Posts Tagged ‘Handwashing’

Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 8 (Unofficial)

May 19, 2014

 

Check out the rules here!

Check out the rules here!

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is an annual event started in 2011 by DirtyDiaperLaundry.com  to raise awareness about how cloth diapering can be done economically and with minimal resources by almost anyone. Cloth diapering can allow families to allocate more resources to food and other necessities, without worrying about affording a product that is literally designed to be thrown out.

Day 8 (Unofficial): Overall Experience, What did you learn, Would you do it?

As I shared on my Day 7 post, I was out of town this weekend, so used flats the whole time. (I used a non-flat diaper for bedtime Sunday.)  First I went to church (which is about a 2 hour drive from my house.) Baby C stays with me the whole time, so I was the only one that had to deal with his diaper changes. Then we had a quick lunch with a friend and drove another little bit to go to a Ladies Tea. We drove to another friend’s house to sleep over and spent some time there in the morning, then headed to another friend’s house to spend some time with her and her kids before heading over to our midwife’s picnic. It was hot, but nice under the gazebo. After that we headed towards home, but about halfway he got fussy, so I stopped, fed him, and changed his diaper, but he was just done with being in the car, so cried most of the rest of the way home. I was tired, and knowing he wouldn’t be happy until he could be out of the carseat, so I just kept driving and talking and singing to him and reaching back to caress his head when I could (while sticking to the speed limit.) When we got home we greeted Daddy, I threw the diapers from the weekend into the bucket to soak, and we went to bed.

At the picnic Sunday there wasn’t a changing station, so while I was changing Baby C on the table one of the husbands asked me how it was to cloth diaper, so I talked to him about it, and he turned to his wife and said that he might be willing to go along with it. (Apparently she’s been trying to convince him!) People also asked about his amber necklace at both the tea and the picnic. He did wonderfully with all the different people and everything going on, but I think he was glad to see Daddy and be home.

One interesting thing that I found this weekend was that even though I kept checking his diaper, he went through fewer diapers each day while we were gone than he does at home. (I do find this true on day trips too, like when we just go to church and come home.) I don’t know why. I haven’t counted the diapers exactly yet, they’re soaking in the bucket, but it’s more than one bucket load worth. I may wash them in the bathtub instead, and I’ll count when I do that. My rough number, based on memory of changes, is that I have 6 from before we left (from about 4:30pm on Friday), then 7 for all day Saturday, and 7 for all day Sunday (So I still have about 16 clean flats, which means I’d still be able to use them today, even at home! Since we’re both a little tired from our weekend, and we have a lot to get done today, we’re not continuing the challenge. I definitely appreciate my washing machine a lot more now!  At least I know that if something happens I CAN wash by hand and do just fine.

I wouldn’t consider it too difficult to do regularly if our situation necessitated hand washing in order to use cloth diapers. I learned that even with being in the carseat so much, and having a few large bowel movements, we didn’t have leaks, even without the fancy liners and double gussets. I also learned that despite my back issues, hand washing is still feasible. In fact, it’s a good upper body workout, but not so much so that I was sore.

Would you go out of town with only flats and covers?

To read other people’s experiences with the challenge, check out DirtyDiaperLaundry.com’s post and the link-up at the bottom of her post.

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Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 7

May 16, 2014

 

Check out the rules here!

Check out the rules here!

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is an annual event started in 2011 by DirtyDiaperLaundry.com  to raise awareness about how cloth diapering can be done economically and with minimal resources by almost anyone. Cloth diapering can allow families to allocate more resources to food and other necessities, without worrying about affording a product that is literally designed to be thrown out.

Day 7: Overall Experience, What did you learn, Would you do it?

