Categorized | Flats Challenge

3rd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge- Day 5: What is Working?

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flatschallenge2013buttonThe question, “What is working” for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge also implies that there are certain things that just aren’t.  As much as I feel that this event can be a powerful tool to showcase how easy using flats can be,, it is also a way to showcase what doesn’t work.  Even better, it is a way to compare notes on things that work better than others to make handwashing and using flats, when necessary, easier.

The thing I have heard most often this year in the “chatter” has been how great the flats are working for participants!  Several people have decided to sell off their stash and go back to flats.  Maybe they will use them with covers, or they might start using them as inserts in their pockets.  The reason?  Flats work!  They are absorbent and wash and dry like a dream.  In 2011 I had “I’m bringing flats back” to the tune of “I’m bringing sexy back” because this was the sentiment then too.  Flats were selling out at many stores!  Now I think retailers increase their stock around May!

Another surprising discovery people have been making is that flats DO work overnight!  I’ve heard each year from moms who assumed they would still need to use their night time diapers but found out that 1 or 2 flats will still work!  And if they needed a stay dry liner, well, those are easy to DIY and a fleece liner can be used in the diaper to help baby from feeling too wet at night.

As I’ve said in the past 2 posts- Ev has potty trained during this event!  I’m still in shock and it was very unexpected but I won’t stop him when he is so ready.  That means that I haven’t had the “full” experience and he has only used two diapers (one each night) since Tuesday afternoon.  Still, I’m using flats overnight pad folded in a cover and I’ve done two loads of handwashed diapers so far. On our first 2 days he was in flats using the diaper bag fold or the pad fold and it was awesome, no leaks!  Yesterday I posted my handwashing routine and that has been working well also.

As for “fails” well, the only fail this year so far has been my motivation and enthusiasm.  Before the challenge began I was dreading it.  I really didn’t want to handwash diapers.  I always strive for honesty on this blog so there it is.  I still got out my supplies, even after waiting until the very last second to do so, and when I had enough diapers that needed washing I did it.  As always, once doing it I’m reminded that it isn’t so bad.  Washing machines are easier and require far less effort.  I just throw the diapers in and forget about them for an hour until they need to be dried.  With handwashing I have to be fully awake and present.  I can’t zombie wash- I have to have the energy and being a mom to 2 boys who rarely gets a solid 2 hour stretch of sleep this is hard for me.  I can see how it would be hard for working moms too.  I have the luxury of waiting until I feel awake to do so which can often be after 9 or 10 am, or will wait until the kids are napping to have less interruptions.  I know this system can work but it requires a lot more of the parent because they are the machine and it is 30 minutes of solid work.  The only thing that I don’t love about the act of handwashing is the wringing of the diapers.  This can take a toll on my hands.

Every diaper fold I’ve ever tried has worked for us but I have my favorites.  The diaper bag fold and Jo fold are easiest and can be folded ahead of time.  I don’t really like the Origami or Kite fold.  But I’m too lazy for folding so I stick with the Pad fold.

Now I want to hear what is working for you!  And what isn’t?


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Kim Rosas began Dirty Diaper Laundry in 2009 out of a desire to help more parents understand modern cloth diapers. She lives in Florida with her husband of 5 years and her two boys. Even though none of her boys wear diapers anymore she is still just as committed to promoting them. In her spare time Kim enjoys video editing, photography, and coffee.
  • http://www.facebook.com/juditupp Judith Martinez

    I didn’t do the challenge but I did use the few flats I have to fill my pockets to try it out and I think I’m going to gradually switch. A lot of my microfiber inserts I got used from freecycle and they’re reaching the end of their life. I think I will replace them with flats. I have hard water and really struggle with finding the balance between enough soap to get things clean and so much soap that it takes a billion rinses to get them rinsed. I think flats will be a lot easier while preserving the ease of my pockets. As a bonus they’re less expensive then microfiber inserts. Next question, what to do with the old microfiber? My brain is percolating some upcycling ideas. ;)



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