July 2010

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Each Friday, I will post cloth diaper, babywearing and “green” giveaways that I’ve found, or that readers have submitted. The post will be accompanied by a linky where you may enter any family friendly (no “adult” products please!) giveaways, they do not need to be diaper related.

If you have a cloth diaper/accessory/babywearing/green giveaway you would like to be listed in the next giveaway roundup post, please email a link, blog name, giveaway title, end date and photo (if applicable) to change.diapers.change.the.world at gmail dot com.

My SoftBums Echo Slide2Size Dry Touch Solo Pack giveaway ends 8/6!

This week’s giveaway finds:
Giveaways still running from last week:

Ergo Baby Carrier from My New Life as Mom (ends 8/10)

Planet Wise Medium Wet Bag from Mom to Bed by 8 (ends 8/2)

Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag from Hot Tips 4 U (ends 8/9)

Best Bottoms Diaper from Dirty Diaper Laundry (ends 8/2)

Inspired by Finn Amber Teething Necklace from Mommy is Green (ends 8/3)

Bummas Wipes from The Thrifty Things (ends 8/3)

Knickernappies Diaper from Wee Little Changes (ends 8/22)

Lil Joeys Newborn Diapers from Giggle Britches and The Cloth Diaper Retailer Cooperative (ends 8/10)

Enivbum Cloth Diaper or Mom4Mom cover and liner from Two of a Kind Working on a Full House (ends 8/2)

Sprout Change Diaper from Mommy is Green and The Willow Store (ends 8/2) Open to the U.S. and Canada

Preston’s Pants Diaper ($20 gift certificate) from Organic Girl Open to the U.S. and Canada! (ends 8/4)

You may enter any family friendly giveaway in the linky below, and you can use the code to paste it into your own blog as well. The format Blog name – Giveaway Item – Ending date works well. At a minimum, please include the item and end date, and link directly to the giveaway.

Please view my post on where I list my giveaways to find more great places to link up!

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When Kim of Kim’s Crafts decided to start selling Kim’s Kloth Diapers, she needed testers.  Usually a WAHM will want the feedback of moms with different age and size babies before selling outside of her circle of friends.
I like to think I’m a good tester because I’m pretty good at evaluating products in a detailed fashion, and heaven knows I don’t hold back, hee hee.
I tested a one size pocket diaper, which is right up my alley.  I really enjoyed testing for Kim because she seemed to really listen to my feedback, and I didn’t have to worry about her taking my comments about the diaper as personal criticism!  As you read my review, please keep in mind that I tested a prototype, and Kim took all of her tester’s feedback into account while tweaking her final product.
Kim is having the Kim’s Kloth Store grand opening on Thursday, August 5th at noon, and you can get 10% off everything all week!
The diaper has a nice pocket opening, though it wasn’t quite as big as a Bumgenius. 
The snaps include the ability to overlap for small babies.
I thought the stitching was very even, I had to scrutinize to find an area that was a tiny bit off, and looking at this picture, even up close, it’s hardly noticeable. 

Initially, I misunderstood and thought this was a sized diaper, and put it on my son as shipped (large setting.)

The package included clear instructions on how to adjust the leg elastic, so I think I was just having a major brain lapse that day.

It was a little loose on the large setting of course, since my son normally wears mediums.

Stuffed with the included microfiber towel, it was very trim.  I’m not a huge fan of the microfiber towel for various reasons!

The next time I used the diaper, I adjusted the leg elastic.  It’s easily accessible through the pocket.

The snaps are pretty “sticky” so you don’t have to worry about them coming loose during use. 

It took a firm tug to get each snap out of the opening, but it wasn’t difficult at all.  There are a total of four settings.

I had an extra BumGenius microfiber insert, so I decided to try it in the Kim’s Kloth.

The insert is a little wider than the diaper.

So I wasn’t able to get it to lay quite flat.  I think a narrower insert would work well.  If I remember correctly, the Fuzzibunz insert would probably be a great fit!

Above is the small setting, folded.

There’s the small setting, stretched.
Above, the large setting folded.  I think, I think!  It’s been a while since I took these photos!
Stretched
In the end, I settled on the next-to-smallest size.
Kim estimates the weight range to be 15-40 pounds.  My son was around 17.5 lbs and had plenty of room to grow in them.  I’d love to see this in a slightly smaller pattern as well, for newborn-15 pounds, like the stages/duo diapers that other brands have.

I noticed that the inner of the diaper got a bit pilly after several washings, and we did have a bit of wicking at the legs.  However, I think that was probably due to my lack of microfiber folding skills!  I’d love to try it with an insert sewn specifically to fit it.

