Friday, January 30, 2009

Method is definitely becoming a very recognized brand.  It is an environmentally safe brand which more and more are turning to.


Pros:  First off, I love the design.  It's cute and trendy.  The top pops off to use as a rinse cup for rinsing the wash out of baby's hair and off their body.  If you are anything like me, you have to keep a cup in the bathroom, and it's one more thing that gets in the way.  This is easy to pop back on the top of the body wash once you are done with it.  Some other things I love about it:
*gentle, tear free
* 99% natural
* pediatrician tested
*hypo-allergenic
*no parabens
*not tested on animals
The scent is rice milk + mallow.  It smells incredibly good, like a baby should.  It has a nice sweet smell that is different than the traditional baby lotion smell, but still smells like a baby.
It seems wonderful for sensitive skin, and we haven't had any problems with it in this sense.  It also seems non-drying which is great when my 3 year old has had problems with exzema since he was just a few months old.

Cons:  This is a little pricey for a baby wash but if you have started buying organic or green products you will notice that they do cost a bit more.  For around $7 you get 8 oz.  This will probably last us around 6 months at our house.  We only bathe our boys about 3 times a week, and only use about one pump for their hair and then another pump to wash their body.  

The Bottom Line:  Awesome, nice smelling green baby wash

Price:  $7 for 8 oz

Where to Buy:  Target, Method Online

Rating: Excellent

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Skin MD Natural

I thought it was about time to review a couple things for all of the mama's reading, and what better way to do it than with a shielding lotion, AKA Skin MD.    It is a shielding lotion that "Exceptionally enhances your skin's hydrating and protective abilities."  I'd never heard much about a shielding lotion before this product, and I'm guessing many of you haven't either.  Before I outline the pros and cons of this product, here is an exert from Skin MD's website about shielding lotions:


"Shielding Lotions are a new type of skin care product based on years of research into how skin heals. They form a protective shield with the outer layer of skin and help keep out irritants. They allow the natural oils and moisture to remain in the skin so it can heal better and they're light in texture so they go on without a greasy mess. Your skin needs help to keep out these moisture-robbing irritants.

A fundamental difference between Shielding Lotions and traditional skin care lotions is that Shielding Lotions enhance the skin's own natural protective abilities by turning the outer layer of skin into what could be described as a hydrating invisible shield making them many times more effective than mere protective lotions and moisturizing creams."

Dr. Brian Zogg
board certified dermatologist
Albert Lea, Minnesota

Pros:  When I received Skin MD Natural in the mail I immediately wanted to try it.  I have extremely dry skin, I like to call it lizard skin.  :)  I am constantly struggling with dry itchy skin, hangnails, and dry cuticles.  I noticed on one of flyers that came with the lotion that it said:  "A little goes a long way."  I poured about a dime size of the lotion into my palms and rubbed it in.  I couldn't believe how quickly it soaked into my hands and how nice and silky my hands felt afterward.  I could tell an immediate different in my cuticles  and the overall appearance of my hands.  It was nice to be able to not use much and get great results.  This is a definite plus as I wash much hands a ton throughout the day and they tend to get really dried out.  This lotion has an SPF in it and I LOVE that.  I think more lotions should have sunscreen as the sun and other irritants can be brutal on our skin.  
Some other great aspects of this lotion:
• No animal products or testing
• Dermatology tested
• Fragrance and colorant free
• Hypoallergenic
• Paraben free
• Non-comedogenic
I like that is is paraben free .  Parabens are chemicals that are used widely in many makeups, lotions, shampoos, etc.  They are supposedly "low toxic," but then again, why would you want to put anything toxic on your body, no matter how toxic it is.  
I also decided to try to give this a try on my boys.  You shouldn't use these lotions on infants under 6 months, but since we are past that milestone, I wanted to try it on both of them.  Chandler has had bouts of exzema since he was 2 months old.  He has been on prescription creams and we have tried just about every lotion out there.  I finally found one that seems to do the job, but I was curious to see how this one would work.  He's had some horrible patches on his elbows that I just can't seem to get rid of.  I started using a dime size on each of his elbows twice a day.  2 days later, the exzema was almost entirely gone and he had that baby soft feeling again.
I'm sold.

