Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 28

Flats & Handwashing Challenge with Organizer Jenny

Jenny from Cloth Diaper Revival joins me to talk about the 2019 Flats & Handwashing Challenge. If you have no idea what the Flats & Handwashing Challenge then this is a good episode for you. The show is all about the basics, what to expect and where to find some more information. If you have more questions wander over to her Facebook group for some support. 

 The Cloth Diaper Podcast is now the host of the Flats & Handwashing Challenge. To Learn More visit 



Cloth Diaper Revival

Jenny was the 2017-2019 Host of the Flats & Handwashing Challenge. She is the blogger at Cloth Diaper Revival.

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Show Transcription

Flats & Handwashing Challenge 2019

This is the 9th Year. It started with Kim Rosas and Dirty Diaper Laundry as an advocacy week for Diaper Need. She worked closely with Giving Diapers Giving Hope (now closed). It was a way to show that it is doable in an inexpensive and without the use of laundry facilities. 

In the past two years we’ve seen the Rebecca Foundation and Giving Diapers Giving Hope close. The access to resources of cloth diaper donations is limited, but it is still a great way to show people that it is manageable. 

Bailey & Jenny talk about their why’s and experience around the Flats Challenge. Bailey talks about learning and knowing to share information. Jenny talks about some of the challenges post-birth and hosting one last year. 

This is not for everybody. There are times that this won’t work for you. 

What is a Flat Cloth Diaper? Throw back, it is a single layer of fabric and it’s typically cotton but it can be really any absorbent textile like Flour Sack Towels. You then fold it into layers to create absorbency. There is no waterproof cover. You do have to add a waterproof cover. It doesn’t have to be something you buy. 

Learn more about the rules of the Flats & Handwashing Challenge. 

How do you hand wash cloth diapers?

One of the most popular ways is the camp bucket style with a  bucket and plunger. Check out Kim’s video. 

Jenny said she’s always just hand washed in the sink or tub with the tiniest amount of detergent. If you think about what you use in your washing machine, you need significantly less. 

Bailey said she loved using the wash board last year. I always tried the Scrubba bag, and meh. 

Who Can Participate?

Anyone with a child still in diaper, and that’s about it. Anyone around the world using and handwashing flat diapers for a child. 

Don’t underestimate your influence to your local circle. Just because you aren’t a full fledged blogger or creator or instagram person, don’t let those titles keep you from sharing about cloth diapering, or your experience with the flats and handwashing challenge. 

Why should you join?

 It’s a great way to challenge yourself, to have more knowledge, and see what’s out there. You just never know when you’re going to encounter a family in need. Or in your local community support others. 

Diaper need is such huge issue. It’s a great way to show someone that they don’t have to struggle to diaper their baby. 

It’s not an all or nothing kind of thing – cloth diapering can be that little thing you can do every now and then to reduce your struggle. 

What can someone expect during the week of the challenge. 

May 13 – 19, 2019 – starting that morning you commit to using flats and no washing machine. 

Go into it thinking, yes you’re going to do it, but if something comes up that’s a great learning experience. It doesn’t mean you failed, you learnt something. 

Some people chose to blog and share about, but sharing about your community is great during the week. You can also join the Flats Challenge Facebook Group to find some conversations and idea. 

What’s your biggest Challenge with the Flats Challenge?

Folding is the easy part, she just pad-folds. Last year the struggle was keeping up washing the diapers. It’s about 20 minutes of manual labor to just wash the diapers for one day, so it can be a lot on top of everything else. 

Is there any limit to the cost?

No. Many families challenge themselves to do it on a budget, or as cheap as possible. But you can pick up diapers at a retailer, or repurpose what you already have. 

You can use a nighttime diaper of your choice, but you do have to handwash the diaper.  There are a ton of great overnight cloth diaper choices out there, and you can seek out some support in the Facebook group or with old content. Two flats paired together can be a great strategy for many families.  This was my solution for my overnight heavy wetter during the first year I participated that I talked about.  There are other blends out there that you can find that are more absorbent. 

To learn more information about the 2019 Flats & Handwashing Challenge check out Cloth Diaper Revival. 

Check out all of Bailey’s past blog posts and videos related to Flat Cloth Diapers & the Flats Challenges


Professional Cloth Diaper Educator

Bailey brings 5+ years of cloth diapering experience and conversation to the cloth diaper space. She's not just your every day mom blogger sharing her experience - Bailey is immersed in the cloth diaper community learning from other parents and growing as an individual. She wants to find the cloth diaper solution that truly works for you.

Bailey believes we need to stop and listen to cloth diapering parents. We need to recognize our own bias and preferences and focus on solutions that work for you, not us. The Cloth Diaper community needs to recognize the privilege of being able to cloth diaper, and provide spaces for more conversations and stories.

Cloth diapering is not about rules but about our own strength as parents to do the best we can for our children with the resources available.

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