Today is the last day of the challenge, and as a blogger participating in the challenge I’m supposed to share my experience. Well, since I’m out of town for the weekend, I’ll be ending the challenge tomorrow evening instead. I’ll share how it was to be away for the weekend with only flats and covers, as well as my overall experience. I’ll be staying with a friend, and bouncing from location to location, so I probably won’t be able to wash until I get home, but since I have 36 flats, and the most he’s used in 24 hours is 15 last wash cycle, (and 7 wipes and 6 covers!!!) I should be alright! (Though I’ll be bringing covers I didn’t plan on using…just in case!)

Check back Sunday evening/Monday morning for my final post on the 2014 Flats and Handwashing Challenge!

So far I think it’s been a good experience, and I definitely could do it. (We’ll see if the weekend changes things.) So far I’ve learned that hand washing isn’t that difficult! I normally wouldn’t wash on Sabbath anyway, so doing two days worth tomorrow would be part of my regular routine if I were hand washing, so it’ll be a good test!

Would you go out of town with only flats and covers?

Happy Sabbath 🙂

To read other people’s experiences with the challenge, check out DirtyDiaperLaundry.com’s post and the link-up at the bottom of her post.

Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 6

May 15, 2014

 

Check out the rules here!

Check out the rules here!

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is an annual event started in 2011 by DirtyDiaperLaundry.com  to raise awareness about how cloth diapering can be done economically and with minimal resources by almost anyone. Cloth diapering can allow families to allocate more resources to food and other necessities, without worrying about affording a product that is literally designed to be thrown out.

Day 6: Open Topic – Working this into a busy day

I wasn’t sure what to write about today. I’d thought about writing about how to work the hand washing into a busy day, but thought it was too silly. Then I asked my husband for topic ideas, and he said that he thinks it’s a silly idea that creates more work for women that already have too much to do. Since that’s along the same lines (roughly!) I decided to go with it.

I do work from home, but I do the diaper laundry in the evening so that it can dry overnight. It gets done in between feeding the baby, eating, straightening up, and other chores.

Washing the way I am for the challenge, I often get sidetracked during the “soak” periods, so it can take several hours from start to finish. I think the fact that it’s not urgent contributes to this. The numbers below reflect a load of 12 diapers, which is in our normal range, and getting ready with the diaper bag fold. Doing only 8-10 diapers at a time makes things easier, and gets things cleaner, but I’d rather do a little bit extra than do a second load. These numbers also assume I don’t get sidetracked, though when I do it only prolongs the soak cycles.)

Filling the bucket with cold water for the first soak– 2 minutes
Agitation – 2 minutes
Let soak – 10-30 minutes
Agitate again – 2 minutes
Drain & squeeze out excess water – 3 minutes
Refill bucket with hot water & detergent – 2 minutes
Agitate – 2 minutes
Let soak – 10-30 minutes
Agitate again – 2 minutes
Drain & squeeze out excess water – 3 minutes
Refill bucket with cold water for rinse – 2 minutes
Agitate again – 2 minutes
Let soak – 10-30 minutes
Agitate again – 2 minutes
(If the water still looks less clear than I’d like I’ll do another rinse cycle.)
Final drain, sqeezing out water, and rolling into a towel – 5 minutes
Hanging to dry – 2 minutes
Folding to be ready for changes – 6 minutes.
TOTAL TIME – 46 minutes of active involvement (if allowing for an extra rinse.) 86+ minutes from start to finish. (Though the drying time is in between…but that is inactive time.)

When you see it broken down like this, you can see that it only takes a few minutes here and there, which can be done in between other tasks. None of the steps will be harmed by waiting a bit longer if necessary (other than maybe overflowing the bucket if you left it filling.) You do want to make sure that any toddlers won’t be able to get to the bucket, since a bucket full of water is a drowning hazard.  My little guy isn’t walking or crawling yet, so it’s not a concern for us yet.

Most of these steps can be done while multi-tasking. I’ve done each step while wearing my baby, which keeps him happy. The time could be used to catch up on phone calls if you use a hands free device or speaker phone. If you have older children you could listen to their reading, or quiz them on various subjects. Of course it can also just be a few minutes of time away from everything else, which is how I’ve been using it. It is sort of calming, and becomes a sort of meditation. That’s great for me since I never relax, and I’ve failed at meditation many times. Who’d think that washing diapers would help me find peace!?

