Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesdays-Christmas Edition!

Ok, so this is not technically "wordless", but in this case it was an appropriate picture for my Wordless Wednesdays post.  After two crazy days of family, food, fun, sleeplessness, here we all are...exhausted...but happy!  Merry Day After Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December Natural Living Blog Carnival: Natural Remedies- Breastmilk Teething Pops

Welcome to the December 2012 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Natural Remedies. This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our members have written posts about how they use natural remedies in their homes.
It has been an exhausting week. And when I say exhausting I don't mean the regular old mom tiredness...this is like a hair raising, drunken feeling, I probably shouldn't be driving right now sort of exhaustion. Why am I so tired you ask? Well, my little guy is teething, fiercely. He has been up multiple times throughout the night for about a week now. Nothing seems to calm the little man down. He is extremely fussy and just overall crabby.  This baby is usually a very good boy, he pretty much goes with the flow, but his two little top front teeth are giving him such a hard time. Besides being feverish and crabby, a few days ago he started having the dreaded "D" word. Diarrhea. Ok, there. I said it. According to my pediatrician, this is normal because babies swallow so much mucus and saliva when they are teething that it all comes out in their bowel movements.  This little nugget has been exclusively cloth diapered for basically his entire life, we started him at around 3 weeks. And this is the first time I have actually had a problem with the poop. When you have a newborn, cloth diapering is actually easy, very easy. If your baby is breastfeeding exclusively, all you do is literally throw the poopy diaper in the washing machine and you're done (breastmilk is water soluble). My little guy has been nursing and on solid food since about 4 months. Now normally, I wouldn't suggest starting solids at that age, especially because of the decrease in nursing, but he would literally and aggressively steal food from anywhere he could find, including sticking his hands inside mommy's hot oatmeal, and scrounging the floor for Cheerios. Ever since I started feeding him solid foods he has been calmer-but let me tell you, this boy can eat! Which is great to watch because my older child eats absolutely nothing. For years I thought I was a terrible mom and that he might starve to death or get scurvy, like a baby pirate...I digress. Back to teething. Last night, as I was preparing dinner, my little one was extremely fussy.  All he wanted to do was nurse, so I had a grand idea for a natural remedy.  I quickly took out the day's pumped breastmilk from our refrigerator, placed it in my snazzy popsicle molds, and off to the freezer it went. 
Less than 4 hours later, voila!  breastmilk pops!  He gnawed on those things like they were going out of style!  What a happy, happy baby!  And mommy was happy too!  He has been devouring these, and I know that he is getting all of the nutrients he needs and having some much needed cold relief on his little swollen gums.   Please remember to handle all breastmilk pops according to standard safety guidelines.  If your milk is freshly pumped, you may pour it in the molds, and freeze up to 3-4 months.  Previously frozen breastmilk cannot be thawed and frozen again.  Partially eaten breastmilk pops should not be frozen again.  My little guy is still teething fiercely.  I used all of the tools in my mommy arsenal...the chewbeads, the amber necklace, the teething balm, the CJ's BUTTer spritz for his bum, and breastmilk pops...hopefully he will sleep tonight. Hopefully, I can have a rest as well...I know I sure need one!

Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Gingerbread House

Christmas is great. I love this time of year, but as I got older, the magic feeling of Christmas kind of slowed down a bit. I wouldn't say it went away completely, but I found myself getting caught up in the un-magical side of the holiday, like bills and family responsibilities, and stressing over gifts. About 4 years ago something happened. Kids. May not seem abnormal, but let me tell you kids change everything. It's absolutely amazing to see a human being discover Christmas for the first time. But what's even more amazing is that every year it seems to get better. The older the little ones become, the more of that magic makes its way back into our lives. Seeing your kids happy somehow has the same effect as if you were experiencing this joy for the first time as well. (the only difference being that you are way more tired and only possess about a quarter of the energy they have in one little finger). This holiday, my little guy begged me to build a gingerbread house (possibly due to us reading "10 Gingerbread Men" every night of the year).   We had so much fun! We just sat around the table putting it together, I frosted the walls and windows while baby talked and simultaneously ate the candy decoration.  We managed to save a few of the unbeaten ones to decorate the roof of the house. I am so glad for the chance to slow down this holiday season, and especially for the opportunity to take the time to spend together and build this. What a great way to usher in the Christmas season. Do you and your family have any Christmas traditions that bring your together?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Great Detergent Debate

