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5th Annual Flats Challenge Blogging Prompts

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The wonderful thing about the Flats Challenge is that it brings the cloth diapering community together so that we all learn from those who are documenting their journey.  Even those who don’t own a blog can answer the prompts in our Flats and Handwashing group on Facebook.

If you aren’t yet familiar with the event or would like to sign up find more details here: Sign Up and Rules

right click and "save image as"

right click and “save image as”

The following list is for the Flats Challenge blogging prompts. For bloggers participating you will need to make sure to link the Sign-Up page with rules for your readers and briefly explain what the event is (in your words) and what it means to you and add your own images to each post.

Day 1 (May 11)- Why I’m Taking the Flats and Handwashing Challenge

Day 2 (May 12)- Show Us Your Stash!  Talk about supplies and give us a breakdown of the total cost, including the things you are using that you owned prior.

Day 3 (May 13)- Open Topic (Good ideas: Overnight solutions on a budget and/or that are good for handwashing, flats and daycare or careproviders, unexpected challenges, etc)

Day 4 (May 14)- Out And About!  How do you travel with flats on errands?

Day 5 (May 15)- Wash Routine- Tell us what’s working and what isn’t.

Day 6 (May 16)- Flat Style!  Folding methods and closure, share your favorites.

Day 7 (May 17)- Final Thoughts- How was this experience for you, what have you learned, and what will you do with your new knowledge?

Are you a blogger taking the challenge? Leave your URL here! This linky will be present to link each day’s blog entry for the 7 day challenge.


Posted in Blog Life4 Comments

Why the loose diaper? www.dirtydiaperlaundry.com explains why diapers were worn loosely by babies in old photographs.

Why the loose diapers? An explanation of vintage diapering techniques.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Why the loose diaper? www.dirtydiaperlaundry.com explains why diapers were worn loosely by babies in old photographs.

Look back at black and white images of babies wearing diapers and you may see something perplexing… every single baby’s diaper looks to be ill fitting and far too loose.  The diapers are so loose that you begin wondering if they were even effective!  The diapers are pinned in a way that leaves room all around the legs, plenty of room for little gifts to roll out from onto the linoleum floors.  Not only that, but babies were almost never pictured wearing those poofy plastic pants we so often think of when “cloth diapers” are mentioned.  Why?

Newborn in a loosely pinned flat, presumed date pre-1960.

Newborn in a loosely pinned flat, presumed date pre-1960.

This is the question I began asking myself as I started collecting old advertisements and photographs from the first half of the 20th century and the late 19th century.  Today we expect all diapers to fit snug around the legs, stomach, and back.  The fit is one of the most important aspects of proper diapering- too loose and stools can escape from the legs and back of the diaper, creating a mess for all parties.  Our modern diapers are completely different than the old flats used prior to the 1950’s, but the style of diaper is just one piece of the puzzle.

From a Maytag advertisement published in TIME, 1944

From a Maytag advertisement published in TIME, 1944

Children’s fashion used to be dictated by the infant care manuals and advice columns of the day.  Go back to parenting books before 1960 and you’ll see that baby care was a far cry from our routines.  Cleanliness was touted as supreme and a reflection on the mother as much as the child’s future self.  “A baby should never be left in a wet napkin, for the expectation of cleanliness should begin early.” (Maternal & Child Welfare Manual No. 9. 1956) To do such would encourage future unclean habits.  “At a very early age, even at three months, a great deal can be done in teaching baby proper control over his bowel movements.  Besides the early cultivation of a habit of regularity and cleanliness, which saves much work in the washing of diapers, the habit of regularity also helps to prevent constipation… but the end certainly justifies the means- that of doing away…with the ever offensive diaper.” (A Baby’s Day, p. 16. 1917.) Early potty training was the standard practice until the age of Dr. Spock in the 1960’s.  Babies were expected to be on an elimination schedule- drastic measures to ensure they were not soiling their diapers would recommended to be taken- such as soapsticks hand carved to resemble an enema- were inserted into the rectum if digital rectal pressure didn’t produce results.  (The Practical Care of the Baby, 1903)  The methods were not at always gentle, some babies were even strapped to their pierced chair (potty) as long as it took for a movement to be made. This strict mode of parenting went out of style when Dr. Spock, author of the best-selling book “Baby and Child Care”, wrote that babies should potty train when mentally ready.  This explains why diapers, and their effective (tight) fit was less important prior.  Diapers themselves were worn as infrequently as possible in order to reduce washing and expedite toilet training and there was no reason to make them any more effective or convenient.

