Monday, October 20, 2014

Sized versus One Size #clothdiapers

If you are new to cloth diapers, you're probably wondering what is a "sized" versus a "one-size" diaper.  Today's post will share some of the differences so you can make a decision about the best cloth diaper for your child.

One Size Diaper: 

A diaper that is advertised as “One-size” is designed to fit baby from birth to potty training.  Check the size limits on the diaper, as some one-sized diapers can fit a baby as small as 5 pounds.  Other one-size diapers will not fit babies until they are at least eight pounds.  If you have a preemie or very small newborn, a one-sized diaper may not fit your child from birth.  One-sized diapers are a great economical buy.  A diaper that is designed to grow with your baby from birth to potty training will save you money over purchasing a variety of different sized diapers.

A one-size cloth diaper from Rock-a-Bums adjusts to fit babies of different sizes.  The diaper snaps down in the "rise" to accommodate small babies or large babies.

Sized Diaper:

Diapers that are advertized by size are designed so that you will purchase different sizes of diapers as your baby grows (something like XS/S, M, L, XL).  The great thing about sized diapers is that they can be trimmer than a “one size” diaper, and they sometimes work better for people who are struggling to get a good fit with a one size option (one size fits MOST, but not all).  Some brands of diapers are only available in sized options, while others will give you the choice of a sized or one-size diaper.


A large swim diaper is sized to fit babies within a certain weight range.

Visit Kelly's Closet for help with size comparison.
Some families prefer to purchase sized diapers over one-sized options.  Which style you select will depend on your preferences and the brand you prefer.  Some diapers are only available in one-size options and other brands offer sized diapers.  Some of our favorite one-sized diapers are Grovia, Rumparooz, Blueberry, and BumGenius.  Some of our favorite sized diapers are FuzziBunz, Thirsties, and Sustainablebabyish.  Kelly's Closet (aff link) has a great comparison of different brands and sizing options so you can do some quick research and find a size to fit your baby.

Kelly's Closet Links are affiliate links and we may receive a small percentage of any purchase made through the link.  Thank you for supporting our page!
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Rock-A-Bums #CDLocal2Me #Giveaway Hop: Celebrating local #clothdiapers

#CDLocal2Me (1)Welcome to the #CDLocal2Me Giveaway Hop Event, hosted by Mama Loup's Den and Our Piece of Earth.   We have teamed up with some amazing bloggers who love supporting local businesses and are excited to share these products and companies that we love with you. Each participating blogger will be showcasing cloth diaper or natural living products and stores local to them. This is a great way for you to find out where some of your favorite products are made and discover some that you may not have heard of. Be sure to hop around to all of these fantastic blogs and enter to win.    


Rock-a-Bums are Local To Me!  Rock-a-Bums, designed in Minnesota, are an awesome 5-in-1 cloth diapering system.  We reviewed both the Rock-a-Bums 2.0 (latest "model") and the 1.0 cloth diapers.  Both were a favorite and we are excited to give our readers yet another opportunity to take home a FREE Rock-a-Bums cloth diaper.  


The diaper is customizable and can be used as a 1) diaper cover, 2) All-in-two, 3) All-in-One, 4) Pocket Diaper, or 5) Disposable hybrid diaper (they even suggest using it over disposable diapers to contain blow-outs). 

"I find that the Rock-a-Bums is incredibly easy to customize and this diaper will work for almost every family.  We use a lot of prefold cloth diapers and I like that I can use [Rock-a-Bums] as a diaper cover.  Rock-a-Bums also sells additional charcoal bamboo inserts so you can use this as an exclusively All-in-Two system" ~Cloth Diaper Guru review 

Enter to Win one Rock-a-Bums cloth diaper cover (Color/print/closure of your choice), TWO reusable inserts, and a cloth diaper wet bag (color of your choice).

One winner will be selected.  Open to residents over the age of 18 who are residents of the US or Canada.

Falsified entries will be disqualified. One entry per household.  This giveaway is in no way associated with any social media site.  Rock-a-Bums is responsible for prize fulfillment.




Disclosure: Mama Loup's Den, Our Piece of Earth and the participating #CDLocal2Me bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize shipments.
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Going Green with Reusable Press Pouches #Review

Food pouches are rapidly becoming the latest trend among parents. While I like using food pouches, I don’t like buying expensive pre-filled pouches at stores. Another drawback to these pouches is the amount of waste they produce.

Press PouchPress Pouch is an easy and convenient, reusable food pouch that you fill with a ready-to-eat snack. The pouches neatly hold traditional baby food purees, applesauce, yogurt, smoothies, etc. What sets Press Pouches apart from other reusable pouches is the choke-proof cap, extra-large preview window, and the wide-fill bases. The product is made from high quality BPA, phthalate, and PVC free materials, yet is strong enough to allow freezing and dishwasher cleaning.

