6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 7: Overall Experience; What did you learn? Would you do it?

Today is Day 7 of Dirty Diaper Laundry’s 6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. You can read more about the challenge here.

What did I learn? I learned that handwashing diapers is really not that bad once you get started. Given another option, I wouldn’t want to do it every day, but it’s definitely doable if necessary. I learned that flats/covers are not that bad once you get started, either. They wash well, dry quickly, and cotton flats are easier to take care of than synthetic fibers. (I sort of knew all that in theory, but hadn’t really tested it.) They also seem less bulky on my little guy than pockets / microfiber inserts do, and we haven’t had the leaks with flats/covers that we’ve been having with pockets lately. I would definitely like to learn/practice some flat folds and try using flats/covers a little more when baby girl gets here.

I also learned that it is possible for me to write without overthinking and editing *too* much. Finding uninterrupted time to write is another story. (But I sort of knew that, too. Finding uninterrupted time for anything these days is difficult.)

A little late, but I finished! Yay!! (The challenge was actually last week, but I’m just now getting time to catch up with posts. I’m posting on the correct days though, to keep everything in order. Scroll down to check out Days 1-6.)

~ Jen

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6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 6: Open Topic

Today is Day 6 of Dirty Diaper Laundry’s 6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. You can read more about the challenge here.

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11 1/2 months

Today is an open topic day, but I really don’t have much to say. To be honest, I’m a little behind. The challenge was last week and I’m still trying to catch up posts. (I’m posting everything on the correct day to try to keep things in order, at least.) Seems that finding time to sit down and write has actually been the hardest part for me. There just never seem to be enough hours in the day! (Or enough hours where my attention is not needed elsewhere, anyway. lol) But I’m working on that, so if you have any pointers I’d love to hear them!

I’ll leave a couple cute baby pictures for you in lieu of more stimulating content. 😉 Only one more day to go! Yay!!

~ Jen

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11 months

6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 5: Techniques/Performance – How You Make Flats Work For You

Today is Day 5 of Dirty Diaper Laundry’s 6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. You can read more about the challenge here.

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11 1/2 months

My little guy is almost 21 months old, very squirmy, and not a fan of diaper changes, so I’ve stuck with pad folds this week. I pad fold 2 FSTs together, lay in a cover, and have it waiting right beside him for a quick change. We’ve been struggling with diaper changes lately, but this week I’ve discovered that asking him to help me hold the front of the diaper while I fasten the sides helps keep him still and interested long enough to get it on, which is helpful. I’ve also noticed that we haven’t had leaks with flats/covers this week, like we’ve been having lately with flats stuffed in pockets like we normally use, so that’s nice. I’m still leaning toward using more flats/covers with the new baby, but I should probably practice some flat folds before then. 😉

~ Jen

6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 4: What is your washing routine?

Today is Day 4 of Dirty Diaper Laundry’s 6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. You can read more about the challenge here.

This is my first year doing the challenge, and I’ve admittedly never handwashed diapers, or anything else as far as I can remember. I planned to make a camp style washer similar to this one, but didn’t get around to it so I improvised. Hey, this is sort of about emergency preparedness and making do, right?

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13 months

So, as it seems to go with life lately, Day 1 snuck up on me and I had nothing prepared. I realized this as soon as I changed my first diaper of the day. I remembered my friend, Staci (Springpatch Jam), mentioning that during the challenge she soaks her flats in a bucket under the sink until wash time, so I cleaned out one side of the kitchen sink, added some cold water, and added flats/covers as they were used. I agitated them a bit when I’d add more diapers or think about it, drained the water and refilled a couple times, added a little bleach at one point – just to make sure, and let them soak some more. Then eventually drained, added some soap, refilled with hot water, and repeated the agitating, soaking, etc. Then drained, squeezed, and added cold water to rinse. It sounds a complicated, but most of the waiting and soaking was just because I’d get distracted and forget about it. Handwashing really isn’t that bad, but I’m still trying to decide which is worse – wringing out the water or hanging everything to dry. The hanging part reminded me of holding my trumpet up during marching band, and left me with noodly, exhausted arms! Having dirty diapers in the kitchen sink freaked Richard out a bit when he found out (he was out of town for work the first 3 days of the challenge), but I promise you that sink is cleaner that it has been in a very long time!

~ Jen

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13 months

6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 3: Open Topic – Our Cloth Journey

Today is Day 3 of Dirty Diaper Laundry’s 6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. You can read more about the challenge here.

When we announced that we were expecting our first baby, the questions started coming… Are you going to breastfeed? Cloth or disposable? Car seats, strollers, cribs, yada, yada… I just assumed we would breastfeed, it seemed like the natural thing to do. But I’d never thought about diapers, or anything else for that matter. I hadn’t been around kids much as an adult, and had no idea there were so many options and so much “stuff” for babies. I remember a conversation with my stepmom very early on about diapers… She asked cloth or disposable, and then started telling me about diaper services and other things that seemed very foreign to me. I hadn’t really thought about it prior to that, but I liked the idea of cloth.

