Monday, July 21, 2014

Öko Créations Big Bib for Little Bellies #Review

Öko Créations recently contacted Cloth Diaper Guru bloggers with the opportunity to feature one of their beautiful bibs. The Öko Créations Big Bib for Little Bellies comes in a variety of very cute prints. I chose the “Magic World” print, featuring cute woodland creatures and a cheery color theme. The panel at the bottom is a symmetrical red and white Moroccan pattern that compliments the print very nicely. Two red snaps on the end coordinate and make the red strawberries and toadstools amongst the woodland creatures pop.  I normally dislike red, but there was something about the tasteful way red was used in this arrangement that appealed to me when I chose it.
Photo Credit Öko Créations
I am not a child psychologist, but I can see how this print would be pleasing to children, not just adults. It is colorful and adorable and when you look at it you just think happy thoughts. Color, coordination, and print choices are definitely a win for this product. Not to mention they are made from 100% certified organic cotton. I haven’t personally seen the other prints this bib comes in, but from their pictures on the website they appear to be equally as pleasing. Not only the color and print choices, but the workmanship and design bespeak a clean, polished look that will get even the most genteel parent’s stamp of approval. A clean look may be a funny way to describe a bib! But that is part of its Magic charm. How can something so clean really look messy, even when it is…actually messy? To be sure, this polished look is still one that is suitable for a children’s accessory and one that children will also love to look at and wear. Their designs really are the perfect symbiosis of both worlds of aesthetics, something that is much desired in a product like a bib.
Photo Credit Öko Créations
When I first received the Big Bib for Little Bellies in the mail, I was thrilled that the print was even more loveable in person, but in the next moment disappointed that the coordinating panel on the bottom was just there for decoration, and not functionality. From the website picture I had thought it was a pocket, and I appreciate pockets in bibs so I was really looking forward to that. The backside is terrycloth, which is nice and absorbent, so it would sop up the majority of what spilled if a whole cup of something spilled on your child.  That level of absorbency is honestly not a feature you find in many other bibs on the market, so it is something to be noted. I was also thinking that the bib was going to be waterproof, but it’s not. The front of the bib is cotton, it’s not PUL or TPU, but this avoids the crunchy feel you get with traditional bibs.

When it came time to use the bib; however, my initial disappointments about the lack of pocket were redeemed. I was pleasantly surprised that the bib was indeed a big bib covering my 2 year old’s entire little belly! And 2 year olds do have those sort of freaky-cute little pot-bellies, do they not?! She is an extraordinarily messy eater, so I am accustomed to simply taking all her clothes off before a mealtime. She wore nothing but the bib and the diaper.  I was glad for the two snaps for sizing around the neck, because she was up to the second snap. The bib dutifully caught all messes, and prevented any food from touching her little belly. After dinner every night my girls get to eat a popsicle while they watch their princess movie.

Giddily, I thought, "The bib even covers up my precious cloth diaper. How nice!" After considering how one of my friends recently posted in our local cloth diapering group lamenting that a favorite diaper had been stained by tomato sauce, I can see this particular bib becoming extremely popular in cloth diapering communities, for this very reason. It’s a big bib.

The bib was used and stained with sticky popsicle juice, naturally left to sit out on my laminate living room floor overnight next to a melted puddle of popsicle (opps! Thank goodness we don’t have ants!). The next morning I picked it up and handwashed it in the sink with Seventh Generation dish soap. I wanted to see if this bib, since it’s not wipe-able as I was envisioning, could be cleaned in the kitchen sink like a rag, and then hung to dry and used again for the next mealtime or at least dinner the following night. I put it outside on a table in this summer sun and dry desert heat and it dried in less than an hour while I was sweeping and tidying my back patio. The popsicle stain that had still been there after I washed it was also completely gone. It wasn’t smooth and pretty-looking anymore as it had been when it arrived to me brand new. It was wrinkly. But of course, that will happen to almost any cloth item once it’s been washed, unless of course it’s jersey knit. I wanted to sun it, so for that reason I didn’t put it in the dryer.  If I had tumble dried it on low, as the tag suggests, I’m sure it would not have been as wrinkled, if at all.

So, overall, I am pleased with this new bib. My favorite things about it are the print, the absorbency, and the size. Thank you for creating a new product, Öko Créations, one that is perfect for sweet little bellies and messy little hands.