I was intrigued when the Press Pouch arrived and began to prepare it almost immediately. I used a spoon to load applesauce from the bottom of the pouch and used the big preview window to see how much applesauce I was adding. This preview window also takes the guesswork out when you’re in a hurry and need to grab a specific pouch from your fridge. I must admit I had a hard time sealing the pouch the first time. The key is not overfilling it (the dashed lines function as guides) and making sure the threads are clean so they can properly close. I used a napkin to clean the closure and get a good seal. I make sure I squeeze the pouch each time to reassure it’s correctly closed and I’ve had no further problems with leaks.

The Press Pouch is also easy to clean and you can use a soft bottle brush the scrub the inside. I typically let the pouch soak in warm soapy water for a while and then wash it. When we were out and about I made sure I capped the pouch so the inside wouldn’t dry because dry food is harder to clean. The Press Pouch can also be cleaned in the dishwasher, although I have never done this. Busy moms can easily clean, refill and store in the fridge for snack time. Multiple pouches can be filled and stored in the freezer, then prepared at any time by passing them through warm water.
Using a Press Pouch
We practice baby-led weaning with our 8-month old, which works for us because she refuses to be fed by anyone other than herself. The Press Pouch has allowed her to successfully and neatly feed herself yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal and other foods that would otherwise be messy to eat with a spoon. The pouch is easy to hold and, since the spout is at the top, she’s able to get all the food out as she eats. She now gets excited every time she sees the pouch and knows she’s getting a snack.

The Press Pouch is simple to use, remaining true to its tag line “Prep it, Fill it, Press it”. Overall, I recommend this reusable pouch for its simplicity to use, fill and clean. Each Press Pouch can hold enough contents to cover a single meal and when it’s finished you can refill it instead of throwing it away. You can purchase a pack of three reusable Press Pouches for only $11.99 at their online store: http://www.presspouch.com.

Disclosure: Press Pouch gave me one product to review. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and the opinions expressed here are solely my own.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Grovia My Choice Trainer Thoughts and Updates

We purchased the Grovia My Choice (aff link) cloth training pants for our daughter after they were released in 2012.  These trainers are touted as being able to fit a child size 18lbs-35lbs.  If you have a larger child or an older child, you can purchasing a larger side flex panel (sold separately) that will accommodate a child sized 3T-5T (30+ Lbs.).  Additional side flex panels are available for about $3.99.  We've been using these trainers for a few years and I wanted to share our experiences with the training pants.


Sizing/Fit
While Grovia Trainers are a one-size cloth trainer, they are not adjustable enough to fit every child.  The trainers are advertised as being able to fit an 18lb child.  Perhaps a chunky 18lb child would fit into the trainer with no issues, but getting a good fit on a slender 18lb may be a problem.  We purchased the trainers to fit our 22lb 19-month-old, and they were too big.  We ended up having to set the trainers aside for two more months until our daughter had filled out enough to use them.  On the other hand, they fit our 18-month-old son (25lbs) with no issues. Grovia could easily make sizing more versatile by adding a second row of snaps to size the rise of the diaper, thereby making it possible to achieve a tighter fit around the legs. Once our daughter grew into the trainers, they fit very nicely and we didn't have any problems with leaks.

Comfort
The Grovia Trainers have two very flexible side panels that allow a child to pull the trainers up and down.  The side panels are very stretchy and comfortable for an active toddler.  The fabric of these trainers is designed to feel more like underwear; the fabric is soft and comfortable on skin.  The trainers have very minimal bulk, which makes them a wonderful choice for an older child who is preparing to transition to underwear.

Absorbency/Ability to Contain
The Grovia Trainers have medium absorbency.  There is an absorbent hemp layer sewn into the trainer, which is enough to catch some bigger toddler-sized accidents.  If you have a heavy wetter, or were planning to use this trainer for overnight or naps, you would need to add extra absorbency into the pocket of the trainer.  It is easy to unsnap and stuff the pocket of the trainer with additional absorbent inserts to bring the absorbency up.  The pocket of this trainer is smaller so you can't stuff it with too much, but I have been adding one large BumGenius insert to give the trainer a high amount of absorbency.

Durability
The craftsmanship of these trainers is very good. I had some concerns about the durability of the side-flex panels because they are made with smaller elastic that I worried could become stretched-out and loose over time.  The benefit to these side flex panels is that they will probably "grow" with your child and stay comfortable as they begin to stretch with your child's growth.  So far we haven't noticed any stretching in our side flex panels and we are now using the diapers on a second child.

Dry-time for line drying
We are used to pocket diapers with removable inserts, so the dry time on a pocket trainer with sewn-in absorbency was a huge adjustment for us.  These trainers took about twice as long to dry as a traditional pocket diaper, so plan ahead to line dry, or dry them on low in the dryer.

