People, They’re Flipping Diapers

“Limited edition”.

Those two little words, especially if followed by “bumGenius”, seem to be enough to make people flip out.

The Cotton Babies "limited edition" frenzy... madness or genius?! How much would YOU pay for a "limited edition" print diaper?

Websites will crash. Fists will be pumped in victory, or for those who aren’t fast enough in checking out, swear words will be uttered.

You’ve gotta hand it to Cotton Babies: they created the Cotton Babies Cloth Diaper Flash Mob and turned it into an actual mob more than 10,000 strong. The cover image has a tempting offer: “Want the inside scoop on Cotton Babies news before all your friends crash the server”?

It’s some kind of genius marketing. (“Genius” is, of course, also the name of one their print series…)

Seems to me that Cotton Babies is borrowing from the Beanie Babies playbook to generate all this limited-edition hysteria. The Wikipedia page for Beanie Babies reads, in part:

“Beanie Babies began to emerge as popular collectibles in late 1995, and became a hot toy. The company’s strategy of deliberate scarcity, producing each new design in limited quantity, restricting individual store shipments to limited numbers of each design and regularly retiring designs, created a huge secondary market for the toys and increased their popularity and value as a collectible.”

I’m sure most of us remember the insanity of the Beanie Baby heyday. But take a second to rewind to your pre-baby days. Wouldn’t you have totally LOL’ed if someone told you that there were would be people going every bit as crazy over diapers?!

Chart of bumGenius colors/prints through August 2014 | Image by Erin Falvey

Image credit: Erin Falvey

Over in the Flash Mob and other bumGenius buy/sell/trade groups, mamas post photos of their bumGenius diaper stashes; the more limited-editions you have, the more impressed everyone else is. You thought you were using cloth diapers to go green? Or save green? Yeah, ok, and also making other mamas green. With envy, that is.

When you’ve hunted down all of the available colors and prints, you’ve got what they call a complete rainbow. Behold, a bumGenius stash to die for:

Impressive bumGenius rainbow! What a stash!

Come to think of it, posting an impressive bumGenius stash shot is akin to having a ton of karma on Reddit, although unlike cloth diapers, karma doesn’t actually have any useful purpose. What’s that, your karma can’t absorb baby’s urine or contain blowouts? Take that, Reddit.

And that secondary market the Beanie Babies were so famous for creating? Cotton Babies has definitely fueled a healthy resale market of its own. As soon as the newest Cotton Babies limited editions are no longer available from retailers, the real flipping begins with hard-to-find (“HTF”) prints going for two, three, or four times their typical retail prices.

Wow; crazy listings on eBay for bumGenius diapers!

And who can blame people for buying and reselling the diapers for a profit? Cotton Babies creates an insanely rabid demand for their prints and then only manufactures a very limited quantity. If you’re lucky enough to snag a limited-edition diaper, why wouldn’t you sell it and double (or triple or quadruple or quintuple) your money? Willing buyers are not difficult to find.

Of course, the thing that killed Beanie Babies back in the day was they they became too popular – at which point they no longer seemed so unique and special, so people quickly lost their enthusiasm for them. We’ll just have to wait and see whether Cotton Babies can keep up the excitement surrounding their limited editions, or if people will get tired of all the frenzies.


Do you buy limited edition prints? Why or why not?

Win Tickets to MommyCon

Sometimes it seems like my hometown, Memphis, is last to get anything cool. I’ve been waiting on Crate & Barrel for over a decade now. So when I heard that MommyCon chose Memphis as one of their 2014 cities, I was beyond excited!

Two weeks from today, we Memphian mamas will be enjoying the following awesomeness:

  • Babywearing 101 presented by Beco Baby Carrier and Ergobaby
  • Cloth Diapering 101 presented by Cotton Babies
  • Project Breastfeeding: Men Supporting Breastfeeding
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding with The Leaky Boob
  • Honest Toddler presented by Plum Organics
  • Attachment Parenting Co-Founders Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker
  • Greenproofing presented by Rhoost
  • One Mother’s Journey: Attachment Parenting & Special Needs
  • Breastfeeding in Color presented by Ergobaby
  • Don’t Buy Things That Suck with The Baby Guy NYC
  • Wrapping 101
  • Car Seat Safety presented by Clek
  • Sleep Consultations

I can’t decide which I’m more excited about – learning about wrapping, some Honest Toddler hilarity, or a sleep consultation.

On the one hand, I have a beautiful Jacquard weave Dolcino wrap I’ve never used because I’m too scared.

