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Thursday, April 7, 2016 0 comments

Nicki's News! The new place to get your blog on!

Do you love being in the know on what's hip, new, and on sale at Nicki's Diapers?

Answer: YES!

Do you love hearing about the Nicki's Diapers exclusive prints and upcoming events?

Answer: YES!

Do you love hearing from other moms about their parenting experiences? From cloth diapers, to breastfeeding, to toddler tantrums?

Answer: YES!

Nicki's News is now the place for all of this! Visit Nicki's News at to read blogs on product reviews, upcoming sales, and all of the greatest gear for parents!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 27 comments

A Candy Free Easter Basket!

Our Candy Free Easter Basket- Think Spring!

I have wonderful childhood memories of the Easter bunny, searching for eggs and Easter baskets, and fighting with my brothers over the items they received that I really wanted for myself. (My parents might not have such great fond memories of that part.) Although we always received some chocolates and jelly beans, we also always had some great practical items in our baskets. Items that lasted much longer than the sugar binge we went on.

This is my first Easter with our toddler. Last year I was barely clinging to my sanity with a newborn, I don't remember Easter even occurring. Whether you celebrate Easter in the traditional sense or just want to bring in the spring with a happy celebration, I've come up with a candy free set of items I'm excited to include for our little chick.

1) Green Toys

Have you tried out the Green Toys before? Baby Z received the Green Toys Ferry Boat for a birthday gift and it has immediately become a bath tub favorite. I plan on moving it outside into her water table when things warm up a bit. Green Toys are made from 100% recycled plastic and are so sturdy. I'm excited to snag the construction trucks, dump truck, and tractor to add to her Easter basket so that she can move dirt around the yard soon.

2) Planet Wise Lunch/Snack Bags

Spring time means more time outdoors and more time enjoying picnics at the park. The Planet Wise Sandwich Wraps are going to make an Easter basket appearance this year because they are perfect for the park. Wrap your sandwich in the wrap to keep it fresh and sand free while you play, and then lay the wrap out flat to use it as a place mat while you eat.
The Reusable Zipper Bags are also perfect for small snacks for little hands. We have several bags in cute prints and let Baby Z pick out her bag and her snack for the day. Putting that small amount of choice in her hands has made a big difference and I'm excited to include a few more in her Easter basket this year.

3) Baby Leggings

These are loved by both mom and baby in our house! For mom, they make diaper changes so simple. You don't have to remove them to change the diaper and they keep her warm when there's a cool spring breeze outside. Baby Z loves to pick out a cute pair to match her diapers and prefers them to pants (let's be honest, who really wants to wear pants!). We've also found they are awesome to use under pants if  it's a chilly morning and you take a trip outside. When we wear Baby Z in a carrier her pants ride up, but the leggings underneath keep her lower legs and ankles warm.

4) Nicki's Doll Diapers

With Baby #2 on the way, we spend a lot of time talking about babies and baby care in our house. Baby Z has started dragging her baby doll around by the leg, so it seems like we're off to a good start. The new Nicki's Doll Diapers are the perfect way to continue the baby conversation and help her learn to care for a baby. They match her adorable Nicki's Diapers prints and she loves to look just like her baby.

5) My Swim Baby Swimwear

I'm so excited to get outside more as the weather warms up and Easter just makes me think of spring time and sunshine. Baby Z loves water and instead of just playing in the dog's water bowl, we plan on letting her enjoy her water table, sprinkler, and baby pool this summer. While a naked baby running around the backyard will probably happen on occasion, a My Swim Baby swim diaper is a more neighbor friendly option. Pair the swim diaper with a matching sun hat and rash guard top and Baby Z will be protected from the sun while she runs in the sprinkler. We used a reversible sun hat for every walk last summer as well, both to keep her face protected and keep the sun out of her eyes.

**Giveaway!!** Want to win your own My Swim Baby swimwear for your little one's Easter basket? Leave a comment on what non-candy item you're excited to include in your baby's Easter basket this year or just your favorite item that makes you think spring and you'll be entered to win a My Swim Baby swimwear set. Comment by 3/15/16 to be entered to win.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 1 comments

Best Bottom Bamboo Inserts- Is it Love?

Many people fall into one camp or another when it comes to Best Bottoms. Either they are devoted to their natural fibers or they love the stay dry microfiber inserts for their baby. I have to admit, we are more on the stay-dry side in our house. I love how they quickly wick the moisture away so Baby Z doesn't feel the wetness. My husband has even told me multiple times that she wasn't really wet because he only felt the top of the insert and didn't realize how much wetness had been absorbed.

