Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Got the bug...

Again...! Whilst I was away in Burnley, I got the sewing bug again! Once I start, I become addicted and find it hard to stop. This evening, I have been making some bunting for Anna's baby, Splodge. Well for his bedroom! I thought it would be a nice little thing to brighten up a wall or something. Bunting is very much in fashion at the moment, so it is something he can keep to remind him of his Auntie H at the very least.

I did steal the idea from the new magazine Mollie Makes, which I must admit, I am a little bit in love with already, from the first installment! I have crafted together the attached project but it is in need of a little TLC (already, obviously didn't spend enough time on it). 

It took me a little while to work out what size I needed to do the triangles, but after a lot of working out and help from Mom and Louie, see scribbles, we managed to come up with something, and I managed to get 10 triangles out of one A4 sheet, so economically, we have done well. If any of you would like the pattern, let me know and I will put one together for you.
Much thinking required
Then I needed to get all my fabric strips together. The magazine said to use off cut strips but I don't have  things like that so I just cut them as required, at about 2cm a piece.

Then they need gluing to the card one at a time, then sewing on.

It works really well, as you get a nice sturdy triangle afterwards, so it isn't flimsy. And the patterns look amazing. I had planned to accessorize the bunting with buttons and ric rac but to be honest, I don't think it needs it. I think it is rather lovely as it is. 

Been away!

We have taken advantage of the Bank Holiday and been up to Burnley for the weekend. Unfortunately both Grandma's were swanning away on holiday so we only got to see Grandpa! Which Louie loved, and even managed to do the baby sign for him!

The main reason that we were going up was to meet Grandad Edward for the first time. Edward lives in Menorca, so it isn't always easy to catch him when he is over. We had a nice (sort of) trip to Morcambe for the day.

Unfortunately Louie has been rather poorly all weekend, which has spoiled it a little. However, he was well enough to go to a quick dip in the swimming pool with his cousin Summer!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Tumble Drier...

Probably not  a good idea to tumble dry the waterproof wraps of your nappies. 

This was a bib, backed with PUL. I retrieved this from the back of my tumble drier. I imagine this is what would happen to nappies too!

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Baby Show

To draw a close to Real Nappy Week 2011, I spent my weekend converting lots of people to cloth nappies! Smartipants in particular!
Ready and waiting for the doors to open!

Fill Your Pants had a stand at the Baby Show, NEC as the brand Smartipants, this weekend. So of course, every morning I was there bright and early, raring to go!

Friday was quite manic as there were only two of us manning the stand, and we did get some rather busy moments, which meant neither of us managed to have a sit down for some lunch. We managed to get a decent amount of orders though, and thanks to the Competition Trail we took part in, managed to target people who would never even thought about cloth nappies.

On the Saturday, we were joined by Hannah and Sarah, two of our Nappy Gurus, who volunteered to help  us for the day. Saturday was so busy, we barely stopped to breathe! But at least having 4 of us on the stand meant that we all managed to get a sit down.

Sunday was surprisingly the quietest day, and we had Nappy Gurus Faatima and Asta, to help us out. We managed to send home quite a few 24 packs with people, so we did end up getting quite low by the end of trade! Which was brilliant!

We met some really lovely people at the show. We were opposite a lady who very bravely manned her own stand all by her self for two days. She had a really innovative product, a teething necklace worn by Mum for baby to chew. Definitely worth a look if you have a teething little one! Her website is http://www.gumigem.co.uk/ so check it out!

Very bravely, Helen from Cheeky Wipes attended with her very tiny newborn daughter! We managed to have a bit of a chat, and I picked up some new style Cheeky Wipes for my best bud Anna, who is due a month tomorrow! (YIKES!) You can read my blog about Cheeky Wipes here, I think I am head over heels in love with them to be honest, so again, something to check out!

On the Friday, Nana and Louie had a lovely day at the baby show, charming all the ladies so much that I had people coming to the stand especially to tell me how gorgeous he was! But I think he really did bag himself a girlfriend; one of the ladies from the Mamascarf stand! She came to see me on the Sunday asking where my gorgeous boy was. Bless her! The Mamascarf is a fantastic idea, you tie it around your neck and allows you to discreetly breastfeed. It is something I will definitely be recommending when I am doing my rounds as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter once I qualify in June. I think I even saw Helen from Cheeky Wipes modeling the 'Retro Leaf' one on her stand ;)

Some last minute sales on the Sunday!
Although I was away from my darling boy for 5 days in a row, got barely any sleep, barely ate and talked my voice away (yes, I sound very much like a man now!) it was all worth it and I had a wonderful time. I can't wait to do it again at the Earls Court show in October. Maybe I will see you there?

