Monday, June 28, 2010

My First Giveaway in Celebration of the New BumGenius 4.0 Release!

Have you heard?! BumGenius is discontinuing our beloved 3.0 one-sized diapers! Not only that, but they have announced their new additions! This includes snaps, new easy to replace elastic, 3 new colors, new velcro and refresher kits for velcro diapers, and it can now accommodate larger babies with a new size! Check out the product release video on their YouTube site HERE!

I am so excited that I have decided to hold a giveaway of BumGenius Odor Remover!

BumGenius Odor remover is a natural odor remover, you can use it to remove odors from your diapers directly, or in your diaper pail, laundry hamper, anything! It works by eliminating the odor causing bacteria. Best of all, it is free of all chemicals, oils, detergents, perfumes, and solvents, not to mention bio-degradable! So what does it contain? Just water and vegetative microbes!

I have not tested this product myself yet but since finding it am very tempted! I do not have stinky diapers but my laundry hampers and diaper bins sure could use a spritz of this!

You can learn more about the BumGenius Odor Remover on the Cotton Babies website HERE!

Win an 8 oz bottle of BumGenius Odor Remover!

Before I begin, I must request that you INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL in every comment, otherwise it will not count. You can write it this way if you would like: mphin278 at yahoo dot com, that way the bots won't find you!

Mandatory entry must also be completed before any other entries, or other entries will not count. If you need help with understanding how to complete entries please email me and I will clarify for you as much as I can so you can enter the giveaway!

Now then, to the giveaway!

Mandatory Entry

There is one catch. I really want more Facebook fans, as that is the number one way I will communicate with you. So in order to enter this giveaway you must like SAPsMaMa: Natural Parenting in the Modern World on facebook! Check us out HERE!

Then comment on this post for your entry! Please include link to comment on facebook!

You may get this entry if you are already a facebook fan of SAPsMaMa as well! This is worth 1 Entry.

Extra Entries
  • If you were already a Facebook fan of SAPsMaMa on Facebook, you can have 2 extra entries! Make sure to enter 2 comments!

    **P.S. I have a list of all my 25 current followers so no cheating! I know if you qualify for these extra entries or not :)

  • If you came from Green Mom Blog Hop on Wednesday hosted by Going Green With Noah you get 1 extra entry!

  • Answer this question: What is your favorite natural/non-toxic item (whether it be baby or other), and why? If you don't have a favorite, please tell me one natural/non-toxic product you are interested in! (1 Entry.)

  • What do you think of the new BG4.0 diapers? Likes, dislikes? (1 Entry.)

  • Follow SAPsMaMa by Google Friend Connect! (1 Entry.)

  • Follow SAPsMaMa by feedburner. (1 Entry.)

  • Change your facebook status to link to the giveaway. (1 Entry.) Make sure you click on the time stamp and include your link to your facebook status in your comment for your entry to count!

  • Change your facebook status to link to one of my reviews! (1 Entry per review linked, not per day!)

    Make sure you click on the time stamp and include your link to your facebook status in your comment otherwise your entry will not count!

  • Tell me what you would like to see more of on SAPsMaMa: Regular product reviews, Giveaway win reviews, Detailed cloth diaper reviews, Bargain Buy Reviews, Entries about my family and our activities, Going Green/go toxin-free tips, SAPsDaDa's opinion on the products being reviewed, Giveaways (if so of what?) (1 Entry.)

  • Follow @SAPsMaMa on Twitter HERE! Then comment with your Twitter name for 1 Entry! This counts if you are already a Twitter follower of SAPsMaMa too! (1 Entry.)

  • You may tweet about the giveaway, but make sure you include @SAPsMaMa, #clothdiapers, and @bumgenius in the tweet as well as a link to the giveaway!

    Or you can use: #Win @bumgenius Odor Remover from @SAPsMaMa in celebration of the new BumGenius Diaper launch today! Ends 6/13! (1 Entry per day.)

    Be sure to leave your time stamp link to your tweet in your entry comment!

Good Luck!

***Open to US residents only. This giveaway will end on July 13th, 2010 at 11:59 CST. will be used to determine the winner who will have 48 hours to respond to my email before another winner is chosen. Thanks everyone and good Luck!***

The product was not sent to me via any company or PR agency nor is sponsored in any way from the company. This product is sponsored by SAPsMaMa, purchased by SAPsMaMa, for the sole purpose of this giveaway. The opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Follow for June 25th!


If you would be so kind to post here I'd appreciate it, and I'll come check out your blog and follow you back!

Like me on our Facebook fan page to get quick updates, giveaway notifications, and even exclusive giveaways for facebook fans only! Check us out on Facebook HERE!

Be sure to check out my newest product review Baby Leggies from Five In A Row store on Hyena Cart, my newest go green/toxin-free tip on Toxic Sunscreen, something everyone should know about!, and our newest very detailed cloth diaper review, on the AppleCheeks diaper!

I do follow back if you follow me and post here you do so! :D

Thanks alot! Happy blog hopping!

Melissa (SAPsMaMa)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Giveaway Win Review #2: Five In A Row Baby Leggies

SAP's Story

I've been a follower of the Fitteds and Pockets and Snappies, oh my! (F&P&S, oh my!) blog for a few months now, but way back in April, it was one of the few blogs I followed regularly! They were hosting a giveaway from Five In A Row, which is a store you can find on Hyena Cart! If you are a frequent shopper of Hyena Cart you know the great things you can find there! F&P&S, oh my! was sent a pair of Baby Leggies to review, and I was quite interested in this giveaway since I had only a couple BumGenius Babylegs and wanted to see if there was a different brand that was a bit cheaper and wouldn't leave marks on SAP's legs when worn. Fortunately I won!!

