Real Nappy Week 2016

It’s Real Nappy Week everybody! For some of you who may not know the history of this blog many years ago I was offered the chance to test out a cloth nappy brand that was due to come to the United Kingdom and they wanted a parent who used disposable nappies on their baby to try it out and get their opinion. I was that parent and my son was the baby and you can still read that same review on my blog.

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I read it now and can see what a total newbie I was to cloth nappies. Since then I have run a nappy library, I have campaigned for supermarkets to bring reusable nappies in to their stores and part of their Baby & Toddler Events and they actually listened (might I add Boots and Aldi have since joined in) and I’ve made friends within the cloth nappy community. My first step in to the real nappy world was over 5 years ago! And so much has happened. And as it took me a while to learn what I have learnt I figured I should least help out so if you are interested in giving cloth nappies a try then you won’t be confused and lost as I was back then!

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Drying Time
You can tumble dry on low some cloth nappies, however this may affect the PUL (which is the breathable waterproof fabric used in most nappies) over time. Do you have an outdoor area for drying or an airer? Certain fabrics take longer to dry such as bamboo, whilst microfibre dries out very quickly.

Heavy Wetter?
Is your child a heavy wetter or pretty average for a child their age? If your baby is a pee monster then you’ll need something that is thirsty such as hemp or organic cotton. If your child isn’t much of a wee machine you could get away with microfibre.

Systems
This is where it can get tricky. You can get all sorts of nappy systems. If your child is going to nursery perhaps you want something easy like a pocket nappy or all-in-one for no hassle. Or perhaps like the idea of wraps where you can re-use the wrap two or three times as long as it’s dry and clean by simply adding fresh inserts to the wrap each change. There’s hybrids, two-in-ones and so much more to look in to. It really is up to what works for you and your baby.

Price Tag
Whilst they make seem expensive for something they will poo and pee in on a day to day basis it works out much cheaper in the long run, specially as you can sell them on or keep for another child. There are different nappy brands for different budgets. Bummis and Daisybirds are simple nappies that are budget friendly, whilst Bumgenius and gNappies are a little bit more on the expensive side.

Try Before You Buy
There’s over 100 nappy libraries and nappy advisers around the country and many stockists of reusable nappies also offer advice, some have trial kits as well. If you want to see where your nearest nappy library is check out this very useful map. If you aren’t near one then feel free to speak to them on Facebook and I’m sure they’ll help you out in the best way possible.

Good luck on your real nappy journey!

Joining The Single Mother’s Club

I always looked at single parents in amazement. How on earth do they make things work? How do they afford the basics of living? And those with more than one child… I mean I have two and even in a relationship I was struggling to deal with them both. The thought of being a single mother of two children totally freaked me out. So when I became one I must admit I was scared. I truly didn’t think I was a strong enough person to look after two dependants, balance the books and keep a house. I couldn’t do it beforehand so no way I could on my own.

Somehow I have been able to. There are moments (specially during the Easter holiday) where the children have driven me up and down the wall, but my son is enjoying school, he’s never late, my daughter is starting nursery for the first time in a few days time and the house doesn’t look like a child-like confetti bomb blew up in it. I haven’t stepped on a toy car or Duplo in weeks! Admittedly I have stepped on a few bits of Lego in my son’s room, but we’re tackling that. Mostly by finding it under his bed instead.

I’m feeling better as well. Though I do have moments of anxiety when trying to figure out whether I can pay for certain things or if I can afford to get some new clothes or wait til next month. I think that’s a mixture of learning to do things on my own for the first time and my mental illness trying to get to me. My main worry lately has been about my son’s birthday. Just spent a what is normally a weeks worth of food shopping just to feed people for a single day, plus a cake. Something I had not considered until a week ago when I was planning what food I would need to get, where from, delivery time and of course the cake.

But my biggest problem is lack of adult conversation. I have my parents thankfully but there’s some things I can’t talk to them about, like video games and the music I like. Typing to people only does so much, it’s nice to actually use my voice once in a while to talk to someone who isn’t going to say the word “poop” 50 times per day. Hopefully when my daughter gets in to nursery and settles down I can actually talk and meet people here.

Any way this is more an update. I did just buy a tent for my son and I to go back to camping so hopefully I’ll be blogging about future camping trips soon!

Vita Coco Coconut Oil #SwearbyIt

So most people I bet are going to be writing beautiful recipes that use the Vita Coco Coconut Oil and that is where I laugh in their faces because… why waste something that has so many great uses!

