Top 5 Cloth Diapers

This post is going to be a count of my top 5 cloth diapers! I have 17 different brands in my stash, and I have tried about 20 different brands. I always give a diaper a few chances before deciding how I feel about it. These top 5 (an an honorable mention) are by far my favorites. =)

I apologize for the blurry photos here! I was quickly snapping them with my phone during nap time!

1) Fuzzibunz One Sized Elite– I can’t tell you enough how much I love love LOVE my Fuzzibunz. These diapers are fantastic! I don’t think there is a perfect diaper out there, but this one definitely comes close. I love it because there isn’t a rise snap, instead, you adjust the diaper using elastics in the lefts and waist. Its a pocket diaper, so you can adjust absorbency. The  only thing I dislike about these are the inserts they come with. All of my Elites came with minky inserts (the new Elites for 2013 come with microfiber) and I found the minky inserts to royally suck. I almost always stuff mine with bamboo inserts. These diapers are trim, soft, and super cute! Fuzzibunz rarely does prints, instead they focus on having a myriad of colors to choose from. This photo is of the two prints they released for a limited time in 2012. 

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2) Swaddlebees/Blueberry–  I’m looping this brand together as a favorite. The reason for that is that they just announced that they’re dropping the swaddlebees name and are only going to be known as blueberry now. Shown here is the Blueberry mini pocket (the giraffe print) and the swaddlebees simplex. I LOVED that blueberry mini when Elliot could still wear it. Its a newborn diaper, and a pocket diaper. The diaper I’m listing as my number 2 favorite though, is the swaddlebees simplex! Its an AIO with an organic cotton inner. It is SO absorbent! I love all the prints that they offer, the one shown is the monster print. I also love that the inner of the diaper folds out and it dries super fast. I have never had a leak with this diaper. The only down side is that it is expensive. If it weren’t so, I’d have way more of these in my stash.

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3) Ecoposh Fitted– This is my absolute favorite over night diaper. I wrote an entire blog about how much I love this diaper, and you can read it here. Long story short, its the most absorbent diaper I’ve ever used.

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4) Alva One Sized Diaper– These diapers are amazing for two reasons. the first is the price! Alva diapers retail for about $6 each depending on the print or color. But THAT is the second thing that makes these awesome! They come in countless prints and colors! I’m serious when I say there are at least 45 different colors! The don’t fit as early as most OS diapers, these really started fitting for us around 12 pounds. They come with a microfiber insert, but I really favor their bamboo inserts. My favorite place to purchase these is SuperStash!

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5) Itti Bitti Tutto– This diaper is my newest favorite, and it might quickly move up to the number 2 position because after just a couple of weeks of using them, I already own 8! haha! These diapers are snap in ones, and they’re amazing. They come with 3 different snap ins, and they can all be used together or individually. I love them because I can adjust WHERE the absorbency is in the diaper, and I can pack it all in the front since thats usually where Elliot soaks. I also love these because they’re minky and so so soft! They’re super skinny through the legs as well, which is awesome for my skinny mini.

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Honorable Mention) The Kawaii Pure and Natural– I love this diaper because its a very cheap option for a newborn diaper. It fits from 4 to 22 pounds. Its a pocket, so I can adjust absorbency, and its velcro, so changes are super quick. Elliot JUST outgrew this diaper at almost 11 months old. The only thing I wish was that kawaii would release these in more colors!

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Cloth Diaper Stash Update!

We’ve been cloth diapering for about 10 months now. Our stash has changed significantly! When I was pregnant and planning to CD, the best advice I didn’t listen to was not to put all my eggs in one basket. Different types of diapers fit babies differently, so ‘they’ tell you to get one or two of a bunch of different brands, then when you know what you like, fill your stash how you prefer.

I didn’t listen obviously, and I bought mostly Fuzzibunz OS Elites and Thirsties AIO’s while I was pregnant, I also got a great deal on 6 small Charlie Bananas. I also bought a good stash of newborn prefolds and covers.

