Thursday, August 14, 2014

Traveling with Cloth Diapers just got Easier!

Many of us start out with cloth diapering as a way to save some money for a couple of diaper changes a day at home.  We never really expect to put our baby in cloth 100% of the time because we just feel that overnight and outings might be too hard.  Then we start looking into it (and falling in love with the daytime fluff), and we realize that overnight really isn't as hard as we had anticipated.  So, we get a few prefolds or fitteds and covers to test out and realize our baby will sleep through the night in one diaper.  So, now we're using cloth full time at home, but not on outings.  No way.

Then there's that one day when we're heading out to a quick trip to the park and we realize we don't have any disposables. Or maybe we're heading in for a doctor's visit and we want to show off our adorable cloth diapers.  So we make an exception and grab a couple extra cloth diapers, a wetbag, and some wipes and just wing it in cloth, just for this one outing.  All of a sudden, bringing cloth on outings doesn't seem so daunting!  Woohoo, cloth full time!!

But wait.  What about that week long trip we have planned to visit Grandma out of state?  NO WAY can we bring cloth diapers along.  What will we do with the dirties?  Nobody wants my baby's poop in their washing machine.  This just can't be done.  Or CAN it?!? ;)

Enter the Qdspray and a Spray Pal!  The Qdspray is a portable diaper sprayer that attaches to your sink.  This is awesome in so many ways.  Let me list them for you:

  1. You can take it with you where ever your cloth diapering heart may lead you.  Just make sure the sink is compatible or that you have the correct adapter.
  2. By hooking it to a sink you have access to hot or cold water through your sprayer.
  3. If you're worried about an older child finding the diaper sprayer attached to your toilet and using it as a water blaster, you won't have to worry about this one. ;) 
So if you're planning on camping in a tent or RV, or even just bringing cloth diapers to stay with squeamish relatives, you can just show them your awesome pre-rinsing system which will get your diapers super clean before you put them in the washer and will also keep their bathroom's spotless by keeping any splatter right where it belongs, in the toilet! 

Et voila! Now ANYONE can cloth diaper ANYWHERE without a worry in the world! ;)

The Spray Pal and qdspray are available in a bundle on the Spray Pal website with FREE shipping in the US!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Yoohoo! Big Summer Blowout! {Another Fun WAHM Giveaway!}

I've had the pleasure of working with Tia from Wooly Booly Designs a few times in the past, and when she approached me about working together on a massive giveaway, I just couldn't say no!  I love learning about new WAHM small businesses and sharing them with all of you.  So we have gathered together a few of our favorites and we'll be sharing a little about their products here. 

These small, mom-run businesses have generously offered up some amazing, hand-crafted prizes, so be sure to check out all that they have to offer and show them a little love. You'll be glad you did!  You can find all of these shops on Facebook and many of them have Etsy shops as well, just search for their names. :)

Honeysuckle Handmades is offering a size medium shortiBunz, designed to fit sizes 3-18 months and beyond.  The waist and leg cuffs can be folded up or down to accommodate all sizes and kinds of children and their cloth diapers.  Value: $20

Lil Monkey Business is going to make one lucky winner a custom pair of "Grow with Me" pants! Value: $30

Wooly Booly Designs is sponsoring a medium wetbag and 4 fleece Wooly Bums Inserts for cloth diapers. Value: $22.50

Ema's Elegance will be providing a 12 inch polished caramel amber teething necklace for one lucky little one.  Value: $20

Elvish Painter will be honoring a $15 gift card for a custom painted baby item (gDiaper, baby clothing item, cloth baby shoes, etc.)

Jae's Gems will be giving their winner a choice of a custom, handmade, all natural healing child's hazelwood/amber/gemstone necklace. Winner can choose from general teething, acid reflux, allergies, or insomnia. The necklace will be new and made to order. Value: $25

Sara Ren Designs will be designing a custom invitation or chalkboard (winner's choice). Value: $15

Upcycle Momma will be creating an adorable custom-made stuffed animal for one of our winners.  Value: $25

Tickled Pretty is sponsoring a Coraline wristlet bag with an owl theme.  Measures 10 inches wide by 6 inches tall.  Value: $20

Just In A Stitchy will be providing a $15 gift code to their Etsy store.

Lil Angel Bows *n* Toes will offer one winner their choice of a headband and sandals or a headband and bows. Value: $18

Ramblings of a Cloth Diaper Addict is giving away a limited edition and now HTF (hard to find) BumGenius 4.0 in the Chaplin print!

