Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Pocket Diaper Lover Reviews the SweetPea AI3 Diaper!

I had the privilege of reviewing Sweet Pea Diaper’s AI3 (all in three). I’m strictly a pocket diaper user so I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive of trying something new on my daughter, Lady Bug. Initially, I was intimidated by all of the snaps on the diaper. Whoa! I do have to admit that when I started using cloth diapers three years ago with my son, Buggie, the popular fasteners on cloth diapers were hook and loops so this whole snap thing is rather new for me. It really has nothing to do with the diaper’s job – which is great by the way.

An AI3 diaper consists of a waterproof polyurethane layered cover (or as my mom would call them “rubber pants”) and two inserts that snap into the cover. As long as the cover isn’t soiled or sopping wet just wipe it and use it again!

Here are my Loves about this diaper:
  1. Easy to use. Kelly Wells in her book Changing Diapers describes the "all in" diaper as the “daddy and daycare diaper.” I couldn’t agree more. The beauty of this AI3 diaper is the fact that there is no stuffing required, just snapping, which is refreshing to this pocket using mommy!
  2. Aesthetically pleasing. Of course looks aren’t everything but they definitely help! The owl print that was sent to me is so cute and it is gender neutral.
  3. Trim. As a pocket diaper user I frequently have Lady Bug wear clothing a size bigger to accommodate her fluffy bum. I was really impressed by the trimness of Sweet Peas.
  4. Perfect fit around the thighs. As you can see by the picture, the fit around Lady Bug’s thighs was just right. Not too tight and no gapping around the leg.
  5. Absorbent but keeps baby’s bum dry. The bamboo soaker is AMAZINGLY absorbent. It took me more than my normal low heat drying cycles to dry it and it still wasn’t completely dry. There’s a soft micro fleece topped two layer microfiber doubler that did a great job of keeping Lady Bug’s bum dry.
The only thing about Sweet Pea Diaper’s AI3 that could have been better, was how long it took the soaker to dry, however that is also one of the things that I really liked about the diaper. It’s a catch-22. You want your diaper to be able to really absorbent but you’re a mom and you want things to be done quickly. I think that I’d rather have an absorbent soaker that takes a while to dry than a quick drying soaker that wasn’t absorbent.

I think that if I were to redo my stash of fluff I’d buy more Sweet Pea AI3s. I really LOVE the ease of the diaper as well as how it looks under Lady Bug’s clothes. If you’re new to cloth diapering this would be an excellent starter diaper for you and your family.


Elizabeth (aka Bert) Anderson married her college sweetheart in 2005, and started her journey into motherhood in 2008 with the birth of her son.  She started blogging in 2009 as a way to keep track of her thoughts on being a first time mom, especially her struggle with postpartum depression, and as a way of reaching out to other moms who are struggling with the same things.  This June, Bert had another first in her motherhood travels - a little girl!  Even though she's newly a mother of two, Bert maintains that no matter how many children you have you will always be a "first time mom" because there's a first time for everything!  Visit her blog, at FTM. Bert is a contributor for She Thinks Media.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cloth Diapering was Dad's idea!

I’d love to tell you that the decision to start cloth diapering was mine. Yes. I’m that wonderful, earth saving, frugal mom who took it upon herself to get hubby on board with the idea. Nope. Incorrect. It was my husband’s idea, not mine.

It all started when friends of ours looked into cloth diapering their first child. She was due three months before I was due with our first. She showed us the website where she was going to buy her cloth diapers and once my hubby saw how much money we could save he was hooked. I was completely frustrated and annoyed because I knew I would have to do all of the work. Why on earth were we doing this? Wasn’t bringing a child into this world enough work for me to do as a stay-at-home-mom than to add on the daunting task of cleaning diapers? And how could we save THAT much money – wouldn’t our water bill go up? He’s the numbers guy and brilliant at it. I don’t question him unless I want to do the work and really, numbers and I don’t get along.

My hubby said that we’d wait a few weeks until our son was older to start cloth diapering. We had read reviews that the kind of pocket diapers we were going to buy were not the best fit for a newborn. I was so relieved. I didn’t have to try to start this “stupid” lifestyle change right away. You know what though? At the end of the eight weeks, after having to make midnight runs to the store to buy yet again another package of diapers, after dropping more money on disposables and having to do more laundry due to explosive blow outs I was ready for a change. My husband was more than ready for it.

It took a month of getting used to it but I fell in love. I mean really, I fell in love. I got sucked in and I’ve never looked back. The benefits that I’ve seen by cloth diapering far outweigh the convenience of disposables. My son has incredibly sensitive skin as well as eczema and switching to cloth was a perfect choice for us with him. And yes, it’s silly but cloth diapers are just so darn cute! There’s a reason why mamas get hooked on them… have you seen some of the diapers out there? ADORABLE. If you haven’t you’re missing out and yes there is one and only one reason why disposable diaper brands are putting cute prints on their diapers. They recognize the current cloth movement.

