Nov 28, 2011

Want to win a Sunbaby 4.0???

If you would like the chance to win a Sunbaby 4.0 (which for you New Zealanders, means being among the FIRST IN THE COUNTRY TO HAVE ONE!) then all you need to do is 'like' the Mums And Bums Facebook page, and stay tuned for our competition announcement - which will be happening VERY soon!

Our website is almost ready to go live, so we feel it's about time to get Mums and Bums out there!

Good luck to all of you who enter!

Nov 13, 2011

introducing.. Mums and Bums!

I've mentioned a few times that my sister and I are going into the cloth nappy business, well now that our website is close to ready, and all our stock is arriving, I thought I'd share the general premise of the business!

Mums and Bums.  Our aim is to demistify the often daunting world of cloth diapering, and make cloth diapering easier and more enjoyable!  Upon start up we'll be stocking five brands of diapers - Little Lamb, Bummis, Real Nappies, Ecobubs and Sunbaby, and we will hire out trial packs, containing all those brands (or more customised, depending on the customers needs/wants) so that parents can get an idea of what they like about certain brands, and dislike about others - and hopefully work out which cloth diapers are going to be the best option for them & their little ones.  We are also going to be the distributors of Boingo's for New Zealand.  Along with our trial packs, we will also be selling the various brands I mentioned, it won't be necessary to do a trial pack, in order to buy from us.

We are also going to be making and selling cloth products for Mum's - cloth breastpads and cloth sanitary pads, but these will probably be a bit further down the line.  I am also going to be making and selling fleece and PUL covers to sell.  Really the sky is the limit!

We aren't 100% sure when we'll be 'going live', but we are certainly getting ready for that - and we have a fabulous graphic designer working on our website, which is going to look amazing when it's finished!  

It's a very exciting time for myself, my sister and my brother-in-law, and I can't wait to share the journey with all of you!!!!

If you want proof that we really are in existance, just check out our website so far... is it rather sad that I cried *just a little* when my sister gave me the link to this? Mums and Bums

Oct 16, 2011

I have learnt 2 things today!

I've had a very rewarding day!

look at that floaty-less golden liquid!
First off I decided to make some more liquid soapnuts, but I needed to strain the mixture to try to stop little bits of soapnut getting into the liquid... being that I need a new sieve, I really had nothing to use - but in a moment of genius, decided to try a couple of disposable diaper liners - and it worked!  I put the two liners on the top of the jar, and kind of poked them inside a little, then with one hand around the neck of the jar, I poured the mixture into the jar with the other..... and it was a great success!  After I'd strained all the liquid, I put the soapnuts inside the liners and then squeezed out the excess saponin into my liquid soapnuts...  it stopped my hands from smelling quite so much like soapnuts, and was also a lot less messy.  Upon further inspection, I was unable to really see any floaties in the liquid - and then patted myself on the back, for a job well done.

my cute little model
Freshly converted prefold-fitted!
Another thing I learnt today, is that I'm quite clever.  Really.  With Emersyn's blister issue, I have been using prefolds - and because of my newfound love of fitteds, I decided to have a look online and see how easy it would be to convert some prefolds into fitteds.  Not too hard, so it seemed.  I armed myself with a prefold, my pattern, my scissors, elastic and my sewing machine, and after not too long (an hour?) I finished and held the completed diaper in my hand.  And it looked pretty good!  The sewing on it was pretty rushed - because I made it while Emersyn was asleep, but it's definitely something that'll be easy to make look tidier, with a little extra time.  I followed this tutorial, and found that making it was actually easier than I had thought it'd be after reading the tutorial, I think anyone who can sew a straight line, would be fine with attempting this particular tutorial - and I can't imagine that others would be overly different.  I used toddler size Real Nappies prefolds, because I find the size down aren't able to be snappi'ed comfortably now, but at the same time the toddler size is ENORMOUS...  I think the size is pretty good for Emersyn - it'll allow for growth, but at the same time the rise is somewhat adjustable, so it fits - as a fitted - perfectly. 

Oct 15, 2011

New problem... blisters

No way to put it nicely - Emersyn has blisters on her vagina and bottom...  This happened awhile ago when I switched to new detergent - I switched back and the issue went away, however over the past few days I've noticed the blisters have come back, and no amount of cream seems to make them go away....

I have come to two possible conclusions - after months of no reaction whatsoever, she is now developing an irritation/reaction to microfleece, OR we are finally getting detergent build up in the staydry layer of the diapers I'm using (most of which are microfleece).  I'm not sure where to start trying to fix the problem - for fixing the build up I just need to strip the diapers, but am a little apprehensive about putting my pockets in a hot wash, because last time I did that all but 1 of the diapers delaminated...  For fixing an irritation to microfleece - well, I just cut out the microfleece!

I think my little plan of attack may be to put her in prefolds for the next couple of days, and during that time strip the diapers I've been using lately (because there seems to be a core group that I reach for at the moment)...  My thinking is that her bum SHOULD clear up in prefolds, and then I am going to introduce microfleece LINERS into the mix - if her bum starts getting horrible again, I can pretty much come to the conclusion that it's the microfleece causing the issue.  If her bum stays normal - I can put her back in the diapers I have been using - and if her bum stays normal still, I can determine that it was build up that was causing her bum to go all nasty.  If it gets rashy again, I guess I strip those diapers again and cross fingers that after 2 strips it's all back to normal.

Beyond that - well, I hope there IS no beyond that.  I love cloth so much & hate when I'm having issues...  If I end up needing to keep her in prefolds, then so be it... I like prefolds... and I like ANY cloth diaper 50,000,000x more than a disposable!

Stay tuned...

Oct 5, 2011

Having SEW much fun!

