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 & 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?