Hemp has its place in our house as well though. Overnight we use the dream team combo of a hemp overnight on bottom with a stay dry insert on top. Stay dry quickly wicks the moisture away and hemp absorbs an impressive amount, so we have no leaks in the morning. We have our daytime favorites and our overnight dream team, so why would we make any changes? Change is hard, especially when something is working well.

But then Best Bottoms went ahead and released new bamboo inserts. How could we not try them? Maybe they could have their place in our perfect rotation too. Our daughter is generally an average wetter. At around 20 pounds we use large inserts, have her on the middle rise on her Best Bottom covers, and change her around every 2 hours. Except nap time. Nap time has become a fun trial and error game lately. We recently dropped from two naps a day to one and that one nap lasts somewhere between 2-3 magical hours. To be clear, that's 2-3 magical hours in which I'm positive she just continually pees the entire time. She chugs her milk at snack time, settles in for her slumber, and then pees and pees. We've adjusted to using doublers during nap, just to be sure her sheets stay dry. I wondered if the new bamboo Best Bottom inserts could help fill this nap time gap for us.

We snagged a few of the large bamboo inserts when they were released and went about prepping them to try them out. The first thing you'll notice about the bamboo inserts is that they are so buttery soft that our daughter likes to snuggle them out of the dryer. Many washes and uses later and the softness hasn't changed a bit. In addition to being snuggly soft, they are so extremely trim. It's hard to get much trimmer on Best Bottoms, but the bamboo is so trim it made me second guess whether they could really hold that much during nap time. We pulled out her skinny jeans that we never use, slipped them over her Best Bottom cover with a bamboo insert, and smiled at her adorable fluff butt.

Like hemp, bamboo is a natural fiber, which means they need to be prepped by washing them 4-5 times before use in order to reach maximum absorbency. This means 4-5 times through the full wash cycle (with detergent) and dried, but the good news is that you can wash them with anything, not just diapers. I was impatient, so after 4 laundry loads of diapers and clothes on wash day, I called it good and ready to try.

Here's a comparison between the three insert types. Stay-dry on the left, hemp in the middle, and bamboo on the right. Hemp naturally shrinks some during the prepping process, while stay-dry and bamboo do not.

Along with being soft and trim, the bamboo inserts are extremely moldable. They sink snugly into place in the cover, and fit perfectly, even though we use the middle row of rise snaps. The first few uses we tried them out during her normal change schedule and changed her every 2-3 hours. She's a crazy wild child and basically runs after the dog for two hours straight and we had no issues with bunching or leaking, and they absorbed wonderfully.

Once we'd used them a few times during everyday use, we got real crazy and decided to try them during nap time. We wanted to know their true potential, so we didn't even use a doubler, just one large bamboo insert for her pee filled nap. As usual, she chugged six ounces of milk during her snack, we changed her right before we put her down, and then crossed our fingers and settled in for the test. Two hours and fifteen minutes later Baby Z was well rested and ready to chase the dog some more, and jumping on her DRY SHEETS! Dry I say! No doubler, no wool, just a single buttery soft bamboo insert that was so impressively full of liquid that it was heavy. My skeptical husband was sure it was a one off fluke, but we've tried this option for a full week now and had success every time. (Minus the one day grandma had a chunk of the insert sticking out the top of the cover, but you can't blame the bamboo for that!)

The only drawback we've been able to find compared to our stay-dry inserts is that, like hemp, the bamboo inserts take two full dryer cycles to completely dry, rather than the one for stay-dry. Let's be fair, with how much they absorb, that's probably reasonable. However, the extra dry time is worth the soft absorbency that has been added to our Best Bottom dream team of inserts.

Have you tried the new Best Bottom bamboo inserts yet? Let us know what you think!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 0 comments

Babywearing Basics

Babywearing- Where to Start?

Have you been considering wearing your baby, but aren't sure where to start? What carrier is the best, how do they work, what's the benefit? Let's try to break down the basics for you so that you have a starting point in picking out your new lifesaver.

We started wearing Baby Z when she was a tiny newborn. Being close to mom or dad kept her calm, the movement soothed her, and we were still able to get things done because our hands were free. Over a year later and we haven't stopped wearing her! Now with Baby #2 on the way, keeping our hands free will be even more important so that we can help meet the needs of both children.

Science has proven that babies thrive with lots of touch, and babywearing is one way to accomplish that. Some studies have even shown that worn babies cry less. Combine that with the comfort and convenience the caregiver gets from babywearing and its definitely worth a try.

The main three types of baby carriers are wraps, soft structured carriers and ring slings. While there are other types, we'll focus on those three. In our house, we actually have one of each since they meet different needs and we've changed our preference as our daughter has grown.

