Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 3: Open Topic

By: Jessica Dunn

Today is one of two open topic days for bloggers in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. I decided that I’d let you know how things were going so far and give you some how to advice about camp style washers and cloth wipes. Tomorrow’s topic is laundry so I’ll give you step by step instructions for how I’m washing by hand and I will have a picture tutorial as well.

So far the challenge is actually easier than I thought it would be. I had a drastic fear of flats before starting the challenge. I used them briefly when Emma was newborn, but they quickly became blankets, burp rags and nursing covers instead of diapers. We just fell in love with other newborn diapers and stopped using the flats. My husband didn’t like them because they took more time. He’s a fan of “one pieces.” Basically, if it requires a cover, snappi or boingo he’d rather pass.

I thought this would make doing the challenge difficult, but I quickly discovered that pad folding the diapers and placing them in the covers worked just as well as the other folds that we tried, so I pre-fold the diapers and have them ready so my husband just has to place them in the cover. This is working out really well for us. I have our flats challenge stash set up on our coffee table since we do most of our diaper changes in the living room. As long as everything is ready for him, my husband is fully supportive of using cloth.

So far I’m not noticing a difference in absorbency between the Osocozy flats and the flour sack towels. I haven’t used a receiving blanket as a diaper yet. I have been using them as doublers. Nighttime wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it was going to be. I have had success using two different options: a triple stuffed pocket diaper shell (1 osocozy flat and 2 receiving blankets) and 2 osocozy flats that are placed on top of each other and then folded using the Gaynor fold for girls and fastened with boingos, with a pad folded receiving blanket as a doubler and a Bunny’s Fluffy Bum fleece soaker. These both worked for 10 hours. Emma still nurses once or twice at night, but we don’t change her diaper during the night unless we have a leak.

Here’s a picture of our naptime diaper. It’s a pad folded Osocozy flat with a pad folded receiving blanket in a Kawaii one size cover.

                            Pad folded and ready                                 
Osocozy flat on top

Trim enough to stay mobile

How to make wipe solution:

We converted to cloth wipes a couple months ago, so we already have a wipe system that works for us. Although we do still use disposable wipes when we travel just for the convenience. I made my own wipes by buying flannel when it was on sale at the fabric store. I cut the fabric into 8x8 squares and zig zag stitched the edges. I don’t have a serger; otherwise, I would have done that. The edges don’t have to be finished, so if you don’t have a sewing machine, you can just cut the fabric and use it.  We have used two different products when making wipe solution, CJ’s Butter Carcass Cleanser and Crow Mountain Crafts Wipes Cubes.  Both products work well for us.

When making the solution using the wipes cubes, you heat water until it boils and then add one cube and let it melt, voila your solution is made. I use this method when I am putting the solution in a spray bottle for the diaper bag or when we are traveling.

When I am making solution to use at home, I prefer to use Carcass Cleanser. I use an old disposable wipes bucket. I place a small amount of hot water in the bottom of the bucket and add two small squirts of Carcass Cleanser, then I lightly dampen the wipes with hot water, add two squirts of Carcass Cleanser and then add more hot water, close the lid of the wipes bucket and shake. Presto! You’re wipes are ready.

If you don’t want to make your own wipes, there are a lot of commercially available wipes and you can find a lot of wipes on Etsy. I’ve tried a variety of wipes and I really like Thirsties Fab Wipes because they are 2-ply. I have a few on hand for when Emma is sick or is on medication because they help with messy clean ups and diarrhea.

How to make a camp style washer

This sounds scary, but it’s actually really easy. You need three things: bucket, lid and plunger. You drill a hole in the lid so the handle of the bucket can fit through it. Presto! You have a camp style washer. Some people prefer to drill a couple of holes in the plunger to help with agitation and water flow, but I’m doing just fine with a normal plunger.

My husband made the washer for me and it took him less than 10 minutes. I’m pretty sure half that time was finding the drill out in the garage.

Here are a few pictures of our experience so far:

Flour sack towel Bambino Mio Cover
Hanging out in the dog bed
Laundry drying in the sun 

Necklace thief
Washing laundry
Morning nap on mama Two Osocozy flats

About the author: My name is Jessica and I am the author of Parenting and Living Our Way blog. I am a busy stay at home mom to a 9 month old daughter who has recently learned how to crawl and is keeping me on my toes. I was invited by Kissed by the Moon to be their guest blogger for the week documenting my experience.  I am so excited about this opportunity and look forward to sharing my experience with you. If you’d like to read more about me, my family and our life, you can read our blog Parenting and Living Our Way. We can also be found on facebook. I am posting throughout the day on facebook and twitter about how our day is going, so you can follow along.

About the challenge: I'm participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  This event aims to bring awareness to the challenges that low income families face when trying to diaper their children. There are not publicly funded programs that supply diapers to families in need. Using cloth diapers and handwashing is an affordable way to families to diaper their children. Flats are the most inexpensive of commercially available cloth diapers; receiving blankets, flour sack towels, cut sheets, and t-shirts can also be used as flats making these diapers available to all families.

Don't forget to RSVP and attend Kissed by the Moon's May Moon Moms Night In. This Friday May 24th at 5pm PST/8pm EST here.

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