Thursday, May 30, 2013

Newborn Stash In the Making! - UPDATED!

Well we are now knee deep in preparation for the new baby. We still have a while until the little one is here but we have been slowly but surly picking up good deals here and there to start our newborn stash. Every pregnancy around half way through I get super worried and anxious and feel like I have to have everything ready to go NOW. I logically know I have a long time before the baby will be there and most penetrations can wait until the last moment or closer to it, but I have the sudden urge to set up nursery, wash clothes and blankets, make whatever I'm making, and make a space for the baby. I'm at that point right now where even though I know we have time, I feel pressure and anxiety to get everything ready so I'm going over what we have and what we need before the little one comes. We plan on cloth diapering from birth, in the hospital. Unfortunately with our last child we didn't start cloth until he was able to fit in one sized diapers. This time I want to try many different things so I can review them all for you and hopefully help other moms to be because this is a little overwhelming! I've been so unsure about what to put in my stash because there are SO many different newborn options and you never really know what will work for your child till you try it. I also don't know if my baby will be big or small, grow quickly or be failure to thrive, you just never know ahead of time. I also don't want to spend a lot of money because we aren't sure how many children we will have after this one and babies are in newborn diapers such a short time. I've mostly been buying used and using gift certificates to Mama's Emporium that I have earned using my rewards points.
I'm totally new to the whole cloth diapering a newborn so if you have any suggestions please share! Also, if you would like to share your stash do! You can comment on this post or post on my facebook page.
So far my stash contains:
2 OsoCozy Flats
1 OsoCozy Fitted size 1
3 No Name NB WAHM fitteds
2 Lil Pooligan NB fitteds
1 EcoPosh Fitted
1 Bummis NB Super Whisper Wrap
1 Rearz Small Cover
1 Sweet Pea Newborn Cover
2 Rumparooz NB Covers
1 No Name NB WAHM Cover
1 Fuzzibuns XS
4 GroVia NB AIOs
6 Lil Joey NB AIOs
1 Super Green Label NB AIO
2 Sweet Pea NB AIOs
2 Thirsties Duo AIOs
1 Thirsties XS cover
3 Alva NB pockets
1 OsoCozy workhorse - smallest size
I plan on adding to my stash with:
3-5 GMD NB Worhorse snapless fitteds
1-2 more FB NB
1-2 more OsoCozy fitteds size 1
Why So Many Diapers?
You are probably asking yourself, why does she have SO many diapers? Why does she think she needs that many? I'll tell you. My youngest son went through 12-24 disposable diapers a DAY at the newborn stage. Yes, you read that right, sometimes a diaper an hour! Sometimes I'd change him and he'd go again. So I'd change him and he'd go again. That's three diapers right in a row, in a matter of minutes. I'm planning on breastfeeding so I figure I need AT LEAST a diaper for every feeding every 2-3 hours a day. So at least 12 diapers a day. I want to go at least every other day with washing because I also have to do diaper laundry for my 14 month old as well as regular laundry and everyone knows newborns make a ton of extra laundry, but our family of two adults and 2 kids (3 when this baby gets here!) and a dog already go through 1 load a day, sometimes more. So I'm planning on not wanting to completely consume my life with diaper laundry. I also want to have diapers for while the diapers are in the wash. So basically I want at least 3 days worth of 12 diapers a day. That leaves me at 36 diapers AT LEAST. I also want to be able to thoroughly review everything in the hopes that I can help others in my overwhelmed confused spot. I think having one of each diaper I want to review is fine but it will be easier to do quicker if I have more than one of each kind.
Why Not More WAHM diapers?
Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE LOVE LOVE Work At Home Mom diapers. They usually have superior construction and I love supporting moms who are working hard to stay at home with their kiddos. The truth is though, they can get expensive. At $10-$20 a newborn diaper I'm just not willing to invest that kind of money in something my child may only wear for 4 weeks, a total of 8-12 times maybe! I did splurge on some Lil Pooligans fitteds, and I hope to add a couple Super Green Label newborn diapers, but I just don't have the funds to go all out on NB WAHM diapers. I would rather invest that $10-$20 into a WAHM one sized diaper. Now I am not opposed to using (and reviewing!) newborn diapers made by WAHMs so if you or a WAHM you know would like their NB diapers reviewed I would be interested in speaking with them and hopefully making a deal that is sweet for both of us! Like I said, I really do support WAHMs and would love to get some of you some exposure and business!
Why So Many Fitteds and AIOs?
Simple: I want convenience. I'm in no way anti pockets but I've heard newborn pockets are hard to stuff because they are so tiny and honestly, I will have better things to do with my time, especially because I already have to stuff most of my older child's diapers. Fitteds are easy because you toss one on and toss a cover on over it. Voila and super absorbent. AIOs are the most convenient because it's a one piece system with the waterproof outer built in. Toss it on just like a disposable and you're all done. I know I want ease of use because things are very hectic those first few weeks and I'll be busy nursing my newborn, trying to give individual attention to my older two, taking care of my dog, taking care of the house, etc. So the simpler the better!
What Accessories?
Like I said, I've never cloth diapered a newborn before but I have been cloth diapering my baby (who will soon be a middle child! Crazy!) for over a year so I have an ok handle on accessories I think.
This is what I have so far:
1 Snappi
1 set of boingo fasteners
1 roll of EcoSprout EcoBottom disposable liners (for the meconium so as not to stain the diapers!)
20 or so homemade newborn boosters (I hear baby will out pee before they outgrow the NB sized diapers)
20 extra wipes some double sided wipes from Super Green Label and some homemade
1 CJ's BUTTer Stick
1 tin of LuSa Organics Booty Balm
1 CJ's Body Wash and Wipe Solution
1 large Super Green Label wetbag
1 Buncha Farmers stain stick (just in case!)
1 large bag of EcoSprout Detergent (I always washed baby clothes in dreft but I plan on doing all the baby clothes and diapers in EcoSprout this time! I like it MUCH better!)
I don't really plan on getting any other accessories but maybe there is something I haven't thought of yet?
So what about you? What do you have in your newborn stash? Do you plan on cloth diapering home from the hospital or using disposables until later? Have you already cloth diapered a newborn? Do you have any suggestions/ideas for me?
Where Can You Buy It?
Pretty much everything I have has been bought at Mama's Emporium or from Super Green Label. I did also get a loved newborn mystery fluff from Kissed By The Moon. That's where I got the FB XS, BG NB AIO, a GroVia NB AIO, and Whisper Wrap in NB. I'm excited to try the things I got in there and can't wait to review it! Both Mama's Emporium and Kissed By The Moon have mystery fluff boxes so if you aren't sure what to try you can try those! They are very good at listening to past purchases and what your preferences are. I've never been disappointed by either one and I always get more than my money's worth.
Bottom Line
I am very excited! I think we are nearly ready! I can't wait to try everything on my little one and review it all for you. I'm looking for any suggestions/input/ideas/etc from others on cloth diapering a newborn and building a newborn stash.

