The Children’s and Teen Health Summit

I am so excited! My friend sent me a link to some free presentations around children and teen health and parenting issues, although many of the topics would be of interest to non-parents too! There are new presentations available every day for a week and we are currently on day 3. Each talk is available to watch for 24 hours but there is also the option to purchase all 30 presentations. I started listening to a couple yesterday and just had to share. I feel that parents can be so easily convinced to do things a certain way to make sure they are seen to be doing a good job and bringing up well-behaved children, or simply because they lack the confidence to follow their own judgement, but really, we need to look deeper within ourselves and question what is really best. We must be responsible for our own lives and health and be aware of the impact our choices have on our precious children which means questioning the brainwashing information that is all around us that we often blindly accept. Many of the talks discuss hot parenting topics such as unconditional love, our expectations of our children, learning and education, relating to our children, attachment, family life, diet, pregnancy and health and well-being. Yesterday I listened to Naomi Aldort, author of “Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves” and found very much in line with my existing attitudes. It talks about how to change our behaviour as parents in order to change our children’s behaviour. However, she points out that this is not about manipulation but about allowing the child’s natural unfolding of the mind through nurturing, which results in natural co-operation without the need to control. Parents who say their children are behaving “badly” are more likely to behaving in a way that is provoking this “bad” behaviour due to their own experiences as a child or their idea of what it means to be a parent. When we address this our children will show dramatic shifts in behaviour and life is more harmonious all round! She also touched upon the topic of household chores, which I found quite amusing being subject to a rota of chores myself as a child! Could you stop telling your child to do chores completely? This morning I listened to another discussion, “The Fearless Parent” with Louise Kuo Habakus. This particular talk touches on plenty of health issues including illness, homotoxicology and vaccinations, but the theme is that as parents we should be making informed choices and educating ourselves on ours and our children’s health. It is about putting you in the driving seat and making confident choices without fear. One topic which really interested me was wifi. I have known for a while now that EMF radiation can be damaging but it really hit home just how damaging it could be and how much more vigilant we need to be with reducing our exposure. Children absorb up to 10 x radiation than adults due to immature skulls that facilitate absorption. There have been links to leukemia, brain tumors, infertility and neurological problems. Other countries in Europe are starting to ban wifi in schools whilst we are ignoring the warnings and exposing our children to more and more of this radiation, through mobile phones, tablets, wifi and more. It baffles me why a toddler needs to play on a smartphone anyway but sadly I see it all the time. If I told you that EMF radiation from these devices has been classified as a group 2b possible carcinogen (cancer causing) and that this classification is the same level as exhaust fumes, lead and DDT pesticide, would you think about taking steps to reduce your child’s exposure? You can switch off the wifi in your house, turn off your mobile phone and set limits on their own time on these devices and you WILL be making a positive change and reducing their exposure levels. Yes it is all around us, but we can take measures to reduce their direct exposure. Just like you wouldn’t want them standing behind a car exhaust breathing in all the fumes 24/7 but you would probably be happy for them to walk around a busy town with lots of cars…the closer they are to to point of radiation the more effect it will have, so start in their home environment.

Having a look at the schedule it looks like there are loads of interesting topics coming up that I am desperate to hear. Day 4 there will be a whole talk regarding the EMF radiation I have discussed. To access the presentations click here. If any of the talks resonate with you I would love to hear your thoughts!

Clarity.

As you will have noticed, I have been on a bit of a blogging break. And, like any good break, I have come back with a clear mind and having learnt a few things about myself. As this blog acts as a sort of diary on this journey of self-discovery that is parenthood, I thought it was necessary to write it all down. It might seem a little over-analysed to you, but that is because it was, and that’s OK.

I recently went to visit a couple of Montessori nurseries, with the view of completing my dreaded 420 hours work experience in order to gain my full diploma that I have been working so hard towards for what feels like forever. I had been putting this off knowing in my heart that I didn’t want to leave Poppy, but with the 2016 deadline for completion on the horizon I thought I had better face reality if I wanted to reach graduation day. I decided that maybe it was a good thing to do something for myself now that Poppy is getting that bit older. The idea was that she would attend the same nursery I worked at (in a different room) and seeing as I am passionate about Montessori I started to tell myself that perhaps this environment would help her to thrive even more. I convinced myself that I was excited about the extra work I would be subjecting myself to. I started to imagine how much Poppy would love it and that maybe by the end it would be hard to leave the wonderful place we had grown to love.

