Saturday, November 1, 2014

Cloth Diapers: ProRaps

Another giant diaper cover I got for E's toddler night fitteds was by Proraps.  Now, right away the coolest thing about Proraps/Prodiaper is that they are based here in Vancouver, WA!  We've driven by their building many times; it's actually within walking distance to the Cottonbabies store (although I think they have moved recently)!  I've often wondered why Cottonbabies doesn't stock more/any Proraps products -- since they are SUPER local -- but that day I went in for nighttime supplies, they did have an XL Proraps Classic Cover at a discount.

Image from Proraps
One more thing about Proraps the company: I guess their covers are considered the "workhorse" of the cloth diaper service world (you know, diaper services: subscribing to the truck that comes and washes stuff for you, etc.).  They've been around a long time, and recently changed ownership in 2012.  Also, they really do make many (all?) of their products right here in Vancouver!  I was researching them late last night and I forget where I saw their "Made in USA" stats.  Anyway.

This cover did a great job.  It's got gussets and was completely reliable.  White is a boring color of course, but look at all the new colorful things they are making now!  This cover is ENORMOUS.  It covered the nighttime fitteds and then some!  E. was in this toddler-night-fitted-and-cover phase for only a short time, but if she had continued to let us put her in diapers, we could have used this well beyond when we did.  It's the same for all those big fitteds, really!

I feel a bit dumb for spending a fair amount of money on this phase, not knowing how short it would be.  Truly these were her last diapers, since she was adamant about using big girl undies at daytime.  Soon enough, she wanted "night undies", too!  It's not that she got much better at holding it at night -- we still needed absorbency, but had to package it in cobbled-together, undies-looking solutions that were not "diapers".  Whew, when your baby insists she is not a baby anymore, watch out!  The mere mention of putting on a diaper would offend her greatly!!  Looking back, I would have loved to keep her in night diapers way longer (and saved much bedding laundry), but overall I think she progressed appropriately.  She just wanted to be a big girl across the board!

Well, I still have all this big stuff lying around for Baby #2 . . . and if she doesn't need it, that is why cloth is great: resale value! :)

I will also mention here that my Size 2 Duo Wrap from Thirsties and my Happy Heinys one-size cover both worked well at night over the toddler fitteds, too.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cloth Diapers: Bummis Polar Wrap

Ah, another discontinued product!  To go over all these big fitteds for nighttime during E's toddler potty training phase, I needed some new covers!  Luckily I found two on clearance at my local Cottonbabies store (same day I got the Little Beetle fitted).

First was the Bummis Polar Wrap, Size XL.

Image from Bummis
The image link is to an old page from their Canadian site; this cover isn't made anymore.

I thought my (smaller) Bummis Super Brites were great, so I was happy to try something else from them.  I had heard that polyfleece can make a good, breathable outer waterproof layer, but I didn't quite believe it.  After using this, and my Happy Little Llama hybrid fitted, I guess it is true!  I have heard the same thing about wool, but I never did take the plunge on that one for E.

This cover did the trick with no leaks, fitting nicely over all those big, bulky fitteds.  (It was HUGE!  Room to spare!)  I admit that the off-white fleece was, well, boring to look at, and the whole thing did feel a bit stiff (you would think polyfleece would be squishy soft), but really I have no complaints.

Cloth Diapers: Little Beetle

Another toddler fitted I tried for night was a Little Beetle ONE Organic Cotton Velour fitted.  Why?  Because it was on clearance at my local Cottonbabies store when I went in, desperate for larger-sized night options! Apparently this company is now defunct, so this review probably won't help anyone anymore, but I have to be complete in my assessments!
Image from Global Enfant
Image from Global Enfant
Image from Global Enfant

I had the aplix closure, Size 2, in a lovely blue!

This fitted was a good option, did its job well, and was nice and cozy soft.  I loved the deep blue color, and the aplix/hook-and-loop/velcro held up during my (albeit limited) use of it.  I thought the inside was unique, the way the extra doubler slid under the attached-in-the-middle soaker.  Drying time was speedy.  I was able to use the doubler in other training pants as well!

