Photo Review: Flip Trainers

Several of you have been asking for a review and photos of the new Flip trainers.  Here you go!

For $34.95 you get 1 adjustable waterproof shell and 5 organic cotton inserts - enough for 5 accidents. If your toddler is still having poopy accidents, you might want to get 2 boxes (i.e., 2 shells) but if you're just working on the wet accidents, 1 box should do it.

The shell has waterproof PUL (blue) and stretchy side tabs (orange). It has a snap-down rise and adjustable waist snaps as well, to fit 18 mo - 2T

These side panels are on the largest setting right now. Plenty of snaps make sure they will not pop off when your child pulls them down.

The shell, unsnapped and opened up. See the flaps in front and back? The insert tucks under the flaps.

Inserts attach to the shell with hidden velcro under the flaps. This insert is attached with velcro on the under side. The velcro you see above it is a self-closing laundry tab, so the velcro doesn't pick up lint and get caught on stuff in the wash.

There is another velcro strip under the front flap. The insert has multiple velcro strips which you can fold different ways to fit S-M-L. Put the extra folded over part in the front for a boy, in the back for a girl.

In the last picture the insert was unfolded and on the Large setting. Here it is folded all the way down on the small setting.

Once attached, you can see how the insert makes a nice absorbent inner for the shell. It is not as thick as the Flip DIAPER insert, nor as absorbent as a full diaper.

When the sides are all snapped up, you can see how it makes a pull-up training pant with waterproof outer and soft, absorbent inner

Any questions you still have?  Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer.  You can get your Flip Training Pant from Babies Bottoms and More by following this link: http://babiesbottomsandmore.com/bufltrpa.html (It says they are currently out of stock as of 2.28.12 but I will change that tomorrow I hope. We do have a limited amount in stock – 3 boy, 4 neutral, 1 girl.)

 

Cloth Diapers and Daycare

It’s one thing to decide to cloth diaper yourself, but what about getting your daycare to cloth diaper?  Here are a few tips, from those of us who have been there before.

1. Don’t ask, SHOW.

If you ask them if they will use cloth diapers, they will picture themselves wrestling with an unwieldy square of cotton, pinning the diaper on a squirming baby while trying desparately to avoid stabbing the baby (and a lawsuit), and then hand-dunking a poopy, wet, cold, messy diaper in the toilet over and over again. The easiest way to get rid of this innacurate picture is to replace it with a picture of what you are actually asking your caregiver to do, and that’s easiest when you have the diaper in front of you.  Bring in your cutest, easiest cloth diaper, and show them how it works.  I brought in a pink plaid pocket diaper and said, “I just need you to velcro this onto her and then take it off when you change it.  That’s it.”

2. Bring a wet bag.

Many daycares can be resistant to cloth diapers because Texas law states that in a daycare setting all dirty diapers must be kept in a sealed container.  They know they can’t put the cloth diapers in the trash can, and they know they’re not allowed to just leave them sitting out.  So bring in a wet bag (or even a wet/dry bag like from PlanetWise… you can keep all the dry diapers in the dry pocket and keep the entire shebang all together for them.) Show them how it can hang or sit, and how it’s waterproof and zips shut.  No smell, no mess, no babies getting into dirty diapers, and perfectly legal.

3. Ask if they would like a note from your pediatrician.

If your child has a health issue that is exacerbated by disposable diapers (respiratory problems, sensitive skin, eczema), you can ask your pediatrician if he or she would write a note recommending that your child be cloth diapered.  Some daycares who will not cloth diaper as a matter of policy will make exceptions if you have a doctor’s note.

Once you have done all these things, hopefully your daycare will agree to use your cloth diapers on your child.  If not, of course, they have a right to make that decision regarding their business, and you have a right to decide whether to seek childcare elsewhere.  If you and your daycare cannot come to an agreement about cloth diapers, it can be helpful to remember that every disposable diaper not used saves 20-25 cents so even if you only use cloth diapers for evenings and weekends, you will still be saving money and only buying about half of the disposable diapers you would otherwise be purchasing.

How Much Does A Full Diaper Stash Cost?

Over the weekend I had three very patient customers who helped me put this post together.  The question to answer was basically “What is the cost difference between the different styles of cloth diapers and how many do I need to get a full stash?”  So, without further ado…

Prefold Diapers

Prefolds and Covers

This is the least expensive and least like disposable diapers option.  The absolute cheapest way to get a full stash of cloth diapers – for a baby under 6 months “full stash” = 24 diaper changes, or 2 full days.  As your baby grows he/she will go through fewer diapers each day so you can stretch out the time between washes a bit, or get by with fewer diapers.  With the prefold + cover system, 1 diaper change = 1 prefold diaper PLUS you’ll need 1 cover for every 3-4 diapers.  (You’ll reuse each cover, on average, 3-4 times).

