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April 30, 2013

Jelly Bean Baby

Today I have a fun new diaper to tell you about. I was given the opportunity to review a "Pocket In Two" style diaper from Jelly Bean Baby. Heidi, the WAHM behind the diaper, calls this a pocket in two because she designs them to have the capability to function as either a pocket diaper or an all in two diaper.

Heidi sent me this cute flower print to review. It is a size medium side snapping diaper, with a weight range of 14-30 lbs. There are a lot of really adorable prints to choose from at Jelly Bean Baby. She really finds some great unique prints!

You can see in this picture above that there are two snaps on the back of the diaper. These are what hold the insert in place on the inside. Whether you use the diaper as a pocket or as an all in two, you can snap it into the back of the diaper and not have to worry about it scooting around inside.

The inner of the diaper is suedecloth to provide a stay dry feeling, so if you need stay dry fabrics against your baby's skin, using this as a pocket is a great option. Heidi told me that as of April 1 she is switching to microfleece as the default inner fabric, with suedecloth as the optional choice. I really like when shops have a choice of inner material, because some families have sensitivities to one or the other.

The insert is made from Zorb II on top and hemp terry cloth on the bottom. If you choose to use the diaper as an all in two, then it will look like the picture above when the insert is all snapped in. The suedecloth flap at the back goes over top of part of the soaker when it is snapped in.

You can see here where the snaps are located under the back flap. One thing that I discovered with this diaper was that if I left the soaker snapped into the diaper, then the whole diaper turned inside out in the wash. It's not a huge issue with the diaper; I have just had to be mindful of not forgetting to unsnap it.

You can see in this picture the nice trim fit we got with this diaper. The soaker is not terribly thick, though it is very absorbent, which is a great thing for creating a trim diaper.

I really like this print on Ava, and have really enjoyed how trim this diaper is underneath clothes. You can see in this next picture that even in the front, this diaper has a nice smooth fit. Ava still has chunky thighs with a skinny little waist, so I did have a little trouble finding the right fit at first. I think she just happens to be right in between the tightest and second tightest waist snap sizes, which is not a fault of the diaper at all. I just choose to err on the side of being a little tight. So you can see here I have the legs on a looser snap than the waist.

Overall this diaper has worked well for us. Aside from Ava's skinny waist, we have gotten a good fit with it. The insert's absorbency and the cute prints are the big selling points for me. I love finding a shop with really unique prints available! The only issue that I could see coming up would be if I had this diaper on a smaller baby who had runnier poops. In that case, the large back flap would make me nervous, since you have to get under it to unsnap the insert. Thankfully for us, Ava is just past the crazy runny poops so I didn't have to worry about it.

Heidi has offered to do a giveaway of a custom Jelly Bean Baby diaper for one of our readers! Enter in the form below.

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April 26, 2013

Sweet Slings

So if you are looking to make your kitchen paperless, what products do you need to purchase? Well, most importantly you need some unpaper towels, but a wet bag to place them in when they're dirty is a huge help too. I had the chance to review both items from a shop called Sweet Slings for this post!

Shanna of Sweet Slings sent me this awesome set of six birdseye cotton unpaper towels and a kitchen wet bag to review for Earth Week. The unpaper towels she makes are one layer of unbleached birdseye cotton with serged edges. You can get just simple natural colored edging or you can get a rainbow set.

The unpaper towels Shanna makes are fantastic! I have come to the conclusion that not all birdseye cotton is created equally in this world. I have other cloths and wipes made with birdseye that are not super absorbent. The birdseye cotton that Shanna uses is fabulous though. I prepped the unpaper towels with some new diapers I had gotten, and the first time I tried one of the Sweet Slings unpaper towels to sop up a spill it sucked all the water up in seconds! These unpaper towels are in constant use in my kitchen now. I save my lesser quality ones for dry spills, and I pull out these towels for the big wet spills that I need a lot of absorbency to clean up. I used to be a paper towel addict, and I have to say these unpaper towels sop up messes better than my former favorite brand of paper towels.

I just love the coffee print fabric that Shanna chose for the wet bag she sent me! I am a coffee addict and love decorating with coffee related things in my kitchen, so this goes perfectly in my house. The 13" x 20" size is perfect for fitting a lot of unpaper towels, dish cloths, and hand towels.

