Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Real Diaper Week Day 3: Cloth Diapering on a Budget

This post is part of the Real Diaper Week Blog Hop.

Do you remember the Flat's Challenge?  If not I will remind you about it a little.  It was a challenge (last year) that Kim from Dirty Diaper Laundry challenged people to because of this article.  Basically families that were feeling the pinch would dump out disposable diapers or even rinse them out and reuse them over and over.  This is NOT healthy for any baby.  It's not healthy to NOT change baby's diapers and disposable diapers are meant to be thrown away.


I felt inspired so I joined.  I wanted to join to show to myself and others that it is possible to cloth diaper inexpensive and easily even if you don't have access to a washer.  As long as you have clean water and even detergent from the store in a pinch you're good to go.  Here's my first post about joiningThis is about why we cloth diaper and our newborn stash.  We still have basically the same set up but pretty much use flats and prefolds exclusively (with wool and sometimes PUL).  If you're looking for organization ideas I think you'll find that post to be very helpful.  It's very easy to keep diapering simple if you have a great way to organize them on the changing table.

This post is wonderfully written by Cotton Babies.  It links to several different ways to cloth diaper when you have nothing or very little.  Here's how I addressed the issue last year.  This is a collection of my pre-flats challenge postsThis is from another blogger-everything she used for the challenge came from Walmart.   

Here's the nitty-gritty though.  This is a link back to the original post written last year. 
We've been in a situation in our VERY recent past (during my pregnancy with Baby K) that we wouldn't have been able to buy diapers period.  No cloth, no nothing.  We could barely buy groceries.  Ok, let's be honest-we had to have help to even buy groceries.  We made "too much" to qualify for any assistance but had too much going out in medical bills and everything else to be able to afford anything really.  I sat home other than my appointments with my midwife.  Monkey and I went to the library every so often but we couldn't go on any playdates or see other people.  It got to the point we could only drive to church and to see family once in a while.  It was rough and super embarrassing.  I cried a lot.  I didn't feel like doing much including blogging.  I still made sure Monkey was reading books often but that's about all we did!  We had already canceled everything we possibly could that we weren't under contract for (stupid satellite-we couldn't afford to break the contract though!).  Our A/C broke and we couldn't afford to have anyone look at it.  We sat here burning up in the heat and trying to save money by keeping stuff off.  It sucked.  I was SUPER grateful we used cloth diapers because Monkey needed something to keep him dry at bed and nap (he's been day trained since 18 months).  I'm not saying this to get sympathy or anything-it is what it is.  We learned a lot and I learned how to help us eat super cheap and we learned to be grateful for VERY small blessings.  I didn't think at all to wash laundry by hand though or anything like that.

The flats challenge opened up my mind to washing something by hand besides wool diaper covers or some of those things you have to hand wash.  Hubby lived in Brazil for 2 years (while serving his LDS mission) and had to wash his laundry by hand.  He was fortunate to have a clothesline-I don't have that "luxury" nor am I allowed to with my HOA.  I did find out about this: $5 indoor clothes line and we plan to make one once we move.  I do have a small drying rack but it's just enough to hang dry the kids clothes (we have a high heat only drier so I hang dry most of my clothes and the boys' clothes-I have one little shelf in my laundry room plus this drying rack and use our towel rack in our bathroom and our banisters for diapers, clothes, etc).  I also found out about this: Breathable Washer (I also learned about this but didn't think it will suit our needs of washing laundry for our whole family while hubby is in graduate school).  Learning about these from links from Dirty Diaper Laundry and other ladies doing the challenge I decided that I *CAN* do our laundry by hand if I need to.  We won't be able to afford laundry facilities and we possibly won't be able to get an apartment or rent a home with washer and drier hookups.  I wasn't even open to this a few weeks ago.  I guess I can sit here and say I'm open to doing it with the luxury of a working washer and drier but I do feel like I can do it if that's what I need to do.

I'm super grateful that Kim started this.  Yet another small blessing.  Also, we were able to get some stuff paid off and got some SUPER good news when it came to insurance so I decided with the little extra we have to help a couple other mamas out by buying their flats for the challenge.  I offered to pay the mama back that bought ours (I'm still VERY grateful for her help-I didn't think we were going to be able to do it but we got really good news and were able to pay for things that we didn't think we could!) but she said to buy them for another mom instead.  I put out the offer and had two respond fairly quickly.  I wish I could have helped a third but I can't.  I hope the two mamas I'm helping will be able to use the diapers for a long time to come.  I know we'll be able to use them on Baby K's tushie and any other babies that we will welcome while hubby is in grad school or after.
 It sucks to not have and not be able to get diapers.  It is possible to use towels and even cut and do minimal sewing to make your own diapers if you're in a pinch.  Hopefully someone has found this post informative.  It's very possible to cloth diaper when you don't have much money.  There's also cloth diapering banks that serve poor families and help them to keep babies in cloth or help them to free up money to purchase their own diapers.  Kim from Dirty Diaper Laundry did an excellent post recently on diaper banks and included info on several.  Diaperswappers is a great place to find inexpensive or sometimes even free for shipping diapers.  Many mamas would love to help a family in need too!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a custom Monkey Bunns wool soaker!


This morning the Second Flat's challenge was revealed.  While I do not plan on participating due to my baby's medical issues (my diapers didn't get clean enough) and my out of control asthma (I know there's no way I could handle the washing right now) I highly recommend participating.  Here's more info.


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