Posted in Family Life, Products

Strip Wash: The Bath Method

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I have used tots bots nappies with all of my children and, apart from the odd leak hear and there, they have always been my go to nappy, but with Beatrix it’s been different. Not one of my old nappies has lasted longer than 30 minutes, all my new ones have been fine, but the old ones just didn’t work. This means that a good two thirds of my nappy collection have been unusable. So last week I decided to take action and do something about  it, I need these gorgeous prints for the summer.

A friend suggested a strip wash using the bath method to ‘rest’ them. I have done strip washes before but never in a such a intense way. It took a whole day and night…

Step 1: Clean nappies – Start with clean nappies, just wash them as you normally would

Step 2: Soak – Fill your bath about halfway and add you mixture 1 cup of detergent and 4 cups of stain remover. I used my normal detergent and Tesco oxy remover, always check that your stain remover doesn’t contain napsin

Step 3: Add nappies – Put the nappies in and give it an occasional stir, leave them for no longer than 4 hours. Drain the water and wring out any excess water from the nappies

Step 4: Machine wash – Move your nappies from the bath to the washing machine and put them through a normal wash with just water

Step 5: Cold wash – Move your nappies back to the bath, I know my washing machine is no where near my bath either! Soak them in cold water for 30 minutes with a laundry sanitiser, I used the Dettol version. You will need a litre for a half a bath tub of water

Step 6: Rinse – Drain the bath and use warm water to rinse the nappies, then Wring out any excess

Step 7: Wash – Move your nappies back to the washing machine and give them 2 – 4 long hot washes, I did two washes at 40 that lasted around 3 hours each.

Step 8: Dry – Dry as normal, ideally outside.

The result- IT WORKED. My nappies are now fluffier and lasting longer, so far no leaks 🙂

This is the method I used but there are many more available with different recommendations. It is always worth checking the manufacturer suggestions first.

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Posted in Clothes, Review

BeeBooBuzz Vests

BeeBooBuzz est

BeeBuzzBoo are a new company that only started up this year. They offer the market a selection of organic baby wear in bright colours. A British Brand, their products are also knitted, dyed and manufactured in Britain. At the moment they are offering long sleeve and short sleeve vests, but hope to expand in the future. Last month I was fortunate to win a set of 3 vests in a raffle, and here are my thoughts.

Colour:

The vests come in two sets, warm colours and cool colours. I choose the warm colours as I find red and orange very autumnal, so perfect for this time of year. When they arrived I was very impressed with the brightness of the colours. I have since washed them and not noticed any obvious fade in colour and still happy with how bright they are.

Style:

I have found the vests ideal for putting under our Duns and BeeBooBuzzdungarees and playsuits, and go really well with a lot of our scandi prints. The long sleeves are a good length, and also wider than other brands so look more like a top than a vest which I like. The neck is an envelope style so easy for putting over babies head. I usually prefer buttons/poppers as find some envelope styles get saggy when being worn but haven’t noticed this with these. The vest fits nicely over our cloth bum which is always a bonus in our house.

Cost:

A set of 3 costs between £21 and £23, which I find reasonable for the quality and that the item is made of organic cotton. The items arrived wrapped and gift boxed, so great for a gift to someone.

Overall:

I am very impressed with these vests and will be looking at getting myself some more soon. I have already recommend them to many different Facebook groups when people are looking for plain vests for layering up with. Great quality and a good price, plus organic and a UK Brand.

 

Tots Bots Element Prints 2017

elements 2017.jpgI have always been a fan of the Tots Bots elements prints, and the latest collection haven’t failed to impress. The set of 3, Whirl, Bee Kind and Rumble, are colourful, bright and fun.  Linking the always popular rainbow colours with popular theme such as bees and rain clouds, I can see these being a hit with cloth nappy users and collectors alike,

We’ve been testing out the EasyFit nappies with Beatrix. At 3 months she fits in birth to potty nappies on the lowest rise.

Absorbency:

These are our first TotsBots EasyFit Stars and I am very impressed with the absorbency of them. They lasted with no leaks between nappy changes, even when in the car seat and her sling for long periods. Beatrix didn’t seem to feel wet or uncomfy when her nappy was due a change either.

