Monday, December 26, 2011

How long do cloth diapers last?

This is one of the most common questions I get from potential customers, and it's a good one. Before anyone makes an investment in anything this is definitely the right question to ask, but it's a tough question to answer with cloth diapering because there are several factors that contribute to the longevity of a diaper.  My daughter turned 2 years old a few weeks ago, and I'm expecting my second next summer so I'm starting to look at will my diapers last for baby #2.  Here are a few things to consider and a few of my observations:

Worn Hemp Doubler
  1. Quality of construction: Just like buying any other piece of clothing one should always check out how it's made. Does the construction look professional, or does the diaper or cover look flimsy?  Do you like the material used?  Check out the stitching and seams.  Many times this can be really difficult to ascertain, and to be honest, I haven't come across many diapers that have been so poorly constructed that it falls apart on you after a couple washes. I did have a problem a couple years ago with the older style Bum Genius AIO - the BG3.0 which has since been discontinued. The velcro tab on the body of the diaper came apart on a couple of the diapers.  But since then, I really can't say I have seen very much quality issues.
  2. Fasteners: This is where I've seen the biggest problem with the life of a diaper.  If you've read my blog post about Velcro vs. Snap Fasteners you know I'm a big proponent of velcro in the beginning and snaps for the long haul (4 months to potty training).  I've had a few covers where the velcro has failed a few months after first use (Happy Heinys OS Cover which I no longer carry, and Kushies Diaper Wrap which are currently on clearance at my website).  The Kushies, though the quality of the fabric used for their covers feels VERY cheap.... like a shower curtain, I've had NO problems with leakage.  The velcro though I think is good for a short haul so the size one's are great, but I wouldn't recommend them to go for the long-haul.  Their price point though may make it worth it.  Not all velcro is made equal though and I have come across a few good diapers where the velcro lasts - the Kushies AIO , I haven't had the velcro fail me; the velcro on the Bummis covers are pretty good, but by far the best velcro I've seen so far is on the Tots Bots Bamboozles (distributed by Bummis).  The other fastener to consider also is the Snappi.  If your baby is in a bigger size prefold (regular size) and they are in a fan fold for a year or so, and you're constantly putting the Snappi in virtually the same spot, don't be surprised if by year 2 or so that same spot gets worn.  
  3. Frequency of use: Like anything else, the more you use a product the more wear and tear you're going to have on that product.  Remember, diapers aren't like our clothes.  Yes, you may have the same old faithful t-shirt for 10 years and it's still going strong, but chances are you're not wearing and washing that t-shirt every 2-3 days right?  So don't expect miracles from your diapers.  The first set of diapers you get for your newborn may last forever because new baby is only in it for 4-6 months.  But that second set you buy - the size 2s and/or one-size-fits-all are going to be going for a while.  So ensure you choose good quality diapers with good fasteners, and if you have to replace one or two along the way don't be too upset.  
  4. Fabric: Do some fabrics wear better than others? I have had a particular brand of cotton fitteds that are not standing the test of time too well, and some of my cotton prefolds are starting to wear as well.  I haven't seen this in my other cotton products so I don't want to cast blame on the fabric here.  I haven't had any issues with the fleece liners on my pocket diapers.  What I have heard can be problems sometimes is the PUL de-laminating from covers.  I haven't personally had this problem with covers, and as of this week I just started to see my PUL de-laminating from the inside of my diaper pail... but it has been 2 years for the bag so I'm thinking I've gotten my money's worth there.
  5. Maintenance:  As I mentioned before the repetitive washing of the diapers can cause wear and tear, this is to be expected.  I have had problems with a few of my hemp doublers that have really taken a beating in the 2 years I have been using them (see pic above).  Since the doublers are stitched on in layers I have seen the top layer being shredded by my washing machine.  I simply cut away that top layer and kept on going.  Yes, I'm sure I've lost a bit of absorption there, but, I wasn't ready to give up on the doubler quite yet.  So how can one increase the life span of the diaper with all this washing? I'd say two things:
    1. Getting all the detergent out of the diapers is just as important to its absorbency as it is to its service life.  Soap stuck in the fabric will aid in its deterioration.
    2. To prevent PUL from de-laminating from covers and bags and such, avoid placing them in the direct heat of your dryer and line-dry them inside your home.
I'm praying that I can get my 2 year old potty trained in the next 6 months.  I've been using fitteds, prefolds, pocket diapers and AIOs with her for about a year and a half.  I think I may need to replace about 4 of the maybe 20 diapers I currently have in her rotation for baby #2.  I may get rid of a few more that aren't my favorites, but, they're still going strong for now.  The covers I'm using now are awesome (I have gone through several to find the ones I like) and I'm going to stick with my Gen-Y Universal and my Rumparooz One Size cover.  I have also been using my GroVia covers with their inserts, as well as with prefolds (tri-folded), and those work really well.  

When baby #2 gets here, I'll have his/her diapers prepped and ready from Becca's old stash.  This consists of infant-sized prefolds, Happy Hempies & Bummis covers.  I also have some BG3.0s in medium and regular prefolds which I used before deciding to go to one-size-fit all diapers.  The infant sized stuff are in mint condition - remember, I had an almost 8lb baby, so I didn't use those past about 4 months.  Hopefully I'll be able to give my big girl diapers a break before #2 is ready for them.  

So back to the question at hand, how long do these diapers last? Is 2 kids for 2-1/2 years each good enough for you?  If I have a third, I'll let you know just how much further I can stretch my savings ;) 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cloth Diapering with a Community Washer/Dryer

In one of my recent private in-home consults I spoke to a lovely couple - the wife really wanted to cloth diaper their baby due in a couple of months, and the husband was a little skeptical, but wanted to support his wife.  They were brand new to cloth diapering so even though the husband kept asking me about laundering, I asked him to be patient as I went through my entire presentation which addresses laundering at the end.  At the end I found out why he was so concerned about laundry - they didn't have a washer/dryer in their condo and had to pay $1.25 per wash and dry cycle in the community washing machine that was at least 20 years old.  For the typical cold pre-rinse, hot wash, cold extra rinse, then dry cycles this meant one load of cloth diapers would cost them $5 each time.  This was an immediate deal breaker. :(  And for good reason.  But this doesn't rule out cloth diapering in a community washer/dryer.  Here are a couple of things that should be evaluated prior to embarking on this.

So, if you're like this couple and have to spend $5 per load then unfortunately, if cost is the driving factor for you using cloth diapers, then this will stop you dead in your tracks.  But, if your laundry facility charges maybe a third of this then cloth diapers still ends up being cheaper than disposables.  A simple Google search on "cost of cloth diapers vs disposables" will yield a variety of cost comparison analyses on the matter, including the cost of additional utilities all yielding the same results - cloth is cheaper than disposables.

