Friday, March 30, 2012

Night Time Cloth Diapering

I was positive I would continue using disposable diapers for night time with my heavy wetter baby boy! I was so in love with the superb absorbency of an Eco friendly [cartoon character free] disposable that would last us ten hours every night. I really didn't want to get up for mid-night changes. I was sleep deprived as is! Then when he turned three months, the guilt set in. Here I have nearly 40 cloth diapers and I'm spending money on disposables? What? I just could no longer justify that expense for myself personally. I decided right there that for the well-being of our budget and my peace of mind, I had to dive into night time cloth diapering. The experiment was on.

I was skeptical. What worked for my baby girl as overnight diapers, seemed like it would not happen with our 'super soaker boy'. Thankfully I hit the jackpot on our first try, I decided to attempt a microfiber insert on top of a Fuzzi Bunz hemp insert, inside a stay dry pocket diaper (such as Thirsties Duo Diaper or Fuzzi Bunz One Size). He woke up dry, without leaks, and with completely soaked inserts. Sure, his butt was huge - but who cares? We're home! Since then, I have stuck to this combination with great success and very few leaks. Most leaks occurred from not snapping the diaper tight enough around the legs. I no longer felt like I was spending money unnecessarily on the super expensive Eco friendly disposables that I was getting on Amazon, seriously, I have other more important things to spend that money on. Like that convertible car seat, at the rate our baby is growing. 

For us, the secret to overnight success turned out to be hemp. I have tried other combinations and they just leak through. Two microfiber inserts do not work as well for us, though it did work for my daughter when she was in cloth diapers a year ago. If you are looking into night time cloth diapering there are many options available to keep your baby dry and happy through the night and keep you sleeping without waking up in a puddle. Hemp and bamboo seem to be the most popular materials for overnight. Here are some diapers at Thanks Mama that do the job for many and may work for you:

Just a few to get you started. Don't give up if something doesn't work at first. Babies are all so different and diapers fit them differently. What do you use for night time cloth diapering? If you use disposables at night, what keeps you from trying cloth? Do you have a night time diaper you love that you would like to see Thanks Mama carry?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thirsties Fab Doublers Review

This is my first time cloth diapering a heavy wetter and a boy. I knew it would be different, but now I just know in what ways! The fact that he pees right through [almost] every diaper if there is no doubler? I finally got that down. One of the few diapers he can wear without a doubler is the Dri-Line Bamboo Baby AIO from Canada. He can also wear the Thirsties Fab Fitted with Duo Wrap as is. Other than that we are pretty much stuck with doubling up. It's okay, but can get a little tedious at times. Especially when it comes to taking inserts out before the wash, I find that for many diapers where the insert is supposed to agitate out on its own, it does not when there are two inserts. I was excited to try the Thirsties Fab Doublers with our boy recently and to see how they would perform when put to the test. 

There are a lot of things I love about these. Bright colors! They will cheer up any tired mama's day, so I'm all for that. You can't see stains on them either, fabulous! Two sizes? Great to have a choice. I got the smaller ones from Thanks Mama and I love them, I didn't really need huge doublers that make his butt look like Mt. Everest. These are big enough to offer extra absorption with very little extra bulk. I like to use them when I need to fit pants on him, when we are somewhere not home. I recommend it if you need a little boost, not double the absorbency, but like one and a half times more. They also wash very well and always look great. I have yet to see if they get dingy over time though. They dry very fast, I air dry everything and these are consistently the first to dry on the rack. I love the soft velour outer material, feels rather luxurious, almost too nice to get pee and poop on! 

When it comes to value, the Fab Doublers are a good deal. At $6.25 for a 3 pack you are paying about $2.08 per insert. There certainly are more expensive diaper inserts, like the Sugar Peas Fleece Topped Organic Hemp Doubler at $7.70 each - though it does offer a lot more absorbency with more expensive hemp material. There are less expensive options as well such as the BumGenius Stay Dry Doublers at $5.95 for a pack of three. You could easily make your own, but who has the time? Not me for sure, not to mention I haven't used a sewing machine since I was 12. For now I'm sticking to someone making them for me, especially if it is right here in the U.S. like everything from Thirsties!

Buy Thirsties Fab Doublers at Thanks Mama

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

OsoCozy Flannel Wipes Review

Looking for inexpensive cloth wipes that do the job well? I've just discovered some I think you'll like. A wipe is a wipe, right? You may have noticed though that some are not so modestly priced, some as expensive as $2 per wipe, yikes! If you're on a budget and don't want to make your own, you'll love the OsoCozy Flannel Wipes. They come in a generous pack of 15 for only $6.50 at Thanks Mama, I've seen them cost over $4 more on other sites. These end up being just $0.44 cents per wipe if you also buy something else you need and get free shipping. But even with shipping they would cost you less than on many other sites. 

