Monday, May 27, 2013

Flats & handwashing challenge 2013 day 7(+)- What did we learn?

 The 3rd annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge is over already! This challenge was hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  The challenge focused on using flat cloth diapers and handwashing them for one week.  I can't believe how fast it went! Yesterday was the last day, and I washed my last load of diapers this morning. 

 over night flat (2 flats) and thirsties duo size 2 cover
In the past, (I've taken this challenge twice before) I have felt that hand washing was do-able, but hard.  Wringing was hard, I always ended up getting sore arms or blisters from wringing diapers - or a sore back from bending over the tub.  This time I washed in my kitchen sink and oh the difference it made!! I was right in the middle of the action, I could start the diapers washing, and let them soak here and there, while making the kids breakfast, or cleaning, or bugging the kids to get dressed.  I didn't have to go hide away in the bathroom and worry that some one would go for  a swim in the diapers while i let them soak - or that i would forget to actually finish washing.  My diapers seemed to get much cleaner this way (than with previous challenges) 

I thought the challenge would be harder with a younger baby (3.5 mo, vs. 8mo, 20 mo, and 4 yrs) It was harder in that there were more diapers per day but easier because this little guy holds still for diaper changes.  The challenge has gotten easier every year, this year it seemed to take a leap in the direction of helpful, and better than my normal routine.  Hand washing diapers cut down on the amount of time i spent on laundry this week significantly - It also cut hours and hours of running time off my washer and dryer, with a family of 6 and several loads of laundry a day, that really adds up!

I should also add, there are things about my normal diapering routine that are a direct result of past flats & handwashing challenges.  I was already using flats on my new little man while at home.  I donated ALL of my microfiber inserts to a cloth diaper bank before this baby was born.  When I do use pockets, I stuff them with homemade hemp flats or hemp 'prefolds' (2 pieces of hemp sewn together.  Though i am seriously considering switching over to exclusively using flour sac towel flats in my pockets, at least for the summer.  Honestly, I don't know if I'll use many pockets at all.  I prefer them for the diaper bag, but I also have 3 all -in-ones that are nice for the diaper bag, So i might just use those.  I will admit I forgot to pack a wetbag for my flats several times while we were out this week and having a self contained all-in-one is easier in that situation.  Though i would have wanted NO PART of hand washing even those 3 diapers. 

Well, I am trying to get all this out with a sleeping baby on my chest, and i'm already a day late.  I must say that blogging about the challenge every day was SO much harder than actually doing the challenge! time to type, on a computer?! no. my kids (I have 4 - ages 3.5 mo-7yrs) will hardly allow that. I did at least one blog entry from my phone.  So, with that said, I give up.  Not on the challenge, but on blogging every day -- I'm going back to posting recipes so that i can easily remember them and share them with friends.  I'll think about this blogging thing again when i don't have a baby who sleeps on my chest every night. 

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