12 May 2015

Flats Challenge 2015 - Day 2: Our Stash

Receiving blanket used as flat
It's day two of the Flats Challenge and so far, so good! 

I used a total of 6 flats during the day yesterday plus another two overnight and all but the two overnight ones are washed and dry this morning, ready to be used again. When I did this challenge back in 2013 I washed once a day and wringing out the entire day's worth of diapers took a toll on my hands, so this year I decided to rather wash more frequently and I'm finding it much more manageable. I have roughly settled into a quick wash morning, noon and night and that seems to be working for us. 

So what exactly are we using on J's bum? 

I have trimmed down our flats stash to only include 18 flats for the duration of the challenge. They are the following:

6 x Imagine Birdseye Cotton Flats @ R50 each = R300

4 x Hemp/Cotton Jersey flats (Tyrilove, Pokkelokkie, For Fluff Sakes) @ R70 each = R280
1 x Angel Love Rainbow Muslin = R54
1 x Bambino Mio Muslin (I was gifted this one, cannot find price online) = assume R50
4 x Receiving blankets @ R20 each = R80
2 x terry squares @R20 each = R40

Total cost of flats: R804
Receiving blanket used as flat
For covers, I have selected 6 PUL covers (considering I have to send 4 diapers to school each day, that gives me two spare in case of poop) plus a wool soaker for overnight and a backup fleece soaker for overnight (in case I can't use the wool for some reason). 

1 x wool soaker (I knit this myself using a little less than 3 balls of wool @ R40 each) = R120
1 x fleece soaker = R50
2 x Buttons shells (used as covers) @ R200 each = R400
1 x WeeGro cover - R100
1 x ENS cover - R100
1 x Rumparooz cover - R229
1 x Blueberry coverall - R300

Total cost of covers: R1,299

Extras - 2 snappi's = R15

TOTAL cost of my stash for the challenge: R2,118

Note - I had all the above supplies in my stash already so didn't buy anything new for the challenge this year. I was also gifted some of these nappies, however to be fair I included it at the regular retail price. 

While this seems like a lot, it comes down to just R70 a month if you were to use this on one child for 2.5 years. 
Imagine birdseye cotton flat
If I was on a limited budget and had to start a stash from scratch, my stash would most likely look quite different though. 

A budget conscious (and yet totally workable stash) could look like this:

4 x hemp/cotton jersey flats @ R70 each = R280
14 x receiving blankets @ R20 each = R280
6 x ENS/WeeGro covers @ R100 each = R600
2 x fleece covers @ R50 = R100
2 snappi's = R15

Total cost = R1,275

This equates to a monthly cost of R42.50 over 2.5 years. 

I would use the receiving blankets snappi'd or padfolded in the PUL covers during the day and use the fleece covers at night over the hemp flats. If I was using flats fulltime I would chat to our daycare provider and only send 3 covers a day with padfolded flats seperately (instead of having the flats already padfolded and assembled into seperate covers like I'm doing now) and ask them to just replace the flat with each change and wipe out the cover between uses. This would be totally doable for them and would only take perhaps an extra 20 seconds at each change. And it would enable me to get by with 4 PUL covers. 

You could of course bring down the cost even more by using PEP waterproofs as covers, however daycare would have to be on board with snappi'ing the flats on underneath the covers as they won't work with padfolded flats.

This would save you a further R540 in total or R18 per month, bringing your cost per month down to just R24.50.

How cheap is that?? Imagine diapering your child on just under R25 a month? What a pleasure!

In comparison, if you were using a cheap brand of disposables it would cost you R420 a month for 7 changes a day @ R1.98* a change. Even if you used just three nappies a day to really streeeeeeeetch your budget it would cost you R178 a month. So using bare bones cloth (flats and PEP covers) would save you at least R153.50 a month and with a pretty decent flats stash you would still save at least R135.50 a month. 

So why haven't you switched yet? ;-)
Receiving blanket used as flat
*My calculations are based on the cheapest brand I could find via Google search - PnP no-name brand, size 4. I figure babies are in size 4 for the longest amount of time (based on weight range). I realise that smaller size nappies are cheaper and they get more expensive as you move up in size, but I figure the cost sort of evens out as small babies poo more often and so you will need to use more nappies per day.

** The savings are even more pronounced if you take into account the effect of using cloth wipes and also the amount you save on bumcream as you rarely have to use bum cream with cloth.

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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