It's a thin flannel wipe and I was concerned it may not hold up to a blowout, so I decided to try. It was one of those 'would-have-been-everywhere-if-he-wore-a-disposable' blowouts! I just wet my wipes with water under the sink before a diaper change. The size of these is 7 by 7 inches, it was adequate, and even though they are so thin I was surprised at how well they cleaned up the mess. I had nothing on my hands, test passed. Although I would reserve these for light clean ups, they are good enough to use every diaper change. So if you must spend as little money as you can on the wipes, these will cost you less than making your own (if you consider the time you would spend on it). The edges are nicely surged with soft rainbow pastel colors. These wipes are made in Pakistan, in case you're wondering. 
We tried the natural unbleached ones and I actually like that color more than white cloth wipes because you do not see any stains on it, that's a nice bonus. White wipes always look a little stained. There are also a ton of other uses for these, they are perfect for wiping noses, drool, spit up. Keep some in the diaper bag since they conveniently do not take up a lot of space, good to always have on hand - like tissues but not as wasteful. I keep one tucked in the car seat, bouncer, all the places where he makes a mess and I need something quick to wipe it up. 

Buy OsoCozy Flannel Wipes at Thanks Mama

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sophie Giraffe Gnon Natural Rubber Toy Review

Our little Baby T is finally paying attention to toys at four months old. Of course, I'm his favorite play thing, he doesn't take his eyes off of me except when he sleeps! I hope he will be enthralled with toys soon, for now he just likes anything he can chew on. We had the opportunity to try the super adorable Sophie Giraffe Gnon Soft Toy recently. I am not sure who likes it more, Baby T, my three year old Baby E, or I!

I'm divided on my favorite feature of this cute Gnon, it is either the fact it is a natural rubber toy, or that it has a squeaker that reminds me of one of my childhood. I must have had something similar because that sound brings back all the best memories. Back then we didn't have fancy toxic plastic toys (yeay!), natural rubber is all there was for soft, waterproof toys. It's nice to know it is safe for my baby, especially with him gnawing on it and stuffing it in his mouth. The squeaker is not particularly annoying, unless my three year old daughter gets her hands on it and starts squeezing it incessantly. The little handle on this one makes it comfy to hold for little hands and bonus (!), it can be attached to a loop on the stroller, car seat, high chair, wherever you want. 
I also like that this is a gender neutral toy, although it does come in a slightly different design with pink and blue options pictured on the left. The green is my favorite! One more thing to love, especially for someone like me who studied French all through school and is enamored with everything Francophone, it is made in France. It's great in a baby shower present or as a gift from an older sibling to a newborn.

This toy retails for $16.50, a reasonable price for comparable natural rubber toys that aren't easy to find. Cute, safe to chew on, great for all ages, completely natural, what else could you ask for?

Purchase the Sophie Giraffe Gnon at Thanks Mama

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ergo Doll Carrier Review

My toddler girl loves playing with her baby dolls. She always tries to treat them the same way I treat her little brother. I wear him in a baby carrier a lot throughout the day, most times it is a Moby wrap. Now that he is bigger and almost four months old, I wear him in the Ergo Baby carrier a lot more often. So Baby E was so excited to get the Ergo Baby doll carrier so that she can carry her babies just like mommy! She also remembers being carried in the Ergo when she was younger, we have many photos of her in it as a baby. Here she is sitting in her impromptu play house (for Russians, she actually calls it 'teremok') with her baby in the carrier.

Baby E is three years old, this little carrier fits her well and will for quite a while. She is a tiny three year old, so on the smallest setting the straps are just a little loose on her shoulders, but tight enough for the carrier to stay put and not fall off. Just like the large carrier, this one is highly adjustable, so she can wear her babies until she is ten if she wishes! She doesn't wear it every day, but most days she asks me to put it on her. She is too young to do it herself, but I think in a few months she will get the hang of it. It you have a toddler who is patiently awaiting a sibling, this is a great gift. It can even be one of those 'welcome' gifts from the newborn  to the older sibling. I think it is best to have it before the baby's arrival so you can get the sibling used to the idea of taking care of and wearing a baby. 

