Archive for the ‘nappies’ Category

Be Careful What You Wish For …

I have just got back from a few days away and we had a fabulous time.  Zoos, museums, the waterfront, restaurants, everything was great and very kid friendly. Except one little thing that really made me think.

To set the scene I have two girls, 4 and 18 months, both fully toilet trained during the day.  When out and about the little one needs help to get her pants down and get up on the toilet, but that’s it.  Generally when we’re out we all go to the toilet together, I mean what else are you going to do with them?  So while we can all fit in a normal cubicle we try to go for disabled toilets whenever there isn’t a parenting room.

I was originally a bit conflicted about this.  They’re disabled toilets, I felt guilty about using them when we’re all able.  But on the other hand I’ve never yet seen a person with a disability going to them, much less found someone waiting when we get out.  Not that I sit there and watch who’s going in or out of the toilets.  But we don’t seem to be inconveniencing anyone so we might as well use them.

One of the toilets we visited on this trip (and we visited a LOT!) was shared use – for parents and people with disabilities.  And it makes a lot of sense, small children and parents have a lot of the same needs.  The toilets are often lower, which makes it easier for littlies to get on them, they usually have handholds that very little ones can use to stabilise themselves, there’s room to manoeuvre a pram as well as a wheelchair and the sinks generally have easily accessible taps little kids can work.  In addition, this one had one of the fold-up change stations on the wall.

It also had a sign, asking

“Parents please limit use to avoid impacting disabled users.”

Hang on a minute.

When I’m illicitly using the disabled facitilities as it were I feel a bit off.  If there was a disabled person around I would definitely wait until after them.  But this is a dual use facility.  It has a change table in there and says so right on the door.  So why is one set of users less important that the other?  Why does one set of users have to ‘avoid impacting’ the other?  Flip it around – would it be reasonable to ask disabled people to be quick to avoid impacting on parents?

OK, it takes longer than normal to change a baby.  And I’m sure the girls and I take ages, although not as long as 3 separate people – we have the production line down pat.  But do you really think parents are hanging around in there for fun?  Dawdling away in the public toilets?  They’re such a fun place to hang out, after all.

And how exactly are we supposed to limit use?  Wait until the nappy is really, really full?  Leave them in the pooey nappy until we get home?  Maybe change them kneeling on the ground in the wind and rain outside?  I admit my non-verbal baby has lots of false positives – she often gives me the toilet signal and then doesn’t produce (although that doesn’t seem to happen at home for some reason).  So should I ignore her and take the chance that this time it was real so make her poo her pants?

Would you ask disabled adults to sit in their own urine and faeces so they don’t impact on others?

No.  That is unreasonable.  It is disrespectful and demeaning.  Yet that is precisely what is being asked of children.  Children are not even being treated as second-class citizens, they are being denied (or limiting) basic human rights of hygiene.

Our society does not appear to want children.  It would be interesting to see what happened if that wish came true.

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13 Milestones of Parenting

”thursday-13″

1. The Emergency Shower…

Yelling “Come here quickly and take your clothes off!” to my husband and watching his face as he realised that it was never going to mean what it used to mean…now it meant getting in the shower to wash our son down after a ‘poo-nami’

2. The Poo Scoop…

Along the same vein as number 1. The horror of realising that your child has ‘number two-ed’ in the bath and the best way to get rid of it is to scoop it straight into the toilet with a bare hand. (Please note: My husband is very open to suggestions of better ways to deal with this situation)

3. The ‘Burmuda Triangle’…

Formally known as ‘the car’, the day you realise that toys, half eaten biscuits and odd shoes have all become part of the Burmuda Triangle in the footwell. Perhaps that’s where all the odd socks are too…

4. The Family Bed…

Anyone who tells you sleeping with a baby will kill any chance of romance needs to think outside of the box. While I know it’s not for everyone, there is nothing so special to my husband and I as waking up to our son’s big morning grin stretching across his face as he sees his favourite people.

5. The Public Tantrum Solidarity Nod…

Ok, I admit it. I used to be one of ‘those’ people in the shopping centre who always thought there must be a better way to deal with tantruming children. Now, I don’t pretend to know what parents should do…I just give a sympathetic nod of solidarity. There but for the Grace of God I go!

6. Time Share Toileting…

The day I left work to begin maternity leave I assured my boss that I would never, under any circumstances, allow a child into the toilet while I was in there. Two weeks later I was eating my words as I sat on the toilet, breastfeeding my baby. Ah, it begins…

Flash forward a year and we are still time sharing the toilet, only now my little boy sits on his potty and sings, until it’s time to press the button, clearly one of the favourite parts of his day. How can I deny him this very special treat?

