Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 70

Flats Might Be A Good IDea

This episode of the Cloth Diaper Podcast is with Jen from Sweet Cloth Bums. This Ex Pat mom living in the United Kingdom shares with us why she started cloth diapering, her experience with flats, and why you should try flat cloth diapers. 

This interview was for the Flats & Handwashing Challenge to bring more stories of parents using flats because Flat Diapers have a marketing issue. 

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flats, cloth inddiapering, diapers, cloth diaper, wraps, fold, people, little bit, thought, uk, podcast, dry, find, terry, mom, cloth, centimeters, buy, bit, challenge


Jenn, SweetClothBums, Bailey Bouwman


Bailey Bouwman  00:55

 I’m really honored today to have Jenn on the show. She is a tremendous resource in the cloth diaper community. I booked this podcast with her it was just kind of like this back and forth email thing and we didn’t really swap usernames. It was just a random email and halfway through the show, you’re going to realize that I recognize who she is a little bit fangirl. I think that SweetClothBums puts together some incredible content online, and I’m so glad to have her on the show. This show is a little bit more flats oriented. It was more designed for that Flats challenge, which happened back in May and I am tardy on delivering content but that’s okay. Flats diapers are evergreen, we can talk about flat diapers all year round. And if you’re looking for more information about the accessibility and affordability of cloth diapering, check out the #FlatsChallenge because there was so much great content put out there by Instagram, Facebook bloggers, youtubers about how to use cloth diapers, and some of these really tough, difficult conversations that we’re continuing to have. Yeah, so let’s go into this conversation. It’s another short 20 something little podcast, which is just perfect. A little brief elevator spiel, who are you? Where in the world are you joining me from?


Jenn, SweetClothBums  02:51

And yeah, my name is Jenn. I’m an American. But currently, I’m living in the United Kingdom. So, I live outside London. Yeah. And I started cloth diapering because I yeah, mainly for environmental reasons. And also, because I thought it would be a good way to save money. Although I have to be honest, I haven’t actually saved that much money. But mainly for environmental reasons. Yeah, so I’m just the mom, I have a daughter. She’s 18 months old now. Um, and I didn’t think I’d have kids. But here we are. And I can’t. I can’t believe how amazing she is. It sounds crazy. But yes, is 18 months. And yes, he’s 18 months.


Bailey Bouwman  03:44

That’s a really fun age. I think too. It’s like they have a little more personality, but not too much. I have a five-year-old.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  03:55

you know what also is? Because I’m a first-time mom as well. And then you have like this COVID thing going on. One thing I will say is that like cloth diapering also became like a big part of like, my, my world, because like I said, I’m from the US. So, my family wasn’t around here. And just like talking to other moms and seeing what they’re doing and like trying out new stats, it really helped, like maintain a connection when, you know, you couldn’t go anywhere you can see anybody and everybody was worried about cutting the virus and yeah, we’re still just now I’m opening up, so we weren’t allowed to go into anybody’s house. And they’re just now about start opening up I think this coming week. So yeah, so I just like I guess because of that because I had a new baby, I like really got into like cloth diapering and everything about it. And so, I started Instagram, for it enjoying like every Facebook community finds. I just like yeah, like, I used to go the baby classes, but yeah, they all got shut down. And so yeah, so like my Instagram It’s @SweetClothBums. And so


Bailey Bouwman  05:19

 Hey, I know who you are.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  05:23

Yes, Yeah, hi.


Bailey Bouwman  05:25

That’s the life in which you only know people’s handles. Okay, yeah. Oh, well hello. Okay fills in a lot of guys I know we’ve talked on. We’ve talked on messenger before this is really awesome. Yeah, a lot of people but I only know names usernames, I don’t know.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  05:48

I know it’s the same for me. And then sometimes I like to get confused like, like, is this their child’s name or use their name?