I would just like to thank Hannah, Sarah, Faatima and Asta on behalf of Laura and myself again, for helping us out so much! It is duly appreciated!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Real Nappy Week 2011 Round Up

This Real Nappy Week, I have tried to put a post up everyday, with reasons for using Real Nappies! For the last few days however, I have been working at the Baby Show at the NEC, but that is a whole other post!

You may have noticed that I have a little ticker at the bottom of my blog which counts the average amount of nappies I will have used. I think I estimated four nappies per day, 3 in the day then the night nappy.
Right at this moment in time, my ticker says that i have saved a whopping
nappies from landfill!!  Isn't that amazing. I dread to think just how many black bin liners that would equate to!

So I did some simple maths to see how much I have saved so far. I would like you to bear in mind that we started using real nappies when Louie was around 4/5 months, so it would obviously save you soooo much more if you were to use them from birth. Also take into account the age of the child, 16 months, and realistically, we are going to have another year, year and a half in nappies.

1275 x £0.13 (average cost of a disposable nappy) = £165.75

Now at the moment, that might not seem like a lot of money. To be perfectly honest, I was shocked that it was so low, and in reality, I am yet to break even. But if you think of it in terms of a baby in nappies from newborn to potty training, it really does add up.

And by using reusable wipes, you will be making a big saving too, so I did some more maths :)

£1 a week on packets of disposable wipes x 40 (the amount of weeks we have been using) = £40

Considering I only paid £23.50 for the Cheeky Wipes Mini Kit, I have saved almost double the amount of using reusable wipes (Not to mention that I am a bit happy with wipe usage and like to make extra sure that he is clean, then not including using wipes for mucky hands and faces!)

So it will turn out cheaper in the long run. But think about having subsequent children and not having to spend a penny!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Not Just Nappies

If cloth nappies really aren't up your street, then maybe Cloth Wipes are.
When you think about it, disposable wipes really do cost a small fortune in themselves. I know that when Louie was first born, I used two packets of wipes every three days! Luckily, I managed to buy them in bulk and got them at a good price, a far cry from the £2.50-£3 they are as separate packets! You could easily be spending £100 a year just on wipes.

I really wasn't sold on the idea of using reusable wipes, even though I was using cloth nappies. But really, it isn't that much different - you just chuck them in the nappy bin and wash them all together! And I really couldn't figure out the logistics of them - how do you take them out and about with you? Do you need a spray bottle?

Then I discovered Cheeky Wipes.

A Cheeky Wipes Kit will set you back £36.95, which may sound a lot up front, but it is a far cry from the £100 a year that you could spend on disposable wipes, plus you only have to pay it once!
In that kit, you get the whole works. This kit is great for people who don't use real nappies because you get the whole shebang.

This kit comes with a Fresh Box and a Mucky Box, 25 wipes, Fresh and Mucky wet bags, a mesh bag for the mucky box, and essential oils.
Here is how it works.

Top the Fresh box up with required amount of water and a splash of Fresh Oil. Pop the required amount of wipes into the box. They are ready to use!
When you want to change your baby, use your fresh wipes and then pop them inside the mesh bag in the Mucky bag ready for washing. You can add a few drops of the Mucky blend to the mesh bag to prevent smells. Then when they are ready for washing, just do up the mesh bag and put in the wash. Now if you already use real nappies, you can stick them in with the nappy load. If not, they can go in with your normal washing without any bother.

When out and about, you can put your fresh wipes into the Fresh Wetbag. Provided your wipes aren't sopping wet, the bag will not leak. We have only very rarely had a problem, in which case the wipes have just been too soggy. Then when you change a nappy, pop the wipes into the Mucky Wetbag. Both wetbags can be washed with your wipes.

It really is as simple as that! Of course, if you do use real nappies already and have a bucket/large wetbag, you may not need the full kit, in which the Mini Kit would be best for you, which only contains the 'Fresh' components.

We love our Cheeky Wipes. They are quite basically small squares of terry fabric, but they are fantastic. One Cheeky Wipe can do the work of 4-5 disposable wipes easily. The texture of the terry scoops up the mess, where the disposable ones just seem to smeer it around. We constantly get comments on how beautiful the 'Fresh' blend oils smell as soon as I open the wipes wetbag, we have had comments everywhere!