The Econobum system by BumGenius is a one-size prefold + cover system.  The Econobum Full Kit contains 12 diapers, 3 covers, and a wet bag for $49.99.  Two of these come in at right under $100 and voila! you have your stash.  (Econobum diapers will not start fitting till 8-10 lbs so they will not always fit a newborn from day 1). Your $100 for the Econobum system will pay for itself after just 50 days of use… that’s not even 2 months!!

The Thirsties Duo Wraps with traditionalPrefolds are another good option.  Duo Wraps come in two sizes that roughly correspond with the infant size and regular/premium size prefolds.  Size 1 Duo Wraps will fit 6-18 lbs and Size 2 fit 18-40.  They WILL fit a full term newborn baby from day 1.  You’ll need 24 infant size prefolds, 6 Duo Wraps, and a pack of Snappi diaper fasteners, for a total of around $130.  Then when your baby gets to be around 12-18 lbs you’ll get the next size Duo Wraps and prefolds for the next size, which will last you till potty training.  If you get another 24 of the next size up and 6 more Duo Wraps that will be another $136 for a total diaper expense of $266.  A $266 cloth diaper stash would pay for itself in 133 days, or a little less than 4 1/2 months.

If you decide to use a one-size cover with your prefolds instead of the Duo Wraps you could try the Rumparooz one-size cover which will start fitting at 8 lbs – so either on day 1 or pretty close too it.  6 Rumparooz covers will cost $96, plus 24 infant prefolds, 24 regular/premium prefolds, and a pack of snappis comes to a total diaper cost of about $209.  Not bad compared with $2000-2500 for disposables!  The prefolds + Rumparooz cover system would pay for itself in 104.5 days, or just under 3 1/2 months.

Flip Day Pack contains 6 diaper changes

All-in-Two’s (AI2’s)

AI2’s range in price depending on factors like diaper features, country of origin, one-size v.s. sized inserts, etc.  Let’s look at the low-end and high-end systems.

The Flip diaper system with stay-dry inserts is the least expensive of the AI2 systems.  The one-size cover and one-size inserts will fit babies from 8 or 10 to 35 lbs.  They’re sold in “Day Packs” for $49.95.  Each Day Pack contains 6 inserts and 2 covers – enough for 6 changes.  So 4 Day Packs will be a full stash and will cost you just under $200.  The Flip system will pay for itself in 100 days, or just a little bit over 3 months.  If you choose to upgrade to the organic inserts for an additional $10 per day pack, the total cost of $240 will pay for itself in 120 days or 4 months.

The Best Bottom System is one of the higher-end AI2 systems.  Inner gussets, fun prints, a double layer of waterproof PUL, and made in the USA status are all things that bump the price up from the Flips, but the biggest difference in the price comes from the fact that there are 3 different size inserts to use with the one-size cover.  Different size inserts mean the diaper will be trimmer on a small baby, and more absorbent on a big baby.  In fact, if you use the Best Bottom system and upgrade to the hemp inserts, you’ll be using one of the TRIMMEST cloth diaper systems around.  The Best Bottoms full package deal costs around $407 for the stay-dry microfiber inserts (hemp is a little more).  It will fit babies from 6-35 lbs, and you can purchase extenders (sold separately) to increase that range up to 50 lbs!  This package would pay for itself in about 203 days or a little less than 7 months.

Fuzzibunz Elite one-size pocket diaper

Pocket Diapers

Pocket Diapers are easier to figure out how many you need because for 24 diaper changes you just buy 24 diapers, period.  Between the BumGenius 4.0 and the Fuzzibunz Elite pocket diaper, a full stash of 24 will range from about $406-455.  Both these diapers will fit from 8 or 10 up to 35 lbs.  If you need a one-size pocket diaper that will definitely start fitting at 8 lbs, try the Rumparooz (though it is a bit pricier).  A full stash of pocket diapers will pay for itself in about 7 months, closer to 6 1/2 months for the less expensive and closer to 7 1/2 for the more expensive diapers.

BumGenius Freetime one-size all-in-one

All-in-one’s (AIO’s)

Our two most popular aio’s at time of writing are both BumGenius diapers: the organic cotton Elemental and the stay-dry polyester Freetime.  Both are one-size diapers that will fit from 8 or 10 to 35 lbs.  The Elemental is the other diaper besides the Best Bottom ai2 with hemp inserts that I would consider the absolute trimmest cloth diaper.  Individual prices are 24.95 for the Elemental, 19.95 for the Freetime.  With quantity discounts, 24 Elementals will cost around $530 while 24 Freetimes will cost around $410.  This means they will pay for themselves in a little less than 9 months (Elemental) or a little less than 7 months (Freetime.)

