Yesterday officially ended the flats challenge, which consisted of handwashing and line drying flats with only five covers daily. At night, we could use whatever diaper we wanted, though we were encouraged to try a flat wrapped in a prefold. (Honestly, I ended up using disposables several times, though I did put Abby in flats two nights on accident because she fell asleep earlier than I thought she would. Yay for Thirsties!)
I am so glad that I did take the challenge! At first, I was a little apprehensive, but I figured that since I’m a stay-at-home mom, I had at least a little more time than moms who work. And since Abby is only 16 weeks, she doesn’t have nearly difficult diapers.
Some things the challenge taught me about flats:
1. That crunchy feeling from line drying doesn’t have to be there! I just wrung them out a couple of times, and they were soft again!
2. Rinsing them out really does help! Even a “wet pail” or a soak all night just doesn’t cut it like rinsing them immediately afterwards (especially with poopy or ammonia diapers).
3. Wearing rubber gloves not only saves your hands from becoming way too dry but also helps when rubbing stains out. Even works on covers!
4. There are other flat folds out there, and even though I use several, there’s always something to be said about trying something new. I love the two folds I’ve found this week (the diaperbag fold and the airplane fold). So much trimmer than I though possible!
|This is the diaperbag fold|
|SO much trimmer than my usual folds!|
Another reason why I’m thankful for this challenge is that it really opened my eyes. My husband had been without work for several months before Abby was born, and then he was even out of a job for several weeks after. But God always provided for us. We never went without food (maybe some cravings, but not food!), we had some late bills that were paid for before any utilities were cut off, and we have never gone without the essentials.
One reason why I wanted to cloth diaper is because I knew that even with all of the diapers that had been given to us (and even with the ones still coming in), we would not be able to diaper our daughter with disposables. Thankfully, we had been given money that was set aside specifically for Abby’s newborn/small-sized diaper stash. I had the information needed to cloth diaper, even in mostly flats, and I had a washing machine, even if it only runs cold water. I was even able to research several folds because, well, I had the time and I knew how to search for them.
The fact is that many families in similar situations to mine don’t know about cloth diapers or they don’t have washers or dryers to clean them with. The information just isn’t there, so they re-use dried disposable diapers. This challenge was originally formed to raise awareness that there are other methods, other ways to save money on diapers, and that even this cheapest way is doable. Do I think that a single mom would have tons of time to do this? No. But in an emergency? This definitely works. When it’s either diapers or food, this method definitely works.
Do you know how often I have wished for a hot water heater in my washer? Hot water helps break down the detergent so that the diapers are rinsed out quicker. Even a warm wash would have helped. But now I realize just how blessed I am. Even though I don’t have hot water running to my washer, I do have it running to my tub. A hot wash in a bucket with a plunger doesn’t take that long. And here’s the kicker: I can actually rinse my diapers in my cold-water-washer and then put them in the dryer, saving me lots of time! How selfish my wish seems now!
So my grace-gift list this week? I’m so thankful for:
my sister-in-law, who introduced me to modern cloth diapers and then showed me how easy using the most basic diapers really is
those who gave us the money for diapers 🙂
being able to get through Abby’s first four months with the same diapers that were waiting for her at home
my cold-water-only washer!!
having information from experience…and sharing it with others
diapers on the line…
being able to use my all-in-one and prefold cloth diapers again!!
tax return money (hopefully used to buy a couple more diapers)
God’s great faithfulness: He brought us to the trial, and He is bringing us through it by His great love and grace!
winning diapers in giveaways! especially ones we can use for a long time!
finally trying out a Snappi (thanks to The Great Cloth Diaper Change in Memphis!)
the possibility of this challenge benefiting the lives of others
God’s great goodness…so many gifts that I could never deserve