Poo! WAHMlight

I still remember stalking my first Pooligan (during her very first stocking, no less!). Marky Baby was watching Saturday football, and I had my eye on some Teal Giraffes. And I got them. Super trim, super absorbent. I was in love! 

Ange' is a sweet, compassionate lady whom I have since gotten to know well since bringing home my Teal Giraffes. And I'm excited to introduce you to her and her fabulous wares. 

Welcome to the WAHMlight Pooligans! 

ps. stay tuned at the end of the interview for information on a giveaway and ways to stalk one or two (or more? oh my!) Pooligans for yourself (I mean, your baby's bum). 

Itsy Bitsy Bums: Please tell us about yourself - your family, your likes, your dislikes. 
Me and My family...
I am a wife, the mother of three, and daughter first an foremost. I was born and raised in the Portland Metro area in Oregon and haven't strayed from the area that is my heart. My parents are still married and madly in love. I was fortunate enough the grow up in the same home my entire life and now watch my children play in the very same place.  I have been married to my wonderful husband for 5 1/2 yrs. I have a beautiful 11 year old daughter from a previous relationship and my husband and I have two boys together, 5 and almost 2.  I learned to sew from my mother.  Sadly on July 30th, 2008 she fell and is now a quadriplegic.  There are times that I am called upon to provide from her as well.  

Like and dislikes... 
Well, I am obsessed with babywearing, wool, and diapers of course. I swoon over beautiful woven wraps, hand-knit longies and shorties and hand-dyed yarn, as well as all of the awesome fabrics to be had and the diapers I can create from them. 
I love chocolate and coffee!  I hate oysters and asparagus. 
I love the smell of a freshly washed baby. I hate... well.. you know. No one wants to smell a stinky baby. 
I love it when rain is falling on a sunny afternoon.  There is really no way to describe how beautiful it is.  
I love where I live. We have the coast, rivers, forests, mountains, snow, and the desert all within driving distance. A day trip to any of these is totally achievable. On the other hand... I can live without the 90+ degree days we get from time to time in the summer. 
IBB: When did you start making diapers? 
Poo: I began making diapers when my youngest was 3 months old.  It started with fleece soakers and then on to making wool soakers.  First I bought some Kissaluvs fitteds and then I bought a [Bagshot Row Bamboo] and some [Goodmamas] and thought to myself, "I can do that!" I originally had no plans in regards to selling to the public.  I was busy trying out different fabrics and buying up diaper cuts to make my own when lo and behold... a [Babycenter] mama asked me to make her some diapers and the rest is history.
IBB: Where did you find the inspiration for your brand- and product-names? 
Poo: It just came to me. I know that sounds completely goofy but that's truly what happened. My hubby called our eldest boy a little hooligan and thus the name lil' Pooligans was born. Some of the product names are thanks to some wonderful friends. I remembered a mama saying that she would love to try a "Poo In Two" and it stuck.  Originally my swim diapers were called POOLigans but some mamas got confused and a customer mentioned "Swimligans" and that stuck. For the most part, after tossing ideas back and forth with a group of wonderful friends the other names pretty much just fell into place with a -ligans on the end.  Dorky... yup.  But I love it!

IBB: Where do you like to picture your brand in, say, one year? Five years? Any new products in the works? 
Poo: I want to stay small. Maybe bring in a helper to relieve some of my stress but really... I have no want, need, or desire to go huge. I think that will remove the personal touch from my products. I do plan on continuing my business for a few years. I love what I am doing no matter how stressful it gets. Maybe 5-, 10-, 15-yrs down the road I will change my mind but right now I would like to continue down the path I am on always striving to be a better WAHM.