I got a sewing machine for my birthday and have been giving it a whirl...  I have to say that even though I HATED sewing at high school, I'm having a LOT of fun sewing now!  I've pretty much mastered the art of fleece soakers, and have even made a pair of fleece longies - which were really easy, probably easier than the soakers.  My sister and I are starting a cloth-related business, so I've been practicing making some items we are hoping to sell - and it keeps me occupied for hours on end.

My latest fleece soaker.... I call this 'watermelon'!
There is something so... rewarding... about sewing - because within a matter of minutes you have a product developing right in front of your eyes, and with items like soakers it is literally minutes until you've got a finished product RIGHT there, ready to use.  I enjoy knitting, but hate that it takes so long to see major results - well, when it comes to me it does anyway.  Sewing hasn't really cost me a lot to date - most of the fabric I've been using has been fabric I've already had at home - old fleece blankets, tops etc...  Can't complain when you have a store quality item, that hasn't cost you anything - or has cost you verrrry little.

I have to give big ups to 'Katrina' who has put her soaker pattern on her blog for anyone to use - it's the soaker pattern that I use (and LOVE), she has various sizes, and also patterns for making larger soakers (up to XXXL I believe), and for longies/shorties.  You can find the blog & pattern here Katrina's Free Soaker Pattern, the patterns themselves are on the right hand tool bar, if you scroll down a bit (in line with the 'Just a Soaker' blog post).  What I really really love is that she has given permission for the pattern to be used for commercial use - so long as you donate to particular organisations, or make one to give away for the price of postage.

I am attempting to make breastpads and mama cloth at the moment too, and while nothing I've made is FABULOUS, it's all very functional, and I am learning as I go.  It's nice to experiment with fabric and with various stitches...  After almost 5 years of feeling like I'm 'just a Mum', it is nice to be doing something that makes me feel like I'm contributing in some way - I'm doing something that is completely seperate from 'just being a Mum'.. and it makes me feel really good about myself.

I wish I could share more about our business plans - but that will all come out soon!

Until then, I'm armed with my sewing machine, PUL, bamboo, hemp, microfleece, suede cloth, flanelette, aplix, FOE... and many glorious sewing related bits and pieces...

Oct 3, 2011

Creativity has its price...

My first ever PUL cover...
I got a fancy new sewing machine for my birthday, so have been getting a bit out of my comfort zone and attempting to sew all manner of cloth diaper related items.  I have generally had success - which is a lovely feeling, and I'm feeling quite proud of myself.  I made my hardest thing yet on Saturday night - a PUL diaper cover/wrap... I used velcro/aplix for the first time, and FOE (fold over elastic), and was amazed when the wrap was finished and actually looked half decent.

Action shot...
I was confident enough that it was functional enough to use, so put it on Emersyn on Sunday morning - we did a little photo shop, and I assessed my work, noticed a few areas that needed some tweaking etc.  Generally I just looked at the wrap and felt rather pleased with myself.  A functional PUL cover, made by ME - who would have thunk it?

Nap time rolled around and Emersyn was in the wrap, with a trifolded prefold underneath.  I noticed a little of the cotton that was holding one of the velcro tabs on had come a bit loose, but made the executive decision that it was still able to be used.  I'd just sew it on a bit better after her nap.

Lesson one - NEVER send a product out (even if it's just to your daughter) if you aren't 100% happy with the workmanship.

Emersyn went to sleep - and ended up having a rather hefty nap.  I decided  after 2 hours that I should go in and check on her, just incase she was awake and was up to mischief.  Not that she could get up to a lot of mischief in her cot.  Right?

Upon opening the door I was met with a wall of STENCH...  "Oh my - she must have done a might big poo", I thought to myself - suddenly wishing that I had actually Snappi'ed the prefold...  Oh well - she had a cover on - the mess would be limited to that.  Right?


Uh oh.
Looking at my daughter the first thing that struck me was that she had a bare bum.  The second thing that struck me?  Poos.  Everywhere.  Sheets, blankets, quilt, blankie, arms, legs, tummy, face, in between toes, on bottoms of feet, dummy/pacifier...  She was SOUND asleep - and all I could do was look at the scene in front of me in dismay, while compiling a 'to do' list in my head.  Run bath, bath child, strip cot, wash ALL bedding, wash the cot down, make bed....  I rang my Mum to share the news with her, and it was then that Emersyn woke up - in a rather festive mood...

I knew that I had to either see the funny side in the situation, or cry cry cry.. being that I was in a good mood, I saw the funny side.  Being upset about it wasn't going to clean the mess up!

I ran a bath, then put Emersyn in it.. and after two changes of bath water she was sufficiently clean.  Got her dried and dressed, then attacked the bedding - which I threw outside, because my washing machine had recently finished a hot wash, and after a hot wash it takes a couple of hours to work again.  Yea, perfect timing for THAT to happen!

Eventually the bedding got washed, and the cot got re-made... and we all lived happily ever after - and I learnt a few little lessons along the way, one of the most important?? REINFORCE REINFORCE REINFORCE TABS!

Sep 21, 2011

Who knew it could be so easy?

After all my night time diapering dramas, I have suddenly found the perfect night time diapering solution for Emersyn.  I'm using a fitted - or a pocket, with a pad folded flat as a booster, then putting a fleece cover or a woolen cover over top... and bobs your uncle!  No leaks, no wet clothes, no wet bedding - and not a lot of bulk either!  I forgot how absorbent a simple pad folded flat can be.  I think all I need now is to get my A into G & make some fleece liners, so that they can have a staydry layer, and it'll be perfect.

I don't even really care which fitted or pocket I use, because I know that the addition of the pad folded flat will give me enough absorbency (me/her) - and with the wool or fleece cover over top, it's pretty much a bullet proof solution!  When I use a pocket diaper, I use two microfiber inserts as well, but I could probably get away with just using one.

