Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Part Deux Day 2: We're Covered

No mom should have to feel like she has no other option than to dry out and reuse a disposable diaper.  But it happens.  Disposables are a never ending money pit and cloth diapers can seem out of reach when funds are low and you don't own a washer and dryer.  Thus, the Flats and Handwashing Challenge was born. 

Last year's flats challenge really turned me on to flats.  They wash and dry SO well that I purged the microfiber from my stash and started stuffing my pockets with flats.  So by the time this year's challenge rolled around, we were already pretty set on flats.  I have four kinds of flats in my stash - Walmart flour sack towels, Osocozy, Swaddlebees, and Little Lions.  The flour sack towels and the Osocozy have just been sitting in a corner of my diaper cupboard mostly being unused, so as I packed up my pockets and all-in-ones and fitteds to put away for the challenge, I set those aside as well to go into my "loaner bin".  I am a bit of a cloth diaper aficianado and collector, so when we grow out of diapers that I love, I hate to get rid of them.  So, the good stuff that is too small gets put into my loaner bin that I lend out to friends and family interested in trying cloth.  The towels and Osocozys are nice flats, but they are too small and not absorbant enough for my big girl, which is why we haven't used them much lately.  But they would be perfect on a small baby, so into the bin they went.  Which left us with more than enough Swaddlebees and Little Lions. 

I love both the Swaddlebees and the Little Lions, but for different reasons.  Here's the breakdown:


Echo+Swaddlebees = Love
These are plenty absorbant for daytime, are fine with a booster for nighttime (I recommend the Grovia organic cotton boosters - tons of boosting power in a teeny tiny little doubler), and come in cute prints.  They are just the right size - large enough to do folds like the origami or kite, but small enough to make a very trim pad folded insert. When folded in half, in half again, and then in thirds, the Swaddlebees is a perfect size to fit inside Softbums, Grovia, Fuzzibunz, Charlie Banana, or any other trim cover or pocket.  Here's one of mine (an unbleached one, we had used up all the cute prints when I went to take a picture) inside a Softbums Echo. 

Best of all they are available in lots of places and easy to find.  My favorite place to buy? Straight from the source - Swaddlebees usually has the best price and they also often have flats in their clearance or seconds section.

Little Lions

My Little Lions and Flip combo
These are the gold standard for unbleached flats.  They have a nice smooth weave, a generous sizing, and they are super absorbant.  These don't need boosting for day or night, but they aren't as trim as the Swaddlebees either.  These fit great inside more generously sized covers like the Flip.  They also offer enough fabric to do any kind of fold you can imagine for any size baby, without being super bulky.

The big bummer on these is that the company is for sale, so they aren't currently selling flats.  You can probably score some on diaperswappers.com though if these sound like the flats you've been dreaming of.  And hopefully some savvy investor will come along and scoop up the company and start churning out these delicious flats again.

Now, on to covers.

I have quite the collection of covers, from Stacinators to woolies to Thirsties and more.  A majority of my covers though are just two kinds - Softbums and Flips.  Again, I like both of these for different reasons.


In the name of full disclosure, I will say that one of the reasons that I have so many Softbums is that I have gotten them free from work - I spent the spring working for Softbums (and still do pitch in on occasion) and that's just one of the perks.  But that's not the reason that I love them.  I love them because of the sizing mechanism and the snuggly inside.  The sizing on Softbums is adjusted at the leg elastic.  There are tiny toggles (like you see on Columbia jackets or hoodies sometimes) inside the cover that you use to adjust the leg elastic tighter or looser.  Since you have almost infinite adjustability, it's easy to get a great fit.  And the inside of the cover is lined with super soft fleece so I know it's nice and comfy for Ivy too.  Last but not least, I love all the stinkin' cute colors and prints.


The best thing about these is that they are everywhere.  They are pretty popular so I have no trouble finding used ones at swaps and on Craigslist.  Between that and shopping the Cottonbabies seconds sales, I don't think I've ever paid full price for a Flip cover.  They also have a more generous cut.  So although they are designed with lay-in inserts in mind, I can still use these over my trim fitted diapers as well.  I am not super keen on the fact that the plasticy inside is right on Ivy's skin in places, but it doesn't seem to bother her at all, so it's not a dealbreaker.  The only thing that gives me a big sad face is the lack of lots of cute prints.

So that's what I'm using for diapers this week.  I do have some other covers and some pins and Snappis that I might use if I get bored of this stuff, but I doubt it.  I've got bigger fish to fry, namely a big family camping trip coming up on Friday!

When it comes to washing, I'm keeping it simple.  Last night I did my wash using my diaper bin, a sink, and some soap.  As bedtime approached, I dressed Ivy in her bedtime diaper and pajamas and then went to the laundry room.  I filled the diaper bin (a Bambino Mio nappy bucket I got at Target on clearance for $7 - don't waste your money, get a regular bucket) with warm water and a quarter scoop of Charlie's Soap and then let that soak while I put the kids to bed.  Once everyone was snoozing, I came back down and emptied the bin into the laundry sink.  I filled the sink with hot water and another quarter scoop of soap and set to scrubbing.  There weren't very many diapers (she uses the potty some and only poops once a day most days - yeay!) so it went really quickly.  After they'd all been scrubbed, I drained the sink, rinsed each one individually under running water, then wrung them out.  I was feeling too lazy to trudge out to the clothesline in the dark, so I tossed everything over the deck chairs and rail and went to bed.  In the morning, everything was dry and fresh - yeay!  I was thinking about getting a washboard to aid my scrubbing, but now that Ivy's going through so few diapers a day (I think there were three last night plus a handful of wipes and covers) it kind of seems unnecessary.  I did just fine with knuckle power.

So that's it!  Kind of boring, I know.  I didn't buy anything new or do anything fancy at all this year.  But you know what, that's okay.  As the Shakers say, "tis the gift to be simple".


  1. I love my BG 4.0 but they are so expensive. Are the flip covers the same fit? patterns/colors?

  2. I would say a very similar fit, when they are on the baby they look identical to 4.0. And the colors/prints available are all the same. If you want to bulk out your stash without spending a ton, Flips would be a great option no matter what you put under them. I also highly recommend the insert sock if you like a stay-dry layer. Stick a flat or a microfiber insert inside one of those and boom, instant stay-dry Flip insert.


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