And the Honest Toddler session sounds really fun:

(I have a very honest toddler of my own. Last night during his bedtime I was praying with him. I said, “Thank you, God, for Matthew.” His prayer that followed? “Thank you, God, for Frozen.”) But then I think about my six-month-old daytime Baby Jekyll who turns into overnight Baby Hyde. I reeaaaalllly need some sleep, y’all. CONSULT WITH ME PLEASE.


So anyway, if you’re going to be near Memphis on August 23, Philadelphia on October 5, or Newport Beach on November 1, you’ll probably want to go to MommyCon, too. Thanks to the wonderful outreach team at MommyCon, I’m giving two readers a ticket to the event of their choice! Enter below and good luck! 

Gift Ideas for a C-Section Mom

A few months ago I shared some tips about how to mentally prepare for a scheduled c-section. Before I posted it, my train of thought went something like:

What should I write about next? Oh yeah, my feelings of triumph after this whole c-section ordeal. That sounds good. My readers all have babies and people with babies like talking about birth. Of course, my readers are interested in cloth diapers which means they probably are all about *natural* birth and might not be interested in reading about a c-section. Worse yet, they’ll brand me a traitor to the crunchy side. They are going to leave boos and hisses in the comments and tell me I should have tried harder to avoid needing a c-section. Oh, crap. What am I doing? They’re all going to hate it.

Sometimes I over-think things.

Thankfully, I was wrong and the post was well-received. I feel wonderful knowing my ideas have helped other moms get some of their fears out of the way before welcoming their babies into the world via c-section.

Gift Ideas for a C-Section Mom

Today’s post is for those of you who may not have ever had a c-section but are looking for ways to support and encourage someone else who’s about to have one.

Seven Fabulous Gift Ideas for a C-Section Mama

      1. An assortment of delicious, healthy snacks. Hospital meals are unlikely to wow her, and hunger will probably strike in the middle of the night when the baby wants to nurse.
      2. Lactation cookies. With ingredients like oats and brewer’s yeast, “lactation cookies” can help boost milk supply. As if any woman needs an extra incentive for eating cookies after giving birth.
      3. No-skid socks. Hospital floors are slick, and the first few times she walks after the c-section may be a bit scary. These cute no-skid socks will keep her feet warm and prevent her from slipping. (Bonus: they can also be worn for pilates or yoga!)
      4. A nursing nightgown. Hospital gowns are just so “blah”, and they’re not very modest. They require taking your arms out of them to breastfeed, which can be awkward if you have visitors and don’t want to feel naked in front of them – not to mention that oh-so-breezy feeling you get from behind. A soft, stretchy, and pretty nursing nightgown like this will make her feel less like a hospital patient and more like the beautiful mother she is!
      5. The “My Brest Friend” pillow. In spite of its eyeroll-inducing name, this pillow is actually fabulous. The adjustable waist buckle allows a snug fit that’s great both for nursing a newborn and for protecting the tender incision area.
      6. Water bottle with insulating sleeve. I have two of these Camelbak bottles; one to keep on each side of me so that I can gulp water while nursing no matter which side baby is on. They don’t have to sit upright on a table and the insulating sleeve keeps condensation off the bed, sofa, or whatever surface you set it on.
      7. Portable speakers. A c-section mama will likely be in the hospital for about three days after baby’s birth, so the ability to listen to her own music is a nice way to relax and feel at home.

      Other Ways to Help a C-Section Mom

      Of course, if you don’t have the money for a gift or if you’re just more of the “acts of service” love-language type (one of my favorite books), there are many additional ways to show your support for someone recovering from a c-section.

          • Vacuuming. Did you know that you’re not supposed to operate a vacuum for at least six weeks after a c-section? While that might sound like a welcome excuse to avoid housework, the dirty floors in my house drove me crazy. I felt strange about coming right out and asking people to vacuum for me, even if they had asked what they could do to help. “Yes, minion. Vacuum my floors. Then wash my feet with your tears and give me a pedicure.” If you’re visiting a friend who’s recovering from a c-section, my suggestion is to ask her where to vacuum is and get to work without waiting for her to ask!
          • Babysitting older kids. Another thing a c-section mom shouldn’t be doing in the first six weeks is lifting anything over about 20 pounds. I felt sad and a bit guilty that I wasn’t able to give my toddler piggy-back rides or horse around with him while I was recovering. I always felt grateful when friends and family would entertain him like that for me!
          • Bringing meals. The gift of food is always appreciated after a baby is born. Consider bringing things that are different than the typical dinner meals – breakfast items like homemade granola, fresh yogurt, and fruit; kid-friendly snacks if there are older children in the family; or wait until about two months after the baby is born when no one else is bringing meals anymore but mom and dad are still sleep-deprived.

      affiliate link disclosure


      What other ideas would you add for someone looking for ways to show support and encouragement to a mom after her c-section?