Mama Beads and Baby Baubles will provide one lucky winner with a bubble gum bracelet. Value: $15

You Found Me-Safety ID Bracelets and More will create a custom ID bracelet to keep your little one safe and sound. Value: $10

The Sweet Spot is sending one lucky winner a small sample box of home baked goodies. Value: $30

Spray Pal will also be sponsoring a prize.  We will send one lucky winner a Spray Pal splatter shield to make cleaning cloth diapers with a diaper sprayer EASY and mess-free!

We will be selecting and verifying 16 winners, the more the merrier!  You'll have 48 hours to respond to our email if you've won, so make sure to provide an email address you check often.  Good luck to all who enter, and a HUGE thank you to our amazing WAHM sponsors!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Back to School with Cloth Diapers

Are you a busy parent?  Do you send your kids to day care in cloth diapers? Have an older child heading back to school and a younger child in cloth diapers? Many parents avoid cloth diapers thinking that it's going to be a ton of extra work, but it's just not true.  If WE can do it, ANYONE can!

Save time in your daily routine with these helpful tips. Whether your cloth diapered babe is home with you or at day care, you can use our time saving tips below and be sure to comment with any time savers you've discovered along the way.

For those doing cloth diapers at home:

  • If you're looking to save time over money, buy some AIO (All in One) diapers or fitteds and wool.  AIOs and fitteds go on in one piece, so there's no stuffing or set up involved.  Wool covers, which go over fitteds to make them waterproof are actually easier to prep than you'd think.  One lanolizing session every 2 weeks or so, and you're good to go.  Plus, the longies and basewoolies double as adorable pants perfect for Fall!
  • Invest in a few extra diapers.  Expanding your stash will benefit you in a few ways.  You can stretch out the amount of time between laundry days if you have more diapers to change.  You'll also be decreasing the wear and tear on your diapers by washing them less frequently, which will help them last longer and get you a better resale value when you're finished with them (or make for a nicer quality donation).
  • Get a diaper sprayer and a Spray Pal splatter shield.  This dynamic duo is a definite time saver.  Whether you spray them as they come or save the dirties for the end of the day, using a sprayer on the highest pressure to quickly blast those diapers clean without worrying about messy over-spray is a life saver for us.

For those sending cloth diapers to day care:

  • Send enough diapers.  Calculate how many to send based on a diaper change every 2 hours and at least one extra, just in case.  They may not need them all, but it's better to have more than enough ready.
  • Keep the communication open and send what they like.  Ask your provider what style of diaper they are most comfortable with.  Many prefer pre-stuffed pockets or AIOs so that they don't have to do any prep, and Velcro/aplix/hook and loop closure.  It's honestly no different than putting on a disposable other than they will toss the dirty diaper into a wetbag to be washed rather than the trash can to sit in a landfill. ;)
  • Send two wetbags.  One for the clean diapers and one for the dirties.  Maybe sure they are clearly differentiated, maybe a nice blue or green color for the clean and a red or brown for the dirty diapers?
  • Consider a third wetbag specifically for poopy diapers.   You will have to take care of those after you bring them home.  Might as well have them separated out so that you don't have to dig through the other diapers to get to the hidden treasure, so to speak.  This step will save you time at home!
  • Invest in a sprayer and Spray Pal splatter shield.   If you are trying to get the poop out of cloth diapers that have been sitting in a wetbag all day, you will make your life a lot easier by clipping them into a Spray Pal and spraying them at full blast with the sprayer. No more spending time hunched over trying to carefully pulse that stuck-on stuff.  Just spray, squeeze the excess water, unclip in wetbag, repeat, then get on with your day!
  • Be sure to show them your appreciation.  Not all day care providers are open to the idea of modern cloth diapers (mostly because they probably don't realize how easy they are). If your day care is willing to work with you to do cloth, be sure to be overly thankful!  After all, they are helping #makeclothmainstream. :)

    If you have any of your own tips for successfully using cloth diapers at day care, please share them in the comments below!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mini Spray Pal 2.0's Review of the Joovy Cocoon

You can see in this picture how all of his cords can slip through the sides to the back compartment and all of his gear can be easily stored right behind him.

We've been using the Joovy Cocoon for a few months now, and I feel it is important to share this with our Spray Pal community, especially for those who have kids with special needs.  Our little guy LOVES this stroller, and for great reason.