After we moved to Springfield I found a local cloth diaper bank called Cover Your Bum. I talked to them, we attended a Diaper University class to learn about cloth, and got set up to borrow diapers for a couple months after Slaton was born while we built our stash. In the meantime, a friend from high school gave me an entire set of FuzziBunz pocket diapers that she was no longer using for her son, another friend gave me a few random diapers she wasn’t using with her daughter, and our families started buying disposables… So when baby finally arrived we were pretty well set and didn’t need the loan program after all. (It is a great program though, and I’m very glad they’re here and that option is available to families who need it.)

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2 1/2 months old ❤

As I mentioned, our families had been stockpiling disposables so we ended up starting with those. They were there, and they were easy, so we used them. And it gave us more time to focus on everything else. (After 20 years or so on our own, we had some adjusting to do when the new little guy joined us. 😉 ) When Slaton was about 2 ½ months old, I tried my first cloth diaper and loved it! We didn’t start using cloth consistently though, until he was about 8 months old, we moved, and got a washer and dryer. Prior to that we were living in a one bedroom apartment on the third floor and doing laundry at a laundromat across town. Cloth was doable at the laundromat, but the thought of adding one more bag of laundry to carry up and down those stairs was not very appealing. And the disposables were still there, so…

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16 1/2 months old

Slaton is almost 21 months old now. We still go back and forth, sometimes using disposables at night or when we’re out, but I try to use cloth most of the time. His little sister is due in September, and I’d like to use cloth more consistently with her from the beginning. I’ve tried a few different styles, but have liked pockets with flats as inserts best for Slaton. He was a little older and more squirmy when we started using cloth consistently, so pockets were easier. After this week though, I’m really digging flats and covers, and thinking about using them more when baby girl arrives.

~Jen

 

 

6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 2: Show Us Your “Stash” and Tell Us What Did It Cost?

Today is Day 2 of Dirty Diaper Laundry’s 6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. You can read more about the challenge here.

My stash is made up of a wide assortment of cloth! When I was pregnant with our first, a friend from high school gave me an entire set of FuzziBunz pocket diapers that she was no longer using for her son, and another friend gave me a few random diapers that she wasn’t using for her daughter. When Slaton was around 3-5 months old, I bought 3 Flip covers from Cotton Babies ($5.00 each – discontinued colors at a Black Friday sale online); and 4 pockets ($5.00 each), 1 hanging wet bag ($8.00), and 1 small zippered wet bag ($5.00) from FuzziBunz (clearance/seconds). Sometime after that, I added 10 flour sack towels from Walmart ($4.88 for a package of 5, I think), and a mama friend gave me her entire stash/hodgepodge of cloth diapers! (Minus a few that her toddler/5th baby was still wearing at night. She’s pretty awesome! You should check her out at Tales of a Kitchen Witch. 🙂 ) And last week I bought a pack of 10 FSTs from Walmart ($7.88).

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2 1/2 months old ❤

For the challenge, I’m using:

3 Flip covers ($15.00)

4 Thirsties covers from Joni (cost to me – $0.00, current price on Thirsties website – $12.00 ea)

17 FSTs from Walmart ($14.71 – I’m missing a few of the original set. They’re around here somewhere…)

My total cost – $29.71

Total cost if I’d purchased everything – around $77.71

Either way, not bad for enough diapers to diaper a baby from birth to potty training.

~ Jen

6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 1: Why Are You Taking The Challenge?

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Today is Day 1 of Dirty Diaper Laundry’s 6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. You can read more about the challenge here. This is my first year participating, so why am I doing it?

Because I almost had to… I lost my job and our only source of income 2 days after finding out I was pregnant with our first child. It sort of turned our world upside down, and put us in a pretty tight spot financially. Luckily, we had some awesome friends and family who helped us out while we got back on our feet. But being in that situation opened my eyes to a way of life I had never really seen before. Diaper need is a real thing, and cloth diapers help a lot of families with that.

To prove that I can… We lived off grid for a couple years pre-baby, and we plan to move back there eventually. We’re hoping to have things set up to run a little more smoothly this time around, but handwashing diapers (and clothes for that matter) would definitely be a good skill to have. Even in the city, it’s nice to know that in an emergency situation I can still provide clean diapers for my baby.

Because my friend Staci made me… Not really, but life is crazy right now and it would’ve been super easy to just blow it off. So having someone there to give me a little nudge helped keep me on track. (Thanks, Staci! 🙂 ) You can read about her experience with the challenge, as well as find some pretty awesome recipes here.

So there it is! My very first blog post. (That wasn’t bad at all. Why have I been putting it off for years??) A little late, but better late than never! Wish me luck, and be sure to check back all week to see how it goes!

~ Jen