Monday, March 24, 2014

Hits and Misses With Baby Gear

This is the first in a series of posts I'll be writing. Sprout, my beautiful bouncy baby girl, was born last spring. Early. She caught us unprepared. VERY UNPREPARED. She's our first (and only baby.) And we found ourselves trolling the internet and wandering the stores not at all sure what we needed and what was just money-wasters.

I'd like to share some of the Hits and Misses from our purchases to help new families, grandparents, friends and family looking to buy something useful to give at a baby shower. I know, the amount of junk that are marketed as "MUST HAVES" for babies is OVERWHELMING.

I hope these posts help you cut through the clutter and purchase those items that you'll really use.

Cloth Diapers

bumGenius One-Size All-in-One Freestyle (Hook and Loop)
I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers, but the choices and varieties had my head spinning. I bought several different brands and different styles. This style has won out, hands down!

What I liked:
1. One Size. This means I don't have to purchase new diapers as my Sprout grows. These grow with her.
2. Freestyle. This means the diaper insert is attached to the outer cover. There is no stuffing of inserts. Or unstuffing. The diapers are pretty much fold and go. When you have a wiggling little one, this has been SO HELPFUL.
3. Velcro fastener (Hook and Loop.) I tried the snaps and didn't like them. I have read rave reviews of the snap closures. But I struggled to snap the right size. The one-size diapers with the snap closures are covered with snaps in order to adjust to the baby's size. To be honest, they confused the heck out of me. I always used the wrong snaps and would end up with leaky diapers. I found the Velcro easy to use and easy to get the diaper to fit Sprout correctly.
4. No Blowouts. If you don't know what this is, don't ask. Let's just say, I haven't had to deal with them with this diaper...and it's a VERY GOOD THING.
5. Works well as an overnight diaper. Again, I haven't had to deal with leaks. YAY!

What I don't like:
1. Expensive. Yes, these diapers cost about $20 a piece. I have 24 of them and do a load of laundry just about every day. Although the initial cost is high, the amount of money I'm saving by not buying hundred of disposals is in the thousands. HINT: This diapers would make great gifts for families looking to use cloth diapers.
2. They don't fit newborns. At least not my little preemie. They say they fit babies 6.6 pounds to 35.3 pounds. I think Sprout was about 7.5 pounds before I started using these.


FuzziBunz One-Size Pocket Diaper
What I liked:
1. Soft. The interiors of these diapers are so soft. I figure they're comfortable for Sprout to wear.
2. Adjustable elastic for the legs. At first I loved this idea! I can make a diaper that'll fit my tiny preemie.

What I don't like:
1. Adjustable elastic for the legs. Yes, I both loved and hated this. I loved the IDEA. I hated how difficult it is to actually make the adjustments.
2. Leaks. Because I struggled to get the snaps and the elastic correct these diaper ALWAYS leaked for me. Now, I could have taken the time to try and try again to get the size correct. But remember this is a baby who is constantly growing and changing. I don't have time to keep fiddling with the adjustments for this.
3. Diaper inserts. While this isn't the end of the world. I still use diapers with cloth inserts. I don't like it. I'd rather not have to mess with the microfiber inserts. And they would sometimes move around after inserting them, which may have contributed to the leaks.

I know many people swear by these diapers. They simply didn't work out for me.

I'm still 100% sold on cloth diapers because of the cost savings over disposables and the impact to the environment.


Prince Lionheart Warmies Wipes Warmer

My sister laughed and laughed at me for buying this. But it's great!

What I liked:
Since I'm using cloth diapers and doing laundry regularly, I also wanted to use cloth wipes. But I couldn't figure out how to easily keep them wet. Yes, a plastic container would have worked. I read, however, other parents raving about how those middle of the night diaper changes were a breeze because the wipes weren't freezing. So I bought it because it'll help keep my cloth wipes wet. AND because it'll keep them at a nice temperature for Sprout.

It's been easy to use.

I started out rolling the wipes, as shown in the picture on the Amazon site. But that got old quickly. Now I simply fold them in half and stack them. Works great!

What I don't like:
Price. It's expensive. And a plastic container would work. However, I don't feel too guilty about the splurge since I'm not spending money on disposable wipes.

Have a baby product that you couldn't live without? Did you fall for something that you never used? Leave a comment and I'll use it in a future post.

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