fold a hand towel, you can do this.
8 weeks old, 11 pounds. Origami fold.
8 weeks old, 13 pounds 10 ounces in size One-Size. This is folding it as if it were a prefold. The fold probably has a name but I just call it "the pretend it is a prefold and make a rectangle and pin it just like a prefold" fold. This is my favorite fold and the one I like to use most change after change. I (Karen) think this is THE most comfortable way to diaper baby. It happens to be the least expensive but I really do think this is the BEST! So comfortable for baby. Amazingly soft unbleached fabric. Total freedom of movement for baby. Great containment because it's pinned. It fits birth to potty learning. Easy washing (HE machine-friendly, handwashing-friendly) and easy to dry. This truly is the perfect diaper. I do really enjoy pinning, so that makes it fun too! It's easier than you may think. Try these diapers. Really. Even if you end up not using them as diapers, you still can't go wrong because they are also the most fabulous dishtowels you could ever use.
4.5 months old, 16 pounds.
2 months old, 14 pounds
5 months old
doubled (2 diapers) on a 3 year old.
8 months old, 22 pounds.
7 months, 19 pounds
wrapping the diaper around baby and tucking it in. When just wrapping and not fastening it like this, always use a wrap style cover (not a pull-on) because the wrap cover helps to hold it together under the cover. Thirsties Duo Wraps, Flip Coers, Cloth-eez Wrap, Blueberry Capri are examples of wrap style covers.
Size One-Size Birdseye is better for young babies, but it is possible to get large into a Flip on the smallest rise setting. This is a bulky for a young baby but it can work. There are many ways to pad fold. This is just one idea:
Pad-folded in a cover:
You can adjust the length by folding into longer or shorter length. The straight, unadjusted pad fold is simply:
Fold the diaper in half
Fold the diaper in half again to make a square
Then fold to the rectangle pad. It's super-easy. It's like folding a napkin.
Layer 2 diapers for an older baby. Use unpinned in wrap style cover, or pin it under anything.
Can be pinned or snappied. This is Snappi fastened. Pins are preferred since Snappis or Boingos can make pullers in the fabric over time and sharp pins don't do that. This is 2 Flat Diapers Snappi Fastened with and older-style red Snappi. One on the outside that you can see which is Snappied. Inside this is another flat folded up long and thin like a doubler.
Link to videos and the bottom of the page.
How to fold a flat diaper into a prefold shape
Fold one end to get your desired length
For extra absorbency for older babies, I fold a second flat into a narrow rectangle.
Fold sides in to get the width you want.
Pins work nicely with flats. Or use unpinned in Bummis or other cover.
Origami Fold in pictures:
fold down back to shorten for a young baby.
On a newborn, use the origami fold shown above, then fold the back down to make it shorter, then:
fold up the wing to make it narrower
fold in the wing then bring it to the front
same thing, other side: fold up wing to narrow, fold in, bring to front
The larger newborn covers work over this, such as Blueberry Mini-Coveralls, Blueberry Newborn Capri, Thirsties Covers and Thirsties Duo Wraps size 1, pull-ons and wools. But not Bummis Super Brite newborn covers. Really tiny newborn covers don't have enough height at the hip or room inside for this much diaper.
Go retro! Birdseye flat diapers are versatile. Flats are so easy to wash and dry! These are the favorites for handwashing situations, traveling, adoption trips, homesteaders, missionaries, shared laundry and laundromat washing situations - anytime easy washing and quick drying is important. Plus, they are the most economical way to diaper a baby. Add covers, and you may be able to diaper a baby birth to potty for not very much money at all. Large also work as receiving blankets, and have a multitude of uses. Ours are custom milled for us out of soft "Indian" cotton made in Pakistan and they are OEKO Tex Certified to Standard 100, so you know they are safe and good. They are not made in China. Most places don't tell you the fully shrunk dimensions, and some don't even tell you the before washing dimensions, so who knows what they are.
100% cotton birdseye diaper that shrink to sort of close to a square. The size called "one-size" shrinks to about 27.5 inches by 27.5 inches, and 28x29 inches before washing. Size large (organic only) shrinks to about 29x29 inches when shrunk. 33x35 inches before washing. Now, cotton is a variable fabric and they will never be perfect squares consistently with any brand due to the nature of the fabric, but these are the most "square" birdseye around. Versatile and easy-washing. Please don't expect perfection for squareness. It's just not possible with this fabric. They are very nice, high quality cotton birdseye weave.
See another set of HOW TO PICTURES on a different newborn baby using the origami fold.
Cloth-eez Organic Muslin Diapers
Muslin Diapers. Similar to the Birdseye flats but in a different weave and a little bit thicker. They are double-weave, which means more cotton is used to weave them. The Muslin Diapers in size One-size are close in absorbency to a medium size red-edge prefold, whereas the Birdseye in One-size is close in absorbency to a size small yellow edge prefold. Thus, the One-size/small size is too big on a newborn baby. Size newborn is for newborns in the double weave muslin flat.
Muslin size Newborn
3.5 months old, 13 pounds, in muslin diaper size one-size.
9.5 months old, 16.5 pounds, kite fold, muslin size one-size.
Kite fold with 2 pins.
Need an even bigger size? This is also available in Swaddle/XLarge size for fabulous nighttime absorbency.
Can you Snappi the muslin (gauze) or the birdseye fabric? I recommend pins. But Snappis are so popular that many people Snappi or Boingo their muslin and birdseye diapers anyway, even though we recommend pinning for the longest fabric life. You can choose to use Snappis or Boingos though, and it works. The pictures show them because it is a popular way to use them. If you choose to use them, please pull out to release the grabbers from the fabric. Don't yank them upwards out of the fabric because that might hurt the fabric. By pulling in an outward direction to release the grabbers, it should be ok. Still, I (Karen) recommend pinning.
See the instructional page to learn various ways to fold flat diapers.