Cheeky Wipes are currently undergoing some changes though, with the addition of Pop Up lids which will be a really substantial improvement, making them even more amazing if you ask me. They will be available from Beginning to Mid June so keep an eye out for them, as you really are missing out if you aren't already on the Cheeky Wipe wagon!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Real Nappy Week - Nappies and Beyond!

Disposable nappies these days are absorbent, maybe TOO absorbent - which is why more and more children are staying in nappies for longer. They just can't feel that they are wet, and need to use the potty.
We aren't at that stage yet so I am not able to give a full account of potty training a cloth bottomed babe, but this is what I do know.

Whether it is myth, I don't know, but they say that toddlers can feel when they are wet much easier in a cloth nappy - thus meaning they will transition into pottydom quicker and easier. But won't I need to revert to pull up disposable training pants for this?
Absolutely not!

There is a fantastic range of training pants made by Bright Bots. They are just like big boy/girl pants, but with a small terry pad between the legs, designed to hold roughly one wee. It won't keep your child quite as dry as a disposable pull up, but it will aide your child to know when they need to use the potty. But as I say, I haven't quite got to that stage yet so don't quote me!!!

However, we do use the training pants already. We have a couple in our stash to use those evenings the nappy needs changing but it isn't worth putting a whole new one on. They do hold just enough, but usually when we take them off they are dry, as he always seems to save himself so he can go in the bath!

Bright Bots Training Pants come in sizes Small through to Extra Large and are available in a range of colours, and priced at a mere £3.95 singularly and 5 for £18, they are extremely affordable!
(Please note that they are sized quite small, and they do shrink up a little in the wash, so if in doubt definitely size up)

Mr Bee

As a few of you will know, Louie has been fondly referred to as Mr Bee for as long as we can remember! And we have been collecting Bee things along the way, most recently a pair of gorgeous Inch Blue shoes. But it seems that we have an abundance of Bee things at the moment!!

Cloth Bottomed Babes...

they make my rocking world go round!!!

Cloth nappies come in the most beautiful colours and prints - a far cry from the dingy old terry squares your mother will remember! These days, cloth nappies are as much of a fashion statement as anything!

I think the photos say it all really!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Dangerous Disposables

There are so many reasons why cloth nappies are far superior to their disposable counterparts. I could go on and on and on and on thinking of reasons why they are better for you, for your child, for the environment, for your pocket. 

Did you know that next to your babies bottom and genitals, in a disposable nappy, are hundreds of toxic chemicals. 
This is the one that got me

Polyacrylic Acid- Ever noticed little gel balls on your babies bottom after wearing a disposable nappy? Welcome to Polyacrylic Acid - A Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) that turns urine into gel and can absorb 100 times its weight in liquid. This is a substance which was banned from use in tampons in 1985 due to its link with Toxic Shock Syndrome. Employees in factories producing Polyacrylate suffer from female organ damage, fatigue and weight loss. No long term studies have been conducted to assess the risks of 24/7 exposure to this compound on a babies vulnerable genitals.
Due to its extreme absorbency, this chemical has been found to draw moisture from the skin, causing severe nappy rash and bleeding of perineal and scrotal tissue. Polyacrylic Acid is also lethal to cats when inhaled.

Reading things like this really turns my stomach, thinking about the long term effects that they could have on my baby.

Not to mention the little gel crystals which commonly come to the surface of the nappies which are potentially hazardous, especially if inhaled or ingested. And the instances of chemical burn which have arisen from 'Pampers Dry Maxx' nappies.

By using cloth nappies, you know what will be next to your skin. Any chemicals that may be on the fabric (due to manufacturing) will be washed off in the wash you do to prepare your nappies. Cloth nappies are available in many different fibres, from the manmade Microfibre to the natural fibres of Hemp, so you can choose what fibres will be hugging their heiney!

Read the full article at the Really Pants blog here http://www.babiesnappies.co.uk/2008/06/19/scary-sposies/

Monday, 16 May 2011

Real Nappy Week 2011 16-22 May

As you will all know, I am very passionate about using cloth nappies.
Although I was a late starter, getting my first cloth nappy when Louie was around 4-5 months old, I dived in head first and haven't used a disposable nappy since July 2010 and don't plan to use them again!

This week is Real Nappy Week, backed by a wonderful website called Go Real, The Nappy Information Service. 
Go Real provide top notch information about all aspects of cloth nappies, from the benefits to tips and tricks, not to mention stockists, competitions and offers. 

