Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

Wild about Rumparooz? These new prints make an already awesome diaper absolutely fabulous! There are 2 new prints–the Eco-Owl, which is my personal favorite, and Robotronic, which would be my favorite except when you have girls your brain gets stuck in some kind of  non-boy mode.

So, because I think of Rumparooz as the party animal of the cloth diaper world, Otter Babies is throwing a little bash in their honor. Kind of like a Super Bowl Party, except thankfully there is no football involved, just free stuff, cute diapers and fun.

We’re going to kick things off  October 1st at at 1 PM EST! Word of warning: there is a limited stock of the new prints! Your chances for prizes get better through the day, but your chances for the new prints won’t be as good. Lots of products will be on sale, too, so watch for those! If you don’t see a discount on the item you want, that means the product is no longer being discounted (quantities are limited). Here’s a little schedule:

1 PM: Let’s get started! The first Rumparooz order of the day will get a free Little Comfort one-size bamboo fitted diaper! (the new prints are not eligible for this offer). All in-stock Knickernappies and SmartiPants pocket diapers will go on sale for 10% off.

2 PM: the new Rumparooz prints will be officially available! The first 2 Rumparooz orders after 2 PM will each get a free Little Comfort diaper cover in the size of their choice. Leslie’s wetbags will go on sale for 20% off.

3 PM: More free stuff! The first 3 Rumparooz orders after 3 PM will include a cute and adorable little Otter Washy! 3 pairs of Otter Trotters shoes (made-to-order) will go on sale for 30% off.

4 PM: Still more free stuff! The first 4 Rumparooz orders after 4 PM will include a free 2-pack of Rainbow Wipes in blueberry and raspberry! 4 Nappy Shoppe wetbags will go on sale for 40% off.

5 PM: Lots more free stuff! The first 5 Rumparooz orders after 5 PM will include a free Buddha Bunz dryer ball! 5 Olive Jane designer diaper covers, 5 Otter Washies  and 5 pairs of Otter Puddles trainers (made-to-order) will go on sale for 50% off.

6 PM: You guessed it–free stuff! The first 6 Rumparooz orders after 6 PM will include a  free Sweetsation Therapy product (our choice)! Selected products will go on sale for 60% off–not telling yet what those will be!

The largest Rumparooz order of the day will receive a free Teething Bling necklace and pendant (mother of pearl).

All discounts end at 12 midnight or while supplies last. Orders do not need to include Rumparooz products to be eligible for discounts.


The longer I’ve been a parent, the more skeptical I become of the concept of preschool. I think it is telling that the very best preschools look remarkably like a home, in fact they look remarkably like my home. What do I feel is missing from my home that I would hope for from a preschool? Well, a room full of happy, laughing children. Friendship. Fellowship. That’s it in a nutshell, really.

And so, with this lofty goal in mind I’ve been going preschool hunting for our youngest daughter, who has her feet in the worlds of both a neurotypical child, who can express herself verbally and is giggly and funny and loves people and an autistic child, who requires direct, simple communication and guidance to focus her attention on the task at hand.

I didn’t really expect my search for a preschool to end up being a search for compassion and human decency, but that’s what it becomes for the parent of a differently abled child. In fact, I’d recommend borrowing a child like mine if you don’t actually have one, because this will be the quickest way to establish a true picture of the heart and soul of a preschool, which is the staff. Do you want a preschool that embraces and encourages children of all abilities? No? Well, consider your neurotypical child at his or her worst, crankiest, and least lovable. Now what kind of preschool do you want?

I had very high hopes for a preschool in our area that billed itself as offering a “progressive, contemplative education.” It claimed to “celebrate diversity,” and pledged “allegiance to {ourselves}, to the soul inside {us} that is in everything: one person under peace, true to {ourselves} and others, treating people the way {we} want to be treated, and bringing love to Earth through the celebration of life.” Awesome.