We’ll talk about optional accessories next time like wet bags, wipes, etc.

*Estimated disposable diaper costs were figured by estimating 10 diapers/day at .20 per diaper, with the understanding that as babies grow and go through fewer diapers per day the cost per diaoper goes up.  If you choose brand-name or specialty disposable diapers the costs will be significantly higher and the cloth diapers will pay for themselves even more quickly. I did not factor in the cost of washing the diapers mainly because I didn’t want to do the math but also because unless you are using a coin operated washer, the costs are negligible.

Cloth Diapers and Daycare

It’s one thing to decide to cloth diaper yourself, but what about getting your daycare to cloth diaper?  Here are a few tips, from those of us who have been there before. 

1. Don’t ask, SHOW.

If you ask them if they will use cloth diapers, they will picture themselves wrestling with an unwieldy square of cotton, pinning the diaper on a squirming baby while trying desparately to avoid stabbing the baby (and a lawsuit), and then hand-dunking a poopy, wet, cold, messy diaper in the toilet over and over again. The easiest way to get rid of this innacurate picture is to replace it with a picture of what you are actually asking your caregiver to do, and that’s easiest when you have the diaper in front of you.  Bring in your cutest, easiest cloth diaper, and show them how it works.  I brought in a pink plaid pocket diaper and said, “I just need you to velcro this onto her and then take it off when you change it.  That’s it.”

2. Bring a wet bag.

Many daycares can be resistant to cloth diapers because Texas law states that in a daycare setting all dirty diapers must be kept in a sealed container.  They know they can’t put the cloth diapers in the trash can, and they know they’re not allowed to just leave them sitting out.  So bring in a wet bag (or even a wet/dry bag like from PlanetWise… you can keep all the dry diapers in the dry pocket and keep the entire shebang all together for them.) Show them how it can hang or sit, and how it’s waterproof and zips shut.  No smell, no mess, no babies getting into dirty diapers, and perfectly legal. 

3. Ask if they would like a note from your pediatrician.

If your child has a health issue that is exacerbated by disposable diapers (respiratory problems, sensitive skin, eczema), you can ask your pediatrician if he or she would write a note recommending that your child be cloth diapered.  Some daycares who will not cloth diaper as a matter of policy will make exceptions if you have a doctor’s note. 

Once you have done all these things, hopefully your daycare will agree to use your cloth diapers on your child.  If not, of course, they have a right to make that decision regarding their business, and you have a right to decide whether to seek childcare elsewhere.  If you and your daycare cannot come to an agreement about cloth diapers, it can be helpful to remember that every disposable diaper not used saves 20-25 cents so even if you only use cloth diapers for evenings and weekends, you will still be saving money and only buying about half of the disposable diapers you would otherwise be purchasing. 

February Giveaway

In my head I was thinking I would wait to post about our Feb. giveaway until the January giveaway had been claimed.  To wrap up the other one before starting a new one.  Well, getting in touch with a winner is becoming harder than I thought, and we’re already well into Feb. so I’ll go ahead and spill the beans. 

 

February’s giveaway is a PlanetWise Nursing Cover in the Espresso Bean print!  Planetwise, maker of the fabulous wet/dry bags and Best Bottom Diapers, now makes nursing covers as well.  They’re made in the style of Bebe au Lait covers with a stiff neckline that stands out from your chest so you can look down and see your baby while they are covered.  They also have a large pocket in the corner to store essentials like a burp cloth, pacifier, nipple cream, or bottle of water. 

My favorite feature of this cover though is the matching zippered pouch that comes with it.  It keeps the cover nice and neat and crumb-free in the bottom of your diaper bag. 

PlanetWise nursing cover in Espresso Bean

Three Ways To Enter:

1. Stop by the store and fill out an entry slip with your name and phone number or email address.

2. Add the “monthly giveaway” item to your cart with any online order.

3. Comment here:  If you’re feeling snarky tell me the best/funniest reponse you’ve ever heard or used to a negative comment about breastfeeding.  Or if you’re in a more positive mood you can share a positive comment you’ve gotten from someone about breastfeeding.  My favorite answer to the question, “How long will you be nursing you baby?” is “Oh, just about five more minutes now.”

