Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trials of a Dum Dum: Overnight Success!!!'s been a while since I've talked about nighttime diapering, huh?  I never really could get it out of my head.  We did continue using disposable diapers for quite a while while I mulled over what to do.  None of the special "nighttime" diapers worked for us that we had tried, and I was tired of spending money on things that were failures.  I don't mind spending money on things that work but I'm not a big fan of in the long run, but not on things that fail from the get go.

Fast forward a bit and I decided that hemp was the way to go.  I ordered two BabyKicks Hemparoo Joey-Bunz in large.  They have 6 layers of hemp in them.  Now hemp is a great fabric.  It absorbs a lot, but it is slow to absorb which means it's best if you pair it with something else on top for quick absorption.  Enter the recipe:

Overnight Diapering a Tummy Sleeping Super Soaker (Toddler)

1 bumGenius 3.0 OS ($17.95)
1 Prefold trimmed (or purchased this size) to fit in a pocket diaper (about $2.00 a piece)
1 BabyKicks Hemparoo Joey-Bunz (Large) - FULLY PREPPED! ($4.99)

Take the prefold and trifold it.  Place this on top of a BabyKicks Hemparoo Joey-Bunz insert (we used Large because our son is on the highest rise).  Take prefold/hemp combo and place this in a bumGenius 3.0 OS pocket diaper.  Make sure that the prefold is flat and touches the sides of the diaper.  I do this by sticking my hand down the center of the trifold and fanning my fingers apart.  The bumGenius diaper is key because it has the compression leakage barrier of PUL at the top front of the diaper.  That is VERY important.  

Place diaper on baby.  Put on pajamas and continue with nighttime routine.

We have not had a leak since starting this.  It is important to note that the hemp insert must be fully prepped before this will work for a true super soaker.  We're talking at least 10-12 washes folks.  But, it's so worth it.  No more overnight sposies for us!  :)

My future concern is that the bumGenius runs small compared to other OS diapers, so how long will this work for us?  Tonight I'm going to try a microfiber insert on top of the Babykicks Hemparoo Joey-Bunz to see how that works for us.  That may make the diaper less bulky and therefore allow it to last us longer in the rise.  You could try this with Nubunz (a bumGenius copy) but there were a few things about that diaper that I wasn't a big fan of, but that's for a future review.

Why the Babykicks Hemparoo Joey-Bunz?  Well, I liked that it was all one piece.  I found one other hemp insert that was 7 layers I believe, but it was two pieces meaning one area of the diaper would be even bulkier.  This was 6 layers and all one piece, and very very thin.  That was the best deal I could find without making one myself, and even then with ordering materials that would have been more expensive to do.  So the Babykicks Hemparoo Joey-Bunz is a winner in my book.  And if you use two that would be 12 layers of hemp!

So, happy overnight diapering everyone!  :)  Do you have a different solution that works for you?  Leave us a comment and let us know.  We want everyone to have lots of ideas and methods to try from.  :)


Monday, April 26, 2010

Review: SoftBums AI2

SoftBums - Pricing is a little complicated due to varying insert types.  But, a single shell plus one microfiber soaker is $25.95.  A single shell with a bamboo soaker is $30.95.  Basic Packs which are 1 shell, 3 interchangeable soakers, and 1 doubler are:  $36.95 microfiber, $52.95 bamboo.
Materials:  Outer layer PUL, with an inner liner of microfleece, double long snap in soakers made of microfiber with stay dry microfleece on top, or oganic bamboo with either a velour top or stay dry microfleece.  Velcro or snap closure.  OS adjustment through an elastic and toggle system in the legs of the diaper (more on that later).
Fit:  5 - 40 lbs.
How it works:  SoftBums are an AI2 (All In Two) diapering system.  The diaper consists of an outer shell with a PUL outside and microfleece inside for comfort.  The diaper absorbs by the means of a snap in soaker.  This soaker can be taken out when wet or dirty and replaced with a new soaker, allowing the same shell to be used multiple times.  If any poops get on the shell though the shell must be put in the diaper pail to be washed.  Don't attempt to use it again in that situation.  If the shell is slightly damp from pee just lay it out to dry and use another shell or diaper in between uses.