Illustration from parenting manual in 1956 to show infant toilet training techniques

Illustration from parenting manual in 1938 to show infant toilet training techniques

 

“A babe of three months and upwards, ought to be held out, at least, a dozen times during the twenty-four hours; if such a plan were adopted, diapers might at the end of three months be dispensed with—a great desideratum-and he would be inducted into clean habits—a blessing to himself, and a comfort to all around, and a great saving of dresses and of furniture. ‘Teach your children to be clean. A dirty child is the mother’s disgrace,’ Truer words were never written,—A DIRTY CHILD IS THE MOTHER’S DISGRACE.”  (Excerpt from Advice to a Mother on the Management of her Children, by Pye Henry Chavasse 1878)

Concerns over movement and development were also at play; doctors and advice manuals as well as family advice were all to leave diapers loose fitting.  “The diaper should never be pinned too tight and must not be too thick.” (A Baby’s Day, 1917)  Of concern to parents of girls was the constriction of the hips. (citation needed, I have found this information but lost the original source.)  Mothers concerned about their daughter’s future child-birthing ability influenced the loose pinning.

Advertisement for new Riegel flats, 1950's.

Advertisement for new Riegel flats, 1950’s.

Movement and the baby’s ability to freely exercise their legs in all ranges was important as well.  Flats were large and when applied in certain fashions, were worn lower on the legs.  Modern cloth diapers and disposable diapers are cut higher.  To ensure babies could move their legs freely a loose application was required.  Between the large flats, using pins, and the folding techniques of the era diapers were worn in a different way than today’s flats secured by a Snappi.

Twin boys in Diaper Derby, NJ, 1944

Notice the looseness around the stomach- likely from stretch and wear. Image 1944, 6th Annual Diaper Derby.

Even though diapers were applied loosely, the movement of a baby during wear would loosen the diaper even further.  This can be seen even today when babies wear a flat or prefolded diaper.

One final reason diapers were applied loosely involves temperature and airflow.  Heat rash and concerns over other diaper rashes caused by chafing and wetness were common.  This is why rubber and vinyl diaper covers were never popular.  Even though covers would have been much more effective at holding in the wetness and their tight fit from elastic around the legs and back is what we desire today to hold in the solid waste, they were cause for discomfort.  “…under no circumstances should ‘stork pants’ -made of rubber sheeting- be put on the baby since they cause overheating and produce chafing.” (Our baby: a concise and practical guide for the use of mothers in the care and feeding of infants and young children, 1912)

The Free Lance-Star, excerpt from advice column.  1942

The Free Lance-Star, excerpt from advice column. 1942

There was a clear and obvious disdain for the waterproof covers; it was inferred that parents using them full time were lazy and cared more for their own convenience than their child’s. The alternative to the pants was wool, and these garments usually had to be hand knit by the mothers. Wool soakers were a more breathable way to keep furniture and laps dry but they required knitting and had to be hand washed, even after the home washing machine became popular.

“I had four children between 1938 and 1946… I knitted only one article, SOAKERS… They guaranteed a more contented baby, one without diaper rash… ‘Modern’ mothers bought the latex pants at a dollar a pair, but their babies suffered sore bottoms… Another plus for soaker knitting was that mothers developed strength of character to counter the ridicule of those who espised the ‘why bother?’ school of mothering.”  Quote from Vivian Filipak regarding diaper methods of the 1940’s.  From the book “No Idle Hands” by Anne MacDonald.

The new contour shaped diapers started appearing in the late 40's and early 50's.  Photo from 1948.

The new contour shaped diapers started appearing in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Photo from 1948.

