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Cloth Bottys!…

At the moment you can buy Bambino Miosolo nappies for just £7.99 from Aldi (fabulous when you consider that they can be twice that price!) and you have three designs to choose from…

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…we got two each of the ‘little birdy’ and the ‘up up & away’ patterns.

We haven’t started using cloth yet (much to my chagrin) as I’ve just not been in the right place in my head to deal with the extra work. Even now, we’ve only got these four (plus the prefolds I’ve talked about already) so we have a way to go before we’re totally weaned off ‘sposies.

These nappies are all-in-one so they have a waterproof cover that has intergral absorbant material (thick microfibre in this case) rather than separate inserts. The insert can be pulled out to make washing/drying easier, and the pocket it goes in can be boosted with extra inserts, should you need to.

At first glance, they look great…

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The velcro fasteners can be secured back on themselves (top picture) which is really useful to keep the nappies from getting stuck to each other when washing. The insert has a handy little loop (right) to make pulling it out easier (for washing purposes), and it also has a little ‘glove’ pocket at the end (bottom left), to help push it back into place once they’re clean and dried.

Nappy Prep…

Cloth nappies need to be prepared before you can use them.

All nappies should be washed at least once to get rid of any manufacturing dirt/chemicals before use. Natural fibre cloth (like cotton and bamboo) has natural oils that will repel water (and, therefore, pee and poop) so they need to be washed on a hot wash two or three times to get rid of the oils and improve their absorbency.

Miosolos are completely synthetic so I put them through a 40 degree wash with a bit of Ecover laundry liquid, followed by a rinse to get rid of any leftover detergent. In the future (when they’re dirty) I’ll rinse them first to get rid of excess pee/poop, then put them through a 60 degree wash. I’ll probably follow with a rinse then too.

Note…you must wash natural and synthetic nappies separately until you have stripped the oils from the natural cloth so that the synthetic fabrics don’t take-up the oils as they are released.

I dried them on a radiator rack (so they weren’t directly touching the heat) and they were dry by the morning, but you can put them in the tumble-drier on a cool cycle if you want to.

Ready to go…almost…

So! The nappies are washed and ready to be used, but I don’t have any liners for them. Liners not only wick the wetness away from baby’s skin (which the fleecy material of the pocket also does) but they also make it a lot easier to deal with poop…

With liners, I’ll be able to throw (disposable liner) or wash (reusable liner) most of the poop away.

Without liners, I’ll have a pail full of lots of VERY poopy nappies. There will be staining. The bucket will smell a hundred times worse. I will be putting a LOT of poop through the washing machine.

At the moment I don’t know what direction to take with liners. Disposable ones seem easiest as they just go out of the nappy and either down the loo or into a nappy bag and into the bin. Reuseable ones mean less waste of course, and I kind of feel that if I’m going to be washing nappies and wipes (we use reusable wipes already) then I might as well be washing liners too…but I’m not sure I want to be rinsing poopy liners out.

I already have a big sheet of fleece (a cheap Ikea blanket…far FAR cheaper than buying the equivalent amount of fleece fabric) to make more wipes out of, so I may as well make nappy liners at the same time. It’d make more sense to do that than buy liners.

…I’m also waiting for a lidded bucket to arrive. I searched online for a “nappy bucket” and found several options, the cheapest being about £7. I searched again for a “lidded bucket” and found this white one for £4.99 (with free delivery) that I can decorate with Sharpies, should I so desire.

We’ve only got the four at the moment, and I’m loathe to buy any more until I know how they work for us, but we should be able to do the best part of a day in cloth once the bucket arrives.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Baby, Life, Parenting, Plans, Reviews

 

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Bounty Newborn Pack…

When you’ve given birth to your lovely baby, and you’re spending your time getting to know them on the postnatal ward, the Bounty reps come around bearing gift-packs and cameras. We turned down the offer of photographs (feeling like we were going to be trapped into spending lots of money, and not wanting Bounty to have possession of any pictures of our son), but were happy to accept the pack.

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If I’m honest, after the last two packs I’ve received (Bounty Mum-to-Be and Emma’s Diary Bump-to-Baby) I didn’t hold out much hope for the Bounty Newborn Pack, but I was really pleasantly surprised…

The first thing you notice is the free STUFF, because it’s bigger and more interesting than the small forest of literature that’s included…

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The best thing in the pack was a baby towel (top left) that is beautifully soft and comes with a sample of Persil Non Bio liquid and Comfort softener as well as money off vouchers for the same (the two brands we already use! Huzzah!)

Next best things were sample nappies and wipes from Aldi and Asda (I used the Asda wipes before I had chance to take the picture. Whoops). Asda only give you two of their ‘Little Angels’ nappies, and I think the pack had 10 wipes in it. Aldi are FAR more generous with 24 Mamia wipes (now in our nappy bag for emergencies) and 4 sample nappies. Fabulous!

We have since used the rest of these nappy samples up (more about our nappy experiences soon…) and can safely say that both Little Angels and Mamia nappies are very good quality and very good value if you then go on to buy them. The wipes are brilliant too, and we’ve used them on George’s bum and face with no adverse reactions (unlike Huggies aloe vera wipes which gave him sore skin. Bad Huggies!)