Maria from F&P&S, Oh My! purchased a pair of blue stiped baby leggies from Five In a Row, and was sent an additional pair she decided to giveaw away! The ones that were given away that I won was what was referred to as an Earthy type of color, some browns and maroon shades as you can see in the picture. I am a very "eco-friendly, green, natural, tree-hugger" type of person, whatever you want to refer to me as, so this was a perfect color for me, I liked it a lot!

The Baby Leggies were sent out right away in the mail and it took but a few days to receive them at my house, which I was very happy about since we planned on moving within a couple weeks of that point and I was worried about getting any packages in the mail or losing them! But no worries at all! The baby leggies were nicely wrapped in brown tissue paper and tied with a dark brown ribbon, and I'm sorry to say, the ribbon is what won the heart of my little girl! She wanted nothing to do with those baby leggies at first, but dare I try to take away that ribbon, I'd get a screaming baby! lol. All the things she came up with to do with that ribbon, wow did it stay in her toybox for a LONG time! So kudos on the packaging! Not only did it look wonderful coming in the mail but it sure did entertain SAP!

One other thing about the packaging, it came smelling WONDERFUL. I cannot guarantee your baby leggies will smell this way, almost certainly they won't, but evidently Maria, who was running the giveaway on F&P&S Oh My!, had had the baby leggies sitting next to her Little Outlaws Baby Bee Wipe solution stars so had absorbed the smell! Oh how wonderful they smelled, I didn't want to wash them! lol But I did because I always everything before using it. This very much made me want to try the Little Outlaws but Hubby won't let me buy any wipe solution since he likes to make his own solution for SAP's wipes.

Now about the baby leggies themselves! Since my only experience with any leggies on babies was with BumGenius Baby Leggings, I expected some cheaper knockoff of the name brand, but that was far from it! The first thing I noticed was not only how well made they were, and how they actually felt thicker, softer, and more comfy than the BG BabyLegs, but the ends were made differently. One end was ribbed it looked like, reminded me of the top of a sock, which makes perfect sense, don't you think?

The other side was wider. You can see what I mean in the pictures....

I very much liked the difference in the ends, it was one of the thing I was looking for to be different in the leggies, and they appeared to be just what I wanted! I did get confused however, I wasn't sure which way they were to go on! ribbed side up like a sock? Ribbed side down so it would go around the ankle better, like some baby pants? I really didn't know! So I tried it both ways lol

It seemed that the leggies stayed up the best with the ribbing up, with the wider part at the bottom, so that's how we've been wearing them. Unlike other baby legs I've tried these did not leave awful red marks on her legs! I was very happy about that!

These baby leggies are a bit longer than the other brands of baby legs I've used, which can be a good or bad thing. Good because it will last you a log longer, your baby can wear them many more years, and with great fabric like is used, I'm sure they'd last that long even with regular use! It could be bad though cause this means they're a lot longer on little babies. Nor really a problem for wigglers, rollers, or crawlers, but for SAP, who runs runs runs around and never stops!, with the wide part down they work their way over her heal. Don't really mind this inside on the carpet since she doesn't usually wear socks anyways, these act as a type of half sock, protecting her foot yet having her toes to grip the floor, and kinds keeps her footies alittle warmer, but in the kitchen or outside, it can cause her to slip or trip, so this might be something to watch out for. When we'd go outside we'd just turn them around the other way with the wide side up and the ribbing down! See, they're versatile like that!

I would also like to point out that other brands of baby legs are alot thinner fabric, these seem to be nice fabric that won't wear out with only a few uses! She can walk on them and scuff up the knees without making holes in them! Which I know SAP will!

Now, I went to check out the Five In A Row store on Hyena Cart again since it had been a couple months since I last cruised through there and I wanted to see what they had in stock! Last April they had blue stripe, pink stripe, and these earthy tones brown and maroon striped baby leggies, but right now I went to check out their store and there is a note that they are on vacation until the end of the month! So check back in July to see any new products they have! The Baby leggies back in April costed $5 with shipping included so that is a steal for baby leggies compared to others on the market! Plus supporting a WAHM, I always love that!


  • Nice thick fabric that won't wear out quick

  • Boy, girl, and neutral colors available

  • The ribbing makes it so no red marks or irritation occurs on baby's legs

  • Effectively work well for protecting knees and keeping legs warm on cooler days

  • Might last many years since they are longer than average baby legs

  • Cheap! Only $5 per pair!
  • The wider cuff at the other end of the legging either falls down if used at top, or goes over heal and can cause slipping if used on bottom, maybe some elastic so it's not so wide might help? Or a string looped through the fabric?

  • Not a ton of color options available, but this might be different now since I have not seen their store since April.


  • Five In A Row is a Work At Home Mom store by Bambi, a mother of 5 and wife of 1!

  • Bambi would be happy to refund, repair, or replace any product you are not satisfied with!

  • The Five In A Row store has offered in the store in the past tutus, scarves, baby leggies, cashmere booties, even matching hats to the leggies!

  • The baby leggies are made out of knee socks! They remove the bottom and sew it up nice to make a baby leggie!
The Natural/Green/Eco-friendly/Toxin-Free Factor: These baby leggies are made out of knee socks instead of something new being manufactured, and you're supporting a WAHM!

SAPsDaDa's 2Cents: SAPsDaDa says he did not notice any difference from these baby leggings than any other pair we had as far as when he goes into the drawer to pull them out and use them on SAP. However, I do now he does not pick these very often as he likes pretty pink leggings for SAP alot of the time :) Daddy likes his girl to look girly! lol

See the review on the blue striped baby leggies done by Fitteds and Pockets and Snappies, Oh My! Blog HERE!

This giveaway I won from Fitteds and Pockets and Snappies, Oh My! Blog and was sponsored by Five In A Row store on Hyena Cart! Check them out when they're back from vacation!

Want a pair of Baby Leggies of your own? You can purchase Baby Leggies and more at the Five In A Row store for only $5, including shipping! What a deal!