Around this time I was also trying to find some Little Beetle "Learners" training pants, but alas, they seemed to have mostly disappeared as well.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cloth Diapers: Happy Little Llama

I forget where I even heard about this WAHM shop, but for E's toddler night diapering, I wanted to try a Happy Little Llama fitted.  (It appears that she is on hiatus as of this post, but I hope she comes back!)

Photo from Happy Little Llama

This fitted was by far my favorite!  It's a hybrid fitted, which means that it has a hidden layer of Windpro* polyfleece behind the cute outer knit print.  This is supposed to help keep the outside dryer longer, by repelling wetness back into the soaker (while staying "breathable", unlike PUL).  Well, it works!!  Some mornings she would wake up and even though I had a cover on her, this fitted was still mostly dry on the outside.

This diaper had nice velour on the soaker next to baby's bum, and the whole thing stayed puffy, squishy soft after many washes!  Later on, I took the soaker out and used it as a booster in some of her training pants.  I forgot to mention, with toddler night diapering, I was OK with a natural fiber lining (not stay-dry) because I wanted her to feel wet and perhaps learn to figure out when she was going in the night.  (At this point though, she was thankfully just sleeping all night, so it didn't really matter, I suppose!)

All in all, Happy Little Llama was soft and cozy, stretchy, absorbent, held up nicely, and fit great.  As with all these toddler fitteds, she could have stayed in it much longer, if only she wasn't so stubborn about ditching diapers and being a big girl!

I wish I had taken the plunge earlier on with hybrid fitteds; I think they could have helped air out a few bad rashes.  And I love the super-cute and soft outer knit fabrics!!  Oh well, I wasn't into the WAHM diapers then, and hybrid fitteds were not the "thing" they are currently.  Next baby!

*Apparently Windpro (by Polartec) is "the" fleece to have in a hybrid fitted.  Other generic fleeces don't work as well.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cloth Diapers: Sustainablebabyish / sbish / Sloomb

This post begins the reviews for E's potty training era!  She was in some form of trainers or undies part-time since about 18 months, but around 2.5 years old, her old night diapers weren't cutting it anymore.  Up until this time, I really liked triple-stuffed pockets for night, but even those were starting to fail (volume!).  So, recalling that fitteds + covers were truly an absorbent combination, I obtained some toddler-sized ones.  I only needed a few since they were just for night.

I had heard very good things about fitteds from Sustainablebabyish aka Sloomb aka Sbish, so I tried some out.  I don't remember the details, but I got some really good deals on all 3 that I had.

Photo from Sustainablebabyish

Photo from Sustainablebabyish
The Velour Happy Little Clouds fitted was great!  I had the green one.  It absorbed with no leaking and stayed pretty soft.  I really don't have anything bad to say about it, except that the next diaper did the same job for less money!  If I hadn't gotten a discount, I would not have paid more for the velour.

Photo from Sweetbottoms Baby
Photo from Sweetbottoms Baby
The Overnight Bamboo Fleece fitted (I had purple) also worked really well.  My only complaint was that it did get a bit stiff and "crunchy" over time.  Taking it off her in the morning, it just sort of held its shape and was fairly gross, compared to other natural fiber fitteds I was using.

Photo from Sweetbottoms Baby

Photo from Sustainablebabyish

Now, I also had a "regular" (bamboo/cotton terry) Happy Little Cloud (in green), but I never ended up using it!!

I think this was because our whole era of toddler night diapers was SHORT -- like a month or two.  She needed extra night absorbency, but then she quickly decided she did not want to wear diapers anymore!  After all, by the time I bought these she was in "undies" (trainers of various styles) all day and wanted to be a big girl at night, too.  So I think in the case of this extra fitted, I just hadn't prepped it or added it to the rotation before she was refusing diapers.  Oh well, I can use it with the next baby!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cloth Diapers: Kissaluvs

Alright, back on track with a cloth diaper post!  Got to finish them up before I go back and update them for baby #2 (not here yet)! :)

So, I tried a couple Kissaluvs items with E., but they didn't work out very well for us.  I already gave the Kissa's fitteds to a friend, and I think I'm going to sell or donate my Marvels AIO.


