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!
I am going to make this a quickie. Last night I badly aggrivated my bulged disk carrying around the baby in his car seat while dragging a tantrum throwing toddler out of the parking lot. This made laundry not happen last night.
I wish I could say I had a husband who would help me out with this challenge but he thinks I am crazy sauce for even trying to do this so no help there. I figured I would just wait until morning to do the laundry before the kids got up. It turns out the kids woke up early so the laundry has been soaking in the bath tub all day long.
I have plenty of regular flats to use today, and covers but the regular flats do not work for miss E, they are just too small and I have to use 2 or 3 at a time for enough absorbancey so she is using pre-folds until I can finish the laundry. I only had four receiving blankets and four T-Shirt diapers and used the last one first thing this morning, which she then promptly pooped in.
To be fair though, I do think pre-folds are an affordable option for cloth diapering as well, and as I had to wash my WHOLE diaper stash by hand multiple times when my washing machine broke a few weeks ago I can safely say pre-folds are not that difficult to wash by hand in the bathtub either. They do take longer to line dry though.
My washing routine: *I forgot to get a picture of my flats in the tub, but I will get one tonight and post it tomorrow*
1. Get both of the kids to sleep at the same time and hope to GOD they stay that way.
2. Dump dirty diapers and covers into the bathtub filled with cold water. Swish with plunger until my back hurts (about 2 minutes), walk away, next time I go to pee swish another 2 minutes then drain the tub.
3. Fill with HOT water. Add 1/2 tsp laundry detergent (I am using charlies soap), and swish until my back hurts, go nurse baby, swish some more. Then I put on my rubber gloves, kneel on the boppy pillow, and hand scrub each diaper to get them extra clean.
4. Rinse every diaper individually under running water (usually hot)
5. Ring all the water out, snap diaper a few times, and hang to dry outside (as long as it is not raining, then it goes inside and I turn on the overhead fan so they will dry faster)
I have to say, those of you who made the camp washer seem to have it a lot easier in the washing department. I am almost motivated to go get a lid so I can finish up this challenge with one but getting out of the house with both kids without a tantrum or having to nurse in public while hoping your toddler doesn’t run off and try to destroy something, or go home with that nice elderly couple over there is a bit difficult.
I also would like to note that I think hand washing flats is much easier than hand washing my regular diaper stash. It takes a lot less time and energy than normal diapers do. They rinse nicely and I don’t think that long term they would get build up like my AIO/AI2’s do. They dry quickly as long as it is not raining as well which is great. The covers take a little longer to dry but we have enough that this has not been a big problem.
I do think this is a viable solution for most families. I am “just” a SAHM with a toddler and a new born but I do write this blog, I am working on writing a book, and am making oils and salves to sell come mid June. I can do the diapers in my spare moments and still have the tub free for bath time at night, and showers in the morning.
This is doable! It is a lot of work but I think it is worth it to have my kids in cloth and to save the money that we would be spending on disposable diapers.
How is your day 4 going? Do you have blisters on your hands? Because I do!
Day 5: Handy Dandy Diapering Tips
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