I always tell my friends that if I can cloth diaper anyone can. Remember, I was completely reluctant to do it but now I can’t imagine having a baby and solely using disposables. The “work” that is often assumed by those who don’t use cloth diapers isn’t that much and it isn’t life altering. And after using cloth diapers for the last three years and with both of my children, I can tell you that my view of the world is a little greener. Give it a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And speaking of cloth diapers, I have to run downstairs to do the rinse cycle on mine before the morning. Adieu!


Elizabeth (aka Bert) Anderson married her college sweetheart in 2005, and started her journey into motherhood in 2008 with the birth of her son.  She started blogging in 2009 as a way to keep track of her thoughts on being a first time mom, especially her struggle with postpartum depression, and as a way of reaching out to other moms who are struggling with the same things.  This June, Bert had another first in her motherhood travels - a little girl!  Even though she's newly a mother of two, Bert maintains that no matter how many children you have you will always be a "first time mom" because there's a first time for everything!  Visit her blog, at FTM. Bert is a contributor for She Thinks Media.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Five "other" uses for your wetbag, besides cloth diapers!

A wetbag, although an awesome cloth diaper accessory, is often considered more of a luxury item than a necessity.  Truth is, a wetbag has many uses, beyond cloth diapering, making it a very versatile product and one that you'll be sure to get your money's worth out of.

So what CAN you use your wetbag for, other than cloth diapering?
  • Perfect for those fun, yet very possibly wet situations.  Bring along with you to the pool or beach and use your wetbag as a tote to protect your cell phone, car door opener or any other valuables.  The handle makes it easy to hang on a chair, stroller or beach umbrella.
  • Traveling? Wetbags are great for carrying toiletries or for use as storage for your soiled delicates.  Keep your socks, underwear and anything else inside, then store inside your luggage.  Perfect for keeping odors in.
  • Potty Training.  A webtag is great for use when little one has an accident.  You'll have somewhere to store their soiled clothing or underwear until you get home and can wash them.
  • Family cloth or Mama cloth?  If your family uses family cloth instead of toilet paper then you need a handy storage place in the bathroom to store the cloth after use.  Use the handle to hang your wetbag from the toilet paper dispenser or a hook within arms reach.
  • General tote bag.  Although waterproof, there's no reason you couldn't use your cute wetbag simply as a tote, diaper bag, book bag or lunch tote.  Great for storing overnight clothes, toys, trinkets, snacks and more!
So there you have it!  Five reasons you NEED a wetbag, even if you don't think it's an absolute must have for cloth diapering.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When was your "Wow I'm a grown up moment?"

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted a mini-van. Weird? Yes, most 20-somethings aspire to buy anything but a mini-van but I guess I’m not like most. My parents had a mini-van so I saw it more as a convenience than anything else.

My hubby and I got pregnant in 2008 and I felt the mini-van urging again. My hubby’s a very practical man and felt we didn’t need a mini-van with only us and one child (okay and a beagle too, sorry I didn’t forget you, Chula). We waited and I drove an undesireable car for the next two and a half years.

Then hubby and I got pregnant again in the fall of 2010. I thought that surely since we were adding another being into our family we’d get the mini-van. Nope. Not so because of course we didn’t need it; we could easily fit into our car the four of us. And Chula? Well, when we drove to my parents’ house in Galena, IL, the five and a half hour drive wouldn’t be that bad for Chula since she’d only be lying in the middle seat between the kids. We only made one trip to Galena in our little car until that little car that seats four starting needing more and more repairs. We took the plunge and I was finally going to get my mini-van.

I was so excited about our big move into adulthood, rather, parenthood. That’s until I test drove our mini-van. Sitting behind that wheel, I looked out at the road and thought to myself, When did I become a grown-up?

Isn’t it interesting? We so badly want to grow up when we are children. We badly want to go to high school and then college. Then we dream of careers, meeting the love of our life and having babies. At what point though do we become the grown-up we were striving to become as children? Is it when I carried and birthed two babies? No. It was when I bought and drove my own mini-van. Suddenly I saw myself not as a girl playing house with a boy but as a mother caring for two beautiful children with the love of her life.

When was your Wow I’m a grown up moment?