Photo from Jillian's Drawers
Photo from Jillian's Drawers
My two Kissas fitteds were the old Size 1 -- they were too big for a newborn, but too small to use as she grew.  I could never get a good fit on her!!  I much preferred my Green Mountain Diapers Workhorse fitteds.  I would say that my old Kissas fit a little smaller than the GMD red-edge fitteds.  Now apparently there is new sizing in the Kissas.


Photo from Nicki's Diapers
Sadly, just like the fitteds, I couldn't get a good fit on E. with the Marvel AIO.  It seemed to me that the waist snap placement was too high, among other mysterious fit issues.  I had this green one with a yellow interior.  It was nice that I didn't have to unstuff it (the attached insert agitates out), but it always turned completely inside-out (I believe this was because it was not a true sleeve design; it only had an opening on one end).  Turning it right-side-out was a pain.  I also found that it is hard to add absorbency when you have sewn-in inserts in a pocket (the Blueberry Basix is like that as well).  Another drawback is that the insert is stuck in there, so you can't put it in to bleach with a big load of microfiber inserts.  It would get stinky!  This diaper did not see much use.

"Bottom" line (ha ha), Maybe they would have a great fit on a different child, but I'm not all that interested in trying Kissaluvs again.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hi there!

Well, hello!  I sure haven't posted for a long time!  I read a long time ago that no one wants to read blog posts about how long it's been since you've last blogged.  So I'll keep it short.

Life is busy!
And not currently including much computer time!
And that is fine by me!

Now, go take a walk outside and give your eyeballs a break from the computer.
I'm going over to my art desk.

PS- I do still have about 15 more cloth diapering/potty training posts in draft form, so those will still get up here eventually!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cloth Diapers: Evolution

Well, this diaper (the "Ion") doesn't seem to exist anymore, although the company does.  Going by the Evolution website, they have a new diaper design coming in 2013 . . . oh wait, it's 2014.  (Hey, I completely understand delays!!)  The woman behind these diapers seems to be having more luck with her Boingo diaper fasteners -- because I've seen those for sale around the web and *gasp* even knew what they were (though I've never used them, being a trifolded-in-a-cover prefold user myself)!

Image from ClothDiaperContests.com
Anyway, this pic is from a blog review I found when searching Evolution Ion.  (It's tough to find info on these dipes!)  The pretty green dotty print is the same one I had.  It's a side-snapping one-size, but the neat thing is that you can adjust the leg and back elastic (a lot!  More than Fuzzibunz), so it doesn't have rise snaps -- the size of the leg determines the size of the diaper.  I liked how the elastic magically tucks away into the wings so you never have to deal with it unless you're purposely adjusting -- doesn't get in the way.

It has a Coolmax lining instead of microfleece OR microsuede OR cotton!  So that is/was different from all the rest.  I've owned Coolmax shirts and generally have experienced how comfy they are, so I was eager to try it!  I forget where I even got it or how I initially heard about it, but somehow I bought one.

When it first arrived, it looked SO goofy!  The diaper itself was this huge thing (it arrives completely un-adjusted) while the insert was TINY.  In the review I linked to, apparently the reviewer's diaper came with multiple inserts.  Not mine!  Just this one, tiny, laughable insert.  Now knowing that other people got additional inserts, I'm miffed!  Oh well.

My main complaint was not with the diaper, but the INSERT.  ****SEE UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF POST**** I have since thrown it away (yes, it got me so frustrated for being so useless that one day I just put it in the trash!) so I don't know its exact stats, but I can tell you this:

a) it was yet another hemp item that failed to impress me;
b) it was so thin, it was like a piece of cardstock or something, like literally an eighth an inch thick somehow made up of two even thinner layers;
c) it held nothing; no absorbency whatsoever (and yes I prepped it a bunch of times!)
d) once that thing got wet/washed, it was stiff, like hard and scratchy like those old brown paper towels from the sink dispenser in art class

Basically it was this nasty little shriveled thing in amongst my soft fluff, and just looking at it made me either want to laugh or cry.  So most of my negativity is about the insert.  MOVING ON to the diaper . . .

