Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Flats Challenge Day 2 - What Am I Using?

As I said yesterday, I am participating in the 2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  Basically everyone agrees to use flat cloth diapers and then to handwash and air dry them for a week.  If you want to hear more about the challenge follow the link above.  As part of the challenge anyone who has a blog is encouraged to discuss a variety of topics in an effort to get the information out where anyone can see it and make it easier for us all to help each other.  The hope is that if one person is having problems they will be able to blog surf a bit and find a place where someone else has posted a solution.  These posts are also nice to refer back to later on if you wind up in a situation where you are having to start from scratch or run into a problem.  All that being said, today's (well, really yesterday's, but I'm running behind) topic is "supplies" so I'll blather on about mine :)

Since I did the challenge last year and cloth diaper normally I already had everything I needed.  Well, actually, I have WAY more than I really need :)  That said, I'll do my best to lay out exactly what I'm actually using this year in hopes that it will help someone else who is buying a stash for the first time.  The supplies really fall into two categories, diapers and washing supplies.  Since I have two kids that are very different ages I'll lay out what I'm using for each.
The diapers and wipes are folded and ready to go.
T. is 9 months old and is still very much in the traditional diaper phase.  For him I am using the Ikea "burp cloths" that I bought last year for the challenge.  I have 24 of these, but am not coming close to using all of them.  I think if I had to do it again I would only buy 15-18 of these and I know that in a pinch I could get away with 12.  I am using the origami fold with these and securing them with a snappi and then putting a waterproof cover over them.  I use onesize covers and both he and A are currently in the same size so I have WAY more covers than I need.  I think I could get by pretty reasonably with 4-5 covers and have managed with 3 in a pinch.  The brands we like are Thirsties Duo, Bummis Super Bright and Blueberry covers, but both of my kids are long and skinny so we really need that double gusset.  We are also using cloth wipes from Green Mountain Diaper and with two kids and washing daily we'd probably be okay with 24 wipes.  That's it, diapers, wipes, covers and a snappi...pretty simple really.  I also use some fleece liners, but this is just microfleece that I found on clearance and cut to size, nothing special and $4 worth of fleece got me more liners than I can ever use.

The flat on the left is folded to the same size as the original
insert on the right.

When it came to figuring out diapers for A. I was a little more worried.  She is 2.5 years old, very active and in the process of potty training.  She still needs something when we are out and about or when she's sleeping, but whatever she's wearing has to be easy to pull up and down in case she suddenly realizes she needs to go.  We'd been using the Flip Trainers which are nice because they have a wipe-clean reusable shell and a bunch of cotton inserts so you can get away with fewer pairs.  The insert is held in place with velcro which my active toddler really needs to keep everything from shifting.  I tried pad folding the Ikea flats we are using for T, but they kept bunching.  I tried the Flour Sack Towels I got from Target last year and had the same problem.  Then I remembered the Gerber Flats that I'd been given at my baby shower before A was born.  They are small, overpriced and not terribly absorbent, but they also have a looser weave than anything else I had.  I pad folded one to the same size as the insert and gave it a try and sure enough it worked!  The weave is loose enough that they stick and the lack of absorbency doesn't matter so much when it is just meant as a back-up.  I will say that we have had one leak when A. wet her bed this morning, but as she normally wakes up dry I am going to consider that a fluke.  We actually started using this system over the weekend and last night was the only time we've had a problem with it.  We are using two of the Flip shells and going through about 3 Gerber Flats per day.  Since the Gerber flats come in packs of 10 (I think) you should be plenty fine with just the one pack.

A wanted to help with the washing.

The final category is washing supplies.  For this I'm keeping stuff pretty simple.  I throw the dirty diapers directly into a 5 gallon bucket that has a lid (I dump any poop into the toilet first, but a quick shake of the fleece liner and it comes right off).  Once the bucket is half full I switch it out for a new bucket (I have two and they are worth every penny) and start the diapers in the old bucket soaking.  I use a cheap plunger with holes drilled in it for agitation, Charlie's Soap and Oxiclean for washing and a clothesline in the backyard for drying.  I'll go into details in another post, but this set-up when combined with the hot and windy weather we've been having has made it a lot easier than I remembered.  I think the secret is the second bucket because it means that I'm not under any pressure to finish the wash cycle before I can change the next diaper.

Here is a short list for a toddler and a baby for those that just want to skim:
18-24 Ikea "burp cloths"
1 pack Gerber Flats
4-6 PUL covers
2 Flip Trainer Shells
24 GMD wipes
24 homemade fleece liners
2 5-gallon buckets
1 plunger with holes in it
clothes line
medium wetbag for when you out and about, though a plastic grocery bag will work if needed.

That's it.  Really, that's all I'm using to diaper 2 kids and the crazy thing is that those supplies would last me for both kids from birth to potty training if they had to.  If you want to see what everyone else is using head over to the main page for Day 2.

1 comment:

  1. oh my goodness theresa would you consider selling me one of each of your red and blue ikea flat animal prints? i NEED them lol. please email me at heather dot lucas777 at gmail dot com thanks so much!