Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Great Cloth Diaper Change is April 26th

April 26th 2014 is the fourth-annual Great Cloth Diaper Change and it's our third year participating.  This worldwide event intends to bring awareness about cloth diapering while setting a world record for the most cloth diapers simultaneously changed.  Attempting to break the current record of 8,301 babies simultaneously changed into a reusable diaper is certainly something to get excited about, but it's only a small fraction of the fun.  Great Cloth Diaper Change events are often filled with natural parenting vendors, free classes (think baby yoga or music lessons), free photography sessions, or even an opportunity to plant a flower or build a bird house.  The variety of vendors and festivities varies extensively from location to location. You are guaranteed to meet other parents who are interested in cloth diapering and bring awareness to this worthy cause of educating the public about cloth diapers.

In order to qualify for the record, there are a few regulations.  The diaper must be a commercially sold diaper.  Your child also must fit the height requirements to participate in the event (generally, children under 3-years-of-age are allowed).  All participating children must be accompanied by an adult (for obvious reasons).

Many Great Cloth Diaper Change participants put a lot of thought into the diaper they select to use in the event. We are using an Ella Bella Bum diaper that I recently purchased for some photography.  The diaper fits the requirements for the official diaper change (it's commercially sold).  After the official diaper change, we plan to take advantage of some of the free photography sessions to show off the diaper and the accomplishment of our little record-setter.  

If you plan to attend at the Edina location in Minnesota, let us know.  I'll be wearing my "I love Cloth Diapers" T-shirt from Kelly's Closet (affiliate link), sporting an "I love Cloth Diapers" pin, and carrying my baby in a Boba 4G (#Boba Ambassador): Look for me!

Are you participating in the Great Cloth Diaper Change?
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Call for guest authors on Cloth Diaper Guru

Cloth Diaper Guru blog is calling for guest authors who are interested in writing about cloth diapering and parenting.

Cloth Diaper Guru blog was started in 2012 by Nissa Mollema. Nissa was looking for opportunities to spread the word about the many benefits of cloth diapering and living a life that was gentle on the environment. The blog was intended to be very informational with a focus on the "How-to's" of cloth diapering, troubleshooting, and the basics of getting started.  This continues to be a main focus of the website. Since its inception, Cloth Diaper Guru grew to incorporate cloth diaper giveaways, cloth diaper and parenting product reviews, and some personal posts.

Diversity of content brought added traffic.  Cloth Diaper Guru is regularly trafficked by over 4,500 unique monthly visitors and 75% new readers.  It's content is streamed to Mobile Mom, where it's content is highlighted in the "Pregnancy" series. Cloth Diaper Guru has thousands of followers on Facebook, Pintrest, Twitter, and a small (but new) following on Instagram. Nissa's focus on reader education and informational blogging earned her recognition as a leader in the Cloth Diapering Community by being recruited to the Kelly Wels Ambassador team.

Aside from an interest in educating the public, Nissa began blogging to improve her writing and editing skills.  She holds a PhD in the life sciences and has a passion for scientific writing and clear communication.  As her writing continued to improve, Nissa was recruited for new opportunities as a freelance medical writer and editor.  This role is requiring a substantial amount of time and energy outside of her full-time job as a basic science researcher.

At this time, Nissa decided that Cloth Diaper Guru needs to continue to be a "community" resource. The best way to continue to bring up-to-date cloth diapering information is to call on community members to share their wealth of knowledge. Guest authors should submit proposed topic ideas to clothdiaperguru@gmail.com. Articles should be around 500 words in length, have a focus on cloth diapering and parenting, and may include links to personal blogs and websites.  For privacy reasons, Cloth Diaper Guru does not post images of babies wearing cloth diapers (if you have other images you want to include, please watermark them with your name/website).  We reserve the right to select authors and topics of interest to our community.