Style
The Grovia My Choice Trainers are adorable!  Grovia advertises various colors of side flex panels that give your child a "choice" of what color they want.  This idea was really appealing to me because it gives toddlers a choice of colors and gets them involved in decision-making (which helps distract from and prevent tantrums).  We purchased some of the trainers in "Cloud" which is a dark gray color and "Vanilla", which is a lighter cream color (shown in this post).  We also purchased additional blue, and green side flex panels to add some color.  I personally like the colored side flex panels better on the Vanilla trainers.  The Cloud trainers seem a bit odd with the colored panels, but the grey alone was very stylish.



Even though we had to wait a bit to start using these trainers, I am incredibly satisfied with the function and versatility of the trainer. I'm glad we opted for a one-size option that will last for months and through multiple children!  Is anyone else using Grovia's "My Choice" Trainers?  What are your thoughts?

Kelly's closet link is an affiliate link. This is a non-sponsored review and all thoughts are my own.  I may receive a small percentage of any purchases made through Kelly's Closet affiliate links.
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Benefits of Babywearing: #InternationalBabywearingWeek 2014

Babywearing was one of the first decisions I made before my daughter was born. I knew I wanted my baby to feel safe and secure at all times. Rather than isolating her in her own space, I wanted to help her feel important and integrate her into our daily life. Cuddling with her was also a plus!

Here are eight benefits I’ve obtained from baby wearing my 7-month old daughter from birth.
  1. Comforting for both mom and baby – From the womb, my baby was used to my rhythmic heartbeat and warmth. Once she came into this big and strange world, she was deprived of that. Wearing her allows me to keep her close and provide her with the familiar motion and sounds she had been accustomed to. Whenever I carry her, she allows herself to relax and be comforted. My daughter knows she is safe and it gives me additional opportunities to be there for her.

  2. Feeling secure and reassuring – I always plan on wearing my baby when we visit a crowded place like a festival. I don’t have to worry about maneuvering a bulky stroller around a crowd and I’m less anxious about random strangers coming too close or touching my baby. Crowds can be intimidating and when I’m too busy paying attention to everything going on, my daughter is reassured by the physical contact that I’m there with her.

  3. It’s convenient – I learned early on that carrying my baby anywhere in her infant carrier was a chore onto itself. Infant carriers are not only bulky and heavy, but you have to set it with the baby away from your line of vision somewhere on the floor or a table. With my baby in her carrier I don’t have to stop whatever I’m doing to pay attention to her. I can continue cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, or running errands.

  4. Easier travel experience – I wore my daughter as we maneuvered through three airports and four flights when she was only four months old. Wearing her helped block excess stimuli and with lots to watch, she kept busy and demanded less attention. Babywearing when traveling also means having two free hands to handle documents, get through security, carry bags, and board the aircraft.

  5. Increased interaction – Having a baby doesn't mean that you have to stop doing everyday tasks and running errands. Babywearing allowed me to keep up with my tasks while keeping my baby close so we can interact more often. Since she’s at eye-level, my daughter is able to interact with other adults as well. I noticed my daughter is more alert when she accompanies me while I go about my day. Babies that quietly pay attention to their environment are known to also be learning.
    Nursing while Babywearing
    Discreetly nursing while babywearing.

  6. Easy breastfeeding on the go – Having my baby close allows me to respond to her feeding cues before she cries for attention. I’ve successfully and discreetly nursed in public a number of times while babywearing. With my daughter in the carrier I can just slightly adjust her position and my clothes, pull the cover on, and let her nurse quietly. The cover helps block out distractions letting her nurse in peace and maybe fall asleep. I’ve been able to continue to enjoy a walk, finish grocery shopping, go through the checkout counter at a store, and even ordered funnel cake at a festival.

  7. Better communication – Keeping my baby close allows me to observe her reactions to her environment. We’ve also gotten to know each other better as we study each other’s facial expressions and gestures. Babies are able to communicate hunger, wetness, boredom, and sleepiness without crying. Babywearing has allowed me to learned to read my daughter’s cues, which is important in order to fulfill her needs.

  8. Happier baby and mom – It might be luck but my daughter rarely cries and fusses, especially when she’s being held. When I wear my daughter, she’s often calmly observing everything around us and quietly learning. I’m definitely happier knowing I can respond to my daughter’s needs and seeing her trust in me increase. Babywearing allows us both to relax and enjoy special activities, trips and even daily life together. Life is more enjoyable as we’ve become mutually attached to each other. 
Happy International Babywearing Week!
Oct 5th-11th, 2014

Carrier featured: Ergobaby Organic Baby Carrier - Dark Chocolate(Affiliate Link)


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