Flats Challenge 2012, Day One

I decided to participate in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  It's a seven-day challenge wherein I and nearly 500 others have pledged to use only flat-style diapers and wash them with only self-powered methods.  The purpose is to prove that cloth diapering is practical and accessible for all, not just those with a washing machine or a large chunk of money to invest in the initial stash.

I've been really excited about the Flats Challenge 2012.  I wasn't able to participate last year because I heard about it too late.  But this year, I'd already been pondering the idea of switching my little Sunshine over to more flats and/or prefolds because of some rash issues.  (The cotton has always seemed more soothing than the stay-dry layers of most pocket diapers, and wool covers breathe better than anything.)

I'd tried flats on her as a newborn, and I really loved them, but they were the ultra cheap bargain brand you can get at any big box store and didn't have the absorbency or width to keep up with her after about four months.  So I was a little leery of trying a new brand of flats.  But some other cloth-loving mamas I found online advised me that other brands were, in fact, much better.  And the challenge was motivation enough to send me to the store to test out that theory.

Isn't it sweet?  Even the cat helped me fold the flats!

I picked up a six-pack of unbleached cotton flats and a single hemp flat for overnights.  (I still have a bunch of the cheap ones for emergencies if need be.)  Last night, Sunshine got wrapped in her first flat and went to bed in her wool soaker.

Previously, her nighttime diaper was a premium size cotton prefold with that same  (or one of two others) wool cover.  And it would be soaked and stinking in the morning, and even the woolies would feel damp most days.  So I was really skeptical that a single thin sheet of hemp would suffice.  My one consolation was that it would be laundry day anyway today so I could throw the soaked crib bedding in the washer easily.  But this morning...

Wonder of wonders!
Miracle of miracles!
I was afraid the crib would drown.
But after a night in hemp upon my little one
Naught was yellow nor was brown!

 Not stinky!  No leaks!  And the hemp wasn't even fully saturated!  And even better, the horrid diaper rash that flared up again last week and would not go away is noticeably better.

So I'm totally jazzed about the rest of the week.  I can't wait to see how little Sunshine does!  I've got the changing table all ready.  It looks pretty bare with just covers, wipes, and the few flats I have on the top.  (And if Sunshine takes it into her head to open up the bottom where all the prefolds and pocket diapers are jammed, we're going to have some serious diaper confetti.)

Wish me luck!


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