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Monday, December 28, 2009

Fluff Mom Monday

This week I'm excited to introduce Autumn Beck. You may have heard of her awesome cloth diaper blog: All About Cloth Diapers. I know that her blog was a great resource for me back when I was pregnant and researching cloth diapers. Her blog is a wealth of knowledge, and she personally responds to each question she receives on her blog. She has four kids, and here is her cloth diaper story:

Tell us about yourself! What is your name? How many little ones do you have? How long have you used cloth diapers?

Hi! I'm Autumn Beck. My husband and I have been blessed with 4 children and are praying for as many as God blesses us with! We are a Christian homeschooling family. Haley is 7, Haven 5, Paisley 3, and Sterling 9 months. We love camping! One of the pictures is from Lost Maples State Park in mid-November. Sterling was not as excited as us with the hike. And yes, when we camp I take cloth diapers!

I began using cloth diapers in 2005 when my first son was 15 months old. From there I cloth diapered Paisley from birth, as well as our current cloth diapered baby Sterling.

Cloth diapering Haven was extremely easy. I had limited funds and a very limited stash. I did the best with what I had. Along came Paisley and I realized that every baby is different! After all the research I did and trial and error I realized I needed to start a blog to help other families cloth diaper their babies. In 2006 the only place I found cloth diaper information was Diaper Swappers. If you've been there you know finding an answer to a question is like finding a needle in a haystack.

In March 2008, I launched All About Cloth Diapers. I never (never!) imagined that it would be the success it is. I have been blessed with many friendships, advertisers, and of course cloth diapers. I feel that what sets me apart from other cloth diaper blogs is the pure educational content that I provide. All reviews are detailed and honest. It's also very important to me that I answer every question personally that I receive. The comments at the end of every post are as content rich as the post sometimes!

(To the right you will see a picture of Autumn's adorable son, Sterling. What a cutie!!)

What made you decide to use cloth diapers?

My good friend had been using cloth diapers and kept telling me about them. I wasn't that interested and besides when I searched online I was so overwhelmed by the choices. When I changed Haven's diaper one day and saw gel crystals all over him I was convinced. I called up my friend and she told me exactly what to buy.

What was the first cloth diaper you bought? I bought a dozen prefolds and 6 proraps colors covers from granitesmith on ebay. I still recommend her store today!

Tell us about your cloth diaper stash (numbers, sizes, types, brands, etc.):

I managed to survive the hunger/obsession/addiction that all cloth diaper moms experience. Now, with Sterling being my 3rd to cloth diaper I've found my favorites and I stick with it. We have 9 bum genius organics aio, 6 M Sbish bamboo fitteds (the Magic diaper), 2 day packs of Flips stay dry, lots of wool longies (knit, crochet, interlock and recycled), and then my random diapers: rumparooz, anne marie padorie aio, bottom bumpers and thirsties pocket aio, Marvel and a few Kissaluvs.

(Autumn's cloth diaper stash!)

What is your favorite cloth diaper? Why?

That's an easy one: Bum Genius Organics AIO. I have tried dozens of different styles, brands, systems and Bum Genius Organics beats them all. They are the trimmest, most absorbent, best fitting cloth diaper and they're one-size--which I love. The only time I don't use them is on a newborn and at night. I have actually left a Bum Genius Organics on my son for many hours and not had a leak. They are my go-to cloth diaper if we will be in the car for a while or if I know other people will be holding Sterling (wouldn't want a leak on someone else!). Reliability isn't always easy to find in the cloth diapering world. Oh, and in case someone wonders about what body type Bum Genius Organics work best on I say all. Paisley wore them and she was a shorter baby with huge thighs and belly. Sterling is the opposite, he has stick legs and a tiny waist. The fit is perfect on both body types.

Tell us about your wash routine

Prewash cold w/ 3 big squirts of Bac-Out

Cold wash w/ Kirkland's Environmentally friendly detergent

2nd rinse- cold

Dry for 80 minutes on high heat.

Have your friends and family been supportive of your decision?

Yep, I've not experienced a negative reaction yet.

Any challenges with using cloth diapers? What did you do about it?

I am blessed to not be experiencing any problems at this time. However, I have had a child that was sensitive to suede cloth and serging. That was fairly easy to figure out. That same child also developed a nasty rash that was only remedied by using Apple Cider Vinegar.

Daily I receive emails or comments with questions about challenges. I answer these questions promptly and with as much information as I can find and provide in order to offer a solution to parents frustrated beyond belief.

