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Snuggly Owl Boutique AIO

Snuggly Owl Boutique All In One Diaper Review

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As August crawls past and the summer heat becomes more and more stifling I find myself so thankful for our pool. My husband balks about the maintenance required and all the yard space it takes up but when I can take a fussy baby and cranky toddler (and a tired and overheated mama) and slip everyone into the water for a refreshing escape, it is so worth it. Not to mention the naps it inspires. My girls never nap as long and as hard as they do after splashing around in the pool for an hour. Living in Florida, it is important to me that they become comfortable in the pool, and can tread water and learn to swim as early as possible. The fact that they see it as frivolous play just makes it so much better. How do you cool off your kiddos in the summer?

A photo posted by laravalentine (@laravalentine) on

Today is the day I tell you about that adorable kissy fish print diaper you spotted on Instagram three weeks ago. It’s been hard to keep quiet about this one, but today I finally get to share! Mandi is a WAHM who makes all of the diapers she sells (so you know quality control is never a concern) here in the United States, out of her own home. The materials she uses are excellent quality, and the prints she sources are a constant surprise and delight, I subscribe to her stockings just for the thrill of seeing such fun and lovely diapers.

Ease of Use ✩✩✩✩ This all in one style diaper is a snap to fit (heh, snap, see what I did there?) with dual cross over snaps that allow an easy trim fit for thinner babies whether you are right handed, left handed, one handed, or just completely new to cloth diapers and trying to figure it all out. While the super long soaker could seem a little confusing to first timers, I’m pretty sure any caregiver could figure out to fold it under (in whatever way you see fit as long as it tucks within the shell) and the diaper will hold up well. If you’re leaving your tot with a loved one and you think it will be an easy, you can fold the insert in the manner you prefer and close up the diaper, making it self-explanatory to any adult.

Snuggly Owl Boutique AIO

Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩✩ At $28 for an all in one diaper, the price is a little higher than you may be used to from larger corporations. I ask you to remember that this is an individual, producing at a human rate, and making these beauties right here in the states. Considering the quality of construction and the amazing selection of materials, I would happily pay a bit extra to support a mother and help pay for her beautiful babies’ future piano lessons or soccer uniforms. Since I’m mentioning construction, I think it is important to tell you that it is rare for me to see such impeccable stitching from a WAHM, I expect to see a little extra thread here or a skipped stitch that doesn’t affect use there, but this diaper is absolutely perfect. I appreciate that the print is a “one side up” style and the seamstress actually took the care to properly trim and sew the PUL so that the front and back are both “right side up” with a flawlessly finished seam subtly blending in to the most hidden area of the diaper.

Snuggly Owl Boutique inside

Performance ✩✩✩✩✩ This diaper is amazingly absorbent. The shell itself has a generously thick layer of bamboo fleece in the wet zone surrounded by PUL on all sides, including the tummy, which is great for preventing leaks (especially with tummy sleepers). The snake style soaker is the longest I’ve ever… Ok, get your mind out of the gutter. This soaker is 30” long, with a wide flared base to create absolute coverage over the bum area. With all that length you can fold in half and tuck under if you are on the largest rise setting, or you can get creative and fold additional absorbency in the zone where your child needs the most coverage. This is perfect for my babies who are “heavy wetters” and tend to go through some brands of all in one style diaper in under an hour. With this diaper I can trust that our errand at Target, followed by the post office, then the drive thru, and lastly the thrift store, will not be interrupted no matter how many treasures catch my eye. I have even tried this diaper on my 34 month old (is she really going to be THREE in October? Where does the time go?) overnight (not planned, my husband had the girls while I was working and he wore her out and she slept in her play clothes that night) and she went all night long with no leaks at all. She came to bed to nurse around six am and her shorts were dry and she was content.

Snuggly Owl Boutique

Fit ✩✩✩✩ The footprint of this diaper is trimmer than some styles and brands we are used to, and it took a little adjustment to remember that Autumn’s adorable chunky thigh rolls are not covered by this diaper, but with a proper fit they have no need to be, everything is contained within the encased elastic without leaving any marks. The back elastic is super strong and stitched tight to avoid the dreaded plumber’s crack and poo-splosion, and the soaker is stitched with a slight rim flaring out which makes rinsing messy diapers far easier (nothing is likely to get caught in the seams this way). I do think this diaper is best for a thin or small baby or child considering the trim cut, snug elastic, and crossover hip snaps, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that on the highest rise setting my Buddha baby still has room and is comfortable.

Overall: This diaper is incredible quality, with impressive absorbency, a wide range of fit, and a surprising variety of prints. Snuggly Owl Boutique also offers All In Two style diapers as well as Fitteds, and she tends to sell out quickly so if you’re interested in scoring one of these treasures you may want to follow her on social media to keep tabs on her next stocking. These diapers make an excellent gift, they are what I consider heirloom quality (perfect for passing on to younger siblings or saving for the future). Many of the diapers I test are great at first but may show wear after a few months, this diaper has been put through the ringer since the day I received it and apart from some light staining on the soaker (which may sun out if I ever have the patience to give it more than a few hours to dry) it still looks brand new.

Where to Buy: Snuggly Owl Boutique

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Applecheeks Two- Size System Review

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As Autumn grows more aware of her universe, she has become more and more specific about what she wants to hold and touch and see. Harper has been pretty game about sharing her toys these last nine months, probably because it was often a suggestion or her own idea to present her toys to her baby sister. Now that it is not a choice she is making and she sees Autumn reaching out and taking what she wants, you can see doubt flicker in her eyes as she decides how she feels about this sharing business. She is still relatively patient, especially considering her age, but I can see it is a behavior (for both of them) worth keeping an eye on. When I was little I was the baby sister and I became so used to joining my big brother’s games or playing with his toys that I was painfully offended when he tried to dissuade me and couldn’t even fathom that maybe he deserved to keep them to himself sometimes. I’m going to try not to let that kind of dynamic develop here, though it’s difficult when so many toys are not “Harper’s” or “Autumn’s” but just toys in their own right, taking up residence in whichever bedroom has the space.

