A Call to Photographers

I am in need of your assistance. 

If you've explored the store, you know that I have a mix of photographs from manufacturers as well as my own photographs (I'll admit I am quite proud of the sort-of leaning tower of fluff - for anyone who has ever tried to stack diapers know it is no easy feat!).

Well, there is one listing with which I need your help. Prepped and Ready to Go! is sad, photographless and in need of an image to call its very own. But my poor washing machine is in the bowels of the basement, buried under moving boxes, bug zappers and other unmentionables completely unsuitable for public view. 

Enter you. Take a photo that embodies everything of Prepped and Ready to Go! and more. In short, blow my prepped-prefold-loving socks off. 

And, if getting published to a world-renowned store wasn't enough (yes, my internationally-living inlaws count, and they speak quite highly of the store), how about a $10 gift certificate to Itsy Bitsy Bums to sweeten the deal?  

The Details
  • Post your entries to the Itsy Bitsy Bums Facebook page in this album
  • All entries must be posted by Sunday, August 8th
  • Feel free to post as many photographs as you like
  • I will select a winner, with the assistance of my shipping clerk and inspector, no later than August 10th
  • Winner will be notified via his/her Facebook account as well as announced on Itsy Bitsy Bum's Facebook page
  • Any and all photographs you post must be your original artwork and, by posting, you agree I can use the winning photograph for my website
  • Your gift certificate must be redeemed sixty days from issuance date



Welcome to Mondays at Bitsy Buzz!

When you shop at Itsy Bitsy Bums, you will notice I do not market specifically to mothers. I cannot tell you the number of times I have read that a diaper is 'the perfect choice for a husband or babysitter' or 'trusted by moms around the world.' What on earth does that even mean? That a husband isn't competent? That he isn't any better than a hired childcare provider? Ok, so these are perhaps gross oversimplifications, but I do believe and hope that parents come together to make the best decisions for their child. And if that involves using a diaper with a higher learning curve, a husband will be on board. 

Let's get heavy for a second. I think a parenting is a partnership. And I believe a husband's role in cloth diapering is just as important as the mother's. I will often read posts on a favorite online forum claiming 'my husband will not let me cloth diaper.' The statement always breaks my heart. I pray it is simply a poor choice of words, rather than the the possible truth that he is not allowing his wife to cloth diaper their baby.

Okay, off my one-ton soap box. Need some jocularity? Me too. 

My husband is not only supportive of cloth diapering, but he also hopes to be an inspiration to some reluctant spouses out there, be they husband or wife (or both!). Therefore, each Monday you will find an entry written by him. I hope you find him helpful, witty and incredibly darling, just like I do! 

And, for such a special guest author, should today simply be called Monday? Nay! If my grandfather can get away with calling my husband 'Marky Baby' then I should as well! Henceforth Mondays at Bitsy Buzz will be known as 'Marky Baby Mondays.' 

Enjoy your first MBM! 

From The Desk of Marky Baby

Poonami (p-näm)
n. pl. poo-na-mis
As defined by the Baby Daddy Dictionary 'A Tsunami of, well, you know...'

As far back as I can remember I have always associated babies with diapers, for the obvious reasons. When we found out that Abby was pregnant, people and 'friends' would ask about my diaper changing skills, which were lackluster at best. They would say you have to change them often and occasionally they may pee on you. Okay, fine. But these 'friends' never warned me about Poonami. 

Poonami and I were introduced early on into my time as a father (which I like to call it the 'Newlywed Stage').

The memory of my first introduction to Poonami is very vivid in my mind. It's something most people never forget. The sweet innocent baby girl in all her glory had just arrived, still with her little angel wings on. She had the sweetest little cry you have ever heard, like a little lullaby, just wanting her diaper changed. So, I picked her up, moved her to the changing table, got my wipes ready, got the new diaper ready and pulled the sleep sack up to get to work. While smiling at her, I proceeded to open the left side of the diaper and then the right. The second I pulled back the diaper, all my senses were instantly violated. I actually think I lost all of them in that one instant. The sight of it led to the loss of my sense of smell which then lead me to be speechless, and the last two senses just gave up. As I regained my composure, I saw a box of rubber gloves. I rushed to put on a pair and go at the Poonami - definitely something the 'books' never taught me. 

Ever since that day I have been battling a war with Poonami. It is a fact of life. Thanks to the diaper sprayer, it's pretty easy to clean Poonami from the diaper. But don't get me wrong, there are days when I am tempted to put Avalee over the toilet and just use the sprayer directly on her bum (you know, save wipes). But I would never do that. 

One last thought I want to leave you with: my sister gave me and Avalee matching shirts with the saying 'Warning: Excess Gas.' Honestly, Avalee's is wrong. It should have said 'Beware of Poonami.' 


