New Fuzzibunz Elites Review

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Since we opened our business 4 years ago we have been selling Fuzzibunz diapers. The Perfect Size Fuzzibunz were one of the first diapers that I fell in love with when diapering our first child (almost 7 years ago!!!). It was one of the only diapers that my son, who was sleeping 12+ hours at night, could wake up dry in. We were instantly in love with the fit, comfy feel and no leaks! We still recommend the Perfect Size diapers to anyone!

Miren in FB perfect

Our first daughter in the Perfect Size Fuzzibunz.

Fuzzbunz came out with their one-size version around the time we opened our store. We had several to test out at the time and found them to be small (not even as big as the Medium size perfect size) and the fit seemed too small when our daughter was only 22 lbs. For us they didn’t fit till potty training and we couldn’t stuff them with extra absorbency due to the small size between the legs. That meant that they always leaked at night. We weren’t very impressed.

PS vs. Elite

Last week I finally gave the new 2013 Elites a try. I was hesitant, first because I have so many diapers already, and second, because I wasn’t a big fan of the previous version of the Elites. Well, I have to say, I was absolutely impressed! Love the new fleece. The new fleece did not pill up while washing and was extremely comfortable and soft (one of the reasons I fell in love with the Perfect Size Fuzzibunz years ago) and left no red marks around the legs. I also love the new placement of the button holes for sizing the leg elastic. They are now easier to adjust and there’s no confusion as to were the extra elastic ends should go as it is already instead under the fleece.

PS size vs elite

Old style in Pink New in Green.

The next big change is the size. They are much bigger which makes them easy to stuff and add absorbency. I used them at night and had no problems with leaks and the fit was wonderful, much like my perfect size Fuzzibunz. Now, as we await the birth of baby #4, I think I will be adding more of these to my diaper stash as we will have two kids in diapers for a while and I know they will fit both!

Fuzzibunz display

Great fit, soft comfortable fleece, easier to stuff, better sizing, no leaks, who could ask for more. If you are in the market for a one-size pocket diaper, we recommend you consider giving the NEW Fuzzibunz Elites a try! Today starts Fuzzibunz Elites Buy 5 Get 1 FREE sale, so now is the time to try this great new diaper.

The Fuzzibunz Sale will last till our supply is gone as Fuzzibunz will also be sold out for the sale so we cannot order more. That means first come first serve. Click HERE to order online or stop in to pick yours up. We hope many of you can take advantage of this sale and email us if you have any questions! Enjoy the sale!

Softbums are back

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We love supporting USA made products, more than that, we love supporting Minnesota businesses! So please welcome back to our shop, Softbums.

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Now that Softbums has snap closures available in both their diaper covers, plus a better design and quality, I am happy to have their brand back on my shelves! We will stock the Softbums covers with snap closures only as the veclro is less than reliable. Now let’s chat about what makes the Softbums different from other diapers.

layout-echSoftbums

Softbums has inserts that snap in by the back of the diaper. This secures the insert while baby maybe wiggling and squirming on the changing table making for a quicker diaper change. Softbums are also a one-size diaper. They can be sized by adjusting 2 toggles located in an opening in the front of the diaper. Using the toggles to adjust the leg elastic size can be a little tricky at first, but once you figure that out, you can easily get a custom fit for any baby body size. Two cover options are available, the Echo and the Omni. The Echo cover is a cover that can be reused. Inside the cover it is lined with fleece so it is not wipe-able, but the fleece does make for a comfortable fit on babies. The Omni is a little larger than the Echo and is open in the back so you can choose from snapping in an insert to use it as a cover or putting the insert in the pocket to use as a pocket diaper.
Softbums, 2 kids

Both the Omni and the Echo are very soft and comfortable for baby to wear. If you want a cover to fit your baby right after birth, the Echo is for you. It is smaller so it will fit earlier that most one-size covers, but that does mean it will be a little smaller after 25+lbs. The Echo fits smaller inserts inside better, since it is so trim. For a bigger fit, try the Omni. The Omni can fit over most any insert or prefold. It will be bigger on newborns, but it will fit till potty training. Remember, with both covers you can get the Softbums inserts that snap in or use whatever you prefer inside.

