Posted in Family Life, Products, Review

Real Nappy Week 2017 – Can I use Cloth Nappies on Holiday

Holidays abroad are not really our family thing, in fact we usually settle for a nice lodge somewhere in the British countryside. So when my husband’s family suggested a big family holiday to Menorca I knew there would be some challenges. The biggest one in my mind was nappies for Willem, who would be nearly two at the time of the holiday. Oh yes and the fact I was expecting again so we would be taking a newborn with us, who will also need nappies. I was also told there was no guarantee I would have access to a washing machine, great! Now I love my cloth bums and although I am not against disposables just think about how many cute photo’s I can get of them on holiday with a pretty nappies on. So I started looking at my choices.

gnappiesI already used gNappies with a gCloth for Willem, in fact they are the only ones his nursery have managed to get on with, but I had never tried the disposable inserts. This looked like a good option so I did some research to see what people thought. The power of Facebook is amazing and there are several cloth nappy groups around, including a few designed just for gNappy fans so I joined them and asked my questions. I got mixed reviews but overall most people though it was a good combination, especially for holiday. One person even explained that when she went away she would just hand wash the pants and pouch and because of there design they dried super quick. This was great as it meant I didn’t have to overstock. I searched around for some bargains but soon learnt that most of them sell pre-loved for near new price so in fact buying new wasn’t really an issue cost wise.

I did my sums and bought one pack of Medium to Large disposables for Willem, as he would be in the pool most of the time and didn’t need as many nappies as his sister, and our new gPants as he already had four and he didn’t really need any more but I couldn’t help myself. I brought Persephonie two packs of small disposables, although I didn’t think she would need them all it’s better to have too many than too little, and she ended up with nine gPants which was plenty. I put one of each pack of disposables in each hand luggage bag to spread the weight, although they weren’t really heavy and with the pants packed was ready to go. I had also put some in my handbag for the flight, and a clever tip I learnt: get a zip lock food bag to put your nappies in. I had two, one each, with spare pants, spare pouch and spare disposable inserts. This worked great on the aeroplane. No need for searching through my bag in the small toilet, just grap the bag and it’s all together. We also used this trick with spare clothes

So what were the results…

Practicality20150620_085805 (800x450)

We all found the system easy to use, especially seeing as many places didn’t have a changing table so we had to do a lot of fast changes on the toilet lid or floor, with a changing mat of course. Even my mother in law worked them out straight away, although she had to check every time that she had put the pants on the right way round. They were great for my daughter to just lounge around in to help keep her cool. They also worked as a great addition to an outfit for her, I admit to buying certain tops to match her nappies.

Reliability

There were a few leaks, but on both occasions my son had spent most of the day in the pool and drank a lot of drinks in the evening, so I believe it was just his vast amount of fluid intake. We had no leaks with my daughters nappies. They were both at time in my Boba Wrap and our Rose & Rebellion carrier and we had no compression leaks.

Containment

My son does not react well to heat it gives him diarrhoea, but I was pleased at how well his nappy and especially the pouch kept it all in. No need for clothes changes with his gNappies. My daughter being 8 weeks old still has wet poo and again not once did it leak, we had the occasional pants change but no need for an outfit change.

Night Time

This was a big one for me as my son wears a two piece bamboo nappy with a charcoal boost to bed and still on occasion leaks. However I was very surprised that the system work great at night time for him, and lasted the whole night. My daughter was the same no issue with her nappy lasting the night. Please note: By night I mean 10pm until 6am, my children don’t do lay-ins no matter how late they go bed!

matchingCuteness

Well it wouldn’t be about cloth nappies if I didn’t say how cute they were. I love that we had matching sets but unfortunately my son doesn’t stay still enough for a cute photo, but I did manage one photo.

Overall

I was really pleased with the system and I actually carried on using it once back at home with left over inserts I had. A few weeks on my little girl is still using her gNappies, with a cloth insert, on a daily basis as she is now too big for her newborn nappies but not big enough for her birth to potty ones. I am also now looking at getting some mediums so that I don’t have to wait for her to grow in to her brothers larges. I think my only real disappointment was that I had no where to compost my wet inserts which I feel is one of the great benefits of the gNappy disposable system compared to many other. I will defiantly be using the system again.

sleeping gnappy

This blog was originally posted on my Nurturing Knowledge website in 2015
Posted in Family Life, Products, Review

Real Nappy Week 2017 – Bambino Mio Solo #UltimateNightNappy

When it comes to night nappies we’ve had a go at quite a few: disposable, prefolds, Mio Solo, Little Lambs, Lollipops and Bamboozles… and now it appears we’re back to Mio Solo’s.

