My daughter isn’t an ‘easy’ baby. She’s 14 months and still doesn’t consistently sleep through the night. She fights her naps, even when she’s exhausted. She is picky with what food she’ll eat. She chucks her vegetables from her high chair and cries in the direction of the biscuit tin. She will crawl up to you and sink her teeth into any skin on show: your ankle, wrist, cheek..she’s not fussy. She cries for no apparent reason. She climbs up onto places she knows she’s not allowed. She destroys her brothers games. And did I mention she cries all the time for no reason? Please don’t let this extensive list concern you, I love my daughter. I think she is amazing and I could write a much longer list about all the wonderful things about her. It’s just, well, at the minute we are going through a difficult phase where every day with Tilly is a massive challenge. I just wanted to write this blog post so other parents currently having a challenging time with their baby know that they are not alone in their struggles. View Post
Something that no one really talks about before you have a baby is the fact that babies get poorly bellies A LOT. I knew you had to wind a baby after feeds but I had no idea how upset they could get when their tummies hurt. Despite being exclusively breastfed, all three of my kids have suffered with either colic or constipation at some point. It can be really hard to know what to do when your baby is crying in pain and you don’t know how to ease their tummy troubles. Today’s guest post is full of advice on what to do when your baby is suffering with tummy pain. View Post
Tilly is one now and she has been wearing cloth nappies since she was about six weeks old. I didn’t use reusable nappies with Leo and Alex, I thought it would be too much like hard work and I could never really understand what happened with all the poo. During my pregnancy with Tilly I was reading more and more about reusable nappies, and Swansea Council has a great cashback scheme to encourage more parents to choose cloth, so I decided to give reusable nappies a try. Something that always put me off about reusable nappies was that I just didn’t understand how they worked, what brand was best and, like I said earlier, the poo issue. For any parents feeling the same, wanting to try cloth but not sure where to begin, I have put together this beginners guide to switching to reusable nappies. I’m going to share how we got started with cloth nappies, the reusable nappy brands we use and a simple guide to washing cloth nappies. I hope you find this post useful and I’d love for you to share it with any of your eco conscious friends who are expecting a baby.
A beginners guide to reusable nappies.
Getting started with cloth nappies.
When it comes to cloth nappies there are so many different brands. I have to admit, when I first started researching switching from disposable nappies I was really overwhelmed. I was pointed in the direction of The Nappy Lady website. There is a great questionnaire on The Nappy Lady that helps you figure out what nappies best suit your family and your budget. I did the quiz and was recommended Terry nappies and/or muslins as initially my budget was quite low. Personally, I decided a flat nappy and figuring out the folds etc was more work than I was willing to put in at nappy changes but The Nappy Lady gives you lots of different options and provides you with an estimate cost.
The Nappy Lady questionnaire is really useful for getting a general idea of how much different nappies cost and what options are out there. Something else you should be aware of is the cloth nappy world seems to have its own language. You don’t need to know what all the acronyms stand for (a year as a cloth bum mum and I still don’t know what most of them mean) but people in Facebook groups seem to use the nappy lingo and it makes life a bit easier if you know what they are talking about. I used this website to help me understand what all the other reusable nappy parents were talking about, it was like my cloth bum dictionary!
It’s important to remember when getting started with cloth nappies that you don’t need to go all in straight away. If you just use one reusable nappy a day then that is 365 disposable nappies you are keeping out of landfill each year. As they say at Tesco, every little helps. There are nappy libraries that can be really useful to help you settle on the type of reusable nappy you want to use. Nappy libraries often loan starter packs of nappies and the person running the library will be able to share all their cloth nappy knowledge with you and demonstrate how to fit a reusable nappy properly. Cloth nappies aren’t cheap when compared to the price of a single disposable nappy BUT you need to keep in mind you will only be buying this nappy once, you won’t be chucking one in your trolley every week when you do the food shop over the next two years. I have approximately 30 nappies and this is way more than we need. I wash them about every 3 days and they usually take 24 hours to dry and I think only once in a whole year I have been in a situation where Tilly needed a change and I had no clean nappies.
