Today is Day 5 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge! Two days left to go of all flats, handwashing, and line drying. Over 450 of us are participating to bring awareness to this economical cloth diapering option, and to demonstrate that it can be an option for everyone, regardless of access to a washer or dryer.
Today the Challenge bloggers are talking about what they’ve learned so far. I shared a lot of my washing tips in yesterday’s post, so I won’t to go into to many details about that part of things.
If you have a heavy wetter, older child, or need extra absorbency for nap or bedtime, don’t try to make just one flat do the job. Last year I used a folded up flat as a doubler in all of my 2 year old’s diapers. Nehemiah is a heavy wetter most of the time, so I really expected to need to double up this year too, but he’s been ok with one flat except at bed time, or if I know we will be out and about for awhile. For bed time, I use three flats – one in whatever fold I choose for the night, normally the diaper bag fold, and two folded up as doublers. I would rather wash a few extra diapers (even by hand!), then to be stressed out by constant leaking.
Rubber gloves are awesome. I forgot to include them in my supply post, but they have made this year’s Challenge so much more bearable. I don’t consider myself overly squeamish, but handling pee soaked or poopy diapers with my bare hands the amount I needed to for them to be completely clean grossed me out last year. Rubber gloves also help my hands handle hotter water, and can be helpful if I have a particularly dirty area that I need to scrub.
When you are agitating diapers, watch out for splashes. Seriously. I have splashed myself in the face on more than one occasion with wash water. Again, I’m not overly squeamish, but eeeww.
Even if you think you’ve wrung the diapers out so much there couldn’t possibly be any more water left in them, snap them out before you hang them on the line. I read this on someone’s blog yesterday (I don’t remember who, sorry! There are so many great bloggers participating!), and it got out a lot more water, which meant my diapers were much dryer last night.
It really is worth the effort to stay on top of the laundry. Washing a few diapers is so much easier to deal with than washing two days worth. Last year I took a few night’s off, and it was not worth it.
Helpers can make jobs a lot harder (like when my 17 month old is trying to play in the bath water while I rinse out his diapers!) or a lot easier – like this sweet picture I snapped yesterday!
When using flats full-time, it works better to pick a fold or two that you really love and fold your diapers up as soon as they are dry. If you do that, flats don’t take much more time at diaper changes then pockets. But if you are just grabbing an unfolded flat and a wriggly baby and trying to fold your flat quickly while the baby tries to run away… It’s a bit harder Especially if you are also trying to get pictures for blog posts!
What tips have you learned so far? Did you figure it out yourself, or is it something you picked up from another participant?