Bailey Bouwman  05:56

Well, and if there’s too many like cloth diaper mom variations, I also get confused and I don’t know who who is. But yes, we cloth balm on Instagram. Okay, so you do a lot of cloth diapering. And you started off you said that you don’t think you’ve really saved money. But we are also joining to talk about flats, which Yeah, those two sentences don’t make sense to me.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  06:20

yeah, okay, so the thing is, so when I started cloth diapering, and I was using proof, I think the first thing that I got was prefolds wraps. And then I started using two parters. And the thing was, so I, I fell into like, starting to use flats, like, more, like a couple months. And I think because the thing was, I was really scared of the snapping. Like, I was like, I am going to make my baby I’m going to knick myself. Like, I don’t know how this works. And I think it was like, yeah, and then I just started watching loads of like YouTube videos and it was so much easier than I thought it was going to be and I never when I first started cloth diapering like I didn’t really see myself as you know using flaps because I just thought Oh, that would be a lot more work but I really liked that like I surprised like I was like I’m going to buy one because you know like people are using it and I want to try it out. And I and like honestly like now you know like my husband he’ll do a Terry like my set it up for him. He’ll do a Terry but and he can use like a Snappi but you know I do have like other stuff for like other people and she goes to nursery as well. So, we send something different to nurse tree.


Bailey Bouwman  07:55

I find this conversation a little hilarious because this morning, I was on the phone with Sarah Hillis, who is helping me out with the first challenge we were talking about a social media plan like so we’re putting together a social media strategy coming up. So, flood challenge. And she also said like the same thing as thought flats are super intimidating, and like, definitely wasn’t going to happen. And here she is using flats, predominantly now. And it’s like they have such a bad marketing. That’s why through this question, it was like marketing for flats, because I had just had that conversation with Sarah. It’s like, how do you like people are terrified of them. We all we all have this moment where we’re like researching cloth diapers, and we totally brush them off completely. And then we try them like three months in and we’re like this is way easier than all those other two-piece systems and snaps and hooks and things that we do to make diapers. So, it’s just like, man, have you thought of a way in your life like to make flat seem less scary to newbies?


Jenn, SweetClothBums  09:02

I think one of the things that maybe try it, I think was like the Flats Challenge, like, and doing them and seeing like people do different folds. And I know in the UK they have like, February with the Nappy Lady


Jenn, SweetClothBums  09:20

. So, she’ll, you know, then people will do like Terry folding. And so, I think like that kind of stuff, like made me think okay, well, I’ll try it out. And the thing that’s so great about them is that they’re like really cheap, like if you can buy them just one, you know, like they usually come in packs of six or 12. But you can some places where you can just buy one and you could say okay, well I’ll try it out. And you know, if I don’t like it, then I’ve only spent, you know, like a couple dollars or something. Yeah, it’s a kitchen towel. Yeah, and its kitchen towel or you know, like my like if my baby got a rash or something or you know, just one Some nappy free time, then they’re great, just like, put down and have her set on. And then you know, I’m not like worried about, you know, like,


Bailey Bouwman  10:10

they’re super, they’re super adaptable to like every situation. I use a lot at the park as sunshades. Or, yeah, as a mat when you need it. The UK, Terry, though, is a very different product, but not really in the North American space. My understanding is it’s pretty much like a bath towel material.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  10:35

It is exactly like that. What size is it though?


Jenn, SweetClothBums  10:38

Like, what’s the dimension square?


Jenn, SweetClothBums  10:41

So, there are like three different sizes. So, there’s, for like, newborns will be like 50 centimeters by 50 centimeters. And those like really big. Yeah, but yeah, but you know, you will fold it, obviously. And you can that’s the other thing.


Bailey Bouwman  10:59

I was a Canadian. I know, centimeters, but I was also thinking about American inches. And that inch, I think, like 20.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  11:09

 I want to say 27 by 27 inch is a 70 by 70cm day. Okay, yeah. So


Bailey Bouwman  11:15

I was thinking about the 27-inch flat, and then I heard 50 centimeter and I didn’t process it. And I was like, that’s massive. But you’re right. 50 centimeters is just it’s like a foot and a half. So, it’s like 15 by 15 inches or something. The size of it is the size of a traditional bird’s eye flat that Americans would use.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  11:35

Oh, yeah. So, like, I have some. So, like, I have some like petite crowns. And they’re like 7070. And I would say, the 70s. Like the bigger size and what I liked them, because when you use like the bigger sizes, you get much bigger wings, which I happen to find is easier to get over the hips,


Bailey Bouwman  11:57

especially at 18 months.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  12:00

 Yeah. Oh, and she does not sit still. So that’s fine.


