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Becca's taking the Flats Challenge

Posted by Becca on 4/18/2011 to Frugal Cloth Diapering
Recently my pregnant friend told me that flat diapers made cloth diapering with a super-sensitive, first trimester nose much easier to bear. She told me that no matter what she did, her other diapers just smelled offensive to her (when they hadn’t before her pregnancy) and so she decided to give flats a try.

What she found was that, not only did they have no offensive smell, but they wash and dry extremely easily--so easily that she found herself using them all the time. Another friend who was present for this conversation expressed interest in trying the flats out herself so I gave her almost half of mine, convinced I’d never use them because I hated them. I hated them because I tried them about a year ago and I just couldn’t make them work. I tried them enough to only have to wash them once—yeah, that’s perseverance! Then, I let them sit in the back of my changing table unused for the past year while I stuck to my prefolds, pockets, AIOs, and fitteds.

I mean, I love every type of diaper I encounter, but flats frustrated me after that first attempt so I left them alone.Once my friend told me of her success with them, I had the courage to try again, and to my surprise, I found myself liking them! I found ways to tweak my usage of them so that they were easier for me to use. I stuck with the kite fold and skipped the snappi (which my daughter finds terribly uncomfortable) and went with diaper pins. I found that I could go coverless this way, or use my wool (and occasionally PUL) covers.Meanwhile, Kim Rosas was looking for a way to make cloth diapering accessible for low-income families and came up with the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.

After a couple of days of thinking about her challenge to use only flat diapers for one week and not only that, committing to discard the washer, dryer, and *gasps* the diaper sprayer too..I decided to take the plunge.Deep breath.I liked the idea of hand washing the diapers, as I’ve done so in the past while traveling.I smiled at the thought of drying all those soft flat diapers out in the sunlight in only a matter of hours.I was okay with the idea of using flats because I’ve recently become acquainted with them and they’re not so bad.I wrinkled my nose when I found out you’re limited to using no more than five covers during the week. How will I choose?I faltered when I realized that you aren’t allowed to supplement your hand washed flats with prefolds.I wavered when I thought about giving up all those easy pockets and fitteds for a week in place of folding and pins.I nearly gave up when I discovered that I had to give up my diaper sprayer.But ultimately, the challenge was just too good to pass up, and I’m always up for a challenge—especially if it’s related to cloth diapers.I couldn’t have done it if it weren’t for a good cause.

From May23-May30 cloth diapering parents, bloggers and non-bloggers alike, have committed to join Kim Rosas in her pledge to use only flat diapers and no washing machines in order to promote the cloth diapering cause to those who have had to make the difficult decision between buying the weekly pack of disposable diapers or buying food and clothing. We are using the cheapest and most easily washed diapering option there is to provide support and hopefully statistics (thanks to the survey Kim promises to give us after the week has completed) to prove that it is, in fact, possible to cloth diaper without having a washer, dryer, or diaper sprayer in your home.

Hopefully some good will come of this. Maybe we can get the word out to moms in need that they don’t have to let their kids go hungry in order to keep their bodily functions contained. Maybe we can get places like WIC, Social Services, pregnancy centers, Food Stamps, or even our local church relief centers in on this and willing to provide cloth diapers to their needy clients. Or maybe it will just be word of mouth that helps out these parents in impossible situations. Maybe not a single organization will reach out to their clients with cloth diapers but you’ll be able to tell one, desperate mother how you diapered your baby for nearly nothing. Wouldn’t that be worth it?So, would you be willing to join me in this challenge? You can go over to Kim Rosa’s blog for all the delightful (and maybe scary) details. But I think it’s a journey you’ll be glad you took!


Becca G is a guest blogger for the Cloth Diaper Blog. Becca is a part time Spanish Teacher, a part time stay-at-home-mom, and the wife of the best husband imaginable. Becca’s absolute favorite thing to do is to spend time with her little family. She also enjoys doing anything crafty – from making jewelry, to writing, to sewing, to photography.Support a fellow cloth diapering mom! Becca’s etsy shop: Cloth Diaper Mommy