Friday, October 7, 2016

Teaching Twos - Math

Please remember that this is child-led learning through play and movement. No drills, worksheets, etc. I'm going to present them in a series of subjects:
  • Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science/Logic/Reasoning
  • Social/Community
  • Gross Motor
  • Fine Motor
  • Art

If you haven't read my Early Math post, it has some excellent sources for why math introduction is as important if not MORE IMPORTANT than early language learning. We think nothing of talking to our babes in the womb and speaking to them from birth, but we often view any other form of early teaching as harmful. This simply isn't true. 

Learning through play and movement, observations in life, and experiences are how children learn in a developmentally appropriate manner. Of course they shouldn't be expected to do worksheets and drills. Those aren't even developmentally appropriate for a 2nd grader, though school systems choose to often teach them in this manner. 

Early math introduction has far-reaching benefits for children, and many cross-over aspects into reading and other subjects.

There is no expectation on the part of the child here. The expectation is on me to provide the teaching, the exposure to the concepts. The child either embraces it, ignores it, masters it, manipulates it, or just stores bits of it away for later. Often much later. But the point is that the information is there for them when they want or need it and more of it is retained, earlier, due to the exposure through casual, fun opportunities.

Rote Counting

This is what people often view as math learning. Number order and number recognition. This is such a blip on the radar of math learning, though. 

Rote counting is done daily here with our 0-10 chant. They love it. Rote counting is done more for introduction of number vocabulary, patterning/sequencing, and the concept of consistency, rather than getting them to be able to count, at this age. 

Since we begin in infancy with numeracy introduction, the 2's know their number names. Can they count? Not really. They have numbers they like and usually put them in numerical order. Mr. R likes "1,2,5!" Mr. H likes "1,3,4!" Usually they can pop up with the next number in a sequence, and they recognize some numbers. We say things like, "One, two, threeeee, GO!" to help with beginning counting. They are often observed counting in play.

One-to-one Correspondence

From birth we teach one-to-one correspondence. This is SO important for math and reading. We spend a little time on rote counting, but we spend a LOT of time counting THINGS. Numbers by themselves have little meaning, it is numbers as representations of quantities that have meaning, and that concept is as vital as the concept that words have meaning. We count things as least a dozen times a day: animals on a page, cups on the table, rocks in a bucket, balls we pick up, grapes on a plate, etc.

Shapes & Geometry
We work on identification of: circle, square, triangle, heart, star, crescent, with diamond, rectangle and oval added in as needed. Shapes are not something we actively work on, but casually discuss in environmental and book experiences. Just like colors, they seem to just pick them up. 

Even more casually, I introduce 3D shape vocabulary, keeping in mind that they are TWO. The moon is a circle. They lack the abstract thinking to interpret it as a sphere, so for now, it is a circle or a crescent.

More actively, we work with shapes. Often this is not a shape learning activity, but a geometric manipulation activity and/or logic/reasoning activity. For instance, at 2 years and 3 months, the three in the picture below, all born within days of one another, are able to do tanagrams, shape sorters, shape puzzles, Wedgits, etc. that work with shapes, but work with much more than just learning shape identification. Even puzzles are working on perspective, movement across a plane, translation, rotation, etc.

We also actively work with coordinate geometry terminology: up/down, back/forward, in/out, etc. I call this positional work. We do this as physial activities, casual observations, and purposeful book work. such as, "What is BELOW the bird?"


If I ask the 2's to get one or two of something, they can do that. We are working on more/less, a lot, big/small high/low and various other quantification concepts. 

Much of this type of learning is done in the sandbox and water table and playing with loose parts. Filling, pouring, dumping into a bigger or smaller container, trying to fit items into other items, all teaching proportion, volume, weight, length, height, concepts.

Even jumping off of things, stepping between pavers, reaching up for items, all teach measurement and proportion concepts.