Thoughts from Amanda:
Aesthetics -  SoftBums come in nice bold or soft colors, as well as prints.  They also come in either Aplix closure or snap closure.  The snaps come in cute coordinating colors to the outside of the diaper.  This is a very trim diaper making it great for the diaper bag.  My only qualm would be that the top tends to roll a little bit and expose the microfleece on the wings with the snap version, but that hasn't caused us any problems.

On another side note I am often asked if the knotted elastic and toggles inside of the diaper are annoying for my son as they may seem bulky to others.  But, with the comfy soaker in between my son and the shell he doesn't even notice that they're there.  And the diapers is also left with a very trim look.  I never notice bumps in the front from the knotted elastic or the toggles.

Functionality -  I am in love with this diaper.  But, that doesn't mean it's perfect.  It just works well for me.  Lets talk about the most obvious feature...the snap in soakers.  We'll break this down by section.

SOAKERS:  I like that you have a variety to choose from when purchasing per your baby's needs, and you also have the option to buy a SoftBums package that contains 3 soakers per shell.  That makes this system very convenient to try out.  The soakers come in:  Dry Touch (microfleece top with 2 layers of microfiber-terry for absorption), SUPER Dry Touch (microfleece top with 3 layers of microfiber-terry for absorption), Organic Bamboo Velour (this one will not leave baby with a dry feeling...3 layers of bamboo fleece topped with velour), Dry Touch Organic Bamboo (just replace the velour layer with microfleece for the dry touch feeling).  The doublers are:  Dry Touch - 3 layers of microfiber-terry; Bamboo - 3 layers of Bamboo.  Okay?  Confused?  lol  

The soakers are nice because they are double long so you actually fold them under in the front which will double your absorbency with every use.  So the two layers of microfiber-terry become 4, 3 layers becomes 6, and so on.  Add the doublers and you could end up with 9 layers of absorbency!!!  And all of the soakers are nice and trim even when folded.  I love the variety you have to choose from.  I have the Dry Touch Bamboo and the Bamboo Velour b/c my son is a heavy peer.  I have noticed that the Dry Touch doesn't stay completely dry, but after consulting with some people we came to the conclusion that he must pee very hard and fast not giving the dry layer an opportunity to really work well.  If he peed slower then this wouldn't be happening.  But, it's only a little damp and doesn't bother him.  And the bamboo velour doesn't stay dry at all and that doesn't bother him either.

SHELLS:  The shells are functional but take a bit of practice learning how to use effectively.  I find that the crotch of the shell is very narrow, which is nice but also means you have to check to make sure the soaker is covered by the shell around each leg.  I do a leg check every time I put these diapers on him because if even a little bit of the soaker is sticking out you will have a leak.  That's a bit of an annoyance, but with all of the other great features of this diaper not something that would keep me from using it.  The SoftBums shell is VERY stretchy.  You will need to size this diaper a smidge smaller than your other diapers.  When you pull it up over baby you will see that it has TONS of stretch.  This is a good thing in my opinion because it means the SoftBums will truly last you to potty training.  My biggest qualm about this diaper (which is also something I love about it) is the microfleece inner lining.  This lining is soooo soft, but if your baby poops this diaper will hold onto that smell until washed again.  I find that a sprinkle of Baby Powder helps with that issue.  It's not that the shell is dirty, but that the smell lingers.  

OS ADJUSTMENT:  I will say it right now and I will stand by it.  This is the BEST OS adjustment system ever!!!  Seriously.  Ever.  Softbums uses a very unique internal leg/diaper adjustment system.  At the front of the diaper there is an opening between the PUL and the microfleece.  You will find the two leg elastics knotted together.  If you pull on these and push the diaper shell back you will find two toggles.  One on each side of the diaper.  Now, this will take some practice.  I used another diaper of my son's and laid the SoftBums on top of it to help me find the right sizing.  Press and slide the toggles up or down the elastic making the diaper either smaller or larger as needed.  This diaper gets the smallest I've ever seen and the largest I have ever seen, and has infinite sizes in between.  This is truly a OS diaper.  The toggles will stay in place when washed so there is no need to mess with them again until your baby grows enough to need an adjustment.  

Now a little tip.  When sizing your diaper make it about a 1/2 an inch shorter than your other diapers.  This elastic is super stretchy and you will find it a little too loose in the legs if you don't adjust it smaller.  

