In which I will discuss why I am taking the Flats and Handwashing Challenge...
I first found out about the Flats and Handwashing Challenge early last summer as I prepped for our first backpacking trip with my 7-month-old. We wanted to spend 2 nights deep in the wilderness, carrying in everything we needed, and of course carrying out all our trash. Naturally, I didn't want to carry in 2 and a half days worth of diapers, let alone carry out 2 and a half days worth of diapers and pee and poop. But as fate would have it, even after all my research, we didn't end up handwashing on that trip, due to a shortage of water. We ended up needing to hike out for lack of drinking water prior to running out of diapers. Oops.
I read a lot more about the Flats and Handwashing Challenge in preparation for our 10 day trip through Europe when our baby was 9 months old. We ended up having a washing machine available all but about 3 days, and had 2 days worth of diapers with us, so it turned out we hardly actually did any handwashing. Interestingly, however, it seems that when a flat in London or Paris is listed as having a "washer and drier," they actually mean a washing machine and a rack to hang you clothes on to dry. Thankfully we were diapering with flats, so it wasn't such a big deal.
So why flats?
I already use flats most of the time I diaper my baby. Flats are my favorite kind of diaper because they are cheap, easy to clean, they are a natural fiber next to baby's skin to keep baby aware of her bodily functions, and especially because they are versatile.
In short, I love flat diapers because I'm a hoopy frood who sure knows where my
towel baby's flats are. I like to think of myself as a hitchhiker, so where would I be without them?
To be more lengthy, here are some of the things I love about flats:
- When my baby was little, we folded and used a snappi. I liked that the explosive newborn poo mostly stayed off the covers that way, I could use the wings to wipe off the worst of the newborn poo from her butt without needing to reach for anything else.
- When she became more of an escape artist, I started pad folding and got tuckable covers. They go on and off with about the same ease as a pocket, or all-in-one diaper, or even a disposable. Well, nearly so anyway.
- They are handy for cleaning up: I don't just use these puppies for diapers, I used them for spit up, high chair covers, bibs, and for any random spills that are too big for a cloth wipe.
- Speaking of cloth wipes, if you are short or don't have one handy, a flat can do anything a wipe can do.
- They are truly one size, birth to potty training because you can fold them any which way you desire. They are basically the woven wrap of diapering. Although if you prefer, you can get knit flats instead.
- They make great towels, and as such can be used for all manner of things that you can do with a towel. So basically, using flats makes me hoopy frood who always knows where my towel is.
- Last week I used a flat diaper during a bike ride with my 18-month-old to protect both her and my bicycle when she decided she just had to chew on the handlebars.
But why handwash?
Handwashing is not something I've normally done in the past, but since I love to travel, it seems like something I should know how to do. I wanted to participate in the challenge this year for a few reasons:
- I wanted to participate in this challenge to do my own small part to add to the knowledge bank it has generated.
- I hope that handwashing for a full week will help alleviate anxiety (especially my husband's) over handwashing diapers on future trips, to make for a more relaxed attitude about handwashing and less temptation to just bring disposable diapers.
- As an Elimination Communication parent, I'm fond of saying that back when diapers always had to be hand washed, everyone did EC, but they just called it parenting. I don't actually know how true that really is though, and I don't actually know what handwashing diapers is really like, so I am interested in experiencing it for the historical perspective, and specifically the historical lens it applies to EC.
Overnight diapering: 3 Gerber flats pinned into pink wool rectangle shorty under pink wool longies. Woke at 2am wanting to be change. Flats not very wet. Changed into 2 Gerber flats pinned into teal wool rectangle under teal wool longies. Flats not very wet in the morning.
Morning: Peed and pooped in the potty upon waking. Peed again in the potty right before leaving for daycare. No misses.
Daycare: 1 dry diaper (drop-off diaper), 3 wet diapers, 1 wet+poopy diaper. So 4 pockets and 4 Osocozy diapers to wash.
Evening: Took a break from dinner to pee in the potty. No misses
Washed the overnight diapers and 1 wipe during my shower, around 7am. All but the one that was over the shower head are still wet at 7pm. Probably need to hang them to dry somewhere other than the shower...
Going to try washing the daycare diapers in the bathtub as soon as the munchkin gets out. Going to try spinning the flats to dry in my salad spinner.