All of these factors combined, it now makes much more sense as to why babies wore loosely pinned flats. After the war a boom in babies ushered in new diaper designs, such as the infamous Boater by Marion Donovan. Better fabrics, snaps, and changing attitudes made diaper covers more common to wear, and contour shaped diapers like the B-52 changed the shape and style of how babies wore diapers. Later potty training (thank you Dr. Spock and home washing machines!) also made it important for diapers to be more comfortable and easier to walk in, again influencing their design and tighter fit. Today, even prefolds and flats fit trimmer thanks to the 1980’s invention of the Snappi, and are worn bikini cut style with new-fashioned folding methods under wrapping covers.

The images used in this post are all from the personal collection of Kim Rosas and may not be copied or republished in any way.  

Posted in Featured, History of Cloth Diapers10 Comments

DDL’s Home Office Makeover

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It has been a long time since I’ve published any home improvement pictures or updates. Of course, 3 years after moving in there aren’t many changes being made but this year I did kick my son out of his room in order to give myself an office. Previously my office was the guest room and I would have to breakdown the photography and video equipment for guests and with a bed in there I hardly had room to maneuver. Since my sons wound up in the same bed a lot of the time anyway I decided to make it a permanent thing! I also couldn’t bear taking away a guest room, especially my Golden Girls Guest Room, so it was the only option I had. Sorry kids, mama needs her space.

DDLoffice5

When you walk in this is what you see- the dresser I originally re-painted for Fletcher’s room that has now become storage for my photography, videography, and office supplies.  The closet holds my backdrop stand, more photography and video equipment, and more unsightly supplies I only take out when in use. I like my office pretty and clutter free.  The tassel garland is from Studio Mucci on Etsy, desk and rocking chair are Eames reproductions, and the side table is a Homegoods find.
DDLoffice2

On top sits a few of my treasures including vintage cloth diaper detergent (never used), the Playtex NOS Dryper Diaper, Curity breast pads, and advertisements (all from the 1950’s). I also keep vintage cameras on the dresser and my Boon Glo nightlight.

office7

To the left is my desk. I actually don’t use the desk often except when I write thank you letters for donations sent to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope. I prefer to work on the sofa or sitting at the kitchen counter for simple tasks. I do record voiceovers here when needed and host my live chats from this office because it is quiet. I also use the Silhouette and laminator often for craft projects so in a sense this room is doing double duty as my crafting room!

DDLoffice1

I had Sew Fatty make this awesome handcarved rubber stamp for GDGH that I use on each and every handwritten card. I also have one for DDL though I think I need a new one to match my new logo. I adore stamp ink pens, they make multi-colored stamps possible and are just easier than ink pads.

DDLoffice4

Above my desk I have repurposed the wire line that used to hold my son’s artwork (it was a total you know what to install) to hold some of my other treasures. Vintage cloth diaper covers, advertisements, photos, and a few keepsakes from previous expos and conventions adorn the line.

DDLoffice6
To the right of the room is the main reason I even have an office! Videos are filmed in the light box and any product photography is also done there. I spend a lot of time standing in front of that table for video reviews. While my lights aren’t exactly fancy it does the trick. My table is just an old folding one with painted plywood on top so that if I need the space for other filming I can break it down. I will need that space for a video coming soon that Lara is helping me with! It’s going to be a good one! The basketball hoop just stays there… seriously… I have no idea why I haven’t taken it down and moved it to the boys’ room. Maybe I should just blow off some steam and play a little bball in my office…. haha!

So that’s the new office! Having my lightbox up permanently has been so amazing, it feels great to run over and take a few images for a post whenever I need to without setting things up and breaking them down. So far the kids haven’t complained about their shared space and we can work on crafts on the rug together in that room too!

Posted in Crafty Stuff0 Comments

Win it! A O.N.E. by GroVia in Dandelion!

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So you regret not backing the O.N.E. when you had the chance, or maybe you did back it but you only ordered one and you wish you had more!  I happen to have a O.N.E. diaper laying around that I can’t do anything with (no babies to wear it, cue sad face) but my loss is your gain!

A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

I was the very first backer for the project and I picked Dandelion as my print.  I even picked my O.N.E. up in person at MommyCon in Atlanta!  Now I am parting with it but on one condition- you enter my giveaway.  Simple enough!

groviaONEwin

DDL’s 200th video review was today and I feel like that deserves a giveaway and some special extra tasks, if you’re up for it.  Entering is easy but you can get more entries too.