Where to buy reusable nappies.
We decided to use all in ones and pocket nappies when getting started with Tilly. I bought £100 worth of brand new Bambino Miosolo nappies and got my money back from Swansea Council using their reusable nappy scheme. All in one nappies are most like a disposable as the absorbent layer is already sewn in, the only thing you have to do is add extra boosters if you need more absorbency. Pocket nappies are a waterproof cover with a ‘pocket’ in the back where you stuff in the absorbent inserts and boosters. Inserts are made from different materials including bamboo, micro fibre and hemp. We use mostly micro fibre boosters and inserts and we’ve had no problems. Some parents prefer to use the more natural fibres but it’s totally up to you; what suits one baby may not be the best option for your child.
I bought Tilly’s Miosolos from the Bambino Mio website and have also picked up a few of the newer prints when they’ve been available in Aldi during a special buy baby event. Facebook is a great place to buy nappies second hand and I bought a big bundle of pocket nappies with inserts, boosters and reusable wipes from Facebook Marketplace for £50. You mostly have to buy reusable nappies online, new and preloved, but some brands like Bambino Mio, Tots Bots and Kit and Kin are appearing more often on the High Street in shops like Boots and some supermarkets.
How to use a cloth nappy.
Putting a cloth nappy on your baby does take a bit of getting used to but once you’ve figured out how to get a good fit it’s as simple as putting on a disposable.
Here are some quick tips.
1. Watch this video on YouTube on how to correctly fit a cloth nappy
2. If the nappy marks your baby’s skin then it’s too tight, try readjusting your fit around the waist.
3. If the nappy leaks then check you’ve got a good fit around the knicker line, if there’s a gap between baby’s thigh and the nappy then it’s likely to leak.
4. Experiment with absorbency and try boosting a nappy with extra absorbency before deciding it’s just not working properly.
5. Reusable nappies need to be washed before their first use to kick start their absorbency. If you don’t wash the nappy before using it for the first time it is more likely to leak.
6. Velcro nappies are quicker and easier to put on than a nappy with poppers. Keep in mind that Velcro will be easier for your baby to unfasten when they are old enough to start exploring. This isn’t a big issue if your baby wears a vest with poppers and can’t get to their nappy.
How to wash reusable nappies.
So, I know you’re all still wondering what happens to the poo, right? Well, good news. Up until your baby is weaning, you don’t have to do much at all. Breastfed baby poo just washes off the nappy in the washing machine, it’s mostly water anyway and in my experience doesn’t stain the nappies. When baby starts weaning it gets a bit grosser as the poo gets lumpier and the nappies can’t go in the washing machine like that. You might want to use a biodegradable liner or reusable fleece liner to catch the poo. These aren’t totally necessary if you don’t mind using a scabby knife to scrape the poo off or, if you’re lucky, you might be able to just plop the poo off the nappy straight into the toilet. If you use a liner then you can easily dispose off the poo as lots of the biodegradable liners can be flushed down the toilet like toilet paper (always read the packaging to check if they are safe to flush) or put into a biodegradable nappy sack.
Some cloth nappy users will scrape the poo off like I mentioned above or use the power of the toilet flush or the shower (if it reaches the toilet) to blast the poo off the nappy into the toilet. The nappy doesn’t have to be completely poo free before it heads to the washing machine but you want to get the majority of it off and have no lumpy bits.
Here is my washing routine for cloth nappies
1. All dirty nappies are put in a nappy bin (bucket with lid and mesh laundry bag) and when the bin is full they go in the wash.
2. I set the machine to a rinse cycle with a medium spin and rinse the nappies. This cycle take 20 minutes on my machine.
3. After the rinse I put the nappies on the longest cycle (my machine is the intense cycle, lasting about 2.5hours) and set the temperature to 60 and again use a medium spin speed.
4. I use non bio powder. It’s important not to use gel or liquid or fabric softener as this can apparently build up in the nappy over time and affect the absorbency. I use the dosage on the box for heavily soiled clothes and after a years use none of Tilly’s nappies or wipes are stained.