Cons:  One thing I did notice as soon as I put this lotion on was that it seemed a bit shiny and greasy.  I thought it would be just another lotion and went to wash it off.  When I got to the sink I noticed it had completely absorbed into my hands and they felt so soft.  I guess this wasn't an actual con as the shine was gone within 20 seconds as my hands had absorbed it.  How cool is that? It does smell a bit like sunscreen which I don't exactly love either. (This is only the one that has SPF in it.)  One other thing that may be an issue with consumers is the price.  For $18 you only get 4 oz.(This is for the original shielding lotion.)  However, we've had our bottle for 3 weeks and it's not even half gone, so they aren't kidding when they say a little goes a long way.  Definitely worth the money.

The Bottom Line:  A wonderful quality shielding lotion!

Price:  $18 for 4 oz bottle of original, $25 for the one that has SPF 15

Where to Buy:  Skin MD Site

Rating:  Excellent

PS - If you head over to their site you can get a sample of this skin care product for free!  You just have to send them a self addressed stamped envelope.  And they guarantee your product, so you know it must be good!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Baby Einstein Giveaway

I mentioned in my baby einstein post how much I love these dvds.  What better way to show how much I love them than by giving one...or two away!  So up for grabs in this giveaway is 2 baby einstein dvds.  (Meaning there will be 2 winners.)  Baby Mozart and Baby's First Sounds are the two I am giving away.

There are multiple ways to earn multiple entries for this giveaway.

1.  Leave a comment - 1 entry
2.  Become a follower on this blog (left hand sidebar) - 1 entry
3.  Throw out an idea for a review - 1 entry
 4.  Volunteer to guest blog about a baby/kid's item you love - 2 entries (e-mail snedfam@gmail.com for this one, and leave a comment as well.)
5.  Mention this giveaway on your blog - 1 entry

Leave a separate comment for each entry, it makes it easier in the end when we choose a winner.
For example:

Comment #1 - I read your blog 

Comment #2 -  I am now a follower

Comment #3 - I would like you to review Gerber baby food

Comment #4 - I e-mailed you and will be guest blogging about a favorite item

So in this particular case, this person earned 5 entries.
You have 2 weeks to enter, and the winner will be announced February 7th
Hope this isn't confusing!  Good Luck!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Giveaway Winner!


Thanks to random.org, and the random integer generator, our winner is comment #5!

"Jamie Ortega said...
With two kids in diapers I will buy anything that is on sale. Luvs have been the best for my 2 year old boy and Huggies is my favorite for my four month old girl."


Jamie, send your shipping address to snedfam@gmail.com and I will get your giftcard off to you! Thanks for entering everyone, there will be another great giveaway coming up soon!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Elimination Communication

I thought this review would fit perfectly as we have just finished up disposable diaper reviews.
Holly is a reader of babes and kids and was invited to write a guest post on Elimination Communication. I had never heard of this until I talked to Holly about it, and it seems that it has worked great for her.


"I first heard about EC when I was pg. I read this book called "The diaper Free Baby" At first I thought that can't work. Then Arora was born and I thought well I'll try it one time. So after a nap I took her to the potty make a cue sound (psss) and she went poop and pee! i was amazed! I thought wow that was a great coincidence, I decided to try it for the rest of the day . I watched her and when she would fuss or grunt I would take her to the potty and she went. After a few days I told my husband and he thought I was crazy, until he took Arora tothe potty and she went. We have had great succes . Arora now uses the Potty every day, some times we only use 1-2 diapers per day! Arora has started to crawl tothe potty when she need to go! It has been a great way to talk to Arora about her pottying needs, great way to save money on diapers and great to be able to share this with other mammas.