 

Softbums 1 kid

Have you tried Softbums yet? Let us know if you have any questions about the Softbums diapers. We have used these diapers with our kids so can answer any questions you may have about them. Give these a try, especially if you love supporting Minnesota businesses! You can check these diapers out here.

 

The Wait Is Over

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They’re HERE! I am proud to introduce you to our new covers! Handmade here in Duluth MN and ready to cover your little one’s bum in stylish 100% cotton prints.  I now have my covers after several years of wanting to make these, over a year of changing the pattern, testing the product, many missed deadlines, and almost 20 prototypes. They’re finished and they’re beautiful!

downtown sm     cowboys small

london small    flowers small

Have you ever noticed that when you spend a lot of time making and creating something a little part of who you are is naturally imprinted in it? Whether it’s music, art, a business, crafting, building, cooking, or designing, if we do it right that “something” now speaks a little about us (if not a lot!). I didn’t know this would happen when I started making these, but it did. Consider the little part of me that you get with each cover a bonus! That’s the sweet extra you get when things are made locally while being thoughtfully and carefully created.

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My favorite thing about these covers (beside the fact that they are locally made) is the nice surprise I get when I go to change my daughter’s diaper and see the cute prints, it makes changing a diaper much more enjoyable! I am now a firm believer that the right fabric can brighten anyone’s day.

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We want to give a BIG thank you to several people who have made our covers possible! To Jordan Sundberg at Tin Cup Designs for designing our logo, product tags, and really helping with a lot of little things! She is awesome. To Sarah Kieffer at the Vanilla Bean Blog for the great photos and helping other people find out about us. To Stephan Gorny the tailor extraordinaire for the countless hours of sewing. I love that I get to work with local people and friends!

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To read more details about the specific design of our covers, simply click HERE to read our previous blog post about them. If you like what you see, head on over to the NEET Cloth Diapers Facebook page and there we will keep you up to date on new prints and products. You can visit the NEET page on our site to see prices, prints and to buy. We are currently working on the NEET brand hanging wetbags as well as an awesome nighttime diaper! Live NEET.

NEET is the Name

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After 6 years of using cloth diapers, and trying over 40 different types, I’ve experienced all the good and bad that cloth diapering can throw at me. By far my biggest pet peeve, diapers that just don’t work. You know the diapers I’m taking about, the ones that leak all the time (because they are made of poor quality materials), fit like a huge pillow butt, cause nasty red marks, or are unusable after only 2 months of use.  These diapers are bad for the Cloth Diapering name.  Parents who really want to try cloth diapers may get their hands on these poorly made and bad fitting diapers and have a negative experience using cloth. They may even give up on cloth diapering altogether. Hopefully our new brand NEET can prove to parents that cloth diapering can, not just save you money, but be enjoyable!

When Little Neetchers was born 3 1/2 years ago, my initial dream was to create really great reliable and extremely functional products. It took me a while to find the space and time for designing and trying out patterns. Oh, and then there was the little problem that I can’t sew. After meeting with the stay at home dad who sows the nursing pads and comfort packs we sell we struck up a partnership! I had the ideas and concepts and he had the machines and fabric knowledge. And so NEET was born.

We have already been selling our NEET Hemp Soakers (which are AWESOME at night), but we wanted to introduce you to our new covers! After the crazy amount of time I have spent in the last year thinking about our new NEET One-size covers, picking prints, testing and adjusting the pattern, I feel like a little bragging is definitely in order.

NEET covers and soaker

First thing you may notice, Velcro closures. Yes, that’s right, I chose Velcro (or Touch Tape to be exact). Now before you give me grief, let me explain why. Very early in my cloth diapering experience I fell OUT of love with velcro.  It wasn’t till the last year or so that I noticed 2 diapers in our stash who’s velcro still worked amazingly after having them for almost 3 years. One is the Tot’s Bots Easy Fit diaper, the other (no longer being manufactured), the Wonder Wrap. These are the diapers I now reach for first. They are quick and easy to put on, especially with mobile babies. Over the last several months I tried to figure out what made these velcros different. Here’s my conclusions:

  • Wider velcro. 1 1/2″ as opposed to the average under 1″. This helps the velcro stay stuck to the laundry tabs and decrease it’s tendency to curl.
  • Velcro without fabric on top. Even wider velcro that has fabric on top will curl. When the fabric shrinks and curls through washing, it takes the velcro with it.
  • Laundry tab placement. Laundry tabs are often too far from the velcro closures. This makes it hard for the velcro to stick to the tabs. If the velcro doesn’t stick to the laundry tabs, your velcro is doomed. Then it’s free to snag on anything and curl up without the tab to help it hold it’s shape.
  • Quality of velcro. Poor quality velcro will fall off the diaper as it disintegrates where it is stitched on the diaper after repeated washing.