The diapers will sell for $13 (bargain!) with a microfiber towel inluded for stuffing.  You can elect to purchase a sewn insert for $1 extra.  Kim also made some tweaks to the snap arrangement on the final product!

“Like” the Kim’s Crafts Facebook page to see fan submitted photos of the diaper on other babies, and keep tabs on the grand opening!
I received a diaper for the purposes of testing, opinions are mine and I wasn’t required to write a review at all, let alone a positive one.  :-)

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I can’t believe how many entries this giveaway received!  I had so much fun reading all of the entries.  The “say anything” entries are my favorite! 

I hope everyone liked the bonus entry to share.  I thought it was nice to give everyone a chance for a bonus entry that they could choose, according to their own comfort level, without losing out to the person willing to do 10,000 various things to gain entries! 

The winner is Kendra of Seen and Heard!  Kendra, I’ve emailed you at the address listed in your blogger profile!

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softbums
One of my readers (darn, can’t remember who now!) told me about SoftBums.  When I looked into them, I was really intrigued, since I’ve never seen anything quite like them!
The SoftBums system consists of a waterproof outer shell, and snap in inserts (pods).
I received a chocolate color shell (adorable!) with a dry touch pod, an organic bamboo pod and a stay dry newborn insert/doubler (mini pod).

 

That isn’t what makes it so unique though!  SoftBums doesn’t have a snap down rise or adjustable elastic with 3 or 4 sizes.  It doesn’t have a fold down rise with 2 sizes.  It has infinitely adjustable elastic with a drawstring system.
 
I’ve joked about newborn “chicken legs” but this diaper comes pretty close to fitting an actual chicken’s legs.  As in buck-buck-bagawwww chicken legs.  It gets that tiny!
The front of the shell has a small opening. 
This is what the toggles to adjust the elastic look like.  You do have to fish them out; I am positive there is zero risk of a child getting them out of the diaper, so no choking risk.
At it’s tiniest, it gets tiny.  Above the diaper is folded, below it is stretched.
With the elastic fully expanded, it gets fairly large.  Here it is folded.
I can’t really say “stretched” for this next pic because I had the elastic fully expanded, so there wasn’t any tension, if that makes sense!
Initially, I was kind of overwhelmed about the completely customizable elastic sizing.  I’m not used to more than 4 options!  I decided to take one of my son’s size mediums, and try to get the diaper to a similar size, then tweak it from there.
It took a little playing around to figure it out, but I think I got it pretty close!
The inside of the diaper is lined with super soft material, so there’s no PUL touching baby’s skin.  The inserts snap in.
The inserts fit inside the diaper so perfectly, it really is an all-in-two; the cover can be re-used for several changes.
When you use the stay dry insert, you just have to be sure to fold it under, not toward the baby, so the soft microfleece is touching the skin, rather than the microfiber.
I washed the diaper and inserts, and hung the shell to dry.
I initially tried the stay-dry insert, since that’s my preference.  I wish I could remember what left such awful red marks on his legs.  :-(
I usually choose pocket diapers for their ease of use, but this was super easy.  Maybe it’s the Velcro closures that make it so much simpler.  Other diapers I have with this type of insert have fold down rises and snap closures, so I’m folding, holding in place, folding a rise, then trying to snap 3 snaps on each wing, all while holding everything in place on a wiggly baby.
I daresay the SoftBums system is Daddy friendly!
I found the SoftBums to be very trim as well, different than other one size diapers and different than other diapers with similar soakers.
We had no leaks and no wicking.  In fact, this has served as both a nap time and car-ride diaper, and I’d continue to grab for it for either situation.  Especially since it is so easy to take multiple “changes” on the road with a few soakers and maybe an extra shell.
I wasn’t quite as fond of the organic bamboo insert.  It was incredibly soft and absorbed very well.  However, it was a bit larger than the stay dry insert, and didn’t fit quite as well in the diaper. edit: Sarah at SoftBums let me know that the organic bamboo insert will eventually shrink to the same size as the dry-touch insert.  I’ve washed on hot and dried on high several times and haven’t noticed a difference just yet!
It seemed rather bulky on, and I had to tuck the insert in a bit.
My package also included this cute wipe.  My daughter tried to claim it to use for her babies since it is girly, but it is so soft, and stacks perfectly on top of my Thirsties wipes, so I’ve been using it.  I don’t think my son has noticed the teapots!
When I have some funds, I definitely want to buy another SoftBums Echo shell and a few stay dry pods to use on the go.  I also think adding a few of the mini pods would make a great and affordable newborn solution!  A single shell retails for $21.95, DryTouch Pods $4.95, SUPER DryTouch (extra absorbent) Pods $5.95, Organic Pods $9.95 and Mini Pods $2.95.  The shells come in 9 colors and three limited edition prints, and there are tons of packages available! See this diaper on my newborn.
Want one?  Find a retailer or win one!