I think the ONE thing I have learnt from all this night time drama, is that the COVER you use is the most important factor, and that pocket diapers often leak if they are by themselves, no matter how perfect the fit is.  Obviously with wool and fleece you do need a reasonable amount of absorbency in the actual diaper, but if you do have enough, the wool/fleece is essentially bullet proof (well, wee proof!).

It makes me laugh to think that for SOOOOOOOOOO many months I refused to use fitteds overnight (and to be honest, I have no idea why...) - and in the end it was FITTEDS that were part of the solution.

Now to get my hands on more woolen soakers, and to make some more fleece soakers - the perfect task for my new sewing machine I'm getting tomorrow! (happy birthday to MEEEEEE)...

Have any of my readers fallen in love with wool or fleece for night time?

Sep 7, 2011

Night time is just Snazzi!

I've posted a lot about my issues with overnight cloth diapering, and leaks - but in June-ish I finally found something that worked for me, and started using prefolds and covers overnight.  I got a little bored with that and started using pockets at night time again, and using woolen or fleece covers - because they NEVER leak, and well, sometimes it's nice to just throw a diaper on, and not worry about if you have 50,000 natural fiber boosters and the like.  I was qutie happy using FuzziBunz petite overnight, with 2 microfiber inserts and 1 bamboo or hemp booster, but I still didn't feel 100% successful, because often around the legs would be a bit damp (take into mind she often sleeps for 14 hours at night)...  BUT with the wool/fleece soakers - leaks that made it to the clothes or bedding were never an issue, so I let it slide.

A fabulous friend of mine gave me a whole bunch of fitteds and covers she'd used with her kiddos, including some size 2 Snazzipants - I had used size 1 Snazzi's when Emersyn was younger, but after she grew out of them never got around to upsizing - for once I couldn't justify buying MORE diapers, when I already have a bunch sitting in the diaper chest, waiting to be used.  My friend told me that she'd loved using Snazzipants overnight - something I'd not really tried, because as a whole I'm not too fond of fitteds, because of how wet they get, however I decided to give it a go one night....

I took a Snazzipants fitted, and then used a trifolded infant prefold and put it inside, along with a hemp booster, which has a staydry layer on it, and I finished it all off with a lovely woolen soaker.  I expected a soaking diaper the next morning - and that the wool would be damp - but was amazed when I got her up, took her pj's off and found that the soaker felt perfectly dry - and what is more, the Snazzi fitted wasn't even FULLY wet - there were still some dry patches on the outside!!!!  It hasn't been intentional really, but since then I've been using the Snazzi's at night, and haven't had ONE leak.  Even with the woolen cover on, the diaper isn't too bulky - and it seems to fit perfectly, because there are no gapes between her tummy and the top of the diaper, which is something that I seem to find happens with all other diapers I've used at night (except the Ecobubs woolen pockets).

I know a lot of my readers are from outside of New Zealand, and aren't able to get Snazzipants - but if you EVER find one somewhere, buy it!!!  They're a great little fitted, and they are nice and gentle around the legs.. and also nice and soft and fluffy...  The brand new Snazzi's are DIVINE, I have never felt material so soft, and to be honest I'm quite jealous that babies get to have such softness on their tushies!

I'm writing this from my parents computer and have no photos on hand, but in the next couple of days I'll post some photos of Emmy in her Snazzi's!

Sep 6, 2011

Nuts about Soapnuts

I will start by simply saying Soapnuts are AWESOME.. and they are by far my favourite 'detergent' for washing cloth diapers.

Soapnuts in their dried shell form
Most of you probably haven't heard of them before - basically they are a fruit that is grown on trees, and when they are wet they release Saponin - natures own soap.  Unlike manufactured detergents, the suds are very mild - which makes it perfect for use on cloth diapers.  Soapnuts can be purchased as the dried shells, powder and liquid... and can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- in the dishwasher
- liquid soap
- body wash
- shampoo
- cleaning and detoxyifying food
- cleaning jewellery
- natural pesticide
- dandruff control
- window cleaning
- general cleaning

I was very wary before I used them the first time, I didn't really understand how something so... natural.. could clean anything well enough - especially cloth diapers, which obviously have the potential to get very stinky.  My first use was just using the shells in the machine - and I was blown away when I took out a microfiber insert out of the machine, put it up to my nose and couldn't smell anything.  AT ALL.  There was no ammonia smell, no poo smell, just no smell at all.  They smelt FRESH. I put them to a second test with a load of clothes, and again the clothes came out smelling nice and fresh, and were clean.

up close an personal with a Soapnut shell
I was quite happy using Soapnuts this way for some time - then read that you could make your own liquid detergent, so decided to give that ago.  I was never too sure with my Soapnut shells, whether or not they could go through another use or not, so figured that with liquid I wouldn't have that problem.  I boiled up about 15 shells in 4 cups of water for half an hour, and at the end I had a murky brown coloured liquid, which I allowed to cool and then bottled.  Again I was a bit wary before trying the liquid - but afterward the results were the same as with the shells - if not a little better.

From then on I've been using Soapnuts liquid on my diapers, and occasionally on our clothes - for some reason I prefer to use manufactured detergent on the clothes, I think because of the scent.  That said, you can easily add scent to soap nuts, by using a few drops of essential oils with the wash.  Another reason for the manufactured detergent with our clothes, is that while Soapnuts CLEAN really well, they aren't really able to cope with stains - and with two children at daycare/preschool, their clothes come home covered in all matter of dirt, paint and other messes associated with fun.  As with the scent though, you CAN use various natural agents to remedy stains - I find lemon juice is really good for helping with minor stains, and to give clothes/diapers a bit of a brightness boost.

