Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Take the Flats and Handwashing Challenge May 23-30!

In light of this recent article about the lengths that some parents will go to stretch out their diapers usage, Kim from the Dirty Diaper Laundry blog was inspired to do something about it and help to teach others that cloth diapering can be done by anyone with even the smallest budget. Kim is challenging herself and other families to commit to using flats and hand-washing flats them for 1 week. The Flats and Handwashing Challenge will run from May 23-May 30 and I am joining in!

Would you like to join Kim, myself and other familes as we commit to using and handwashing flats for a week? The rules are pretty simple:
  • You MUST use Flats.
  • You MUST handwash them.  How is up to you.  (bathtub, sink, large wash tub, portable non electronic washing machine, or camp style washer (bucket and plunger- think churning butter)
  • You MUST air dry them.  (indoors or outdoors, makes no difference)
  • You MUST limit your number of covers in rotation to 5 or less.
  • You can use any detergent you want.  (Keep in mind that you still want cloth safe detergents)
  • You can still use your nighttime diapers but I ask that you try to make flats work.  Maybe try a prefold wrapped in a flat.
  • You can use disposable liners.
  • You CAN’T use a diaper sprayer.  I thought long and hard about this one, but at an average cost of 40.00 this is one diaper accessory that is out of range for many families.  Dunk, swish, flush, or scrape!
  • You MUST start the morning of May 23 and end the evening of May 30.
  • You MUST fill out a completion survey about your experience.  Results will be published here and can be republished on your own blog.
  • You don’t have to be a blogger!  Your conclusions about the experiment will be entered into the survey at the end of the challenge.  You can share on your Facebook, Twitter, various messageboards.  But if you are a blogger please share your experience on your own blog.  Grab the button and let people know you are planning on joining the challenge.  Recruit others!  Challenge your own readers to join and fill out the completion survey.  You can blog everyday updating your experience, beforehand to let people know you are getting ready for it and explain what you will be doing, and of course, after the fact to let people know how it went.  If you hated it, say so.  If you think it was awesome and want to continue in some aspect, say that too!  Who knows, flats might be your favorite diaper!

Before I started cloth diapering little man 13 months ago, I was pretty intimidated by cloth diapers. Back then, I took one looks at flats and the mysterious snappi and the many different folding techniques and thought, "No way! I can't do that!" I have learned (many times over) to never say "no" about anything....because I will likely end up doing it. So, here I am, 13 months later with a lively, wiggly, energetic 17 month old and I am looking to tackle the mystery of flats!

So WHY do I want to join in on this challenge? 
  1. I actually really want to learn how to fold a flat diapers! I know that when we have a second baby, I would like to start them in cloth diapers right away and flats seem like an extremely adjustable option for a newborn. I also feel that learning new things helps my brain to stretch and grow...so this challenge will be good for my brain!
  2. I would like to learn how to hand wash diapers. I love having a washing machine and how simple laundry is with it, but what if something happened to it? What if we were without power for a few days? I have been thinking about it and I feel like learning the "art" of hand washing would be a good skill to have... just in case! 
  3. I would also like to know how to use flats and learn to hand wash to help educate others who may want to cloth diaper but feel that they can't afford it or with their limited resources (either financial or washing machine resources). I would love to take the information and skills that I can learn from this challenge and in turn help someone else.
Kim's challenge has really gotten me intrigued to use flats and learn to hand wash them and I am excited to learn and share my experiences!
I only have a few covers. I will be looking into getting a snappi and some flats...and learn how to use them! I will definitely post about my progress, what I'm learning and of course, there will be pictures!

Do you think you could commit to using and hand washing flats for a week? Would you like to join in? Make sure you check out Kims post about the Flats and Handwashing Challenge and let me know if you will be joining in from May 23-30th!

Happy Diapering!

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