Sunday, May 22, 2011

Preparing for the Diaper Flats & Handwashing Challenge!

Starting tomorrow, we'll be participating in Dirty Diaper Laundry's "Diaper Flats & Handwashing Challenge." For me, it's a fun way to bring awareness that cloth diapering can be done, even without fancy modern diapers and access to a washer/dryer. You can view an FB post about my reasons for joining here. I must say that the week of 05.23 - 05.30 isn't the most convenient week as it's my birthday week (hooray!) and also Memorial Day weekend. But heck, this challenge isn't about what's convenient, after all.

Here's a quick overview of our usual cloth diaper systems:

Since we already use diaper flats padfolded as inserts in our Bumgenius pocket diapers and already use padfolded flats in PUL (i.e. waterproof) covers, we already have all the supplies needed for diapering.

The Diaper Goods:

12 Cloth Diaper Flats
  • One dozen Osocozy Flat Diapers from Mom's Milk Boutique (I purchased 2 dozen earlier this year but figure I'll only need a dozen since that's what I'm guessing I'll use for this week. I love that MMB offers free shipping for purchases $25 and over.) Cost - $18.90
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Limit of 5 Covers
  • 1 Econobum Cover from Cotton Babies (Free standard shipping on all purchases! I purchased the set that includes a one-size prefold during a promotional sale.) Cost - $7.96; Retails for $8.95 (or with one-size prefold for $9.95)

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  • 1 Flip Cover in snap closure, Ribbit (dark green) from Kelly's Closet (Received as a free gift during a promotional sale) Cost - $0; Retail cost - $13.95

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My Total Cost - $51.11
Retail Cost - 71.05

Considering these diapers would theoretically take El from 4 months up through potty training, that is a very small investment for a very large savings from having to purchase disposable diapers. I haven't priced disposable diapers lately but I believe the amount I spent would be about 1-2 months worth of disposies???

The Plan:

With our moms work schedule this week, they'll be able to take turns watching El during the mornings and afternoons. I haven't yet told them about the challenge as they are very much used to El using Bumgenius pockets or training undies (more recently) so I'll need to update them. I plan to put all of the pockets and prefolds away this week. Both our moms have "mini stashes" of El's diapers just in case the diaper bag that's always with her isn't stocked properly so tonight, I'll make a trip out to each house and trade those dipes for flats and PUL covers. I'm pretty good about "pre-loading" the diapers (i.e. folding up the flat/prefold diaper and placing it into the cover for speedy changes) so I'll do the same this evening.

At 21 months, El normally goes through about 2-4 diapers in one day. We've been practicing Elimination Communication (another post for another day) with her since she was about 2 months old, so I know that our diaper usage is reduced compared to her cohort. I am hopeful that we'll be able to avoid any messy diapers since she is pretty good about signaling that she needs to "make a deposit" in the toilet.

The flat diapers are "one use" only before they need to be washed but the covers are reusable, as long as they're not soiled or wet. I figure we'll go through 1, maybe 2 covers, per day plus the 2-4 flat diapers. I'm estimating that we'll need to wash every 3rd day so I'll only have to wash twice this week.

I've handwashed diapers before while traveling and it's much easier than one would think. The trick for me is making sure I wear gloves as the process of handwashing in such hot water is horribly drying. I use nitrile gloves that my mom always has lying around her house. I considered making a "camp style washer" but have decided against building a rig or buying any additional equipment. I'll probably just use our bathroom sink or even an empty trash can in the shower, depending on the size of the load. We don't have a clothesline but I normally hang dry stuff on our stair banister. I'm hoping that Hubby will help me out in handwashing/hang drying. It is my birthday week, after all! =)

Check out how other crunchy mamas and papas are prepping for the challenge!

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