Flats and Handwashing Challenge Survey Results

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Over 200 babies were diapered with handwashed flats during the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. As far as I know all of them survived and only minor injuries were reported by the parents (including my Snappi scratch).  If you missed any of the Flats Challenge posts you can find them, along with links to the other blogs that participated, by following the FlatsChallenge tag.

Participants were asked to record their experience using the Conclusion Survey that was sent to them and linked through my blog.

Now that all of the results are in I am very excited to share them. The easiest way was to let you view the Summary of responses. After 2 days of research and a little hacking (nothing fancy) I found the easiest way to do it.

Click the image below and a box will pop up showing you the entire Summary of results.

(or click HERE if using a Mobile Browser or results don’t show)

The beauty of this method is that if others add their results later it will always be visible, versus screen capping and posting the images.

Click for Summary

I would also love to share the written responses I received. I’m going to include my favorites here:

Totally Positive:

“I think that this Challenge has solidified my desire to advocate cloth diapering, and get involved with education more regularly. I loved the WIC suggestion and will look into that in my town/county.”

“I had been using flats already about 90% of the time, and going into this I honestly didn’t think my diapers would get as clean as when I used the washer. They actually came out CLEANER because I was using hotter water. I was stunned later when I took off the night diapers and *sniff sniff* NO ammonia smell.”

“The biggest lesson I learned was the following: flats are probably my favorite diaper to use. They fold nicely, dry quickly, don’t stain, wash quickly without the smell of urine, and they are so adorable on my little man. The hand washing was time consuming, but I learned that there are methods that make it easier and that I can do it!!”

Middle of the Road:

“While I think this system is totally doable for stay-at-home moms, I think washing at a Laundromat would be better for working moms. If you had 3 dozen flats you would only need to go twice a week, which if you have a little one you would probably need to go that often anyway.”

“I learned that it was more difficult that I thought to handwash all those diapers everyday….yet it was WAY MORE satisfying than I EVER imagined. When I was finished washing and the diapers were on the drying rack, I felt very accomplished and and had a great sense of pride everytime I looked at the rack loaded with diapers. ”

“I went into this challenge thinking it would be quite easy and not much of a variation from our normal way of diapering. I found that I needed many more covers for 2 babies (10 would have been fantastic) and that my diapers just didn’t get as stain-free as I would have liked based on cleaning methods and cleaning schedule. I think it is doable for a low-income mom with no in-home w/d but I think it would need to be a mom with a fair bit of spare time as well as a decently sized starting stash. I did not complete the challenge — I gave up about half way in due to the chaos in my home. It was just too much to add to my normal routine (5 children, two in diapers, breastfeeding two babies, etc).”

Not so Sunny:

“I think this was kind of a good reality check. I thought that handwashing would be really easy but I was surprised at how much time and effort it took, not to mention that now my bathtub is all scratched up from the bucket which my landlord won’t like. It would honestly be asking a lot to tell someone to handwash cloth diapers. I don’t profess to think that now every low income mom should do this. I think lots of moms have had to take a break from handwashing to tend to a crying child, and that’s discouraging. It’s more important to spend time with a baby than to wash diapers. So handwashing is possible but sadly not always practical. I love my flats though and will continue to use them!”

“I honestly thought I would complete this and that it wouldn’t be difficult. I am sad to say that although I hand washed the diapers I used the dryer twice because they just took too long to dry outside. In the end I stopped after day 6. I just needed a break due to lots of other things going on in my life. I disappointed myself but I also learned that if I thought cloth diapering was flats, pins, and rubber pants I definitely would NOT do it. I makes me more committed to spreading the news about modern cloth diapering.”

“I hate to be the one ‘Debbie Downer’ in all this, but I was really surprised by how much I didn’t like it. I was so excited in the beginning, but I waited until Tuesday for my first wash, and I felt like I was dealing with 50 lbs. of laundry. Add to that the fact that I was 27 weeks pregnant with my 7th child and maybe I was being a little too idealistic about the whole thing. In all, I would do this if I had to, but I gained a whole new healthy appreciation for my washer/dryer and for my awesome AI2, AIO, and hybrid diapers!”

To read all 30 pages of responses download the PDF. I wish I could post them all but yeah, there are 30 pages!
View Responses to the Flats and Handwashing Challenge

Bloggers wanting to use the stats in their own posts can link to: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewanalytics?formkey=dFNEMGMxZ0pEMHRtTGp0Q3lZbzY0Vnc6MQ

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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.givingdiapersgivinghope.org Kristen

    Amazing work my friend. Congrats on the great idea and even greater success! :)

  • Lesalia17

    Thanks for all your work Kim!  This was an amazing thing to organize and hopefully a big leap forward for cloth diaper advocacy

    • Anonymous

      I hope so, thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Liz-Keegan-Smith/5503989 Liz Keegan Smith

    So cool – I love how the overwhelming majority are using flats in their rotations now! and most people said that they could definitely do this given the education and tools necessary! that’s really awesome :) Go flats!

  • Mooncon

    This was a really interesting challenge. Thanks for tackling Kim!  Maybe next year I will be able to participate (having enough struggles with DH on cloth itself).  Were any of the mama’s who participated in this event single mamas?  I’m curious what the feasibility of that scenario would be.  I feel like it’d be near impossible.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kristy.anstett Kristy Anstett

    Wow – I’m impressed at the comprehensiveness of the results! As a data geek myself, this was definitely interesting to dive into. :D Kudos once more on organizing the challenge.

    I’ve linked this post in my weekly Memorable Monday roundup here:

    http://manager-to-mom.blogspot.com/2011/06/memorable-menu-plan-monday.html


Bummis Duo-Brite,
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