Category Archives: Product Review

Thirsties Duo Wrap Covers: Product Review

When my daughter was around 5 months old, she started having leaks every other night in her cloth pocket diapers and, since we were co-sleeping, that meant I had to keep changing and washing our one set of sheets. That got annoying fast so I asked some other cloth diapering friends for their suggestions on what I could do. They unanimously agreed I needed to try covers and prefolds.

One friend suggested the Thirsties brand and I’m so glad she did. I decided to try out the Duo Wraps to see if they would work for us. The main reason these appealed to me is they were a one size diaper cover. Well, actually, there are 2 sizes (thus the “duo”). The first size (size one) goes from 6-18 lbs and the next size (size two) goes from 18-40 lbs. I liked the fact I wouldn’t need to buy many sizes and could just buy 2.

My daughter in a Thirsties Blackbird Cover

Another feature of the Duo Wraps that I REALLY like is the leg gussets. They are the biggest reason I think we no longer experienced diaper leaks at nightafter switching to these covers. We just make sure the prefold is tucked underneath the gussets (and up top, too) and it works flawlessly to keep wetness in.

The designs are really cute, too. I love the blackbird especially! There are also plain colors in addition to the patterned styles, if you prefer something less flashy.

I wholeheartedly recommend these covers! I have never had a problem with them have been using them at night since my daughter was under 6 months. (She is 27 months now to give you an idea of how long we’ve used them.) I have both snaps and velcro and the velcro is still sticking as well, which is really nice. I’m sure these have a ton of life left in them.

Do you use diaper covers? What are your favorite brands?


Real Food, Cloth Diapering and Weaning – Sunday Surf

Freezing in Glass Jars

Image by Chiot's Run via Flickr

Here is what I read this week that I found interesting! I think you will, too.

My Children are People – “Seeing my children as people helped me look at every interaction and think hard about how I would want to be treated in that situation.”

How to Freeze Food in Glass Jars – “The world is yours, of course – anything you can freeze can go in a glass jar…”

“I Can’t Afford the Start Up Costs of Cloth Diapering” - “I have a few issues with the “start up costs of cloth diapering” argument for not using cloth though, I have to tell you. It doesn’t make sense. Are we Americans so short sighted that we can’t see past a few months into the future?”

The Weaning Party“At first it was mostly about nourishment, and later mostly about comfort and closeness. Nursing gave us ample opportunities for physical closeness, and I think it brought us very close together emotionally too. It meant that even when we were apart, we were never far from each other’s thoughts.”

15-15 for Marriages with Young Children - “This 15 minutes of intentionally restorative time will have a cumulative effect in the week for both of you.”

Talking Real Food with Robyn O’Brien – “We need to demand that companies take out dyes, high fructose corn syrup and the like, by voting with our dollars. If we buy foods that do not contain unhealthy ingredients, O’Brien said, the industry will provide more of those options and the accessibility of healthy options for everyone will increase.”

Why I UCed - “Unassisted birth is not everyone’s choice, but I do feel it is a viable option for women who want it.”

Best Natural and Organic Face Soap? – “Besides the cosmetic benefits, it makes me feel really good to know that when Baby plants his frequent open mouth kisses all over my face, he’s not ingesting toxins.”

The Slippery Slope of Soap - “Unfortunately, many of the things we use as ‘soap’ are actually harsh detergents or chemical cocktails.”

I am Not Raising Obedient Children - “I don’t want children who obey without hesitation.  I want children who can think for themselves, recognize and listen to their feelings and instincts and respond appropriately.”

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Giveaway: CurlyMonkey Organic Cloth Baby Wipes $18 {5.26; US/Can}

This is a joint giveaway with A Little Bit of All of It and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory main entry and optional bonus entries.

Curly Monkey Organic cloth wipes assortmentCurly Monkey is offering our readers a giveaway of FOUR organic cloth baby wipes, a value of $18.45.

The Review:

I was excited for the opportunity to review four organic cloth wipes from CurlyMonkey. All of the products CurlyMonkey sells are free from pesticides, insecticides and harmful fertilizers, which makes me feel good about using these wipes on my little girl.

Besides cloth wipes, the company sells baby and toddler clothing, baby hats, baby bath mitts, and soft toys.

When I received my cloth wipes, they came in a nice blue organic cloth gift bag, which would be great if you were planning on buying a shower gift! I like that I can reuse this, too, and it is not just packaging I’d be throwing away.

Curly Monkey cloth baby wipes in bag

Specifically I was sent one each of the Organic Eco-friendly Cloth Baby Wipes in Paris Tea, Collection Trèfle and Think Peace prints, along with one Maxi Hemp Organic Cotton French Terry Cloth Baby Wipe (2 ply).

