Friday, May 19, 2017

Flats Challenge 2017: Cloth Diapering & Camper Living



Since today is an open topic day I thought I would share a little about how we are making cloth diapers work while we are camper living at the farm until we get our house finished this summer.

Our camper isn't as small as the one in the picture above but it's a definite downsize from our current house.  I mentioned earlier this week  that the challenge inspired me to get back to cloth diapering and to purge our excessive amounts of diapers.  

When living in such a small space with 3 very active kids you quickly run out of room.  While in the beginning of my cloth diaper journey I adored pockets stuff with microfiber inserts over time my love for them faded.  They get build up and need to be stripped, they start to feel funky and take up a ton of space!  

I love the simplicity of flats and covers, we even have a few pockets thrown in but use flats to stuff them as well.  These are the pockets that are workhorses or I am in love with the print.  But still how do I fit everything for 5 people in a camper??

For starters our cloth diaper stash use to take up 2 entire clothes baskets at least (honestly I'm not sure they were ever all clean at once)...you know the big ones that are about 30" x 15" and over a foot tall.  Now I can fit all of our diapers in a 15"x 10" x 12" bin that has a lid!!  Did you see my post earlier in the week?? We have over 40 flats and 14 covers and all of them FIT into one box!!  That is so much easier to store than 2 giant laundry baskets.  

Since we use diapers multiple times a day they have to be readily accessible so the box sits at the end of our loveseat.  This makes it easy to reach but also out of the way.  We put the lid on it so we can use it as an end table as well.  I always have a few ready to go diapers & cloth wipes in a basket on the shelf on the other end of the loveseat so that anyone can change a diaper.  (Heck who am I kidding...if I am home I do most of the diaper changing LOL.)

Check out my Instagram this weekend for pictures of #camperliving storage solutions.

Do you live in a small space?  How do you make it work?

  


Flats Challenge 2017: Wash Routine

When someone says the words hand washing...
everyone's mind to women beside a creek scrubbing clothes against rocks.
However that is not the reality for most folks.
While I do know there are people who still must wash their clothes this way.
Most in the US have access to a sink and/or a bath tub.






So what do you need to hand-wash diapers?
Small dish pan (less than $2 at a big box store)
Laundry detergent
Bar soap (I use pink Zote)
and some type of washboard (I am using the bottom of a cheap plastic dish drain).



We are staying in our camper at the farm this week so I am washing inside the bin our camper tub.  This gives me a space to contain any splashes and sit while I work which at 6 months pregnant with baby #4 is a blessing.




Step 1: Dispose of any solids and rinse diapers as soon as possible after use.  I typically rinse and drop them in the bin throughout the day.
Step 2: After the baby is down for the night I empty the bin into the tub, rinse it out and dissolve a small about of our regular powdered laundry detergent in warm/hot water.
Step 3: Make sure all diapers are unfolded and drop into the wash bin.  Swish them all around and up and down a few times.
Step 4: Let them sit.  I leave them overnight to soak as I handwash in the morning before work so they can dry outside.
Step 5: Empty wash bin/rinse bin and rinse each diaper.
Step 6: using my Zote bar I rub both sides of each diaper/cover/wipe and scrub up and down on my makeshift wash board.  Stains get scrubbed extra hard.
Step 7: Quick Rinse diaper and hold it up to see if I got everything.
Step 8:   Rinse diaper really well to ensure all soap is gone and wring out.  Place in clean bin.
Step 9; Shake out each time and snap any excess water you can out.
Step 10: Hang outside on the clothes line to dry.

It takes be about 30 minutes in the morning to wash diapers and hang them out without any "helpers."  I love seeing the diapers on the line.  If I am at home I tend to wash as we go and this week most diapers have been completely dry within an hour for flour sack towels and 2 hours for the Geffen baby & flannel flats.


If you have more questions about handwashing my go to resource is Fluff Love University.

Do you handwash regularly?  What tips and tricks do you have?


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Flats Challenge: Favorite Folds

There a many different ways to fold your flat diapers.
I tend to use 2 folds almost exclusively because 
1 is super easy and the other I've found to be the most absorbent fold.  These folds are new or life changing...but they work and that is what is most important.  