Well... other than products like pockets I have pretty much covered it all. Right now, I offer [one size fits most] knit fitteds, woven fitteds, two styles of nighttime diapers, AIOs, AI2s, swim diapers, toddler fitteds, boosters AND extra inserts. Right now I am working on finalizing my newborn pattern and bringing my trainers out of my head and into the real world. I am also debating stocking one custom diaper bag a month and dabbling in the world of wetbags.  I'm sure there are other products that I could offer but I also firmly believe that there is a such thing as too much. 
IBB: What is your favorite Pooligans' dipe stocked at IBB? 
Poo: Now this is a hard one.  Hands down, Nighty Nights are our go to night time diaper. While we do have back up systems I always reach for our "NNs" first. When all of those are dirty than we use a Poo 'n Two Simple (editor's note - aka - Pooligan's All-in-Two) with a stay-dry hemp doubler for bedtime.  My PnT Simples play a few different roles in our diaper stash... I keep my diaper bag always stocked with a couple of Simples covers and inserts.  They are also what I reach for when Terry is clothed in "real" pants. When our washer broke a couple of weeks ago our Simples covers saved our rears. Instead of having to buy mainstream disposables I just used biodegradable inserts in the covers. If I had to choose just one type of diaper to keep in my stash it would be various types of fitteds. 
IBB: Anything else your readers should know about you? 
Poo: Hmm...  My favorite thing about being a WAHM is knowing the joy that my products bring to families. Being a WAHM is not easy and there are times when it's a thankless job. I know that my product won't work for every baby. While I may not hear "thank you" for most diapers I ship off into the great unknown, the few times I do makes my jobby totally worth it. I love to see babies in their brand spanking new "Poo" and to read the pure excitement in the mama's words. While, yes, there are times I may get behind I will always get ahead. Every gushing letter and comment makes the struggles involved with being a WAHM totally worth it.

Time to Stalk!
Pooligan's Poo N' Twos and Nighty Nights will stock at Itsy Bitsy Bums at 7pm CST February 1st. Like a preview? HERE!

Interested in winning a custom Pooligan for yourself? 
  • Post a picture of your little one wearing your favorite Pooligans diaper to the IBB Facebook page or email me your submission and I'll post it
  • All entries must be posted by February 28th
  • Feel free to submit as many photographs as you'd like
  • I will select a winner the first week of March
  • Winner will be announced both on the IBB Facebook page as well as on this very blog
  • Any and all photographs you post must be your original artwork and, by submitting, you agree I can use the winning photograph for my blog or website


Final Friday = Fab Freebie!

Well, another weekend in January is upon us! And what better way to end the month than with a freebie for every qualifying order that comes in! Yes party people, it is true!

Any order over $25 gets a free Planet Wise reusable food bag (a $7.99 value). Fine print, as usual, please see below.

Like a peak at the good stuff? 

Happy Shopping! 

ps. The Fine Print

  • Limit two per address. 
  • I'll pick the type of bag/wrap. 
  • Offer for all qualifying orders placed 1/28/11 - 1/30/11. 
  • Offer good while supplies last. 
  • Does not apply to previous purchases nor gift certificate purchases. 
  • Order must be over $25 before shipping charges are added. 


Friday in January = what better time for another giveaway!

If you are a Facebook fan, you probably have noticed the giveaways the last two weekends. Why stop there? Another weekend is here, so time for another giveaway!

Winner's Choice
For every $10 you spend between now and Sunday night, your name goes in the hat once. Spend $100, your name goes in 10x. Spend $15, your name goes in the hat once. Etc. Etc. (Whenever I string together more than one 'et cetera,' you know what I think of? This!)

Fine Print
  • All purchases must be made by 11:59pm 1/23/11 
  • Winner will be announced via Facebook and contacted via his/her Paypal email address to pick giveaway diaper. **Please ensure you add my email address to your address book. Nothing worse than trying to give you a diaper and instead be filed away as spam.**
  • If winner does not reply by 1/24/11 11:59pm s/he forfeits the prize. And the prize(s) will then go up for next weekend's giveaway. 
  • All Friday - Sunday orders will ship Monday, 11/25/11. 

ps. did you know the 'hat' your name goes in is actually the bucket to my package scale? I used to use random.org to generate the winner after compiling a spreadsheet in excel. But you know what? After 'random' picked the number 'one' three time in a row, I decided my mitts could do a much better job at being objective. 

pps. uncanny


No More Microfiber!

