Friday, August 30, 2013

Breast Pump Comparison and Trial

After 3 weeks of very scientific “experimenting” I am super excited to release the results of my Breast Pump study!!!

As you may have gathered I am breastfeeding my second daughter and have recently returned to work.  With my first daughter I purchased a Medela Pump in Style so that I could pump while at work and she could continue to breastfeed (my work offers a great program where they subsidize the cost of a pump).  With my second daughter I was able to get 2 additional new breast pumps: the Ameda Purely Yours and the Medela Freestyle.  The Medela was part of my work program again and the Ameda I received from my health insurance company as part of the new requirements under the Affordable Care Act (if you are expecting or a new mom call your insurance to find out what options are available to you, most are providing free double electric pumps).  Now that I have 3 breast pumps and I figure that not many people really get to try out and compare pumps, I decided it would be fun to it was my responsibility to try them out and compare them.

To test them I used each pump at work for a week.  I work three days a week and I pump 3 times a day so that was 9 total uses each.  Also, to level the playing field I fed my daughter at the same time each morning and pumped right after with the Freestyle while finishing getting ready.  I pumped at the same time each day when possible and pumped for the same amount of time each session.  There may be other variables that affected my results such as diet, stress, my daughters appetite, etc, so take that into consideration when reviewing the results.

Ameda Purely Yours
On Amazon this pump is going for $180 and I have seen this as an option for many Health Insurance Companies.

 Total Milk Collected: 36 ounces
Average Milk collected per day: 12 ounces
Weight with bag but without bottles and bottle case: 3 pounds, 3 ounces
Weight of pump without bag: 1 pound, 5 ounces

Overall I thought this was a solid pump, it pumped the a little bit more than the PIS and less than the Freestyle but if pumped enough that I felt it was working appropriately and I had enough milk for my baby.  One of the big benefits of this pump is that it is a closed system and therefore milk is not able to get into the pump or tubing.  This means that the motor stays clean and the pump can be used for multiple people.  Some of the other things I really liked about the Ameda is that it has a place to put the bottles so that they don't tip over and spill (nothing like pumping for 15 minutes and then spilling milk!) and that the pump is removable from the bag.  Another thing I that is great is that the Ameda comes with 6 bottles, for me this  makes the most sense as I use 2 bottles per session and therefore need 6 to get through the work day.  Both Medelas come with only 4 bottles so it requires transferring milk and pumping into a used bottle or bringing more than fit into the cooler bag.
Another thing I like about this pump is that you can manually adjust the speed and the suction.  Because this pump does not have a 2 phases (let down phase and expression phase) like the Medela this comes in handy to manually mimic the let down phase.  I start with lower suction and higher speed and once milk starts flowing I switch to more suction and lower speed. 
Most of the things I don't like about this pump have to do with the parts.  My biggest parts complaint is the way the flanges are designed makes it so that milk has many nooks and crannies that it can get into and I found them hard to clean.  The shape also makes it more tricky to get into the hands free nursing bra I have, I generally have to put the bra on first and then push the flanges through.  Also, the valves (little white cone pieces) are really sensitive and I tore a few of them while washing them, I recommend having extra on hand because they tear easily (and are not cheap!).  Lastly the adapter cups do not lock into the flanges in any way and I would frequently end up with them falling out and onto the floor.  There are multiple pieces to these pumps and I found that everything had to be attached perfectly or else it wouldn't work.  This is my biggest complaint about this pump and I would estimate that 30% of the time I would have to disassemble everything and reassemble once or more to get it to work.  On a few occasions I wasn't able to figure out what is wrong and just switched to another pump.  Overall this is a good pump and will work just fine if it is the one provided for free by your insurance but I don't think I would have bought it at full price myself.

