5.12.2015

My Flats Challenge Stash - Great for Emergency Preparedness!

Flats Challenge Stash (Photo doesn't include plunger and 5 gallon buckets)

Here is my stash for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. This is also a great cloth diaper stash and hand-washing system for anyone interested in a sustainable or emergency preparedness solution for diapering.

My goal was to keep it under $50. But I will tell you how to build a similar stash for under $20! (The price of one pack of disposable diapers!)

Here is the breakdown of all my supplies and the cost.


Build a Similar Stash for Under $20
Put together a similar stash for under $20 by switching out the Best Bottoms, Rumparooz, and Flip covers for Alva Diaper Covers ($3.99 each)!


Why a Plunger and Two 5 Gallon Buckets?
These will become a hand powered washing machine! Complete with a spin cycle! I'll go into more detail with the specifics of this system on Thursday. This is a fantastic option for laundry in general. Not just for washing cloth diapers.

Many already have some 5 gallon buckets around the home, so you may not have to invest in those. We have found that Lehi Bakery has the cheapest option at under $2 per bucket. I bought my plunger from Dollar Tree. 

Flats
Flats are a single layer piece of fabric that act as the absorbent layer for the diaper. The benefits of flats are that they clean easily, dry quickly, and they can be folded in numerous ways to fit the needs of your child from newborn to toddler.

You can use purchased cotton flats, hemp flats, bamboo flats, re-purposed T-shirts, receiving blankets, burp cloths, or even flour sack towels from your kitchen! Tomorrow I'll write about how I re-purposed 7 T-shirts to create my flats.

How many flats do you need for your stash? It depends on how often you change diapers and how often you want to do laundry! :) But I recommend a minimum of 12.

Boosters
Boosters add an extra "boost" in absorbancy. They are great for overnight diapers or when you know you need to go a little longer between changes. You simply set a booster into your flat before you fold it onto your child. My personal favorite are hemp boosters, but to keep cost low I used the sleeves from my re-purposed T-Shirts.

Snappies
Snappies are a great alternative to the typical safety pins that hold the flat onto the child. Snappies are a fantastic item to add to your emergency preparedness kit because they easily can turn any piece of fabric into a diaper. 



Covers
The diaper cover is the waterproof layer that goes over the flat. This is where most of your budget will go. There are may options for covers ranging from $2-$30. The white pull on plastic covers with elastic legs can certainly do the job. But I personally prefer my Rumparooz, Best Bottoms, and Flips diapers because they can be adjusted to fit any size and are leak free.

Why do you only need three covers? Covers can be used over and over again. Simply wipe it out between changes and you are good to go. If it becomes soiled, (meaning solid matter leaks onto the cover) it is best to switch it out for another cover. I like to hand wash it immediately, lay it out to dry, and then add it right back into my rotation. How many covers do you need? At least three.

The Rumparooz and Best Bottoms covers are very high quality and durable material. They have snaps that adjust to fit any child from newborn to toddler. They also include double gussets which gives you extra protection from leaks. I've never had a leak with either of these diapers. EVER. Seriously. They are amazing. Best Bottoms is a husband and wife company with their products made in the USA, so I love supporting them with my business. Plus they make a truly fantastic diaper. 


I included the Flip diaper cover in my stash to add variety because of their unique design. Fold your flat diaper into a "pad fold" and simply set it in. No Snappi required! They also have snaps that adjust to fit any child from newborn to toddler. Only a single gusset system, but still a great cover.


Other great covers to check out: Thirsties ($13), Buttons ($11), g-diaper ($15), Imagine ($9), and Alva ($4).

While I love Grovia, and have a few in my regular stash, I don't recommend their hybrid covers for use with flats. The mesh interior makes it more difficult to wipe and reuse for multiple diaper changes. They are best used with their snap in inserts with water resistant backing.

Cloth Baby Wipes

For a sustainable option for wipes, a receiving blanket cut into squares works fantastic. Just wet down a square before you use it and then toss it into your wet bag with your diaper. 

Wet Bag / Garbage Bag and Plastic Bag

A garbage bag or wet bag is needed to store your diapers when they are soiled and waiting to be washed.No need to be fancy, but the pail liner is more sustainable. The grocery bag is great for when you are on the go.

My usual stash I use a pail liner and a travel size wet/dry bag
Optional Items
If your child is not yet eating solids, you can toss your soiled diapers right into the bag without rinsing. This is because infant poop is completely water soluble. Once baby starts eating solids you need to shake, swoosh or spray solids from the diaper into the toilet before you wash. This is where fleece liners and diaper sprayers that attach to the toilet come in handy.

A diaper sprayer is like the spray attachment on a kitchen sink. Use it to spray the solids off rather than "dunking and swooshing" the diaper in the toilet.

Fleece liners (you can buy or make your own) are set into the diaper closest to baby's bum. They catch the solid matter on a fabric that you can easily shake into the toilet. The solids come right off and the fleece. It also acts as a "stay dry" layer to keep your baby's bum feeling dry.



My stash for this challenge is definitely more of a "roughing it" stash geared towards an emergency preparedness kit. While I have learned that I can certainly make do with my flats challenge stash, I do love my usual stash. Above is a photo of my complete cloth diaper stash. It is still a lower budget option at $210. Perhaps after the challenge I will do a post about my everyday stash.

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