Monday, May 20, 2013

Why I decided to take the Flats and Handwashing Challenge - Day 1 #FlatsChallenge

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is here! I'm participating in this years Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry )with the help of little Riley). This event will run for a week, starting (today) May 20th and it goes until Sunday, May 26th. There are over 300 families participating (both bloggers and non-bloggers) in this event!

The basics of the rules are simple: I can only use flat diapers, I can't use a washer and I can't use a dryer. Whaaaat?!? Why? Why on earth would I give up the luxury or using my washer and dryer? Well, that's just it. A washer and a dryer truly are luxuries. Sometimes I take them for granted and I rarely think about the fact that there are people out there who struggle to come up with the money to take clothes to a laundry mat or who simply don't even have access to a washer or dryer. When I was growing up, we lived in the country and had a clothes line in the back yard. We had a dryer, but it only got used on rainy days. We hung our clothes on a clothes line and the sun and wind dried our clothes! They smelled fresh and clean and our whites were always white (thanks to the suns whitening powers). 

Now, you might also be wondering what a "flat" is and why I would want to use them. A flat diaper is that "old fashioned" diaper that uses a fastener of some kind (pins, Snappi, etc) and a waterproof cover. Flat diapers are made out of a single layer of fabric (usually cotton, although it can be any material as long as it is a single layer) and can be folded in a variety of ways to be fastened around your baby. They do require a waterproof cover to keep your baby dry. So why flats? Why not just keep using my regular pocket cloth diapers? Well, I've been thinking about that and in a word, simplicity. It would seem that pocket diapers or All-in-one diapers might be easier and in some ways, they are. They don't require folding, fastening or an extra cover. But, sometimes I think the less "fancy" flat diaper truly is a simpler diaper. It washes up easily and the large square shape lends itself to being very versatile in how you can use it and fold it for the most absorbancy.
I did the Flats and Handwashing Challenge with little Michael in 2011. He was a year and a half! 

I learned so much about folding flat diapers and washing by hand! I actually enjoyed the week more than I thought I would. But, diapering a year and a half old vs. a 5 month (almost 6 month) old, exclusively breastfed baby is a little different. First, I realized that I don't remember that many of the folds. Then, there's the poop...this should be interesting! At least bf poop is water soluble! Then, my other concern is trying to wash and clean these diapers with 3 year old wanting to help!
I decided to take part in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge in order to help bring awareness to the fact that there are families out there who struggle to provide clean diapers for their babies. There are families who balk at the price of disposables, but don't know there are other options out there. There are families who don't have luxuries like a washer, dryer or fancy cloth diapers, yet they may be unaware that there are affordable and reusable options. I hope to show that flat diapers are an affordable way to diaper your baby and that hand washing is absolutely doable. 

I hope you enjoy following along with me as I take this challenge! Do you have any questions for me about the challenge? Anything in particular you would like to see? Are you participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge?   

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