Thursday, July 28, 2011

Best Bottom Diapers Review and Giveaway

Fits:  Birth to 35+ pounds with an optional extender that can fit to 50+ pounds

Price Per Diaper:  ★★☆☆☆  To get one complete Best Bottoms diaper (a shell and an insert) it would take approximately $20.90.  While this is on the upper side of average for a one-size diaper, this diaper does come with a lot of fabulous features.  Plus, since this is an AI2 diapering system, you can reuse the shell with a new insert.  One complete diaper may cost more than another brand of diaper, however, if buying an entire stash of these, it would be cheaper than an entire stash of other diapers since you will need more inserts than shells and can simply wipe and reuse the shell.

Leaks:  ★★★★★  Absolutely no leaks!  Not one!  This diaper comes with many options for the inserts.  The inserts come in sizes small, medium, and large to correspond with the shell rise setting.  Since I have a toddler, my rise is on the largest setting and I use large size inserts.  The inserts have two snaps, one in the front and one in the back, to keep the insert in place.  For day time use, one of the stay dry inserts worked beautifully.  The day use stay dry inserts are made from 4 layers of microfiber with a fleece layer on top to go next to baby skin.  For night and nap use, there is a night insert.  The night insert is made of 6 layers of microfiber.  However, the night insert does not have a fleece top.  Instead it has another set of snaps that you attach the day insert to.  So for night time, you have 10 layers of microfiber and a layer of fleece.  My heavy wetting toddler never once peed through this diaper day, nap, or night!  If I could give these inserts more than 5 stars, I would.  There is also an optional hemp/ organic cotton insert, but I have not tried this.  This shell also has elastic at the back waist and front waist as well as leg gussets to contain any leaks or blow-outs.

Fit:  ★★★★★  I tend not to give snap diapers 5 stars simply because they are a snap diaper.  However, I feel that this diaper can truly give you a perfect fit every time between the generous snap settings and the elastic/ stretchy fabric of the shell.  You get a nice tight (but not too tight) fit every time to keep in leaks.  This diaper has a 4 rise snap setting on the front of the diaper to make the rise larger/smaller as well as crossover tabs for small waisted children and newborns.  This diaper also has elastic leg gussets to fit any size leg and contain mess.  This shell really seems as though it would fit any body type well.

Ease of Use:  ★★★★★  Many snap diapers are difficult to get snapped the right way on the first try.  This diaper is quite easy to fit to baby and snap.  The simple two snaps for the insert make it a cinch to take one insert out and get the other in, even with a squirming toddler to wrangle.  The snaps on the inserts are tight enough to keep them snapped, but not so tight that you are fighting to get them apart either.  Both the inserts and the shell are a breeze to work with.

Washing:  ★★★★★  This diaper is easy to wash.  First of all, the shell does not need to be washed with every use.  Since it is designed with a laminated PUL inner that can be wiped clean, you can simply wipe and reuse the shell with a new insert.  Best Bottom Diapers recommends having enough shells for as many times as your baby poops between wash days since you may have to wash the shell after poops.  The inserts are easy to care for in the wash just like other microfiber inserts.  And putting diapers back together after wash is even easier, there is no stuffing!  Simply snap inserts in the shells and stack the extra inserts for use!  I can see that an entire stash of this diapering system would make washing and putting away diapers SO much faster and easier!  One of my day inserts did have a few light stains on it, but a little sunning took that right out!

Overall Performance:  ★★★★★  This is my new favorite diaper!  Anyone looking for a simple, easy to care for, and dare I say cute diapering system should look no further!  Yes, this review lost stars for the price per diaper, but since you will only need a few shells and more inserts, this could be a very budget conscious choice overall!  Nicki’s Diapers sells a package of Best Bottoms Diapers that includes 9 shells, 18 inserts of each size, and 3 overnight inserts of each size for only $407.87.  This means that you could have an entire stash to last from birth to potty for just over $400.  That is AMAZING!  And if your child starts to out grow the waist of this diaper, you may want to splurge on the waist extenders!  This system is truly perfect!  I will be buying more of these for number two!  Thanks Nicki for inventing a great product!

Total Stars:  27/30

A little about Nicki, the creator of Best Bottom Diapers; taken from Nicki's Diapers website.

