Diaper Covers

A little while ago I confessed to being a pretty crummy cloth diaperer – but a cloth diaperer nonetheless! In that same post I promised to share some of my thoughts on the products I’d used so far in my first year-or-so of semi-successful cloth diapering. So here goes:

Two-size diaper systems

Thirsties
These were the first diaper covers I tried. Before Boo was born I’d done some research and liked the idea of their duo wrap 2-size system. Not being sure how this whole cloth diapering thing was going to turn out, I also really liked that they weren’t too expensive. So I bought a few velcro as well as a few snap covers to see which I liked best. And that was it. As a novice cloth diaperer, I didn’t want to get in too deep.

As mentioned previously, it took awhile for me to get the hang of cloth, and to be satisfied that it actually fit my Boo Boo (I know I keep saying this, but he was so small…he wore the newborn sized disposables for several MONTHS before we moved him up to size 1). Once I had the hang of things….I liked them. I liked how the Thirsties never had blow outs. I liked that I could wipe down the interior. I liked that his prefolds could be soaking wet, and not a drip leaked out.

And I still like them. We’re now using size 2 and, with other covers to compare, I can also claim to like them for being among the most trim, and fitting really well but not seeming tight (Boo has comparatively few elastic marks on his skin when I take them off).

The only things I dislike about them? Sometimes the excess material that isn’t snapped (basically, the fabric holding the too-big snaps) shifts out of the diaper. And the white fabric covered elastic around the legs and top of the diaper is a little prone to staining. That’s it.

Two thumbs up.

Applecheeks
Another two (actually now three!) size system, I inherited a pile of these from friends. I was excited to try them out, as they’re a local company, and get very good reviews (I never bought their size 1 diapers because the price tag scared me away at the time).

What initially threw me off about AppleCheeks was that there are no snaps to adjust the rise of the diaper. It’s just a matter of how tightly you snap it on. I thought this might be a problem….but nope. They do a great job holding everything in. The “ruffles” around the waist and legs – which I originally thought were kind of girly – actually seem to help accomplish this. They also seem to keep things snug without being too tight.

These were also the first diaper covers I tried with a micro-fleece lining which I worried would require more frequent laundering. And though you can’t wipe the insides down, if Boo has only had a pee (or a well contained poop), then it isn’t an issue and I can reuse them several times (I should note that I just place my prefold on TOP of the micro-fleece – I don’t stuff it into the pocket).

As for dislikes? They aren’t particularly trim. As Boo gets bigger, I’m sure this will become less of an issue – right now he’s still at the lower end of the size 2 weight range. Also, I’m not so sure how durable the elastics are. I had to retire all of my inherited diaper covers, as the elastics gave out (you know…when you stretch an elastic, you hear a crinkly sound, and it doesn’t stretch back?). I’m not sure if it’s because they were getting old, if it had to do with how they’d been previously washed, or how I washed them? Or maybe if they’d been stored near a radiator (before or after they came into my possession)? But they’re dead. I still went ahead and bought two news ones.

Thumbs up.

One size diaper systems

Bummis
I really wanted to like Bummis so that I could support another local Montreal business…so much so, that I went to their physical store location on St-Laurent Street to check them out. But as soon as I walked in there, with Boo strapped into the ErgoBaby, I felt….out of place. Like I somehow wasn’t cool (or crunchy?) enough. When I spoke with a saleslady to ask a few questions, her answers were short and curt. She also gave me the impression she didn’t like talking to me. It was not a nice shopping experience.

But because I’d make the trek out there, I still went ahead and made a purchase. Only I bought less than I’d anticipated.

Impressions of their physical store location and salespeople aside, I’ve had one Simply Lite one-size diaper cover for a few months now and…I barely use it. It’s the second-to-last cover that I use when all of the other covers are dirty. Though I love the pattern (Elephant Tales), the fit isn’t particularly trim. I chalk this up to it being a one-size diaper cover and Boo being particularly slim – but that’s not really why I dislike it. I dislike it because the tags are on the front inside of the diaper – not particularly soft tags, that rub against Boo Boo’s belly. I also can’t stand how the diaper curls in upon itself. As soon as there’s no Boo to hold it open, the tabs immediately curl in and land in whatever happens to be on the prefold. Which means I either have to be extremely fast to catch them (and as an inept diaperer, we know that doesn’t really happen)….or else they get dirty and I have to wash what was a mostly clean and totally reusable cover. Finally, of all the diaper covers I have, the material on the Simply Lite seems the least breathable of them.