I don't know about you, but I really dislike when I wash diaper wet bags and the PUL comes out of the cotton bag and I have to re-stuff it every. single. time. The wet bags from Sweet Slings are sewn to prevent that problem! I know where I will be getting new wet bags for my diaper laundry the next time I need some. One really unique feature about this wet bag that I love is that the PUL doesn't line the top portion of the bag above the zipper. This means that the top of the bag is just breathable fabric, so even if you close the zipper air can still circulate inside. This can help prevent smells and mildew, which is helpful for the times that I am too lazy to make sure I let the unpaper towels dry before I throw them in the bag!

Shanna has a lot of other really neat items in her shops. She sells via both Etsy and Hyenacart, and has slightly different inventories in each. She makes adorable twirly skirts for little girls, aprons for Mama (I've got my eye on this apple one!), diaper wet bags, diaper stackers, Mei Tais, and ring slings in addition to the unpaper towels and kitchen wet bags! The quality of the stitching on the wet bag and towels I received to review is fantastic and I am sure that all of her other products exemplify the same top notch quality. Shanna has created a discount code for Cloth Diaper Addiction readers for 10% off that will work in both her Hyenacart shop and her Etsy shop. The code is CDAFAN, and any purchase that uses the CDAFAN coupon code between now and May 10, 2013 will receive a free gift with their order! Check out her Facebook page and tell her CDA sent you!

April 25, 2013

Booty Looty Reusable Products

In continuation of our Earth Day focus this month, I have a wonderful WAHM shop to share with you all today. Booty Looty has an awesome selection of reusable products for you, your kids, and your home! Ashlie is the mama behind the shop and sells both via her Facebook page, and via a congo on HyenaCart called Kings of the Castle. Ashlie sent me a set of unpaper towels, a set of wipes, and a set of nursing pads to review.

I love the prints Ashlie uses and I think the little bows for packaging are so cute! The unpaper towels she sent me came in a package of six 12" x 12" towels. They have an adorable pears and apples woven print on the top and a brown terry cloth on the back. Like all unpaper towels I have, I made sure to prep like I would a cloth diaper. Prepping just helps increase the absorbency of the fabric and makes them more effective. Once prepped these still look awesome, and they are so absorbent! I have some other brands that use terry cloth, and the fabric that Ashlie uses is much more absorbent. These have become my go-to cloths for sopping up spills or scrubbing down a counter in my kitchen.

I was so excited when I opened the package and saw that Ashlie chose a cute owl print for the nursing pads. The nursing pads that she makes are about 5 inches in diameter, and I have found that they fit great in all of my nursing bras. She makes them with two layers of flannel and backs them with a layer of fleece for moisture resistance. I am still nursing Ava at fifteen months old, and since she is adding solid foods to her diet her nursing times are very sporadic. I have definitely made use of these to protect my clothes on the days where Ava decides not to nurse much! They work great, and I love how soft they are against my skin.

The set of wipes Ashlie sent me to review are so lovely! They have a flannel print on the top and a bright turquoise organic bamboo velour on the back. The wipes I received are turned and topstitched, but Ashlie also makes serged options so you can choose whichever option you prefer.

These wipes have been really great for diaper changes and wiping noses. I just love velour backed wipes because they maintain their softness for a long time, but still have enough grip to get things clean! I love to keep these wipes in my diaper bag for Ava's nose right now, but they also work so well for wiping up other messes that happen throughout the day. We use cloth for as much as possible in our home and these are a great addition to our cloth options!

I highly recommend the Booty Looty line of reusable products. Ashlie has really affordable pricing, and the quality is just fantastic! Enter in the form below.

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April 24, 2013

Adrianna Knits

I was given the chance to review another great WAHM's items--a diaper, cover and liner from Adrianna Knits.   I'm really excited to share them with you!  But before I share the products, here's a little about Adrianna.
Adrianna is a mama to three-a nearly 7 year old (with high functioning autism), a 3 year old and 1 year old.  She left her job after having her first son, to be able to stay at home with him and be on call for him.  It also gave her a chance to do what she really loves-knitting, crocheting, and sewing.  She learned how to crochet when she was 3 (!!) from her grandmother.  A few years later, her grandmother taught her to sew and to knit.  She learned all the basics, and then taught herself everything else!
She opened up her etsy shop back in 2010, where it was mostly hand-knit items.  After her son was born in 2012, she was able to get a serger, and really got into making her own cloth diapers.
She designs and makes them all herself.  Nothing is exactly identical, since everything is made by her!

