- You MUST use Flats.
- You MUST handwash them. How is up to you. (bathtub, sink, large wash tub, portable non electronic washing machine, or camp style washer (bucket and plunger- think churning butter)
- You MUST air dry them. (indoors or outdoors, makes no difference)
- You MUST limit your number of covers in rotation to 5 or less.
- You can use any detergent you want. (Keep in mind that you still want cloth safe detergents)
- You can still use your nighttime diapers but I ask that you try to make flats work. Maybe try a prefold wrapped in a flat.
- You can use disposable liners.
- You CAN’T use a diaper sprayer. I thought long and hard about this one, but at an average cost of 40.00 this is one diaper accessory that is out of range for many families. Dunk, swish, flush, or scrape!
- You MUST start the morning of May 23 and end the evening of May 30.
It's finally here! No, not the rapture. If it was, I have a real problem since I'm still here diapering my boy. HA!
The first day of the Flats & Handwashing Challenge is here and with it we say, "don't worry...we're taking it back." (sorry for the bad movie reference, I'm obviously in a cheeky mood this morning!)
We're taking it back to the OLD, old skool like your grandma rocked yo' momma's diapers.
How's it going for me so far? When little man wakes up, I *usually* take him out of his bed, take off his wool cover, remove his wet fitted dipe and put an AI2 on him. WHAAA? Excuse the foreign language, the CD mommas out there know what I'm talking about and I've linked for anyone who doesn't and is interested in finding out. This morning, however, I had to fold a flat to wrap around him and I'm not very experienced with it, so I left him in his crib while I, very sleepily, folded a flat dipe for him. Because my little man pees like crazy, I decided to use one flat in an origami fold and one in a pad fold as a doubler. I have included some pictures below. I covered him in a wool cover and we fumbled around the rest of the house until I managed a cup of coffee. All-in-all, it wasn't nearly as hard as I had imagined.
For the record, I am also using my cloth wipes because they are cheap, reuseable and just wholly better than disposible wipes.
First fold the flat in half. The fold should be facing you. And just try to keep your child off of it. Good luck with the last part...
Next pull the right, top corner over to meet the left, top corner. It seems complicated until you do it, then it's easy as pie.
Flip the whole thing over so that you see the smooth side. Note the square side is a flap and there is a triangle underneath.
Fold the square over until it is in the middle of the larger triangle. I triple fold mine because of my heavy wetter. The rectangle you end up with in the middle will be the absorbant part of your dipe.
Note the "origami folded" diaper in the rear. Since I have a heavy wetter, I wanted some extra protection. I have a 2nd flat folded twice (into a smaller square) that I will then "pad fold" to place on top of the other. ETA: notice the different colors of flats. The origami folded flat is an Osocozy unbleached flat from ItsyBitsyBums website. It cost me 1.13. The whiter flat in front is a flour sack towel I got from WalMart. The 5-pack cost 4.89, so it was about .98.
Then, tri fold the small square (Just like you would fold a dish towel) and place it on top of the other.
This particular diaper was a naptime diaper for my little man, so I folded the pad-folded dipe in half and placed it in the front because he sleeps on his belly. Typically when he wakes up, the front of the diaper is soaked through, but the back isn't wet at all. This is where knowing your child comes in. If you don't need this much absorbancy, great! You'll have a trimmer dipe. If you have a girl, you will need the layering in the middle instead of the front.
Then grab that squirmy baby from whatever he ran off to do and put his diaper on! Notice that I rolled the edges of the triangle inward. This will help hold in any poo that may happen. Because we all know poo happens! ;P
Pull those "wings" or the edges of your triangle up over the top of the dipe and then use pins or a snappi to secure the whole thing together. You'll note that it looks sloppy...I am learning this type of diapering is an art, not a science. Your flats will never be perfectly square, you'll never get the exact same proportions on your fold two times and your baby will never lie perfectly still . It's okay. It will still hold pee-pee and poo-poo, I promise.
Next I rolled the left leg to show the contrast to you. Roll INWARD so as to gusset the fabric around the leg. This helps contain messes.
After rolling both legs, put on the cover of your choice. You see here I chose one of my wool covers. I could write a whole, long post on why I now ADORE wool, (maybe I will one day) but for now I'll just say that it wicks the moisture away from the baby's skin-keeping them dry and warm, while being a natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial fiber and never feeling damp on the outside. It's also a breathable fabric, which most diapers are NOT, so the baby's bum is not just steeping in ammonia all day long. Even better, wool can be used for weeks without washing, so long as it does not get soiled. Simply air dry between changings and VOILA! You're good to go. I have 2 wool covers from Woollybottoms in my rotation for this week.
In my apprehension, I changed him after an hour and a half this morning, not knowing how absorbant the dipes would be. I need not have worried, he could have gone another hour or so before it would have been soaked. I am excited to think he's got so many layers of absorbancy and yet it's so trim and will dry quickly. Drying quickly could surely not be said of an all-in-one!
I am a little nervous because little man is teething and has had the runs. My AI2's never leak (I have only had 2 leaks since starting cloth and both were with a FuzziBunz pocket dipe) but I'm not sure about flats yet. Maybe they'll make me a believer this week. I don't really want to have to wash my wool...it takes a couple days to fully dry after washing.
I'll report back on how the handwashing goes tomorrow, as I'll do that tonight. In the interest of my family and friends who are not so woo-ed by my adventure, I wanted to post a picture of today's harvest from the garden. I was singing praises to the Lord all morning, who provided the bounty, because I am surely a terrible gardener! It is by His good grace that I even see life out there, but especially that we can eat of it :)
A bunch of parsley (lots more where that came from will be ready soon!) a cucumber, a jalapeno pepper and a handful of strawberries. There were even more strawberries (some bigger ones) yesterday and there will be more cukes and peppers in the coming week. Our corn should also be ripe for the picking within the week. YUM!!