So yeah. Thumbs down on the Bummis.

GroVia
These are another one-size diaper cover, and what I initially noticed about them is that their overall shape is different from all of the other diaper covers I’ve tried. The wrap-around tabs that snap in front are much longer – making the sides of the diaper less bulky – and contributing to their being another rather trim cover.

Like the Applecheeks they have an interior lining – only theirs is just that – a lining. There’s no pocket. Rather, GroVia makes their own inserts that snap into place. I can’t comment on the inserts, as I don’t use them – I just use a prefold. The lining does seem to add a little extra friction, though, and helps keep the prefold in place.

The GroVia Snap Shells don’t have any leg gussets, ruffles or anything special to keep everything in….but they do (keep everything in). I sometimes worry that they’re not fitting tight enough at the belly, as there can be a slight gap when I’ve got a thick and folded over prefold in there. But so far, there’ve been no accidents, so I’m not complaining.

I quite like these ones. Thumbs up.

Blueberry
Yet another one-size diaper cover (yeah….I bought a bunch of one-sizes…I really didn’t want to have to keep buying larger diaper covers as Boo grew), the Blueberry Coveralls look very much like the Thirsties Duo Wraps…..only bigger. Much much bigger. These are probably one of the least trim diaper covers I’ve used. They tend to be pouffy, as there always seems to be a little extra fabric at Boo’s bum – even when they were snapped up to their smallest.

But apart from how big they look, they actually fit Boo pretty well. He has very few elastic marks on his skin when I remove them, and he’s had no accidents while wearing them.

Not an enthusiastic thumbs up, but thumbs up all the same.

Rumparooz
And finally the last one-size diaper cover in my stash. I have only one Rumparooz, and it is currently the very last diaper cover I use in my pile. It seems to have too much fabric. When I snap Boo into it, there’s always a bunch of folds bunching up where the cover is folded over to make it smaller.

And that’s just annoying. It also makes it feel bulky.

I do make it to my last diaper cover every once in awhile, though, and once I don’t need to snap it up so small, I’ll have to reassess how much extra fabric there is. I’d love to use it. It’s got to be the softest diaper cover I own.

So….I guess a temporary thumbs down until I can re-asses.

And that’s it as far as diaper covers are concerned. Because I’ve always seemed to struggle with the overall bulk/size of the diapers, I’ve never really used any of the boosters I’d purchased. They felt like overkill. I will, however, try to share my thoughts on the prefolds I’ve used, as well as cloth-friendly rash creams and detergent!

Stay tuned! (Well…only if you’re into that sort of thing, I guess.)

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Boo Boo loves Sesame Street (1)

Once upon a time Boo Boo’s favourite Sesame Street character was Elmo. He loved listening to Elmo’s Song so much that he’d cry when it ended. He loved Elmo’s bright red fur and seemed to respond to Elmo’s high-pitched voice. It was cute. Very cute. But truth be told….Elmo is a little annoying.

So when Boo started to lose interest in Elmo, I think we were a little bit relieved. Though his Hug Me Elmo is still a favourite, Boo has recently started leaving him in the cupboard…all alone, sometimes for days at a time (previously Boo would climb in there with him and play for God knows how long). Instead of focusing on his furry red friend, Boo now has a new Sesame Street favourite:

Cookie Monster.

When he’s eating, Boo stops and listens intently to Cookie Monster songs and stories that are playing in the background. If he’s in another room and hears certain favourites begin in the kitchen or living room, he’ll stop what he’s doing, run to where he can hear better, and just stand there….listening. Enjoying. Smiling.

And when we play a Cookie Monster video? He giggles whenever Cookie Monster has a close-up:

(Ermm….please ignore the mess in the background…exactly one week ago it was spotless as I prepared to have guests over for Easter….I’ve since succumbed to Boo Boo’s housekeeping philosophy, which is something along the lines of “spread everything everywhere”)

His favourite so far has been “The Cookie Touch” – an episode in which Cookie Monster is granted a wish that turns everything he touches into a cookie. We don’t even have to watch the video anymore to elicit a reaction – I just have to chase him saying “Me got Cookie Touch, Me got Cookie Touch…” or just “Cookie Touch, Cookie Touch…” and he erupts into smiles and giggles and, if he’s in a position to, tries to run away.

Boo smiling and giggling

I got Boo Boo running and smiling in his crib just by saying “Cookie Touch” over and over, and threatening to touch him with my (Cookie Touch) hands.

