Friday, June 19, 2015

Gerber All-in-One Cloth Diaper Review

Gerber Childrenswear came out with a new AIO cloth diaper and I got to review it! Reasonably priced and already available online from Amazon, Target, and Walmart; this diaper could be a game changer. 

What it is
The Gerber All-in-One Cloth diaper is an all-in-one, sized diaper with double gussets and an optional booster

Who made it
Gerber Childrenswear, makers of the fabulous and accordingly ubiquitous Onesies® bodysuits and lots of other cute baby and toddler clothes. You can connect with Gerber Childrenswear on PinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Our impressions

These AIO diapers are really trim and the size large fits nicely (but with room to grow) on my son who is 2 and weighs about 25lbs. I really like the idea of an aio with a pocket. Besides being nice to be able to add a booster insert for my heavy wetter, I also like that during the washing process it lets water and air get under the absorbent part of the diaper to help it get clean and dry more easily! 

For daytime, this diaper provided a good amount of absorbency and when I take it off, the insert I pull out is wet but the part that touches baby feels pretty dry (yeah, I touched the middle of a damp diaper just for you. You're welcome. I washed my hands well afterwards, I promise!). I really like that the part of the diaper that touches baby privates is cotton and I think the fabric feels nice to the touch. The underside of the pocket and of the insert are poly/rayon blend and don't feel particularly nice, but that never ever  touches baby skin so I don't think that matters at all. There's a little bit of PUL (the waterproof outer layer) that does touch baby skin, mainly the gussets, and it feels like pretty standard PUL to me and covers less surface area than the amount of PUL touching baby skin in some of the hybrid diapers I've tried from other brands, or when using inserts or prefolds folded certain ways and tucked into a PUL cover. It doesn't bother my son's skin. 

Overnight this diaper also did very well and did leak at all. The surface of the diaper and the insert were pretty damp most nights we tried it, but not enough to cause a rash even in my rash prone guy, so that was good. I will definitely consider this one of my most nighttime friendly diapers in my stash, which was a pleasant surprise!
These diapers are sized which makes it super trim and the large seems larger than most of my one-size diapers. Like any sized diaper, you'd have to basically buy a whole new stash for each size (but often people find they can skip sizes, or so I've heard from users of other brands of sized diapers). But even if you bought a new stash for each size and didnt sell any of them used or reuse them for another child(which isn't typical of how most people I know use cloth diapers), I think you'd still end up saving a ton of money vs using disposable diapers, while creating much less waste. 

These diapers are currently only available in hook & loop, but I found an easy solution to the toddler+ hook & loop problem, which for me is that my toddler can (and does) undo it himself: put on a Onesies® bodysuit over it! 

Luckily we already have some Gerber Onesies® bodysuits from when my older son was this age, and once I figured out how well it works, I went out and bought more! A lot of people only think of onesies for younger babies, but they actually come through a 24mo size, so for the majority of toddlers still in diapers, there'd be a Onesies® bodysuit that fits (try an extender tab if you need some extra length!)

This diaper is very easy to launder: there are laundry tabs on the back to prevent the velcro from snagging and they have worked well for me so far, and the whole thing can go in the washer and dryer (or line dry if you prefer) and got completely dry in one regular dryer cycle. 
I love the colors they chose to launch with:

Two pastels and two brights. I can't wait to see what other colors (and maybe even prints?!?) they come out with in the future. Id especially love it if they keep making them coordinate with other Gerber clothes.

I paired my sample diapers with an adorable set of fireman themed Gerber Onesies® bodysuits I found at Target, but there are tons of other adorable combos with some of the currently available Gerber clothes and the AIO colors they've released! Like how cute would these combos be: 

Ease of use
Ease of laundering

Only available in hook & loop

The bottom line
An effective, trim, very affordable AIO worth adding to your stash.

Get it
You can buy Gerber All-in-One Cloth diaper on Amazon for $12.99 at time of posting this review

I received some free Gerber AIO cloth diapers for review purposes. I received no other compensation for this post. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wear them Wednesday June 17, 2015

On Wednesdays I sometimes blog about a wrap, sling, or other baby carrier I've tried and loved, one I hope to try someday, and one way to wear a wrap, sling, or other carrier. 

One I love
Uncaged is a brand new woven wrap from perennial ring sling powerhouse Maya Wrap and I actually won one from them on Facebook and chose Jade, which is jade green and white. 

Maya Uncaged in Jade is a soft but very sturdy wrap made of a 50/50 blend cotton and merino wool. There's no scratchiness to it like some other woolies I've tried. It definitely needs some breaking in, but my toddler is ready for the job! Because of the wool, it requires special laundering. I personally use and recommend Eucalan laundry detergent and Eucalan wipes for wool wraps. 

