Announcing the 8th Annual Flats & Handwashing Challenge | May 14-20

Flats Challenge 2018 Cloth Diaper Revival

It's time for the 8th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge and I'm honored to be hosting again this year! Get your supplies ready because this year's challenge kicks off on May 14th! This will be a busy year for me and the challenge. I'm due with baby #3 in mid-April and moving to a new house in May. I'm still waiting for a moving date so the timing may end up being terrible for me, but I wanted to get the announcement up on the blog before baby girl makes her arrival!

About the Flats and Handwashing Challenge

Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry founded the Flats and Handwashing Challenge eight years ago as a way to bring awareness that cloth diapers are a valid option for families in need, struggling to provide diapers for their baby.

"Our aim is not to say that every poor family facing the supremely difficult choice of buying diapers or food should use cloth diapers. That would be short-sighted of us to think it's an answer for every family. The flats challenge is a way to show that for families willing and able, babies can be diapered for less than $100 or even $50 and without owning a washing machine. It is a viable option for families who are in homes without washing machines and an effective one." ~Kim Rosas, Dirty Diaper Laundry

Why Flat Diapers?

Flat Diapers Cloth Diaper Revival
Flat cloth diapers are inexpensive. They are the most affordable diapering option, selling for less than $2 a diaper for a traditional flat diaper or can be DIY-ed for free using almost any excess material (receiving blankets, t-shirts, etc.) found in your home.

Flat cloth diapers are easy to care for. With only one layer of fabric, flats are easy to handwash and quick to dry! Even the smallest stash of flat cloth diapers works well as they only take a few hours to dry in the warm sun or overnight indoors.

Flat cloth diapers are easily accessible. Flats can be found in your local cloth diapering boutique, but can also be found in the kitchen aisle at your local big box store labeled as Flour Sack Towels. A DIY project to create your own flats stash can be completed in minutes using materials found around your home.

While modern cloth diapers, like pockets and all in ones, are excellent diapering options, the simplicity of flats is something to fall in love with. We have quite the eclectic cloth diaper stash, but from the newborn stage to potty training, I've always been a fan of flat diapers. I fell in love with flat cloth diapers when I took the challenge in 2012 with my first born. I was impressed with how easily it is to use flat diapers, something that seemed so intimidating to me prior to the challenge. And handwashing was something that only took minutes each day.

Families all over the world have discovered that flat cloth diapers and handwashing are viable options for cloth diapering and many families are using this as a full time solution for diapering their baby.

Flats Challenge 2018 Cloth Diaper Revival

The Challenge

Join me and hundreds of other families as we challenge ourselves to use flat diapers for one week. Not only will we set aside our modern cloth diapers, but we'll skip the washing machine too! It's a week of handwashing and line drying to get our flat diapers clean.

Each day will have daily blog prompts for bloggers to follow and share their experience. Individuals can share and follow along on social media using #flatschallenge and #bringingflatsback.

Are you up for a challenge? Rules and a sign up form will be posted in the coming weeks. See more info on last year's challenge here.

Connect with other families taking the challenge and join the discussion in the Facebook Group


Where have you been?

Wow, so it's been a while. I never anticipated that life would turn out to be so be so busy and crazy! My toddler Samuel turned 1 last summer and ever since he's been mobile time has been limited! If you follow me on Instagram you know that this boy is busy! He's totally unlike my oldest Noah and requires constant supervision.

Baby 3 Cloth Diaper Revival

Shortly after his birthday we were surprised with the news of baby #3. This was a total shock! Many of you followed the years of blogging I did about infertility and you celebrated with us during our adoption journey. So a surprise, unplanned pregnancy was not anything we ever expected. I'm just a couple weeks away from my due date with our first little girl and my feelings are so mixed! I can't wait to meet her and see my boys love on their little sister, but I'm not going to lie, I'm a little terrified! Samuel takes all of my time, attention and energy, so the thought of 2 under 2 terrifies me! But I'm hoping that if my expectations are set REALLY low maybe I will be pleasantly surprised if things go easier than I thought.

