7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 7 | What did I learn? How did it go?

Yesterday was the final day of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge!  I was sick on Saturday and Sunday so I’m a day behind with my writing and washing.  But I’m happy that I can go back to using my washer today!  While hand washing wasn’t nearly as hard or time-consuming as I thought it would be it still got old having to wash diapers every night.

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Today’s​ topic is “What did you learn and how did it go?”.  It went smoothly, until I got sick, then it wasn’t so fun.

The flats worked great and saved my pocket diapers.  I’ll be continuing to use the flats with my pocket diapers since that’s what I have.  But if I do have to ever replace the pocket diapers I probably will go with wool covers.

While the flats work great they are definitely not as convenient as other diapers.  It takes slightly more time to fold them but the main downside for me is that they’re harder to get the poop off of.  There are just more layers to deal with.  I’m​ going to try stuffing a pad folded flat inside of the pocket.  Maybe that will fix any downside.

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Those are my two biggest take aways from the challenge.  I’m glad I got back on the band wagon and have both boys in cloth!

This is a Blog Hop! Check out the other posts here!

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7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 5 | Open Topic

It’s day five of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge!  Today is open topic but I’m going to talk about what’s working for me and what’s not since I won’t be blogging tomorrow on my Shabbat.

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What’s working for me are flats in general!  I’ve been able to diaper both my boys at night with no leaks and no rashes.  Yay!!  With my microfiber inserts I think the problem was that I just couldn’t get them clean enough.  We moved a while ago and now have off the charts hard water and the amount of water softener needed made it ridiculously expensive.

One thing that is not my favorite about the flats is that unless you’re just pad folding there are a lot of different layers that poop can get into.  It has made it harder to get the poop off before throwing them into the wash.  I will have to figure out a better folding method though if I’m going to use wool diapers.  So far every time there’s been poop it had gotten on the cover.  That won’t be so fun with wool.

I did get my wool cover in yesterday!  After lanolizing it it’s being used for the first time right now.  Hopefully my oldest will get used to wearing it.  Right now he complains that it itches him.  If he doesn’t get used to it at least I know I can just put a pocket diaper on him with flats and not have leaks.  And I’m sure the “itchiness” wont bother my youngest so he can always wear it.

Anyway, It’s been going good over all.  I do have a ridicules amount of poopy diapers to wash today though.  I think I may have to do a couple pre-rinses.  Always fun…..

This is a Blog Hop!  Check out the other post here!

7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 4 | What’s your wash routine?

It’s day four of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge! So far so good! Even the poopy diapers last night were no problem.

I’ve officially added my oldest to the challenge too. I put two flats in a pocket diaper last night and no leaks. No more disposables!

Today’s topic is “What’s your wash routine?”.

I have a big utility sink in my laundry room that I wash my diapers in.  When I change a kid I throw the diaper straight into the sink with some water.  Normally I don’t use a wet pail but I feel like this gets them cleaner and keeps them from smelling when I’m handwashing and not using a bag.  Sometime if they’re poopy I’ll throw a tiny bit of detergent in too.

When I’m ready to wash I just swirl them around I little bit with my handy dandy piece of PVC pipe just for good measure.  (The piece of pipe has a cap on the end so no sharp edges.)

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I then drain this water, wring out the diapers and fill the sink up with warm soapy water.  With the soapy water I push and pull and plunge​ with my PVC pipe for a few minutes.  If there are poopy diapers I scrub them good with my hands. Then I let it sit for 15-20min. I normally wash while I cook supper so I’ll scrub for a while then let them sit while I chop veggies or something. This has worked out great.

Once they’ve sat I spend a couple more minutes agitating them then drain the water and wring them out again.  I then fill it up with warm water for a rinse and repeat the process.  Agitate, let sit, then agitate again.

I don’t spend very much time with the agitating and scrubbing. Most if the time spent washing they’re just sitting there. But this seems to work. They smell perfectly clean when I’m done.

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So far the only downside has been sore shoulders.  I hope that just means I’m building muscle. 😁

This is a Blog Hop!  Check the other wash routines here.

7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 3 | What’s your favorite fold?

It’s day three of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge!  It’s been going great so far.  I’ve washed diapers every night and so far it’s been an easy process but I’m going to have to deal with my first poopy diapers tonight so we’ll see how that goes.

Today’s topic is “What’s your favorite fold for flats?”.  Since I’m still such a newbie to the flats I’m sure it’ll change a few times as I get better at pinning them but here’s what I’ve been doing so far.

Most of the time my little man just runs around in the flat with no cover so before I had any pins I’d just do an origami fold and tie it in the front.  When I put a cover on him I’d just untie it and tuck it around the sides so it wouldn’t be so bulky in the front.

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At night I tried this with a flour sack towel but he leaked out.  I also tried a pad fold but he leaked out of that too.  I think one flour sack just isn’t enough but adding another is too bulky.

Now that I have my OsoCozy flats (which I love) I’ve been adding two.  One as a kite fold (kinda, I fold it down again in the back so there are extra layers around his hips) and the other pad folded.  It has worked great, no leaks.  I might try getting away with only one, maybe they’re more absorbent than the flour sack towels.

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Once I got my pins in and tried pinning the flats I couldn’t get the origami fold to pin tightly.  I’m sure it just takes practice but right now a flat folded like a prefold is by far my favorite. (I’m not really sure what you’d call that.  I saw it here.)  It fits nice and snug and has little built-in gussets.

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Those are about the only folds I’ve experimented with so far.  Other than a plain pad fold if I know I’m just going to put him straight in a cover.

This is a blog hop!  Check out other favorite folds here!