The last wash cycle was 13 diapers, 5 wipes,   and  4 covers (again, 24 hours worth.)

What do you do to find a few minutes of peace in your day? Do you think you could find a few minutes here and there to wash diapers if you needed to?

To read other people’s experiences with the challenge, check out DirtyDiaperLaundry.com’s post and the link-up at the bottom of her post.

Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 5

May 15, 2014

 

Check out the rules here!

Check out the rules here!

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is an annual event started in 2011 by DirtyDiaperLaundry.com  to raise awareness about how cloth diapering can be done economically and with minimal resources by almost anyone. Cloth diapering can allow families to allocate more resources to food and other necessities, without worrying about affording a product that is literally designed to be thrown out.

Day 5: Flats Experience- Folds I love, Are they working, etc.

 Today I’ll be talking about some of the folds I like to use, and why I like them. Here’s a photo of the folds I’ve been using that get pinned on. For explanations of the folds and videos of them being done, check out this table over at Padded Tush Stats. 

From left to right, flat diaper folds: narrow airplane fold, diaper bag fold, kite fold with jelly rolled legs, narrow neat fold.

From left to right, flat diaper folds: narrow airplane fold, diaper bag fold, kite fold with jelly rolled legs, narrow neat fold.

One of the deciding factors for which fold I’ll use is which brand of flat diaper I’m using. As you can see below, one of the flats is more rectangular, and the other is more square. (Though it doesn’t show very well…my Osocozy flats have about a 3″ difference between the long & short sides, where the Imagine flats only have about a 1″ difference between the sides. The overall sizes of the flats are similar, it’s just the proportions that are different.

Imagine flat behind an Osocozy flat to show size difference.

Two flats hung together to show size/proportional difference.

I like the narrow airplane fold for either of the flats because it’s pretty forgiving. It’s also easy to adjust the rise, and puts a lot of layers where my boy needs them. It also sort of creates a pocket in the back for solid waste. (My little guy doesn’t yet have “solid” bowel movements, but it still helps.) I don’t particularly like how the hip tabs end up, but it works.

The diaper bag fold is also very easy for either of the flats. It’s easy to adjust the hips and rise as you fold it, and again, puts a lot of absorbency where my little guy needs it. It also is easy to fold ahead of time and stack, say, in a diaper bag! I get a pretty decent fit with this fold, and there is a decent pocket in the back to catch solid waste. This is also the easiest fold to fold “in the air” if you don’t have a flat surface to fold on.

The kite fold is less forgiving if your sides are uneven, but I actually prefer it with the Osocozy flats. With there being about 3″ excess on one side, it’s easy to fold that in to make the diaper square, and continue from there. With only 1″ of excess on the Imagine flats it’s difficult to make that little bit stay folded over. I like to “jelly roll” the legs in because it contains not so solid waste very well. I prefer this fold when I know he might be having a bowel movement soon. It’s trickier to get folded, or to fold in advance, but I’ve found that clipping a clothespin to the tabs keeps it closed and folded.

The narrow neat fold is pretty easy with either flat, but works a little bit better with the Imagine flats, since they’re closer to square. This one can get quite a few layers of absorbency in the front, and also creates a bit of a pocket in the back. It’s not a difficult fold, but it’s hard to fold on the fly.

The easiest fold is the pad fold, which I use doubled up at night. Having absorbency throughout works well since he sleeps on his back, and not having to deal with pins or a Snappi in the middle of the night is priceless. He also rarely has a bowel movement at night, so a pocket to catch that isn’t necessary.

Flats Handwashing Challenge (2)

Two padfolded flats tucked into a cover. All set for bedtime!