My little boy has been dry in the day for over 6 months now, but at night he is nowhere near ready. However he’s a chunky boy and at the weight limit of most standard cloth nappies out there. So we’ve had to try a few different brands with him to get a good fit and if I’m honest we just accepted that he was going to have damp pyjama bottoms in the morning. Then I saw a tweet from Bambino Mio about Mio Solo being a great night nappy and I tried to think why we stopped using it at night time, but couldn’t come up with an answer so we have decided to try again.

Mio Solo – my pros and cons

Likes:
It’s reliable – I always use one in the day on car journeys or days out
It’s easy – these are what I send to nursery and grandparents/aunts
It’s width – they seem wider than other brands which I like
It’s height – yes they are bulker than other brands but I like the high rise
Prints – well who doesn’t like a nice print to flash

Hates:
They stain – nothing major that the sun can’t get out, but you need sun
They go stiff – again nothing that a bit of rain can’t fix and they soon soften back up
The mioboost width – these are fine as my boys got bigger, but when younger (under 8 months) I found them a bit too wide, so used a different brand.

What happened…

Night 1:
My son was very pleased at getting to wear a blue nappy tonight and was happy to put it straight on, which is unusual. I had the common call for the toilet about 10 minutes into bedtime, but as the nappy is an all in one, there is no struggling to get two parts onto him, he knows wriggling takes longer and means later to bed. The fit is great on him as well, no struggling to get it around his hips/waist as I’ve had before with some two parters. In the morning we had dry pyjamas, no leaks, and his skin was dry, no dampness. Also there wasn’t a strong morning nappy smell that we often get with other brands. Success!

night nappy

 

Night 2:

The night started well, nappy on, bed, toilet call, the usual. However, when we it came to our bedtime and moving him from our bed to his own we discovered a major leak. He had soaked through the nappy in just over 3 hours! Unsure why, but I suspect it was put on too tightly as my husband has a habit of doing that. We quickly grab another and changed him, this was an easy process as no messing with nappies and wraps just one simple change. The next nappy lasted the night fine and again no wet pyjamas or skin and no next morning smell, so a semi- success.

 

Night 3:
This time my little boy choose a cola cube nappy, he likes getting to pick a colour. On it went and to bed he went. The next morning, he got up asked to go to the toilet and was able to take his nappy off himself. No leaks, no damp skin and no smell – another successful night!

My conclusion?

Overall we’re pleased with the results and how well the nappy held up overnight. We did boost it with two mioboost each night and felt that this many was need for our son, but it’s nice to know we can alter that as he becomes dryer at night.

This blog was originally posted on my Nurturing Knowledge website in 2014
Posted in Family Life

Birth Story – Persephonie

bump-photo-165x300At 40 weeks I had thought I would still be pregnant for at least another week or two, but it turned out that my little girl wasn’t going to wait as long as her big brothers had. It was my estimated due date and as normal for a Friday I was running around all morning. However around lunchtime I popped to bathroom and was surprised to see I had had a show. Although this had happened before I was more surprised as with the first two I had also been having slight contractions and at this point I wasn’t even having twinges. I decided to ring Rob just to let him know it would be a good idea to make sure he was up to date at work, just in case.

That evening we went out for dinner, just the two of us. We discussed that she may arrive that weekend, so made the plan to make sure first thing Saturday morning we would blitz the housework and get prepared. We arrived home said by to the mother in law and after a long day I was in bed by half 9.

