Monthly Archives: Feb 2011

Cloth Diapers Pocket Diapers Review Sized Diapers Velcro/Aplix Closure WAHM made

Designs by Cace Pocket Diaper Tester Review

designs by cace pocket diaper tester

I reviewed a Designs by Cace all-in-one diaper last year, during my “year of fluff” event.  One thing I had mentioned was that a “heavy wetter” style diaper would be a nice option.  Sara at Designs by Cace decided to test a brand new pocket diaper pattern, to make absorbency customizable for heavier wetters.
side rear
Keep in mind that this is a tester diaper, and changes and improvements will be made based on tester feedback!

aplix closures and laundry tabs

The diaper looks very much like the AIO, with aplix closures and laundry tabs.

rear pocket opening

Except of course, it has a pocket opening rather than a sewn in soaker.

medium diaper folded stretched

The medium is estimated to fit 10-22 pounds.  My son is about 21 pounds and he’s definitely getting close to outgrowing the diaper, but he still has some room.

medium diaper on 21 lb baby 9

rear side

It took me a while to get my feedback to Sara.  I generally get a diaper, wash it once, then use and wash it at least 3-4 times before providing feedback.  Well…  The first three times I put the diaper on my son, he pooped in it almost immediately!  I joke about him and pretty new white diapers, since he always seems to do that.  Never three times though!  Maybe the super soft inner relaxed him, I don’t know, ha ha! 

In any case, I was finally able to give it some really good use, and it has been washed 7+ times.  Sara included a microfiber towel to use in the pocket; she is planning on making inserts for the diapers, but wanted to focus on the diapers for now.  The last time I used the diaper, the towel was pretty soaked, and I had a little bit of wicking at one of the legs.  I think this could be corrected by using an insert in the pocket, and I’m going to try stuffing it with one of my spare inserts next!  I’m looking forward to seeing photos of round two testers or the final product!


DBC sells her AIOs from $9 (smalls) to $15 (large prints) and I’d expect the pockets to be fairly similarly priced.  Designs by Cace diapers are a great value and are work-at-home-mom made!

FTC compliance: I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

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Natural Personal Care Products Review

Natural (er) Kids’ Personal Care Product Reviews – Burt’s Bees, Rainbow, Jason, Kiss My Face, Aubrey Organics

natural children's bath products

Last month, I posted about my shopping trip for natural kid and baby products.  We’ve been using the products for about a month now, and I wanted to share my thoughts.  The reason I say natural (er) in the post title is that that several contain ingredients such as fragrance, alcohol, limonene and essential oils, giving them cosmetic safety database ratings not much different than Johnson’s Buddies products.  I’m pretty OK with the ingredients for now.  Maybe next time I make a purchase, I will look for something even more natural.

Jason Kids Only Shampoo & Conditioner

A big reason why I chose the Jason Naturals Kids Only was that they had both a shampoo and conditioner available.  We use conditioner on my daughter’s hair every time we wash it, to make combing easier.  At $7.69 each, they definitely weren’t cheap however, a little goes a long way, and we will probably be using these for a long time!  I do wish the conditioner bottle was a bit bigger; sometimes we use more conditioner than we do shampoo!
The shampoo is actually very thick, and comes out more like a glob of hair gel than a liquid shampoo.  It does lather quite easily, and you don’t need to use much.

Jason Kids' Shampoo Suds

The conditioner is also very thick, but spreads easily.
Jason Kids Conditioner is thick spreads easily

They both smell the same: fruity, almost like a ripe banana.  They rinsed out easily and left my daughter’s hair soft and easy to comb.

Burt's bees Baby Bee Bubble Bath

I let my daughter use bubble bath sometimes as a treat.  I tried Method Baby brand bubble bath, and wasn’t impressed with the bubbles (or lack thereof.)  She received Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Bubble Bath as a gift, and we gave it a try.

natural bubble bathBurt's Bees Bubble Bath Suds

Initially, I wasn’t sure that it would really make a lot of bubbles, but I was pleasantly surprised when we tried it in the tub.


The instructions say to use 3-4 capfuls, but I just gave it a quick squirt, then swished it around with my hand.  I think it would make even more bubbles if you used 3-4 capfuls.  Maybe not huge Mr. Bubble bubbles, but still fun, and it smells wonderful!

Kiss my Face Kids Self Foamnig Hand Wash

My son isn’t quite washing his own hands yet, but I love foaming soaps for the kids.  It’s easy for them to wash their hands, without having trouble rinsing the soap off, or using too much.  The Kiss My Face Kids Foaming Hand Soap is available in a few scents (I bought orange) and I paid $6.69 at my local organic store.  The next week I saw it at my grocery store for a dollar less!

