Author Archives: Maria

Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
Cloth Diapers Giveaway Retailers

Abby’s Lane Gift Certificate Giveaway CLOSED

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I’ve been thinking about this giveaway for a while and I’ve decided to do it in honor of my 6 month “clothiversary” and all my new blog readers.  I appreciate every one of you!!
I am giving away $25 worth of Abby’s Lane gift certificates to one lucky blog reader!  Not only that, but Abby’s Lane is offering up a $5 gift certificate to a runner-up! 
Abby’s Lane always offers free shipping within the U.S. with no minimum, so not only will the $25 certificate go far, but so will the $5!
How to enter:
The first is the mandatory entry.  Any others you can do to gain additional entries, if you choose.  Some are new.  Lots of ways to get entries!
1. Go to Abby’s Lane and tell me what you would buy if you won.
2. Follow my blog (current followers count).  Comment saying you’re a follower to get your entry.
3. Fan me on Facebook (current fans count).  Comment saying you’re a fan to get your entry.
4. Blog about this giveaway and link back to me.  Comment with a link to your blog post to get your entry.
5. Follow me on Twitter.  (Yes I finally did it!)  Comment saying you follow me.
6. Tweet about this giveaway.  “RT @chgdiapers enter to win a $25 or $5 @abbyslane GC until 4/24 http://bit.ly/9JhTqt” Comment saying you did so, to get your entry.  One tweet/entry per day.
7. Fan Abby’s Lane on Facebook.  (Current fans count).  Comment saying you’re a fan to get your entry.
8. Follow Abby’s Lane on Twitter.  (Current followers count). Comment saying you follow to get your entry.
I will accept entries until Saturday, April 24th at 9 P.M. EST.  I’ll use random.org’s random number generator to choose a winner and a runner-up.  Please make sure to leave your email address in your comment if it isn’t in your profile.
Gift Certificate codes will be sent via email.  Thank you to Abby’s Lane for providing the $5 runner up gift certificate!
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All In One Diapers All In Two Diapers Cloth Diapers One Size Diapers Pocket Diapers Retailers Review

Once the diapermoon is over…

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While reading one of my old blog entries, I realized that I feel quite differently about some diapers now, compared to how I felt when they were brand new fluff mail.  Some things I didn’t like at first, I grew to love and vice versa.

Therefore, I’m going to do a quick summary (linking to the original blog post also) of some of the diapers I’ve been using for up to 6 months.  I’ve also taken some photos of things I find noteworthy. 

I warn that this post will be very long and somewhat rambling at times.     🙂

Since some people do refer back to the archives, I’m going to also figure out the best way to link this post to the original post, perhaps by just linking to this post to avoid a big glob of copied & pasted text at the end.  Here goes!

Bumgenius 3.0 One Size Pocket Diapers.

The first 3 diapers I bought were Bumgenius 3.0s.  I’ve had those since October, so just about 6 months.  They’ve gotten some major wear and tear.  Not only have I had them the longest, but when I first started out, I only had 3 BG, then 6, and I literally washed them twice a day to keep the sposies I needed to use, to a minimum. 

The most common complaint I read (I think I read hundreds of reviews when deciding what to initially purchase) was that over time, the velcro curls, doesn’t stick and forms diaper chains in the wash.  Some people have even done a snap conversion.

Well, I happened upon this Bumgenius Refresher Kit at cottonbabies.  The refresher kits include three new pieces of elastic (back elastic, two legs) new tab closures and new laundry tabs. Each kit also includes instructions for sewing your diaper refresh kits into your bumGenius cloth diapers. Each kit is only $1.00!  It seems well worth it to me.

That said, I don’t need any.  The light blue diaper was one of the first 3 I bought and the one I reach for the most.  It is the “worst” as far as tabs curling, and you can see it’s not really bad at all.

The velcro actually sticks to the laundry tabs, stays firmly attached, but isn’t too difficult to remove from the diaper or laundry tabs.

Everything’s a little “pilly” but it’s not really anything I wouldn’t expect.  I’m trying to spare you from seeing too much of the inners.  As you can see, most of my diapers are a bit stained because we’re just now seeing the sun (and I don’t have a clothes line!)
There are some snags and fuzzies on the front of the diaper also, from getting snagged by various diapers.

There are no functional problems at all.  They may need a little refresher in a few more months, but who cares.  I remember being so shocked at the price of $17.95 per diaper when I first started looking at cloth.  Now I know, that’s cheap!!  They’re one size, waterproof, come with not only an insert, but a doubler too, have a stay dry inner, and are actually one of the least expensive diapers I’ve bought!