Wraps are long strips of fabric that are tied around the wearer's body, creating a secure pocket for baby. Wraps are especially helpful for newborns and the first few months with baby and most brands are able to be used from around 7-35+ pounds. They can be used for front, back, and hip carry and distribute the weight across two shoulders to keep you comfortable. Newborns fit well in these because they are so versatile and support their head and neck well, especially while sleeping.

Boba Baby Wrap Carrier                                           Baby K'tan Baby Carrier

The only drawback to wraps is that you have to figure out how to wrap them! This can be overwhelming the first few times and is definitely an art, however, each wrap comes with detailed directions and there are plenty of online videos to guide you. Many people prefer to practice with a doll the first few times to get the hang of it, however, once you've got the process down, its simple to repeat and you always get a great fit adjusted to you. Check out all of the different brands of wraps here.

Soft structured carriers are hard not to fall in love with. They are structured fabric with padded and adjustable shoulder and waist straps which clip, snap, or buckle in place. One of the main benefits is that are they easily adjustable and simple to put on and take off. This means that they can be adjusted to fit all sizes of parents and easily shared between caregivers. Soft structured carriers also put the baby's weight predominantly on your hips rather than your shoulders, so you can carry your tired toddler with no problem!

                                              LILLEbaby Carrier Positons

While soft structured carriers can support babies from 7-40 pounds, depending on the brand, many of them cannot be used for infants that are not able to hold their head up on their own without an additional insert. This makes them most useful for babies around 4+ months. Soft structured carriers can be used in front, back and hip carry positions and you'll find yourself changing your favorite position as your baby grows. Check out all of the great options for wearing your baby with a Lillebaby carrier here! Younger babies benefit from the support of being worn on the front face in. When your baby begins to watch the world a bit more, keeping them worn on the front, but face out, is another option. The back carry is generally recommended for children over 12 months and is often more comfortable as they get heavier. Soft structured carriers are comfortable enough for both the baby and the wearer that they can be worn for long periods of time, keeping everyone happy. Visit Nicki's Diapers to see some of our favorite soft structured carrier options!

A ring sling is a length of cloth that is wrapped from the wearer's shoulder to the opposite hip, back to shoulder, and secured with two rings. They are so easy to adjust and quickly slide a child in and out of. Ring slings may have shoulder padding and can be used for either front or hip carry. You can use a ring sling with children 7-35 pounds, adjusting the carry as they grow and gain more control of their neck. 

Tula Ring Slings                              Beco Ring Sling

While ring slings are one of the easiest carriers to use, they also put all of the weight on one shoulder and are often preferred for use during short time periods. When your toddler gets cranky and demands to be held while you attempt to make dinner, ring slings make it easy to slide them in quickly, keep your hands free, and let them take in all the action from a comfortable hip carry position. View all of our ring sling options here to pick out your favorite brand and print!

As you can see, there is no winner takes all when it comes to types of baby carriers. They are so versatile and each type has its benefits for certain stages of babywearing. To learn more about the benefits of babywearing, visit Babywearing International, a non-profit whose mission is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice. You may even be able to find a chapter located near you where you can try out several different types of baby carriers to see which you prefer before purchasing one. 

Any other babywearing moms out there that have good tips to add or comments on which type is your favorite? Leave a comment below to let us know about it!

Friday, February 12, 2016 0 comments

Planet Wise and Best Bottom Limited Edition "Night Flight" Taking Off Soon!

 Have you seen the new Planet Wise and Best Bottom collaboration, Night Flight?

The adorable bright colors set against a starry sky will be available in Planet Wise wet bags, snack bags, and a Best Bottom cotton diaper. This limited edition collaboration will be flying in on Tuesday, February 16th at 10 am CST to Nicki's Diapers and will also be available at many of your other favorite Planet Wise retailers. Get yours before they fly away!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 2 comments

Ways to Beat the Winter Blues with Your Toddler

For those of you that have chosen to live somewhere other than the frozen tundra, I salute you. Remind me to ask my husband later if there are any transfer options to tropical locations. While I do love my beautiful state of Wisconsin, and I find all seasons here to be magical in their own way, I may have reached my freezing cold limit.

It's cold here. Like, the dog doesn't even want to go outside anymore cold. In my younger years that would have meant cranking up the fire place and snuggling under a blanket after work. That doesn't quite work anymore since we're still working on teaching the toddler that a fire is hot. And that sitting under a blanket part, well, that would require sitting, something my toddler is not fond of.