Natural kids foaming hand soap

It’s easy to use, rinses easily, and smells like an orange creamsicle!  The scent isn’t too strong, but it does stick around on your hands for a little while after washing.

Aubrey Organics Natural Baby and Kids Bath Soap

I chose the Aubrey Organics Natural Baby & Kids Bath Soap because I like the way it smells, ok?  I admit it.  It is just heavenly.  Like a clean baby, with a bit of baby powder.  I am totally buying the lotion if it smells anything like the soap!

I really wanted to buy the shampoo as well, but it is not a no-tears formula.  I was told that “no-tears” products have numbing agents in them and should be avoided, but you know what?  I really prefer the no-tears formula.  All I need is to accidentally get a little bit in the kid’s eyes and he’ll never let me wash his hair again!  It’s hard enough as it is! 

Natural baby wash suds

It lathers up well and rinses easily, but I’d love to see a moisturizing formula!  This was the priciest item I bought, at $8.99 for 8 ounces.  One squirt from the pump dispenser will wash my son from head to toe, so it will likely last us quite a while!

Rainbow baby and kids products

I chose Baby Oh Baby Organic Herbal Shampoo from Rainbow Research for my son.  The scent is derived from Lavender, Chamomile, and Orange, but it simply smells clean to me.  My husband said it smells like a cologne I might choose for him, and he’s right.  The scent is soft, but pleasant.  I usually only bathe my kids every other day in the winter (unless they are really dirty) since their skin tends to be dry.  Even when my son is due for another bath, his hair still smells good!

baby oh baby organic herbal shampoo suds

While it is a moisturizing formula, I’d love to see an extra-moisturizing formula offered!  The 8 oz bottle has a pump dispenser (love this!) and I paid $5.39 at my local organic store.

I use a detangler on my daughter’s hair on non-bath days, and to tame her hair/help with combing here and there.  I wasn’t able to find many “natural” options, but I picked up the Rainbow Research Spray De-Tangler for Kids for $4.99.  It contains extracts of Chamomile, Red Clover, Comfrey and Balsam, and while it does a good job of detangling, I really don’t care for the way it smells.  It’s hard to describe, but all I can figure is that I am smelling those extracts (the last ingredient is fragrance, so there must be some fragrance added).  It smells earthy and herbal, not really my preferred hair product scent!  I’d love to see a clean scent offered.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with what we purchased, and I think it’s a good baby step, even if they’re not rated a “0” in the Cosmetic Safety Database!

FTC compliance: All items were purchased at normal retail prices.  I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.

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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

GoGreen Standard Pocket Diaper Winner

gogreen winner

123 people entered this giveaway, with 305 entries in all. The winning entry is #262, which is Jessica A.  Congratulations Jessica, I’m sending you an email now!

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Cloth Diapers Giveaway One Size Diapers Pocket Diapers Review Snap Closure

Side by Side Comparison Review of the GoGreen Pocket Diaper / Go Green Champ Pocket Diaper & Giveaway (CLOSED 2/15)

GoGreen Standard vs Champ Pocket Diaper

I have posted both a GoGreen Champ Pocket Diaper review and a GoGreen standard pocket diaper review.  This is a side-by-side comparison to point out the differences between the two.

champ 4 rise settings standard 3 4 vs 3 rise settings

The champ has 4 rise settings to the standard diaper’s 3, allowing it to fit smaller babies.

2 rows of snaps vs triangular patternsnap closures and tab shape

The champ has two rows of color coded snap closures, while the standard diaper has a triangular snap pattern.  They also have a slightly different tab shape.

front and rear openings vs rear opening

The champ has both a front and rear pocket opening; the standard diaper has a rear opening only.

snap in insert vs stuff in insert two snap in inserts vs one stuff in insert

The champ comes with two full size inserts, and has a snap inside the pocket to hold the inserts in place.  The standard diaper comes with just one insert, and doesn’t have the snap in feature.

double vs single leg gussets

The champ also has double leg gussets to help contain messes.

waist widths large vs large

hip snap exposed same size as champ if snapped

The diapers are very similar in size, though the standard diaper can become slightly wider than the champ if you do not fasten all of the snaps.

small vs small

The small settings are also very much the same, though the GoGreen Champ of course has an additional extra-small setting. 

The standard diapers retail for $7.99 (on sale) to $9.99, while the champs retail for $14.95.  They are both a great value (both worked well for us!) and are available at  While they are inexpensive diapers, they aren’t “cheap” diapers and GoGreen owner Leah is constantly working to make them even better.

Giveaway: I have a new champ noir (just like the champ I reviewed) to send to one reader.

Here’s how to enter: All entries go in the form below.  Leaving a comment on the post is a great reminder to yourself that you entered, but comments don’t count as entries.