Follow the Rafflecopter and do your best!  I am even willing to ship this one to Canada if a northern neighbor is the lucky winner.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Giveaways120 Comments

A Consumer Guide to Retailer Exclusive Diaper Prints

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You may have noticed a lot of new prints being released from cloth diaper brands that are exclusive to a particular cloth diaper store.  These “Retailer Exclusives” are taking off in popularity!  As a consumer you may be wondering what it all means- are  these exclusives limited in quantity?  Why can only one retailer have the print?  Will they ever be made as a full release by the brand?  Time to end the confusion!

exclusivesforretailers

Exclusive vs Limited:

First things first.  The word “Exclusive” does not mean the same thing as “Limited.”  These words are not synonyms and using them as such is causing a lot of confusion and some hurt feelings.

What is “Exclusive?” Exclusive means the print being made is only available at a single retailer.  For example, Sea Adventure is an exclusive print made for Lil Tulips by Smart Bottoms.  These prints will never be released by the brand to other stores.

What is “Limited?”  In the cloth diaper world, especially in very recent years, the “limited edition” print has become an incredibly popular way to operate.  This means the brand has ordered a certain amount of this printed PUL for their diapers and wet bags.  Once that material is all used up and all products made using that material have been sold chances are you will never get to buy a NEW product with that print again.  This often drives up the price in the used market.  If consumers are willing to pay above retail that will dictate the price on B/S/T boards.  That is why certain prints will demand $50 or even $100 per diaper.  For example, Jules was a limited print by bumGenius that was available at all retailers and is now so hard to find it is one of the most sought after prints ever made.  Limited products have turned the diaper world sour, and lord help you if you bring back a limited print for a re-release.  Moms who paid a premium price will break out their pitch forks and form an angry virtual mob!

How is an Exclusive Made?

With Retailer Exclusive prints the store will either pick their design from what a brand has to offer or they work to custom design their own!  The retailer will order a batch of just this print and the brand can only sell to that retailer.  This means if a consumer wants this particular design they MUST buy it new from that retailer.

Examples of Retailer Exclusives:

Harper for Abby’s Lane by bumGenius

abby'slaneharper

Sea Adventure for Lil Tulips by Smart Bottoms

Sea Adventure by Smart Bottoms

Star Struck for Abby’s Lane by Planet Wise

Cover_StarStruck

Atomic Blast for Kelly’s Closet by Smart Bottoms

Atomic Blast for Kelly's Closet

Kona by for Abby’s Lane by Blueberry

Kona by Blueberry

Family Tree for Kelly’s Closet by Thirsties
familytreeforkellyscloset

Rainbow Love for Abby’s Lane by Smart Bottoms

Rainbow Love Smart Bottoms

Louis for Cotton Babies by bumGenius/Flip

Louis by bumGenius (Flip)

The Babies ‘R Us Prints by bumGenius/Flip

bumgenius-babies-r-us-prints

 The Pros and Cons of Retailer Exclusives:

Pros:

  • The Retailer gets exposure- consumers chat in their fan groups for the brand and brand loyals are compelled to buy from a new retailer to get the exclusive print.  Also if the print is desirable on looks alone it will appeal to people and they will go discover a new store to order from!
  • The array of designs available widens.  Certain stores have their own unique taste and may design or ask for a design from a brand that is more “out of the box” and unique than we typically see in diaper prints.
  • Brands can move a lot of product in each store, helping them grow their profits.  It is good business for the brand, the store, and the industry.
  • Often these exclusives are NOT limited which means everyone who wants one will get the chance to purchase.  Even if they sell out of the first run the stores can order again, and again, and again as long as people continue wanting it.  A steady supply means the aftermarket value will remain at retail or lower for used diapers and not reach above market value prices.