Left Photo Credit: Erica Dunhill of WP Inks
As a cloth diapering momma, one of the most challenging things about actually successfully using cloth on our kids is finding a washing routine that works.  No family is the same when it comes to their particular cloth diapering practices. It's really about finding what works for you, your particular washing equipment, and learning how to successfully match your baby's chemistry with your washing routine.  I have been a bit curious about trying out different detergents, and maybe sprucing up my routine a little bit...even though I am not currently having any problems. I wanted to test out different detergents to see how they stack up against one another. So here is my current washing routine: cold pre-wash, no detergent. Hot wash with detergent, followed by a hot rinse, then a second cold rinse. I strip my diapers using the blue Dawn method once every three weeks to keep everything so fresh and so clean! The detergent I currently use is Tide original powder (regular, not free and clear) because the bulk of my stash consists of Rumparooz G2 pockets, and Tide powder is the recommended detergent for that brand.  I tend to use a milder detergent for my clothes, however, I have never had issues with sensitivity from the enzymes in Tide, and I am very happy with how clean my cloth diapers are.  I have never had poop residue on my diapers, and up to this point, I have never had any staining or had to sun my diapers for stain removal.  They always come out of the washer really clean and white.  I have had my eye on Eco Nuts.  I am always looking for great products, whether it be new diapers or accessories, or detergents.  I really wanted to try Eco Nuts. I have been curious about how they would work, and love the thought of having a more natural approach to laundry.  It fits in nicely with our family's continued efforts to make our lives a little greener. I got a cute little bag of Eco nuts with 5 nuts in it. I followed the manufacturer's directions for laundering, which are as follows; cold pre-wash with no soap nuts and a half cup of baking soda. Followed by a a hot wash (with Eco Nuts added in the bag provided in the box) with a cold rinse and a final cold rinse.  To finish it off, all the diapers were tumble dried on low heat.

The verdict: The diapers and inserts that were washed with Eco Nuts were extremely soft...surprisingly soft. And they had no smell whatsoever, which is great! However, the cloth diapers that were pooped on did not come out as clean as I would have liked. One of my Rumparooz even smelled like poop and had little poop "particles" all over the gusset. Simply put, the diaper was not clean. Having said that, if I had been a bit more diligent about hosing off the diaper completely before placing it in the wash, I think the Eco Nuts would have done a great job.  For children with sensitive skin, this would be a great alternative to the traditional (perhaps harsher) brands of detergent.  Eco Nuts worked very nicely on my LO's clothes, but as far as the cloth diapers, since my LO does not have sensitive skin, I think the Tide does a better job for keeping the poop off the diapers.  Round one goes to Tide!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Green Christmas Gift Giveaway Hop

Green Christmas Giveaway
Welcome to the Green Christmas Giveaway Hop, hosted by Happy Mothering, Going Green with Grizls and The Reynolds Mom. 50+ members of the Green Moms Network have come together to offer you tons of chances to win green-themed Christmas gifts! There’s sure to be something for everyone on your list. We hope you’ll discover some great new brands to add to your Christmas list too!  If you read our post yesterday, we reviewed a Lalabye Baby Bamboo Pocket Cloth Diaper.  Well, if you love cloth diapers and would like to get your hands on this fluffy gift, just enter or giveaway!  You can also win a CJ's BUTTer Bug Banisher to keep your baby free of bugs!  This prize pack is valued at $30.  Don't forget to enter the HUGE grand prize pack from our hosts! Click here for your chance to enter 5 fabulous grand prizes!  Good luck!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lalabye Baby Cloth Diaper Review and Giveaway!