TIPS - PUTTING ON THE DIAPER:  The SoftBums system is great but can take a little patience while getting used to it.  I find that it's nice to have the shells already ready to go with one soaker snapped in place.  Lay baby on the diaper and pull up the soaker only first.  Fold it down to double up and make sure that the important areas for absorption are properly covered.  Hold the soaker in place and using your free hand pull up on the SoftBums shell.  Make sure that the soaker stays nice and flat against the shell.  It is easy to get bunching if you're not paying attention.  Pull up tightly and secure in place.  Lastly check the legs to make sure they are fitting snuggly and tuck in any soaker that may be peaking out the sides.  I know it sounds complicated, but with a few tries this takes me no time at all now.  Even on a wiggly 13 month old.

Durability -  This diaper holds up very well to repeated use and washings.  The bamboo inserts will take 6-10 washes to be fully prepped so don't give up on them before then.  I started using mine at three and they did absorb well enough though.  The aplix is nice and strong, and the laundry tabs work beautifully.  Never a diaper chain problem with diaper in the wash.  The snaps are nicely placed and do give you the ability to cross the wings.  The elastic is of a good thickness and very secure.

This is a wonderful diaper and I HIGHLY recommend it.  Not only that but it is made in the USA!  So great.  SoftBums do take a bit of practice, but if you stick with them I think you'll love them as much as I do.  I can't wait to use this system on vacation.  It is going to make being out so much easier.  

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Review: Rocky Mountain Diapers

Rocky Mountain Diapers - $19.50, Seconds for $15.50; Some styles $18.95 here.
Materials:  Outer layer PUL, with an inner of suedecloth, internal leg casing snap adjusters on the elastic for OS abilities, 1 microfiber insert.
Fit:  5 - 30 lbs.
How it works:  Rocky Mountain Diapers are a OS Pocket diaper with an unique rise adjustment system.  The pocket is stuffed with the included microfiber insert or insert of your choice.  The internal rise adjustment works similar to FuzziBunz in that the adjusters are in the leg casings rather than on the outside of the diaper.  More on that in Functionality.  The waist closure system is snaps only.

Thoughts from Amanda:
Aesthetics -  I love the colors of the Rocky Mountain Diaper.  They have fresh fruity colored diapers, yummy chocolate PUL diapers with colorful suedecloth inners, Cow print, and monkey prints.  I also like that the rise adjustment system is hidden in the leg casings giving this diaper a cleaner appearance on the outside.  This diaper only comes snaps for the waist closure system.  The snaps are in a single row which helps with the simplified look of the diaper, and I have never experienced wing droop.

Functionality -  I would like to start off by saying that I love that this company actually is truthful in their fit.  5 - 30 lbs. seems very accurate to me, although they may appear bulky on a newborn because they will bunch in the front.  I would compare the rise to a BumGenius 3.0 diaper.  Although, somehow, my son is still not on the highest setting in his Rocky Mountain diapers, although he is in his bumGenius diapers.  Go figure.  However, when looked at side by side (and maybe it's due to snap closure v. the aplix) they look about the same.  This diaper is very trim.  Much trimmer than other pockets I own.  And I find the pocket to be nice and wide which makes it easy for myself or my husband to stuff.

The rise adjustment system on the Rocky Mountain Diaper is unique.  It can be found in the leg casings of the diaper so you will actually have to go inside the pocket to each leg gusset to find the elastic.  On each leg elastic there are a series of snaps.  Just pull the elastic tighter or let it go looser and snap in place to adjust the fit.  Because the adjusters are in the casing there is no rubbing against baby's skin.  :)  The only thing to be careful of is that you get both legs on the same setting but that is very easy to do.  I actually like this a lot more than the FuzziBunz system as you only have to adjust the back and not the front as well.

My son is 24 lbs. and we are not in danger of him outgrowing them anytime soon.  :)  This diaper does have a low rise though, so that is something to be aware of as it may not last you through potty training.

Durability -  I bought my diapers from Rocky Mountain as seconds and they are in GREAT condition.  The suedecloth always stays nice and soft and they have held up well to many washings over the last 6 months of use.  

Although smaller in rise, I do highly recommend this diaper.  Rocky Mountain Diapers are sturdy and trim.  They stand the test of time and are super cute to boot.  

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's a....

GIRL!!!  I can't wait to stock up on lots of girly diapers.  :)  We're so thrilled to know we will have a son and daughter.

