Sunday, May 27, 2012

Flats and Handwashing Days 6 and 7

Days 5 and 6 combined- The Final Days of the Challenge by Dirty Diaper Laundry. The last days of having to handwash my flat diapers. Thank God!

Well yesterday we had a wedding to attend. Just my husband and I, so we left the kids with my mother in law. Normally, for sitters I just leave pockets out and ready to go. So I explained to MIL (mother in law) what to do with the flats and covers. I simply took several flats and padfolded them all and placed one into each cover that wasn't dirty. #3 has had some not so pleasant diapers the last few days, I think, thanks to some garlic bread from our favorite Italian restaurant. Little guys system can't quite handle it yet, I guess. I also took washcloths and placed one in each diaper to use for a liner, since #3 needed some stronger strength diaper rash cream. Since there were a few different cover brands, I just snapped them all up where they normally are snapped when they are on #3. MIL figured things out just fine and #3 survived the night without mommy. I gotta tell you, it was a welcome break and some much needed adult time. Starting the day with all clean diapers, I thankfully didn't have to worry about diaper laundry when we got home at 10:30, and to tell you the truth, with all the continued yucky diapers today, I have enjoyed today without doing any handwashing either.

This whole experience has been very eye opening. I very much so take advantage of the fact that I have a washer and dryer, I have looked at my water bills, and truly it costs me about $3-4 a month to wash my diapers. Many people pay that to wash 1 LOAD of laundry. I see where cloth would be a huge turnoff to someone who had to pay that. Handwashing would be one way to make things work, if you had to, but I honestly do not know if I could or even want to handwash if I could afford disposables. If I was paying $3 a load of laundry, it would cost me at least $21 a week to wash my families clothes and laundry. That would totally not be affordable. If that was the case, I would honestly get a portable washer, that I could hook up, I am guessing it would be in an apartment, inside my home. The initial cost can be spendy, at about $250-$500, but the payoff would be in leaps and bounds. Even if I got a higher grade Heier washer, it would pay for itself in 5-6 months. That to me would be totally worth the cost. But if this wasn't possible to do, I guess I would probably do a mix of disposable diapers and cloth. I don't know if I could honestly handwash diapers every day, unless I absolutely had to. Hopefully, my life will never come to that. Over all, I am so glad I took this Challenge. It opened my eyes to how half of the world diapers their babies and washes those diapers. To me, the women and men, who handwash out of need are the true ones to look up to. True determination to do the right thing by their children is nothing but admiral and I can only aspire to keep those thoughts close to my heart.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 5

Day 5- What Have We Learned So Far?

Day 5 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge Hosted by DirtyDiaperLaundry. Its been 5 days of using only flats and handwashing them. Its getting old. Using the flats isn't so bad, washing them by hand is.

 I have learned that I like just strictly padfolding. I love trifolding my prefolds, so why would it be any different with flats?! When its in a fancy fold, and #3 poops, there is so much more poop to get off the diaper, from every corner of the diaper, than just in 1 strip in the middle.
I have learned that using a plunger gets your diapers cleaner, but using the grapestomp method is easier.
I have learned that wringing out diapers is a big pain in the butt.
I have learned that I really REALLY appreciate my washer and dryer.
I have learned I am stronger than I think.
But most importantly, I have learned that as long as my child is in cloth, I am a happy mommy :)

About to grapestomp it with my feet :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 4

Day 4- Whatcha Think About Handwashing?
Day 4 Of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge by DirtyDiaperLaundry. Day 4 of NOT using my washer and dryer to wash my diapers and ONLY using Flats. The using flats isn't so bad, it's the handwashing that sucks! I have only washed twice, Day 2 and 3, and I will wash later today/tonight, but it' still tiring, Thankfully I have had a little helper. Its time consuming, my back gets sore, and its just tedious to make sure all the poop/pee/soap all gets out. And now since its been raining for 2 days, drying takes much much longer. I have found though, putting a fan aimed at the drying rack helps out with speeding things up! All I pray is that the rain stops soon so I can hang dry outside again!
Day 2s post I did a photo shoot of my handwashing fiasco. Day 3 was much the same, but today I may change it up a bit. I may try the grape stomp method. We will see if I am brave enough :)

On a side note, #3s rash, which I have self determined is Roseola, is going away. Thank goodness! Hopefully devil baby will go away once the rash is all healed. Ok he was only that bad for 2 days, now he is just back to being his feisty self.