EC, elimination communication is a great way to communicate with your baby. The premise is that all mammal are born with a desire to not soil themselves, and can communicate when they need to "go". Just as you will learn when your baby is hungry and tired you can learn when he is telling you "mom I need to go!". The great think about EC is it is not an all or nothing practice, you can do it full-time ,part time or occasionally. When we moved we didn't "pee" her for a week but when we did again it was easy to get back in to the routine.
To get started you need to recognize when your baby is eliminating. If your baby is young (even newborn) it is easiest to do this by laying them naked on an absorbent towel or blanket, with a cloth or disposable diaper under them. When they go make a cue sound like "psss". Very quickly they will assocaite the sound withthe action. Almost all babies will need to go upon waking up in the morings and after naps. Simply take your baby to the potty, hold them over, or have them sit if able, make the cue sound and most likey baby will pee.
I would highly recommended this to any mom or dad who want to try it. Read the book, or look it up online. I bet if you try it for 2 days you will be impressed enough to continue it.
" - Holly

I also found another resource on Wikipedia for those of you who would be interested in learning more. If you have any questions for Holly, feel free to post them in the comments section!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cloth Diapering

I personally don't have any experience with cloth diapering, but invited Sara, a babes and kids reader, has.  Here is her review of cloth diapering:


"I used cloth diapers with my oldest, Carson...the Fuzzi Buns brand. I LOVED them. They don't look like the traditional cloth diaper, but more like a disposable, I think they are super cute. They do up with snaps so no worry about diaper pins. They have a microfleece lining which absorbs the liquid away from your child's body and wicks it to the liner (which is removable). Your child really does stay dry! The microfleece also keeps poop from really sticking to it so you can just flick it off into the toilet. The exception being, of course, diahhrea. The outside fabric of the diaper is waterproof, so no leaks either. The outer fabric is soft, not at all like the vinyl underwear you usually have to put over a cloth diaper. Because of the softness of the fabric, my husband didn't believe me that the diaper was waterproof so he ran a diaper under the tap and sure enough, it didn't leak through. In usually only used the Fuzzi Bunz at night or when Carson had really bad diaper rash. His diaper rash cleared up really fast when I put these on him. I only bought 3 of them as they were $15 a piece (back in 2006). They now retail for almost $20. Also, I only bought the medium size so I am waiting for my baby Jonas to get big enough to try them on him. They are a great investment, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for them. But if you calculated up how much you'd spend on disposables, it evens out. If you go to their website you can learn a lot more about cloth diapering and the dangeres of disposables." - Sara

You can learn more about Fuzzi Buns at their website.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pampers Baby Dry

You all already know I am a Pampers Cruisers fan.  The Cruisers are the supreme style, while the baby dry are the original.  Are the baby dry as good?


Pros:  These diapers are very soft to the touch inside and out.  They have a slight baby powder smell, but I think they are just enough without being overpowering.  When we first tried the baby dry with Chandler when he was around 6 months old, they didn't have the stretchy tabs.  In fact the old baby dry didn't have any stretch at all to them.  I think it was about 2 years ago that they introduced the flex stretch which I think is very comparable to the cruisers.  The tabs are soft and stretchy and give that nice snug fit just like the Cruisers.  I love how sticky the tabs are too. I've never had this diaper come undone.  Rowan has been wearing the baby dry for a few months now and we've had no leaks, blowouts or rashes.  These diapers may feel thin but definitely hold a lot.  To top it off, they have that cute Sesame Street design in a green based theme.  


Cons: They don't have the absorb away liner and they seem to run just a tad smaller than the Cruisers. When Chandler grew out of a size 5 baby dry just before he turned two, we turned to the Cruisers and were able to stay in a size 5 since they were just a bit bigger.

The Bottom Line: Great diaper!