A thank you to F&P&S, oh my! blog for hosting this giveaway, and to Five In A Row for sponsoring it! I have loved the baby leggies and find them to be one of the first pairs I grab when SAP is running around the house in her prefolds or fitteds these days! Did I mention these are great for potty training?! :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Followers!!


If you would be so kind to post here I'd appreciate it, and I'll come check out your blog and follow you back!

Be sure to check out my newest blog entry on Toxic Sunscreen, something everyone should know about! And our newest very detailed cloth diaper review, on the AppleCheeks diaper!

Thanks alot! Happy blog hopping!

Melissa (SAPsMaMa)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Go Green / Toxin Free Your Home Tip #2: Sunscreen!

Since spring is here and the weather seems to be sunnier and hotter then the past couple years, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to bring up a summer must have that many families are not educated about enough! Well not anymore!

This week's Culprit: Unsafe Sunscreen!

So, wait a minute, isn't sunscreen GOOD for you? Are you telling me NOT to use sunscreen? NO!! I am not telling you that at all, so please just read on and see what I'm talking about!
Many people believe that everything they buy is safe and regulated by the government. If it's in the stores, it must be safe, right? Well with sunscreen, not necessarily. The FDA has never finished creating it's sunscreen safety standards for companies to follow. Not only this, but companies do not have to print and let you know at all what is in their product.

So let's reiterate...there's no regulation on what can be in a sunscreen, and companies don't have to tell us what's in their sunscreen? Now this is just asking for trouble!

And trouble we have. There are tons of sunscreens on the market these days, each saying they're better than the other, some sporting on their bottle little things like "PABA Free" or "50+ SPF", or "Vitamin A for healthy skin!". So what do any of these things mean, and is any of it good for you?...or is any of it bad for you?As we are finding out, not everything, and in fact most things, that the sunscreen companies claim are not proven to be true, and in fact may be harming you.Want 9 Surprising Truths? The Environmental Working Group has come up with their 2010 sunscreen guide, and they have come up with some pretty surprising things to tell us!

(9 Surprising Truths are taken from EWG's 2010 sunscreen guide available HERE, but descriptions and information are my own words)

1. There’s no consensus on whether sunscreens prevent skin cancer.

Wait a minute, isn't that why we wear sunscreen? What do you mean it doesn't prevent cancer? Well, we as humans don't know everything, and as such, we do not know what causes all forms of cancer. We know that UVA and UVB rays cause cancer for sure, and sunscreen claims to protect against one (sometimes both, depending on brand) of these types of rays, yet there is no scientific evidence that it prevents well enough to prevent cancer.

There’s some evidence that sunscreens might increase the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer for some people.

Wait a minute, it's one thing to tell me sunscreen doesn't really work against preventing cancer, now you're telling me it may be CAUSING cancer?! You're nuts! But no, it may actually be true. Recent research has seen an increase in skin cancer even with the increase in sunscreen use in recent years. Could this be caused by increased time in the sun by sunscreen users, or by the decrease in quality sunscreen or change in ingredients in sunscreen products? No one knows for certain, but we do know cancer is increasing among sunscreen users.

There are more high SPF products than ever before, but no proof that they’re better.

The FDA has proposed that SPF's higher than 50+ do not protect any better than those at 50 SPF and gives consumers a false impression that they are safe in the sun, yet sunscreens are still claiming SPFs of 100 even! Everyone thinks they're better protected but do not realize that they are no better protected than with sunscreens of a lower SPF.

Too little sun might be harmful, reducing the body’s vitamin D levels.

Yep, now I'm telling you to go in the sun! Without sunscreen! NO, not for a long time, but periodically. In the old days walking outside to work or playing outside with the kids for 10 minutes a day without sunscreen was sufficient to get the Vitamin D from the sun that you needed, but now everyone is indoors. We have Wii and other video games, TV up the wazoo, movies on demand and internet that lets us discover almost anything we want (like my SAPsMaMa blog!), so why go outside? Kids these days as well as adults are spending so little time outside and becoming so lazy that they are actually not getting that "little" amount of sun exposure needed to give them the vitamin D they need! Infants, too are vulnerable. Yes, you most definitely need to protect your infant from the sun, but it has been well known for a while now that infants at about 6 months, especially those breastfed, start losing their Vitamin D stores in their body and a lot of them need a supplement daily to get what they need. Some light sun exposure actually helps infants at this age get their needed Vitamin D, as long as it is in safe amounts. You can find out current guidelines from your pediatrician.

The common sunscreen ingredient vitamin A may speed the development of cancer.

New research has come alight with a study done by the FDA that Vitamin A, which has been added to many sunscreens recently and marketed to help with anti-aging and keeping skin looking healthy, actually causes cancer. The only reason that Vitamin A is a concern in sunscreens and not in your normal lotions etc. you use is that it is exposed to direct sunlight. The test that the FDA conducted showed increased growth in tumors developing on test animals over a years time than on test subjects without the vitamin A added to sunscreen. This worries me, and I hope it worries you, but it definitely worries the FDA.

Free radicals and other skin-damaging byproducts of sunscreen.

Free Radicals are what damage your DNA and cause skin problems like cancer. So where do find free radicals? Well most people know free readicals can be cause via sunlight exposure, hence why the UVA and UVB light causes cancer. What most people don't know is that sunscreen additives also can cause free radicals that can negatively affect the skin and cause ailments such as cancer. So why are we putting sunscreen on?! Well most sunscreen actually prevents more free radicals from the sun than it creates itself, which is good! That's why we use it! However, when you stay out for a long period of time and it wears off, or if you apply too little of it and it doesn't work properly, or if you reapply it over and over many times a day when you're out in the sun alot, you are adding more of those additives onto your skin, hence increasing the free radicals that you come in contact with.

Pick your sunscreen: nanomaterials or potential hormone disruptors.