Here he is today, totally uncooperative in letting me get a good photo of him in his flat. This is a receiving blanket I have been using, I like it just as much as my Osocozy flats!

I know this post, like most of them, are all over the place, I can never find a good flow, so I just go with what pops in my head, so bear with me! Another positive on all this, is that folding and putting away takes mere minutes now. I just padfold all my flats, and lay them by the couch along with my wipes and covers. No running them upstairs to put them away, no matching up diapers with inserts or folding prefolds all the same way. While I do enjoy that and love it and its my quiet time, it does eat up some time. By just folding the flats up in rectangles, and only a few at a time, makes it all way more fast and I am on with the rest of my day! Do I miss my other diapers and washing machine? Heck YES! Can I wait for this week to be over so I can become lazy again by just tossing the dirties in the machine? Oh I can't wait!!!! Am I finding MAJOR appreciation for modern technology? Oh Good Gracious that is a resounding YES YES YES!!!!!! So, While I am finding appreciation for people that HAVE to do this, whether it be cloth diapers only, or they have to do all their laundry this way, I have to say, after this week is over, I will never handwash again, unless I have to. Oh and next years Challenge :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 3

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!  

Day 3- How Do You Use Your Flats?

When it comes to diapering for me, the more simple the better. 99% of the time, I have just padfolded. Basically, folding into a rectangle and laying it in the cover. #3 is so wiggly and on the move, I don't have time to do anything else! Plus, he has broken out in a rash, thinking Roseola, so he is super crabby, fussy, and feisty. I did manage to do a little fancier of a fold yesterday with him. I "think" its the angel wing fold.... but I could be wrong. I guess I will have to look that up! Poor kid. Look at that rash!

Now, I have to say, flats still aren't really my favorite, yes they are super versatile, and I am starting to like them more, especially just padfolding, they are a great supplement to my prefolds. I have also come to find out, that I really do like using flats for a night time diaper! I have mentioned before, I use 4 super old Fuzzibunz pocket diapers, that the PUL has completely worn off of, as nighttime fitteds. They are great because I can stuff them fat, or thin, and it doesn't matter, they work great. I can stuff with natural fibers, or microfiber, but it always has the fleece stay dry which we need at night for #3. I can also see us using these while camping, since we are getting a little pop up camper and all :-)

Now, on to today. Today was a craptastic sort of day. #3 was up the ENTIRE night last night! I am not even joking you. He woke up at 11pm, and I didn't get more than 5 minutes of sleep at a time until after 4am. It was horrible. He was awake, then he was crabby and awake, then he was inbetween awake and asleep and super crabby. Miserable I tell ya. So today was rough. At least he got a couple good naps in! We still stuck through it and rocked the flats, oh and did I mention, I watch my nephew and friends kids?! So I had 3 boys in flats today.. Thankfully, I don't have to wash that many diapers though! Phew! I'm just tired thinking about it! Today was also a rainy day, so hangdry inside on my drying rack took a lot longer than outside on the line. Twelve flats is NOT enough. I am going to try my hardest to stick it out with that many for the rest of the week, but I may use an old crib sheet and maybe get 2 or 3 more out of it to supplement, at least while I am washing and drying!

So, I am going to end here, I am tired and desperately need some sleep. Tomorrow is another day, and I think I am going to try something other than the plunger and bucket method.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 2


Day 2- So what am I using this week?!