Your best piece of advice for someone new to cloth diapering

Stick with your convictions. When it gets tough (which it will at some point) don't forget why you began cloth diapering. Your child's health doesn't become less important because you are having stink problems. The environment still needs help despite the leaking at night you are frustrated with. Your budget is still tight even when you go on vacation and don't want to take cloth diapers.

Of course on the flip side, don't beat yourself up if you choose to use disposable diapers for a brief time. Make sure that your husband is fine with it and then get back into cloth diapers as soon as you are able. When buying a disposable diaper choose the healthiest you can find. I have a pack of Flip disposable inserts in my closet just in case they're needed.

Your favorite scripture, quote, or anything else that you'd like to add?

Romans 8: 28-30 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Thanks, Autumn! Be sure to visit her cloth diaper blog: All About Cloth Diapers!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Fluff Mom Monday

This week's Fluff Mom is Melinda from Read about her cloth diapering experience, and then be sure to check out her website (especially on Fridays when she writes about cloth diapers!). Also be sure to check out, a cloth diaper lending service, which is an awesome organization that she supports.

Tell us about yourself! What is your name? How many little ones do you have? How long have you used cloth diapers?

The name is Melinda. I have two kidlets: Brye who will be 5 in January and Freedom who will be 2 in May. We’ve been using cloth diapers non stop since Brye was about 4 months old… Like way back in May of 2005. (wow it’s been a while). I blog at Every Friday I try to write about cloth diapers.

What made you decide to use cloth diapers?

A few days after my son was born, my family decided to tell me that my Grandfather (who was more like a father) was dying of cancer. At three weeks old, Brye and I drove from North Carolina to Quebec, Canada. It was February, and not much to do. My family was researching natural ways to prolong my Grandfather’s life. I read a lot about toxins and set about to change our lives. At that point in time, I thought disposables were the only option. Oh and being in another country only being able to find huggies sucked. It was a small farming town so everything was overpriced. Once I got home I found an awesome forum called Carolina Mommas ( There were some moms talking about “CD’s” and I of course thought it was music related. One mom offered to sell me some diapers, and lend me some to try out and I was hooked. I mean who could resist the cuteness?

What was the first cloth diaper you bought?

6 Infant Chinese Prefolds and a Medium white Bummis super snap cover (which I still have and use)

Tell us about your cloth diaper stash:

Here is my blog post from back in March about the stash. It’s changed a bit since then ( I need to update it with a new post.

13 Bum Genius 3.0 Pockets, At least 3 dozen prefolds (12 infants, 24 regular and maybe 6 toddler and 4 under the nile?), Bummis covers, Bumkins covers, Thirstie covers, Wonder wrap one size cover, Prorap covers, WOOL

Here are some pics of my stash:

What is your favorite cloth diaper? Why?

Really depends on the age.

I LOVED prefolds on Freedom as a newborn. All in ones and pockets are easy for family members (and those days when you don’t want to chase an 18 month old around to get a cover on after she takes off).

Tell us about your wash routine


Cold rinse. Charlie’s soap, amount depends on the size of the load. Hot wash. Preferably hot rinse. Rinse until the suds are gone.

I use Charlie’s on everything. I just got some Rockin Green Soap to try out.

Have your friends and family been supportive of your decision?

My family was. Sparked a lot of conversations about how diapers had changed over the years. My mother in-law still calls them rags… Even the Bum Genius. My husband was so-so. I think since Freedom, he’s come around to it more. He thought I was crazy and wouldn’t stick with it.

Any challenges with using cloth diapers? What did you do about it?

Not having a washing machine currently at the house. I was hand washing until I went back to work. I did have a problem with daycare when Brye was a baby. I’ve always had a problem with my mother in-law not washing the diapers that the kids wore up there right and having to strip them. I did mention she calls them rags, right? Lol

I also learned the hard way about making sure all the detergent is rinsed out. Brye got an awful rash.

Your best piece of advice for someone new to cloth diapering

Try one of everything that interests you. If you buy used diapers, you can usually try more out at a cheaper price. Diapers in excellent/good condition re-sell pretty well.

Your favorite scripture, quote, or anything else that you'd like to add?

I just wanted to take a moment to mention that I manage a branch of Teeny Greenies ( My branch is known as Gnome Grown Teeny Greenies ( We are a free cloth diaper lending service. Our mission is to help get cloth diapering into the mainstream by providing diapers and diapering support to any all local families who wish to cloth diaper their babies. We serve not only the families who can’t afford their own diapers, but also families who like to try cloth diapering and don’t know how or where to start.

