Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Flats Challenge Day 1: Why Take The Challenge?

I am so excited to start the week of posts about the Flats Challenge! I am blogging along with Kim Rosas of DirtyDiaperLaundry this week while we and over 430 others use exclusively flat cloth diapers and hand wash them. I first heard about the challenge last spring when Ava was about 3 months old, but I was really new to cloth diapers at that time and flats were very intimidating to me. The thought of hand washing as well? It just didn't seem like something I could do. Now as I have cloth diapered for 15 months, I have started to realize just how manageable flats are. The hand washing part? I think it will be just fine.

My primary reason for taking the Flats Challenge is to show that flats are not as hard to use as people think. Learning the folding technique is what makes most people nervous about flats, and I am hoping to show that anyone can learn it! As many as 1 in 3 families struggle to afford to diaper their babies, and I hope that this challenge and series of blog posts can be a useful resource to help families be able to learn about how they can save money by using flat diapers. 

A messy Origami fold - Ava didn't want to hold still today.

An additional benefit to learning to hand wash diapers is the ability to take cloth on the road very easily. I love that I can take my camp washer and flats camping now or on a road trip and not have to spend money on disposables! Learning to hand wash diapers (or clothes!) in a camp washer is also great in case of power outages, weather emergencies, or instances where a washer breaks down. Many families don't have their own washer or dryer and can't get to a laundromat, so I hope that this series will also show that hand washing diapers is doable for anyone and can be a great cost saver!

My camp washer! I've never been so excited about a plunger before.

I started using my flats occasionally a few weeks ago to practice the folds, and I have fallen in love with the simplicity of them! They are so easy to get clean since most are only one layer of fabric and they dry lightning fast on the line. For anyone who has struggled to find a washing routine that will actually get their cloth diapers clean, flats are a great option to try. It is hard to mess up a flat diaper!

First flat of the challenge: Geffen Baby flat pad folded in a GroVia cover.

I hope you all will follow along this week as I learn and explore flats and hand washing! Follow along on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #flatschallenge. 

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