My stash so far! There are more in the back and I've added even more since then! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

CJ's BUTTer Stick: A Review

I am forever trying new things. That's one of the things I like about cloth diapering, there are so many options to try. We all know I like LuSa Organics Booty Balm, like I've written about before. You also should know by now that I love CJ's BUTTer and their other products! I had not yet tried CJ's BUTTer Stick so I decided to try it. It seems simple and it did seem like it would be convenient and a little less messy. Now that I've tried it for a few weeks I'm ready to review it for everyone!
CJ's Products
First let's talk about CJ's. I know we've talked about them before but I love them so much, I just want to touch on them again. One of the things that I love most about this company and their products is that it's MADE IN THE USA! I love supporting American business people in their American dream. Not that I don't ever buy foreign, but I would prefer to buy USA, especially when it's good products and when I can afford it. They are based out of Colorado. There are a ton of delish scents and I love trying new scents! It's easy to do by getting samples and I love experiencing every new scents. Sometimes I love them, sometimes I don't like them, and sometimes they're just ok, but it's nice to be able to have such a huge variety. Some of my favorites are Monkey Farts, Green Irish Tweed, Love Spell, Pink Sugar, and Sweet Orange. They also have unscented, vegan, and even Essential Oil blends to try! I also love that it's all natural. My kids have sensitive skin and I have a newborn on the way. Of course you want what is best for your baby and with all natural products we know exactly what is going on our little one's sensitive skin, which I adore. I love that it is cloth diaper safe and won't cause issues with my diapers like repelling or staining. I have tried lots of CJ's products, their peppermint cream, BUTTer rash cream, lip balm, and now the BUTTer Stick and I have never felt like I wasted my money or been disappointed. Instead I am always happy with my purchase and put their products on my children and myself (the BUTTer is GREAT for eczema and dry skin!) with confidence.
CJ's BUTTer Stick
The biggest thing that drew me to the stick version of one of my favorite diaper rash creams is that it would be less messy. I hate dipping my fingers into the rash cream because sometimes it gets all over, it can also leak if it gets too hot in the diaper bag and melts, and it can just be kind of a goopy mess. Not really BAD things about it, just things I don't like dealing with. I also got interested in it because it seemed quicker and easier to toss in the diaper bag. I got the small size so it would be easier to go everywhere. I was also told by more than a couple of people that these last forever because a little goes a long way, as with every CJ's product, and the stick helps you make sure you aren't putting on too much which is better for the baby, better for your diapers, and better for your wallet! The glide-on version contains the same ingredients as the original BUTTer except there is no lanolin, so it's also good for people with lanolin allergy or sensitivity!
So how do you use the stick? 
So you are probably wondering how you use the stick. Super simple! It's kind of like lip balm, you take the cover off and twist it up. When you're done applying it directly to the freshly clean booty (or your eczema, cuts and scratches, etc!) just twist it down and put the cap back on. Super easy and quick, which is great because we all know that babies can be very squirmy and like to be done with changes as fast as possible.
The Bottom Line
I am loving this stuff! I think I will still buy the samples to try different scents and then when I find one I really love I'll order a stick! This is also great for people who aren't sure how much to put on or usually put too much on, my husband for instance, loves to goop it on, and with this I am able to limit how much he uses to reasonable amount. We both love it!
Where You Can Buy It
Mama's Emporium sells these sticks. You can also buy it directly from CJ's here.
Have you used CJ's BUTTer Stick? If so did you like it or not?
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook, and subscribe to the blog! 

Cheap Options for Cloth Diapering, a Cost Comparison!

