30 May 2011

What I Learned & What I Recommend ~ Flats & Handwashing Challenge 2011

Don't rob the piggy banks!
The Flats Challenge is OVER! We did it! But why did we do it again?

Because in this day and economy more and more mother's are having to choose between buying diapers and paying bills or buying food. Disposable diapers cost an average of $80 - $100 per month if you change then as often as recommended. This doesn't change much, no matter the age of the baby. Communities are holding diaper drives and starting diaper banks. But these don't solve the problem!

Many moms don't have a washer/dryer at home. That's ok! Many laundromats will not allow you to wash diapers in their facility because of health/sanitary reasons. That's ok too! Handwashing is not as bad as it sounds, nor is it as time consuming as you think!

I PROVED this past week that you CAN diaper a baby for FREE. A few things from around the house and 15 - 30 minutes each night is all you need. Is it ideal? No. Is it fun? No. But it WORKS and it's FREE!

What to Use:

Baby Receiving Blanket
Plain Dawn dish detergent, about a teaspoon is enough for 8-12 diapers.
Bathroom tub, sink, or a bucket

Thin blankets, t-shirts, sheets 
Socks (for overnights or during the day for extra absorbency
Diaper pins, Snappi, or the ability to tie a knot
                                                     Rain poncho or any type of fleece hoodie or fleece fabric (for covers)

The Eco Chic has some great videos on how to wash your diapers, but there's no right or wrong way to do it!

So what did I really learn?
 - That it can be done!
Cut up t-shirt
 - That years of washing your sheets in more than the recommended amounts of Downey to get them incredibly soft just might come back to bite me in the rear.
 - That washing them in blue Dawn soap can help with that.
 - That diaper pins leave holes and tear rain ponchos. So this is a great and workable short term solution, but won't last more than a week or two per square of poncho.
 - That terry cloth towels take an eon to dry, so let them be a last resort!

Now what do I recommend?

It is my recommendation that diaper drives and diaper banks request and distribute cloth diaper kits. These kits would completely diaper one child from birth to potty training. Taking into consideration cost and convenience I recommend that these kits contain:

~ 1- two pack of Snappis $5.75
Fleece scarf a a cover
~ 12 flat cloth diapers $6 - $20 (Dollar Tree flour sack towels to Unbleached Osocozys)
~ 4 Kawaii One Size Diaper Covers $25.80 ($6.45 each)

At most this kit would cost $51.55 (All the sites I used offered free shipping, so no cost there!)

This is roughly HALF the cost of ONE MONTH worth of Huggies or Pampers! And I won't even go into chemicals or environmental considerations.
Un-cut Size XL t-shirt

Osocozy Flat



  1. I think it's awesome that you did this challenge and showed people that it could be done TOTALLY FREE! Amazing job, Mama!

  2. I just wanted to say that of all the posts on the Flats challenge, I have especially enjoyed following your posts. I always looked for yours first on the Linky. I am amazed at your $0 stash and that you regularly handwash! Thanks for all your great posts.


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