Medela Pump in Style
You can buy this pump on Amazon for $250 and I have seen this as an option for some of the Health Insurance Companies but not as many as for the Ameda.
Total Milk Collected: 35 ounces
Average Milk collected per day: 11.67 ounces
Weight with bag but without bottles and bottle case: 4 pounds, 8 ounces
Weight of pump without bag: N/A, pump built into bag

The Medela Pump in Style was the breast pump I used with my first daughter when I returned to work.  This one has been used more than my other pumps, but I only used it for 6 months at work so it still works like it is new.  When I used it for my first daughter I felt like I didn't get as much as I needed because I would frequently have to dig into my freezer stash to supplement what I had pumped.  I spent a lot of time on the phone with Medela's customer service (which is great by the way) troubleshooting.  In the end I think the problem was that I was pregnant with #2 and my milk supply was suffering, I actually had no milk left by Claire's first birthday. 
Overall this is a good pump and pretty much the industry standard for double electric pumps.  Out of the three pumps I tried, I would say that this is the most consistent pump.  I also like that the parts break down easy and are easy to clean.  I have never had problems with suction on this pump like I did with the other two I own and have never had to take it apart and reassemble to get it to work.  The Medela pumps have the two phase pumping (let down and expression) which I do think makes a big difference in how well they work. 
Some of the cons of this pump is that the actual pump is built into the bag and can not be separated.  This makes it so that you always have to have the bag and can't just put the pump in another bag (e.g. suitcase for travel or computer bag for work).  This pump is also extremely HEAVY!!  It didn't bother me much when I went back to work with my oldest, but now having lighter pumps to compare it to I really notice how heavy it is.  Also, I remember traveling once with it and thinking that it really was very heave, which is not convenient when you already have a suitcase, computer bag and a purse.  Another downside of the Medela pumps is that the cooler bag only holds 4 bottles, so at work I have to condense the milk into other bottles and then pump into an old bottle.  The Medela bottles do hold about 2 ounces more than the Ameda ones so it isn't that big of a deal as far as total capacity.  Since the pump is built into the bag and it takes up a lot of room, I also notice that I can't fit a lot of other things in the bag and still zip it. 
A common concern with this pump is that it is not a closed system, which means that milk can back up into the tubes and potentially into the pump motor.  In all of my use with this pump I have only see a bit of condensation about an inch into the tubing and never actually seen any significant amounts of milk get into the tubing.  To dry out the tubes, I let the pump run for about 2 minutes after I am finished.  This is about the amount of time it takes for me to get redressed and pack up my things and by this time the tubes are clear again.
Overall this is a good pump, I don't necessarily think that in terms out output it is any better than the Ameda but I do appreciate that it consistently works and I don't have to fuss with the pump parts as much as I did with the Ameda.

Medela Freestyle
You can buy this pump on Amazon for $318, I have not seen this as an option through any Health Insurance Companies.
Total Milk Collected: 42 ounces
Average Milk collected per day: 14 ounces
Weight with bag but without bottles and bottle case: 1 pound, 9 ounces
Weight of pump without bag: 13 ounces

Out of the three pumps I own this is definitely my favorite.  I think it has the best features and I was surprised that it actually pumped the most.  A lot of reviews online say that the motor on this pump is not that good and they had problems with output, but as you can see this pump exceeded the other pumps by 15-20%!!!
This pump really meets a lot of my needs, it is light weight, small, powerful and easy to clean.  As noted above this pump is less than a pound, which really makes a difference when you are lugging a bunch of stuff around.  It also is small and therefore fits easily in the bag with my pumping bra, bottles and pump parts.  I am going out of town next week (stay tuned for tips while traveling) and it will be so convenient to just throw this pump in my computer bag and go!  I can pack extra bottles, etc. in my suitcase and I will be set for travel.  This pump is intended for hands free use while moving around and it really lives up to that.  I use this pump in the morning while getting ready.  The clip is a little difficult, but it is nice to be able to clip it to my pants.  I also like that the pump parts break apart easily and are easy to clean and reassemble, probably the easiest of any of the pumps. 
Some of the cons that I noticed about this pump is that the tubing is not very long because it is intended to stay close to you therefore it might be more inconvenient if you put it on the table and try and move away from it at all.  Also the pump is maybe slightly louder than the other pump (although the Ameda is a little more quiet it does have an annoying beep).  Lastly just like the Pump in Style it does only come with 4 bottles in the cooler bag.  Like the Pump in Style, it is not considered to be a closed system and therefore should only be used by one person.  But unlike the Pump in Style I never had any problems with any condensation in the tubes.  Also there were a few instances that I would have to disassemble and reassemble the pump to get it to work, but it was not as frequent as the Ameda.
Overall this was my favorite pump, it was the lightest and easiest to use and of course the most important thing was that it pumped the most milk.