Logic & Reasoning

Logic and reasoning are in play throughout the day. When I ask, "Is that okay?" I can see their young minds running through the reasoning. "Do you need to spend some time in time out?" "No." "Then what do you need to do?" Off they go making a better choice. Much of their logic and reasoning comes through playing with loose parts. We have a ton of stuff in our outdoor play area/classroom that they can use as they will. They often come up with uses for items that I never would have or could have thought up. Much of logic and reasoning comes from simply enabling them to experience a vast amount of different situations and the outcomes of their decisions pertaining to those situations.

Patterning & Patterns

At 2, pattern learning is continued from infancy as a physical and musical activity. We are currently working on "Pat-pat-clap, pat-pat-clap, 1-1-2, 1-1-2, pat-pat-clap, I Love You, 1-1-2, 1-1-2."

Last month it was "Jump-down, jump-down, jump-down, spin around. [repeat]" They would jump up then squat down, and turn around after three rounds of that.

There are patterns sprinkled throughout our play and routine. "1-2-3 GO!" is even a pattern. The order we put out beds, is a pattern. 


They have their counting bears to color group as an acitivity center choice.
We also do this in pick-up, "Put all the cars away. Now, put all the baby doll stuff away." It may not seem like a mathematical activity, but it is purposefully intended to be such. They begin early on seeing that like goes with like and making inferences about grouping. This is also a science aspect - characterization, identification of traits.

Beginning Computation

This is casual through observation. "Oh, look, you have three, 1-2-3, and he has three, 1-2-3. TOGETHER you have 1-2-3-4-5-6!" "He has one, can you give him another one so that he has two?" "You have one car and one more car, so you have two cars. one and one more is 1-2."

Not enough attention is paid to the early introduction of math vocabulary and concepts. Not just my opinion, finer minds than mine are saying this. Children learn many of these through their play, and we can scaffold that learning to a higher level through purposeful teaching. We can also provide them with a much broader base of concepts and vocabulary through casual observations of their activities.

I think I do a pretty good job at this. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Teaching Twos - Language

I had an interview recently and was explaining how I teach. She asked, with what I perceived as a large amount of derision, "What can you teach a TWO YEAR OLD?"

Yep, SHE was about to be schooled. 

Please remember that this is child-led learning through play and movement. No drills, worksheets, etc. I'm going to present them in a series of subjects:
  • Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science/Logic/Reasoning
  • Social/Community
  • Gross Motor
  • Fine Motor
  • Art

Vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary
2-year-olds pick up about 10 new words a day, when provided with 10 new words a day. Each child has different words that s/he will be drawn to, so I need to expose them to many more than that. The favorite word for them all yesterday was flamingo. Since it is estimated that an average person only uses 700 unique words on any given day, and a child has a vocabulary of 14,000 words at age 6, it can be implied that only through targeted efforts at vocabulary introduction does this happen. The main source for this is READING. Each book introduces a child to another person's vocabulary and voice. Given that there is a DIRECT correlation between time spent reading and future grades and adult success, reading is the key aspect of teaching 2-year-olds language.

Parroting/mimicking/repeating of words is key to rapid vocabulary acquisition. We work on this from birth. A newborn will stick its tongue out if it sees someone do it. That's how it starts. We start with parroting of movements, move on to parroting of sounds/babbles, and on to words. A child that will parrot words will pick up twice as much vocabulary in half the time as a child that doesn't.

To expand vocabulary, we will work with our monthly/weekly preschool themes to prep vocabulary they will need for those in the following years.

Sentence structure
The little ones are 2 years and 2 months old now. This week we have been working on pronouns. Previously they all used their names and said things like, "John do it." "Daddy truck." "Mommy go." Now they are speaking at up to five word sentences, and have thrown out a couple of pronouns. So it's time. So instead of me saying, "No, that's Randy's truck. Give back." I'm saying, "No, that's his. Give him his truck back." In just a week the use of pronouns by the 2's has greatly increased. This is a conscious directional shift in how I speak to them, with a specific goal in mind. A few weeks ago they were not ready for this shift, now they are. 