Even though it was adjustable, this diaper was enormous!  I adjusted it all the way down and it still was too big for my girl.  I kept it in reserve for a long long time.  It never really fit her right, but got better the bigger she got (finally got some good use without leaks), until it was in our "side-snapping diaper as pre-training-pants" rotation.

The Coolmax was okay, but it wasn't stay-dry and that bothered her at times.  It also stained easily.  All in all it had a very "light" feel to it.  Very trim for sure, but also vaguely insubstantial.  My husband called it "the summer diaper", like she wouldn't be warm enough in it in winter!

Not my favorite diaper, but once it fit, it was OK.  We used it enough that the little dot design definitely wore off/faded quite a bit!  (Actually, that is a lot of fading, because this definitely got less use than others, and NONE of my other diapers faded.)  Stuffed with a normal microfiber insert (or two), it was completely fine, so in conclusion: another middle-of-the-road diaper.  I wouldn't want to adjust all that elastic if my whole stash was these, nor would I want to deal with the side snaps. And the insert?  See above, 'nuff said. :)

***UPDATE!!***

I did NOT throw the insert away!  I must have rescued it from the trash, because I found it in my laundry area awhile back, and I have been throwing it in with my regular laundry to see if it would soften up.  It definitely has!!  So maybe there is hope for that insert after all.  It still is tiny, though -- definitely newborn or small size.  Our diapering days are behind us for now, so I will let you know if I ever have a kid #2.

Also: seriously I must have washed that thing around 20 times to make it soft and fluffy.  Not good.  My Babykicks Joeybunz hemp insert got suuuuuuper soft way more quickly, and that has more layers!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cloth Diapers: BabyKicks

When I first wrote this, I was fairly harsh on the Babykicks diaper, but after further reflection (and taking it back out of the bag o' diapers in the basement to look at again), I've cut it some slack.  It was alright, just not my favorite.

This was an odd little diaper.  I got one (what they are now calling the Premium) as a free bonus from an online store -- in orange/yellow.  They must have redesigned this diaper since I got mine, because their site lists a bamboo velour inner (mine is microfleece with a cotton/bamboo fleece center) and an extra microfleece layer on the insert (my insert is just hemp/cotton).

Image from Babykicks website and I only had the orange one!

This diaper is a side-snapper, which is trim but also confused my poor brain by snapping backwards from the rest of my stash!  It also has the pocket opening in front, something only Oh Katy also does (as far as I've seen) and I don't see a real benefit.  There is something even weirder about this feature in a side-snapping diaper -- hard to explain, but there is extra floppiness and adjustment at changing time.

Now, the insert.  I don't know why people rave about hemp, because in all my experiences with it, it's either no better than cotton/microfiber, or completely useless!  Perhaps you need to prep hemp by washing it 122 times before use.  I don't know!  After repeated washings, the Joeybunz insert that came with this diaper remained this flat, stiff, cardboardy thing that I never wanted to use. OK, upon inspecting the insert, it's way softer than it was in the beginning (actually it's rather nice and squooshy now), but you're still going to have to double-stuff this diaper to get any real absorbency out of it.  I could see this being a good doubler in an AI2 or fitted or something (or, hmm, my kid's night training pants . . . I'm keeping this out!).
Image from Babykicks website

This diaper also has an odd feature: fleece around the legs.  They say it is to air out baby's bum, but in my experience it is there to create leaks!  Ha ha, no one wants leaks of course, but we got our fair share with this diaper so it was not one that I reached for very often.

One pro of the Babykicks: it made a decent first-training-pants transition diaper.  The side snaps help it pull up and down easily, and the cotton inner feels wet so baby learns.  So, you see?  Not so bad after all.  I'm sure it works great for other kiddos!

Right then

See?  I'm back on here to do a cloth diaper review or two.  Why?  Because I feel like it, and because I've got to get these done -- my kid is 95% potty trained and I won't remember all the details much longer!

EDIT: I started writing a review in order to zone out at the computer and take my mind off other things.  However, now I'm super tired all of a sudden (chamomile tea plus cough syrup plus chill music triple whammy?) and I'm not sure my writing even makes sense.  So I'll save it as a draft till I can get back to it!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014