Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 25: Borrowed From Our Children - AppleCheeks Cloth Diaper Review

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."

- Chief Seattle, 1854

Did you know that here in Canada we throw away 4 MILLION disposable diapers... PER DAY?

Just one of the factors that made our decision to use cloth diapers an easy one.  Other factors included the absence of chemicals, the incredible cost savings (about $2000 per child), and the convenience of today's cloth diapers.

Convenient?  You may be thinking that I'm a little bit crazy...(and most people did when we chose cloth).  With the advent of new fabrics and materials, cloth diapering has evolved into a solution that is surprisingly easy.

Back in 2009/10, when I was pregnant and awaiting the arrival of our Oliver, I did a ton of research on the different brands, styles, and types of cloth diapers.  My final choice was to exclusively use AppleCheeks.  Here's a quick run down on what we use...

  • Envelope Cover:  They come in stylish solid colours and now adorable prints.  Size1 fits babies from 7 - 18lbs while Size2 fits from 18 - 35lbs.  Although our little Ollie, at 21lbs, still fits into the Size1 covers.  They wash well and can be hung to dry.

We started out with 12 covers in Size1 and now also have 6 in Size2.  We just ordered an additional 6 more and I can't wait to see the new prints and "Lake Echo"(black).

  • Inserts & Boosters: These come in one size and are made from bamboo and organic cotton fleece.  Inserts can be folded into thirds (we actually use the "boy fold") and boosters can be added for extra absorbancy.  Inserts and boosters can go in the dryer.

We started out with 30 inserts then later on added 12 more to our collection.  The newer ones are slightly larger and thicker than the older version.  We also have 2 boosters which I don't use very often.  I prefer to double up on inserts when extra absorbancy is required.

    • Storage Sacs:  A place to keep soiled diapers between washings.  They come in Large and Small (great for when out and about).  Just turn bag and contents inside out into the washing machine. Be sure to hang the sac to dry.

      We have 1 Large Storage Sac and 2 small.  One of our Small bags has 2 toggle clasps (not sure if this is available anymore, but I prefer this style...more on that later).

      • Bamboo Terry Wipes:  These serve their purpose with softness.  I think we have around 6 of the AppleCheeks wipes.  Most of my cloth wipes are actually thin baby washcloths (we received a lot from the baby shower) and they work perfectly.  I just fold in half, wet with water, and store in a wipes container.

      • Swim Diapers:  Similar to the Envelope Covers except made for the water.  Made of polyester Canadian-milled mesh, they allow water to flow freely, while keeping the solids inside the diaper.  We have 2 in Size1 of the first version that was available.

      We've been using AppleCheeks cloth diapers for about 19 months now and NOT once have I regretted the decision.  Here's a few reasons why...

      The Positives 

      • Versatility:  The option of prestuffing the envelope cover is great for travelling or for babysitters or occasional caretakers who aren't used to the idea of cloth diapers.  Just placing a liner inside the cover is great for everyday use since the covers can usually be reused if not soiled.
      • No Un-stuffing:  Unlike most other pocket style diapers, with AppleCheeks you do not have to remove dirty inserts (yuck!).  They agitate out in the wash.
      • Less Leaking:  Elastic around the legs, back, and tummy, provide a snug fit.  Also, I've heard many stories about the infamous poopy "blowout" when everything inside the diaper escapes and gets everywhere... but I have yet to experience this with AppleCheeks.
      • Customization:  The options are endless.  For extra absorption during naps or car trips, I double up on the inserts and also have the option of adding a booster.
      • Snaps:  Unlike Velcro closures, snaps keep inquisitive toddlers from baring it all.
      • Canadian Made:  Supporting our local economy is an added plus
      • The Connection:  There are a number of ways to get in touch with AppleCheeks.  These include their toll-free phone number 877-8-APPLE-8 (877-827-7538), online contact form, facebook page and blog.
      • Reuse and Save:  Having more than one child?  Reuse those cloth diapers for every child.  When your diapering days are done, inserts make great cleaning cloths.
      • Style:  I was instantly drawn to AppleCheeks' bright bold colours (and now they have prints)!  So stylish, that pants are optional.

      Now since this is a truthful review, I do want to mention a few negatives that I have come across...

      The Negatives

      • Some of the inserts are starting to show wear and tear in the corners; although this does not seem to be affecting the absorbancy.
      • While we normally travel all over with our cloth diapers, when going to places with limited or no access to laundry facilities, we've opted for disposables during the trip.  Rinsing covers out when in a pinch is fine, but hand-washing thick cloth inserts is not fun (trust me, I've tried it)!
      • The storage sacs that have only one toggle clasp no longer close properly.  The fabric seems to stick to the rope.  I suspect that this may have been caused by me putting them in the dryer several times before I realized that they should be hung to dry only.  So that one is completely my fault!

      In summary...

      If you're thinking about using cloth diapers, I'd definitely recommend AppleCheeks.
      And if you end up deciding to use disposables, that's okay too... no judgement here.
      I believe that everyone needs to do what is right for their family.

      What's right for us just happens to be AppleCheeks.

      Well,that's about it for now.
      In the future, I may do a more detailed post about using, washing, and caring for cloth diapers...  in the meantime, if you have any questions, please leave a comment below or email me at andrea.brand.art@gmail.com

      Thanks for stopping by.

      I have not been compensated in any way for this review.  These are just my honest opinions.

      This post is part of my blog series, "31 Days of Words to Live By".  For the month of October, I will be sharing my favourite quotes and sayings while incorporating them into daily life and art projects.

      This series was inspired by The Inspired Room, where you'll find other "31 Days" series among many other wonderful things!

      Day 19: The Pumpkin Patch
      Day 20: Ladder Love
      Day 23: Zebra Question
      Day 24: Drawing with Crayons
      Day 25: Borrowed From Our Children - An AppleCheeks Cloth Diaper Review



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