Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gift Giving Made Easy

The holiday bustle is upon us. It’s my favorite time of year. Once October 1st comes, I begin planning out all the upcoming holiday festivities. Christmas is such a magical time of year! I have the calendar booked with local activities for the family. We attend outdoor concerts, movies in the park, parades, cut down a Christmas tree, and so many more activities. Buying gifts used to be one of my favorite things and still is near the top of the list, but with a toddler in tow I find it a little more daunting. I love to find cute, practical gifts and I have a few to share with you today.

First up, a reusable snack and sandwich bag is great for any one on your list. It keeps many plastic baggies out of landfills. They are cute and make a packed lunch and snacking more fun! My favorite feature of these bags is the Velcro closure. My toddler has no problem opening it up himself, sitting it next to his leg in the car seat and then closing it back when he’s finished. There’s no more scream or whining when he’s dropped his snack cup on the floor.

Second up, the Baby Bottoms Baby or Toddler doll is the perfect doll for all young children. These dolls are available in four races: African American, Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic. They are anatomically correct and also have a belly button. The Toddler dolls come with a little Baby Bjorn style potty. It’s perfect for modeling a practicing potty learning. My favorite feature of this doll is it’s completely made of fabric and can easily be thrown right in the washing machine when it gets dirty.

Third up, wet bags are a useful gift for new moms or even grandmothers. All new mothers regardless of their diapering status can use wet bags. Every one knows how many times a day a baby gets changed. Spit up, drool, accidents all bring about clothing changes. Why not have an adorable wet bag to store stinky, dirty clothes in the diaper bag? My grandmother uses a wet bag every day at the YMCA. After, her wet aerobics class she uses the wet bag to store her swim suit in for her trip home. I use a small size wet bag to keep my camera safe from any sippy cup or other liquid spills in the diaper bag. Wet bags have so many useful purposes!

I’m off to bake some more cookies and hang some more tinsel. If you’d like to win a free Candy Cane snack bag there are many ways to enter and each one will result in a separate entry. Entries must be received by December 15, 2010.
1. Leave a comment on this blog about your favorite holiday tip.
2. Fan Wee Willie Winks on Facebook.
3. Follow Wee Willie Winks on Twitter.
4. Fan the Cloth Diaper Retailer Blog on Facebook.

Wishing you a fun and wonderful holiday season!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Musings from the Laundry Room

Hello! Amanda from Tender Loving Cloth Diapers here. I wanted to create a blog post where people could share their best tips/tricks for laundering their diapers. In my opinion that can be one of the most individualized routines that is required when using cloth diapers. Your wash routine can be dependent on your washer, your detergent, your preference for drying, etc.

Personally I have an HE washer which I love for clothes but do not love so much with my diapers. It seems to take a bit more tweaking to get the laundry routine down just right, but it is great for saving water and energy. I have used several different detergents over the years, but my personal wash routine right now is.. quick cold wash cycle with no detergent, followed by a long hot wash with 1-2 tbsp Rockin Green detergent with an extra rinse cycle on the end. My hot wash also includes a soak and stain treat. If I want to add a bit more water to the cycle I add a towel or two since my washer weighs the diapers first before deciding how much water is needed. I try to wash every other day most of the time.

I typically hang dry all of my diapers on a laundry rack in my basement. If I need to dry them quickly I throw just the inserts into the dryer.. and occasionally add a dry towel to speed things along. If it is a nice day I love to take the rack to the backyard.. the sun is AMAZING with diapers. Takes the stains out and freshens them up nicely. My son's diapers are over 2 years old and have very minimal staining because of the sun. It truly is amazing!!

So what types of laundry tips can you share? What keeps your diapers fresh? What detergent do you love? I would love for us to share some tips and tricks for keeping the stinkies at bay.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Otter Puddle Training Pants

Hi, this is Sharni of Nappy Shoppe. My youngest Braden at 2 has been back and forth on training. I am a firm believer that they will do it at their own pace, so I let him decide when he is ready. So right now he goes a few times a day, opts to wear trainers a few times a day and opts to wear a diaper other times. So right now I have the best of both worlds as a cloth diaper store owner, he is testing both diapers and trainers!

So when Braden first showed signs of training, I pulled out the Happy Heiny trainers that I had been stocking since I started Nappy Shoppe. While he loved to wear the cow print one I had chosen for him, I thought them to be rather poofy and diaperish still. They are still one of my number one recommendations for night time and nap time though as they can be stuffed like a diaper for absorbency, but they can be pulled up and down like underwear. But I found I wanted something trimmer that looked more like underwear. So the applications to stock trainers started, and we have tried several brands on Braden, and the ones I stock in the store, we do like. But there was one that was an outstanding favourite for us.

Designed by Debby Reed of Otter Babies is the Otter Puddle. These trainers are the best we have found. They are trim, absorbent, and well made. These trainers are a day time option only. They are not for night time or nap time usage. They will hold an accident nicely and protect furniture and flooring nicely for one accident, but they are not designed to be left on as long as a diaper.

The ones we stock have snaps on the side (though they do make one that does not). I far prefer snaps on the side so that when a poopy accident happens, clean up is easy. We had a poopy accident in a pair of trainers that did not have snaps, and it was not a pleasant experience cleaning that up. The puddles can be pulled up and down like undies, and if there is no poopy accidents you do not have to undo the snaps.

The outside of the trainers is a cotton interlock (though some do have a bamboo french terry), so that they feel like undies. Some of the brands I sell have a PUL outer, which to me makes it feel like a diaper still. (These tend to be the brands that work great for night time and nap time though). The fabric helps the child transition to underwear, and the pants feel more like undies as a result.

The inner of the trainers is a soft bamboo interlock, that is comfortable to wear, but will make the child feel wet when they have an accident. You do not want a stay dry fleece in my opinion in a trainer during the day, as you need them to feel wet to learn.

The absorbent layers are two layers of hemp fleece, that is hidden between the inner and outer layer of the pants. This is backed by a layer of water proof fabric to prevent the bulk of the accident from coming through the pants. We have found that this is sufficient to hold the one accident and not had any leaking on to furniture. If you leave them on for another accident (ie you are not aware that the first has happened) then the outer of the pants will get wet.

There is an optional snap in pad. The pants all come with the pad, but the optional part is if you want to use it or not. It is great for the early days of training when accidents are more common, but it can be removed later on when accidents are rarer. The pad is one layer of bamboo fleece and two layers of hemp fleece. It snaps into the pants, and has an otter embroidered on to the front. Not only is the otter the logo of the brand of pants, but it can be used as a teaching tool. We tell Braden to keep the otter dry. (His little friend Natalie calls it a Kitty .... ).

The small sized puddles are great for those who EC. We do find that the most commonly used size is the larges and extra larges.

We love the Puddles, so much so that when Debby was unable to keep up with our demand for them, Nappy Shoppe crew came on board to help sew them. We really believe in this product, and they are a favourite of many of my customers who are training or have trained their tots.

Congratulations to Libby (15) who one our free otter puddle.

In these photos, Braden is around 30 pounds in a size large, and Natalie is around 27 pounds in a size large.


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