The padfold is the bulkiest of the folds, but as you can see below, it’s not really bulkier than a stuffed pocket diaper. The trifolded prefold (I use the Osocozy infant size) gives 16 layers of absorbency. Two padfolded flats give 24 layers without much (if any) added bulk.

On the left: a cover stuffed with two padfolded flats. On the right: a BumGenius pocket diaper stuffed with a trifolded prefold diaper. They're snapped to  equivalent sizes.

On the left: a cover stuffed with two padfolded flats. On the right: a BumGenius pocket diaper stuffed with a trifolded prefold diaper. They’re snapped to equivalent sizes.

One perk of hang drying the flats over bars on a drying rack is that there’s a crease showing where the middle of the diaper is. This helps a bit when doing many of the folds, as anyone who’s ever done origami can relate to. If the diapers are a little bit stiff that helps with the folds too, since otherwise it can be too soft to really hold the folds between steps.

The fold I use most is the diaper bag fold, and since it’s fairly easy to fold it’s also quick, so definitely one I could do long term. So far they’ve all done the job. There was one instance where his bowel movement seeped up the FRONT of the diaper and out the waist, but he was in his jumper when he went, so it was pushed that way. It would have happened with any fold, unless I’d had it much tighter around his waist. I just try to make sure he’s not in his jumper when I expect him to go, or if I hear him going, I take him out of the jumper. (For any international readers: by “jumper” I mean an excercise bouncer that lets him jump while being supported in a sort of seat, not an article of clothing.)

I just realized that I didn’t share how many diapers I used/washed in yesterday’s post, so I’ll share it now! Yesterday’s load was 14 diapers, 3 covers, and 5 wipes. This was more than I’d recommend doing at one time. I had to do an extra cycle to get the water clear and feel that things were clean. The load for today was 10 diapers, 3 wipes, and 4 covers. That’s definitely a more manageable size.

What are your thoughts on the various diaper folds? What’s easiest for you, or what would you try?

To read other people’s experiences with the challenge, check out DirtyDiaperLaundry.com’s post and the link-up at the bottom of her post.

Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 4

May 14, 2014

 

Check out the rules here!

Check out the rules here!

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is an annual event started in 2011 by DirtyDiaperLaundry.com  to raise awareness about how cloth diapering can be done economically and with minimal resources by almost anyone. Cloth diapering can allow families to allocate more resources to food and other necessities, without worrying about affording a product that is literally designed to be thrown out.

Day 4:  What is my washing routine?

 So far I’ve had three hand washing cycles since starting the challenge. What I’ve been doing is working well for me, though I have a couple of ideas that I may try out.

When I take off the dirty diaper, I wipe down the cover if I’ll be reusing it before washing. If not, it goes in the 5 gallon bucket washer. I also unfold the flat so it is a single layer again. (Grabbing one corner and letting it drop usually does the job.) This also goes into the bucket. When I have a “load” of diapers (aka: the bucket looks full enough, or it’s been 24 hours) I start washing.

I should mention that I have an exclusively breastfed baby right now, so this works, but when he starts solids all bets are off! I have no experience with “solid” bowel movements, though I’m assuming aside from needing to “plop” into the toilet, those diapers may need a bit more attention before working in this routine.

I start with a cold water rinse. I fill the bucket of diapers (and covers and wipes) with cold water, then I agitate with the plunger (with or without the lid on) about 60 times. I let it sit for a bit while I go do something else for a while…at least 10 minutes, but up to 30 minutes. When I come back to it I agitate 60 times again, and dump the whole thing into the bottom of the tub. As I pick up each item I squeeze the water out (not excessively, just ball it up and squeeze, then open it back up) and put it back into the bucket.

Soaking before the final round of agitation and squeezing.

Soaking before the final round of agitation and squeezing.

