March 2010

>

I had heard of Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics in the past, and when someone suggested that I review their products, I decided to look into it.

I ended up having a phone conversation with Tracey at EMAB.  I hate talking on the phone; I get nervous.  I think I always sound like a doofus and end up saying something stupid!  Despite that, Tracey and I chatted like old friends.  We talked about everything from tear-free shampoo to teething babies. 

Tracey directed me to EMAB’s reading room, and I ended up spending quite a bit of time there and learned a lot.  I highly recommend you take a peek if you’re at all interested in natural and organic products.

To try to keep this post from becoming a novel, I’ll get to the point!  I emailed with Julie at EMAB and they so generously sent me a 2 oz jar of Angel Baby Bottom Balm.

Since switching to cloth, we rarely, if ever, see any diaper rash, but my son usually gets red after he has a dirty diaper.  It doesn’t matter how quickly I change him, I suppose it’s the acidity that bothers his skin.

He made a dirty diaper while in his exersaucer and wearing the one cheapie diaper we have, which doesn’t do much to contain messes!  Between the diaper and the pressure from the exersaucer, we ended up with an explosion ( or a “poo-nami” if you will).  Up his back, on his legs, everywhere!  It was the perfect chance to try the Angel Baby Bottom Balm.

I was initially worried about it being in a jar; I don’t like having to dig my fingers in stuff, like lip balms or creams in a jar.  However, I didn’t have to.  I just lightly rubbed my fingers on the surface and it melted onto my skin.

The balm glided easily onto my son’s skin, and covered well without being thick or gloppy.  The product I had been using was in a tube, rather waxy, and difficult to spread without using a little too much.  Any “cloth safe” diaper cream really isn’t if you glop it on too thick.  I was not at all worried about the bottom balm damaging my diapers.

After I applied it, my fingers weren’t all goopy.  I just rubbed it into my hands and used a little hand sanitizer as usual.  Even after the sanitizer, my hands were soft and smelled wonderful. 

Angel Baby Bottom Balm contains organic olive oil, shea butter, candelilla wax, organic jojoba oil, organic calendula extract, tea tree leaf oil, lavender oil, organic St. John’s wort flower extract, organic chickweed extract, organic plantain extract and myrrh oil.  It has a pleasant, lavender scent.  There’s no zinc and it’s vegan (no beeswax).

I tend to shy away from products with tea tree oil or lavender due to a study linking their use to gynomastica in boys.  As far as I know, it was just a single study and I haven’t done much research into the matter.  Until now, there really weren’t any products I needed or wanted to use which contained TTO or lavender, so I didn’t worry about it.  The ingredients didn’t stop me from using it, but I do wish it had a different oil used for anti-fungal properties, such as grapefruit seed extract.

Back to the subject at hand.  At the next diaper change, there was no redness.  Zero.  Zilch.  None.  This stuff is great!  It was a nice change to open up a wet diaper and get a whiff of lavender!

A 2 oz. jar retails for $14.95.  I think that’s quite a good deal considering how little you need to use to get the job done.

The 1.67 oz. bottle of Happy Mama Body Wash they sent along was a nice surprise!  While I don’t have a problem investing in natural and organic products and foods for my kids, I tend to put myself last!  I use whatever I get for free at CVS (I’m a coupon/bargain shopper).

Like many moms I’m sure, my showers aren’t exactly relaxing.  I can’t count on one every day, and the ones I do get are usually hurried and accompanied by an audience and questions of “when are you going to be done” before I manage to get both feet in the shower!  So, the ginger grapefruit body wash was quite a treat!

The wash contains organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, organic aloe leaf juice, Kosher vegetable glycerin, organic shea butter, Potassium citrate, organic ginger oil, organic grapefruit peel oil, organic lime oil, organic vanilla bean extract, and organic calendula extract.  It smelled fabulous, like ginger and citrus.  It did take some getting used to; it smelled more like something tasty from the kitchen, since I’m used to stinky, perfumed, chemical filled body washes!