These wipes can be used in several ways — as burp cloths, washcloths, or in place of paper towels, for instance — but I used them specifically for their primary use as cloth wipes for my daughter’s diaper changes.

Using the Wipes

First of all, these wipes are BEAUTIFUL! The designs are lovely. I really enjoyed just looking at them and was almost afraid to use them! The prints are a high-quality designer cotton fabric on one side with the other side being an organic hemp / organic cotton french terry.

Curly Monkey Organic cloth wipe textureThe Maxi Hemp wipe is handsewn unbleached, dye-free, organic fabric with one side being smooth while the other side is textured for messier jobs, like wiping dirty bottoms.

I consulted the website for the washing instructions (machine washable — gentle cycle — medium heat to dry) and washed them prior to using them. I measured them because I wanted to see how much they would shrink after washing, if at all. The wipes with prints measured 8 1/2″ x 11″ while the Maxi Hemp wipe measured 9″ x 9″. Once washed, they shrank down a little bit. The printed ones shrank to 8 1/2″ x 10.5″ and the Maxi Hemp wipe shrank to 9″ x 8 1/4″. I did notice that the edges on a couple of them curled up after washing but once I washed them again, they were already starting to lie flatter.

I use an old disposables wipes container for my wipes, and these wipes are slighter larger than the wipes I currently use and don’t fit as well into the container. They are also a lot thicker so they take up more space. Still, I didn’t find this that big a deal. I poured my wipe solution over the wipes like I normally do and there were no surprises there. I folded them with the design side facing inward so I was wiping with the plain side. For the Maxi Hemp wipe I placed the textured side facing outward.

I have been using cloth diapers since my daughter was a newborn (now 2 years old) along with cloth wipes so cloth wipes aren’t new to me. But these are MUCH nicer than the ones I’ve been using. It definitely makes a mundane task fun!

The generous size is a big plus. I found in cases where I normally would need to grab a second wipe, I don’t need to with these. They also feel more substantial than the thinner wipes that I have. The thickness of these means there is a nice barrier between my hand and what I’m wiping up. The textured side looks and feels like it would be great for an infant’s messy diapers, but since I have a 2-year-old, I didn’t get to “test” this out.

If you are already cloth diapering your baby, it makes sense to use cloth wipes as well. These would be a great addition to your cloth diapering routine as something nicer and more special. I actually get excited when I go to change my daughter and see the next wipe is one of these!

When my daughter caught her first stomach bug this past Christmas, I know I would have been happy to have these wipes to use for all the messes I had to clean up. It would have certainly made the job easier and given me something pretty to look at during an unpleasant experience. Even my daughter prefers them, as you can see in this video!

BUY IT!

You can purchase CurlyMonkey Organics cloth baby wipes online through CurlyMonkey.com or at CurlyMonkey’s Etsy shop.

Three-packs of the printed wipes are $15, and six-packs of the Maxi-Hemp wipes are $20.70.

Shipping is available internationally.

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win the same set of FOUR CurlyMonkey Organics cloth baby wipes, enter in the comments below! Contest is open to U.S. and Canada.

MAIN ENTRY:

Leave a valid email address in your comments (the line where it says “email address”) so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses are not made publicly visible.

This is a joint giveaway with A Little Bit of All of It, a natural parenting blog, and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!

BONUS ENTRIES, to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry above (leave a separate comment for each so we can count them all):

RULES:

  • Contest open to Canadian and United States mailing addresses only.
  • Contestants may enter at either A Little Bit of All of It or Natural Parents Network but not both. Entries will be combined for the drawing of a single winner.
  • Leave each entry as a separate comment so we can count them all.
  • For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just let us know in your comment.
  • For tasks that garner you multiple entries, you can copy and paste the comment with a #1, #2, etc.
  • You don’t have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one.
  • We will pick the winner through Random.org after the contest closes and send an email notification. Leave a valid email address as you comment so we can contact you if you win. If we can’t reach a winner or don’t hear back within a couple days, we’ll draw a new name.
  • Any questions, let Lauren know: Lauren {at} NaturalParentsNetwork.com
Contest closes May 26 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
Disclosure: I received four free wipes for review.
We try to seek out only products we think you would find
relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent.
If we don’t like a product, we won’t be recommending it to you.
See our full disclosure policy here.

Sunday Surf for week of March 20

I got carried away again this week so we have another mega links Sunday Surf.

Food and Recipes

Celebrating 20,000 Hits: Interview with Christine Ortiz of “Milk & Honey Organics” – For those in the upstate SC area, check out this interview. I have tried out this service yet but really want to and found the interview interesting.

Bacon Irish Soda Bread – Unusual bread recipe

Making Lunchtime Fun: Muffin Tin Meals! – I’ve heard of this idea before and love it but still have yet to implement it. Guess I’m just lazy?? I even have a nibble tray so I’m set. Maybe this week will be THE week.

