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February 27, 2011

2000-1000 Giveaway!

If you haven't already been to our facebook page to enter our big 2,000-1,000 fan appreciation giveaway head over there soon! Once we reach 2,000 facebook likers AND 1,000 blog followers we will close down the giveaway and pick our winners!

February 26, 2011

Cutey Baby "Thats a Wrap"

Some of us have had experience with the brand of cloth diapers called Cutey Baby. I had purchased a "That's a Wrap" diapering system of theirs a while ago and although I loved the prints they offer and the fact that it had a nice fit on my baby I wasn't that impressed with it. I also like that they sell their diapers in supermarkets like Meijer, where I got mine or other stores like Jewel Osco. I was recently allowed the oppertunity to use and review thier new updated version of the "That's a Wrap" diapering system.

They sent me a medium blue/navy colored diaper,
a 2 pk of their inserts and a roll of disposable liners.

It might be kind of hard to see but in the picture below it shows (on the left) numbers on each of their items. These are the 'steps' (order) that you use the items in. This may seem kind of 'duh' to a lot of us with lots of cloth diapering experience but if you had no clue as to what cloth diapering is today this would come in rather handy.

The inserts that you use with the "Thats a wrap" are made of microfiber and have a top layer of fleece. They are sewn together in two layers to help make drying time faster. They are made with a slight hour glass shape to fit the baby's body.

The inside of the diaper is lined with fleece. As you can see there is a big opening in the middle of the diaper which is where you put the insert in at.

The Outside of the diaper is where I noticed the most change in the new version. They changed the velcro set up on this diaper. Instead of one long strip across the fron they now have a long strip and two little squares. There at no sewn on laundry tabs.

Here is my comparison pictures between the old and the new.
Top left: These are both size medium. I'm not sure if its because the white and green one is a brighter in colors or it the elastic is more stretched out but the old diaper seemed a little bit larger.
Top right: The velcro on the tabs are about the same size. the one on the right is my old version diaper. It curls really bad after just a few washings. I haven't has the new diaper long enough to tell if this will happen with the new version or not.
Bottom pictures show the differences in velrco.

I was hoping these next pictures would have turned out better but oh well. The one on the left is the new diaper under the bottom diaper. The tabs are the main difference in size. They are a little longer and wider. The middle picture shows the 'gussets' on the diapers. The seam is wider in the new version. The last (right) picture shows the back top of the diaper. The stitching on the top is also wider than the old version.

Stuffing the "that's a wrap" diaper is really easy. You tuck one end into the diaper then push the other end up into the other side of the diaper, smooth it flat and your all set to go.

Cutey Baby is having a lot of giveaways through the end of March on their facebook page if you want to check it out.

My thoughts:
When I found out that Cutey Baby had revamped their "That's a Wrap" diaper I was interested in what they had done to improve it. I don't think the changes are anything huge and major but will hopefully improve them. They are easy to use and not really all that bulky. You have to buy the shell and the inserts separate. The shells are around $13 and the inserts are 2 for $10. So they are about the same as a pocket diaper price wise. However if the insert is only wet and not soiled you can remove the insert, let the shell air dry and reuse it. I have also used small prefolds in the shell. The diaper has a pretty good absorbency and It fit my boys fairly well. I wish it had a higher rise. The rise would probably be good for a girl as they don't pee up towards the top but more towards the middle. I really hope that the velcro doesn't curl up on the new diaper as that was my major issue with my old one. They say that the diaper comes with removable laundry tabs but neither of the diapers I have came with any.

February 25, 2011

My Baby's Green Review & Giveaway

My Baby's Green, LLC was started by Rich and Tin with the intent of providing very high quality products that are both environmental and baby friendly. They carry organic toys, Eco-friendly wooden toys, organic baby clothes, reusable snack bags, and cloth diapers and more.