They also have the “poop scoop” in back and a nice, wide pocket for stuffing.  I’ve heard some people say they don’t like that, but I do.  You have to fold the “poop scoop” over after stuffing to cover the opening.

I also adore that they have the PUL “stopper” on the front.  You don’t have to be too particular about getting the insert just so, since that will keep it from wicking onto clothing.

Speaking of stuffing, it takes me seconds to stuff them now.  I had a learning curve though.  I don’t really think it’s something someone can teach you, you just have to get the hang of it.

As long as the diaper is on the right rise setting, stuffed properly, fastened properly etc, I don’t have any leaks or blowouts.  These are my go-to diaper when we leave the house because I know I won’t be left “all wet.”

Happy Heiny’s Monkey Print and Peace Bears

I sheepishly admit that the prints are what made me desperately want these!  I initially thought they’d be great for newborns since they had a “newborn” setting in addition to small, medium and large.  They claim to fit 7.5 to 35 lbs.  Many one size diapers have similar size ranges, but almost everyone tells me that they don’t really fit until about 10 pounds. 

My son was born at about 8 pounds and was a bit over 14 pounds when we started cloth diapering at about 4 1/2 months.  He has worn the “medium” setting on all of his other one size diapers since then, but we are still on the “newborn” setting on these!!  We started out on medium and went to small, then finally newborn, in search of a secure fit.

Granted, he’s teeny at 16 1/2 lbs at 10 1/2 months, but I just can’t see how a 7.5 pound baby could wear these.  I think the sizing is more like Small/Medium, Medium/Large, Large/Extra large and Toddler.

The aplix closure tabs do overlap, but I’m always left with the end flapping in the breeze for some reason.  I’ve never tried a snap version.

When I tried to use the “small” setting, we had constant leg gap and he would pee right out the leg hole, leaving the insert bone dry.  Even since we sized down, I have to be really careful about how I put them on or we get leaks. 

Since there’s no stopper like the bumgenius has, I have to be careful not to stuff the insert too far into the diaper, but then it sometimes wants to hang out the back.  The inserts also do not have the snaps for sizing like the BG have.  They also want to bunch up inside and that also causes leak issues for us.

I have to use the foldover method for securing the tabs during laundering, they don’t stick to the laundry tabs for me.

They have a little bit of pilling here and there, but overall seem to be “aging” fine. 

I will definitely hang on to them since they may fit better if he chubs back up, or might fit another baby (if we have one!)  Solid colors cost $1 more than the bumgenius, but there is an additional surcharge for prints.

Fuzzibunz One Size Pocket Diapers

A very, very long time ago, long before I even had a baby on the way, I researched cloth diapers.  I ended up liking FuzziBunz the best, but I was turned off by the cost of having to buy different sizes.  My daughter was such a peanut that she was only about 24 pounds by the time she was fully potty trained.  For her, we would have needed some newborns, smalls and some trainers.  That would have been all.  Oh, if only I could have all the money back (or even some of it!) that we spent on disposables for her.  What a fluff stash it would buy!

In the beginning of my cloth diapering, I wanted only one-size diapers, so I bought this.  Initially, I thought this was OK.  Nice and trim.  Then I realized that the way I had the waist & elastic setting wasn’t quite right.  I found the elastic confusing and off putting, and the nice trim fit wasn’t as trim once the fabric was puffy from adjusted elastic.

I found the triangular snap configuration confusing and annoying and my husband hated it.

Since it’s one of the last I reach for, it doesn’t surprise me that it’s in pretty good shape!  The cost was $1 more than the Bumgenius.

I bought this really just because it was a one size pocket diaper, was on clearance, and the price was right.
No surprise that I didn’t love it.  I don’t hate it either.  Just as I said in my initial post, the laundry tabs are pretty useless and the weird shaped insert is hard to deal with.
It’s held up pretty well, but it’s also definitely not the first I reach for.

Blueberry Minky with Velcro

Again, I got suckered into a diaper because of the cute print!  I had heard good things about Blueberry, but that their velcro was awful.  Since I couldn’t find any of the prints I liked with snaps, I got the velcro, thinking that people were just anti-velcro.

