Monday, July 26, 2010

Diaper Genie II

Even though we use cloth diapers, we still use disposable diapers too. Especially since being pregnant with #2, I have not wanted to clean out as many cloth diapers lately (even though I still wholeheartedly LOVE cloth diapering) So when I know my son will poop -- bedtime and naps -- we stick him in a 'sposie.

We started with the original Diaper Genie and it was tolerable at first but we soon found ourselves hating it. It wasn't very easy to use and was near impossible one handed. The bag rarely cut properly and it didn't hide odors very well at all. So we decided to "upgrade" to the Diaper Genie II system. Here's what we found.

- So far so good on hiding smells
- Very easy to use, even one-handed
- Very easy to cut the liners and the blade is child proof
- Doesn't take up much space in the nursery
- Made in the USA

- Requires special refill liners
- Needs to be emptied frequently. I empty it at least once a week with only using two disposable diapers a day. Seems like if you used exclusively disposable diapers you would be emptying it daily or at least every other day.

Overall, I like this system. As mentioned, it is very easy to use, especially when compared with the original that we started out with. You simply push the diaper through the opening and it snaps closed behind you, trapping smells with it. When the canister is full, you open it on the side and it folds in half. There is a spot to pull the bag through to easily cut it (no holding down a scissor button while turning the top and hoping for the best like with the original) Then you tie off the ends and you are ready to begin again.

These can be purchased at a variety of retailers including Meijer, Target, and Babies R Us. Check out for more information about this product.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dropps Laundry Detergent

I tried Dropps laundry detergent because it is more environmentally friendly than your average laundry detergent. The packaging alone makes it "greener" as it does not use as much plastic and therefore has a smaller carbon footprint. (Reference this diagram for more information on the eco-friendliness of Dropps). The laundry detergent is also 6x concentrated as opposed to the standard 2x concentrated because they do not use water in the detergent. Not only that, it is much more convenient to carry a small, light package of Dropps than a standard heavy plastic container of detergent. I also like that they come in the pre-measured pacs for no mess laundry-ing.

This product was very easy to use. Simply toss one pac in the washer for a regular load or two pacs for a heavy load, pile in the clothes, and turn on the washer. No measuring, no mess. And my clothes came out clean and fresh. They are compatible with standard and HE washing machines and can be used with all water temperatures.

Dropps come in three different kinds -- 1. fresh scent; 2. scent & dye free; and 3. baby - scent, dye, & enzyme free. The kind that I tried was the scent & dye free.

Dropps can be purchased from their website at with a price ranging from $1 for a trial 2-load pouch to $24 for an 80-load pouch. I have also seen these at some local stores, including Meijer.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Safety 1st Baby Gate

The baby gate we bought was a Safety 1st gate. Since it was going at the top of our stairs we wanted one that attached right to the wall for extra stability. We also wanted one that was easy to use so we could easily go up and down the stairs -- even while holding a baby. We chose this rounded gate so we wouldn't lose our landing for foot space.

This is what the gate looks like from the bottom of the stairs.

This is what the gate looks like from the top of the stairs.

This gate is very easy to use. You simply push down and over a button on the side to open the gate. It can easily be done one-handed. This pops open the gate so you can swing it open and walk down the stairs.

Then simply push the gate closed. You'll hear a pop when it's locked. There is also a picture of a lock that is green and open when the gate is unlocked and red and closed when the gate is secured and locked.

This gate is very easy to use and very secure. Our son is 19 months and still hasn't figured out how to open it (he easily figured out our pressure lock gate at around 12 months) Because of the sturdy plastic front instead of the usual fenced look, he also can't climb this one (which he also did with our other one at around 12-13 months)

Visit the Safety 1st website for more information.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

4Moms Cleanwater Infant Tub with Digital Thermometer

This is quite possibly my favorite baby product we've tried. And the name says it all. 4Moms was created FOR moms by 4 moms. At first, this bath seemed a bit over the top and extreme to me. Unnecessary were my exact first thoughts. But we splurged after a disappointing experience with another infant bath and I cannot imagine using any bath other than this one!

The bath has a temperature gauge right on it so every moment of the bath you know the water is the right temperature. You don't even have to really be watching it as the background is green when the water is in the right range, turns blue when it gets too cold, and turns red when it gets too hot. It also will alarm if you've been in the red zone for too long or reach a certain level in the red zone. It also reads the exact temperature on the gauge so you know if you are starting to border on the too hot or too cold zones. We never had a problem keeping the water in the right range once we got it there.

The bath is designed so that clean water comes in from the faucet into the clean water reservoir, flows down into the bathing area, circles the baby and pushes the dirty water out of the holes. This was nice for the early days when our son liked to poop in the bath. He was never sitting in poopy water as it would flow right out. The unique design of the tub also means no infant hammocks are necessary as it can hold even the tiniest of babies safely. But it can also fit a larger baby as well. There are two water level holes to allow for this. We used this tub from the time our son's cord fell off at around two weeks old to the time he was about seven months old.

This bath fit nicely into our kitchen sink. It also comes with an extra piece you can attach if your sink isn't the right size to accommodate for it. And it can also be used in the regular bath tub.

