Potty Training: I think she’s ready?!

So after having two women who I greatly respect as caregivers (one of our nursery workers who has known Eden for months, and one from BCB) told me that they think my tiny tot is ready to potty train, I really started wondering. But I knew kids regress with big changes (i.e. moves…) so didn’t want to start and then just backslide immediately. But now we are here. Moved.

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And I’m wondering even more.

As far as I can tell (and let’s face it, it’s really mostly guess work) she seems pretty ready. She holds it for hours at a time, and then we have a flood. She loves throwing the diaper away after getting changed. And she explains to me in no uncertain terms when she is poopy and must be changed right this instant!

So, yeah…

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This morning I ordered some of Allen’s naturally laundry detergent from BCB which is what I use on our cloth diapers. Best Bottom diapers have training pants that actually incorporate the small inserts we already own. Score. So I bought just one pair of training pants, to see if she is interested in that. Now we just need a potty. She definitely doesn’t seem very keen to hang over the big potty pants-less, but I wouldn’t be either so I can’t really blame her there. She definitely likes playing in the toilet, which up until now I have been discouraging (but maybe shouldn’t be??) And has even started picking out what she wants to wear in the mornings which is super adorable, in case you were wondering…

Outfit she picked out to wear, including the shoes. I added the bow :)

Outfit she picked out to wear, including the shoes. I added the bow :)

I think a trip to Ikea is in order for one of their $5 potties. And since the closest one is only 20-30 min away, I think I’ll make that trip tomorrow! Get my big (tiny) girl a potty! Any potty training tips? Being a nurse, and mostly a rehab nurse at that, I’ve potty trained quite a few adults. I feel like this should be a similar process…

What is your favorite potty for your little ones? Any favorite training pant? How about best potty training tips? And go.

My crazy monkey

My crazy monkey

Baby Cotton Bottom Giveaway

So you have heard me tell you a few times now about my favorite cloth diaper store, Baby Cotton Bottoms (here, here, here and here) and now I am thrilled to be able to host a giveaway to their awesome store! The prize is a $25 giftcard! Man, oh man…

They do have a website and are more than happy to ship inside of the US (for shipping details, click here) so you don’t have to be local to win. And if you have heard me love on a product you don’t see on their website (ex: Amber teething necklace) I am sure you could give them a call and they would be happy to help you with the order.

If you are local, just head over to their shop in Old Colorado City and tell them I said hey!

Okay, enough jibber jabber, on to the giveaway! If you don’t see the Rafflecopter widget below, just click the link and you will be taken to it. Don’t forget to share on Facebook!
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Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Mama: Diaper Rash Troubles

Okay, its confession time.

For the sake of not being too graphic, and for obvious reasons, this post won’t have any pictures of my poor little girl’s tushy. But trust me when I say it gets bad. Really bad.

To start with, you have to understand that Eden has a milk allergy. When she has a reaction, a couple of things inevitably happen. She gets mucousy/diarrhea poos that last for about 2 weeks, and she gets a rash. This rash sometimes clears quickly, but usually hangs around for as long as the reaction does due to the consistency of the poos. And then it can be really hard to clear up… It is not fun at all. Also, I have learned that my girl is *really* sensitive to her skin being wet.

I loved my hemp Best Bottom diaper inserts for their absorbency, but not so much for their moisture wicking capabilities. The main downside to hemp, is it feels wetter against skin. And apparently, Eden just can’t handle the amount of wet, especially overnight. So you can see how with a milk allergy, and sensitive skin, sometimes cloth diapering has been a challenge. Also, she almost always poops in the early morning, so she doesn’t necessarily get changed right away because she just doesn’t wake up. By morning time, she has a rash. This led to terrible rash cycles.

So bad, I almost abandoned cloth diapering completely. And you know how I love cloth!

We tried everything. Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom balm, not enough. Coconut oil, not enough. Fleece liners to wick moisture, not enough. Biodegradable liners to lift off poo, not enough and poo stayed against her skin too much and the material makes her skin red. Using zinc oxide creams applied in *very* thin layers and using biodegradable liners, not enough. (The idea being you can use the zinc oxide creams with a liner to protect your diaper, and then toss the liner. But this solution didn’t give her enough of a barrier from the wet and the poo.)