I'm always thrilled to host guest bloggers. Their varied perspectives and experiences offer further insight into the world of cloth diapering!
Today I'm thrilled to welcome Rachel. Loyal readers will remember her DIY post from last fall

No More Microfiber!
Folding a Flat Diaper to Stuff a Pocket Diaper

I purchased high-quality yet inexpensive flat diapers from Itsy Bitsy Bums in the fall. As much as I tried to channel my grandmother by using flat diapers and pins on my daughter, it just didn't work out for us. I hated to waste the diapers, and I loved how easily and quickly the flats could be washed and dried, so I decided to stuff my pocket diapers with flats. I love it! 

The flats and pocket shells can both air-dry in just a few hours. Not to mention hanging your diapers on the line instead of using the dryer saves even more energy (and therefore saves you more money). Cotton is a natural fabric that doesn't hold on to smells and laundry detergent as easily as microfiber, meaning you are less likely to need to strip your diapers. 

Here is a quick tutorial on how to get that big square of fabric in to your pocket diaper. 

Begin with a clean flat diaper (clearly it doesn't need to be ironed). 

Fold it in half. 
Fold it in half the same way (horizontally) again. 
Fold it in half the other way, tugging a bit to make it nice and taut. 
Slide the folded flat inside your pocket diaper. 

That's it, you're done! You can adjust your last fold if you have the rise set higher on your one-size diapers. I recommend putting the thickest part at the front of the diaper for most babies. 

You can also use a prefold to stuff your pockets. I use an infant-sized trifolded prefold inside of mine. Prefolds will take a few more hours to line-dry, but otherwise they work well as a microfiber alternate. 

Enjoy stuffing your diapers with an inexpensive, natural material!

I also find that flats are also excellent to use in the kitchen and around the house. In fact, I purchased a dozen to keep in the kitchen and we reach for them often! They are great for cleaning messy hands and faces, wiping up the pet's water that your daughter splashed on the floor, or drying the dog's paws as he comes in on a rainy day. They are very absorbent and durable, and super easy to clean. 

Editor's note - Also consider using your pocket diaper as a cover over a flat or prefold, essentially creating your own All-in-Two system!
  • Fold the flat or prefold into a rectangle as Rachel described above; aim for a size that covers the majority of the inner of the pocket diaper.
  • Lay the prefold or flat into the shell, and secure diaper around baby.
  • At diaper change time, simply change out the prefold or flat for a new one!
    • If the pocket's inner fleece is wet, hang to dry to use at the next diaper change. Rotate two pocket shells through one day, then toss both into the diaper pail that evening. 
    • If poop gets on the fleece, then toss the entire diaper 
This is also a great option if you are exclusively a pocket diaper user, but want to start the potty training process. Consider - a pocket diaper's wicking layer keeps baby feeling dry, but provides very little feedback to connect the physical sensation of wetness with the physiology of urination. By putting natural fibers against the bum, it now provides that feedback. Who needs training pants when you can buy a dozen flats for $14.95! Oh, there you are. 


WAHMlight: Hoot, Hoot, Woot!

Hello, dear friends, for a late-night edition of Bitsy Buzz (fitting really, when you consider the focus of January's WAHMlight). Night Owl Knits is run by a woman who I've known for close to 15 months, maybe more? She is lovely, and I hope you all get to know a bit more about her through the following interview. Also of note, Night Owl is run by IBB's second WOHM, meaning, she works outside the home as well as running a home-based business. Fab! (The first was Nacho Dipes, October's WAHMlight!)

And what is WAHMlight without some accompanying goodies? Stay tuned at the end of the interview.....

Without further adieu (hoot!), I present Night Owl Nights. 