With Samuel, we really bulked up our newborn stash. He was a teeny, tiny preemie that used newborn cloth diapers for 6 months. Where we jumped right into one size diapers with Noah at 2 weeks old. So for baby girl, I've had fun buying some girly prints and colors to go with what we already had. I'll have two in cloth this time so I really needed (wanted) to bulk up our stash.

As if we don't have enough on our plate with the kids, life is crazy personally as well. We are outgrowing our home of 6+ years with the addition of this baby so we started the process of building a new home. Our current home is under contract and we have to move out by the end of May. We're praying our new house will be ready in time and that we won't have a homeless gap in there!

If all of that wasn't stressful enough, my husband is swamped at worked and almost 3/4 of the way through his master's degree. So I've been doing a lot of single parenting. I'm really looking forward to the paternity leave his work provides, a whole month! While he'll still have school work to do, it will be nice to have the help with the kids, particularly Samuel during those first few weeks as a family of 5.

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Cloth Diaper Revival

Many of you have been asking about the 8th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. Yes, it is happening! I should have a date announcement and sign ups ready soon. It's just a little crazy waiting on this ticking time bomb of impending labor, plus the house stuff. I promise I won't forget you! Stay tuned.

While the blog and Facebook page have both been really quite, I'm still very active on Instagram and would love for you to follow along with me there.


Amazon Baby Registry Welcome Box Review

Amazon Baby Registry Welcome Box Cloth Diaper Revival

Creating a baby registry is fun whether it's your first baby or your last. I'm due with baby #3 in April, our first girl! And you would think after my other two babies I would have everything we need, but surprisingly we don't. My oldest will be 7 when this baby is born and there's a 5 year age gap between my two boys. So a lot of stuff didn't make it through the 5 years of infertility and waiting for #2. And while babies 2 and 3 will be less than 2 years apart, I really thought we were done after our second and wasn't saving things. Baby #3 was a huge surprise and I wasn't prepared to see those 2 lines on the test. So there's a lot we need! And while I don't have any baby showers planned for this baby and I'm not out there sharing my registry with everyone I know, I have mostly created one as a checklist for myself. The nice thing about online registries is you can build the registry and then check it occassionally for price drops.

Amazon has a Baby Registry Welcome Box for everyone that creates a registry but there are a few steps you have to take to be able to claim the free gift.

Step 1: Be a Prime member. If you haven't joined Amazon Prime, I highly recommend it! My kids love Amazon Video with tons of free Prime videos, but we take advantage of the free shipping all of the time! There are lots of other perks as well.
Step 2: Complete the registry checklist. Amazon wants you to add an item from every category, but if you don't need something from that category, you can manually check the box yourself.
Step 3: A registry purchase of $10+. You can buy yourself something off your registry that is valued at $10 or more, of when someone buys you a gift at that value you will be eligible.

You do have to manually claim your box under the registry tools, but it's just clicking a box and going through the checkout process where the box will be free if all the criteria above is met.

Amazon Baby Registry Welcome Box Cloth Diaper Revival

What's included?

Swaddle Designs Muslin Swaddle Blanket 
Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers Size 1 20 count
Gerber Everyday Essentials Onesie 3-6 mo.
Avent 4 oz Natural Bottle
Avent Breastfeeding Guide with 2 pack of disposable daytime nursing pads and 2 pack disposable nighttime nursing pads
Seventh Generation Sample Box (Wipes-2 count, Moisture Lotion 0.5 oz sample, Laundry Detergent Packs- 2 pack, Diapers - 2 pack, Coupons $3 off diapers, $3 off laundry detergent)
Dreft PurTouch - 3 samples
Dove Baby Wash 1.8 oz sample
Water Wipes - 10 pack
Bloom Baby Pure Water Wipe - 1 wipe
Loreal Revitalift Moisturizer - foil pack sample
Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment - foil sample pack
La Roche Posay Cicaplaste Baume - foil sample pack
Living Textiles Lolli Living Coupon $30 off $50+ purchase

Is it worth it?

I mean, free is free! And free is always nice! It took very minimal effort on my part to actually get the box. I created the registry, which I was going to do anyway. Being my third baby, I did have to manually check the boxes on a lot of things on the checklist without actually adding them to my registry, but that only took a second. A family member bought the first thing off my registry and since it was over $10 I qualified. I did have to actually claim the box and checkout with my address.