I woke up at 10.45ish with an ache all in my hips, just like the beginning of my first labour which lasted several hours. I took some paracetamol and decided to get some sleep, but after 15 minutes of trying to get comfy I decided I’d like a bath. I was a little worried that this may slow things down but felt it was the best choice if I was going to get some sleep. I lit my vanilla candles, I love the smell of vanilla and find it a great birth anchor for me as it always helps me to relax. I turned the hallway light on so that I could sit in the bathroom in the dark, but not pitch back. As I got into the bath I instantly felt better and could rest, I went into ‘my zone’ began to relax listen to my breathing and let my body do it’s thing. After a while I could feel the contractions, rather than the ache, and tell that they were regular but not really that long – about 30 seconds. During the contractions I found my breathing was enough, and during the intervals I would use the mind body scan which I teach in my MummyNatal classes this gave me a chance to concentrate on me, help my body relax and notice that the intervals were getting shorter.

Around midnight I decided that this was happening tonight and made the effort to get out of the bath to wake Rob. I announced that he needed to get up and tidy the dining room, he didn’t seem impressed but knew there was no point disagreeing. I went back to my bath.

Around 12.30 I needed to move, and I decided to go down stairs to sit on my ball (now it had been tidied up). I noticed the pressure had changed and was a lot more intense than before so I suggested we call labour ward. After the third/forth time of suggesting we call, Rob asked me if I had been timing the contractions and that he thought we should do that first. After around 10 minutes Rob suggested we call labour ward and was straight on the phone. I told him I was going back to the bath and that he was not to let the midwife in without gas and air. The pressure had become very intense and I felt I needed something extra.

The midwife arrived just after 1.30, she came into the bathroom and sat down. She did all of her obs that she could while I was still in the bath, for which I was very grateful. She asked if my ‘waters’ had gone I told her no, and she asked if I had a birth plan. Now birth plans or preferences are a topic I discuss in my MummyNatal classes and how they are an important factor in gaining the birth that you would like, however it is just as important to actually print it off your laptop as well – oops! So I did a quick debrief of what we had planned and told her Rob knew everything so if she wasn’t sure to ask him. She then explained that she was unable, due to it’s shape and where the shower was, to examine me in the bath so asked if we could go to the bedroom. I had originally decided that I didn’t want any vaginal examinations during this labour, but I had changed my mine and decided I would consent. On examination the midwife explained I was 4 cm dilated, to me that didn’t seem right with the strength and pressure of my contractions, but she then told me my membranes had broken – I think it happened in the bath. This made me feel a lot better as I knew from my last labour that I reversed dilated after my membranes had broken but still gave birth within the hour.

We then headed downstairs to my ‘birth room’ which was set up ready with my candles, lights, birth ball and yoga mat. Rob went to ring my mum to come sit with the boys, they were both asleep upstairs but our youngest is a very light sleeper. I used my breathing and birth ball to get into ‘my zone’, while the midwife sat quietly in the corner and just left me alone. Around 2am we heard a very familiar sound the pitter patter of tiny feet, Willem was awake! He stood at the top of the stairs crying and we knew he wouldn’t go back down easily so Rob went up to him in an attempt to get him back to bed, my mum hadn’t arrived yet. At around the same time my pressure change, I let out a different sound than before and the midwife immediately looked at me, ‘that’s changed’ without the need for any type of physical examination she knew it was time. I changed my position so that I was leaning on the birth ball and could immediately feel baby descending, I tried to concentrate on me but kept getting distracted by Rob being upstairs, finally I got my focus and got ready for that magical moment.. Rob obviously knew it was close as he came down before getting Willem back to sleep and was there in time to see our first daughter arrive into the world, with a few breathes a bit of gas and air and a lot of relief.

I had told our midwife we would like a physiological third stage, and my placenta arrived naturally 10 minutes later all by itself. We waited until the birth of the placenta before Rob cut the cord, by this point Willem had come down to join us. He took one look at his new baby sister and asked to go watch Thomas the Tank Engine. Our second midwife arrived 15 minutes after the birth and my mum 5 minutes after her. From the when I noticed my twinges/contractions started to the arrival of baby Persephonie it was just less than 3 ½ hours, the midwife arrived 45 minutes before the birth and left around 2 hours after with the second midwife. By 4.30 I was and bathed in my own bed, ready to face a new chapter in my life.persephonie-300x165

This blog was originally posted on my Nurturing Knowledge website in 2015
Posted in Family Life, Review

Real Nappy Week: Why Do I Use Cloth?

Good question,

I’ll be honest but I don’t really know the original reason to why I decided I wanted to use cloth nappies. It was always something I had wanted to do when I had children, it just seemed to make sense in my head. So when I fell pregnant with my first I was pleased to be gifted a birth to potty set. However, since my journey with cloth nappies began, there have been a number of reason to why.

