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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.

Laundry: I was planning on making a camp washer like in this video but home depot was out of bucket lids! So I filled the bathtub with hot water and diapers and a smidgen of detergent and used the plunger to agitate the water. More on this in depth process/work out to come in a later post. I am also using a drying rack that was left in the garage at our old house in Spokane by the previous owner. I think these cost about $20 new.
So that is it! Other than the kids I put the diapers on anyway. I would guess the total investment if you had to do this all from scratch would be about $100. If you know you are pregnant 8 months before baby is born and buy little things frequently, I think the cost is easily doable by a family on a very tight budget.
What are you using for the challenge?
This post shared on Dirty Diaper Laundry, see what others are doing as well!


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About Amanda

Amanda is a mother of two amazing toddlers. She is an herbalist, natural living guru, and real food, gluten free eating pro. She loves to help educate others on how to take control of their own health through natural living, real food, herbs, essential oils, and most of all - a positive mind set. Her other business Natural Herbal Living Magazine is all about helping people learn about how to use one herb a month on a deep and profound level.
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13 Responses to Day 2: My flats swag

  1. Caitlin says:

    You know I wish that I would have known all of this before I started cloth diapering! I mean, I really do love my pocket diapers, but the more I read about it the flats would have been so easy.

    • Amanda says:

      It really is easier than I thought it would be. The PITA thing is the hand washing, and I think that is because I am lacking the bucket lid to do the camp washer which is a brilliant idea. Seriously tomorrow I will have pics of how I am washing them… not ideal lol.

  2. Janise says:

    Thank you SO much for the details in this post! I first heard about the flats challenge on Modern Alternative Momma but she did not give hardly any explanation as to what a flat was, where to find them/how to make them, how much they cost and what theirbenefit is over other cloth diapering options. I’m not a mom yet but am starting to gather tips for the future, so I’m not always hip to this all natural mothering lingo. So thank you for taking the time to explain and not just assume everyone knew what flats were and how they worked. VERY helpful.

    • Amanda says:

      I am glad it helped! It can be hard to remember some times that other people might be coming from a less “crunchy” place. Thank you for the reminder!

      Be sure to add your self to my news feed so you can get more info as I write it. There is more cloth diapering info in the site as well. We also have some fun on my FB site. Feel free to join us!

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  5. Amanda says:

    I agree with the above posters-a really great setup guide to flats. I like how frugal you were in getting the supplies. Another point you made is borrowing/trading with friends-if you ask around you might be able to save even more, just by using hand me downs.

  6. […] all for them Skip to content HomeDisclaimerWhere I get my ingredients/supplements ← Day 2: My flats swag Day 4: How I’m Doing- My Thoughts on Handwashing […]

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