My Baby's Green offers two different cloth diapers. The one pictured down the right side of the screen is their 'fitted' cloth diaper. It is made of organic cotton fleece and is really soft. I had the opportunity to review both of their cloth diapers but will start with this fitted. The picture on the top show the diaper closed. It is very simple and basic. This doesn't feature cross over tabs which is fine because it is a sized diaper. If you were to need the tabs to cross over you should probably go down to the next smaller size. The diaper also features soft elastic around the leg openings. When you open the tabs on the diaper you will see the velcro. If you look at the picture on the right (the second picture down) you will see the velcro. There is a large strip that goes across the waist and then the velcro on the tabs as well as laundry tabs. When I first got this fitted I noticed right away that the velcro is not arranged like a typical velcro diaper. The scratchy part of the velcro is across the waist and the soft part is on the tabs of the diaper. I wasn't sure how this would work out but I gave it a try. I found that this caused my son's tummy to turn red from rubbing on him. There is a thin strip of fabric that goes above the velcro but it usually folded down inward when it was in use causing the velcro to be exposed against the skin. The laundry tabs worked well for the tabs of the diaper but there wasn't anything to put over the large strip of velcro (the scratchy, sticky part) that went across the waist. This resulted in a large lump of chained diapers. Not something you want to see when washing diapers. The inside of this diaper features a long strip of the organic cotton fleece. This is easily adjustable to fold to fit the needs of your boy or girl. You can fold it all towards the front of the diaper for a boy or you can fold it all in the middle of the diaper for a girl. You can see in the picture at the right that the strip is sewn in at just one end.

Overall I wasn't totally impressed with this fitted diaper. I think if the velcro would have been switched around it would have been more impressive. The material is thin and doesn't hold much liquid in. It did have a nice fit on my boys though. You can get this right now on their site for $5.47 and it is usually $12.95. You would want to get an extra insert to put in this for more absorbency if baby is going to be in it a few hours.

The second diaper that My Baby's Green sells is a pocket diaper. This diaper can be used as an All In Two diaper or as a pocket diaper. There is a snap located in the back to hook the insert to or you can slide it into the pocket. This diaper is really cute and made well. I tried it on my 10 month old and the tabs were way to long, even with the cross over tabs in use. I couldn't get it tight enough around his waist. So the next time, I put this diaper on my toddler and I was able to get it on him with the cross over tabs as tight as they go. I adjusted the rise to a smaller setting to make up for his skinny chicken legs (sorry I call his skinny legs chicken legs ;) ). The diaper looked like it had a great fit on him. While we were playing in the living room I noticed him acting kind of funny and looked over to see that he had started peeing and it went right out of the diaper and I noticed streaks of pee going down the leg of his pants. Turns out, because this diaper was as tight as it would go, he got wing droop and the front sides of this diaper dropped down causing the leg openings to get quite large allowing this to happen. I was really disappointed in this. I knew this diaper would be a great diaper, but it wouldn't fit on my baby or super skinny boy. I wanted to give it one more chance so I mailed it...that's right... I MAILED it states away to Terra, my wonderful contributor, to try out on her boys. Here is her experience.

Well, for starters, I tried it out on my youngest, since it is a one-size diaper. He does have a little waist, but, we've never had issues with diapers fitting. I will let the picture say just about everything:
There was no velcro for the diaper to attach to that far over rending the diaper useless on my infant.

Since that obviously didn't work, I headed over to my toddler. He's about 32lbs or so. While it did fit him better, there was still some 'overlap'.

While it is a very trim fit, you can see in this picture where the velcro tab sticks out over the diaper.
There is a pocket with insert that snaps in. The diaper is designed so that you do not need to remove the insert (it comes out in the wash). But you do need to unsnap the insert (and if you're worried about touching a pee soaked insert, you can get this unsnapped without touching the insert). That lone snap on the back of the diaper is the back of the snap where the insert attaches.
The diaper had a funny fit to it, almost like there was too much diaper. If I lowered the rise snaps, the diaper didn't fit at all. (In looking back at Kristina's picture, the diaper laid out does look huge compared to other diapers I own).
Here is a close up of where the velcro overlaps. It isn't a lot of overlap, and for us, didn't affect the use of the diaper (more on that in a second), but, still, there's overlap - almost like the loop portion (of the hook and loop/velcro) needed an extra inch or more. (Ignore the fuzzies in the velcro - that's from our wool dryer balls, hehe).
The diaper has worked great for us (on my toddler. I never was able to get it to fit on my 6 month old). We have not had any leaks with this diaper, even though the front fits a bit funny. The back is a perfect fit and has contained all messes. This would be a great diaper for big babies, or toddlers who have a chunky waist, but for itty bitty waists, not so much.

