Monday, August 6, 2012

GoGreen Champ G3.0 GIVEAWAY!

Over the past year of cloth diapering (has it been that long already?!), I've learned a lot about what I like in a cloth diaper. I've tried a lot of brands and refined my tastes. There are some I like for night time, some that are great for a newborn, some great for chunky legs, some that look better than they work and some that work better than they look. As a user of cloth, you get excited when you find the triple threat: Functionality, Cuteness and Cost. (Cost being reasonable.) GoGreen is definitely one of my favorite brands- a triple threat for sure. Developed by a cloth diapering mom, GoGreen seeks to "transform the world of cloth diapering through innovative, scientifically developed product designs". Cue the new Champ Generation 3.0!

This new generation of GoGreen has several new bells-and-whistles that I can't wait to try out. Double PUL, wider pocket openings, enhanced dual gussets and a high-strength snap-in insert. The snap-in insert is one of my favorite features of GoGreen. It makes stuffing so much easier! Sometimes I just pull out the insert but leave it snapped for washing, then tuck the insert back in when dry. Easy! I love the double gussets too. Word on the street is that the G3.0s are virtually leak proof/mess proof, thanks to the new gusset design and double PUL. 

Excited yet? Let me introduce the new color/print line up:
So we have Functionality, check. Cuteness, check. How about cost? The prints are $18.95 and solids are $17.95. Very reasonable, I would say! 

How about a GIVEAWAY?

Whims-n-Doodles is one of GoGreen's preferred retailers and they are having a GoGreen Grand Unveiling Event on Tuesday 8/7, 10:00 am at their location in the New Hartford Shopping Center in New Hartford, NY. To celebrate this great day in cloth diapering, they are offering my readers a chance to win TWO GoGreen Champ G3.0s! One adorable print (Two Birds, One Bone) and one awesome solid (Toady Loady).
I will also mention, that for those of you in the Central NY area, as part of their GoGreen Grand Unveiling Event, Whims-n-Doodles will be giving away an Adapt-a-Snap (another great GoGreen product) with every GoGreen purchase (one per customer). There is be a limited number of Adapt-a-Snaps, so get there early! Click here for Whims-n-Doodles' location info!

Okay, here's the entry form, you know what to do! Happy entering and I'd love to hear your feedback on the new G3.0!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What To Expect When You're Expecting Series GIVEAWAY


When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I remember the feeling of being in a daze much of the time. I'd just zone out, lost in thought about this little being that my body was taking care of. I imagine most first-time moms feel that way. You have SO many questions and SO many concerns. My husband and I took a trip to the local bookstore to get some books to have on hand because I wanted to read up on each stage and get the pregnancy play-by-play. Of course the first book I reached for was What To Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff/Sharon Mazel. It's first incarnation was "born" in the 80's and it's been a staple for expecting mamas ever since, with over 16 million copies sold. It's a classic, but unlike a classic, it's always changing and being updated. I purchased the 4th Edition of the book and devoured every chapter. It walks you though each phase, month by month, from Before You Conceive to Labor and Delivery and beyond.

I am someone who wants to know as much as humanly possible about what's going on with my body, ESPECIALLY while pregnant. I want pictures, I want details, I want timelines. What To Expect provided all the details but what I liked is that it featured sections like, "What to Expect at this Month's Checkup" and  "Pregnant Worker's Rights"- things that I didn't even THINK to ask about but loved to know. Every base was always covered. I toted it around with me and each month I'd read about the next phase in my pregnancy. I'd see what the baby was "up to" in there, see what my body would be up to and what I had to look forward to that month. And I felt... relief. You can't always call your doctor with questions and eventually your mom and friends with kids are going to get sick of answering questions! And let's face it, not everyone has the same experience. What to Expect offers many perspectives on the topic though, with all the angles covered. So if I wanted to know why my left hip hurt so bad allllllll day when I was 4 months pregnant, I could just look it up. Or if I wondered why breathing was so difficult toward the end, I could just look it up. It became my pregnancy Bible. I was so grateful.

What To Expect When You're Expecting also covers the postpartum phase as well as topics like difficult pregnancies and pregnancy loss. It's truly a wonderful resource.

Then my baby was born. I had no clue what to do. NOW WHAT?

Thankfully, Heidi Murkoff, et al wrote What To Expect the First Year and What To Expect The Second Year! Can you say, "lifesaver"? When my baby was little I had a copy of What To Expect the First Year by my bed and I'd read it the same way I did when I was pregnant. I'd check to see what I should be looking for the baby to be doing each month and would address timely issues with varied perspectives on each. That's what I love about this series. It presents topics in an informative, loving way, unlike many doctors who tend to have a "my way or the highway" perspective. For example, I was just reading about my six month old and the topic of sharing a bed was addressed. What To Expect gave a detailed run down of the basics of co-sleeping and a reference to an attachment style parenting section later in the book for more information. That's how it communicates- gives you all the information and allows you to choose what works best for you.