I took Faith for a visit on Tuesday and I could tell it wasn’t going to work although she did pretty well–just a feeling. It was kind of like they were acting the part of what they thought wholesome people should be like. Except they weren’t actually wholesome. Wearing Birkenstocks, eating barley and nutritional yeast, and reading stories about fairies doesn’t make you a decent person as it turns out.

The conversation in which they reject our daughter for their school (their words are actual quotes, mine are what I wish I’d said):

Them: Well, we discussed it with the teacher and she said she didn’t feel she would be able to teach in the way she wanted to teach if she were to accept your daughter.

Me: Yes, of course that’s fine. I believe there’s a section in the Americans with Disabilities Act that specifically says that not wanting to accept differently abled people is perfectly appropriate and it’s not necessary to do anything that might inconvenience yourself to accommodate them.

Them: I’m glad you’re so understanding about it!

Me: It’s not easy to choose to discriminate against a learning disabled child; I certainly don’t want to make this any more difficult for you!

Them: Well, even though we don’t want your daughter to attend the school, we want to extend an invitation to you and your family to attend some of the family events and social activities we have coming up–the Harvest Festival is next month.

Me: I think that would be extraordinarily awkward. But do let me know if you have any activities planned to celebrate Diversity Day or anything like that. We’d be glad to show up so you could show other parents the kind of diversity that’s not popular or trendy and that you don’t really want around.

Next up: a nearby Montessori school. I’ll hopefully be updating this post with more revelations about what “being kind, loving and respectful to ourselves, others, and all living things” really means.

Are We There Yet?

496, 497, 498, 499,


Thank you Facebook Likes!! Gosh, that sounds goofy…Fans was so much better. Anyway, here ya go with the giveaway question–just post your comment and you’re entered. Gift certificates for $25 each will be given to two lucky Fans/Likers drawn at random later tonight (should be around 10 -11 PM EST). One comment per Fan/Liker, por favor.

What gift would you give a friend just starting out with cloth diapering in order to help make sure she was successful with it? Maybe a diaper that worked well for you or was fool-proof or a detergent that really kept stinkies at bay or a great nighttime solution? And what would you AVOID giving her that might turn her off for life?

Giveaway Winners Announced!

Congratulations winners!! Please be sure to contact debbyreed@gmail.com within 48 hours so I can give you information about how to claim your prize : )

#114: Crystal B.

#104 Lucy G.

This is a somewhat embarrassing post to write–I am tempted to preface it by saying, “Now don’t YOU do this!” But I think it merits full disclosure.

Our 3.5 year old daughter is not the most reliable of children when it comes to announcing an imminent call of nature. So, not surprisingly this particular call went unanswered in time and my husband came in with her from outside with the “message” already left in her underwear. And he put the underwear, which had been spoken to in a very disagreeable way, in the sink for me to deal with. It was some time before I discovered them and the message had really sunken in by that time, I can tell you.

Now what I should have done was to rinse the message thoroughly and then launder the poor underwear by hand or maybe taken them to a laundromat in a different town or even buried them in the yard. But I did not. I confess now that I picked them up by one tiny corner and carried them to the washing machine and put them on top of the already full load of clothes in there and then I dumped 2 tsp of Lulu’s Glamour Wash (Zippity Doo Dah occupies its own little shrine by the washer) directly on the offending underwear. Note well: I did not rub it in or spread it around or mix or soak or trouble myself in any way to properly prepare the underwear for washing. I just closed the lid, turned the water setting to hot, pushed the ON button, mumbled a little prayer and then I walked away.

And so it was that I returned 2 hours later with some trepidation to open the washer and fish out the underwear anticipating that AT LEAST the underwear (but most likely the entire washload) was going to smell like a barnyard animal. But, no, that’s odd, the other clothes didn’t smell like anything. So I held the underwear about 2 feet away and waved them in the air and sniffed. Nothing. I held the underwear a little closer. Sniff. Nothing. I held the underwear right next to my nose and inhaled deeply. Absolutely nothing. There was no smell at all. A single wash got them completely clean. Try this at home at your own peril, but it sure worked for me.