While I may have a favorite out the three I own, I would definitely say that any of these would work find for a mom returning to work. They all work well and make continuing to feed your baby breast milk when you return to work a possibility.  I think it is great that the new laws require health insurance companies to provide a pump to new moms, so be sure to take advantage of your plan!
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Mommy Blog Hop

It's Monday so that means back to work and linking up with the Monday Mommy blog hop.  This week is my final week of breast pump testing and I hope to have the results out next week, so stay tuned!!  Also be sure to check out the other Mommy bloggers at the link below!

Cant Google Everything
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Short-term Travel with Cloth Diapers

Last weekend we went back to my hometown to baptise my youngest.  My husband and I were married in my home town and my older daughter was also baptised there so it was important to us to also baptise her there.  We were only gone for 2 days and one night but I figured I would share some of the things I learned about traveling with cloth diapers. 

1.  I packed way more than I needed, but I was glad that I did.  I find that I think my girls go through more diapers than they actually do each day.  I could have consolidated my packing by selecting more of my AI2s and therefore I wouldn't have had to bring as many shells. 
2.  I thought it would have been hard or bulky to bring my cloth wipes so we ended up using disposable wipes.  In the end I think it would have been easier to just use my cloth wipes.  For short day trips I just bring dry wipes and wet them using a peri bottle that I keep full of water in my diaper bag.  I have some single ply wipes that would be great for travel so I should have brought those.  Instead we ended up using disposable wipes and then either had to figure out where to put them or stuck them in the diaper and they ended up going through the wash.  Not a big deal but it definitely would have been easier to just bring my cloth wipes.
3.  I have two kids in diapers so I think it would have also been easier to bring one size diapers that can fit them both.  That way in the end I could have brought less diapers because instead of bring extra diapers for both girls I could have just brought a few extra ones that fit them both.
4.  Our trip was only 2 hours, so I just changed the girls before we left and they were good to go for the drive.  For a longer drive, I would recommend staying away from Microfiber as it is prone to compression leaks while in a car seat.  It would probably be beneficial to double up any inserts to avoid a wet car seat as well.  But more than anything I would just recommend stopping every few hours to stretch your legs and change your baby's diaper, no one wants to sit in a wet diaper for very long no matter how much absorbency you have added!
5.  At home I have a diaper sprayer that my husband made (maybe a future post?!?!) and I can't imagine my life without it!!  The only bad thing about my diaper sprayer is that it is not portable.  For short day trips I just bring everything back and deal with it when I get home, but I didn't want any messes sitting around for 36 hours during this trip so I had to deal with any messes as we went.  I ended up using the aforementioned peri bottle as a makeshift sprayer while we were gone, and that worked alright.  I think in the future though I will bring some of my disposable liners and just use that.  The peri bottle can be a royal pain in the rear, so using liners instead seems much easier!
6. At home I have a plastic trash can and a pail liner that I keep my soiled diapers in.  I couldn't think of anything easier, so we just brought this along.  It contains the smell well and since we had the room in the car, it was nice to have it along.
7.  We were visiting family, so if we had been there longer it would have been easy to do my diaper laundry while there.  If we weren't visiting family, laundry would definitely pose a problem.  Some good options for longer travel with no washer/dryer would be to hand wash in the bathtub (flats and covers are suppose to be easiest for this), use a Laundromat or just use disposables.

All in all, I think it was a good trip and that everything went well.  My sister-in-laws wedding is coming up in 2 months and we will be gone 4-5 days, so I will be able to update for longer travel then!

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Buying, Selling and Trading Diapers

After a full week of budget suggestions, I figured the topic that made the most sense for my next post was selling your diapers.  One of the great things about cloth diapers is that they have a resale value.  There have been multiple brands of diapers that I have tried that have worked well for friends but that have not worked well for me and my baby.  Thankfully I was able to sell them and recoup some of my money to put towards diapers brands that do work for me.  I have also made purchases of used (preloved J) diapers through various swap groups.  There are multiple different platforms that are available to sell and buy preloved diapers including local groups (a lot have Facebook pages), Facebook buy/sell/trade groups,, e-bay and Craig’s list. 

One of the first things you will notice after joining a B/S/T (buy/sell/trade) group is all of the abbreviations!!!  Frequently the site will have a listing of abbreviations and what they mean, but I have included some of the more popular ones here.

