Sunday, May 17, 2015

Flats and Handwashing: Final Thoughts

Today concludes the Flats and Hadwashing challenge and I am glad to see it go this year.  Last year was all bright and shiny and I wanted to prove I could do it.  This year reality hit and I was not as excited.  For my final thoughts I wanted to share 5 tips that I think would make long term hand washing of flat diapers more achievable:
1. Invest $20 in a mobile washer, it works so much better than the plunger and if you are doing this all the time, easier is always better.  I would also say to buy a new handle for it so that you don't have to stoop over and kill you back each time you wash.
2. Have enough flats for 3 days and wash every other day.  If you accumulate a days worth of diapers in a bucket and then just wash both buckets at once and only every other day.  The hardest part for me this year was that I didn't have any flexibility to not wash at night.  So if I had a long day and was exhausted, the only way I would have clean diapers the next day was to wash every night which got old before the week was up.
3. Experiment with different folds to see what works for you.  Last year I did the pad ford 100% of the time and this year I really enjoyed finding different folds that worked better for different situations.
4. Don't get down if you have to use the occasional disposable diaper.  I don't think I would have made it through over 2 years of cloth diapering if I didn't allow myself the flexibility of an occasional disposable.  Just think of all the money you are saving with all of the cloth you DO use.
5. Don't be afraid to deviate from your routine.  Ask Daddy to wash one night a week, let your preschooler agitate a bit for you (not as effective but still works).  One day I also washed during the day and while it took forever because they soaked so much each time, I was less tired and not as stressed to get it done at night.
This year I would say that handwashing long term is doable, but very difficult.  Making whatever changes you need to make so that you can use as much cloth as possible would really be my goal for any long term plan. 

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