Once everything is back into the bucket I add 1 tablespoon of detergent. For this challenge so far I’ve been using my doTERRA (affiliate link) OnGuard brand liquid detergent because it’s the liquid I have, and I thought using powder (Nellie’s is what I use in our washing machine) would be tricky. The bucket is then filled up with hot tap water, and I agitate 60 times. Once more I let it sit for a bit while I go do something else. When I come back to it I agitate it 60 times again, and dump everything out into the tub again. After I squeeze each item it goes back into the bucket for a rinse.

The end rinse goes just about the same as the first. Fill the bucket of diapers with cold water, agitate, wait, agitate, drain. The exception is that I squeeze water out more thoroughly, and “snap” the diaper to get a bit more water out of it. When I “snap” the diaper I grab two adjacent corners and shake it out. I’ll also snap the wipes, but not the covers, since I don’t want to damage the elastic.

To hang them to dry, I start by stacking the “snapped” diapers laid out flat on a large bath towel. I roll them up in it (like sushi or cinnamon buns) and set the roll on the edge of the tub. I then kneel in various spots along it until the towel feels pretty wet. Then I hang everything on the drying rack, including the towel. (I lay the towel across the bottom to collect any drips, especially from the covers, since our bamboo floors wouldn’t take too kindly to having puddles sitting overnight!)

Flats Handwashing Challenge 004

A full load of diapers hanging on the drying rack in the nursery.

I’ve been asked if the diapers that are hung to dry get as stiff as cardboard. I have to say that for the most part they don’t, but if they are a bit stiff, “whipping” them or crumpling them up as you take them down helps a lot with that.

One idea I had, though haven’t tried out yet, is at least for the first two cycles of squeezing out water, putting the diapers in a milk crate in the tub, and stomping the water out. This might save my hands a little bit, but it means I have to clean one of our milk crates, and make sure my feet aren’t dusty when I do it. Since we live in a desert with red dirt everywhere, it probably won’t happen. It would also make running out of the bathroom to check on something a lot harder since my feet would be wet! It’s an idea anyway that might work for some.

I was worried about the agitation and squeezing making my arms and hands sore, but I don’t really feel it, even after a few days. How would you hand wash anything?

If you want to watch something amusing, here is a video of one full agitation cycle. 60 strokes takes about 2 minutes.

To read other people’s experiences with the challenge, check out DirtyDiaperLaundry.com’s post and the link-up at the bottom of her post. (Apparently day 4 isn’t up yet..I’ll update the link later.)

Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 3

May 13, 2014

 

Check out the rules here!

Check out the rules here!

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is an annual event started in 2011 by DirtyDiaperLaundry.com  to raise awareness about how cloth diapering can be done economically and with minimal resources by almost anyone. Cloth diapering can allow families to allocate more resources to food and other necessities, without worrying about affording a product that is literally designed to be thrown out.

Day 3 :  Open Topic – Flats and Handwashing vs. Normal Routine

Today I’m comparing the routine of the challenge to that of my normal cloth diapering. For the challenge we are using only flats and covers. I do this occasionally, but also use pocket diapers stuffed with prefolds that are tri-folded, and all-in-two diapers that have natural fiber inserts that snap in.

Efficiency during a change: The all-in-two style definitely wins here. When taking the diaper off you can drop it into the pail without taking the insert off, and therefore after being washed and dried they are easily put back on the baby. Pockets aren’t too much more trouble except they need to be stuffed and unstuffed. Some ways of using flats are almost as easy, and they can be the stuffing for a pocket diaper too. Pinning flats on isn’t difficult after a few changes, but putting a cover over it adds a step. Some people go coverless at home, but that doesn’t work for us.

Trimness: Not counting bedtime diapers, flats can be very trim. Pocket diapers and all-in-two diapers tend to have a thick pad that runs the length of the diaper. Some are made from fibers that are less bulky and more absorbent, but still run the length of the diaper. Flats can be folded so that most of the fabric and absorbency is where it’s needed. This leaves the backside much less bulky which helps clothes fit better. (I’m thinking that once the baby is learning to stand and walk the padding might be a good thing though!) There’ll be more about folding flats later in the week.