AIO - All in One diaper
AI2 - All in Two diaper
Aplix – not an abbreviation but this is a brand of hook/loop, other common hook/loop brands include touch tape and Velcro.
CD - cloth diaper
FFS - Free for Shipping
FS/FSO - For sale/For Sale Only
FSOT - For sale or trade
FRB - Flat Rate Box
FRE – Flat Rate Envelope
HTF – Hard to Find, frequently these are discontinued or limited edition colors and will sell for more than they did while new.
ISO - In search of
MF - microfiber inserts
MMAO - Make me an offer
MMARO – Make me a reasonable offer
PM - Private Message
PPD - "postage paid domestic" means shipping and PayPal fees are included in the price listed.  shipping is for domestic addresses only.
PP – PayPal, people will say “PP only” meaning they only want $ and aren’t interested in a trade
PP - previous post(er)
PUL - polyurethane laminate, the outer waterproof material for diapers
TPU - Thermoplastic Polyurethane, similar to PUL
WAHM - work-at-home mom, can reference those that make diapers or work other jobs from home

The next thing to understand when buying or selling diapers is how to classify the condition of your diapers.  Most diapers fall into 6 categories: new, like new, excellent used condition/very good used condition, good used condition, used condition, play condition.

New condition diapers – “NIP” or “BNIP” - New in Package or brand new in package, “NWT” - New with Tags (for items that don't have a package), “NWOT” - New without Tags (person may have removed tags and then not used the item)

New condition diapers are diapers that have never been worn and may or may not still be in their original packaging or have the original tags.  New condition diapers will be exactly as if they had been bought from a retailer with the exception that they will not have a warranty.  Personally, I would not pay full price for a new diaper from a swap group because the warranty has some value in my mind.

Like new diapers – “LN” - These are diapers that have been washed or tried on but are still essentially new.  They have not been worn by a baby and should still look brand new.
Excellent used condition diapers/Very Good used condition – “EUC”/”VGUC” -  is a diaper that has been used for a short period of time or within a large rotation, but essentially should only have been used a few times. It should be very close to a like new diaper but will show that it has been used a few times.  There shouldn’t be any staining or other major flaws but the insides may show signs of washing.  One could probably argue that excellent is better than very good, but for the most part they are the same.  Between all of the condition categories there is a very fine line so it’s a matter of classifying it and disclosing everything as best as possible.
Good used condition – “GUC” – is a diaper that has minor problems such as staining, pilling or snags. Aplix, snaps and elastic should still be in good condition.

 Used Condition – UC – is a diaper that has significant use but is still function. It will probably have more significant staining, pilling or snags. The hook/loop may not be as sticky and the elastic may be relaxed.  There may be other issues with the diaper that should not affect function.

Play condition/Swim diaper – is a diaper that has significant problems.  Diapers in this category may have broken snaps, hook/loop that doesn’t stick, shot elastic or PUL that is delaminating.  This classification is intended for diapers that will be used in the pool or for general play and therefore don’t need to be waterproof or pretty. 

Once you understand all of the acronyms and the definitions of what you are selling and buying you can begin searching for diapers and posting yours for sale.  Something that I recommend when selling or buying diapers (or even trading) is to back all of your sales, purchases and trades with PayPal.  You always want to pay through PayPal as goods instead of as a gift so that if you do not receive your diaper or if it is not as described then you have some recourse.  For trades, each party should send the other party the value of the diaper being exchanged to ensure that both parties comply with the trade.  For shipping, I use a kitchen scale to estimate the weight and use the calculator at to determine what the shipping will be.  I recommend obtaining tracking for your package and insuring any shipments that include valuable or many diapers.  If you pay through PayPal, you can also ship through PayPal which is very quick and easy as long as you have a scale and a printer.  Always ship to the individuals PayPal address, if you do not and they dispute it later you may lose for not shipping to the Pay Pal approved address.

As long as you are upfront and honest about sales, and ask detailed questions about purchases, most transactions go smoothly.  I have sold 5-6 diapers through various locations and I have always had a positive experience.