An AppleCheeks Size 1 and 2 in use

Today I am reviewing the AppleCheeks pocket diaper. This classic has not changed in style or features since Kim’s review in 2010, though they have introduced a new insert made with stay dry micro fleece on one side and micro terry on the other, as well as a third size option for their covers, made for children 30-65+ lbs, which fills a very important need with a lot of families. I actually have a funny story about the size three, I was at MommyCon Orlando with Kim and helping answer questions at the Cloth Diaper Resource Center when a parent asked about diapers that could address an older or larger child. We didn’t have any size three pockets at our table, so I ran over to a nearby table where a friend and local retailer had AppleCheeks for sale. I asked her if I could borrow a size three and she gave me a long stare, eyed little Autumn all wrapped up on my back, and asked finally, “To use?” I laughed and explained it was just to show and I would direct any customers to her table, but I’m still cracking up at the idea of someone asking to borrow a cloth diaper from a shop to use and then return.

Ease of Use ✩✩✩✩✩ With a very simple shape and generous opening to stuff, these pockets are pretty foolproof, even to a beginner. You can lay the insert inside or on top of the microfleece lining and after use you can rinse and wash without having to remove the insert from the pocket, the wide opening will allow the insert to agitate out on it’s own. With sized covers that eliminate the need for rise snaps, this is one of the most easy to use snap pocket diapers I’ve tried. These are also a great choice for daycares and caregivers since they are so intuitive, especially if you prestuff them before packing them.

Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩ At twenty dollars for a pocket cover (twenty five for the size three) and nine twenty five for a two layer bamboo insert like I tested (AppleCheeks insert prices range from five dollars to eleven fifty depending on your choice of material and style) this diaper is not cheap. However, it is made from quality materials, designed and manufactured in Canada, and will last a very long time. One diaper I am testing is several years older than some other big name diapers I use as frequently and yet it shows much less wear.

Performance ✩✩✩✩ I used this pocket with an AppleCheeks one size bamboo from rayon insert (try saying that three times fast). This insert is made from two layers serged together, and measures about twelve by fifteen inches so you can fold it to meet your baby’s needs. I love that this insert is so absorbent, yet still so trim, and that I have the option to lay it inside the pocket like an all in two if I want. The generous sizing of the pocket means you can also customize the absorbency if you prefer a certain material or need additional absorbency.

Fit ✩✩✩✩ With three sizes to choose from (size one is suggested for babies seven to twenty pounds, size two for babies eighteen to forty pounds, and size three as stated above) you can select a diaper to fit your child without the need for rise snaps. I can say the size suggestions for the size one are pretty accurate, Autumn was pushing twenty pounds when I received a size one diaper and it was definitely a squeeze to get that diaper on her, she had some serious tush cleavage… The size two fits her much better. I was dubious as to how one diaper with no rise snaps could fit an eighteen pound baby as well as a forty pound baby, but with strong and stretchy elastic at the tummy as well as the back and legs, and the renowned Applecheeks ruffles at the legs. I haven’t experienced any leaks with this diaper, and despite recently replacing the elastic on one that is several years old it is still holding strong and works just as well as a new one.

Overall: AppleCheeks pocket diapers are strong quality pockets that are a cinch to use and come in loads of fun colors and designs. I love their online release parties when a new limited or retailer exclusive diaper is offered. If it isn’t in your budget to load your stash with these lovelies, I still suggest you pick up at least one or two for caretakers in your baby’s life or even just for those days when you want to have a stress free experience with minimum effort and still have good results.

Where to Buy: Kelly’s Closet

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Happy Heiny One Size Pocket Diaper Review

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This week has been a whirlwind, but I couldn’t let it go without reminding you that it is World Breastfeeding week. This global initiative has sparked countless conversations and hopefully helped to educate or support some people who could use it. I am proud to be nursing my girls, Harper is just shy of 34 months (she’ll be three in October) and Autumn is nine months. When I was younger I’d proudly proclaim that I planned to breastfeed “until my baby has teeth” thinking surely that was what most people did. As friends had babies and I saw how early teeth came in and how they don’t prohibit a nursing relationship I adjusted my thinking to accommodate one solid year. It wasn’t until I had my first child I learned more about the benefits of nursing beyond a year, not only for my child but for myself as well. I could easily write a book about my thoughts on breastfeeding, the benefits, and how it has directly affected my life. But since I try to keep my personal narrative to a paragraph I’ll leave you with this: This week is not to shame parents and caregivers that use formula, it is not to pat each other on the back and feel self righteous, and it is not a ploy to sell breastfeeding accessories to new and expecting parents with special promotions. This week is about opening up a dialogue, presenting an opportunity to talk about breastfeeding, to ask questions, to seek help, to get support. I never would have made it this far if I didn’t have real life “normal” friends to inspire and guide me. Some of these friends stumbled into my life thanks to the internet, social media, and conversations like these. So if you are so inclined, consider a post on your page referencing the week and what it means to you, share some helpful tip that eased your breastfeeding experience or that you wish you had known, or post a picture that inspires you. It may inspire someone else, too. Feel free to share links in the comments, I love reading them.
HHpocket

Today I’m reviewing a pocket diaper from Happy Heiny. I love pockets for their customization options, if the pocket is generously sized with a solid lining (like this one) you can put just about anything inside and create a diaper that works perfectly for you at any given stage with your littles. The insert and doubler you receive with this diaper are a great foundation, but having the option to mix it up is where you will really find the love.