Isn't That Inconsiderate for Other Users?
The biggest question I get from people with this problem is they think it inconsiderate to have their child's poopy diapers in the same washing machine as other people's clothes... or vice versa - they don't want to have their child's diapers mixing with whatever stuff might be in other people's clothes.  This is a pretty easy one to address. I liken this to washing clothes in a college dorm laundromat - we all did it and we had no clue what other people were doing in the privacy of their dorm room... I mean, it was college.  So what do you do? May I suggest a little vinegar.  Vinegar is a natural disinfectant.  So try wiping down the inside of the washing machine with a vinegar solution (50/50 vinegar/water solution) prior to, and maybe even after use.

What about Fabric Softeners & Dryer Sheets?
Yes, we all  know that fabric softeners and dryer sheets are a no-no for cloth diapers. And we can't control what others are putting into their wash loads.  This is a tricky one but the answer is simple - vinegar. Thoroughly wipe down the drum of the washer with a vinegar solution, and if the machine has a fabric softener dispenser put some of this solution in the dispenser to help break up any build up in the dispenser.  I would suggest doing this with your own clothes on a regular basis and not just with your baby's diapers.  As for dryer sheets I would so the same thing, wipe down the inside of the dryer prior to placing your clothes or baby's diapers to help eliminate any chemical build up caused by dryer sheets.  And as usual use dryer balls in everyone's clothes.

Here's a tip that will save you money and eliminate the dryer sheet issue - if your condo/apartment gets some sunlight on a balcony, and your neighbors or condo association won't be too annoyed, hang your cloth diapers out to dry.  The sun will dry your diapers for free while removing stains at the same time.

Don't you hate it when people come in and take your clothes out of the washer or dryer because they can't wait?  Cheap fix - Get an egg timer and be sure to beat those folks to the machine!

Diaper laundry service
Here's another option.  If the whole thing is just too much work, but you really want to cloth diaper for all the right reasons, then find a diaper laundry service in your area and get on their program.  Diaper laundry services are highly regulated and are subject to meeting compliance standards. Samples of diapers have to be tested on a regular basis for bacteria and fecal matter and are rated accordingly.

Bottom line, as usual, where there's a will there's a way.  So if you really want to cloth diaper, but don't have the convenience of your own washer & dryer, there is a way to get around that.  Weigh the pros and cons of cost and convenience for your family to see if cloth diapering will work for you.

Friday, August 12, 2011

GroVia Hybrid Diaper Review - Part 2 - The Disposable Option

Last week we had a wedding to attend in Los Angeles so we made a vacation of it and took the week off, went to San Diego and then off to LA with the fam.  I figured this would be the perfect time to finally test out the GroVia Hybrid - disposable option.  The GroVia hybrid diaper consists of a waterproof shell, and the disposable insert known as the Bio-Soaker is flushable, compostable & bio-degradable.  It looks much like its cotton soaker counterpart - contoured with side-walls.  It has short bits of sticky tape on either end to secure the insert to the shell... much like a maxi-pad.

I bought some Green N Pack doggie bags before I left MD so I could dispose of my inserts responsibly, packed 4 GroVia Shells, a 50-pk of the GroVia Bio-Soakers and some extra gDiaper inserts I had left over from my last trip, and set out on vacation.

I used the gDiaper inserts first in the GroVia shell to see how they worked, and they were okay.  They fit fine, but still had the same issue I talked about before of pee being localized to one spot so I never felt like I got my money's worth as half the insert would be dry, and leaking would occur when that front portion was full.

gDiaper insert (top) vs. GroVia insert (bottom)

I was very excited to start using the GroVia inserts, but I must say, I was a little disappointed. At first glance the GroVia insert is clearly smaller than the gDiaper, and a little thinner.  So I was immediately concerned about absorption.  I figured the gDiaper insert is such a waste as it isn't fully utilized, so hopefully pee would wick through this GroVia insert and be able to hold alot of moisture.

I mentioned in Part 1 of this article that my daughter is on a drinking binge right? Not to mention the fact that it was HOT out there... we walked around the San Diego Zoo for hours one day so Becks was downing water and juice like crazy, plus being seated in her stroller the whole time led to compression leaks. She would start to leak after 2 hours of being in the diaper. :(  Another day though, we went to Sea World in the evening so it was cooler, she wasn't drinking that much water - and no leaks.  So, this leads me to believe that if your child isn't a heavy wetter and is drinking moderately you may not have any problem with this insert.  I must say though that the sidewalls in the insert handled poop fabulously!

All-in-all my thoughts are that the GroVia hybrid disposable insert could use a little more cushion, but, for a child who doesn't drink a lot, or isn't a heavy wetter it will be sufficient.  The disposable option is definitely not something I would recommend for an every day use.

After having to wash my shells in the hotel bathroom for a week, and dealing with the leak issues, I was extremely happy to get her back into her faithful cloth diapers when we returned home.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

GroVia Hybrid Diaper Review - Part 1 - The Cloth Option

GroVia is a very popular cloth diapering brand, well known because of its trim fit and for being very cute.  The GroVia hybrid diaper is a one-size-fits-all diaper, that allows the user the option of using a washable cloth insert, or a disposable insert. See part 2 for the disposable insert review.

The shell, as it is called, is the waterproof layer and, according to GroVia, can be used with a prefold as an insert if needs be.  The shell is lined on the inside with mesh, which I believe aids in breathe-ability, as well as helps in catching any stray poop that may have wandered off the soaker insert.  The cotton soaker is contoured with side walls and reminds me very much of a maxi pad.  The soaker has a waterproof backing and a snap at either end which snaps directly into the shell, so no movement allowed.

One really big benefit of the snap-in cotton soaker is a smaller wash load.  Let's say that GroVia hybrid is your main system used at home, then your wash load is cut down to a bunch of maxi pad-sized inserts, with a few shells.  So your load should be lighter and will therefore need a smaller volume of water to wash, and less time to dry.

So how did it work for me? True to form, the diaper is a trim fit - no bubble butt here! And super cute! Absorbency was slightly lacking for my toddler. Fortunately, GroVia sells a stay-dry booster which for us increased the absorbency of the diaper a good 50% - for my kid, without the booster gives her 2 hours of dry time, with it 3-4 hours before leaking occurred.  In all fairness she does drink a lot more than she eats right now, so, she may pee more than the average child. Even with the booster the diaper was still trim, hence there is still room for another booster if really needed.  As for poop, it holds very well - no leakage there!