Here are two photos of my original stash, pre-baby. The top is all my prefolds (36) and covers, in the second you can see 10 FB Elites, 7 Thirsties AIOs, and 6 Charlie Bananas.

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It didn’t really come back to bite me in the butt. I ended up loving the Thirsties AIO’s and the Fuzzibunz like I thought I would! I HATED prefolds instantly! I ended up selling them and making most of my money back on them. I kept some for burp cloths. I didn’t like the Charlie Bananas either, so I sold those and made $23 MORE than what I paid for them (I told you I found a great deal originally! lol!) Elliot is a long and skinny baby, so certain diapers just don’t work for us because they’re wide and short.

So, our stash grew slowly. Mostly by buying used diapers on the Cloth Diaper Facebook Swap and by winning a couple of others. When we found a diaper we really loved, I would make sure to have a couple in our stash if they weren’t way over priced. I always keep an eye out for good deals on the swap. =)

Here is an updated stash photo, and I’ll tell you what everything is!

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From left to right, front to back:

ROW 1

1 Blueberry Coverall

2 Ecoposh Fitteds

1 Goodmama Fitted

6 Fuzzibunz One Sized Elites

ROW 2

2 Grovia AIO’s

10 Fuzzibunz One Sized Elites

ROW 3

1 Applecheeks size 2

3 Oh Katy’s

1 Happy Hieny

1 Bum Genius Free Time

1 Swaddlebees Simplex

1 Blueberry Mini

1 Kawaii Pure and Natural

1 Kawaii Original

1 Rumparooz

1 Thirsties AIO size 2

ROW 4

4 Itti Bitti Tuttos

6 Alvas

Not Pictured:

2 OS Wool Covers

about 25 random Microfiber Inserts

15 Bamboo Inserts

about 50 cloth wipes

two Planetwise pail liners

4 or 5 random wet bags.

As you can see, my stash has grown significantly. We prefer to do laundry every 3rd day, so a huge stash is a must for us to we never run out. In all, my stash is worth about $500, but I’ve only paid about $300 for it all by buying used and finding deals. I’m at a point where I can comfortably say that I love every diaper in our stash, and there isn’t another brand that I’m curious about trying at the moment.

I think that ‘they’ were right when I was told not to put all my eggs in one basket when it came to my stash. I was so positive that I would end up only wanting one type of diaper in my stash, but obviously, I’m sporting 17 different brands!

My next post is going to be a count down of my top 5 favorite diapers, along with an honorable mention. If you have questions about any of the diapers in my stash, or about cloth diapering in general, leave them in the comments and I’ll help you as much as I can!

Be sure to enter the current Giveaway for a free Itti Bitti Tutto!!

Happy Great Cloth Diaper Change Week!!

The Cloth Menagerie review and giveaway! (Open)

I really love writing about small businesses! Especially businesses that promote eco-friendly living and/or cloth diapering. Recently I met another mom that had just started her own cloth diaper store and couldn’t wait to do a review and giveaway for her! Allow me to introduce you to:

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The Cloth Menagerie was started by a mom who wanted to cloth diaper her son, and was disappointed to learn that there were no stores or resources in the Los Angeles area. (Get it together LA! seriously?) She offers a myriad of diapers on her site from Kawaii Baby, to Apple Cheeks, Eco Posh, and Best Bottom. She also carries all the diapering accessories you could need like pail liners, detergent, pail deodorizers, and these amazing one sized wool covers!

One diaper that she carries that I have always been curious about is the Itti Bitti Tutto. The owner sent me one to try out and I’m in love! Not only is it super soft (thanks to the Minky Outer) but it is also amazingly absorbent! Theres a stay dry layer to that keeps Elliot nice and comfy. They have three different snap in layers. One is really long, one is medium, and one is just small. You can adjust not only the absorbency of the diaper, but where the absorbency is, which is my favorite part of the diaper. I can put most of the absorbency in the front of the diaper since Elliot usually soaks the front and never the back. I love love love that!  I loved it so much, I immediately bought 3 more of them and they are quickly becoming my favorite diaper! And I have The Cloth Menagerie to thank for that! Check out how adorable Elliot is in this diaper!