Stacy Mojica is an accredited Real Diaper Association leader, founded the Low Country Real Diaper Circle, Sun City Real Diaper Circle, and Cloth for Everybum, Inc. She has two daughters; born in 2011 and 2012. Stacy has a degree in English and ran a small artisan cloth diaper shop via Etsy for one year, but has made her career in cloth diaper advocacy and education. Stacy has a tendency to hyper-focus.  Give her a coffee and a kid-free hour and she will do amazing things! 

Disclosure: Öko Créations provided a free product for this reviewer, but the opinions are her own.
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Cloth For Everybum Benefit Auction July 20-28th 2014

Cloth For Everybum is an organization that aims to bring cloth to... every BUM!  They mentor families interested in using cloth diapers and provide cloth diaper lending kits to get families started.  There are already six national lending sites and Cloth for Everybum is expanding.  The exciting thing about Cloth for Everybum is that it is available for everyone.  There are no restrictions on income levels, so any interested family can apply and get mentoring to learn the how-to's of cloth diapering.

I've been working with Stacy, founder of Cloth for Everybum, as a contributor on Cloth Diaper Guru for several months.  Stacy is passionate about helping families learn to use cloth diapers, better their lives, and better the environment.  She has a real talent for sharing her knowledge and inspiring others to make the leap into cloth diapering.  We are excited to support Cloth For Everybum as it expands and continues to serve more families.  If you are interested in serving as a site manager you can apply here

Check out Cloth For EveryBum to participate in the auction for this exciting cause!
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jack N' Jill Toothpaste: Safe for Babies #Review

Good oral hygiene is something that doesn't come easily and it's never too early to start instilling this in your kids. When baby E turned 15 months old, I felt like we were already behind on dental care. His doctor had recommended brushing his gums even before he had teeth. I tried to follow this advice, but Baby E wasn't cooperative with my "gum brushing" attempts. At 15 months old, he had 7 front teeth, four molars, and wanted nothing to do with a tooth brush. I tried wetting the tooth brush with just water: rejected. Baby E would clench his lips tightly shut at the mere sight of the tooth brush. We couldn't use traditional toothpaste because he was nowhere near capable of spitting the toothpaste back out and you are not supposed to swallow it.

I remembered hearing about toothpaste that was safe to swallow, and after doing more research I discovered Jack N' Jill toothpaste. Green Team Distribution graciously provided a tube for us to review.

Jack N Jill (aff link) toothpaste is:

  • Rich in Xylitol
  • Has Organic Calendula to soothe gums
  • Offered in a variety of Organic Natural flavors
  • Fluoride Free; Sugar-, Color-, SLS-Free; contains No Preservatives
  • Packaging is Safety Sealed, Easy Open Flip Top Cap, BPA-Free, Minimal Recyclable Packaging
  • and Made in Australia

We received the strawberry flavor of the Jack N' Jill Toothpaste and I was really impressed with the difference this made in our attempts at brushing. First, I started by letting Baby E taste the toothpaste on the toothbrush.  His expression perked up and I was actually able to get the toothbrush inside his mouth!  I was able to brush his front teeth during the next attempt, and soon I could brush his molars.  Baby E was becoming very cooperative with tooth brushing and we have been brushing his teeth twice a day, everyday, for over three weeks.

When I brush baby E's teeth, I start by putting a small dot of toothpaste on the brush and focusing on the front teeth.  Next, I add more toothpaste and brush the teeth in the back.  The flavor of the toothpaste helps him tolerate getting all his teeth brushed. If I try to brush all his teeth with one application of toothpaste, he gets fussy as the flavor runs out.

I definitely feel like the combination of brushing with the toothpaste is making a difference for Baby E's oral hygiene.  Baby E's teeth are very close together, and brushing is helping to noticeably remove plaque and stuck-on food. Teeth brushing is becoming a routine for Baby E.  He looks forward to brushing and is even letting me floss his teeth!

I noticed that Jack N' Jill makes a variety of silicone toothbrushes (aff link) for different age groups, and this is something I'm planning to talk about with Baby E's dentist when he goes for his first visit in August.  I'm going to bring along our Jack N' Jill Toothpaste and show her what we're using and get her thoughts on the results. Our dentist may tell us to use more toothpaste when we brush, but the small amount we are currently using seems to be working well to get Baby E used to brushing.