Montessori is a method of education, but I believe it is so much more than this. It is respect for the children, love of nature, trust in the human mind and body and it’s natural ability and overwhelming urge to learn and a focus on hands on experiences to satisfy those innate driving forces. Parents and teachers alike can adopt all of these principals, and much of Montessori’s philosophy fits so perfectly into our home environment, even though we are planning on going down the ‘unschooling’ route of home education. So I felt hopeful, despite our choice to stay away from school and our ‘alternative’ approach to parenting, that a Montessori environment might just be the only place I would be happy to leave Poppy. Perhaps all of my worries about how often she still breastfeeds, how accustomed she is to having me near her every minute, every day, how well I know her better than anyone else could and how when she isn’t with me I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach that something is missing…perhaps all of those worries would just fade away when we walk through the doors of that beautiful, idyllic, understanding and gentle Montessori environment. Of course they didn’t.

I was open-minded. At least I tried to be. But it dawned on me pretty quickly that a classroom, Montessori or not, was still a classroom, and a teacher, loving, caring and gentle or not, was still not Poppy’s mummy. The picture in my head of the perfect Montessori setting quickly disappeared when I noticed some fundamental ‘rules’ being broken. The baby rooms full of plastic, a teacher reprimanding a child in front of the whole class, the shelves cluttered and verbal praise being thrown around left, right and centre. To the untrained eye this might seem like no biggie, it happens all the time in regular nurseries and schools, but it goes against the most basic of Montessori principals. Being so passionate about Maria Montessori’s work – her methods and the reasons behind them – I hated to see it not being implemented in these well-regarded schools. I started to feel disheartened; my own efforts at creating a Montessori home environment weren’t looking too bad at all! But I tried to remain open-minded and told myself that it was unrealistic to expect everything to be perfect.

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Poppy playing in her Montessori inspired bedroom

As I spoke to the teachers showing me around I tried to gauge how similar their views were to my own, whether or not our alternative parenting style would fit together with the way they ran their nursery. I didn’t really care about where I did my teaching placement, but if it wasn’t right for Poppy, it wasn’t going to happen. I smiled and nodded when they said things that I didn’t agree with. I tried not to recoil in horror when I looked at their menu and saw junk food and a lack of wholesome nutrition (unfortunately true for many settings these days it seems). They answered my questions about things that they knew I felt strongly about, and their friendly voices and sympathetic eyes almost made me feel like they really did know best and I was living in cloud cuckoo land. After voicing some of my concerns over leaving Poppy, one of the teachers introduced me to the staff as somebody who was ‘very precious about her daughter, and her daughter is probably very precious about her’. Wait a minute, aren’t all Mum’s precious about their children? She said it in the nicest possible way but I have worked in childcare; she didn’t realise I knew that it was code for ‘This woman is an over-protective psycho and is going to make our lives very difficult’. The thing is I remember telling anxious parents the same thing once upon a time, that their very attached child who cries every time they leave them will be just fine, as soon as you are gone they won’t even remember why they were sad. I believed it, and sure, it may have appeared to be true. But how do we know how they are really feeling inside? Especially when we hardly know the child. Don’t get me wrong, Poppy is confident and increasingly independent and very sociable. She would be fine. And the comfort she would have gotten from a member of staff would be fine. And the reduced milk feeds would be fine. And the way that people would have spoken to her, in a tone that I wasn’t quite comfortable with, would be fine. And the fact that she would have had a biscuit as a snack everyday instead of her usual green smoothie, would be fine. It would all be fine. I suppose. But what if ‘fine’ just isn’t good enough?