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From a customer care stand point- The Cloth Menagerie has it all! This diaper arrived beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, with a Cloth Menagerie sticker on it. Elliot loved to play with the paper while I examined our new diaper! haha! She also included a free sample of Cj’s BUTTer! (You know how much I love free samples! haha!) All of my packages from her have arrived quickly and have been packaged and cared for well. I have also ordered two of the amazing OS wool covers that I mentioned before, an Apple Cheeks diaper that I LOVE, and some accessories like a stain removing stick that works wonder on some old tough stains, and some wool wash. One great thing about working with The Cloth Menagerie is that if I ever have a question, I can email the owner and she replies to me SO fast! I’m never had to wait more than an hour to hear back from her. She truly is on top of things when it comes to taking care of her customers and making sure their needs are met and questions answered!

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You can check out The Cloth Menagerie’s website by clicking here! You can also like her Facebook page by clicking here!

She has some great sales going on right now in honor of the Great Cloth Diaper Change happening this week! For the entire month of April, earn 10% off your purchase with the code “CHANGE“! Also- on the 20th, in honor of the Great Cloth Diaper Change and the owners birthday (Happy Birthday Menagerie Momma!) you get a FREE OS Pocket Diaper with your order of $50 or more!

But, because The Cloth Menagerie is awesome, The owner has offered my readers and chance to win your very own Itti Bitti Tutto! All you have to do is enter to win in the raffle copter below! Be sure to do both of the mandatory entries! If you win, you get to pick a boy/girl/neutral color!

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Thank you Thank you to The Cloth Menagerie for sponsoring this post! I have really loved working with her and I will remain a customer for a long time!

Disclaimer

Conscious Box Flash Giveaway! (Closed)

You’ve heard of the Glam Box and other similar beauty boxes right? They way they work is you pay a month subscription, and each month you get an awesome box filled with beauty samples and coupons. I’ve personally never tried one, but recently I was asked to run a giveaway for the Conscious Box!

Conscious Box delivers eco-friendly products to your doorstep every month. Its an awesome way to discover sustainable new businesses that care for the planet—just like you do! Their mission is to make the world a better place by offering eco-conscious options to consumers. They bring healthy, organic, sustainable, and purpose-driven businesses right to your door. What’s inside your Conscious Box changes every month, with 10-20 products that are certified organic, fair trade, vegan, cruelty free, or more. Only most socially responsible companies are included—so you can be sure they’re putting people & the planet first!

I’ve been checking them out on Facebook (You can to, by clicking here!) and I’m really excited about what they have to offer! I haven’t received a box yet, but will absolutely review one of them soon so that you can see what a typical box looks like.If you’d rather not wait for a review, heres a chance for you to win a FREE three month subscription! Thats right! Three free conscious box’s to your door every month. Enter through the raffle copter below! This was an unscheduled giveaway that popped up suddenly, so the giveaway is going to be a flash giveaway and only run for 5 days! Don’t miss out on the entries you can get every day!

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Also! Just for being a reader, here’s a 50% off code to a subscription to conscious box! Just enter LOVELIFE in the promo box when you order! Be sure to go to their FB page and tell them thanks from On a Breath!

Reflections on 10 Months!

Jesus we’re in double digit months now! A lot happened this month! It is crazy to think about the differences in Elliot and 9 months and Elliot at 10 months.

First of all, crawling! Elliot finally started crawling this month! He isn’t great at it, he kind of just uses his arms to pull himself around, sometimes he uses his feet. Other times he stands up on all 4s. Its wild. To see a video of the first time he ever crawled, click here!