Thank you, Melinda, for sharing with us, If you're interested in being a Fluff Mom, email me at


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bottombumpers AIO Review and Giveaway

Where comfort meets style

Bottombumpers are a sized, all-in-one diaper that are available with either side snaps or hook and loop closures. They feature a soft yet durable waterproof outer cover, and are lined with certified organic cotton. The diapers are more like an all-in-two in that they come with a snap in soaker that features 4 layers of organic cotton topped with bamboo velour (so you end up with 6 layers of absorbency).

There are so many reasons why I love our Bottombumpers side snapping AIO's:
- The fit! The Boy is a skinny minny, and I love side snapping diapers because I get the best fit with them. There's no gaping at the legs, and no tabs to crossover. Awesome!
- Because they are a sized diaper, they are incredibly trim. These diapers fit beautifully under clothes, and are not bulky. They are the trimmest diaper I have in my stash.
- The soakers are topped with bamboo. No synthetic material against my boy's sensitive skin.
- The soakers snap in. Most AIO's have a sewn in soaker pad, which increases drying time. The soaker is one long piece, which allows you to fold it half and snap into the diaper. This cuts down on drying time.
- Absorbent! They have been tested to withstand 16+ozs!
- Customizable - These diapers can be fully customized (colors, snaps, embroidery designs, etc).
- Best of all, they are made in the USA!

The only negatives:
- The cotton lining of the diaper sometimes rolls out, so you need to be sure to check and make sure it's inside the diaper when doing a change.
- Requires prepping before fully absorbency is reached (but is very absorbent once fully prepped!).

Buy it!
Visit the Bottombumpers website to locate a retailer.

Win it!
Stacy from Bottombumpers is giving one of my readers the chance to win a Bottombumpers AIO! She is offering up a plain diaper in your choice of side snap or hook and loop. You pick the closure type and size, and they'll choose the color.

To Enter:
Visit Bottombumpers and decide what size and style (snaps or hook and loop) you would like. Then come back here and let me know. This entry is mandatory and must be completed in order for the extra entries to count.

For Extra entries you can do any of the following (leave a separate comment for each):
- Visit Bottombumpers list of retailers and let me know where you would buy a Bottombumper diaper
- Follow my blog
- Be a subscriber (either through email or a reader)
-Follow me on twitter (@FamilyofCloth) AND tweet about the giveaway. Leave the permalink of your tweet. Tweets must include @FamilyofCloth and the #clothdiapers hashtag (Ex: "Win a Bottombumpers AIO from @FamilyofCloth #clothdiapers"). You may tweet once daily.
- Become a facebook fan of Family of the Cloth

Family of the Cloth did not receive product or monetary compensation for this review. Giveaway will close 12/20 at noon. Winner will be contacted via email, and will have 24 hours to respond, or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to US residents.



Monday, December 14, 2009

Fluff Mom Monday

This week, I'm excited to introduce everyone to Jodie from Nappies Covered. She's an Aussie, who's used cloth diapers (or "nappies") for almost 20 years! Here's her story:

Tell us about yourself! What is your name? How many little ones do you have? How long have you used cloth diapers?

My name is Jodie. I am a mum of 4 children, some little some bigger! They range in age from 3 years to 19 years old. I have used cloth nappies since the birth of my first child, so coming up 20 years! I run an online Nappy making store, which has been up and running for almost five years. The store is, and yes we ship worldwide :)

What made you decide to use cloth diapers?

When my first child was born I thought that is what everyone did - use cloth terry squares and thought of no other! In fact disposable weren't readily available, were very expensive and not that good. I loved seeing the nappies blowing in the breeze on the clothes line, gave that sense of achievement on so many levels to see them there flapping away :)

I have always been a bit of a 'greenie' caring about our world, and caring about what is used against my children's skin, so cloth was the only choice really.

What was the first cloth diaper you bought?

Terry towelling squares were my first nappies, these I used on my first two children.

When pregnant with baby number 3, I thought that there had to be something better out there, so did a search on the internet and found that in the USA there were all of these new type of nappies being made using a product called PUL. I was SO excited.

I bought myself some fabric from a US store as there was no where in Australia to buy what I needed. I then sewed my own nappies, with my own designed pattern. I ended up with a OSFM pocket nappy design.

After trying my own style, I then tried out a Honey Boy pattern, the Wee Weka, Mama Bird and Ottobre patterns.

Tell us about your cloth diaper stash (numbers, sizes, types, brands, etc.):

I came a bit of a cloth addict I will admit. As I opened my online store, and had access to numerous fabrics it was hard to not pick out my favourite fabrics and sew them into nappies.

