Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge - why??

She is the biggest reason I cloth diaper in the first place, she is one of the reasons I am taking the flats challenge. Most of what I do these days is for her. 

The other major reason I joined this challenge was to prove to myself that even if I was less fortunate I would be able to provided this "luxury" for my baby. I know most moms in the cloth diapering world would not say that it is a luxury to cloth diaper. I agree with them cloth diapering is not a luxury, but affordable. However, this is something I hear more and more from people who say they can not afford to cloth diaper (usually followed by time constraints, and ease of use). Flats are affordable, and hopefully through this challenge I can prove they are not time consuming and easy to use even with hand washing (so would be cinch for anyone with a washer and dryer). 

I am also excited that Granola Babies is sending me a dozen flats in exchange for a couple blog posts during the challenge. So watch for my posts at Granola Babies blog!

So now that you know why I am taking the flats challenge you probably want to know what the flats challenge is!
Kim Rosas from Dirty Diaper Laundry (my absolute favorite blog) is holding a flats challenge from May 23-May 30 where you use only flat diapers for one week.

What is a flat diaper??
It is basically a flat piece of cloth that is made out of a cotton material (birdseye is a popular weave). You then do different folds to come up with an absorbent diaper which you then place a waterproof cover over top. A plus to this system is that they are cheap ($29 US from Granola Babies) or you can use towels or flour sacks from walmart. If you are really up for a challenge you can by some material from any place that sells fabric. Also, flats are the easiest system to wash because they are cotton. I have rarely heard of detergent build up or other problems that come with synthetic diapers. Not to say that those don't have there place, but if you are in a pinch financially flats are just what you are looking for. Plus once you fit them with a cute cover you are set (who doesn't like putting cute things on their babies?!)

So back to the challenge...
Here are the rules (straight from Dirty Diaper Laundry):
  • You MUST use Flats.
  • You MUST handwash them.  How is up to you.  (bathtub, sink, large wash tub, portable non electronic washing machine, or camp style washer (bucket and plunger- think churning butter)
  • You MUST air dry them.  (indoors or outdoors, makes no difference)
  • You MUST limit your number of covers in rotation to 5 or less.
  • You can use any detergent you want.  (Keep in mind that you still want cloth safe detergents)
  • You can still use your nighttime diapers but I ask that you try to make flats work.  Maybe try a prefold wrapped in a flat.
  • You can use disposable liners.
  • You CAN’T use a diaper sprayer.  I thought long and hard about this one, but at an average cost of 40.00 this is one diaper accessory that is out of range for many families.  Dunk, swish, flush, or scrape!
  • You MUST start the morning of May 23 and end the evening of May 30.
  • You MUST fill out a completion survey about your experience.  Results will be published here and can be republished on your own blog.
That is it! Doesn't seem too hard right?! So click on the link below to join the challenge! Even if you don't currently cloth diaper this might be your incentive to try it never know you might find out you like cloth diapering or even flats.
Lots of Bunny Hugs
(I can't seem to get the official logo working but I will update this as soon as I figure it out)

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Toddler wearing - the first couple weeks

Well I have had a couple weeks to work with my new carrier the Beco Gemini. And I have to say this is a pretty cool carrier!

Since the weather is warming up here I have been walking to go pick Hannah up from daycare after work. This has given me lots of practice of having to put on the carrier. I have used it in both the front and back position (not facing out as she is too heavy for that in the front position). So here are a few things that I found out.

The Good Stuff!
It feels very durable and I can cinch Hannah quite close so my center of gravity isn't shifted too much. If I don't feel like doing a back carrier that is fine cause it works just as well in the front position. Also found out back carrier is not as hard as it fact I feel like quite a pro when other mom's see me swing Hannah on to my back with such ease (well, now isn't that just tooting my own horn :D...but with as much practice as I have been getting in I should be a pro at it lol)

My Not So Favorite Parts...
I am not in favor of the way the shoulder straps look when it is in back carry. I know this seems trivial but still a slight con for me. It seems to bulge a little and the outer edges seem to pop out (see the pictures I have attached). The other not so favorite part...the fact that I have to have it tight which causes some ummm fat distribution into some not so flattering ways. I have found that if she is in back carry I can pull a longer shirt out over top the waist band which hides some. After googling this topic it seems to be a consensus that most if not all soft structured carrier cause this "muffin top"/"fat redistribution" problem.

So here are some pictures from a recent walk over Easter weekend at the farm. Hope you enjoy!

Getting ready for the walk (I think I might need to cinch her in close...I think I did as the walk progressed)

 Looking at the sheep and the new lambs!

Playing in a big puddle!

Hannah is watching the farm dog jump into a Juniper bush...she thought it was quite funny.

If anyone has any tips on using the Beco Gemini I would really appreciate it! Especially if you see something in the pictures that could be improved by adjusting some straps etc.

Lots of Bunny-Hugs!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

toddler wearing - indepth pictures of my new beco gemini

Here are some pictures of my new carrier the Beco Gemini
 Here is the box it came in with examples of the four types of carries.
 Here is the colour I got!
 So here are some shots of different parts of the carrier, I haven't been able to measure the different parts of the carrier but hope to post that soon.

Here it is with the "hood" up

The "hood" down.

With the waist snapped in (I believe this is used for forward front carry when the baby is small).

The inside of the carrier.

Another shot of the inside of the carrier

The front of the carrier with the straps unbuckled

Here is a close up of the waist band

Close up shot of the shoulder strap (gives you the great option of crossing the straps in the back when you want more support)

Close up shot of on side of the carrier.

Close up shot of the clip from the hood to the carrier.

Another picture of the clip from the hood to the carrier.

Close up shot of the buckle on the shoulder straps (note the button, this is a two handed system so the buckle can not be taken apart with one hand.)

Chest buckle.
How the chest buckle is attached to the shoulder straps (it is adjustable just by sliding in up and down).

The waist band buckle.

Here is a close up of part of the waist band.

And finally, the convenient little loops to roll ends of the straps into.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of what the Beco Gemini carrier looks like! I have been able to use it a couple times (came in really handy when Hannah was sick and did not want to be put down). However, I haven't used it enough to give it a proper review. I hope to get a chance to soon, seeing as the weather is starting to get a little warmer here on the prairies. KMFX!!!

Lots of Bunny-Hugs!