Last week I needed to make another batch of liquid soapnuts - and got to thinking that it'd be SO handy if I didn't need to add extra things to the wash to help with stain removal and softening fabrics, and on a whim decided I would ADD lemon juice and white vinegar to my liquid I had finished making.  While the liquid was cooling I added to the glass jar/bottle the juice of 2 lemons, and also 1 cup of white vinegar.  I had no idea if it would ACTUALLY work - but I figured if it didn't, I could tip it all out and just make another batch of the liquid.  The liquid cooled, and I poured it into my bottle with the vinegar/lemon juice mix, and we were good to go.
Soapnuts liquid - shaken up so you can see the suds that form

Because some of my diapers were getting a bit 'crunchy' from drying them inside on the clothes airer, I decided to use my liquid on the diapers first... they came out of the machine smelling nice and fresh, and I then put them in the drier - and much to my delight, when I took them out my prefolds and inserts all felt LOVELY and soft... and just a little crisper [ie white].  I figured my mixture had been a success, but wanted to know if it would last for more than a couple of days [particularly the lemon juice element] - but am happy to report that a week on, the diapers are coming out exactly the same as they did in that first wash.  Usually I keep my detergent under the washing basin, where it is cool and dark, but decided to keep it in the fridge in hopes that that would prevent the lemon juice spoiling.  So far so good.  I'm also wondering NOW if adding a certain amount of lemon juice will leave the diapers smelling lightly of lemon, but I have no idea if that's even possible.  I may experiment at some point...

As a little side note - in the 4-ish months I've been using Soapnuts on my diapers, I've not once had to strip my inserts, which prior to Soapnuts, was something I had to do once a month.  I have absolutely NO issue with stinky microfiber now.

Aug 24, 2011

You know you have a problem...

You know you have a problem - perhaps even an 'addiction' to cloth diapering when...

- you see a woman wearing a top and think "hey, that'd make an awesome diaper print"
- you arrange your childs outfit around what cloth diaper they'll be wearing
- you dream about cloth diapers, night after night
- one of the big excitements of your month is a diaper company releasing new prints
- you don't want to put pants on your baby, so that their diaper is on display all the time
- you rub a [clean, obviously] diaper on your face because it's so soft
- in a baby store you audibly squeal when you realise they're stocking a new brand of diaper
- when asked what YOU want for YOUR birthday, you ask for cloth diapers
- owners of cloth diaper stores know you by name
- the decision you put the most thought into is 'snaps or aplix'
- you sit at your computer with your credit card in hand, and your fingers poised to start typing upon the 9am release of brand new special edition diapers
- you naturally buy a size up in clothing to accomodate for the cloth bum bulk
- you know the difference between microfiber, microfleece and microsuede
- you buy a brand new washing machine just because you want a better wash cycle for your diapers
- you fake a headache at midday at work so you can go home to open your fluffy mail
- even though you have 100 diapers already, you can justify buying 'just one more'... fifty times...

Aug 17, 2011

thank you Tasha

on JustMommies there is a board where a group of fabulously talented ladies make 'siggies' for the rest of the members.  I requested on yesterday with a cloth theme, and the fabulous tasah_mae made this gorgeous 'siggy' for me... because of the cloth theme, I had to share it with you all...

isn't it just GORGEOUS.... thanks Tasha :)

Aug 15, 2011

it's all about the theme, baby

for the second time in three weeks we have SNOW... very very rare for Christchurch - and this time it's expected to last for three days...
this was Emersyn's reaction to the snow last time, so this time I'm not even going to take her outside in the horrible white stuff... but I do have a way to involve her in it all...
it's a snowman diaper :p

Aug 13, 2011

coming soon [because my sister rocks]

It's no secret that the Rugby World Cup is fast approaching - what's making it all the more exciting is the fact that this year good ol' New Zealand has hosting rights... I believe now there is under 4 weeks before it starts - 3w6d to be precise.  From the beginning I have wanted to have an All Blacks diaper for Emersyn to wear, and managed to track down a FuzziBunz that someone had embroidered a silver fern onto.  Great - all set.

That was until an American friend - who happens to love me, alerted me on facebook that she'd found a diaper that we both HAD to have, and she sent me the following link...

Bum Cheeks - ALL BLACKS minky diaper

Being the good sister I am, I immediately facebooked my sister the link - and within minutes her friend had purchased one for her little boy due in September [what's more, he's due DURING the world cup], and about three hours later my sister text me to tell me she too had bought not one - but TWO of them... I thought she showed great commitment, having a back up diaper incase one got soiled during the game - then she tells me [essentially] "duh Emma, one is for Emersyn"...

So come RWC 2011 time, Emersyn, Bronte and L.'s baby boy will all be supporting their team, in the cutest way possible.

I did consider getting one of the girls an Adidas AB's top, but these are way cuter - and made my someone who actually CARES about her customers.  Stupid Adidouche.. Adiassholes.. [long story.. anyone in Kiwiland will understand it...].

Next goal - for the girls and little dude to be wearing their All Blacks diapers with pride, when Richie lifts the world cup in a couple of months. 

Aug 10, 2011

upcycled cuteness

In with a bunch of nappies my friend Lauriel gave me, was this utterly adorable upcycled diaper.  I couldn't resist putting it on Emersyn ASAP... I'm sure you can see why!

made out of old jeans!  what an awesome idea...

the back! it even has a pocket!

review - close parent pop-in

reviewed by Casey

If I was stuck on a deserted island (with my baby) and was only allowed to bring 1 type of nappy with me, this would be it. In fact, I have daydreamt on more than one occasion about selling my entire stash of nappies (50+) in order to purchase a full time pack of Pop-Ins!