Neet laundry tabs

NEET Velcro & Laundry tabs on top (looks great after 3 months of use). Bum Genius velcro (brand new, never used).

Now, you may consider me nit picky about  this, but that’s OK. I did my research to make a great diaper, with the best and easiest to use closure.  That’s velcro. Easy during the day or night, easy for babysitters or daycare workers or anyone who doesn’t use cloth diapers regularly. Also, getting the best fit with your diapers is much easier with velcro, and since we’ve done our research and chosen the right kind of velcro and design, you won’t have to worry about it wearing out.

Second thing I hope you notice are the lovely cotton prints. I’ve chatted about the upcoming prints already, so I won’t say much more, just that I love having super cute prints on my baby’s bottom and the soft natural feel of 100% cotton. On the inside and around the legs is the soft side of the waterproof (PUL) fabric. No plastic or sticky feeling and it can still be easily washed off or spot cleaned.

Back of NEET cover

Third boast is the nice thick back elastic. When the diaper is velcro-ed on, the back elastic will lay flat and comfortably against baby’s back and not bunched up like most backs of diapers. This creates a nice trim look as well as a soft barrier that keeps anything from coming out the back of the cover. Of course, with the elastic laying flat, there are absolutely no red marks at baby’s waist.

Nice fit, comfortable, trim, cute prints, soft inside, easy to use, made locally here in Duluth, sown by a stay at home dad, and designed by a nit picky mom with lots of cloth diapering experience.  How can you say no to this cover? Stay tuned for it’s debut in the next couple weeks as we reveal all the prints and the new Hemp Soaker sizes. Oh, and don’t forget to take advantage of our 10% off deal (you can find the coupon code on our site or FB page), our way of saying Happy Holidays to you all!

Get Organized

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Several weeks back I was asked how I store and organize my cloth diapering items. Well, to be honest, I don’t. I can organize my finances, business stuff, grocery shopping and meal plans, but when it comes to my diapers (or laundry in general) I’m lucky if I get one step further than running down to the basement to grab a clean diaper out of the dryer for each diaper change. On the good days, the diapers are pulled from the dryer and the drying rack and thrown in a big pile under the changing table. There I said it! One big ball of covers, prefolds, pockets, inserts, wipes, and fleece liners that I pick through for each diaper change. It’s not pretty, or organized, but it works.

One of the great selling points with cloth diapers is that you don’t have to be a laundry freak or incredible organized to do it. I’m definitely not either. Usually at my house the average 3 day wash routine gets stretched not to 4 or 5 days, but more like 6! I like to think that anyone can cloth diaper and if that means that washing every 3 days is too much for you (like it is me), buy more diapers and go longer between washes. If that makes you enjoy cloth diapering, then do it!

Now that I aired some of my dirty laundry, let me show you an example of an organized cloth diapering environment. This is actually my daughters room and our diapers. I decided not to post a picture of the usual ball of diapers and accessories seeing that it was not very attractive to look at. This set up looks much better, and makes me look like I have everything under control.

When that little organizing bug does hit me, I have to admit I enjoy it. Having my prefolds actually pre-folded in 1/3 and ready to go is very nice. It really does make changing the diaper that much easier. I do like to keep the absorbency inserts in two separate stacks. One for microfiber inserts that are just for pockets (ones that shouldn’t go against the skin) and the second for prefolds or other fabrics that can go against the skin. I did steal my kids toy basket to hold all our covers, pockets and all-in-ones, which is nice so they are not falling on the floor all the time. Some people will have the pockets pre-stuffed and ready to go.  You could go that route too if you have the organizing bug. I also just hang my fleece liners over the edge of the basket so I don’t have to dig around for them when I need them.

