Thursday, May 19, 2011

Prepping for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge starts this Monday, the 23rd! I've been prepping my flat diapers (and myself) to get ready for the challenge and am getting really excited!

Here's how I'm prepping for the Challenge:
I'm getting little man's regular pocket diapers ready to go on a little vacation. Sunday night will be their last day of "work" for a whole week! I'll wash and dry whatever was dirty from the day and then send them on their merry little way for some R&R time. Monday morning (the 23rd and the start of the Challenge), little man will be switching over to flat diapers during the day and for naps. I will be getting creative with flats and possibly a hemp insert to see how that works for night time...we shall see. If all else fails at night, we will return to "ol' faithful" to make sure little man can get a good, dry night's sleep.

The Flats:

The Diaper Covers I Am Using:
  • 1 Zookies Cover in Hoopla Dots, size Large. Generously provided for me by Zookies for this Challenge!
  • 1 Flip Cover
  • 2 Thirsties Covers
  • 1 Econobum Cover

Detergent I Am Using:

Misc. Items I Am Using:
  • 1 Snappi (provided for my by Zabi Baby for this Challenge!)
  • 4 Tiny Tush Heavy Duty Diaper Pins
  • 1 "Sentimental" pin that was actually used on me when I was a baby!
  • 1 pair of gloves (to save my hands from getting...errr... too dirty)
  • Our diaper pail which will store the flats after they have been used.
  • Cloth Wipes (6 are the Organic Travel Size Cloth Wipes provided to me by Eco Fluff for this Challenge)
  • A travel size container of Organic Vegan EcoButter (also provided to me by Eco Fluff for this Challenge) for any rashes or redness that occur and also to sooth my hands from all the hand washing :)

  • I will be washing the flats and covers in the tub in our master bathroom. It is close to the toilet for "dunking and swishing", since I also have to send my diaper sprayer on vacation for the week. *wipes tear from eye* I am hoping to wash diapers and covers during little man's nap time so that I can take advantage of the sun and hang everything outside on my portable drying rack from Ikea.

  • I prepped my flats for the challenge by boiling them on the stove. I have wanted to learn how to do this since I first read about it about a year ago and I was finally brave enough to try it! I also wanted to prep my flats this way, since this is how someone who doesn't have washer/dryer access would need to prep their diapers. I found the video that Kim, from the Dirty Diaper Laundry, made really helpful. You can watch her video of how to boil and prep flat diapers here.

  • I had two pots that were big enough and once the water was boiling, I added some Rockin' Green (approx 1/4 tsp) to the water and then added two flats to each pot. I let them boil for 30 min and then took them out with tongs, transferred them to a bucket with a towel in it and then they headed to the sink to be rinsed, rinsed, rinsed! I rung them out and hung them outside in batches. The flats dried really quickly hanging outside! I was so impressed! One thing that I learned though is that flats are very light, and in windy conditions, they can act like a sail. My last batch of flats were done and outside on the drying rack and we thought that we would take a trip to the park with little man. It was sunny, but a fairly windy day and when we got home, I looked out into our backyard and saw that the wind had moved the drying rack and then blown it over! So, they got rinsed again. All in all, it probably took me about 2 1/2 hours or so to prep 2 dozen Swaddlebees! It took me quite a while, but I'm glad I did it this way - I felt so accomplished!
Little man wondering what's going on in the kitchen...don't worry, he was kept safe and sound and far, far, far away from the stove!

Practicing the Folds:
  • This is something I still need to do! Ack! I have already watched quite a few youtube videos and am going to try to watch a few more. Kim also has some great videos on how to do the different folds here and here. I am really looking forward to trying the Origami Fold on little man. Does anyone have any suggestions for folds for an 18 month old little boy? I'd love to hear what folds you've used and what has worked (or not worked) for you!

How I am Mentally Prepping for the Challenge:
  • I am definitely excited to do this Challenge - I love that I am learning so many new (and useful) things and I am excited that this Challenge as a whole could raise more awareness about the affordability and flexibility of cloth diapering.

  • I am also a bit nervous - we rarely have any leaks with little man's diapers and I'm worried that I might not find the fit with a great absorbency for him...especially at nap time! I know we don't have to use flats at night, but I do want to try. I am also worried that I won't be able to figure out the folds and get them on a squiggly little guy (and have them stay on). I have yet to figure out a Snappi! What about pins? What about being away from home and changing him on the go? What about my diaper sprayer?!? So many questions! I guess time will tell and I'm sure that I will learn a lot and have plenty of funny stories (and probably some pictures too)!

Are you participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge? I'd love to know if any of my readers are!


  1. I'm so excited to hear how everything goes! I'm not participating (as I don't have a child), but I'm following quite a few blogs who are closely! I'm excited for you!!!

  2. I wish I were participating, but my plate is beyond full right now. I did want to ask you, though, if you'd like to do a guest post about your experience with it when it is all done. Even though I won't be able to do the challenge I would still like to share the results and help spread awareness so that more low-income families will see this as an option for low-cost diapering. If you are interested you can email me at amy at ohsosavvymom dot com . Have a great weekend Sarah!

  3. Good luck! What a great challenge. Can't wait to hear how you and the little man do throughout the week.