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Mommy Mondays Blog Hop

It's Monday, so to make your day brighter check out the other Mom Blogs on the Mommy Monday Blog Hop.  There is also a give away going on, so be sure to enter!
Cant Google Everything

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Diaper Budget Suggestion: $600

This week the theme is what would I buy with a specific budget. Today our budget has increased even more to $600. I feel like at $600 you can really get a great stash.  If you don't have a cloth diaper buying addition like I do where you feel like you need more and more and more, then buying the items below would create a great stash.  If you have an inkling that you might develop a cloth diaper buying addition then maybe start with the $400 budget and save a bit for buying new and fun brands and prints as you go. 
As with the $200 budget and $400 budget I still suggest to buy 24 Sunbaby diapers with blend inserts, 6 prefolds, 2 SoftBums and inserts, 2 Peachy Green and inserts, the Alva wet bags and pail liners and the CJs BUTTer.  With the $400 budget I had suggested pockets and some All in Twos (AI2).  Even though the shells for the AI2s seem expensive on a per change basis, they are much cheaper than all in ones (AIO).  So with a bigger budget I would definitely add some AIOs to my stash.
With the $200 extra to spend, I would add a few Bottombumpers and a few Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0s.  For both of these diaper brands you can buy a one size diaper or sized (S, M, L) diapers.  The sized diapers are very trim and because the size medium fit a large range I would order these AIOs in a Medium.  Bottombumpers will fit between 14 and 30 pounds and the Swaddlebees will fit between 12 and 25 pounds.  These will not fit as early as the other diapers, but with this plan there are plenty of diapers to get you through until these fit and then these are just an added bonus!  If I had the budget I would add these brands of AIOs because AIOs are definitely the easiest to just grab and go.  Bottombumpers have the best solid colors and Swaddlebees have fun prints.

My older daughter in her Bottombumpers.

Here is the breakdown:

24 Sunbaby diapers with blend inserts: $126
2 SoftBums shells: $44
6 SoftBums super pods: $96
4 Peachy Green AI2: $76
10 Peachy Green one size inserts: $95
3 Bottombumpers - size medium: $57
3 Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0 - size medium: $69
6 infant prefolds: $9
2 Alva wet bags: $10
1 Alva pail liner: $6
8oz CJ's tub of BUTTer:$15
TOTAL: $603

This will give you 40 changes before 12 pounds and 46 changes after.  This number of diapers will allow you to do laundry every 3 days. $600 probably falls into the excessive category, but it would get you a lot of changes (I like having more than I need so that I can line dry my covers and not have to worry about running out of diapers) and allow for a lot of fun diapers!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Diaper Budget Suggestion: $400

This week the theme is what would I buy with a specific budget.  Today our budget has increased to $400.  I picked this amount because after careful analysis this was my goal budget for my own cloth diapering.  Unfortunately my obsession with finding the trimmest diaper and my love for cute fluff has made it so that I have exceeded this amount. 
I love a little variety, so with a bigger budget I would definitely branch out from the $200 budget.  I still stand by my suggestion to buy 24 Sunbaby diapers with blend inserts, 6 prefolds, the Alva wet bags and pail liners and the CJs BUTTer.  I think that Sunbaby diapers are a great diaper and its nice to have some pocket diapers that you can just throw on and go (and that daddy and daycare can use).  Also the accessories I picked for the $200 budget are always appropriate.
With the $200 extra to spend, I am going to add 2 of my favorite brands, SoftBums and Peachy Green diapers.  Softbums are the best one size diaper, the shells can be used for multiple changes, they fit very small and are still very trim.  SoftBums have two different styles, Echo and Omni.  I prefer the Echo because they are more trim, but you could choose the Omni if you want to be able to add absorbency.  I would also get 2 Peachy Green All in Two diapers are trim and very absorbent, plus they have the best prints out there. 
To go with the SoftBums I would order bamboo Super pods, which come with an adjustable long insert and a small bamboo pod.  This gives you double the changes during the newborn or small sizes and then you can double them up when your baby is bigger for added absorbency.  For the Peachy Green diapers I would order one size inserts that are adjustable to fit the size the shell is set on.