I've taken the batteries out of Elmo since I couldn't handle him creepily giggling at me from the corner all day and Baby Z and I have made every fake recipe with her fake food in her fake kitchen that I can muster. I've had to branch out the past few weeks and find activities, both inside and outside the house, to keep everyone sane. I like to look for activities that either use supplies I already have around my house or are free/low cost winter distractions within the community. Here are a few of my favorites that we've been enjoying lately:

Indoor Obstacle Course: My toddler loves to climb and crawl under things. This includes crawling under the kitchen table and climbing the couch to hang out with the dog. One day after telling her not to do this for the hundredth time, I decided to capitalize on it instead. We made an obstacle course that covered all baby safe rooms on our first floor. It included climbing over things, crawling under them, kicking a ball, pushing obstacles, and a whole lot of giggling. The best part though, it also included bubble wrap to crawl on under one of  the tables. The building of the obstacle course itself was fun because the older kids were able to help with ideas and everyone had fun trying it out many times throughout the day. It was definitely a hit and was repeated again and again for Dad when he came home as well.

Open Swim: While I'm not ready to jump into swim lessons quite yet, the act of swimming at least reminds me that there are warmer places with water and that summer will come to Wisconsin again soon. After some internet research I found that there is a huge variety of open swim options during the day in our area. The local swim school has a warm pool with an inexpensive open swim option for little ones during the day and many of the local high schools have open swim options in the evening and on the weekends. Although this activity isn't free, its fairly low cost and really tires the littles out.

 Tot School: This one has been a true lifesaver on days we're stuck indoors. There are a huge number of websites dedicated to this concept of helping your child learn through play at home. Pinterest is a great start to find ideas and the ideas are truly endless from printables to activities like sensory bins. This week we've used one site's idea to focus on feelings and the color red in honor of Valentine's Day. I used everything I could find in the house (toddler safe of course) that was a variation of red and pink in our sensory bin This included plastic play food, hair bows, Little People, tissue paper, blocks, balls, and other random household items. While many of the activities I've found have been a little above where Baby Z is at, I can always find a way to modify them to her level. If you're lucky enough to still have a napping toddler, use nap time to quickly prepare an activity to keep you busy through the afternoon.

Edible Playdough: The problem with art time in our house is that Baby Z still thinks that most items should probably end up in her mouth at some point. This includes crayons, glue, and tissue paper which are not items I normally include in her daily nutrition. Rather than fight it, I cooked up some simple edible play dough and let her have at it. I still don't encourage eating it, but don't have to stress if she does. Making your own play dough is incredibly easy and inexpensive. A quick search will find you simple recipes like this one on Allrecipes, but there are so many fun variations including ones made with items like cream cheese or peanut butter.

Family Yoga: I'd love to belong to a beautiful workout facility with childcare, but it just isn't in the cards for us right now. However, staying fit and active is important for me to model to the kids, so we don't let the winter weather stop us. Family yoga is a perfect way to help a child learn to focus, move their body, and follow directions. Even if you have a much younger child, you can incorporate your baby into many of the yoga moves. YouTube is my favorite free site for family yoga fun. Just search for options like "toddler yoga" or "mother baby yoga" and you'll find tons of fun, free, and easy options to try with the kids.

Open Gym: Like open swim, this one gets us out of the house and is also low cost or free. Using my internet sleuthing skills again, I found that our local community center offers a free open gym during the week. There are no organized activities, but there are lots of things to play with and new kids and adults to interact with. We just stop in, burn some energy, then bundle back up in our coats to head home. Similarly, our local gymnastics club also offers an open gym time during the day. While it does cost a small amount, they have a special time just for the youngest kids, which keeps Baby Z from getting trampled and lets her climb to her heart's content in a safe environment.

While I'm the first to admit that I've let the kids play in the dog's water bowl because it was close enough to a water table or taken a trip to Target just as a reason to get out of those house, I'm determine to not let the winter cold win. We're still staying active, engaged, and learning while stuck indoors even if it means a little extra effort on my part and a messier house.

Help a mamma out, what are your other free or low cost activities that you love to do in your home or around your community to keep you busy when the outdoors aren't an option? Share in the comments to help us keep things fun in our home!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 0 comments

Prepping for Baby #2- Lessons Learned

As the weeks creep closer to the arrival of Baby #2, and it becomes more of a reality that the precarious routine we've settled into as a family of three is about to be thrown on its head, I've actually started to think about what we'll need to keep everyone from baby to big sister, and mama sane.

Some of the items are obvious and simple, while others involve me second guessing everything we did the first time around. Let's be honest, there are also things I don't even remember about the first time around, so I'm reaching way back in my sleep deprived brain to try and make this list .

1) Mama Cloth- Yes, I'm starting with mama on this one. Forget that new screaming infant for a minute. I had no idea what to prepare for after birth last time around. Nobody warned me. Well here I am warning you. I will not endure the surfboard sized disposable pads and itchy disposable underwear again. I even ended up using some of my husband's old boxer shorts after my first delivery because I was out of hospital supplied mesh panties, but not ready to open my own underwear drawer yet.