Having a mobile baby is certainly more exhausting than anything else. Elliot is all over the place! He is really starting to show his personality now. He’s very curious and outgoing. He has a LOT of energy and will play hard for hours. He likes to investigate things to, he’ll open things up, look under things, and open boxes and books. If he finds a small speck on the floor or a piece of fuzz, he’ll pick it up and check it out before moving on. Its like you can see him thinking.

With all of this insane energy he has, Elliot also crashes hard now too. He will be asleep and playing one minute, then the next he’s completely asleep.

This month also included Elliot’s first Easter!

We’re in a very odd place right now, teetering between babyhood and toddlerhood. There are times that he is SO much like a baby, and I mean that in a very good way. Its sad and scary to see those times that he is SO much like a toddler. Elliot rarely cried as a newborn, and it was only when something was seriously wrong, like he was in pain, or hungry. Now Elliot will cry over the strangest things, like if we won’t let him eat lint out of the carpet or if we take away the plastic bag he’s choosing to half suffocate himself with. He also cries when he is tired, and when he’s tired but doesn’t want to sleep. Even more so, he’s starting to look like a little boy rather than a baby. Its insane how fast he is growing up and how fast he is changing.

PS- We also ditched the paci this month! It was completely painless. He just stopped on his own.

Homeschool Mosaics: Apologia Planners

If you know me at all, you know that I love planners. I am the type of person that has to write things down and refer to lists in order to remember things. This is something that worries me as we move into Elliot’s schooling in a few years. The idea of homeschooling him is something we’re definitely throwing around and thinking about, but I worry about being able to do it effectively. One thing I know is that all great homeschool moms need a good planner! So when offered to do a review of the Apologia Planner for Mosaic’s, I jumped on it.

This is the Apologia Planner!

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At first I was turned off by the size of this planner because I prefer smaller planners I can throw in my bag. However, this isn’t a planner meant for every day use to jot down appointments and reminders! This is a planner meant to keep you organized and aid in the process of teaching your child, and I believe that its one of the best teacher’s aids a home school mom can get. It reminds me very much of the teacher’s planners my husband uses at the high school in which he teaches!

There are pre-planning guides where you can keep a list of forms, worksheets, and other resources you plan to use.

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There is a monthly planner where you can keep track of major items, as well as trips and group meetings you plan for the month. On this page there are also quotes and bible verses to help inspire you and keep you motivated. One thing I appreciate about this planner is that it doesn’t expect you to follow the typical school schedule. You can fill in all the dates and months yourself, making this fit your homeschool year no matter what!

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After the month planner there are weekly planners where you can separate individual days and subjects.

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In the back you also have a record book! I like this a lot, but I felt that it was way too short for the length of this planner. I feel that there needed to be more record pages, and that the places left on the page to write were huge. The graphs could be condensed down to fit 4 weeks on each page I believe.

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This was my favorite part of the planner. In the back you have year end review pages. You can keep notes all year long about things you want to change for next year, or things that just didn’t work for you. Maybe trips that you’d like to incorporate with the lesson or resources you learned about and want to use again. This part of the planner would really come in use when you refer back for the next school year.

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After the year in review there is a large section of teaching tips. I found this section to be interesting. I’m not convinced that a seasoned homeschool mom would really take the time to read and use those tips, or if she’d really need them. And this planner seems like one that a very experienced homeschool mom would use. I did like that the teaching tips were geared towards individual learners and independent study rather than the classroom setting.

This planner sales for $28. Honestly, I feel like it is way over priced and that the price will deter people from purchasing it. I do think that you get a very nice quality planner for that price though. The cover itself is a durable plastic, and each cover has folder pockets on the inside. The bind of the planner is very sturdy as well, and doesn’t want to catch on items and get pulled (similar to the crappy metal spirals you so often see!)  So I think that if you can budget in this planner, you won’t be disappointed in the end, and it will prove to be a resource that lasts years, and one you can possibly pass down as a guide for another mom!

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The Mother of All Carseats: The Clek Foonf!

Foonf! 