Yes, neither of these two are good, but we humans are not perfect, as mentioned before, and so we have not figured out what the perfect sunscreen is. Today, your choice is between sunscreens with nanomaterials or hormone disruptors. Now no one knows exactly how harmful nanomaterials are, they are pretty new, but there is a lot of worry in the scientific community for good reason. Unlike micronized particles, nano particles generate free radicals more so, mostly from photo-reactivity, meaning this only happens with sun exposure for the most part. These free radicals can then damage cells. Because they are much smaller than normal materials they can slip into your cells easier and damage them more. This also makes it so sunscreen looks clear on your skin when it's "rubbed in", sunscreen free of nanomaterials will not look fully clear on your skin!

But then, what about the hormone disruptors? Hormone disruptors are chemicals that bind to your hormone receptors instead of the hormone that should be binding there. For instance, the hormone disruption caused by PVC binds to the receptors for estrogen, hence acting like the estrogen hormone. This can cause hormone imbalances and developmental problems especially for young children and infants. The hormone disruptors in sunscreens can do similar hormone disruptions and should be avoided if possible. At this point in time the Environmental Working Group chooses products with certain types of nanomaterials over any product with hormone disruptors, and at this time I believe this is a safe choice based on the science available

If you would like some more detailed info on nanomaterials check ZREcs guide HERE!
Europe’s better sunscreens.

Can you believe it? Europe better than the U.S.? Yes, it's true, European sunscreens can not only use more types of chemicals for UVA protection in their sunscreen but the chemicals they use are 5 times more affective at UVA protection. These sunscreens are required to provide strong UVA protection, but the U.S. ones are not. Not what I like to hear! The SPF rating on sunscreens in the US relates to how well they preven UVB rays, but UVA rays also cause cancer! Europe is much better at covering this area, we need to too!

The 33rd summer in a row without final U.S. sunscreen safety regulations.

Wow, it's been that long? Yes, it has. It has been hoped that when the new safety regulations are passed that sunscreens will be better regulated and safer to use, but many loopholes have been found by the Environmental Working Group that many sunscreen companies will use that will continue to make the sunscreens on the market unsafe. So do we want it passed anytime soon? Not without changes!

The Solution: Toxin Free Sunscreen, Shade, clothing, sunglasses and sunhats!

Now you know, sunscreen isn't all it's hyped up to be, so what do you do to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun? The overwhelming answer is staying in the shade, wearing sun protective clothing (any old clothing will do!), wearing sun hats to protect the face and sunglasses to protect those eyes!
You can find more Sun Safe Tips on the Top Sun Safety Tips by the EWG!

Now now not all sunscreen out there is the hormone disrupting, high SPF misleading, Vitamin A holding kind, but unfortunately the kinds that aren't are in the few. This year the EWG released a report that only 8% of 500 sunscreens were recommended to use at all! That's a mere 40 sunscreens to choose from! (You can view the entire EWG Press release HERE and the entire EWG report on sunscreen HERE. Search their data base and find out what yours rates!)Surprised? You'll be even more surprised to see which sunscreens are on their Hall of Shame list!

Number 1 was one I was very surprised at at first, but now that I've learned more about sunscreen, makes complete sense: Banana Boat Baby 100+ SPF Sunscreen! I know so many moms that have this! Other common sunscreens I've seen families use alot that are on the Hall of shame include Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection SPF 55+, and Banana Boat Sunscreen Stick as well as others! Check it out yourself!
And what is recommended? Take a look on the EWG's Best Sunscreens List, they even list best sunscreen lip balm and more! Find out what you can find in your local store and what you're comfortable using!
Another sunscreen list I'd like to mention is the SafeMama 2010 Safer Sunscreen Guide, which makes a wonderful cheat sheet! She conducts her own research and looks for sunscreens free of Parabens, Phthalates, PEG’s, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Benzoate, Dimethicone, SLS and other chemicals to keep the chemicals you are putting on your skin as safe for you as possible. What I love is that she comes up with a lot of the same recommendations as the EWG, so there's a double recommendation for some sunscreens for you!

So here you can choose which guide is for you, each guide considers different chemicals in their choices for top sunscreen picks, but the main highly toxic chemicals that matter stay the same in each guide when they make their recommendations. Just remember, don't just pick one off the list, learn to read the labels and look at the active ingredients, what do you feel safe putting on your skin?

Don't see any you like or can get ahold of easily where you live? Well check out the brands you own or have access to in your local stores and find out what they rate on the EWG Search for the Best Sunscreen For You page! A great tool I think!

The SAPsMaMa Solution!

So want to know what I've found works best for SAP? Here's our recipe for safe summer fun!

For our 16 month old very active little girl, we do own some UV Skinz Sun protective clothing for SAP that we have her wear when we plan on being out in the sun for more than a couple hours. This clothing covers all her arms and just past her knees, and offers UV protection that can't wash off in water etc.. This is great for outdoor swimming in the summer, but also we use it for long bike trailer trips or when hiking with her in the ERGO baby carrier! It's more breathable than some clothes! We have a cute green colored one for SAP like above!
We also always have a bucket or other sunhat on her head. A Velcro chin strap helps keep this on or from falling back on her head so it covers her face! We have a few (since we want one for daycare too, and we never can seem to find any at home!), and my favorite by far are the iplay summer hats! They come in many styles, in patterns for girls and boys, or just solid colors! We used a orange palm tree bucket hat for SAP when she was younger, and now that she's older use the Daisy Hat, which has a wide brim like in the picture above, except a less girly pattern! lol
We use Eyes Cream Shades in black licorice color. These I love because they not only offer high UV protection of the eyes, but they are very shatter resistant! SAP loves to bend her glasses and her Frubi Shades she had when she was only a few months old last summer were pulled into pieces this summer when we tried using them on her! These Eyes Cream shades were not pulled apart and she likes being able to put them on since she's in that independent and copy daddy phase. So cute! We of course got the black licorice color so she matched Daddy!
Our main sunscreen, for ourselves and for SAP, is THINKsport and THINKbaby sunscreen. Not only does this sunscreen work great at protecting from harmful UV rays (I'm evidence, since I work 7am-4pm in the sun all day and come home without sunburn!), but I feel completely safe using it since it is non-toxic! It is a white sunscreen that will not turn clear when rubbed in the skin, and that's how you know it's good, but this may bother some people. But you don't have to use very much of it to get desired coverage so it lasts quite a while! Just an fyi, it comes out runny so be careful when first using it it might come out quick!

