Monday, May 30, 2011

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge Has Come to an End

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge has come to an end. As part of the Challenge, we used flat diapers and 5 covers on little man from May 23-30. We used pins and a Snappi, we dunked and swished and hand washed little man's diapers. If you're new and want to catch up on what this Challenge was all about, you can head over to Dirty Diaper Laundry and read the Rules that I followed. Or you can read my blog entries on Prepping for the Challenge, The Night Before, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7.

The Challenge ended for me with a BANG! I decided to use flats through today (the 30th), even though the technical week was over yesterday. I have enjoyed using them and actually didn't mind using them for one more day. So, back to that BANG... well, this morning little man decided to make today a memorable dirty diaper day and, well, two very messy diaper changes later, I'm so glad that tomorrow I will be back to using my diaper sprayer! The rest of the day was smooth sailing though. I guess it came in like a lion and went out like a lamb.
Little man's last flat diaper and cover for the Challenge!

Overall, this is what I learned:
  • I learned how to fold a flat diaper and I didn't just learn one fold, I learned quite a few different folds!
  • I learned how to use pins
  • I finally (after a week) feel like I have mastered the Snappi!
  • I overcame my fear of the unknown- a flat piece of cloth. Yes, a flat square can become a diaper!
  • I learned how to wash flats and covers by hand and that I could get them clean this way.
  • I learned that not every fold is good for every baby or every situation (ie nap-time)
  • I was constantly reminded just how very much I have to be thankful for.
I am so glad that I took this Challenge. I feel so very accomplished. I feel like learning to fold flat diapers and hand wash is a life skill that I can carry with me and hopefully pass on to others. Learning to make due with the basics and with minimal resources was good for me. I learned that you don't have to have a large selection of diapers or even an expensive selection of diapers. I love knowing that I can share with others about the range of cloth diapering options that there are for your little one. You can cloth diaper a baby for $60 or $300. Either way, cloth diapering can take your baby from birth to potty learning and the money saved for any family is an invaluable resource. Yes, cloth diapering takes time and hand washing your diapers takes quite a bit of time, but it is do-able. 
I am happy to go back to washing my diapers in the washing machine tomorrow. I actually didn't mind hand-washing and I didn't have any problems doing it, but it will be nice not to have to hunch over a tub anymore to scrub and swish. It will be nice to toss diapers in the washing machine, close the door and let the machine take care of the work for me. But, again, I am really glad that I learned how to wash diapers by hand. You never know when it might come in handy! I am happy that I can pull my regular stash of diapers out of hiding and return to some of my favorites. I can honestly say that sometimes, my pocket diaper are just easier. My diaper sprayer is a wonderful tool and the convenience of my washing machine is just lovely. Even before this Challenge, I hung my diapers out on a portable drying rack and I will definitely continue to do that. The sun is a wonderful (and free) drying tool and I just love the smell of laundry that has dried outside in the fresh air. I will definitely continue to use my flats. I may stuff them inside of pockets and I may decide to use flats and my Snappi with a cover on occasion! I also know that I will definitely be using flat diaper and covers when baby #2 comes along some day. They are so perfectly adjustable for itty, bitty babies! 

I am glad that I cloth diaper - so, so, so glad. I love it in fact. I love that it is something soft against little man's skin, I'm glad that I don't have to worry about chemicals in his diapers, I love that it is better for the environment and that I'm not adding to the landfills, I love little man's fluffy butt and I love that they are cute and there are so many options. Would I continue to cloth diaper if it meant I could only use flats and covers and that I had to hand wash? If this became a necessity for us and my only option, yes, I would. It wouldn't be easy to do this every day until little man was using a potty. Take away the fluffy cuteness and I would still do it because I feel that it is best for my son and overall, that is the best reason for me that there is: It's the best for my son.  

I learned so much from this Challenge. My eyes were opened to the needs of others and it truly saddens me to think of the financial struggles that others have and the tough decisions some make between diapers and food. Overall, the goal is to have a happy and healthy baby - whether you use cloth diapers or disposables. I hope that there can be more awareness and information out there for families in need or for those just wishing that they had another option than throwing their money at disposable diapers. I am sure that there are many parents who wish they could do something different when it came to diapering their little one, but they just don't know what options are out there. My hope is that what I learned during this Challenge can be used to help others families. I feel that I learned how to do this for a reason - maybe it was for my own knowledge and to know how to do diaper with flats for our future children, maybe it was to pass this along to my children, but maybe I will be able to help others with what I learned.

I also wanted to say, "Thank You!" to Kim over at Dirty Diaper Laundry for organizing this and doing so much work to put it together!

Did you take part in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge? How do you feel about it? Are you glad you took part?

Special thanks to Swaddlebees for sponsoring me with two dozen flats to use for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge! Thank you to my other sponsors, Rockin' Green, Zabi Baby, Zookies, Ju-Ju Monkey, Eco-Fluff and Eco Sprout who generously sent me items to use during the Flats and Handwashing Challenge!


  1. Hi there! I'm following you from the green mom hop! :) I didnt take part in the challenge but I'm soo excited to read about everyone else's experience as I'm going to be trying to not use a washer too much when we move to an apartment!


  2. Hi,
    I am your new follower from the Green Mama blog hop.Hope you stop by