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.