Changing Diapers: the Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering

Monday, May 21, 2012

Flats & Handwashing Challenge: DAY 1

I am participating in the 2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge, hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  I have pledged to use flats, and handwash them, for 7 days.  The Challenge was an idea that came about after numerous articles referenced the practice of reusing disposable diapers.  Families with no money for new diapers were scraping out the solid contents or using a hair dryer to dry the diapers for reuse.  Not only is this unsanitary but it is also extremely dangerous. {read the original article} It was the personal mission of Kim of DDL to educate others that, although not ideal, hand washing the inexpensive flat cloth diapers was an option to families who had no other way to diaper.  No baby should have to suffer when there are ways to diaper for less than $50.00.


You may think it's a little weird to choose flats and handwashing when I have a perfectly "normal" stash of cloth diapers (a fairly large one, at that).  But I'm sure you think it's just insane to choose to handwash diapers for one full week, when my washer is in full working condition. 

So WHY? would I choose flats and handwashing for 7 full days?  Why would I choose to take the extra time when I am busy planning my soon-to-be 5 year old's birthday party?  Why, when I am planning a 5 day trip to visit family?  Day 5 of this challenge, we will be in the car for 6 hours.  Days 6-7 we will be staying with family.  Outside, at a lake, in the woods.  I already plan to use a hybrid system (for the 1st time) the remainder of our trip.  But the plan is to stay dedicated to the Flats Challenge. 

The first reason that comes to mind is so that I am able to share my personal experience with those who could benefit from using flats and handwashing full time.  As the founder of the DFW Cloth Diaper Project, I would love to be able to share my own tips and tricks.  As with all things cloth diapering, I like to be able to give my own opinion, since it adds a more personal touch.  How can I teach someone to handwash diapers if I've never done so myself? 

I recommend that people use flats and covers on trips, since they are easy to handwash.  Since the last 2.5 days of this challenge will be on vacation, I will also be able to give my personal experience with flats while traveling.

First Flat of the Challenge!
Flour Sack Towel, "diaper bag fold", with an organic flat as a doubler.
I only use pins with flats.
My poor little guy was attacked by ants and mosqitoes this weekend:(

Another reason is to simply prove to myself that I can do it.  I admit, I am nervous about handwashing.  I bought flats last year in preperation for the 1st Flats & Handwashing Challenge.  However, I was in a motorcycle accident about a month prior to the Challenge and was not able to participate.  I have never been a prefolds girl, I just don't like them.  But I discovered last year that I actually kinda like flats.  Not my favorite diaper, but there's something nostalgic about using flats and pins.

Another reason I'm participating is the good ol' Boy Scout motto:  Be Prepared!  I have been caught out of the house, running errands, with a poopy toddler... and NO DIAPER BAG.  I used the spare diaper (a Flip cover and stay dry insert) from the car, but he pooped again.  We were at the mall, so I went into a department store and bought some receiving blankets on clearance.  I felt so proud that I was able to think of that!  I can honestly tell you that if that had happened when we used disposables (we used them for 2.5 years before we knew about cloth) that I would have been poop out of luck (pun intended!).  I would have gotten nothing done and just gone home. 

We live in North Texas.  Tornadoes are not common, but also not rare.  Not too long ago we took shelter in our bathroom while tornadoes touched down all over the metroplex (the closest one less than 10 miles away).  If tragedy struck our home, I feel I would be well prepared to use items that are easily found (t-shirts, towels, blankets) as diapers.  This Challenge will give me the tools I need, so that diapering my child is one less thing to worry about in a terrible situation

So that's it!  The many reasons I want to participate in this Challenge.  E was actually dry all morning long in his first flat (though he wouldn't pee on the potty, despite several attempts)!  I finally changed him around 1:30, when he welcomed this Challenge with a BANG!  Oh, what fun it is to change nasty stinky diapers in the car....

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