Itsy Bitsy Bums: Tell us about yourself - your family, your likes, your dislikes.
Night Owl Knits: Well, lets see

I live in Seattle, with my husband and 19 month old son.
I lived in New York, Indiana, and Arizona before moving to Washington.
My husband and I never dated. We knew of each other for about a month before getting married. We've been married for three years now.
The summer after we got married, we road our bikes across the country. Yes, bicycles.
I hate bananas. My son Loves them.
I prefer hot chocolate to coffee.
I really like the rain.
IBB: Why wool?
NOK: Wool is an amazing fiber. It's natural, it's renewable (the sheep get sheered once a year), its fire retardant, antibacterial and antimicrobial. It's function, in nature is to help regulate the body temperature of the sheep, and it does the same thing for us when we wear garments made of it.

Wool used as a soaker works through the give and take of the wool. The lanolin (which is naturally occurring in wool, and replaced when you wash and relanolize your woolies) repels moisture back to the diaper. It's ability to breath allows for evaporation to occur and the skin to breath inside the diaper. Wool can also absorb up to 30% its weight in liquid. It's hard for us to wrap our minds around - how a fabric in and of itself can be a moisture barrier and can actually hold moisture into itself without wicking onto outer fabrics. Just try it!

IBB: When did you start knitting? Any other crafty skills up your sleeve?
NOK: I started knitting a little over a year ago. It took me months to actually take on my first real project - and even longer to take on longies. Once I did though, there was no going back. I knit around 4 hours a night now (give or take) pretty much every night. As for other crafty skills, I've dipped my feet in a few, but never got as 'into' them or honed them the same way I have knitting. Both my parents made stained glass goods, so I actually learned that at a young age, though I haven't done so in many years. I've semi-recently taken up dying yarn, but have so far only done so for myself and my own products. I'm not sure if I will ever get to selling my dyed yarn, and if I did, I think each colorway would be OOAK, since I'm not much for writing down exactly how it came to be.
IBB: Where do you get inspiration for the products you offer?

NOK: The sock monkey pattern came from my friend Alison (and if you yourself knit, it can be purchased here). I'm a fan of high contrast, vibrant colors. I knew that I wanted to make some non-traditional monkeys. I don't usually fully decide exactly what I'm going to do with what I'm making until I get there. I enter the project with a general idea, but make the decisions on color layout etc. on the fly.
IBB: What is your favorite part about being a WOHM? And, how do you balance working both from home, and outside the home?

NOK: My favorite part about being a WOHM is having a job that I enjoy and hours that allow me to do other things without feeling overwhelmed. I'm home by 2 most days, and spend then until bedtime with my son, and do all of my knitting after he goes to sleep. I generally balance it by being sleep deprived. =)
IBB: What is your favorite color combination of Funky Monkeys?

NOK: I'm really torn on this. There's still so many combination to try. So far, I think my first pair, the orange newborn pair are still my favorite.

This month's WAHMlight was a bit different, as the items stocked before the interview. Four custom slots went up, and four custom slots quickly sold out. BUT, there is still a chance for you to get your hands on a pair of these amazing funky monkeys!

The swag: The winner gets a $50 credit to Night Owl Knits, to be used towards one custom pair of Funky Monkey longies or shorties (please note, if your custom's total is below $50, you forfeit the balance remaining; if your order is over $50 you are responsible for the balance due). Credit must be used by the end of February 2011. 

To win: For every $10 spent at Itsy Bitsy Bums in the month of January,* your name goes in the hat once. Ie. spend $100 and your name goes in ten times or spend $50 and your name goes in five times. Spend $5 and your name goes in half a time (yes, I get punchy when I'm up late). Just kidding, purchases are rounded down, meaning spend $15 and your name goes in one time. 

*Deposits on rental and trial packages do not count towards entries. All purchases for January will be entered, including those purchases prior to this interview. 


Congratulations to December's WAHMlight winner!

Well, evidently I'm very good at posting things on a blog at least a week later than planned. Thank goodness my shipping department (aka me and DH) doesn't run on the same schedule (your orders generally ship somewhere between 1-36 hours after you've placed them!). 

A big congratulations to December's WAHMlight winner Joanna B. for submitting this lovely action shot of her Cloth! is the New Diaper! I especially love the bokeh of the Christmas tree, so very festive!  

