Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thoughts on Flats

Tomorrow morning is supposed to start the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  I'm still really trying to decide if I'm participating.  I mean, I've been totally getting ready, as if I'm totally going to do this.  But then this evening I realized ... I have misgivings.

Maybe this is healthy.  Maybe this is all going to be dispelled by actually, you know, USING the flats we have been gifted.  Which is why I'm chosing to write this post.  Expressing these thoughts is a good idea, I realized tonight as I'm pulling these diapers out of the dryer and STILL wondering what diaper, exactly, am I going to put on her when she wakes up in the morning.

Concerns:

Are these diapers going to actually, you know, work?  I'm concerned about absorbency.  My little one is 2 now, and is getting into potty training.  She saves up her pee and seems to let go of it all at once (which is a sign of potty readiness).  If she'd been a newborn, or some number of months old less than 18, I think I'd have less reservation about this.  Perhaps flats is a great idea for new parents, but is it so great for older (or bigger) babies?  (I guess we'll find out!)

Why 5 covers?  Why not 4, or 6?  Any why not limit the number of wetbags, since that can be an even bigger expense than covers?  As I hung my $28 WAHM-made wetbag on the back of the bathroom door this evening, I thought "you know, if a mama can only afford birdseye flats, she can't afford this wetbag".  Why isn't that included in the meme?

I have to admit, one of my stumbling blocks is the issue about what mamas can participate in the meme.  You're only supposed to link up and do the survey if you do the flats challenge full time.  Out of 8 days of the challenge, my kid will be in daycare 3 of those days.  Meaning pockets (still cloth diapers!) instead of flats.  But also meaning ... I'm not supposed to participate.  It's apparently a SAHM meme, and those of us with professions that require us to obtain care for our children to bring home a paycheck are not welcome to link up.  Even if its only 3 of the 8 days.

The survey, I can totally understand.  When one is doing any kind of research project, one usually wants to gather data from a specific population.  I have no intention of corrupting the data pool by participating in the research project if I can't fully comply with the requirements by the researchers (even if said researcher is a mom with a blog who knows nothing about IRBs,use of human subjects, informed consent, or scientific method).  I never had any intention of completing the survey if I didn't participate fully in the project.

But the linky?

So you think all mamas that are thinking about using flats as cloth diapers don't use daycare?  You think all mamas that are expecting, and broke, and wondering how they're going to use their limited resources, just sit at home all day and have the full capability to use flats every diaper change?  What if they don't fit that profile?  What if they're looking for a mama more like them?  What if they don't care how the SAHM's use flats, what if they want to know how it worked for a mama whose kid is in daycare 3 days a week?  What if the details like "flats work great, so only get 12 pockets to deal with daycare days" is a helpful bit of information for them?

So apparently, this has hit a hot button for me.  It's totally not that big of a deal.  It's just annoying.

Another thought: I really love prefolds.  It's not that expensive to build your stash in prefolds.  You're still doing cotton diapers and covers.  You can still hand wash and hang to dry.  You can still save money (unless you go hemp, which are the prefolds I prefer).  I actually look forward to days that I'm home with my kid if all our prefolds are clean and folded and ready to go.  I used prefolds on her exclusively from 6 weeks to 4 months when we started daycare.  So I'd be doing this flats challenge that I can't link up to, rather than just using our hemp prefolds that I love so much.

I still don't know what I'm doing in the morning.  Tomorrow is a daycare day.  I could put a flat and cover on her in the morning, and take pockets as usual.  Or I could just start on Tuesday when I'm home with her.  I haven't decided on covers, since I have 6 in my normal rotation (which one doesn't get used?).

But I did receive a wonderful care package of flats from Funky Mama Bird that I really would like to use.  I did bring detergents up from the laundry room to the kitchen, since I'll be handwashing in the kitchen sink.  I have considered how the challenge will add to my view of cloth diapering, so I'm excited about trying flats.  I'm just not sure I'm going all in for the challenge. 

I'll let you know in the morning.

1 comment:

Serifm said...

This is what I don't understand about the challenge. Prefolds are better...and CHEAPER, if you have to double your flats. Whose idea was this?