Cons:

  • For consumers who are collectors this widens the number of prints or colors they need to buy to complete their rainbow.  It is hard to keep up and can put them in a financial strain if they continue to buy each brand’s retailer exclusive.
  • It is hard to keep up!  There are so many exclusives being announced that fans of a brand or style may miss it only to learn it is sold out permanently or until a new order comes in.
  • For consumers who are loyal to their favorite or local retail store they struggle with whether to buy the retailer exclusive.  New customers may have to register with several stores, losing loyalty points at their usual store.
  • If the print is never purchased again it may become “limited” and cause more drama and hurt feelings when people want it but can’t find or afford it on the B/S/T market.
  • Due to the larger runs needed many smaller retailers cannot yet afford to run their own exclusives, making them only attainable for the larger diaper stores.
  • Exclusive prints, whether they are limited runs or not, feed into the “buy and collect them all” hype prevalent in the community today.  This leaves a bad taste in the mouths of some and also negates the “money saving” and “green” aspect depending on your perspective.

What consumers have to say about Exclusive Prints for Retailers:

Good:

“I think it’s a great way to drive customers to new retailers, however, I’m not as big of a fan of “limited editions” when the limited is a VERY small lot. I’m not a fan of fighting the “mob” to get a print that I might actually love.” -Amy Cooper

Middle:

“Many of the stores that are getting exclusives are small businesses, many that began as (and still may be) WAHMs. I think exclusives are a great way for them to build their business and obtain new customers!  From a customer stand point, exclusives can be annoying because of “flippers”. If everyone just bought what they wanted and not extras to flip, then the exclusives would be a total win/win situation.” -Anna Reis

Bad:
“I prefer to stay away from all the hype that goes with limited prints and I have to say retailer exclusive feels a little bit like that. I appreciate companies that don’t feed into that hype. I think everyone should be able to buy all the cute diapers they want to or can afford.” -Kerstin McFeely

“I really hate the exclusives. I just don’t have time to run around and find them and then set up a whole new account for all of the sites.” -Becca Schmeltzer

 

Speak up!  What do you think of Retailer Exclusives?  Leave a comment!

Posted in Featured2 Comments

Flats Challenge Sales and Specials! Save on flats and more!

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Each year DDL will work with stores and brands who want to offer a discount on products needed to participate in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. If you don’t know what that is there is more information on the Sign-Up page. Here is a list of stores or brands offering specials and this list will be updated as needed to check back!

Kelly’s Closet

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BRINGFLATSBACK Take $5 off $25 or more at Kelly’s Closet. Excludes bumGenius, Flip, Econobum, Hemp Babies, GroVia, Thirsties, Sloomb, Tula, Lillebaby, Onya and Applecheeks brand products. Limit 1 code per order.

ClothDiaper.com

clothdiaperdotcom_flatdiaperbanner

Tushmate.com

2015Flats

15% off covers during the challenge (5/11-5/17).  Valid both at TushMate.com and TushMate.ca.
Use FLATS2015 to get 20% off
whitegauze
Offer valid 4/27-5/8
flats

Pooters Diapers

flats-challenge

For 2 weeks before the event (April 27 – May 10)
buy 1 PUL cover, get 1 FREE
-or-
buy 1 bamboo Hybrid reversible insert, get 1 FREE

If you sign up to take the challenge you can enter their giveaway: https://www.facebook.com/PootersDiapers/app_228910107186452

Geffen Baby

Participants can use coupon code “FlatsChallenge” at GeffenBaby.com to receive free U.S. shipping on their entire order, when it includes one or more hemp jersey flats or hemp fleece “fladdles.”

The fine print: Does not apply to wholesale, international or previously placed orders, nor to orders containing Rockin’ Green or Balm Baby products. 

Expires 5/31/15 (active now so it is ready whenever you post).

Geffen Baby Sale

Fruit of the Womb

fotwlogo coupons flats challenge(1)

Use code FREESHIP for free shipping on flats. Free flat if you order a dozen, no code needed. (Valid May 10-18)

One Love Diaper Co.

 flatschallenge_coupon

Posted in Product Announcements0 Comments

Grand Finale prizes for MCMC

Sip and Chat Live- #MakeClothMainstreamChallenge and GCDC Edition! PRIZES and FUN!

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Join me and my cloth diaper friends this Saturday for a live chat to end our #makeclothmainstreamchallenge with a bang!  We will have a full chat that evening with representatives from our sponsoring brands and even a few of the headlining participants from the challenge.