I have three children now and the What To Expect series has gotten me through some rough times. Colic. Nipple biting. Toddler tantrums. Language delays. First Aid 101. When to start sippy cups. The list is so long! But it's chapters like "From the Only Child to the Older Child" and "Traveling With Your Toddler" that make this series special. Many books go through the baby's development in the womb. Many books go through laboring techniques. Many books review baby eating habits or toddler discipline. What To Expect has it all though. One series of books that will calm your fears, inform your decisions and help you look at the big picture. Someone has been there before and they gathered alllllll this information for you so that you'll have an easier time of it.

I also have to mention whattoexpect.com and the What To Expect iPhone app. What awesome resources! The iPhone version of What To Expect was my best friend this last time around. I also signed up for the What To Expect newsletter and get updates and info right in my inbox!

Lucky for you, the kind people at What To Expect would like to give away TWO SETS of their hugely popular book series. That means that two readers will win What To Expect When You're Expecting What To Expect the First Year and What To Expect The Second Year! To enter, please fill out the form below. Good luck!



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Katie's Story

Like most new parents, I was pretty lost in all the “you need for your baby” lists I found and advice I heard. With a crib, diapers, a baby carrier, car seat, stroller, clothes, blankets and bottles I felt as ready as I could. I had no idea that I'd soon be falling in love with the world of baby-wearing and trading my not-so-baby-friendly Bjorn for a series of wraps and slings; or so successful at breastfeeding that my baby would no need for bottles or formula. In fact, most of my thoughts on “the way I'd be as a parent” went out the window when I started going down a more “holistic” path with my daughter. Some people might call it being a “crunchy mom” or even an “attachment parent” but I just called it instinctive, nurturing, loving and of course, natural. I became a breast-feeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, organic baby food-making, holistic, natural mom.

The final step in “natural mama” transformation was cloth diapering. When I first heard my mom say “oh we just used cloths- those paper things look so uncomfortable” I brushed it off, feeling like no one really does that anymore. Those feelings changed once I started meeting more “natural” type moms like me and doing a little research, discovering that people are now using all sorts of modern cloth diapers. Well, my husband didn't know anything other than the “safety-pin and giant white napkin” kind our parents used and I wasn't so sure about the over-fluffy bottom and questionable poop disposal that come with cloth diapering, so I didn't go for it.

When our little monkey was 6 months old I became very curious about the cloth diapering world. Disposable diapers were a very expensive commitment, as I was only comfortable buying the “pure and natural” kind that, after some investigating, turn out to be not exactly 100% “pure”. I was definitely ready to try something new. I began researching “cloth diapering” online and found a lot of interesting information. It turns out there are numerous types of cloth diapers; all-in-one's, pockets, inserts and covers, pre-folds, hemp, cotton, and some that you can use biodegradable inserts with as well as cloth. I'm not going to lie, all the choices and instructions on how many you need and how to clean them or use a service left me a little overwhelmed. I consulted a couple Facebook mom groups I belonged to and some friends I knew who used cloth and asked them which brands they used and how they wash them, and decided I could buy just a few cloth diapers to try.

At the same time, my husband began working for an environmental non-profit, so naturally he was attracted to the “green” aspect of cloth diapering. We at least agreed that cloth diapering would be good for her in a chemical-free way and good for the earth as well.

We headed down to our nearest giant chain baby store where I knew they sold the BumGenius brand of diapers that had been recommended to me. When I first saw them, I thought they looked bulky and I didn't like the idea of stuffing a pocket. We looked around at a few other options they had and decided to buy a set of gDiaper pants with both cloth and biodegradable inserts. After taking them home and washing the cloths [10 times] to break them in, we stuck them on the baby's booty and instantly fell in love with how cute they were and easy to use! We bought 6 cloths to start with and learned quickly that they would only last us about 24 hours, so we went back and bought a bunch more the following day. And just like that we were converted.

After a couple of months using gDiapers I was still tempted by other brands and different types of cloth diapers. I bought a Thirsties cover and their hemp insert and a GroVia shell with a couple of their snap-in inserts. I absolutely LOVE the GroVia and plan on expanding that collection as well. We even used the gDiaper cloth inserts in the Thirsties and GroVia shells and they work just fine. I'm still curious about the idea of pocket diapers, though I haven't pulled the trigger just yet, but I'm sure I'll get one or two eventually to try them out. I recommend to anyone curious about cloth to either find a store that does a trial with different brands (like granolababies.com) or buy one of a few different brands and see what they like best!