This will be an easy one, mandatory entries just include name and email address.  You may receive a bonus entry if you follow this blog.  You choose how you prefer to stay updated on new posts, including Google Friend connect, RSS, email subscription, “liking” me on Facebook or following me on Twitter.  I’d love for you to “follow me” everywhere, but you receive only one bonus entry.  Just let me know which method you’ve chosen.

I will accept entries until Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 9:00 P.M. Eastern. I will select a winner using’s true random number generator and notify him/her by email. Winner has 48 hours to respond before the prize is forfeited and a new winner is chosen. View my giveaway rules page for complete details. This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.

# of entries received as of February 15th at giveaway close: 250

FTC compliance: I received the pictures items at no charge for review purposes.  I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.

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Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays 2/7/11 – Cloth Diaper Detergent

#clothdiapers detergent via @chgdiapers

Every Monday (if I have received a submission)I will answer reader submitted questions in my Mailbox Mondays post, and ask readers to weigh in with their opinions.

Questions don’t have to be cloth diaper related, just email maria at with “Mailbox Mondays” in the subject, or Fill out my contact form for readers, which you will always be able to find on my Contact Page.

Naomi says:

hey Maria,

I’ve got a two questions for ya.

#1: My All Free & Clear detergent has “optical brighteners” in it…how does that effect cloth diapers?

#2: What safe-for-cloth-diaper detergents are available at department and grocery stores? I don’t really want to order detergent online (not even really sure why) and we only have one or two ‘natural’ stores in town and I don’t think either has some of detergents I’ve seen for cloth diapers. (i.e. charlies soap or soap nuts etc.)

I’ve been using All Free & Clear happily for a year, but want to try something new.


OK so, I’m reading this.  I’m reading, reading, then I get to this: “I’ve been using All Free & Clear happily for a year, but want to try something new.”

Cue ominous music…

In all seriousness, for the love of Pete, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!  Switching from a detergent that is working well for you could cause a long process of stink, stripping and endless rinsing.  Take it from me, don’t do it.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system…optical brighteners are chemicals that bind to the fibers of your laundry.  While they don’t actually make your laundry any cleaner, they absorb ultraviolet light, and reflect back blue light, making your laundry appear whiter.  Interestingly, military approved detergents do not contain optical brighteners.  Clothing washed with them could potentially make soldiers visible to night-vision, and therefore vulnerable to attack.  If you buy All Free & Clear in a commissary, it will likely say that it does not contain optical brighteners.  I’m not in the military, so I’m not an expert, but I believe the uniform care instructions may have been relaxed in some branches to allow optical brighteners.

The concern with optical brighteners and cloth diapers is first, that they could potentially cause repelling since they have to bind to the fabric in order to work.  In addition, they could potentially be irritating to skin.

I haven’t been able to find any “safe” detergents locally.  However, some that have reportedly been found in grocery stores are: Allen’s Naturally, Country Save and Charlie’s Soap.  Standard A.K.A. “no-no” detergents that work well for a lot of people include Arm & Hammer Essentials, Arm & Hammer with OxyClean and Tide Original Powder. 

While I haven’t personally used these, a few “green” detergents have been used with mixed success, and may be available locally.  They include Ecover, Planet and Seventh Generation.  Generally, “green” or biodegradable detergents will not contain optical brighteners, but check with the company to be sure.

I really think that if a detergent is working of you, keep using it, “rules” be darned.  However, with something like brighteners, it can take long-term use for buildup to cause issues.  I would think after a year of use, you’re in the clear, but who knows, right?

Now that I’ve told you way more than you wanted to hear…

Edit 5/17/12: In case anyone else finds this post. 🙂 Like the commenter below, I had been unable to find any evidence that optical brighteners damage your diapers, or somehow permanently attach to fibers. I try to be cautious since I don’t want to be the black sheep in the cloth diaper world, but this sort of thing (recommendations without science behind it) were what fueled my washing survey and washing cloth diapers post. I have been using a detergent with enzymes, brighteners & the like for more that two years with no issue. I’ve been using a touch of Oxi Clean Free in every load for more than a year & no longer need to use bleach on my microfiber.

A true laundry expert assisted with an RDIA Laundry Science Webinar and explained that if diapers are rinsed well, enzymes will not harm diapers or baby. Any damage may be due to a reaction when chemicals react with heat from a dryer.

Following the webinar (in March I believe?) I suggested that we look into the idea that optical brighteners build up & damage your diapers, and I really hope we do. Thank you for the link!!

5/24/12 I wrote another post about this.

Cloth diaper care recommendations have been repeated so much, and while the theories make sense, the science and real world use just doesn’t support them. As always, carefully follow manufacturer instructions, I am not responsible for damage and so forth.

How about the rest of you?  Do you use a standard detergent or one that is known to contain optical brighteners?  Did you have any problems?  How long did you use the detergent before you started having problems?

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