5.29.2012

Flat Diapering, Chas’ Perspective

As many of you know, my lovely wife has been partaking in what has been called the “flats challenge” or as I like to call it the, “you’re doing what?” challenge. For one week you use only old school flat diapers that, depending on your age, either your parents used or your grandparents used and the kicker is that you HAND WASH them. Our initial discussion went something like this:


“It’s a contest” she tells me. (I never recall referring to it as a contest)

“What do you win?” - thinking we might at least get some free diapers or Kelly’s Closet credits out of this

“Nothing” she says.

It is at this point that I realize despite my wife’s knowledge of how to legally promote an online giveaway she may not understand what the word “contest” means. To me, the word contest means that there may be some amount of skill involved and the winner walks away with some type of prize, but that’s beside the point…. but I’m getting off on a tangent.
flats challenge
When snapping out the water before hanging be sure to not
get any in your face

flats challenge
My beautiful wife, the Cloth Diaper Evangelist. "Lets do
the flat challenge!"
flats challenge
This challenge is going to be harder than we thought, "Why
exactly can't we use the washing machine again?"
What I want to talk about is my perceptions of the past week. What I have learned from my lovely wife and what I wish I would have known long before we started this whole flats challenge.

You can cloth diaper your kid even cheaper than I had originally thought AND you don’t have to sacrifice convenience in doing so! They are just as convenient as modern cloth.


We traveled this week to Jenny’s parents and stayed a few days. Her dad’s reaction to this challenge would probably sum up what those of us who love a struggling cloth diaper addict, er I mean evangelist, felt when we learned about the challenge. The following is a text message conversation between myself and her dad who was at work at the time

Me: “My wife is washing diapers in your tub…”
Jenny’s Dad: “Is the washing machine broken”
Me: “Nope. All the money you spent on private school and she’s washing flat fold diapers in the tub… a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
Jenny’s Dad: “I work hard to make sure that machine works good. Education money well spent.”

Despite my sarcasm I would say that it was education money well spent, because I did learn something that was pretty cool and I wish that I had known when we decided to buy our first cloth diapers. You don’t have to buy the “modern” cloth. You can get out much cheaper and not have to sacrifice anything other than a few brain cells learning how to fold a flat. Here’s a little comparison chart - just because I like things in tables…


flat cloth diapers
Click on the table to make larger
So I can honestly say that If I had it to do over again our stash probably would have primarily been a flat stash…I just don’t see the advantage in modern cloth when compared head to head… Just use your washing machine on them for pete’s sake and forget about hand washing unless you have no other alternative.


If you participated in this year’s challenge let us know why you did it? Was it to prove that you could? Was it to get that sense of nostalgia, the whole “this is how my grandparents did things” feeling. Was it to prepare for some kind of economic crisis when diapers wouldn’t be available?


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