The foaming bottle dispensed just the right amount, and it lathered nicely.  It smelled so fabulous, and rinsed off my skin easily (quite a feat in our soft water!)  It left my skin feeling clean and soft.

A 5.3 oz bottle retails for $10.95. 

Earth Mama Angel Baby has a wide array of products for pregnancy, labor ease, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, baby and baby loss comfort as well as gifts and teas.  I’m highly impressed with the company, as well as the people who run it.  I look forward to trying more of their products in the future!

Want it?  You can get 20% off your order during April (that’s tomorrow as of the date I’m writing this) by entering coupon code CLOTH20 at checkout!  Earth Mama Angel Baby also shares some great specials and discounts on their Facebook fan page.

Lastly, if you twitter, mark your calendar for the April 21 #ecowed Twitter party.  If you have questions, contact EMAB.  I don’t Twitter, so that’s Greek to me, LOL.

Thank you so much to Earth Mama Angel Baby for sending me these awesome freebies!  Though I was given these samples, the freebies did not affect my review in any way.  :-)


Edit August 2010: We don’t often need diaper cream since switching to cloth, but this jar is lasting forever!  I think we have nearly half left, and it knocks out redness like nobody’s business!

{ 2 comments }

>

Finding a night diapering solution seems to be a pretty common dilemma, and I always read and respond to questions about it.
I repeatedly heard people talk about DypesByDixon Sweet Slumber pocket diapers.  Since one size pocket diapers are my diaper of choice, I was intrigued.  Especially since they are fleece.  My son is not sensitive to PUL (knock wood!!) but I’ve heard of children developing a sensitivity, so I’m always interested in non-PUL options.
The diaper maker stocks in her own Hyena Cart store, as well as the Whimsical Fluff Congo and the Cuties With Cloth Booties Congo
Her diapers are pretty popular and sell out quickly, but I contacted her and she agreed to make me a custom!
I was really pleased with the charcoal fleece/black snap combo I chose, and the diaper came really quickly.

I think it’s a nice touch when diapers are packaged professionally.  I know the packaging has nothing to do with the diaper, but to me, the maker taking care to package it like this shows me they probably took the same care when making the diaper.

I always appreciate care instructions.  I don’t like having to hunt them down, and not every diaper has the same instructions.  I never thought about waiting until the diapers had cooled before stuffing them, but it makes sense.

The sleeve also had weight guidelines.  There are 4 size settings, similar to the Happy Heiny’s, they seem to be about a small, medium, large and extra-large/toddler.  My 16ish pound son fits well into the medium.  I definitely think this diaper will fit for a long time!

In the interest of full disclosure, when I scrutinized the diaper, I did notice that the snaps are not perfectly straight.  They’re not totally out of whack and don’t affect the function or closure of the diaper in any way at all, and I am not saying this as a dig at the maker.  Just that they don’t look as though they were factory applied like a mass produced diaper.  The snaps only look weird in this picture because it’s not completely flat.  You have to look pretty closely to see that the snaps aren’t in line like little snap soldiers.

I don’t know if anyone else has ever watched How It’s Made, but I’ve been surprised by how much is done by hand.  For example, in an episode about rain boots, a seamstress sewed the same part of the boot over and over, and over again.  She did it so quickly, it was practically in the blink of an eye.  I would have guessed that was done by a machine.  That said, she sews the same part day in and day out, hundreds of times.  What she did so precisely in just seconds, would take even an experienced seamstress several minutes to accomplish.  In any case, this digression was just to say that I’m not picking on the maker since she has probably applied snaps hundreds of times, ever, not per day.  I think the longer a diaper maker has been in business, the more precise she becomes.

The inside is super soft suede cloth.  One thing I love about pocket diapers is their stay dry inner.  This one is particularly soft!
DypesByDixon come with a microfiber towel to use as an insert.  I chose to pay an extra $1.50 for an additional towel.  Even with that, I think this diaper was an absolute bargain at $19.50 shipped.