For squirmy infants and those moments you need a quick application of sunscreen, I use Supergoop! Sunscreen Wipes. I also think these work well for face and other small areas! I don't use these all over since there is concern with even application and how much protection wipes provide versus regular sunscreen but I feel they serve a good purpose in the household of young children! Although they don't rate as well on the EWG rating list as THINKbaby does, they do follow the strict standards of Healthy Children Healthy World, which strives to protect our children from toxic chemicals, so I feel pretty safe using these on those rare moments. I usually keep them in my diaper bag! One of the only reasons I wouldn't use Supergoop all the time is that they use phenoxyethanol in their products, which is used mostly as a preservative in many products, but other than that their ingreadiants seem to be ok with what I look for in sunscreens.


I hope you all enjoyed this entry on sunscreen and the you've learned some very helpful information! Use the links well, they are very helpful in leading you to more detailed information on anything you may want to know! This topic is not well known to many families so spread the word and hopefully we'll get some healthier kids this summer!

Check us out at SAPsMaMa!

Do you like this post?? Check out more green tips, eco-friendly advice, natural parenting help and toxin-free product reviews and giveaways (especially cloth diapers!) at SAPsMaMa: Natural Parenting in the Modern World blog!! Like us on facebook for easy updates and (hint!) a giveaway coming up! Follow us on twitter to find out about a lot of giveaways from many blogs I follow and their natural/green giveaways or blog entries!! Hope to see you there, a lot coming up soon!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

AppleCheeks Cloth Diaper Review!

SAP's Story

There are times in the cloth diapering community that a new diaper surfaces and everyone falls in love with it. Back in May 2010, that diaper was AppleCheeks Two-Size diaper!
Everyone was talking about this diaper, everyone loved it, it looked soooo adorable on the baby's bum in the pictures I saw, I heard nothing but good things about it, but up until that point, I had only used our regular Bum Genius One Size 3.0 diapers....dare I take a leap and try a new diaper?
Then the opportunity came. SAP was a couple months old and had learned to start rolling from her back to her side and tummy. As exciting as this new development was for us, it brought up a new problem as well...she was rolling in her sleep! She was now rolling to her side or tummy when we put her to bed, and this not only concerned us with SIDS being a a fear of ours being new parents, but it also had the problem of making her night time Bum Genius 3.0 one size diapers leak! EVERY NIGHT!! Oh joy, this HAD TO STOP!!

I had come across a new diaper store called Diaper Style at and I started talking to Skye, who runs the store, about what she would suggest for a night time solution (fti, I have been told that Skye has sold Diaper Style and it now belongs to Chandic, just for your info!). She suggested prefolds with a Thirsties cover, so, since we already had both of those in our stash, we tried that. It worked! It did work wonders, no more leaks, I was happy. Unfortunately though, even with a fleece liner strategically placed in the fold of the prefold to try to keep it dry against her bum while she slept, she could still feel the wetness and would wake up more...this wasn't ideal for us either! She did get used to it and it didn't bother her as much but I wanted something better...Diaper Style to the rescue again! Following our original conversation about night time solutions, I asked Skye if she thought the AppleCheeks two-size diaper would work for night time....she thought they would work perfectly for our side and tummy sleeping daughter! I was intrigued at the gathers/gussets not only at the legs and back of the diaper, but also at the front! Made me feel safe letting her roll to her tummy to sleep without worry of a leak! Of course Diaper Style had a sale and I bought some size 1 Apple Cheek envelope covers and bamboo inserts to try out, in the original cheery tomato color and then periwinkle for her pretty bum.

I was so excited to get them and use them, but when I got them in the mail finally (took a while, since they come from Canada customs takes a bit longer than normal shipping time) I opened the box and found my order doubled! Surprise surprise! I notified Skye she had mistakenly double packed my order and she of course apologized and sent a bag to me to ship them back to her! lol how funny!I couldn't wait to try them on, but did the recommended 3 washes/dries for the bamboo inserts, which fluffed up nicely and make me glad I got the nice soft bamboo instead of the hemp, which I also like but not as much as bamboo fabric! got them put together and tried them on SAP and......didn't fit! :( oh no! I had ordered the size 1 because SAP was about 15-16 lbs and the size 1 was posted to fit 7-20lbs.....even with SAP's smaller build it was way too tight.We did use them for a while but instead of being disappointed and giving up I went back and ordered the size 2! What's great about the AppleCheeks system is there is only 2 sizes instead of the 3 or 4 sizes normally seen with sized diapers, so you only have to buy diapers twice! And the inserts fold so they can fit either size, so you only have to purchase inserts once! How great is that! So I only had to purchase some more envelope covers and not more inserts and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, especially with the Diaper Style sale at the time.

The size 2 AppleCheeks is rated to fits babies from 18-40lbs so I was a bit worried it would be too big for SAP and there would be night time leaking again, but I needed not worry, with the online tutorials on how to stretch the wings correctly and snap well I got the diapers to fit nice on her. They were ADORABLE! The name definitely describes it, made her butt look like a cute little apple butt! I loved it! Of course, that is SAP'sDaDa's number one comment about the AppleCheeks Diapers until this day, he loves how they look on her!
We test ran the diapers through the day before trying them out at night, but no matter when we used them, no leaks! We did use them as a pocket diaper and not as a cover, but it is said that these can also be used as a cover so you only have to buy half as many envelope covers if you do want to use AppleCheeks and be budget conscious. The colors we chose for our size 2 diapers was the Cheery Tomato (of course! classic Applecheeks!), Coriander (wanted a gender neutral color), St. Lucia (love blue on SAP with her eyes!), and the Raspberry Sorbet (gotta have one girlie one!). We love all these colors! AppleCheeks now come in some limited edition colors like chocolate and they are discontinuing a couple colors, which I was lucky enough to get the Sailor's Blue color diaper off of one day cheap! Perfect for a little boy, but I love it on SAP anyway!