My favorite idea so far has been this handy dandy $3 basket I purchased at a craft store. I simply tie it to the end of the changing table to keep everything I need regularly conveniently close yet out of the way of baby’s kicking legs and grabbing hands. This is the perfect spot to keep my wipes, wipe juice, booty balm and my new Bum Genius odor remover! I wish I would have thought of this 2 kids ago. I’m am currently testing the odor remover and that gets sprayed on the diaper, we just spray it on the morning diaper (as that one is always stinky), as opposed to every diaper. Normally our diapers do not smell bad, but if you’ve cloth diapered for even a little bit, you’ll notice that nighttime diaper (after being on the baby for 10-12 hours) is always stinky.

Here’s the full view of the changing area and where I keep my hanging wet bag. However you decide to organize your cloth diapering area and laundry, be sure to do what works for you. The more simple it is for you, the more likely you are to enjoy using your cloth diapers. Be creative, keep it simple and enjoy:)

 

 

 

Water, Soap, Rinse, and Spin

After over 3 years in business, and 6 years of using cloth diapers on my 3 kids, the most common reoccurring issue we walk customers through is getting rid of the stinky diaper smell.  Our first year of using cloth diapers was riddled with stink, leaks, and regular diaper rash. After trying a bunch of different detergents (and falling in love with Charlie’s soap), switching to a hanging diaper pail, and changing up our wash routine numerous times, we finally had great smelling diapers, no rash and no leaks. This is what we hope to help every customer find, their own wash routine (that works with their washer and the makeup of their water) that makes using cloth diapers enjoyable and stink free! I’ll walk you through some reasons for why your diapers might not be getting as clean as they could be (in no particular order), and I’ll try to keep it simple!

Reason 1, HARD WATER: Hard water decreases your detergent’s effectiveness (making it hard to get your diapers clean). This can be fixed by adding Charlie’s Booster (if using Charlie’s soap, 1 scoop of each in each wash) or adding another water softener like Calgon to your detergent. Even if you don’t think your water is hard, this is definitely worth trying as it can make a world of difference and be an easy solution! Soft water makes for a better clean!

Reason 2, HOT WATER: Water temperature can cause a problem if it’s not warm enough. Water temp should be around 60C/120F. The heat helps clean out detergent and urine residues and increases the effectiveness of the detergent itself. You can adjust your water temperature on your hot water heater.

Reason 3, OVERLOADED WASHER: If you have too many diapers in your wash (usually 30+), you can overload your washer. This can cause problems because the diapers do not have room to agitate to get washed and rinsed. Also, the bigger the load of diapers the more water that is needed to wash them. It is recommend that you wash every 2-3 days (the longer you wait the harder it can be to clean them) and that’s about 18-24 diapers and would make the perfect wash size. 

Reason 4, DETERGENT: Again, we do recommend Charlie’s soap as it rinses completely out. Most other detergents leave a residue that builds up through many washes causing stink, rash and leaking. Charlie’s soap will rinse out detergent residues, or you can do a lot of rinsing in HOT water and sometimes adding a touch of dawn dish soap will also do the trick. Whatever detergent you choose to use with your diapers (just make sure it’s not on our No list), use that detergent for all your laundry. This is less complicated and helps make sure no bad detergent gets into your diapers.

Reason 5, Basic No No’s: Do not use fabric softeners or dry sheets. These can create a film on your diapers and decrease their absorbency. It does help if you do not use these with your regular laundry too, as they can leave residues in your washer or dryer. No bleaching or vinegar (unless recommend by the diaper manufacturer), spot cleaners, or any weird remedies.

Reason 6, ENOUGH WATER: With a regular top loading washer, just make sure you are washing your diapers using a FULL water level. Our washer has two options, one to fill for a half load and one for a full load. I always do the Full load even if the diapers only take up half the washer. Water is VERY important. This brings us to another big topic, HE/front loading washers. HE washers can save you money by using less water, but that doesn’t bode well for getting your diapers clean. To really clean your diapers it takes a lot of Hot water. Sometimes with an HE machine the diapers themselves will soak up all the water leaving very little water for them to be washed in. Really, it can look as if the machine is just tossing your damp diapers around!

