Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bringing out our Newborn Cloth Diapers Again

When I first began my journey with cloth diapers, I had not started or dreamed up Ecological Babies quite yet.  I was a novice and intimidated beginner, just like many of my clients.  Tonight, I pulled out my cloth diapers from when Rita Clare was first born and was shocked at how outdated they looked...already.  It was only a little over 2 years ago when we purchased these and I must say that I was disappointed with what I have.  No leg gussets, no trim fitting diapers, no cute prints.  But I can't abandon them all, since they are in fantastic condition and will probably be sufficient for use.  It's at least pleasing to know that all the diapers will be reused and to add more diapers to my newborn stash would be a minimal investment.  Isn't reusing diapers on the next child one of the greatest perks of cloth diapers?

I am, however, looking forward to trying a lot of our (Ecological Babies') new diapers that were not around yet when my daughter was in the newborn size.  It will be another new cloth diapering adventure and I can once again test how the fit of each diaper works at the smaller sizes.  I look forward to sharing that with you in the near future!



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Closing Dates for Holiday & Maternity Leave

We'll be closed from 12/20-12/27 and then again 1/9/10-2/14/10.  Should you need any cloth diapering products, please either order off the website or make your purchase at Best Beginnings Boutique.  After 2/14, however, our products will not be available for purchase at Best Beginnings. 

Should you need assistance, please feel free to send us an email.  However, you may experience delays in returning your message, while we adjust to our new addition to the family.  We'll send notice when he/she is born (I'm due 1/15).  Thank you for all your support, patience, and understanding.  Have a wonderful holiday with your family!


Jen Starks, owner

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ecological Babies' Black Friday Special

Here at Ecological Babies, we wanted to get festive and participate in the Black Friday least as best as we are able!  After much consideration, we've decided to offer 20% off EVERYTHING that we have in stock (only excluding our new Thirsties Duo Diapers).  This extremely unique sale will not be occurring any time soon (if ever), so now's the time to take advantage.

There are, however, a couple requirements:

1. Sale starts Midnight TONIGHT through the Sunday at 11:59pm.
2. This is only for what's currently in stock (and excludes our duo diaper).
3. This is first come, first serve and only for our Facebook Fans (yes, we will check)
4. To place an order, you must make your purchase through our website.
5. The 20% discount will be in the form of a partial refund after you've placed your order through our website.  (Note: It may take until late Sunday to see that refund notification.)
6.  If there is something out of stock on your order, you'll be notified this weekend.  You'll then have the option of choosing an alternative color or be issued a refund of that amount.
7.  If you're local, choose local pickup so you won't be charged for shipping.  We'll then contact you this weekend to arrange a time for pick up this upcoming week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Argument for Purchasing an Organic Crib Mattress

I just received a coupon for free shipping for an organic crib mattress from Naturepedic and I was reminded that it had been about a year since we purchased our organic crib mattress for our daughter for Christmas. Please note: I am not being compensated by Naturepedic or receiving any benefits from writing this.    

When I first learned about organic crib mattresses, I honestly thought it was a luxury item for the elite.  Extremely expensive and seemingly indulgent, I brushed the thought away.  Then I started learning more about conventional cribs and their harmful toxins.  I'm not going to go through the list of all the harmful chemicals right now but here's one of many articles to read in order to get you started:

The first few years of your baby's life, they spend most of their time sleeping.  Their brain significantly matures, especially while sleeping.  Why would I want to have toxins all around while all this important growth is happening? 

We opted for Christmas to give Rita Clare an organic mattress.  I should have purchased it when I was still pregnant with her.  But last year, I decided that Christmas was a great time, since she was going to be getting a lot of presents from family over the holidays, she was too young to want anything specifically, and Naturepedic was doing a holiday promotion like this year.  After I started looking at organic mattresses, I found them to be more reasonably priced than anticipated (around $200).  That would be about what we'd spend in holiday gifts for Rita Clare anyhow! 

So here's the link to Naturepedic's promotion that I'm sharing with you, in case you want to make the plunge.  If you're co-sleeping, perhaps you can give your family bed a break from the chemicals and invest in an organic mattress in your room.  You're health is important too!

Now the hard part is deciding which green crib mattress to purchase...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Preview: New Diaper Coming SOON!

If you're into saving money while adding convenience to your cloth diapers, here's the perfect diaper for you. Thirsties is launching a new diaper, similar to their all-in-ones and new due wraps but MORE absorbent!

