Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 6-Saturday: Open Topic

By: Jessica Dunn

Today’s topic for bloggers participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge is our second open topic for the series. I asked followers on my facebook page and members of some cloth diaper groups I’m active in what they would like me to talk about. The consensus was clear, how to fold flats, how to fold a t-shirt flat, which flats are best, and how my road trip went this week. I also had a fan send mBe a message asking how I clean my wash bucket, so I’ve decided to answer all of these questions.

How to wash & disinfect the wash bucket

This is a great question and I can’t believe I didn’t quickly cover it on day 4 when we talked about laundry. It’s actually really easy and this will work for you even if you’re washing diapers in the bathtub. You can disinfect your tub and storage bucket this way.

I rinse it out then add a couple drops of detergent and fill it with 2-3 inches of water. I put the lid on it and swirl the water around. Then I drain the soapy water and rinse the bucket. I spray the bucket with homemade citrus vinegar to disinfect it. If you have a diaper sprayer you can use that to rinse the sides of your bucket, if you don’t have a diaper sprayer, you can use your shower head, bath tub faucet, or garden hose. Use what you have available and make it work.

Citrus vinegar recipe:
Fill a jar with orange peels (any citrus fruit works), pour in white vinegar and put the lid on the jar. Let sit for 2 weeks. Drain the citrus vinegar into a spray bottle.

How to fold flats

I’m a huge fan of the philosophy work smarter, not harder. Rather than create videos for you, that probably won’t be the greatest quality since I’m just learning how to do videos, here are the videos that I found most useful. I like these because they have a bird’s eye view angle so you can actually watch the diaper being folded.

4.      The Neat Fold

5.      The V Fold

6.      The Corners Fold

7.      The Twist Fold

8.      The Kite Fold

10.  Pad Fold

11.          How to fold a t-shirt flat

12.          Mini Kit Fold for newborns

Flats Comparison
I used three different types of flats for the challenge: Osocozy Birdseye flats, flour sack towels from Target, and flannel receiving blankets.

My favorite are the flour sack towels because they stay square after shrinkage, making the folds easier and faster. They are pretty absorbent on their own and I only needed a doubler or a second flat when using them for naps or bedtime. These are also the softest and since Emma diversion to different materials and textures this is a huge plus. They are also easy to fasten.

My second favorite are the Osocozy flats. They are just as absorbent as the flour sack towels. They are slightly rectangular after shrinkage, so the folds take just a little more time. They are soft, but not as soft as the flour sack towels. They are just as easy to fasten as the flour sack towels.

My least favorite are the receiving blankets. They are rectangular which means folds take longer and need some modification. They are difficult to fasten. These are best used for pad folding or as doublers. These were my go to for use as doublers.

Road Trip

Emma and I left on Thursday morning to go visit my parents for a night and so I could get my hair done. (Yes, I’m one of those crazy people who refuses to find a hairdresser closer to home; I can’t help it; Tracey is my second mom and no one else is touching my hair.) I packed all our flats and covers and loaded up my car. I had pre-folded the flats so they were ready to be put in the covers and when we got to my moms, I set up 5 changes to make it easy for her if she changed Emma. I found that using flats all day while we were out of town was easy, but I decided to wait and wash diapers at home on Friday since I had enough changes to last until we got home.

Well, those diapers were stinky when we got home. I had stored them in a wet back so when I unzipped it, I was struck by the smell of heavy pee. Yuck! I think if they were in an open bucket it wouldn’t have been so strong. I also had too many diapers to fit in my bucket and give me room for agitation, so I decided to wash in the bathtub instead of doing two loads in the bucket.

Overall, with enough planning and preparation traveling with flats isn’t any more difficult than traveling with other cloth diapers. The same is true with handwashing. If I had just take 30 minutes to do it, we would have been fan, but going a day and a half really wasn’t bad.

Cold rinse/soak

Soapy soak before agitating and scrubbing with hands and plunger

Honey, you can help me.


Drain so I can rinse each diaper as the tub fills with cold water and do a final cold soak

Wringing the diapers out after the rinse

1 ½ days of flats and covers drying on the rack

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.

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