I came home from the second nursery almost feeling convinced that I was being an over-the-top, paranoid, too-hard-to-please, obsessive mother who absolutely had to relax if I wanted us to fit in and be classed as almost normal. But then I realised that spending just one hour in an environment that was so far from what we now consider our normal, I was being sucked in and questioning myself where I never had before. I am so happy with our parenting choices, our life is amazing and Poppy is thriving; why should I change that to fit in somewhere we don’t even belong? The fact is, being in a nursery even for just four hours without me is most definitely not the best possible situation for Poppy right now. I knew it I just couldn’t quite acknowledge that my reasoning’s were important enough to ignore the influence of others. I had to speak to someone who would tell me I wasn’t crazy before I started to believe I was. I messaged one of my lovely friends who I know completely ‘get’s’ me when others might not. And after I had spoken to my wise friend everything was clear again. No matter how many nurseries I visit, I will never find the right one, because as she put it, Poppy and I are still one. No one can ever love and care for her like I do, understand her needs entirely, or accept and work through her overwhelming frustration and tears when her sock is just ever so slightly bunched up by her toes which means she feels it every time she steps down on that foot (this happens everyday). Most Mum’s will relate to that, and yet we are constantly given the message that we need to break away from our children, give them the opportunity to be independent or they will never learn how to be; stop holding them back, smothering them, spoiling them, molly-coddling them and learn to let go. Stop being so ‘precious’. But this isn’t a natural way to teach independence. Why is attachment so feared in our society? Since when was it so terrible to love your child so much that it hurts to think of leaving them with someone who won’t do it as well as you can. As my friend pointed out, it is human nature to protect and nurture our young, and that protection covers all manner of things, including the emotional stress of separation and all of the things in the world that you, as a parent, decide might be harmful, in any capacity, to your child, their development or well-being. Yes I go above and beyond to make sure I am doing this at all times, from the diet I feed her, to the medicines I choose to use, from the techniques I use to teach her to the way in which I communicate with her. And I will avoid anything that I believe could be detrimental to these efforts, to the most important years of her life and to our strong, secure relationship. If this means that I come across as an obsessive weirdo at times, then so be it. These little details, and the niggling issues I had with the nurseries, may be small and seemingly insignificant to others but to me they make up the beginning of my child’s life, and that is huge.

And so it was decided. I am completing my exams to be awarded a certificate but I won’t be graduating and gaining the full diploma. It was difficult for me to accept that this is not failure but another turning on our journey. I have learnt so much, and will continue to do so, and it will enrich Poppy’s childhood for sure. But for now, I need to focus on family, and just be a Mummy to Poppy…because I am the only person who can be.

As I am sure you can tell, this post isn’t just about deciding not to send Poppy to nursery. It is about the realisation that it I do not have to compromise in any area of my parenting. The truth is, I often feel awkward or embarrassed when voicing yet another opinion, or explaining to family why we don’t do things this way, or requesting that they try to do things that way. I spoke to my Dad recently about why we don’t use verbal praise like ‘good girl’ in the same way we don’t use punishment or any other conditioning techniques (I will write a post about this soon). I found myself feeling a mix of guilt and defensiveness before the words even came out. I don’t want people to feel like I am criticizing them; especially people who I know love Poppy so much. Incidentally, my Dad was, and has been with many things, very understanding and open-minded, which made me realise that I didn’t necessarily need to feel so worried. I am no longer going to protect other people’s feelings or indeed my own feelings of being judged as over-reacting, if it compromises Poppy’s chance to the best possible start in life. I have taken on that label of being a bit whacky or weird because we do things differently, but in reality I am simply passionate, dedicated and motivated to do the best I can. There is nothing wrong with that. I need to realise that so that other people can too. This post is about realising that you are perfectly entitled to be unconventional, you are allowed to want complete control over how your child is raised and you have the right to say no. This post isn’t about anybody else’s choices; it is about me not apologising for mine.
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Thank you to my friends who are there when I need that clarity, who give me the confidence to write things like this, who I would be lost without. You know who you are.

Poppy is 1!

A few days late, but here are some photo’s from Poppy’s 1st birthday on Monday. I can’t believe how grown up she is looking! I think it is about time I changed the photo at the top of my blog, and I have the perfect one in mind.