Boy was I wrong!!  This was the blog post that made me realize how wrong wrong wrong initial impressions can be!  I hated the insert because I couldn’t figure out how to fold and snap it.  Now I love it!  It’s one size without adding much bulk, has microfiber and hemp both, is very trim, and is a loop, so it dries quickly.  Definitely one of my most favorite inserts now.

I also thought the velcro was good.  Bwaaahhhahahhahah!!  Excuse me while I slap my knee and wipe a tear from my eye.

You be the judge:

It’s as though Blueberry velcro defies all rules of logic.  It is im-freakin-possible to get off the dang diddly laundry tabs!  Seriously, I work up a sweat trying to get them off, and this one is ripped almost completely off.

Put them in the washing machine though and it’s like the velcro thinks the laundry tab has cooties.  The velcro sticks to everything BUT the laundry tabs.  This means all my other stuff gets snagged, and the Blueberry velcro gets a bunch of gross fuzzy stuff stuck in it.

The inside is quite pilly, and seems to have stained more than others.

In general, it just looks much older than diapers that have been used much, much more often.

What kills me most is how much I paid for this diaper.  It was $33!  I’m totally ashamed!  I could have practically bought two Bumgenius.
I did contact the company once the tab finally ripped off (after only TWO MONTHS!)  While they were polite and cordial, they merely said:
Unfortunately Velcro is a beast. I prefer snaps myself, just due to the no maintenance aspect. We have tried many different varieties/brands of Velcro and have tested many different scenarios. Either we can have soft velcro that looses it stick or one like that is too stiff and will scratch the baby. We are always looking for way to build a better mouse trap.”
That just really bugs me.  Oh well, expensive lesson learned!
This is a huge change from the last one because I love this diaper!  If it is clean and we are going out, it is the first diaper I choose to put on my son for the trip.  Every.  Time.  Even without the doubler, it does not leak.  The snaps are easy peasy and it fits wonderfully. 
The inside is silky soft, but you have to tumble it dry for at let a few minutes, or it is stiff.
I’ve been using it regularly for 4 months and it still looks spanking new to me.
While it was still awfully expensive at $28, I don’t really feel bad about it since I love it so much.
The only thing I don’t like about it is that the bamboo inner is not “stay dry” like microfleece and suedecloth.  However, this is a plus for many people that prefer natural materials on baby’s bottom.
I was once again suckered in by a cute print (notice a theme here?) but the print wasn’t actually as cute as it looked online (in my opinion).
I have a difficult time getting the velcro off of the laundry tabs and the front of the diaper seems very stiff and digs into my son’s tummy (look at the picture of him wearing it in the original post and you’ll see what I mean.)
It’s gotten a bit pilly but no major issues.
The inner gussets are awesome and I love the 4th snap down, which is a true newborn size as I see it (as long as you don’t have teeny tiny babies.)  I would of course prefer to have some newborn diapers with the umbilical cord snap down if I ever get to cloth diaper a newborn.  The Rumparooz Lil’ Joeys are one of a few that simply make my ovaries throb.  Hee hee.
This one I’ve only had for three months.  I do realize I had the snaps all wonky in the photo in the original post.  They aren’t done correctly and I’m sorry.
Now I actually like this one a lot better than the velcro version.  It rocks for all the same reasons (inner gussets, newborn size) but the snaps are super easy.  There are just two snaps (one right above the other, so no backtracking to try to get it snapped correctly) on each wing and they’re very easy, just like the Blueberry Snap diapers.  I much prefer this snap configuration over ones with a single row, but 3 snaps to snap on each wing.
I initially thought the velcro would loosen up over time and that it was easier than snaps.  Actually, I can probably snap this diaper before I get the velcro off the laundry tabs on the other one.
Also, no snags on the diaper.  Looks new.
The inside is a little bit pilly, but that seems to be par for the course.
Rumparooz in solid colors are $23.50, $5.55 more than Bumgenius 3.0.  Add another $2.00 to that for a print.
I was initially interested in this because it was a one size diaper, was inexpensive, and the insert was supposed to agitate out in the wash, no pulling it out.
I contacted the company asking for permission to use their images in a silly “Dear Santa” wish list post.  I contacted quite a few companies, and they were the only one that didn’t respond. 
I wasn’t overly impressed with the diaper.  Seemed pretty basic.  I found it more difficult to stuff with the patch instead of pocket, but the inserts do indeed agitate out in the wash.  It was $3 less than a bumgenius, but didn’t have extras like the “poop scoop,” the PUL stopper and it didn’t come with a doubler.  I’m not sure how you could even put a doubler in if you bought one.  I’m able to use my bumgenius as a travel or night diaper just by adding extra stuffing.  If you had all smartipants, you’d have to buy something else for those purposes.
It has a single row of snaps and only two snaps on the wing, making it a little easier than those with three.
It does still look pretty new though.  It’s one of two “daytime diapers” I keep in my son’s bedroom (we change almost all of his diapers downstairs), so it is used every other day for his first change of the day.
I’ve had this one for less than two months, but it’s usefulness (or lack thereof) was clear after 1 use, and very clear after 3 weeks.  The photos I added to the original post showing the wear & fading were taken after three weeks.
With the first use I found that it leaked from the legs so much, it may as well be a fitted. I had hoped that at the very least, it would have some resale value, since Goodmamas are so popular, but definitely not looking the way it does.
This was one of the more expensive diapers I’ve bought at $28.  I tend to skip over it, or use it with a cover (defeating the purpose of it being an AIO).  The term AIO is deceiving as well, which I address in my original post.
I would really like to try a Goodmama fitted to see if they are better than the AIOs, but I just don’t have the heart to spend the time and effort (and money!) tracking one down. 
The inners and soakers still look fine.
The outer?  Not so much.
In conclusion, (your mileage may vary and all that rot), sometimes the initial impression is spot on, and sometimes it’s way off.  You can’t necessarily rely on reviews.  This would all be much easier (in my opinion) if there was a brick and mortar store I could drive to and see and feel all this fluff!  (AHEM Abby’s Lane, who is close enough for a day trip if they’d open up a B&M store!!)
I think that about covers it, I’ll try to do this again in a few months.  Unfortunately this just gives my hubby more opportunities to say “I told you so.”  From the beginning, he told me to just buy more BumGenius 3.0s since I liked them.  I was afraid I would miss something really good, I was afraid to put all my eggs in one basket, and what the heck would I be blogging about??  😀
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All In Two Diapers Cloth Diapers Coupon Diaper Covers Hybrid Diapers One Size Diapers PUL Retailers