After years of experience, Nicki the owner of Nicki's Diapers created a new diaper taking the pros of all the different diapering systems and eliminated the cons. This resulted in the Best cloth diaper system available - trimmest fitting and highly absorbent! To help reduce early confusion and that overwhelmed feeling when researching cloth diapers, the Best Bottom diapers has simplified cloth diapering while making one of the most economical systems. The Best Bottom one size diapering system is not a pocket diaper, not an all in one, not a fitted diaper and not a prefold is the best of all types!
Best Bottom

Pocket Diapers
Fast Drying
Have to Stuff
All In One Diapers
Easy to Use/Trim
Longer Drying Time
Fitted Diapers
Very Absorbent
Prefold Diapers
Bulky and Have to Fold

You may purchase Best Bottoms Diapers from Nicki's Diapers or from my affiliates Kelly's Closet and Diaper Safari, affiliate links to right.  Or, Giveaway below!

I was sent this diaper to review, free of charge.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rocky Mountain OS Diaper Review and Giveaway

Fits:  5-30+ pounds

Price Per Diaper:  ★★★☆☆  Rocky Mountain OS Diapers retail for approximately $19.50 which is an average price for a one size diaper.  This diaper does have some unique sizing features and a trim fit which may make it worth the price to many parents.

Leaks:  ★★★★☆  As a day time diaper, I did not have any leaks with this diaper.  The included microfiber insert was very absorbent and held a lot during waking hours.  However, for night and naptime use, I did have to add another insert to the nicely sized pocket.  Between the extra inserts and the PUL outer, this diaper did very well at night.  When the diaper is stuffed with only the microfiber insert that it came with, the diaper is extremely trim and would fit under any clothing without having to size up.

Fit:  ★★★★☆  I really like the way that this diaper fits.  Looking at the diaper, all you see it the single row of snaps across the front of the diaper to adjust the waist.  What you do not see, is the internal system of elastic and snaps that adjusts the rise of the diaper as well as the tightness of the leg casings.  To make the rise higher and the diaper bigger, you simply let out the elastic a few settings and then snap to hold the setting.  This is an amazing feature and I feel that this diaper would fit a newborn around 5 pounds as the manufacturer states.   This diaper also has crossover tabs to fit smaller babies and newborns.  Rocky Mountain Diapers also states on their website that this diaper can fit children up to 35 pounds and maybe more depending on their stature.  

Ease of Use:  ★★★★☆  I found that this diaper was very easy to use.  The pocket is nice and wide and easy to stuff and unstuff.  The rise adjustments are quick and easy (only 2 snaps, one on each side) to change if you have multiple children in diapers.  The waist snaps are easy to use since they are a side by side single row of snaps, however, I did find it difficult at times to get the waist snapped correctly as the distance between the male snaps on the tabs is shorter than the distance between the female snaps on the front of the diaper.  This was odd to me until I got used to it.

Washing:  ★★★★★  This diaper and it’s insert washed very well.  The diaper itself shows no wear and tear from wash and wear.  The interior microsuede has no stains and has washed well.  Also, the interior of the diaper that I tested is a creamy/yellow color, this is perfect for hiding stains that whites would show.

Overall Peformance:  ★★★★★  Overall, I was extremely impressed with this diaper.  When I first received it and saw how trim it was, I had my doubts, but they were put to rest very quickly.  I am amazed at how trim the diaper fits and how well it fits.  The inner elastic system is a great idea and works extremely well for changing the rise/size of the diaper.  My only complaints were that it needs more absorbency for nights and naps and that the male and female snaps are at different distances on the tabs and the front of the diaper.  This did not affect the function of the diaper, but it did cause the tabs to pucker a little.

Total Stars: 25/30

Note:  The diaper that I reviewed is a gorgeous chocolate brown with a creamy/yellow microsuede inner.  The pictures do not capture the actual colors and do not do justice to the beauty of the diaper.

You may purchase Rocky Mountain OS Diapers from Rocky Mountain Diapers or from Cloth Diaper Market.  Or Giveaway below!

The pictured Diaper below is the exact diaper that the winner will be receiving.  This diaper was sent to me along with my review diaper from Rocky Mountain diapers.  I do have two cats and a dog, while this diaper has not been in contact with the pets and it is brand new with tags on, anyone with severe allergies should know that the diaper has been in my home and is not coming direct from the manufacturer.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thirsties Thursday Giveaways!

Have you guys heard that Thirsties is doing giveaways every Thursday???  There have been some amazing giveaways so far!  Make sure you are following Thirsties on Facebook for the updates and entering the giveaways!!!

This week's giveaway!