Also on my delayed publication schedule, January's WAHMlight feature. Stay tuned, my coffee will kick in shortly and there will be a flurry of blog posts coming your way!

Cloth Diapering: A Labor of Love

I recently had the pleasure to work with a local customer to select her perfect newborn stash. We looked at covers, fitteds, the loveliest Raspberry Sorbet AppleCheeks cover, and all the other tidbits that round out the cloth diaperer's arsenal. We also talked through laundry routines and other cloth diapering words of wisdom. At the end of our time together, she remarked that this will be a 'labor of love.' This conversation was almost two weeks ago, yet her words still ring through my head. 

Labor of Love - work done without pay, undertaken for the benefit of a loved one

Yes, the laundry is the easiest you'll ever do (already sorted, already bagged, just dump & go). Yes, you will always have diapers in the house (no more late-night runs to the over-priced drugstore).

But I think it would be a lie to say that cloth diaperers walk around 24/7 with unicorns at their sides, singing the joys of cloth. I will fully admit that there are moments when I'm putting away diapers, or folding cloth wipes, or realizing I forgot to pack a wetbag, when I have to take a deep breath and remind myself why we choose cloth. 

We are keeping chemicals off her bum, diapers out of the landfill, and money in our pocketbooks. We are taking control in a time when so much control is lost. We labor out of love for the best for our child, and that benefit alone is far better than any other remuneration. 


Review: Bright Star Baby

A few loyal readers with excellent memories may remember my soliloquy over Fishnoodle diapers. In short, since the moment I tried my first, I knew I was using something remarkable. 
Imagine my reaction when I learned Fishnoodles were slowly going the way of the dinosaur. Sigh. Brett Farve. Light brown M&Ms. All my favorite things retired (ok, so perhaps a bit dramatic, but you get the idea....) 

But wait, party people, do not dismay! 

Enter Bright Star Baby. From the maker of Fishnoodles comes a diaper, dare I say, even better? 

Read on for a review of the new Bright Star Baby All-in-One! A note - most of the review will focus on comparisons with the Fishnoodles AIO, as I know the similarities and differences are what people are most anxious about. 
The Changes

Upon first impression, I would say a Bright Star Baby (BSB) All-in-One and Fishnoodles Solo Flyer (FN) AIO are doppelgängers. They both have the same luxuriously soft and stretchy PUL outer, smooth front, waist and hip side snaps and similar leg openings. 
BSB on the left, FN on the right
However, once you unsnap the diaper and look inside you will quickly discover the changes. 

Four snap settings rather than three.
This will ensure you get maximum use out of your diapers, no longer sizing up if your baby outgrows the waist (well, that still might happen, but you (or should I say, 'your baby') have a lot more wiggle room).

Longer wings. 
To accomodate the extra row of snaps, BSB has over an 1" more in the waist than a FN. This will be great for those babies with bellies or thighs that earn cute names like 'buddha' or 'Michelin.'
Note for those with very slim babes - the tightest row of snaps is the same from FN to BSB.

The Soaker. 
Not only has the soaker's material changed to a lovely and buttery-soft fleece, but the design also has changed. Unlike the FN, you no longer need to fold the tongues into place!!!
Rather, they are the perfect length from front to back!

To keep the diaper as trim and absorbent as possible, the soaker is folded back on itself and tacked into place. This ensures minimal work on your part, with maximum absorbency.
now a buttery soft bamboo/organic cotton fleece
first layer of soaker folded back
bottom layer tacked into place, allowing for thorough washing, quick drying and minimal prep on the part of the caregiver

The Shell Dries Faster!
Many customers complained of the extra drying time the FN's hidden layer of bamboo caused (hey FN users - did you know that is what is stitched behind the shell's inner layer?). With that layer of bamboo removed, your BSB shell is going to dry much, much faster. 
BSB on left, FN on right
(click to enlarge)