Pink Lemonade makes a variety of reusable cloth pads in minky, bamboo velour, and cotton velour. They even have a 13 inch postpartum pad that I'm going for along with a few overnights and smaller pads for when things eventually taper off (and I promise they will...eventually).
Pink Lemonade Reusable Cloth Pads - Cotton Velour
Party In My Pants also makes an awesome queen sized option in flannel and cotton although I have no interest in "partying in my pants" at that point in time, the soft material will be very welcome.
Party In My Pants Feminine Pads

2) Nursing Pads- I already started with mama, might as well stick with it right? Again, naive first time mama version of me didn't know what to expect in this category either. I had a pack of disposable nursing pads that a friend had passed on to me, but I also endured several nights of waking up to a wet pool of sour smelling breastmilk on the bed. Reusable nursing pads are so much more absorbent, comfortable, and cost effective. The Nicki's Diapers Stay Dry Nursing Pads are my favorite and come in a set of three pairs.
Nicki's Diapers Stay Dry Nursing Pads - 3 pairs

3) Newborn Cloth Diapers- Like many new cloth families, we didn't get brave with the cloth right away. We waited until the umbilical cord stump fell off and she had grown a bit to dive into the cloth world. Little did we know how addicted we'd be and never want to touch a disposable diaper again.

We're excited to try the Imagine Newborn Stay-Dry All in One since we know the fleece will keep baby feeling dry so that they hopefully sleep a bit longer (please baby sleep!). While we are snap lovers with our older daughter, hook and loop is a perfect option for quick changes with a squirmy newborn.
Imagine Newborn Stay-Dry All in One
The Nicki's Diapers Bamboo newborn diapers are also making heir way into our stash. Bamboo is so absorbent so that when baby starts to sleep a few longer stretches at night, we know they'll keep her dry.

Nicki's Diapers Newborn Bamboo All-in-One - Prints (Snap)
4) Diaper Bag - Yes, we already have one (or thirteen) of these, but two children in cloth diapers means we need more space! I tend to be an over packer, planning for the worst even when we're making a quick trip to the grocery store. 

The Ju-Ju-Be Prepared is the ultimate over packers dream! The inner pockets are even color coded for multiple children, which feeds right into my obsessive organizational needs. I also love that they come in cute prints so that I can pretend I'm a stylish millennial rather than an overtired mama. 
Ju-Ju-Be  Prepared

5) Baby Carrier- Baby carriers are another item that we only came to appreciate a few months after our first was born. There were days when she needed the close touch of mama and the only way anyone else in the house was going to eat dinner was if I was wearing her. With baby #2 on the way, we know that walks for a while will consist of wearing one child while the other is in the stroller and many play dates with our firstborn will include the newborn snuggled on my chest. 

For the tiniest of babies, a wrap is the perfect option for keeping baby securely snuggled in so you can be hands free. The Boba wrap is a great example of this since its designed for babies 7-35 pounds and there are no buckles, straps, or buttons to mess with. The learning curve of tying it on is easy and you'll become a pro quickly. 
Boba Baby Wrap Carrier

Once the baby is a little older and has a little more head control, a soft structured carrier is perfect for baby wearing. Most options like the Tula or Lillebaby can be used for both front and back carry. Some brands also have an infant insert so you can start using them even younger. They distribute the weight evenly over the parents shoulders and hips enabling you to wear them for long periods of time with no discomfort. 

LilleBaby Carriers 

6) Bamboo Swaddling Blanket- Yes, we already have lots of blankets and could probably get away without a new one. But have you felt these?! They've all already been claimed in our house because they are so soft and snuggly. Just like I think every new baby deserves a special coming home outfit, Imagine Bamboo Swaddling blankets have been added to my list of new baby must haves. They are light, breathable, adorable, and did I mention soft? Whether you use it to actually swaddle baby or not, cuddling with this blanket will keep everyone happy.

Imagine Bamboo Swaddling Blanket
7) Cozy Plush- Remember, I still have an older child that needs love and attention during the transition, so this one is for her. I now cringe when I think of the times I went to friend's houses to visit a new baby, gift in hand for the new little, completely forgetting the older child. A cozy plush is a stuffed animal that can be warmed up in the microwave for extra comfort on these cold winter nights and smells like soothing lavender. We plan on giving this as a gift from our new baby to our older one when she comes to the hospital to meet her. 
Cozy Plush Animals

What else am I forgetting? I'm sure there's plenty that I've forgotten about those first few sleep deprived weeks and many of you have already gone through this transition. Help a mama out and leave us a comment with your tips and advice!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 0 comments

Traveling with Cloth Diapers

The Incident: Lesson learned, stick with the cloth you love!