Good Luck!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Smartipants OS Diaper Review and Giveaway

Fits:  7-35 pounds

Price Per Diaper:  ★★★★☆ Smartipants OS diapers retail for $14.95 each.  This is a fantastic price for an OS diaper (3+ dollars less than many OS diapers) and this particular diaper does have some features that may make it well worth your while.

Leaks:  ★★★☆☆ This diaper comes with only one microfiber insert.  While it is an extremely absorbent insert for day time use, it just does not hold enough for nap or night time.  During the day, this insert is more than adequate for absorption, but not for long periods of time.  You can buy extra Smartipants inserts ($19.95 for 10 inserts) or you can boost with another insert.  I stuffed a Babykicks Hemparoo insert in with the microfiber insert for nights and naps and this diaper worked perfectly!  There is also elastic around the back and the legs to make the leak proof as well as a space between the insert channel and the leg opening to keep moisture from wicking out.

Fit:  ★★★★☆ I was very surprised and quite pleased at how well this diaper fit.  When looking at the diaper, I automatically assumed that I knew exactly how it would fit my daughter, but I was wrong.  It fit better than I expected!  However, this is still a snap diaper and there are some limitations on fit.  This diaper has a three snap down rise to lower or raise the rise depending on the size of the child.  Also, for younger or smaller children, there are crossover tabs to make the waist smaller.

Ease of Use:  ★★★★★ This diaper is extremely easy to use!  The snaps are side by side waist snaps and are extremely easy to fit to baby.  The insert is very easy to put in the diaper since it is a channel design.  Channel design means that the pocket is open at both the front and the back.  This allows for simple stuffing and means that you do not have to unstuff the diaper for washing; it will agitate out!

Washing:  ★★★★★ This diaper is a dream to wash!  Honestly, I have put it through the ringer testing and washing and it looks brand new!  I think I could put the packaging back on and pass it off as brand new it is that nice!  Since it is a snap diaper, no worrying about the Aplix in the wash.  I tend to forget that the diaper doesn’t need unstuffed because I am on an unstuffing roll…but the times that I have left the insert in, it always agitates out and washes clean!  The interior is bright white and still very soft after multiple washes and the PUL is soft and perfect.  This diaper has really stood the test!  No stains, no wear and tear, perfect!

Overall Performance:  ★★★★★ This diaper is amazing!  It fits well, washes well, and is extremely durable.  I love the fact that the inserts will just agitate out in the wash and you don’t have to grab stinky inserts if you don’t want to.  My only complaint was the absorbency issue.  If you are on a tight budget and looking to buy these diapers, allot some money for some extra inserts and you will be set!

Total Stars:  26/30

You may purchase Smartipants diapers and inserts here, or giveaway below!  Smartipants is on Facebook!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wahmies Wet Bag Review and Giveaway

What is the one cloth diapering accessory that you cannot have too many of…wet bags!  It seems like I am constantly running out of diaper bag size wet bags!  They are just so versatile!  Of course you can use them for dirty diapers but they also are wonderful for your wet clothes/swimwear after a trip to the beach, dirty clothes bag on travels, lunch bags, and a thousand other uses!

Wahmies makes one such wet bag, and it is perfect!  I was sent a regular size Wahmies wet bag in Chocolate Disco Dots.  According to the Wahmies website, this bag measures 13 inches by 15 inches.  My measurements were closer to 12 inches by 14 inches after being washed.  This is the perfect size for the diaper bag and will hold 5-8 diapers depending on their size.

Wahmies makes extremely cute prints for the outside of their bags and then they are lined with PUL to make the bag waterproof.  So, cute AND functional…can it get any better?  Wahmies has also put a nice little strap with a snap on the side of the bag so you can hang it or attach it depending on your needs!  There is also a 2.5 inch by 5 inch fabric pad inside the bag to put oils or scents on to control odor.

This bag performed very well after many uses and many washes.  It contained all mess and all smell, washed very well, and appears that it will last for a long time to come.  My only complaint was the zipper.  The pull tab on the zipper is quite small and my husband had trouble opening and closing the bag.  This is a minor detail, but when you are out and about with a screaming child, this was the straw that broke both mommy and daddy’s back.

Overall, I am very pleased with this bag.  The bag is made of quality construction and it performed very well, even after multiple washes.  My only wish is that the pull tab on the zipper be a little bigger.

Total Stars:  ★★★★★

This bag retails for approximately $15.99 and a list of retailers can be found here.  Or, Giveaway below!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Gift For Baby Book Review

A few weeks back, I was sent “A Gift For Baby” by Jan Hunt.  I was excited to receive and read this book as it was described only as an attachment parenting book!  Right up my ally!

