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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.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sprout Baby Giveaway Extended!

I am extending the Sprout Baby food giveaway until 11/8 to allow for more entries. If you've already entered, feel free to tweet the giveaway each day for additional entries!