The Specifics

Price $21 Solids / $22 Prints

Product Details
  • Amazingly trim - stretching to fit a wide range of babies
  • 100% bamboo/organic cotton fleece soaker
    • absorbs fast
    • Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, meaning, free of any harmful substances - this is the strictest standard for infant products
    • soakers sewn into layers, ensuring thorough cleaning and quick drying
    • no folding of the soaker required!!
    • soaker snaps into place, allowing you to remove it for prepping and/or stripping
  • Soaker's snap placements compatable with the Fishnoodles Snap-in Hemp Doubler
  • Side snaps ensure an all-but-invisible diaper under baby's slim-fitting pants
  • Four rows of snap adjustments 
Sizes Available 

 Size 1 fits a wide-range of babies! 

Three notes on sizing 
  • 'Pounds' is the approximate weight range, of course affected by your baby's body type
  • 'Rise' is a front-to-back measurement. How to measure: run a string or measuring tape from the small of the back, between the legs, and up to just-below the belly button. If measuring over a prefold or fitted diaper, add 2 inches for ease. If measuring a bare baby, add 3-4 inches for ease. Then look at the size chart and go up to the next rise measurement. 
  • Size 0 corresponds with FN's size 'Small,' Size 1 with 'Medium,' and Size 2 with 'Large'

My Own BSB, Put to the Test

Washed three times on hot with detergent, then dried. 

First use - two hours during the day. The absorbency seemed equal with the FN.
As it hadn't been thoroughly prepped, I continued to use it during the day for two weeks. It continued to perform well, lasting from one change to the next without issue (I diligently change every two hours during the day). 
After it had been washed 7+ times I put it to the ultimate test - overnight. (Side note - I've often been quoted saying I won't use FN overnight, while trim, adorable and easy to use, for our family they are a daytime-absorbency diaper only). Adding just a hemp doubler behind the tongues and a scrap of fleece  as a wicking layer (DD's bum requires that stay-dry feeling at night), I put Avalee to bed. Unfortunately, we only made it until 4am or so, and then had leaks. 
For the next nighttime test - I boiled the insert for another 30 minutes, added two hemp doublers, the fleece scrap, and a fleece soaker over the top. This combination worked! (I must confess, I haven't tried this combination with our FN to say whether it would be comparable.)
Pockets work so well for us at night that they will remain our nighttime go-to. But, I no longer need to fret if we are out of pocket diapers, as I now know we have a backup solution that will do just fine! 

Last word on BSB vs. FN absorbency - I will be anxious to hear other users weigh in. As my lovely daughter is holding her bladder longer and longer, she is no longer the most objective diaper tester (although she is still as cute as a peach!), and I have a hard time definitively saying whether it is equal to, or greater, than a FN in the absorbency department. 

So Abby, where do I go from here? 

Fishnoodles won't quite go the way of the dinosaur, in the cataclysmic sense anyways. Rather, Fishnoodles will continue to be available until the inventory has sold out. You can get them at Itsy Bitsy Bums or Fishnoodles website

But should I buy a diaper that is on the way out? In my opinion, yes. If you are a FN fan, and have a skinny baby, I think you will still prefer the fit of the FN. In addition, the FN is a bit more economical, and available in some colors and prints that the BSB will not be. 

In closing....

In my opinion, FN is still the trimmest diaper on the market. BSB's extended wings and added snaps, for babies that are on the smaller size, will add some bulk to the front of the diaper. This bit of extra fluff makes the trimness equal to a Grasshopper, or a side-snapping sized Bottombumper (the other two AIOs often compared with FNs).

But for for those whose baby is larger - either through belly, thighs or both, the BSB AIO is going to be a fantastic solution. It offers much more room through the waist, and an additional snap setting on each side ensures you get the most use out of each size of diaper. 

Ready to Buy! 

And now..... party people who are ready to try a Bright Star AIO or two, you can shop the preorder at Itsy Bitsy Bums, or at Bright Star Baby! Release date January 15th, with preorders shipping on the 16th. 

Lastly, a big thank you to Dawn for allowing me to be a tester for this great new product!