Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cloth Diaper Comparison

If you've been keeping up with my blog you know that we use cloth diapers on Little E. I'm very happy with them and it was definitely the right choice for our family. After doing a ton of research online and reading at least 100 reviews on different brands, I ended up purchasing the BumGenius 4.0 One-Size Pocket Diapers. I love them! My only complaint is that they don't come in red. Red seems like it would be such a popular color with Valentine's Day, Christmas, Fourth of July, or your typical summer clothes since they are cute enough to wear under a dress or with just a t-shirt. I decided to look at my local cloth diaper shop to see what other brands make red diapers and came upon the FuzziBunz One Size Elite. They are similar in appearance to my BumGenius 4.0 diapers so I thought I'd give them a try (I bought one red and one brown because I didn't want to have an odd number of diapers. I have this weird thing about odd numbers...) After using the FuzziBunz for a few months now I feel comfortable making a comparison for those of you wondering how they are different.


BumGenius on the left, FuzziBunz on the right.
As you can see the BumGenius insert is longer and wider.
It snaps down at two different places to make it shorter
depending on what rise setting you select on the diaper.

Here is the BumGenius snapped down to the middle setting
which is what I'm currently using for E. At this setting the
length is closer to the FuzziBunz.

Left: BumGenius on middle snap, Middle: FuzziBunz,
Right: BabyKicks Joey Bunz Premium hemp inserts - medium size

Diaper Covers

BumGenius 4.0 One Size on left, FuzziBunz One Size Elite on right.

BumGenius snapped on the middle rise setting is the same length as the FuzziBunz.

BumGenius unsnapped (at its longest rise setting) compared to the FuzziBunz.

Now that you've visually seen the comparisons, here are my thoughts on the two. I have long babies. K is very tall for her age and it seems like E is going to follow in her footsteps. My concern with the FuzziBunz is that they fit E great right now but how will they fit when she's 18 months, or two years? I don't think they going to fit throughout her entire diaper-wearing stage. With the BumGenius' three levels of rise and wider circumference, I believe their One-Size will truly be the only size diapers we'll need until E is potty trained.

Size concerns aside, my two biggest complaints about the FuzziBunz are closely related. One of the main selling points of the FuzziBunz is that they are very trim and don't get all bunchy between your baby's legs. While that is true and it is nice when they are smaller babies, the problem with this is it's very difficult (for me) to stuff the insert into the diaper. I have relatively small, thin hands but even for me, I can barely fit my hand inside to get the insert down to the bottom and smoothed out flat. My second complaint is that the inside of their diaper (the plastic part that keeps them from leaking) feels very rubbery which makes the insert stick to it and with the already skinny channel for the insert, it makes stuffing these diapers a big ol' pain in the rear. On the other hand, I can very easily and quickly stuff all 16 of my BumGenius diapers in no time.

Lastly, the FuzziBunz come with a lifetime warranty for certain defects. One of the defects it covers are the snaps and it just so happens I've had one of my snaps break so I'm going to try and take advantage of their warranty policy and get it replaced. Once I see how that goes I'll update this part of the post and let you know. I'm sure like most things, it's all a matter of preference. I happen to prefer my BumGenius 4.0 One-Size Pocket Diapers over the FuzziBunz One-Size Elite but that's just what seems to work best for me and my baby. I'm sure there are an equal number of women who prefer something else. I just hope this helps give a bit more information to those of you looking to make the switch over to cloth diapers.

Here is a link discussing our switch to cloth diapers.
Here is a link with information about our cloth diapering experience.
Here is a link about using cloth baby wipes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cloth baby wipes

Happy Friday! I hope you have a fun weekend and spend a ton of time with your families and/or friends!

Back in July I mentioned wanting to use reusable cloth wipes as a part of our cloth diaper routine. Originally I wanted to make my own but it ended up being a much bigger pain in the behind than it was to just purchase some baby washcloths. I bought a 12-pack of 100% cotton 9"x9" Carters brand for $3.99 from Marshalls, a 12-pack of 75% cotton / 25% polyester 9"x9" Luvable Friends brand for $3.99 from Ross, and a 10-pack of 75% cotton / 25% polyester 10"x10" Cutie Pie brand for $3.99 (I'm not sure if it was from Ross or Marshalls.) This seems to be a more economical route than purchasing specifically branded reusable cloth baby wipes.

So far these have worked out great. They all have a smooth side and a terry cloth side. The smooth side is great for cleaning up pee-pee only or wiping a messy face and the terry cloth side is good for gripping and wiping up poop. The cool thing about using cloth wipes is that I only have to use one (or maybe two if it's particularly messy) per diaper change compared to the 5 or 6 per messy change when I was using disposable wipes. These clean up the same way as the cloth diapers and can be washed in the same loads as the diapers.