7. The Public Stripdown…

This may occur if you unwittingly decide to try on clothes in a small change room with a gap underneath the door. Unfortunate timing may mean that your child crawls underneath and you find yourself with a major dilemma…the unwilling nudie run to retrieve them, or the child on the loose. Now I understand why people use strollers.

8. Those first few words…

They give everything away about your family. Smidge’s are:

“Tiggle tiggle” (tickle, tickle)

“Oooh look!” (along with pointing finger, which translates as “Mummy, tell me all about that!!”)

“Pat, pat, pat”

“Kiss Daddy, kiss Daddy”

“Blab-blab” (the new name for the dog. She even comes when called this)

And of course “Ooooh, gentle!”

9. The Mini-Me…

This is the day that you flashback to your childhood, when your own child does something so totally you that the last 25 years just drop away and you are the little boy laying on the rumpus room floor driving a Matchbox car back and forth as you rest your head on your outstretched arm. Grandparents love seeing these ones!

10. The “Oh no, why did I teach him that” moment…

The other day my son lifted his shirt, and with a look of surprise in his eyes, poked himself in the belly button. At that moment, without a single thought in my head. I made a raspberry sound. And now our life will never be the same… Every day since I have woken to the lifting of my shirt, the poke in the belly button and that sound, followed by a hysterical laugh and then the same process repeated on Daddy, then himself, then me again. And 13 month old children apparently have no sense of when and where it is appropriate to lift up your Mum’s shirt.

11. The joy of Christmas…

It’s back. The feeling of anticipation…the endless wait…the magic! It’s all back. Last year Smidge was just 4 months old and I had spent most of the last 6 weeks in and out of hospital, so the magic wasn’t as strong as it already is this year. I love that Christmas is the time of year where anything is possible, that wishes really can come true.

12. The Mummy Lioness within…

I expect every Mum will know what I mean by this one. The day that you have to protect your child. It doesn’t matter that you are the least confrontational person, or have never defended yourself.

I experienced my first Lioness moment the other day when I saw 2 older children hitting my son on the back as he climbed out of a ball pit. I looked around for their Mums, but seeing no-one, knew it was up to me. I calmly picked him up out of their reach and said “Oh dear, we can’t hit babies, we pat them gently” and stroked his back. The little boy repeated “Pat bubba, gentle” And I felt proud of myself. Because as much as I would have liked to freak right out on those rough kids, I know that a Mummy Lioness treats other kids the way that she would like other people to treat hers.

13. Falling in love all over again…

While I sit here, trying to think of a last milestone, my husbands voice drifts up the hallway. He is reading Smidge a story as he puts him to bed. Every few pages I hear a yawn- Daddy’s, not Smidge’s. Even though he has had a long day at work, he still has time to give me a break, time for his little boy who he adores and who adores him so much. And so, even though our life has become all about our son, we have these precious moments where I fall in love with my husband all over again.

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Nappy Myths

Congratulations to hunters who are still going!  What better to post about on the Great Down Under Nappy Hunt than some cloth nappy myths?  Hopefully this will be reassuring for newbies and give the regular users some ammunition, and of course you can add your own comments!

  • Cloth nappies are hard work. My Mum had three in nappies and an old twin tub machine that had to be changed over and filled by hand. It wasn’t earthed properly and almost electrocuted her. So absolutely, for her cloth nappies were a lot of hard work. I have a lovely modern washing machine and lovely modern detergent and my nappies are made from lovely modern fabrics and are super absorbent. So for me it’s an extra load of washing every two or three days. Frankly, going to the shops and buying disposables (remembering to buy them!) would be harder and more time consuming.
  • They’re hard to put on. I’m terrible at putting sposies on, I also have problems with velcro. But I can do a snappi in about 2 seconds flat. My point is not that one is easier or harder, but that we learn what we are used to. You are going to be doing at least 5 changes a day for around 2 years, possibly much more. Do you really think you’ll take 3650 goes to learn how to do it easily? Or do you think it will be simple after a week or two?
  • Cloth nappies are unreliable. When you look at the elastic around the legs, at the front and back and different fit options, there’s no way anything is getting out. There are some brands that don’t suit some babies, and of course if you don’t use a water resistant layer of some sort you’re going to get wet. So I suppose my caveat here is that an appropriate, well fitting system is completely reliable. It may take a bit of experimenting, but there will be a way of doing it. Ignoring the hype and talking to other Mums says that sposies have problems too – at least there are lots of cloth options to play around with, not the 5 or so that sposie users have.
  • They have to be changed often. Ummmm, isn’t that a good thing? Do you really want your baby sitting in wee?
  • They cause nappy rash. Nappy rash is caused by the bacteria from poo changing wee into ammonia, which burns little bums. So if you don’t want nappy rash, change and wash your baby with something mild. In the 50’s it was practically unknown. Of course individual babies have different reactions – some react to disposables, some react to fleece, some react if they aren’t breathable enough. If you have a rashy baby you’re going to have to experiment.
  • They make it harder for babies to roll, crawl and walk. There is a huge normal age range for mobility, unless there is something wrong they all get there.  My bubbas walked at 10 and 11 months and climbed pretty much immediately, so if cloth nappies slowed them down I’m eternally grateful – can you imagine if it was earlier?