Cost

OK, there is no denying that long term cloth nappies save you money. I am about to welcome my fourth baby and some of the nappies that they will wear my first baby wore.  In theory I must be saving loads of money by not having 4 children in disposables. In reality I have a little bit of an addiction and have owned far too many nappies at some points so probably not saved myself loads. However, I don’t have the weekly expense of nappies in my shopping budget and when bump has finished with them I will put the majority of them on the resale market and get some of my investment back.

Environment

I have always been conscious of the environment and try my best to help support it. However, it wasn’t until I had children that I became more active in this. In our first summer of having Roran we used a mixture of reusable and disposable nappies and I was shocked at how much my bin was filling up. Then with more research and especially Real Nappy Week I was even more shocked to find out how long disposables take to decompose, how many just sit in landfill and how many I can cut out by going full time cloth. Those figures were enough for me to make the complete change. More can be found here.

Skin

Roran had eczema as a baby and I became concerned with what product I could put on his sensitive skin. So it made sense to me that in an area so sensitive that regularly got wet and dirty throughout the day he would need comfort, and although many disposables offered that, to me, cloth seemed the comfiest option. Willem was my first organic clothes baby, mainly as they fitted better with his nappy but I soon started to realise that everything that went on my childrens’ skin was important.

Cuteness

Well sorry there is not much cuter than and little baby in a squishy nappy. I have also found a new love for how cute nappies can be now I have a little girl and she wears dresses. I particularly find the gNappies block colours go great with Maxomorra dresses.

Do you use cloth nappies? Why?

rnw

Posted in Family Life

Birth Photography

We DSC_8181copyhad always said that we wanted around 4 children, so for this reason have made the decision that bump will be our last.  While part of me is happy to know our family will soon be complete, it is also sad to think this will be the last time my body gets to do this amazing job. For these reasons we have decided that this time we are going to embrace the joys of pregnancy and birth with photography.

This decision has so far led to two main responses; either ‘wow how exciting/amazing’ or ‘your going to let someone take a picture of your foo’. First of all it’s a vagina and secondly we haven’t actually decided on the angle or details of the pictures. However, it is amazing and exciting and we can’t wait.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make I admit and I’ve had my doubts and concerns about it. First of all I had to find someone who was willing to do birth photography. I found a lot of people who did maternity and newborn shoots, but only one advertising birth captures. So I contacted her and she came back with all the details and information, we had quite a long chat over messenger but something didn’t sit right. First of all she was a good 50 minutes away so I worried she wouldn’t make it if it was rush hour. Then there was the fact she did wedding photography, which would take priority and I am due in June, wedding season. Even more something didn’t feel right and I felt like she wasn’t the right person for me, and I need her to be as she would be there in my most vulnerable moments. So I looked again

A local friend was running a Mother’s Day event nearby and I spotted that she had a photographer there, Little Birds Photography, so thought I would send them a message and ask if she did births. Julietta explained that she would love to but hadn’t had the opportunity yet. So I explained to her what I was looking for and we arranged to meet. Meeting up was an important part for me as not only did I need to know I would be able to get on with them, but also I need to explain what it was I wanted and something it is easier to do it face to face instead of over a phone or Facebook.

Ironically when I met up with Julietta I realised we already knew each other, we had done baby massage together 5 years ago with both our first babies. This helped immensely as we already had a connection so I felt more at ease. We spent a good couple of hours catching up and discussing what are thoughts were and discovered we were on the same wave length. As it was to be her first birth capture Julietta explained she would have to go home and look at the logistics and everything else before she could offer me any form of agreement I left our meeting feel very positive and in my head it was a definite yes.

A few days later I got an email from Julietta, and it was a yes from her. She explained how it would work from her end and what she would need from me. I had also told her I would like a maternity and newborn shoot with all the children so she gave me all the details for that to. It’s all very exciting bit now a bit of a waiting game.

I did meet up with Julietta at a local shoot recently for an upcoming baby show, La Faire Bebe, and had a few shots taken which are beautiful. I will be having an outdoor shoot with bump and the children in the next month so will share them with you soon

Posted in Family Life

School Allocation Day for Willem

‘It’s not like it was when we were children’, this is what I’ve had to explain to my dad two years on the trot now. When we were younger you wandered up to your local school the year before you were due to start and your parents put your name down and that was it. Now it’s like a lottery, you pick your three choices and hope for the best.