Although not everything is identical, from what I've experienced, it's all of the highest quality.  Adrianna sent me a prefitted (prefold made into a fitted), a fleece cover, as well as a few fleece liners.  Let's start with the prefitted.
Here's the prefitted on my son, who's about 25lbs at 22 months.

This is a one-size diaper, and even though we're on the biggest rise setting, it looks like it's going to fit for quite a while longer.  It does snap down to be quite small, and Adrianna says on the website, it should start fitting around 10lbs.
prefitted on smallest rise setting
 Like most other one-size diapers, it may be a little bulky at first, but would definitely be absorbent enough!  And it's nice to have something to grow into.

We get a great fit with this diaper.  There's never any red marks with this diaper, since the elastic is inside the prefold.  There's just nice, soft cotton on baby's skin.  But because there's elastic inside, there's no gaping at the legs, which means no leaks!
no gaping!
This diaper is basically a converted prefold, which I love.  I loved prefolds when Myles was a newborn/infant, but once he got really active, it made it difficult to get them on.  If I had known about prefitteds when he got to about 6-7 months old, my stash might look really different!  They're just like a prefold, made with natural fibers and super absorbent, just much easier to get on!  Plus, they're super affordable, at only $6.95 each.  A little more expensive than a simple prefold, but much much cheaper than most fitteds.
There's also a little elastic in the back, which helps to get a good fit.
there's elastic at the top....a little difficult to see
She also adds an extra insert that can be snapped in for extra absorbency, which I really appreciate.  We can always use extra absorbency around here!  It's a little longer than the diaper itself, which allows you to fold it however you need it--in the middle for girls, and at the front, for boys.  Or you can leave the insert out, if you don't need the extra absorbency, or for a newborn.
insert folded for a boy
I also usually used the liners Adrianna sent me with the prefitted.  Because prefolds are just made of cotton, they aren't "stay-dry," meaning the baby will feel wet.  This isn't a bad thing and isn't going to hurt them or cause diaper rash, but sometimes it's nice (I like it especially at night or naps) for them to feel a little more dry.  That's where a liner comes in.  Adrianna's liners are made out of fleece, which keeps baby feeling dry.  They fit perfectly along the insert of the prefitted, which is where most of the moisture goes.  They worked great!  The edges are serged, so there's no fraying, and they look a lot nicer than if they were just cut.  You can also use liners if you use a diaper cream (although it should still be cloth diaper safe so it doesn't get all over your diapers in the wash).
prefitted with the fleece liner

As far as quality goes, this diaper is fantastic.  The shape of it is perfect.  It has three rise settings, and since it's a fitted, you don't have to have a perfect rise, since you'll have a cover over it anyway; but we get a great fit in it.  It also has crossover snaps around the waist, which is super helpful for skinny babies.  The snaps themselves are nice and strong--I don't feel like Myles could get them undone on his own, which is definitely a plus. :)  And I just love the feel of it!  It's nice and soft, and the more you wash it, the softer and fluffier it gets.