This Real Nappy Week, Go Real are promoting the Share the Secret campaign, for Mums who already know the wonders of fluffy nappies to spread the word to the cloth nappy virgins out there. It is all about changing attitudes really. This is where bloggers come in, providing the information, the reviews and the confidence for people to make the change. There are events going on near you, keep an ear out on the TV and radio because someone near you might just be fighting the cause!
So if you are already a cloth user, are you doing your bit for Real Nappy Week 2011?

They are also holding a great big Nappy Giveaway. This gives cloth users the chance to nominate a friend to receive a free nappy, courtesy of one of the manufacturers involved with Go Real. If you are lucky enough to win, you will receive a nappy and an informational DVD to help you with your choices.

You will find that most nappy retailers will currently have some Real Nappy Week offers on, and you might even be lucky enough to enter into some giveaways and competitions!

Fill Your Pants has a fantastic selection of RNW offers such as 20% off a massive list of brands!

Inspired? Get some tailored nappy advice here.

Cloth Nappies on Holiday

Being an avid cloth nappy user, having not used disposables in nearly a year, I wasn't going to let a weeks holiday get in the way of that!

I made up my mind that I was only going to take nappies that were quick drying, and that Two Parters were the way forward. Especially as I had bought a Weehugger and a Gen-Y wrap which were 'holiday nappies' (Just as an excuse to buy them!). In all I took 6 wraps, 10 assorted inserts for the wraps and about 6 pocket/all in one nappies. Then the normal night nappies of course.

The inserts that we took were Flip Stay Dry, Weehugger inserts, Prefolds, one cotton terry and Issy bear day and night inserts. We also took Smartipants, Easyfits, and some Cushie Tushies (for the cuteness factor of course).

We did a wash on the Tuesday morning in the sites laundrette, and strangely, although the nappies were washed with Soapnuts with a dash of Lavender oil, they came out smelling of washing powder!
We stayed in a chalet with a 'Sun Lounge' which was sort of like a conservatory which was where we dried the nappies with a makeshift washing line hung from two open windows!

Unfortunately as the drying area was covered, the air did not circulate as well as I had hoped, and the nappies took an average of 24 hours to dry. The Stretchies however took nearer to 48 hours! Meaning that we had to use two of the Flip Disposable inserts for one nights nappy. Luckily, they lasted perfectly.

It just goes to show that cloth nappies are that easy to use and you can even take them on holiday with you, with no bother :)

This week is Real Nappy Week, why don't you hop on over to Fill Your Pants for some fantastic offers on cloth nappies!

At the Farms

One of the things I was most looking forward to when we were on our holiday was going riding for the first time in a few years. I have ridden horses practically all my life, but have taken a break from it to do other things. 
I miss it so much, and I could not wait to get straight back into the saddle. We went to the Old Mill before we even got to our accommodation, to book myself in for a ride - dedication for you! 

On Tuesday, we got up and ready to go. I was suited and booted and we went down to the stables. Louie was besotted with the horses. He has seen plenty of other animals, but he was just so smitten with the horses. It was so heart warming. I think he is going to be a horsey type like his Mama! 

Ready to go! Me on Bonny

 After my ride, we went to Dairyland, a farm, as a nice day out for Louie. He was in his element running around everywhere wanting to play with everything! We had a struggle to prize him away from these though, the big boy tractors!

 After a verrrry long time in the soft play area, chasing eachother around the little boys area and the VERY big, big boys area, and going on the bumpy big slide over and over and over again, we headed on down to the Pat a Pet session which was being held. The lady sat a lap tray on my mat and brought over a rabbit, a guinea pig and a rat to pet. Louie wasn't really interested because he had found a creature all curled up in a ball hiding in its little bed. He was fascinated by the ball of fluff! So when it woke up, the lady was kind enough to let him out for Louie to see! It was a chinchilla!


He stroked his very soft fur 

Where has Ratty gone?
Louie loved seeing all of the animals :)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

St Ives

The most beautiful place in the world. (In my opinion of course)

We spent our first day and our last day in St Ives, exploring all the beautiful shops, heading in and out of the little lanes and alleys. We found ourselves on the beach several times, with Louie charging off to make some new friends or try to play with a seagull. 

After we had our dinner, Louie was raring to go to the beach again! With his bucket and spade at the ready, he hovered around the door until we let him free.

 On our last day, we headed back to St Ives, because we love it so much. Isn't this just the most beautiful scene, all the little houses overlooking the harbour and that lovely sandy beach.

The Sloop
 Merky weather and rain hasn't stopped play!

Gandad, I want to do the jigsaw right now!


Waiting for the train back to the car
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