Ease of Use ✩✩✩✩ This One Size diaper is very easy to use, with a generously sized pocket it is quick and easy to grab your inserts in your hand, stuff them into the enclosure, and use the diaper right away. The hook and loop style I’m trying is perfect for caregivers who may be intimidated by snaps or enjoy the intuitive simplicity of perfectly customizable tape. The h&l is strong and not too sticky, and while after months of heavy use I have noticed the corners of the tape curl up a little, it has not affected their use at all, is barely noticeable unless you’re looking for issues and the strong laundry tabs have kept any wash incidents at bay.  (The snaps version would be a considerable amount harder to get used to as a new cloth diaperer- there are many snaps to affix.)

Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩✩ For $20.95 you receive a pocket diaper with two inserts, one smaller size and one larger size. These diapers are a little on the high side but they are made in the USA with quality materials and while I’ve used this one in heavy rotation for months now it still looks brand new with no special effort aside from a little sunshine to treat staining on the fleece.

Performance ✩✩✩✩ The inserts included with this diaper are three layers each, so if you stack the inserts you have six total layers of microfiber for absorbency. The diaper is lined with a microfleece that keeps moisture away from baby’s skin, so my girls can comfortably wear this pocket at naps as well as while playing. While we prefer this diaper for running around and playing (love that comfy fit) I have found that the addition of a hemp doubler can transition this diaper into a night time solution as well, the pocket is sized generously (much more so than some of my other big name pockets) and leaves plenty of room to customize absorbency which I find to be crucial for pocket diapers.

Fit ✩✩✩✩✩ Comparing this pocket to the older style, you’ll find that Happy Heiny has updated the fit so it is less bulky and a much better fit on skinny babies like Harper. Strong elastic and newly shaped wings means no leg gaps and no leaks. It still has plenty of room to grow and Autumn has no problem fitting within this diaper either. The style I’m trying comes with hook and loop tape that offers a full width strip of tape on the tummy panel and crossover tabs to allow a snug fit on trim babies while also fitting even a very large toddler. Keep in mind if you were to receive a preloved version of this diaper you might find yourself with the original cut that did not fit smaller babies very well, this newer style is my favorite as it offers the best of both worlds.

Overall: This pocket diaper has always been a great solution for big babies or older children in diapers, and will now also work on some skinnier babies. It is intuitive and simple to use, which makes it especially helpful for daycare or babysitters. I love the fun colors and patterns, and it holds up really well over time.

Where to Buy: HappyHeiny.com

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Gerber All-in-One

Gerber All In One Diaper Review

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Harper is my diaper model this morning, since Autumn couldn’t even get the hook and loop to close today, she is nine months and just reached twenty three pounds a week after this video, still five pounds under the weight limit on this size diaper, but there is no way to make it fit. Harper is twenty five lbs and very thin and trim (partially due to genetics, partially due to a dairy allergy that requires a very specific diet) and three pounds under the limit but it is a struggle for her to keep this diaper on as well. Sizing options aside, I felt it was very important to talk about this diaper today.

Gerber all in one review

Today I’m reviewing the new Gerber all in one diaper. When Kim and I heard about these diapers and them potentially being sold at mass retailers it was very exciting considering many parents don’t have a cloth diaper retailer (not even a place like Buy Buy Baby which has a very limited selection) within a reasonable distance of their home. For a lot of parents it can be a tough decision to invest in something you have no experience with and cannot touch, hold, and feel. Bringing a simple and easy to use diaper into our local shop aisles will also have the potential to inspire people who otherwise may not know that this is an option. Compared to the low quality Gerber prefolds (which the cloth diapering community generally recommends as excellent for cleaning your car or your windows and not much else) and those terrifying plastic pants (no longer for sale on their website, I noticed), these have the potential to bring a whole new group of families into the cloth diapering world.

Ease of Use ✩✩✩✩ This diaper is labeled as an all in one, but actually reminds me more of a pocket except the lining has an insert sewn in place, then the additional insert can be laid on top or tucked inside the sleeve between the original insert and the PUL lining. It is a sized diaper so no rise snaps to fuss with, just simple hook and loop tape to allow for quick and easy changes.

Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩✩✩ At $12.99 for an all in one diaper, the price is incredible, very affordable and more likely to inspire folks who generally use disposables to consider switching, even if only part time. The sweet and simple solid colors are appealing to the eye and the design is clean and pleasing on the exterior of the diaper. Granted, the materials within the diaper reflect the price.

Gerber All in One fit

Performance ✩✩ This diaper is centered around a sixty five percent polyester/thirty five percent rayon soaker that is covered with cotton Gerber is calling “TRANSdry” which is listed as a stay dry material. I’m a little confused as to how Gerber calls it one hundred percent cotton and then in the same line says it pulls moisture away from the skin using what is woven into the lining.  (editor’s note- this could be a chemical coating on the fabric but I don’t know this for sure) I found that with the sewn in soaker and the booster I was able to make this diaper last about an hour, I could not try adding additional absorbency as the diaper was dramatically smaller than the size suggestions promised. The PUL is very thin and sticky, and is already delaminating after only a couple months of use. There are two rows of thin elastic string on either side of the soaker, presumably an attempt at gussets, but I have found this exposed elastic string irritates my girls’ skin and leaves red marks. It’s possible this won’t be an issue for you as my babies do have sensitive skin but I have taken to using a fleece liner (which covers the exposed elastic and also helps to truly wick moisture away from my baby’s skin as without the liner their skin would remain quite damp).

