I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry . For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post . This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!
Why am I participating in the challenge? There are several reasons I am choosing to use flats this week. The most basic reason, I am always up to a challenge. But most importantly, money is tight. We’ve always been a sometimes cloth/sometimes disposable family. I love using cloth but I also quite frequently fall back on disposable diapers. Teagan wore mainly cloth diapers from birth until Nathan was admitted to the hospital. I was thrown into a whirlwind of being overly busy, spending alot of time traveling back and forth to the hospital and then when we brought him home, I was counting the hours between his IV infusions and airway clearance treatments. I had no time for washing diapers let alone for washing our clothing.
I would say we cloth diaper at least 50% of the time. Nathan is well on his way to being toilet trained and when I am home or out and about with the kids I usually use cloth. Nathan wears homemade cloth training pants, regular cotton underwear, and disposable pull ups on the days I just don’t have energy. I am not including him in the flats challenge because he is almost for and very set in his routine. Teagan wears mostly pocket cloth diapers. If I run out of clean cloth diapers then I use disposables guilt free. When she goes to preschool/daycare she wears a disposable. I feel comfortable choosing whatever diaper works at the moment but love that I can save alot of money by adding cloth diapers into our daily diapering life.
When I read the article on how some families would try to reuse disposables to save money I was astonished. I was immediately up to the flats and handwashing challenge. To be honest I am more up to the flats portion of the challenge than the handwashing portion because I love my washing machine. But the point is you can diaper cheaply without having a washing machine. The flats part will be a piece of cake, with my flats costing between $1-$2.50 each, I know they are affordable. The true test for me will be the ease of handwashing.