It is day 6 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!!
As you may have noticed, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For the past 6 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them. This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!To see what I've been up to check out Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5.
So, between last summer and this weekend I have used and hand washed flats both in a hotel, and while staying with family on short weekend trips.. and I have used disposables on longer trips in the past year - When traveling for a 1-2 week vacation, the cost of disposables is minimal - the cloth diaper nerd in me would like to do it, but I just can't justify the extra work when i've got so many other things going on. If i needed to use flats for financial reasons, chances are good i wouldn't be spending a week at disney world. Anyway, for shorter weekend trips, i like to use cloth - i just don't like to come home with a bag full of dirty diapers. I also don't like to take up a huge amount of space with enough pockets to last the weekend. Flats and handwashng come about as close to perfect as you can get for this type of trip.
This time, we spend just one night away, about a day and a half. We were staying with my Mother in Law at her home in the country. That meant 2 things for cloth diaper washing - well water, and a clothes line! I washed diapers half way through (in the morning) because I wanted to be sure they had time to dry before we left. I did a hot wash inside and then took the diapers outside for rinsing - it was so windy and i knew i had all day for them to dry, so i did 3 rinses and hardly wrung them out at all (we also had somewhere to be). My diapers did turn out a bit discolored (hoping that washes out?) from the well water. You can almost see it in the picture of them drying on the line, the diaper on the right and the ones on the left took the brownish color of the water. The water wasn't THAT brown, so i'm not really sure why it stuck so bad to those diapers (target flour sack towels, you can also see in this picture how much BIGGER the Sam's flour sack towels are than the target towels ..). Anyway, that was all there was to it, If we had stayed - i would have washed again in the morning and had more diapers. I did not bring the 2 dirty diapers we had used at home with us - so tomorrow I'll have 2 extra diapers to wash in addition to the ones we used today. We also played outside in the water today, so for that time, my toddler went diaperless for a few hours, and luckily my preschooler did not pee in his night time diaper - both of those things cut down on the number of diapers i had to wash while we were away.
As for packing, for this trip - i brought my entire clothes basket of flats. completely unnecessary? yes. I had the space in the van and i didn't want to stress about packing them - I could have taken up the same amount of space as a package of disposables and had everything i needed. (about 10 flats, 3 covers, gloves and detergent)
Briefly, I'll talk about last year's hotel trip and flats - That was trickier - I washed the flats from the day in the hotel bathtub after the kids were in bed and hung them from the shower curtain rod, towel bars etc. and left the fan running in the bathroom - They dried, it worked - but i could see how it might not work in some hotel bathrooms. The flannel flats did not dry as quickly, so this year when i traveled i only brought flour sack towels. I used only flip and thristies covers - which dry quickly. It was more challenging than what i did this weekend, If i was committed to using only cloth diapers i would do it in a heartbeat! but i'm not.
And what was possibly the highlight of this part of the Flats Challenge experience ? My husband saying flats were 'not that bad' and he even put one on our wiggly toddler. I fold my flats in a rectangle similar to a prefold and usually use the bikini twist or angle wing fold with boingos to secure. My comfort zone is completely different this year, than it was last year - so i don't feel so bad about not experimenting too much.. Last year i used pins, snappis, several different folds and pad folded flats in the diaper bag - this time, I'm pretty much doing the same thing all the time fold-wise - i'm using my boingos religiously and haven't touched my pins or snappis..(seriously, I love them! i just don't think i could get the same fit with pins or a snappi)