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I have been married for 6 years now, stay at home with my two wonderful boys (2 1/2 and 5 mo). I also watch 5 other children in their home part time. I cloth diaper both of my boys, using hand knit, by me, wool covers and prefolds. I try and make a lot of our food from scratch and hopelessly fail at keeping house, but I try.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Cost of Diapering: Diaper That Baby for Free!

I know that you are expecting the next post in the series on the costs of diapering to be on the cost of different accessories of using cloth. I have decided to forgo all daily post themes for the next week to highlight a little challenge I've come across. Flats and hand washing! When I first saw this I thought to myself 'What in the heck! Hand washing? Really? I don't do that!!' Then I started hearing more and more about how much people LOVE using flats. They had been on my mind for several months anyway, because they would be something so very easy to add to my product line. No real work involved. Measure, serge, thank the Lord for the income! And using recycled materials. . . well, how inexpensive would they be for my customers? I love to provide quality things on the cheap. So I was planning on making a bunch for myself to test out on my Baby Gee. . . Oh, wait. . . Little Gee isn't a baby anymore (tear!). Well, heck. Since I"m testing out using flats anyway. . . what's one more step of hand washing them in the name of helping parents discover more affordable ways to diaper their babies?

A Few Horror Stories

I have been reading on more than one online article that because people are still having babies, and still out of jobs, low income or other financial stresses they are stooping to some dangerous ways of saving money on diapers. There is no government aid for providing parents with diapers. Wic and Food Stamps do not cover this cost. Unfortunately I'm not sure they offer suggestions on solutions. So parents are leaving babies in disposables for hours (I'm talking like all day in the same 'sposie). Not only is that disgusting but it's unhealthy. Baby's skin may still feel dry(ish!) but it's still sitting right against urine. Old urine, soaking into chemicals. Fresh urine is sterile, but it does not stay that way! Babies are at higher risks for rash when left in a wet diaper for extended periods, no matter what kind it is! Another thing I hear of people doing is trying to blow dry the disposable to reuse it. Same problem. Now they're sitting in cooked urine. With fresh urine on top! Even worse, some are scraping diapers out and reusing them. I'm sure you've already got a horribly yucky picture of that in mind, so I"ll leave it at that. It's not healthy!!! This is why this challenge came about!

Who Can Take the Challenge?

You may be wondering who has the time to fold all these fancy diaper styles. . . Maybe you're curious as to how long they will take to wash and dry? I"m hoping they'll dry overnight so I can only make myself 12 for this challenge. As far as the challenge goes, there are two different surveys to take when you're done. One for those of us that can put away all our beautiful fitteds and prefolds (or whatever style diaper) away and only use flats 100% of the time and only hand washing/drying them. They have another survey that is more suitable for working parents. This one allows for ones whose daycare wont except flats or for whatever reason can not commit to the full time challenge. When it comes down to all the time. . . as in the only diapering system you use? ANYBODY CAN DO IT! Half the time the reason we wont try something is because we're afraid to fail. Not trying is failing! That's like giving up before the game even starts!

Here's an idea of who can do this:
Somebody w/ or w/out a washer and dryer
Somebody living in a shelter could do this.
Stay at home parents could do this.
Working parents can do this even if their child care wont help.
Working parents whose childcare is a gift from God and will take the time to use some flats!
A 5yr old can do it!! (really, she can! Check the first video here!)

Here's what you need to be able to start this as a challenge or for your only diapering system: A sink. Some soap. 2 covers. 12 Flats (if they take longer then I think they will to dry just wash as they get used or when you have only 6 clean diapers!). A few extra minutes!

If you're already folding prefolds then you can get this down! For the most awesome video's and tutorials I've come across, look under the resources for this challenge at the bottom of the page.

Here's My Plan for This Weeks Blog Posts

Each day I will report at the end of the day when the diapers have been washed, what my experiences were. I will have The Hubs help me take pictures to highlight a different fold and putting a diaper on Little Gee each night. At the end of the challenge I will not only fill out the survey but I will report back here on how I feel about the challenge. I also will give myself the added challenge of not spending a penny on this. I do have to buy more serger thread to make more flats. . . but I would have to buy that anyway, so give me a break! So this will show you how you or anyone, really can diaper your baby for free. With out a dime spent!

Will you join me? At the top right of my blog you will see a sad attempt of trying to 'grab the button' for this challenge page. I"ve given up for the moment on mastering that one. I'll try again later!. Anyway, the first and last link both take you to the page you need to go to. On that page there is a green button asking you to "Join the Flats Challenge" click on it and fill out the form! Comment here to let me know you're taking the challenge!

Also, please remember, this is my last week for posting on this blog. I have opened up a new blog for a few different reasons. Please check there for the updates to this challenge and any future postings!

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