Sunday, May 19, 2013

Flats and Hand Washing Challenge-Introduction

By: Jessica Dunn

I am so excited to be participating in the 3rd Annual Flats and Hand washing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry May 20th through 26th. I am honored to announce that I have been asked to be the guest blogger for Kissed by the Moon, so this will be the only post about the challenge that will appear on the Parenting and Living Our Way blog, all the rest will be linked in the Guest Articles tab at the top of the blog page. You can visit Kissed by the Moon’s blog directly by clicking here. Feel free to subscribe to Kissed by the Monn’s blog so you can have the articles delivered directly to your e-mail inbox.

Here’s the skinny on the challenge:

  • This year it will be a full 7 days.
  • The purpose is to bring awareness and education about the benefits and feasibility of using flat cloth diapers and hand washing.  Families struggle everyday to afford to diaper their children. There are no government programs that fund diapers. This means that some families resort to changing diapers less often or attempt to reuse disposable diapers. Both of these bring serious health risks to the baby.  Flat cloth diapers are and expensive way to provide clean and sanitary diapers.
  • Not everyone has access to a washer and dryer in their home, or can afford to go to the laundry mat to wash diapers regularly, so hand washing saves the families time and money. Yes, that’s right, I said it saves time. Washing one day's worth of diapers takes about 30 minutes. It can easily be done in the bath tub or using a bucket and plunger system.
  • Flat cloth diapers can be anything: commercially available flat cloth diapers, receiving blankets, sheets that are cut into squares, or even t-shirts.
  • A complete list of the allowed items and rules can be found on the Dirty Diaper Laundry website.

I first heard about the challenge last year while I was researching cloth diapers. I couldn’t participate because Emma wasn’t born yet, but I made sure to bookmark the website and I’ve been checking in regularly for updates.

I’ve seen so much negative press about the feasibility of low income families using cloth diapers for their babies and I am determined to show that it is possible to do. A washer and a dryer are a luxury, not a necessity and by washing diapers by hand for the week, I am hoping to show other families that this can be done. I am also hoping to empower myself to realize that I can cloth diaper Emma all the time, even when we travel and camp because all I need are flats, a few covers, a Snappi or Boingo, and a little time to wash.

I already had 12 Osocozy Flat Diapers, diaper fasteners, and a couple of covers that I bought from Kissed by the Moon, but I knew that wasn’t going to be enough. I collected some receiving blankets and purchased 8 flour sack towels. Robert watched the video about how to make a camp style washer and picked up everything at Home Depot; it cost less than $10. I have calculated our cost and we will be diapering Emma for only $75.

I can’t wait for the challenge to start and to share our experience with you. Again, I’d like to thank Kissed by the Moon for asking me to be the guest blogger for the challenge and Dirty Diaper Laundry for coordinating the event. 

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