11 May 2015

Flats Challenge 2015 - Day 1: Why?


Using only flats for seven days straight and handwashing them too? Yup, it's that time of year again!

I first did this challenge back in 2013 with then one-year old A and while it was challenging (um hello, handwashing!), I really did learn a lot and felt pretty chuffed with myself at the end for making it through a week of handwashing. It left me with a new appreciation for my washing machine and a bit more insight and empathy for those parents out there who really have no other choice, simply because they cannot afford anything else. 

So why on earth am I doing it again? 

Firstly to raise awareness. Cloth does not have to be expensive. Sure there are the cult brands that fetch high prices, but when it really comes down to it, any piece of absorbent fabric can be used to diaper your baby and will do just as good a job as the high end brands. It is completely possible to diaper your baby full-time using only flats and covers at a fraction of the cost of using disposables. 

Secondly I want to showcase the different flat varieties available in South Africa at the moment. If your only image of flats are bulky terry squares, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised over the next week. There are so many other varieties out there that are a) trimmer, b) cuter (yes, they come in prints and funky colour details) and c) more absorbent than the terry squares. I promise you there is a flat out there that will suit your budget, your taste, your trimness requirements and your baby's output.

And thirdly to get back a bit of perspective. It's easy to lose perspective and become caught up in the whirlwind of all the different high end brands and WAHM diapers available locally at the moment. It feels like every time I blink there is a new diaper out there that catches my eye and awakens the want monster within. Going back to basics will be a great reality check for me.

I've included a variety of different types of flats in my stash for this week (more on that tomorrow) and am hoping to try out new folds (I'm aiming for a different fold every day), work out some new nighttime cloth solutions and see if I can further optimise the hand wash routine that I settled on last time. Hey, with the current electricity challenges we're facing I might even need to incorporate some hand washing techniques in future. Oh - and after seeing a link on using old t-shirts as flats, I'm super keen to try that out and see if it works. 

So - are you ready? Then buckle up, grab a flat and join me for a week of Flats & Handwashing.

This is part of a 7-day series of blogposts for the 2015 Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. Learn more about the challenge and what it entails over at Dirty Diaper Laundry. Check out my other posts in the series over here - Flats Challenge.

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