All in all, I like the GroVia, I like the concept, I like the fit, I would just recommend getting the stay dry boosters as needed for your baby.  Shells are sold separately from inserts.  Cloth inserts and boosters are sold in packs of 2.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cloth Diapering & Day Care

I am VERY fortunate to have my mom able to live with me so I don't have to worry about putting Becks in daycare.  But, I dare say most moms do not have this luxury.  And for those moms who have to put their child in daycare but want to use cloth diapers, there seems to be such resistance.  Many franchise daycare facilities don't even want to consider it, and they'll site all kinds of state regulations to avoid it. And for the most part, this is all ignorance and misconception.  I'm sure, like most people, daycare providers are thinking that cloth diapers are messy and gross and they just don't want to handle it.  And what do you do when you can't toss the dirty diaper in the trash?  Your best bet seems to be an in-home provider who has less kids and hence less mess to deal with.  So how do you approach a daycare provider about using cloth diapers on your baby?

First, I'd do some research about your state's regulations.  Every state is different, and may have specific language that you need to be familiar with in order to refute any claims of potential breach made by the provider, or to see if there are any loop holes that you could exploit... example, a doctor's note requiring the use of cloth diapers due to health issues.  I'm not promoting any moral dilemmas here, I'm just saying look out for loop holes.

The next thing I'd do is go in armed! Armed with facts about cloth diapering to dispel the misconceptions, and a cloth diaper and diaper pail for show and tell.  In this case you should take the easiest, least complicated diaper you can find.  Something that goes on just like a disposable, and is one piece.  So, my suggestion is provide pre-stuffed pocket diapers, or better yet, all-in-ones.  A good all-in-one diaper, possibly with snaps for durability or velcro for ease of getting on.  Show them how easy it is to put the diaper on, and that already dispels the pins and rubber pant mental vision many people get about cloth diapers.

Then for disposal of the diaper, provide them with a kitchen trash can from your local store... one with a foot pedal and lid.  Place a pail liner in there and show them that, like the other kids' diapers, they'll be putting your cloth ones in a bin.  Only difference is You'll be taking out the trash - when you come to pick up your child in the afternoon, you'll pick up the pail liner and replace it with a clean one.  You can sprinkle some pail freshener to keep the pail smelling decent throughout the day, though this shouldn't be a problem since the bin will have a lid.

If you can find a daycare provider in your neighborhood that is already cloth diaper friendly, awesome!  Find local mom groups and use your local network to find these people.  Another good resource is the growing database created by the Real Diaper Industry Association (RDIA) of cloth friendly daycare providers.

We can change them, one cloth diaper at a time!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Time Must Haves for Baby

Oh how I love the summer time. It may have a little something to do with my Jamaican heritage, or the fact that the days are long so I feel like when I get home from work I still have so much time to be productive.  And I LOVE going to the beach.  If you're going to the beach or the pool this summer with your little one, here are some things you might want to bring along:
I'm Eco Chic with my organic canvas tote bag.

If Becca weren't 25lbs+ I'd rock an SPF45 UV coated Moby Wrap.

 I definitely put her in a swim diaper!  A swim diaper is a must have!  Some pools even require it.  I mean really, who wants to be in the pool and see poop floating about???

Another must have is some good sunscreen.  The summer in Maryland is HOT.  We've already broken 100 degrees this year, and it's not even August yet.  So whenever we leave the house, sunscreen all the way.

Last but not least, a waterproof bag is essential.  Whether for a diaper change, or for storing Becca's wet swimmie, I love these wet bags - colorful and fun on the outside; functional on the inside.
Dandelion organic canvas tote, Diaperars swim diaper, Moby Wrap, Episencials sunscreen and Planet Wise wet bags, all available at Eco Babies!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cloth Diaper Fasteners: Snaps vs. Velcro

Modern cloth diapers has given rise to new options of securing your baby's diaper to their cute little butt.  And with options now comes the question - why would someone choose a snap over a velcro, (aka aplix, aka hook and loop) fastener?  What are the pros and cons? I get this all the time in my workshops, so I tend to address the question before it's even asked.  Today I'll put it in writing.  Let's weigh the pros and cons of both:

The Velcro Fastener
  1. Most closely simulates a disposable diaper fastener
  2. Goes on very easy which is great for a squirmy baby or one who does not like to get their diapers changed.
  3. Wider range for fit at the waist line.
  1.  Wears out eventually... some more quickly than others. 
  2. Once baby gains some dexterity will eventually undo the fastener and walk around with their diaper hanging half off :)
  3. If the velcro strip isn't long or wide enough or not the best quality, once your baby starts toddling the diaper will start coming apart and dropping off your baby.
The Snap Fastener
  1.  Very durable.
  2. Will not come apart, so diaper won't come off of baby when toddling.
  3. Baby won't have the dexterity to pull the diaper off themselves for quite some time, if at all.
  1. Can be more difficult to put on with a squirmy child.
  2. Though most cloth diapers with snaps have a ton of placement options, you are limited to fixed points rather than "as tight as I can get it" at the waist line.
By this comparison it would appear that snaps outweigh the velcro, but, the human variables of preference and  behavior should be accounted for. I've met moms who just prefer the velcro because it makes putting on the diaper so much easier. And some babies are squirmy while others just lay there patiently for diaper changes, so, it's not a problem putting them in a snap diaper. 

So what advice do I give my moms on this topic? For newborns and infants who aren't moving around too much yet, in that first 0-6 months or so when they're growing like weeds, go ahead and get a velcro cover or diaper.  You won't be using it for a very long period of time so it won't wear out on you, and it'll be easier to change your baby's diapers.  Once they start toddling, snaps all the way.  Remember, their weight won't fluctuate as much as it did in those first 6 months, and they'll be in the same size diaper for a much longer time - think another 2 years if they're in a one-size diaper.  So you definitely want something that will last for the long haul.  I should also note that there tends to be more postings online from someone looking for a seamstress to either replace the velcro tabs or for a snap conversion.  Rarely do you see a snap to velcro conversion. If you really do prefer a velcro fastener over a snap one you could always just make sure your baby is wearing a onesie, or pair of shorts to keep it all together if the velcro starts wearing out.  But do you really want to cover up those cute cloth-diapered bums all the time?

I pretty much decided today that I'll definitely maintain some velcro one-size and larger-sized diapers and covers in stock, but, I'll probably be ordering snaps more heavily now.  To me, it just makes sense.

What do you think about velcro vs snap fasteners?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My kid's lactose intolerant? Now what?

