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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review: Snappi Diaper Fasteners


I'm a big proponent of cloth diapering. There are just so many benefits to using cloth diapers over disposables. First off, they're healthier: there are no nasty chemicals for baby to breathe in or to irritate baby's skin, and the breathable material helps prevent diaper rash. They can also be much more economical (when not using a diaper service), saving parents $1000 to $2000 in diapering costs - and these savings increase when parents reuse their cloth diapers for future children. Another huge consideration is that cloth diapering is vastly more eco-friendly than using disposable diapers, which take hundreds of years to decompose, pose the danger of contaminating ground water, cannot be recycled or reused, contribute millions of tons of waste to landfills each year, and require substantial resources to produce. On top of it all, cloth diapers can be reused for future children or repurposed as household rags, eliminate large amounts of waste from your personal garbage bins, and are just plain cute! Twee Poppets is all about the cute.

However, all-in-one cloth diapers can be spendy. Prefolds are more economical, but they require a separate diaper fastener. Until recently, most folks have used diaper pins, which can be difficult to manipulate and are extremely sharp. I know I would be afraid of poking myself or baby if I were to use a traditional diaper pin - and I would definitely be on the look out for a better way to fasten the diapers!

Enter the Snappi Diaper Fastener.

Snappis are so handy that they have become a must-have for cloth diapering. They are T-shaped rubber fasteners with a few plastic teeth on each "leg" of the device, and they are very simple to use. Once you fold the diaper into place, just hook the left leg of the fastener onto the left side of the diaper, stretch the right leg over to the right side of the diaper and hook, and then bring the bottom leg down and hook, changing the Snappi from a T-shape to more of a Y-shape.




I've changed many diapers using these fasteners, and I find changing a cloth diaper with a Snappi to be just as easy as changing a disposable diaper. I love that the design of the Snappi makes it so quick, easy, and safe to change a cloth diaper! The plastic prongs on each leg of the fastener are a bit pokey and you should definitely avoid handling them directly, but they are nowhere near as sharp as diaper pins! I've felt the prongs with the tips of my fingers several times and have never been hurt. The ends of each Snappi are just sharp enough to ensure that they stay firmly hooked onto the diaper, but not sharp enough to cause concern about injuring yourself or the baby during a diaper change - in fact, another benefit of Snappis are that they don't have the potential to poke straight through the diaper and onto the baby's skin the way traditional diaper pins do. They also include a terrific safety feature in the form of a loop that can be used to cover the sharp plastic teeth when the Snappi is not in use; I have never found this to be necessary, but it's wonderful to have the option!



The fasteners are surprisingly durable. While their website recommends only using a particular Snappi for six months, I nanny for a family who used theirs for over a year, only stopping when they switched to disposable diapers, and their fasteners held up very well. The only issue with their Snappis was that a couple of the loops eventually broke; however, this was really a minor issue, and while I would love to see it fixed, I can't say it really impacted the usefulness of the fasteners.

Snappis come in a rainbow of colors, so you'll even be able to coordinate them with different outfits! While you technically only need one Snappi (per cloth diapered baby) at any given time, I'd recommend purchasing at least a few, not only for convenience, but also because it's so fun and cute to match them to baby's clothing! And since Snappis are so reasonably priced (MSRP $3.95 each, $5.75 for a double pack, or $7.55 for a triple pack in baby size, or just slightly more for toddler size), you won't have to break the bank buying them!



Visit the Snappi website here.
Purchase Snappi Diaper Fasteners on Amazon.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Review: Plan Toys Dancing Alligator


When trying to decide which product to highlight for my very first review, my mind kept coming back to one toy: the Dancing Alligator by Plan Toys. It's a wooden pull toy shaped like what will surely be the most adorable alligator you've ever seen.


 Maybe you've seen this toy around, and maybe your frugal side has been put off by the price tag (currently $20 on Amazon.com). Twenty bucks for one small, simple toy can seem like a bit much, I understand, but I'm here to tell you that this little guy is worth the money.