Here are the features:

· A two-piece diapering system combining an absorbent insert & a waterproof sleeve diaper
· An adjustable rise for extended use to suit your growing baby
· Two sizes will fit from birth-to-potty
· Leg gussets provide superior protection against leaks
· Pliable and breathable in 8 fun colors!
· Sleeve design for easy stuffing & easy cleaning
· Microfiber terry & hemp combo insert for optimal absorption; 7 layers in all!
· Use from birth-to-potty and save $1400 over disposables!

Retail Price: $18.50

This will be coming after Thanksgiving, so consider budgeting one or two in to try out.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thirsties Covers & All-in-ones 20% off LIMITED TIME!

Until the end of the month, you'll have the unique opportunity to receive 20% off all Thirsties covers and all-in-ones. This is only for what is currently in stock, so hurry up while supplies last! Let me break down the pricing:

Thirsties Cover- $9.20
Thirsties All-in-Ones- $14)!

Interested? Shoot us an email and place your order today!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Product Review: bumGenius Diaper Sprayer

I've officially be using the diaper sprayer for about 5 months now and can honestly say this accessory is worth purchasing. The economical aspect of cloth diapers was our family's top priority when we first invested and I'm usually not an accessory person, so I was actually hoping now to like it. I was without the diaper sprayer for 19 months using cloth diapers and probably wouldn't have tried it, if I wasn't "testing" for business purposes....but I'll never go back! The #1 fear and reason families tell me they never tried or gave up on cloth diapers is the poop/mess factor.

Here are my top reasons I'm crazy about the sprayer:

1. Taking care of poopy diapers (no matter what consistency) is mess-free.

2. I don't dread poopy diapers and kinda look forward to using the sprayer.

3. I actually use LESS water with the sprayer, since it takes everything off so quickly. Without the sprayer, I admittedly had to flush the toilet a few times on those really messy diapers.

4. I have found many uses for the sprayer, besides diapers (e.g. cleaning the bathroom, cleaning our portable potty chair, spraying off my daughter after playing outside in the dirt, filling up buckets) Two others I've not tried but anticipate it working for: replacing a peri bottle postpartum and using it like a bidet spray.

5. My diapers seem to come out cleaner in the wash, since I'm able to rinse off so much of the diaper in the toilet.

6. It is super easy to install on your toilet. I installed it myself in under 20 minutes and it works great (no leaks, no calling the plumber from ruining the toilet).

7. The spray intensity can be adjusted, based on how strong or weak you want the flow.

If you've purchased a bumGenius diaper sprayer, how do you like it? Are you as obsessed as I am?

Two thumbs up from Ecological Babies!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Specials for our anniversary- #2

Refer a friend to us and you'll receive $15 in store credit. The only catch is that they need to spend over $100 in products. Make sure they mention your name, so you'll receive the credit you deserve.

Specials for our Anniversary- #1

You have probably heard already that Ecological Babies celebrated its 1 year anniversary Sept 27th and are going to be having some specials this month to Oct 27th.

First special- anyone who spends $100 will receive a FREE 100 % fair trade organic cotton Ecological Babies t-shirt for your little one. ($15 value) With cloth diapers, it doesn't take too much to reach this point and tshirts are EXCELLENT for use with cloth diapers.

To learn more about the tshirts and why they are great to use with cloth diapers, stay tuned for our listing on our website and a blog on the topic...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reflections about our first year

I started developing this business at the roots, hoping to set a strong foundation reflecting my values and in hopes to bring true balance to my life and my family's. I set goals in the hopes that not only will it help guide me and keep me going in the direction I set in, but to possibly surpass them and create something beautiful in the process. And I did!

Ecological Babies has given me much more than I imagined as I started growing the business a year ago. Sure, I wanted to be involved directly with my community and hopefully empower families to choose a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. Sure, I wanted to give to some worthy organizations whose mission I believed in and supported. However, I never imagined how much fun and fulfilling it has been to meet each individual family (around 250 families), come into their lives, and share part of their journey with me. In most cases, I meet couples at such a pivotal time in their life. There are so many questions and uncertainties to face, it's sometimes overwhelming. And somehow as a leap of faith, couples decide to consider making some important steps toward raising their family consciously, with environmental responsibility and for healthier lives. It's only a bonus how much money they'll also save in the process!