And because we have to have an environmental one in there,

  • They use lots of water. Think modern washing machines. Think only 40 or so nappies actually used, so not that much in materials. Think dry pailing, so no soaking water needed. Then think where the paper used in those 3650 disposables came from. Cloth nappies use more of your water, so probably not a good idea if you are on tanks, but overall it’s much less clear.

The start of an addiction…..

Little did I know when I attended a baby expo a few months before my daughter was born that that day was the start of an addiction far greater than my addiction to chocolate and icecream!

I had already looked into modern cloth nappies (MCNs) as I remember many years before even thinking about having kids I had seen some in a mainstream magazine being road-tested and remember thinking what a great idea they were. They had stuck with me and I had googled them when I first found out I was pregnant, purchased a few online and then spent most of the expo comparing brands, styles, and prices!

What a minefield……..where does one start when embarking on the cloth nappy road? Terry flats would be the obvoius place. Straightforward, easy to use, reasonably priced. My problem with these was that I am hopeless at folding, couldn’t find pilchers anywhere and had no idea that PUL covers or wool covers were available! I had never heard of uch a thing! So I was enticed by the look of MCNs and their ease of use and started out buying about 6 at this particular expo.

When my daughter was born she was too small to wear them so ironically she started out in terry squares (I had discovered covers following the expo!) then moved to the MCNs. I washed a lot and worked my way through those initial 6 expo nappies and the few I had bought online for a couple of months before trying out a new one here, a different one there, and “just one more” from my favourite online store! Before I knew it I had about 40+ nappies in varying shades of pink, purple, or white. Actually thankfully I always bought a few greens, and yellows too because child number 2 is a boy – the perfect excuse the gender stereotype and spend more money on nappies…….blue ones! Actually the majority of my son’s nappies are my daughters old pink ones and he wears them with pride but I did have great fun buying some new nappies for him.

I’m pretty stuck in my cloth nappying ways now but every now and then I’m on the look-out for what is new and the opportunity to spend more money……….and now is the perfect time of the year, hunt time!

The Perfect Nappy Stash

I’ve been shopping. I have to admit, I feel a real sense of satisfaction when I exchange numbers online for spend money on good quality products. Especially when they’re not for me.

My sister in law is pregnant with child number 5, and I’ve convinced her to “go cloth”. She was a bit hesitant at first, especially with the initial financial outlay, so I thought I’d sweeten things for her by buying the bulk of her nappy stash.

I think she’s got pretty much all she needs to get her through the first year. But I noticed her stash looks pretty different to my own. So it got me thinking, what constitutes the “perfect nappy stash”?

So this is what her’s is comprised of:            

24 Terry Towel Squares, 3 Blueberry Coveralls, 2 Small BBH covers, 2 Medium BBH covers, 3 Medium Itti Bitti All-in-Ones, 1 Haute One-Sized Pocket, 2 microfibre inserts and 6 Thirsty Doublers.

And this is mine:

6 flannel flats,  1 Mother Ease One-Size fitted, 1 Itti Bitti Large All-in-One, 9 Bumgenius One-Size Pockets each with a newborn and large microfibre insert, 3 Pop-In Bamboo All-in-Two’s, 3 Pop-In Dream Dri’s, 2 Blueberry Coveralls, 3 Pop-In Bamboo night boosters, 1 Hemp Big Weed, and a couple of newborn size nappies that I won on my last Hunt.

There’s a pretty hefty price difference between the 2, which is pretty obvious seeing as how mine is predominantly pockets and all in ones/twos. The covers and flannels are actually one of the last things I bought for myself (I mean my daughter).

Because I made the switch to cloth when she was around 18 months old, I was so accustomed to using disposables that I wanted a cloth nappy system that was as easy to use as possible. Hence the 9 Bumgenius and 6 Pop-In’s.