When my daughter was just a few months old, she joined us on her first airplane ride. We were first time parents and cloth newbies, and the thought of traveling with cloth just seemed scary. Where would we put the dirty diapers,  how many would we need, what about our cloth wipes? It was just all too much for me.

We decided to go the disposable route, bought a pack from the overwhelming aisle at the store, and didn't think about it again. Until, the incident. I can laugh about it now, I really can. However, flying for the first time with a new baby, long delays, and a lack of sleep insured that I did not laugh about it when it happened.

Our first flight went fine and our baby was a magical sleeper, we didn't think traveling with a baby was so bad. Then our second flight got delayed, and delayed, and delayed. The baby got crankier as time went on and at one point I casually mentioned to my husband that I didn't think she'd pooped yet that day. He shot me a death glare and insisted I not bring it up again, didn't want to jinx things.

We finally took off and our daughter fell asleep snuggled into my arms, enjoying the vibrations of the plane. About half way through she opened her eyes, looked up smiled at me, and let the explosion happen. The result was something that had never before (and has never since) happened when we had her in cloth. Her clothes, my shirt, and my jeans were covered in a putrid brown mess. Everyone around us had their faces scrunched inside their shirts while shooting us death glares. While I had planned ahead and packed her an extra outfit in the diaper bag, I didn't have anything for myself. A flight attendant actually offered to give me a t shirt out of her own luggage, that's how bad the incident was.

We have taken several flights since then, and have never considered anything but cloth. Simply put, we have so much faith in cloth that we aren't going to tempt the blowout gods again. We've learned a few lessons along the way that have made traveling with cloth easier to plan for.

Laundry: What type of laundry facilities will you have access to?

If you're visiting family or friends that have a washer, chat with them ahead of time to make sure they are comfortable with you using it to wash your cloth (and educate them on cloth if they are new to the idea!). One important item to remember is either bring or purchase cloth diaper safe detergent on your trip.

If you won't have regular access to washing facilities, you have a few other options. Some parents prefer to wash in the sink and hang diapers to dry in the bathroom. Flats work well for this since they are easy to pack and easy to wash.

If hand washing isn't something you're interested in, you could consider disposable inserts with covers. They are a much more eco and chemical friendly option than disposables. One option are Grovia BioSoaker Pads, which are fragrance, dye, plastic, and chlorine free. They are also biodegradable and compostable. Flip Disposable Inserts are another option for laying inside covers and they fold down to adjust for size.
GroVia BioSoakers

Diaper Storage: How do you plan on storing your soiled diapers and for how long?

Planet Wise Wet Bag
Depending on how long you will be traveling for and how long you will go between washes, you will want a quality wet bag to store soiled diapers in. A large wet bag easily holds more than a day's worth of diapers for our daughter and we choose to wash more often while traveling. The wet bag can be washed right in the washer with the diapers.

How many diapers to take?  How are you traveling and how often will you wash?

If you are traveling by airplane, calculate how many diapers you'd normally use during that time period and double it to account for delays. If things get real crazy and you're stuck for significantly longer, the ticket counters often have diapers they will provide you with.

Determine how often you will wash your diapers while traveling to determine how to pack. If you are low on space, consider washing every day or every other to save space when packing.

Wipes: Cloth or disposable?

Cloth wipes are easy to travel with as well! Wet them ahead of time with your favorite cloth wipe solution or water and store them in a Planet Wise wipe pouch in your diaper bag. Throw them in a wet bag with your diapers and wash like normal.

Planet Wise Wipe Pouch
If you'd prefer disposable wipes, here's another pro tip for your in case a trash can isn't handy. You can throw those in your wet bag as well and just wash them with your diapers. They don't fall apart in the washer or dryer and you can just throw them away after you're done.

Who else has traveled with a baby in cloth? Any other tips you'd share with others to help make their trip easier?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 0 comments

Our Favorite Cloth Diaper Accessories!

Part of the joy of cloth diapering is how simple and easy they are to use. Once you have a solid wash routine down and have learned the fastest way to get your favorite brand on a rolling, wriggling, tiny human, you are good to go.

However, as many parents have learned over time, there are some great cloth diaper accessories out there that can make your cloth diaper experience even easier. With input from many moms, we’ve put together Nicki’s Diaper's list of favorite cloth diaper accessories. These are the items that the Nicki’s Diapers moms are ordering for their littles on a regular basis and loving!
Spray Pal Diaper SprayerSpray Pal Splatter Shield - New Design!