Innovation Appreciation: SoftBums

Have you ever found a product that’s so great it makes you want to stop everyone you meet and tell them about it? When I find something that makes my role as a mom easier, I just feel so thankful someone invented it! That’s what the “Innovation Appreciation” giveaway is all about. That and a chance for you to win over $450 in fabulous prizes – YES!!!

Innovation Appreciation Giveaway

Here at Diaper Wrecker we’re going to give away one of my favorite brands of cloth diapers – SoftBums. Their “Slide2Size” toggle system is truly awesome!

With traditional “rise snap” grids on the front of one-size diapers, you’re limited to just two, three, or perhaps four different settings, usually about an inch apart. I love the SoftBums’ toggle system because it allows me to adjust the leg elastic in my boys’ diapers in exactly the increments I want. It truly fits from newborn to toddler:

SoftBums is truly a one-size diaper!!

An added bonus with SoftBums is that if someone else is changing my child’s diaper, they really don’t have to be a cloth diaper pro. I find that the rise snap grid on most cloth diapers tends to confuse people.

If you’re ready to get started with SoftBums, Over the Moon Diapers is giving away a “DryPod Starter Bundle” with three shells, twelve stay-dry inserts (“pods”), and a wet bag. Purchased separately, these items cost over $125, so the starter bundle is an amazing prize!! Enter to win between now and July 11.

 

Is There a Point to Pockets?

Pocket diapers are the preferred cloth diaper system of many moms. They’ve been around for quite a while – Tereson Dupuy, the former owner of FuzziBunz®, filed a patent for the pocket diaper way back in 2001. You know, back when Friends was still on the air and the first Harry Potter movie came out. The average cost of a gallon of gas was $1.46. And most shockingly, iPhones were still six years away.

cloth diapers in 2001

Since then, pocket diapers have enjoyed considerable popularity thanks to well-known brands like FuzziBunz and bumGenius. In addition, the majority of the China cheapie sweatshop diapers on the market tend to be pockets.

However, if you’re thinking about using cloth diapers, I’d argue that you should walk right past the pocket diapers and head straight for the all-in-twos. Here are five good reasons why:

1. Easier to Clean

You probably never do this, but I’ve been known to get a little over-zealous with heavy duty diaper rash creams (like Doctor O’s) when my babies show the slightest signs of rash. Add to that the fact that I hate messing with diaper liners. Repelling happens sometimes.

If you’re using a pocket diaper and you have a repelling problem, you have to be careful in how you clean the diaper. The stay-dry lining of a pocket diaper can’t be separated from the more delicate parts of the diaper – the laminate and elastic.

If you’re using an all-in-two and you have a repelling problem, you only have to clean the insert itself, which is sturdy and can handle some harsher treatment. Go ahead and use some really hot water (>160° F) – in fact, that’s a very easy way to “melt” away any residual greasiness.

2. More Customizable

So you’ve heard that pocket diapers are customizable because you can add inserts if you need more absorbency. You can stuff a pocket diaper with microfiber, cotton, hemp, or whatever other type of fiber you want.

All-in-twos have different insert options as well. Pretty much any brand of AI2 offers a stay-dry (synthetic) insert as well as a natural-fiber insert choice. Plus, some brands (including GroVia, gDiapers, SoftBums, and Flip) even offer a disposable insert option to create what is known as a hybrid diaper, which is great for traveling.

3. Less Expensive

When you use an AI2 system, you’ll use approximately three to six inserts for every one cover or shell. This makes the average cost per diaper change much lower than pocket diapers.

Good news! You can buy even more diapers!

4. Longer Lasting

Pocket diapers get a lot of wear and tear.

Stuff. Use. Un-stuff. Wash. Stuff. Use. Un-stuff. Wash. Stuff. Use. Un-stuff. Wash. Stuff. Use. Un-stuff. Wash.

You get the picture. The process of stuffing and un-stuffing pocket diapers stretches out the laminate and can cause it to bubble or crack early.

Because you don’t have to stuff/un-stuff inserts or wash the shells after every single use with an AI2 system, AI2 shells are subject to significantly less wear and tear than pocket shells. You should get at least twice the life out of your AI2 shells compared to pocket shells.

5. Less Laundry

Since you’re not washing AI2 shells after every use, your loads of diaper laundry will be much lighter. Who wouldn’t appreciate that?!