Laundry: Usually I wash diapers every other day, which makes one good load for our high efficiency front loading washing machine. A lot of people have trouble getting their diapers clean in this type of washer since there’s not as much agitation as the older top loading washers. Having hard water adds another level of difficulty, and if we were using microfiber inserts they would be difficult to get clean enough. Since we use natural fibers, I get away with doing a warm prewash that takes about half an hour, then I add detergent and run a hot wash with an extra wash and rinse. That takes about 80 minutes. Then I hang dry, unless I need them sooner, in which case I’ll put them in the dryer on low. Hand washing the flats I think takes less total time, but a little more interactive time. I haven’t timed everything just yet, but there will be more about the laundry routine later in the week. The flats definitely dry faster. By morning they’re always dry for me, while my prefolds and inserts might take 24 hours to dry, especially if the heater isn’t on.

In general, there are a few differences I’ve noticed daily between following the challenge and what we usually do. Diaper changes might take a little bit longer, depending on the folds used and if they were folded ahead of time. The diaper bag is lighter since I only need to carry a couple of covers with however many flats. Hand washing helps incorporate a bit more physical activity into my day. I don’t have to go in the garage to wash diapers, which means I don’t have to freeze or cook while doing laundry. So far I think this is feasible as a full time diapering option.

My fancy washing machine!

My fancy washing machine!

The wash load yesterday (after a full 24 hours of using flats) was 13 flats, 3 covers, 4 wipes. I don’t think I’d wash more than this at one time…it started binding up on the plunger.

What is your usual routine, and what would you be concerned about if you were to switch to flats and washing by hand?

To read other people’s experiences with the challenge, check out DirtyDiaperLaundry.com’s post and the link-up at the bottom of her post.

Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 2

May 12, 2014

 

Check out the rules here!

Check out the rules here!

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is an annual event started in 2011 by DirtyDiaperLaundry.com  to raise awareness about how cloth diapering can be done economically and with minimal resources by almost anyone. Cloth diapering can allow families to allocate more resources to food and other necessities, without worrying about affording a product that is literally designed to be thrown out.

Day 2: My Flat Diaper “Stash” and what it cost

All my flats (except a few dirty & on baby,)and  covers except the one on baby.

All my flats (except a few dirty & on baby,)and covers except the one on baby.

For the challenge I am using about 36 birdseye flat diapers. They were purchased at different times, but the average cost was about $2.10/each. Half are OsoCozy unbleached flats, and half are Imagine unbleached flats. I am also using nine Diaper Safari covers which are $8.95/each but often are (and were purchased when ) on sale for buy 2 get one free, making each one come out to just under $6 each.

Showing the inside of one of the covers, as well as my pins and Snappi. You might be able to see a bit of the size difference between the Osocozy flat (on top) and the Imagine flat (on the bottom.)

Showing the inside of one of the covers, as well as my pins and Snappi. You might be able to see a bit of the size difference between the Osocozy flat (on top) and the Imagine flat (on the bottom.)

I also will be using  two diaper pins that were $0.75 each, a Snappi which was about $3, and cloth wipes that were made from old t-shirts that I cut up, so were free. I’m also using a bucket and plunger that I purchased new in our rural hardware store for about $15 as a washer, and my usual laundry detergent. That brings the total cost, not counting detergent or water (which are the only things that need constant replenishment) to $149.10. I honestly probably am using more flats and covers than are necessary, but $150 isn’t bad for diapering a baby full time for 2 years or so. A couple months disposables and wipes would easily cost that.

Flats Handwashing Challenge (9)

Oh! I did forget to add in the wipes solution that I’m using. I made wipe cubes with a bar of Dr. Bronner’s baby soap, coconut oil, lavender oil, and melaleuca oil, and while I don’t have what the cost on that was, I know that it made over 50 cubes, and a cube makes about 8 oz of wipes solution, which lasts me at least a few weeks the way I use it. I spritz the bottom, then wipe dry with a cloth wipe. Plain water, or water with a drop of your favorite baby wash are less expensive alternatives.