  1. 12 flats, 6 Osocozy flats, and 6 receiving blanket flats I was going to sell in a garage sale.
  2. A few covers. This year there is no limit on the number, Last year I believe you could use 5, so that is what i am shooting for. I have 3 flip covers, my least expensive cover with flaps, so that is what I will be using the most. I will supplement with my other covers if I have to.
  3. 1 upcycled wool cover for night time because its most breathable and keeps #3 the most dry at night.
  4. 1, maybe 2, super old fuzzibunz pocket diapers that the PUL is completely gone off of. I use these any ways at night as a stay dry fitted stuffed with a flat or 2, depending on when  I get the washing done each day. I am betting I will wash in the mornings or early afternoons when the kids are down for a nap. 
  5. A kitty litter pail I got from my mom to use as dirty diaper storage and how I will be washing diapers this week. I do still need to pick up a plunger tonight to make a camp style washer.
  6. Rockin Green Hard Rock detergent. I normally use Tide Powder, but for the challenge I want something a little more gentle on my hands, and I have some leftover from when I used to use it. Good way to use a little more up right?!
  7. Cloth wipes. I have several types of cloth wipes, and as I was using a 2 layer cotton one this morning, I thought how it would be easier to wash and get clean a single layer wipe than a 2 layer wipe. So for the rest of the challenge I will be using my baby washcloths that I use as cloth wipes because they are single layer and repurposed.
  8. Coconut Oil for rash cream. I don't foresee any rashes this week, unless teething those molars for #3 kicks in hard core. But coconut oil can be found at your grocery store, and is readily available, and fairly cheap and cloth safe, so I will be using that if needed.
  9. A snappi. I don't normally use one with my prefolds, but if I want to get fancy with my flat folding I may need one. :-) Also if we go out and about, I will use 1 small travel wetbag.
For now, I think this is all I will need!

Ok, So #2 and I just handwashed for the first time. My hands are shaking! It  was hard work, but totally gratifying to see them out on the line flapping in the breeze drying. My hands are dried out, I will be using gloves for sure tomorrow. It took us about 40 minutes, I let the dirties soak in a pail for a while, then to do our first rinse, I added a pinch of Rockin Green then plunged. Emptied out the rinse, wrung them then filled the pail back up to do the wash with some more RnG. Plunged like crazy and even had #2 help me, hey she asked to try it! Emptied the wash, then we rinsed in the big tub, plunged, swirled, etc. then rinsed under faucet to get any leftover soap out and wrung out and hung them outside on our line. I think I will try the grape stomp method next time, as recommended by a friend who did the challenge last year with 3 in cloth!!!!
Our first night of the challenge, last night went well too. #3 fell asleep on our way home from Target at about 8pm last night, so I just put him to bed. He woke up at about 11pm to nurse, so I stuffed my old no PUL Fuzzibunz with only 1 flat, put on his upcycled wool soaker, and he slept until 7am this morning. Wasn't super soaked either, I would say pretty normal! Yay!

So, so far so good. I feel some big muscles in my near future :)

1st rinse

plunging 1st rinse

after 1st rinse

Wringing out

Wash with detergent

#2 Helping me out

Final Rinse

And Ta Da! Clean diapers out on the line!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 1

So Today is the first day of the 2nd annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge by Dirty Diaper Laundry. A whole week of using flat diapers and handwashing.

Day 1- Why are you taking it?
I will admit, besides making sure I had a bucket(actually a kitty litter pail from my mom), 12 flats-6 Osocozy ones I bought for $8 from someone local and 6 receiving blankets, and some detergent that will be easy on my hands and the diapers-some leftover Rockin Green Hard Rock, I am totally unprepared. But that's the way I wanted it! I only have ever used flats literally 2 or 3 times. But I didn't want practice with them, because in all honesty, this challenge is all about learning for me and what I would do if I didn't know anything besides disposables, and I was forced to use cloth. Learning what it would be like to all of a sudden be out of money for diapers and improvising. That's what it's about right? This is the story that I believe was some of the spark for doing the challenge last year. Its incredibly sad what some parents are forced to do and have to choose between buying food or diapers. Getting the awareness out there that cloth can be a great option even if you  have to hand wash, is better than letting your child sit in a dirty diaper all day or reusing disposable diapers that can make your child sick.
Another reason I am doing this challenge, is that it IS a challenge! Who doesn't love a good challenge?! I love all my pretty cloth diapers, and washing them, because it's EASY. I simply put the dirty ones in a bag until wash day, then dump in my machine. At the end of the week, will I love cloth diapering even if it's so labor intensive? My guesses are yes I will, but I will have a much bigger appreciation for my washing machine and my countless cloth diapers!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