We had a lovely day with Poppy on Monday, although she was very grumpy in the afternoon due to being over tired!  We spent the morning opening cards and a couple of presents (including the chair in the photo’s and the gorgeous koala boots from Nana!), but she is having most of them on Sunday. We went to the cafe for some lunch and Poppy got given a birthday gingerbread man which she demolished! Then in the afternoon we went to the park with Poppy’s friend whilst Daddy was at work. Looking forward to Sunday and plenty more pics to follow! Thank you to everyone who wished her a Happy Birthday! Where has the time gone?

The best thing since sliced bread!

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Recipe wanted for rye bread like this that is simple and healthy!

Poppy has gone from swallowing barely anything to an eating machine overnight! Ok that is a huge exaggeration, but it feels that way!

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We went shopping yesterday and I decided to try her on a couple of new things, and they have gone down a storm! The first was Biona organic rye bread. It is really dense so easier for her to hold than bread and probably a better texture for her to manage than toast. I spread avocado on it for her breakfast and she ate two whole squares! She also munched on a couple of strawberries.

This afternoon I gave her some Kallo organic rice cake with a teeny bit of peanut butter on top. She demolished it! I mean she ate half of a big rice cake, which is huge for her! She crammed way too much in her mouth which made me slightly nervous but she managed to figure it out herself. She also had a couple of bits of tomato which got squished and some melon which she liked gnawing on but nothing went down.

This evening she had some red pepper which wasn’t successful and some orange which she just loves to suck the juice out of. And a few organic alphabet biscuits we had leftover from the cafe. I don’t want to give her too much packaged food, even organic, but she absolutely loves these and puts the whole thing in her mouth then lets it go soggy. She at about 5 of them, again, loads compared to usual. She definitely prefers things that don’t squish in her hand but do squish in her mouth! Which is annoying because I guess she won’t be getting much fruit and veg for a while. But I will keep trying! She must have been pretty full after all of that…and she hasn’t woken up yet after going to bed at 6….wishful thinking?!

5 healthy and *should be* easy changes

I have been meaning to make a few changes for a few weeks. But there is always some excuse. We have been very busy and Tim’s work is rather manic, which seems to have a knock on effect on our whole lives. Anyway, that may seem totally unrelated to the following changes, but I have found myself in general becoming more and more unhealthy. I haven’t been organised with planning meals like usual because Tim leaves early for work and I don’t seem find the time to cook proper meals when Poppy is awake; but that is a poor excuse because I could do with a little effort. I am so tired by the end of the day and Tim is home late, that I don’t feel motivated to cook from scratch and eat by myself. Not having the car as often as usual also means we are getting behind on food shopping, and have been left with an empty fridge far too many times recently. The other night I literally just roasted some potatoes and ate those!!! I am filling myself up on quick fixes like crisps, and drinking too much tea and coffee because when I do it makes me feel as though I am having a break, even if I am drinking it on the go! So that is the eating side of things.

Another way I feel unhealthy is in my mentality. When I have a lot going on I find it really difficult to switch off. I actually love being busy, I might moan about my essays at times, but I think it is good to have something to focus on, and I am enjoying it. But I admit I find it hard to manage my time between being a mum, a girlfriend (housewife!), a student and a friend to lots of people who I have not made enough effort with recently which is adding extra pressure because I feel guilty about this. My mind goes into overdrive. And I have become so used to doing that I have forgotten how to stop. It gets to 5pm and I start looking forward to putting Poppy to bed and having some me time. I think about what tv might be on catch up, whether I might run a bath, what book I could read…but then the time comes and I find myself tense and fidgety, and usually end up writing a blog post, wasting time on facebook, starting a mini project (like today I rearranged our living room and looked online for some paint to revamp our drawers) or something else that seems to get me to 10pm realising I haven’t put my feet up once all day. There always seems to be little jobs that need doing, like changing my phone contract, ordering our veggies for the week, booking car hire for our holiday, writing a letter to my doctor…I have a list on my phone with the idea that it will be deleted once everything is crossed off (I am sure many of you are the same.) Of course this will never happen. I aim to do these little jobs in the evenings when I have no distractions, but sometimes I just can’t be bothered. What do I do instead then? I don’t sit and relax knowing they can wait until tomorrow. I sit and think I really should be doing stuff and don’t allow myself to relax, so it is just a complete and utter waste of my life, and it somehow seems to take energy to do nothing?! This tense state of mind is also filtering into my weekends with Tim, and I am fed up of us sitting next to each other on our phones, or saying ‘Let’s find something to watch’ every now and then for an hour or two, whilst we waste time doing other things and then realise it is bed time. We are off on holiday this weekend just for 3 nights, and I am so looking forward to it. Tim has even promised he is leaving his phone at home!