I love finding new diapers. I mean LOVE. I also love WAHMs. I also love bamboo. So this review is a shoe-in for me! I first found out about Lalabye Baby cloth diapers through the social Mecca know as Facebook. Melissa Huynh, the owner of Lalabye Baby is a local South Florida mom with a passion for cloth diapering. She started Lalabye Baby because she wanted to create a diaper that had fantastic fit, great absorbency, and a great price too! I received my little grey bamboo pocket last week, and upon opening the package, I was struck by how pretty this diaper is. The front has multi-color snaps giving the diaper a playful quality which I love! But the thing that really stood out for me was the inside if this diaper. It is a traditional pocket diaper that comes with two bamboo inserts that snap to one another, and then to the diaper. Now if you are not familiar with bamboo as diaper inserts, I beg you to get some to try. Bamboo is an amazing material that makes thirsty fabric which sucks up any moisture in sight and holds no stink (unlike microfiber). This stuff is incredible. Which is why I was so impressed with Melissa for choosing this particular type of insert for her diapers. Once the bamboo snaps to the diaper, you have the choice to tuck it inside the pocket so that your baby has the stay dry material against his skin (like a traditional pocket diaper), or you can keep the bamboo inserts on top of the diaper pocket, so that the baby has the natural fiber against his/her skin.

 This is particularly great for babies who have really really sensitive skin and do better with natural fibers. For my little guy, I used the inserts inside the pocket.  This diaper is so trim!  And the fit is absolutely amazing.  I was able to let the baby wear the diaper with his little pants and there was no bulky butt.  He was so comfortable wearing these.  They fit wonderfully around the legs, and they have my preferred (and easier) snap design with one snap on the outside front to prevent wing droop, and two rows of snaps on the very front of the diaper.  We washed the inserts three times, which is not really a complete prep for bamboo, but we had no leaks whatsoever. Horray! The little guy was happy and comfortable! Overall, I was beyond impressed with this diaper, especially with it's great design and great price!  At $14.95, this is one of the best fitting diapers I've tried in this price range.  But beyond the diaper itself, I am happy that cloth diapering is starting to come to light in South Florida.  This is thanks to a lot of women who like Melissa, have a passion for innovation and education.What a wonderful way to impact your community, family, and the environment.  Want to try a Lalabye Baby cloth diaper for yourself?  Enter our Green Christmas Gift Giveaway Hop starting November 28th!

Photo Credit: Maggie Rashwan

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesdays-11/14/12

Mild weather makes for wonderful days at the playground!  We have been out and about almost every single day this week.  So for my Wordless Wednesday post, a simple picture of a quiet time amidst a really, really busy life!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rumparooz G2 Product Review and Absorbency Test

It's been a while since our last cloth diaper review. I made myself a promise that I would get through my stash list and actually review all of the diapers I own. That being said...I own 7 Rumparooz so they account for  a good part of my stash. I have to say that when I first started cloth diapering one of the things that really appealed was not necessarily the functionality of the diaper, but the cute designs on them. My first purchase after my initial diaper trial was the kangarooz diaper by Rumparooz. I literally got really happy every time I used it on my little guy. The first thing you notice right off the bat with these diapers before you even open the package up is how beautifully smooth the texture of the fabric on the outside is. Rumparooz uses 1000 thread count fabric on their diapers...amazing. The second thing you notice on the outside are the adorable prints. They literally have the best designs. Especially for the little boy diapers. If you have a boy, you probably know that every single store carries tons of adorable stuff for girls and only a fraction of the cute fluff for boys, so it's really refreshing to see some cute boy stuff for a change! The Robotronic print is to die for, and the Ladder 6 is my older son's favorite diaper-he asks me to put it on baby every single time he sees it. But it gets better. The inside of this diaper is cloud soft, and it has double gussets which keep all of the messes you can tell I absolutely love these! These are pocket diapers with stay dry no-pill microchamois on the inside, and the diapers come with two insets that snap to one another, making the diaper super thirsty. For the absorbency test, I used one cup of warm water and soaked the diaper.  Right away the water sank into the diaper, the stay-dry portion of the diaper was wet at first, and as the water moved it's way down to the inserts the top layer became less wet.  As I pressed down on the diaper a bit of the water came back up-I noticed that at this point if your baby peed a cup of water (you would have to take him to the compression leaks would happen.  Normally though, for regular, slow building urine, I think the diaper would do just fine because it would soak up the liquid slowly.  I asolutely LOVE this diaper.  The double gussets hold everything in so well.  I have never had a blow-out with this diaper.  It is super stretchy and really great for small babies and large ones as well.  I find myself reaching for it if they're clean every. single. time.  Here is my little one modeling it!