Amazon values the box at $35 and you can actually purchase one here. The swaddle blanket is the highest value item and you can purchase the exact one that was included in my box for $12.99. The Huggies diapers would probably be the next most valuable thing. Amazon does not sell a 20 pack, but they do sell a 40 pack for 32.99, so half of that would be $16.50. I would put a value of the onesie, at $2 and the Avent bottle at $5.89.

I wouldn't really value the rest of the sample size products that came. While samples are nice and a great way to try a product before committing to the full size, they are promotional items and not really valuable. The wipes and Seventh Generation diapers are great for keeping in the diaper bag or as spares for the car.

So really, I would put a value of the whole box at $37.35. This matches Amazon's value at $35. It really is a nice registry gift and worth making a registry to get one. I will say that Amazon has a disclaimer that boxes may vary. My box arrived in Decemeber of 2017 and your box may be totally different.

I definitely recommend Amazon registry! The Welcome Box is a nice gift for yourself and it's a great way to watch for price drops or to share what you need with family and friends no matter where they live. I've also created a registry at my favorite cloth diaper store, Kelly's Closet. Amazon's cloth diaper selection is sparse for quality diapers and I love being able to support my favorite small business!


Black Friday Cloth Diaper Deals!

Black Friday is here and that means savings on everything on your list...including cloth diapers! I've been shopping Black Friday cloth diaper deals for years now. It's not very often you find savings like these on cloth diapers, so today is definitely the day to shop!


Black Friday Cloth Diapers Cloth Diaper Revival

A few tips! 

Shop early! While many deals will continue through the weekend and into Cyber Monday, many things will sell out! So if you are looking for something particular, shop while it's still in stock!

Plan your freebies! You can place many small orders all weekend long, but in order to make the most of your free gift with purchase, placing a larger order will be in your favor.

Be patient! There are a lot of people shopping this weekend! It will take longer than normal to receive your package.

Have fun and enjoy your stash!

The deals!

Kelly’s Closet Annual Fluffy Black Friday 2017

Sales continue through Cyber Monday; promotions may vary each day.

Save 10-50% off select items on Black Friday - Cyber Monday

Plus orders of $25+ receive a free gift (while supplies last) on Black Friday.
(Black Friday Fluffy Freebies image)

First 32 GroVia orders of $25+ will receive a free Itty Bitty Magic Stick (in addition to the Fluffy Freebies)

Plus, all orders placed on Black Friday are entered to win one of 20 Door Prizes in our Gobble Gobble Ho Ho Ho Giveaway Extravaganza; valued at over $1400 in prizes.

Save 20% off GroVia, 15-25% off Thirsties, 25% off select JuJuBe, 25% off Bambino Mio, 15% off Smart Bottoms, 15-25% off bumGenius & Flip, 20-40% off Rumparooz, 15% off Lalabye Baby, 15% off Best Bottom, 10-20% off Imagine Baby, 15% off Planet Wise, and so much more!


7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge Survey Results

It's been four months since the 7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge took place! FOUR. Where has the time gone? Time flies when you're raising babies! I intended to publish the results from the final survey months ago, but life totally got in the way. Between birthdays, spending summer with my oldest before dropping him off for his first day of Kindergarten and other big things coming my way (more on that in a later post), I've been a bit busy!

But I've finally found the time to tally up the results for you! If you're new to the Flats and Handwashing Challenge and would like to learn more, check out this post explaining things in detail.

Flats Challenge Cloth Diaper Revival


Almost 200 of you signed up for this year's Challenge! I was so encouraged as this was my first year hosting. Following the footsteps of Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry was an honor and I love how you all kept the spirit of the Challenge alive this year! For a week we stuck together proving that using a minimal stash of flat diapers was possible. And not just that, but hand washing our diapers as well! You did it and I couldn't be prouder to be a part of this community! 

Of the 198 families that signed up to take the Challenge, 138 of you filled out the final survey, giving me your feedback. That's about 70% of those that signed up. The data provided on the grapics below is complied from those 138 families. Thank you to those of you that participated and provided feedback! 