Newborn poop is wonderful! (Who thought you’d hear that?!) The waste from an exclusively breastfed baby doesn’t need to be removed before washing. Just change the diaper and throw the diaper in the diaper bag until wash day, no extra work required.
And then you start solids….oh my! The new colors and textures are a whole new experience and must be removed before washing. You could try the dunk and swish method, but who likes to experience that? A Spray Pal diaper sprayer easily attaches to your toilet for a no-touch solution to poop removal. Pair it with the Spray Pal Spray Shield, and you avoid any excess water or waste making its way out of the toilet. So simple and easy to use!

Imagine Biodegradable Liners

Another option to avoid the poop dilemma once your baby is on solids. Just lay the liner inside the diaper. Once soiled, shake the diaper contents, Imagine Liner and all, right into the toilet. No dunk and swish needed.

You’re already washing your cloth diapers, there’s no reason not to use cloth wipes as well. Unlike commercial wipes, they are chemical free and so soft on baby’s bottom. The cute prints and super gentle flannel of the Nicki’s Diapers Flannel Wipes can be paired with your favorite wipe solution to save you money and give you a safe and chemical free wipe option.

LuSa Organics Diaper Wipe Concentrate

Speaking of cloth wipes, why not use a wipe solution that will not only clean baby, but also has healing powers as well! The LuSa wipe concentrate is easy to prepare ahead of time by mixing with water and contains a soothing mix of oils, aloe vera juice, and witch hazel combined with essential oils. No chemicals and free of synthetic scents.

Planet Wise Wet Bags

While these are definitely one of our favorite cloth diaper accessories, they have so many other uses around the house as well! We love that they come in three sizes so we can choose which one to use based on our day, and the wet-dry option is perfect for keeping things organized in the diaper bag. Try keeping your wipes and diaper cream in the dry section for easy access and dirty diapers contained in the wet section. We’ve also been known to use these for beach trips, Spray Pal storage, and keeping our mama cloth organized.

GroVia Mighty Bubbles Laundry Treatment

While a good wash routine will keep your cloth diapers clean and stain free, sometimes your diapers could use a little boost. Grovia Mighty Bubbles removes any buildup in your diapers including urine or detergent and it's just so easy to use. Just throw one pod in the washer with your diapers and it dissolves completely and works it’s cloth diaper cleaning magic.

Snappi Diaper Fastener

Let’s face it, nobody wants to use diapers pins on their baby anymore! Don’t worry, the Snappi Diaper Fasteners are our favorite easy solution for securing flats, prefolds, and fitteds. The grip hook teeth take no time at all to hook onto the diaper and are reliable for even the wiggliest littles. They take just three steps to secure and we love that they come in a toddler size too, giving you extra stretch as baby grows.

Nicki's Diapers Bamboo Doubler

Wouldn’t it be great if none of our babies were heavy wetters? The reality is that whether you have a heavy wetter or not, there are times where you want a little extra protection from leaks. For us, that’s the grocery run that is never actually fast or the long car ride to Grandma’s house. Why do we love Nicki’s Bamboo Doublers for this? They come in two sizes, are made from a combination of bamboo and organic cotton, can be used in any diaper type you can imagine, and are oh so absorbent!

CJ's BUTTer Shea Butter Balm - 2 oz Jar
You feel terrible when your baby ends up with an angry, red, bum, but you need to make sure to protect your diapers at the same time. One of our favorite cloth friendly diaper creams is CJ’s BUTTer. Our moms have used the healing solution for diaper rash, eczema, dry skin, wind burn, and even stretch marks! The shea butter is so smooth, soothing, and gentle enough for even sensitive babies.

I have to admit, there was a quick discussion about whether these were a cloth diaper accessory or not, but everyone quickly agreed that these cute leggings are definitely one of our favorite accessories to pair with cloth diapers! Think about it, you have a new baby and you’re learning the ins and outs of cloth diapering. Babies poop, a lot! With all of those diaper changes you could be pulling pants on and off, or you could try Imagine Baby Leggings. They’re so cute, keep baby’s legs warm, protect from scraped knees once they’re on the move, and make diaper changes so easy. If you live in a colder area, they are great to layer under pants in the winter to make sure baby’s legs stay warm and protected while you’re holding or wearing them.

Do you have other favorite cloth diapers accessories that we didn't mention? Send us a comment and let us know!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 0 comments

A Working Mom's Guide to Pumping

Establishing a breastfeeding relationship with your infant can often be more challenging and time consuming than you imagined. When Baby Z was born, I had visions of blissful breastfeeding in the glider in her nursery before she slept peacefully in her crib. You can stop laughing now.