One of the neat things I learned online while doing research about cloth wipes is that they can be folded in such a way that you can use them in a pop-up wipes dispenser. There might be YouTube videos of how to do this but I have a few photos showing how and once you try it, it's very easy.

I've chosen 4 different colors to help visually see how to fold them. The colors
are, from top: light blue, green, dark blue, white. I'm using the 9"x9" size because
they fit into a standard size disposable wipes container a bit better.

Lay down the light blue wipe.
Lay the green wipe on top of it so it's overlapping the light blue wipe by half.

Fold the light blue wipe over the top of the green wipe where it overlaps.

Lay the dark blue wipe on top of the light blue wipe that was just folded in half.

Fold the green wipe over the dark blue wipe.

Lay the white wipe on top of the green wipe you just folded in half.

Fold the dark blue wipe over the white wipe.
Continue adding wipes until you've folded them all together.

Stick your cloth baby wipes into your adorable Winnie-the-Pooh disposable
wipes container.

Here you can see that when I pull out the top wipe, the one below it comes up too,
just like traditional pop-up wipes.

There are a ton of cloth wipe solution recipes on the internet. I looked at quit a few of them and ended up going with Baby Bum Drops by Knickernappies. They are tiny cubes that you dissolve in hot water and pour or spray on your wipes. When I make a batch I pour 3/4 cup of boiling water into a Thermos, drop in a cube (or sometimes a half of a cube if it's a bit bigger) and then fill it the rest of the way with filtered water from the refrigerator. The Thermos keeps it warm the whole day and that amount will typically last me two and a half days using my current dispensing system, which is kind of wasteful. I pour the solution onto a wipe over the sink and then wring it out a bit. I used to pour it out over a Rubbermaid container and then dump the extra back into the Thermos but I've gotten lazy. I need to start doing that again.

The Baby Bum Drops are safe to use with
cloth diapers and cost approximately $13.99
for 50 of the little blocks.
Here is a link discussing our switch to cloth diapers.
Here is a link with information about our cloth diapering experience.
Here is a link to a comparison between the BumGenius 4.0 One-Size Pocket diapers and the FuzziBunz One-Size Elite Pocket Diapers

Thursday, October 11, 2012

She's Ready For Her Close-Up

Every year we take K to the JCPenney Portrait Studio to document another birthday. For her three-year photos I was over a half year late in getting them taken so technically she's had two sets of yearly pictures taken this year. I'm actually really surprised that there's as much of a visible change with these pictures given how close together they were taken (7 months apart). I love seeing the progression of time in how her looks change.

And speaking of these types of photos, from any other moms who do this type of thing, have you given it any thought on how long you'll do them? Originally I was thinking until K starts kindergarten and then has school pictures taken. But these are always so much more fun so then I was thinking until she turns ten. Why ten, I have no idea. What do you all think?

For comparison, here is one from year two and year three. Click on the links if you want to see all of the pictures from those years:

Year Two

Year Three

Year Four

We have also had a picture of her taken with the number of her age each year but the photographer told me they only go up to five so I guess if we keep this up I'll have to start bringing my own numbers.

Also, it just so happened that we were at the store on the last day that they were doing an event which happened to be mermaids and pirates. Obviously they were gearing the mermaids to girls and pirates to boys and while I was secretly hoping K would pick pirate, when given the choice, she chose mermaid. We even go Little Sis in on the action. This is our homage to Daddy and his love of the beach:

Since the side pictures above are so small, here is each one blown up. The bottom one cracks me up. It's supposed to represent K being caught and the look on her face just kills me!

Now I just have to make sure I get E to her one-year pictures on time ;)

Monday, October 8, 2012

K's 4th Birthday Party - Alice In Wonderland; Gifts

Part 5

Hooray! I'm finally going to wrap up K's 4th birthday party! This last post is all about the loot; hers and the take home goodie bags. I honestly have as much fun finding appropriately themed goodie prizes as I do with all of the other aspects of the party.

JAKE family photo.

This year K was very interested in examining each gift as she opened it. She was a bit slow to warm up to having everyone staring at her as she opened them but by the end she was hamming it up as usual.

For Goodie Bags this year I ended up using gift bags bought at the Dollar Tree. The gifts I had were too big for the usual cute-sy type of boxes or bags so I had to go big this year. I made a "Take Me" label that matched the "Drink Me", "Eat Me", and "Guess Me" labels and taped that to the front. I let K pick out the colors and of course she went with blue. They only had two blue ones left though so we had to get a silver one too.