Check out the infographics below for detailed results from survey participants. To view the text larger, click on the graphic to enlarge it. 

Flats Challenge Cloth Diaper Revival

Flats Challenge Cloth Diaper Revival

Flats Challenge Cloth Diaper Revival

Is using flat diapers and handwashing them a viable option for families? 

82% of you said YES! While another 18% said yes, with modifications! 

Here's some feedback from this year's participants:

"Once I figured out simple but huge time savers, it became a piece of cake to incorporate into daily routine, even with two in cloth. Preparedness is key, and it only took less than a day to figure out what worked and what didn't, so it became easy FAST...which was surprising to me. I really expected more of a struggle to learn to use flats but in less than a day I felt like a champion. " - Pamela J. 

"I came in to this challenge nervous that I would succeed, but I did it!! Yes there was minimal labor for the washing but it was easy! It was truly eye opening to see how much water and soap I was saving. Being a family on a strict budget and water usage this was a great option! I believe this would work for so many families on many different levels. I loved my flats before the challenge but now even more. So much that we will be switching to full time use of flats and hand washing as much as possible." - Michelle S. 

"I enjoyed learning about flats more. They are definitely something that I will be adding to my stash. I now prefer them over prefolds, because I can fold specifically for my child. I was very scared of them before, thinking that they were waaay too much work, but in the end I enjoyed using them. I did not enjoy hand washing as much, but I am grateful to know that if I needed to hand-wash I could in a pinch." - Christine K. 

Thank you for following along with this year's Challenge! If you missed the Challenge or were unable to participate this year, we'd love to have you join us in 2018 for the 8th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge! 

If flats and/or hand washing is something you are interested in learning more about, please join our Facebook group


Flats and Handwashing Challenge - Day 7: What Did I Learn? How Did It Go? #flatschallenge

The last day of the 7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge is here! If you're new to the Challenge, please read more about what's going on this week as families all over the world will be diapering their babies with flat diapers and handwashing for a whole week. Today's topic is to share about your experience. What did you learn? How did it go? Do you think this is a feasible option for families experiencing diaper need? Did you find a new love for flats or handwashing? 

Flats Challenge Cloth Diaper Revival

As I've shared before, this is my second time taking part in the Challenge, with a 5 year gap between Challenges for me. My experiences have been pretty similar. I used flats basically the same way with both Challenges and choose the same handwashing method. I will say that it was a little more complicated this time around having two kids and juggling everything that is involved with that. My second baby is also a lot more work than my first! He's very busy! So spraying out diapers, keeping him out of the bathroom, etc. is a chore! 

The one thing I love about this Challenge is that it reminds me how much I love flat cloth diapers! They are so easy to use (much easier than it seems!) and very inexpensive! While I love my AIOs, flat cloth diapers are easily one of my favorite ways to diaper my babies! It doesn't even have to be complicated. A simple pad fold is easy and sufficient! 

And while handwashing IS more work, it's not that hard and it doesn't take too long. At the end of the day, I have a lot to do. The hours between 5 and 8 pm are easily the busiest of my day. Between cooking dinner, getting everyone fed, bathed and in bed and then tidying up the house, cleaning up dinner, washing bottles,etc. it's a lot! I'm not going to lie! By the time my oldest is in bed at 8 I'm ready to crash. So adding handwashing a load of diapers to that list is not desirable, but it is doable. It doesn't take very long, 30 minutes TOPS! And in a situation where that is my only option because I don't have access to a washing machine or I can't afford to buy disposable diapers, it can work! 

I really hope that you had a positive experience with the Challenge this year! I hope you gained some experience that will help you share with others and possibly help a family in need. There will be a survey emailed to all participants in the coming weeks. Grab the image at the top of this post and share that you survived! 

If you didn't participate and just followed along, I hope you we were able to show you that this really does work! 

If you are a family struggling to provide diapers for your baby, please know that there are options out there. I encourage you to reach out to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope. Read through blog posts about flat diapers. A whole stash can be purchased for $50 or less or you can easily DIY them for free using materials around the house. There are options!