At about 1 yr old I started introducing cow's milk to Becca because, let's face it, formula is expensive. So I'd give her Carnation with cow's milk and at first we had no problems, she liked the Carnation, and all was well with the world.  Until she started getting these horrible diaper rashes.  I mean HORRIBLE.  And it seemed like they were caused by this runny poop she had going on all the time.  I felt like an awful parent.  What was I doing wrong? I started to question the washing of my cloth diapers? Were they getting residue build up? They didn't smell of ammonia.  They weren't leaking.  I just couldn't figure it out.  I even tried some Oxy Boost but nothing seemed to work. Then my mom, who lives with us and takes care of Becca in the days, started to think it might be the milk.  That her sitting in the runny poop for even the shortest time was causing the rash, and that the runny poop was being caused by the milk.  At that time she was drinking most of her meals so it could have been milk overload, I don't know.  So, we stopped giving her Carnation and started her on Pediasure, or the Cottontails equivalent and the frequent runny poop stopped.

After a month or so on the Pediasure/Cottontails, which is lactose-free, she started having the same problem again.  While I was pregnant my husband had heard about and read up on goat's milk.  Apparently, though it isn't lactose-free, it tends to be more easily digested and some people who suffer from lactose intolerance and milk allergies can still drink goat milk without any problems.  It is also a very healthy alternative to cow's milk.  He even went out and found some for us to try.  I know that might sound rather strange to a lot of people, but hey, goat cheese is delicious so the milk couldn't be all that bad.  Plus my mom said she drank goat's milk all the time as a child so I felt pretty comfortable about it. 

So I headed out to my local MOMs and bought me a pint of goat's milk.  The goat's milk seemed to work.  Poop was no longer runny.  No rashes.  We're loving this goat's milk.  Admittedly it's a lot more expensive than cow's milk, and it meant I had to make a special trip to MOMs.  I have since also tried Smart Balance lactose free milk which she had no problems with, and I just picked up some Lactaid Whole milk today at the supermarket for her. Now I know as you're reading this you're thinking, why didn't you try soy milk? Well, there have been all sorts of talk about soy milk and estrogen that really got my husband freaked out... which is why he started researching the goat's milk in the first place.  I asked my pediatrician's opinion, and she said there was no link to this being an issue in children, and it's not something I should be worried about. But, you know, when in doubt... And since there are so many options out there, we thought why take the risk. 

We will try to re-introduce cow's milk in the future. We stopped with the yogurt too, but, I give her a slice of cheese on occasion and she's fine with that. It might be something that will work itself out as she grows. It would suck if she couldn't indulge in a slice of pizza :)  It's just really good to know there are options out there, so, if you're looking for a healthy alternative to cow's milk why not give goat's milk a try?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

From Baby Food to Table Food

I have spent these past few months a little worried about Becca's eating habits... or lack there of. Her introduction to food started off so well, but with the onset of teething came the slippery slope to picky eating habits.  When Becca was about 4 months old I bought Annabel Karmel's book "Top 100 Baby Purees" and started reading up on how to introduce foods to my little one.  I have always been a picky eater and really didn't want my daughter to pick up on that.  I don't eat fruit, except mangoes, and very few vegetables.  I guess it's safe to say I'm not very adventurous when it comes to food.  So, I really wanted her to be exposed to as many different things as possible from early.

The book explains basic nutritional requirements for babies, what they can eat and what they shouldn't be eating.  It starts off with the basic plain rice cereal, and the recipes evolve as baby grows to incorporate fruit, vegetables, and even meat.  The recipes were great and I thoroughly enjoyed making up a batch of pureed veggies for my little one.  It really made me feel good to know that I was making my own fresh baby food rather than store bought stuff that quite frankly didn't look nearly as good as mine.  A friend of mine bought a couple organic ones for Becks to try out and she hated it!  Annabel's book introduced me, and Becca, to a couple of fruits and veggies I had never considered before.  She enjoyed it thoroughly and it gave me great joy to see her just loving mommy's home-made food.

But something funny happened... once she started teething (and she did start relatively late), she just wasn't interested anymore.  We went though a LONG stretch of just being on breast milk (till about month 8) and then formula.  I guess sucking on the nipple soothed her gums, but, the whole thing turned her off from food.  She actually started smelling the food, and then turning up her nose at it.  She just wasn't interested.  And I know every child is different, but, come on, you know you have friends with children the same age and they're talking about how their kid just ate off an entire piece of chicken, meanwhile yours doesn't even want to eat a cookie.  It's a little disconcerting.

We kept on trying though, at her own pace.  The first thing she started to like was Gerber Puffs, which she initially couldn't stand.  And then we got some cereal in her... and then the doctor said to start reducing her formula intake which would make her hungry enough to accept food.  Eek.  That didn't go over so well.  She would throw a tantrum for the formula... and I can't starve my child.  She turned 1 yr old and I decided to do away with the formula and start on cow's milk and Carnation Instant breakfast.  That went over well initially... More on that here..

Becca's now 18 months, and the funniest thing has happened.  In the space of about 2 weeks, she went from not wanting to eat anything, to wanting to eat everything.  It's as if a light bulb just went off for her, and once she sees us sitting down to eat, she's all over it. She's even eating meat now (before she would chew and spit it out).  I'm really elated that we are over that hump, she's eating from the table, loving fruit, and I'm sure her weight gain will get back on track .  Upwards and onwards!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Infant & Toddler Program in MD

I'm always talking about diapers and products on here, and I figured, maybe I should talk a little more about me.  Let people know what's going on in the life of the mommy behind Eco Babies.  So here goes.

About 3 months ago or so when we tried introducing solid foods (not purees, she's been doing that since about month 4 or so) but real "eat from the table" food, my daughter wasn't really interested.  I mentioned this at a scheduled pediatrician visit and my doctor recommended having Becca evaluated by the Infant & Toddler program of PG County.  I had never heard of them before, and my mom was pretty skeptical (note, my mom is a conspiracy theorist so I should have taken her words with a ton of salt :))  But, after going to one of the many play groups that they host during the week here in the Bowie area, I decided to have them come over.

The play groups, by the way, wasn't what I had expected.  I was looking for somewhere to take Becca to play and socialize with other children her age since she isn't in daycare - she stays at home with my mom.  The playgroup was so much more. It was structured play time facilitated by child educators geared at developing certain skills for children under 3 years of age.  They had 5 stations set up with about 10 minutes per station, each station dealing with a developmental ability, such as imitation, gross and fine motor skills.