In parts of the world where eye contact is discouraged, enunciation is much better and mastered earlier than here in the west. [Just read this, but can't find source.] For us westerners, it is rude to not have eye contact when speaking, however when the eyes are on eyes, the mouth movements are missed. I purposefully teach the children to look at my mouth when learning new words. I say the word in a specific tone that keys them to parrot me, and put my finger to my chin to indicate them to watch my mouth. 

I will have them parrot a few times, until improvement is made, or they look away, indicating end of interest. I always end with a, "Good job!" and high five.

Enunciation is key to being understood, so the sooner we get good enunciation of the words they know, the quicker we get better communication and fewer tantrums from communication frustration.

While many would consider the ABC song language acquisition, I do not. For me, it is mathematical sequence. It teaches order and the concept of consistency. The language component is simply the vocabulary introduction of the letter names.

ABC recognition means little to me. It doesn't matter to reading if a child knows an "A" is an "A", it matters that they know that "A" says "aaa." Most of my former 2-year-olds knew their phonics for both upper and lower case by 3, and learned the letter names by 4. This meant that they were often reading some at 3/early 4, without knowing their letter names.

We learn phonics through acquisition first of sounds. Not just letters and their partner sounds, but also digraphs and blends. We'll spend a week focusing on the CH sound for instance with casual references to the letters shown. We start at 2 to make clear the concept that letters make sounds. At 3 we work on sounds making words, and by 4 we move to words make sentences, make paragraphs, make stories, etc.

We also work on phonics through reading of alphabet books. I emphasize the phonics element, since the letter name is usually the focus of the book. It's easy with books like Dr. Seuss's ABC.

While reading, we work on many of the pre-reading skills
- Left to right convention
- Recognition of print as meaningful words
- One-to-one correspondence of words 
- Repetitive readings to encourage comprehension, sequencing, filling in

When we do reading, it is ALWAYS interactive. The children get to play out the story in some way. In Goodnight Moon they pop balloons, meow like kittens and do a lot of other movements and sounds. For any book that has a repetitive phrase, like Pete the Cat, then they say that phrase whenever I pause and look at them. If you haven't done this type of interactive reading, it's easiest to start with books meant to be interactive, like From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. However, any book can be made interactive. 

The one way we do letter name recognition is the first letter of their names. Since I put it on their work, and they have their names on their cubbies, I make a point of introducing the first letter of their names at 2 years old. 

Observational skills
A huge part of comprehension is paying attention to and remembering details. When we read, I always ask them to find different little elements within the pictures. With repetition, they become use to looking more closely, paying attention longer, remembering elements, connecting the story to the picture, and gaining a clearer understanding of the content. What this leads into is greater comprehension once they start reading, and a better ability to visualize the story once the pictures are removed in chapter books.

This is not done just in fine work like a picture book, this is a skill that we focus on at a large scale as well. The 2's will point out the moon, a pear in the tree, a spider web over the garden, an ant on a tree, etc. They are more observant through practice, and while the goal is to be better readers, having attention to detail and a broad visual perspective have many excellent advantages.

Language acquisition begins in the womb. So many pieces of the language puzzle are in place, ready to go, when a child hits 2. Twisting and turning the pieces until they make sense, go together, and create a beautiful picture of meaning, is a large part of the skill set learning for twos.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Discipline Planning for Problem Behaviors

We have 4 basic rules here:
- Respect others/living beings
- Respect things
- No running inside - walk
- No throwing inside

That's it. This is a child-led program, so they are pretty much free to do whatever they want as long as these basic tenants are adhered to for their activity choices.

When the usual discipline measures are not working to correct a behavior problem, then a discipline plan is often the key to getting it resolved. A discipline plan has similar elements to a curriculum plan, and the scientific process.

