Sunday, May 20, 2018

Flats and handwashing challenge day 6: What's working and what's not!

Asalamu alaikum,

So what's working for us is the t-shirt flats. I looooooove them. Definitely my go to flat for covers after this! They just fit so well, and being so cheap(FREE!!), I am all for that! I love the way they fit, the way they look so neat on the baby, did I mention cheap(can't help saying  it again, mama loves to save a dollar or two any way she can ;-)?!

What's not working is the flannel flats I made up from my sewing stash. they are too thick, don't fit very well, and are harder and heavier to wash by hand then anything else. they dry even stiffer than the cheapest of Walmart flour sack towels, take longer to dry, and take more work to get them soft by rubbing them together. It may be different if I had just used receiving blankets, as they are thinner than the flannel I use for sewing. So for us flannel is a no go. I may try again if I ever get a receiving blanket I don't like the print of. This is why I didn't use any I had- too cute and I worried about staining, as she is EBF and that can stain pretty good!

Flats and hand washing challenge day 5: open topic, t-shirt flats!

Asalamu alaikum,

This challenge has inspired me to make my first youtube video! I'll be rich and famous any day now right ? ;-)

So here it is!

I do love t-shirt flats. They are ultra cheap(free in this case because my dad donated them to the cause when he got new ones!), pretty good in absorbency, but great in fit! Because they are stretchy, they mold to baby and help keep poos from touching the cover!

Flats and hand washing challenge Day 4: Wash routine!

Asalamu alaikum,

During the challenge, we will not be using our washer or dryer, and instead mush hand wash all flats, covers, wipes, etc. I did some research on previous years challenges, and how others hand wash and there seems to be two main routes-hand scrubbing in a sink/with a washboard, and the camp style bucket and plunger.

I did make up a double bucket washer, and it does not take too much money or time. you do have to have access to a drill though, the outer bucket I left as is, and the inner bucket has 4 holes drilled at the bottom, and another ten evenly spaced around the lover part of the bucket. The lid had a larger (1") hole in the top to  make a place for the plunger

I tried the bucket method for a couple days and it was not too bad. If I let the diapers pile up a bit, this is definitely fast, and I can do other stuff while I let the diaper soak between plunging sessions.

The other way if I don't have too many dirties is to scrub in the sink/washboard. This is an easy method if you don't have piles and piles of laundry!

With both methods I try beforehand to spray off any loose poop, then we go in for  a quick pre wash followed by a soak, then a main wash. Finally a rinse(two if it still feels a bit soapy/there are suds). I generally hang dry my covers and did the flats as well for a while when the dryer was broke for two or three weeks, so the hanging is nothing new. I do love the sunning now that it is nice enough to hang them outside!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Flats and handwashing challenge Day 3(late!): What is your favorite Flat fold?

Asalamu alaikum

Todays prompt is your favorite flat fold. I prefer the origami fold. It is neat and trim, fits well around the leg and just looks very neat when OTB.

Here is a nice simple video of the fold-

I also like that this can be adjusted for use overnight or for heavier wetters by adding a booster while folding over the rectangle in the final step. You could add the booster on top, but I feel it looks neater if it is folded up inside.

For my second favorite fold, I think it would have to be the neat fold. It is also pretty trim, and as the name suggests it is very "neat." I love folds that look nice and even, that look good even before the cut cover goes on!

A good video of the fold-

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Flats and Hand washing challenge Day 2: What is in your stash/materials used, and how much did it cost?

Asalamu Alaikum,

So here is a list of what we are using, and prices. I am attempting to use a variety of materials to see both what is best and how little I can get away with spending if I had too.

12 flour sack towels ($9.46)
2 flannel flats made from stuff in my sewing stash ($6.00)
6 tshirt flats cut from old shirts (FREE)
8 PUL covers($70.00)
16 hand made wipes from old receiving blanket (FREE)
2 snappis($4.00)
13 Fleece liners(for the stay dry layer) from fabric remnants($2.00)
cheap wetbag from wish ($2.00)
2 buckets and one lid from home depot($8.18)
1 wal mart plunger ($3.00)

So all in the grand total was $104.64! This is enough to wash every other day if I had to(though I am trying to do it daily so it is easier to keep up), and could last until potty training(2.5-3 years).

The largest expense was the covers, most of which I got new at retail, though some I did score ultra cheap off of the cloth diaper $1 auction page, or facebook BST pages. I could have easily cut cost even more by changing out the brand of covers or picking up more from the auctions rather than at retail. There are companies out there selling covers brand new for 4-5 dollars, so eight covers at that price would cut the cost of the covers in about half, bringing the total under a hundred dollars. So thinking about the cost of disposables, which can run about a thousand a year depending on brand and how often your kid needs to be changed(total 2500-3000 for the 2.5-3 years until potty training), vs less than a hundred bucks to last the same time frame. That is a pretty big difference!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 1:Why are you taking part in the flats and hand washing challenge?

Asalamu alaikum,

In the U.S. one in three families struggles with diaper need.

Diaper need is the lack of sufficient diapers to keep a baby(or toddler) clean, dry, and healthy. When a family struggles to decide if they can afford food or enough diapers to change the baby as needed. Without sufficient diapers a baby is left in soiled diapers for longer stretches of time, this leads to severe rashes, and other problems.

Without sufficient diapers, a baby cannot attend daycare as the daycare  requires a days worth of diapers and they change every hour or two. If a parent cannot provide enough diapers, their child cannot attend daycare. Without the reliable childcare, one parent cannot work, a loss of income to an already struggling family.

I am blessed to not be in that position, but I know that like many families it is just one small mishap away. So I am participating in the flats and hand washing challenge to spread awareness of diaper need, and to help spread the idea that it is possible to cloth diaper in difficult circumstances, and with little resources, and that it can be done successfully.

Cloth diapering may not work for all people in all circumstances, but for that family that is able and willing, know that it  can be done!

Life moves so fast, and changes so quickly!

Asalamu alaikum,

I know I am far from a regular blogger, I have small flurries of activity followed by long stretches of disappearing. I think I have made peace with the idea that I am not ever going to be a regular blogger. I guess we will see how long I can keep it up this time!

After our move back to the states we have settled in my hometown, the boys have grown and we added a girl to the family. We(I mostly) decided to cloth diaper our new addition, and we started from 1 week old, and are going strong at the six(ish) month mark. I love the fact that if we have more kids, inshAllah, then I will be able to save these and use them again later! Reading and learning about cloth diapers has also led me to learning about diaper need, and an interest in advocacy. So that is something I am seriously considering.

The cloth diapering has led me to more and more was to reduce our dependency on plastic, and I have started making small changes in our life that will help get rid of more and more plastics. The more I read and learn about plastic and other waste in our lives, the more I become interested in a more sustainable and low waste lifestyle. I am very sure we will never be zero waste or even really close to it, but the more we switch to low waste/reusable items the better!

I am also taking part in this years flats and had washing challenge, so another post on that shortly!