TIPS FOR HE/FRONT LOADING MACHINES 

  • Many manufacturers suggest adding a large wet towel or two to your load of diapers (this can fool your machine into thinking the load is bigger and therefore adds more water). This sounds good (and is worth a try), but it seems that with 2 towels in there, it would decrease the amount of agitation and even further decrease the washers ability to get the diapers clean. We suggest getting your diapers fully wet before throwing them in the wash. This can be done by putting your wetbag it in a bucket (or garbage can, so you are keeping your dirty diapers in the bag and avoiding a mess) and add a pitcher or two of water. Once the diapers soak up the water or they seem soaked, then put them in the wash. If you use a bucket to store your diapers, then simply add a pitcher of water to your pail.
  • Adjust the water setting on your machine manually. Some HE machines you can set the water level to high (you may have to check your washers manual to see if that’s an option for you) or a push the Water Plus button if your washer has that.
  • If you have a Spin Speed button be sure to set that on the low setting (this will help keep more water in the washer for rinsing). Then, if you do another rinse, still keep the Spin Speed on Low.
  • Wash on the Heavy soil setting. This will do a much better job at cleaning your diapers. Remember to not use the “sanitize” option. This setting should be used sparingly as it has been know to be too rough on diaper covers (ruining PUL/waterproofing and leg elastic).
  • If Charlie’s soap or Rockin Green doesn’t seem to be doing the trick for your HE washer, feel free to try the Original powdered Tide. We have heard that this has worked great for front loading HE washers. Remember, it does have to be the original powdered version and only 1 tablespoon to start, then you can add more if you need to later.

Lastly, I’d like to remind you that even with the perfect detergent and wash routine, you can still end up with a smell or rash issue from time to time. This is common, and don’t panic. Every month or two we do a deep clean of our diapers. We keep it simple and do 2-3 extra HOT washes with 2-3 scoops of Charlie’s in each wash. This get’s our diapers back to a zero in the smell arena and then we continue with our regular routine. Oh, and if you have a staining issue, use Charlie’s Pre-spray! This stuff works awesome and is cloth diaper safe.

Do you have more questions? We started a Facebook group called Cloth Diapering Help, here you can post your questions about washing and get answers. This is a community where cloth diapering parents can help each other with any cloth diapering issue and save everyone the time of searching for answers online. Please join, get answers to your burning questions and continue to enjoy using cloth!

Lobbing Stones

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It’s time to open a can of creativity and start a fight. No more excuses due to my lack of confidence in my business skills and knowledge. Sure, it’s easy to blame anyone or anything for my business not being as successful as I’d like it to be. Excuses are unlimited. The biggest excuse out there, big box stores and huge online businesses.  They are the problem, right? If they didn’t exist, people would naturally flock to my store and other small businesses to get their stuff. Maybe.

It’s the same old story of David and Goliath. Little man against a giant. What I pull out of this story isn’t that the small guy won and that I’ll some how conquer these giants. The nugget that I’m looking at, is that the small guy used unconventional means to win. Hand to hand combat would have been a bad idea. As a small business owner, my only chance is to fight using unconventional means. No excuses, just fighting with creativity. This is the challenging (or maybe brave would be a better word) stuff that I’m learning business is about. Thinking outside every box. I don’t think the entrepreneurial spirit can emerge without a good unfair fight or two (maybe more as I’m sure I’ll find out).

To me, being an entrepreneur means having creativity and courage squeezed out through necessity. That’s the heart of a small business owner. I’m not there yet, heck I can hardly spell entrepreneur, but I got a couple stones I’m willing to throw.

What’s next for us? Meet NEET! For those of you who haven’t yet been introduced to NEET, let me formally introduce you to our very own brand, NEET products. Any of our NEET products are born out of our years of cloth diapering experience and will be made here in Duluth! We currently only make the Hemp Soakers. These were originally meant to be used as the ultimate in absorbency for nighttime use, but now we will be changing a couple things. These changes will allow them to fit perfectly in the newborn diapers (by making a Newborn size), have a better design so they will fit in any diaper cover, and have a softer top layer. I can’t wait for these changes, you’re going to love them! Also, after over a year of testing and redesigning, we will soon be unveiling our NEET One-size diaper cover!

