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Second Annual Flats Challenge!

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Last year I heard about this challenge just a bit too late. This year, I’m all in. What is the flats challenge? Kim over at Dirty Diaper Laundry devised this challenge to show all of us cloth diaper users how ANYONE can use cloth diapers no matter what their financial situation, with or without a washing machine and dryer. A little more detail… A flat diaper is a single layer of fabric that is folded to fit your baby. It is not waterproof and requires some kind of cover to keep clothing dry. Imagine a dish drying towel and you have a good idea of what I’m talking about.

The great thing about flats is that they are the most inexpensive kind of diaper you can buy and they are the easiest to wash and keep clean! What’s the challenge? Those participating must hand wash their diapers for the week of the challenge. Here are the rules in detail from Dirty Diaper Laundry blog:

“Materials Allowed

The following diapering items can be used:

  • Any flat cloth diaper, store bought or handmade.  A flat should be only 1 layer of material for easier handwashing and faster drying.
  • 1 night time diaper per night of your choice although you are asked to make flats work for you.
  • A diaper sprayer.
  • Wet bags/diaper pails for storage.
  • Handmade “washing machine” for diapers such as the camp style washer I made last year.
  • Non Electronic Portable washing machines (must be powered by you and cost less than $100.
  • Commercially available or handmade covers.
  • Commercially available or handmade detergents.
  • Snappi, Boingo, and Pins for closure.
  • Pocket diapers STUFFED WITH FLATS. (note that the potential for repelling on the stay dry lining could make your challenge harder but you can see what happens)
  • Homemade or store bought fleece liners.

Materials Not Allowed

  • Electronic washer/dryer.
  • Pockets with inserts other than flats, AIO’s, Fitteds, Contours, Prefolds, AI2’s, etc.”

I ordered some official flats just to make sure I had a true grip of what the challenge is all about. I also plan on using some flannel receiving blankets for the majority of the challenge. I’m reserving all my pocket diapers (stuffed with flats) for the times that DS is at preschool. My main concern was, “how am I going to use flats overnight?”. Today was my first day using flats ever. I doubled them up for naptime and, would you believe, both the kids woke up dry? Tonight is my test run for nighttime flat diaper use. I folded one flat in an origami fold and then padded it with a flannel receiving blanket, topped with a fleece liner to keep them feeling dry. I can’t wait to see how the diapers held up tomorrow morning! I found it very funny that BOTH kiddos told me “I like this diaper mommy!” after I snappied them closed. I asked them if they were comfy and they nodded excitedly. They are too funny.

Why on earth am I so excited to hand wash my diapers and take this challenge on? When I think about all the families out there that struggle financially to diaper their children, my heart breaks. How awesome is it that I could buy a 6 pack of flats for $12.95, and Kawaii covers for $6.50 each? And that’s buying name brand flats – which is completely unnecessary for diapering use. Many of the moms taking the challenge are using nothing but receiving blankets or cut up sheets that they already have. You can diaper your child in old t-shirts! You can use ANY absorbant material! Trimmer material is better if you are worried about your child’s clothes fitting over your diaper cover, but anything will do. Knowing that you can get into cloth diapers for under $100 AND being able to share personal experience with hand washing will be an invaluable experience when I speak at workshops and cloth diaper circle meetings.

I can’t wait to share this experience with you readers!!!! If you cloth diaper I ask that you give this challenge a try. Stop by Dirty Diaper Laundry and sign up. I plan on entertaining you with this challenge. I’m even going to attempt to make an upcycled wool cover to give it a shot for night time use. (That should be interesting – considering my untrained sewing skills!)

Will you join me? Kim has pledged to donate $1 to Giving Diapers Giving Hope for everyone that completes this challenge, up to $200! Lets spend her money! :-)

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