Identify the problem. Sometimes, the root problem is not what we are routinely addressing. We are reacting to symptoms, extensions, or outcomes, rather than the core issue.
Identify those involved. Protagonist? Victims? Home issues? ME? What is each one doing to contribute to the situation perpetuating?
Situation. When does it occur? Is it environmentally stimulated? Does it exacerbate at a particular time? 
Review. What has been tried? Why has it failed? What has not yet been tried?
What is the goal? What is the single most important piece of this situation that needs to be addressed? What does the ideal outcome look like?
What can I change or teach that leads to the desired outcome/behavior?
Implement, review, tweak.


I have a young gentleman, with a big heart and joyful personality, who has been unable to keep from running inside. He father told me it is the same at home. This child also has an issue of always needing to be first/in control. So when he ran, the others would run, and he would push them if it seemed possible they would get ahead of him. Running also leads to tripping, and tripping leads to falling. There's a reason for rules.

I had already tried:
  1. Repeating the rule
  2. Explaining the reasons behind the rule
  3. "Taking away his legs" where he had to sit on the floor or at a table and play
  4. Giving him 3 opportunities to choose an acceptable behavior [with above] other than running before time out was initiated
  5. Praising good behavior choices
The issue came to a head when he was basically going into time out within five minutes after getting out, sometimes he would RUN out of time out.

Then he started refusing to go into time out, which is basically the highest form of discipline I can use. Parents can also use segregation to a room, loss of toys/privileges/activities, etc. that are not feasible in a school/care environment at this age to the extent that it can make a difference.

I viewed this as a non-compliance issue. It devolved into a power play. He was going to run, and I was going to put him in time out for it, especially when he started taking out his frustration at the situation on the other children.

Obviously what I was doing was not working, and what he was doing was unacceptable.

I discussed it with the parents viewing this as a comprehensive issue for both family and school.


I could see this issue was not going to go away anytime soon, as I had been dealing with this for weeks, it was increasing, and it needed to be curbed immediately. It was a safety issue. Even if he was doing it at home, I needed a solution NOW for school.

  • Why is he running inside after spending a minimum of three hours outside in constant motion? Probably not getting enough high energy activity.
  • What would I have done if he were younger? Environmental changes.
  • What would I do if he were older? Same as I was doing: explain, offer 3 chances to choose the correct behavior, then time out, encouraging good choices.
  • What is the goal? Stop running inside
I tried environmental changes. However, when they are older than two, they have the dexterity to move around obstacles with ease. Any further changes would block emergency paths. It almost seemed to offer more challenge and more incentive for him to run.

Putting him in time out just bottled up and fueled his energy reserves and led to other issues.

Identifying that the goal is not compliance, but to stop running inside, I focused on that. Compliance and the need to be "King of the Hill," are issues, but I always want to focus on one issue at a time, separate from others, the most significant issue first. Significant meaning it impacts other children or their families, and especially if it has any safety concerns.

I always counsel the parents to begin with the end in mind. Rather than focusing on getting a child to STOP doing something, focus on getting them TO DO something else. A positive green light is always better than a negative red light.

While the goal in this case is compliance with the rule to not run, to change the behavior of running inside, what does the goal LOOK LIKE? What do I want to see him DOING, rather than not doing?

The goal: To choose an appropriate behavior when full of wiggles.

Discipline means to teach.

What could I teach him that would keep him from choosing to run when his energy kicked in?

What were acceptable behaviors that he could choose from, when walking wasn't cutting it?


Jumping, twirling, crawling.
  • Jumping takes enough coordination he couldn't really push others at the same time at his age.
  • Twirling has no leader.
  • Crawling on all fours means that even if pushing ensues, the children are stable, low, and unlikely to be harmed if pushed over, and he would be more likely to make himself unstable in the effort and less likely to act upon that behavior.

So far it's working. He LOVES jumping, and readily and HAPPILY transitions to it. Hopefully he'll begin to choose that behavior over running. 

Rather than saying "walk," when he/they begin running, I say, "jump, twirl, crawl." 

I'm also having him running more outside to get more of his wiggles out. 