I became a licensee for Chloe Toes Diapers a few years ago, so these nappies are the ones that are most prominent in my stash.

Chloe Toes Diapers - made as all in twos - around 40 sizes from small to medium

My own OSFM pocket nappy - around 30 of these.

Honey Boy's - By Cherub's Kiss - all in ones and all in twos

Bit for Bots - fitted nappies and all in ones

Baby Beehinds - Fitted nappies

What is your favorite cloth diaper? Why?

My favourite is the Chloe Toes Diaper. I love it as an all in two. The actual pattern doesn't come as an all in two, so I modified it a bit - moving the inner absorbent layer to the outside of the inner layer - attaching it with snaps and adding a wicking layer to the top. I make the booster with 6 layers of bamboo, in a fold out shaped style that is quick drying.

The Chloe Toes Diaper is a fantastic fitting nappy. It is really trim and I love how it scoops down under the belly. It fits well under clothes too. I also love how you can use the FOE and how it 'makes' the nappy, finishing off the edge.

What made you decide to start your own cloth diaper related business?

Back in early 2004, when pregnant with baby number 3, and finding nothing in Australia for this product, I saw a potential market for Cloth nappy making supplies here in Australia. By the end of 2004 my store started, firstly as a small MSN group....then a smallish web store, to what it is today.

Tell us about your wash routine

I dry pail the nappies. They are then popped in the washing machine (front loader) with half the amount of detergent (I use eco-store detergent) and are cold washed. Nappies are then line dried. I never use a dryer at all as this lessens the life span of the nappies, plus can cause pilling, and is bad for our environment.

Have your friends and family been supportive of your decision?

Yes they have. I have been lucky to have the support of my whole family.

Any challenges with using cloth diapers? What did you do about it?

I haven't had any challenges at all. Having used terry squares in the past, modern cloth nappies are a BREEZE compared to them!

Day care have been wonderful and loved the nappies we sent to be used.

Your best piece of advice for someone new to cloth diapering

Not all nappies will fit each child the same. Babies are like adults, all different shapes and sizes, so be aware that just because a nappy style works on one child doesn't mean it will the next.

Your favorite scripture, quote, or anything else that you'd like to add?

"My heart melts, and flows into my baby as breastmilk" - Jeannine Parvati Baker


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

"Who is this Santa guy?"


Giveaway "Win"sdays

Who doesn't love a good giveaway?

Are you running on your blog? Please list it below (be sure to link to the specific post). Make sure to include the prize and the ending date in your post. And don't forget to enter Family of the Cloth's current giveaway:


Monday, December 7, 2009

Fluff Mom Monday

This week I'm excited to feature Laura Franchetti from Bamboo Bums! Laura began using cloth diapers, and unsatisified with the diapers currently available on the market, she created her own, using squishy soft bamboo. Here's her story:

Tell us about yourself! What is your name? How many little ones do you have?
My name is Laura Franchetti and I am super mom to Chas (3.5) and Maddie (2) and married to the man that makes the laugh the hardest.

How long have you used cloth diapers?
Our family has been in cloth for almost 2 years, we switched shortly after Maddie was born in Nov of 2007.

What made you decide to use cloth diapers?
There were a few reasons that made me decide to switch to cloth. The first is that I desperately wanted to stay home with the kids, both of which were in diapers at the time, and I knew I had to find a solution to our everyday expenditures. The realization of switching to cloth came the one morning, literally like a sign from the heavens, as I sat at the kitchen table early one morning and hubby took 3 bags of trash out to the curb, all of which were disposables. 3 BAGS! I couldn't believe it, and it made my stomach turn. I quickly did the math and figured we were tossing somewhere near 103 disposable diapers in the trash EACH WEEK. The guilt of my nature geek roots quickly took over while I scoured the web for more info on alternatives. I was in the middle of a diaper order at when I had this epiphany and saw their g-diapers, so I ordered a pack. This obsession grew and I found a brick and mortar store near me that carried Fuzzi Bunz and checked them out too.

What was the first cloth diaper you bought?
The first real diaper I purchased were Fuzzi Bunz, and only because I could touch and feel them. I only bought a couple per kiddie at first- one was in smalls and one in larges, and with in a week I outfitted both completely. I was skeptical about buying online because I didn't know what I was getting into but in retrospect, I wish I had done more research as I think I would have ended up with a better system for us.