Washing cloth diapers is so much easier that I though as well. It helped that I didn't start until my little bug was eating solid food and produced much more solid poops, but I know for the next baby I'll start as a newborn and invest in a diaper sprayer. I usually just plop the little poops in the toilet and wash my diapers every 3rd day with a free and clear detergent and then again with the rest of the baby laundry. I machine dry my diapers now but I'm considering sun-bleaching on a hanging wire sometime.

Our daughter is now 9 months old and I can't wait to start sewing my own AIO's (all-in-one's) and covers that I recently found patterns for! I'm so happy I made the switch and can't believe I didn't do it sooner. I'll definitely use cloth from the beginning with any future babies.
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Katie is a stay at home mom of a one year old and lives in California. She lovse crafts and cooking but loves spending time with her family most. You can hear more from Katie at krunchykate.com.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rebecca's Story

Hello! My name is Rebecca and I am a young mom of a beautiful baby girl named Stella! Yes, I said young, I am 23 years old... even the younger generation of moms cloth diaper :) 

So, when my daughter was born she wore preemie diapers. She was only about 5lbs, but on time. She was a disposable diapered baby from that point on until she was 11 months old. A friend of mine, who is also in the "young generation" converted me! At first I wasn't so sure, nor was I sold. I was stuck on the fact of having poop in my washing machine. Then she reassured me and we made the switch! Why did we switch? I was tired of having leak after leak and a wet bed every night without fail! We even had packages of a popular 'sposie diaper that were just defective and the seams on the sides were torn and the adhesives had been ripped off!! Oh, and the smell! Having these poop and pee diapers in our garbage can was terrible! Our whole house just stunk! So we tried cloth and I was the first one to fall in love with it, the man of the house...still needing convincing. At first we tried strictly pocket diapers and found that to be exhausting, so we tried prefolds and covers. Our first set was the FLIP system. If it weren't for them, we both probably would've given up. Now we have a collection of prefolds, covers such as FLIPS, WeeHuggers and Blueberry's. BUT, we also have a selection of pockets including Bumgenius and Fuzzibunz. We use the pockets at night because its easier if she needs a midnight change and were half asleep. It was just a matter of trying and figuring out how the whole cloth system works! There are so many varieties, it can be overwhelming. We choose FLIP to start with because they are very affordable covers and inserts, either prefolds or stay drys come in starter packs! So we got our first kit from a local store. It had 2 covers and 6 organic prefolds. We chose the prefold over the stay dry inserts because our daughter is a heavy wetter. We also choose snap closure at first because they initially last long than Velcro. We do have some that are velcro closure, just because they had prints and are so darn cute!!
Little Stella rocks some of her cute diaper looks

Cloth diapering can seem so hard, confusing and overwhelming, trust me, I have been there. About a week into trying out our new FLIP system, I was golden and good to go! It was so much easier, and we had NO MORE LEAKS!! What a huge sigh of relief. And, after a month or so, we got our whole stash organized between our pockets, covers, prefolds and reusable wipes...the man even tried it and now likes this much better. Not so hard on his wallet and he thinks they are cuter as well :) For laundering, it is done every other day unless we have a bad day of poop! But, even then we do laundry almost everyday anyway, so a little bit more isn't so rough. We both have found it to be less stressful, cost effective and fun! We are glad we switched and will cloth diaper our next child from birth! Especially now that we know they make diapers small enough for a 5lb baby!

My advice for you, a new mom or dad to cloth, would be simply this..."don't judge a book by its cover, you may miss an exciting adventure". Also, do your research, find local cloth diapering classes and don't be afraid to ask questions! I am now a cloth diaper expert and teach classes at a local cloth retailer; I never thought that would have happened!! Ever!