One lucky reader will win a SoftBums Dry-touch Echo Solo pack in their choice of color!.  Here’s how to enter:

You may do any or all of the below.  Please be sure to leave your email address in at least one comment if it isn’t in your profile.  If you are using the “anonymous” option, please leave your email address in all comments.

1. Visit SoftBums and tell me what color shell is your favorite.
2. Follow this blog.
7. Tweet about this giveaway and link back here.  One tweet per day please.  You may use this if you like: @chgdiapers has a @softbums #slide2size #clothdiaper #giveaway until 8/6 http://bit.ly/boqwgc
8. Share this blog or giveaway somehow.  See the stack of “share the love” icons on the left of the page.  You can use the StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Facebook or Delicious icons if you have account there, you can post about this in your Facebook status (@Fitteds and Pockets and Snappis, oh my! and @SoftBums if you do that and please link to this blog post.)  You can tell a friend via email, post on a cloth diapering board or group, “Favorite” my blog on Technorati or even vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs – Mom Blog Directory I’m not picky, just share with someone you think might be interested!  This is going on the honor system, just leave me a comment telling me what you did to share.

This giveaway is open to the U.S. only.

I will accept entries until Friday, August 6th at 9 P.M. Eastern.  I’ll choose a winner with random.org’s true random number generator and notify the winner by email.  Winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize before it is forfeited and a new winner is chosen.
Thank you to SoftBums for providing the review and giveaway products.  As always, all opinions are my  own, I didn’t receive any other compensation and I wasn’t requested or required to write a positive review!

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Mailbox Mondays 7/26/10

by Maria Moser on July 26, 2010

in Mailbox Mondays

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Here’s the second installment of “Mailbox Mondays.”  I will always answer any questions you have via email, but if you would like to have your question answered on a Mailbox Mondays post, please email me at change.diapers.change.the.world at gmail dot com and put “Mailbox Mondays” in your subject.  Questions don’t have to be diaper related!

Photobucket
I wanted to quickly tell you that I’m going to be a regular writer on The Village of Moms, which is where I guest posted my Cloth 101 posts.  I’ll be posting the first Monday of every month!  I’ll write about cloth diapering, babywearing, kid’s activities and crafts, frugal tips and more.

 
The first question is from Heather.  My answer is long winded as usual, but would you expect any less from me?  :-)
 
I had a question about stripping my micro fiber inserts. I have a horrible time with ammonia stink and have been told I should strip them because I have buildup issues (we have hard water). Every time I wash my diapers I soak them overnight in my washer with a cloth diaper detergent and them I wash them in the morning. My wash routine is like this:

Double rinse and spin
8+ hour soak
Heavy duty wash, heavy soil level, extra rinse
Hang dry in the sun

So what exactly should I do to get rid of my ammonia stink? Strip? Change my wash routine? Any help would be appreciated!

Heather A.
 
Oh Heather, I so feel your pain.  While I do not have hard water, I did battle the stinkies.  I tried so many things, I ran my washer 24/7 for at least two weeks I swear.  The good news is, I doubt we run any risk of ever running our well dry!
 
Wash routines are to me,  the most confusing part of cloth diapering.  If you ask a room full of cloth diaperers this question, you would get twice as many opinions as people in the room!
 
Stink usually comes from buildup as you know, but the hard part is, buildup of what?  It could be a buildup of detergent, a buildup of the minerals from your water, or a buildup of, ahem, “deposits” made in the diaper.
 
I find that the simpler you keep things, the better off you’ll be.  Since you have hard water, it’s not going to be as simple as most.  I don’t know what kind of detergent you are using now, but once you get the stink under control, consider trying Rockin’ Green’s hard rock detergent, or adding Calgon water softener to the load.  With hard water, your detergent is working so hard to take care of the minerals in your water, there’s no oomph left to clean the laundry!
 
Now back to the buildup.  If you run the diapers through with no detergent, do you see any suds?  If so, you may have a detergent buildup.  Try rinsing until there’s no suds, without adding any detergent.
 