What made you decide to start making diapers?
I was really frustrated with the stuffing, striping and sorting of my sized pockets and their inserts. I began to regret not doing more research because I was having to purchase mediums for my daughter and we didn't really have the money to spend on a new system for her. I didn't want to buy all of them used because I had run into a seller that wasn't so honest on one of the FSOT forums. Summer was upon us as well as potty training and now, in addition to needing medium diapers, I also needed swim diapers and training pants which translated to more and more money that I didn't even think about when I made my initial purchase. I was disappointed in myself for not knowing and not asking more questions ahead of time. I didn't know any better in the beginning.

We even tried other brands and I quickly discovered I hated velcro and the kids were sensitive to suede cloth. I tested out some bamboo and love it, but they were prefolds that shrunk up like crazy on me, which really ticked me off. Again, my lack of knowledge on the offerings eluded me.

One day while griping to my mom about needing to purchase all this extra stuff, we started talking about making trainers and the conversation just evolved into a diaper that would serve all my needs. Literally, over the course of a few days, we had our idea on paper, we were drafting patterns and researching the market. There weren't any diapers like I needed, and so we gave it a shot. After finalizing our plans, testing began on a number of friends and viola, the Utility Diaper was born.

We've set out to provide a one size diapering system that is final. No need to buy additional soakers to make them more absorbent. No need to purchase training pants if you don't want to. No need to buy swim diapers unless you want to. No hidden expenditures on the horizon. It's a product that since we've converted, I haven't felt the need to purchase anything but undies for the kiddies, and that makes me happy. It's simple and versatile.

Tell us about your cloth diaper stash:
We only have our Utility Diapers, fitteds and prefolds in our stash. I believe there are 20 diapers in total.

What is your favorite cloth diaper? Why?
Um...ours ;)

I love the absorbency, I love the versatility and I love the nature of the fabric. It's a diaper that I feel good about promoting and showing off.

Have your friends and family been supportive of your decision?
At first, they thought I was crazy for cding, but they've come around. I have converted a few friends and my mom is my business partner. I think her love affair with bamboo is even stronger than mine, lol. She literally carries swatches of the fabrics around with her.

Any challenges with using cloth diapers or with running your own diapering business? What did you do about it?
Challenges...boy, have I ever been faced with them! In the beginning, the stripping of diapers was enough to almost make me stop cding all together. And the customer service I experienced, or didn't experience in my case, in the beginning left me a little jaded. I'm just happy I discovered bamboo when I did because I was close to tossing all the others in the trash.

On the business end, there are a number of regulations that I was unaware of that I want to comply with as a matter of professional integrity. The big guys will probably not look at me, someone who's not making any money for them to make an example of, however, I try to conduct our business in the most professional manner that we can afford. I do my best to assure that customers feel that all their questions are answered and I make sure that I know what is going on in the government and industry. And truth be told, cloth diaper making isn't easy, unless your diapers are super simple. I didn't know completely what I was jumping into, but it's been great for me because I am a person who thirsts for knowledge, and I've learned a lot in the last two years.

Your best piece of advice for someone new to cloth diapering?
Go with your gut instinct. There are a lot of vendors out there and they all want you to buy their products. Go with someone who you feel will not only provide you with a great product for your family, but all the follow up service you need. Questions arise and if they're not forthcoming about what you may need, or face, then I'd seek out someone else.

Your favorite scripture, quote, or anything else that you'd like to add?
I just wanted to add that I've worked with a number of new moms to be, some local, some not. In every instance, I've explained everything that is out there for them. One of the couples actually commented that they liked knowing that I was giving them options, other than my diapers, and that is why they went with me. They knew I was being honest with them, which means the world to me. For me, it's not about the sales, its about getting more babies in cloth, honestly.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Fluff Mom Monday

I don't know about anyone else, but I always love hearing from other moms who use cloth diapers. It makes me feel like I'm not alone out there! Plus, it helps to see what works for other moms, and gives me new ideas of things to try. Family of the Cloth is beginning a new series called Fluff Mom Monday, where I will interview a different fluffy mom each week about all things cloth diapers. A big thanks to Keisha for being our first ever Fluff Mom! I hope you all enjoy reading it, and if you're interested in participating, please email me at

Hello! My name is Keisha M. I have two November boys, 8 years old & 11 months old. I am new to cloth diapers, I have been using them {disposable free} since August 2009. My blog address is

What made you decide to use cloth diapers?
They are better for my baby & environmental reasons. I only wish I would have started using them earlier, I love them!

What was the first cloth diaper you bought?
I own ALL Gro Baby!!