Update. It's been a couple of weeks now, and I see him choosing to jump when his wiggles set in. Even when he gets frustrated, he seems to be cluing his body to jump rather than pushing or hitting out at others. A side benefit I didn't anticipate.

Friday, May 27, 2016

One Smart Cookie

This handsome young man, Mr. G, graduated pre-k from here last August. He was approved for an immediate double grade skip. which his parents chose not to do. He was provided differentiated reading and allowed to do math through Kahn Academy on his iPad. Once a week he went to do research with a 3rd grade class, where he made many friends. Otherwise, he remained with his same age group and flourished socially.

He has been blessed with an amazingly supportive school staff. They recommended that he be tested for the gifted program while still in kindergarten. He passed all testing in the 99th percentile. The highest achievable score. This was 2nd-5th grade gradient scoring tests. He was again offered a grade skip up to 5th grade. All the grades in between were also discussed.

While he is extremely advanced in reading, writing, math, (basically all skills), he retains the innocence of a normal 6 year old and has amazing friendships within his class. Next year, for first grade, he will remain with his class, but he will be doing skills in higher grade classrooms and going to another school once a week for gifted learning experiences. He will be the only first grader, but this young man has NO issue with making friends of all ages. 

He's smart, he's charming, and he has more personality in his little finger than most people do in their lifetime. I am so proud of what Mr. G has accomplished this year and so grateful for a public school staff that has met him and challenged him where he was developmentally and cognitively. His parents have had some tough decisions to make, and they have done so with extreme contemplation, always keeping their child's best interests for both now and in the future at heart. 

His kindergarten experience has been everything I could possible hope for my graduating kiddos.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Math Whiz

Miss Libby, who graduated from here 7 years ago, just received her trophy for Math Olypiad. She scored in the top 2% INTERNATIONALLY in the Math Olympiad among fifth and sixth graders. She is one that was tested for the gifted program at her school a year early, the middle of kindergarten, and was tutored by the librarian in reading because she was so advanced. Congratulations, Libby!!

Monday, May 16, 2016

MINE Toddlers and Possession

The concept of possession is one of the most important for children to attain. Our society is based upon respect for our and other's possession of material goods, rights, responsibilities, feelings, etc.

We begin from birth to give them claim to their feelings. "Does your tummy hurt?" "Oh, you're hungry." "Such a sad face."

By a year, we are stating claim to others' possession. "He's sad that you hit him." "Those are mommy's, no touch." "Not yours, give back."

In general, toddler rules of possession go like this:

But at some point, they begin to move beyond their self-centric possession sense, and expand that to others. They can do this much more quickly through:

  • Constant reinforcement of what is theirs 
  • Expectation of understanding and respecting their own possession of feelings, material items, responsibilities
  • Expectation of them respecting others' possession of feelings, material items, responsibilities 

The toddlers are now 22 months old, and are getting down the concept of one another's possession of material things. We begin to work on this area of the concept as soon as they can begin to reach for things they want, around 6 months old. By 12 months, we are telling them things like, "No touch," "Not yours," "Let go," "Give back," and of course, "MINE."

A key moment happened for us last week when two of the toddler boys were both using similarly colored Frisbees. In the past, as in up to a couple days prior, they would basically take whichever Frisbee they came across first, whether or not it was "their" Frisbee. If the other child had laid claim to it for a while and viewed possession, then a fight would ensue. This time, though, as soon as one of them noticed the Frisbee was not "theirs," the child would immediately head off to find the one they were using. A few times, a child would point out the other child's Frisbee to that child. Possession is one thing, RESPECT for other's possession, is at a whole different level of cognitive and emotional development.

The fact that the Frisbees were so close in appearance [to a toddler] was an indication of just how much the concept had sunk in for them, along with a significant increase in observational skills and discrimination skills.

They have now also assigned possession between them to other toys here at school, such as particular cars, push toys, t-ball bats, etc. and will pass over other's to get to "their" toy, or purposefully hand over the toy to the other child, often whether the other child really wants it at that moment or not. 