This is not a sponsored review. This is simply a review because I can’t tell people how much I love this seat! I was really stressing about convertible carseats. I had no idea what to get or where to begin. I have always been a lover of Britax, but through reading countless reviews, I found that they don’t work well for tall babies. When I came across the Clek Foonf, I wanted it immediately, but the price kept me from doing it. Finally though, we decided that Elliot’s safely was going to win over any price tag and we went for it. (plus, it was tax refund time! haha)

When I started looking for the carseat, I knew that there were certain things I wanted to find. 1- I wanted Elliot to be able to rear face as long as possible. The recommended age is 2, but I’d like to keep him rear facing until he’s three or even 4 if possible. 2- I wanted a good fabric that would be was to clean and keep looking nice. 3- I wanted a sturdy seat that I felt comfortable trusting to keep my child safe in a collision. 4- It had to come from a reputable company with a long and good reputation. 5- It had to fit into my Jeep and Jason’s Impala. So, we ordered the Foonf! I was giddy the day it arrived!

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o in unboxing the Foonf, you have the main seat, the head rest, the rebound bar, the rear facing wedge, the manual, and the registration papers.

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I won’t lie: Assembling the Foonf gave me a headache. It was easy to get everything together EXCEPT the rebound bar. It took me a good 45 minutes to get it properly attached. I was extremely frustrated with it. But, I finally got it after some frustration.  Overall- the seat is a beast. It weighs about 40 pounds by itself. Its not a seat you’re going to want to travel with or move between cars frequently. However, it is quite compact! It is only 17 inches wide, which is skinnier than our infant bucket (A Britax B-Safe), and as you can see below, even in its fully reclined position, the foonf still isn’t as LONG as our infant seat! This is good news for me because my seats in my jeep have to be up pretty far for the infant seat to be installed.

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The Foonf is definitely a beast. I feel really confident that Elliot would be protected in the event of a crash. The only thing that concerns me for future use with the seat is that LATCH capabilities in cars are not equipped to handle carseats that are this heavy. Next year, the AAP will be changing its recommendation from using the LATCH system to using a seat belt install. The reason being is that LATCH system, which was developed in 2000, wasn’t made to handle more than 75 pounds. Now that there are seats coming out that weigh as much as the Foonf, and can hold children up to 75 pounds, the LATCH system can fail when those weights and the force of a crash are combined. Seat Belts are made to hold much more weight. So, with that being said, I will probably always use the seat belt to install the Foonf. For what it’s worth- Every Car Seat Technician that I have every talked to has said there prefer the seat belt to install because you can get a tighter install with it.

Here is a photo of Elliot sitting in the Foonf (in my kitchen). As you can see, at ten months, he still has a TON of room to grow in this seat!

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Here are the Pros and Cons of this seat.

Pros:

-At 50 pounds and 43″, it is the longest rear-facing seat on the market in the US. (Please Note that the Canadian weight limit is lower than 50 pounds).
-Can forward face up to 75 pounds
-It is designed with small cars in mind. Though it is a large and strong seat, it still fits well in compact cars
-The design overall is very sleek and modern
-The fabric used is similar to what an actual car’s seat fabric. It repels liquid and staining.
-The Foonf features REACT technology, which it claims will reduce forces on a forward-facing child by up to 40%. So when my child does finally outgrow the seat for RF, she will be even safer than in most seats.
-It is very narrow, which makes it possible to fit three across in a backseat.
-It has a very simple install forward facing, thanks to its ridged latch feature, which takes the guess work out of how sturdy your install is.

Cons:

-The price tag. The Foonf retails for $450. I was able to find a great deal and get my seat for only $375. If you watch carefully you’ll be able to get it on Amazon for around the same price.
-The weight. This is not a seat you want to travel with or move between cars. It is a beast!

I would definitely recommend this seat to every I can. I’m in love with it for the simple fact that I know it is SAFE. I’m confident that in a collision, Elliot would be 100% ok.

I will update this post with more photos soon. If you have an questions about the foonf, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Check out the Clek Foonf on their website by clicking here!
To purchase the seat from Amazon, click here!