Inside the bags were an Alice in Wonderland coloring book, a box of 8 Disney Princess crayons, a personalized bookmark from the Bride in Wonderland download, an Alice in Wonderland book with a personalized book plate from the Disney Family website, a set of the Talking Flowers in a striped goblet, and a twisty straw. I was very happy to have found the book and coloring book because Alice isn't a princess so she is rather hard to find when looking in the Disney section at most stores. The coloring books were also from the Dollar Tree so that was a super sweet score!

I had the bookmarks in each of the books on the page with the Mad Hatter at the Un-birthday party. While I doubt any of the kids noticed, it was just a little touch that made me smile. Beside, that was the image for the inspiration for the invitation I made.

I found a great, high resolution image of Alice and the Mad Hatter with the cake on his head on Google Images and then looked up a few quotes for the movie, added the pertinent information with a colorful background and the invitations were done. These were pretty easy compared to the last few years and while they aren't as memorable as the Toy Story ones from last year or the cupcake ones from her first birthday, I still think they turned out nicely. (In case you're wondering, I bought Mickey Mouse ones for her second birthday.)

So that finally wraps it all up. I can't promise I won't include as many pictures / posts for future birthday parties but I'll try and be more timely about them. I still have tons of photos from the summer I want to post and here it is already Fall! Maybe one day I'll catch up...

Part 1 - Decorations
Part 2 - More decorations
Part 3 - The cake
Part 4 - Food

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

K's 4th Birthday Party - Alice In Wonderland; Food

Part 4

Hopefully you're not sick of hearing about this party (yet). I only have one more post after this one and that will wrap it all up. Tonight I'm covering food, more decorations, and Little Sis.

The party started at noon so I knew we'd want to have some actual food and not just desserts. We served barbecue meatballs, pasta salad, Hawaiian salad and three kinds of deli spirals. In the picture below you can see the Birthday Banner I downloaded from the website In Good Company. They have an amazing free download called Bride In Wonderland that includes the full alphabet buntings as seen below (I had to really darken up my picture to see the banner because my flashed washed them out so much). I also used their food picks and bookmarks which you will see a bit later in this post. I love it when such talented designers let you use their creations for free. So awesome!

Also in the picture you can see my food tent cards. They are quite literally playing cards and all I did was print out the name of the food in a border that I had printed and taped onto the backs of the cards with double sided tape. In keeping with the theme of the Card Guards and K's fourth birthday, each food tent card has a red and a black 4 in two corners and two suits from the playing cards. I stood them up using clothes pins. They looked pretty cute (there's a close up of one in the post about the cake) but were kind of pointless so I probably won't do food tent cards at any other party.

Below is the dessert bar. The cake is obviously the main highlight but there are several other details I would like to share. The two tissue paper flowers are from a Martha Stewart tutorial. Mine turned out kind of wonky. Maybe I did them wrong... In the center is the paper lantern K made. She really wanted to help with the party decorations and I was happy to let her. She also helped me make the smaller yellow poms in the blue vases. Those turned out a lot cuter. I also want to point out the jumbo polka-dot teacups. I found those on clearance at Michael's along with the two charger plates. They looked super cute stacked and filled with meringue cookies. We also had one of my favorite desserts, Seven Layer Bars - yum!

Unfortunately, in the photo above you can't see the super cute flamingo pencil on loan from my Mom for the Guess Me Jar. (In case you don't remember the flamingo reference, Alice plays croquet against the Queen of Hearts using flamingos as the mallets and a hedgehog for the ball.) Mom and I filled a jar with jelly beans and had people guess how many were in it. The closest guess won. Everyone except for my grandpa and brother guessed way low with my brother being closer so he got to take home the prize.

The drink bar was a fun space to decorate. As you can see, there are two more of my tissue paper poms. These turned out a little bit better. Aside from the usual stash of soda pop, I made a raspberry lemonade punch from a Martha recipe and it was super easy and very tasty. I also had iced tea since part of the theme of the whole party was a tea party, and mini bottles of water that I covered with Drink Me labels. In the back you can see my flamingos and hedgehog (see the note about their significance to the movie above.)

These straw toppers are from the Bride in Wonderland
download I mentioned above with the birthday banner.

And last, we can't forget Little Sis. E had her own special wardrobe for the occasion. The funniest part about her outfit is I bought this pack of Alice onesies before she was even born. I have ideas for each of the girls birthday parties planned out for the next, oh... 6 or 7 years. Now that doesn't necessarily mean that I will end up doing them all but what it does mean is that when I see something that will work in the dollar section at Target or the perfect shirt, I'm going to buy it. I have a big plastic storage container that I stock with party supplies for future parties. I know, I'm crazy. Get over it ;)

She even had a wardrobe change for bedtime.

Part 1 - Decorations
Part 2 - More decorations
Part 3 - The cake
Part 5 - Gifts & Goodie bags