Seriously Eating II: 94 Recipes from Serious Eats’ Healthy and Delicious Column – The title says it all

Dehydrating the Days Away – Funny post about dehydrating food. I have good memories of my parents doing this when I was a kid, especially my dad’s beef jerky.

Finding Better Health Through a Traditional Diet – Another great post from Natural Parents Network about what a traditional, real food diet is

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins – A friend brought me muffins like these after I had my daughter and they were fantastic!

Easy Breakfast and Lunch Ideas – Loved all these ideas!

Healthier Nachos and Green Brown Rice - I have never heard of green rice before. I totally want to try this.

Miscarriage

The Other Side – Sad story, recounting mourning with a friend through her miscarriage

Sound Bites from a Miscarriage Journey – Having been through miscarriage myself, I can truly relate to and appreciate this post

Moms Supporting Other Moms

Please Think Before You Comment – A mom of a nursing toddler gives some thoughtful advice

Let’s All Try Not to Be Jerks – Great post about how moms need to support each other

Lactivism, Breast Feeding, Bottle Feeding, Formula And Mothers At War - This one goes hand-in-hand with the “Please Think Before you Comment” post above

Childbirth

Birth Without Fear Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Be Scared – Although I can honestly say that birth did not scare me, I really, really liked this post a lot.

An Alternative To Perineal Massage For Childbirth Prep – Good info to keep in mind for my next pregnancy

One Response to ‘Eww! Birth is Icky!’ Squeamishness – I really appreciated this post about birth, sex and breastfeeding.

Parenting

Feeding to Sleep - My sentiments exactly!

Attachment Parenting Series: Beware of Baby Trainers – Some solid information that explains this “Baby B” of the AP style

Carseats – Lots of great links and info about the recommendations for rear-facing and booster seats

Shepherding a Child’s Heart: a review by Anne Sokol - Great review on the reasons this book is concerning

Eco-friendly Stuff

Sarah’s Stitches Wet Bags - I hadn’t heard of Sarah’s Stitches before and enjoyed learning about them in this review

Homemade Cleaning Spray – Good stuff and piggybacks nicely with my green spring cleaning tips!

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Baby Dust Diaries, ChildOrganics,Cloth Diapering Mama, Fabulous Mama Chronicles, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama and Baby Love, Mama Eve, Maman A Droit, Momma Jorje, Monkey Butt Junction, Motherhood Moments, My Inspired Baby, Navelgazing, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


It’s Almost Spring! Outdoor Furniture Fun

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m SO excited to welcome spring! I love the beautiful weather, pretty flowers and lighthearted feel in the air! I want to be outdoors all the time in the spring! Doesn’t everyone? To get us all in the mood for the coming season, I am posting here for your viewing enjoyment lots of awesome outdoor furniture, all from Pier 1.

I love the pattern on this dining cushion! (Pier 1)
And the matching pillow. Love it! (Pier 1)
These would be a fun, inexpensive (only $12.50 for 3!) way to spice up an outdoor barbecue! Their battery-powered lights, as well as decor! (Pier 1)
These would be lovely on an outdoor table or to take on a picnic dinner for something different. These are a great deal, too! (Pier 1)
How adorable would these be for the outdoor Easter Egg hunt?? I want to get some for my daughter’s Easter basket! (Pier 1)
Fun, colorful outdoor chairs! (Pier 1)
This table folds up for easy storage in the off months. Or you could just as easily put it inside, too! I can see this sitting in my dinette for sure! (Pier 1)
I really like the looks of this outdoor coffee table. I can see using this inside, too though in a sun room. (Pier 1)

I’ve had so much fun compiling this list! I’m going to have to hop over to Pier 1 soon to buy some stuff! March 18-20 they are having a special spring party. Sign up for the Pier 1 Outdoor newsletter to find out more! I want to check out the Outdoor Papasan, too! They look so cozy and they have so many different options to choose from now.

There are some Pier 1 Tweetups coming up if you’re on Twitter and into that sort of thing. Cities are Dallas (3-22), Atlanta (4-5) and NYC (4-20).

Visit Sponsor's Site


Super Sunday Surf for week of March 6

Last week I had no Sunday Surf but this week I have SO much stuff to share, I’m going to have to categorize it! So let’s get to the links, shall we?

Recipes and Food 

via seriouseats.com

Sunday Brunch: Scallion and Cheese Corn Muffins – These look utterly delicious…and cheap to make….and easy to make. That, pretty much, sums up my criteria for a good recipe! Perhaps these will make it onto a Menu Plan Monday sometime soon!