PS: If you are entering by posting here, I highly recommend you click the box to be notified by email if anyone responds to your comment.  The winner will be announced on our Facebook page on or around March 1, but if the winner is a commenter here I will also respond to their comment to let them know they’ve won.  Several previous prizes have gone unclaimed because I never heard back from the winner – I’d hate for it to be you!

Making Wool Dryer Balls

I’ve never been much of a knitter, but I have to tell ya, making wool dryer balls is so calming, it’s addictive!  Although you are more than welcome to purchase yours from Babies Bottoms and More, I thought some of you might be interested in a DIY post on how to make them. 

First, though, I’m sure you’d like to know what wool dryer balls are and why anyone would make them.  Dryer balls are basically soft, weighted balls that you toss in your dryer with your wet clothes.  They bounce around in there, breaking up pockets of wet clothes so the air can circulate better.  While bouncing around they also bump into the fibers of your clothing, making the clothes softer and less stiff.  So they can reduce drying time (saving energy) and replace fabric softener.  Many dryer balls are made of plastic, but wool ones have several distinct advantages:

1. They’re all natural and free of BPA and harmful chemicals.

2. They last longer.

3. They can be scented with essential oils.

4. You can make them yourself and/or support a work at home mom who makes them!

How to make them:

Step 1, start with 100% wool yarn.  Bulky yarn is better than worsted – the fluffier the yarn is the better it will felt (shrink and stick together) and you’ll get a sturdier ball. 

Step 2, (optional) cut a long strip out of an old wool sweater and wrap or braid it into a tight ball about the size of a golf ball.  This will be the core of your dryer ball.  If you don’t have an old wool sweater to cut up you can skip this step and just start wrapping a ball of yarn, but your dryer ball will use more yarn.

Step 3, wrap yarn around the core, pulling it tightly where needed to make a nice even ball shape.  I like to turn the ball a little bit with each time I wrap the yarn around so it makes an asterisk pattern on the ball.  This way all sides get even coverage.  Do this until the ball is about 2/3 the size you want your finished dryer ball to be. 

Step 4, cut the yarn and tuck the end under other yarns to make a ball that won’t unravel.  Put it inside a sock and fasten the end with a rubber band.  If you’re making multiple dryer balls you can use knee socks and fit about 3 balls per sock, just use a rubber band in between each ball to keep them separated. 

Step 5, Grab that load of laundry you needed to do today.  Put it in the washer and add the dryer ball(s) in their socks.  Run a load on warm or hot water.  When done, toss it in the dryer (dryer balls too) and dry on high or medium high heat. 

Step 6, When the clothes are dry, get the dryer balls out.  Leave the clean laundry to deal with later, you’re making dryer balls! (ha ha, just kidding, you can fold it if you really want to).  Add another layer to the dryer ball, winding the yarn around and around in an asterisk pattern (once you complete one asterisk you can shift the ball so you’re doing another one with the center point in a different place on the ball).  You want the yarn to be firmly on there, so keep some tension in it, but you don’t have to make it super-super tight.  Make the ball about 20-30% bigger than you want your final dryer ball to be. Just like the first layer, it will shrink when you wash it.

Step 7,  repeat steps 4 and 5.  When the second layer of yarn has been washed and dried, it will be felted and will not unravel.  You’re done!  Felting the two layers separately makes the dryer balls sturdier and less likely to fall apart.  Ideally you’ll want 3 or 4 of them in your dryer at all times. 

I get my yarn from www.knitpicks.com.  If you would like to buy dryer balls from Babies Bottoms and More, click here: http://babiesbottomsandmore.com/dryer-balls.html

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All About All-in-two’s

All-in-two’s (ai2’s) are a very popular diapering system with new parents.  In this post we’ll go over the pro’s and con’s of the ai2 system, as well as go over a few hints on making this system work for you. 

Best Bottoms AI2 Style Diaper

An ai2 is a diaper that has an absorbent pad that attaches to a waterproof shell.  You attach them together and then put the assembled diaper on the baby in one step.  When you change the diaper, then, you can either toss the entire thing in the diaper pail like you would with an all-in-one (aio) or pocket diaper, OR you can remove the soiled pad, put a clean one in, and continue to reuse the outer waterproof shell.  Popular ai2 brands include Best Bottoms, Flip, G-diapers, Gro-Via, and SoftBums.  AI2 systems that have a disposable pad option are often called “hybrid” diapers.  Flip, G-diapers, and Gro-Via all have a disposable/biodegradable option.  The outer waterproof part is called a “shell” or “cover”.  The inner absorbent pad is called a “soaker”. 

