Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Are You Ready for the Flats Challenge?

I love a good challenge... and since I am potty training my oldest, I see the end of my fluffy years just around the corner. Kim Rosas from Dirty Diaper Laundry has posed a challenge to Moms using cloth diapers, use flats for a week and the catch is, you can't use the washer or dryer.

I jumped at the chance. Call it a last fluffy "hoorah!", call it a change of perspective, but when I started in cloth diapering I took a giant leap. I spent $300 I didn't really have on a pre-fold and cover package. My husband was skeptical, but my love of cloth grew. I learned a lot and added to my stash. But that initial investment was a HUGE issue. At the time we shared a washer with 4 other tenants and my real use of cloth didn't start till we moved and had our own washer & dryer. When I talk to people about cloth diapers they are either shocked by the investment (I know if you add up all the sposies...) or all the gadgets involved! I do not own a sprayer and have always hand rinsed before washing, so this should be right up my alley!

Why all the extra work? Many families would love to try cloth diapers but either don't have money to get started in cloth diapering (all of my favorite cloth diapers run $18-$30 each!), and/or they don't have access to a washer and dryer.

So the week of May 23rd - 30th, a brave group of ladies, almost 200!,  will be taking the Flats & Handwashing Challenge. Learn to fold and pin a flat diaper and learn to wash and dry them by hand. Flat diapers are unbleached Birdseye Cotton diapers that cost about $16/dozen. Quite a savings!

I am up for it, what about you?

The Diaper Junction generously provided flat diapers to some participants and I was lucky enough to be one. I have to admit that when I signed up for this challenge, I thought I had "flat diapers". Actually I had been using prefolds. Flats are much thinner, so should dry much faster.

My package arrived and so did a set of of Snappi fasteners I ordered to get me out of using diaper pins. Who knows, I am not counting pins out, but I want to try the "stickless" alternatives first. I will still be using covers and different cloth diapers for nighttime.

And my test subjects?

Well, they seem eager. Now I just have to practice my diaper folding... Pad fold? Kite fold? Origami fold? I have much to learn.

I will be blogging about my journey with flats, so check back here in May to see how my week goes. At the end of the challenge all of the Moms will be taking surveys to see what we can learn about the collective journey. Just remember that if you want to cloth diaper, there is probably a way to do it.. even on a budget!

*Disclaimer - I was provided a set (12) flat diapers from Diaper Junction as support for the challenge, and to help me participate. No other compensation was received  and all opinions are my own.
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