The last thing worth mentioning before the list is that I feel like my own energy effects Poppy and vice versa, and not in the way you might first think. When I feel worn out or demotivated Poppy seems more energetic than ever, which makes me even more sorry for myself! Whereas when I am energetic and productive Poppy is calm, interested in what I am doing and the hours pass so quickly as we do lots together. I have recently become interested in the conituum conecpt (I will try to write a post about this another time) and one thing that has stuck with me is the way in which young babies are so calm and relaxed when they are at the centre of the adults busy lives and everyday jobs. It seems that the active lives of the adult is enough to tire out the baby without them doing anything at all. When Poppy was a newborn our busy lives seemed to be too much for her and she became very over stimulated, so I am questioning whether this philosophy would have worked for us, but now that she is older she is certainly very interested by our actions, and often falls asleep most peacefully if we put her in the sling when she is wide awake and get on with our lives. Suddenly I look down and she is dreaming. Babies brought up according to the contiuum concept are constantly held, watching their parents work and amazingly they are able to use knives safely by themselves at age two! I am not suggesting this is my aim, but it is amazing how concentrated Poppy is when she is watching me ‘at work’. This must be the easiest, most natural way to teach a child. It also resonates with me because the concentration a child demonstrates when they are fixed upon the activity of an adult is that same concentration that is at the heart of Montessori education, and indeed the way in which you present an activity to a child is by clear, precise demonstration with little need for speech. It makes perfect sense that children should be calm and relaxed watching their parents at work because their mental energies are focused and they have no need to channel their natural energies into volatile behaviour or pointless activity.

So anyway…my completely random, unrelated list of positive changes:

  1. Drink more water and less tea and coffee 
  2. Hold Poppy in the sling every evening whilst I cook a healthy dinner. 
  3. Turn off my phone and computer one evening a week and have a bath, read, do my nails…
  4. Turn off my phone and bully Tim into turning off his during our weekends (or rare evenings together), as MUCH as possible. 
  5. Take Oscar for a walk EVERY afternoon with Poppy in the sling* (another time when she is nearly always calm and concentrated on the world around her. Also love the fresh air once we are out and Oscar thanks me) 

*I have had a bad neck/back lately so in the event that this is particularly bad I am allowed to skip this one every now and then!

If you know that I am not adhering to these rules feel free to slap me! Oh…whoops it is 9.30pm and I am getting up at 5.30am…I suppose I had better go and relax quickly!!!

Sunshine, socialising and selfies

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We have had a lovely weekend in the sun. Saturday we went to Milton Keynes and I met up with my good friend, Beth, who has just got home from traveling. It was great to see her and tuck into a vegetarian breakfast at Giraffe!

At home we played in the garden, enjoying the sunshine and taking a few family selfies!

Yesterday Dan and Charlotte came to visit which was lovely. The weather was on our side again, so after lunch in the garden we went to the bluebell woods in Ashridge for a walk. We almost didn’t make it though as we managed to get the car stuck, on dry land! It was rather embarrassing, especially as I was in the drivers seat, but under strict instructions to “Just keep going!” from Tim. I quickly got out with Poppy and fled the scene, leaving Tim and Dan looking less manly than they probably hoped as they got saved by a couple more experienced men! It gave us a good giggle anyway.

The walk was gorgeous, I loved discussing weddings with Charlotte, and we had a slice of cake midway to recoup – does a weekend go by that doesn’t involve cake?!

Unfortunately Tim has had to go in to work today, so not quite the long weekend I was hoping for. But Poppy is such good company at the moment, chattering away and laughing with me! She seems to have eaten quite a lot today, I don’t know if it is a one off, but maybe she is more ready for food now? She has had toast dipped in soup and managed to soak up all of the soup that was in her bowl! She ate homemade homous straight off the spoon! And she really enjoyed mango. Poppy also seems to understand the word ‘Mama’ and starts saying it if Tim carries her away from me, with her arms outstretched towards me! I am sure ‘Dada’ won’t be long! She is still pulling herself up constantly, I honestly can’t keep up with her energy!

