Friday, 31 August 2012

Baby Names We Won't Use

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0 Review

Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0 is an all-in-one side-snapping diaper with a birdseye cotton interior. The diaper has a tunnel system which makes boosting the diaper a breeze and also allows the attached insert to agitate out in the wash.

This is a sized diaper that offers a fantastic, trim fit that works for a wide range of babies--small (6-16lbs), medium (12-25lbs, and large (22-35lbs).  I particularly love side-snapping sized diapers, as no rise or fastening snaps on the front leaves a smooth belly that works well under clothes.

The diaper uses non-encased elastic, which is particularly well-suited for babies with chubbier thighs. We have not had any issues with red marks while using this diaper and I am thoroughly impressed with how much the diaper holds--we have yet to experience a leak or wicking with this diaper, and we are at a heavy-wetting stage where we are getting a lot of wicking with staple diapers from our stash that used to work well.

The diaper does have a longer drying time than some of the other diapers in our stash, which can be a drawback during the rainy English winter! Despite this, I am a huge fan of this diaper and love the fit on our 15-month old.

Watch the video above for my review and demo of the Swaddlebees Simpex 2.0!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Kiwi Pie and Thirsties Giveaway at Diaper Junction

I'm a big fan of Kiwi Pie fitted diapers paired with a Thirsties Duo Wrap--this combination is our go-to nap diaper as of late and it hasn't failed us yet! Sewn from bamboo fleece, Kiwi Pie makes one of the softest fitted diapers that we've tried, with a bit of lycra thrown in to create a fantastic fit. The Thirsties Duo Wrap is by far our favorite wrap to pair with fitted diapers and are in heavy rotation in our stash. Together, this is one of my favorite combinations to use during the day.

The folks at Diaper Junction must feel the same, as they are doing a giveaway of both this week! You can enter here for a chance to win.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Cloth Diaper FAQ: Resusable Wipes

The first two cloth wipes that I made 
Even though it was love at first diaper change once we began using cloth diapers, it took me a bit longer to find the cloth wipe love. Everything I read waxed poetic about how easy they were: how you just toss them into the wet bag after using them, how newborn poop can just be thrown in the wash, and so on. But what happens when you move onto solid poop, I wondered? In all of my research, no one ever answered this, which was probably the one question holding me back from fully giving reusable wipes a go. For a long while, we used cloth wipes for wet diapers and disposable wipes for soiled. I liked the cloth wipes we had and I loved not having to deal with throwing anything away, but still couldn't wrap my head around how the cloth wipes would fare against a weaned diet. Eventually, I grew tired of separating out the disposable wipes from the diapers and decided to brave using cloth wipes full-time...and with that said, here is my cloth wipes FAQ with some of the questions I wished I had found answered when I first started out.

Why use cloth wipes?
Aside from saving money, cloth wipes produce less waste, are better for the environment, and don't have any chemicals that would go next to baby. Cloth wipes are softer, thicker, and much more effective than disposable wipes. One or two cloth wipes can do the job of 4 to 6 flimsy disposable wipes! Despite my initial reservations, I have also discovered that it is so much easier to use cloth wipes and not have to bother with separating out what goes in the wet bag and what goes in the trash.

Did you buy your cloth wipes? What brand do you use and where can I find them?
I did the opposite of what I now recommend to others: I ordered wipes from several 'name brand' companies without taking the time to read up on how easy they are to make or to source elsewhere. Originally, I picked up Charlie Banana wipes from Babies R Us and added some Thirsties wipes to a diaper order from a site here in the UK. I actually really like the Charlie Banana ones, as they have a really nice fleece layer on one side that is perfect for patting dry. But there are actually more affordable and arguably better options out there--many people swear by using cheap baby washcloths and others buy from WAHM sellers on Etsy.

Did you make any of your cloth wipes? How can I make my own and what material should I use?
I have recently started to make my own while trying to teach myself how to sew at the same time. Given that I had never sewn before in my life, I found making them to be a relatively easy process. My first batch were made with microfleece on one side and cotton fabric on the other. Not everyone loves using fleece, as it is not the best at wiping away poop, but I love it on a double sided wipe as a way to pat baby dry. The cotton prints I used were not the best choice as they were a woven fabric (knit is preferable as it is softer and easier to wipe with), but it was what I had available at the time and they still serve their purpose. My next batch of wipes are going to be made from flannel, which is a great and functional option for cloth wipes. You can also use terrycloth, cotton or bamboo velour, or cotton or bamboo fleece. 

Here is the video tutorial I used when learning to make my own wipes:
Do you wash them with your diapers or alone?
I wash them with the diapers.  For a baby not yet on solids, it really is as easy as wet, wipe, throw in the wet bag/pail, and wash with your regular diapers.
But what happens one a baby has started solids? Are there any extra steps I will need to do?
The answer to this question is that it depends. Sometimes, solid poop is actually, well...solid! In this case, not much actually stays on the wipe and you can still toss the wipe directly into the washing machine. Other times, things get a bit messy. Without being too descriptive, there are times the wipe will need a bit of a rinse before it goes into the machine. Basically, however you handle rinsing your diapers off before adding them to your diaper pail is what you will need to do for your wipes. Diaper sprayers don't work on UK toilets, so for us, this means either doing a rinse/flush in the toilet or holding the wipe over a designated bucket, spraying it with the shower head, and then emptying the bucket into the toilet. Sure, it's a bit of a pain--however, it's something you'll be doing with the diapers themselves regardless. I am not sure why I had such a mental block around this concept because it really is no grosser than what you'll dealing with inside the diaper! (I must admit, I fantasize about the day we move back to the US and I can purchase a diaper sprayer...)

What do you store them in before use?
I store them dry inside a decorative storage box kept on one of the shelves underneath the changing table. I keep a spray bottle next to this box so that I can wet them as needed. You can also store them wet by pre-moistening them and putting them into any waterproof container or bag.

Do you use any type of solution on them?
We use water and nothing more. I know others who swear by their homemade wipe solution and would never consider anything else, but just plain old water has worked wonderfully for us.

How many reusable wipes do I need to cloth diaper full-time? 
You'll go through a lot more in the beginning than you will once your baby gets older. 25 is a good number to start with if you plan to wash often in the early days. You may find that you want to add a few more into rotation once you get started; 25 to 40 is around what most people end up with. You need less as baby gets older--once onto solids, you could get by with 15 to 20 so long as you kept up with washing.

What do you do when you go out of the house?
I pre-moisten my cloth wipes and store them in a small wet bag or a wipes case. After a diaper change, I usually toss everything into the wet bag and deal with it when we're back at the house. I do keep some emergency disposables in the diaper bag in case there's an extreme mess to deal with and no good changing facilities around.