Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 2: My Stash

Normally I machine wash diapers just once or twice per week, but when washing by hand, I obviously don't want to allow the diapers to pile up like that.  So I've placed most of the diapers in storage and kept out just the ones I intend to use for the challenge.  I have a separate stash for daycare vs at home, because of daycare's diapering requirements and methodology.  Here are the rules for the challenge.

Daycare Stash

Daycare requires us to use diapers that are all-in-one (or appear to be, so all-in-ones, all-in-twos, pockets, etc), and they change on a 2 hour schedule (except the nap diaper, which she keeps on from 11 to whenever she wakes from nap).  I normally use pocket diapers stuffed with tri-folded prefolds, but for the challenge I am using pocket diapers stuffed with the largest cotton flats I have, which are my 24x27 inch Osocozy flats.  They have similar absorbency to the prefolds I was using before, and seem to be lasting 2 hours without issue.

Home/Overnight/Out-and-About Stash

When we are together, I use Gerber flats.  They are still good for 1 pee, and I change the munchkin each time she pees, except overnight, when I've been doubling them up.  If I owned more of them, I'd probably double them up for daycare too.  But I only own 10 of them.

Outside daycare, I'm planning on using all DIY covers this week.  Probably I will be using mostly or completely wool DIY covers because they only need to be washed every other week or so (unless they get poop on them).  I also have 3 DIY polyurethane trainer covers in reserve that I may use if I decide the wool isn't providing as much waterproofing as I want.

I'm using old school diaper pins to pin padfolded flats into the wool covers for easier changes, and so the wool can be pulled up and down like trainers.  Another thing I love about wool is that I can use diaper pins on it this way without damaging it.  If one did that to a regular polyurethane cover, it would be ruined.  I'm really liking this as a way to assemble an "all-in-two" diaper for handwashing.

Equipment Totals and Costs

Osocozy cotton flats6YesNo$13.00Or $20/dozen
Gerber cotton flats10NoYes$12.50available at many big box stores
Pocket diapers5YesNo$30.00misc Chinese brands, about $6 each
Tuckable cover1YesNo$7.00Daycare drop off diaper
DIY Wool Covers6+NoYes$20.00About $5/sweater on average, times 4 sweaters. I have 4 longies, 2 rectangle shorties, and a lot of wool leftover
DIY PUL3+NoYes$10.001/3 yard of 2 patterns, lots leftover.
Misc DIY supplies--NoYes$20.00Elastic, snaps, and snap pliers... not strictly required, but covers are nicer with this stuff. Enough for many more covers.
Diaper pins4NoYes$3.00
Diaper belt1NoYes--made of leftover misc DIY supplies above.
DIY cloth wipes18YesYes--made from leftover scraps of old sheets and other flannel scraps
Large wet bag1YesMaybe$12.00
Small DIY wet bag1NoYes--made of leftover misc DIY supplies above.
Drying Rack1YesYes$15.00(mine was actually $2 at a garage sale)

I could have diapered cheaper using the daycare diapers at home, or the at home diapers at daycare (if daycare would), but the total is still quite low at under $150.


I have a hard time imagining that I would actually choose to hand wash diapers if I didn't own a washer and dryer.  I would still cloth diaper, but I think I would probably spend another $75-$100 on enough new flats (or less money on used flats) to last all week and then take them to the laundromat or where ever else I was doing all the rest of my laundry.  And if my child was in daycare full time, another $120 for enough covers and pockets to last all week.  Thought I might still do an initial pre-rinse at home to avoid needing 2 cycles at the laundromat.

Ultimately, while you can spend a ridiculous amount of money on cloth diapers these days, one of the wonderful things about flats--in addition to the fact that you CAN hand wash them--is that they are also really cheap, so for not that much money you can buy enough to reasonably wash them at a laundromat on the same sort of schedule as you'd wash the rest of your clothing.

Today's Stats:

Overnight diapering: 2 Gerber flats pinned into pink wool rectangle shorty under pink wool longies.  Slept through the night!  Flats not very wet in the morning.
Morning: Peed and pooped in the potty upon waking.  Peed again in the potty after nursing.  No misses.
Daycare: 3 wets and 1 wet+poopy.  I rearranged the pocket diaper stack so I could compare the Alva pocket with my other brands, and of course that is the one she didn't pee in.
Evening: Peed in the potty after nursing.  Peed in the potty again before bath.  No misses.

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