The day of the evaluation two women came to my home and spent about an hour and a half interviewing me, my mother and evaluating Becca through play.  They asked her to do some specific things while looking for responses that would indicate her proficiency in certain tasks.  To qualify for the program the child has to be at a proficiency 25% less than that of her current age.  So, Becca being 17 months at the time would mean that if she exhibited capabilities of a 13 month old or younger, then she qualified.  She did qualify due to a couple of skill sets.  Nothing alarming - I'm just glad I was able to catch it early.  As a first time mom sometimes you really don't know where your child should be developmentally... what you should or shouldn't be doing.  Eg., I hadn't introduced crayons to her playtime, so when they tested her with that, she scored low.  I hadn't even thought about crayons.  Didn't think she was old enough, but I was wrong.

So what does being in the program mean? It means that they will send a teacher to your home twice/month to play with Becca to enhance those skill sets she is weak in.  They will show you how to play with her to do those things on a daily basis.  They re-evaluate every 6 months to see her progress and determine if she still needs the assistance.  If your child is in daycare or pre-school, they will send the teacher to the facility for the service. 

Did I mention that this is all FREE? State funded assistance to get your child up to speed when it matters so they are ready for school and able to reach their full potential.  I was thoroughly impressed, learned so much, and am so happy that I decided to do the evaluation.  So, if you feel like your child needs some assistance, don't delay.  Find out what programs there are in your neck of the woods and get the help you need.  Thank you PG County Infant & Toddler program.  I'm looking forward to the progress... and I'll let you all know how it goes!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An experiment with gDiaper Disposable Inserts & random covers

Last Thanksgiving I tried using the gDiaper with disposable inserts on my trip back home, and hated it.  A couple of weeks ago at the Celebrate Mama event I had someone ask me if they could just use a disposable insert with any cover.  This wasn't the first time I have heard this question, and I usually say that each disposable insert is made specifically to fit the manufacturer's cover, so I wouldn't advise it, though, I'm sure you could try.  Two weekends ago I drove up to NJ to visit some family who were visiting from Jamaica.  I had an open pack of gDiaper inserts left over from last year so I thought to myself, hmm.... this would be a good time to conduct a little experiment.  I didn't want to open up a brand new pack of GroVia inserts for my little overnight trip, so, I thought, let's see how these g-inserts will work with my Gen-Y, Bumkins & Happy Heinys OS cover.

The quick answer.... miserably.  Becca leaked all weekend.  I definitely had to increase the frequency of the changes, and this is why.  It's not that the insert didn't fit into any of the covers, because they did... I was concerned they'd be too wide or too long, but, that wasn't an issue.  It kinda came back to the same reason I didn't like them in the first place.  You know how when your baby pees in their cloth diaper the pee wicks throughout the diaper and everything gets soaking wet? Well, with the g-inserts, they don't do that!  Becks peed, and it just stayed in one place, isolated in the front.  It never permeated through the entire pad.  And when the front was soaked through, it had no place to go but outside the cover.  I wonder why it does that?

Of the 3 covers I used, I must say the Bumkins did the best, while the other two tied... and this has nothing to do with how good the cover is seeing that I don't usually have leaks in any of these covers, it was just the fit.  If you think about it the covers are usually over a relatively bulky diaper right?that is, relative to this insert.  So, when I put the insert in the cover that would usually fit snug over a cloth diaper, the cover fit pretty loose over the insert.  Meanwhile, my Bumkins cover tends to fit very snug usually, and so I think it was able to contain the pee a little better in this situation.

Conclusion?  Still hating the gDiaper.  If you ever thought to do this on a trip, don't bother.  Stick to the system that the insert is made for unless it says it is interchangeable with another, as most cloth inserts tend to be.  And the worst part is, I still have g-inserts left - what to do!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bye Bye Prefolds, Hello One-Size Fits All Pockets

It's no secret that I am a thrifty mom and that I particularly love the natural fibers, which is why I've tended to stick to prefolds and hemp fitteds and pockets.  I prefer the trim fit of the hemp products over bulky, so I've been working with that.  But, it's the summer time, and little Miss Becca is downing so much water that she is peeing through the regular-sized prefolds. So, I decided it's time to test out some of my other products.  I mean, I AM the diaper lady right? Which means I should have personal experience with as many diapering products as I can get my hands on. 

So, I started using a Fuzzi Bunz OS pocket, the GroVia hybrid with cotton soaker, and Rumparooz OS pockets.  Let me tell you, there's no turning back. I mean, I do love the good old prefold, and I stand by that for infants, but, a toddler I think needs a little more.  First of all, the whole toddling aspect.  Becca is running around, climbing up and down the couch, just constantly moving, and though the Snappi never gave way, I could see it was holding on for dear life :).  Also, Becca isn't a squirmy one during changing, but, I know that many toddlers don't want to be stopped in their tracks for too long for changing time, so, not having to do a 2-piece deal is great.  Don't get me wrong, I still use my trusted Baby Kicks One Size Organic diaper with  a Gen-Y or Bumkins cover at night-time, and even some Diaperaps hemp fitteds and OsoCozy Cotton Fitteds in the days, but, everything else right now, is a pocket diaper or all-in-one.  I've been using the Kushies All-In-Ones, and though I confessed before, not my favorite diaper (there is room for improvement at the legs), it works okay for around the house.  When I go out with Becks, I take the Fuzzi Bunz, GroVia or Rumparooz with me - definitely don't want to be messing with 2 things when you're trying to change a kid in the back of the car.

Fuzzi Bunz

So how do I like them? Well, the Fuzzi Bunz fits like a glove.  Yes, having to adjust the leg settings can be a chore initially, but once you find the right one it fits great, and looks cute.  Pro about Fuzzi Bunz is the wide pocket opening for the insert.  I love the Rumparooz also because it just fits so well.  The microfleece liner is SO soft I'm sure Becks just loves it. Con with Rumparooz, the pocket opening isn't as wide as the Fuzzi Bunz which can make unstuffing after a poop a little messy.  The microfiber inserts are bulkier than hemp for sure, but, they do the job. I could be wrong, but, I somehow feel that the microfiber inserts don't hold fluid as well as the hemp inserts do? Like, if pressure is exerted on it, the moisture tends to squeeze out more so than with a hemp insert.  Has anyone had that experience? I think I'll have to try the Baby Kicks 3g Bumboo pocket to compare, because I never have leaks with my fitteds + covers, and I did have a couple leaks with the Rumparooz (this could also be because it's summer and Becca's drinking water like crazy so we've had to change her more frequently than we're accustomed to).  The GroVia's I like because I can just unsnap the used soaker and snap the new one in.  It also makes for a lighter diaper bag if you're just carrying the soakers and maybe an extra shell.  For me, I think 3 hours is the max in the GroVia unless you have a booster inserted.