I will say I love the softness of the bamboo inserts, it was well worth the little extra over the hemp ones, but I do like that either insert is a natural fabric, I am not a fan of microfiber! So this was a great plus for me! They were easy to fold and didn't take forever to dry (a little longer than microfiber but not bad).

AppleCheeks are one of my favorite diapers now, and have been from the beginning!
My major pros about the AppleCheeks diapering system, oh let me list them. My top one is how trim they are! oh wow, super trim, you can fit any outfit over these diapers and there's no extra bulky baby fluffy butt! You see a little ruffle sticking out the top of the pants that looks adorable, how cute! But you don't' have to buy bigger sized pants to fit them over the diaper!
Also, one of the cons I didn't like about the Bum Genius 3.0 One Sized diapers was that they wern't very trim and we worried they were interfering with SAP learning new things like rolling over, sitting up on her own, stuff like that. With AppleCheeks, I felt this was not a problem at all! The AppleCheeks are fit so trim, and not stiff at all, so soft on baby and pliable for movement that she could move however she wanted! And she is on the move now, believe me! To this day, we save our 5 AppleCheeks diapers specifically for home use for when she's running around and being really active so she is more comfortable and can move super easy! That's how good these are for active use and how trim they are!Another pro, did I mention the gathers in the front of the diaper? these not only help them fit better around the waist and make them not as stiff like I think the Bum Genius and some other cloth diapers are around the waist, but it also stops the leaks when SAP takes naps or over-nights in this diaper! That's a sanity saver!

Hmm another pro, the diaper uses snaps, and only has two rows of snaps, 4 settings for each snap, so not a ton of snaps to snap and not a lot of choices so it is very simple to use and easy for anyone to figure out unlike some other snap diapers. These snaps also help keep her diaper on! She can undue Velcro so when she's running around in a diaper on a hot day we put her in an Applecheeks! Not only do we get a ton of comments about how cute her diaper is and everyone wondering where I got this adorable cloth diaper, but she can't take it off so no baby running around naked peeing on the floor! yay!

One more pro, I like how versatile these diapers are! You can use them as a pocket, or a cover! They work great either way!Oh, and a final pro, THEY UN-STUFF ON THEIR OWN!! That's right, you put the whole diaper in the pail, don't need to touch dirty yucky inserts, nope, put it in the pail and it comes out in the wash on it's own!!! I have tested this over and over, in the size 1 and size 2, insert folded either long or short direction with or without doubler, and about 95% of the time it comes out on it's own and always gets cleaned perfectly! The 5% of the time it didn't I think was due to the wash days, we had went 5 days not doing diaper wash (which is twice as long as usual), so our load was VERY full, nothing got too clean and the Applecheeks didn't un-stuff well, so definitely don't over fill your loads of diapers on wash day and you'll be ok!

A few minor cons about this diaper (yes I always have to come up with at least one, nothing is perfect!)I do wish there was a hip snap so that the wings of the diaper do not slip down or up, which has created some problems with the diaper becoming a bit loose and leaking once in a while.I also noticed that it takes some time to get a good fit with these diapers, knowing to stretch the wing down and which snap to snap first in order to get a good fit so it doesn't leak, so some first time users not knowing these details might have a few problems until they realize this.
I have noticed the elastic on the legs gets stretched with use over time, this happens with a lot of diapers but due to the design, the elastic needs to be in good shape to function well and prevent leaks. So make sure to air dry your covers if possible as much as possible to prolong the life of your elastic! :)


Since I wrote this first part of my review, I have a few more things to say about AppleCheeks.

I have used all my regular diapers, including bumgenius 3.0 and the Applecheeks, for about a year now, and they are really worn out. Yesterday, after laundering our diapers, I was putting them away and one of our Applecheeks elastic was completely shot in one leg! I had recently been using refresher kits for my BumGenius Diapers to repair the elastic and velcro in those and decided to replace the elastic in my Applecheeks...compared to the one new Applecheeks diaper I have the 4 older year old ones are VERY stretched out, which is why we've recently had leaking I'm guessing! And just so you know, I hang dry my AppleCheeks covers except during winter we do use our dryer if we have to, but not all winter long, so it surprised me how much the elastic was lost. Unfortunately I saw that the elastic in the Applecheeks, unlike in the BumGenius I had been replacing, was actually sewn into the diaper! I did not know how to replace it without ruining the diaper! So I have contacted Applecheeks via email and waited not even 24 hours before they responded! Here's what they had to say, good news!:

Hi Melissa,
Thanks so much for your email! I'm sorry to hear that your AppleCheeks™ have lost their elasticity.The elastic is for sure replaceable, and in fact, we offer a service to do it for you if that makes it easier. You ship to us, we replace the elastics for $3 per diaper and we ship back to you.
Alternately, if you can sew and want to do it yourself we can send you replacement elastic pieces and you'll just have to carefully pick out the old elastic and stitch it back in. It's up to you!


I think I will have them send me the elastic an try to repair the diapers myself, so I will update with how that goes! soon! Sounds like it shouldn't be too difficult as it had looked! :) They will send you replacement elastic for all your Applecheek diapers free of charge and no shipping, so if you know how to sew this is a great deal! if you don't, saving your AppleCheeks by sending them in for new elastic will definatly pay off in the long run when they last longer than expected! Let's see, $3 to repair a diaper or buy a brand new diaper? I think I'll have the elastic replaced! :) This is also great if you buy AppleCheeks secondhand or recieve them as hand-me-downs, less cost and wonderful diapers, since the fabric has held up wonderfully!

