I've heard several people say this past week that The Flats & Handwashing Challenge really makes you more in tuned with your child's potty rhythm and just how many diapers they use in a day. That has certainly been true for me. I've found myself scheduling out when he will wear each diaper based on when I think he's going to poop (I'd rather have him poop on a receiving blanket than my brand new Geffen baby flat!). A friend of mine has been trying elimination communication this week with her baby and another friend is potty training her daughter. Nothing like handwashing to make you wish that the diaper count was lower!
So I'll start out with the things that didn't work, so we can end on a positive note ;)
#1 Fancy Folds: Last week I practiced a bunch of fancy diaper folds and had great plans to try a new fold each day to determine which I liked better. But then his rash (which turned out to be a yeast rash) started to get a little worse because the flats were wrapped tight against him. He has always done better with stay dry materials. So on the third day started using the simple pad fold and its been working great. I've also found that the fancy folds and jellyrolling isn't really necessary to hold the poop in. The flats (especially the birdseye weave) absorb the poop super fast down into the layers of pad-folded fabric so it doesn't spread out to the edges of the cover. Which means I can reuse it! The folds didn't let me down or anything -- they just weren't necessary.
#2 Washing once a day: I started out washing in the evenings and switched to washing throughout the day (every two diapers). It's hard to explain why but it just worked better for me.
That's really the only negative things I can think of. Everything else about this challenge has been great! I will list a few of my favorite parts.
#1 Super customize-able washing: I am seriously tempted to just handwash our poopy diapers from now on. Our high efficiency front-load washing machine can be a bit of a challenge at times. I will quite often have to send the poopy diapers back through for an extra wash. But with handwashing I can see the diapers getting clean and where they might need a little extra scrubbing. I can tweak the amount of soap or add an extra rinse because it's easier to see the suds.
#2 Endless diaper possibilities: Flats are amazing! They can be folded into literally any shape whatsoever to give your baby absorbency where they need it. If I hadn't been struggling with a rash I would have experimented more with different folds. I wish that I had used flats when Liam was a newborn -- the Jo-fold with jellyrolled legs and a Thirsties cover would have been perfect for him!
#3 Fresh Air: I love drying outdoors! I wish so bad that I had a clothesline so I could dry all our clothes out on the patio :) I just love the way things smell when they've dried in the fresh air!
#4 CLOTH!: I just love cloth diapers in general! I had to use 4 disposable the last couple days so that I could put a special diaper cream on Liam. Two of those diapers became a poopy blowout! I have only had 1 or 2 leaks of poop from my cloth diapers and they were my fault for not putting the diaper on tight enough. And I forgot how much disposables can stink. With his cloth diapers I have a hard time telling whether Liam has pooped or not because I can't smell it - I have to peek in the leg hole. With disposables, I can smell it across the room :-P Yuck!
Overall, I have really enjoyed this challenge. We have 2 1/2 more days to go! Is it just me or has this week been going by fast!?! Okay...maybe it's just me ;)