Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Different Kind of Back to School (and a Giveaway!)

Happy September! I am Kathleen, the owner of Cottontail Baby and her sister site Mamaclothonline. We live in gorgeous, green, lake-filled Minnesota where, as if on cue, the moment Labor Day weekend and the Minnesota State Fair were over the weather turned cold with brisk winds and crisp air. Summer is done and it is time to turn our attention to more serious pursuits like school and the Vikings. I love the Fall. Maybe it is all those years of going to school with new notebooks and paper and freshly sharpened pencils but it seems more a season of new beginnings to me than Spring ever does. A chance to begin again and make good choices and succeed and write new chapters.

One issue we struggle with at Back to School is sleep. Weaning our school age kids off their summer bedtimes and into school bedtimes is a significant challenge in our home.

As if psychically knowing exactly what our family is experiencing, the Science Times this Tuesday was full of articles on kids and sleep and school and studying. I thought this blog post was a good opportunity to share a couple things I read. The first has to do with kids and sleep and weight. We all know there is an obesity epidemic in this country. We also all know that there is a correlation between getting adequate nightly sleep and weight issues later in life. The Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine entered the dialogue with another study linking lack of adequate sleep in young children to becoming overweight or obese later in life. According to the study, children under 5 who did not receive at least 10 hours of sleep each night (naps do NOT count) were almost twice as likely to be overweight or obese later in life than those kids who did get the sleep. The belief is that sleep affects hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. Fortunately for the children of the world, sleep is an easily modifiable risk factor.

There was a second kids and weight article in the Times this week. This one did not have to do with sleep being a risk factor but the mother's weight. Yes, again, it is always Mommy's fault. According to this study, excessive weight gain in pregnancy can lead to larger than average infants who are prenatally programmed to become overweight adults with all the health issues associated with excessive weight (diabetes, heart disease, cancer). According to the National Academy of Sciences, fewer than 40% of women gain ONLY the recommended amount of weight during their pregnancy. The other 60% pack on too many pounds. Piggybacking on this phenomenon is that most women do not lose all their pregnancy weight before entering into another pregnancy causing them to start off heavier and gain more each time.

A similar study of British children found that at age 9, kids of women whose weight gain exceeded their physician's recommendations were fatter than other kids, more likely to become overweight and had multiple risk factors for heart disease as well as poorer immune function. In an editorial associated with the publication of this study in Circulation, Dr. Neal Halfon from the Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities at the University of California, Los Angeles said "You can't turn around in the nine months of pregnancy what's been going on for many years of life. The preconception period is critical to placing pregnancy on a healthier trajectory."

I really liked this quote as it seemed to encapsulate what we are trying to do here on the Cloth Diaper Retailer Blog. Help families lead healthier lives for themselves and their children. We help not only by selling the tools to a greener and cleaner lifestyle but also by giving tips and hints and advice on how to make it easier and not onerous. For example, the posting a week or so ago Simple Steps to Start Canning giving tips on how to can fresh vegetables from your garden. Not only does this help in saving money at the grocer but it also allows your family to eat pesticide free produce that has not been frozen wrapped in chemical laden plastic or canned in sodium rich tin.

So, what do you think? In this season of new beginnings what changes are you going to make to help your family lead a greener and healthier lifestyle?


I spent some time thinking of what would be the best item from our inventory to giveaway to readers. Something that incorporated this posting's theme of new beginnings and learning and healthlier lifestyles and it became clear. A trainer! We are huge fans here of both the Happy Heiny's trainer for kids in the early stages of potty learning and the Imse Vimse trainer for kids who have mastered potty learning but still have occasional accidents.

For this month, I believe we will go with the Happy Heiny trainer. We love the Happy Heiny for being so customizable. With the Happy Heinys Pocket Trainer you can pick the color and snap option (no snaps, snaps on one side, snaps on both sides) that works best for your child as well as stuff it with as much or as little as you need. We will giveaway one Happy Heiny's pocket trainer in any regular size, color and snap option the winner desires.

In order to enter (Please leave a separate comment for each entry. If you already are a fan or already subscribe, leave a comment saying so):
1. MANDATORY entry: Stop by Cottontail Baby and check out the selection of Happy Heinys products. Tell us what you like most about the brand.
2. Follow this blog for an entry.
3. Become a fan of Cottontail Baby on Facebook.
4. Become a fan of CDRC of Facebook.
5. Join the Cottontail Baby mailing list
6. Follow the Cottontail Baby blog, Clothdiaperonline.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bottombumpers One Size All in One Up Close-and a giveaway!

Giveaway is now closed. Winner is comment #184, AEK! She has been contacted-if she doesn't respond, I'll post back with a new winner.

I borrowed this post from my 9/3/10 post over at Cloth Diapers Made Simple, but the giveaway is completely new. Enjoy!
~Michelle at Snooty Booty Diapers

Bottombumpers was one of the last brands to offer sized-only diapers, so I knew it was only a matter of time until they developed a one-size diaper. I wondered though, if a one size version would stay true to the trim-fitting design of their sized diapers. One of the brand's great features is the trim fit. It's really hard to keep a trim fit in a one-size while providing enough coverage for larger babies on larger settings.

Would it keep a great fit? And what about the adjustment? For a while, Bottombumpers kept it hush-hush. Retailers knew it wasn't a snap-down rise, but it wasn't adjustable elastic. It was hard to think of what the adjustment might be.

A couple of months ago, retailers were allowed to purchase a one-size sample to try out. I was very excited to receive the one-size diaper...until I opened the package. When I took it out, I was sure that Bottombumpers had sent me a sized diaper by accident. They looked exactly alike! To show how easy it is to confuse them, I lined up 3 diapers here. 2 are sized, and the yellow one is one size. It blends in so well!

