Today is Day SEVEN of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge! Over 450 people signed up to use just flat diapers, and no washer and dryer for seven days. You can click the button above to find out more!
Today the Flats and Handwashing Challenge bloggers are talking about our final reflections on the Challenge.
Could I keep doing this?
Honestly, I am incredibly thankful that I get to use my pocket diapers and my washer and dryer tomorrow! It’s 4 in the afternoon while I’m writing this post, and I am about to fall asleep. I’ve been going to bed about 30 minutes later than normal this week. No, I haven’t just been washing diapers late at night, but between dishes, getting kids in bed, blog design meetings, post writing, and everything else in my life, diapers have definitely been one more thing to keep me from going to bed as early as I would like.
If I was doing this all the time, I’m sure I would survive. I definitely feel like I’ve found my groove, and its becoming second nature. However, I’m sure I would also be looking for good coupons on disposable diapers, or doing laundry at a friend or family member’s house on occasion.
i think the biggest obstacle that would prevent lower income parents from using cloth diapers full-time would be the need for daycare friendly diapers. Even if you pad fold in a cover, you would need enough covers to get through a whole day for that to be a good option, and that can get expensive.
Also, many of the practices that make handwashing work well would be impossible to implement in that setting, such as rinsing diapers out immediately and using a wet pail. So even if a daycare were willing to use cloth, and you had enough covers, you’d be fighting a much harder battle with stink than most of us doing the Challenge have had to deal with.
If I were a single working mom or in a dual working household, I think I would use disposable diapers for daycare (looking for deals as much as I could), and then use flats at home. Every diaper reused instead of thrown away would still save me money! If I had access to a washer and dryer, and a cloth friendly daycare, than I would buy pocket diapers here and there as I was able too. As I wrote about on one of our Cloth Tips pages, there are several different ways to cloth diaper from birth to potty-training on around $100. That frees up a lot of money for gas, food, and other necessities for struggling families!
So I survived the Challenge – yay me! I guess I can pat myself on the back for having the fortitude to stick it out. I can rest assured that I’m not a hypocrite. I’ve blown up my facebook wall with blog posts this week. I fulfilled my reasons for participating in the challenge.
But is that enough? One of things I loved about the Flats and Handwashing Challenge last year was the encouragement Kim issued to us at the end of the Challenge to do something with what we had learned. It’s not really enough to spend one week handwashing diapers, conclude that this is a viable option for families, and then go about our normal lives.
This experiment wasn’t for fun. It was training. We have trained ourselves to diaper for little money, with little luxuries, and in good times and bad. I know it was just a week, but it was Flats Boot Camp. ~ Kim Rosas
This past year I’ve been able to teach two classes on “emergency cloth diapering” to low-income expectant moms. They all thought I was a bit crazy, but I gave them some information, and hopefully if they need it some day, it will come back to them. But I want to do more. I hope that through the knowledge and experience I’ve gained this year, I’ll be better equipped to communicate with those who need it most. I’m also going to be actively looking for more venues to share that information.