Day 7 – The End of the Flats Handwashing Challenge

I can honestly say that I enjoyed this week. Don’t get me wrong, I love my washer and this challenge has given me a new sense of gratitude for it. Before this challenge I was expecting it to be near impossible and I met May 11th with excitement and dread. Excitement because I was going to learn something new and dread because no one seemed too fond of the idea.
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When I asked around a few weeks prior to the challenge I was met with a lot of laughing and “Good Luck’s”. Everyone else made it seem like it was this impossible task that couldn’t be accomplished in modern times. Dare I say it almost seemed like it was beneath them to handwash their child’s soiled diapers. Why waste time washing diapers by hand when we have washing machines?

I did this challenge for a few reasons. Allow me to re-cap:

  • I participated to raise awareness that, regardless of socioeconomic status, parents and caregivers can cloth diaper their children.
  • To gain the skills I would need to successfully handwash my son’s diapers if we were in a situation that required it.
  • To answer the question of whether or not I would cloth diaper, now in modern times, if I did not have access to a washer or dryer all the time.
  • Every child deserves to have a clean diaper.
  • Cloth diapering is affordable when using flats, receiving blankets, flour sack towels etc. and covers.

I believe that anyone can cloth diaper using flats and covers. Whether your flats are receiving blankets, actual diaper flats, or flour sack towels YOU CAN CLOTH DIAPER!
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What did this challenge teach me?

This challenge taught me that anyone can cloth diaper and that flats are the most customizable diapers a person can use to diaper their child. I also learned that if I didn’t have access to a washer and dryer all the time, I would still cloth diaper my son using flats and covers. I know that at times it may become a daunting and tedious task but I started cloth diapering to save money.

I wasn’t aware of how many parents are already handwashing their child’s diapers until the challenge started. The Facebook group was a great resource for me because I was able to learn from other people’s experiences.

Now that I have been using flats for 2 weeks exclusively, I have decided that flats will make up the majority of our stash. They are simple, work well, wash well, and I get a perfect fit on my son every time. My son also has sensitive skin and since being in flats his skin has been much better!

I do think that anyone can handwash their child’s diapers. I think that it is doable, once a routine is found.

The one question I got asked a lot was “Doesn’t it take forever to handwash?”.

No, I can handwash 7 diapers, some wipes, and covers in less time it takes my washer to finish a cycle.

I really enjoyed this week and I truly enjoyed getting to know each of you! Thank you for checking out my journey for the week.
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How did the challenge go for you? If you were unable to participate this year, will you try next year?

Day 6 – Favorite Flat Diaper Folds

I have taken a liking to a few folds.

The Jo Fold- This one provides the best fit for J. I can get it snug around the back and legs. I can also customize how many layers of absorption.

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The Origami Fold- This fold provides a lot of layers of absorption and the fit is great. The wings are long and it is a fold  I can use for a long while. This fold actually contained a poopy mess, I was impressed.

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The Diaper Bag Fold-  This fold provides all the absorption in the front. That is where boys need the most absorption. It fits around his waist snugly and the legs need to be rolled in.

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The Pad Fold – Easiest fold, lots of layers of absorption,  and I use it on the go. The pad fold does not require the use of pins or a snappi.

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The first 3 folds will perform better, when it comes to poop, if the legs are rolled in. The diaper bag fold has the loosest fit around J’s legs so I have to remember to roll them in. To get them to fit under a cover, the legs will need to be tucked in.

What folds do you like? Is there one that you always use?

Day 5 – How Do You Wash Flat Diapers?

I can’t believe I have made it 5 days. Believe you me, I have been staring at my washer while I scrub away at diapers in the utility sink. I must admit that it hasn’t been as bad as everyone told me it would be. When I tell people I am CHOOSING to handwash my son’s diapers for a week they give me an odd stare.

I have enjoyed it for the most part. The only time I cringe is when I get done washing J’s diapers and he decides to poop! Even then, it is no big deal because I just throw it in the utility sink until a few more diapers are soiled.

For the past week, I have been washing J’s diapers by hand in my utility sink. It has a washboard built into it so it has made things easier when it comes to scrubbing and stains.

Step One.

  • I do a cold rinse and scrub all the diapers so at least some of the pee and poop is off of the diaper. I try not to wash more than 7 at a time. The most I have washed at one time is 7 and that was enough for me!!

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Step Two.

  • I fill up the sink using warm water. I then add either 1 – 2 tablespoons of detergent, depending on how many flats I have.

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Step Three.

  • I walk away and let them soak. Sometimes I forget about them for a few hours and sometimes I remember 15 minutes later.

Step Four.

  • When I get back to the diapers, I scrub them using the wash board. Once I am done scrubbing one, I lay it on the side of the sink. I found if I don’t do that I am then washing the same diaper over and over again!

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Step Five.

  • After step 4, I ring out the diapers. I then drain the wash water and turn the cool water back on and rinse the diapers. To conserve water between each diaper I turn water off while wringing them out. Turning the water off not only saves water but it also allows me to see if there are any suds left over.

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Step Six.

  • I hang them out to dry. Before hanging I would recommend wringing one more time. It is amazing how much water they hold!

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I have learned that a simple wash routine is good and sufficient for, not only flat diapers, but all cloth diapers. If it works for you, don’t tweak it! I learned that the hard way. We had a wash routine that was working and I decided to switch it up due to someone else’s suggestion. It didn’t work well for my son and he started getting rashes and was uncomfortable. Trust me when I say, if it works for you it is okay that it doesn’t work for someone else.

Keeping the wash routine simple also allows me to know that when we start traveling this summer I will be able to wash his diapers and not have to carry a whole lot with us!

I love flats!

Are you taking the challenge? How has washing gone for you? Do you handwash clothing as well?