Baby wearing Rumparooz G2 in Gumball Aplix

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday!!

For this Wordless Wednesday post, I will leave you with this pic...a semi-crunchy momma's pride and joy.  A little bum shot of my little guy wearing his cloth diapers playing with his older brother's toys.  I'm in love!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesdays!!! Happy Halloween!!

Wordless Wednesdays is a great opportunity for us loud-mouths to shush and post pics instead...lucky for me, this Wednesday is Halloween!  Autumn is my very favorite season...everything about it is so magical!  Love the pumpkins, leaves, hay-rides and orange colored everything!  It's only 1 o'clock and I've already seen a Halloween parade!  The little kids were all dressed up and ready to trick-or-treat around the neighborhood!  What a fun time!  I am so thankful for Fall!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ethical Shopping Choices-Cloth Diapers

Welcome to the October 2012 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Ethical Shopping Choices This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our members have written posts about how they make purchasing choices.
For the month of October, the Natural Living Blog Carnival theme is Ethical Shopping Choices. This topic came at a wonderful time because it is something that I've noticed in an industry of "green" products is lacking sometimes.  As a consumer I must try really hard to retrain myself and almost correct my thoughts to question some deep help beliefs and notions about what I've come to expect from my everyday buying choices and interactions with other merchants/retailers.  As a full time cloth diapering mamma, I am not only a user of cloth diapers but also a retailer, and it is so interesting to be able to see both sides of the same issue.  I hear alot of talk (especially on facebook groups) from other CD mammas about "The Cheap Diaper".  Basically, the question is: "What kind of diaper can I get that doesn't leak and is cheaper than a name brand".  Now, I want to state that there is NOTHING, absolutely nothing wrong with asking this question.  As a consumer, I want to be able to get the best price for the best product.  But as a consumer, I also have to retrain myself to understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch; moreover, if a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is.  Let me explain...When a person designs an awesome product, lets say, a cloth diaper that doesn't leak, that person has to start a company with their state, pay taxes on the business and their income, hire a lawyer, file a patent, secure a manufacturer either in the US or abroad to manufacture their product, pay for the supplies to make their items, undergo a huge marketing process which includes social media, print, expos, not to mention the cost of their own time away from their children and family dealing with business issues, so on, and so on...the list is massive.  This isn't even a fifth of all of the things people who are in this industry have to do to get a product out.  YEARS go into making a good reliable product.  Here is the question...How much is all of this worth?  Especially, when as a consumer I can just join a co-op on facebook and get a diaper for $4.00.  Here is the information on that $4.00 diaper.  By purchasing it, you are undercutting the patents of the people who actually spent the years and the time developing the very product you are using.  Most reputable diaper companies go to alot of trouble making sure that the factories where their products are made have humane working conditions and provide such things as fair compensation and healthcare for their workers.  A great example of this dilemma is Rumparooz.  The inventor of this diaper is a mom, just like the rest of us, and this company has spent a really long time making sure that their products are made "green" to the fullest extent.  Their diapers are made in China, but they operate under Swiss Certificate, which means their workers are protected under European standards, they are salaried employees paid 40% above the European cost of living and provided with healthcare, education for their children, and a great place to work, NOT a sweat shop.  The diapers and accessories are biodegradable, so even if they end up in a landfill for some reason they will not do harm to the environment.  Human beings make our diapers-did you know that?  If you are happy to purchase a diaper for $4.00 where are the savings coming from?  There is no magic here.  If Rumparooz, or any other big cloth diaper company could survive by selling a $4.00 diaper they would! The reason they do not do it is because they insist on ETHICAL treatment of their employees here in the states and abroad.  They are dedicated to innovation, which takes time and has costs.  They use materials that are organic and good for baby which have passed rigorous safety testing and are not loaded with harmful chemicals used to dye those cute prints which will go in your baby's bum.  I hear moms talk about how they just purchased a bunch of diapers from such and such co-op and they hate them because they are leaky and just plain fall apart in a short period of time.  You get what you pay for.  Our economy is such that supports this notion.  If these cheap diapers really were superior they would put the American companies out of business.  But they haven't, and they won't.  Because they are selling a sub-standard product.  It's almost like owning a disposable cloth diaper.  They leak and do not last.  Alot of moms say, well I can't afford a $25 diaper.  I understand that notion, especially in this economy.  But there are options like waiting for sales, or purchasing seconds, used or saving up to purchase one good me, you will get more use out of it in the long run.  In life, there are always options.  We choose what we stand for, what we support.  I choose to support moms, and mom-owned businesses, not sweat shops.  I choose the best for my baby, but most of all, I want to lay my head down at night and be able to say that the choices I make, by being green, supporting fair trade, ethical treatment of human beings and the earth have a positive impact on everyone around me.