It comes with a cute navy blue mesh bag (this wasn't mentioned in the listing so I don't know if it comes with all of them or if it's a bonus with just some like the pavo journals and wooden hearts and such!) that works well to store or transport it:

There's also a gigantic tag I'm not a fan of but realize is in response to new government regulations and not just that Maya wanted to do it. (As you may guess, legislation that essentially mandates giant ugly warning tags on beautiful woven wraps is definitely on the list of things crunchy conservatives hate). You're going to be seeing more and more of these from all the wrap companies, so I wouldn't hold it against Maya. Pictured with my hand for reference, but you should know I have extremely small hands for an adult. So it's even bigger than it looks here:

Ugh I need a cute toddler pic to distract me from that tag:

Uncaged also comes in three fantastic other colorsnavy, light blue, and orchid. 

Right side:
Wrong side:

The birds are fun and clear, but if I could change one thing, Id make the birds tossed instead of all totally vertical so that the wrap was easier to tie a variety of ways with the pattern still rightside up. Tying with the same edge always up over and over may lead to faster wear and more permacreases than if it could go either way. 

Overall I really like it though, especially the vibrant color, am looking forward to breaking it in, and am super excited that Maya Wrap took the plunge into woven wraps! 

You can find out more about Maya Wrap and their latest releases by connecting with them on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

One I want
I absolutely love Spangled from American wrap company Poe WovensPoe Wovens is owned by a military veteran and celebrating our Stars & Stripes is near and dear to the founder's heart! There are two colorways and both are gorgeous. First up is "glory", with vibrant red, white, and blue in a blend of cotton and Tencel. 

Isn't it gorgeous?!?

The other colorway, "pure" is 100% cotton with an ivory mercerized weft, and I think it's an absolutely stunning natural colored wrap: 

While the pre-order for Spangled is closed, there will be a limited number available for purchase later this month when Poe Wovens stocks their summer release! You can connect with Poe Wovens on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest for more great pics and the scoop on other upcoming releases!

One way to wear it
This great post from Modern Babywearing has some of the best information I've ever seen about getting a good seat with a woven wrap. I hope it's helpful to you too!

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Whale in My Swimming Pool Children's Book Review

What it is
The Whale in my Swimming Pool is a book about a boy who heads out to his pool only to discover it's filled with a whale!

Who wrote it
Joyce Wan, a Mew York based author and illustrator of children's books and other adorable things. This is her first picture book (her board books sound adorable too!), but I hope not her last! You can find Wan on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle PlusInstagram and YouTubeThe Whale in my Swimming Pool is published by Macmillan Kids

Our impressions
I thought this book was just right for a lighthearted summer picture book. I liked that it had a fairly simple (but deliciously ridiculous) premise and didn't go too far with it and get weird, but was very funny about it. The illustrations are colorful, cheerful, and kid friendly, plus don't just look the same as the illustrations for 10 million books coming out this year, which is refreshing. I think Wan's unique and charming style will win over lots of small readers (and their parents!)

My 5 year old said: "It was a funny book. My favorite part was (SPOILER ALERT!) the bear!" My 2 year old mostly seemed interested in the pictures, but did sit nicely to read it several times. 



The bottom line
A well-illustrated picture book that'll tickle your kids' funny bone this summer.

Get it
You can buy The Whale in my Swimming Pool  from Amazon for $13.46 at time of posting this review. 

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes and received no other compensation for this post. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wear them Wednesday June 3, 2015

On Wednesdays I sometimes blog about a wrap, sling, or other baby carrier I've tried and loved, one I hope to try someday, and one way to wear a wrap, sling, or other carrier. 

One I love

Pavo confetti sea glass! How adorable are these polka dots?!? Pavo is one of my favorite wrap companies and they continue their streak with this beauty. This 100% cotton teal and ivory wrap is woven in the US in the Oriole Mill as an exclusive for the New York Baby Show. It is thick yet soft, and definitely sturdy enough for a toddler. Probably the least stretchy Pavo I've tried so far, but does have some stretch to it and feels like it'll probably have more once it's broken in. Oh, and it's deliciously fluffy, as seen by this wonderful "bloom" picture from before and after washing that another mama was kind enough to let me use for this post:

Right side:

Wrong side:

And if you look very closely, you can see it's actually a tri weave, with "ivory, Veronica, and spearmint" threads (Id probably say white, sky blue, and Jade) all intertwined:

It wrapped nicely even not really broken in at all. I'll try to add another pic in the future when it's more broken in! For now, here's a fwcc with flipped shoulders and flipped rail:

I definitely think the confetti pattern super cute yet modern and SeaGlass is such an amazing color! If you love Pavo too or think you might, find out more about them and connect by checking out the Pavo Textiles website, Facebook page, and Instagram and Tumblr feeds, and the Pavo Form website and Facebook page!

