The Flats and Handwashing Challenge starts on May 23rd and ends on May 30th. For this week, those who join the challenge can only use flat fold diapers, no more then 5 covers, and hand prep and wash these diapers for the entire week. We cannot use diaper sprayers, washers, or dryers. The purpose of this challenge is to show parents that any one, in any circumstance, can cloth diaper their babies for about the cost of a case, or a months worth of disposable diapers.
A few of my friends and family, my grandmother especially, wants to know WHY in the world I would join the Flats and Handwashing Challenge and consent to using only flat diapers and washing them by hand for a week! Here are my reasons.
I hear very often, “we just can’t afford cloth diapers”! Yet for the price of one box of disposable diapers you can diaper your baby from birth to potty training! That box of disposables only lasts you a month, or less! While you can get years worth of cloth diapers for the same cost! I was recently sent a sponsored cloth diapering package that cost $83 from Green Mountain Diapers. Out of that package there are a few things that I wouldn’t of ordered had I been paying. About $17 dollars worth. So for less then $70 I have about three years worth of diapers sitting on my couch right now. I have 12 flat fold diapers, two Thirsties covers (which I can wipe out and immediately reuse or quickly wash in a sink, hang dry and use again in just a few hours), a snappi and a pair of plastic pants that I will actually use. There is another cover with snaps, that while I like it, for $15 I can do without. There were also several diaper pins. I won’t use them. I would much rather use a snappi that cannot puncture my baby for any reason. It’s also much easier to use on a squirmy toddler. I will use the pins once, and take pictures to show HOW to use them but other then that they will find other uses around here.
I also hear that some parents are leaving their precious babies in diapers longer then they used to because of the economy and the rising cost of everything, including diapers! Some parents are rinsing out the disposable diapers, blow drying them and reusing them! Talk about chemical exposure! Did you know that there is the equivalent of a case of oil in a box of diapers, and with the rising cost of gas we all know now why diapers are getting more expensive also! Not to mention that the chemicals from those oil produced diapers are leaching into your babies skin, causing who knows what reactions. I have read that those “great” little beads in your disposables that soak up all the pee are carcinogenic and can cause uterine cancer! Now for our daughters, that is a scary thought, and that thought alone made me want to try cloth! But when it came time for her to be born, all I had was a 5 count package of Kushies that didn’t come close to fitting her, and no money to buy other cloth diapers! Had I known then what I know now, she would of NEVER worn a disgusting disposable diaper a single day of her life! At about 4 months of age, those Kushies finally started to fit, but I only had 5! I was washing diapers every night while she slept in a disposable! Then I came across a website, with instructions for making my own flat fold diapers! I found a nice flannel sheet at a thrift store for $2 and measured and cut away. I didn’t have a sewing machine so the edges were left undone. I now had 24 flat fold diapers that became my at home diapers, and the Kushies became my going out diapers. Eventually I discovered that the un-breathability of the PUL on those Kushies were causing the constant rash my little one had, and was able to get some hand me down diapers from family and friends. I also started this blog, which led to my reviewing diapers and soon enough all my flat folds were slowly turned into wipes and kitchen rags. But without them I would of given up on cloth diapering. I simply thought I couldn’t afford it. And in the future any time my daughter was sick I would of thought, is this something I could of avoided by not using disposable diapers? I didn’t want that thought to hang over me the rest of my life, as it will with my other 5 children who wore disposables.
That is why I am taking this challenge. I want ALL parents to know that they CAN cloth diaper their baby. No baby should have to sit in a wet, or poopy diaper because their parent can’t afford new ones. No mother should have to wonder if her baby will get cancer because of the choices they made diapering their baby. And no parent should think I can’t afford it. Because what is more important then the health and well being of our children? Is cloth diapering hard? It was to start out… but now, it’s such a part of our life that it’s second nature to us. It’s one more load of laundry. It’s a few dunks in the toilet before it goes into the pail. There are other things I could be doing, yes. But nothing is more important then my baby’s health, and knowing that I am doing the best thing that I can for her. So if you’ve thought of cloth diapering, but thought you couldn’t, or you want to cloth, but aren’t sure where to start or how, please follow along on my journey as I show you how to use, fold and wash flats. All without a washing machine because anyone can cloth diaper. Will you?
Tomorrow I will be prepping the flats that I have recieved so far.. without a washing machine! And learning all the different folds.. even though I used flats before, I can’t remember the different ways to fold! This will be interesting!! Informative!! Fun!! I hope…