So as a final thought, I really have my supporters, customers, and many new friends to thank for bringing such an amazing life into my business. I cannot imagine being anywhere else in my life and finding this much joy as an individual, an independent business owner, and a mother.

Thank you!


Jen Starks, owner

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

REVIEW: Fitted Diapers we've tested!

It's often difficult for me to explain why I love fitted diapers as much as I do and struggle to highlight their great value in a diaper stash. I usually turn to my fitted diapers first and find them great at every age, especially 6 months and up. I'll be honest though, there are a lot of fitted diapers we've tried and don't like. Thirsties fitteds are my favorite and that's why we carry them. I will only carry products I truly believe are good quality and function well.

Thirsties Fitteds are superior (in my humble opinion) for the following reasons:
-They stay super soft on the inside and out (fleece inside, cotton velour on outside
-They have a very comfortable, trim fit and gentle around the waist
-Baby stays dry to the skin, since they are lined with fleece
-Absorbent yet fast drying
-Great quality aplix (velcro)
-Can be put on easily while baby is standing up (very important to me)
-Holds potential blow outs inside the diaper great

Next, I want to share all the fitted diapers I've tested, didn't like, and why I don't like them. I'd love it for others to share the ones they've tried and either liked or didn't like. Why?

- soft when you buy them and then a rough towel after you've washed them once
- baby's bottom stays wet against the diaper
-not very absorbent
- the elastic in the legs are poor quality
-long drying time (2 cycles)

Happy Heiny's Happy Hempy's (designed like a pocket fitted)
- so much extra fabric
- the aplix (velcro) around the waist is huge and digs into stomach
- baby feels wet against the skin

Happy Heiny's Sherpa Fitted
-This is just like Kissaluvs in the way they are designed and fit
-rough towel material
-baby stays wet against the skin
-long drying time
-very bulky but absorbs a lot

Bumwear Fitteds
-The fit on these are awkward as though baby's dimensions weren't measured well.
-aplix (velcro) not great

Babykicks Fitteds
-Not very absorbent
-Way too many snaps, even for me
- Our snaps broke very early but could have been a defective one
-Baby feels wet against the skin

Swaddlebee's bamboo Fitteds
-After first washing, the fitted felt rough...although, it has soften after a year
-short elastic life span

Bumgenius Bamboo Fitteds
-I actually like these but their biggest con is that they take a long time to dry.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

REVIEW: bumGenius Organic One-Size All-in-one

Well, the title of the diaper is much more complicated than the diaper! This diaper is completely different than bumGenius' one-size 3.0 diaper for a number of reasons. It is made with organic cotton layers on the inside of the diaper. No pocket to stuff, and straight up organic cotton against the skin. What that also means is that baby's bottom feels wet to the skin.

I like the diaper because it actually is pretty trim for a one-size diaper, absorbent, is nice to have natural fiber against the skin, dries in one cycle, and is available in snaps or aplix (velcro).

My only complaint is that the layers of cotton can sometimes bunch up awkwardly and I have to be careful that they stay tucked inside the elastic legs. I also have become spoiled with Rita Clare's skin staying dry with fleece against her, so that is an adjustment too. Finally, it's also significantly more in price, than the one-size 3.0 style ($24.95 vs. $18.95). However, I think it's worth the price different.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

REVIEW:Thirsties Duo Cover 1st Impression

I've officially started testing out Thirsties new covers, which is designed to be trimmer and only have 2 different sizes for purchase. My daughter, Rita Clare, is 24 lbs (21 months) and falls into the size 2 category. First of all, the color choices available are super cute. Second, the medium Thirsties covers tend to be a bit bulky in the back waist area, since it covers a big weight range (18-28 lbs). I'm hoping this will prove to be a trimmer fit, even though the weight range is 18-40 lbs. Third, the Duo covers also have the wonderful leg gussets the others have-hooray!

She's wearing it now and it fits just like the other Thirsties covers but has a lot more fabric in the front, which folds in with snaps. I tried the first snap on RC but it is pretty clear that she's in the second snap. In the first, the front of her fitted diapers shows some, which could cause some leaking. We're trying it a naptime for a good test...will post more with more uses.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Second Time Around

Well, I officially had my first prenatal visit for our second baby and I'm already 13 weeks. It was interesting going through the checklist of "don'ts" to keep the baby safe. I realized I have come a long way these past 2 years and am definitely raising my family greener. But how can I improve to care for this little baby inside me better or equally as well as Rita Clare? I'll have to do some brainstorming...