Fit:

The fit of the nappy was great and looked more secure and less ‘gappy’ than some of our others. Beatrix is only on the first set of poppers so has a lot of growing room in them. Beatrix is still quite narrow but we found the nappy fitted lovely around her waist.

Cost:

The EasyFit Star cost ÂŁ17.99 per nappy and are designed to last from birth to potty training, so good value in our opinion

The new prints will be available in Easyfit, Teenyfit, PeeNut and in Wet Bags and Happy Mats. Visit TotsBots for more

Posted in Family Life, Products, Review

Travelling With Cloth

One of the questions I often get asked my nappies is if we use disposables when out and about and holidaying, and the answer is no we still cloth.

I have spoke about this before in my previous post  ‘Can I Use Cloth Nappies On Holiday‘ However the biggest challenge with using cloth when away is how to store them, so how do we manage that. Well first of all when we go away we often only go for a few nights, so this makes things a lot simpler.

  1. How many nappies to take? We always work out how many we would use on a normal day and then times that by how many days we are going away for, including travelling days. We then add a few extra for any eventualities that may happen such as extra poo’s. This is where a big collection comes in handy, but as long as you are organised and wash and dry the day before you leave you should be ok.
  2. How to store clean nappies? As we often travel by car I will either put all my nappies in a bag, we have some lovely Tesco Cath Kidston bags for life, or just use the wicker baskets that we store them in at home. There is really no need for a special way to store them when they are all clean and fluffy. Just keep in mind you may need some on the journey so keep a few to hand.wet bag
  3. How to store dirty nappies? This is often the biggest dilemma for most and it’s simple in a wet bag or bucket, why can’t you take them too. I personally prefer the wet bags and use them at home and out and about rather than a bucket. Anyone using cloth on a full time basis will more than likely use a wet bag when out and about already, so get a bigger version. I love our Tots Bots Kaleidoscope Wet Bag, not only for it’s amazing pattern but also, because it can hold a lots of nappies and is the perfect size for a few nights away

Travelling with cloth doesn’t have to be hard and doesn’t mean you have to change your routine. It doesn’t need to be expensive either my Tots Bots Wet Bag and Happy Mat are available for just ÂŁ22 on their website. Both get used at home and out and about, so are a great investment.

Frugi Raincloud Snuggle Crawlers & Motorbike Campfire Hoody

raincloudWillem has choose his favourite outfit from this season drop one from Frugi.

I took a risk at getting him the Raincloud Snuggle crawlers as they only go up to 3 to 4 years so I had to hope they came up big, which they do. They are so cozy looking and soft inside. The pattern on the trousers is also an improvement on the older version, in my opinion. As we are having an early autumn these have already been warn several times, including a nice muddy walk, and seem to be holding out very well with washing and general wear.

Shop: The Natal Family

Size: 3-4 years

The Motorbike Campfire Hoody isn’t something I would normally pick for Willlem, however it suits him so well and I love it. It’s a bit big at the moment but that doesn’t bother him. The top itself is thin and more like a t-shirt than a jumper so great for autumn or colder summer days. The motorbike is applique and brings real colour to this ‘grey’ top. It has also washed well, although if like me you don’t iron I would suggest hanging it to dry.

Shop: The Natal Family

Size: 4-5 years

Posted in Days Out, Review

Brixworth Country Park

Today is a nursery day for Persephonie, so it was just me and the boys (plus Beatrix). I booked us onto two events at one of our local country parks, Brixworth.

The first was called Fires and Smores. This event gave the boys the chance to cut up some wood for a fire and then cook marshmallows over it. The boys loved cutting up the wood and Roran was straight there trying as hard as he could to do it first time. Willem needed a little bit of help to get his aim right, but soon cut some up. We then swapped the bits of wood  we had cut up for a marshmallow on a stick. We carefully stood around the fire and waited for them to melt. I dropped two into the fire. When they were ready we were given two chocolate biscuit and made our smores, and they tasted yummy.

