When I heard about The Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry, I thought it sounded like a lot of fun! When I learned more about the reasoning behind the challenge, I jumped on board. One in three families with children struggle to pay for diapers. Sadly, many of these families have resorted to re-using disposable diapers. They feel that cloth diapers are too expensive, too much work, require a fancy washing machine and electric dryer, or just aren't familiar with their options. Each year this challenge gets larger and larger. More and more people find out this very affordable and legitimate option for a family on any budget.
But handwashing you say? It might be more work than just tossing them in the washing machine, it will probably take more elbow grease, MAYBE I'll even touch some poop. I could come up with every excuse in the book... I'm a busy mom of 3 kids 5 years old and younger. My daily commute to and from work takes just under 2 hours/day. I have to make dinner. I have to clean my house. I'm peaking in my half marathon training this week and need to gets my runs in. How does anyone possibly have time for this? The reality is for many people, this is their only option. This isn't a temporary 1-week challenge where they learn about all the fun folds, take pics on their i-phones of their little one running around in the cutest flat, and go to discussion boards on facebook talking about the day's challenge. These are real people who work full-times jobs (or two!), have children to take care of, dinner to make, houses to clean and yet, they somehow manage. So why wouldn't I give it a try?
Today was Day 1! I pad folded a bunch of flats, packed them up in our wetbag with a handful of covers and sent them off to my in-laws with my 18 month old. The report I got was great! No leaks, and they were able to use each cover over again. As soon as I got home, I rinsed all the diapers out with cold water and put them in a bucket of hot water and detergent to soak while we ate dinner. After dinner I put a little muscle behind it and did a handwash, then rinsed them out and put them on the rack to dry outside. It was just before 7pm when I got them out. By 8:30, they were dry! I pad folded them and packed them up for tomorrow. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!