The body is made up of several segments connected by a strong, stretchy string and its wheels' axels are purposely set off-center; these features create worm-like movement and a wooden clapping sound that really keeps baby's attention. Oh, I know what you're thinking, but the clapping noise is, surprisingly, not annoying - in fact, it's almost soothing next to all the mechanical bells and whistles that come out of so many battery-operated toys!

The alligator's movement is fluid and the toy is easy to pull on hardwood or carpet. I nanny a fifteen-month-old boy who is just learning to walk, and he has no problems pulling this toy around; this toy is an excellent way to encourage new toddlers to practice walking. My only real complaint is that the attached string is very thin and a bit difficult for little hands to grasp; I would love to see an easy-to-grip handle on the end of the string. However, this is a minor complaint and certainly hasn't impacted the fun of this toy!

Sadly, the Dancing Alligator is prone to being ignored by little ones in favor of more attention-grabbing toys, which is a shame, because this is such a fantastic plaything. Luckily, this is easily remedied by simply drawing your little one's attention to it - just pull the toy around for a few seconds, and your kid will be reaching for it before you know it! Sometimes I even use it as a puppet or pretend to gobble up little fingers with its tiny mouth. There are lots of ways to play and encourage creativity!

Oh, and can we talk about how cute it is? That little tail! His funny face! Those bright yellow wheels! Those eyes! Even if you never got a bit of play out of this toy, it would look terrific sitting atop a shelf in baby's room. But you'll get plenty of play out of it - the Dancing Alligator is very sturdily made out of solid wood. I just love seeing toys made of wood, because not only is it more durable and eco-friendly than plastic, it's a natural material, which means you don't have to worry about your child being exposed to the chemicals found in the plastic toys that are so prevalent these days. The toys in the Plan Toys catalog are made almost entirely of solid wood, and that's a huge bonus in my book!

I'm a big fan of Plan Toys as a company. They have received numerous awards, and they're also socially and ecologically responsible, which is very important to me in a company. The bottom line, though, is that their toys are award-winning, developmentally-appropriate, durable, eco-friendly, and safe. Any kid would be lucky to own one!


Visit Plan Toys' website here.
Buy the Dancing Alligator toy here, $20.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Links

Here's a brief rundown on what each of the links at the top of the page are all about.


Home
The "Home" link will take you to the main page of my Twee Poppets. The banner at the top of the page will do this, too. Pretty simple!

About/FAQ
This page is filled with a few interesting tidbits about the blog. Want to know how Twee Poppets got its name? Curious as to what kind of products I review? Click here! And if you have any questions that aren't listed, feel free to email me and ask, and I will add the question and answer to that page!

PR
This page is aimed at potential sponsors of reviews and giveaways. It answers some questions I think they may have and gives a general idea of how the whole review/giveaway process works. If you're a potential sponsor, this is the page for you to read!

Links
This is where you'll find the buttons and links to some of my favorite blogs! You should definitely pay them a visit!

The Fine Print
This is the legal-ish mumbo jumbo section. It gets into the nitty gritty of copyright, commenting, reviews, giveaways, etc. Most of it is pretty common sense, but if you're curious, feel free to take a peek.


I'll be posting my first review soon, so keep your eyes peeled for it!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Welcome to Twee Poppets!

My name is Chelsea. I major in Early Childhood and Family Studies at the University of Washington, volunteer at a preschool, and work as a nanny to children of all ages. I'm not a mommy yet, but I can't wait for the time to come! I feel that I was born to be a mother - and I spend so much time with kids that I sometimes forget I'm not one yet! ;)

Through all my work with wee ones, I encounter more children's products than you can imagine. I decided to start Twee Poppets to pass along what I've learned to all you parents out there. I plan on reviewing items I find to be particularly helpful, fun, cute, educational, or otherwise special - and possibly a few products I think you'd be better off without!

I hope to find some wonderful shops and merchants who would be interested in sending their products my way for review, and hopefully for some fun giveaways as well! I'll also be throwing some curve balls your way, so stay tuned!




Please feel free to leave a comment to introduce yourself! I can't wait to meet you! :)