Flats & Handwashing Challenge Day 7: What did we learn?

flatschallenge2013header-600x269Today was the final day of Dirty Diaper Laundry’s Flats and Handwashing Challenge, and today’s topic is about what have we learned from this experience. We all decided to do this challenge for different reasons, but over all it was to raise awareness that 1 in 3 families struggle to afford diapers for their children. This week I was able to diaper and hand wash the diapers for next to nothing, and do it safely.

Overall, I had a great experience with this challenge. It helped me realize that you don’t need to spend tons of money on “modern” cloth diapers to diaper your child. You can have the same cloth diaper experience by using flats. Flat cloth diapers are not anything to be scared of, just like everyone that starts to cloth diaper their children you have to find out how to make it work for your child. You will have to try different folds, maybe add an extra flat to your diaper, but this is the same thing you have to do with modern diapers to adjust the absorbency for you child because each child is different.

As a mother that works outside of the home, I am also glad I took this challenge, because there are mom’s that believe they can not add any type of cloth diapers into their schedule. You can! Cloth diapers are a great way to save money for you family. Think of all the money you spend on disposables, and all the money you could be saving by switching over to cloth diapers.

I do wish I would have participated in this challenge last year, because if I had I probably wouldn’t have spent as much money on “modern” cloth diapers. I must say I have fallen in love with flat cloth diapers and will be adding them into my cloth diapering rotation. Who knows I might even sell or donate some of my pocket diapers!

Lastly I would like to thank Dirty Diaper Laundry for hosting this challenge for the 3rd year in a row. It has opened my eyes to the world of flats and I am so happy that it has. Thank you Kim!

How was your overall Flats experience? Will you be using more flat diapers?


Flats & Handwashing Challenge Day 6: Mama’s 1st Full Day

Helping Mama Wash Diapers

Helping Mama Wash Diapers

Today is day 6 of the Flats and Handwashing challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry and it is another open topic day. I have decided to blog about how today has gone overall. Today is my first full day using flats since I work Monday through Friday, and haven’t had to deal with nap time diapers and early morning diapers.

When we got up this morning I knew that I needed to wash some diapers. My husband and I had date night last night and I did not get the chance to hand wash diapers yesterday. Miss R and I washed the diapers with no problem, I have been surprised how easy poopy diapers are to clean. I have not had a problem with hand washing so far in this challenge. I have probably now jinxed myself! After getting the diapers all washed I decided to dry them inside since there has been a threat of rain all day (still hasn’t rained) and I didn’t want to take the chance of them getting soaked. flatschallenge2013imtakingthechallenge

The only problem I have had today was a horrible leaky diaper. I had a little more faith in the flat diaper she was wearing than I should have. She must of chugged some water or something because she pee’d so much it was like she wasn’t even wearing a diaper. I am super glad that it happened at home and not out and about. After she pee’d every were she did come up to me and say “potty”. If only she can learn to say it before she pees and not after, but it is okay I know she will potty train when she is ready, no need to rush it.

Today overall has been going well, I am very glad we decided to participate in this challenge and can’t wait to use flats after it as well!

How has the flats challenge been going for everyone else? Will you be using them after this challenge?

Flats & Handwashing Challenge Day 5: What is working for me? What isn’t?

flatschallenge2013imtakingthechallengeToday is day 5 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge sponsored by Dirty Diaper Laundry. Today’s topic is all about what is and is not working for us so far in this challenge.  I can tell you for certain that I will be using flats as a part of my regular diapering routine after participating in this challenge.

What’s working for us:

  •  Quick Drying time.  Normally we use a dryer to dry our prefolds and inserts and they take a while to dry. Air drying the flats has been quick I can only wonder if they were tossed in the dryer how much quicker they would dry.
  • Use of the potty. Our daughter (today especially) has started to realize that she is wet. Today she pee’d in her flat and after she did she said potty. Even though she didn’t say potty before she wet herself, she is starting to make connections.
  • Going Coverless. This has shown both my mother (who watches our daughter a few times a week) and I that Miss R doesn’t wet herself as much as we think. We are able to pay closer attention to her schedule.