Bailey Bouwman  12:07

What does your stash look like today? What kind of flats are you using? And what are you putting over them?


Jenn, SweetClothBums  12:14

Okay, so normally, so during the day, I will use like, a bird’s eye flat. And I’ll do two things. So, I use a lot of like the Petite Crown Swims. So I’ll like pads, fold them and put them in or all our I’ll make a diaper out of them. So some of the folds I use is I use the kite fold in the pickman fold, but those are good probably. Yeah, probably the most. And then for nighttime, we use Terry so right now she’s in a Terry and she has a Petite Crown Catcher. And I use the catchers and the keepers and I also use the airflows like Mother-ease airflows I quite like as well. Cuz they’re sidestepping, so sometimes, I can snap them and pull them up. It made me I think they still make the airflows Yeah, yeah, that’s a few things. I have an airflow. And it’s a bit of a bamboo.


Bailey Bouwman  13:14

I know. It’s a bit of a bulkier diaper, but it is that side snap. Oh yeah, they are still making them. I find it’s bulkier. It’s probably great on a Terry, but it’s fantastic. It’s so easy to use. And it’s so lightweight. It like grips a beautiful shape. Despite the ball


Jenn, SweetClothBums  13:32

Yeah, well I find it like it’s the thing is it’s super easy to snap. When you’re like having to chase her as she’s like crawling away from you. Yeah, that’s probably why they’re on the size.


Bailey Bouwman  13:45

Yeah, cuz I got one about the time my child was about your child’s age. And I loved it too. Like you can do it up and down. Re


Jenn, SweetClothBums  13:55

Yeah, I think I have seen like a couple more like brands like coming out with that and like stuff that are like pull up trainers that you can also use a Cypress because I do find like it is a really hard age to like so Howard pad fold, ignore it and convincing her to put on a pickman fold but Okay, so I pre fold them. That’s one thing. The other thing is I have a TV above my bed, like in the room in the ceiling in the room. It’s like a wall. So sometimes I can put like some cartoons and then I just have like everything set up the thing is be prepared. Like so everything’s like set up ready to go. And and then yeah, and then I can usually get on pretty fast and like the thing is when you start when they’re younger you get a lot quicker at snap yet. So that’s helpful. So I started you know using things when she couldn’t really move so much so that I found really helpful. And yeah, everything’s laid out ready to go. I have the diaper open, I have the Snappi laid to the side, the wraps open, and I just like go out or, or like sometimes I try to give her a toy. So she’ll sit there for like, maybe if I’m good maybe a minute before so we’ll try to roll if the TV’s not on if the TV is on she might set so enough time to get the you know, the Terry or the the flag. Do you have status? Is that your primary? Yeah, so I have never actually used like a safety pin or anything. Um, but yeah, so I use the Snappis


Bailey Bouwman  15:50

Diaper Pins are they’re not as scary. But at 18 months, like as the kids get older, they definitely become more difficult to use. Because they you like, no matter how many times you practice, like a safety pin is just like,

Jenn, SweetClothBums  16:04

yeah, I never actually I have to admit, I have never actually tried a safety pin. So, I’ve always had Snappish and I’ve gotten quite fast with that.


Bailey Bouwman  16:16

 So, you’re using so that’s a bit of a mixed flat stash, you got some mother-ease, you got some Petite Crown, you got a little bit of everything. And so, what does your wash experience look like?