Right from the package, I was excited to see that the book is in both English and Spanish!  Love this!  I love that you can teach your child Spanish and read them an adorable book about daily life as a parent.

The book is about a small child who finds a present.  The book details the child’s thoughts as to what the present may be.  The book does not attack other parenting styles, but it does reinforce attachment parenting.  On one particular page, the child wonders if the present is a bottle and then you turn the page and the baby says “I like to nurse” and there is a picture of the child nursing.

There are so few books for children that reinforce that attachment parenting is normal and healthy.  This book is wonderful at illustrating to children that attachment parenting is normal, fun, and can be perfectly wonderful!  I love that I can read this book to Miss A and show her a book about what we do day to day.  Many people feel that breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, home schooling, etc are dirty, weird, or wrong.  And since there are so many people that feel this way, books depicting this lifestyle are even harder to come by!  It is wonderful to see a publication showing our children how beautiful attachment parenting can be!

I love this book!  Beautiful.  Just Beautiful.  It is truly the perfect gift for any parent that breastfeeds, babywears, co-sleeps, etc.  And great for showing the next generation how wonderful attachment parenting can be for their kids!

Total Stars:  ★★★★★

My only suggestion to the author would be that due to the age of the audience, this book would be perfect as a board book.  Maybe recycled cardboard?

You may purchase "A Gift for Baby" here.

*This book is Approved by La Leche League and Attachment Parenting International*

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using created by Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The new Cloth Diapering Bloggers Community on Facebook!

Hi Guys!

For those of you who belonged to the Cloth Diapering Bloggers group on Ning, the page will be shutting down. Kim from DDL had been keeping it up, but with prices going up and all, she decided to let it go.  I don't think anyone can blame her for that!  Blogging mamas don't get the salary we deserve! :)  So, I decided (with Kim's help) to start a Facebook page where we can all gather to share our posts, giveaways, information, ask questions, etc and support one another!  If you have any questions or would like your blog to be listed as a participant, please email me or post to the FB wall!

The new Cloth Diapering Bloggers Community on Facebook.

I will be getting an icon and grab button made shortly for the site!  Growing pains are good!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stinkies, Ammonia, & Diaper Rash OH MY!!!

Some of you may have seen my Facebook posts in the last few weeks asking for advice on how to rid my diapers of ammonia issues.  I am usually the one giving diaper advice and I truly thank those of you who responded for your help!

I started my cloth diaper journey more than a year ago.  At that time I researched the heck out of detergents and I finally settled on Tiny Bubbles made by GroVia as the detergent I wanted to use.  I have a front loading HE washer and it was important to me to purchase a detergent proven to do well with this type of machine, one that has been proven to work well on the diapers, and one that is safe for the diapers as well as my baby's bum!  I probably researched 100's of different sites, blogs, forums, reviews, etc before deciding on Tiny Bubbles.

When my first batch of diapers and detergent finally arrived, I washed them and immediately got them on my LO's bum!  Love at first diaper! <3

We diapered for almost 8 months before I even thought about trying another detergent.  I promised myself that if I found one that worked, I would stick with it.  But curiosity got the best of me, and I have tried and reviewed multiple other detergents.  I have not found any that I would not recommend.  And I want to state for the record, I do not regret trying other detergents nor do I want to cast a negative outlook on other detergents.  But, this is my experience, and I want to be honest with what I have found and what I have found to work in an effort to help other mamas and their baby's bums!  (because who wants their child to have the dreaded ammonia burnt tush?)

Since entering the cloth diapering world, I have heard many things (mostly good) about Rockin Green.  I had been dying to try RNG and so I bought a bag of detergent with my own money.  I fell in love!  The scents are heavenly, the company is fantastic, and their product is amazing!  But after using RNG for about 3 months, I started noticing ammonia build up on my diapers.  I researched online and found that it could have been one of two things: ammonia build up or detergent build up.  The advice was that extra hot rinses "should" cure either of those problems.

I thought, "perfect" that is simple enough.  And I ran my diapers through about 4-5 hot rinses with no detergent or anything.  NOPE!  No cigar!  My diapers were still stinky and ammonia filled.  Back to research.

I tried rocking a soak, I tried letting them soak in plain water.  Nothing helped.  I felt at the end of my rope.  At this point, I could only cloth diaper during the day and had to use sposies at night because she could not sit in an ammonia ridden diaper all night.  We had multiple ammonia burns and rashes during this time.  Talk about frazzled...I hated that I was bringing this pain and discomfort to my child.  Cloth diapers are supposed to be healthier right???  They are!  But I was having such a big ammonia problem that I felt like a BAD mommy!

