Saturday, July 17, 2010

Diaper cover reviews: Tiny tush

A few days ago, I ordered this Tiny Tush diaper cover in a size large, color rose, with snaps.  We put it on him this morning, and so far, it's working fine.  As of 3:30pm, no leaks, even through a 2-hour nap, and he seems comfortable and happy in it.  One thing I don't love is that it sags a lot in the bottom.  Take a look:
I realize that this sagging may be a result of (1) my lack of expertise in cloth diapering, and (2) the use of the size large rather than medium, but it just seems like the rise is a little too long for our little shortie.  All in all, the diaper cover just doesn't look very trim, and would seem too big if it weren't for the front fastenings, which look as if they are too tight, but which in reality are a nice fit:
As you can see in the pic, the trim is rolling as if the snaps are pulled way too tight, but I think the diaper and cover would slide right off his little hiney if I loosened the snaps. 

We haven't gone out in public yet today, so we've been letting him run around in just the diaper and cover, so I can't comment on how it looks under clothes.  Right now, though, regardless of the sagging and rolling, I'm liking this cover - it's got gussets in the legs that give a nice tight (but not too tight) fit, and as I previously stated, no obvious leaking yet.  This is, of course, a first-impression review, which I'll update once I've had a little more experience with it!

Cloth diapering...a green choice, but is it really frugal?

One frugal choice that we've been unsure about making is whether we want to use cloth diapers.  We know they are a greener choice, and they reduce waste in landfills, and that we can re-use them over and over.  But, quite frankly, the better-known cloth diaper brands are between $15 and $20 for a single diaper, and when I can get a pack of Luvs at Walmart for about $4.47 ($6.97 - 2.50q), paying 4 times that for a cloth diaper makes me hesitate.  This is especially true because Pooh is already 22 months old, so paying that much for what may only be a few months use was really making me think about whether this was a good decision for us.

But a couple different things happened this week to convince me to try it out.  First, I found a local cloth-diapering mom who was clearing her stash and had about 40 pre-folds for sale.  Of the 40, about half are in Excellent Used Condition (EUC - an initialism you will get to know very quickly if you cloth diaper!).  About 5-10 have some staining, which I'm going to try to sun out of them, and about 10-15 have no stains but are obviously well-used.  Plus, she had a couple doublers and 4 pairs of plastic pants, so I grabbed the lot and started washing.

Second, my fostercare agency gave me permission to use Pooh's mandatory $40 a month clothing allowance for cloth diapers - he's got PLENTY of clothes, and he'll be able to use the same set of cloth diapers until he's potty-trained.  So, I trolled the internet looking for good deals and seconds; I wanted to try several different economical covers and then be able to make a decision between them and order more of the ones I like best.  I ended up ordering the following:

This tinytush cover (size large in rose) for $5
This LiteWrap cover (size large in barnyard) for $7.95
This Econobum One-size cover (white) for $8.95
This Wonder Wrap One Size Cover (in blackberry) for $11.16
I also got a toddler pack of 2 snappis for $7.55

Altogether, the 4 covers and the snappis came to $40.61, and shipping was free on all but the tiny tush cover, but that was only $0.44 anyway.  In addition to these 4 covers, I've got the 4 pairs of pants that I got with the prefolds, which I've been told are Bummis.  That gives me 8 covers, so I'll probably need more, but for now, it's a good start!

Is it worth it?

A friend asked me this the other day if the process of getting WIC was worth it, and I'll be honest and say I was wondering the same thing myself.  For the unitiated, WIC is a nutrition assistance program that provides vouchers for things like milk, eggs, whole grains, cereal, juice, etc for Women, Infants, and Children.  Foster children, as dependents of the state, are automatically eligible for WIC, so we don't have to go through a rigorous qualifying process.  Still, I once went with my sister to a WIC appt, and it took about 2.5 hours, so I was unsure if it was going to be worth it.  But once I started thinking about it, I realized that, for us right now, it's worth it to get WIC for Pooh.  Here's why:

We received credits to purchase the following items:
- 3 gallons plus 1 quart of whole milk
- 1 pound of cheese
- 1 dozen eggs
- 2 containers of juice (64 oz)
- 36 oz of cereal
- 1 pound of dry beans
- 2 pounds of bread, tortillas, rice, or oatmeal
- $6 in fruits or vegetables

Now, this works out to about $30 in groceries, all staples that we'd be buying anyway.  My appointment with Pooh took right at an hour, so we could figure that to be $30 an hour.  Not bad, but it gets better.  Benefits are assigned for 3-month periods, which means that it's $30 X 3 months, so for my one single hour in the office, we get $90 in groceries for Pooh.  Wow!  In addition, this month we were given vouchers for $10 in farmer's market produce.  So, $100 in food, for one measly hour in the WIC office - an exceptional deal, in my opinion, and one that allows us to use that $100 in grocery money for high quality nutritious food, and the occasional treat, like Blue Bell ice cream, which both Pooh and P-daddy really love!  For me, this is the epitome of frugality:  we use what resources we have wisely, so that we can spend more on things that we need to.

Now, lest you think that all we are getting from WIC is groceries, let me tell you a little more.  We also get the added benefit of their health and nutrition publications, a visit with a nutritionist, the peace of mind that Pooh is at an acceptable height/weight, and the knowledge that his iron levels are great (which they are apparently really concerned about at this age).  Plus, in 3 months, rather than bringing Pooh with me, I get to attend a nutrition class, during which they'll update Pooh's benefits, and I'll learn more about how to get toddlers to eat healthy.  Again, I'll be there an hour or so, and receive benefits for 3 months.

Sure, it means one more card in my wallet, and trying to get P-daddy to be less helpful by dropping by the store and getting milk without the WIC card, but all in all, I'd say it's definitely worth it!