This bath tub gets 5 out of 5 stars from me and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!!! I can't say enough good things about it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bath tub!!

You can purchase this bath from by clicking here or from by clicking here. Or check out the 4Moms website for more information about it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nubunz Pocket Diapers

Nubunz Diapers were the third type of cloth diaper that I tried and the majority of the cloth diapers we owned for our son. They are a one-size pocket diaper that is very similar to the BumGenius diapers that I previously reviewed, only they were cheaper to buy. They come in either velcro or snap closures so I originally bought 1 of each kind to try. Once I decided I liked them, I stocked up on an almost even number of each, with slightly more snaps. I am glad I went that route.

Nubunz Diapers are very reasonably priced, at only $9.50 a diaper (currently on sale for $8 each) I also loved that they are USA made diapers.

These diapers come in a variety of colors and are made with a soft fleece inside and a waterproof PUL outer shell. Each diaper comes with two microfiber inserts. These also make good swim diapers! They don't bulge out when we put them on our son in the pool.

Buying a cheaper diaper comes with some risks. Of course you can't expect them to be the highest quality. I have had a few issues with these diapers. The velcro has simply wore out over time. It took about a year for it to wear out, they really held up well until then. If I knew more about sewing I could probably fix them but I just don't. I also had some problems with the snaps coming off. When this happened, I contacted the company and they had me mail the diaper back, they fixed the snaps, and mailed the diaper back to me. They also reimbursed me for my shipping charges. I have to say I have been very impressed with their customer service. Not only for taking care of my few snap problems but they also have an email address and personally and promptly answer any questions through that.

You can check out for more information or to order these diapers. You can also find them on facebook here

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Infant Day & Night Handheld Color Video Monitor

I'll be the first to admit that buying an infant monitor was unnecessary. In fact, there is only one room in our entire house (which is down in the basement) where I cannot hear my son crying. But, try telling that to an overly-anxious first-time mom! All that being said, I do not at all regret our purchase of the Summer Infant Day & Night Handheld Color Video Monitor.

What I like about this monitor are very basic things. The first, it has a video. This was a criteria for us when choosing a monitor. Second, it is lightweight and can be carried around the house with us. Third, the camera is highly adjustable to get just the right angle. It can be set on a table or mounted to the wall. We started with it on the edge of our son's crib but as he got older, we had to move it up onto the wall. It is also portable and we brought it over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for his first overnight stay without us! A final thing that I really like about this monitor and didn't realize until after we bought it, was the sound lights which vary in color depending on how much noise baby is making. This was great for the early days when we left the monitor on at night but did not want to hear every noise baby made. The lighter colors, yellow and green, did not wake me but the higher color of red, did. This way I was able to turn the volume all the way down and only be woken up by the lights. Of course, as time went on we did not even turn it on at all but simply used it to peek on our little guy.... which, we still love to do! He is a year and a half old now and we just can't bring ourselves to putting away this monitor. It is so much fun to watch him in his crib and see what he is up to. It is also a big relief to overly-anxious moms like myself to be able to actually SEE baby is breathing in the early days when SIDS is a big worry.

The only down side to this monitor is the static. Depending on the position of it, we can get some static. It isn't bad anymore but it does play nasty tricks on parents with the sound lights. We also used to get some interference with another baby monitor in the early days but that has since faded. There are two channels on the monitor to avoid interference, but it does still happen.

Overall, I think this is a great baby monitor and was definitely worth the money we spent on it. It is actually one of the cheaper video monitors on the market but still high quality. It would definitely get a recommendation from me! I only wish you could buy an extra camera so we won't have to stop watching our son when our new baby is born! But I guess we have to cut the strings at some point.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash

Another great sample I received in the mail! When I was running out of my usual body wash, I was bummed. But I rummaged through my bin in the bathroom linen closet and pulled out a sample bottle I had received awhile back in the mail. I stuck it in the shower just in case I didn't get a replacement body wash by the time mine ran out. I ended up getting one the same day I ran out but decided to give this one a try anyway. It was very tempting sitting in there looking me in the eye every day! Pretty much from my first use, I was sold on it but I decided to test it out for a few days at least to see if I still liked it, and I do!!

Caress Evenly Gorgorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash is said to exfoliate, moisturize, and even out skin-tones. That is a pretty big claim for one body wash but I really feel like it does! My skin has definitely felt smoother this week and there have been times when, not thinking about the wash at all, I have thought it looked better for some reason! Then I realized it was probably from using this! And there are times, not always, when I feel like I don't even need to put on lotion after the shower. I mix this with a thick body butter for my lotion and I swear I would be good for days as far as moisture. I do wish that there was a matching lotion available but at this time there is not.

Another thing I like about this body wash is the smell. I am a person who is very sensitive to smells so this is a huge thing for me. The combination of burnt brown sugar and karite sugar is delicious!! But it's not so overpowering that it makes me sick, unlike lots of others I have tried.

I'd definitely recommend this if you're in the market to try a new body wash. It is available at most supermarkets, or The Caress Website has a section to enter your zip code to find a retailer near you.