The Pop-In nappy is a OSFM nappy, with 2 inserts (one larger than the other) that snap into the waterproof shell with aplix tabs. It comes in two types, bamboo and minkee.

Bamboo vs Minkee
Bamboo is more absorbent, so less changes are needed. It is also a natural fabric, so good for sensitive babies. However, it takes quite a while to dry. (you can tumble dry the inserts on a low heat but air drying is preferable.)
Minkee is a microfiber which dries much faster than the bamboo – but is less absorbent. The minkee inserts also have a stay dry suede top sheet wicks moisture away from baby's skin so they feel dry. (I use a cloth liner on my bamboo inserts, so baby doesn’t feel the wet so much).
I like to mix and match my inserts – one bamboo and one minkee.

What I love about the Pop-In:
They have double leg gusset for extra protection against leaks.
They are OSFM with poppers on the front and claim to fit from 3.5kg to 16+ (I only started using these when my son was 6 months, so cannot comment on the fit for newborns...)
The inserts snap in meaning they dry faster, and you can use spare inserts if the cover is still clean, making them better value for money.
They are a great day nappy, and turn into a wonderful night time nappy simply by adding the bamboo booster.
I love the colours - Coconut, Custard, Pumpkin, Pistachio and Duck Egg

What I don’t love:
The only major dislike I have about the Pop-In is that the aplix wash tab is in the back of the nappy, rather than one of each side like some other nappies have. It is soft to the touch but I worry that this extra fabric and stitching will irritate my sons back.
The colours may not be to everyone’s tastes, and there are only 5. However, I believe they are releasing new colours (and features) in a few months time.... (yay!)
This nappy is on the pricy side at NZ$39 – BUT, if you take into account that it is a OSFM – and that it converts into a night nappy by adding the $13 booster, and that you can buy extra inserts for $17 – it is not really that bad.

Now for the ratings:

fit:  4/5
leaks:  5/5
ease of use:  4/5
washing:  4/5

Aug 8, 2011

review - bumgenius elementals

reviewed by:  Tam

These make up 98% of my nappy stash!! I LOVE them!!!

They are an organic cotton diaper so do require a bit of prepping before first use.  They are SUPER absorbent! I have rarely had leaks in the 12 months I have been using them.. In fact the number of leaks I have had during that time I could count on one hand with.

Price – I rate this nappy 1 star for price... Here in the USA they are $24.95 each but I know in NZ/AU it is A LOT more than that! However I do think it is good value for money and I would (and have) definitely purchase more.

Leaks – 4 stars, I have rarely had leaks, and when I have had leaks it is because I have left my son too long between changes.  Most of the leaks occurred when he was itty bitty and would take unexpected long naps.  In the 12 months I have been using these nappies I have had 5-6 leaks tops.

Fit – 5 starts for fit.  I have never had fit issues with this nappy.  My son is on the smaller side, he was born 6lb 15oz and at his 12 month check up he was 17lbs 8oz.

Ease of use – 5 stars what isn’t to love? This is an AIO (all in one) nappy no stuffing required!!

Washing – 3 stars, being it is organic cotton it does stain... But nothing the sun can’t handle.  So while the stains DO come out they don’t come out during the wash, they require some sunning to get them all nice and new looking.  It washes very easily but it does take a long time to dry (because it is an AIO) I usually pop mine in the dryer for 20-30 minutes on medium heat and then hang them to dry.  We live in an apartment so I don’t have access to an outdoor clothes line, when I have visited family who have had an outside line I line dried them every time and they dried in a day in the hot summer sun.

In summary these really are great  nappies and I am very happy with my purchase.  The only downsides are the long drying time and that over time they do develop small holes on the legs and where the soaker is attached, this does not effect their function it is purely a cosmetic issue.  Out of the 24 that I own only 3-4 are developing holes and they are tiny.

Now for the ratings:
price:  1/5
fit: 5/5
leaks:  4/5
ease of use:  5/5
washing:  3/5

Aug 7, 2011

review - bitti tutto

I have been wanting to try Bitti Tutto for a long while now - and was lucky enough to have my sister send me/Emersyn one for her birthday this year. 

The first thing that caught my attention with the Tutto was the lush minky outer fabric - all I wanted to do was rub it against my face, I wonder who can even think of using disposables, when cloth diapers can be made out of such gorgeous fabric.

The Tutto is a one size fits most, snap in diaper - the absorbent pads are snapped in, meaning that if the 'shell' [ie the cover of the diaper] doesn't get wet or soiled, it can be used again.  I did find the Tutto was a little fiddly at first - and I had a little bit of confusion with regard to how to actually use the soakers... I knew they snapped in, but I wasn't sure which soaker went on top or bottom, and which snaps to use to make the soakers suit Emersyn the best.  It didn't take that long though, before I worked out the right combination for my little girl - and I really like that they are so adjustable.  I think you could quite easily have two in diapers at the same time, and just stick with this diaper - even a boy and a girl, you just need to adjust the absorbent pads.  It can take some trial and error to get it right though.  I love the internal gusset - which acts as a 'poo fence', I think it's an excellent feature of the diaper, and I wish I had had one to use when Emersyn was a newborn and still in the liquid poop stage of things. 

I must say I'm not a huge fan of the fit for MY daughter... being that I have some [large] Bitti D'Lish diapers, and love them - and their fit, I figured the Tutto would be a similar size on the largest setting, however they seemed to be a lot more fitting [ie not as big] around the crotch area, and around the waist they are a lot smaller too.  I find that with the D'Lish, the two tabs meet up in the middle, but with the Tutto they were done up on the last two snaps.  Admittedly Emersyn does have a chunky build - she is well over the average size for a child her age, so this may have something to do with it.  She is also not walking yet, so I wonder if when she does start walking, and trims down - the Tutto may fit better around the waist.