The #makeclothmainstreamchallenge was a huge success!  Our headliners shared images and even videos of their babies wearing cloth diapers and exposed their large followings to how easy, cute, and awesome cloth diapering can be.  Their final day of the “challenge” will be April 18 though I am confident nearly all of them will keep using cloth diapers.  I know that some have gone full “cloth addict” since this event began 3 weeks ago.  We announced our headliners in our fast growing Facebook group and you can find their video introductions on the YouTube playlist.

Our live chat will be hosted on Google+ as a Hangout on Air so anyone and everyone can watch.  Joining me will be Jen from Spray Pal, Amanda from The Eco-Friendly Family and Green Child Magazine, Melissa from qdSpray, Andrea from Lassig USA, a friend from AppleCheeks, Laura from GroVia, Kelly from Lillebaby, and more!

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 4.01.56 PM

To join you can do it two ways.  One is to RSVP on the event page and then hit play on the video in the page at 8 PM EST.  The other is to view the video through YouTube as it is live.  

We will be discussing the challenge and how it went for our participants along with the usual fun, off-topic banter that always seems to arise when we mix alcohol and live video streaming!  If you haven’t been to one of these chats yet then you don’t know what you’re missing!  It’s a fun way to spend an hour on your computer.

Grand Finale prizes for MCMC

Time to discuss the prizes.  I think you’ll be most excited about the chance to win these!

It’s time for the #makeclothmainstream Grand Finale GIVEAWAY!!

There are multiple ways to enter for multiple AMAZING prizes from all of our sponsoring brands.  We wanted a variety of entry methods because we realize not everyone uses Instagram or Twitter in addition to Facebook, so you get to choose where you share!  Here’s how to enter:

Each brand has a graphic in a Facebook album with their logo on it.  If you have a product by that brand in your home, snap a picture of it, share it on social media, and tag the brand!  Be sure to use the #makeclothmainstreamchallenge hashtag as well   Then COME BACK here and tell us where you shared it!  If you know how to grab the link to the post on facebook, twitter, or instagram, that’s great!  You can also pin it on pinterest and share that as well.  Anything goes!!

Now, what if you really want to enter to win something but you don’t already own a product from that particular brand?  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!  You can just find one of their products online and take a screenshot of what you would LOVE to buy and share that!  Maybe your partner will see it and get some great hints for what to buy you for Mother’s Day coming up.   Just be sure to follow the same rules as above…share the picture on social media, tag the brand, use the #makeclothmainstreamchallenge hashtag and then come back here and share the link or tell us where you shared it under the brand’s graphic.

Make sense?  We know it may sound complicated at first since it’s a NEW way of doing things, but that’s why we started a day early. Once we all get the hang of it, it’s going to be super fun and easy!

We are here to help if you have questions, just make sure you ask in the group rather than on the graphics in this album so we can help you without the comments turning into a side conversation.  The comments on the graphics should be reserved for your giveaway entries only.  So one comment that has your screen name and where you shared it (or the link). 

For example, if I really wanted to win a prize from Spray Pal but I didn’t have a Spray Pal product at home, here’s what I would do:

I’d use my phone to go to the Spray Pal website.  I’d take a screenshot of the sprayer/spray pal bundle I’ve been eyeing.  I’d post it to instagram and make the comment something like: “I’d love to get this bundle from @spraypal for Mother’s Day!  It would make #clothdiapers so much easier! Maybe I’ll win one in the #makeclothmainstreamchallenge after the #GCDC15 tomorrow!!”

Then I would come back to this group, find the Spray Pal graphic in this album, and comment underneath it with: I shared this photo (screenshots of your share work great if your profile is private) on Instagram and my screen name is @blahbityblah

Super easy, right??  You can do that for each of the brands listed on the graphics and each brand will be giving away an amazing prize tomorrow after the Google + chat!  There’s also a grand prize which will drawn from entries on the rafflecopter form, so make sure you enter below in my blog post!  Let us know if you have any questions, we can’t wait to chat with you all tomorrow after the Great Cloth Diaper Change!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Giveaways0 Comments

Win a 6 pack of Charlie Banana cloth diapers from Dirty Diaper Laundry

Win it! 6 Pack of Charlie Banana One Size! $139 Value!