What is not going so well:

  • Extra steps in changing flats. Our daughter doesn’t like to be still for very long, so once she is all snappi’d in a flat she thinks it is time to get up and she is all done. Trying to get her to lie down long enough to put a cover on can be tough.
  • Trying Different Folds. I have tried to get different fold to work but they always seem too lose! I am in love with the Jo Fold it has been the easiest for me to prepare ahead of time as well. My husband likes the pad fold to just slip it in the covers since Miss R is such a busy bee!
  • Folding ahead of time. The only time I can fold ahead of time is if my daughter is sleeping or distracted by something else. She loves to stand on the flats and spin in circles, or just pick them up off the floor and run off with them. She is such a fun little girl, but like any toddler it can be hard to keep up on the house because they are getting into everything!


If you are participating in the challenge what’s working for you?



Flats & Handwashing Challenge Day 4: Thoughts on Handwashing- How am I doing?


It is now day 4 of the Flats and Handwashing challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. Today’s topic is all about handwashing! This part of the challenge, besides nighttime diapering, was probably my biggest worry. I did not know if I would be able find the time to hand wash the diapers between work, making dinner, cleaning up the apartment, and spending time with my little girl. But I did and it has now become a family activity to do after I get home from work. Hand washing is something that many people have to do on a regular basis. If other mom around the world can do this every day I was sure that I could add it in to my nightly routine.

We did not need to go out and buy anything to hand wash our diapers. We had few extra large plastic totes that we had used to move last summer. We had just recently unpacked some more of our belongings and had no clue what to do with the extra totes. Empty tote equals new washing machine. We also already had a plunger that we could use as an agitator, but we did not drill holes in it as suggested for easier agitation.flatschallenge2013imtakingthechallenge

I find hand washing to be a great stress reliever for the day, and kind of a time to unwind. My daughter also loves to help with the agitation of the diapers. She is in love with washing the diapers, sometimes it is hard to get her to stop so you can do the different rinse cycles! After we have washed and rinsed the diapers my husband helps wring them out and put them out on the line to dry. We have tried to make it a whole family event.

I feel like I have had success with hand washing our diapers and it has not taken away from family time. This was another worry of mine, because working out side of the home our time together is valuable. I am glad that this had turned in to its family time, all the way down to the folding of the diapers.  In the end you just need to make it fun and not think of it as a chore, because if you are dreading doing it, than it will always feel like a burden when it doesn’t need to.


If you are participating in this event, how is hand washing going for you?

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 3: MeeMaw’s Flats Experience


As most of you know I am participating in Dirty Diaper Laundry’s Flats & Handwashing Challenge. Today is an open topic day, and I decided to see how my Mother liked using flats since she watched our daughter yesterday while we were at work.

Yesterday morning when my Mother got to our apartment I reminded her that we are doing the flats challenge and showed her how to do the Jo fold on the flats. I asked her if she could let me know about her experience using the flats so that I could get a sense of how this challenge is going of other members of our family. My Mother said she was not worried about using them. Most might think that my mom probably used cloth diapers on me when I was a younger, when actually she used disposable. So the only cloth diapers she has used have been modern cloth diapers on our daughter.

I did a little Q & A with my Mother today to find out how flats worked for her yesterday.

Question 1: What was your favorite thing about using flat cloth diapers?

My Mother: I like that they rinsed out so much easier than the other cloth diapers we use. They gave my granddaughter more movement. She could run around so much easier, because they were very trim.

Question 2: What was your least favorite part of using the flats?

My Mother: She did require one extra clothing change, but with a toddler that can always happen!

Question 3: Would you use the flats more when you are watching her or the modern cloth diapers?

My Mother: Now that she is starting to be interested in the potty, I think flats would be a good option. They are thinner and she will start to realize a little more wetness. However, modern cloth for naptime so both would be my answer.

Question 4: What is your favorite part of cloth diapering overall?

My Mother: I like the economic benefit for young families. Cloth saves you so much money. Environmentally, it frees our landfills from waste. I was surprised at how easy cloth diapering is. This old MeeMaw has definitely learned a new trick!

How do others in your family feel about cloth diapering and using flats?

Flats & Handwashing Challenge Day 2: How did you Prepare?

Supplies for the Flats Challenge

Supplies for the Flats Challenge

When preparing to participate in the flats challenge I knew that I probably had all the supplies needed to cloth diaper in flats for the week. But, I did a little research on what people were using as flats and read many different posts on Dirty Diaper Laundry’s site to get ideas for the week, to make sure I had everything I needed.

One of the first posts that I read was about using T-shirts for diapers, and I knew I had quite a few XL – XXL shirts that were not being worn. I watched the T-Shirt Diaper video on Dirty Diaper Laundry and went to work on cutting up old shirts. From the shirts we were able to get about 8 flat diapers.