Emersyn wore the diaper for 3.5 hours, and I was very impressed to see that she had no leaks in that time - that was including a nap, which is when ALL of our leaks happen.  I often find that minky diapers leak quite easily, but I think because of the sturdy leg elastic and also the internal gusset, leaks would probably be hard to come by in a Tutto, worn under normal circumstances [ie changed regularly].

Another thing that has impressed me with the Tutto is that it washes up really well.  Emersyn has put her Tutto to the test with regard to soiling it - there were a few occasions I was sure there would be a stain - but no, we still haven't had even the slightest discolouration after it's been washed.  Drying time is something that I expect to be slow when it comes to air drying in winter, but the Tutto soaker pads seems to dry relatively quickly - and in the drier they dry just as fast as the rest of the diapers in with it.  The fact the soaker pads come away from the shell of the diaper helps a lot with this - and the long soaker pad dries a lot faster than other inserts or soaker pads that would absorb the same amount of liquid - because of the fact you fold it in half when it is in the diaper, meaning it [the pad] doesn't have to be as bulky.     

Sadly the price of the diaper [34.00 USD, 40.00 NZD] means that having a whole stash of these isn't a possibility for me - being on a tight budget my 'allowance' for buying a diaper is more half of that price... but it doesn't mean it isn't a lovely present, or treat every once in a while....  I think the price is worth it though, they're a lovely diaper, made out of beautiful fabric - and they were extremely well made, and they certainly work well... anything that can contain Emersyn's super pee is A grade in my books.

Now for the ratings...
price - 1/5
fit - 3/5
leaks - 5/5 [night time use not tested yet...]
ease of use - 4/5 [once I had the soakers worked out it was easy to use]
washing - 5/5

Last [???] night time update

Well, I think night time issues are definitely a thing of the past for us.  I was getting by fine using the prefold/microfiber/pocket/fleece cover combination - I still got the occasional leak, but it was only if she had a super long sleep, and a bottle during the night. 

Last week decided that I would see what would happen if I added an extra microfiber insert, and used a pul cover - rather than inserting it all in a pocket...  So I added a Real Nappies night time booster pad on the top of the prefold, and put the microfiber insert under the first layer of prefold - used a pul wrap, and whaddya know - NO LEAKS... 

I actually preferred that combo over the pocket combo, so started using it each night, and so far there have been no leaks.  I think it's the extra layer of microfiber [Real Nappies night time booster pad has a top layer of microfleece so it can go against the skin] that helps to prevent any of the sneaky little leaks that I was getting with the pocket combo.  Another bonus to this little combo, is that it's a little trimmer - not having the fleece soaker over top actually makes quite a lot of difference, and I guess trimmer means it is a little more comfortable too.

Now my sister is having night time issues with my niece - so I am helping her find a combo for Bronny.  Night time issues are never ending it seems.

Aug 1, 2011

strange how the world works

I blogged the other day about being sad that when Emmy is done with diapers, that there will be no more cloth diapering for me - and how I was thinking of starting some sort of business related to cloth diapering... WELL, my wonderful sister came to me with a business proposition, one that we both think there is a need for - that there is a market for. 

I won't give away any details yet, because there isn't really a lot to give away at this stage - but it is something that has us both rather excited, and I've been thinking about it all afternoon.  This 'little idea' definitely has potential, and is something that can be built on over time - admittedly it's a little hard to not get ahead of myself with the ideas, I need to slow myself down and just concentrate on the INITIAL idea, and building a nice little foundation.

All I CAN say is this - stay tuned.... and if anyone would be willing to help us out with research at some point [probably just answering questionaires], please let me know.

Jul 31, 2011

Especially for Bronny...

I made this fleece soaker for [my niece] Bronny, and have to say I am very impressed with it - definitely the best sewing I've ever done

a milestone most look forward to

... a milestone that all parents seem to look forward to, is their child being potty trained and out of diapers - a case of "yay, no more shitty diapers to change"... but for me, I am actually dreading when the time comes that Emersyn is ready to potty train.  I am loving cloth diapering so much, that I wish I could do it again and again and again, but considering the fact I have had my tubes tied - this is it for me, no more babies - which means no more babies to cloth diaper.


I am trying to think of how I can continue my love of cloth diapering, when it is something that will no longer be a physical part of my life.  At the moment, I am hoping that maybe I'll have the sewing skill and ability by then, to actually make my own diapers to sell... at least then I can give the cloth diaper bug to others, even if I can't use them myself.

I guess there aren't many parents who can say "I am going to miss diapering", so I guess that goes to show just how un-terrible and un-disgusting cloth diapering actually is. 

Jul 17, 2011

getting my creative groove on

Anyone who knows me 'in real life' will know that I am NOT the most creative person in the world - hell, I'm not even the 5,000,000,000th most creative person in the world, but it seems that I am starting to become a little of a wannabe homemaker, because I have started SEWING...  Sewing is something that's never interested me until now - at high school I failed our little sewing module terribly... possibly because my best friend and I were paired up and were more interested in breaking our machine.............