So look for the update later on here at SAPsMaMa on how the replacement elastic went and maybe something a little extra on some new AppleCheeks products!

So now that you've heard SAP's Story, let's get to some details about the AppleCheeks Two-Sized Diapering system!

  • Type of cloth diaper: Pocket diaper, Envelope style

  • Size: Two sizes, Size 1 and Size 2

  • Ages/Weight Recommendations: Size 1 fits from 7 - 20lbs, and Size 2 fits from 18 - 40lbs.

  • Insert: Three insert options!

  • One Size Rayon from Bamboo Insert, two layers of ultra-soft 70% rayon from bamboo/30% organic cotton fleece give you the ultimate in comfort and absorbency! Fold this approximately 12" x 15" insert into thirds and you get six layers in the soaker zone. (These are the inserts I use with SAP!)

  • One Size hemp insert, Two layers of VERY thirsty 55% hemp/45% cotton french terry give you absorbency that can't be beat! Fold this approximately 12" x 15" insert into thirds and you get six layers in the soaker zone.
  • *update* I was told by Ilana at AppleCheeks that this has been discontinued! It is still in stock at some retainlers but AppleCheeks felt it did not stand up to their high standards and they felt customers were overwhelmed with choices, so now they only offer bamboo, which I am told is custom milled for them in Canada! Cool huh? :)

  • One Size 3 layer bamboo flat, three layers of VERY thirsty 70% Rayon from bamboo/30% organic cotton give you absorbancy that can't be beat! Fold this approximately 12" x 15" insert into thirds and you get NINE layers in the soaker zone.

  • How diaper works/features: The Applecheeks is a two size envelope cover diaper, which is less sizes than other cloth diapers on the market, and each size should fit your baby longer. These diapers come in only snap versions and there are two rows of snaps with 4 adjusting points. So far SAP has only ever been on the smallest fit of the size 2, so these do last a long time. You have to stretch the wings before snaping to ensure a good fit.

  • With the AppleCheeks you may use it different ways, which is a unique feature on their part. you may use it as a pocket diaper and stuff it with one of their inserts (Bamboo, hemp, etc.) or you may lay the insert inside the diaepr and use the envelope cover as a cover, hence needing to purchase less covers since they won't get soiled with each diaper change. This give many options and price difference in buying a stash of Applecheeks diapers. If you do stuff the envelope cover and use it as a pocket diaper as I do, you do not need to unstuff it, the envelope cover opening is designed so that the insert comes out itself in the wash, which I have tested and proven does work the great majority of the time.

  • Doublers are also available for purchase to increase absorbancy for use of Applecheeks at nap or bed times. Waist extenders can be purchased to make these diaeprs bigger for bigger babies or older babies/toddlers still in diapers.

Style and Material

  • Material Feel: The material on the inside feels nice and soft like fleece, the outside feels pretty good as well.
  • Materials Used: Breathable, waterproof polyurethane laminated polyester (PUL) is used on the outside "shell" and the inside of the shell is a butter soft microfleece that feels soft against baby. Inserts materials include either 70% rayon from bamboo/30% organic cotton fleece or 55% hemp/45% cotton french terry.

  • Keep Baby Dry Layer: Yes, Applecheeks do have a "keep baby dry layer", which is the soft microfleece. This is what touches your baby's bottom, not the outer layer. If you use the AppleCheeks as a cover instead of a pocket diaper you will not be using the "keep baby dry layer".
  • Color/Aesthetics: AppleCheeks get major props for aesthetics with their super cute design! The gathers in the back, front, and legs make adorable ruffles that are actually functional and not just for show! Their colors include Cherry Tomato (my favorite!), Coriander (light green), Eucalyptus, Forget me Not (like a light blue), Lemon Zest, Mrs. Robinson (a dark blue color), Periwinkle (light purple), Sailor's Blue, Raspberry Sorbet, St. Lucia (a aqua color), and right now a limited edition Chocolate color!!! These colors offer a couple nice girly and a few nice boyish ones, but definatly alot to choose from for neutral fun colors!
    Ease of Use

  • Closures: The closures on the AppleCheeks diapers are snap closures. there are two rows of snaps, one top for the waist fit and one bottom for the leg closure fit, and there are 4 different sized fits for each row so you may adjust accordingly. This is a very simple snap system and alot less complicated than other snap closure I've seen. Waiste extenders are also available for larger babies or toddlers still in diapers to extend the snaps for a bigger size. There are no overlapping snaps so you cannot get an overlap tighter fit with this diaper.

  • Similarity to Disposibles: Although the style is similar to disposible in that it looks like a regular diaper and when stuffed it can be put on same as a regular diaper, the snaps make this diaper a bit more difficult for disposible diapering individuals that are used to a velcro type of closure. Figuring out how to stretch the tabs and where to snap what snaps, although easy compared to other snap diapers, may take a quick lesson. Also, if this is being used as a cover instead of a pocket diaper, they are less like disposibles as the insert will have to be laid in each time, unlike when it is stuffed you grab it and put it on. These diapers would be a good beginner snap diaper for families pro-fluff, but if you have family members (such as grandparents) that are absolutely against you cloth diapering, might want to stay away from these to start out with until they are more willing to learn how to use your cloth diapers.

  • How size and fit is adjusted: Fit can be adjusted with 2 rows of snaps and 4 areas to snap on each wing. Size cannot be adjusted, you will have to move to the next size up or down depending on your situation if you are not getting a good fit and need the other size. Since there are only two sizes this leaves little room for error or trouble "guessing" where your baby fits in in the sizes of this diaper.


  • Trimness: This diaper is super trim! I love how it's soft and pliable material allows baby to move more freely than other diapers, great for active babies! Fits great under clothes too! I have not tried the 3 layer bamboo insert but I would assume if you use another 2 layers when stuffing this diaper will not be as trim, so if this is important to you use the 2 layer inserts or keep the 3 layer bamboo insert for naps or night time when you need more absorbancy!