Ideally, I prefer to buy a diaper that comes with a sewn insert.  Not only so I can use the diaper without making an additional purchase, but because the insert is usually sized just right to fit in the diaper, and has usually been tested for function in the diaper as well.  However, I’m glad it came with something!

We got a great fit!

The two microfiber towels got us through the whole night with no leaks, but they did add a bit of extra bulk between the legs.  It didn’t cause any problem at night, but I did end up with a leg gap while I was holding him on my hip before bed one night, leading to a wet Mommy!  I also don’t love having to fold them (the feeling on my hands bugs me for some reason); I could probably get a trimmer fit if I folded them differently, but I also had to make sure the end wasn’t too close to the top of the pocket.  If the inserts sticks out, you can end up with wicking.

Since then, I’ve tried the diaper with a superdo insert, two microfiber inserts + a hemp doubler, and a loopydo insert + microfiber insert + hemp doubler.  All got us through the night with no leaks!

DypesByDixon minky pocket diapers are also very popular.  Right now you can win one for the cost of shipping ($3.50).  You have to have an account on Hyena Cart to enter.  Become a fan of DypesByDixon on Facebook, then enter the giveaway on Hyena Cart.  Do it quickly, the Drawing ends April 1, 2010, 12:00 pm EDT.

All in all, this is a great diaper and a great value.  The 4 sizes along with the ability to overlap the snaps means that the diaper will fit a huge range of sizes and last a long time!

Edit August 2010: This is still in our regular night-time rotation, stuffed with a Knickernappies Superdo!

{ 2 comments }

>

I love using my cloth wipes.  Right now I’m just using some burp cloths I cut and zigzagged, but I’d like to buy a nice, fluffy stack of cloth wipes soon!  I had been wanting to try Lil’ Outlaws Rump Solution for a while, and I finally bought some!
There are tons of fragrance options, though every scent isn’t always in stock, so check on the product’s fragrance drop down.  I chose Baby Bee, a guaranteed in stock fragrance described as “a fragrance cocktail of luscious fruits such as peaches, mandarin oranges, coconut pulp, bergamot, grapefruit, tropical guava, and tangy lemons.”
You can choose normal, light or extra light fragrance strength, heavy for .50 extra, or extra heavy for $1.00 extra.  I chose the extra light strength.
Even so, my package smelled great as I carried it from the mailbox.  It came really fast!
You get approximately 48 pieces for $10.50, and shipping is always free.  I got exactly 48.
Here are the instructions from the site:
Simply add one or more stars (to your preference) to one or more cups of water (depending on how strong you like your solution). Microwave approximately 15 seconds to soften, and stir to dissolve!

Then just apply to your wipes in your favorite manner – I dunk mine, wring them out, and place them in a wipes warmer or travel case. You can also put the solution in a spray bottle or peri bottle to wet wipes as you use them, or pour it over the pile of wipes in the tub or warmer.

Any way you choose to use it, Rump Solution is excellent for messy bums (and hands, and faces, and…)! Great for sensitive skin, too!

I prefer to use my solution in a spray bottle.  It takes me nearly 2 weeks to go through a cup of solution, making this very cost effective!  .

I use distilled water and 1 piece of solution per cup.

The star dissolved with just a few seconds of microwaving, so it could be used right away.  The cubes I’ve been using until now take lots of microwaving, stirring and cooling before dissolved and ready to use.

I had enough solution to fill my spray bottle and also my travel bottle.

I have the extra stars in a drawer and the scent is strong enough that I get a whiff when I walk by.  Mixed, the extra light strength is mild, but still pleasant.
The solution cleans well and doesn’t cause any irritation on my son’s hiney.  His skin is fairly sensitive; he gets a rash with angry red welts from disposables.  If your little one is very sensitive, you can get unscented solution.
Want some?  Buy a bag or a sampler pack, which includes a 6 load bag of Detergent, 2 oz of Pail Pardner, a generous sample pouch of Rump Rub, and 5 pieces of Rump Solution.
Want to win it?  Stay tuned for a great giveaway later this week, which includes a full size bag of Texas Ranger Rump Solution!