Jenn, SweetClothBums  16:31

So, it’s so much easier and I’ll tell you why. Because I’m so I grew up in North America and everybody has a dryer, right? But in the UK, a lot of people don’t have dryer, so I just recently got one mainly because my mom came here and she was like, you have cloth wipes everywhere. Like my you know, and I when I first started diapering, she was very young. I think we started at like, six weeks. In my I had fitted and wraps so they took forever dry. Like we also have prefolds too. But I was kneeled to like, and I was recovering everything, and I you know, again, I was still stuck scared of the Snappi and prefolds I think I got the wrong size. And they were like really huge. Oh. So, they didn’t fit. So, I had like these. Yeah, so I had some finance that I was using, but they took honestly it was like two days to dry. And then we always use like reusable wipes as well. So, I had all those and I was just hanging out


Bailey Bouwman  17:45

 You mentioned there it’s not common for a dryer and it’s just but there’s also so many UK brands that are like these thick pads or these fitted diapers or these complexes all in one,


Jenn, SweetClothBums  17:57

you add them up, which I have been doing like I will do that like I do still hang everything up. But that was the thing about flat is that they dry so much faster. They wash so much better. Like in my opinion, like having had other you know, because I tried like a little bit everything was so much better. Yeah, they dry so quickly. Yeah. And then the other thing is that if you have them and if you get like a rap, like if you get a catch a rap or something like that, you could just wipe it down reuse it, you know, so you even need less of those. So, like if you’re going somewhere not that I’m going anywhere because of COVID at the minute but you know like Margaret note Margaret and she flew with flat spots for part of her flying stash. I would tell Yeah, we last summer we went when we had like a low in the you know in in the lockdown we went, and I did I packed my flats and actually you know what’s funny is that I think I only packed two wraps because I miscounted so I was literally washing one wrap in the sink and like drying it and then reusing the other one. So, I would like to have one for nighttime and like one for daytime. And I got away with that because I’m lucky in that my daughter she normally posed on a little potty So, um, so I remember thinking I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I only packed two wraps like, and I had loads of flats, of course just like wraps and I was like, I knew I was going to like Miss count something. But it worked out


Bailey Bouwman  19:47

my child is a little bit he was a little bit of a pooper. So, we definitely went through a lot of wraps because I mean, so people often see this question and like the buy and sell the chat groups often be like, how do you guys not get pooped, but like, it’s just that’s just kind of what happens. Even the best holder will sometimes have, like a flat fold is not the seal of an elastic. That’s why you bet your elastic cover we will go through, but luckily you just kind of wash up the wrap, and then it dries really quick or quicker than a full complex diaper.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  20:22

yeah, and I found too, so like, when she was, you know, when she was breastfeeding and stuff. I was like jelly rolling and you know, like, in some satellites and like, trying to be better, you know, sometimes it’s just like, with that breastfeeding pill, there’s like, there’s no containing it sometimes. I mean, it contains inside the wrap, but, you know, like, you’re right. If you don’t have those elastics in there, sometimes it can escape. But, um, that’s fine.


Bailey Bouwman  20:55

Yeah. That’s why I said you. I said, I was thinking on my I had a, I had an interview with a mom for the Maldives, and I had to describe what the dryer was to her. So, access to drying machines is definitely a unique world. It seems like for North Americans.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  21:15

I know. I said, you know, it wasn’t something I had thought about. But I definitely noticed. So, I’ve Yeah, so I’ve been in the UK on off, like a couple years and I this is like the first time I’ve had a dryer is like after my mom came and she was like, okay for you sound like you have a little bit of a British twang. And you already like my family says the same thing. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong anymore. You’ve


Bailey Bouwman  21:46

as you’ve picked up so many of the words, you don’t have a lot of the verbiage of American verbiage or the language of the dictionary that words are a little bit different than assimilating


Jenn, SweetClothBums  22:08

Don’t get in like really quickly, like kiss I, like I grew up in Virginia. And then I went to school in Georgia. And I was like, y’all. Yeah, my whole roommates. Were all from Texas. Like, yeah, you pick up a little bit of the y’all. And then I went to California. So yes, you just, you just pay it just take it like as it comes our plots in the UK, an affordable cloth diapering choice for families. Yeah, I think that’s the thing that’s really good. So, I think, to be honest, if I had to do it over again, I would have been less scared of like trying it out. Because I think it’s really good, especially for like babies with different shapes. Because when you buy like a pocket or something like it does, like, it doesn’t always fit like the baby shape. But with like a flat or something like that, it does fit really well. And I think that’s the thing is like, especially newborn Yeah, especially like newborns using a muslin or something like that, like, the fact that you can get it and you, you know, when you are trying out different brands, they’re much more expensive than trying out, say, you know, birds like cotton flat, or, you know, attar like, they’re such cheap options that I really think that everybody so at least try it once see if they actually like it, because you might be surprised. I know, I was surprised.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  23:34