February 24, 2011

Fleece Cover Review (Featuring Paper From Heaven)

Around Thanksgiving of last year, Kristina tickled my ears with talk of fleece covers. I had never used them and was quite baffled at how they could really work. We ordered a couple (and, along with my review of a pair of fleece longies from FluffyRumps) and before I knew it, I had a new found addiction. I was obsessed with fleece, not to mention how affordable fleece covers are!

About a month ago, I won a contest on Paper From Heaven's Facebook page. She put a call out to help design new covers and I won the boy version. As my prize, I got to pick that cover in any size I would like. I chose a large for my youngest since we use fleece on him every night (so we load up a fitted with doublers making his bottom rather large!)

We found out at Caedmon's 6 month appointment that he's a smidge over 19lbs - but very (very) long. So, he's a tad disproportioned - big ol thighs, high rise and itty bitty waist. (I was taking these pictures after a night of sleep. Since he has a fitted on under the fleece cover, that fitted is SOAKED. To spare myself the trouble of changing a blanket everyday on his changing area, I slip a prefold underneath to 'catch' the fitted).

You can see a bit of gap around his waist and thighs, but we never have leak issues.**
As you can see, it is a snug fit on the bottom. Again, you can see there's some 'gapage' around the waist, seriously though, no leaks!**
And then, the cute part! I mean. Really.
This particular fleece cover (along with any others that we use at night) have an extra layer sewn into the wet zone which helps keep your child dry at night. He is fine unless I pick him up and squeeze him - that's asking for wet clothing for mama!

**Below is the only reason we ever have leaks. If there is any part of the fitted (or prefold) peeking out from the cover. Last night was one of those nights. Caedmon moved around a ton in his sleep and this morning our entire bed (he's still in our bed) was soaked. So, it's a sheet-laundry day for mama.
I highly encourage you, if you want to see some cute goodies, head on over to Paper From Heaven's etsy shop. She even has matching t-shirts and bibs (and not just sock monkeys!) She has dinos, owls, rocket ships, hearts....

I think it's safe to say, I big puffy heart fleece.

So, have you used fleece covers before? Are you as addicted as I am?

February 22, 2011

Soft Bottoms Detergent

Finding a detergent that is safe for cloth diapers is work in itself. You want to protect your wonderfully built stash and not have to worry about using a detergent that is going to ruin your diapers. I have problems finding detergents that are good for me to use because my toddler breaks out in major rashes from certain brands. So when I was contacted by Selestial Soap to review a couple of their products I was rather hesitant. Number one, I didn't want to worry about my diapers getting ruined because of a bad detergent. Number two, I really really didn't want my son's poor bottom to turn into a tomato! I decided to give it a try and do the review.

They sent me their new product called Soft Bottoms. This is a detergent that is 100% natural. It is safe and gentle on baby's extra sensitive skin. There are no dyes, scents or brighteners, it is super concentrated, hypo allergenic, deep cleaning, leaves no residue, non toxic, no surfactants, and is non-sudsing. Plus its CLOTH DIAPER friendly! This comes in an 8 ounce bottle that will do 10 loads of laundry/diapers.

The other product they sent me was their Selestial Sun. This is a natural bleach alternative made with water and hydrogen peroxide. This is also diaper friendly. There are no dyes, fragrances, non-toxic, no phosphates, no optical brighteners, no chlorine bleach, degradable and is not tested on animals.

What did I think?

Over all this worked pretty well with washing my diapers. I did notice after a couple of washes that my diapers were smelling sort of funny. I like to give products that I am reviewing a good time frame before making any judgements on performance. That is why I continued to use the Soft Bottoms detergent. The smell did disappear after that one washing. I' m not sure if it was just the other detergents that I had used coming out that was causing the smell or what but it did go away and that was all that mattered. Stinky diapers are not fun at all. Another thing with the Soft Bottoms detergent was that I didn't notice much as far as my son's skin acting up because of this detergent. His bottom did not turn into a bright red tomato! Woohoo!