When her skin gets like this, it can actually get to the point of breakdown and open skin. You can see why I was getting so incredibly frustrated. I just couldn’t keep her skin clear. So then I broke down, decided I couldn’t keep cloth diapering her out of sheer stubbornness when she was suffering for it, and put her little hiney in disposables for about 2 months. It took a while of extra strength Desitin to clear up her little hiney, and then I didn’t want to put her back in cloth yet because she was still having the occasional milk reaction poo. Once we were clear of rashes and reactions for a little while, I decided to give cloth another chance, but making some changes.

I have started revamping my stash, so that it is primarily microfleece inserts with hemp doublers. It turns out this is the perfect solution for us. Because she wets so heavily at night, the hemp gives her the absorbency she needs. But because she is so sensitive, the hemp is on bottom and never against her skin. The microfleece goes against her skin, and provides the moisture wicking she needs. And I am very happy to report she has been almost completely rash free!

The other night an edge of hemp did peek out from under the fleece and ended up against her leg, so I put her in disposables for a couple of days, lathered her up with Desitin, ad we are clear again! Hooray! I am so, so thrilled we have finally found a solution that works! At the first hint of rash, we switch straight to disposables until she clears up, and then back to cloth. I will take it! I was getting really sick and tired of buying all those diapers! They are crazy expensive. I am much happier using them only when necessary for a rash, and using cloth the rest of the 95% of the time. Yay cloth!

I also talked to the lady at my favorite cloth diaper store, Baby Cotton Bottoms for the locals, who suggested a few things. The one I am most interested to try is raw silk liners. Apparently they have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and are incredible as rash healers! And at only $3 ea, I think I may have to grab up a few of these the next time I am in there. It would be a nice alternative to switching to cloth every time she gets a rash, and a good bit cheaper, too. In fact, the lady at the store said her son was pretty sensitive too, so she just put him in one of these at nights and nap times and they were able to stay rash free. I might just have to give these a shot. If I do, I will definitely let you know what I think!

Have you had trouble with diaper rash? What worked for you? Its just terrible, isn’t it? But I am so glad to have my little girl healthy again! Yay!

Woolzies Dryer Balls GIVEAWAY!!!

Because I love Woolzies so much, and want to share them with you, I’m hosting a Woolzies Dryer Balls Giveaway! And this just makes my heart all warm and fuzzy inside :)

Entering is easy, just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. A random winner will be selected and contacted about their fabulous prize! This giveaway is available worldwide, so share with your friends, people!

For more information about what Woolzies are, see my product review.

 

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Product Review: Woolzies Dryer Balls

Woolzies Dryer Balls are exactly that. Dryer balls made out of 100% wool. They shorten drying time and are a natural fabric softener. So instead of using dryer sheets, which cause build up and shouldn’t be used on towels or things like cloth diapers, wool dryer balls are completely natural, don’t leave any build up or residue, and help to shorten the drying time of your load.

As a fabric softener, these are absolutely just as effective as dryer sheets, but I can also use them on my towels and cloth diapers, which I love! I love that I can put them in with Eden’s diapers to help keep them nice and soft for her little sensitive bum.

They are advertised as helping with static cling, but I can’t say I have personally experienced that. Although, I do live in a dry climate, and don’t really have much luck in this area with dryer sheets either. So, maybe its just my dryer or where we live, who knows…

As far as drying time is concerned, I have definitely noticed a difference. The caveat here is that you need a minimum of 6 dryer balls to shorten drying time, and more = shorter drying. For our family, I have noticed about a 20% decrease in drying time of big loads. This is especially true for a larger load. I have been able to decrease the heat used to dry my laundry as well as a shorter time. For our cloth diapers (as long as I am doing the full load) the drying time has decreased from 90-100 minutes to 70-80. These do still need to be on high heat but I am pretty happy with a 20 minute shorter time frame!

For a regular load, I have been able to decrease everything by one heat setting from what I used to dry them at, as well as about a 20% shorter time frame. I will go ahead and note that if I am doing a smaller load, especially with the diapers (but also everyday laundry), it doesn’t necessarily seem to help a whole lot. The smaller load still seems to take about 100 min to dry, but they do come out nice and soft :)

Another thing you can try is adding essential oils like lavender to the balls, and it only takes a couple of drops. This gives your laundry a nice scent. I haven’t tried this yet, purely because I haven’t bought the oil yet, but I have heard great things about this method and fully intend on trying it out. Once I do, I’ll give you an update!