Up first is the pad fold.  This is the fast and simplest fold.  It has enough layers however typically after a poopy diaper the cover will also need to be changed out as this fold doesn't contain very well.




Step 1: Fold diaper in half like a hotdog.
Step 2: Fold diaper in half like a hamburger.
Step 3: Fold in one third of the diaper.
Step 4: Fold over the other third.  

This lays inside the diaper cover or you can stuff it inside of pocket diapers.


The next fold is the one I love.  The origami fold.  
This fold is quick and easy once you learn it.  The layers are concentrated in the center of the diaper and allow for great absorption.  It's easy to add another pad folded diaper to the center for overnight diapers.  The wings on this one also help contain messes extremely well!  I would suggest having these prefold before diaper changes as active little ones hate sitting still.  
  

Step 1: Fold diaper in half like a hotdog.
Step 2: Fold diaper in half like a hamburger.
Step 3: Pull the bottom right corner of the diaper (only 1 layer) to the left.  This will make a triangle on the left side and a square on the right.
Step 4: Flip the diaper over so the triangle is on the bottom.  
Step 5. Fold the square (top 2 layers) over 3 times to create a pad in the middle.
Step 6:bring the center of the diaper up and fold the wings in.  Secure with Snappi (or pins).  

There you have it 2 easy and fast folds that make cloth diapering with easy.  
What's your favorite fold?






Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Flats Challenge 2017: My Stash


Over the last 9 years my cloth diaper stash has changed greatly.  This year I pulled out what I had and grabbed a couple of things I have been wanting to try out.  It was a great way for me to take inventory of what we really have and what we need for baby #4 arriving in a few months.  With this challenge I have pitched lots of excess that wasn't getting used or wasn't work well anymore.

So what are we using for the challenge??  Well probably way more than we should however since I work full time, I have an older child active in sports, we also have a 150 cow dairy farm, and no one else will reuse covers I have to make sure I have enough to last.  

Covers

3 Thristies Pocket diapers ($59.85)
1 other random pocket ($10.95)
9 Flip covers ($134.55)
1 Econobum Cover ($11.95)
1 Pooters Cover (Free)

Flats

23 Flour Sack Towels ($18.40) 
5 Geffen Baby Hemp/Jersey flats ($42.50)
1 Geffen Baby Fladdle ($12.48)
15 receiving blankets (Free all were received as gifts) 

Accessories 
3 Snappies ($9.99)
20 Geffen Baby Wipes ($24.68)
1 Wet Bag (Free with purchase, normally $14.50)
Roll of Viva Paper towels* ($2.00)
*used as liners when using diaper rash cream*

So the total cost for my stash excluding receiving blankets is $341.85.  Now that is a substantial upfront investment however I didn't buy all of it at one time.  Most of it has been used for 2+ years some of it going on 4.  When we had a little wiggle room in our budget I would grab a few things here and there.  Honestly this is more than I paid for the stash because lots of things were bought on sale.  

What's in your stash?





Monday, May 15, 2017

Flats Challenge 2017: Why, oh Why?

So who in their right mind would volunteer to use only cloth diapers and hand-wash for an entire week??  This girl!!

For the last 4 years I have signed up to do the flats & hand-washing challenge.  Each year for a different reason.  You can read about my previous experiences here.   

Just a quick bit about the challenge...for 7 days participants agree to use only flat diapers with covers and wash them by hand.  The idea is to show that anyone in any situation can cloth diaper.  Why is it important?  Research shows 1 in 3 families struggle to afford diapers for their children.  Flats are an easy and cheap way to diaper.  
 You can read all about the challenge and other participants here.

So why did I decide to do another year of the challenge?

I have 3 reasons.

1. I love a challenge.  This year's challenge is upped as I have a very heavy wetter and I'm 24 weeks pregnant with number 4.  

2.  I have gotten into the rut of buying disposable diapers which is crazy since we have been cding for 9 years.  This is the push I need to get back to cloth diapering.

3.  We are trying to downsize.  Flats take up the least amount of space and honestly are the fastest to use.  So with this challenge I am finally saying goodbye to most of my all in ones and my microfiber inserts.  

Have you ever used cloth diapers?  Why or Why not??