Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 2: Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge

I am participating in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For seven days, I will use only flat cloth diapers and handwash and line dry them. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post. This year, over 450 participants are taking the challenge from all over the world. 

My goal this week is the prove that anyone can successfully cloth diaper.  Therefore, I am using the bare minimum in diapering supplies.  I am using 6 Swaddlebees flats for $13.95.  I could have bought Gerber flats for slightly cheaper, but Swaddlebees will be more absorbent, and I like supporting USA made cloth diaper companies versus the "big guys".  I also have 1 Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds for $7.95 to use at night, 3 Bummis Super Lite covers for $11 a piece, and 1 snappi for $3.95.  I am also using 6 cloth wipes.   

Report from Day 1:

Day one was a success!  In the beginning, I was less worried about handwashing and more worried about successfully using flats, in general.  In the past, I have not had much luck with the origami fold, so I am using a pad fold during the day and just laying the flat in the cover.  My 11-mo-old did take a four hour nap yesterday, which is unusual.  I was unprepared for this, and he did leak out of the top just a little bit.  That was primarily because the elastic on his pants ended up slightly under the top of the cover.  This could have been avoided. 

Handwashing flats is so easy.  I did not make a homemade camp washer.  I am just washing the flats in the sink with a tiny bit of Clean B soap.  We had one poopy diaper yesterday, and I held it by the two ends of the pad fold and dunked it in the toilet, keeping my hand far away from the dirty water.  I'm washing 2 or 3 flats and 1 cover at a time.  It is very manageable and does not take much time.     

Because I live in Oklahoma where the wind ALWAYS goes "sweeping down the plains" and the weather is quite warm this time of year, the flats dry very quickly outside.  I hung 2 up in the bathroom last night over the shower curtain rod, and they were dry by this morning.       

For the baby, last night I used an origami-folded flat with the Hemp Babies kite-folded inside and snappied it on.  I used one of the Bummis covers over the combination.  His bottom was a little fluffier than normal, but it was effective, and he didn't seem to mind.

My (almost) three-year-old still wears a diaper to bed, so I pad folded a flat in a Blueberry Coverall last night.  She did not realize she wasn't wearing her super soft organic cotton diaper until this morning.  She saw me hand washing the flats in the sink and thought they were her brother's "blankies."  I could diaper her from now until she no longer needs a diaper at night (or until 40 lbs) for $20.

DISCLAIMER:  Babies need consistent and frequent diaper changes.  I am only able to use 6 flats because my son is almost one, the weather is warm outside for line drying, and I am washing more than once a day.  If I had a newborn, could not wash as frequently, or dry as easily (colder weather), I believe I would need more flats.

My goal for today and the rest of this week is to make this even more economical.  Instead of using the Hemp Babies at night, I'm going to use two flats.  Instead of using one of the bummis covers, I'm going to use an upcycled wool soaker that I made from a thrift store sweater. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's update!


  1. Are the swaddle bees made out of flannel, like receiving blankets? They're cute prints.

    1. The Swaddlebees flats are made from cotton birdseye. They are really cute.