Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0 Diaper from Kissed by the Moon: Review & Giveaway! (Closed)

Kissed by the Moon is an online cloth diaper and natural parenting store based in Elk Grove, California. I was first introduced to this store earlier this year, when the owner Tami contacted me regarding a possible blog review/giveaway. Upon visiting the website, I was immediately impressed; in addition to featuring 20-30 premium cloth diapering brands (including AppleCheeks, Bummis and Thirsties, to name just a few), KbtM also offers previously loved diapers and a unique diaper rental program. To round things out, the store carries a selection of other products including Boba carriers & wraps, Planetwise snack and lunch bags and BabyLegs legwarmers. And if all that weren't enough, KbtM boasts an affiliate program, "Kissed Cash" rewards, a Gift Registry and free shipping on all orders within the United States. Whew!!!

I'm also a big fan of the site's organization - you can browse for items by manufacturer, product or price, or do a general search. Search results come up as you type, including customer ratings, which is super-helpful.

Tami offered me the opportunity to review a diaper of my choice, which made for a challenging decision indeed! I ended up choosing the Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0 sized AIO diaper for a few reasons:
1) I already own another Swaddlebees product - the EcoNappi - and love it
2) The Simplex 2.0 has a totally unique design that I was curious to try
3) The print selection is ridiculously adorable. And I'm a sucker for ridiculously adorable prints. *nods*

From the product description:

A unique all-in-one diaper design that combines the convenience of an all-in-one diaper while providing the absorbency adjustability of a pocket diaper.

It is made with a waterproof outer layer and 11 layers of 100% cotton birdseye fabric in the wet zone.

The diaper has pocket openings on both ends that allows you to increase the diaper's absorbency by adding extra inserts. This also enables any extra stuffed-in doubler or insert to agitate itself out in the wash. Half of the soaker pad is attached, while the other half also comes out through one of the pocket openings during the washing cycle. The result is a diaper that is thoroughly cleaned inside out and dries fast-either in the dryer or on the line.

(Approximate) sizing is as follows:

 Waist 9" - 17"
11" - 20"
13" - 22"
6" - 11"
8" - 13"
9" - 15"
 Rise 14"
 Weight 8-16 lb
12-25 lb
22-35 lb

Tami sent me a medium Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0 in the Monkeys print. Here it is!

The Simplex 2.0 is a "tongue-style" AIO; here you can see the absorbent tongue extended out and placed in "all in two" mode on top of the inner (respectively).

The diaper has a large pocket which can be used to house the absorbent tongue in pocket mode, or an insert/doubler for added absorbency.

Both the legs and back of the waist have strong and stretchy elastic. The front waist isn't elasticized.

One of the most unique aspects of this diaper is the side snap design. Rather than wrapping the back tabs over the front of the diaper and snapping in the middle (which is standard), with this diaper you wrap the front over the back tabs and secure at the sides, using one of four waist snap settings.

Neat, huh?

Before prepping the diaper, I was a bit put off by the "bunchiness" of the inner. It seemed like there was way too much inner material kicking around. Plus, the texture of the material was pretty rough - definitely not the buttery softness I've grown to expect from new fluff! But then I thought hey - the inner's made of 100% cotton. Wouldn't it behave similar to a prefold, shrinking upon prep and softening more and more with each wash? Happily, I was right! Here's a comparison of the diaper pre-prep and following about 8 washes:

Sadly, diaper changes have become somewhat of a chore with our 17 1/2 month old daughter as she does not want to lie (nor sit) still for the process, plus we've been "spoiling" her with a lot of bare bum time these days since introducing her to a potty. That said, she was actually fascinated by the monkey diaper when I unveiled it for the first time, and allowed me to snap her into it rather painlessly. And then, bless her li'l heart, she went & grabbed her own monkey! Ahhhhhh. :D

S was about 20-21 lbs here, so closer to the upper than the lower recommended weight limit, but still well within the range.

The diaper creates a smooth, trim fit which is flattering from all angles - front:


And side:

Notice that she's on the second tightest snap setting despite being on the upper end of the weight range, as she's a skinny minny.

The waist and leg elastics fit nice & snug. Arguably a tad too snug, though S didn't seem to mind this.

Overall, the diaper moves really well on her and we have yet to see any wing droop. Aside from looking cute, this appears to be another benefit of the side snaps!

Performance-wise, the Simplex 2.0 has been a winner. We've had perfect leak-free performance so far during both day use (7-8 occasions) and overight use (1 occasion, stuffed with a hemp insert). She pooped a couple times in the diaper and there were no concerns with containment either.

As for ease of use, the side snaps do take some getting used to, and are a bit tougher overall to secure than front snaps. I don't really mind them myself but my husband has professed that he isn't a fan. Caring for the diaper's pretty easy - just a single laundry cycle to prep, and wash & dry following your normal routine. Though you might want to prep a couple times to soften it (and get the material to shrink) which should be comfier for your little one, and probably result in a more absorbent dipe right off the bat.

Let's do our official evaluation, shall we?

