I’m participating in Dirty Diaper Laundry’s 4th annual Flats & Handwashing challenge. One week, no washer, no dryer, no problem. It’s often said that modern cloth diapers aren’t your Grandma’s cloth diapers. Well this week, they are.
My Grandmothers-in-law and my Mother’s Mother all used flats on their babies. All 3 had a washing machine, though I heard several stories of diapers freezing on the clothes line! I didn’t get a chance to talk to my Father’s Mother about diapers before she passed away, but I know she used cloth diapers. In fact, I got to see the cutest photo of my dad in a coverless, pinned flat!
My Grandmother raised my infant father in a home with a dirt floor and outhouse, so I think it’s safe to assume that she handwashed quite often. I don’t know if she went to a laundromat occasionally or not. (This wasn’t that long ago; my Dad is only 59.) Later in his childhood, my single, working Grandmother did buy a house with a floor and indoor plumbing (for $6,000 if I remember correctly.)
I don’t find using flats to be difficult at all. In fact, with a cover and pad folding, a flat works as well as a pricey AI2, if not better, since they wash up so easily. Our Grandmothers didn’t have to worry about fancy detergents and complicated wash routines, or fears of repelling and voided warranties. I don’t find hand washing to be as easy, and I’m doing this in a fancy utility sink with hot, running water. I took the photo above in my Grandmother’s basement last month. Her husband, my step-grandfather, passed away and we were able to go in the house before everything was auctioned. She had two of these wringer washers, and used them up until the end. I imagine she was extremely grateful when she got a washing machine – I wish I’d been able to talk to her about it.
These may be “my Grandmother’s diapers” but I still have it a lot better than they did, even without my washing machine.
Have you ever talked to your Grandparents about cloth diapers?