2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge: Day 5- What Have We Learned So Far?

Jo Fold on Everett
Jo Fold on Everett
Jo Fold on Everett

Day 5 of the 2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge and we are over the hump.  I’ve witnessed a wide range of emotions and reactions to the challenge so far ranging from one extreme of  “I LOVE handwashing cloth diapers and could keep this up full time” to “I wish the week were over and this span of my life would be magically over.

Today I’m discussing some of the tips I’ve learned over the past 5 days. This week has held a different experience completely from last year.  You’ll find links to the other blogs participating at the end of this post.

  1. Roll your covers in a towel people!  This can mean the difference between waking up to fresh, dry covers and still damp ones.
  2. If using a bucket washer do no more than 8 flats and 3-4 covers.  The more real estate you take up in your bucket the harder it is to wash (your muscles will notice) and the less likely you will be to get the  diapers clean.
  3. Soaking is awesome.  Let the water do the hard work but please practice this safely!  Keep any buckets out of the reach of children and the lids locked if you choose to soak.
  4. Ikea Burp Cloths are my favorite flat this year.  They are cute, accessible to many, and cheap.  They wash up better than the Target Flour Sack towels and don’t curl up on the edges.
  5. The best new fold I’ve found this year is the Jo Fold acts like a prefold in the angel wing fold.  I made a video and illustrated tutorial for this.
I stole the flat from Everett's back to wash and he was left with nothing to hold his shorts up!

I’m wearing down a bit earlier than I did last year.  In the moment of washing I’m exhausted and just want it to be over so that I can relax.  I made it a point tonight to wash while the kids were awake so that ALL of their sleeping time was mine to do with as I pleased.  It was overly hectic as they ran around playing tag, then decided to “help” by splashing water all over with the plunger.  After the diapers were finished and wrung out (poorly) I then had to clean the bath tub and throw the kids in, then get them into pajamas.  We spoke with their dad on the phone then I tucked Fletcher in.  Next I bounced Everett on the yoga ball and nursed him until he fell asleep.  Start to finish this whole exercise took 2 hours of mania.  But boy am I enjoying listening to The Cranberries and blogging with no one wiping snot on me!  And after the fact I think to myself “That wasn’t so bad.”  Women seem especially skilled at forgetting how painful/sucky something was and looking forward to it 5 minutes later (like childbirth).  This is also what makes us so amazing at what we do!  When a job has to get done leave it to a woman.

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  • I was just thinking “like childbirth”, and then read it.  We’re thinking alike.  Good point about washing when they’re awake.  Glad you were able to enjoy some you time.

  • Love that quote at the end. Hear, hear!

  • this is my first year doing the challenge, so far so good.  i have been washing nightly and rinsing each one as they come off.  no stinkies this week in my dipes – i have been fighting ammonia.  luckily buddy has only had one feally poopy diaper.  the hardest thing for me has been drying, the sun decided to disapear and we had damp diapers for two days.  but the sun is shining today, so hopefully the diapers will dry quickly!

  • Miraclebabysmama

    I have a fold you should try. 🙂

  • Lepu0310

    I always hand wash my diapers.. we do not have a washer dryer hook up. It is hard sometimes. But I love cloth diapering so much I don’t mind.

  • Leigh

    I have been washing in the morning after the night diaper and morning poop. It gives me lots of time for soaking and I can still get them on the line to dry.

    • Brandi Elam

      That’s what I am doing as well. I find that if I don’t tackle that diaper soon after the morning poop, it’s much harder to wash!

  • I am having the opposite reaction this time! It feels like the challenge just started and i feel like i could do this all summer!   I also love having my bigger kids (4 & 6) help out with washing! I haven’t had sore arms or blisters or anything this time around!  If all i washed in the diaper laundry was diapers (and not a whole wetbag of cloth napkins every other day) I would do this all summer to save time and money (electricity and hot water and time because the diaper washing cycle in my washer takes about 3 hours).