It helps that each child has a specific color for their dining ware, a specific spot for nap, a sleeping bag that is uniquely colored, a specific spot at the table, a cubby they can reach to keep their stuff separate, etc. By having these solid foundations for what is MINE at school, it gives them a daily grounding in possession from a very early age. 

I do not force sharing. I have other blog posts with links to people with more expertise than I have to tell you why. Many child care/preschool settings do not allow personal items from home. I ENCOURAGE it. The children do NOT have to share their items from home. Why?

To teach respect and the concept of possession.

Theirs is theirs, not yours.

A child may ASK if the owner will nicely share, but they do not have to share. The child needs to RESPECT that it is the owner's toy. If the owner is nice enough to share, then the child needs to treat the toy kindly and give it back, directly to the owner, when through.

Respect for possessions is not just for other people's. The children who bring items from home must keep them in hand [or on their face/head/etc.], in their cubby,  or in a safe spot. 

Even at nap we respect their possession.
We have safe spots for projects, items, etc. such that anyone may place items in the safe spot, but items may only be removed by me, and only to the owner of that item. Children will often find abandoned home toys and place them in a safe spot. The owner then must request the item from me, often receiving a warning about taking responsibility for our possessions, or they will not be allowed to bring anything for a couple days.

I received a text from Mr. R's mom this weekend asking if I made the toddlers claim their messes. He was spilling water, pointing, and saying, "Mine!"

I responded that yes, I do, and I expect them to clean it up as well. Possession and responsibility have many facets, and this is just another one of those.

The concept of possession and respect for possession is just SO important and it amazes me that this is not an actively TAUGHT concept. All children get it, but through passive, normal interactions. I purposefully place children into situations where this concept can be absorbed, developed, reinforced, and practiced. I believe it makes for much more respectful and responsible children, at a much earlier age.

If a child takes something that isn't theirs, breaks something on purpose or through gross neglect, or is disrespectful of other's feelings/possessions/rights, then there needs to be consequences beyond saying, "I'm sorry." "Sorry," doesn't make anything better and it doesn't change behavior or their moral/ethical compass. Reparation and consequences that are directly in line with the disrespect are appropriate, and DO make a difference. 


We hope.

Just because we teach it, just because we practice it, and just because it is ingrained within them from a very early age...doesn't mean I didn't just have two four-year-olds biting one another over an empty toilet paper tube that was somehow loose on the playroom floor. [Ridiculous, unusual behavior that they got into big time trouble over.]

I'm not sure even adults can ever perfect this concept, but we try.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Cloth Diapers & Child Care

I hope you enjoyed Jessica's guest post on Cloth Diaper Ins and Outs. This is a follow up from a child care provider's perspective.


In general, cloth diapers are pretty much the same as disposables. Same general routine and diapering procedures. There are a few things I keep in mind, however.

I have to store the diapers and liners. Yes you have to store disposables as well, but those stack up neatly or are in plastic sleeves. For cloth, I use an IKEA plastic bin that stores the diapers and a roll of liners. I take the diapers out each morning and place them into the bin and hang the wet bag on the bathroom door.

I can't wipe with a cloth diaper the same as with a disposable. Most poop can be wiped off with a disposable, but if you do that with a cloth diaper, you get more poop on it than necessary, which you don't want. I keep a roll of toilet paper handy and will use that to remove the majority of the mess prior to using wipes. Otherwise, you will use a dozen plus wipes. I just plop the toilet paper into the toilet, since I change them on a pad on the floor of the bathroom. [State likes for the bathroom stuff to all be in the bathroom, and a pad on the floor saves my back from lifting 2 year olds.]

I need to think more about changing order. I change all of them at the same time, usually. If using gloves, it doesn't really matter, but I don't. I use a plastic bag for the nasties. I turn it inside out to grab the soiled liner off the cloth diaper, so I need to do the cloth diaper child first. Then I do the others and put the soiled disposables into the same bag.