Tell us about your cloth diaper stash (numbers, sizes, types, brands, etc. Any pictures you want to provide would be great!!): I have 12 Gro Baby Shells, 24 Gro Baby soakers, 18 Gro Baby boosters & 20 Bummis fleece liners.

What is your favorite cloth diaper? Why? I have only tried the Gro Baby system, which I believe is equivalent to an AI2. It is fabulous! So easy & since my little guy rarely leaks, I don't go through shells quickly reducing wash.

Tell us about your washing routine: I use a front load so I always add additional rinses to each load. I use "to line 1" of liquid Planet. My entire wash takes a little over 1 hour. I toss the soakers, boosters, liners & wipes in the dryer but never the shells, I always lay those out to dry. I set the dryer on 60 minutes & they're done!

Have your friends and family been supportive of your decision? Support is 50/50. My husband is supportive and there are a few friends & family members who are as well. I think for everyone who uses cloth there are always a few people who think you're nuts & must be using pins or sheets -- cloth has come a long way, people! LOL

Any challenges with using cloth diapers? And if so, what did you do about it? My only challenge thus far has been learning what works for my son. He began getting a rash that I could not tackle. He had never had one before. I finally realized it was the soaker cotton & he needed a fleece liner to wick the moisture. Now, his bum is happy once again.

Your best piece of advice for someone new to cloth diapering? Don't expect to become a pro over night. Take it slow & enjoy it! Always remind yourself that this is better for your baby AND the earth. We're making Mother Nature happy & creating less waste means our children will have a chance to experience a cleaner earth.

Your favorite scripture, quote, or anything else that you'd like to add? "The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now" - Oprah


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Psalm 105:1

This Thanksgiving I'm thanking God for my amazing husband, my beautiful son, and an awesome family! Hope everyone has a fabulous holiday! Feel free to share things you're thankful for in the comments.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Baby Food

I try to make most all of The Boy's baby food. I love knowing what exactly goes into it, and best of all, its fun to make! Every now and then, though, I get a little behind on it, so that's why I was excited when I learned about HappyBaby Food's frozen meals. They take fresh,
organic food, steam it, and then flash freeze it into convenient cubes (similar to how you would freeze homemade baby food). Each box comes with 12 individual cubes, so that you can just pop out how many cubes you need, heat it, and then feed it to baby. The meals come in 8 different packages of 15 different varieties that include meat, grains, fruit, and vegetables. Their flavor
creations are very unique, too (Grrreat Greans, for example, has organic pears, spinach, mango, and DHA algal oil).

HappyBaby Food was nice enough to send me a variety pack of their baby foods, and let me know more about their company. They got their start when they noticed a need for more "homestyle" options for baby food. You either had to buy commercialized jarred food full of fillers and preservatives, or create your own, an option that isn't always possible when you're a busy parent. They are committed to providing families with the healthiest, most optimal nutrition possible, which is why you'll find only organic ingredients, DHA, pre and probiotics, as well as supergrains like Salba and Quinoa in their foods. Best of all, Happy Baby Foods was developed with the help of world renowned pediatrician, Dr. Sears!

I initially found HappyBaby Foods when I was googling probiotics and babies. I've been taking a daily probiotic for several years now, and when The Boy showed up, I increased my dosage so that it could be transferred to him through breastmilk. If you've never heard of probiotics, or don't really know what they do, here's a great description from Dr. Sears:
"...probiotics are a great way to make sure your baby's system has plenty of what I like to call "good bowel bugs." These healthful bacteria strengthen intestinal immune defenses by crowding out "bad" bacteria—like the kind that can bring on a bout of diarrhea. Probiotics also help prevent allergies. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the body's largest immune organ. The better you feed baby's GI tract, the better you feed baby's immune system."
HappyBellies cereals are the ONLY baby cereal with probiotic immune support and DHA. HappyBellies cereals are vegan, contain no dairy, soy, gluten, or wheat. And because they are organic, you can be sure they're free from pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and genetically
engineered ingredients. They come in three different varieties: organic brown rice, organic oatmeal, and organic multi-grain. Along with the cereals and frozen foods, they also make HappyPuffs, an organic, melt in your mouth finger food that comes in three varieties: apple, banana, and greens. The puffs contain 1/2 the sugars found in the leading brand puffs (Gerber and Beechnut). The containers hold 40% more than the competitors, and they are recyclable. They are a socially responsible company, as well. Their product containers are free from BPA, and they're always working to lighten their carbon footprint.

HappyBaby also carries a complete line of food for older kids, too (HappyMelts, HappyBites, and HappyTot).