Why write for Cloth Diaper Guru?
Writing for Cloth Diaper Guru is a wonderful way to get your website and ideas noticed. Most bloggers started small, learned from experience, and relied on help from experienced mentors. If you are a company looking to feature a product or service, we are reviewing and accepting sponsored posts for a small fee of $20.  This fee will be used to provide thank you compensation to guest bloggers who make a significant contribution to this website.  At this time we can not guarantee compensation for your guest contribution, but we can begin to discuss opportunities to work with companies for product reviews or co-hosted giveaways as I build a relationship with you.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Scratch-Me-Not silk mitten #review #eczema

Babies have sharp little fingernails.  I remember being absolutely terrified of trimming my daughter’s nails when she was a baby.  They were so tiny and even the “baby” trimmers seemed enormous next to her small hands.  Nail trimming was a dreaded task, but it had to be done.  We did our best to keep her nails trimmed short because she always found ways to unintentionally scratch herself.  Although the scratches were usually superficial, it was terrible to see her get cuts on her face and sensitive eye area.  Even our daycare teachers commented that we needed something to protect her skin from scratches.  We tried baby mittens, but they never stayed on well. 
 
Scratch-Me-Not in Papaya Splash
We never found a great solution for our daughter and, although she outgrew the issue, our second child had a greater problem with scratching.  He suffers from eczema and, despite identifying food and environmental allergens, he still has unknown allergies that irritate his skin and make him itchy.  Covering his hands during naps and overnight significantly helps improve the quality of his skin: it keeps him from scratching and making his skin red and puffy.  Using baby mittens or putting socks over his hands simply will not work because the fabric is too course and he can easily remove them by using his teeth. Another mom to a baby with eczema told me about a neat product she uses for her son: Scratch-Me-Not silk, flip mittens.  She said it was a godsend for her little 8-month-old.  Scratch-Me-Not sent me a pair of flip mittens to review and try on our 11-month-old baby. 
 
Mittens go on like a shrug.  This makes them difficult to remove.

Scratch-Me-Not flip mittens protect baby’s skin from scratching and are difficult for your baby to remove.  You’ll notice that these mittens go on like a shrug. The fabric is stretchy and that makes it easy to put on the mittens.  Once on, baby has a very difficult time removing them.  What I love is that the flip feature allows you to keep the mittens open or shut: if you want to prevent baby from scratching then flip the mittens over to the silk side (hands are now covered).  The silk is so soft and it reduces the friction with the skin.  The mittens are also two layered.  Cotton fabric covers the hands and, when baby scratches, his hands move against the cotton which further reduces the movement of the silk against baby’s skin.  The cotton in the mittens is also thick, so even an older child with sharp nails would not be able to scratch herself.



We were really happy with the Scratch-Me-Not product and I felt that it was a great value.  When I was researching anti-scratch mittens, I looked at lots of different products and potential DIY projects.  The quality of the Scratch-Me-Not mittens surpassed anything else I found online or that I could feasibly do myself.  

I found the flip-mitten feature really useful.  While keeping baby’s hands covered reduces scratching, having access to hands is important for baby’s comfort and development.  You can easily give baby access to her little fingers while you are there to supervise.  If you need to step away for a moment, flip the mittens over and skin is protected.  This is such a convenience for times like riding in the car, pushing baby in the stroller, or fussy moments.  The mom who recommended Scratch-Me-Not mittens to me uses them on her son 24-7 and continually flips the mittens open-or-shut depending on the situation. My husband liked the colorful print on the Scratch-Me-Not mittens that clearly shows when the mittens are open versus shut: you would not mistakenly think you shut the mittens.
 
Mittens shut, hands covered, skin protected.

The prints and colors are useful for telling when the mittens are open-versus-shut, but most importantly the prints are fun!  When I met the mom and baby who introduced me to Scratch-Me-Not, I did not notice that her son was wearing a special mitten product. It looked like any cute outfit you would see on a baby.  This is something that is really important to me.  As a mom to a baby with eczema, I often feel very sad that my baby cannot wear certain types of clothing.  We usually keep his skin as covered as possible to prevent damage from scratching, so he spends most of his time in pajamas.  It is very easy to become disappointed by a trip to the clothing store.  With Scratch-Me-Not mittens, he can wear shorts, T-shirts, and cute outfits!  This is a huge change because it allows us to take him outside in warmer weather instead of being trapped in the air conditioning.  Of course the Scratch-Me-Not sleeves are another layer of clothing (you still need to use care and be aware of the temperature), but these opened up so many more possibilities for us.  Scratch-Me-Not mittens are also something cute I can buy for him to give him a little style and a splash of color.

