I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post. This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!
One of the neat things about the Flats & Handwashing Challenge is that it was initiated to show low income families that they can cloth diaper for very little money, instead of reusing disposables and having to buy more every month.
While I am using some things that I don't necessarily need, like the pocket diapers for my husband to use and my diaper sprayer, I am trying to also use items that can be pretty easy for the general public to buy.
My supplies and their approximate costs:
Seven flour sack towels, five of which are from Wal-Mart and two that were old kitchen towels being re-purposed. Cost - $4.38
Four receiving blankets that were purchased at Goodwill. Two are regular sized and two are extra large - essentially just longer than normal. Cost - $4
Microfleece liners - I have a handful of these and use them to provide a stay-dry liner between my little one's bum and her diaper. Cost - $5
Covers - Flip Covers. Today we went through three of them because Addie pooped in two and the other was her overnight diaper. Cost - $14 each I also am using a wool cover for nights. I actually did not pay anything for this cover because I won it on Facebook from 123 Cloth Me.
Pockets - Yesterday we used 5 BumGenius 4.0 pockets stuffed with flats, because Daddy only uses Pockets & AIOs. I am not including the cost here because this is not a necessary item.
Wipes - I am using cloth wipes with a homemade solution. You can find my solution recipe on a previous post. I use Bumkins flannel wipes and baby wash clothes. I have 4 dozen wipes total costing about $20 total. Handwashing daily, I only use a dozen max, so you could get away with about $7 worth.
Fasteners - A boingo and snappi, cost about $11 for both
Washer - I am using a 5 gallon bucket and my plunger. The bucket is repurposed as it used to hold salt for our saltwater fish tank. I did not buy a separate plunger; I am using the one that we already had.
Detergent - The detergents I am using are the random samples I have laying around, most of which I got for free at the Great Cloth Diaper Change in my Swag Bag. The rest were freebies that were sent with Diapers I had ordered.
Drying - My diapers are being dried on a tiered drying rack that we have had for years. I can't find the exact model I own, but it seems like most of them are around $25-$30.
So if I add up the values of the necessary items I am using, the cost comes to about $97.50. Now this doesn't include the cost of the detergent, bucket, or plunger because most people will have something laying around they can use for these. Considering the fact that you can buy less expensive covers, or even make them, this isn't so bad. I spent almost $300 on disposables by the time my little one was five months old (averaging $60 each month) I do not feel that a little under $100 on cloth diapers is that big of a reach. For less than the average family spends in two months on disposables, they could cloth diaper their baby through potty training.