Fit ✩✩ The sizing options on this diaper suggest a small will fit eight to eighteen pounds, medium will fit sixteen to twenty eight pounds, and large will fit twenty two to thirty seven pounds. I’m not sure what guide Gerber used to attain these figures, but we bought the medium diaper and neither of my girls are anywhere near twenty eight pounds yet, but this diaper barely clung to their bodies for dear life. I laid it flat and found it comparable to an Apple Cheeks size one (which we love but a size one is made for seven to twenty pounds and has not fit my girls for a while). The hook and loop tape is not very strong and if I do not put snug clothing over the diaper immediately it will come loose which led to some very exciting and frenzied mornings when we first tried this brand.

Overall: Gerber Childrenswear is a vast brand and has tremendous power. I would love to see them make some enhancements to this diaper (as well as their prefolds!) and bring it up to compare with what parents are using on their babies. We will (and do) pay more for quality materials, and I’m confident if Gerber adjusts their design and materials to something a little more forgiving on delicate baby skin that can also hold up to repeated washings they will find the response to be overwhelming. Oh, yeah, and maybe test your sizing options some more. I know my youngest baby has a big booty, but this is ridiculous.

Where to Buy: Don’t.

A Note from Kim…

Even though I wasn’t able to test this diaper on my children because they are no longer in need, I was able to handle it- I ordered one for Lara and one for me to film.  The concept of a large brand entering the cloth diaper market with a modern, easy to use option was both an exciting and scary one.  The potential Gerber has to make cloth diapers more mainstream is tremendous but would their diaper work well enough to make a positive impression on consumers?  After getting the diaper and playing with it myself plus the poor performance and sizing review from Lara I say NO.  Not with this version.  I will readily admit their brand of “cloth diapers” have enraged me in the past due to their quality and performance.  Their prefolds and flats are on shelves in thousands of stores across the US in the “cloth diaper” section.  For years this was all we had in the wild.  The prefolds have been stuffed with poly batting to appear more absorbent but surprise… they aren’t.  Why make a product that doesn’t work well and intentionally deceive customers by fluffing it with a non absorbent material?  They used to work… Gerber entered the cloth diaper market in the early 60’s with a vinyl pant.  They used to be diapers that were used as diapers and now they are at best, good burp rags and polishing cloths.  

I believe Gerber is used to making a larger profit margin (and their retailers) than the cottage cloth diaper industry.  Even the “big” brands operate on very small margins.  Most brands are bringing quality products that are designed to last years and hundreds of washes.  They feel substantial to the touch, like you can wash and reuse them as intended.  This Gerber diaper felt that it needed to be handled with kid gloves, lest it disintegrate.  Just having the velcro snag the back layer caused unsightly snagging and fraying.  As the Executive Director of a cloth diaper charity, if Gerber offered me 5,000 of these diapers I would refuse.  They wouldn’t be worth shipping them to our approved families (as desperately as we need diapers) because they aren’t going to work and they won’t be successful at cloth diapering.

Gerber- you will likely see this so I will put it out on this page- you can do better.  And if you can’t make a cloth diaper that works and lasts that will meet the profit margins your company has to see, you shouldn’t continue making this diaper.  You need to think of this garment as one that has to last at the least- 2 years of continued use (even as a sized diaper you should be expected to use this for 2 children).  Less than 3 months and your current diaper is delaminating and the velcro won’t close.  It’s criminal to release a product for $13 dollars- more than what many Americans make in 1 hour of work- and have it last for weeks, maybe a few months.  The people buying these may not know that they would be better off buying real prefolds and covers for their money.  Imagining a family buying these with the little money they have and the diaper failing to function and last brings tears to my eyes.  That shouldn’t happen.  Wasting money they work hard for on an item their family may desperately need to stop spending $60 or more on disposable diapers per month shouldn’t happen.

I’ve tested hundreds of diapers since 2009 and this has been the lowest quality of them all.  My understanding is that Gerber is working on improvements to the diaper for a new batch.  DDL will most certainly be testing those when they come out.  I will update this post to link to the new diaper review (that is hopefully a much happier, optimistic review) when that day comes.  For now this review stands as a warning to consumers- spend your money elsewhere.   On a budget?  Consider the options listed in the “budget cloth diapering” post.  

-Kim Rosas

You may be interested in other reviews of this product:

Change-Diapers (also felt the cotton was not stay dry, sizing needs work)

Zephyr Hill (a more upbeat review with an overall positive experience)

Amazon.com (has 2.5 stars with a mix of positive and negative reviews)

 

 

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Bambino MioSolo All In One Diaper Review

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How do you decide how many toys are too many? I am exceptionally lucky to have my husband’s parents as well as my dad and stepmom and my own mom all living just a few minutes away, which can lead to some very sweet gifts as the years pass. I have also received quite a few hand me downs from friends with older babies as well as the treasures we’ve chosen ourselves for special occasions or because we were just so taken with a particular design or idea. But at some point you realize you’re spending more time picking up forgotten toys than actually playing, and start to wonder if it’s time to go through them and find new homes for some of them. It’s always tricky as any toy that ends up in the donate bin instantly becomes a beloved favorite that your little one can’t get enough of, and if you’re anticipating adding another baby to the mix at some point you don’t want to dismiss all your infant appropriate options. How do you decide what stays and what goes? At what point are you comfortable with chaos?

harpermio-1

Today I’m reviewing a rather unique and adorable all in one style diaper or “nappy” which has won several awards. Bambino Mio is a UK based company, you may have read Kim’s review on their covers and prefolds a few years back, and today I’ll be reviewing one of their adorable and award winning nappies.

