This is how I fold a flat for pad folding. I am pretty particular in how I do it so that it’s easier to just grab and go, knowing that it will fit right (having to adjust mid change is a pain in the rear). When you have rectangular flats it makes a difference on how you fold it – do you want a long and skinny pad, or a short and wide one? Me, personally, I go for short and wide so there is more padding/absorbency between the legs and no fabric peeking out of the top of the cover.
OK, so you have your flat all laid out (this is either a LL (Little Lions) or an older GMD (Green Mountain Diapers) - either way, as you can see, it’s a slight rectangle).

Fold over once (I have kept the flat in the same position to make things easier to keep up with – no rotating or anything)

Fold up the bottom edge to the top to make a “square” (it’s now in quarters). It’s hard to see, but this is where I off-set the top seams so that there is less bulk in the back of the cover. When I folded it up, I left it about 1″ shy from lining up with the top edge. Credit goes to my husband for this idea.

Here’s a closer up shot of the top edge. I stuck a card in there to hopefully better show the difference in the edges.

Then tri-fold it like you would a PF. I put the open edge in just in case there’s poop so it won’t infiltrate as many layers (I learned this from experience).

Fold over the other side.

If my calculations are correct, there are 12 layers throughout. I lay it in the cover with all the folds underneath so there is less to deal with and clean if the LO does poop. With a snug fitting cover it is very trim, and super easy! An inexpensive and versatile AI2 essentially.

Flats in various covers:

Here’s a side by side comparison of two popular brands (LL & GMD) to show the difference in size. (*The ones pictured were purchased in early 2009 – the ones currently for sale might be a different size). They are similar in width, but one is squarer so that adds some length. It’s not much, but it does make a difference when you are laying it in a cover – a much closer fit end to end! The pictures below are of the smaller one on the left (the LL). Some people tuck them in the flaps, other don’t. I did it for the pictures for a better visual.

Medium Bummis Super Brite

Flip on medium setting

Wonder Wrap on last snap setting – this one is really hard to photograph since it’s so stretchy! There also aren’t any flaps or pockets to tuck the flat into, but it’s snug enough of a fit that it doesn’t seem to matter (unless you’re trying to take a pic).

Medium Bummis Super Whisper Wrap

© 2011, May not be copied or reprinted without permission.

Renee Coley

Renee has been happily married to her husband since 2005 and is a stay at home mom with her 3 little ones Joah (8/07), Morgan (5/09), and Lillian (4/11). Thanks to diaperpin.com she has discovered the world of cloth (diapers, kitchen, mama, and family), a whole host of great resources and awesome friends :)

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3 Comments on Flat Fold Basics – Pad Fold a Flat

  1. Eva says:

    I’m really keen to buy some flats to use like this but am concerned about bulk…any chance you can show a pic of this pad-folded flat from the side? Thanks!

  2. [...] Flats are generally about 27″ x 27″ before washing (some you can get larger, like Diaper Rite’s) and can be folded into quarters and used pretty much like a prefold; trifolded, or folded & snappied, pinned or simply placed under a cover. Green Mountain Diapers has a page about flats that includes folding a flat to prefold size with another inside as a doubler, flats on a newborn and many other babies, and a photo tutorial of the origami fold. Diaper Pin’s Diaper Pin Corner has lots of flat diaper posts including a photo demo of the mini neat fold and how to pad fold a flat. [...]

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