5. Once washed I either hang the nappies out on the washing line if it’s dry or on the clothes rail in the house if it’s cold. I use micro fibre nappies so they dry quite fast (usually within a day) and the few bamboo nappies I have take a lot longer to fully dry.
The main things to remember when washing reusable nappies is RINSE first and use non bio POWDER . Remember to wash at 60.
Washing cloth nappies seems like a big deal but it’s honestly not, you get used to it. With a baby in the house the washing machine is going a lot of the time anyway and if your nappy stash is big enough you only need to do an extra one or two washes a week.
The basics to getting started with cloth nappies.
I appreciate there is a lot of information in this post so I am just going to quickly go over the basics to using reusable nappies again.
1. Research different types of cloth nappies and different brands before you buy. If possible, get to your local nappy library for advice and to try some nappies out.
2. Be prepared to not get it right straight away. It takes practice to perfect fitting a cloth nappy but once you work it out it’s easy.
3. Wash your nappies properly by putting them through a rinse cycle first, using powder and washing at no higher than 60.
The nappy brands we use are Bambino Miosolos with micro fibre boosters for every day use. Wonderoos and Littles and Bloomz pocket nappies with poppers for a more secure fit. Totsbots Bamboozle nappies with a Peanut wrap for bedtime. (Note, we only have 3 bedtime nappies so most nights Tilly is in a disposable but as I said earlier, every cloth nappy you use is one less disposable heading to landfill).
If you use Instagram then hashtags like #clothbum #clothmadesimple #clothnappies are a great place to find other parents using cloth nappies with their babies. The community is very friendly and people are always happy to answer your questions. Also, while you’re on Instagram if you head to my profile, in the Cloth Nappy highlights I have a step by step washing video, videos showing how to stuff reussable nappies and you can see my first ever day as a cloth bum mum trying to figure out how to use a pocket nappy!
The important thing to remember is cloth nappies don’t have to be complicated or expensive. There are so many gorgeous prints to choose from and every reusable nappy you use will help the environment. Switching to cloth nappies is an easy way to be more eco friendly as a family and if you go on to have another baby in the future then you will literally be stopping thousands of nappies from going to landfill. You don’t need a massive stash of nappies, we have about thirty and that’s way too many.
If you ever need advice the Internet is full of plenty of people who are more than happy to help. Most nappy brands have social media accounts so it couldn’t be easier to ask about a particular nappy and get advice straight from the brand. If I could go back in time I would choose cloth right from when Leo was a baby. Switching to reusable nappies has been really easy for us as a family. I hope you have found this beginners guide to reusable nappies useful and it helps you to get started on your cloth nappy journey.
As a mum of three I am all too aware that babies cry..a lot. Out of my three children, my youngest Tilly has been the biggest crier. It is so overwhelming when your baby is upset and you can’t stop them from crying. Sometimes it feels like you have tried everything and they just won’t settle. I know mama, I know how hard that is. Tilly is one now and sometimes I still don’t know why she is crying and it is hard to settle her. I think it is just one of those things, some babies just cry more than others. If you are a new parent and are looking for some ideas on how to soothe and settle your crying baby, this guest post has lots of ideas for you. One of the main pieces of advice I would give to new parents would be to remember that babies are all different. The method your best mum friend uses to settle her baby may not be the one for you and your baby. Something else I have learnt is, although it may feel like it at the time, no baby is going to keep crying forever. You will be able to settle your crying baby, I hope these tips help you find a method that works for your family. View Post
The baby days go so fast, don’t they? One minute you’re holding a tiny newborn and then you blink and it’s their first birthday and they are trying to take their first wobbly steps. Finding ways to cherish and remember the baby days is something that is really important to me. There are lots of ways you can get creative and make special keepsakes for your child and document your most precious family memories. Design Bundles is a website full of digital graphics that you can use to create all sorts of wonderful things, including templates to help you create all types of baby keepsakes. If you want to get creative, here are five ideas on how to make baby keepsakes using Design Bundles. View Post