To round out our stash of flat diapers for the week we found some old receiving blankets (to use for night time diapers), and bought a few Flour Sack Towels. I had read online of many families using these as flats to cloth diaper their children, so while at Wal-Mart I pick up a few and that was the only money we spent for the challenge ($6 for 6 flats).  For covers we already had quite a few, so I did not need to spend any money on covers.

We also already had the items we needed to wash our diapers. We are using a large plastic tote, and a plunger to hand wash the diapers in. For detergent I am using a sample pack of Rockin’ Green Smashing Watermelons, and Purex Free and Clear if I run out of the sample pack.

The Breakdown:

  • 8 – T-Shirt Diapers
  • 6 – Flour Sack Towels
  • 3 – Receiving blankets
  • 8 – Covers
  • 1 – Plunger
  • 1 – Large Plastic Tote
  • Sample of Rockin’ Green

What are some of tips you might have when hand washing any type of laundry?

Why am I participating in the Flats & Handwashing Challenge?


This is the first year that I have participated in the flats challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. We have been cloth diapering our daughter for just about a full year now and are so glad that we have made the switch. Most people only gave us a few months of cloth diapering before we would switch back to disposables. Man have we proved them wrong! Cloth diapers are something that both my husband and I love, because it definitely makes diapering more fun and entertaining.

I have decided to participate in this challenge for two main reasons, to show parents that you do not need to spend a ton of money on diapers (cloth or disposable) to diaper your children, and to let all the moms that work outside of the home (and think they are too busy to cloth diaper) know cloth diapering is not as bad as they might think it is. These two reasons mean quite a deal to me, you don’t have to buy a huge stash of diapers to diaper your children and it can fit into your daily/weekly routine with ease. I want to talk a little about each reason in more detail for this post.

Reason 1: You do not need to spend a ton of money on diapers (cloth or disposable) to diaper your children.

The reason my husband and I started cloth diapering was to save money. I had quit my job when my daughter was about 4 months old, to stay at home with her and look for a job where I could use my college degree. During that time my husband worked two jobs and we ended up falling behind on our bills. We had to look at where exactly our money was going and how we could cut back on different items.

I had seen a few different posts online from my sister in law who was starting to look into cloth diapering, and sent her a message to find out if they had gotten any cloth diapers to try out yet. She informed me that she hadn’t started but would send me some information that she had found on them. I later mentioned switching to cloth diapers to my husband and he was quick to remind me that he suggested when I was pregnant that we used cloth diapers on our daughter. So I started doing my research on cloth diapers, even asked a lady from the WIC office about them and that is when she let me know about Heiny Helpers. Heiny Helpers is a group in Bloomington that will lend out a set of cloth diapers for family’s that need diapering assistance. This was a blessing, and I am thankful everyday for their help.

1st Flat Cloth Diaper!

1st Flat Cloth Diaper!

Heiny Helpers gave us time to build up our stash of cloth diapers to a size that fit our family best and allowed us to wash them every other day. After discovering the cloth diapering online community, I realized there is a great deal of support and help out there for anyone who would like to make the switch to cloth diapers.

Reason 2:  To let all the moms that work outside of the home (and think they are too busy to cloth diaper) know cloth diapering is not as bad as they might think it is.

Of course when I started cloth diapering I was home with my daughter and it was very easy to fit cloth diapering into our everyday routine. When looking at cloth diapering over all it has been more of a blessing than a burden.  I will admit when I found a new job I was nervous that I might be too busy to cloth diaper, but that was not the case at all.

Working full time, outside of the home, and cloth diapering is no different than being a Work at home mom or a stay at home mom. Cloth diapering is very easy to fit into your weekly and is not that noticeable. You might think it is just one more thing to add on to your to do list, but I bet you hardly notice. When you decided that cloth diapering is something that will work for your family it does not become a burden, because you will make it work for your family. I absolutely love my current job and I love being a mom, both bring happiness to my life that I did not know could be a part of it.

I am very excited to participate this year in Dirty Diaper Laundry’s Flats and Handwashing challenge. I know that it will set a different routine in our daily lives, but for some people this is their everyday life. I am also excited to explore flats for the first time and see if they will be a happy addition to our current cloth diaper stash.

Check back every day this week for more updates on how the challenge is going for our family. Also be sure to check out Dirty Diaper Laundry’s page to see how others are doing with this challenge.