Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flats Challenge Part 1: Deciding to do the challenge and preparation

This week we are featuring guest blogger Kendra on her journey to cloth diaper using flats.

”#FlatsChallenge”   I first heard of the challenge from Dirty Diaper Laundry as a follower of hers on Twitter. I started cloth diapering my daughter the second week in April when she was three mos old. So, my online life has begun to more accurately reflect my daily life, following less famous celebrities, following more mamas. My first impression of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge was that it was a little crazy. Why handwash when I have a perfectly capable machine? Flats? Good grief, on all the web sites those are the cheap options for travel and homesteaders! Those old, old type of diapers, even my mom padded my bottom with prefolds thirty years ago! I knew I would follow others' experiences, but I would happily read about it while listening for the spin cycle to end! I owned two flats, both small that I took from the hospital at my daughter's birth. I couldn't justify spending money on flats. As I thought more about it, I started to have a change of heart. I can do whatever I set my mind on. I had just pushed my daughter into the world, I could certainly handwash her diapers for a week! I won a $10 gift code, flats were $10, it was a clear sign. So, here I am.
My daughter in a t-shirt

My preparation was very easy. I started to boil my new flats within thirty minutes of the mailman delivering them to my door. Then I read on the flats' insert that bleached flats only needed to be prewashed once. Nice. Three of the flats boiled for about five minutes, then I poured them into the washing machine. I decided that my first day of the challenge I would use both my small hospital flats, receiving blankets, and old cotton T-shirts. True "flat" broke diapering. My version of emergency diapering. As recent natural disasters have demonstrated, if I am without power and water, my daughter still needs clean diapers. I should know how to get a T-shirt or blanket or old sheet around her. Thankfully youtube.com is a great source of how to use basically anything absorbent to diaper, how to handwash, folding, etc. I personally feel very strongly about having natural fibers next to my daughter's skin, so everything I'm using for the challenge is 100% cotton. There is one exception, for my five covers, one of them is a smartipants pocket cover, but I am going to try to use that only at night. I have three Mommy's Touch covers, and one Econobum cover to use during the day. I have two old fashion diaper pins and that's all. It looks like this:
  • 6 real-size bleached flats
  • 2 small bleached flats*
  • 6 receiving blankets*
  • 3 old T-shirts*
  • 5 covers
  • 2 diaper pins
*used on my first "emergency" day and as needed during the week once the six flats are used.

Next up, how the challenge is going...

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