Scratch-Me-Not runs coupon specials frequently, so keep checking their website.  Be sure to order the correct size and do not size-up to save money: baby will be able to get the mittens off or will not have his hands covered by the soft silk.  Scratch-Me-Not has great instructions for how to determine the correct size for your baby.  Sizes range from 3-months to size 6.  Our baby fit into the lower end of the 18-month size range and this is the same size he is wearing in clothing. I need at least two pairs to get by on laundry day, so be sure to order an extra!


What do you think about this innovative way to keep baby’s skin protected?
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Maxwell Designs Grab-and-Go Wallet #Review

I'm continuing to post pictures of some of my new Maxwell Designs (aff link) products.  I'm very behind on this: I've already been using my Grab-and-Go Wallet for about 4 months!  This is my favorite purchase because it is so versatile and unique.

Front: zips in the center

Back: zips at the top 
Holding a cloth diaper: this bag is waterproof!

Metal clasps and zippers for durability
Perfect for our emergency allergy medications: a stylish way to live with food allergies
The Grab and Go wallet features:
  • Measures 10" x  6.25"
  • Long front zipper (the whole length of the grab and go wallet)
  • 2 mil PUL (wipeable surface) inside both diaper wallet pockets
  • Back zipper with a separate compartment
  • Fits refill diaper wipes packs (up to approx 80 wipes) or cloth wipes
  • Washing instructions: wipe clean interior, spot wash exterior.
We use our Grab-and-Go wallet for so many different things.  I mainly use it for quick trips where I only need to bring one cloth diaper for our baby.  The bag is really easy to clean.  I usually do a very quick dip into soapy water (we use Molly's Suds Laundry Powder) when it needs some refreshing.  I have also used this bag to pack a few disposable diapers and wipes when I wanted to have a small bag but we were planning a longer outing. 

I'm planning to continue using this bag for allergy medication when our baby is out of diapers.  It fits our liquid Benadryl and epi-pens with room to spare.  It's nice to have separate compartments so I can keep a few snacks in one side and the epi-pens in the other side.  It's unfortunate that we have to have the epi-pens with us at all times (peanut allergy), but having a cute bag with an easy-to-grip handle makes it a lot easier!

This post contains a Maxwell Designs affiliate link.
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Maxwell Designs Travel Change Mat #Review

I purchased a travel change mat from Maxwell Designs (aff link) months ago and I am finally getting around to posting some pictures of it. 

 




Features:
Machine washable.
Size: 22.5″ x 18″
Change pad rolls up for added convenience and space saving.
Proudly made in Vancouver, Canada.

First of all, I am in love with the chevron print.  I just can't get enough of the adorable Chevron print diapers and it's awesome to have coordinating travel accessories.  Once again, Maxwell Designs is combining fashion and functionality.  If you haven't read my previous reviews of the Stow-it-All clutch or the Cosmetics bag, you need to check those out as well.  I own almost all the products available from Maxwell Designs: everything is very high quality and well-made.

The Travel Change Mat is surprisingly compact and it rolls up easily.  My baby was always much too squirmy to be changed on a changing table, so we almost always change him on the floor.  It's easy to lay out the mat and I feel comfortable knowing that the cotton terry will quickly absorb any "accidents" that might occur.  The mat is also great for practicing tummy time, or when you need a clean surface for your baby to play (beach, outdoor time).

The Travel Change Mat is available for $35 and this price includes shipping!

This April (2014) Maxwell Designs is celebrating by offering Cloth Diaper Guru fans 5% off any purchase.  Use code: CLOTHDIAPERGURUROCKS. No minimums, no restrictions.

I'm so happy to know that Maggie from Maxwell Designs thinks we rock because I know that she rocks!  If you don't believe me, follow her on Instagram: she is always posting images of her beautiful creations.
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