Ryan was a micropreemie born at 25 weeks gestation weighing only 1lb 13oz.  He spent his first 7 months in the NICU before we were able to bring him home on oxygen and with a feeding tube.  That meant lots of logistics for taking him out of the house with all of his gear, and we are very much an “out of the house” kind of family.  We didn’t want his life experiences to be limited, so we adapted.  We would babywear him as much as possible with the oxygen tanks placed in a camelback pack on our backs, but there are many times when a stroller is necessary for him.  Namely, when he is on one of his gtube feeds because that’s a lot of gear to hang off a baby carrier (not to say that we haven’t done it a few times before). ;)

Can you see how excited he gets when we first put him in?! Helping #makeclothmainstream in his Grovia cloth diaper as well. ;)
For those times we needed a stroller, we were using one of the more expensive brand’s umbrella strollers because we wanted something convenient for travel but sturdy enough to carry all of his medical gear.  What we found was that while it was great for travel, it really wasn’t great for the gear.  I can’t tell you how many times I lifted my son out of his stroller just to have it tip backwards from the weight of all his equipment…which is especially dangerous when he’s hooked up to a feed and there is the potential to pull out his gtube Mic-key button if the stroller yanks his tube hard enough.

We were using said umbrella stroller during our road trip to MommyCon, and Pam from Joovy noticed our stuggles.  She asked if we had ever seen the Joovy Cocoon, and we honestly had not.  We are pretty frugal, so if we have something we think is working well enough, we just use it.  But man, do I wish I had done a little research!  This was one of those things you don’t really know how much 
you need it until you have it.

Another Zoolander look! Also known as the "Quit taking pictures, mom. I'm ready to go for a walk!" face. ;)
We’ve been using the Cocoon for a few months now, and it actually sits on our front patio because we use it daily.  It has been so nice to easily get Ryan out for walks each day.  There’s a huge compartment for him to sit in.  The straps and clips are the best we’ve used on any stroller (Mr. Spray Pal always comments on this and told me to be SURE to mention it in my review, lol).  The best part is that there’s a large compartment in the back which has openings that connect with the front seat compartment where we can put all of his medical equipment.  It easily fits an oxygen tank plus a spare, his feeding pump backpack, and my purse without any trouble.  We also have the handlebar cup holder storage thingy (sorry for that “official” term, I need to look it up, lol) and that combined with the back storage, there is definitely plenty of space to go around. 

The Joovy Cocoon in action.
Now this review is mostly done in terms of a special needs kid, but with that much space, you can tell how awesome it would be for a non-medical issue kiddo.  You will have space for DAYS.  And there are so many features that make this stroller worth the investment (retails for $499 HERE).  This stroller is very stylish and easy to use.  Our nurse takes Ryan for walks every day during her shift and loves it, and then we usually do a family walk/jog in the evening and it works great as a jogging stroller.  The ride is VERY smooth, which is great for our bumpy neighborhood sidewalks.  Ryan used to dread being put into his stroller (he’s a glutton for babywearing), but he doesn’t complain about this one.  I think he realizes a fun ride is about to occur when he gets in there.  I also love that there are huge clear “windows” on all sides so he can watch the world around him as he goes by.  He sits up so straight with his hands and face glued to those windows, it’s fantastic to see him enjoy a stroller so much. It also converts easily to a bike trailer, which will save you tons if you were planning on buying a separate stroller and bike trailer!

A couple of extras to consider if you go with the Joovy Cocoon:

1.  The Cocoon Parent Organizer:  This is that handlbar attachment thingy I mentioned earlier (I went and looked up what it was actually called, LOL).  This thing is really handy to have around when you’re walking with drinks, cell phones, etc.  Highly recommend.

2.  The Cocoon Bicycle Trailer Attachment: This is the part you will need if you want to use your Cocoon as a bike trailer in addition to a stroller.  Totally worth it if you like to ride bikes. And if you do ride bikes, you should also look into these Joovy Noodle helmets for the kiddos.

There is also a double stroller option available should you need the extra space called the CocoonX2.

As a huge THANK YOU to Joovy for introducing us to the Cocoon, we are going to give away a Spray Pal to one of you!  This may seem strange, but I'm not sure how else to thank them for being so awesome, lol.  It's our way of paying it forward.  Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: Joovy very generously gave us the Cocoon stroller after meeting 2.0 in person at MommyCon Austin after the Great Cloth Diaper Change in April. This review is my honest opinion after using it frequently for the past few months. None of the links are referral links, they are just there to help you find what you're looking for more easily!