Saturday, May 17, 2014

Gratitude for Flats and Handwashing Challenge 2014

Well, I did the Flats and Handwashing Challenge again this year, this being the 3rd year in a row. I obviously haven't been good about blogging about it, but I was really good last year! So, this is my final (and only) post for the challenge this year. I've been enjoying lots of other stuff like learning more about things related to Foot Zoning so blogging hasn't been a big priority.

Flats and Handwashing Challenge 2014

How Does It Compare To Previous Years?

I won't lie, I kind of look forward to this every year. It is a good time for reflection and I always enjoy a challenge, and I like cloth diapers, so this is a good combo! This year was WAY better than previous years for a few reasons.

1. We now own a house with a washtub sink. I love it. When I smelt a diaper and knew it was one I didn't want to deal with on the ground, I just inserted toddler in the sink and cleaned him and the diaper off at the same time. This is way better than hunching over a bathtub.
 2. It is sunny outside and we have a backyard of our own so I don't have to feel quite as weird about hanging stained diapers outside to dry. I did it last year when we were renting a basement apartment, and I don't think the owners were too thrilled. :)

3. Critter has been doing great on the potty learning. He still managed to have some very special poops and we were out and about enough that there were still diapers to wash, but instead of washing daily or every other day, it usually once or twice a week now. And washes consist of a mix of underwear and diapers. I figure if I'm cloth diapering, it takes as much energy to wash a diaper as underwear, so it doesn't make a huge difference to me.

4. With our house comes more space, so diapers drying doesn't have to take over the house quite as much as previous years. (Although they don't always make it far from their drying location)

5. This was a good chance to try soap nuts, which I've been excited to do for a while. Not very sudsy at all, but the diapers seemed to be coming out clean!

Why I Look Forward to This Challenge


I think this challenge is a great opportunity for reflection and gratitude. Not just the gratitude that I don't have to do this every day that you would expect, but for other things as well.

  • I'm grateful that flats are so easy and versatile
  • I'm grateful that even though this is the third time I've done this challenge, I've used the same diapers every time. I haven't done the math, but I'm pretty sure that we've saved a ton of money. 
  • I'm grateful that I discovered flats so early in parenting. At night we use a bamboo terry flat or prefold or doubled flats. All of which are extremely simple and easy. (we didn't use the prefolds this week of course, although I handwashed a few the first day).
  • I'm grateful I have the time and energy to cloth diaper and do a challenge like this
  • I'm grateful for this challenge, it is like a mini celebration of cloth diapers every year :)
  • I'm grateful for the skills I gain concerning handwashing dipes. It has come in handy on many occasions
  • I'm even grateful for poopy diapers. It is a lot easier to ignore the effects of what is eaten when it is flushed down the toilet or tossed in the garbage, never to be seen again. Being more aware of how my baby is handling foods makes me more aware of what my own body is doing and thus we can take better care of ourselves!
  • I'm grateful for my washtub. It was one of the requirements of buying a house. If the house didn't come with one, I would have got one. If I had to choose between a washer or a washtub, I would choose the washtub. It's cheaper, low maintenance and quick and easy to use. Plus, it isn't appropriate to rinse babies off in the washing machine.
  • I'm grateful to have found a community that offers so much help. If I need help with fold ideas, I can get tons of answers within minutes with a post on facebook!
  • I'm grateful for an awesome supportive husband. He has changed a lot of wet and stinky diapers at home and abroad over the past 2 years.
  • I'm even grateful to be diapering my little one. That means I am blessed to have an adorable cutie around all the time, and I know he won't stay little forever (he is already so big.)
  • I'm also grateful he is doing so well with the potty. I think it may be an emotional transition when he is completely done with diapers, but he is still pretty cute when he sits on the pot giving a commentary of what he is doing (not quite as cute when I'm trying to sleep in and he is on the floor going "Pooing! Pooing!" While I leap out of bed hoping he is joking. He wasn't, that was how our challenge began this week.)
  • I'm grateful for all the time to think and ponder while I'm doing a mindless task like washing diapers.
  • I'm grateful that for me, cloth diapers have been a "gateway habit" leading me to so many other things that has helped my family to be happier and healthier! 

Would I Do This Beyond A Week?


Currently I don't have the need to handwash and dry every time the dipes are dirty, although I still do on occasion for the thoroughness, frugalness or speed of it. If my washer and dryer broke or were non existent, I'd still do cloth and I would invest in a wash tub sink if I didn't already have one. We didn't have a dishwasher in our last place, and we survived that just fine. I do think the lack of washing machine would be annoying for the rest of our clothes and stuff, even if it wouldn't bother me for the dipes too much. So yes, I would still do this, although I would probably not want to be without a washer or dryer forever. We would probably make potty training a little more of a priority too :)

Do you cloth diaper? Have you ever done the flats and handwashing challenge? Would you, could you?

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