Well, blogging the Flats and Handwashing Challenge kind of got away from me so I figured I should write something up so there was a little bit of closure to the whole thing………

First of all, I did actually finish the challenge and it was rough sometimes…..not the whole fact of folding and handwashing so much as just the diapering. Amelia has been battling some weird respiratory thing for way longer than I would like and at the beginning of the challenge – ya know, like Day One – she started taking an antibiotic. You know how antibiotics can be so I really expected a lot of tummy trouble and a lot of muddy diapers but that actually turned out to not be the case…..but because she wasn’t really interested in eating much, there were a ton of wet diapers all through the day and night…..on more than one occasion, at 2:30 in the morning I wanted to just throw in the towel (or flat!) and put a disposable on Amelia just so I could be done with it and go back to sleep.

I knew that feeling would pop up, though….I usually keep a short stack of disposables under my night table and for the challenge I deliberately made sure all the disposable diapers were out in the den, on the changing table… in the middle of the night, if I wanted to use a disposable diaper I would have had to walk aaaaalllllllll the way to the other end of our apartment to get it. I sure would have been wide awake by the time I got back.

So instead of the disposables under my night table, I kept a stack of the receiving blankets I was using as flats for nighttime already folded and ready to just pop into the cover.

If you’ve read my first entry about the challenge, you may remember that I was concerned – and even started the challenge a day early – because Amelia was getting baptized on the last day of the challenge. Again, something I needn’t have worried about…..I used the white Thirsties cover that I actually bought for the express purpose of using on Amelia’s Christening day because no one makes plain white disposable diapers anymore…..I figured if she wound up with a dress that didn’t have a pair of bloomers, I could just use the white Thirsties cover over a disposable. But I didn’t even bother. We’d had such a good week using the flats and I came to understand the awesome power of the birdseye weave when it came to containment that I didn’t even bat an eye when we put on her beautiful dress :^)

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The Flats Challenge – Day 6

Okay, so I freely admit that I’ve been slacking in the whole blogging thing when it comes to the flats challenge, but dude……I’m handwashing all my diapers and getting ready for Amelia’s baptism and a party for like 50 people tomorrow – cut me some slack!! Actually, as of right now everything is pretty much under control as evidenced by the fact that I’m sitting at my computer typing and not running around like a psycho……

Wednesday night, I paid for the party room – our complex has two rooms that they rent out to residents for parties for a nominal fee…..and each room has a full kitchen which makes party prep very nice. Thursday night, I got the certificates of eligibility from Amelia’s godparents and delivered them to the rectory so there would be no last minute problems when they weren’t in her file come tomorrow.

Last night….well, afternoon-ish into last night…..I ducked out of work an hour early, picked Bill up and we went right to BJ’s. I didn’t want to go there today and risk getting over-run by the “spending the holiday weekend at home and just having a few people over for a cook-out” crowd and fortunately, we got there early enough yesterday to beat the “heading down the shore so we need some cases of soda, chips and jerky beef” crowd.

So now my fridge and freezer look like I’m preparing to feed a small army and I’m actually really not making that much…..just (frozen) meatballs, hot dogs and sauerkraut and hot turkey for sandwiches – each with a crock pot specially designated for it and standing ready by my front door to be taken down to the party room as soon as we get the key. I’m also making baked rotini with “homemade” sausage sauce….I’ll worry about that after we get home from one more quick store run… which I run to the dollar store for some serving utensils and the deli to pick up the sliced turkey……and hope that the six 12 packs of soda in my trunk don’t explode or crush the chips – I usually park right outside the door where the party room is, so we just left all that junk in the car to save extra trips up and down ;^)

Yes, yes….enough about the party prep, right?

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The Flats Challenge – Day 2….The Gear
05.22.2012, 19:10
Filed under: cloth diapers, diapering, hippie mama

Okay, so when I heard about the flats and handwashing challenge, I cringed a little but not so much for the “handwashing” part….I had bought a ton of birdseye flats when I first decided to try cloth diapering and was looking to be cost effective, but then I happened upon prefolds and fell in love :^) But I looked at this as the chance to maybe grow to love the flats that were taking up a shelf in my changing table…..some of which have even become handkerchiefs for my husband – yes, those are still reserved for him!! I actually thought I had a lot more flats than I did when I went to get them out….a foggy memory suggests I may have given a few away, but here is what I’ll be working with for the week:

  • – Five Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap covers
  • – Twenty-six Flatfold Birdseye Cloth Diapers
  • – Five hospital style receiving blankets
  • I don’t use pins or dappy’s or snappi’s or whatever….never bought them and things stay together pretty well so for….mind you, Amelia is just 10 months old….maybe in 6 months, my feeling on this might change ;^)


    Now, like I said, the “handwashing” part didn’t really phase me all that much because….well, I’m an apartment dweller. I have no washer or dryer in my apartment. We have machines very close to our apartment, just about 50 feet from our front door actually. But for $3.00 for a wash and a dry, my whole “being cost effective” spin on the cloth diapering thing would have gone right out the window. So, last June – as a birthday gift for myself!! – I bought a Wonderwash hand crank washing machine from Amazon for $59.

    I love the dang thing!!!

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    The Flats Challenge – Day 1…..sort of…..
    05.21.2012, 22:45
    Filed under: cloth diapers, diapering, hippie mama

    Yes, I know today was supposed to be the first day…okay… I cheated….a little. I started using my flats yesterday.

    But I have a good reason, honest!!

    See, when we’re home, if Amelia is wearing a diaper, it’s usually a Thirsties cover and a prefold – simple, efficient, painless and they get the job done…..and seriously – how cute are Thirsties covers??? And…..yeah, if….I have been known to let her wander around au natural ;^) So anyway, my original thought was to use a nice relaxing day at home to get a feel for the flats, since…..I bought them, and….pretty much decided that prefolds were more my speed.

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    Now….about the wipes….

    Okay, so we came home from the store last week with a pack of Seventh Generation diapers and a free pack of their wipes.

    I haven’t really had much opportunity to try out the diapers just yet as we usually use cloth diapers during the day. I definitely like them a whole lot better than the Pampers we used in the hospital and for the first few days after we got home – talk about leaks!! I had received a pack of Huggies as a gift, though, and I really liked those as our back-up…..fortunately, I had a few decent coupons from Target for some Huggies products, so DH picked up a pack of their diapers and wipes and that’s pretty much what we’ve been working with those from the beginning.

    The Seventh Generation diapers actually seem pretty comparable to to the Huggies. The exterior is a little more paper-like, but the construction is nice and has elastic bits in just the right places….and, as with the Huggies, we haven’t had to deal with many leaks when we use them. Super environmentally friendly, chlorine free and leak free? That makes them pretty kick-ass in my book ;^)


    About the wipes.

    The Huggies wipes are very nice to the touch. They are heavy and thick – very cloth-like, nice. The package says “fragrance free” but I think they actually have a pretty strong scent. It’s not unpleasant, mind you, and I’m the type that’s overly annoyed by pretty much any smell so it’s not really wise to take my word on this…..and to be fair, there is no fragrance listed on the package in the ingredients list so it’s probably just the “natural” scent of the wash solutions.

    The Seventh Generation wipes…..well, they’re different. They still have a cloth-like feel to them but they are a little thinner. Not so much that I’ve had to use more than one with a normal diaper change and not more than two with a bigger mess, so that’s pretty good. At first, the smell really put me off but again, I’m easily annoyed by scents….and it actually isn’t bothering me so much anymore so it must have just been that initial shock.

    BabyFrog has never been a happy camper when it comes time for a diaper change. It was always more than just a “hey, we’re wasting precious eatin’ time here!” kind of cry, too….so I was always on the look-out for a developing rash or something because she really would howl any time I unfastened her diaper. I tried to warm up the wipes, thinking she was anticipating a cold shock….made sure to put something on her bottom in case there was a little irritation I couldn’t see with all the kicking and squirming and hollaring she was doing….but yeah, diaper changes were not a happy time around here.

    But after the second day using the Seventh Generation wipes, BabyFrog wasn’t howling anymore. Sure she was still kicking like crazy, but now….it was play time! She was laughing and smiling and making faces and actually okay with having to wait 5 seconds before she could eat!!

    So what’s the difference?

    From Seventh Generation‘s website:

    Water, cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose (plant-derived cleaning agent), glycerin (vegetable oil derived), citric acid (provides stability and pH balance), aloe barbadensis leaf extract, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E acetate), potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (food-grade preservatives)


    I actually can’t find a list of the ingredients for Huggies wipes online. So if you’re like me and prefer to do your shopping online, you’d be out of luck if you wanted to make sure there’s nothing on these wipes that your baby might be allergic to and probably wind up buying another brand anyway.

    So, thanks for the free sample, Seventh Generation – you found yourself a new customer here ;^)