What I thought:
I was initially drawn to HappyBaby when I discovered their HappyBellies cereals with probiotics. I firmly believe that probiotics have helped us avoid thrush (probiotics are great at eliminating overgrowths of yeast) and have contributed to The Boy's overall good health. The cereals taste great, and since they're made with organic grains, I am confident in feeding them to my son. I generally add a tablespoon to his purees to thicken them up, and he loves it! They come in resealable canisters, which I also love. Other organic cereals come in boxes that required me putting them into a resealable bag to keep them fresh. I really like the canisters. So convenient!

Since I was already accustomed to using my own homemade frozen cubes, the HappyBaby frozen purees were simple to use. I could see how, however, how someone with no experience with frozen baby food cubes might have a slight learning curve, though. The cubes, once thawed, sometimes separated a little, but that was easily fixed by mixing up the puree. The food tasted great, and tasted similar to my homemade stuff. My son enjoyed everything, but was not a big fan of the Easy Going Greens mixture, although he loved the Grrreat Greens with the added pear and mango. The website provides a brief explanation of the ingredients and what they're beneficial for, which was nice. They also offered serving suggestions. The cubes come in a plastic tray, and each serving is contained in it's own perforated pod which can be detached from the others. A plastic film covers each cube, so you can easily tear off only what you need. The cubes popped out easily, too.

We LOVED the HappyPuffs! I wasn't too sure about puffs in general (I was hesitant to do any
type of puff before he had teeth), but my son took an instant liking to them. He's learning how to feed himself, and the puffs are great practice. He loves grabbing the puffs and putting his whole hand into his mouth. He gets excited just seeing the puff bottle, and I know he loves the flavor. I also feel better knowing that they're made with organic ingredients and that they contain less sugars than the competitor brands.

Since my son is too young for the HappyBites, we passed those onto a friend of mine with a two year old and a four year old. I did love the fact that the HappyBites were made with real, healthy ingredients (Salmon stixs instead of unidentified white fish, for example).

Buy It!
Use the HappyBaby store locator to find a retailer near you.

Win It!
HappyBaby is offering one of my readers the chance to win all of the following items:
2 free trials for each of the five product lines
2 free trials for their marketing partner YoBaby Meals
1 FAQ on Probiotics & DHA
1 Nutrition Guide
HAPPYFAMILY: The Organic Guide to Baby's First 24 Months, co-authored by Dr. Sears

To Enter, simply visit HappyBaby and let me know which of their products you are most interested in. (This entry is mandatory and must be completed in order for the other entries to count).

For extra entries, you can do any and all of the following (be sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do). Make sure that your email address is visable on your profile or include the address in your comment!
- Follow Family of the Cloth on Blogger
- Subscribe to Family of the Cloth via email or in a reader
- Subscribe to the HappyBaby Newsletter
- Take my button and post it to your blog (leave me a comment letting me know where it's posted)
- Follow me on twitter @FamilyofCloth
- Tweet the contest being sure to leave me the permalink of the tweet. All tweets must include a link to my twitter profile (using @FamilyofCloth). You may tweet once daily.
- Become a fan of HappyFamily on Facebook

This giveaway will end December 13th at midnight (central time). Winner will be chosen via, and will have 48 hours to respond to a notification email before a new winner is chosen. Family of the Cloth did not receive monetary compensation for this post, although HappyBaby did provide free samples of products. This did not influence our review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gro Baby Biosoaker Review and Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by Please visit GoGo Natural for a wide selection of cloth diapers, diapering accessories, and mom and baby gear!

I use cloth diapers on The Boy the majority of the time, but he recently developed a strep infection on his hiney, which forced us into disposables until it cleared up. For as much as we love and use cloth diapers, it seems like there's always a few instances when we need to have disposables (such as when he's in the church nursery, long car trips, etc.), so that's why I was excited when I found out that The Natural Baby Company was going to be releasing a disposable option for their popular Gro Baby system. From being a fan of theirs on Facebook, I also had the opportunity to test out the disposable pads before they were released to the public.

The Gro Baby system is an all-in-two diapering system,

meaning it has a soaker pad that fits into a separate, reusable outer shell. The advantage of an all-in-two system is that you can reuse the outer shell for multiple changes (assuming it isn't soiled). You simply snap in a new pad at changing time. They also have the advantage of drying faster than an all-in-one diaper. We've been big fans of the Gro Baby when using their organic cotton soaker pads. We've even used them overnight and during naps with the added organic cotton booster (they also make a stay dry, fleece booster), so I was anxious to give the Bio Soakers a try.

