I first heard about the Flats and Handwashing Challenge last year, right after the challenge ended. I thought it was a neat idea then. I’d been actively helping at Fluff Love & CD Science for about 6 months and had become more and more enamored with all things cloth diaper the more I learned. I was kind of bummed I missed the challenge but thought it was maybe for the best because twins in cloth is a little daunting on its own.
Fast forward a year and a half and it’s time for the challenge again. I hemmed and hawed about joining all the way up until about 6 pm the night before the challenge. I thought it would be hard, a pain, and that I might not have time. I’d gathered my supplies and decided what wash method I was going to use but was having a hard time taking the leap.
Then I thought about all the parents I’ve helped through the facebook group and how many people I’d come across who had limited resources who made cloth diapers work. I’m not rich by any means but I’ve been blessed to have an entire cloth stash provided to me by my awesome mommy and access to a washer and dryer through most of my cloth journey. I thought, what if I hadn’t had those resources? Would I still cloth diaper or would I struggle to buy disposables every few weeks? I live in an area that doesn’t have a lot of resources for poor people, there aren’t well stocked diaper banks here. Would I have had to choose between diapers and food if I hadn’t had access to cloth diapers?
Cloth diapers have been an excellent resource for me. I’ve been able to save money and my kids really like the fun prints I have but I’ve noticed a trend on social media that makes me sad. I’ve seen over and over disparaging remarks about old school diaper methods like flats, prefolds, and diaper pins. I see so many expensive pockets, AIOs, and WAHM diapers in my online groups. Sometimes I’ve even been guilty of forgetting that there are diaper options for folks who can’t afford fancy diapers. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to support all the WAHM if I could but it’s just not financially feasible for me and many others.
I’m doing this challenge for all those parents and caregivers who are in a similar or worse financial position as me. Cloth isn’t just for people who can afford all the expensive diapers. It’s something that nearly everyone can truly benefit from and should be accessible to everyone, especially those who struggle financially. I want to show that cloth diapering can be done on a minimal budget, with limited resources with no stigma attached.