Anyway here is our weekend in pictures! (click for slideshow)

I hope your weekend was wonderful ❤

Cloth Conundrum!

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I have edited this post after realising I really was thinking out loud and it was mostly a load of irrelevant rubbish! The (mostly) important bits:

We have come to the point where we need to invest in some new real nappies, as Poppy’s covers no longer fit her. At first I was excited to get shopping! I waited for the Little Lambs sale because I had seen some pocket nappies, but for some reason I thought were 100% bamboo inside with the waterproof cover, but when they came they were full of microfiber and it would have been the only material touching Poppy’s skin! If you use cloth nappies you may already know that you want to try and avoid microfiber close to the skin as it can dry out their sensitive skin and cause god awful rashes, and you probably guessed by now, I really wanted all natural material in the most important places. Bummer. Time to start again!

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I have thought. I have googled. I have thought some more. I am totally stumped. All of the one size fits all, pocket nappies or all in ones contain microfiber or other synthetic materials, and it is usually touching the babies skin. So I started searching ‘bamboo nappies’, ‘organic nappies’, ‘natural nappies’, ‘nappies made with unicorn hair and rainbows’ …you get the idea. Unfortunately we are not rich. Right now we are quite the opposite! So when I had another facebook notification to say that Little Lambs would be having another sale later this month, which is going to include a bamboo kit for £99 (20 nappies and 6 coloured covers plus extras) I decided that could be an option. These are shaped bamboo nappies, so they go on just like a disposable but then you put the cover over the top, which is where you get to give your babe a nice colourful bum!

So I asked about the bamboo material in their bamboo kit, thinking I had cracked it, only to be told that to make a better quality, non-pull nappy, the bamboo is woven into polyester. Doh!! They said it was a miniscule amount…but even so. Polyester is bad, microfiber is bad, can’t I just wrap her up in a cloud?! And then it suddenly occurred to me, for the first time ever, that although I have been using bamboo and cotton inserts, Poppy’s covers are all synthetic materials and seeing as the prefold’s don’t cover her whole bum, her skin will be touching a fair amount of the cover as well. I honestly don’t know why this hadn’t occurred to me before, I am so careful about what I put on her skin. With all of the major nappies out there being made with nasty materials, it is difficult to realise there is any other option. But of course some of the most water resistant, absorbent, comfortable, hygienic and breathable materials are natural. If I am going to invest in new nappies, shouldn’t I use it as a chance to switch to the best possible nappies for my precious girl, and for the environment? Yes, that’s what I thought, and so my quest began.

As I said before we are not rich, and this route is not the cheapest. But I have a problem, it is something I am working on; when I know there is a healthier choice, I cannot knowingly chose anything less, even if it means digging in to my savings, and especially when it comes to Poppy. I am trying to remind myself how much money we are saving by using washables, and the fact that I will use them with number 2, and who knows, number 3, means that they are definitely cost effective in the long run.

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So my options are:

  • Continue using the cotton prefolds we have – but these do go stiff when washed, they were second hand and have probably seen better days and they could be more absorbent. We will never be able to use these at night.
  • Keep the bamboo inserts (these are 100% bamboo) that came with the pocket nappies from Little Lambs (and try and sell the pockets if anyone is likely to want pockets without inserts?!) – they are very soft and I like the bamboo inserts we have been using on the Close Parent Pop-in’s, although I have now read that apparently the ‘naturalness’ of bamboo materials is questionable due to the processes it goes through. Sigh.
  • Replace my prefolds with organic prefolds…cotton, bamboo, hemp?
  • Mother-ease organic nappy, all in one and does up much like a disposable. But these would cost a fair amount as I would be starting a brand new collection. In comparison to the bamboo kit Little Lambs are offering for example, at £99 for 20, that is a fiver per nappy. These are the same concept, but no nasty’s, for roughly £12 each.
  • Buy terry nappies – I am sure that our grandparents really did have the right idea! People are scared of them but I have watched a few YouTube videos and they look easy enough. Especially now you can get Nappi Nippa’s, so no need for safety pins. You can buy them in cotton and bamboo. Can you buy hemp terry’s?
  • Learn how to sew and make my own….