4 months into cloth nappying, I felt “safe” enough to try flannels and covers. Sounds strange I know, but I needed to overcome that fear of the “unknown”. I can imagine my grandma being similarly freaked out by MCNs and disposables!

Hence why the first things I bought for my SIL were the terry towels. They are without doubt the most cost-effective option, and so easy/simple to use, if a little fiddly at first. But with some good quality PUL covers (preferably double gusseted) all you have to do is fold them into a pad and put the cover around them, no Snappi/pins required! And I have found them to be so absorbent, even more so than microfibre.

The other thing that influenced my stash verses my SIL’s was number of children who may potentially use the nappies. I’ve got 1 child, hopefully there will be more in the future. She’s got 5. Enough said.

I’ve come to the conclusion that different tpes/combinations of nappies work well for different babies/carers. I’m sure someone else could have told me that, but it was fun (and expensive) finding out for myself.

So, what’s in your nappy stash, and why did you choose that particular combination?

13 Uses for Terry Flats

My household would grind to a halt without old-fashioned  terry flat nappies 😀

 

  1.  Nappies! Obviously, they still work well. I tend to use flats or nudey bum at home and my MCN when we go out or at night.
  2. Chuck cloths. Having had one happy chucker and one with reflux, I lived with a flat over my shoulder and one in every room.
  3. Cleaning hands and faces after baby self feeding. Need I say more?
  4. Cleaning the floor after baby self feeding. We eat outside a lot 🙂
  5. Peekaboo.  Lie there with a nappy over your face and a delighted baby will rip it off.
  6.  A light blanket in the car.  Easy to keep some handy in the back.
  7. Car window covers.  Especially on long drives, they are the perfect size to put in the top of the window for shade.
  8. Hiding toys.  A good way to start playing hide and seek or Kim’s game.
  9. Cleaning up after tradesmen fix the hot water system.
  10. Base for ironing on vliesofix for minkee appliqueing.  They’re thick enough to protect a desk so you don’t have to get the ironing board out, you don’t get glue all over your ironing board or cloths, and the loops are good so you don’t squash the pile of the minkee.
  11. Toy capes.  Clip to the shoulders and off they go!
  12. Nappies and blankets for toys and dolls. 
  13. Food covers at picnics to stop flies.

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The OTHER reasons for using cloth nappies

Don’t you think it’s funny that as soon as nappies are mentioned people start talking about the environment? I mean do we choose our baby’s clothes according to what’s best for the environment? Or their toys? I just think it’s strange that if nappies are mentioned it must mean that some of us are more or less environmentally friendly than others. I’m a cloth user but don’t think I’m all that environmentally friendly, as I sit here on my computer with the air conditioner and TV going and several lights on. I suppose it’s because we all have a sneaking suspicion that nappies are worse than our other baby things because we have so many of them, but let’s be honest about it.

These are the reasons I chose to use cloth nappies:

  • Where I was living our rubbish was all burnt in a 40 gallon drum in the front yard. Imagine burning all that poo and plastic – yuck! Actually I think putting poo in the bin for a week is pretty revolting too.
  • They’re waaaaay cheaper. Even if I wasn’t making my own all the nappies I have is about 6 months worth of disposables, and I’m a bit of a scrooge.
  • They’re comfortable – I hate, loathe and despise disposable menstrual pads, I’m not doing that to my poor little bubbas!
  • I think sposies smell. Seriously, I can smell them in the packet. I’m sure I’d get used to them, but it’s a shock because I’m not used to it.
  • It gave me something to do and a sense of accomplishment. When I was first at home and completely clueless I could say, I achieved something today I’ve washed the nappies. Later they were something to do when it got boring singing nursey rhymes over and over or playing peekaboo. Widget never needed any of those toys with the different textures because she helped with the nappies, and now they are a good reason to get out in the fresh air.
  • Sposies don’t fit my girls. To get something to go around their legs means they are ridiculously long and baggy. The same thing happened with cloth, but at least I had the option of making my own, or looking at different brands to find different fits.
  • They’re reliable. I’m probably just really bad at putting them on, but we’ve had a poosplosion every time I’ve used sposies.
  • I really freaked out when Widget got those little crystal things all over her. They may be harmless but I didn’t like it.
  • They’re cute and I can justify buying them. I hate having gorgeous outfits that they only wear once, it’s such a waste. But with nappies I can get them something really nice and not feel guilty about it because I know they’ll use them lots.

What about you? I’m interested in any reasons for nappy choice, sposies too!