Price: $11.99 for a jumbo pack, $21 for a box, $46 for biggest value box.
Price per diaper: (If bought in a value box)
size 1 - $.18
size 2 - $.20
size 3 - $.23
size 4 - $.26
size 5 - $.29
size 6 - $.36

Where to buy: Most grocery retailers, Walmart, Target, Amazon, Diapers.com

Rating: Great

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Old Navy Sale

Old Navy is having a HUGE sale in store.  An additional 50% off clearance merchandise.  I got a lot of the boy's clothes for next winter.  Coats for $10, long sleeved shirts for $2, hoodies for $3, just to give you an idea.  You might want to call your Old Navy to make sure the sale has started at your local store.  I even found a couple cute tops for me for $2!  Definitely worth checking out!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nature BabyCare Diapers

It seems like more and more people are going "green."  Diapers are no exception, and there are more brands out there now if you are wanting a biodegradable, earth friendly diaper.  Nature BabyCare is one of those brands.


Pros:  As far as being an eco friendly diaper, this brand is great.  According to the Nature Baby website, here is their plug for their diapers:  
"Nature babycare diapers are 100% chlorine-free and keep oil-based plastics away from babies delicate skin. Our absorbent pulp is from sustainably harvested Scandinavian forests and the unique design of our ultra-thin absorbent core creates a more comfortable fit for your baby while providing enhanced leak protection. Since Nature babycare products are based on natural and renewable materials instead of plastic, our diapers are soft and cloth-like providing comfort without sacrificing protection. Nature babycare has been awarded “Best Disposable Diaper” Silver Award for 2006-2007 by Mother & Baby Magazine and also carries the approval symbol from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation."
After doing some research, I really like the idea of a chlorine free diaper.  Chlorine is really a harsh chemical, and by avoiding it's use, you get more of an earth friendly diaper, while protecting your baby's sensitive skin.  Chlorine in essence is used to bleach a diaper, giving it it's white appearance.  Naturecare diapers are still white, but are whitened with a natural woodpulp.  Pretty cool.  I was really impressed with the absorbance of these diapers.  I bought a pack of size 4, and used them on both boys.  Chandler has been in a size 5 diaper for a year and a half and although these seemed a little small when I put them on him, we had no leaks.  No leaks and no blowouts with either of the boys.  NICE!  There is also a cute green leaf design on these diapers.  They seem to breathe well and we had no problems with diaper rash.  

Cons:  These diapers are EXTREMELY stiff.  They are not very soft at all and don't seem like they would be too comfortable to wear.  Marshall (my husband) even made the comment when he went to change one of the boy's diapers how stiff and scratchy they felt.   He usually doesn't make comments on diapers either.  Maybe this is an extreme, but it's like sandpaper compared to some of the softer diapers. I also noticed that they made the inside of Chandler's legs red from rubbing.  Another  con - no stretchy tabs.  I love the stretchy tabs and now I just feel annoyed when a diaper doesn't have them.  The tabs seem to stick ok to the front of the diaper, but after the diaper is used and you try to roll it up and fasten it to throw it away, it just doesn't happen.  This is annoying with poopy diapers as you want to be able to roll up the diaper and fasten it to help keep the smell and poop in.  

The Bottom Line:  A good earth friendly diaper with great absorbancy, but not very soft and a few other flaws.

Price: $11.99 for a jumbo pack.
Price per diaper:
size 1 - .$27 
size 2 - .$30
size 3 - $.35
size 4 - $.40
size 5 - $.46
size 6 - $.55

Where to Buy:  Diapers.com

Rating:  OK

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Seventh Generation Diapers

Seventh generation has all sorts of environmentally friendly products.  They claim that their "soft cloth-like comfort keeps baby safe and dry."  (seventhgeneration.com)


Pros:  These diapers are made from a chlorine free woodpulp fluff.  This is evident as they are brown in color, so obviously they didn't bleach them with chlorine.  They use polymer as an absorbent in their diapers, thus protecting against irritation and rashes on baby's skin.
Here's an interesting exert I found on diapers.com about the polymer they use in the diapers:


"We use absorbent polymer (gel) in our diapers because it is the best method we have found for keeping babies dry and reducing diaper rash. Our exhaustive research on this gel has shown that it is non-toxic and safe for babies while helping keep them dry and comfortable. Independent scientific research on this chemically inert gel, sodium polyacrylate, has shown that it is non-toxic, not carcinogenic, and non-irritating to the skin."

