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

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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