I stand revealed before you, a bona fide Lulu’s Disciple.

Anita at Heartfelt Traditions has very helpfully compiled a list of cloth diaper and diapering product companies that manufacture their products in the US. This is a list in progress, as I know there are MANY companies that have not been included yet. I have added some companies that were overlooked and if anyone knows of others, please comment and I will update the list to include them.

Made in the USA

All Together Diaper (OsoCozy)
Baby Kicks
Better Bottoms
Blue Penguin
Blueberry – website says Made in USA
Bottom Bumpers
Buddha Buns
Cloth for Your Angel
Covered Caboose
Firefly Diapers
Green Acre Designs
Happy Heinys
Happy Tushies (Mum’s Bums)
Hiney Lineys
Leslie’s Boutique Wetbags
Little Beetle
Lulu’s Glamour Wash
Mommy’s Touch
Monkey Snuggles
Nappy Shoppe
Olive Jane Designs
Organic Caboose
Otter Babies
Planet Wise
Precious Dignity
Rocky Mountain
Rockin Green Detergent
SAHM Diapers
Simply Babybee
Smartipants – website says Made in USA
Snap EZ
SoftBums (covers made in US, inserts made in China)
Sprout Change
Swaddlebees – website says Made in USA
Tidbit Couture
Tiny Tush
Apparel and Shoes
American Apparel
Bunnyfeet Boutique
SoftStar Shoes
Bath and Body Products
California Baby
Lusa Organics
Sweet Knee
Sweetsation Therapy
Interesting site for other baby things made in USA — stillmadeintheUSA.com
Made in Canada
Maxwell Designs
Monkey Doodlez

Otter Mama LOVES mail. And she loves to answer mail. If you send her an email with a simple diapering question, chances are you will get a long-winded novel back.

Today’s long-winded novel is about diapering newborns, in answer to a question from an expectant mom who wants to cloth diaper and is doing some homework first (smart mom!):

Dear OtterMama:
As a new mom, I just don’t know what to buy, and an ‘everything you need to get started package’ would be helpful.  I like your idea of including the wipes, wetbag, balm, and nursing pads – maybe in an ‘accessories’ kit?!  What I was thinking was maybe 4 diapers with a mixture of O-Pads and Econ-O-Pads, or whatever might be necessary to get a baby through 24 hours of diapering (day and night, heavy volume vs. light, etc).

I’ve started a registry at your website, and keep thinking that I’d love to just ask you for 12 AI2s in x,y, and z colors/patterns with the appropriate inserts for each, instead of registering separately for diapers one by one.
Perhaps I’m naive to want such a large quantity up front; many websites advise trying out several types of diapers to see what works best on your child/with your home.  However, the reviews I’ve read of Otter Blotters have been so positive (and they’re so cute!) that I feel pretty confident.
I’d love to hear your input on how many diapers is essential (I plan to wash every 2-3 days), and if an entire wardrobe of AI2s is practical!  Thanks so much!

Hi New Mom!
I am very flattered you like the Ai2s enough to want a bunch!! But please don’t buy a bunch until you’ve tried one. Many people love them, and they work perfectly for their babies. But I have had someone return over $200 worth of diapers because her daughter turned out to be so tiny that the Blotters couldn’t be fastened tight enough around her thighs. I don’t charge for shipping for just this reason; you don’t have to order everything at once. And it’s actually pretty fun (and addictive) trying different diapers–you’ll see!

I also suggest that moms start out with the most cost effective diapers possible. For a newborn, that’s prefolds or flat diapers, with an inexpensive pull on or wrap-style cover. This is because newborns go through a LOT of diapers (be prepared for lots and lots of poopy diapers) and they grow REALLY fast. After the babies hit 10-12 lbs or so, they grow a little slower and they don’t poop so much, so then it makes sense to invest in more expensive covers and more absorbent inserts. And prefolds are useful for other things besides diapering, so it doesn’t matter if you only use them a short while. When they’re outgrown, you can use them for burp cloths and rags, cover your changing mats with them, etc. If you’re worried about pins, Snappis are a very nifty invention that holds the prefold in place without pins, and you can just lay the folded prefold in a cover without pinning it.