So no, I 'd rather not say I'm abandoning my beloved hemp or the prefold, instead I prefer to look at it as the evolution and diversification of my stash.  For containment, I definitely think the fitted + cover system works the best, but, for convenience a good one-size pocket diaper is great to have handy.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Newborn Cloth Diapers & Eco Babies Newborn Rental/Trial Pack

Anyone reading this who has attended one of my cloth diapering workshops knows that I'm not the biggest proponent of buying newborn sized diapers.  The simple truth is that newborns outgrow the diapers so quickly it can really be a waste of money to buy a stash of diapers that will last maybe 2 months.  Most "small" diapers start from 7lbs.,  which I dare say is fine for most babies. It was certainly fine for mine since she was born at 7lbs 13oz, however, as a colleague of mine pointed out, what about all the other babies born under 7lbs? What about the preemies? What about twins? Certainly I shouldn't exclude them from the product selection that Eco Babies provides.

An attendee at one of my workshops told me that she would be renting some newborn diapers from an online retailer... and so the seed was planted.  As of April 1, 2011 Eco Babies will be offering a newborn rental package that will act not only as a way to accommodate a smaller baby in an affordable way, but, also a way to introduce mommies, who are still apprehensive and tentative about using cloth diapers, to cloth diapering without making the financial investment.  I am really excited about this, because one of the biggest questions in my workshops is, "which one should I choose?".  And I usually tell people it's about personal preference and lifestyle, and to buy a couple different diapers and see which they like before making an investment on a full stash, because they're not going to hate any diaper, but, they might prefer one type over another.  This rental package allows the mom to do just that.

So, without further adieu, introducing the Newborn Rental/Trial pack brought to you by Eco Babies.  Full terms and conditions can be found on my website, however, here is a quick ditty about how it works.  The Newborn Rental/Trial Package will contain prefolds, contour diapers, covers, pocket diapers, All-In-Ones, and some necessary accessories.  Customers will pay a deposit of $220.  Rental fee is $35/month, and a minimum of 2 months rental is required.  At the end of the 2 months, if the customer wishes to terminate the rental they will have to return the rented items and will receive the deposit less the rental fee less and any other costs incurred.  Customers will be required to wash their diapers with Rockin' Green detergent, and upon return or rental package all rented diapers will be professionally laundered by 2 The Root diaper service, located in Takoma Park, MD. 

I am SUPER excited to roll this new service out as I really think that it will be very beneficial to many moms.  Eco Babies really strives to make cloth diapering accessible to parents and to tear down the walls of fear and apprehension that tend to come with cloth diapering.  We hope that this service will help to do just that.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I want my cloth diapers Made in the USA!

It seems in these days of outsourcing that it is very difficult to find products that are made right here in the good old USA.  We can all acknowledge that due to the current economy we can't possibly expect everything to be made in the USA, or for all raw materials to be sourced right here in the US, however, some people really want to support their own and Buy American.  By buying American we mean supporting local workers and keeping money right here in the US.  Also, with all the recalls lately of products made in China, people are very concerned with their safety. I'm constantly meeting people interested in cloth diapers, who ask, "so which one is made in the USA?".  Well, here goes:
  1. Happy Heinys products are all made right here the USA.  The Owner began making cloth diapers in her home out of necessity - wanting something better for her baby. This evolved into the successful business she has today. Happy Heinys specializes in pocket diapers.  They make sized pocket diapers, as well as one-size-fit-all pocket diapers that don't require a cover.  And they also make Happy Hempies which are hemp pocket diapers that require a cover - both in sized and one-size.  They also make a variety of accessories such as covers, wipes, washes & doublers.  Most the pocket diapers do not come with a doubler which gives the customer the ability to choose what type of doubler they want to use - hemp or microfiber, OR, to use their existing infant-sized prefolds as doublers.
  2. Thirsties products are also made in the USA.  Thirsties signature products is the "Duo" system.  Their Duo Wraps are adjustable covers that come in two sizes to fit newborns through toddlers, and the Duo Diaper which is an open pocket diaper that comes in two sizes for newborns through toddlers.  The great thing about the Duo Diaper is that there is no need to unstoff the pocket because the pocket is designed to have the doubler agitate out in the washing machine. Other things that Thirsties sell includes prefolds, fitted diapers, doublers, wipes, sized covers and many more.  One could definitely diaper their baby exclusively with Thirsties products!
  3. Gen-Y covers are made locally in Virginia.  The Owner tries to source the fabrics domestically, and all the sewing of the covers are done right here in the USA.  Gen-Y's mainstay is covers, and they make GREAT covers.  The coolest thing about Gen-Y covers is that all covers are limited edition because after the fabric is purchased and the covers made, another lot of that same fabric will never be bought!  And let me tell you, Gen-Y gets some super-cool prints!  Love them!
  4. Planet Wise makes the coolest wet bags and pail liners.  Their products are all made in the USA, and they choose the coolest fabrics to make their wet and wet/dry bags.  The wet/dry bags tend to sell VERY well at Eco Babies not only because they are so cute, but also because they are very versatile - one side to keep your dry clean diapers, and the other waterproof side to store your soiled diapers/wet swimsuits, etc.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of cloth diapers made in the USA, so, if you have any favorite diapers that are domestic please share!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How do I deal with dirty cloth diapers when outside the home?

Inevitably one question I get when I talk to a mom and/or dad curious about cloth diapering they want to know what  to do when you're out on the town with the baby? Do you walk around with the soiled diapers for the rest of the day? Well, yes, you do, but, there are ways to make it not so messy. 
  1. Diaper bag: if you don't already have a fancy super-compartmentalized diaper bag then get a nice eco-friendly diaper bag from Dandelion.  It's a washable canvas bag that's not ginormous.  I have a ginormous diaper bag that is just too much, and a smaller one that at times is just too small.  This canvas bag is just right.  Plus, if some milk or formula spills in the bag, which you know will happen eventually, just throw it in the wash.  Love it.
  2. Wet bag or Wet/dry bag: these awesome bags by Planet Wise are cute and functional all at the same time.  Either get a medium-sized wet bag to put the soiled diapers, or, get a medium-sized wet-dry bag to hold the clean diapers, and to put the soiled diapers.  These wet/dry bags are great for day care or a day with grandma as all the diapers are in one place.  These bags are zippered shut so they contain odors well and hold 8-9 diapers comfortably.
  3. Flushable liner: Who wants to walk around with a poop filled diaper? To mitigate this I line my diapers with a flushable liner so that if baby poops I can just flush it away leaving minimal poop, if any, on the diaper.  Way better than walking around with a poopy diaper all day long. 
  4. Bamboo wipes: Nothing against cloth wipes, but, when I'm out I'd much rather have some disposable wipes.  I much prefer the bamboo wipes because they are so much stronger than the name-brand wipes, and they have natural and organic ingredients that are soothing for the baby, and smell lovely.