  • How adjustable diaper is for absorbancy: Absorbancy can be adjusted in multiple ways! The bamboo and hemp inserts that are 2 layers thick have the same absorbancy, so you can go to the 3 layer bamboo insert for more absorbancy. Or you can purchase some thin doublers to stuff in the diaper when you need more absorbancy and give you more options for the day!

Performance and Functionality

  • Leaks: I like this diaper and can rely on it pretty readily to be leak proof! The gathers at the front of the diaper makes me feel save using it at naps or bed time and not have to worry about leaks, and the way it's designed it fits snug to baby's legs and so if you have a side sleeper, no worry about leaks that way! The only time I had a problem is when my elastic started getting worn out recently.

  • Absorbancy: I have found that the two layer bamboo inserts are super absorbant and hold all that needs to be held for diaper changes every 2 hours, which is what is recommended for cloth diapers. SAP is now 16 months old and seems to be getting heavier with her wetting so I will be trying out a doubler soon to see if that helps, so more on that at another time!

  • Leg Gussets: The leg gussets are wonderful at keping everything in, and with the fleece on the inside of the diaper there are no marks left on baby's legs, nice on soft against them! Hang dry the covers to have the elastic hold up longer so these gussets stay nice and snug against baby for maximum performance.

  • Nap/Bedtime Use: Great sleep diaper, the leg gussets are perfect for normal or side sleepers, and the front gathers are great for tummy sleepers! No leaks! Absorbancy is good too for sleep use.

  • If Fit is True: I found that the size 1 AppleCheeks fit well for newborns and small babies but did not fit all the way to the recommended 20 lbs for SAP, she was about 17lbs when we sized up to size 2 and she has a small build. She is now 23 lbs at 16 months old and fits well in the size 2 still since the first time she used them a year ago.

  • I also want to mention that I sent my size 1 AppleCheeks to my friend, who had recently given birth to a little girl. She hated using disposables but didn't know much about cloth diapers and couldn't really afford them, so had kept her little girl on towels unless she had to leave the house, and I thought she could really use them. She loved them! I did not have extra inserts since I was using them in my size 2 AppleCheeks for SAP, but I sent her 6 infant prefolds, a snappi, two small Thirsties covers and the two applecheeks and told her all the different ways to use them...she used them every way and loved them every time! She used prefolds snappied with AppleCheeks as a cover, Prefolds folded and laid in AppleCheeks as a cover, and stuffed the AppleCheeks with the prefold! The one thing she said was disappointing was how her little girl outgrew the Applecheeks quite quickly. I asked her about what size she was when she outgrew the size 1 diapers and she said about 14 lbs. So here is another testimony that the size 1 diapers do seem to run a bit small. I'd say if you are looking into purchasing AppleCheeks and your baby is anywhere from 15lbs and up go to size 2 diapers, you'd cut costs because you won't be buying two sizes.

  • How Insert is Removed: The extra wide opening for stuffing makes stuffing nice and easy, but also makes it so that the insert comes out itself in the wash! I have had this happen about 95% of the time and the diapers and inserts come out of the wash nice and clean!

  • Wear and Tear: These diapers have snap closures, so the closure should last a really long time! You won't have to worry about those wearing out at all! However, I have found that the elastic around the legs wears out after a year or some, alittle less than that. This happened with my Applecheeks even with hang drying the covers, but hang drying will keep them lasting longer. The inserts have held up beautifully and I love the bamboo inserts, they are my favorite! Look so nice and feel so soft up to this day! No wearing out, tearing, or seams coming apart.

Quality/Cash Analysis

  • The envelope covers of AppleCheeks cost about $19.oo each, I have seen that some discontinued colors are on clearance for $18.00 each, so even discontinued the covers are pricey. Hemp inserts cost about $7.75 each, Bamboo 2 layer inserts about $9.00 and Bamboo 3 layer inserts about $10.50 each, so depending on which you chose a cover and one insert if used as a pocket diaper would cost you from about $26.00-$29.50, which is quite expensive for a pocket diaper. However, you do have to consider that these diapers are only 2 sizes so you will only have to buy diapers twice, not 3 or 4 times like other sized diapers, and inserts can be used for both size 1 and 2 diapers so you only have to purchase inserts once.

  • You may also purchase the Little Bundle, which includes a cover of your size and color of choice and a 2 layer insert in either hemp or bamboo for $26.50, which is the price of a discontinued color cover and a hemp insert, saving you about $2.25 per diaper if you get a traditional color and a bamboo insert package. A Mini Test package is also available for $45.o0 and includes one envelope color of your size and choice, 3 inserts in hemp or bamboo 2 layer, instruction and help booklets, and a Applecheeks Storage Sac valued at about $12.50. All these things together would add up to $58.50, saving you about $13.50! Virtually giving you that storage sac for free. So if you are seriously considering trying AppleCheeks go for one of these packages! Applecheeks diapers are available in bulk packs, but they are however not stocked in USA retailer stores. If you would like to order a bulk pack and save money on building your Applecheeks stash, check out their website HERE!!

  • Depending on how you use the AppleCheeks diaper, you may find them expensive or not. I find they are definitely worth the price for their reliability of not leaking when my daughter is napping and bedtime and for being so trim and adorable, perfect for her to run around in and do what she wants and she can't take them off! I find having 4-5 in my stash is sufficient for those active periods I use them and that they are worth the price to use them as a pocket, even more so if used as a cover. If the mini test or little bundle had been around when I made my purchase I'd have went for that deal, so if you're trying them out I recommend those packages, find out what works for you and your pocket book!
  • I'd also like to reference this blog post by A Jaded Mom who works at AppleCheeks on why AppleCheeks are no more expensive than the leading brands of diapers and still save you money over disposibles if you would like to CHECK IT OUT! Hope this helps you with your decision, happy fluffing!