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Rebecca is a young mother of a 20 month old daughter. She loves photography! She has a small photography business and crafting business making tutus, custom onesies and babylegs. She works part time at a local infant and childrens store and teaches cloth diapering classes. She grew up in New Hartford, NY and lives there still with her family.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jessica's Story

When my first son was born almost 5 years ago he had really bad eczema around his diaper area. At the time I had no real clue about cloth diapers so all I bought were these thick pre-folds and some slide on wet pant covers I found at target. This was really hard for me. He was only 5 1/2 lbs and the whole folding then sliding on and off of the plastic wet pant just wasn't working out on his tiny body. Luckily, by the time he was 5 mos old his rash was non-existent and we went back to disposables. When my second child was born she had no skin issues, so we stuck to disposables and happily forgot about cloth diapers and all the issues we had with them. Then our 3rd child Eli was born. He has had serious sensitivities to everything. By the time we came home from the hospital his diaper area was so red and raw, I didn't know if I should put bum cream or Neosporin cream on him. Then one day while I was sitting there watching him sleep, diaper free on a towel with his tiny red bum in the air trying to heal, I cried. I felt helpless so I hit the internet and did some research. I found information on cloth diapers and how beneficial they are. I was over joyed when I found a website called Happy Heinys. I ordered a sample set of 5 diapers and they arrived 3 days later.

Little Eli in his new Happy Heinys diaper

By the morning of day 2, Eli's butt was so beautiful- not one red spot ;0) I was over joyed that I decided that I would never again put a disposable diaper on him. Over the past year I have learned some new tricks and have found a routine that works for me. I also think that talking to other moms who use cloth really helps. Not once did my son's doctor/nurse ever mention cloth diapers. My little baby had open cuts that were bleeding and no one offered any information as to how he could be having an allergic reaction to the chemicals in his disposable diapers. I think that it is very important for us moms to help spread the word about the benefits of cloth diapers.
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Jessica is a full time student again at age 30 and has 3 beautiful children who have changed her life. She sees the world differently now and hopes to teach her children how important it is to care for this world and ourselves. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mamas of the Cloth

Before Molly was born I had the idea to compile the stories of parents who decided to cloth diaper.

Why? 
1.  I've found that people are very curious about it and want to know why one would choose to do it.
2. I was curious to hear other people's stories.
3. When I started cloth diapering I wanted to hear whatever I could about other people's experiences to learn about what products/routines worked and didn't work.

I put out a request on the TCDC Facebook page and got many responses from readers. The stories are great- some are sad in parts, some happy, most people express a sense of relief when they figured out how cloth could work for them and their family. Some talk about overcoming adversity with health issues, family resistance and local no-where-to-buy-cloth-diaper-stuffedness. All are from wonderful people who wanted to share their stories with others.

I'm happy to share these stories with you now. My hope is that you'll read them and repost them on your own page for friends to read and be encouraged!

If you would like to submit your own Mamas (or Daddys) of the Cloth tale, shoot me an email at amber@theclothdiaperconvert.com. The more the merrier!
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Mother Earth Baby Grand Opening Giveaway #2!

As you may remember from my recent post about the Mother Earth Baby grand opening, they have many products to chose from. (Check them out here!) They were nice enough to send me a box of goodies filled with products that they feature in their new Oswego store. Some were for ME and some were for YOU! Every product they sent me to try out, they sent an extra for me to give away! Here is my experience and details about what you can win!

Some pictures of the new store in Oswego
Babee Greens Merino Wool Nursing Pads- My new favorite wool find! I have been through MANY different types of natural nursing pads and these are the only kind I've ever used that actually worked. I must have a lot of milk or something because I leak through all the time with most disposable and cotton nursing pads. I go through them quickly. My girlfriends don't seem to have the issues I've had with leaking. But with the Babee Greens Wool Nursing Pads, I wore one pair for an entire day before I had to change them. I was amazed. They aren't scratchy either. I seriously love these pads.

Babee Greens Organic Cotton Nursing Pads- They are comfy and cover well but were no match for my milk supply. Soft, nice construction, but they weren't a fit for me. Like I said previously though, I'm not a typical case. From what I gather from my friends who nurse, these pads would be a perfect fit for most ladies!

Babee Greens Wool Diaper Liner- I popped this puppy in with a prefold for an afternoon out and it worked like a charm! Wool is seriously amazing stuff. I think a wool soaker like this should be part of everyone's collection!

Earthly Remedies by Erin Baby's Butt Foaming Solution (Travel Size)- This is a foaming cleanser with a pump that can be used directly on the skin, including as a hand wash. I used it when I ran out of wipes and only had dry cloths. I just pumped some on and wiped up the baby's bottom. It is now in the diaper bag for on-the-go cleanups. With a 3 month, 2 and 3 year old, portable cleaner is a must!

Earthly Remedies by Erin Baby's Butt Balm- Safe for cloth diapers, this balm has a faint clove smell. I've actually used this on my son (age 2.5 and potty training/prone to rashes) and on my hands. It isn't greasy at all and leaves the skin soft. It cleared up my 3 month old's rash too!

So now comes the fun part- Mother Earth Baby would like you to try these products as well! There are several ways to enter- check out the form below!