My 4 month old in her SoftBums Scribble :)

Here is the breakdown:

24 Sunbaby diapers with blend inserts: $126
2 SoftBums shells: $44
6 SoftBums super pods: $96
2 Peachy Green AI2: $38
6 Peachy Green one size inserts: $57
6 infant prefolds: $9
2 Alva wet bags: $10
1 Alva pail liner: $6
8oz CJ's tub of BUTTer:$15
TOTAL: $401

This will give you 36 changes and allow you to do laundry every 3 days.  I think for a very decent budget it includes some great quality diapers, a litter variety and a lot of fun!
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Determining Cost savings for Cloth Diapering

This week I am posting about my suggestions for buying diapers with predetermined budget amounts ($200, $400 and $600).  Yesterday we covered the $200 budget and tomorrow and Friday we will cover the $400 budget and $600 budget, but today I wanted to talk about how to determine your savings and thus determine an appropriate budget. 

I am a CPA by trade and therefore I love to analyze data and I LOVE a good excel spreadsheet.  Before switching to cloth I had heard all about the cost savings and frequently heard that disposable diapers will cost $2500 per child.  As I also love coupons and frequently seek out good deals I wanted to see how true this was for me and my family.  I put together a very details excel spreadsheet to analyze the cloth cost savings for my particular situation and so I wanted to share the resources and considerations I used here so that you can apply it to your family.  My information below does not include other "accessories" like a diaper genie, wet bags, etc. so be sure to include that when you do your own calculations.

One of the first things I determined was how much I would spend on disposables from birth through potty training.  I use to use a cheaper brand and buy at a bulk store with coupons so I figure I would spend about $0.12-$0.15 a diaper.  If you go with a more expensive brand (still in bulk) this is probably closer to $0.25 a diaper.  I also figured that I average about 225 diapers a month, this takes into consideration more diapers in the early months and less in the later months.  The average girl will potty train around 30 months and the average boy will potty train around 36 months.  This should give you enough information to calculation your cost in disposables.  For me I conservatively estimated our cost to be between $750 and $1,000 per child.

Next I wanted to estimate my cost to use cloth diapers.  I used the Laundry Cost Calculator to determine how much the additional water and electricity would cost.  I also factored in the cost of additional detergent (tide is about $0.18 a load).  Based on my individual data, I estimate that it costs me about $150 a year to wash my diapers. 

After doing all of my calculations I determined that I definitely save money by switching.  As there is a price associated with the convenience of using disposables, I don't feel that I save enough money to switch if my only reason was cost savings, especially with my cloth diaper buying obsession.  Although I don't save much I have come to really appreciate the non-financial benefits of cloth including less waste (7,000 diapers!!), less diaper rash for my sensitive girls, less chemicals and of course the cute fluff factor!!
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Monday, August 5, 2013

Diaper Budget Suggestion: $200

I have often wondered to myself, after testing all of the brands of diapers found at my diaper review and after all of the knowledge I have acquired in the past few month, what would I buy if I had a certain budget?  I decided that this week I will go through what I would buy if my budget was $200, $400 and $600.  I think it is important to note that all of my selections will be based on the purchase of new diapers at full price and does not require any sewing skills.  I frequently make my own inserts and have made my own diapers to save money, but these suggestions will be based on new purchases only.  My selections do not include a newborn stash so all diapers should start to fit around 8 pounds and I also did not make selections that are specific to overnight diapering (this is a whole different beast!)  All these are only my suggestions based on my experience.  Different people will have different experience and selections should be made based on your baby's shape and size and your family's lifestyle. 

Today I am going to start with what I would purchase if I had a $200 budget.  Thankfully (because it is Monday!) this is the easiest one for me, I would pretty much purchase an entire stash of Sunbaby diapers.  These diapers fall into the classification of "Chinese cheapies" but I have always had really good luck with them.  When friends are on a tight budget and buying more diapers I always recommend Sunbaby diapers.  I have a preference for the blend inserts (2 layers of bamboo and 2 layers of microfiber) and Sunbaby diapers has recently redone their blend inserts so that they lay flatter and are more absorbent.  Sunbaby diapers are pocket diapers so they are easy for everyone to use and they have a large pocket so they are easy to stuff.  When I did my diaper reviews I had not had my Sunbaby diapers for very long, but since they I can confidently say that both my girls can wear them for at least 2 hours if not average 2.5-3 before they leak.  I also threw in 6 infant prefolds to my suggestion as I think it is always handy to have some on hand to double stuff your diapers for long naps or night time.  I like to buy unbleached Indian cotton prefolds from Cotton Babies.  Also,m all of my recommendations will include wet bags and pail liners from and a CJs pot of BUTTer.  I think these are good accessories that work well and are priced right.

