Sunday, May 26, 2013

Flats and Hand Washing Challenge



We are at the end of our Flats and Hand Washing Challenge!!!  We made it!!!!  There were a lot of ups and downs through the challenge, but I am able to say that I learned quite a bit.  Here are my top 10 things I learned this week...
1. I am a pretty good agitator (when using our camp style washer, not in relation to my husband ;) ).
2. Drying flats takes considerably less time than I thought it would.  It took about an hour inside, which would be about 10 minutes in the sun...if we had any...
3. Flats are very inexpensive and easy to acquire.
4. Your child WILL leak through their diaper if you don't pack extra clothes....see that story here
5. If I can fold and hand wash diapers, ANYONE can
6.  Snappis aren't as intimating as they look. 
7. Flats don't protect the cover as well as the regular Rock-A-Bums inserts (when it comes to poo).
8. It might take a few tries to figure out what combination of absorbency/folds work best, and that's not super easy to do on a wiggly toddler.
9. Flats are incredibly trim
10. I feel pretty confident that I can successfully learn anything on YouTube, origami folding diapers included. 

As an added bonus, I do consider hand washing to be a work out, therefore I was able to get a work out in every day this week, that's something doesn't commonly happen :)

I am very glad that I participated in the flats challenge this year, as it was a great learning experience for me.  I have had multiple people tell me they want to cloth diaper, but live in apartments with no washer or dryer.  I am very thankful now that I have first hand experience in a way they can still manage to cloth diaper their children.  It will be good to refer them back to my journey through this challenge, and show that it is actually possible to cloth diaper your child on a minimal budget and without the use of a washer/dyer. 

Now.......let the FUN begin.....

We are CELEBRATING our accomplishment in making it through this challenge and so we are GIVING AWAY 3 Rock-A-Bums covers, a Wet Bag, AND 10 Flour Sack Towels.  This will be a GREAT starter set for the lucky winner!!!  

On the giveaway, the first one is supposed to be a "Blog Post COMMENT" :) Thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, you thought the fun stopped at the giveaway, right?  Don't you worry, we have something else up our sleeves.......we want to give our rock star readers a 25% discount on to be used through Friday 5/31.  Just use the coupon code: MEM25OFF   when checking out!!! Happy Shopping!

*The coupon code will run through Saturday, June 1st :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Flats and Hand Washing Challenge

Day Trip in Flats!

I still remember the first time I ever left the house with my baby in cloth.  I was so nervous that she was going to leak everywhere that I brought three changes of clothes, and enough diapers to last her three days (we were just going to the grocery store).  I was a wreck.  I checked her multiple times while I was shopping and I even changed her in the car before putting her back into her car seat.  I look back now and wonder why I was so caught up in the fact that she might leak.  She never leaked at home, why would she in the 30 minutes we were at the grocery store?  Well, all those feelings flooded back into my mind when taking my daughter on a short day trip to visit a friend for the first time in FLATS. 

So, I stopped and thought about how unnecessary it was to over pack the diaper bag this trip.  Here is what I brought:

2 Rock-A-Bums Covers
1 Medium Wet Bag
10 cloth wipes
6 Flats
I love organizing <3
Now, if you're wondering if this was enough for our day trip, yes it was.  If you're wondering where the extra clothes are, they aren't in there.  If you're wondering if my daughter leaked, SHE DID.......Apparently her bladder had different plans and she held it for a while, and, well, the flats only have so much absorbency, so, you know the rest.  Luckily, the friend I was visiting has a son the same age, so we just borrowed some of his pants!!


Friday, May 24, 2013

What's Working and What's Not - Flats and Hand Washing Challenge

What's working, What's Not!

Well, we are five days into the challenge, and I have come up with some great victories, and some minor hurdles.  Surprisingly, my hurdles were different than I had anticipated. 

Before beginning this challenge, I was least excited about the hand washing portion.  My friends can agree that I was more than worried with that MAJOR detail (it IS in the title of the challenge).  I was terrified.  All I could envision was poop all over my tub, and all the way up my arms.  As you can see here, I did jump on board and take the hand washing challenge head on.  Other than a minor slip up (I'm still scared to open my mouth around diapers), it's continuing to go smoother than I expected.  My second and third time hand washing the diapers was considerably easier than my first.  Thank goodness this challenge was for a week, otherwise my first experience would have left a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended).

