I’ve kind of hit a brick wall with the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. It’s losing its novelty. It’s feeling like a bit of a burden at times. I’m still liking the flats part, overall. But boy, handwashing can be daunting at times.

I didn’t mind it so much the first couple of times. Especially when I was just home with my son during the day. But when you’re having a bad day (*cough*Wednesday*cough*) or you get busy doing other things… it’s just kind of a pain in the butt.

I’m so glad that I have a lot of flats, though. (Major thanks to Diaper Junction for giving me a dozen flats to try, I have loved and needed them!). I’m probably not going to get a chance to wash today, and didn’t yesterday, so I’m going to have a GIANT load to wash tomorrow. But it’s nice knowing I have enough flats to get me through, and don’t have to cheat, or skip out on doing something fun just because I really need to wash.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve almost given up a couple of times. I thought, ‘No one will know if I just toss this one load into the washer.’ I would really love to use our other diapers today, when we have to leave on a 30+ minute drive to visit the in-laws and will be gone for the afternoon before driving back home. But I’m pushing through, and I’m still committed. And then I feel like a total wuss after I read something like this.

This has given me a whole new respect for anyone who always does it this way. Perhaps it’s different if you always do, or you don’t have an “end” in sight (besides potty training). It does give you a skewed view of things, when you know that, come next week, you can go back to using your (beloved) washing machine. And modern cloth diapers.

I didn’t realize how oddly attached I was to our cloth diapers. A couple days ago I put away a load of cloth diapers that were clean but in a laundry basket (the last load of his regular diapers that I washed prior to the challenge) and I was surprised how much I missed them.

That said… I think I’ll be using flats a lot more now. I love letting my son go coverless, and they really are such a simple diaper. I already use them as inserts for all of my one-size FuzziBunz pockets. But this has motivated me to start pad-folding them more often into covers. And, yes, pinning them on. There’s just something classic and adorable about a pinned flat diaper on your baby… but I think it would be even cuter coming out of the washer and dryer!



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Where has this week gone? I can’t believe it’s almost Thursday already!

I am currently enjoying some much-needed downtime. My husband is playing softball, my son is sleeping (and so are the dogs!) so I am enjoying a cocktail and watching some girly stuff on tv (since I don’t have to share with my husband). And, of course, I’m tinkering around online.

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is going really well. It’s been a nice change up to our usual routine, and has made me appreciate things (like my washer and dryer) a lot more. It’s an interesting experience, but in a fun way.

I was a guest blogger on the Rockin’ Green blog yesterday! So that was exciting. Check out how I approached handwashing my diapers for the first time (and what I learned along the way).

I washed again today, making a few tweaks (like actually doing a good job wringing out the flats) and it was much easier and didn’t take as long. Pre-rinsing everything really helped. Things dried much faster, too.

I ran into one snag, though… my hemp and bamboo doublers take a loooong time to air dry. I almost had to throw some in the dryer. I only use them for overnights, but I didn’t realize how long those would take to dry.

The flats were definitely “crunchier” after being air dried, too, but not nearly as bad as I expected. I found the Diaper Junction flats were a bit softer than the Target flats after being air dried… but I’m not going to lie, I had to fight the urge to throw everything in the dryer to fluff them up a bit!

I’m really enjoying the flats part of the challenge, though. I’ve used them in the past, but not for every diaper change like this. My pinning skills are getting quite good, and when he’s being sassy I love the easy of a pad-folded flat tucked into a cover. I’m not having any troubles with the 5 cover limit. I’ve been letting him go coverless as much as possible at home, though, so that helps.

If you’re participating, how is it going for you so far?

Oh, and I got to try out my new Green Line diaper cover and am really liking it so far! I think I’ll be getting another in the future. Not the best picture, but isn’t it adorable?



Day One: Easy Peasy.

I made one change, though… my Green Line diaper cover came in the mail today, and it’s super cute and there’s no way I can wait a whole week to try it out. So I’ll be substituting that for one of my sbish wool covers (the longies are staying, since the weather is on the cooler side this week). My five covers for the challenge are now the Flip, the GEN-Y Universal, a pair of sbish longies, a Blueberry Coverall, and my new Green Line cover.

Anyhow, so far so good. I will update again tomorrow after I handwash them. I’ll also take a few photos (including one of my adorable new cover). Other than a couple of sloppy folding jobs (with a wiggly baby), everything went very well today. I absolutely LOVE the trimness of the flats. He was sitting there playing today with a pinned flat inside of a Flip cover, with a onesie over the top, and it almost looked like he was wearing a disposable. We also went out on an outing this afternoon (lunch with my friends, then to Target) and had no issues. I actually prefer the natural fibers when we go out and about, because I never have leaks with them. There was a span of time when my son was a few months old where I only used prefolds when we left the house.