{ 2 comments }

Initial Impressions vs. Longevity

by Maria Moser on March 28, 2010

in Uncategorized

>I was re-reading a few of my posts and realized that with quite a few of my diapers, my initial impression of the diaper was a complete 180 from what I thought of it after using it for a few months.

I’m trying to decide whether I should put a “bolded” update at the end of each post to say what I think of it now, or if I should create a new post with a link to each initial post and a blurb about what I think now.

What do you think?  Does anyone look through the archives?

{ 6 comments }

>

I’m really not a huge fan of fitteds because they aren’t waterproof, but the prints are just so cute, they keep sucking me in.  I had heard good things about Heartland Dreams, and I wanted one even more after I got the doll diapers her daughter made.
I saw a few prints I liked in her store, but I wasn’t quick enough to snap them up.  When I saw this fitted, I grabbed it!
Something unique I didn’t even notice until the third or so wash, is that Tina seams her fabric in the middle.  This way, the print is right side up in both the front and the back.  Just another little touch, but it does bug me when the print is upside down!
The shape of the diaper and soakers, as well as the fold down rise, remind me of Goodmamas.  She also sells one size snappiable/pinnable fitteds, All-in-twos and a 2 stage fitted diapers.  I’m currently drooling over this one and this one.  Well, the second one is sold but I’m still drooling over it!  She also stocks on several congos.  She regularly posts when and where she is stocking on the Facebook fan page for Heartland Dreams.  In the past, she has also stocked sized pockets (I’d love to try one of those since pockets are my favorite!), sized fitteds, and other things I’m sure I’m neglecting to mention!
This diaper is the first HD I fell in love with but didn’t pounce on.  I love that print.  *sigh*  Poor me.
I received my order really quickly after buying.  It was packaged really nicely.  I always think it’s a nice touch!
She included a card with care instructions.
And business card…
with a hand written thank you on the reverse.
It’s a small thing, but it’s nice.
She also included a free wipe!
Very cute!
Heartland Dreams diapers are incredibly well made.  They simply don’t look like a diaper that a Mom made on her sewing machine at home.  I didn’t go over it with a magnifying glass or anything, but wow.  The stitching…everything is very professional.
The legs are turned & top stitched to avoid chafing baby’s legs, and the front and wings are serged for less bulk.
The outside of the diaper is cotton knit, there is a hidden layer of OBF (rayon from organic bamboo fleece)and the inner and soakers are topped with OBV (rayon from organic bamboo velour).  They are so soft, and there is a signature heart on the reverse of the soaker that is so cute.
Each of the two petals of the snap in soaker has 2 layers of OBF topped with the OBV.  Also included is a booster made of two layers of OBF.
I think you can see how well made the diaper in in this photo.
She includes a set of hip snap covers for when you no longer need the wing cross over, and the third snap is no longer snapped into the diaper.
The first time I used the diaper, I just pulled the soakers up, I didn’t fold them at all.  All the red spots on my son’s tummy are from the snaps inside our Goodmama One, which he was wearing before this HD.  I really do prefer hidden snaps on the inside.
The rise folds down, my son is in that in between height and weight where he can really wear it either way.
All done!
Right side up on the booty too!
Too cute.
He had it on (coverless) for about an hour and a half before I noticed any dampness on the outside.  On subsequent uses, I folded the soakers and tri-folded the doubler, to get more coverage in the wet zone.  Doing that, I was able to use it coverless for 2+ hours.
I would definitely use a cover for any situation where there might be compression of course!
All in all, I love this diaper.  I am really anxious to try one of her all-in-two diapers, since I really prefer diapers that don’t require a cover.  (I’m lazy, what can I say?)  Heartland Dreams are by far, my favorite WAHM diapers to date.  The diaper has been in my rotation for a month now and I’ve had no issues at all!
Edit August 2010: This diaper is adorable, incredibly absorbent and very well made.  It’s not in my regular daytime rotation anymore just because I  don’t love fitteds in general.  I really want to try a HD AI2!

{ 11 comments }