Pros of an All-in-two System

1. Combine the ease of a pocket diaper or aio which go on in one piece with the cost savings of a 2-piece system.  On average each shell can be reused 3-4 times before it either (a) starts to smell less than fresh or (b) gets poop on it.  So to get a full stash of 24 diaper changes, you would need 24 soakers but only 6-8 shells.  Compare this to a pocket diaper or aio system where you would need 24 complete diapers and you will see how an ai2 system can save you hundreds of dollars in your initial investment. 

2. Less laundry because you are only washing the soaker every time instead of the whole diaper.  This isn’t a big deal for someone who has a full size washer in their house, but for someone who only has a small washer or who takes their diapers to the laundromat, this could be important. 

3. Easier to deal with residue.  Residue from your detergent or the minerals dissolved in your water (if you have hard water) can cause issues with stink and/or absorbency.  With an ai2 system since the durable soakers are detachable from the more delicate shells, if you need to strip the residue from (or replace) your inexpensive soakers you can do so without ruining or replacing your more expensive shells. This is true for all the ai2 systems listed above except the Gro-Via system.  Their soakers contain both PUL (waterproofing) and elastic so you although the part about replacing them is still true, you can’t safely boil them or bleach them. 

Cons of an All-in-two System

1. You’re commited to a single brand, pretty much.  While pocket diapers and aio’s are self contained, an ai2 needs to be part of a large stash for it to work well.  We personally test every diaper we sell at Babies Bottoms and More, so I experienced this first hand.  I had 1 shell and 2 soakers that I was testing.  It was such a pain to change the dirty soaker and then have to fish around through the other 23 diapers (I use aio’s and pockets, with fitteds + cover at night) to find the single other soaker.  What you really want is to be able to grab one shell and one soaker and know that they will work together.  This is also why mixing different brands of ai2’s won’t work very well.  If you are the type of person who likes to try a little of everything, buys diapers based on what cute prints you like, or plan to continue to add to your stash as you find more diapers you want to try, this is not the system for you.  If, however, you are the kind of person who likes to keep things simple, find one thing that works and stick with it, you might really like an ai2 system. 

2. If you use the disposable insert option you have to depend on stores to keep it in stock.  I remember last year there was a time that one of the big ai2 brands sold out (at the wholesale level) of their disposable inserts and it took them 2-3 months to get the new shipment of them from the factory.  With all the parents who used this system with disposables now needing to buy them, it wasn’t long until all the retailers sold out too.  Now these parents were stuck with a bunch of shells that they couldn’t use because they couldn’t get the other pieces (unless they had also purchased cloth soakers).  This is why we only recommend the disposable soaker option as a supplemental option like for trips out of town or if you forget to do laundry, not as a full-time system.  If you have cloth YOU are in control of your diaper supply and not dependent on anyone else for it. 

3. It can frustrate you if you don’t have enough shells.  If you mentally ration your covers and think “I gotta make this shell last through 3 more changes!” you will get frustrated at those times when your baby has a massive poo-splosion inside the shell if it wasn’t already the 4th use.  There will be times when you’ll have to wash a shell after the first use.  So if you have it mentally calculated in your head that you WILL use each cover X number of times, you’ll get frustrated.  Instead, look at it this way: with an aio or pocket diaper, whether the diaper is wet or a little poopy or completely messy, you don’t have a choice to reuse any part of it.  With an ai2 you do have a choice.  So you don’t HAVE to reuse the shells, but you CAN reuse them if it works out that way. 

Logistics: AI2 in Action

One more thing most people find helpful is the logistics of this.  When you hear “take out the dirty soaker and put in a clean one, then reuse the shell,” most people picture doing that in the middle of the diaper change, and putting the SAME shell back on.  This is more complicated than it needs to be.  Instead, have one (or more) clean shells preloaded with clean soakers.  Then, you can take the dirty diaper off  and set it aside.  Put the clean already-assembled diaper on the baby, put their pants back on and take them off the changing table and somewhere safe.  THEN shake the poop (if necessary) in the toilet, put the dirty soaker in the diaper pail, and put a clean soaker inside the cover to get it ready for the next diaper change.  It sounds like it’s a lot of work, but it’s much easier this way.  This is the same moment you would normally use to put the diaper in the diaper pail and wash your hands: the post-diaper-change clean-up.

 

Still have questions about AI2’s (or other cloth diapers)?  Please comment and we’ll get back to you.  Or, if you’re local, stop by our store in Farmers Branch, TX  on Tuesdays 10-2 or Saturdays 11-3 (check our website for the most updated hours and address, www.babiesbottomsandmore.com)

Do you use all-in-two’s?  What is your favorite brand?  Did I miss anything in the pro’s and con’s?