Wow, what a journey this has been! The week isn't over yet, but I feel like I have learned so much already. Like how to dry flats ASAP and use a t-shirt for a diaper, how to make my own laundry detergent, and how to make a Noso diaper cover. Also little tips and tricks. For example, if you give the wings of your flat a twist towards the back before pinning, it tightens the whole thing up a bit. And you need to get that diaper as tight as you can if you are using pins, because it will loosen a little as soon as the baby starts to move.
My handwashing skills are much better now too. I found that the best system for us was to separate the poo diapers from the pee ones. The pee ones just got a quick, half-hearted effort with the camp washer that seemed to be good enough. They still came out smelling fresh. The poo diapers got the deluxe treatment. First, a toilet rinse right after the diaper change before they went in the diaper bin. Once I was ready to do a load, a hot wash with detergent and hand scrubbing in the sink. Then a leisurely cold rinse in the camp washer.
I had kind of a hot n' cold relationship with the camp washer. I liked the agitator plunger, but the bucket with the hole in the lid was only so-so. I use it for rinse cycles and the pee dipes, but for poopy dipes I think red knuckles are the way to go.
Pull-on covers didn't go through this though. I found that it was easiest to wash covers right away after they were used (at the end of the day for multi-use pee covers or ASAP for poo-ey covers). Those just got washed in the bathroom sink with the bar of soap on the counter. Took about 3 minutes and after they were washed and rinsed I rolled them in a towel, then turned them inside out and rolled them in a towel again. Once they were rolled, they were 95% dry so I just threw them in the diaper drawer.
Tomorrow morning we leave to go camping for Memorial Weekend with four kids including an infant and preschooler, so that's almost like a separate challenge all in itself. I am still going to be sporting flats and handwashing them on vacation, but my personal Walmart challenge ends today. After Wednesday's apoocalypse I just don't trust the pull-on Child of Mine covers enough to take them camping. I want to enjoy my weekend with my baby and feel confident that her dirty bits will stay where they belong. I will stick with the 5 cover rule, but I'm trading my Walmart fleece and plastic pull-ons for something a bit more heavy-duty. I'll bring 2 Blueberry Coveralls, 2 Flip covers, and a Tweedlebugs one-size cover (my fave frugal cover!).
For diapers, I'm bringing my Little Lions flats, but also my flour sack towels and Child of Mine flats. I've been very impressed by those two Walmart products. Yes, they generally need to be used two at a time, but when you do that, they are more than thirsty enough. The receiving blankets and flannel I'll leave at home because while they did work, I could definitely tell a difference in the level of absorbancy. I think most, if not all, of my leaks this week involved something made of flannel not working as well as I expected. I think it's just that the weave is so tight. The fabric is absorbent, but the tight weave means it takes longer for it to soak in and some pee ends up rolling across the top of the fabric towards the exits.
While I'm gone this weekend there will still be some great content coming up for you guys here. Saturday will be a review from guest blogger Julie Kieras and Sunday my mom throws her hat in the ring both with flat diapers and with blogging.
Heading into the weekend my stats are...
Total $$ Spent: $115.02 with tax
Total Time Spent: 3:46 (lots of changes, two more wash cycles, and an apoocalypse)
Total Diapers Changed: 29
Total Leaks: 3 leaks and 1 apoocalypse (those were earlier in the week, I'm getting a better feel for these diapers now so no leaks lately)
***Want to learn more about the flats challenge? See the official rules here.***
Flats and Handwashing Challenge 2011:
A Walmart Shopping Spree
It's So Campy
Bye Bye Love
Day 1: So It Begins...
Day 2: Homemade Love
Day 3: Wordless Wednesday
Day 4: Noso Glory
Day 4.5: The Apoocalypse
Day 5: TGIF!
Day 6: Sharing the Love
Day 7: Your Grandma's Diapers
Reflections in a Yellow Puddle
The Happy Anteater