How to Pack a Diaper Bag Like a Pro

Are you the type of mom who tries to pack an item for every conceivable (and not-so-conceivable) outcome for your two-hour errand? An extra change of clothes. Sweater. Snacks. Drinks. Nursing cover. Burp cloth. Bibs. Backup bibs. Wipes. Pacifiers. Toys. And of course, diapers. Sigh. Cloth diapers do take up more precious diaper bag space than disposables.

It can drive a mama crazy, y’all.

Now that I have two kids I’ve really tried to become a minimalist when it comes to the diaper bag. Gone are the days of packing every little thing I could possibly need, because, ironically, that actually makes it hard to find the one thing I really do need at the moment I need it.

It’s all about finding the products that are the most versatile and useful for the amount of space they take up.

cloth diaper bag essentials

So what’s in your diaper bag?

all in two diapers flat diapers cloth wipes wet bags Image Map

Fun with Boingos

If you’ve ever had someone question your sanity when they discovered that you use (or plan to use) cloth diapers, it’s highly likely that they harken from ye olden days when cloth diapering required pins.

no more diaper pins

If you’re reading this blog you probably realize that modern cloth diapers have come a looooong way since diaper pins. Of course, you’ve got your Velcro and your snap closures, but you can also still use really basic, inexpensive diapers like flats and prefolds without needing pins.

Enter Boingo.

boingo diaper fastener

They’re stretchy. They’re grippy. They’re cute and colorful. And they do an awesome, pinless job at keeping a prefold or a flat diaper fastened securely on baby.

baby wearing boingo

(Pardon the lack of a real baby in the above photo. The real baby in my house wasn’t too keen on staying still enough to have his picture taken properly. Fake Baby FTW!)

Not only are Boingo fasteners totally adorable, but they’ve got a lot of uses besides just cloth diapering.

Sprained your ankle? Forget those ugly metal Ace bandage fasteners. Give your wound some bling with a Boingo!

boingo ace bandage

Need a little something extra for your hairdo? There’s a Boingo for that. (Not that my niece isn’t so stinking cute without any accessories whatsoever, but I must say she totally rocked the Boingo-as-a-hair-accessory look.)

boingo in hair

And I’m sure that you creative ladies could probably figure out tons of other uses for a Boingo long after your baby’s diapering days are done. To win some Boingos of your own, enter the giveaway below!

 

Introducing ClothReviews.com

win a qdspray sink connected diaper sprayer

I’m excited to introduce my readers ClothReviews.com, a new resource for the cloth diaper community. This site is designed specifically to feature consumer-submitted cloth diaper reviews. To celebrate the launch, Cloth Reviews is giving away LOTS of awesome prizes every day this week! Each giveaway has five winners and is only open for 24 hours.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cloth Diaper Grammar

I’m a grammar nerd. I can’t help myself. In the ninth grade I won a gold medal for some grammar test we took in my English class, and I was way proud of that bling.

(And hey, I’m not perfect, but when I do find grammar or spelling errors on my blog, I experience almost the same level of embarrassment as when I accidentally dropped my underwear on the floor at Starbucks.)

Welcome to today’s lesson on parts of speech.

cloth diaper grammar

cloth diaper

klôTH/ˈdī(ə)pər/

noun

  • An adorable piece of fabric material wrapped around a baby’s bottom, providing both function and fashion to the tiny wearer.
  • “I am addicted to cloth diapers.”

verb

  • To put a cloth diaper on a baby.
  • “Before I even got pregnant, I knew I was going to cloth diaper my baby.”

adjective

  • One who uses (and possibly obsesses over) cloth diapers.
  • “I just read a really a strange blog post about grammar from that cloth diaper weirdo.”

How to Prepare for a Great C-Section

I never considered the possibility that I would have a c-section. My first son was born at home without complications, and my husband and I were planning another home birth for our second child. My second pregnancy was just as easy and enjoyable as my first (yay for no morning sickness!), and at my 35-week appointment, the baby was in a good position with his head down.

Much to our surprise, at 37 weeks, we discovered that our baby had moved into the transverse (sideways) position. Suddenly I was faced with the possibility that he might have to be born via c-section, and I was absolutely terrified. I cried. Over the next two weeks, I tried everything to get the baby to move – handstands in the pool, chiropractic care, funny positions on the couch, and finally, an external cephalic version in the hospital. Nothing made him budge.

At 39 weeks with a still-transverse baby, I had to accept the fact that a c-section was going to be the only safe option for delivery. I cried about it some more, but then resolved to be mentally prepared for the experience so that I could be relaxed and happy on my baby’s birthday. However, most of the resources I found online about c-sections were covered with admonitions about how to avoid them and reminders that it is MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY that shouldn’t be taken lightly. (Seriously, why does everyone have to say that phrase over and over in all caps? I get it already!)