Even with loads of support from her pediatrician and local lactation consultants to help with any issues I had establishing breastfeeding, it took more like months than weeks to really feel like baby and I were in the breastfeeding groove. And then, it was time for me to return to work. I had so many questions about if and how our breastfeeding relationship would change, how I would balance pumping with my regular work duties, and all of the details that come with planning to pump at work. It seems that just when we got things on the right track, everything was about to change again.

As it turns out, while you will never hear me say that pumping at work was "fun" or "enjoyable", it was easier than I had made it out to be in head once I knew the right questions to ask and how to set up a routine that worked for me. Here are a few tips to help you get off on the right foot if you are planning to return to work and pump after baby.

1. Find a pump you love and test it out.

Most health insurance companies are now required to provide a breast pump to new mothers, however, the type and quality of those pumps varies. Check with your health insurance company first to see what they provide and try that out. You will have the most success with a hospital grade pump (but these can often be pricey) and a double pump will save you time so you may want to shop around for a pump if the one provided isn't working well for you.

Try it out. Don't be upset if you are only pumping small amounts to start with. It takes time and trial and error to develop a good pumping system that gets you the best output. Many pumps either come with a variety of breast shield sizes or have them available for purchase. Use their recommendations to find the ones that have the best fit and comfort for you. I even had to adjust which size I was using after a few months when my daughter's breastfeeding needs started to slow down and. Adjust the speed and strength of the pump until you find your ideal. Do all of these things before you return to work so that you are ready to be successful from day one.

2. Have an open conversation with your employer.

Most employers are covered by state and federal laws requiring a reasonable amount of break time and space to express milk as frequently as needed by the nursing mother. Find out what the laws are in your state and whether or not you will be paid for this time (which is not a requirement of the law).

  • Where will you pump? Having a location where you feel safe and comfortable pumping will make the process much easier. If you have your own office you may be able to pump there with a sign on your door. However, for the many ladies for which that isn't an option, you'll need to determine a location that works for you and your employer. Can you borrow an empty office or room during that time? Is there a designated lactation location in your office? The federal statute requiring most employers to allow time and space for pumping specifically states that the location cannot be a bathroom, so we ready to discuss that with your employer if needed. Think about what you will need in that space to be successful at pumping. This often includes an electrical outlet for your pump, a (hopefully comfortable!) chair for you to sit in, a table for your pump and supplies, and nearby access to a sink to clean your pumping parts afterwards.

  • When will you pump? As a rule of thumb, you will need to pump as often as your baby nurses. When I first returned that was every 2-3 hours, but baby continually stretched that out as she got older and I was able to adjust and drop pumping sessions accordingly. This meant scheduling a mid-morning and afternoon session into my daily work plan, and pumping during my lunch as well. Discuss this with your employer so you can plan ahead for these sessions, especially if someone else will need to cover your duties during this time. Pumping both breasts at the same time is more time efficient and you can plan around 30 minutes for the pumping process each session.

  • Where will you store your breast milk? The ideal location for storing your breast milk is in a refrigerator, but if that isn't possible, you can also use pre-frozen ice packs to keep it cold for a period of time. You can store the milk itself in sterile plastic bags, or plastic or glass bottles, all which can easily be purchased.  I stored it in our office refrigerator, in a discreet bag, but almost cried on day when someone had taken my bag out (presumably to make room or rearrange things) and not put it back. Since I didn't know how long it had been out, I didn't feel comfortable saving it. Luckily that was only a one-time event, and I learned to think about where I put the bag after that.

3. Develop a pumping routine that is comfortable for you.

You will pump more milk when you feel relaxed and comfortable in your pumping situation. Not always easy to do at work right? Many women find that their output increases when they focus on their baby by looking at pictures or videos of them. In my case, answering emails and getting other computer tasks done while I was pumping helped me because I wasn't focused on pumping itself and how much I was producing.

In my case, to be able to work on my computer while I pumped I needed my hands free. Having the right nursing bra and tank top under my shirts made that easy and simple. I also occasionally pumped on my way to or home from work in my car depending on my schedule. I needed the right pumping accessories to make that work, like a car adapter for my pump and my nursing cover that I used over myself while driving. Determine what accessories will make your pumping routine simpler and less stressful for you and your pumping sessions will be more successful.

If you’re struggling with pumping, contact resources that can help you with advice and tips. Many lactation consultants can sit with you while you pump and help you establish whether your fit and routine are the best for you. Start by contacting your health care provider for resources or contact your local La Leche League. 

Regardless of how much planning ahead you do, returning to work and pumping will take some time to adjust to. Establish a network of friends, coworkers, and family who can help support you during this time to help ease the transition and don’t forget to be proud of the great start your are giving your baby by continuing to provide them with breast milk during this time!