After some poking around the diaper, I discovered that it was, in fact, a one size diaper. The adjustment is snap-down, but not on the rise. It's ingeniously hidden underneath the snap in soaker! Once the soaker is in place, it's impossible to see. The placement of the snaps allows the diaper to retain the great Bottombumpers trimness, but it's faster to adjust than leg elastic.

The size settings are color-coded, so you never have to worry about putting the diaper at 2 different settings. Brilliant!

Since the diaper accommodates 4 size settings, it's not quite as trim on the smaller settings at the sized Bottombumpers. It is less bulky than many other one size brands, thanks to the smooth, snap-less rise. The absorbency of the soakers is great, and the materials are the same that you are used to in the sized version. To help compare, the green diaper is the one-size on the second setting next to a medium size blue.

The verdict? I really like this diaper and was excited for its release. Since it's looking like we might have outgrown our medium Bottombumpers before my daughter potty-trains, I'm glad that I'll be able to move her easily to the next size setting on the one-size. It's trim enough that clothing fits easily over the diaper, and she does well with the absorbency. If you're really concerned about getting the trimmest fit, then you should still consider the sized diapers. Otherwise, the one-size is a great way to go!

Right now the one-size is available in 6 colors and in side-snaps only. Enjoy free shipping on the one-size version until 9/15/10 with code "bbfree". You'll also receive a coupon code to use on your next Bottombumpers purchase-since you'll definitely be back to buy more!

Win a Bottombumpers One Size diaper in the color of your choice!
To enter:
US Residents may enter from September 8, 2010 through 11:59 pm EST September 15, 2010. Winner will be drawn through a random number generator on September 16, 2010. The valid comment number that matches the generated number will be the winner.

Please leave contact information in your comment(s). I will make every attempt to contact you and will post the winner here. If I have not heard from the winner by September 20, 2010, another winner will be drawn.

Here's how to enter (Please leave a separate comment for each entry. If you're already a fan or already subscribe, simply leave a comment saying so):
1. Mandatory entry: Stop by Snooty Booty Diapers and check out the selection of Bottombumpers products. Tell what you like most about this brand.
2. Follow this blog for an entry.
3. Become a fan of CDRC on Facebook for an entry.
4. Become a Snooty Booty fan on Facebook for an entry.
5. Subscribe to the Snooty Booty Diapers mailing list for an entry.
6. Follow Snooty Booty's blog, Cloth Diapers Made Simple for an entry.
Good luck!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Jaxon mission ... impossible or not?

A new mum came into the store on the last day of August, 2010. She carried in her arms, little Jaxon, who was a month old. She told me that her husband was out of work, and they were living with relatives, so money was limited, and they needed to cloth diaper little Jaxon on a very very limited budget. Could I help? I said I would do my best! She said all she had in her purse was $240. And she didn't anticipate more funds being available in the future to buy more.

We started by weighing little Jaxon on my shipping scales. He came to 10 pounds, and that gave us a starting point for our mission. Our goal, to make these cloth diapers last as long as possible! And hopefully make the system easy enough for dad to use.

First off we checked out the Bummis starter kit. These kits are a great kit to get started, but there was one flaw. The smallest version would only fit little Jaxon until 15 pounds. Jaxon's mum asked me, how long till that. Well, how long is a piece of string? That was not an answer I could give. I told her every baby was different. My last one didn't hit 15 pounds until he was 8 months old, but other friends babies were that weight by the time they were 2-3 months old. Predicting weights is not something I can do :)

So then she said, what if she went with the next size up that started at 15 pounds. Could she stuff the cover to make it fit. I pulled out a medium cover off the shelf, and showed her just how big that cover was next to her tiny little Jaxon. No this would not work. Perhaps continue with disposables? I pointed out that the cost of disposables till 15 pounds, would be far more than the cost of the tiny baby starter kit, so she would be best getting both. However, funds did not permit her to get both.

So I sat down at my laptop and started to work some mathematical magic. I call it magic, because math is not something I am good at!

With some back and forth, we were able to come up with a package for Jaxon that even included detergent! And it would fit him until he was 28 pounds! And our package used an easy to use diapering system, even for dads. It was not just a simple cover and prefold system.

This is what we put together:
Item QTY Price/Each Total Price
Doodlez Tuck and Go Covers

- Size Medium
6 15.95 95.7
Bummis Prefolds
Size Small/Infant
18 2.67 48
G-Flappers -
6 6.00 36
Bummis Fleece Liners 5 1.00 5
Bummis Bio
Liners Size Small
1 6.00 6
Large Wet Bag 1 18.95 18.95
Draw String Wet Bag
1 6.75 6.75
Rocking Green Detergent 1 14.95 14.95


So for around $230 we got her 24 changes, so she only has to wash every two days. She has plenty of covers to last that period of time. She also got detergent to wash her diapers with. The large wet bag was to store the soiled diapers in. Ideally at some point she would need a second, but she can get by with the one. The Draw String wet bag allows her to have a bag to put soiled diapers in while out and about. Her covers will fit her baby from 12 to 28 pounds, which is well beyond most baby's first year of life. The covers, are also good ones that hold the prefolds and G-flappers in place, which makes it easier for other care givers to change the baby.

So yes, you can diaper a baby on a limited budget and not have to settle for the cheapest covers. And you can make the system last through a long weight range too! And it can be simple enough for other caregivers too!

Would you like to win a Monkey Doodlez Tuck and Go cover in the size and colour of your choice? Very simple to enter. Just head on over to my blog and follow the directions on how to enter.

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