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Charlie Banana has a pretty incredible giveaway for DDL readers that I think you are going to be anxious to enter!  Their newest product is an organic version of their popular One Size diapers!

organic_cotton_tango_mango

“Looking for organic, natural fibers next to your baby’s bottom? We have designed a diaper shell which features luxuriously soft, 100% organic cotton lining inside. The soft cotton lining lets fast the liquid to pass through to the absorbent washable insert. Please note, that our organic cotton lining diaper dries a bit longer than our standard fleece diaper.

Charlie Banana diapers are a “2-in-1” reusable diaper system. It’s a cloth diaper but with a smart front panel that gives you the option of tucking in a disposable pad for those special occasions.
With Charlie Banana diapers, you get the best of both diaper worlds!”

There are a lot of parents who prefer organic options so this opens up the Charlie Banana brand for those families!  Their 6 Packs are attractively packaged and gift giving ready for the mom-to-be in your life too.

Win a 6 pack of Charlie Banana cloth diapers from Dirty Diaper Laundry

Go on and enter below, leave a comment on who would get this awesome prize (you or a friend perhaps…) and make sure to do the extra entries for more chances to win!  Thanks Charlie Banana for a great giveaway!  Open to US/Canada and ends April 29.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Giveaway Winners643 Comments

Sign up for the 5th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge!

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Each time I type out “5th Annual” for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge I am in awe that this event has continued to go on after all these years and inspire others. I am truly humbled by the support from the cloth diaper community and I can’t wait for May 11 to start again!

2015 Flats and Handwashing Challenge May 11-17

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is an event inspired by families experience dire economic circumstances who have had to reuse disposable diapers. This is a dangerous and unhealthy practice but families without the funds or resources have so few choices on how to diaper their babies. Federal and State programs offer no free diapers or coupons for diapers and food banks or crisis centers can only help with some of the needs when the stock is there. Families who are un the suburbs or rural parts of the country often have no access to pantries or diaper banks. In order for cloth diapers to work for families in these circumstances they needed to be a. cheaper or free and b. wash and dry easily. The solution was flats! Flat diapers was a single layer of fabric making them the perfect diaper for families who may need to handwash or who are using coin operated facilities. They’re also easy to find locally and can be made from t-shirts. Since the biggest hurdle for some families would be laundry access, a camp-style bucket washer was made for washing at home.

I challenged myself and others to see if using flats and handwashing them was a viable solution and in 2011 we had our first 7 day challenge. Since that event we have done it annually and have inspired others to try flats and/or handwashing as a way to diaper inexpensively. Even if it is just a temporary solution or part-time this method is effective and works. By taking the challenge with us for 7 days you can experience handwashing and using only flat diapers. You will find out what works for you and what doesn’t. You’ll see how hard it can but that it can work. You will also learn that if your power goes out that you can still use your diapers but handwashing them so if that zombie apocalypse comes you will be prepared.

There are rules for participating and they are as follows:

Materials Allowed

The following diapering items can be used:
• Any flat cloth diaper, store bought or handmade. A flat should be only 1 layer of material for easier handwashing and faster drying.
• 1 night time diaper per night of your choice although you are asked to make flats work for you (this diaper must also be handwashed)
• Doublers (not inserts meant to be absorbent enough to stand alone) if you absolutely must.
• A diaper sprayer.
• Wet bags/diaper pails for storage.
• Handmade “washing machine” for diapers such as the camp style washer
• Non Electronic Portable washing machines (must be powered by you and cost less than $100.
• Commercially available or handmade covers.
• Commercially available or handmade detergents.
• Snappi or other devices for closure.
Pocket diapers STUFFED WITH FLATS. (note that the potential for repelling on the stay dry lining could make your challenge harder but you can see what happens)
• Homemade or store bought fleece liners.
• Iron (to use in order to expedite drying time or sterilize)

Materials Not Allowed

• Electronic washer/dryer.
• Pockets with inserts other than flats, AIO’s, Fitteds, Contours, Prefolds, AI2’s, etc.
• Flushable liners.