I pledge to NEVER knowingly purchase anything I know to be harmful to anyone, financially, personally and environmentally.  Will you take that pledge too?  

Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Travelin' with Baby Giveaway Hop!

As promised, GreenPath Baby blog is participating in the Travelin' with Baby Giveaway Hop hosted by So Easy Being Green and According to Jenny!  Our giveaway this month is sponsored by the GreenPath Baby Cloth Diapering Store!  This Event will run from October 10th - 24th with a Twitter Party Grand Finale on October 25th from 9-10 PM EST!  In this Hop, each blogger has a great prize, worth at least $25, to make traveling with your baby easy and fun! Don’t miss out on the fabulous Grand Prize worth over $500 featuring the best, must-have Baby Travel Products!  I have recently traveled with baby, and one of the things I really used besides my Baby K'tan was my CJ's BUTTer spray to keep baby rash free throughout the trip.  The spray contains Coconut oil, which for a baby that has eczema is a wonderful solution to keep his skin moisturized as well.  We are giving away a Baby Travel Pack that includes a Baberoo Minky Necksaver (to keep baby's head well positioned on those long car or plane trips), as well as a CJ's BUTTer Spritz Lavender and Tea Tree Oil Scent, A Hemp Babies Raw Silk cloth diaper liner, and three 100% 30x30 Organic Cotton burp cloths.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Eligible entries must be posted no later than midnight Eastern time, Thursday, October 24, 2012. U.S. residents only. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win. Winners will be drawn after the close of the contest and notified via e-mail. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability.
According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, and the Travelin’ With Baby participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Traveling with Baby

As some of you may know, we are participating in the Traveling with Baby Giveaway Hop hosted by So Easy Being Green and According to Jenny, and sponsored by the GreenPath Baby Cloth Diapering Store.  Coincidentally, two weeks ago, our family decided to go on a vacation to the good'ol midwest with our two kids in tow, so needless to say, this was perfect timing to post on this topic!  Aside from the lack of sleep, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly this trip went.  Dragging baby around town is difficult enough, so when we decided to go on this trip, I was genuinely concerned with exactly WHAT to bring to make our trip easier.  We had to fly and stay with relatives in Illinois and Indiana, which meant taking a flight and also driving for about 4 hours.  I packed all of our suitcases and decided to go bare-bones with the baby stuff.  I checked the car seat and the snap-n-go and basically had the baby attached to me the whole time.  This was perhaps the best thing for us, because chasing a 3 year old through the airport required my full attention (and both of my hands!!!)  So having the baby on me was awesome.  I didn't have to fuss with the umbrella stroller through the airport foot traffic and going through security was a breeze.  I didn't have to take the baby out of the K'tan, I just walked with him attached to me right through the metal detector, allowing me to focus on the 3 year old trying to put his shoes back on.  My Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack diaper bag (which can convert from a traditional diaper bag into a backpack) was opened by security because I forgot to remove the baby food and the formula (oopsy!).  And after it was thoroughly searched, I was able to grab it, strap it onto my back and go on to find our gate.  Surprisingly, through all of this commotion, the baby was able to fall asleep on my chest and when we got on the plane, I found my seat and just strapped the seatbelt on to my waist.  Halfway through the flight, he woke up happy and contented and played with grandma and grandpa...he did so well! I was so proud of my little one!   
Having the baby attached to my chest kept me calm and gave me a great sense of relief.  I am not a huge fan of flying and having that little human being breathing in and cuddling up safely next to me made me so calm-I could fly all day!  Nursing on the plane kept the baby calm and provided him with some relief from the ear popping torture.  Getting off the plane was also not a big deal, I just strapped the baby back on the carrier and walked out onto the baggage claim to get his car seat.  Off we went to our destination.  All in all we had a really great trip-no major meltdowns or headaches!  I was so relieved!  All of us had fun and actually enjoyed our vacation, even with two small children in tow!