  If you've had a baby who gets irritated skin easily, or rashes, this diaper is a great choice.   These were the softest of the all the environmentally friendly disposable diapers we used.  I think their softness is comparable to Pampers Cruisers and Huggies Supreme, both inside and out.  They were very absorbent and we didn't have one leak or blowout!  They have the stretchy tabs, but are much like the white cloud diapers in this aspect.  The stretch is on the front of the tab in an accordian style.  They also seem to have great coverage up the back and front, which is nice.   They run pretty true to size, maybe a big bigger.  We bought a size 3 for Rowan who is normally wearing a 4, so it's even better we didn't have a blowout.  This diaper also seems to give and move really well with baby.

Cons:  I really don't like how this diaper is brown.  The first few times I changed Rowan, I felt a little anxiety thinking he had pooped out of his diaper, only to remember that the diaper is brown.  There are other environmentally friendly diapers that don't bleach with chlorine and aren't brown.  I guess this is a minimal con though.  While I'm glad that they have stretchy tabs, I don't like the stretch on the front half of the tab.  The tabs are also sticky enough, but I think they could use some improvement too.    My only other issue, these diapers are expensive.  If I were to start diapering both my boys in these diapers today, it would cost $.40 a diaper for Rowan, and $.46 a diaper for Chan.  They both average 3-4 diapers a day.  I would be spending close to $85 a month on diapers which I think  is ridiculous.  Right now, I spend about $45, I couldn't imagine spending almost double!  If money weren't an issue, I would think about switching to these diapers.

The Bottom Line:  Great environmentally friendly diaper, good performance, but very expensive.

Price:  $12 for a jumbo pack
Price per diaper:
Size 1 - $.27
Size 2 - $.30
Size 3 - $.34
Size 4 - $.40
Size 5 - $.46
Size 6 - $.55

Where to Buy:  Diapers.com, Amazon

Rating:  Great


Friday, January 9, 2009

Going Green

So it seems that being environmentally friendly is the way to go anymore. My sister-in-law Natalie started a blog about how we can do things in our everyday life to be more environmentally conscious. There are a couple entries she recently wrote about organic kid's cereal as well as a great magazine just for moms, that you all might want to know about. (You'll have to scroll down a little for those entries.) If you go over there to check it out, she is also doing a giveaway for a nice stainless steel waterbottle, so be sure to enter while you are there! Greengoer Blog and Giveaway

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pros:  I remember not necessarily liking Huggies original diapers with Chandler.  I had a little bit of a different impression this time around.  These diapers are really quite soft.  They have good coverage from front to back and run true to size.  The sticky tabs do a good job and I didn't have them come unfastened like I have with other brands.  They also have a little bit of a fresh scent.  It isn't overpowering like Luvs,  but just enough to give your baby that fresh smell.   The sides have stretch to them and believe it or not, we didn't have one leak or blowout the entire package.   They top back part of the diaper is stretchy which helps hold around baby's waist for a snug fit. They have a really cute Mickey Mouse design on them and really are better than I remember them.  Although the Huggies Supreme are a little softer, I do think that the original Huggies diapers are very comparable and would buy them over the supreme as the supreme tend to be more expensive.  They seem to be good for sensitive skin and we experienced no rashes.


Cons:  These diapers are a little bulkier than some, but are still fairly thin.  Although they do have that "fresh scent" to them, I noticed both my boys were really smelly in the morning.  This is one of my only complaints with Huggies in general, is how strong they both smell in the morning.  Huggies are more expensive than store brands, but tend to be a tad cheaper than Pampers.  

The Bottom Line:  Much better diaper than I remember.  All around good diaper.

Price:  (If you were to buy in an extra large case from diapers.com)

Size 1-2 - $.18
Size 3 - $ .24
Size 4 - $ .27
Size 5 - $.30
Size 6 - $.37

Rating:  Great