Grade = A- Yes I would definitely recommend these! And look forward to adding some essential oils for a nice scent :)

Pros: Overall, I have been very pleased with the Woolzies Dryer Balls. In the long run, they are much cheaper than dryer sheets and don’t cause buildup or residue. I have seen a shortened drying time and decreased heat settings. Everything definitely comes out comfy and soft! Cheaper than dryer sheets when spread out over time. They are also hypoallergenic.

Cons: I have not noticed any difference as far as static is concerned, and some things even seem a bit more staticky. I also have not had decreased drying time for the smaller loads of laundry (which is the opposite of what is advertised, maybe I should do a time trial comparison…) More expensive upfront cost compared to dryer sheets at $35/set of 6.

 

P.S. See their website for additional information and purchasing options (set of 3/6).

P.P.S. It is important to note that while I was given a free set of Woolzies Dryer Balls to write this review, all opinions expressed are strictly my own. I had already heard great things about them and wanted to give them a try.

Diaper Love

Part of my Cloth Diaper Series

And now, my favorite diaper of all. P.S. Sorry for the long absence! I will try to update more frequently!

Best Bottom Diaper System. Love.

There are a few reasons I love these so much. I don’t even know where to really start… Okay, here we go. First of all, the diaper covers are a one size diaper. They have snaps up the front to adjust the rise of the diaper, as well as snaps along the wings to adjust the waist. They fit from birth to 35lb. Also, to help keep the diaper trim, the liners are sized and can grow with baby as well. They have three sizes of liners that will cover baby from birth to potty training.

One of my favorite features is how the liner actually snaps into the cover. This decreases any shifting and also helps keep a more trim diaper. For night time, you just snap in a doubler (or even two) and are good to go! The liners come in micro-fleece or hemp (natural products are more absorbent).

Another reason I love them: the covers just seem sturdy. Like they aren’t’ going anywhere any time soon. I really think they would hold up well through multiple children. They also have a double leg gusset, so leaks are rare.

And the covers are just adorable!!! I love their patterns! One of my favorites is the moolicious pattern. Clearly Eden needs a diaper cover with a cow print. Seriously, go check out their prints here.

Also, these diapers are very cost effective, especially if you buy them in bulk. For $240, you can get 9 shells and 24 stay-dry inserts. You would only really need a few doublers on top of this for a full time diaper stash. These are the only diapers I have ever heard of that are loved by *everyone* who tries them. I really have not ever heard anyone who didn’t love these diapers. I definitely plan on using these for many years to come!

Has anyone else had great success with these diapers? And if you live in the Springs, go to Baby Cotton Bottoms, they will take great care of you!

The Angel Wings Fold

Part of my Cloth Diaper Series

So, I talked a little about the Angel Wings Fold in The Great American Diaper Stash, Pt. 2, but it doesn’t help you if you don’t know how to do the fold. So here you go.

We start with a prefold, short sides facing you. Take the back edge and fold it down an inch or so (this decreases as baby gets bigger).

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Lay baby on diaper, and fold front corners in until they meet (more if you prefer).

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Bring front end up in front of baby and gently fan out corners so they reach back a little further towards baby’s hips (not necessary if baby is tiny and the corners already reach).

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Bring back “wings” that you created earlier forward and overlap your front edges.

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Fasten with snappi. The snappi has little claws on it that allow it to grab the prefold and keep secure. You want it to be snug so that the diaper can’t shift.

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Cover with diaper cover, and now you have a diaper! Remember to tuck in the extra bit of prefold at the legs; if you forget this step, you will have leaks.

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Ah, cloth diapered bear!

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The Great American Diaper Stash, Pt. 2

Part of my Cloth Diaper Series

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 Okay, now lets talk about they types of diapers I actually use, and why I like them. I’m going to go chronologically in terms of Eden’s age, so you get a better idea of when I liked what types.

So first of all, newborn poo is runny. Really runny… Which means it is capable of great big messes. During this time I especially loved prefolds, more on that in just a bit. When she first came home from the hospital, she had meconium poo, which can be very staining for cloth diapers, so we did the first couple of days in disposables. Around day 5 or so, we switched to cloth. (And we are still going strong! I love cloth even 10 1/2 months later!)