These covers will sport too cool cotton prints on top of a waterproof fabric. They will      have our absolute favorite attributes from the over 40 different diapers we have tried. And guess what? These designer print covers will also be available in a set with a matching baby tee, be hand made here in Duluth by a very talented stay at home dad, and be so cool you won’t want to put pants on your kid!

We love that as a small business we have the ability to create neat handmade items that people want, while supporting other small businesses in the process. Plus, we get to know our customers wants and needs much sooner than big stores because we actually know our customers and talk with them, with you, in person. Customer service that happens through a relationship (we care about how our customers feel), and product knowledge (we actually use what we sell!), is what we really like.

Thanks for helping us lob stones at the giants. Please stay tuned for our unveiling of the NEET one-size cover (these 2 pictures giving you a sneak peak at 2 of the fabrics we will be using), and matching Tees. We can’t wait to see what you think!

Trees, love, and Cloth

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This may or may not come as a surprise to you, but I love cloth diapers. I don’t just own a business that sells them to make money. I own the business I do, because I really do love cloth diapers. To me, cloth diapering is one of the best kept secrets. Of course, not all people, yes even my friends and family members, do not share my enthusiasm for cloth diapers. Some are even completely turned off by them thinking they are gross, hard to use and very time consuming. Not only that, but it’s something that tree huggers and flower people do.

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Well, let’s talk about the non-tree hugging stuff for a moment. First, I want to talk about why I love cloth diapers. Besides the fact that they are super cute, they are actually really easy to use. I only wash our diapers every 4-5 days. This really hasn’t added any noticeable work to all the laundry I feel like we as a family are doing already. So that’s easy. What about poop you say? Many people picture cloth diaper using parents as hanging over a toilet dunking poopy diapers in it and swishing them around. Geez, really?! I have never done this. This sounds horrible to me! For the first 6 months (before baby starts eating solids), you only need to change the diaper and store it in a dry, yes even cute, wet bag. No swishing and absolutely no buckets of soaking poopy diapers either!

After the baby starts solids, they make these awesome toilet paper thin liners that you can put on top of your diapers, then when the baby poops, you just remove the liner and flush it and the poop down the toilet. EASY! The last part I love about cloth diapers…fewer leaks than disposables! There’s a myth going around that cloth diapers leak all the time and that you need to use disposables when you go out of the house. The truth is that when you are using great cloth diapers, that fit well on your baby, and are washed correctly, they do leak less than disposables. The main reason why they leak less is because you can get a much better fit with cloth diapers. They have nice fitting elastic around the legs and back to help prevent blow outs and the cloth absorbs faster than the chemical absorption used in disposables. Awesome right?!

The #1 reason most people start using cloth, MONEY! That tug at my pocket book is what motivated this frugal mama to cloth diaper. Using cloth has been a huge money saver for us. Over the last 5 1/2 years (2 kids fully diapered and 1 5 month old still in diapers) we have spent only about $600 for cloth diapers. WOW! On average disposable diapers cost about $70 a month, which means I have saved $4,550. Every time I add this up I am shocked that the diapers I love have saved me this much money, because really, now I would do it even if they were just as expensive as disposables.

Now, as far as trees go, what’s so bad about hugging them? I mean they are wonderful and we need them. I’m not even sure when the concept of choosing to do what’s best for the planet became a negative. After all, that’s where we live! I personally feel like, even with recycling and composting, I throw away too much. That stuff has to go somewhere. At least with using cloth diapers, I can keep at least one full bag of poopy diapers out of the landfill each week. After two and a half years of using disposable diapers, that adds up to about 120 BAGS! Then, times that by 3 kids, that’s a whopping 360 bags that take 200-500 years to decompose. Can you imagine your great great great grand kids being able to see the poopy diapers you wore as a baby? Eew.

I could go on with more environmental benefits and health benefits, but my point is not to bore you nor to make anyone feel guilty. My point is to share my love of cloth diapers with you, to give you just a snap shot of the benefits and how easy it can be, in hopes that more people will give it a try. It is defiantly worth a try!