One thing I hear a lot, that I covered in my Myths and Misconceptions series is that getting started cloth diapering is expensive and it's just easier to buy disposable diapers. In reality it is very cheap to start up and once you get started you can invest your savings into getting the stash you want or trying new things. You can also sell things off that you don't like or trade them for things you want because cloth keeps it's resale value rather well especially if you care for them. In this post I'll compare a few different options for cheap cloth diapering to get you started. Do your research, compare different prices at different stores, look on craigslist and other resale or yardsale sites, and see what you can come up with! I would LOVE to hear about the deals you have scored or how you got started on the cheap!
For the sake of this comparison we will be assuming you want to wash every two days and will need 24 changes to do so. You may need more or less depending on your baby and wash routine.
Flats and Covers
The first option that comes to mind, because it's the cheapest I know of, is flats, which I talk about in depth here. I love flats because they are versatile and can be used from the newborn size until potty training. It does take some getting used to learning different folds and folding them each time you use them, but once you get the hang of it it is actually really easy. I like that you can customize the kind of fit you get based on what fold and fasteners you use! The great part about flats is you don't HAVE to use flat diapers, you can use flour sack towels (about $1-$2 each at walmart or target by the kitchen hand towels) or old flannel receiving blankets as flats, just make sure to strip used receiving blankets before using them with RLR or GroVia Mighty Bubbles to get rid of detergent and other things that may make them repel. You can often get receiving blankets for very cheap at thrift stores, garage sales, or given to you by friends! These can also be cut up and sewed around the edge to make reusable wipes!
What You'll Need:
24 Flats - $38.00
1 fastener (I recommend Snappis but you can use pins or bingos too!) - $3.95
3 covers - $26.85
TOTAL: $68.80 plus shipping 
You can find OsoCozy Birdseye Flats at Mama's Emporium for $9.50 for a pack of 6. This is about $1.58 a diaper. For 24 flats that would be $38.
You can also buy a snappi from Mama's Emporium for $4.95. Cottonbabies also has them for $3.95
Lastly, you'll need 3-5 covers. The cheapest option that isn't a China Cheapie is Econobum brand from CottonBabies. They are $8.95 a piece brand new. They are simple white one sized covers that have cute colorful lining. They come in white, blue, pink, and green. For 5 you will pay $44.75 or you can get away with just having 2 at first (I know because I've done that!) which comes to $17.90. For the sake of things we'll say you need 3. That is $26.85.
So for 3 covers, 24 flats, and one snappi that comes to a total of $68.80 plus shipping. That is about 3 packs of disposable diapers or two big boxes of them! You may be able to find everything cheaper especially if you are willing to buy used. Remember you can bleach them when you buy them so you can get rid of all the germs. Just fill your washer with hot water, add 1/4 a cup of bleach, let the agitator run a minute or so then toss in the diapers! Afterwards do a wash with detergent and hot water and as many hot washes with no detergent as needed until they do not smell like bleach or anything really. Viola, clean, sanitized diapers. 
You can also save some money by getting china cheapie diaper covers. I know a lot of people are opposed to buying from foreign brands and I have no experience with the brands I'm about to link you to so although I've heard good things, I cannot personally say one way or the other on them, that's why I recommend Econobum, I've used them and love them. One brand that has been recommended to me is Assunta covers. Their one sized covers are $4.99 each so it would be $24.90 for 3 covers.
Prefolds and Covers
I've talked about prefolds in depth before Here. Prefolds are about as cheap, depending on the sales you get, or even cheaper than flats. A lot of people like them better because they are already someone prefolded. You do still have to fold them, and there are plenty of ways to customize the folds for your little one, but not as much as with flats. They do take some getting used to but once you get the hang of it, just like flats, it's easier. At first I thought prefolds would be so hard but I got used to it in a day or two and now I find them easier and better at containing the mess than anything else. Plus they are tough and relatively low maintenance compared to my other diapers. Flats and prefolds can take a lot of wear and tear and are easy to bleach/sanitize. I do like that flats go from newborn to potty training and prefolds do but you may need to buy different sizes at some point or move to padfolding instead of other folds.