No suds?  I commonly hear people say to use dish soap to strip diapers (original blue dawn.)  This caused more problems for me.  Lot of people have had luck with soaking diapers with Rockin’ Green, then rinsing a ton.
 
What worked for me was RLR.  RLR is a laundry treatment that you can use once a month or so to remove buildup for diapers and other laundry.  (Worked wonders on our towels & sheets too!)  I have an HE washer, well water and a softener, so I did not use a whole packet for a load.  You might need to.  Run a heavy duty wash with a soak, then rinse rinse rinse until you don’t see any trace of suds.  Then, I took the diapers out to dry and ran just the inserts through with a dab of bleach, then several extra rinses.  I know a lot of people will not use bleach, but it worked for me!
 
This really took care of things for me, and now if I start smelling some ammonia, I will use a bit of RLR, some extra rinses and a dab of bleach on the inserts.
 
Once you get the current issue taken care of, you of course want to keep it at bay as long as possible.  If you have a top loading washer, use the largest load size, regardless of the actual size of the load you’re washing.  Try not to wash more than 20 diapers at a time.  If your issue was detergent buildup, use a little bit less.  If it wasn’t, you may need to use a little more.  If you’re using a detergent that is formulated for cloth diapers, use the recommended amount, not 1/4 or 1/2 like you often hear.  I’ve also found that I need to rotate detergents.  One will work fine for a while, then suddenly doesn’t anymore.
 
I had such a hard time with this!  I like things organized and I like hard and fast rules (I’m weird.)  So it was hard for me that there wasn’t a list to follow that said use this amount of this type of detergent and do this wash cycle and you’ll be all set.  It depends so much on your water, your washer etc. 
 
In conclusion, don’t fret! Be patient and you will figure things out.
 
 
Next, a question from Alexis:
 
What do you use at night? Do you change in the middle of the night?
 
I’m going to answer these in reverse. 
 
Night time changes
 
Now, at 14 months, my son sleeps 10-12 hours most nights.  When he occasionally wakes, he has a quick “snack” and goes back to bed without a change.  When he was really little, nights went like they do for most parents of young babies.  Sleep a little while, wake up, nurse, change diaper, then the circus routine of getting him back to sleep, then repeat.  Most of the times he woke, his diaper was changed.
 
In between there, he started to sleep a bit longer, and I had to up my night time diapering game.  Then came the tricky time period.  My son wasn’t waking as often, and he was starting to drift off to sleep after nursing.  
 
This won’t win me any mother of the year awards but neither of my children have been great sleepers.  If my son happened to drift off while nursing, I would at least try to lay him back down.  If he stayed asleep, I would sneak out of the room, crawl into bed and pray he would stay asleep for a while!  I suppose I probably should have woken him to change his diaper but uhhh, not gonna happen.  If I tried to change his diaper first, before nursing him, he would have woken the whole household to express his disapproval.
 
What I use at night
 
During that in-between stage where my son was really drinking quite a bit at night, but not necessarily being changed every time, he was quite the heavy wetter.  I spent a lot of time and money trying different things, and for a while, I really had no choice but to wake him to change his diaper.
 
Right now, I wash every other day and I have 4 diapers specifially for night time use.  I’m still stuffing them the same, though I really don’t need as much in them anymore.
 
Two of my “night time” diapers are Bumgenius 3.0s.  Initially, I had them so overstuffed that I had a leg gap that made the diaper useless if he was on his side!  Now, each one has two full size inserts with a hemp doubler in between.
 
The third is a combo of two of my night time diapering desperation purchases.  It’s a Dypes by Dixon Sweet Slumber fleece diaper, stuffed with a Knickernappies Superdo insert.  If you are having night time issues, I highly recommend trying a Superdo.  It’s incredibly absorbent, but much thinner than multiple inserts (still thick though!)
 
The last one in my night time rotation is again a purchase made during my desperate search for a night solution.  It’s a Guerilla Fluff Utilitarian fitted topped with a Mobums night night wool soaker.  My GF diaper has: 3 layers to the diaper, 2 soakers with 3 layers each, a doubler with 2 layers plus a layer of wool and optional zorb added.  That sucker is absorbent!
 
In the thick (har har) of things, I decided to be redundantly redundant and top even the waterproof diapers with a Kissaluvs Wool Lover soaker, and I favored fleece PJ pants also.
 
He may have looked a bit like a snowman, but it was worth it!  Just a few hours in a disposable diaper gives my little guy an awful rash, but I know lots of people who use a single disposable at night.  I won’t tell anyone if that’s what you decide works best for you.  ;-)  We won’t throw you off Fluff Island.

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