There was also a Tena Lights sample (and money off voucher) in the pack, another mini pot of Sudocrem, and a sample of Baby D Drops. All in all, a cornucopia of freebies!…and useful ones at that!

So…that’s all the interesting ‘STUFF’…now onto the forest of paper that was included in the pack. I was prepared for it to all be selling me something or just generally useless, but again I was pleasantly surprised…

  • Child Benefit Form…VERY useful! Unfortunately I didn’t know it was in there until a week or so ago (despite it being printed on the pack itself) so I didn’t have it with me when we registered George (you can apparently hand your filled in form to the Registrar)
  • 2 x Lansinoh Breast Milk Freezer Bags…also VERY useful. I hadn’t even thought about buying these so when I needed to freeze some of my expressed milk I had two in reserve! Awesome stuff!
  • Hotel Chocolat Tasting Club voucher…to get a £22.95 selection for £6.95. I love these chocolates! USEFUL!
  • Obligatory “Ocado 20% off” voucher…when you spend over £80 of course…not at all useful.
  • Pixifoto voucher sheet…for free photography sessions as your baby grows. Pretty useful if you like that sort of thing.
  • “Gift Certificates”…these look like great offers on the face of it BUT they’re all American sites so you have to pay almost £10 in postage for each purchase. It’s not bad if they were things you wanted anyway…you can get:
  • You and Your Newborn Bounty Book…I haven’t even looked through this but I’m fairly sure it’s another book of advertisements. It could be useful. Maybe.
  • Your Guide to Contraception After You’ve Had a Baby…leaflet. Useful!
  • Meningitis Awareness…mini leaflet. Also useful!
  • Coping With Wind and Infant Colic…leaflet (it’s basically an informative advert for Infacol)…very useful as George has suffered with bad wind (possibly colic)
  • Junior ISAs…leaflet. Might be useful.
  • D Drops Voucher…and leaflet. Useful for finding out what they’re about (and buying more).
  • Bounty Parenting Club Form…of course. I’m sure this will be useful if they want to give me more free things.

So there you have it! It was stuffed with STUFF and THINGS and a lot of it was useful (or could be seen as being useful)…all in all I’m pretty impressed!

Thanks Bounty 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Baby, Life, Lists, Parenting

 

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Four Weeks…To Get Out The Door…

George is four weeks old today and has celebrated by rolling over on the bed and giving me a beautiful smile. Ok, so the roll might have been a fluke but the smile was real (he’s been doing them all week!)

The registrar who did my surgery said that I’d be ok to drive after 4 weeks (and my insurance company were happy to go with his suggestion) so I’ve celebrated 4 weeks of George by getting back behind the wheel and driving us around. I’d forgotten how amazing it is to NOT have to rely on your mother for lifts…

Unfortunately, I’m still getting used to the whole ‘getting myself AND a baby ready’ and so it can take a lot longer than I expect. Gone are the days of being ready in half an hour (or an hour if I wanted to look like I’d made an effort). I’ve been late for everything recently. The other day we planned a short walk and we didn’t manage to get out of the house until late afternoon…can you imagine what it’s like when we’re going out further afield or for longer?!

Somehow, there’s SO much more to do (even though in reality the extra stuff is just feeding George, changing his nappy and getting him dressed) and the things I used to “just do” now have to be done as and when I can do them.

Time just flies by now too. Most mornings I get up and come downstairs for a cup of tea at about 9am…and then suddenly it’s midday and I’m still in my dressing gown with unbrushed hair (and teeth) and I could REALLY do with a shower and all I’ve done is feed George (and probably changed his nappy a few times).

This morning I managed to achieve the  (seemingly) impossible. I got out of bed (after George had his first daylight feed) and thrust him into Luke’s arms while I went to have a shower. I somehow managed to get dry and dressed before more feeding/nappy changing was required, and then I found time to make myself some tea and toast. Eating of the toast was done over George as he had yet another feed (fourth of the day) and I may or may not have got a few crumbs on him *ahem*…

I utilised his post-feeding nap to go brush my teeth and wash my face, and then all that was left to do was to feed him a couple more times, change his nappy once or twice and hand him to Luke for dressing while I brushed my hair. It’s amazing how quickly something as simple as doing my hair (even just putting it up into a haphazard pony tail) has become a frivolous use of my time…

I have SO much respect for single parents and for men/women who stay at home with the baby while their partners go to work. I have no idea what I’d do without Luke here in the morning…well, yes I do…I’d probably stay in the house, stinking and cultivating one massive dreadlock where my hair used to be. I’m sure that tears would be involved somewhere too.

Eventually we got out of the house just after twelve, an amazing two and a half hours after I stepped into the shower. It seemed almost miraculous.