Ease of Use ✩✩✩✩ One of the most notable differences of this nappy is the unique features on the insert. There is a flap of material on the end that creates a pocket or mitten, and there are several loops of binding sewn the length of the insert, straight down the middle. These features make it easier than ever to stuff and remove the insert from the stay dry lined chamber. To stuff, you tuck your palm within the pocket at the end of the insert like a mitten and slide your hand into the sleeve of the diaper. To remove, you can delicately seek the first available loop with a single finger (you can wear gloves if you like but this is on the back of the diaper insert and made of a slick material that does not seem to absorb much) and use the tether to withdraw the insert. This diaper allows has a flap to cover the opening, ensuring no microfiber touches baby’s skin which is a huge draw for someone with a chunkier baby who can strain the back interior of her diapers.

Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩✩✩ At $21.99 for an all in one diaper, the price is only slightly higher than most big name all in ones. The additional unique features make this well constructed diaper a cinch to use and the charming prints make this diaper a temptation for any cloth user.

Performance ✩✩✩✩ This diaper, or nappy, held up very well with my girls. The insert appears to be thicker than many comparable styles, and while it can take a bit longer to dry (make sure you fully remove the insert before drying) it is very absorbent. For extended use (car trips, naps, and other times where it may not be possible to change as often as you’d like) I do recommend adding a booster, but for everyday use this worked great.

Fit ✩✩✩✩ The Velcro style fasteners and the “poppers” or snaps on this diaper makes it easy and intuitive to get a great fit on this nappy. There are three rise snap options and while the Velcro style strip does not go across the entire front of the diaper and the footprint of the diaper is not as generous in size as some I’m used to, it does still seem to fit a wide variety of sizes. This diaper may work better for smaller or average size babies, but I am able to fasten it on both my chunky nine month old (who wears eighteen month size clothing) and my two and a half year old.

Overall: This diaper is an all in one because the insert is sewn to the diaper, but the stay dry lining is attached like that of a pocket, which will turn away some parents who really don’t like pocket diapers and the required steps to use them. Bambino Mio has done an excellent job making these steps as simple as possible with the built in mitt on the end of the insert and the pull tabs to make removal easier and neater. The stay dry lining can be a big draw for some parents as many babies tend to sleep longer or remain happier if they cannot feel that they are wet. This is a great option for parents looking for a stay dry option using parts they cannot accidentally misplace, and is also a great gift with a variety of fun and gender neutral prints to choose from.

 Where to Buy: Bambino Mio USA or My Blossom Baby (on clearance)

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Sweet Pea All In One Diaper Review

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Harper loves having a table just her size. I knew I wanted one for her, specifically for tea parties with her dolls, even before I was expecting a sibling for her. I looked at a variety of websites but wasn’t satisfied with what I could afford and couldn’t manage the price on the ones I liked. Eventually I let go of the dream and focused on other needs, and that was when I stumbled upon a garish painted table outfitted with an annoying yet popular cartoon character in a shocking shade of yellow. My weekly perusal of Craigslist had yielded a potential treasure. The table came with two matching chairs and was so scraped up and overwhelmed with torn stickers the owner was selling it for a song. I happily met her and then headed straight for the hardware store where I let a very young Harper select a paint color to refinish the set. She loved choosing the shade and adores having her own special spot for snacks, drawing, and (yes!) tea parties. Autumn is very interested in the table now, too, and I know she will enjoy using it for years to come. (Editor’s Note- Lara has done an amazing job with Harper’s big girl room, it’s so perfect!)

Sweet Pea Bamboo AIOToday I’m reviewing a bamboo all in one from Sweet Pea Cloth Diapers. All in ones are a fantastic choice for parents who opt for convenience or who are used to the ease of use they may have experienced with disposable. The interior is either sewn or snapped in place and can be left fully assembled to wash (though some may like to unsnap when possible to help the washer more effectively clean and to allow the diaper to dry faster). This style is easy on, easy off, and easy to spray with a diaper sprayer if you need to rinse off any solids.

Ease of Use ✩✩✩✩✩ This diaper is extremely easy to use, yet it also offers a degree of customization which is not common in all-in-one diapers. The top soaker is sewn in on one end, tongue style, and runs the length of the interior so you only need to fold it if you are snapping down the rise and even then it’s a small fold. The inner soaker is snapped in place on the opposite end, meaning you can leave it snapped at all times or you can remove it for a trimmer option or if you have specific inserts you prefer. I was extremely happy with the materials Sweet Pea has chosen; the top soaker is a bamboo/cotton blend topped with soft plush bamboo velour and the bottom (snap in) soaker is a hidden layer of microfiber sandwiched between soft layers of bamboo cotton. This mix of materials allows for a lot of long term absorbency in a very trim package without any added hassle.

Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩✩ Most retailers offer this diaper at $21.95 which is a great price for a diaper with this level of absorbency and quality materials. All in ones are generally pricier than other diaper options, but you have the added bonus of not needing to purchase anything additional to make this diaper work really well for you. The only addition I could possibly think of would be if you don’t like using microfiber you can replace the snap in insert with a material you prefer (though I find hidden microfiber like this to be very effective and far more absorbent than the thin dingy flattened out pads many of us associate with some cheap mass produced pocket diapers) or if you are needing to apply a cream to your baby or anticipate a soiled diaper you won’t want to mess with you can add a diaper liner. But when you have bamboo velour this soft it is hard to imagine wanting to put anything else on top of it.

Performance ✩✩✩✩ Thanks to the one-two-punch of the materials Sweet Pea has chosen, this diaper lasts an exceptionally long time without any leaks. A soft interior lining of bamboo/cotton combined with the inserts I describe above means this diaper is ready to handle whatever your baby can dish out. The craftsmanship is excellent and the colors and patterns are very playful and trendy. I’m more than a little in love with their black diaper, which manages to look cool in a classic LBD way as opposed to some more punk style diapers I’ve seen.