Clearly the last one is not an option, and all of the others will then require some cover consideration! Do I go for:

  • Isme Visme or other organic cotton covers (I can’t find many!) – do these go over terry cloth nappy’s or prefolds or both?
  • Use a full nappy, such as the Mother-ease, with a synthetic cover, knowing that at least it won’t be touching the skin. I could buy Little Lambs wraps for about £35 for 5. This isn’t my favourite option, and seeing as I don’t need tons of covers, maybe 3 to start with, I would rather just spend that £35 on 3 organic ones and build up my collection if and when I need to.
  • Wool covers, usually handmade on ebay or etsy, beautiful and expensive. I am intrigued by these, and would love to know people’s experiences, because to be honest I am a little daunted by them! I know that wool is an amazing thing. They say these covers do not even need washing for weeks at a time?! This would be incredible!! But how about prefolds, I guess you can’t use them with these as they are more pull on pant style? I have seen some Disana ones which are more wrap style, would a bamboo prefold work in there? And what is that process, lanolising? It all sounds very complicated to me, but I would love to hear that I am wrong. I think wool would be my first choice if it was simple and a little cheaper…as it is I am really on the fence. At around £20 per cover if I didn’t get on with them I would be pretty miffed. Having said that if they really don’t need washing often maybe I would only need two? HELP!

Maybe I could knit my own covers, if I took a few more lessons off of my Nan. At least I would know exactly what they were made of!

I feel totally overwhelmed and rather frustrated that by trying to do what is best for Poppy and the environment I am in fact met with more chemical conundrums. When I was pregnant we just bought the first I saw for sale, Bambino Mio, because someone was selling them dead cheap. In hindsight I am relieved they were cotton and not synthetic, and maybe it is a good thing that we are now so used to prefold’s whilst other people find them fiddly. Yes I love the funky designs and yes inserts that pop in place or slip into pockets are simple. Having tried the Close Parent Pop-in’s for a few weeks and seen my friends using modern cloth nappies, I was starting to steer in that direction. But the whole concept of cloth nappies is based on greener living, and surely by keeping up with trends and consistently aiming for an easier, more convenient real nappy, we are actually producing more and more synthetic nappies…isn’t that how disposables came about in the first place?

Which makes me question the whole philosophy. It is real nappy week and we are all being told to ‘Go Real’, so tell me, how ‘real’ do you go?

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EASY Homemade Natural Baby Wipes

I was so excited when I saw someone comment on another blog that I follow, with instructions on how to make your own baby wipes with coconut oil. We have always just used cotton wool on Poppy, but now that she is starting to eat it would be really useful to have some wipes handy to clean those sticky fingers (and face, arms, legs, back, feet….the joys of BLW!) However, the organic wipes are rather pricey and not often available on the high street as far as I know.

I am definitely not going to start covering my baby in nasty chemicals and already swear by coconut oil for its million and one uses, so I just had to give this a go. Honestly, it is so simple, I urge you to have a go too! Your baby’s delicate skin will be grateful!

1. Cut a strong kitchen roll in half so that you have two smaller rolls (This was the hardest part of the whole thing!). Put one aside to use another time.

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2. Warm 15 fl oz water in a pan and melt 2 tbsp of coconut oil in. (Do not boil!)

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3. Pour the mixture into a container with a lid, big enough to squeeze the kitchen roll into without leaving too much room. I used these glass jars I had lying around which I think came from Tesco for about £2 each, but they were probably a bit big. Image

4. Place one half of the kitchen roll into the container, close the lid and tip the container upside down to cover the whole roll in the liquid (or turn it round a few times if like me you used a big container). Leave to soak in for a while.

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5. Remove the cardboard inner tube from the roll, and pull out your first wipe from the centre.

That’s it! You can add essential oils if you want to but you wouldn’t need a lot. Leave the wipes in the container with the lid on to keep them fresh. I will let you know how long ours lasts for, but I have read that they can go moldy and so don’t make too many at once and store in a cool place.

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