The Selestial Sun that I was sent is a nice alternative to bleach. I can honestly say that I have NEVER used bleach on my diapers...I think in the almost 5 years that my hubby and I have been married I have never even purchased bleach. I don't like the smell of it, I don't like that if you get on little drip on your cloths they are going to end up with white spots all over them and its not the safest thing to have around. So having the Selestial Sun to use (especially in the winter) was nice. You just add a little bit to each load of diapers to help keep them from getting major dark stains.

February 21, 2011

Apple Cheeks Review and Givaway

*This review contains the word poo...a lot.

I had seen Apple Cheeks Diapers here and there online and was semi curious about them. They have a look that that is unique. A look that stands out and catches your eye. So when I got the chance to review a couple I was pretty happy. Because I have 2 in cloth they sent me 2 to review. A stunning yellow and a light blue. They also sent me a roll of disposable liners to try out as well.
I like that they use minimal packaging on their diapers.
The diapers are sized. I got the size 2 (large) for both of the diapers I reviewed. You can kind of see from the picture below that the Apple Cheeks diaper has a unique look from other diapers. I like how its rounded almost.
Both the front and back of this diaper has elastic. I like that this diaper has the front waist elastic because it holds down the shell to help reduce leaking. Sometimes when you put a lot of extra inserts into a diaper it gaps away from the belly. With the extra elastic here it keeps that from happening.
The diapers came with a rayon and bamboo mix organic cotton fleece insert. This is a large rectangle comparable to a prefold in size. I was really surprised at how soft this is and how soft it has stayed. I haven't had any issues with this pilling or fraying. It is so soft you can use it on the outside of the pocket against baby's skin or you can tuck it into the pocket.
The inside of this diaper is super soft and has stayed pretty soft after multiple washings. One thing I was worried about was the elastic around the legs. It didn't seem like it would be tight enough around the legs. When you look at this elastic compared to other brands its doesn't seem as thick or durable, but when I had it on my boys I was very happy because I never had leaks from the legs unless I waited to long to change them. I also like this elastic because it's NOT the thick elastic that you see in other diapers. I didn't have any issues with the boys getting red marks on their thighs from these diapers. Very impressive!
The pocket location of this envelope cover is definitely new to me. Almost every pocket diaper I have used has had the pocket opening at the front or the back. This pocket is located about 1/3 down from the back. The opening is very wide (their site says perfect for daddys hands!) and easy to stuff. You just pull the front of the insert down into the pocket opening then you turn the diaper around and kind of roll with your hand the rest of it into the other pocket opening. ( I don't know if that will make sense!)
Here is the pocket with the insert inside. Once you get it in you just spread the fleece flat down and your all set. On the first try out of this diaper my son had to go poo of course. It unfortunately wasn't his typical solid poo but a nice soft/runny one. I instantly knew this wasn't going to be pretty to clean up. Because of the location of the pocket opening the poo went in to the pocket. YUCK! Not to mention trying to get the insert out of the pocket to clean up...impossible to do with out getting POO on your fingers. HOWEVER...a key feature of the wide pocket opening is the fact that it will unstuff itself in the wash, so you don't have to reach into the poopy mess!I went in and sprayed it off but the poo got stuck in the pocket and so I had to turn the diaper inside out and spray it again. It was not pleasant. *The rest of the poo's experienced with this diaper have been solid and have proved to be no problem! Thank Goodness! That was just so gross and it gave me a bad first impression of this diaper. Before I put the Apple Ccheeks on my son's cheeks again I made sure to use the disposable liners. That probably would have helped contain the poo to the outside of the pocket had I used it in the first diaper.
Anyways....enough about poo. Here is the diaper on my 20 pound 9 month old. The diaper has two rows of waist snaps so you can slightly adjust the thighs or the waist a little looser if you need to. This helps get a good fit on the baby. I had the snaps as tight as they went in the picture below. The diaper looks like it was stretching some across the waist but it actually had a great fit.
The back side actually looks pretty trim and not all puffed out like some other diapers. This is mostly because it has the nice thin bamboo/rayon insert vs. microfiber which I think is bulky.
Then a side shot of the bum.
After we got past the first horrible poo episode I was pleasantly surprised with this diaper. I did hesitate the next few times putting it on the boys because I was for sure I would have a big ole' nasty mess on my hands again (Literally) but it actually went really good. I didn't have any other problems with poo going into the pocket of this diaper. I like the elastic on this diaper because it doesn't leave red marks on the boys legs and waist. The fabric sort of folds out words rather than being sewn in and around the elastic which I think helps.