OPTION: If you don't want to do cloth when you're out, you can also do a hybrid diaper, like Gro-Via.  So carry an extra Gro-Via shell, and a bunch of bio-soakers which are flushable/compostable/bio-degradable.  If you're afraid of flushing them in a public bathroom, then feel guilt-free tossing them in the garbage.  A mom gave me a great idea the other day - use biodegradable dog poop bags to wrap up the diaper before disposal.  Gotta love it!

Am I missing anything?  Share your tricks of the trade with us.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Product Review: Cloth Wipes & Aleva Naturals Bamboo Wipes

In the cloth diapering world very few moms rely on disposable wipes that can be purchased at the supermarket. The truth is you never really know what's in them, and when you think of having to buy them on a weekly basis the cost can add up.  Cloth diapering moms tend to be environmentally friendly, health conscious and thrifty, so, in our normal every day we use cloth wipes.  If you're a cloth diapering mom that is washing her own diapers then using cloth wipes is really just an extension of that.  They go in your wet bag and get washed with the soiled diapers.

I see many moms talking about using some excess fabric, or running down to their local fabric store and making their own cloth wipes.  That's perfectly fine and quite noble, but, the rest of us purchase cloth wipes from their diaper retailer as many cloth diaper manufacturers do make cloth wipes.  What sets the pre-made wipes apart from the do-it-yourself wipe? Well, the really good wipes out there are double-sided - one side is a regular smooth cotton which is great for wiping up pee, and the other side is a fleece which is textured, which makes is great for the peanut-buttery poop that comes along when baby is eating purees.  For me, my cloth wipes do everything.  If baby's nose is running, I grab a wipe.  If she spills some milk, or has food on her chin, I grab a cloth wipe. So, they tend to be multi-purposed.

So, why buy Aleva Naturals bamboo wipes? Well, it's a great alternative to the brand-name disposable wipes because it contains only natural ingredients that are soothing for your baby's butt.  Each wipe is super soft yet very strong (I haven't had one disintegrate in my hands yet), they contain aloe vera, chamomile, tea tree oil & lavender oil and because of that smell awesome!  They're hypo-allergenic, contains no sulfates, parabens, alcohol or chlorine.  This is truly an all natural wipe.  Best of all, they are 100% biodegradable - so, flush them away guilt free.  I use these wipes in my diaper bag.  So when I'm out I don't have to worry about having enough cloth wipes with me, especially if baby makes a poopy, I can just toss the wipes, rather than walking around with the smelly wipes - cause you know to get off the sticky poop you'll need multiple wipes :)

So, cloth wipes are great! Bamboo wipes are great!  I use them both, and you should too :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Yay for solid poop! It makes for light work of cloth diapers

My daughter has finally gotten to the last evolution of poop.  Whew!  That's all I can say.  It's the best thing after going through the other stuff.

I have blogged about poop before and the cloth diaper, but, now that I am actually at the last stage I just wanted to put the first-time mommy's mind at ease.    As I mentioned before, breastfed poop is runny and yellow and will stain the diaper more than solid poop does, but, it is completely water soluble and will come out in your washing machine very easily.  The "peanut-buttery" stage is the icky stuff that just sticks to the cloth diaper and your baby.  But, can be mitigated by a bio-degradable liner or a diaper sprayer. Definitely don't want that directly in your washing machine.

But this last stage is SOLID.  When my darling daughter makes a poopy these days, I literally walk over to the toilet, unfold the diaper, and "plop", the poop rolls right off and into the toilet with very little prodding from me.  Yes, I do get the sprayer out to get off any little pieces that may be lurking around the diaper, but for the most part, it just rolls off. I don't know about you, but, I'm excited! :)

What has your experience been with poop and the cloth diaper? Leave a comment for the new mommies.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why I love Diaperaps/Sage Fitted Hemp Cloth Diapers

Diaperaps, now known as Sage, is not an incredibly popular brand of cloth diapers, but, I decided to try them out anyway.  And you know what, I love them.  Diaperaps makes a fitted hemp diaper with snap closures.  Their system only comes in 2 sizes as the snaps on the waist are positioned in such a way that it can expand and contract for a broader fit.  It comes with a doubler that snaps in at the back (you can see the snaps on my baby girl's tushie in the pic below). And because the doubler only snaps in on one side you don't have to unsnap it when you do the laundry. 

I love the fact that it is a hemp diaper - I'm a big fan of hemp personally because of its super absorbent powers over cotton, and its low maintenance requirements for growth which is great from an environmental standpoint.  Because of hemp's super absorbent properties the diaper is thinner than a cotton diaper, and yet has the ability to absorb more moisture.  The hemp fabric is also quite luxurious to the touch, and very breathable so I'm sure my daughter feels super comfortable in this diaper.

The diaper also fits her bum very well.  The material is so soft that is easily conforms to her body which is especially great now that she's running around.  I took these pics of her right before she was about to get a bath so I usually don't have her running around without a cover, but, I don't know, this little diaper reminds me of a loin cloth - I think it's so cute. 

Try one out today.  You just might find that the unpopular can actually be quite nice.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Just tell me already what cloth diapers should I buy for my new baby?

10/30/12 Update: Lilly's Diaper Pad has created some starter packs for this exact reason.  There are so many types of diapers out there that it can be overwhelming for a new mommy to choose.  So I've chosen for you.  Lilly's has created the "Convenience" Starter Pack, consisting of 16 pocket and 4 all-in-one one size fits all diapers.  No prefolds makes this the easiest set of diapers to work with, all for $465.  Lilly's has also created the "Natural Fibers Only" Starter Pack for the discerning mom who wants only naturally absorbent fibers to touch their baby's skin.  For $535 you'll get a mix of prefolds, fitteds, pockets and all-in-ones totaling 24 diapers.  Both starter packs will fit babies from infant to potty training.  Visit to see all the starter packs available at Lilly's Diaper Pad.

I do, on average, two cloth diapering workshops per month in and around the Washington, DC Metropolitan area in an attempt to be more accessible to potential new clients who are interested in learning more about cloth diapers and are confused with the information overload online.  Sometimes after I'm finished explaining about the different types of cloth diapers, and demonstrating how to fold a prefold, and displaying the different types of diapers I carry in my online store, I get this: "Ok Lee-Ann, just tell me what to get!"  Alrighty, that's kinda hard because cloth diapering can be such a subjective thing.  There are so many variables involved.  Every baby is different, every parent has their separate likes and dislikes, every washing machine washes a little differently, so how can I really tell my clients "Get THIS"?