The OsoCozy flats when prepped have less even edges than the Imagine flats. There’s about a 3″ difference in the sides, where the Imagine flats only have about 1″ difference between the sides. For the most part this doesn’t matter, but for folds that require a square, it takes a bit of finagling to get it to work. The Diaper Safari covers have generous pockets at the front and back for tucking a flat into if you prefer not to pin the diaper on, yet they’re also generously sized enough to go over a doubled up diaper that’s pinned on. Later in the week I’ll share what folds I’ve used and why I like each of them.

My bucket and plunger "camp washer."

My bucket and plunger “camp washer.”

So far I started using the flats around 10pm Saturday night, and at 4:30pm on Sunday I was washing 10 flats, 2 covers, and 3 wipes. Since the flats dry within a few hours hanging on our drying rack, and assuming 3 more changes in a 24 hour period (to be generous) that equals 14 flats/24 hours, add half a day for drying is 21 flats, and maybe 3-4 covers (depending on the poop schedule. Today we only had one messy one.) I suppose I should mention that my little guy is not quite 5 months old, is a heavy wetter in the early morning hours, and a moderate wetter during the day. He is also exclusively breast fed.

I was a little bit worried about this starting on Mother’s day, but it ended up being fine. I usually change most of the diapers anyway, so that was no different. Since Hubby and Baby made my meals, and I mostly got to just relax, fitting in the washing was easy. I think it can fit in during the week too even after Hubby is at work and I’m working from home and getting other things done. We’ll see how the week goes!

What does your cloth diapering stash look like and what did it cost? Share in the comments!

To read other people’s experiences with the challenge, check out DirtyDiaperLaundry.com’s post and the link-up at the bottom of her post.

Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 1

May 11, 2014

 

Check out the rules here!

Check out the rules here!

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is an annual event started in 2011 by DirtyDiaperLaundry.com  to raise awareness about how cloth diapering can be done economically and with minimal resources by almost anyone. Cloth diapering can allow families to allocate more resources to food and other necessities, without worrying about affording a product that is literally designed to be thrown out.

Day 1:  Why Am I Taking the Challenge?

When I first heard about the “Flats and Handwashing Challenge” last year, I was intrigued. Since cloth diapering is definitely about cost for us (as well as keeping chemicals away,) I was glad to hear that people do cloth diaper so inexpensively. I also tend to be crafty, so I’m not intimidated by having to fold fabric to fit on a baby. When I was a child we’d occasionally use “whatever was available” flats on my brothers (and my mother probably did the same for me too!)

My little guy is now about 5 months old, and we’ve been cloth diapering most of the time. We did get some pocket diapers, prefolds, and a few miscellaneous diapers, which we use most of the time, but we also have a bunch of birdseye flats. We use them to stuff the pockets, and also folded onto the baby, especially after a bath to let his bottom dry without risking a shower of another kind!

The hardest parts of this challenge for me will be the middle of the night diaper changes, and the hand washing. I don’t think they’ll be so difficult as to prevent me from continuing with the challenge, but we’ll see!

I hope to see how feasible it is to cloth diaper with just the flats, covers, pins (or Snappi,) and hand washing. I know many families who are on a very tight budget that could save a lot of money by cloth diapering. I’ve also seen so many articles about people trying to reuse disposables because they can’t afford to buy more.  I can’t counter the “it’s too hard” comment if I haven’t done it myself, since we’re currently blessed enough to have a working washer and dryer, as well as “easier” cloth diapers. (I do hang dry most of my diapers most of the time anyway, but we don’t have to.)

Have you ever had to make do with what you had on hand for diapering? Have you ever cloth diapered while hand washing? Share your experiences in the comments.

To read other people’s experiences with the challenge, check out DirtyDiaperLaundry.com’s post and the link-up at the bottom of her post.