Fifteen minutes later there was a poopy nappy that needed changing. Sigh.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2015 in Baby, Days Out, Life, Parenting

 

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Parenting Plans Pt.1 – Cloth Bottomed Babe…

When we found out I was pregnant I went a bit mad planning and reading about the different choices we had for taking care of our baby. One of the things we (…ok, I) decided was that we’d like to use cloth nappies on our little one, rather than the conventional disposables. My main motivation for using them was that we could pay for them in one go (and therefore not have to worry about budgeting for them in our weekly shop) – and also because you can get them in some REALLY cute designs.

People claim that, considering the extra 2-3 loads of washing a week, they don’t work out any cheaper or better for the environment (what with all the water, electricity and detergents you use) but, beside the fact that you can reuse the nappies every time you have more children, the more I researched the more I came to realise that it didn’t matter to me if I had to do more washing, use more electricity or detergent. What mattered to me was the landfill…

In one day we’ll probably change our boy’s nappy about 6-10 times, depending on his age. Over the course of a year that will be between two and three and a half THOUSAND nappies, all of which will still be in one piece on a landfill site long after me, my son and my future grandchildren have rotted away. Morbid but true. (To be honest, you don’t even need to be committed to real nappies to make a difference to landfill – using just one reusable nappy a day saves 365 going to landfill every year, If everyone did that it’d make a huge difference.)

A little more research taught me that conventional disposables can be filled with all sorts of chemicals and nasties, which might not be good for my baby’s skin. Both Luke and I suffer with incredibly sensitive skin, so it’s quite likely that our kids will too. I don’t really want to run the risk of using a brand of nappies that my little one could be allergic to.

So, decision to use “real nappies” made, but there are SO many types and brands on the market that I had no idea which ones I should be using. When I was a baby (33 years ago) my mom pinned me into folded squares of terry towelling with MASSIVE safety pins, then popped white plastic pants over the top. Things are a bit different now and you have the choice of:

  • prefolds/flats – these are similar to the “old fashioned” ones, in that you fold them and then pop a waterproof cover on the top…but the covers are far nicer these days.
  • two-parts – these are like the prefolds, but the absorbent inner is contoured to fit your baby’s body (so no folding).
  • all-in-ones – as the name suggests, these are absorbent AND waterproof…and all in one piece!
  • pocket – these are a waterproof nappy with a fleecy liner (that keeps moisture away from baby’s skin) that has a pocket you can stuff with absorbent material like microfibre or terry (to catch the pee).

…other things to remember are…

  • nappies come in different sizes for different sizes/ages of child
  • you can also get birth-to-potty styles that “grow” with the baby
  • different types of nappy can be better at different times of day (e.g. day vs. night)
  • the brands are all shaped differently and so some fit certain children better (or worse) than others…it’s not a good idea to spend hundreds of pounds on a certain brand until you know that they work for you and your baby’s bum
  • if you’re using pre-folds or two-piece nappies you don’t need as many waterproof covers as you do absorbent inners (the covers can be used a few times in a day if they’re not soiled)
  • you can use extra absorbent materials (called doublers or boosters) in all types of nappy
  • creams can degrade nappies but you can use liners to keep cream away from the nappy material (they need to be washed separately or thrown away though)
  • you can also get flushable liners that protect the nappy AND make disposing of poop a little easier
  • some types of nappy take longer to dry
  • some nappies can’t be tumbled
  • you also need to get a nappy pail (to keep the soiled ones in until washday – but you don’t need to soak them these days – but a few drops of essential oil can help with any smells) and a wet bag (to put the soiled ones in when you’re out and about)
  • you need to wash your nappies every 2-3 days…you don’t want them sitting in a pail any longer than that

…to be honest, even after knowing all of this, I am still non the wiser…

However, there is hope in the shape of nappy libraries where you can meet experienced cloth nappy users, find out more about the different styles and brands available, and (most importantly, in my opinion) try before you buy. I have no idea what size or shape or brand will fit my little boy best, so being able to borrow a few to try could save me wasting lots of money on nappies that don’t fit him.

But what to do til then? Well, there’s always biodegradable nappies, which:

  1. biodegrade (as the name might suggest) faster than conventional nappies (you’re looking at less than 50 years, rather than around 500)
  2. are made from natural components and don’t contain plastics or harsh chemicals
  3. don’t cost the earth (pun intended) – they are a similar price to the big brands

A work friend told me that although she wanted to use real nappies, her main priority with her first baby was breastfeeding, and so she tried to make her first few weeks as stress-free as possible by using biodegradable disposable nappies until she got her feeding routine established. She also said that it meant not having to shell out for a while load of newborn nappies, or birth-to-potty nappies that might not fit, and advised me to do the same. There’s a few brands to choose from, but I’ve gone for Naty to get us through the first few weeks…

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…which are £4 for 26 size 1 in Tesco (compared to £6 for 45 Pampers). 

They also make nappy sacks (which I got from Boots for £1.85 for 50), wipes, and products for new mums like breast pads and sanitary towels (I’ve seen ladies recommending them for post-partum use so I think I’ll get some of those too).

I’m excited to see how this nappy adventure goes. The pee and poop obsession has started already….

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in Baby, Parenting, Plans

 

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