The saying ‘if I had a pound’ comes to mind when I think of the amount of people who have asked if Tilly is a good baby since she was born in July. The is she good question is right up there with how much did she weigh, how does she sleep and what’s her name on the list of questions strangers feel the need to ask when you’re out and about with your new baby. I don’t mind talking to you about my baby, if you want to know her name and ask me if she looks more like me or my husband then that’s fine but, please, don’t ask me if she is ‘good’. What is a good baby? Is it a baby who sleeps well? A baby who doesn’t cry? A baby who is content constantly? If that’s the case then no, no I don’t have a good baby. So, by default does that mean my baby is bad? She’s just turned six months old, she’s not good or bad, she’s just a baby behaving like babies do: not sleeping very well, screaming in my face and demanding a feed at very regular intervals. I would appreciate, as would so many other new parents I’m sure, if people could refrain from asking if I have a ‘good baby’ (whatever that is) and asked me something else instead. View Post
Ughh, sleep, it is not my favourite topic of conversation at the moment! With a twelve week old baby it is no surprise that the subject of sleep is a very sensitive one for me. Why? Well, because I am not getting any of it! I had forgotten how hard being sleep deprived is and those night feeds are a killer when you are already exhausted. Us parents try pretty much everything to get our babies and children to go to bed happily and to get a good nights sleep but it’s not always easy. Today I have a guest post with three basic tips to help you to hopefully get a better nights sleep. Remember though, all babies and children are different and what works for one won’t necessarily work for another. I also know from experience that, yes, sometimes taking things into your own hands at bedtime can help but ultimately babies do what they want and they don’t tend to sleep through the night until they are ready. Regardless of that, this guest post has lots of advice that can help bedtime run more smoothly – good luck! View Post
When I found out I was pregnant for the third time, one of the things I got really excited about was being able to do babywearing again. For those of you who don’t know, babywearing is the term used when talking about using a sling or baby carrier. Essentially, you are ‘wearing’ your baby as they are strapped, wrapped or tied to you in their sling. I didn’t babywear with Leo, I didn’t really understand how the baby didn’t just fall out of the sling and the idea of it made really anxious so we just stuck with the pram. With Alex, I went to a sling library as I knew I was going to need my hands free to look after Leo too and I was shown the (not actually that complicated) proper way to wrap a sling and we were off, my love affair with babywearing began. Me and Alex were babywearing until he was around 20months old and we loved every second (I have a whole post here about why I love babywearing so much). Now I am babywearing again with Tilly and I love it as much as ever. Keeping your baby close in a sling keeps them happy and content and makes life so much easier for mama too – especially if you are like me and have other children to look after. Babywearing can feel overwhelming when you first start, there are so many different types of carriers: woven wraps, ring slings, soft structured carriers, buckle carriers and the list goes on. There is one type of sling though that I absolutely love for the newborn days, I used it with Alex and am using one again now with Tilly. My favourite sling to use with a newborn is a stretchy wrap. In this post I will explain why, in my opinion, this is the best kind of wrap to use when you have a newborn. View Post
Life as a breastfeeding mum can be so relentless and demanding. Tilly is just over a month old now, I am right in the thick of breastfeeding a newborn and I had forgotten how exhausting being the only one who can feed the baby is! It’s only been five weeks but when I am feeding every 2 hours every day and night and sometimes every half an hour in the evenings when baby is trying to up my milk supply, daydreams of someone else being able to take over feeding duties have started to happen pretty regularly! If I want a break and want Tilly to have breastmilk in a bottle and not formula then I need to build up my stored breastmilk stash. I have started filling the freezer with expressed breastmilk (good luck trying to find the chips amongst all the Medela freezer bags full of milk!) and it has actually been no hassle at all. If you are a breastfeeding mama also looking to build up your freezer stash of breastmilk then here is a list of all the things you can do to get lots of milk stored up with very minimal effort on your part – no feeding mama has time to sit stuck to a breastpump for hours, do they? It’s totally understandable to want a break from breastfeeding, it’s like a full time job after all, I hope the tips in this post help you to get some much deserved time off. I for one can not wait for a date night with the husband and to have a night off from being pinned to the sofa with my baby stuck to me for hours. View Post