Spiced Raspberry Leaf Tea – You guys know I love tea, right? Here’s a recipe for a good tea that sounds tasty AND is good for the female reproductive system. She also gives a way to make it for those who maybe aren’t so into the taste to make it taste better so you can still get the health benefits.

Cheese Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce – My family is big into Mexican food. (My mom is already planning a Cinco de Mayo party because it is an excuse for us to eat lots of yummy Mexican food.) This recipe is healthy, too! Yay!

Serious Sweets: S’mores Brownie Bars – Need I say more??

Get Healthy: Prepare 3 More Meals This Week – Lots of meal prep tips

Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls – More Mexican healthy yumminess

Peanut Butter Popcorn – My husband said this sounded gross (boo) so I’ll have to make this one night for me and my daughter. I bet SHE would approve. ;)

1st Visit to McDonalds – Totally interesting to me

Christianity

Blaming and Angry with God – Quote from the post: “Sometimes I am tempted to be angry with God because of something I think I really need or really want that God does not give me, some source of pain. And I realized a few days ago why this is.”

Crunchy Stuff

Your Own Crunchy Shopping List – Free PDF – Check it out…she even gives you a nice pdf file to print out and take to the store with you and tips. And there’s also an online community on the site to discuss this stuff. Nice.

Citrus Lavender Laundry Detergent – One of these days I’m going to stop being lazy and make my own laundry detergent. Let me know if you have or do on a regular basis. I also linked to another DIY laundry detergent recipe in another Sunday Surf you can check out as well.

The Mother of All Soap Nut Recipe Resources – I had never heard of these until now and they sound AWESOME!! There is a giveaway on the same blog and I totally hope I win! If you enter, please say Julia sent you!

Babies and Parenting 

via codenamemama.com

Natural Parents Network’s Carnival of Natural Parenting’s theme this month is Top 10 Lists. I already did a post on one but here are the rest of my favorites:

10 Reasons to Choose Baby Led Weaning

Top 10 Ways to Know You’re a Natural Parent

Top 10 Ways to Be Present with Family

10 Natural Baby Items I Love

Choosing to Breastfeed

Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before Little Man

Top Ten Things No One Told Me About Natural Parenting

Top Ten Breastfeeding Misconceptions

Step Away from the Amazon List

My Top Ten New Mommy Moments

And this was not part of the carnival but is in the same vein:

Top 17 Things I Learned in My First Year as a Parent

The Invisible Umbilical Cord – I totally identified with this one!

Cooking with Your Toddler – Some great ideas here for fun meals your toddler would enjoy

Myth Busting 4: My Story – A post on gentle discipline

Random

Thoughts on Sleep – Robyn from Green Smoothie Girl gives some sleep information

Ice Candle Holder Table Decorations – I thought this was pretty cool, um literally.

Check out Authentic Parenting, Baby Dust Diaries, ChildOrganics, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama and Baby Love, Mama Eve, Maman A Droit, Momma Jorje, Monkey Butt Junction, Motherhood Moments, My Inspired Baby, Navelgazing, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Imse Vimse Flushable Cloth Diaper Liners: Product Review

When it comes to toilets, I’m a scaredy cat so I knew when I made the decision to cloth diaper my baby I wasn’t going to want to swish away the waste in the toilet. That’s when I made the decision to try out flushable cloth diaper liners. I started out with another brand but a friend recommended the Imse Vimse liners so I decided to try them out.

If you are unsure of what exactly a flushable liner is, it’s pretty simple really. Here’s the description from the Imse Vimse site:

“Flushable liners can be used between the diaper and the baby’s skin, letting moisture pass through to the diaper while preventing solids to soak into the diaper, which will take the mess out of washing your cloth diapers.  Just flush away the mess, and spend more time with your baby instead of dunking diapers.  These bio-degradable flushable liners are an all natural paper product; they are unbleached and biodegradable. “

They are super easy to use. They come in a roll which I just keep stored with my wipes. Then when I change a diaper I just put one of these on top of the diaper. That’s it. If I’m going to be out and about, I just take a couple and put them in with the diaper. (My husband sticks the whole roll in the bag.)

If they are soiled, I take the diaper to the toilet, dump it and flush. I don’t have to touch the liner at all which I like. If it is not soiled, I just throw it in the wet bag with the diaper. It washes up nicely and will last 3 or 4 (maybe more!) times before it starts getting little holes in it. I throw it away once it has holes obviously. :) I dry them on my rack with the diaper covers but I have accidentally dried them and they were still usable after that even.

I have a toddler but prefer the baby size (which comes in a pack of 2 rolls, 100 liners to a roll.) The toddler size would be ideal if you primarily use pre-folds but I just find them too big for my pocket diapers. (The toddler size comes with 1 roll of 100 liners).

I purchase mine either from the Natural Baby store here in town or online.

Do you use Imse Vimse liners or do you have another favorite?


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