Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cloth Diaper Trial: BumGenius Elemental

Last week I posted my review of the WHAM brand Little Chickadee Diapers and this week I have another All in One (AIO) trial to share, BumGenius Elemental.  I have wanted to try this diaper for a while because I kept hearing how trim it was and I am always in search of the trimmest diaper.  I finally bought one a few months ago during a sale to try it out.  There have been a bunch of reviews of the BumGenius Elemental out there and I don't want to be repetitive, so I will just focus on what makes a Naturally Crafty Mom trails different.  The diaper I purchases is the new style Elemental which I understand is very different from the old (and preferred) style, but I do not have an old style to compare it to. 

Number times of uses: 10
Number of leaks: 0!!
Longest wear without a leak: 5 hours
Big Booty factor – 2.5
Best Use: naps, out and about, babysitters/dads

·        Very absorbent and also relatively trim
·        BumGenius has nice colors and I like that they periodically issue fun prints
·       Absorbent natural materials
·     All in One Style with attached soaker is very convenient

·        At $24 a diaper I would consider this an expensive diaper
·        The soaker is attached at both ends of the diaper so this causes some problems (bunching, hard to spray, long drying time)

I'm not going to lie, I really didn't think I would like this diaper.  As you may remember from my previous diaper trials I was not a big fan of the BumGenius 4.0 because it was so bulky on my tiny girls, so I didn't have high hopes for this diaper. 

As this diaper uses natural materials (100% organic cotton) it needs to be prepped a few times before it reaches the maximum absorbency, so I did just that before tracking its performance.  I only wrote down 10 uses but over a 2 month period I probably used it about 20 times total and I never had a leak with this diaper.  The longest wear was on my older daughter for 5 hours and it still didn't leak!!!  So overall this diaper performed really well.

While this diaper is relatively trim in the sense that it is not bulky in the bum, it is a very wide diaper through the legs (see chart of width and rise from Padded Tush Stats) so for me that definitely makes it seem bulkier.  Also the insert is sewn into not only the back but also the front, this makes it so that when the rise is snapped down even one level that there is extra material from the soaker.  This extra material has to go somewhere so it either ends up between baby's legs or in the back or the front, making the diaper look bulkier. 

Other Concerns
The first time my husband had to spray out the diaper because it was dirty, he had trouble with the mess getting caught between the soaker and the shell.  Due to the soaker being sewn in at both ends, a particularly messy diaper can be harder to clean.  Also because I hang my shells to dry the sew in soaker takes longer to dry and air drying causes it to be a little crunchy (you can throw it in the dryer for a bit to soften it up but I don't like to subject my shells to that).

Overall I thought this was a really solid diaper.  I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it and I think BumGenius has some really pretty colors (I've been drooling over that new Hummingbird color).  The All in One style makes it easy to use, wash and then just put away ready to go back on the baby.   

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Valentine's Day Gifts with Homemade Edible Paint

Today I am blogging over at Tampa Bay Moms blog about making Valentine's Day gifts for your loved ones using homemade edible paint!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cloth Diaper Trial: Little Chickadee Designs

Number times of uses: 9
Number of leaks: 1
Longest wear without a leak: 5 hours
Big Booty factor – 2
Best Use: Under tight pants or without pants at all! 

·     Trim diaper that is also very absorbent
·     Fun and unique prints as well as possible custom work
·   Absorbent natural materials
·  All in One Style with attached soaker is very convenient
·  Option to add absorbency with snap in booster

·   Expensive
·     Attached soaker takes a VERY long time to dry

I am excited to report on the first WAHM (Work At Home Mom) made diaper I have purchased and put through my trial.  I found Little Chickadee Designs (LCD) through the moms that are Peachy Green fans as they have a very similar style.  LCD diapers can be purchased through the owner's store on Hyena Cart and new diapers including custom spots are stocked periodically (like the LCD FaceBook page for updates on stockings).  I love that since this is a WHAM made diaper that there are so many different options (attached soaker, soaker materials, boosters, etc.), sized or one size, so many fun different prints to choose from and because they are not mass produced they are all one of a kind. 