Rules for Everyone

• You cannot use your washer or dryer.
• If for some reason something arises and an exception is made you need to disclose in the Conclusions Survey or on your blog if you are a blogger.
• There is no limit on the number of flats or covers you can use. Should you purchase 100 flats for $100 and go a whole week without washing? No. Use your common sense on this one. As a tip the more diapers in your camp washer/ sink/ tub the harder the washing will be.

Rules for Bloggers

Bloggers are encouraged to participate and chronicle their week.  I will have link-ups for each day of the challenge with blogging prompts.  If you sign up as a blogger you will be sent more information on the prompts and rules to add your links.

For Stores and Manufacturers

Each year this event sees an increasing amount of interest from stores and manufacturers who often offer discount codes and incentives for flats and covers. If you are a company planning to offer any sort of special promotion or discount related to the challenge, or your company is blogging along, please email beforehand to discuss opportunities.   dirtydiaperlaundry@gmail.com

Sign Up.

AND GET YOUR FLAIR!

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right click and “save image as”

Resources to get you started…

You can also browse all blog posts made in during the past challenges (in backwards order, skip to the last page and work back for chronological order) by using the Flats Challenge tag.

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As always the heart of this challenge is to shine a light on the fact that there are families struggling to provide clean diapers for their babies and to offer an alternative solution not often discussed when the major media outlets cover these stories. There are diaper banks that can help families get started with cloth diapers for free or little cost. If you know a family or are a family in need please visit Giving Diapers, Giving Hope- the longest running nationwide diaper lending program that ships to any approved family in the US. I encourage anyone touched by this challenge to donate to their organization and help them provide more diapers to more families.

Join our Facebook Group for live updates and to learn from other participants while we all get prepared for another Flats Challenge.  On Instagram and Twitter we will once again be using the #FlatsChallenge hashtag, also #bringingflatsback for funsies.

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Day 12 Fluffiversary for Kelly’s Closet: Thirsties and Smart Bottoms Giveaway

This post may contain affiliate links.

Help us celebrate 14 years of cloth diapering with DiaperShops.com and Kelly’s Closet! Kelly’s Closet first opened its doors back in April 2001. (The image below is what their website looked like when it first launched!)

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This was well before bumGenius, Rumparooz, GroVia and Thirsties even existed.  Kelly’s Closet is now home to almost 100 brands of cloth diapers, diapering accessories, and eco-friendly products for the entire family.  Kelly’s Closet is a small family business that reaches through the computer screen and engages with customers every day, providing cloth diaper education and support to thousands daily.

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For 14 days, Kelly’s Closet has partnered with some of their favorite brands and bloggers to bring you 14 days of giveaways, fun and prizes!  Dirty Diaper Laundry is proud to help them celebrate by hosting Day 12!

One winner will receive a Thirsties wet bag and a Smart Bottoms pail liner.

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Facebook: Kelly’s ClosetDiaperShops - Cloth Diaper Support GroupThe Cloth Diaper Whisperer
Twitter: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Instagram: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Pinterest: DiaperShops

YouTube: DiaperShops1
 

Be sure to thank the following brands for sponsoring the Fluff-iversary Celebration with their prizes.  Rumparooz, AppleCheeks, BALM! Baby, Moraki, Logan & Lenora, Tidy Tots, Rockin’ Green, Imagine Baby, Geffen Baby, aden+anais, WolbyBug, Sweet Pea Diapers, Kissaluvs, Funky Fluff, Smart Bottoms, Thirsties, Pink Lemonade and Lillebaby.

 

Kelly’s Closet also teamed up with these awesome bloggers for the other giveaways- you can learn more about them by clicking their links.
Amanda – The Eco Friendly Family
Sally – Exploits of a Military Mama
Meridith – Diary of a Nerdy Wife
Jenny – Cloth Diaper Revival
Mindy – The Inquisitive Mom
Allyson – Little and Loving It
Maria – Change Diapers
Ruth – Cow Girl Mama
Karla – Running on Eagles Wings
Tricia – Kelly’s Closet Staff
Stephanie – Kelly’s Closet Customer, Fan and Blog Contributor
Kim – Dirty Diaper Laundry
Ashley – Mabe with Love
Krystyn – Really Are You Serious?

Enter using the Rafflecopter below and GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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