Have you traveled with baby?  How was your experience?  

Now for the fun part-GIVEAWAYS!  Click here for the Traveling with Baby Giveaway.  This giveaway starts Wednesday, October 10 at 12:01am EST and ends on Oct 24th at 12:01pm.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Great Cloth Diaper Mystery #phantomfluff

So, there's a secret brewing and for those of you curious mommas this is going to be a teaser post!!!  Although I would LOVE to tell you where you can get this new and exclusive beautiful new fluff you will just have to wait-he he...ok, so I am enjoying being a tease (a little).  All kidding aside, I am so excited about the mystery fluff!  As you can tell from the teaser picture the prints on this fluff are sooo perfect for Fall it's ridiculous!  If you want to join GreenPath Baby in revealing what this awesome new fluff is, and where you can get it,  join us for a twitter party happening Thursday October 4th from 9-10 est (8 cst, 6pst).  Oh yeah, there will be some prizes too!!!!  To RSVP for the party please visit The Eco Chic, trust me...if you are a fluff addict (like me) you won't want to miss this.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall Into Green Giveaway Hop

We are happy to announce that for September, our blog is going to be part of the Fall into Green Giveaway Hop!  We are partnering up with Happy Mothering and Happy Green Mama to put together an awesome great big giveaway to all of our fans.  Hop onto one blog to the next and sign-up to get awesome eco-friendly, reusable, up-cycled, or re-purposed prizes!  Our blog will be offering a great prize of TWO Kawaii Snazzy Minky Cloth diapers and a $5.00 Gift Certificate to the GreenPath Baby Online Store!

We are excited to bring you the Fall into Green Giveaway Hop, which will run from September 22, 2012 12:01 AM EST to September 30, 2012 11:59 PM EST. The hosts are accepting blogger sign-ups right now! Click here for more information and to sign up! a Rafflecopter giveaway


We also have a fabulous Grand Prize for this giveaway hop, sponsored by Maggie Bags. Two lucky winners will each receive The Tote of Many Colors in The Fall of Leaves or Camo – Maggie Bags’ most eco-friendly bag! Made of super durable recycled seat belt webbing, this roomy tote will hold everything you need and want, even that extra pair of shoes!

Click here to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Absorbency Test and Review-bumGenius Elemental

