Why I'm Participating in the Flats Challenge with Dirty Diaper Laundry

April 28th, 2011

When Kim from Dirty Diaper Laundry posted this video about people reusing disposable diapers because they could no longer afford the rising costs, it broke my heart. It is so incredibly sad to me that the public has been so trained to think that disposables are the ONLY way to diaper your baby. If I were running out of diapers and couldn't afford to buy more until payday, my first thought would go to towels or something else that you could wash. Personally the thought to re-use single use diaposable diapers would have never occurred. As a single income family with three children trying to make it work, we experience hardships with budgets frequently. I'm lucky enough to stay at home with the children. Besides, if we put them in daycare I'd have to get a job that paid at least $60/hr. I just can't do that "legally".

This challenge really spoke to me as a way to get the message across that you can cloth diaper your baby no matter your situation. One of the things that I feel might hold people back from cloth diapering is the initial cost. Yes, there is more of an upfront cost with cloth diapers but you can see the savings in the first couple of months (and you can see it immediately when you see your bill get $20.00 cheaper at the grocery store). Another reason why cloth diapers might not appeal to people is the washing involved. Also, not everyone has access to a washing machine and using public machines can leave build up from others detergent. In this day and age, we have taken the machines that do everyday jobs for granted! That is why during the week of May 23rd-30th, I along with many other bloggers will be handwashing and line drying flat cloth diapers.

Picture from http://www.clothdiaper.com

Flats are an excellent and inexpensive way to cloth diaper. The great things about flats is that they are truly one size fits all. The fit is all in how you fold them. Before this challenge, I didn't really understand what flat cloth diapers were. Flats are just one big piece of cotton, usually in the shape of a square or rectangle, that can be folded in different ways to form a diaper. They can either be pinned or snappied closed. You can also use the "pad" fold and lay them in covers.
The most common fabric they are made out of is birdseye cotton. You can find some that are a cotton/hemp blend.

The challenge is to use only flat cloth diapers and 5 covers a day to diaper baby. You are also required to handwash and line dry the flats. It's as simple as that. No "modern" cloth diaper accessories allowed.

I've been using flats for a couple weeks now. Not as my primary diapering system but using a couple a day with Charlotte. To my surprise, I really like them! Charlotte has an incredibly high rise (18") and it's hard to find diapers that her bottom doesn't hang out of. Flats have worked really well because I can customize the diaper for her. I have been adding doublers with them and I'll change that when the challenge starts. I'll use a pad folded flat laid in another flat.

You can read more about the Flats Challenge over at Dirty Diaper Laundry.

If you would like to sponsor this event please contact me at knockedupandnursing@gmail.com



Mama's Spot said...

Very true... Really liked your post. The thought of re-using a disposible diaper is odd, but that is coming from someone who loves cloth so... New follower, great blog. Hop on over and visit me at my new blog...happy thursday :-) http://mamasspotchaos.blogspot.com/

Crunchy Diva said...

i'm totally intrigued by this challenge! what a great challenge! it is such an important challenge. i will be doing my part even though my little guy is 10 years old....lol...i'll be joining by doing my own loads of wash by hand. keep up the great work & education.