Why did I love prefolds so much, you ask? Well, let me tell you. There is this nifty thing called a snappi. The snappi is the modern, easier to use substitute for a diaper pin (although those are definitely still around). With the snappi, you can do what is called an angel wings fold. This fold contains most newborn messes, anything else is caught by the cover. Always remember that if any cloth is showing outside of your cover, you will have leaks. So be sure to check those little legs and tuck any extra back inside! Using this method, the first true blowout we ever had was not until 5-6 months! If you have ever used disposable diapers, you know that is amazing!

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Isn’t Eden adorable in her prefold?!

I started with two sizes of prefolds, preemie (5-9lb) and small (8-15lb). For covers, I loved the newborn Bummis, because they fit my tiny baby really well. The Newborn Super Brite from this kit has a double leg gusset (great for preventing leaks!) and fit Eden the best from birth (they fit 4-9lb!). We also tried the Super Lite wrap (6-10lb), but I wasn’t as impressed. They didn’t have the double leg gusset, and I wasn’t crazy about how the leg hole fit. Most of this was just personal preference, not so much a diaper defect.

Eden grew out of the preemie prefolds fairly quickly, because she was just peeing more than they could handle. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that I didn’t need to stop using them all together. There is no reason you can’t double up! I could have used one with the angel wings fold, and the other just folded and placed in the cover. This would have been a great night-time solution! And had I done that, she probably would have stayed in that size a lot longer. But you live and learn :) Next time!

I also used Thirsties xsmall diaper cover (6-12lb) which fit really well! These were some of my initial favorites because they fit so well, had the double leg gusset, and were easy to use. I was also a big fan of the Thirsties DuoWrap Snap (6-18lb). They are super trim! And just to try different types, I also gave the Thirsties Stay Dry Duo Insert a try. They have a fleece-topped microfiber terry piece that snaps to a hemp piece. These are used as a lay in insert inside of a cover. These paired with the Thirsties duo cover = a very trim diaper! I kind of liked these, but only really had two. The way I have used them the most frequently has been to add a little bit of absorbency to my prefolds for a night-time diaper.

Now for the drawbacks of Thirsties brand. Their Aplix (aka velcro) is terrible. It wore out after only 3-4 months of use. On the other hand, Bummis Aplix is awesome! Super tough, and still going strong after 10 months of use, with no signs of slowing down. Some people do complain that it is scratchy on baby’s tummy, but Eden doesn’t seem to care. Thirsties does have such a fantastic one year guarantee, that I contacted customer service, and they sent me all new diapers with snaps! I returned 4 that had the Aplix, and got brand new ones back! So exciting! In return, I sent them back the ones with velcro so they can be repaired and given to families in need. Takeaway = buy their snaps, you can’t go wrong! I still use the Duo Wrap Snap, and still love it!

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 I also gave AIOs and pockets a try when Eden was born. I was gifted 2 and bought 2 BumGenius newborn AIO stay dry diapers (6-12lb) and 2 Fuzzibunz Perfect size xsmall diapers (4-12lb). The reason I wasn’t a huge fan of these two was pretty much the same. For my baby, they leaked. Not super huge leaks, just a little bit at the legs. But that just isn’t my favorite thing in the world to deal with. The leg holes for these two are lined with fleece, meaning that when that fleece gets wet, so do baby’s pants. Other than that, they were super cute! And definitely the most trim diapers we tried at this age. So, all in all, very easy to use, super trim, just a little on the leaky side. Many people absolutely rave about these two brands though, so don’t be afraid to try them if you like the idea of these!

Before Eden was born, I purchased the Bummis Diaper Kit, Infant (8-15lb) which comes with 2 Super Brite wraps,  4 Super Whisper Wraps, 24 infant size prefolds, a large wetbag (only available in this kit, but smaller ones can be purchased separately) 5 fleece liners, and 2 rolls of bio-liners. These have all been great, and I still use them. Just to be aware, the Super Whisper Wraps don’t have my favorite feature, the double leg gusset. But they still work really well! And are definitely part of the regular rotation.

The idea behind liners, is that they contain the poo. Now, I didn’t find this to be true of newborn runny poo, but it definitely helps when they start on solids. I have a friend who always uses a liner at night, it makes clean up a lot easier, especially if you don’t have a diaper sprayer. The fleece liners are nice because they wick moisture away from baby’s skin, so I use these at night when I use prefolds. It keeps her skin feeling much drier. The bio liners are nice because they can be flushed! Hence, the easy poo clean up.