gDiaper Review

Since gDiapers seem to be pretty mainstream, I will do a quick review. I have always avoided them like the plague because they are a 3 part diaper. Yes, that is not a typo, 3 parts. You have the gPants, which is an outer cotton/spandex shell that is NOT waterproof, BUT is very cute, with fun colors or prints. You have an inner liner that is waterproof that snaps into the gpants sometimes called a pouch. Then you have your absorbant layer. I know that alot of people use these diapers because they are a hybrid, a cross between reusable and disposable. You can get their disposable/compostable inserts or you can use gcloth, or another insert like a prefold.

 I got two medium gDiapers off a swap board on facebook that are in excellent used condition. Practically brand new. They consist of the gPants in orange and green, 2 inner liners and 2 gcloth, which are 2 layers fleece on the top and 2 layers of hemp/cotton mix for the absorbent layers. I am a die hard cloth user, so I am not so much a fan of disposable inserts... but... I do have some flip disposable inserts that I will review in the gdiapers too.

With a prefold trifolded inside- It's a little bulkier like other cloth diapers

Trying to feed his cousin a bottle :)

gDiaper with gCloth- so trim!

Not too much more bulk to it than a disposable. That's because the gCloth is incredibly trim!


  • Being a trim diaper is one of the gDiapers claim to fame. Yes, using a gcloth insert in the diaper makes it a trim diaper. I am sure using a disposable insert would be very trim too.
  • Sized diapers for optimum fit. The size medium fits #3 perfectly. 
  • Disposable inserts you can toss, flush or compost because they are 100% biodegradable, very cool. Better for the earth than disposable diapers, but still super convenient.
  • Velcro in the back so little ones don't try to pull off their diaper. #3 successfully wore them without any clothes on and did not rip them off like he does with all other velcro diapers.
  • Waistband and leg gussets do not leave marks like other diapers do.
  • GCloth inserts are a perfect combo of stay dry fleece and natural fiber hemp/cotton. A 6pack with cost you $30, so $5 a piece
  • Cute
  • Widely available, even at mainstream Babies R Us and some Target stores.
  • Hold value well for resale.


  • Sized diapers means 3 or more different sets that you have to buy. Diapers right now are priced from $17.99 to $19.99 on their website. It comes with 1 outer gpants and 1 liner. Their blog suggests 6-8 gpants per size. $18x8=$144 Plus add the gcloth inserts and they suggest 4 packs of 6 for a total of 24 gcloth inserts. 4x$30= $120. So $264 total for small size, then gcloth inserts are m/l so you just need new gpants in medium and large. So you are looking at about $264 for small, medium $264 and large $144. So total $672. Yes you can sell the smaller sizes to recoup some money, but still spendy!
  • If you go Disposable inserts, its going to get spendy, at $14.99 for 32 m/l inserts, its more expensive than disposables! 
  • There are 3 pieces to deal with instead of 1 or 2.
  • Snap in liners snap in at 4 different points, takes way longer than 1 snap in the back to take apart or put together.
  • Gpants and liners should not be washed in hot. So seperate loads of laundry. I wash my pants and liners with my kids' clothes, gcloth with the rest of my diapers. I also hang dry the pants and liners with the rest of my covers.
  • Velcro is on the back so its a learning curve how to put it on a squirmy baby or toddler.
  • Velcro wears out faster than snaps.
  • Gcloth does not have very many thirsty absorbent layers, only 2 hemp/cotton, so often times have to use 2 gcloth or a doubler, or change way more often when you have a heavy wetter.