7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge - Day 6: What's Working For Me & What's Not! #flatschallenge

It's the last two days of the 7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge! If you're new to the Challenge, please read more about what's going on this week as families all over the world will be diapering their babies with flat diapers and handwashing for a whole week. Today's topic is to share what's working for you and what's not working. If this is your first Challenge, you may be surprised by how easy (or maybe hard!) this is. Maybe you've had to change things up half way through the Challenge. Share your expectations vs. your reality!

Let's start with what's not working for me!

Fancy folds! I love the idea of fancy flat folds. Happy Anteater is my favorite! But in reality, I have a busy 10 month old. Changing his diaper is a nightmare. He does not sit still long enough for a diaper change and if you try to hold him down he acts like you are torturing him. So I need to be fast! So the best I can do for most diaper changes is a pad fold. I am using Happy Anteater for our nighttime diaper, but that's the only time I attempt anything fancy. 

And here's what's working...

Flats Challenge Cloth Diaper Revival

Nighttime diapers - For nights, we're successfully using two birdseye cotton flats. No doublers, no expensive hemp flats. Just plain old cotton! I use one flat folded with the Happy Anteater fold and then secured with a Snappi. Then I place a pad folded flat in a cover or with a wool cover and use that over the first flat. It works!

Handwashing Once a Day - The firs time I did this Challenge I was handwashing twice a day, once at naptime and once at night. Smaller loads are nice! But with two kids and a baby that isn't a great napper, I didn't know that I could commit to washing twice a day. So I stuck with washing after my baby was in bed. He's a terrible napper which means he goes to bed early (6 pm). So I wash the day's worth of diapers right after he's in bed and get them on line ASAP. As long as I get them on the line quick (and don't wait) I can usually take advantage of enough heat/sun to get them dry by the time it's dark. There was one day that I did wash in the morning and at night, but every other day seemed to work out fine just washing once. 

For the most part, things are going as expected here! What about you?


7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge - Day 5: Open Topic #flatschallenge

It's Day 5 of the 7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge! If you're new to the Challenge, please read more about what's going on this week as families all over the world will be diapering their babies with flat diapers and handwashing for a whole week. Today's topic is open! You are free to share anything you want about the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. A few years ago, my husband wrote a post about his perspective. Have a great DIY? Share that! It's totally up to you! I can't wait to see what everyone shares today!

On a side note, Samuel graduated from his cranial remolding helmet this week! It was a stinky, sweaty three months, but we're so glad to say goodbye to his helmet! How adorable does he look in a flat and no helmet? I love being able to kiss on his sweet head now!

Flats Challenge Cloth Diaper Revival

There are almost 200 families all over the world taking part in the Flats Challenge, some of them have been doing this all 7 years! I love to hear the discussions about how these mamas are changing things up year to year to really challenge themselves. From not using a diaper sprayer, to only using a stash that costs less than $25. Ya'll inspire me! I love your passion! 

So today, I'm going to share some of the posts that have been shared on social media. There's so many great posts out there that there's no way I could highlight them all. You can see more on Instagram. 

A post shared by SAM (@s.a.m.5.24.9) on

A post shared by Shannon Xenos (@simplexity85) on

Day 2 of the #flatschallenge is what's in your stash? Our full time stash is flats anyways so I'll name our stash. We have 18 GMD muslin flats, 24 GMD birdseye flats and 6 bamboo flats. We als9 have about a dozen flannel receiving blankets we've collected and used as flats over tge years. For wipes we use 48 osocozy cloth wipes and spray with kisslauvs diaper lotion potion. Covers include 9 thirties duo wrap, 5 flips, 2 Bummis pull ons, and a Disana wool cover. This may sound like a lot but, we use flats for all kinds of other things (especially the muslins) like for a baby towel, underpaid in changing table, Nursing cover, blankie, and the list goes on. We are to put the cost in this post. This stash was right around 300 dollars but I have way more than I need. Plus, this was purchased over a long period of time and half of the items are currently being used in the 2nd baby! #mygmdbaby #flatsforthewin #bringflatsback
A post shared by Emily Griffie (@griffie.emily) on

Follow these mamas on Instagram and be sure to tag all of your posts with the #flatschallenge hashtag.

Bloggers, link up below!

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