Meet the Folks Behind Itsy Bitsy Bums

First of all, I'd like to introduce you to the shipping clerk and unofficial CFO of Itsy Bitsy Bums. A corporate worker by day, and errand boy by night, Mark enjoys Burn Notice, walking the ever-affectionate dog and getting your diapers to you toot-sweet!

sharing a drink with an old friend

Second, please meet Avalee, the light of our lives, and a very good diaper inspector. She takes it upon herself to personally look over every new diaper, inside and out. Because of her diligence, we have decided to award her IBB's first ever employee award.
Congratulations Avalee, the 2010 #1 diaper inspector.

ready to go!

Last, please allow me to introduce myself. I am IBB's CEO, COO, buyer, business analyst, merchandise coordinator, photographer and resident diaper-addict. When not talking diapers, I enjoy taking selfies, art and organizing things into neat piles. 

selfies are so much easier when all the participants speak the same language

Additional Support Staff

Daisy Dog, the most skilled security guard this side of the Mississippi

The Itsy Bitsy Spider, you may have heard of him?

Why Cloth? A Pictorial Summary....

If reading isn't your cup of tea, consider this cheat sheet as a quick and dirty guide to the 'why' behind cloth diapering.

Why Cloth?

Why Cloth? It is a good question. I mean, we live in the age of convenience. Convenience stores supply all your last-minute needs (albeit for a pretty penny), convenience drive-thrus provide your photos, fast-food and prescriptions. Why give up the convenience of disposables for a (presumed) less convenient diaper system? 

For me, money and the environment were primarily the two factors motivating our switch to cloth. However, there is a third very real aspect to also consider - the chemicals in a conventional disposable diaper. 

The Money
Let's talk money. Various estimates put the cost of disposable diapers, for one child, somewhere between $1,500 and $2,500. (1 - 3) This number is staggering, but most people consider disposables to be just a part of having a baby, and budget accordingly. Now imagine if you could diaper your baby for less than a third of the cost of disposables. And then imagine you could reuse these diapers for your next child(ren). The cost savings is staggering

I think where people get the most shell-shocked is the upfront cost of cloth diapering. Why invest $300-$600 into cloth diapers when you can buy a pack of disposables for under $20? Does this question ring true to you? (One note - notice my phrasing in the last sentence - 'invest.' Cloth diapers are just that, an investment, not only economically, but also in the health of both your child and the environment.)

If you have browsed through my shop I am sure you have noticed there are diapers covering all price ranges. If you choose to buy Flats or Prefolds you could diaper your child(ren) for as little as $200. If you chose to use diapers such as Pockets, All-In-Twos or All-In-Ones you will notice the cost of cloth diapering jumps (remember, we live in the age of convenience and even cloth diapering has not escaped its reaches - the price you pay is essentially indicative of the level of 'skill' required to use the diaper). 

Here is another way to approach it: think of cloth diapering as buying a house. A two-bedroom, one bath will suit your family just fine. But sometimes it is nice to have that second bathroom, office space or additional square footage. Buy what suits both your family's needs and budget the best. And do not think you are locked in to a diaper once you have purchased it. Just like you can eventually build a shed or remodel that kitchen, you can modify your diapers to fit your needs. For, as I mentioned earlier, cloth diapering is an investment. There is a booming resale market for cloth diapers. Depending on wear and tear, I estimate most families can recoup anywhere from 25% to 70% of their upfront diapering costs. How many disposable users can say the same? 

Lastly, here is a great cost calculator if you interested in comparing apples to apples while shopping for diapers. 

The Environment
In addition to the money you save with cloth, consider the landfill space you will save not contributing roughly 6,000 diapers (again, per child!) to these earthly time capsules. No one yet fully knows how long it takes a disposable diaper to compose, but the estimates range from 250 to 500 years. (4)

With the recent oil spill, consider this - 'Nearly 3.5 billion gallons of oil are used to produce the 18 billion throwaway diapers that Americans toss each year. To put that in perspective, that's more than the amount of crude we import annually from Kuwait.' If that number does not scare you - did you know that it takes at least 2/3 cup of oil to make just one disposable diaper? (5)

For a thorough discussion of the environmental aspect of disposable diapers, please click here (see heading 'Environment'). 

The Health of Baby
Finally, consider the contents of a typical disposable diaper - among other things - Dioxin (a carcinogenic chemical banned in most countries and listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-causing chemicals) and Tributyl-tin (a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems). Finally, sitting in a plastic diaper has been known to raise the scrotal temperatures in boys and 'prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for spermatogenesis' (similar to warnings against prolonged laptop computers on laps of young men or prolonged hot tub exposure). (6) 

In addition to these three main factors, there are also other reasons to choose cloth - potty training is usually easier and happens sooner, cloth diapers are so darn cute and last but not least - no more late-night trips to buy diapers at the convenience store! 

(1) http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php 'Cost'
(2) http://www.punkinbutt.com/diaper_dollar.php
(3) http://www.diaperdecisions.com/cost_of_cloth_diapers.htm
(4) http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php
(5) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-grayson/eco-etiquette-how-can-i-c_b_572807.html
(6) http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php



I could not be happier to welcome you Bitsy Buzz, a place for conversation, learning and fun! 

If you ever have a suggestion for a possible topic, or would like to be a contributing author, please do not hesitate to contact me!