Moving on... A couple of weeks ago [or was it last week??] I completed my VERY first sewing project EVER..... a pretty pink fleece soaker for Emersyn.  I think I have mentioned it on my blog, but keep forgetting to put photos up - because I've been concentrating so much on the night time issues we were having.  But now that's all resolved, I've had time to actually do some of the bloggy things I've been meaning to do, including posting these photos of my very first soaker.

front view of the soaker - not too bad if I say so myself 

and the back...
 THEN yesterday I decided "hey, why not try to make a proper diaper", so got my thinking cap on, and decided that I could probably trace around a diaper I already have - and use that for my initial shape, then surely I could just use some fabric for the outside, the inside - and the absorbent pads inside the diaper, which I decided had to be a fitted that pins up [because I lack elastic and velcro or snaps, and waterproof material]....  what follows are the photos of the diaper that I saw in my mind - and it's actually turned out to be pretttttty much exactly what I had imagined in my mind...

diaper in its pre-use state
my little Emmy-Boo modelling it
action shot number 1
action shot number 2
What none of the above photos tell you, is that BOTH of my creations were made using recycled fabrics that I already had at home...  The fleece soaker was once upon a time a big fleece blanket, that had gotten a bit ratty over time, and the fitted I made?  The outer material is from a baby blanket that is no longer in use, the inner fabric is from a long sleeve t-shirt that I no longer wear - and the absorbent pad inside the diaper is made from the sleeves of the long sleeve t-shirt. 

I believe the term for all of this is 'upcycling' - and I quite like the concept too.  I now find myself looking at clothing and manchester in a whole new way, particularly fleece that has embroidery on it.... infact the soaker I'm working on now has a butterfly on the back - that was once on the fleece blanket.  I always feel like I"m wasting things when I throw them away, or shove them in the wardrobe knowing they'll never be used again, but now it's kind of like these items get a new lease on life.....

Jul 13, 2011

fpp challenge day 3 - introducing the kite fold

I guess my 'challenge' isn't REALLY much of a challenge, because I enjoy using flats and prefolds so much...  My one issue (I believe I've mentioned it in the last fpp post) is that I can't get flats snug enough around the legs, they're always gapey - I think I need to find a fold where I can do a 'jelly fold' at the legs, to get the best fit possible.  That said, I'm wondering if perhaps it is the fabric of the flats that prevents getting a snug fit around the thighs - they are made of flannel, and a lot of the flats I have seen pictures off online - mainly on DiaperSwappers and JustMommies, look to be made of a more stretchable cotton material.  I aim to have the perfect fold by the end of the week! 

I promised some folds-tutorials back on Monday, and seeing as it's now Wednesday, I thought I should come through on that promise...  So I now present to you - the kite fold....

lay flat out... well, flat... baby crawling on the flat is not a required part of the fold.. nor a recommended one....
with the flat in a diamond shape in front of you, fold one corner into the center
repeat with opposite side - you now have a kite shape... as the name of the fold suggests!
fold the top of the diamond down - you now have an upside down triangle shape
fold the bottom of the 'kite' up toward the top - as high as you want (this forms the rise)
fold down the top a little - I go with about 2 inches
again fold one side in toward the center
and repeat with other side
open up the top of the diaper - this creates the wings to do the diaper up with
place baby on top of diaper
bring diaper up between legs
bring wings up and over babies belly
then pin!  if required hold babies feet at ankles so you can actually take a photo of the completed diaper....
then chase the baby when she escapes your clutches...
put cover on & then release

and it's solved.

Hooray - our night time issues are solved [insert exclamation mark here... since my keyboard exclamation mark doesn't work]

I have tried the Ecobubs, prefold, microfiber, fleece cover combination for two nights now, and both mornings she has woken up dry, we probably could have gotten away without the fleece cover both times... but since i made my first fleece cover, I've been wanting to use it LOL [did I even blog about my cover??? I don't think I did...].

It is such a relief to have this finally worked out, and I'm thrilled with the combo that eventually worked because it is actually really trim - I don't think it is a lot bulkier than a daytime diaper with two microfiber inserts inside it... and I think that helps Emersyn to sleep better at night too - night before last she slept through from 10.30pm [as usual she woke up during Desperate Housewives and the SERIES final of Brothers and Sisters...], and then last night she woke an hour after going to sleep, but went back to sleep after I gave her her dummy/pacifier - and didn't wake up until early this morning.

If it turns out that an uncomfortable diaper is what has been preventing Emersyn from sleeping through the night, I am going to kick myself.

Moral of the story - if you are having a hard time with cloth, keep at it, you will EVENTUALLY fix the problem, or find a new solution.... and then you will feel a whole new renewed love for the fluffy side of life.

Jul 11, 2011

Night time update, y'all



I think that after 4.5 months of battling leaks and explosions and frustration, I have finally found THE night time solution for us... well, for Emersyn. I posted last week about my success using a toddler prefold, bamboo insert and microfiber insert inside a pocket diaper... with a fleece cover over top - I'm still using much the same system, I've just refined it a little.  

To start with I was using a bamboo terry trifold insert, wrapped inside the prefold, but I decided to give the [trimmer] bamboo fleece a go... luckily that worked just as well as the bamboo terry.  I also wondered if there was a way to fold the prefold so it would actually be the length of the pocket, and I wouldn't have a bunch to fold over - which added a lot of bulk to the whole diaper... I remembered seeing infant prefolds being trifolded width ways, as opposed to length ways [see photo later in post], so I tried this and VOILA - it was the perfect length... it also cut down on quite a lot of the bulk, which if you remember was one of the issues I had with that whole diaper setup.  Last night I began wondering if I even really needed the bamboo inside the prefold - because I know the bigger prefolds are more absorbent, so decided to give it a go and leave out the bamboo.  This morning I was pleasantly surprised when there were no leaks.  

So if you've lost track, the new diaper 'set up' is a toddler prefold trifolded width ways, with a microfiber insert on top of the trifold - and then it's all inserted into a pocket, and a fleece cover is put on top.  I am now wondering if I can eliminate the fleece cover by using a better fitting pocket diaper... I have been using FuzziBunz petite, which fit Em well when they are just stuffed with microfiber inserts during the day, but I find that when they are stuffed to the max they gape at the legs, and the top of the diaper doesn't fit snugly on the tummy - that also gapes.  Those two issues were the reason I used the fleece - I knew the fleece would catch any leaks up the top, or down at the legs.

