Wednesday, May 23, 2012

You're doing what?

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting Dirty Diaper Laundry's original announcement post.

And after I answer that question...


(I'm a little behind in blogging, but if you visit the above links--you'll find out why this challenge was originally born)

So yes, for 7 days I have committed to using flat cloth diapers (think one giant square piece of fabric, what our grandparents likely used) AND I'm washing them all by hand.  Why am I doing this?  Well, for all the reasons that Dirty Diaper Laundry mentioned...and a few more.

I believe there are choices we get to make as parents.  How we will diaper our children is fortunately one of them.  I've spoke before about our decision to plunge into the cloth diaper world when our youngest was 6 weeks old and we had two in diapers--but for us, the decision was purely financial.  My work-at-home job had recently ended and my husband had not started his part time position.  Thankfully we had a stockpile of disposables, because there was NO money to spare.  We had two children in diapers, little food in the fridge & bills that were running a bit behind.  We bought some flour sack towels from Wal-Mart, a few prefolds & covers and our journey into cloth diapering began.

Today things look better for us, but we are still running a TIGHT budget.  We use many other types of diapers and have slowly built up a pretty fun and eclectic stash over the year.  Not having to shell out a ton of money on disposable diapers has eased that burden greatly.  Bottom line, I know what it is like to face not being able to purchase disposable diapers and wondering what you'll put on your baby. 

Taking this challenge puts me in the position of gratitude.  As I scrub each diaper, I'm gaining perspective.  As I hang each diaper on the line, I'm growing in gratitude.  As I work to figure out a new fold, I'm becoming more resourceful.

I'm taking this challenge to show that there is another way. Yes, it's extreme...but by handwashing the diapers, I'm showing that even those without access to a washing machine COULD cloth diaper. 

I'm also taking this challenge to raise awareness about all the modern cloth diapers available today!  Yes, I'm only using flats---the most simple and cheapest way to cloth diaper----but, there are a variety of very user-friendly cloth diapers on the market.  The longer we cloth diaper, the more thankful I am that we made the switch.  We are saving money, dealing with fewer rashes, supporting small businesses & are putting out FAR less trash.

My little "helper"
For this challenge, we are using Diaper Rite flats, Swaddlebees flats, Hemp Babies doublers (at night), FLIP covers, Palm Tree Covers, Econobum covers, cloth wipes & a "washing machine" made out of a 5 gallon bucket and plunger. We are diapering our 1 year old son full-time & our 2 1/2 year old daughter at naps/nights.

We are three days in and I am so far really enjoying this challenge.  Washing isn't nearly as hard as I imagined it would be and I have a great deal of satisfaction as I hang the diapers to dry on the line. 

Stay tuned to hear more!

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