In comes you mamas!  After talking with you guys on FB, some more internet research, etc I decided it was time to take drastic measures.  The options were vinegar or bleach.  I have read 50/50 results on vinegar, so I was too scared to try this.  But, Cotton Babies (makers of bumGenius, Flip, and Econobum) state that it is OK to use a little bit of bleach once in a while to kill stinkies.  WARNING:  Most diaper companies state specifically NOT to use bleach on your diapers, so check labels before doing this!  But Cotton Babies say that it is OK for the bG diapers to have some bleach now and then.

So, knowing that I would void many warranties on many different diapers, I tried the bleach on just my bG pockets and all of my microfiber inserts.  I tossed in my diapers, did the cold cycle, then did my hot wash with 1/2 of the RNG that I usually use (in case too much detergent was the problem) and the bleach.  After the long hot cycle, I did another hot cycle.

And the result...STILL STINKY and ammonia filled.

At this point, I could have just sat down and cried.  What am I going to do!!!???

It was about this time that my daughter's lovie, a little stuffed red panda bear, needed to have his first bath.  When mommy wasn't looking, daddy let her drag panda outside where he took a dip in the pool and the sandbox and got drug through the dirt and grime of the backyard.  After months of drool, food, and now the latest dunk and drag...he needed a bath.  Trying to think what to wash him in that would be gentle and safe, I pulled out my box of Tiny Bubbles detergent.  I washed him and set him to dry...and it dawned on me...I never had ANY stink problems with the Tiny Bubbles when I was using it on my diapers!!!

So over the past couple weeks, I have slowly washed all of my diapers (clean and dirty to get all of them!) in the Tiny Bubbles and bleach.

Whether they were clean or dirty, I did my wash as usual.  I did the cold rinse, then a hot wash with Tiny Bubbles and a little bit of bleach, and then another hot wash.  I only used bleach in that first wash (and yes, I did run EVERY diaper and EVERY insert through this process...voiding many warranties) and since then have washed my diapers in just Tiny Bubbles detergent.

Guess what...NO AMMONIA!!!!  I could literally shout it from the mountaintops!!!  And sing a round of the Hallelujah Chorus on top of that!!!

I still do not know exactly what was causing my problem.  Is it the HE washer, my water, the RNG itself, using too much RNG, or a combination of any of them?  No clue!  I have heard from other parents some troubles with RNG.  But again, is it the RNG or user error?  I followed the package directions for how much RNG to use with an HE washer, but maybe it was still too much?  I don't know.  Like I said before, I do not want to speak ill of RNG.  I love their company and their products.  BUT, for us, RNG just does not work.

So this is what I have found.  And thankfully, I have found an answer to my problem!  I am still a little nervous about night time diapering.  I am slowly easing back into it.  But I cannot wait to chuck those sposies to the wind!  (actually, I will give them to a friend who refuses to CD...I won't throw away clean sposies...)

I hope this post can help some of you other mamas out there!  Don't give up!  There is a way!  You just have to find what works for you!!!

For those of you with HE machines, here is my wash routine.  I have a Samsung VRT machine.  Do not use the "sanitize" setting.  This will damage the PUL on your diapers.  I use the "delicate" cycle (cold/cold) and an extra rinse as my cold cycle.  Then, for my detergent cycle I use the "heavy duty" cycle (hot/cold) with an extra wash and an extra rinse.  Hope this helps!!!

Tiny Bubbles can be purchased from my affiliates Kelly's Closet and GroVia, affiliate links to right!!!


Here is the Tiny Bubbles write up from Grovia:

The detergent of choice for cloth diapers and baby apparel.
* Dye & Fragrance Free
* Completely Biodegradable
* No Optical Brighteners or Fillers
* Gentle for Sensitive Skin
* Low Residue Formula
* Ultra-Concentrated
* EPA Design for the Environment
Safe to use with GroVia® and all other cloth diapers brands. Not tested on animals. No animal by products. ($0.22 per Load)
Phosphate Free - Phosphate detergents are a major cause of pollution in our lakes and streams. Even biodegradable phosphate detergents are harmful to water life. Tiny Bubbles contains no phosphates and is completely biodegradable.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Be safe this holiday weekend!  If your baby or child sported something 4th of July-ish, post pics to the Facebook wall!!!  It might be worth your while....