I choose an All in One style diaper that is red and white chevron print.   The diaper has a sewn in bamboo soaker topped with micro fleece (so that the baby feels dry) that included a snap in hemp booster.  My first thought when I received my diaper was that it was really beautifully sewn.  As you may have gathered I do a lot of sewing and I like to think I am pretty good behind a sewing machine so hopefully my assessment of the quality of the construction holds some weight.

I washed the diaper once and then immediately put it on my daughter.  This resulted in the first leak which I think was due to not fully prepping the bamboo.  I washed the diaper a few more times and never had another leak.  In my trial I noted that with the booster the diaper lasted 5 hours without a leak and the longest time recorded without the booster was 2+ hours.  I would definitely trust this diaper for longer wear when out and it is so trim it fits great under tight clothes (but almost too cute to cover up).

Overall I love this diaper (and I have since purchased 2 more!).  The only downside for me is that it is a little pricey (about $27 shipped based on the options I choose) and because it is not a mainstream brand may not have as good of a resale value.  If you want a trim diaper that is unique/custom this is the diaper for you!

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Tips for Visiting a New Mom

Today I am sharing tips for visits a new mom over at Tampa bay moms blog!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Massage During Pregnancy and Labor

Do you really need convincing to get a massage while pregnant? Didn’t think so! In addition to just feeling so darn good, researchers have identified a myriad of health benefits for both mama and baby from a good pregnancy massage. Sweet baby gets more oxygen and a surge of happy hormones (serotonin) from mama. Mama gets a decrease in stress hormones (cortisol). Swelling and muscle tension are reduced, and aches, pains, and restless leg can all be alleviated.

Smiling during active labor while my CST practitioner works on my back and my lumberjack of a husband stands by. No fairy dust or patchouli-encrusted unicorns were involved in this photo.

Here’s something you may not have heard. Under most states’ heading of massage therapy is a modality called CranioSacral Therapy (CST). Developed by Dr. John Upledger in the 1970’s, CST uses a mere 5 grams of pressure, about the weight of a nickel, to assist the body in self correction and healing. Yes… sounds like horse pucky. Trust me, my left-brained accountant self thought this was voodoo medicine when I first heard about it. All I could picture was some patchouli-encrusted hippy dancing around my energetic fields and throwing fairy dust on me, while charging $90 for the hour.

Why did I decide to try it out? To “prove” that it was bogus. I hate when I’m wrong.

My first session was when I was five months pregnant with my first child and had a wicked headache. The CST practitioner had me reclined face up, fully clothed, on her table. She ever so gently rested her hands on my feet, thighs, hips, ribs, shoulders, and then head to get a read on what my body needed. Then she immediately went to work resting one of her hands on my abdomen and the other on my tail-bone (sacrum). I was a little annoyed at this point because I had told her I was there to treat a headache, not have my hips worked on. While it felt like she was doing nothing, I noticed my headache slowly subsiding until it was gone. She then moved up to my head and chest and continued the same light work. Within minutes I was fast asleep only waking occasionally to the sound of my own snoring. When the session was done I didn’t really know what she did, but I did feel better all over and my headache was gone. Huh! Maybe I need to try this again.

Fast-forward to my second pregnancy, I decided make CST a regular part of my self-care. Not for any issue in particular, just because I remembered feeling like a better version of myself and thought I could tackle pregnancy difficulties head on.  I watched in amazement as my son moved from lying transverse to head-down during one session, and rotated from posterior to anterior during another… again with only a nickel’s weight worth of pressure. I had no issues with swelling in my legs, no headaches, and only minimal back pains during the 9 months.

When my CST practitioner asked if I’d be open to her working on me during labor I jumped at the opportunity. Let me just say that CST is the closest thing to an epidural I can imagine, and with no negative side effects to my baby or me. Each time she laid her hands on me, the pain of contractions seemed to be cut in half. Now I won’t talk your ear off about all of the details of my 19 hours of active labor fun, but I will say that my midwife documented that during the few brief hours that my CST practitioner went home to sleep, my labor slowed. As soon as the practitioner returned and started working again, my contractions sped up and labor progressed. CST was doing something.