 

7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 2 | What’s in your stash and how much did it cost?

Today is day 2 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge!  Today’s topic is “What is in your stash and how much did it cost?”.

Since I just recently (last week) decided to switch to flats I of course was extremely excited to start using them.  I was able to find a few different things around the house to use as flats.

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The links below are affiliate links.

I had last week and yesterday I used:
7 embroidered flour sack towels that my Great Aunt gave us as a wedding gift.
2 flannel receiving blankets that my sister gave us.
9 cloth wipes I made out of a flannel receiving blanket also from my sister (not pictured).
6 LBB pocket diapers that my sister-in-law gave us that I’m using as covers.
Cost to me = Free!

I could have stuck with this for the challenge in the spirit of staying as cheap as possible but since my personal goal for the challenge is to get my stash of flats set up for long-term use I added a few things.

Last night I got an order in from Amazon and was able to add:
12 Organic OsoCozy Flats $30
6 OsoCozy Diaper Pins $4 (I had been simple tying an origami fold together or sticking a pad fold in the cover)
Cost = $34

I also hope to add to my stash on Thursday:
1 Disana Organic Merino Wool Cover – $30
With some special extras.
Eucalan Wash $9
Lanolin $8
Cost = $47

The wool cover is for my two-year old who only wears diapers during naps and at bed time and leaks out of everything.  So I’ll hopefully be adding another child to the challenge which means I’ll be cloth diapering two kids for:

Grand Total = $81

Of course there is a slight cost of detergent but I get the cheapest detergent from Sams (although it’s still one of the recommended detergents according to Fluff Love University) so the cost of that for a week is next to nothing.  I would like to switch to a more natural detergent sometime in the future and that will raise costs but this is what I have now.

If I was trying to stay as cheap as possible I could have bought non-organic products but buying organically to support farming without pesticides is very important to me.

I believe that’s it!  I rounded up I few things for my wash routine but other than a $2 dollar plug for the sink in my laundry room I didn’t spend any money there.

Check out everybody else’s stash’s here!

 

7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge – Day 1 | Why are you taking the challenge?

It’s the first day of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge! Today’s topic is “Why are you taking the challenge?”.

I am taking the challenge to help kick-start my switch to flats.  I just today got in my first set of flats.  Up until now (which is just this last week) I have been using flour sack towels and receiving blankets. I didn’t even have pins until this afternoon and was simply tying them to keep them on.

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I exclusively (minis trips when we wouldn’t have our own washer… so I guess not really exclusively 😊) cloth diapered my first child with pocket diapers.  I loved them for the first two years but by the time my second child was born they were having issues. I had only 12 diapers I was rotating through and believe that they just got worn out.  The elastic was shot, a few of the snaps had gotten pulled out and the PUL was worn in places.  No matter what I did I could not keep them from leaking if my son peed more than once in them.

It was rather discouraging.  Here I thought, after much research, I had gotten the best of the best and was going to be able to use them for several children only to have them wear out after one child?  Many people use and love pocket diapers for multiple children so I’m sure in part it was user error but I was burned out.  My baby is almost one and has been in disposables most of the time because I was tired of washing sheets.

So I’m ready to start over and get back on the cloth band wagon.  I had always heard of wool covers but had brushed them off because they sounded complicated and not washing them after they got peed on?  That sounded gross.  But my mind went back to them because no elastic, snaps or PUL to wear out sounded pretty amazing right now.  Plus not having synthetics on your child all day and not contributing to the plastic sitting in a landfill forever once they’ve reached the end of their lifespan are big deals to me.  After some research I decided I definitely wanted to try wool.

Once I had decided I wanted to try wool covers my next decision was prefolds or flats to put in them?  (I’m skipping the fitted option for now because more elastic).  This is when I found the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  I love what the challenge stands for.  I love that I can diaper my baby with things I already have in the house.  I love that flats are supposed to be easier to get clean (I believe that not being able to get my microfiber inserts clean enough in our very hard water was one of my biggest problems).  I love that they are made out of natural materials.  The list could go on.

So I’m very excited to spend this week starting over with flats.  If nothing else it is something new that is lighting the cloth diaper fire again.  I’m hoping this challenge is the kick-start I need.  And handwashing?  That’s just the icing on top.  Our power goes out all the time.  Sometimes for days.  So I’m sure hand washing is a skill I can use.

Sometimes (or more than sometimes I’m beginning to see) the old way really is the better way.

To read about why other people are taking the challenge check out the linkup here.

7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge

Woohoo!  First blog post!

I’ve always thought about starting a blog and finally decided to make the plunge so I can blog about the upcoming Flats and Handwashing Challenge!

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For seven days we’ll use only cloth flats to diaper our babies without the help of a washer!

The Challenge was started six years ago as a way to bring awareness to the fact that anyone can cloth diaper in almost any circumstance.  Have a small budget?  For as little as fifty dollars (less if you shop second-hand or make flats out of old t-shirts) you can have everything you need to diaper your child from birth to potty trained.  Don’t have easy access to a washing machine?  No problem!  Read more about the goals of the challenge here.

As a result of the challenge flats have seen a resurgence in use. People (myself included) are realizing that sometimes simplicity is queen!  I switched to using flats as my main diaper because they are sooo much easier to clean.  I was having the hardest time getting my microfiber inserts clean in our extremely hard water.  As a great bonus if you also use wool covers you can completely get rid of synthetics!

This is my first year taking the challenge and I’m super excited.  The fun starts on Monday so hurry and join up over at Cloth Diaper Revival (sign up here).  Every day there will be a linkup for people blogging about the experience.  So even if you can’t join the challenge you can still follow along and be inspired!