The only hurdle with hand washing, that I have noticed, is how much more time it takes in my day.  To thoroughly hand wash, rinse, wring out, and hang it takes almost an hour.  Now, my wash cycle for my regular cloth routine takes well over an hour, but the difference is that the time I put into loading and unloading my diapers is about 5 minutes.  Although this is a hurdle because I'm used to modern cloth, lets not forget the reason behind this challenge. It's to prove that cloth diapering is possible in all situations, EVEN on an almost non existent budget, and EVEN with no washer and dyer.  Therefore, I have realized, that although it is more time consuming, it is completely doable

I have had multiple victories since starting to use flats.  One that completely surprised me was when my daughter (Ms. heavy night time wetter) woke up with DRY SHEETS.  I was shocked and I thought for sure it was a fluke, there's no way flour sack towels can contain her pee, and sure enough, she has woken up with dry sheets every. single. morning. 

I have also found that it is pretty fun to try out a whole bunch of different folds and arrangements for my flats.  I never thought of diapering my child as such an art!  YouTube videos are amazing for figuring out every possible way a flat diaper can be folded and wrangled onto your child. 

Needless to say, this challenge has taught me a lot considering I'm definitely used to the convenience of modern cloth, but I am SO excited about all of the different techniques I have learned!  My husband BETTER take me camping this year so I can show off my savvy washing skills!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hand Washing - The Flats and Hand Washing Challenge


Hand Washing - Flats and Hand Washing Challenge

When I first started the challenge, hand washing was the part that made me the most nervous.  I have never had to hand wash anything , let alone diapers!  The thought of how I could do this was slightly overwhelming in the beginning so it’s a good thing I like a little challenge J.

My first adventure was going out to get the accessories needed, you can see the breakdown here.  Once I had that all set up, I just needed to get some dirty flats, one day later, and my sweet Hayley blessed me with those.  Then came the part I was dreading, the hand washing.  Here are a few tips that I learned along the way:

1.       Close your mouth when agitating vigorously (I won’t go into detail)

2.       Set a timer, and then PUSH START…otherwise you will be agitating by hand for a VERY long time and wondering why five minutes seems so long….

3.       Use enough soap, (but not too much) the first time, so you don’t have to agitate twice. 

4.       Wear rubber gloves so your hands don’t get calloused

5.       Roll the flats up in a towel and press on them with your knees
A few pictures of our process! 

All in all, hand washing was significantly easier than I had originally anticipated! My arms are a little sore, but that’s the sign of a good work out, right?

FYI, you can hand wash the covers the exact same way you do flats! Even in the same "load," easy peasy!

The FLAT Fit - The Flats and Hand Washing Challenge

The FLAT Fit - The Flats  and Hand Washing Challenge

Since we are using Rock-A-Bums covers for the Flat and Hand Washing Challenge, there are so many directions I could go each day with how I want the diaper to fit, and where in the diaper I want the flat to be positioned.  The versatility of the diaper STILL rocks even when using flats! 

Option 1:
Regular Pad fold in a Rock-A-Bums shell
Option 2:
Regular Pad fold INSIDE the pocket
Option 3:
Origami fold (or any other style of folding around baby)
Option 4:
Added Absorbency (our night time solution)

The BEST part about these is that they are SOOOOOOO trim with the Rock-A-Bums shell, I just couldn’t believe it!  Here are a few pictures to really prove their slender appearance. 

Supplies - The Flats and Hand Washing Challenge

Supplies - Flats and Hand Washing Challenge

                Starting out this challenge seems like it might be the easiest part! Luckily, I already have a supply of Rock-A-Bums covers because we use them as an AI2.  Therefore, I just had to run to our local Walmart and pick up a few other items. 

The first, and seemingly most important item I had to purchase, was the flats to be used as the inserts.  I chose to use the flour sack towels, as they were quick, easy, and inexpensive.  At my local Walmart, they were a pack of five for $4.98.  I picked up 30 of them, as I have an extremely heavy wetter, and I know I will need two flour sack towels  in her Rock-A-Bums  at all times.   The next items I grabbed were the ones to make a “camp style” washer.  I grabbed a 5 gallon bucket for $4.14, a plunger for $2.47 and then a pack of drill bits for $10.97 (I could have just grabbed one drill bit for $2, but my husband wanted the whole pack, just like a kid in a candy store). 

        My total might seem large until you remember that this is what it would take to cloth diaper (AND WASH) for one child full time.  It blew my mind.  Plus remember, the total was after we sprung for the large pack of drill bits.   
        Once I was home, I enlisted the help of my dad (who happened to be visiting, lucky himJ ) to drill holes into my bucket AND my plunger.  We used a 1” drill bit for the lid of the bucket, and 3/8” drill bit for the plunger (just as suggested HERE).  Literally ten minutes (maybe) and we were done.  Piece of cake!


               My final step was to pull out my Rock-A-Bums and get them ready to roll for the Flats and Hand Washing Challenge!                             

       Using cute covers will make the hand washing seem like a breeze, right?