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Fit ✩✩✩✩✩ Harper has always been a very trim baby, and while she is two now, she’s still thin and has given me a deep appreciation for cross over snaps. Sweet Pea does NOT disappoint with TWO rows of crossover snaps to choose from, this diaper can get an exceptionally snug fit. Add to that a good strong tightly strung back elastic and equally strong leg elastics and you have a diaper that will work well on even a very petite baby while still maintaining the superior absorbency of a good all-in-one. At the same time, this diaper offers enough snap options to fit a larger baby (cough*Autumn*cough) as well. Did I mention it is also a very trim fitting diaper? The fit on this one will not disappoint.

Overall: Sweet Pea Bamboo All In Ones are a great option for parents looking for superior absorbency that is easy on the mind and budget. No special customization needed, no assembly process, no long tutorials for babysitters and daycares. These diapers are stylish, intuitive, and long lasting. This makes them an excellent gift for someone curious about cloth who may become overwhelmed with some styles of diaper, and the wide variety of sizing options and quality craftsmanship means these will last from a very young age until potty training and likely through several babies.

Where to Buy: Kelly’s Closet carries the Sweet Pea Bamboo AIO

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Sugar Sheep Bamboo Flat Review

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Autumn is so eager to do everything her big sister does, she’s a happy child but gets frustrated when something that seems so simple for Harper is a challenge for her. It’s astonishing how quickly I forget the challenge of a baby learning to sit, or crawl, or walk. Things that have become second nature for your older child are still nearly impossible for the younger and you have to grit your teeth and watch them learn, and be ready to provide comfort when they ask for it. Do you find having a second child (or third or fourth) child to be easier or harder than the first?

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Sugar Sheep sent me a medium organic bamboo flat to review. I received this just in time for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, and I loved using it on both of my girls. Flats can be a very good option for parents on a budget, parents troubleshooting laundry issues, and parents looking for an easily customizable diaper that can also be a good option for sensitive skin.
Ease of Use ✩✩✩✩ Flats can have more of a learning curve if you have never practiced a flat fold. I recommend you begin with a simple pad fold to ease you into it (just fold it into a rectangle that fits within your cover) and then maybe choose one more fold to learn at first, something that wraps around the baby and secures with a Snappi to help keep the diaper in place. This flat does allow for an easier folding experience with a subtle amount of stretch (more stretch in one direction, less in the other, allowing you to flip the flat and create a fold that works best for you) and thick terry bamboo on both sides to ensure there is no “right” or “wrong” side to be against your baby.

Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩✩ Flats are generally regarded as the most economical diapering choice, and while the price of a specific flat may differ from another you can still generally expect to pay less for a high quality flat than you would pay for a more structured insert provided the materials are similar. These flats are listed at a higher price ($31.50 for a three pack of medium size which measures 23.5 inches square, making the individual price only $10.50 per flat) however they are incredibly plush and absorbent, and the material does not shrink or warp which makes certain folds much easier to master.

Performance ✩✩✩✩ This flat is extremely absorbent on it’s own, and when combined with a wool or hemp doubler, Tara (the wonderful WAHM who sews these flats) notes you can go up to four to six hours between changes. I have used this flat overnight, with a hemp doubler tucked in and a wool cover for peace of mind. There were no leaks in the morning, the hemp was saturated and the bamboo flat was damp but the moisture was spread out throughout the lower portion of the diaper so there was no pooling or compression issues. This flat is serged with heavy duty wooly nylon, which not only allows more stretch flexibility but is also a great option for babies who have a sensitivity to the polyester thread many retailers use on their diapers.

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Fit ✩✩✩✩✩ Flats are incredibly accommodating regarding fit, but to master certain folds you may require more or less material. Sugar Sheep flats are generously sized, with newborn and small flats measuring 16 and 20 inches square and doubling as excellent padfold choices or doublers to work with your existing diaper routine if you need extra absorbency. She also offers the medium flat I tried and a large version in a whopping 28 inches square. The material is so plush and absorbent you can get away with less passes and folds, so less layers of fabric, if you prefer to use a smaller flat. When using the size suggested, however, you will have more absorbency that I generally expect from a standard pocket diaper and can go longer between changes, too.

Overall: Whenever a friend or acquaintance tells me “I want to start cloth diapering but I don’t think I can afford it” or “Cloth diaper laundry seems so confusing. You have to prewash and wash and use a special soap and you can put some things in the dryer but not others… Is it really easy to do every week?” or even “I want to use cloth diapers but my baby is so sensitive, I thought disposables gave him a rash but now my cloth is doing it, too.” I always talk to them about flats. While there is a wonderful and extensive variety of modern cloth diapers that have made this choice so much more accessible, it’s great to go “back to basics” when you’re encountering an issue or starting from scratch and these flats from Sugar Sheep are a way to do so without sacrificing quality, style, and time. I love how easily they wash no matter what setting your washer is on, and how quickly they dry (15-20 minutes on my line and this flat is ready to go). These are a great way to build your stash or make it work better for you.