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Nappy Rash Cream
Sudocrem is in pretty much every parents’ bathrooms or nursery and it’s a nightmare to remove from clothes, carpet and if your baby covers themselves in it then you get the joy of rushing them into a bath and cleaning that mess up. What have you ever tried coconut oil for nappy rash? You see as a cloth nappy user I cannot use sudocrem because it creates a barrier (which is also why you find it so hard to remove from clothing) and stopping the reusable nappy doing its job. Coconut oil is a natural and non-chemical nappy rash treatment and it’s great for sensitive skin like a newborn baby.

Massages
I suffer some back problems and something that is good for your skin and great for gicing great massages is coconut oil. Get some on your hands, gently rub them together to warm it up and voila, perfect oil for giving your partner a massage. It’s also anti-bacterial!

Shave Your Legs
The usual stuff you buy can get expensive and is also filled with an assortment of chemicals. You can easily just use some coconut oil, rub it on your legs and you’ll be able to smoothly shave them! It’ll also leave your skin looking great and more hydrated, so give it a go!

Cold Sore Treatment
Suffer from cold sores and find yourself buying an arrange of stuff to fight them off? Whilst it won’t get rid of them, coconut oil is anti-bacterial and will help clear it up if you place it on the area as it begins to form. Do this a few times a day and you should see the cold sore disappear a lot quicker then before.

Soothe Dry Hands
If you suffer from dry hands just rub a bit of coconut oil on to your hands. Some people will keep a pot of coconut oil by their kitchen sink and after washing dishes they’ll rub coconut oil on their hands. In fact in general it’s a great moisturiser!

So those are my “recipes”. I know they aren’t real recipes but I want to show that coconut oil on it’s own is amazing stuff! Seriously, buy yourself a big tub of it and you’ll see save yourself so much money and your skin will look way better too! Enjoy!

This recipe is an entry into the #Swearbyit challenge with Vita Coco. Find more great coconut oil recipes and tips on using coconut oil at www.swearbyit.com

 

Trying to Move On…

Hey everybody. Apologises for the radio silence. Some of you will know the relationship between my fiancé and I ended and I had to find a place for the kids and I to live. Also to top it off not long after moving we all caught a horrible mix of coughs, colds, sore throats, ear ache, swollen throats, dry throats, headaches, colds, runny noses and sinus pains. Also I only just got the Internet sorted at my new house, so yeah thus to silence on the blog.

I keep telling myself “you are doing good” and “you can move on from this” and for a while I agreed with the little voice in my head. But after a week in the house something changed in my mind. I pictured my fiancé rushing over to tell me he does still love me and moves in with me in this house. But soon reality slapped me and that was never going to happen. And so the sobbing and fear of being alone got to me.

A week ago I fell ill and soon my daughter (2 years old) did as well and followed swiftly by my parents. Now I'm single parenting whilst unwell with a sick toddler and a child whose 6th birthday is next weekend that I wish I could play with and give him what he wants but I simply can't when I can barely function and have a little one sobbing in my arms in pain. This week has been testing me and I would have preferred it to have waited a few more weeks before doing so because I'm just not ready for all this.

I haven't done a food shop. Lunch today consisted of strawberries, mini cheddars (the last pack which was shared between the kids) and cocktail sausages. Thankfully the children thought it was the best lunch ever, though that's probably because it was mostly strawberries as realised the best before date is this Sunday. I've also used up a large box of tissues and now on to toilet rolls for myself and giving the kids the last tissue box filled with soft tissues for their snotty noses. And I know my son needs new bed time pants (he's such a heavy sleeper!) but part of me is praying I have enough to last just a few more days.

Also I had paid money upfront for a hotel at the NEC for Insomnia 57 and had to cancel, losing my money. I'm not fit enough for a big event and no one can look after my daughter so decided was best to cancel and lose the £74 I had paid. Deeply sorry to those who I was going to meet tomorrow. I would hate for any one to get this illness, it's absolutely horrible!

Life stuff is also rushing around me at an alarming speed. Viewing schools, applying for a school, getting my son a new uniform, trying to learn how to get to the school, sort out paying rent, getting the benefits I should be getting, filling in a million forms, looking at nurseries, applying for funding for nursery, applying to a doctors who then tell you that's wrong come back with the rest stuff, waiting for the post man to delivery letters to give to the council before I lose my application for other benefits and in all that I have been poorly and somehow ended up getting a car which will be with me next week. So not all bad but just hectic.

I just want to settle down. Being reminded of my past relationship hasn't helped me and neither has being sick for over a week. Want to make my house look perfect, not a house that's slowly being invaded by used tissues and empty packets of paracetamol. Hopefully I will be back soon!