Well, here's what I've come up with.  Besides the fact that there are literally dozens of cloth diaper manufacturers out there, and cloth diapering moms can be so fanatical about the brand that THEY like, which is usually what their friend recommended, or based on aggressive online marketing.  This is what I think a new mommy needs to be officially ready to cloth diaper their baby:
  1. Prefolds: you know, as a business person I may appear foolish for recommending this because it is the cheapest diaper out there, so how can I be successful recommending this? The truth is, I'm more of a cloth diapering advocate than a business-woman.  I want to make sure that my clients are satisfied, and reap the financial benefits of cloth diapering.  So, prefolds are great for newborns because prefolds are more customizable, which is great for their skinny little legs.  Prefolds are a cloth diapering staple that can be used as burp cloths or doublers once your baby outgrows the infant size by about months 4-6.
  2. Covers: if you're going with prefolds, you'll need some covers.  1 cover to every 4-6 prefolds or fitteds.  There are a myriad of covers out there.  How do you choose? For the first 4 to 6 months, velcro covers will suffice. Velcro does wear out faster than snaps, but, you won't be using the small sized covers for very long.  And, you can get some cheap covers for the same reason - just as effective for less.
  3. Pockets: Pocket diapers are great for daytime, but especially for night-time, or if you have a heavy wetter, so, from 6 months onwards, add a few pocket diapers to your stash for night-time.  One-Size pockets will work fine because by about 9 months or so they won't look as bulky on your baby as when they were newborns. 
  4. AIOs: These are great for a day out, or if your baby is in daycare.  So, depending on your situation, you may need just a few for the weekend outing with baby, or a ton if your baby is in a daycare facility that allows cloth diapers.
  5. Fitteds:  If you're a stay-at-home mom, using fitteds with covers is a great alternative to the AIOs.  Fitted diapers also cut down on your drying time.
Basically, I recommend having a mix.  Don't go out there buying 20 of any one type of diaper, just in case you don't like them.

Stay-At-Home Moms: If you're just starting out get about 16-20 infant-sized prefolds, 4 fitted diapers (try getting 4 different types to get an idea of what you may like) 4 small velcro covers, 3-4 small AIOs for a day out. As your baby gets older you can add about 4 one-size pocket diapers for night-time, and by then you would have figured out if you have a preference for AIOs, fitteds, or prefolds, and you can augment your stash accordingly for your growing child.

Working Mom: If your baby will be in a daycare that accepts cloth diapers get about 16-20 One-Size AIOs and about 4 one-size pocket diapers for night-time and your stash will be complete.

Don't be afraid you're not going to choose the right brand, they all work, and once you find a brand YOU like, you'll be the fanatical cloth diapering mom recommending your favorite brand to your friends :)

And let's not forget the accessories.  Must haves include: Snappis,  Rockin' Green detergent, hanging wet bag or diaper pail, wet bag for on-the-go & diaper ointment.  As your baby gets older you'll want to a diaper sprayer and/or biodegradable liners to manage the poop.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Product Review - Nature's Baby Organics Skincare

Many moms, like myself, are constantly looking for all-natural products for their precious bundles of joy.  I decided that I needed to add a line of products to my store offerings that would satisfy this need.  There are so many things out there in the market place, but when I saw the great reviews that Nature's Baby Organics have received, and realized that I could actually read the ingredients on the bottle, I figured this would be the brand for me.  I currently carry their shampoo/body wash, conditioner/detangler, chest rubbaby oil, fragrance-free moisturizer and diaper cream in the store.  They come in great scents and the majority of the items are certified Organic by the USDA - that is 95% of their ingredients have to be Organic. The ones that aren't USDA certified have about 70% organic ingredients.  Regardless, there are no harsh chemicals in these products which make them healthy for children and adults alike.

Enough with the advertising right, what's my personal experience with these products?  Ok, so, I haven't yet used the shampoo, conditioner or baby oil, as we're still trying to get through all the shampoo and such that we got as gifts when my baby was born 13 months ago. But, I have used the chest rub, moisturizer, and diaper cream.  The diaper cream is great because it doesn't contain zinc, which makes it safe for us cloth diapering moms to apply to our little one's tushies without having to put a liner on in the fear that it will coat our diapers and render them useless.  And, it has worked for my daughter.  I had a bunch of another popular diaper ointment product that we got from the baby shower also, which comes pretty much standard in all "bath sets".  I tried it with the liner (because it contains zinc), and it was horrible.  If anything, I thought it made her diaper rash worse.  So I'll definitely stick with the NBO diaper cream.

I've tried the moisturizing lotion, and it is great.  I've actually been using it on myself because I have horrible allergies, and some of the lotions on the market come with this perfume scent, which has me sneezing as soon as I apply it.  The fact that this moisturizer is fragrance free makes it great for me not to have that offensive perfumy smell that irritates my nose.  And with the natural ingredients, it protects my skin. It is a little thinner in consistency than some lotions, like cocoa butter, which makes it easy to go on. 

And I think everyone in my house has tried the chest rub.  We have been assaulted this winter with colds.  My husband brought it home back in November.  It's January and I'm still battling it.  I think mine may have mutated to something else. Horrible.  And my poor 1 yr old who can't take any medicine is stuck coughing, having a runny nose, sooo congested that she's breathing with her mouth open.  Horrible.  Even my mom is still wrestling with it.  So, pretty much every night we've been using the chest rub so that we can get some sleep.  It's a eucalyptus rub that is a strong yet not offensive smell. And let me tell you, when you're so clogged up that you can't smell anything, having that eucalyptus open you up without it being overpowering is a beautiful thing.  It's a small container, but 3 of us have been using it for the past 2 months, and it's still got a long way to go.

Needless to say I am looking forward to using the other products carried by NBO, especially because the shampoo & conditioner comes in a choice of scents: vanilla-tangerine and lavender-chamomile, which as you can imagine is great for night-time baths for baby.  And the baby oil comes in mandarin-coconut.  They all smell quite lovely, not perfumy, not irritating to my nose. 

Because all these products are made with all natural ingredients, they are great for folks with sensitive skin, so this is definitely an option worth considering.  Yes, the products are a little more expensive than your typical Johnson & Johnson products, but, premium ingredients will cost more than cheap chemicals any day.  And that's the bottom line.

Please feel free to share your personal experience with Nature's Baby Organics products.