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

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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?

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

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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?

Why am I participating in the Flats & Handwashing Challenge?

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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.

Best Stain Remover & Energy Saver… The Sun!

When I first started cloth diapering I would dry everything in the dryer. This was a fast way to get my cloth diapers dry so that I could use them since I didn’t have very many diapers to start out with. It only took one time for me to ruin a diaper to vow I would never put my covers and shells into the dryer again! My covers and shells are now always hung up to dry either inside or outside.

Hanging your clothes and diapers outside to dry helps save your money, remove stains from whites and naturally sanitize them. The sun has great powers besides just burning your skin on a hot summer day.

Cloth Diapers Hanging Outside

Cloth Diapers Hanging Outside

If you have any tough stains on your cloth diapers I always suggest putting them out in the sun. The key to getting the stain out is to make sure that your diapers are wet. All you have to do next is put them in a sunny area and leave them. It is really neat to take a before and after picture of your diapers to see the power of the sun.  If your stain doesn’t come out the first time, wet your diaper and leave it out again, just repeat the process until the stain has disappeared.

This past weekend I didn’t have any diapers that had been stained, so I don’t have a before or after picture. As soon as this happens I will write an updated post about it promise!

Do you like hanging your clothes or diapers out to dry? How has your luck been sunning your diapers?