When Baby T was born four months ago and she saw me wearing him in a wrap as a newborn, she asked me to make one for her doll. I didn't really have anything on hand, so we improvised with her bathing suit top! It looked funny and it was pretty obvious it was her bathing suit, but she loved it! She would wear her tiny doll in it or one of her smaller teddy bears. Now that she has an 'official' carrier, I'm looking forward to letting her wear her dolls outside and on our anticipated road trip we are planning later this spring.

The Ergo Baby doll carrier is very well made, just like the full size version. I don't see this ripping or wearing out anytime soon. It has a pocket on the inside that works well for keeping smaller dolls from sliding out of the carrier. It also comes in a more gender neutral print, the galaxy gray, I think baby boys can wear dolls too! Just like my husband wears the baby sometimes. Actually I don't think they just can, I think they should and it is good for them. In a culture entrenched with the macho image of boys with cars, guns, etc., I think it is important to teach our little boys to be tender and caring too. Someday they will become dads and their wives will thank us!

The Ergo Baby doll carrier is available at Thanks Mama for $25

We have a full selection of baby carriers from many brands! Right now use coupon code 'carrier' for 15% off!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

New Thirsties Duo AIO Diaper Review

If you haven't caught on yet, we love Thirsties. You know what? They did it again. They came out with a new option for convenience-loving moms. We recently had the privilege of trying the new Thirsties Duo AIO diaper on our three month old boy. We love it just as much as all the other Thirsties products. A perfect solution for dads and care providers, or you! Hey, moms need simplicity in diapers too you know! Just because we can remember how to fasten ten different types of diapers doesn't mean we have to. 

Fit: The Duo AIO comes in two perfectly fitting sizes just like other Thirsties diapers. Size 1 fits from 6 to 18 pounds, size 2 from 18 to 40 pounds. In the photos our 3 month old infant is 14 pounds, but already wearing a size 2. He's a chubby little fellow (I actually reviewed this on Eco-Babyz, hence the watermark on the photos). If you happen to have a big chubby baby like ours, a great way to save money is to just use prefolds from birth and then you only need to buy size 2 Thirsties diapers that will fit from 3-4 months all the way to potty training. If you have a little peanut like our first girl (born at 6 lbs 12 oz), then getting a few size 1 would make more sense, you would get more use out of them. Though the size 2 Duo AIO is still a tad big on Baby T, it fits, there are no gaps around the legs. It actually fits trimmer than some one-size diapers. 

Absorbency: We've got a heavy wetter. When I had my baby girl we had it pretty easy. With our boy this time I'm amazed that babies can pee that much! This put the diaper to the test well. It definitely doesn't absorb as well as the Thirties Fab Fitted or the Duo Diaper in our experience. We found that it lasts about two hours on our boy, whereas the average for other diapers we use is about three hours. The good thing is that the absorbency is adjustable! The tunnel design of the attached soaker makes it easy to add a doubler. That adds an extra step, but it works well with just a tad extra bulk. There is little room for improvement on the Duo AIO, that I have already suggested to the company

Ease of Use: If you're looking for easy, this is it. It is easy to put on (no prep), easy to wash, easy in every way you can imagine. Unless you need extra absorbency, there is no stuffing to put it on. No inserts to match or to loose. Just one piece. It's thick, but allows for quick drying due to the tunnel soaker design. If you prefer aplix, you just need to attach the tabs before throwing in the wash (or better yet, do that when you take the dirty diaper off). We prefer the snaps, so we just toss it all in the wash without ever touching the diaper. This diaper washes very well with little to no staining. Nothing that the sun can't take care of (no sun in sight in Massachusetts today).  

Value: The Thirsties Duo AIO is a two size system, so technically you need two sizes from birth to potty. But as I mentioned in the Fit paragraph above, you can get away with just the size 2 if you have a bigger baby who gains weight fast. Of course you will only know once the baby is born. Each diaper is $15.75 ($16.75 for prints), which is very reasonable.

Want to simplify? The Thirsties Duo AIO is so worth checking out! Grab one (or a few) at Thanks Mama

$170 Cloth Diaper Stash Giveaway!

What? You haven't entered our huge giveaway yet? Whether you are just starting your stash or need a revival, you're welcome to enter our cloth diaper stash giveaway on Facebook! One grand prize winner will receive the following:

bumGenius Freetime AIO
FuzziBunz One Size Elite
GroVia AIO
Kushies XP AIO
Rumparooz One Size
Thirsties Duo AIO
Planet Wise Wet Bag
Kissaluvs Wipes Package
Rockin' Green Detergent

(winner can choose design/color/size/scent where applicable). Please share with your friends!

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