The reusable outer shell of the Gro Baby comes in a variety of solid colors (Kiwi, Mandarin, Blackberry, and Vanilla) and few new prints (Seaside Stripe, Wildflowers, Blue Birds, and Sunset Stripe). The inside of the shell features a quick dry mesh, which is nice because even if the shell gets wet, you can simply set it to the side and use it the next time. They dry quickly!

The Natural Baby Company is committed to bringing their customers innovative, eco-friendly products, so I was interested to see how they could stay committed to that principle while also providing a disposable pad. Luckily, these are not your average disposable diaper. They are free of fragrance, dyes, plastics, and chlorine. They only contain 3 grams of super absorbent polymer (SAP) gel, as opposed to the 10-20 grams found in most of the leading brands of disposable diapers. And instead of sitting in a landfill for 500+ years, these soaker pads are made with biodegradable and compostable materials. The elastic gussets on the legs are also made with a soft, non-toxic elastic. With all of these features, you can be confident in this disposable choice.

What I liked:

I love the fact that these are a more environmentally friendly option for when you need disposables. I don't know about anyone else, but I always feel guilty when I throw out a disposable diaper. It's nice that the Bio Soakers are compostable and biodegradable. I only had one leak with the soaker pads, and it occurred the first time that I used them, when I was still a little unsure of how fit them into the shell properly. Upon closer inspection of the leak, I realized that part of the liner was sticking out of the shell, and it had wicked onto my son's clothing. Ever since, I've made sure that the pad is completely inside of the shell, and I have not had anymore leaks. They are easy to use, especially once you get past the initial trial and error of attaching them to the shells. My husband thought they were easy, and our church nursery was willing to give them a try as well. They absorb alot (we've used them overnight with much success). They also take up less room in the diaper bag, which is a huge plus!

What I didn't like:

The paper backing of the sticky pads were a little frustrating. They seemed to fly away and land on the ground or get stuck behind the changing table no matter how hard I tried to contain them while doing a diaper change. And if you don't have a trash can in your baby's nursery, it requires you to collect them and move them to the trashcan later on.

The Bio Soakers also often left a sticky residue inside the shell (mainly on the snaps). The Natural Baby Company posted the the following tip on their facebook page regarding this issue: "We use a 100% biodegradable adhesive. When warmed (ie. from being next to baby's skin for a significant amount of time) it can become more sticky. If you are getting residue on your snap or mesh, simply let your Shell sit for a moment before removing the Soaker. It "cools" a bit and the removal will be much easier." And if you do get reside on the snaps, they say "it is easily removed with a bit of nail polish remover or will eventually wash out." Although I have washed my shells after using the Bio Soakers, some residue has remained on my shells. It's not a big deal, though, as a pad goes over the snaps, anyway.

Video Review:


We love our Gro Baby system, and with the addition of the disposable Bio Soakers, it becomes a truly versatile system. If you're already a fan of the cloth soakers, or if you've been thinking about giving them a try, it is worth the investment. Gro Baby fits wonderfully on my skinny guy, and I've been very impressed by the Bio Soakers so far.


Meredith Abney of GoGo Natural has been using cloth diapers for over three years. She was initially skeptical of the idea, but when a good friend convinced her to give it a try, she was sold! In early 2007, she created GoGo Natural with the intent of helping other mom's learn how easy, fun, and money saving it can be to use cloth diapers. She has since grown her business (that now includes two tiny helpers - with another on the way!). She is so convinced that you'll love the new Bio Soakers, and she's willing to offer up a free box of Bio Soakers and a shell to get you started! How awesome is that?! To enter, you will need to visit and browse her site. Find your favorite product that she carries, and then come back and let me know what it is!

To gain additional entries, you can do any and all of the following (be sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do):

- Follow @GoGoNatural AND @FamilyofCloth on Twitter.

- Tweet the giveaway. You must include the link to both @GoGoNatural and @FamilyofCloth in your tweet. Be sure to leave the permalink of your tweet! You may tweet once daily for extra entries.

- Follow Family of the Cloth on Blogger

- Subscribe to Family of the Cloth via email or through a reader

- Become a facebook fan of Family of the Cloth

- Become a facebook fan of GoGo Natural

- Grab my button and display it on your blog (leave me a link letting me know where it is!)

- Make a purchase from GoGo Natural (for five additional entries!)

This giveaway is open to US residents. It will close on 11/30 at 8 p.m. central time. Winner will be chosen via and will be contacted by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email, or a new winner will be chosen. Family of the Cloth did not receive any product or money for this post.