Have you used a safe-to-swallow toothpaste for your kids?  Have you tried any of the other Jack N' Jill Toothpaste flavors?

Jack N' Jill Toothpaste is available from several retailers and you can find a full list here.

Disclosure: Green Team Distribution provided a free sample of this product for us to review.  These opinions are my own.  Kelly's Closet links are affiliate links.
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Monday, July 7, 2014

BALM! BABY Diaper Balm #Review: eczema and diaper rash

Green Team Distribution recently gave me the opportunity to try BALM! Baby, Diaper Balm ointment. Baby E has very sensitive skin (with moderate eczema) and I'm always interested in trying new products that can help soothe rashes. BALM! Baby is a diaper rash and first aid ointment, but it has many uses.

All Organic Ingredients: ALL ORGANIC: Olive, coconut, macadamia nut oil & sesame seed oil infused in noni, calendula, chamomile, comfrey & rosemary, candelilla wax, St. John’s wort extract, chickweed extract, neem oil, kukui nut oil**, vitamin e T-50, Organic Essential oil blend of orange, lavender & tea tree

Price: $9.95 (at Kelly's Closet, aff link)

When I first opened the BALM! Baby container, I was worried that it wouldn't last very long. It's two ounces, and Baby E can easily go through a lot of cream/ointment. However, I quickly discovered that a little of this ointment goes a long way. The ointment is soft, so you can easily get only as much as you need. I focused on areas where rash was present: diaper area, and eczema on his face and neck. I really liked how baby E's face responded to the ointment. I only needed to apply the ointment once a day on his face and neck, but I applied 1-2 times a day for diaper rash (with keeping up with frequent diaper changes). We haven't even used a third of the container and we have been using it for almost a month!

I felt like BALM! Baby was effective and worth the money to get key ingredients.  Our doctor recommended trying different products to see what would help Baby E's eczema.  While many products claim to have benefits for people with eczema, they are filled with other ingredients that can irritate the skin. Products are sometimes extremely overpriced (especially when advertised to people with eczema), so it was refreshing to see a product like this for an affordable price.  I also loved that BALM! Baby was not strongly scented with essential oils.  Essential oils can also cause irritation for people with eczema, and I thought this product had a good balance of ingredients and a mild scent. 

BALM! Baby is also advertised as a first aid ointment.   We had many opportunities to test it on small "boo-boos" and the kids loved it.  It was refreshing to be able to offer this as an alternative to an unneeded bandage.  I heard no complaints about burning or stinging when I applied the BALM! Baby ointment to the kids' scratches and small cuts.

We had a great experience with BALM! Baby, and this is definitely a product that I'm keeping bookmarked for easy re-ordering.  After over a year of struggling with eczema on Baby E's face, things are finally starting to clear up and improve.  He has not had any weeping eczema in over two weeks and we have not needed to use any steroid creams on his face (yay!!). I'm not sure if it's the BALM! Baby ointment, but something seems to be working and I'm so grateful!  I'm happy to have stumbled upon this product.  

Visit Green Team Distribution to find a list of retailers supplying BALM Baby products.  

Disclosure: We were provided a free product for the purpose of this review. This review reflects our honest opinions about this product.  Consult your doctor for treating eczema and diaper rashes. Results will vary, and we make no health claims about this product.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Grovia Limited Edition Prints from Wee Gallery

You may have already seen the hype on Facebook: Grovia has released new limited edition prints "Up, up, and Away," and "Wild Things"!  Prints are exclusive designs from Wee Gallery and keep with their theme of high-contrast artwork. We have been long-time fans of Grovia and Wee Gallery, so I was giddy when I received limited edition prints to swoon over.  Here are some of our photos of the Pail Liner and Wet Bag that we received to review.

Limited Edition Prints are available for Purchase on July 7th! Stay tuned to Grovia's Facebook page for giveaways and excitement leading up to the release. 

Which print is your favorite?  "Up, up, and Away," or "Wild Things"?

I think she picked a favorite!  This pail liner is almost larger than a 4-yr-old! It fits 3 DAYS of cloth diapers.

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