So there I was, nervously facing a scheduled c-section, having tried everything I could to avoid it. I didn’t want to be a panicked mess on the day of my baby’s birth. I spent the next week working to find a sense of peace, and in the end, I had a beautiful c-section experience. If you’re in the same situation as I was, I hope these suggestions will help you to have a joyful birth experience as well!

How to Prepare for a C-Section

Word Play

I only had a week to get used to the fact that my baby was going to be born via c-section. Every time I thought about it, I was overwhelmed by scary images of being sliced open on a cold operating table and being left with a Frankenstein-like scar afterward.

Then I remembered a little word trick that some natural-birth advocates use. If you’ve read many natural birth books, you’ll notice that lots of them don’t use the word contraction – they say things like surge or wave. Why? I think it’s because contraction has become too synonymous with pain, so for many women, it automatically invokes a sense of fear. Use a different word, and you don’t think about the pain aspect so much.

Therefore, I made a conscious effort not to use the words c-section, operation, or surgery. It was simply birth. This took my mind off my fears and reminded me of the joyous event that was going to take place.

Visualization

I checked into the hospital about 10 days before my due date to try an external cephalic version, a procedure where the doctor tries to turn the baby into the right position with his hands on your belly. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for us. I had to stay for an hour after the procedure so that they could monitor the baby, so I took the opportunity to talk to the nurses about what to expect on the day I checked in for the birth. Although it made me nervous to talk about it, I knew I needed a play-by-play of what was going to happen.

I also watched some YouTube videos of c-sections from the perspective of the parents. It was such a relief to see those moms smiling and talking through the procedure. It wasn’t torture at all! (Warning: There are a lot of YouTube videos out there with graphic footage of what’s happening on the sterile side of the curtain. I steered clear of those – that was more detail than I wanted or needed!)

Finally, I asked a few close friends about their c-section experiences and recommendations. Not only did I get some great practical advice, but it helped remind me that these friends are happy, healthy, active women who recovered just fine – and so would I.

Each night before bed, I would close my eyes and visualize our arrival at the hospital, getting an IV, getting in a wheelchair and being rolled to the operating room, receiving the anesthesia, having my husband sitting by my head, and finally, seeing our baby for the first time! The first time I went through the visualization process it made me extremely nervous (yes, I think I cried). But after a week of doing it, I felt a lot more confident!

Music

While I was in labor for my home birth two years ago, we played gentle music and kept the lights low to create a relaxing atmosphere. Unfortunately, you can’t really control the ambiance in the OR – the lights will be very bright and the doctors and nurses in the room will probably be chatting away about what they did over the weekend. (Actually, the chatting was kind of comforting – it reminded me that they knew what they were doing and it wasn’t a tense life-or-death situation!) However, I really wanted to have my own music with me, especially for the 10 or 15 minutes between the start of the surgery and the time when we got to see our baby!

I made a playlist on my iPhone and asked my husband to lay it down next to my head. Once our son was born, my husband walked to the other side of the room to take pictures while the nurses cleaned him up. For those few minutes while I was alone and still being stitched up, I had my music to keep me happy and relaxed. I think I even might have been singing along to it out loud – I was just so filled with happiness that I couldn’t help myself!

Affirmations

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept of “birth affirmations”, they’re just short, positive statements that you can repeat before and during labor. Typical natural-birth affirmations might read:

  • My body knows how to give birth.
  • My baby will be born easily.
  • Each contraction/surge brings my baby closer to being in my arms.

I’ll admit, when I first read about birth affirmations I thought they sounded stupid. I rolled my eyes and swore I would never do something that lame.

Lo and behold, though, when I was in a particularly intense part of my home birth labor, I grabbed my copy of Birthing From Within in desperation and started spouting off affirmations like crazy. And it helped! I was in labor land and my brain wasn’t working the way it normally does. I didn’t need a lot of logic, I just needed the repetition of those easy, positive statements – it really gave me an enormous boost of confidence and energy.

Therefore, in preparing for my c-section experience, I thought that affirmations might help to clear away any last-minute nervousness. My list of c-section birth affirmations was a little different, but included things like:

  • God wants us to rejoice at the miracle of birth – no matter how it happens. 
  • God designed my body heal quickly and easily.
  • I am thankful that my baby can be born safely this way.
  • I will feel no pain; only joy at the birth of my son.
  • I trust my doctor, the anesthesiologist, and the nurses.

It’s now been two weeks since the birth of my son, and my recovery has been fantastic! I’m so thankful that my c-section experience turned out so great. If you’ve been through a c-section, comment below with your advice on how to prepare!