The most common question I get asked about cloth diapering is, "Isn't it hard to do with the pins?" and I always say, "Oh no one uses pins anymore! Cloth diapering is super modern now with velcro or snaps, the diapers look just like disposables and go on just as easily only you toss them in the washer instead of the garbage". Yes, I admit that the selling point I tend to push is the one where I say how much like a disposable the new cloth is. It worked with my partner, he was very aprehensive at first, until he saw how "like a disposable" they were. The only downside to these super modern, funky, cute and easy to use diapers is the price. My personal fave- BumGenius by Cotton Babies runs a very steep $24 per diaper.
Recently, I was checking out my favourite cloth diapering blog Dirty Diaper Laundry and she was discussing how although using cloth is great for saving money, the up-front expense (about $500-$900) is just not an option for struggling families. Additionally, many struggling families don't have their own washer and dryer and so the multiple layers of fabric in pocket inserts, all-in-ones and even prefolds make for a lot of work in handwashing and even longer to hang-dry. So what is the solution here for families who are having a hard time affording disposable diapers but don't have the up-front cash to get started in cloth diapering? Well, according to Dirty Diaper Laundry- the solution is flats. Yep, just as I mentioned in my last post, people are beginning to realize that going back to the way our great grandmothers did things (breastfeeding, making their own baby food, gardening, cloth diapering and using clothes lines) is really the most sensible. Flat diapers are truly economical. They consist of one single layer of cotton that can be folding in many different ways to create a diaper. You secure them with either pins or Snappis and add a diaper cover to keep baby's clothes dry. As they are but a single layer, you can easily wash them and hang them out to dry- they are excellent candidates for that fabulous sun bleaching that I recently blogged about and even in winter, they will dry indoors in a few short hours. As Dirty Diaper Laundry pointed out, flats are the most intimidating of the cloth diapering options, mostly because when you look at a big square chunk of fabric, it's not immediately obvious how to get it to look like a diaper and so there is some learning and acquiring of skill that is required.
Dirty Diaper Laundry has decided to challenge herself to one week (May 23-30) of using flat diapers ONLY and handwashing/hang-drying them ONLY to prove that it is a viable and economical option for struggling families, a BETTER option for them than expensive disposables. She has also proposed that we cloth mamas take up the challenge with her. Head to her blog post here to sign yourself up for the challenge and read over the rules for participation.
For those of you living in the realm of my favourite cloth diaper retailer Re-Diaper, Anj is offering 15% off of her Osocozy Birdseye Cotton Flats (which regularly retail for $15 per 6pk) especially for the flats challenge. So head on over to the store or website and get yourself a couple packs of flat diapers, roll up your sleeves and get in on the challenge!