Adrianna also sent me an adorable fleece cover, in a soccer ball print.
It fits perfectly over the prefitted.  No gaping at the legs, or the top.  I was a little worried the rise might be too short, but it fits perfectly.
I had to bring in backup to get some decent pictures :)
We don't have a lot of fleece covers in our stash, but most of the ones we have have an extra layer of fleece in the wetzone.  This cover doesn't, but we have not had a single leak using it.  We've used it mostly at naptime, but a few times during the day, and its worked wonderfully no matter where we've used it.  No leaking, it fits under Myles' clothes, and looks adorable!  It's a tad bit bulky, but I always expect that when pairing a fitted with fleece--it's just a lot of material.  But I don't mind the bulk as long as it does the job.  And the combo of this prefitted and fleece cover has consistently done the job for us!
"posing" for the side shot....or trying to run away!
I have been really impressed with Adrianna's products!  Everything is top quality and has worked really wonderfully for us.  The fit on both items was great, and as I said before, we haven't had any leaks when using either item, which them it an A+ in my book!!  And everything is really affordable, which is definitely something I look for in a diaper.
Adrianna has lots of other great items in her etsy shop.  And one of my favorite things is that she'll convert YOUR prefolds into prefitteds for only $3.95/diaper!!  I thought that was an awesome idea and a great price!  I might be doing that for our next little one....
She also makes some absolutely adorable hats!  She asked if I wanted to review one, but Myles absolutely refuses to keep a hat on his head, so I begrudgingly declined.  But if you have a hat-lover, be sure to check them out.
Adrianna has also kindly offered to giveaway your choice of either a sized (newborn, small, medium or large) or a one-size diaper!  Be sure to enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

April 23, 2013

Breaking Records, Raising Awareness, Helping the Earth

The Great Cloth Diaper Change is the highlight of cloth related events for me. Its proximity to Earth Day just makes the whole weekend feel like a crunchy mama holiday! In case you don't know what the Great Cloth Diaper Change is, let me tell you.

It started in 2011 as an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the most cloth diapers changed simultaneously. That first year there were 5,026 diapers changed! Last year saw a huge jump in the numbers, as more people heard about the Change and more locations decided to host. There were 8,251 cloth diapers changed in 189 locations on 4 continents in 2012! The first two years of the Change the diapers were all changed at the same moment worldwide, resulting in some people in Australia changing in the middle of the night. Now that's dedication! This year they were able to do the same time locally so that more people could participate, so every change was at 11 am local time. As of the beginning of April there were 285 locations registered to host the Change, so it looks good that the record will be broken! One unfortunate thing is that a location needs at least 25 diapers changed in order to qualify towards the total, so the real number will be higher than the Guinness number. As of yesterday (April 22) the unofficial total for this years change is at 7,972 with 182 locations reported. Since there are 103 locations left to report, the record should be easily broken! The Great Cloth Diaper Change has become a really big event for cloth diaper families, and is a great way to spread the word about reusable diapers.

Ava and I attended the Great Cloth Diaper Change in Holland, Michigan which is hosted by our local cloth diaper shop, Ecobuns. If you are local, follow the GCDC-Holland's Facebook page to keep in the loop for next year's change! For the change, everyone has to hold up the diaper they will be changing into for a picture, and then after the change everyone holds up their newly diapered baby for another picture. Here are some photos of the 30 diaper changes we had at our location! (Photos courtesy of the GCDC-Holland Facebook)

Diapers up! 
Hold those babies up!

The Ecobuns team made this a really fun event, with giveaways, raffles, and even Fluff Photos with a local photographer: Little Lamb Photography! We got a Fluff Photo session for Ava, and I had so much fun getting some adorable diaper shots and even some neat breastfeeding shots!

The Great Cloth Diaper Change has really been a great way of sharing with people about cloth diapering as a sustainable option, and Ecobuns had a great announcement at our GCDC. Ecobuns is partnering with Nestlings, a local diaper bank, to provide cloth diapers as an option to low income families! Previously, Nestlings had done solely disposable diapers for low income families, but with Ecobuns' help they will now be offering cloth diaper kits! The timing of this announcement was just perfect for the GCDC and Earth Day.

In the spirit of Earth Day and of raising awareness, I have an announcement for our blog! In the blog article I linked above, Nestlings points out that many low income families have limited access to laundry facilities. Well, a couple years ago Kim, of Dirty Diaper Laundry, set out to show that even with no access to a laundry facility you can still cloth diaper. She started a really cool event called the Flats Challenge to raise awareness about flat diapers and how manageable it can be to hand wash your diapers! I will be taking part in the Flats Challenge this year and blogging about it here and linking up with many other bloggers to talk about flats. Leading up to the Challenge I will have some Saturday posts with flats reviews and information. As I learn how to fold and hand wash them I'll share my journey with you. The Challenge itself is going to be from May 20-26 and during that time I will only be using flats and covers and will be hand washing anything I use! I hope that my series will be an inspiration and a helpful resource to be shared.

This shows the steps to doing a Kite Fold with a flat.