I bought three Size 1 Thristies Duo Wraps in cute girly colors and prints at Giggle-Britches to celebrate.  They're currently on sale there (in Aplix and snaps).  $11.60 for solids and $12.30 for prints.  Snatch them up while you can ladies!  :)

There's also a 20% off sale on SoftBums Organic Bamboo Velour Basic Pack at Giggle Britches.  I have yet to review mine, but hint hint...I love them!

Review: Knickernappies OneSize Disposanot Pocket

Diaper:  Knickernappies OneSize Disposanot Pocket - $19.95 (Diaper, 1 microfiber insert, 1 microfiber doubler); $24.95 if you want to replace the microfiber insert with 2 LoopyDo inserts.
Materials:  Outer layer PUL, with an inner of polyester non-pill fleece, Lastin elastic in the legs and waist, snap side closure, snap OS rise adjustment, 2 options on inserts:
2 microfiber inserts (one regular, one doubler)
2 LoopyDo Inserts
Fit:  8 - 40 lbs.
How it works:  Knickernappies OS Disposanots are a pocket diaper in which inserts are placed inside the diaper between the inner lining and outer PUL to absorb moisture.  The inner fleece lining wicks moisture away from the baby's skin keeping it dry.  If you have a heavy wetter the LoopyDo inserts may be the way to go for you as they are made of microfiber and hemp.  The one size adjustment is on the front.  This diaper has a higher rise allowing you to have an x-small, small, medium, and large setting.  (X-small being snapped not he smallest setting and Large being open all of the way.)  The waist adjustment on these diapers is slightly different in that they are a side snapping diaper.  The wings have the female portion of the snap on them, in two rows, and this wraps across baby's waist.  The front of the diaper has the male snap parts on the sides.  This allows you to pull across the baby's waist and snap tightly on the sides getting a nice fit.  This will also make it harder for older toddler's to pull this diaper off on their own.  (That could be a good or bad thing.)

Thoughts from Amanda:
Aesthetics -  A nice variety of colors available.  Many gender neutral color options.  I like the side snapping action on these, as it gives the front of the diaper a very sleek appearance with fewer snaps.  I wish the OS snaps were the same color as the diaper as it would make the diaper almost seamless in appearance.  

Functionality - There is a very small learning curve with the Knickernappies OS diapers in that you must learn how to adjust evenly on both sides of the waist; otherwise your diaper will look lopsided.  But, that only takes a time or two to get used to.  I LOVE that there are two rows of snaps so I can do the top and bottom row tighter or looser than the other as needed. It makes it a diaper that truly grows with your baby's waist size.  The wings, being tucked in the front of the diaper, make this diaper bulkier INSIDE the diaper.  But, it looks very trim from the outside.  My son doesn't seem to mind the excess fabric at his tummy, and the wings are lined with fleece, so you don't have to worry about scratchy PUL touching the baby's skin.  

The pocket is nice and wide.  My husband can easily help me stuff these diapers, and the pocket is also lined with elastic to keep any inserts from slipping up the back.

Knickernappies OS diapers have a VERY high rise on them.  (They remind me of my Tiny Tush Elite OS diapers.)  So, they will last you a LONG time.  With that said, I wouldn't recommend this as a diaper to start in the newborn stage or even the early infant stage with.  It will seem very large on a tiny baby, but once your child is of a good size these will be very trim and comfortable.  I can tell that these will definitely see my 13 month old son into potty training.  

I have heard that these diapers are highly recommended for potty training.  You can set the snaps looser on the side so they act as a pull up.  Or you can snap them tightly so that an "adventurous" toddler cannot pull them off easily on their own.  The plus side to this is that they are flexible for use into the older years of toddlerhood.  The only downside I can see to using this as a training pant is that the fleece inner will keep your child from feeling the sensation of being wet.  

Durability -  After using the Knickernappies OS diapers for about 5 months I can tell you that these are showing NO signs of wear.  The fleece inner isn't pilled at all.  Not even a tiny bit.  The PUL is still vibrant, the elastic in great condition, and the snaps are perfect as well.  It takes a little bit longer to dry when hang drying than diapers that don't have the fleece at the wings, but you need that to keep baby dry.  