One I want

Bijou Wear High Plains Windmills! Bijou Wear is a newcomer to the wrap scene and was started recently by a super nice U.S. mom named Jaime. Jaime is a military wife and will be donating a portion of the profits from Bijou Wear wraps to the Carrying On Project, which I think is really admirable! Based on the testers I've seen so far, I'm pretty excited to see what Bijou has in store for the future. I think their windmill print is so cool, and yet different from other wraps I've seen. It's made of Eco2Cotton which is basically recycled scraps of cotton from mill and factory floors. They don't re-dye it, so it may very rarely have little traces of darker or light color flecks (like recycled paper!) here and there, but mostly melds together into a cool off white color. Jaime says the feel is comparable to a hemp/cotton blend, which sounds right up my alley! And as a Midwest girl, I find the windmills modern yet homey!

I think its a really interesting versatile neutral and I really hope I get to try one someday! Windmills will be releasing later this month, and you can get the scoop on the Bijou Wear website,  Bijou Wear on Facebook, and the Bijou Wear FB group plus connect with Bijou Wear on InstagramPinterest, and YouTube!

One way to wear it
A friend who is a new mom was asking about how to nurse in a stretchy wrap so I hunted down this video that seems really helpful for demonstrating a couple different ways to breastfeed while you have a baby in a stretchy wrap!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lili Collection Toddler Moccasins Review

We got to review the cutest shoes and I can't wait to tell you all about them!
What it is
Adorable leather moccasins for toddlers! We got to try a pair of classic Animoccs in chocolate.

Who made them
These super cute Animoccs are from Lili Collection, a shoe line launched by a creative mom named Megan with an eye for fashion! 
While they do have tons of adorable girly options, like their sprinkle shoes,
I especially love that they didn't leave out the boys! ("Lili" is actually founder Megan's nickname for her son Liam!) Besides the Animoccs, which I totally love, they also have a variety of neutral and boy friendly shoe designs like these: 
Lili Bear moccasins in silver

For the latest scoop on their shoes, connect with Lili Collection on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Our impressions

We love these shoes! They are super soft and feel so nice, but you can also tell they're high quality and sturdy. I'm a big believer in the benefits of soft soled shoes for everyone but especially for babies and toddlers learning to walk and new to walking, so I love that they are soft soled and come in such a wide range of sizes. I would definitely recommend these to any parent, but especially to fellow parents of kids with Special needs who are looking for soft soled shoes in larger sizes. 
But practical benefits aside, I really love the styling! I think the whimsy is wonderful, and there is such a variety of choices so you can go more subtle and versatile like we did with chocolate, or more funky with some of the brighter colors and sillier themes. 
The only downside I can think of is price. Natural leather is such an awesome, sustainable material that's both soft and strong, but it is inherently expensive. I think these shoes are definitely worth it if you can justify that price point because they are stylish and high quality, but I do understand its a lot of money for one pair of shoes that may not last a super long time if your child's feet grow fast (I have to admit, cute shoes like this make me a little glad my son's feet don't grow terribly fast!!). 

Totally adorable
Wide range of sizes
Variety of colors and designs 

Leather is expensive

The bottom line
Durable, stylish shoes worth the splurge!

Get it
You can buy Animoccs and other with Lili Collection  shoes directly from them on their website. 

I received a free pair of shoes for review purposes and received no other compensation for this post. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

My First Sports Board Book Series Review: Soccer, Baseball, Football,and Basketball

We recently got to check out some awesome new books and can't wait to tell you about them!
What they are
The My First Sports Book Series is a set of 4 board books from Sterling Books featuring words and pictures from some of America's favorite sports. We got to check out My First Soccer Book, My First Baseball Book, My First Football Book, and My First Basketball Book

Who wrote them
The My First Sports Books are written and published by by Sterling Children's Books. You can connect with Sterling Books on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Our impressions

We really love these books. My husband commented that they seem like the kind of thing he can picture all of his friends buying at least one of when they become parents. And both of our boys were interested by them. Our toddler absolutely loves seeing all the pictures of kids playing sports and of the different types of balls. And our preschooler loves learning how to spell common sports words. He uses them as a reference to try to stump me when we play hangman! I also appreciate that the photos include kids and adults of both sexes--I wouldn't hesitate to buy these for my niece. 

There were a few pictures that required a little explanation or could've been more clear (like this picture of a team, but which appears to actually be two teams because two colors of jerseys? And the baseball diamond where the chalk line that creates the actual diamond is all worn off...) but most were pretty clear. I'd love to see them create a boxed set with all the titles and also expand in the future to include more sports like swimming, track, golf, and tennis. And maybe even ballet?!? As a mom of a kid with Down syndrome, I'd also like to challenge Sterling to include athletes with special needs in future my first sports books. Anyway, I love them enough exactly as they are that I think I might buy another copy of all 4 to send to my nephew for his first birthday!

Great vocabulary
Good pictures
Includes both sexes in photos

Some pictures a little unclear
Only available seperately right now

The bottom line
Adorable board books that I highly recommend for any family interested in sports!

Get it
You can get My First Soccer BookMy First Baseball BookMy First Football Book, and My First Basketball Book on Amazon for $6.95 or less each at time of posting this review. 

I received free copies of these books for review purposes. I received no other compensation for this post.