I am loving my Diaper Junction flats. They are a great size and a bit thicker than my Target flats. I’m getting a nice fold with them, with a good cross-over in the front so I can secure it with one pin. I am leaning toward using them when I want to pin and saving the Target flats for padfolding into covers.

Are you taking the Flats and Handwashing Challenge? How did your first day go?

”#flatschallenge”



I recently mentioned that I would be taking the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. We will be using flat diapers only, and they must be handwashed. Diapers must also be air-dried. Click here for all the rules and information.

Why am I doing this, you may ask?

1. Because it’s a challenge. Springtime makes me want to change things up, and challenge myself. This week, I challenged myself by buying my very first sewing machine and taught myself how to use it. That week, I will challenge myself to have to do our diapering differently.

2. Because our current diapering situation is a luxury for some people. What better way to appreciate the ease of pocket and all-in-one diapers, and the modern technology of my lovely washing machine, than to have to do things the “hard way”?

3. Because it will make me feel more prepared. What if something happens and we are in an emergency situation? What if we don’t have access to our washer? What if I am somewhere and need to put on a makeshift diaper? This will help me realize that I can do a lot with very little.

4. Because it’s something different. What stay at home mom couldn’t use a break from routine?

5. Because this is how my mom had to do it. When she cloth diapered my sister (full-time) and me (part-time), this is how they did it. My son won’t have to wear those ugly rubber pants, but he’ll have the same diapering system that the generations before him did. My mom used flats and pins and handwashed for financial reasons… and did it all while also working full time. I have a feeling this will make me tip my hat to her!

6. Because disposable diapers are expensive, and this is proof that cloth diapering can be cheap from the start and that there’s no excuse not to do it! Even if you don’t have a washer and dryer, or you can’t afford modern cloth diapers. There is no need to literally throw away money when you are struggling to make ends meet.

Major thanks to Diaper Junction for generously donating a dozen of their flats to me as part of this challenge! Now I don’t need to convince my husband that, yes, I need more diapers. *rolls eyes*

Want to join me? This challenge takes place May 23-30. Don’t forget that you can also find very cheap flats at Target if you want to find them in town. Otherwise, check out the Diaper Junction link above, they are lovely!



Perspective

April 1, 2011

I love love love this blog post.

I am filing it away in my “things to keep in mind as a parent” folder. You know, the one in my brain?

Here’s an interesting article about findings that suggest that “drinking, smoking, taking prescription meds or failing to eat a balanced diet can influence the health of men’s future children.”

Breastfeeding Toddlers

December 11, 2010

Mayim Bialik blogs about extended breastfeeding

Feel Good Video

November 30, 2010

Food Court Flash Mob Sings ‘Hallelujah’

Pardon my French…

November 29, 2010

…but this is un-fucking-believable.

TSA Targets Breastfeeding Mother

Really? Breastmilk should be clear? If it was breastmilk then surely the baby would be with her?

Time for the TSA workers to brush up on their own damn rules. And maybe add a Breastfeeding 101 course for the jackasses who are this clueless. (I understand many people don’t understand or care about breastfeeding, but if this is one of the very few exceptions to their very strict and common rule of 1.5 ounces… shouldn’t they understand these things a little bit?)

You know, it’s no wonder so many women don’t breastfeed. People everywhere seem to make it difficult. If it can be hard to find support within your own family (or from your own hospital, as they hand out “breastfeeding” gifts full of formula samples), you’re surely not going to find it many other places.

Shame on you, TSA.

Sleeping babies, and not.

November 13, 2010

Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

Thank you!

The emphasis on getting babies to be on an adult schedule–practically from birth–baffles me.

One of the first questions I get asked by so many people is how my son is sleeping. “Is he sleeping through the night?” This began almost immediately after he was born. I get concerned looks and frowns and “it’ll get better”s when I say that G still wakes up to nurse a few times. People are much less impressed when I say, “G did a six hour stretch of sleep last night!” than I am.

G doesn’t wake up because he’s bad or there’s something wrong with him. He wakes up because he needs to. Because he’s a hungry, growing baby. And now he easily goes back to sleep from the comfort he gets from his mother’s breast, the warm touch of my hand over his belly, or of my fingers across his brow.

So yes, I blow off those people who think I’m doing something wrong, or who think my son is sleeping poorly. He has made HUGE strides in his sleep patterns and I am damn proud of the way he sleeps. And I am proud of myself, too… I have listened to my own instincts as his mother to do what is best. I am helping him learn how to sleep. And if that involves co-sleeping and nursing him to sleep (more than once) then so be it.

I *dare* you to look at this face and tell me I’m not doing it the “right” way.