Where to Buy: Sugar Sheep on Etsy

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Geffen Baby Absorbers Plus Review

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Every baby is different, and even a single baby can go through stages where a diaper that worked great can need more frequent changing or you may find yourself troubleshooting leaks or irritation. Sometimes you don’t need a whole new diaper, sometimes you just need a little something extra.

geffenbabyabsorbers

Geffen Baby has a line of universal diaper inserts designed to work with any cloth diaper on the market with minimal adjustment and maximum efficiency. The addition of one of these inserts allows for extra absorbency to help with car rides, nap time, and other times where changing more often is less convenient. This is a great way to make your stash work for you, especially if you’re feeling any frustration with your current stash.
Ease of Use ✩✩✩✩ I was sent a 3 pack of Super Absorbers Plus, made from sixty percent hemp and forty percent organic cotton fleece. This insert is a full size insert; I’ve found it to be perfect for my eight month old (who wears 12-18 month clothes) while still providing a good fit for my petite two and a half year old (who wears 2t). Geffen Baby has a helpful chart on the sizes here: http://geffenbaby.com/product-info/.  There is minimal folding required, the soaker (6×17”) fits neatly in the majority of our diapers with just a small fold in the front or back if the diaper has a lower rise. On the few diapers we use that have a more narrow channel in the middle, I simply rolled the edges a bit to tuck the insert neatly within the diaper (though I did find gusseted diapers did better with this adjustment than others).

Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩✩✩ At $14.49 for a three pack you are spending less than five dollars per insert which is a fantastic deal compared to many leading brands. I love that you can use these as an independent soaker or as a booster with your favorite diaper. If you’re on a tight budget and working with some diapers that have seen better days you can add a few Geffen baby to your laundry without breaking the bank and fall in love with cloth diapering all over again.  You can also find them in a 6 Pack.

Performance ✩✩✩✩✩ I found these hemp/cotton fleece inserts to be incredibly powerful. I tuck them in covers for a quick and economical change (perfect for errands and travel since I can bring an extra insert or two and a small wet bag and just swap out the insert when needed). I also use them to get the most out of diapers I usually consider “average” to boost them to favorite status. Both my girls tend to be heavy wetters and require a lot of absorbency, and these inserts do not disappoint.

Fit ✩✩✩✩✩ Thanks to the blend of hemp in the five layers of soft organic cotton fleece these inserts are extremely trim and almost unnoticeable in terms of bulk. If I add them to a diaper that already has a flat or insert of some sort I don’t notice any difference in fluffiness. If I use them as a standalone in a cover I have a very trim diaper that fits nicely within even snug clothing.

Overall: I love how trim and absorbent these inserts are. My babies have not had any irritation issues and seem to love the soft brushed material against their skin. I can also tuck the insert underneath another if I need to (for example, I can wrap an organic cotton flat around it for a baby who only likes organic cotton against her skin) but I have found the texture of this insert is amazing when it comes to spraying off solids, the mess comes right off.  If the hemp and organic cotton fleece is not your cup of tea or the size doesn’t fit your needs Geffenbaby has an entire line sized from newborn to ultra offering a variety of materials and absorbency levels. I love these as a shower gift as well because they are perfect no matter what cloth diaper style the parents decide on (and because they’d look adorable in a diaper cake!) and are also a great way to create an overnight diaper for a light to moderate wetter.

Where to Buy- Geffen Baby
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Happy Heiny TWOriffic (All In Two) Diaper Review

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One task I never realized I’d have to do so frequently with my babies is centered around clean laundry. I think I was spoiled with Harper, she has always been very petite, and wore 0-3 clothing until she was around 6 months old. She’s maintained her slight stature despite a very healthy appetite, and I was able to delay swapping out her clothing sizes for months as she continued to fit in smaller sizes (with the exception of some snug cotton stretch pants thanks to some fluffier diapers). Autumn has thrown me for a loop. I have spent more time elbow deep in stacks of clean laundry squinting at tiny illegible tags and making stacks that have to be stored before my toddler discovers them than I ever imagined possible. My eight month old is now wearing 18 month clothing, and some of it is rather snug. She is ebf, just like her sister was at that age, with the occasional bit of banana or avocado, nothing crazy. My diet hasn’t changed, but the same milk that kept Harper thin as a rail has helped Autumn blossom into a very healthy round cheeked baby girl. While I don’t relish the extra laundry (diaper laundry is so much more fun), I do appreciate the clear proof that my milk is sufficient nutrition and my eldest child is just naturally slight. Do you have children on opposite sides of the growth chart? How do you feel about it? Do any of you have an older child who wears a younger child’s hand-me-downs?

Happy Heiny All in Two

Today I am reviewing the Happy Heiny TWOriffic diaper, I love the bright colors and fun designs as well as the strength and versatility of this diaper and I’m excited to share it with you.

Ease of Use ✩✩✩✩✩  The Happy Heiny TWOriffic all in two consists of a shell and an insert with a snap to keep it in place. The insert I am testing is constructed from cotton with a layer of mock mesh to create a stay dry barrier. Happy Heiny also offers a cotton and hemp version for those who prefer natural fibers against their baby’s skin. The shell is a smooth slick fabric which is not at all sticky (like some inexpensive covers can be) and wipes clean easily. The snap keeps the insert in place while allowing it to be easy popped off when it needs changing. This diaper is easy enough to use that I frequently reach for it with visiting parents/in laws since I can trust others will understand how it works.

Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩✩ A cover costs $18.95 whether you choose hook and loop tape or snaps, and an insert costs only 4.50 for the stay dry version or the cotton/hemp version. With an all in two, you can purchase more inserts than covers and change only the inserts for several changes, reducing the cost of your stash and the amount of laundry you have to wash. I love how cost effective this style can be.

Performance ✩✩✩ The insert I used with this diaper is a cotton insert with a mock mesh lining to help keep moisture off of baby’s skin, which can be helpful in preventing rashes if your baby tends to be sensitive. The insert is extremely thin yet still fairly absorbent. My girls do tend to give cloth diaper absorbency a very tough test and we found that these diapers worked best with an additional doubler or pad folded flat tucked inside. If you have a light to normal wetter you may not find additional absorbency necessary. These do wipe clean very easily and the single snap makes it a cinch to remove the insert before adding a new one. I use cloth wipes (I store them dry and use a spritz bottle of water with my own wipe solution mixed in) and I find a single dry wipe is perfect for removing the insert without touching it, then wiping away any moisture on the cover.

