2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge: Day 1- Why Are You Taking It?

Today hundreds of parents will begin the 2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  The Challenge means that for seven days the babies will only wear flat cloth diapers (1 large square of fabric, just like grandma used on your parents) and the parents can only handwash and air dry them.

I’ve already gone into a lot of detail about WHY I decided to take start the challenge last year (refresh your memory).  In a nutshell- I want to prove that any family can save money by using flat cloth diapers and handwashing.  When it comes to buying food or diapers there IS an alternative that can meet both needs.

This year I asked participants why THEY are taking the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  Here is what a few of the nearly 500 who signed up had to say:

To help bring awareness about cloth diapers. I work with teen moms that sometimes are unable to get diapers for their babies. I too was a teen mom, but l was lucky to have an aunt that showed me that cloth diapering was cheap and easy.   12 years later my husband and I are still cloth diapering.

I keep making excuses saying that I don’t have the testicular fortitude to stick to the hand washing with 2 heavy wetter boys & all I have going on with 3 kids and working at home. I’m no wimp, so I’m gonna do it!

I would love to help raise awareness. I would also be able to know that I could diaper my baby in the event of an emergency where water was scarce, or there was no electricity. In a time like that I couldn’t imagine how stressful trying to get all of the kinks out would be.

It’s a neat way to demonstrate to friends & family that cloth diapering can be shockingly inexpensive and accessible to anyone – no matter their financial situation. I’m a mouthy little broad so I’ll be sharing my experiences with this on my FB each day. You wouldn’t believe how many people I know who have claimed to not be able to afford CLOTH diapers while purchasing disposable diapers. I’m seriously considering just using whatever I have on hand as my flats. . .towels, receiving blankets, etc. to absolutely prove that cloth can be ridiculously economical.

I believe each & every child has the right to healthy & comfortable diapering. I hope that this program can help in raising awareness not only about cloth but about the dangers to reusing disposables. If we can all do something to help those who need it, why not?

I am participating to prove that even WOHM can do this!

The flats challenge last year is what made me start on cloth. We are a low income family living in an apartment without a washer/dryer and I thought without a w/d and lots of money to start there was no way to cloth diaper, but the flats challenge got me started on flats and I still use them! So this year I am participating to help out the cause and help raise awareness for other low income families to use cloth!

As a Women’s Studies graduate, I have been trying to find ways to fulfill my need for advocacy in my every day life. I am a stay-at-home Navy wife and this is often seen as contrary to being a feminist. One of the areas of advocacy that I have fallen in love with is cloth diapering. After participating in the Great Cloth Diaper Change I have been looking for more ways to advocate for cloth diapering. Making cloth diapering available to those who want to cloth diaper but are not able to is quickly becoming a desire of mine. I am participating in the Flats challenge to understand the challenges women who have to hand wash will face.

As a primarily cloth diaper store owner – I felt like it my personal duty to the community to be able to provide first hand experience on inexpensive alternatives – and cloth diapering without facilities. Last year — I only participated for the weekend — but this year will be the full 7 days — with an infant and toddler in flats!!

We are poor. Text book poor people here. We’ve been very fortunate to have family and friends buy us diapers, to win some in contests and giveaways, to have beautiful people give us beautiful hand-me-downs. We are lucky. But if we didn’t cloth, we would have had to not change DD as often as we should have or reused dirty diapers. My husband was laid off a little over 2 years ago, just days before we found out we were pregnant. His unemployment benefits have ended, he hasn’t found a job yet, and we’ve been scraping by. I want to remind ourselves that it is possible to make anything work. And bring to light the ease of cloth diapering, how fun it can be and how great it is for both baby and the environment.

I am hoping to reconnect with my flats. I’ve been dependent on prefolds for a long time. When using flats I am a better EC advocate for my daughter. I am hoping this challenge is what I need to get back to basics.

I own a cloth diaper store, teach classes, and am an RDA circle leader. I have also started a diaper bank and often hear that lower income families will not be able to wash the diapers. I want to experience that it can be done. I am hoping that I can teach others through my experiences.

I have been doing this challenge for the past 2 months since we have been on the road traveling for my husband’s job. There’s really no reason for me not to sign up since I am basically doing everything that is in the rules for a while, temporarily. I think it is very important for families to see not only how inexpensive cloth diapering can be, but also how EASY it can be to wash by hand!

To help raise awareness among my faith community of the need for education and simple diapering supplies. So many churches offer food aid to those who are in need, and I would love to see mine and others also help meet the need for families who are left to choose between diapers and food.

To see if I can do it.

It sounds like fun.

So there you have it! This is just a tiny representation of the truly inspiring, funny, heartbreaking, and hopeful reasons people are participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. I kept these quotes anonymous but if you see your words feel free to claim yourself!

Out of the nearly 500 people participating this week many will be blogging their journey. You can visit them and see why they are taking the challenge as they link up. Each blogger will link up every day.

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