+ Super-trim fit
+ Side snaps create a unique and stylish look
+ Comes in the most ridiculously cute 'n' awesome set of patterns
+ Diaper moves well with baby; no wing droop or any other shifting
- Only a single solid colour available (white), so not a lot of options for matching with a "busier" outfit.
Score: 4.5/5

+ Perfect performance so far - no leaks during daytime usage (7-8 occasions; no extra insert) nor overnight usage (single attempt; extra hemp insert)
+ Diaper achieves a snug tummy and leg fit
+ No problem containing solid messes. (Note - did not test with EBF poop.)
+ Diaper moves well with baby; no wing droop or any other shifting 
+ Side snaps are harder than front snaps for little hands to pull apart
Score: 5/5

Comfort & Health:
+ Diaper does not appear to cause/exacerbate diaper rash
+ Inner and insert material are made of cotton which is more breathable than a synthetic material like microfibre.
+ No buttons against baby's skin
+ Side flaps are nice & stretchy
+ Sized system, so no extra bulk due to rise or side adjustment settings.
+/- Inner material & insert are bunchy and a bit rough to the touch at first, but continuously smooth and soften with repeated laundering, similar to prefolds. 
- Moisture does not wick away from baby's skin; would need to use a liner to achieve this
- Waist and leg material feel a bit too tight (and not super stretchy)
Score: 4/5

Ease of Use:
+ Diaper is an AIO, so no stuffing or other prep required (for regular use)
+ Tongue-flap style allows diaper to dry quickly
+ Pocket provides flexibility; can stuff with an extra insert for night usage, or can stuff tongue flag insert into pocket if you prefer
+ Snaps are solid but not too tight
+ Double-opening pocket designed to agitate out its contents (tongue flap insert or double) on its own
+/- Diaper is pretty easy to care for. Only needs a single cycle to prep and can be machine washed and either machine or air dried. Spray down can be a little messier than average due to the bunchy material.
- Side location of snaps makes them more difficult to secure than the more standard front snaps 
- Pocket feels on the narrow side so can be a bit tricky to get insert to sit flat
Score: 3/5

Quality & Durability:
+ Overall, construction of diaper feels solid; snaps are strong & secure and elastics are tight & solid
+ Diaper outer looks & feels like new after several washings; inner actually continues to get softer and smoother!
- Noticed a few loose strands sticking out in various spots, though they don't appear to compromise the diaper's foundation.
Score: 4/5 
(Note - given I have only been using this diaper for a few weeks, I plan to update this section a few months down the road to get a true durability picture!)


Total "Diaper Awesomeness" Score: 20.5 / 25 (Great diaper. Highly recommended.)
Overall Comments: The Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0 is a well-performing, trim, unique-looking sized AIO/pocket diaper which comes in the sweetest selection of prints! It's quite easy to prep and care for as well. Similar to a prefold, the cotton inner is a bit rough and bunchy at first, but continues to soften and smooth out with repeated launderings. I did notice some loose strands on my diaper, though this may have been a one-off and doesn't appear to affect the diaper's foundation. The side snaps are also a little more challenging to secure than standard front snaps, and the pocket's on the tight side. All in all, I do recommend trying this diaper, especially if you're looking to up the utter cuteness factor of your stash. :)

Approximate Stash Cost: $1364+
Calculation details: Assuming you would want 24 diapers within each size range (S, M, L), you're looking at $1364 for a full stash, plus the cost of any inserts/doublers for night diapering. So this is a pricier than average system to purchase in full, but on the flipside each diaper would be used less over the course of diapering a single child, so the full stash would be in better condition for use with another child, and/or would have better resale value than an OS system.


Buy It:

Visit Kissed by the Moon to purchase some Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0 diapers of your own, and don't forget to check out all the other great merchandise while you're there! Shipping is free within the United States. International shipping is available as well (except for Rumparooz, Cotton Babies and GroVia products which cannot be shipped outside of the United States).

Note: Swaddlebees stock is currently low (because the products are so awesome, of course! ;) however Tami expects a new shipment early the week of May 21st. So hang tight!!

Win It:

One lucky Manager to Mom reader will win a Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0 diaper of their own, from Kissed by the Moon! Winner chooses size and style.

To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Comments do not count as entries, however feel free to add a comment to remind yourself that you entered! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Using Cloth Wipes in a Warmer

In response to my Two Sweet Potatoes OBV wipes review/giveaway post, one of my readers noticed that the product description for these wipes mentioned they could be used in a warmer. She was interested in hearing more details on how this works, and I was curious myself as this is something I've never done (though I do remember reading that attempting to use cloth wipes in a warmer designed for disposables could be bad news!!)

In any case, I contacted Nikki (owner of TSP) for more information and she got back to me with the following:

I used this one for my boys.  With the bamboo velour wipes you can just wet them and set them right in the warmer.  No need to measure and no need for the wipes to be swimming in solution since they are absorbant and hold onto the water and they stay soft unlike many types.  They really do not need a solution.  I can't comment on how much solution goes in because each solution is different in how to mix it and use it.  One option could be to pre-wet the wipes and keep them in the warmer and then spray the wet wipe with a solution if you feel you need to soap and/or scent.  Some people may prefer to use distilled water if they have really hard tap water and don't want that sitting in the warmer for several days at a time.  And you don't need to roll them up like in the picture (these are square wipes they are using), just lay them flat right in there and they will all get nice and toasty.

Awesome tips, Nikki. Thanks for sharing!

This would certainly come in handy at times in our household. Although our peri bottle squirt approach generally works very well for us, the solution gets a tad chilly on our daughter's bum when the temperature of our house dips a couple degrees below normal. (She's pretty sensitive!) As such, during these periods I'll often pre-wet a wipe with warm tap water prior to a change to "take the edge off". A warmer would definitely be a more convenient alternative! (Though probably a purchase I'd only be able to justify if we end up welcoming another li'l addition into our family, since S is getting close to potty training herself!)

Do you use a wipe warmer? Do you have any other cloth wipe-related tips you'd like to share?