Fit ✩✩✩✩✩ These covers are very generously sized, they are one of the few covers we use that still has tons of room to grow on my very chunky off-the-charts eight month old baby. The generous cross over snaps allow this diaper to fit a wide variety of sizes and shapes. However, this diaper is still delightfully trim. When not using an additional soaker I find this diaper to be one of the slimmest silhouettes we use, perfect for those tiny jeans you knew were overpriced and a bad idea but just could not resist. The diaper clings to your baby without causing compression leaks even in those snug little denim skinny pants. Why does a baby need skinny pants? I don’t know. But this diaper will fit under them, which is something I can’t say about over half our stash (and that’s no small half).

 Overall: These diapers are a great choice if you want close to the simplicity of an all in one without the cost, bulk, and long dry time of a true all in one. They are easy to use, intuitive, and stylish. The generous sizing means I will be able to use them long after my little Buddha baby outgrows some of her other “one size” (sometimes I think they mean one size fits most) diapers, even if she doesn’t slim down once she starts walking. This is a great way to build a stash from scratch, ordering more inserts than covers and trying some of each style insert to see what your baby prefers. These are also a great option when traveling since you can store more dirty laundry in even a small wet bag.

Where to Buy: HappyHeiny.com

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Bummis Flannel Fitted Diaper Review

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As the weather heats up I find our trips outside get shorter and shorter. Instead of an hour in the morning we tend to do three or four fifteen to twenty minute visits, so my girls have plenty of time to cool off and hydrate. It’s possible I’m oversensitive to the sunshine as Autumn is still rather young and I worry about her keeping cool, but I’ve been lucky enough that neither girl has ever experienced a sunburn and I hope to keep that up. My husband is considering creating a sunshade for the backyard, either something cheap like a plastic tarp rigged up that can be removed after playtime or something more permanent like a wooden structure that will also keep the rain away since summer showers are almost daily this time of year. How you keep your cool in the summer? What do you consider too much time in the sun?

Harper in Bummis

Today I’m reviewing a Bummis fitted diaper. I’m a huge fan of the Bummis Whisper Wrap (an affordable yet quality cover I have in newborn and one-size and tend to call “old reliable”) so I was psyched when I received this super cute flannel fitted with a charming “Green Faeries” design on the exterior. It is very soft and pretty, and so compact it fits in even the smallest pocket on my diaper bag.

Ease of Use ✩✩✩✩✩ With a single piece that fastens with strong snaps and doesn’t require any assembly this diaper is very easy to use on it’s own. You will want to add a waterproof cover, such as PUL, TPU, wool, or fleece. You may also find you’ll need to customize absorbency by adding additional soakers within the fitted, based on the habits of your child.

Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩ At $24.95 per diaper, you are looking at a very affordable fitted option, however without any soakers included you sacrifice a lot of the expected absorbency, and by adding the suggested Bummis Deluxe Booster for $6.75 you’re bringing the price up to $31.70 for a fitted with a single soaker. While these diapers are very cute and certainly have their uses I would not consider this price to be comparable based on absorbency and longevity. My girls are what the cloth diaper community likes to call “super soakers” meaning they breastfeed on demand and tend to need a lot of absorbency in their diapers, especially since they both tend to release a lot at once as opposed to a smaller amount over an extended period of time. It’s possible for a light wetter these diapers may be a perfect and trim solution, it just wasn’t the experience I had.

Performance ✩✩ This fitted diaper is a layer of flannel on the exterior, a layer of Sherpa on the interior, and additional absorbency sewn into the “wet zone” or main channel of the diaper. There are no soakers included, although the website does suggest the Bummis Deluxe Booster as a great way to extend the absorbency of this diaper. I had a very hard time with this diaper without a booster, it tends to get soaked in just one spot and immediately leak through the cover even when the back of the diaper is dry. I’ve tried washing it repeatedly in case it was a prep issue, which causes the decorative flannel to pill up quite a bit, but the issue is recurring. I can add a booster as suggested and it does help, though I can’t say the flannel adds to the absorbency at all, it seems about on par with using just a booster in a cover. What I DO find this cover to be fantastic for is with flats or prefolds. One issue I run into when using flats or prefolds with my breastfed girls is that the legs can lose their tightness after my very active girls have been playing for a while. The result can be quite messy, but by using the trim Bummis fitted over a flat or prefold, then adding the PUL cover on top, I’m able to keep everything contained within soft and snug elastics no matter how much my babies roll, crawl, run, or jump.

Fit ✩✩✩✩✩ This diaper is extremely trim, easily the thinnest fitted I’ve come across. It offers three rise options thanks to strong rise snaps and also offers cross over snaps so this diaper can be made to fit an extremely small baby, it would have fit quite well on Autumn when she was a newborn if we had owned it then. It also expands fairly well, transforming into a trim toddler option.

Overall: I like the materials of this diaper, the flannel is adorable and Sherpa is a great cotton solution for anyone with a sensitivity to polyester, it is fluffy while still laying quite flat, and soft against the skin. I do think this diaper is best with increased absorbency and wish that a soaker was sold with the diaper instead of suggested as an additional purchase. This fitted is a wonderful trim option that still fits neatly under even snug clothing, even when a booster is added. The leg elastics are perfect for ebf leak protection, and I love using these over flats as a way to secure everything for play time. I also like this diaper without a cover for outside play for my toddler, since she can run around in the backyard in a breathable option that protects her from bug bites and dirt in sensitive places.

Where to Buy: In stock at Kelly’s Closet

 

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