Need a little more incentive to take the leap? We are running a campaign for cloth over the next several weeks where anyone who joins the campaign can win some free diapers. Check out our campaign details HERE! Anyone can join the campaign, even if you don’t use cloth, but if you do use cloth and you blog about it and share the campaign, you can also be entered to win a $50 Gift Certificate to Little Neetchers!

Join the campaign and help other fall in love with Cloth diapers!

More Than Just Diaper Sales

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You may have heard us say this before, “we are not just about selling diapers”. Well, it’s true! Not only do we love partnering with parents who use cloth diapers by giving them the help and tips they need when they need it, but a percentage of all of our sales go to a great cause. Let me tell you about it!

Little Neetchers actively supports The Child Survival Program through Compassion International. We decided to support this program because it lined up with our values as owners and part of what we want our business to be about.  The Child Survival Program helps save the lives of babies and mothers in poverty by utilizing local churches to assist mothers of at-risk infants and toddlers. Mothers can give their children a fighting chance for healthy development, reducing infant and child mortality, with the supplies and training provided by this program. This program helps mothers and babies by:

• Preventing illness. Regular prenatal and postnatal checkups contribute greatly to healthy births. Regular doctor visits and immunizations also keep infants healthy and happy.

• Giving children a healthy start. Nutritious food staples and supplements help children grow and stay strong.

• Providing training. Teaching mothers and caregivers how to properly stimulate their children mentally and physically improves the child’s socioemotional skills and cognitive development.

• Empowering mothers and caregivers. Infant development and safety, nutrition, literacy and job-skills are just a few of the topics the Child Survival Program training includes.

Man, isn’t this great! It’s hard for me to imagine a life where I did not go to a ton of prenatal doctor visits, or taking vitamins, or even getting enough food while pregnant to give my baby a healthy start. I’m so glad we can help some mothers get what they need to be healthy and have healthy babies!

Recently, we received an update from the specific program we support in Kayunga Uganda. Here’s a small part of what the letter said:

“The standards of living for our once very poor caregivers have improved so much, that out of over 50 children we registered due to malnutrition and it’s effects, there is no single child who continued to suffer the consequences of malnutrition. Malnutrition is now history for these children. Amazingly these children are more confident, brighter and even adapt easily to new situations compared to those that were not part of the Child Survival Program. It is because of the Child Survival Program that these children have been able to escape the jaws of death by malaria as they access proper medical care and are even able to have a visit by a doctor every four months. We thank God that we lost NONE of the children to any childhood illness, thanks to our sponsors and donors who send timely support to help us intervene in the lives of children so early.”

Wow! We forward this thanks from Rev. Moses Kabugo to all of you who have supported our business and allowed us to be a part of a great story. Thanks!

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The Time Has Come

After life calmed down a bit, as we have adjusted to having 3 kids, we (Joshua and I) decided to make a huge change. Joshua has effectively become a “stay at home papa”, as we call it at our house, over the last month! This is hopefully a permanent job position for him. Joshua jumped at the chance to help grow our business by providing me with the space and time I need to run a business, and not to just run Little Neetchers, but to run it well.

Man, I have to admit, the first couple weeks were hard! We both had to make big changes to allow for each other to do our new jobs well. For me, the hard part was letting go of all the stuff that I considered “my job”, and let him explore new ways of doing things, from new recipes to new parenting ideas.

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The best part, my afternoon breaks! This is where I get to spend time with my kids. This should be what small businesses are about…family! Our goal is to grow the business, but not at the expense of our family.

While growing up my dad was a truck driver. He worked crazy hours at a job he sort of liked. He did the best he could to make the time he had with us count (and for that I am grateful!), but now that it’s my family and my kids, I want something better. This small business means that to our family. We have a chance to do things different! We have an opportunity to grow something out of nothing, to involve our kids in what we are doing, and have a lot of time together! Really, this is what I had envisioned in the beginning, I was just to scared to take the leap.

I’m still scared, really, if I’m honest with myself. Who knows, I could fail, the business could flop, and my balloon could burst, but this is worth the risk! The last few weeks have been awesome. I’d like to keep it that way!

We have some great news coming up and I can’t wait to show you some stuff I have been working on for over a year now.  I’ll keep you posted!

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