I did have trouble with this diaper leaking, mainly during nap time because of my belly sleeping boys...everything was in the front! If they wore it for nap time they leaked but I was easily able to solve that problem by putting a hemp insert in the rectangle insert that I received and didn't have any other leaks with it.

*I received two diapers and a roll of flush-able/disposable liners to use and review. I was not paid in any way to write this review. It is of my own personal experiences and yours may differ from mine.

APPLE CHEEKS HAS OFFERED ONE LUCKY WINNER A DIAPER OF THEIR OWN! To enter to win fill out the form below. Here are some helpful links you might need:
Apple Cheeks
Apple Cheeks on Facebook
Apple Cheeks on Twitter
Apple Cheeks Blog


February 18, 2011

Snugglebottoms Fitted Review

A couple of months ago, we started using fleece covers on our youngest two at night with a fitted or prefold closest to their skin, so I was thrilled to have the chance to try out a Snugglebottoms Fitted from Baby Bunz & Co. Baby Bunz & Co. offers two styles of Snugglebottoms - ones with velcro closure and ones without. Since a Snappi would not work with this type of material, and I own no pins (or Velcro covers), I opted for the velcro fitted. Before long, this little slice of heaven arrived. Seriously. I can't get over how soft it is! (even after numerous washes and wears!)
Here you can see the Velcro tabs. This takes a bit of getting used to, as the tabs open toward the inside of the diaper, as opposed to the outside (see the zoomed picture of the velcro).
See how it opens to the inside. Like I said, a bit getting used to, but I don't really think about it now. It is a bit harder to get a snug fit with a squirmy baby until you get the hang of it.

Here is the Snuggle bottoms laid out. While there are no seam marks on the outside, you can see on the inside where all the absorbency is. I loved reading about the Snugglebottoms from the Baby Bunz & Co. website:
Our affordable SNUGGLEBOTTOMS diapers are made of soft and cozy 100% cotton flannel, with a wide padding of up to 9 layers for great absorbency. They provide trim-fitting coverage at the back and sides, and gently gathered leg openings help to prevent leaks. Great for newborns and breast-fed babies! Trimmer than most fitted cloth diapers, Snugglebottoms fit well in a wide variety of diaper cover styles.

I was also sent an Organic Hemp/Cotton Fleece Doubler. This is naturally bacteria resistant and is made of three layers of hemp/cotton fleece. Perfect when extra absorbency is needed.
a Poly Fleece Diaper Liner. This fleece liner does an amazing job of wicking away moisture during long sleep times.
and an Organic Cotton Doubler - three layers of organic fleecy flannel, also great for extra absorbency.
Typically, at night I use the Organic Hemp/Cotton Fleece doubler with the Poly Fleece Liner closest to his skin.

Here is my lil guy modeling the Snugglebottoms Fitted (size Large) with the Organic Cotton Doubler inside. Since he typically wakes up in the morning, plays for a few minutes, eats and then goes right back to sleep for a couple hours, he needs extra absorbency since it will be a while until next diaper change.
Fairly trim for a fitted with 9 layers of absorbency! While there is some gap at the leg, we've never had a leak.
Squishy, softness from behind!
For daytime use, I pair it with a Thirsties cover and he's ready for a morning of playing, eating and napping (the life, right?)
This has definitely become a favorite, simple fitted for me (I confess, I LOVE crazy prints and cute patterns, but for a natural feel, and nighttime (when no one will see the prints anyways!) this is bliss). I love the natural materials, the soft feel and how incredibly absorbent the Snugglebottoms is.

If you're interested in purchasing the Snugglebottoms, they are sold in 6-packs, ranging from $22-$35, depending on size and closure style. They also come in bleached or unbleached fabric.

Disclaimer: I received one Snugglebottom Fitted with Velcro closures, as well as an Organic Cotton Doubler, an Organic Hemp/Cotton Doubler and a Poly Fleece Liner for review. All opinions are my own and you may have a different experience.