What You'll Need:
24 Prefolds - $36
1 fastener (I suggest having a few on hand, but you can totally get by with one, I have!) - $3.95
3 covers - $26.85
TOTAL: $66.80 with free shipping
For Prefolds I recommend OsoCozy brand better fit prefolds in red edge, which can be found at Mama's Emporium. They are great quality and fit better and longer than any other prefolds I've tried but they are a little pricier. Since we are trying to find the cheapest options here I'm going to go with what I started my stash with, an order from 
24 Indian prefolds in infant size. I like the Indian vs the Chinese because they are softer. They are also unbleached meaning less unneeded chemicals and let's face it, who cares about white diapers? They'll just look dingier and stain easier. Plus the bleach weakens the diapers just a little so Indian prefolds tend to last a little longer. These are also great for stuffing pocket diapers if you end up buying them which will make those cheaper if you buy them without inserts!
Why You Don't Need More Covers With Prefolds and Flats
You may be thinking how do you get by with 2 or 3 covers for 24 changes? The reason is they are wipeable and unless you get poop on it, which you usually don't once you get good with your folds and fastening with both prefolds and flats, you can just wipe them down or rinse them off and dry them. You can wash the first 2 at night by hand and hang dry while little one is wearing one at night. If they get pee on them, just wipe them off with wipes or rinse and wipe dry. Super easy!
China Cheapie Pocket Diapers Without Inserts
Pocket diapers will be more expensive than flats or prefolds, but they do have their advantages. You can read my post all about pockets Here. You can get them much cheaper in co-ops but those can take a while and it's hard to figure out prices ahead of time so it would be hard for me to compare, plus shipping, co-op fee, etc all vary by co-op. This post comparing China Cheapies may help you decide which brand to try. For comparison sake we will say you decide on Sunbaby diapers.
24 Pocket Diapers from Sunbaby - $96.00  
24 Indian Prefolds - $36.00
TOTAL: $132.00 
The pockets are sold without inserts and the more you buy at one time the more of a discount you get, so we'll assume you get the package of 24 without inserts. You can stuff them with trifolded Indian inserts, and that is what I mostly do. I started my stash with prefolds and covers and then added some pockets.
China Cheapie Pocket Diapers With Inserts
Remember, just as with everything else, you can find China Cheapies used for less, you may also be able to find sales or join a co-op to do a group buy and get them at wholesale prices.
24 Pocket Diapers with 24 microfiber inserts - $114.00
TOTAL: $114.00 
Why I still recommend getting prefolds to stuff with instead of inserts rather than the cheap pockets with 1 microfiber insert: There are a few reasons. First, the inserts are not very absorbent. If money weren't an issue I would stuff with 2 bamboo inserts as that's the trimmest, most absorbent solution when using the inserts. Also, microfiber can stink. After a bit of use the inserts can start to hold onto icky stuff and start to smell. It's nothing you can't get rid of I'm told, and I still use microfiber and have for a year and haven't had an issue, but I know it can be an issue for some people and they end up practically giving away (or actually giving them away or throwing them away even) their microfiber inserts. I would hate for you to have wasted money on them. The Indian prefolds aren't very trim but they aren't terribly bulky and undoable, but they are also more absorbent. I much prefer those to the inserts I use. You just trifold them and stuff them in, super easy.
Bottom Line:
The cheapest way to do it would be prefolds, flats coming in a close second. There are lots of pros and cons to each way, but no matter what you choose, you're saving money over disposable diapers and can recoup your costs very fast, then start investing in other types/brands that you would like to try and building your stash.
Where You Can Buy Everything!
Everything mentioned in this post, except the covers and cottonbabies Indian prefolds can be found at Mama's Emporium. Econobum brand covers and the Infant sized Indian Prefolds, as well as snappis, can be found at Assunta brand covers can be found at Sunbaby Diapers can be found at If you want China Cheapies but would like them quicker because you are buying them from the USA, you can buy them at from $4.99 a piece up.
What are your solutions for cheap cloth diapering? How did you start your stash out? Don't forget to like my page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to this blog!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