She’s here! I still can’t believe it but my beautiful daughter is here. I would love to introduce you all to Tilly, born on 10th July at 3.45am and weighing in at a teeny 7lb 1oz. Oh, we are all so besotted with her and despite not even being 3 weeks old yet it feels like she has always been a part of our family. If you have followed me during this pregnancy you will know I was planning a homebirth and I am so pleased to say that my wish came true! I gave birth in the comfort of my own living room and it was such a positive and empowering experience. For those of you who are thinking of having a homebirth or need to read a positive birth story, here is my story of how my lovely Tilly entered the world. View Post
I’m 39 weeks pregnant now you guys. Just 7 little days until baby girl’s due date. I feel prepared and completely unprepared all at the same time. I can sort of remember what life with a newborn baby is like but I keep worrying I will have forgotten how to do the basics like how to bathe and change nappies properly. I have decided to do a few things differently third time around; we will be using a bedside crib for the first time and I think I might try my hand at swaddling at bedtime. As a soon to be third time mum though, I feel like I have made all the big decisions already as I have learnt from experience and, to a degree, know what to expect. If you are first time parent though you may still be umming and ahhing over the big decisions like feeding etc. I have a guest post today talking about 5 of the biggest decisions you will need to make in preparation for life with your newborn. I hope any of you first time parents reading this find it useful. View Post
*collaborative guest post*
Being a new mum is amazing, but it isn’t a walk in the park. Between the smiles, the giggles, and the cuddles that make your heart melt, there is sick, poop, and constant shrieking. All of this can get overwhelming at times, exhausting, and, strangely, even a little boring too. Staying in high spirits when you feel so physically and emotionally drained isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean that you can or should succumb to insanity. After all, your little one needs you happy and healthy just as much as you do. With that in mind, here are ten ways to stay sane as a brand new mum. View Post
*guest post – written in collaboration with Emily Jones*
One of the perks of being pregnant is having an excuse to go on holiday before baby arrives. It’s totally a thing and it’s called a babymoon! Oli and I went to Venice back in March without the kids and it was so lovely. Babymoons are a great time to relax and connect as a couple before baby comes along and you have no time to even think about a holiday. I have a lovely guest post today, it features some wonderful Italian destinations for your babymoon and there are lots of tips to help you get the most out of your babymoon too. Enjoy! View Post
Using a sling was one of the best parenting decisions I ever made. Life with a newborn is so much easier when you babywear and there is no way I could have coped without one after I had my second baby. Babywearing isn’t just for babies though and slings and baby carriers are a great tool to have in your parenting arsenal even when your child grows into a toddler. Alex grew out of his baby size buckle carrier when he was about 18 months old, I have desperately been searching for a new sling and was so happy to be asked to review the Izmi toddler carrier. If you are planning on toddlerwearing and are looking for a suitable toddler carrier, here is my review of the Izmi – I hope it helps! View Post
Summer is here. The shops are full of gorgeous floaty dresses, pretty little tops, strappy sandals and the rails are jam packed with the summer wardrobe staple we all love to hate – the bikini. I have always felt a bit selfconscious in a bikini but never enough to consider not wearing one. I am naturally small and although I have some body hang ups, I have never despised my body. Since having kids, my body confidence has understandably taken a knock but every time we visited the beach last summer, my belly didn’t flip with nerves when I took my beach dress off and stood on the sand in just a bikini. Thanks to exercising regularly after the birth of my second baby and having a pretty awesome cleavage thanks to breastfeeding, last summer I felt the best I have ever felt about my body. I wish I could say the same about it as the summer holidays approach this year. You see, my body confidence has plummeted and it is not because my thighs are a bit squishier than they once were, or because I have a permanent ‘look who had a big lunch’ pot belly, I am not feeling as confident in my skin this summer because my babies stole my boobs. Yup, you read that correctly, my babies STOLE MY BOOBS! View Post