Let's hear from you! Did you attend the Great Cloth Diaper Change? How many babies were changed at your location? Do you have a local cloth diaper store whom you could encourage to work with a diaper bank? Have you heard of the Flats Challenge? Have you done the Flats Challenge before? Are you thinking about doing it this year? Do you have friends who could benefit from a series on how to use flats to diaper affordably?

April 22, 2013

Little Beasties Pocket diaper

Finding new WAHM's is always fun, especially when they have some really unique features on their diapers. Today I am reviewing a Little Beasties Pocket diaper. This diaper has a few unique features that make it really neat.

The front wing of the diaper has the name of the business embroidered on it rather than having just a tag.  It also has one set of snaps on one wing and two sets of snaps on the other wing.

The diaper has a neat adjustment system to help get the perfect fit on your little one. The first part of the adjustment system the 'normal' rise adjustments featuring 4 different sizes for rise. This is fairly standard way of adjusting the rise. I will talk about the other adjustments in a minute.
 I was allowed to pick a back embroidery for our diaper and I picked a sunshine. We call Micah our little sunshine so it was perfect!
 Here is a shot of all the snaps, it has a double row of snaps across the waist.
 The inside of the diaper features double gussets to help with fit as well as holding in some mess.
 Inside the diaper.
 There is a pocket opening in the back to stuff the diaper.
 Here is where the diaper gets pretty unique in terms of adjusting the size so you can get a great fit on your little one. The diaper has adjustable elastic in the leg casing. On each strip of elastic are snaps that snap onto the shell. So if you need a bigger rise but have a skinny legged baby you can make the legs skinner and the rise higher! This is a pretty cool feature.  I have a few more pictures posted below showing the snap leg adjustments.

 Here is the diaper on my 10 month old. We have it on the second rise setting and the elastic setting was on the middle snap.
 The diaper is pretty trim. Each Little Beasties comes with a special insert.
 The back of my sunshine diaper!
 Little Beasties makes their own inserts using microfiber sandwiched between two layers of flannel. The inserts are serged and come with snap adjustments so that if you have the rise set to a smaller rise you can fold over and snap the insert to fit nicely inside the diaper sell.

 I love this fish print!
The Little Beasties diaper has a lot of great features. We had success with this diaper and no leaking issues. We have only used this diaper during the day and have not used it for bed time. Little Beasties has a lot of fun different embroidery options to choose from for the back of their pocket diapers. If you have a baby that you have a hard time finding a good fit with try a Little Beasties diaper with their 3x3 adjustments.

Little Beasties is going to give away a diaper to a lucky reader! To enter fill out the form below! Good Luck!

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April 19, 2013

Free Range Family

The first time that I heard about "Family Cloth" or reusable toilet paper, I paused at the strangeness of the initial thought. After thinking about it for a second I realized that it is not much stranger than using cloth diapers, which many of us are guilty of. There is a satisfaction in moving your daily life towards sustainability and bit by bit is easiest. Here in our April Earth Days we get to explore one more way to live your life in a green and self sufficient way.

Free Range Family makes a variety of reusable home goods and I was pleased to be able to review her snapped roll of Family Cloth. I received these 20 double sided flannel  sheets with snaps that allow you to connect them all in to one long roll. I rolled them around the empty cardboard tube of a paper roll and placed it in my bathroom. Since I've received my Family Cloth, Free Range Family has upgraded their product to include a snap adapter on the first roll so it stays on better. Near the toilet, I placed a small wet bag that I use for a diaper pail already. After going through the roll, I washed the used ones in the diaper wash load. Each time that these are washed, they get more absorbent, just like new diapers! I sometimes use one piece but more often use two. The snaps don't seem to get in the way if you are mindful of them.

They fit well  on a standard size roll. 

The pattern is a fun design and the snaps hold well!

I am happy to have the Family Cloth in the house and love that we never have to live in fear of running out of toilet paper. I like to use it in our family bathroom and have paper in the bathroom downstairs for guests. I think that having these wipes without the snaps is a good option as well. FRF makes these as well here.

For Earth Day weekend, they are running a coupon code for 20% off your order so go check out Free Range Family's Etsy Page and use the code EARTHDAY20 for your discount!