The second event was called Kelly Kettle Challenge. This event required the boys to trim wood shavings off of some wood to go onto the fire bowl so that we could boil the ‘Kelly Kettle’, and make a cup of tea. We started with a talk about knives and how the boys should never play with them, it was just the two of them and the previous group with older children had talked about how to use and hold them safely. We were also shown all the different ways we could make fire. We then cut up some wood ready to make our shavings. Once cut up we were told to draw some marker lines on the wood, and then shown how to safely shave the wood, The boys both needed some help, and Roran loved the chance to use the knife.  We then went over to the fire bowls and how the ‘Kelly Kettle’ worked was explained to us. Willem got to use the fire starter to get the fire going and then we all helped put wood shavings on to get the fire burning. When the kettle was boiled we all got a hot drink for our hard work

In between the two events we enjoyed a walk through the woods looking for gnomes and finding all sorts of different wooden structures. The routes were all very well sign posted and although I had Beatrix in her wrap I could have used the pushchair around there. We also had lots of fun in the play park which has equipment suitable or both younger and older children. However Roran spent most of his time trying to run up a wet hill and then slipping back down.

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The boys had a fantastic day, both them and their clothes were muddy which is always a good sign they have been busy. They enjoyed both events, especially as it was something they wouldn’t normally do. They had lots of space to run around and burn off all their energy  They both fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Facilities – We took our own picnic so didn’t try out the cafe facilities. We did use he toilets and baby changing and found them in a good clean condition.

Cost – The events were priced at ÂŁ2 per child or ÂŁ5 per family. Parking is ÂŁ3 for the day, however we have an annual pass for all the local country parks which was ÂŁ49. So in total we spent less than ÂŁ10 all day.

For more information visit: Brixworth Country Park

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…

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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, 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, Review

Gruffalo Spotting

Yesterday we went Gruffalo spotting at our local Forestry Commission forest. This is an exciting new activity that has been introduced along one of the popular family trials. Before we left I downloaded the special app which is free, and made sure my phone was charged. The idea is simple you go for a nice walk and along the way there are signs, peep holes and clues to which animal is coming up. When you find the footprints you point your phone, with the app open, at the sign and the animal appears. You then have an opportunity to take a photo of the children with them. When we arrival the children were so excited to get out and run around; we visit this site a lot so they know where they are going.

We headed off to the beginning of the route and sagruffalo spottersw a big sign letting us know we were going the right way. The boys loved running ahead and Roran had the chance to practice his reading skills. Persephonie had decided that she was also going to walk the route today, which made us a little slower than normal. Each animal had a set of signs to encourage the children to guess who was coming up. These included an interactive turning circle with images of the animals eyes, tail, feet, etc. Then a peep hole for them to look through, which was facing another sign with part of the animal on it, giving them a good idea. When it was then obvious who we had found there was a congratulations sign just before the ‘footprints’.

The final sign would be the ‘footprints’, where we aimed our phone to bring up the video. The videos themselves were great. The animals would appear and move around so that they looked real to the children. When they were in position the camera button would come up and you could take a picture. This idea is great but not as easy as it sounds unfortunately. Getting the children in the right position was hard. They couldn’t see the animals from the other side of the camera and would either stand in front of them, blocking the signal and making the video to vanish, or standing behind it where they would then get blocked out by the image. Also, mine were unsure where to look as they were distracted which meant that they often weren’t looking at the camera or video
that they couldn’t see. Maybe some sort of markers on the ground would have helped.

Overall the children enjoyed themselves, which was the main point. They also got some fresh air and a good run around. So did Rufus who remembered it’s that lovely time of year for fox poo! The route is only a short one so, as always, we popped to see the statue of the gruffalo who lives at our local forest, before heading home. There is an opportunity to buy activity bags from the site centre which I am sure would make the trip longer but, as we arrived early, the centre isn’t open at that point. However, it is something we will probably do during the school holidays. We are pleased to have another one of this trails at our local forest as have enjoyed all the others. It is a great way to get the children out and about and enjoying the local area, even if it’s only for a few hours.

gruffalo

For more information about your local Forestry Commission site and Gruffalo Spotter trial please visit their website