Flip Diaper Cover w/Stay Dry Insert

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I had been wanting to try a Flip for a while.  When I found out Abby’s Lane was not only honoring the Bumgenius Coupon for a free AIO, but they actually had the coupons for me, I couldn’t resist. 

The only catch was that they asked a buyer to spend $25 on Bumgenius, Flip or Econobum products if you wanted Abby’s Lane to clip the coupon for you, rather than the $10 stated on the coupon.  Not a big deal since they weren’t charging for the coupon (other sites were charging for the magazine/coupon, then crediting you a bit if you didn’t want the magazine) and shipping is always free at Abby’s lane.  Basically, I got a lot more from them for just a couple bucks more than $10 in product, shipping and the coupon cost would have been from somewhere else.  For the record, no, I don’t work for Abby’s Lane, just love them!

Anyhoo, my order came at the speed of light at usual.

The packaging had a sticker saying to wash the cover separately 6 times.  I was a little confused, since I didn’t think this needed to be “prepped.”  I called cottonbabies and it turns out that they had some issues with the covers running.  So, I dutifully washed just the cover 6 times!  You do have to hang the cover to dry.

The Flip cover has an easy snap closure.

The inside is PUL, easy to wipe clean during changes.

The Flip has the same snap down rise that the Bumgenius 3.0 one size diapers have.

Same leg casings and outer too.

The insert is one size and has wonderful seams and markings to make the folding super easy.

They make inserts in organic cotton and disposable too.  The price per disposable insert seems similar to disposables, but instead of chemicals, fragrance and gel, they contain Non-woven bamboo viscose, Wood Pulp and SAP fillers, and starch based glue.  They would be a nice compromise for road trips and such, since you could really just wipe out the covers and even hand wash them if they really needed it.

I prefer a stay dry liner, so I chose the stay dry insert, which has 3 layers of microfiber, and has stay dry suede on the side that touches baby’s bottom.  Very soft.

There are no awkward snap attachments, the insert just slips inside.  The little envelope like thingie at each end helps hold it in place and keeps it from wicking onto clothing.

The snap closure was very easy, and this seemed as trim as the Bumgenius 3.0.

He fit wonderfully in the medium setting. 

We had no problems, no leaks.  This was great! 

I’d like to get one more cover and a few more inserts.  I think this would be excellent for being out and about.  One extra cover and a few extra inserts would take up a lot less space than several pocket diapers for sure!