My daughter in her size 1 Sunbaby:

So here is what I would buy:

24 Sunbaby diapers with blend inserts: $126
6 infant prefolds: $9
2 Alva wet bags: $10
1 Alva pail liner: $6
8oz CJ's tub of BUTTer:$15
TOTAL: $166

As you can see this actually comes in under budget, so that gives you some wiggle room to buy other accessories that you want or a fun diaper down the road.  24 pocket diapers will make it so that you can wash your diapers every 2-3 days depending on your baby's age. 

Another common suggestion for those on a tight budget is prefolds and covers, but to be honest when I priced them out they were more expensive than getting all Sunbaby diapers and in my opinion I would rather have a pocket diaper than mess with prefolds.  Be sure to check back later this week for my suggestions for a $400 and $600 budget (or just sign up to follow by e-mail and get updates delivered directly to your inbox!).

Today is also the Monday Mommy's Blog Hop, be sure to check out the other Mommy bloggers and enter the give away!!
Cant Google Everything

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Side Snapping SoftBums Tutorial

A few weeks ago on the Facebook SoftBums Superfan page a member, Melissa, had posted that she converted some of her Softbums to side snapping diapers.  I love this idea as Softbums are one of my favorite diapers and the only thing that could make them better (or maybe the best diaper ever!) is if they were side snapping!!  It seemed like a lot of other people loved the idea also and were interested in how she did it, so I decided to convert one myself and write up the tutorial below.  I wanted to be sure to give Melissa the appropriate credit and while she does not have a blog of her own she is a diaper party consultant and you can buy your Softbums from her on her Facebook page.

I waited a while to try the conversion myself because I was afraid of messing up one of my pristine Softbums.  After a little searching I was able to find a used Softbums Echo on the Facebook buy/sell/trade page that needed new elastic and new Aplix...perfect!  I ordered new elastic from the Softbums website and waited for my diaper to arrive.

So here is the diaper I received, elastic had zero stretch, Aplix didn't stick at all and the back snap was missing.  The PUL was a little pilly also but this shouldn't affect function.

Using a seam ripper, CAREFULLY remove all of the Aplix on both the front of the diaper and the tabs.  Be diligent not to poke hols in the PUL!  Here is my diaper with all of the Aplix removed.

Next I went about deciding where to place my snaps.  I decided that on each front tab there would be 2 snaps.  The top snap is 1/2 inch from the top seam and 3/4 inch from the edge.  The second snap is a full inch below it.  I used a fabric marker (which by the way did not fade on the PUL) to mark where I was going to place my snaps.

Then to make sure that the front tabs had the snaps placed in the same area I folded the front of the diaper so that the tabs lined up with each other.  I then used my awl to piece the hole through both layers.

I have KAM snap pliers and I used size 20 KAM snaps.  I really wanted to do hot pink but unfortunately I didn't have enough so I went with plain white.  You want to place the cap on the outside of the diaper (the PUL side) and a stud on the inside of the diaper.  Repeat this process until all 4 studs are set. 

I followed the same technique for the back tabs, setting the top snap 1/2 inch from the top and 3/4 inch from the edge and the second snap an inch down from the first.  I also repeated the process of aligning the tabs and using my awl to punch holds in both tabs at the same time.  Make sure that for this side the snap cap is on the inside of the diaper and the socket on the PUL side.  I did 4 rows of snaps (actually I did 3 rows then realized I should replace the elastic and then completed the 4th row).  Four rows of snaps on the wings will get you to the same setting as if they met in the front when secured with the Aplix.  Once I completed the diaper I threw it in the dryer for a bit to seal up any holes.

Finally here is my 22 month old 21 pound daughter modeling it.  

Converting this diaper makes it one of the trimmest diapers I have.  I love that the side snapping make the front of the diaper much flatter and smoother and this is a great option for those diaper Houdinis who have figured out how to remove their Aplix.  The only downside is that even after a run through the dryer you can still see the holes from where the Aplix was attached.  Also because I set my snaps 3/4 inch from the edge, the wings stick out a bit, this can be solved by just moving them over a bit, so I might do 1/2 inch in the future.  I probably will not be converting any new Softbums, but I will definitely keep this in mind as my Aplix wears out and needs to be replaced.

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