All in all I love Knickernappies OS diapers and they are one of my FAVORITE pockets.  I would highly recommend them to any mommy.  And if you plan on using prefolds and fitteds on your newborn for the first few months then these are a great pocket to transition to at about 3-4 months of age.  :)  And just will last you until potty training.  For real!   

Monday, April 5, 2010

Guest Review (Valerie P.): Happy Heinys OS (Aplix)

Diaper:  Happy Heinys One Size - $18.95 (This price includes one large and one small micro fiber insert each)
Materials:  Outer is 100% poly laminated, inner is custom milled fleece. Inserts are micro-fiber.
Fit:  8 - 35 lbs.
How it works:  Happy Heinys are a traditional pocket diaper. The back of the shell is open to allow “stuffing” of inserts. Happy Heinys have traditionally included aplix closures; recently the company released snap closures (though that's not what is being reviewed).

Thoughts from Valerie P.:

Aesthetics -  Happy Heineys have covered the color spectrum. They offer 22 different colors ranging from vibrants to pastels; additionally the company offers several fun prints (ie cow print and silly monkeys). These diapers are cute, no doubt about it – a fun break from the traditional pale blue or yellow offered from other brands.

Functionality - Happy Heinys function basically like any other pocket diaper on the market. Some things to note

Fit:  These diapers are big with a capital LARGE. There is no way this diaper, even snapped to it's smallest setting, would fit my tiny little girl. Even when I used these diapers on my son, up until he was potty-trained, I never needed the largest size. Granted I have small-sized kiddos but at age 2 my son should have been getting close to the large end of the scale. Others I know have used this diaper well past the 35 lbs mark – with multiple inserts. What does this mean for you? Not a good diaper to start on a itty-bitty but an excellent choice if you have larger sized kids, have a late potty-trainer or have a super-heavy wetter. 

Inserts:  Happy Heinys use a specially shaped insert that is tapered in the middle. I assume this is to match the shape of baby. The odd thing is that the diaper itself isn't tapered – not as much as the hourglass shaped insert would imply. Truthfully the “tapered” look on the diaper comes from longer tabs than from a skinnier middle section. Why does this matter? It just seems to make diaper laundry a little more time consuming. 

Tabs:  These diapers have large tabs for a comfy fit for baby. The downside? Chubby toddler hands have a much easier time grabbing and yanking on the tabs than other diapers. If your little one likes to play “Take Off My Diaper” you can expect a naked baby...or worse a yucky mess.

Durability -  The diaper and insert have held up well over the course of use; I have some Happy Heinys I've used for over eighteen months. My issues are mainly with the fleece inner-lining and the aplix closures. I found the fleece “pilled” over time and started looking old before diaper was actually old. It also wasn't as soft once it pilled. Not a terrible problem but still a bummer. I'm not a fan of aplix closures. Actually that's a lie; I can't stand aplix. It's not designed for the long-haul and for almost $20 a diaper I want something that will last. Happy Heineys aplix closures are no different. The tab closures don't stay on the laundry tabs and tangle in the wash. Over time the tabs lost their “stickiness” and just don't stay closed well. Here's the good news: if your diaper is older than 3 months (and therefore outside the warranty for the aplix) you can send it to Happy Heinys and they will replace the aplix with snaps for FREE! 

Initially I was set to give this diaper a C – not a bad diaper but certainly possessing enough faults to exclude it from my list of “must-haves”. And had Happy Heinys not recently changed some things the grade would have stood. However I'm willing to give them another try – the snap closure version of the diaper is a HUGE improvement and solves my biggest issues with the diaper. Not only does that eliminate aplix but it should also make it more difficult for baby to remove his/her own diaper. I also love the customer service; any company who looks out for my well-being at the expense of their pocket-book will get another shot from me any day. With all this new information taken into consideration I'd have to give this diaper a B+ : functional, super cute prints, adequate durability. What keeps me from giving an A? The price of this diaper is a little high when compared to other diapers I like better. Nonetheless Happy Heinys is definitely a diaper to keep in my stash and use in regular rotation.
A big thank you to Valerie P. for being our first guest blogger.  Yay!!!  Neither Natalie or me own a Happy Heinys diaper so we are thrilled to have someone come on and review it for us.  Valerie helped me in my journey to cloth diapering, and answered my gazillion questions so I value her opinion greatly.  Thanks, Valerie!  -Amanda-