I think that about “wraps” (haha, get it?!) up the newborn stage, next up I will cover 4 mo to present! Things change a bit once your baby starts eating solid foods, so my preferences have also changed. Still to come, where to start with cloth diapering, and how to get some good deals. Yep, its a long series on cloth diapering. There’s just so much to say! I love them so :)

The Great American Diaper Stash, Pt. 1

Part of my Cloth Diaper Series

So I cloth diaper.

Now that we have that out of the way, I feel like there are lots of questions about cloth diapering. And I want to try to answer some of them.

I think the biggest one, is why cloth? So have you ever met a mom who uses disposable diapers and is excited about it? That’s what I thought. What about the moms you know that use cloth? Fanatics? Yeah. Also, there is a huge economic factor. Cloth diapering is definitely cheaper over the entirety of the child’s time in diapers. Admittedly, it can be pretty pricey for the intial stash, but once you have that you don’t have to buy any more (unless you just want to, of course!) We will go more in-depth about prices as we discuss brands and different styles, and I will also add a full cost breakdown of my entire stash.

First I am going to discuss the different styles of diapers. Keep in mind that in diapering, you want waterproof (cover) and absorbency.

1. AIO – these are easily a favorite because of the simplicity. They are very easy to use because they are exactly like disposable diapers, but made of cloth. They are literally “all in one”. So these are awesome if you are hesitant about cloth diapering and want to give it a try, and great for grandparents or other caregivers. These are also very trim diapers. There are also a few drawbacks to these. The first that comes to mind is the cost. They are usually more expensive than other options out there, and because you have to change the entire diaper each time, you need more of them to have a full time diaper stash. They also take longer to dry, especially if you want to get the most life out of them = they must be line-dried. Ex: BumGenius

2. Pocket Diapers – designed to lessen the drying time, but still have the ease of use of the AIO, pocket diapers have a – wait for it – pocket. The pocket is usually located at the back, where you stuff the absorbent piece and then has a (typically fleece or microfiber) covering. Because you can remove the absorbent layer, the drying time is dramatically decreased. The insert can be put in the dryer while the cover line dries. This prolongs the life of the cover. Like the AIO, these area trim diaper. However, they are still a bit more pricey because you have to change the entire diaper every time. Ex: Fuzzibuns

3. Prefolds – this is what most people think of when they think of a cloth diaper. A piece of square fabric (thicker in the middle) trifolded or fastened using pins (although now you can use a nifty thing called a snappi, more on that later). Prefolds require a waterproof cover to make a complete diaper. To me, this is a huge advantage beecause you do not have to change the cover every time, only when it is actually soiled. Since the covers are the more expensive piece, prices can be kept lower because you don’t need as many as with an AIO or pocket. Prefolds are considered the least expensive of all of the diapering options. The brand Econobum boasts $100 to cloth diaper from birth to potty. The major drawback to prefolds is they are the most bulky. Ex: Bummis, Thirsties

4. Fitteds – I have never used these, so I am going to steal the description from cottonbabies.com “A fitted diaper has elastic at the legs and at the waist. It also has some type of closure to hold the diaper on the baby. This closure can be hook and look or snaps. A fitted diaper requires a cover. The absorbency of fitted cloth diapers varies based on the materials used in the construction of the diaper. Cotton fitteds are an inexpensive and popular choice.” Ex: green mountain fitted prefolds

5. All in two’s – *these are my personal favorite* these have a waterproof shell (aka cover) and a cloth liner that lays inside the shell against the baby’s skin. The liner can snap in, or tuck under flaps in the cover. All time favorite diaper: Best Bottom (another popular brand is Thirsties)

6. Hybrid – these are designed to have the option of using a disposable or cloth insert – great for travel!! Two types: Flip system (made by BumGenius) and the Gdiaper (I’ve heard mixed reviews about these. They are notorious for leaking. I used to be super excited about these, until I learned more.) Personally, I buy the Flip disposable insert and use it with my Thirsties or Best Bottom covers! This is my favorite solution for travel.

Next time, I will go into more detail about our personal diaper stash: what I have tried, loved, and don’t necessarily care for, as well as a cost breakdown.