Today I found out Willem got our first choice of schools, and I was so relived. This time last year when we found out where Roran was going I wasn’t all that bothered. We lived near two very good schools, although I preferred one to the other I was happy with either really. However this time I got a little worried as we had temporarily moved out of the catchment area, so what if we didn’t get Willem into the same school? How would I be at two schools at the same time? I can’t move Roran he loves his school/friends/teachers, but how would I explain to Willem he was going somewhere else?

These were obviously all irrational fears created by my own mind in my own little imaginary world, but to me they could be real. Everyone told me to not worry as he was clearly going to get in with the sibling rule, but what if he didn’t? Yoschool allocationu hear stories of parents having children at different schools, I just couldn’t manage that, especially with a new baby and a toddler in tow.

These scenario’s all went pop this morning when I found out at 6.30am via an email we had got the preferred school. Now I just need to get my head around my little boy going school. Roran started at the age of 4 years and 11 months, being an October baby. Willem will be 4 years and 2 months, as his birthday is right at the end of June. He will be so young compared to his big brother, but at least he will be there to look after him.`

Posted in Family Life

Willem and The Magnet

willem a&eOf all my children Willem is the one that we know we need to watch. He lives in his own little world, which would be amazing, and is always thinking about the next thing he could get up to. Yesterday we got to enjoy a visit to A&E due to a little mishap with a magnet.

Whilst attempting to get my washing out Willem suddenly started to cry, so I came in to see the problem and thought he said he had been sick. I called Rob downstairs and tried to make some sense out of the words come out of his mouth. Now, another thing about Willem is that when he cries he really goes for it, and he has a lovely habit of putting his whole fist in his mouth which cause a huge amount of drool to come out (nice).

At first we thought he was saying he had a penny in his mouth so we encouraged him to learn forward as I tried to look in to see of there was something there. Then he started talking about his throat so we figured he had swallowed whatever it was, but he was telling us it hurt. We were also having to stop him put his hands down his throat, whilst trying to calm him. Eventually he told us it was a magnet (great) and he showed which one it was.magnet A nice small 1 cm square piece which he was calling a ‘plus cross’. I knew he would need to be checked out to make sure it wasn’t stuck anywhere, but was unsure if it was an A&E job or minor injuries. We’re very lucky to have one of each nearby. After a call to 111, they advised A&E in case it was stuck, off we went. Fortunately Roran had been walking around with a bag of books so I grabbed that as entertainment and my purse which had no money in.

We arrived at A&E and booked in, the receptionist was less than nice and with Willem bouncing around I felt a bit like a fraud but I knew he needed checking. We had about a 30 minute wait for the doctor, who was lovely. She spoke to Willem more than me, which I felt was a good thing as he was then happy to listen to her. She asked him simple things at first like name and age, then what happen. He backed up my story. The doctor then explained the concerns of swallowing magnet:

  1. It can get stuck in the oesophagus causing a blockage
  2. It could go down the windpipe, but he was breathing fine so no concern there
  3. If he had swallowed more then one they could be come attracted to each other. This could lead to them attaching and possible pinch some of his bowel which would possible die. I had not even considered that!

Willem assured her that he had only swallowed one and we were sent off for a X-ray.

After a little more waiting we went into for X-ray, I had quickly explain to Willem what would happen but didn’t think about the fact I, at 32 weeks pregnant, wouldn’t be allowed to stay at his side. The technician was lovely though and spoke to him about everything and that I was only on the other side of the window so he could see me. However, he was more fascinated by everything happening to even notice I had gone.

We headed back to waiting room for the results, which didn’t take long. The doctor called us through and took us in to the reception office. Here she showed Willem his X-ray and explained all the different parts such as his heart, lungs , spine, whilst showing him on his body where they are. He loved this and listened to everything she said. Then she showed us the white image of the magnet, sat nicely in his stomach, waiting to make it’s natural way through his body.

With this news we could head home knowing all should be okay. We were at the hospital just over and hour and a half, which was a nice surprise but I don’t hope to do it again anytime soon.