Wow! Today is officially the THIRD birthday of Padded Tush Stats. If you want to take a peek at where we were 3 years ago, check out our old-school site.…pretty funny, right? (For other fun flashbacks, you can also view our SECOND and FIRST birthday celebration posts!)
So in celebration of our third birthday, we wanted to highlight some of the great moments of 2013 and tell you what’s going on with us, and the website, going into 2014.
2013 Diaper Awards
So first off, let’s talk about what’s coming RIGHT around the corner – the 3rd annual Cloth Diaper Awards! We are currently counting up votes and will announce the winners at our LIVE event on January 15th from 6-7pm PST. Leading up to the event, we have rolled out our red carpet and are celebrating many of the companies in the business with our BIG Red Carpet Giveaway. Make sure you enter for your chance to win a whole bunch of great prizes and then join us for the night of the Awards, when we will have even MORE giveaway opportunities! (If you’re curious, you can also check out the 2012 Diaper Awards winners and posts to start getting ready for the big event!)
Now let’s look at the top posts of the year:
Our most popular post of 2013 was our Comprehensive Guide to Stripping Cloth Diapers, where we talk about the various causes and methods for stripping diapers. (Tara: I gotta say, my current favorite way to strip my diapers is the GroVia Mighty Bubbles Laundry Treatment–it’s been great!)
Our Troubleshooting for Stink Issues Post is popular again this year. This is a great visual representation of how to treat any stink issues you might be having based on your answers to different questions. This advice is based on the nearly 4,000 survey responses to our Washing Diapers Survey.
We got a lot of traffic on our post reviewing the Lunette Cup and Diva Cup. (Tara: We are actually in the process of updating this review with Carolyn’s input. She had a very different experience from mine, so we are really excited to show you what she has to say).
Our Washing Diapers with Tide post was also popular, but to be honest, we are currently in a dither because the new formula has caused issues for both of us, as well as several survey respondents. We are frantically trying different laundry detergents so stay tuned for our revised advice (Do you live in California and have any suggestions for us on detergents? Please comment below!)
Another popular post is our article outlining what to look for in cloth diaper training pants. (Tara: I am excited to say that I have finally found a brand of training pants that meet all of my criteria! You can read my review of the WunderUnders Training Pants for all of the details!)
If I Could Cloth Diaper All Over Again Event
This year we were excited to host the “If I Could Cloth Diaper All Over Again” event. In this series we featured suggestions on what we would purchase and do differently if we could start our cloth diapering journey all over again. These posts are great to share with friends who might be looking into cloth diapering and would appreciate learning from our mistakes and which products we would recommend to those just starting out. We break our suggestions down by different budgets. You can see Tara’s suggestions here and Carolyn’s here. We also have suggestions from survey respondents and advice for cloth diapering two at once.
Top Articles Written This Year
We just shared the top posts of all-time. Let’s look at the top PTS articles written in 2013
Top Picks Event
We also had an exciting Top Picks Event where we featured all of OUR favorite cloth diapering products. After reviewing over 200 cloth diapers between the two of us, we have developed pretty strong opinions about what works for our families. (Tara: Spoiler alert for 2014′s TopPicks–I’m fairly certain that the Imagine All in Two will make it on my list, I am just loving this cloth diaper!)
Our Retailer Database continues to be one of our most popular pages here at Padded Tush Stats. You can search for cloth diaper deals based on brand, location of the store, shipping costs, etc. It’s a great way to see where to get the best deal, plus we have several exclusive discount codes just for PTS followers. This year we had a great number of people using our searchable database to find the best Black Friday deals, but don’t forget that you have access to this database year-round. And tell your friends–they might be missing out on some great deals. Also, when you buy from retailers with a *** next to their name, we get a small chunk of change that we almost always send right back to all of you through great giveaways. (Carolyn: I’m not eligible for any of the deals listed in the database, but I use this resource ALL THE TIME when I’m trying to find out which retailers carry a particular product. So even if you’re only looking for a product description to share with your spouse or friend, or planning a future “maybe someday” purchase, the database can come in handy!)
What’s Up With Tara
So this last year I passed my qualifying exams for the Education program and (fingers crossed) I should be completing my dissertation this year and earning my doctorate. Hmmm, Dr. Padded Tush Stats is sounding kinda cool! My oldest daughter is now 4 1/2 (WHAT?!?!?) and my son is almost 3 (WHAT?!?!?!). With juggling graduate work, raising my kids at home, writing for Padded Tush Stats, teaching college writing, and writing for Fit Baby Steps, I’m learning a LOT about time management. I’ve also developed quite a passion for working out this year and showing Moms how despite busy schedules, they can make time to get fit. It’s been kinda neat–I really flipped my life upside down this year with getting more disciplined and more fit, so it’s been fun. So I recently started hosting Facebook fitness accountability groups to help other women get healthy. You are welcome to contact me (email@example.com) if you are interested. But basically I’m just chugging along as usual! I’m super excited to share what I will be doing for PTS in 2014, but more on that in a second.
What’s Up With Carolyn
Compared to Tara my life is downright boring, yet somehow 2013 still managed to keep me hopping! This was the first year that I was working full time for PTS, and as we’ve seen tremendous growth in the website this year (both in terms of readership and the number and scope of our planned events) I got a crash course in figuring out how to balance working from home and taking care of two small children (that’s a work in progress, but if I make any startling breakthroughs, I’ll be sure to let the world know!) It was also the first year I had two small children underfoot (at the end of 2012 I had a toddler and a lump of a newborn – life gets much more chaotic when BOTH kids can climb and leap and move furniture to get items off of the counter!) Nathan is almost 3 and while we’re not “officially” potty training just yet, he is wearing diapers less often during the day, which means that you can expect to see less and less of him on the website this year. Emily has just turned 1 and will now be our primary PTS diaper model! She is extremely mobile these days, so you can expect the “action shots” in her reviews to be far more “action-y” (the ones I took today were primarily of her running away . . . which I suppose is probably a view you’ll have quite often of your OWN children during the day, so at least the pictures will be accurate!) I’m excited for continued PTS growth in 2014 and can’t wait to see what new opportunities and events we’ll have to bring your way this year!
What 2014 Will Bring Us
We have a lot of great things in store for PTS for the upcoming year:
* Diaper Awards – seriously, this is going to be so much fun. We’ll be hanging out on Twitter and Facebook the night of the event and we are excited to pass out a ton of prizes.
* More Personal Reviews and Newborn Comparisons – Tara will be finishing up her batch of cloth diaper reviews (including several training pants reviews) and Carolyn will continue reviewing cloth diapers. She will also be posting a comparison table showing her experiences with the giant stash of newborn diapers that she tried on her daughter.
* More Statistical Reviews – Since Tara’s youngest child will be potty trained soon, she will be doing a lot more statistical reviews. This is going to be great because you will have more access to updated information on how different cloth diapers worked on different baby types.
* Carolyn and Tara’s Top Picks Event – You betcha–we definitely want to do that fun one again! Stay posted around June to see how we’ve updated our favorites!
If you don’t want to miss a thing, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Google+, or add your email to the “Email Subscription” box on the right of this page to get all this goodness sent directly to you. We also want to give a shout-out to our amazing sponsors who have supported us this year.
We want to thank YOU for your continued support of Padded Tush Stats. If there is an article or review that you would like us to feature, please comment below and let us know. Thanks for a great 3 years!
~Tara and Carolyn