AWESOME giveaway on Mama's Emporium's Facebook Page!

Ok this doesn't have a lot to do with cloth diapering. BUT as you must know by now I'm into natural parenting. I'm not totally crunchy but I practice AP somewhat, breastfeed on demand, baby wear, use natural products, etc. And I love a good giveaway, which if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you'll for sure know by now! So when I saw that Mama's Emporium was giving away a FREE Boba Carrier OF YOUR CHOICE on facebook to the top fan this week, I couldn't resist sharing! Just to be warned, if you are on my facebook or twitter you will probably see me sharing lots of mama's emporium posts this week because it's a top fan prize. If you don't know about top fan contests they are awesome. All you have to do is like posts, share posts, post on the page, etc, and you will earn points. At the end of the week (it ends Monday Night!) the person who has the most points is the "top fan" and wins the FREE BOBA CARRIER OF YOUR CHOICE!
Ladies and gentlemen, this is an AWESOME prize. VERY high value. It may sound too good to be true. But I know Amanda, the owner, and I've won MANY prizes from her the past year, from raffles to giveaways, I even won a FREE Apple Cheeks cloth swim diaper for being top fan a couple weeks ago! I shop her store pretty much anytime I shop for cloth diaper products and have never been cheated, mistreated, or had any negative experience whatsoever. I've always been a satisfied customer and I've always got my stuff quickly, weather I paid for it or won it for free.  
If you are a baby wearer, interested in baby wearing, have a friend who is expecting and want an awesome high value gift for, or even if you just like to win free stuff, this is a great contest for you! You can start by going to Mama Emporium's facebook page and clicking on the "top fans" tab at the top of the page. Then earn points by sharing posts, liking posts, liking and sharing pictures, posting on the wall (comments, pictures, questions, whatever!), and more!  You can check out all the Boba Carriers on Mama's Emporium. If you just can't wait to win, hurry and snag one from her site. They are reasonably priced and hold their resale value VERY well, better than diapers usually. People will usually pay close to retail to get one used because this is a very trusted name in the baby wearing community. Prices range from $39 to $160 and there are many different kinds of carries to choose from, so you can find what works best for you and your little one.
Good luck! Come back and tell us if you win!