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Detergents Giveaway Made in the USA Review Stink Washing

Rockin’ Green Detergent and Giveaway! CLOSED

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Detergent is one of the biggest obstacles when starting to or continuing to cloth diaper.  In fact, it is the #1 reason I didn’t start at my son’s birth. 
Believe it or not, detergent is a rather controversial subject.  There are a few “cloth safe diaper detergent” charts out there that give detergents rankings based on whether they contain ingredients like dye, fragrance, brighteners, whiteners, enzymes and so forth.
Like so many others, I didn’t want to risk hurting my diapers, or my kid’s tushie.  So, when I couldn’t find a “safe” detergent locally, I gave up.  Then the detergent drama began.  I managed to find one, but then I saw it was not safe on another chart.  Round and round we went.
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Natural and Organic Food Review

C is for cookie

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No, this isn’t about diapers, but who doesn’t like cookies?  In all seriousness, I hope no one minds if I talk about other natural/green/earth friendly etc. products every now and again. 
I have a ton of diaper, diaper related and baby “stuff” reviews coming.  Also giveaways for Rockin’ Green, Five in a Row Baby Legs and Inspired by Finn Baltic Amber Jewelry.  In fact, go enter my current giveaway (if you haven’t already) for Lil’ Outlaws Wipe Solution, Almost Heaven Diaper Company Wipes and a FuzziBunz changing pad!
For now, If you’ll indulge me, I’m talkin’ ’bout cookies!  Chocolate chip to be exact.  I use shortening in my pie crusts and my chocolate chip cookies.  I just can’t get the same loft and texture with butter alone.  I’ve heard some people say they use lard, but considering that I gagged a little just typing that, lard (*gag*) is out.
So last time I gathered up my ingredients for good old CCCs, I had a newcomer to the crowd.
I saw Spectrum Naturals Organic All Vegetable Shortening in the organic section of my grocery store more than a year ago, but at $6.99 for 24 oz (if I am remembering the price correctly!) and no coupons in sight, I hesitated. 
I took a closer look at the package and decided to give it a try.  It is Non-hydrogenated, USDA Organic, Kosher, and contains one ingredient: Mechanically pressed organic palm oil.  Compare that with Crisco’s ingredient list: Soybean oil, fully hydrogenated palm oil, partially hydrogenated palm and soybean oils, mono and diglyerides, TBHQ and citric acid (antioxidants). 
As far as nutritional stats, Spectrum’s 1 Tbsp (13g) serving has 110 calories, 13g fat, 6g saturated fat, 2g polyunsaturated fat, 5g monounsaturated fat.  Crisco’s 1 Tbsp (12g) serving has 110 calories, 12g fat, 3g saturated fat, 6g polyunsaturated fat and 2.5g monounsaturated fat. 
I usually use half butter and half shortening in my cookies.  Typically, I weigh the shortening on a piece of wax paper to avoid having an icky measuring cup (and for more accurate measuring).  The Spectrum has a much drier, wax-like texture, making it a little tougher to dole out.  It didn’t have the creamy, greasy texture of shortening.  I was actually worried about it creaming in my mixer, but it worked just fine.  I’m wondering how it will work using it in a pie crust where I have to “cut” it into dry ingredients, but I will give it a try.  Same with using it to grease pans!  *edit* I used this again on a day when it was warmer, and the texture was much more crisco-like.
The package says: “When we say our Organic Shortening is good, we really mean good.  It’s better for your body than ordinary shortening because it’s never hydrogenated, has zero grams of trans fat, and is made  from palm oil, which is naturally cholesterol free and a good source of heart healthy monounsaturated fat.  Even better are the dozens of small family farmers in Columbia who cultivate and press our palm oil in an environmentally sustainable manner.  It’s good for you, the farmers and the earth…just imagine what it does for a pie crust.”  High Heat up to 450, 0 grams trans fat, cholesterol free, Less saturated fat than butter, vegan – dairy free, Kosher – KSA, Gluten Free.
In the end, the proof is in the pudding…err…cookies.
The cookie dough mixed up wonderfully & looked (and tasted, tee hee) no different than usual.
The cookies were the perfect fluffy, golden brown.

The perfect mix of crispy & chewy I love so much!

and

glurf wur sl guf..

*Gulp*  That is, they were so good, they didn’t last long!!

In my opinion, this is a great choice for anyone who is avoiding hydrogenated oils.  I can’t wait to try making a pie crust with it!

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