Elizabeth (aka Bert) Anderson married her college sweetheart in 2005, and started her journey into motherhood in 2008 with the birth of her son.  She started blogging in 2009 as a way to keep track of her thoughts on being a first time mom, especially her struggle with postpartum depression, and as a way of reaching out to other moms who are struggling with the same things.  This June, Bert had another first in her motherhood travels - a little girl!  Even though she's newly a mother of two, Bert maintains that no matter how many children you have you will always be a "first time mom" because there's a first time for everything!  Visit her blog, at FTM. Bert is a contributor for She Thinks Media.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cloth Diapering from birth? What to pack for the hospital.

In my opinion there are three important things to consider when packing cloth diapers for use at the hospital.
  1. Cloth Diapers-  Pack a variety of cloth diaper styles and sizes.  While you don't need to pack an entire stash, you do want to keep in mind that you don't know how little or big your newborn will be.  Will he be 6lbs or 8lbs?  Chunky or super skinny?  If you plan to use one size, keep in mind that they might not fit yet.  Be prepared or you may end up having to use the hospital provided disposables.
  2. Clothing-  If you're new to cloth then you might not realize that fluffy bums often mean that certain styles of clothing, particularly pants, shorts, denim, etc. have to be the next size up to accommodate the cloth diaper.  This varies depending on the brand and fabric.  Bring an extra outfit or two just in case that newborn or preemie size outfit you love just won't fit the new little one.
  3. Liners-  Biodegradable/Flushable Liners are awesome.  Not only will they help with meconium stains, they make cleanup easier.  You can simply toss the dirty diapers into your wetbag and when you get home, remove the liners and flush.  You will have saved yourself a LOT of work.
Well, those are just a few important things to keep in mind when packing for the hospital, especially if you're going to be using cloth diapers from day one!

Friday, November 4, 2011

A peek inside one mamas cloth diaper washing routine!

Guest Post by Samantha

If you ask someone how they clean their cloth diapers, you will get many different answers. This is the way our family gets our diapers clean!

When its time for a diaper change, we rinse off the dirty diaper, using a diaper sprayer. I have read that we probably could skip this step since our baby is breastfed. Breastfed baby poop doesn’t have to be sprayed as it will get clean during the first rinse. We keep all of the dirty diapers in a trash bin in our laundry room. We use a pail liner, which will go right into the wash with the diapers. I would recommend having two pail liners, so that while one is in the wash, you can put the other one right on.  

When it is time to do a load (which for us is every other day), we first do a rinse cycle on COLD. Once that is finished, do a regular wash cycle HOT with detergent. We use Rockin’ Green detergent (right now we are using Motley Clean scent…smells so good!)  Let them soak one hour (or overnight if you aren’t in dyer need of clean diapers).  Once that is finished, do another rinse cycle COLD. This step is very important because it gets all the remaining detergent out. When that is finished we line dry all the cloth diapers and cloth wipes. On a nice day we put the drying rack outside. Not only does it seem to dry a little quicker, but the sun is sort of a natural bleach and gets most of the stains out. Last but not least, always check the cloth diaper makers instructions on care. You may need to wash certain diapers separately.


So what's your wash routine?  Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

Bio
My name is Samantha, I am 27 years old and live in upstate New York. I am a mom of two amazing little girls ages 3 years and 4 months. I have been married to my best friend Mathew for 4 and a half years. I am a college graduate, but I am living the good life of being a stay at home mom! I love my family, taking pictures, reading and writing. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What's the scoop on Vinegar?

I know you've heard of it, Vinegar!  It's cheap, it's smelly that is true, and it can be used for a TON of different purposes.  But why does it work and is it safe for use with cloth diapers?

Here's the scoop!

Vinegar is a safe and inexpensive alternative to chemical based cleaning products.  It naturally has the opposite pH as ammonia which makes it an excellent choice for cloth diapers because it will neutralize the pH.

It's acidity is perfect for the breakdown of buildup and reside and this is why it's preferred for cleaning.  From coffee pots to dishwashers, washing machines to tile floors and counter tops, vinegar can be used to clean it all.

For household cleaning it's generally diluted with water, about equal parts, and used in a spray bottle to clean whatever you choose.

To strip or deep clean your washing machine or dishwasher it's recommended that you add at least a few cups to an empty wash cycle.  It will help dissolve and break down nasty grime and residue that might have built up over the years.

In laundry, vinegar is used to prevent and treat stains as well as a natural fabric softener.  You can add vinegar to a fabric softener ball and toss into the wash just as you would regular softener.  For stains you can spot treat with a spray bottle and scrub brush.

The effectiveness of vinegar can vary depending on your water quality and water type.  If you notice any undesirable smells in your laundry or cloth diapers please discontinue use.  It's not for everyone, but those who love it use it for nearly everything.

So how about you?  Do you use vinegar in your household?  How have you used it?
 

Sweet Pea Diapers Copyright © 2011 Sweet Pea Diapers Blog is Designed by She Thinks Media