I do think it’s a good idea to also get 1. fitteds and covers that are almost as cheap as prefolds and 2. one-size diapers that truly work for newborns and older babies. I started stocking the OsoCozy fitteds because they are delightfully cheap, and they’re organic and made in the US. I strongly recommend the Little Comfort one-size bamboo fitteds, for an exceptional quality diaper at a very reasonable price. The Yamma fitted diapers I make are more expensive, but they are embroidered and colorful “show-off” diapers that work well for a newborn all the way to a toddler because they are 2 parts that snap together and only one part is used for a newborn. Newborns have very sensitive skin, and I like using a fitted diaper without a cover as much as possible to get good air flow to the skin. Because newborns don’t need a whole lot of absorbency, you can get away without a cover if the fitted is snug enough around their legs to contain blowouts (that’s projectile breastfed baby poop exiting the diaper at the back and legs, yuck).

My suggestion for a trial package would be:

1 Yamma one-size fitted

1 OsoCozy fitted, size S

1 dozen newborn prefolds

1 dozen infant prefolds

1 Otter Blotter size 1 Ai2 (8-20 lbs) this can be used as a cover over the prefolds, or the prefolds can be stuffed inside it for a pocket diaper, or it can be used as a cover over the snap-in O-Pads and Econ-O-Pads.

1 Otter Blotter multi-size cover size M (15-25 lbs) this cover fastens a bit differently from the 2-size Ai2 covers (the front doesn’t snap down) and you can see which fastening system you like the best. This cover can be used over prefolds without pinning (just tuck the prefold in the front and back inner facings). I don’t recommend buying many of the multi-size covers in small, unless you really love the diapers so much you can’t live without them. The small size just isn’t practical for the cost.
3 Otter Blotter Day-O-Pads (these are one-size, so they can be used indefinitely)
2 Otter Blotter Econ-O-Pads, size 1

I have been searching for a cheap cover to stock for newborns and haven’t found one I really like. The Olive Jane designer diaper covers are nice (and on sale now!) but I am hoping to find something even cheaper. I will probably ended up making one myself, in a snap and pull on version.

Sorry for rambling on and on and on; but hopefully some of it was useful!


Did you know? America declared it’s independence on the 2nd of July, 1776 and delegates didn’t start signing the Declaration of Independence until August 2nd of that year. Turns out we’re commemorating the ADOPTION of the Declaration of Independence on the 4th. Maybe that means we should celebrate American Independence not just today but every day! For more July 4th myths, check out these fun facts.

And in Otter News, some fun 4th of July announcements!

1. There’s a great giveaway going on at the Knickernappies blog. Have I mentioned recently that I love this company? American-made products, family-owned business, absolutely salt-of the-earth people and fantastic customer service. And they stand behind their products with warranties that are the best in the cloth diapering industry. Enter to win a TRIO of red, white and blue 2G Knickernappies diapers in your choice of sizes and inserts! The mandatory entry is to use the Retailer Locator and leave a comment mentioning the retailer closest to them. Otter Babies is in Elliston, VA between Roanoke and Blacksburg (go Va Tech!) and I’d love to see everyone enter the contest and give a shout if you’re close to us!

2. One-size bamboo fitteds from Little Comfort are coming soon to Otter Babies! Little Comfort is a mom-owned company in Scotland and these fitteds are just fabulous! They’re beautifully soft and gentle against your baby’s skin and super-super absorbent. And they’re made to last–after 300 washes, this fitted will still be as soft as the day you got it! Pre-order yours today and use the discount code COMFORT to get 10% off your whole order!