I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post. This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!
Before I get into what we are using I wanted to give a quick update on diapering today: Day two and I actually have not been lazy and am folding the diapers. Today I have learned that the Oragami fold does not work well for large toddlers, but it is great on infants. So far the kite fold seems to be doing well on Ellie. I lost the two pins I had so we are just folding, covering, and putting the cover over it. It seems to work ok so far. The one nasty poopy diaper we had rinsed out nicely in the toilet from the receiving blankets.
What we are using for the challenge:
Flats: Cloth diaper flats are the least expensive, most versatile option for cloth diapering there is. The average flat diaper cost (if you actually buy a flat diaper) is between $1-2. There are many alternatives to buying actual flat diapers that cost nothing or little to nothing. Target has tea towels that work well, Ikea has burp cloths people swear by, and Wal-Mart has flour sacks. You can also up cycle T-shirts, flannel receiving blankets (the ones you get at the baby shower that you never use), flannel shirts, sheets, pillow cases, and pretty much anything thin, absorbent, that you can cut into a square.
We are using 12 Osocozy flats (cost $10 and I got a free snappi with it), 10 Gerber flats ($13 at Target), I had 6 flannel receiving blankets (priced at target for $12), 2 old T-shirts (making 4 flats) from the closet (one ironically from Urine Town: The Musical). I also cut up a jersey knit pillow case and some thin old towels to size but I am not very happy with the shape they came out as so I am not using those.
Total flats cost: $23 (it would have been $35 if I had purchased the flannel blankets new)
Covers: You can get those sad little plastic pants from Wal-Mart for cheap, or so I am told. Those are not appealing to me for so many reasons. There are also wool covers that are lanolized to be waterproof. These need to be hand washed (no problem here) and hang dried. I have mad wool longies with up-cycled sweaters before and they are great, but I am not using them for this challenge as it is summer. Instead we are using PUL covers.
I will do a more thorough review on the covers later. Suffice it to say, they all work just fine. Our infant covers were either purchased on sale from a cloth diaper store going out of business (under $5 each) or are borrowed from friends who’s kids have out grown them and are waiting to have more. It is good to have friends. My toddler is using Thirsties, Econobum, and Flip covers. I don’t remember what we spent on those but they are all one size (they snap smaller so you can use them for a wide range of sizes) and have been used since she was about 6 months old (she is 20 months now).
We have been switching between 3 covers with the baby and 2 so far with the toddler. I would say you “need” 2 covers a day to rotate in case one gets too wet, or poop on it. I like 3 because then they can be wearing a cover while you are washing the other two.
Wipes: Cloth wipes are not a part of the challenge, but I have been wanting to use them for a while and have been scared. I decided to use disposable wipes for my daughters nasty toddler poo, but otherwise use cloth wipes. My cousin made me some cute flannel cloth wipes that work great! I love them. I also used that cut up pillow case as wipes, which works well too. Wipes solution to follow in another post.
Day 5: Handy Dandy Diapering Tips
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