It’s so cute. And I love it…..I also love that I can totally get into Cookie Monster in a way that I just couldn’t do with Elmo. So now it’s fun for both of us!

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Makeup fail: my eyebrows

I’ve got pretty good eyebrows.

Sure I plucked the hell out of them in high school (didn’t everyone pluck their eyebrows down to nothing in the 90s?). And I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with them throughout my 20s and early 30s due to the fact they took so long to maintain.

Since I had Boo, though, I kinda eased up on their maintenance, and allowed them to grow out….and I love them! They’re thick (but not ridiculously so), quite full, and have a nice natural shape to them. Apart from trimming them every two weeks, plucking any unibrow-threatening hairs and the odd hair below their natural/reasonable line, I can mostly leave them alone.

But it somehow got into my head that I could make my great eyebrows even better. Maybe even amazing! How? With eyebrow makeup….just to fill in those few sparse areas and better define them overall.

Green super macro eye

(these are not my eyebrows – image courtesy of Courtney Rhodes)

I went to Sephora one weekend to see what I could come up with. I was initially thinking an eyebrow powder would work best, just because I read about powders online and am apparently quite impressionable. But the lady at the store told me no….a gel would be much better, and last throughout the day, whereas a powder would wear off. Seemed reasonable to me. So she sat me down in a chair, and found an eyebrow gel colour that worked with my brows, and applied.

My eyebrows looked GREAT! The same, but better!

I bought the gel and an angle brush to apply and went on my merry way.

Fast forward a few days to when I decided to try applying the gel myself. Hmmm….it seemed to take me much longer than it took the Sephora beauty consultant lady – but she’s had lots of practice, right? I seemed to keep needing more from the tube, whereas I couldn’t really remember her needing so much. It seemed darker than I remembered.

When I stepped back to look at my brows, my worst fears were confirmed. I looked silly. I mean, completely and utterly ridiculous. I washed it off immediately, and began pondering what I had done wrong. Too much gel? Applied everywhere rather than only where I really needed it?

I’ve decided to try again. Repeatedly if I must. But only when I’m home alone and Boo is down for his nap, so that NOBODY can see me.

Until I get it right, that is.

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Activity Tower

Some time ago I came across the concept of an activity – or learning – tower. Which is effectively a raised and enclosed space that puts your little one at counter level so they can participate in the goings on in the kitchen.

I looked into buying one, but the cost was….expensive. And shipping was even more so. So I started looking into alternatives, and discovered a ton of people who’ve hacked the IKEA Bekväm step stool to create their very own (much more affordable) activity towers. After perusing a few of them, I decided it was totally do-able. Either with my dad or, ahem, for my dad!

I forwarded him an example (this one), and he said he was game!

So during our visit to Kemptville at the beginning of March, I brought along a Bekväm stool, we went to Home Depot to pick up some wood, and my wonderful dad made Boo an activity tower in time to bring it home with us!

Boo in his activity tower 1

Boo in his activity tower 2

It was immediately a HUGE hit. So much so, that I felt its absence when I took it apart and brought it downstairs to paint – which put it out of commission for 2 whole days.

I used an outdoor paint to ensure maximum protection against water – super important as I’ll often station my little man at the second sink with me as I do the dishes, and he’s prone to dumping cupfuls of water onto himself, the tower, and the floor. But that’s ok. As long as he’s having fun and keeping busy, and most importantly not crying and pulling on me to pick him up, I’m a happy mama.

Boo at the counter

So now, instead of struggling to get meals prepared, or do some cleaning in the kitchen, I can station him at the counter with me, and we “work” side-by-side (and by “work” I of course mean he empties the contents of the dish rack back into the sink, or on to the floor…but at least he does so peacefully!).

Boo examining the contents of the dish rack

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Tulips!

My mother-in-law bought me these tulips last week, and now that they’re about ready to trash, I’m a little sad to see them go. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying them, and have been particularly impressed that they haven’t drooped at all. The trick? Ten copper pennies thrown into the vase.

Tulips before they fully opened

I took this shot before they’d fully opened – I think I was still skeptical that they’d remain upright long enough for me to get any other photos.

Tulips

A day or two later, and they were just perfect….and not at all droopy.

Close up of tulips

Open tulips from above

So pretty!

Whenever we have fresh cut flowers they serve as a reminder of how much I love them…I really should treat myself and have them in the house more often.

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