Now I am not one of those lucky mamas who pops out babies like a Nerf gun. No no. I felt completely physically wrecked and was nearly bedridden for two weeks following my 8-pound daughter’s birth. That’s why I was gobsmacked that just four hours after birthing my 9-pound son, I was cleared to leave the birthing center and was able to walk out on my own with no complications. In the wise words of Keanu Reeves, “Whoa.”

I consider CranioSacral Therapy to be one of the best-kept secrets of the bodywork field and a HUGE benefit to pregnant and laboring women. After my experience I never want to labor again without CST and hope that other women get to experience the same!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

FuzziBunz: A Comparison

I recently purchased a new FuzziBunz diaper during the Diaper Junction (aff link) black Friday sale.  I purchased some FuzziBunz last March when I started cloth diapering and for a pocket diaper I really like them (see results of my FuzziBunz Diaper Trial). Imagine my surprise when my new diaper came upon trying it on my daughter I realized that it is HUGE!!! 

I scoured the Internet and even contacted FuzziBunz customer service to see why my diapers were so different.  I was unable to find any type of comparison, so what is a blogger to do except make my own! 

For my girls I have the original One Size Elites (2012) and now a new Elite (2013), but I have a good friend who exclusively uses FuzziBunz so I was able to borrow one of the original One Size Diapers from her that she purchased in 2011.

*Elastic let out to make comparable
The Measurements:
I let the elastic out of each diaper and removed any inserts so that I could get as good of measurements as possible to be able to compare them

Original One Size:
     Wing width: 16.75 inches
     Length: 14 inches
     Crotch width (at narrowest point): 5.25 inches
     Front width: 8 inches

One Size Elite:
      Wing width: 16.75 inches
      Length: 14 inches
      Crotch width (at narrowest point): 4.75 inches
      Front width: 7 inches

New One Size Elite:
      Wing width: 18.75 inches
      Length: 16 inches
      Crotch width (at narrowest point): 6.25 inches
      Front width: 8.25 inches

Based on my measurements the most significant differences are the additional 2 inches in the wings and the additional 2 inches in length.  This is definitely contributing to the look of extra material in the bum.  Laying them side by side the differences aren't as noticeable but laying them on top of each other really shows the differences.

The Fit:
I loved the fit of the Old Elites because I love a really trim diaper and because my girls are relatively skinny (my 2 year old has always been in the 1-2 percentile and my 9 month old is in the 18th percentile).  The new diaper has a little too much excess material for me that just seems unnecessary and I would be concerned how this will fit a newborn (my sister is due with her first baby in 4 weeks so we just may find out!).

9 months, 17 pounds

Why the Changes?
I contacted FuzziBunz customer service to see why the changes were made and if there was anything I could do about this fit and this is the response I received:

"The 2013 Elites were improved based on customer feedback, as well as our own testing of the previous 2012 Elites. While the 2012 Elites were much narrower in the crotch, and trimmer-fitting all around, this ended up working best only for babies and small children for the most part. The narrowness of the crotch proved to be lacking in coverage on older, more mobile children, and the minky inserts did not absorb as much as the microfiber inserts, which come with the new 2013 Elites.

Also, because of the reduced amount of fabric in the 2012 Elites, we found that the rise became too low on older children, and they did not fit older children until potty training, which resulted in some customers having to spend more money on different diapers that did fit."

In relation to the fit:

"Make sure you are adjusting both ends of each leg elastic, as some customers have reported being unaware that this was possible, and they experienced leaks and poor fit until it was brought to light. So - if you haven't already - make sure to turn each diaper completely inside-out so that you can access both the "front" and "back" ends of each leg elastic to get the best fit."

Customer Service also noted in a later e-mail that the inserts that come with the new 2013 Elites (LOT FB-BB-05 and later) are 80% Polyester and 20% Rayon making them more absorbent than both the previous inserts that were either 100% Polyester or Minky.

Overall the new style of FuzziBunz does not fit my skinny girls, but I can see how these would work well for chubbier babies or older/bigger toddlers. While they do not work for me, I am impressed that FuzziBunz provides a money back guarantee, so if you think this diaper might work for you then there is no loss in trying one!!!

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