And number two if you do like it, you just saved yourself so much money. Instead of like trying all these other like things that you may or may not like or may fit your baby or may not. And then you have to resell them. And I think you know, like I said like you try it, and you don’t like it. You know, you can use it as a towel. Like it’s a perfect size for a newborn towel. Like if you know like so I think it’s very economical. And it’s probably the cheapest way, I think to cloth diaper if I’m honest.


Bailey Bouwman  24:09

googling what the cost of a flat was in the UK to see if it was comparable? Yeah, it’s about the same. It’s like, two pounds. By singly Yeah, that’s about four Canadian. That’s what you would expect in Canada to they’re like three to $5 they’re super and even then, we’ll have so many great contents coming up to the thoughts challenge. You don’t have to buy everything new, and you can repurpose things but even if you want to buy it, I know a lot of families get a lot of picky they’re like not picky is not the right word. They get concerned about us things and that can be such a great way to enter cloth diapering.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  24:44

The other thing is like with flux as well is that you can really wash them like they’re really durable. So, if you get it, you’re like okay, well. I’m not comfortable that washing this on the hottest setting like you can do that, like you can, like, throw those Cotton’s in on it. And, and it’s okay. You know, whereas you can’t do that if you buy on one second hand, like you have to sanitize it some other way.


Bailey Bouwman  25:13

They are super forgiving, they’re so forgiving, you can like abuse them, you can watch them, you can watch them really gently, you can watch them really harshly and they usually always come out. And that’s one of the real beauties that people are going to discover during the flats challenge. So, I think we’ve kind of did you have anything else you want to add about your flats experience?


Jenn, SweetClothBums  25:35

No, I mean, like I said before, it was not something that I would have thought that I would like. And I was pleasantly surprised. So, I guess what I would say is if you are listening to this, and you think flats are not for you Just try it, just try it once and see how you get on. And if you don’t like it, that’s okay. You can still use it as a towel or like as a changing mat or whatever. Like you. It’s one of the cheapest things you’re going to buy. Yeah, and your entire baby experience. And if you don’t like it, you’re not out like, you know, $20 something like this. Yeah. So, I guess that’s all that I would say like, definitely try that.



Yeah. All right. And so, the nice thing about chatting with Jenn here today is that we can find her on Instagram SweetClothBums . And I just opened up your reels and you have a ton of great folds, and a ton of great videos that can help people out looking for ideas about cloth diapering to make it easier. Even though you’re in the UK. We’re all still talking the same thing. Yes. It’s so cool to see all the different brands. I love how you included I love how you came up with you guys do these flat lays so well. I love a flatly I love flatly I just can as I’m looking at this recent one with the Apple Cheeks, I just don’t have that kind of visual. I mean, I watched a lot of Art Attack as a child but I still can’t do it.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  27:10

You should probably do it. Try it. I


Bailey Bouwman  27:14

It’s probably not as stressful as it looks.


Jenn, SweetClothBums  27:19



Bailey Bouwman  27:20

I have all these things I have these rainbows. I have these hurts or animals like I really don’t have an excuse. My kids are in daycare right now. I well thank you for joining me I didn’t realize that you were joining from across the pond, and I didn’t realize that you were SweetClothBums




Professional Cloth Diaper Educator

Bailey brings 5+ years of cloth diapering experience and conversation to the cloth diaper space. She's not just your every day mom blogger sharing her experience - Bailey is immersed in the cloth diaper community learning from other parents and growing as an individual. She wants to find the cloth diaper solution that truly works for you.

Bailey believes we need to stop and listen to cloth diapering parents. We need to recognize our own bias and preferences and focus on solutions that work for you, not us. The Cloth Diaper community needs to recognize the privilege of being able to cloth diaper, and provide spaces for more conversations and stories.

Cloth diapering is not about rules but about our own strength as parents to do the best we can for our children with the resources available.

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