I have a cloth diaper group I belong to and one of the ladies uses gDiapers as the main part of her stash. I asked her if she would write up a little blurb for me from a real gUser. I hope you enjoy what she has to say about g's!!!

And to show you how adorable gDiapers are, I have my gMum's even more adorable little girl CaitlinJoy (10 months) to model them! How stinkin' cute is she rockin' the gBloom set, the newest girl's set from gDiapers?!

one gMum's perspective
Several months into my last pregnancy, I started researching different cloth diapers primarily because I was worried that my baby girl would have sensitive skin and know there are many chemicals that go into making a disposable diaper that could irritate a baby's soft skin. After hours upon hours of research (no joke, I even made spreadsheets of pros and cons along with info on the companies I looked at), I decided on gDiapers. gDiapers was started up by a husband/wife team from Australia but who are now in Portland, OR. It’s a small company with only several employees including the founders, but they are one of the most friendly, family-oriented companies I’ve ever encountered. Customer service is friendly and will take the time to answer your questions, concerns and do whatever it takes to help you as a parent be able to use their product successfully and want to spread the gLove to others!

So, it's been 10mos since my daughter was born. How do I feel about g's? Well, I love them! Although there is a high learning curve to using them, they aren't OS like many pockets/AIO's and they have several parts to them rather than one or two like other CD's, they are my go-to diapers during the daytime and the only diapers I use and bring along when we are traveling (we've flown to visit family every 3mos since dd was born).

One of the reasons I went with gDiapers is because they are super trim (and incredibly cute)! g’s are touted to be one of the trimmest CD’s on the market. We started baby girl in tiny g's (for newborns) as soon as she was born. These are a little different than the small/medium/large/XL sized gPants in that they have a built in waterproof liner rather than using the snap-in waterproof pouch. There’s only one style (white with gWords vs the many colors, prints and styles available in all other sizes) and it has snaps to change the rise of the pant which lets you protect the umbilical cord stump while it's healing by making the diaper a little lower in the front. My daughter stayed in tiny g's for her first 7-8weeks but many babies stay in them for shorter amount of times or move straight into the small gPants from birth if they're a little bit bigger. gDiapers recommends using their biodegradable gRefills with the tiny g's. For us, having the option to use the gRefills was great, even if the refills themselves are as expensive as using ‘sposies. I could compost her wet refills outside in our compost pile and either flush or dump her poopy ones. Plus, I didn’t have to worry about washing her diapers constantly during those first few weeks of adjusting to a newborn in the house. Once we moved into smalls (fit for 8-14lb range), I started using our cloth inserts rather than the refills. We’ve used a variety of inserts; gCloth, GMD unbleached prefolds, gFlappers (made by The Nappy Shoppe), and still the occasional gRefill when out of the house for more than a few hours or traveling. Some mamas even use flour sack towels from Target/Walmart as a super cheap yet absorbent alternative. I appreciate the fact that there are so many options available to use as a cloth insert. Now that we are in mediums (fits 13-28lbs) and almost into our larges (fits 26-26lbs), I have only been using all-bamboo or bamboo-hemp gFlappers from The Nappy Shoppe. Another reason I like using our g’s is that I don’t have to wash them after every single change. Unless the pouch gets poop on it or pee gets on the outer pant, I just let the diaper air out in between changes and reuse it for the next diaper change. The only part that gets put into the diaper pail each time is the cloth insert. That means less laundry for me!! It also means you don’t need as many diapers on hand to CD full-time. gDiapers recommends about 6-8 gPants in each size to diaper with relative ease. I found this to be pretty true. You’d want at least double the number of their snap-in pouches since those can get dirtier faster and the number of inserts (whatever you use) would depend on how often you change your baby and how often you want to do laundry. g’s are widely available online (,, Target, Walgreens) or in-store at retailers like BRU.

Overall, I really love the flexibility of using g’s and would recommend any parent considering cloth diapering to give them a try!