There's something to be said about having friends that are into the same thing you are.  My friends tend to be just as nutty (or nuttier) as I am about cloth diapers.  When Maggie and I were chatting the other day and she came up with a great idea: Absorbency tests!!!  Now, if you don't immediately see the brilliance in this-don't worry, you will!  If you have been cloth diapering for any length of time you know that not all diapers are made equal.  As a matter of fact, some are heavenly,  and others are down-right horrid.  And it doesn't always have to do with price necessarily-although usually the better name brands tend to have tried and true, mom-tested products.  This absorbency test idea came at just the right time for me, because I have recently added some fluff to my stash that I had never tried before, so this week we will review my latest addition; bumGenius Elemental. Maggie had been telling me about the wonderful virtues of this diaper for a while now, so I decided to give it a go.  And here is what I found.  This diaper looks exactly the same as any other bumGenius on the outside, and it only comes with a snap closure.  Since I have a squirmy baby, snaps tend to not be my go-to closure because it can be extremely difficult to deal with.  Having said that, the bumGenius diapers close really easily with snaps.  I was surprised at the awesome feel of the organic insert that is attached to the inside of this diaper.  I was soooo super soft.  My baby wore it a few times and loved it, we were out for about 2 hours and he was not bothered by the wet diaper.  I decided to test the absorbency of this diaper with 1 cup of warm water.  Now, 1 cup might not seem like alot, but poured on a diaper it is like an entire night of wetness.  The first thing I noticed while pouring the water, was that the insert sucks all of it up almost immediately,  no liquid rests on the diaper at all, the insert seems very thirsty.  Another thing I noticed was that the diaper itself was absorbing water even if it was splashing outside of the insert area, and not a drop of the liquid leaked anywhere outside of the diaper.  This diaper was not stay-dry at all, the water was quickly absorbed but the insert felt very wet.  It was exactly like a natural fiber fitted inside of a diaper shell (which I guess is the point of an organic AIO).  When I gave the diaper a little squeeze at the end of the test, the water stayed pretty much in place and didn't come back up too much.  I was surprised by that.  The small organic insert really does it's job, and looks dry, even though it is completely soaked.  Overall I am so impressed with this diaper.  I am not sure I would use it for a 12 hour night, but definitely during the day and for nap time.  It really does not leak and feels wonderful to the touch.  If I had one complaint, it would be that the diaper takes FOREVER to dry.  The manufacturer recommendation is hang dry, and even overnight it is not completely dry.  Still, I find myself in love with this diaper, it's becoming a quick favorite. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Quick-time Cleaning

My four month old just recently started on solid foods.  It's really an awesome milestone for us, but not so much for his cloth diaper stash.  The nice, easily digestible, and machine washable breast feed poo quickly turned into a much thicker mess.  This is technically good for spraying off the mess into the toilet, but the food protein left in the diapers seems to be less easy to get rid of in my washing machine.  I think I have said it before, but my stash is mostly made up of Rumparooz and bumGenius diapers, so my go to detergent is Tide original.  Our routine of cold pre-wash, hot regular wash, cold second rinse, and machine dry or hang, which has worked wonderfully from day one seems to not be leaving the diapers as fresh as they used to.  I strip my covers and prefolds once every 4-5 weeks using the blue Dawn method to make sure that they are no residues left.  But even so, I feel like they are not as absorbent lately (I've had a few leaks here and there).  In addition to the absorbancy issue, there has been a really weird moldy smell floating around my nursery.  Not good.  We searched his room and realized it was the diaper insert.  This is a bit of a problem, because inserts, especially hemp (which is the bulk of what I have) are super absorbent.  They do not want to let go of the water, which makes them great for night-time doubling.  But even after washing and drying them in the dryer at HIGH heat they are still not fully dry; therefore, they are much more prone to mold/bacteria buildup than your regular diapers or inserts.  It is so important to really keep them clean to avoid any issues.   So I decided to spice up my washing routine.  I wanted to find a way to REALLY wash my inserts not just strip them, but give them a really good cleaning too.  So after much research, I decided to take out all of my inserts and wash them with my regular rountine as mentioned above.  But instead of drying them, I did another hot wash with a 1/4 cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda.  I finished up with a cold rinse and voila!  All of my inserts came out fresh and clean!  No more moldy, weird, yucky smell.  I think this is a great alternative to just adding the vinegar alone.  Most people think the vinegar is a harsh cleaning agent, but it's actually a mild, acidic agent.  Adding the baking soda gives it a little grit and an extra boost, getting the inserts really clean.  Now a really important note here:  I only used this stripping method on my inserts, NOT my covers.  It is very important not to wash your covers this way.  I will post next week about how to get your covers ultra clean!  In the meantime, I am enjoying my incredibly clean insert stash.
Deliciously clean inserts!