I need to prepare the diaper before taking the other one off. This is basically true of disposables as well. However, pulling a liner off the roll requires two hands. laying out the diaper requires two hands, getting the snaps together takes two hands. If you have squirmy child, things can get messy fast. I always lay out the diaper with liner on top prior to laying the child down on the pad. I can put a disposable on one handed while holding a child in place, not so with a cloth diaper.

I need to be considerate of the parents and place very poopy diapers into a plastic bag. This lets them know that it will need additional attention and not just be tossed into the laundry. The plastic bag goes into the wet bag.

I need to keep in mind that it is against state regulations for me to do any more with a soiled diaper than is absolutely necessary. I can't pull out liners, wash out poop, or do anything that could increase contamination of the space.

The parents have to bring the diapers daily. We start out the week with 5. Usually I use 3-4 a day at this point, 20 months old, depending on how late nap goes. They take the soiled ones each evening and bring me a corresponding amount back the next morning in a clean wet bag. I keep one spare in his clothes cubby and have a few disposables as back up.

The parents have to supply diaper rash cream. Most creams will lower the absorbency of the cloth diapers, so they are required to provide one appropriate for the diapers.


Wet Bags: My favorites are the Kanga Care wet bags. They are about three times as roomy as the envelope style. It is SOOOO much easier to get soiled diapers into it. It can hold a days worth easy, along with any soiled clothing. The envelope styles barely hold a days worth of soiled diapers, and it can get messy trying to stuff them into the smaller opening. I would love to have a Kanga Care one for every child, especially when we have wet swimsuits in the summer. 

There's just really no comparison. I'm always happier to see the Kanga Care bags.

Diapers: My favorite, especially for boys, is Bum Genius. Each diaper brand has a different liner/insert configuration. Some have one long liner that is doubled over, some have snap in liners, some have a single pocket liner, etc. Bum Genius have full reach dual pockets, one on each side. What I like about this is that with inserts, you can double the absorbency as they grow older. For boys, I can double up the front liner at nap, when they are usually sleeping on their stomachs over 18 months, and are more likely to pee out because of it, giving me 3 layers of absorbency even without inserts.

I DO NOT LIKE AT ALL the GroVia brand. They are so much narrower than the other brands and they snap front to back rather than back to front like disposables. The liners are much more narrow, and they have the single doubled over liner, Since I've been using disposables for over 30 years, the backwards snapping alone drives me nuts. It's just...WRONG and irritates me that I have to think while changing a child's diaper, which is one of the most mindless tasks, and a time when I should be spending engaging with the child rather than being forced to THINK about what I'm doing. GroVia is on the right.

I am also not a fan of a coop/no-name brand that has a dark gray inside. They are the only ones I have had two pee-outs from. I no longer use them at nap time. Ever. 

Some more personal opinions: Happy Heiny has only a single liner, but is super absorbent. Smart Bottoms don't seem to hold enough pee for bigger kids. Blueberry Diapers are fine. 

Jessica has mentioned that the ones with the Velcro rather than snaps are easier for the little ones to get open, but that Velcro is pretty darn strong, and I don't mind it at all. I can see where it would be a problem if the diapers were washed with other linty clothing, but I don't mind them. Quick and easy rather than trying to align snaps. They are not as adjustable, so I would imagine the cost would be higher since they would only fit a more limited size range.  

Frankly, the only irritation with cloth diapers has been the GroVia brand of diapers. Otherwise, I have had no issues with using the cloth diapers whatsoever. 

I was very surprised that indeed, he has less diaper rash issues than the ones in disposables. These new "cloth" diapers have great absorbency and the PLO outer fabric holds everything in wonderfully. 

I would HIGHLY recommend them to parents. Providers, cloth diapers are really a non-issue. Cloth friendly is a great marketing tool that costs you nothing. Being cloth friendly is easy peasy. 

They can be expensive to start out with, but you can always make your own! Additional cloth diaper pins on my Baby Crafts Pinterest pinboard.

Follow Little Stars Learning's board Baby Crafts on Pinterest.