Upon a suggestion from one of my lovely blog followers, I decided to take another look at some pockets I have - Ecobubs woolen pockets... These are side snapping diapers, and I know they get a really nice fit around the tummy during the day, so I decided to put all my absorbency in and see how it looked on Emersyn.

BINGO.  It was a LOT trimmer than the FuzziBunz, and there was absolutely no gaping around the legs - and the fit across the tummy was nice and snug.  Obviously I need to wait until tomorrow morning to give an official verdict, but I think that if she wakes up leak free [or relatively, depending on how many bottles she has overnight, and how long she sleeps in the morning], we may have found our DREAM night time solution.

Here is a visual representation of the diaper composition, for those of you who like visuals...

step one - the toddler prefold, obviously pre trifolding.  if you look closely you can see the two horizontal lines in the fabric, which would normally be vertical
step two - sides of prefold are folded into the center.  again if you look closely you can see the two horizontal lines
step three - the prefold is then folded into a pad type shape [ie completing the trifold]
step four - the microfiber insert is then placed on top of the prefold
step five - the prefold and insert are then placed inside the pocket - microfiber closest to the microfleece layer [white] of diaper 
step six - 'here is one I made earlier' - place the diaper on the baby.  this photo was the actual diaper that Emersyn wore to bed - I decided to do a photo tutorial AFTER she'd gone to bed..
a better view of the fit around the legs
I will hopefully have a positive report in the morning.. I sure hope so anyway.  If it does work, I guess I need to invest in some more Ecobubs too...

The fpp week long challenge.... day one

in her first fpp challenge flat
This week I have decided to take on a 'flats prefolds and pins' challenge as the name suggests, I'm only going to use flats or prefolds - pinned, breaking the rules slightly while she's at daycare [where they prefer not to use flats or prefolds] and at night, although at night time I do USE a prefold inside a pocket, so I guess technically I'm still keeping with the challenge, for the most part.

I decided that since I'll be using flats, it's going to be the perfect opportunity to do some 'folds tutorials' on my blog, so for anyone who is curious about the various folds out there, stay tuned.  I'm sure I'll find there are some folds I like more than others - and I hope to find a fold that fits well around the legs, because at this point all the folds I've tried have gaped at the legs.  Right now she is in an origami folded flat, which is probably the fold that most people think of when it comes to flats - I shall do a tutorial later on today.

origami folded flat, covered by Bummis Super Brite
There is however one issue with this week long challenge.... I am due to get a Jade Bitti D'Lish this week - which means I will have to wait until next Monday to use it........ How WILL I resist the temptation to put the jade beautifulness on her???

Yes, beautifulness is a word... I said so....

Jul 7, 2011

Dare I mess with a good thing?

The last three nights we've had success with our overnight diaper [insert canned applause here]... the one issue I have with it, is the utter bulk of the whole thing.  I am wondering if perhaps using my trimmer bamboo FLEECE insert would make it just a tiny bit trimmer than the bulky [but admittedly very absorbent] bamboo TERRY insert.  I don't know if I want to try it and then fail... but at the same time, if I can make it a little trimmer - and find it's still working, then I win.  Well... Emersyn does... 

I guess it could be kind of like a process of elimination - who knows, perhaps all I REALLY need is the toddler prefold and the microfiber insert that I'm using on top of it all?  I've also been noticing the outside of the diaper is dry when I take it off in the morning - so maybe another possibility is not putting the fleece soaker over the diaper, which would also eliminate a little of the bulk.

End of the day, whether I try it or not, I know the prefold/terry/microfiber/pocket diaper combination works - and it isn't as if her waking up damp/wet is something new to me [or her], so maybe it is worth trying the different bamboo insert tonight, and seeing how dry [fingers crossed] she is in the morning....

Yes, I think that's what I'll do.  Hopefully tomorrow I can report back with positive news.... 

Jul 5, 2011

Hallelujah.. maybe?

Well. We had success last night - Emersyn officially woke up with her wetness contained to her diaper - yaayyyyyyyyy.

I checked the various absorbent layers when I took her diaper off, and while all were wet, none were really saturated - there was still a lot of absorbency left in the prefold in particular, so I am thinking that toddler prefolds will be part of my night time combo from now on.  I just wish there was some way to make the whole diaper a bit trimmer, but at the end of the day it's more important for the diaper to work, than to look good.

Tonight.... I think I will try the same combo again - make sure it wasn't a fluke.  She had one bottle during the night last night, which seems to be the norm, so hopefully it WASN'T a fluke.  Could I potentially have found the combo that is going to work??????

Stay tuned... again.

Jul 4, 2011

fingers crossed... aka night time diaper, take 10225

Righty ho ho ho....
Seeing as stuffing pockets worked pretty well at the end of last week, I've decided that tonight I shall again go with a stuffed-to-the-max pocket diaper, covered with my trusty fleece soaker.

For anyone who is interested, THIS is the combo I am using....

here we have a toddler size Real Nappies prefold, folded down to the correct length, with a trifolded bamboo booster in the center...
the said prefold is now wrapped around said bamboo insert... into a little parcel [as Gaby said]
But wait there is more [absorbency] - a microfiber insert is then placed on top of the little prefold parcel 
It was then all stuffed into a FuzziBunz petite pocket
the diaper was then placed on a very unhappy Emersyn.  Yes, it's rather bulky - but if it works, then it's worth it...
finally a fleece soaker is placed over top, for added protection...
 ... please wish us luck. It would be nice if this little combo actually worked, but I'm not really holding my breath, purely because nothing else really seems to want to work.  I do think there is enough absorbency there though, so who knows..

stay tuned.