I’ve just seen this article in The Guardian Online and felt I should share as I found myself very vocal in my agreement to a lot of what is written.
It’s definitely food for thought!
I’ve just seen this article in The Guardian Online and felt I should share as I found myself very vocal in my agreement to a lot of what is written.
It’s definitely food for thought!
Parenting books…guides…manuals…recipes for disaster…
Whatever you call them, most of the books that have crept their way into the public eye are things that (I’m going to be brutally honest here) get me very, VERY angry indeed. I find a lot of them very restrictive in their approach and confusing to the rather baffled new parents who are often immensely impressionable due to utter exhaustion and (for the mums) full of a lovely, swirly, confusing mix of hormones. I read a few of them when I was pregnant and have had a couple knocking around the house since Monkey was born, but I really haven’t paid any attention to them as I just got wound up whenever I tried to read them.
One in particular, that will remain nameless, got me so infuriated that I nearly took my TV out when I threw it across the room in utter disgust. I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading and I swore blind that I would never, ever raise my child in the way in which this all-knowing book was telling me to. It was so restrictive that I was pretty much bound to fail before I even began. And this concerned me immensely.
Ok…So I’ve ranted a bit, and for that I apologise!
But, my point is that I strongly feel that there is no one way to raise a child. What works for some doesn’t work for others and I have found myself getting so cross with apparent ‘experts’ that have written books that are, to my mind, very closed and almost Victorian in their approach. So when I was approached to review a parenting book I was initially a little worried.
That was until I realised that it was from Mumsnet . Now, I absolutely love Mumsnet! It’s been my saving grace on many occasions when I just wasn’t too sure about whether what I was doing was ok or not. A quick post up on a board and I often had lots of fab parents saying, “Yep…That’s fine. If it works for you then don’t knock it!” And most of the time I knew deep down that it was alright, but it was great to get the support and reassurance that Mumsnet is so good at.
‘Why did Nobody Tell Me?’ is a parenting book. But it’s not…
It’s not a ‘How to’ manual that will give you all the answers in a dictatorial manner, which is why I absolutely loved reading it. This book has little nuggets of advice, information and personal anecdotes that are taken from the message boards that you can find on Mumsnet What I found remarkably refreshing is that it’s just good, old-fashioned common sense with a nice dash of self-depreciating humour and honesty that made me laugh out loud and nod furiously in agreement.
The book covers all different kinds of topics, ranging from the very beginnings of your little one’s lives all the way up to schools, how to deal with parties and behaviour and even broaches things like how to deal with when your child fiddles with their bits (yep, they all do it – and boy do those little lads like to tug away down there….) and dealing with the lovely parent mafia at the school gates. Having seen some poor parents reduced to tears by those kind of parents (I’m a teacher by trade) I thought that this was a particularly sensible chapter to include, as it really does fill some people with dread.
What’s nice is that whilst the book does give you some good ideas about how to deal with certain situations, the way that it’s written doesn’t imply any particular ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’ way to go about parenting. Different views are placed alongside one another through the inclusion of personal comments taken from Mumsnet boards and the authors have cleverly organised it so that you get an overall view from which you can filter out the bits that suit you. There is a definite slant towards a more relaxed parenting approach, in my opinion, but as that’s the way that I seem to be leaning I very much enjoyed this book and will be using it to dip in and out of as Monkey grows up. It’s full of sensible, matter-of-fact advice that really strikes a chord with me!
daisytheclothbummum was sent this book to review, but have received no payment for this. All words and opinions are my own.
As this weekend draws to a close, I thought that I really must jump on the blog! I hope that you’ve all had a lovely weekend – we’ve been very lucky in that the weather has been gorgeous over the past few days and we’ve had a lovely trip out the zoo today. Monkey loved it and chatted quite happily all the way around, showing a particular fascination for the sea lions. Well – I think it was for them, but it could have been the way that the sun was dancing off the water! Who knows!
But with the warmer weather, I’m starting to encounter a little issue that I hadn’t really anticipated. You see – Monkey was born during summer and it was pretty hot here last year. We’ve used cloth nappies from birth and didn’t have any real issues with the smell, so I kind of thought that we wouldn’t be encountering any now.
Ooooh – I was so wrong! Now that Monkey is on more and more solids, I’ve noticed a vast difference in the pongs that we are getting – especially on warmer days. In the past I wouldn’t have noticed a thing but I really have to make sure that I wash every 2 days in order to not get nasty niffs floating around my house. It used to be every 2/3, but now that his poo is more like the real, human stuff and not just inoffensive stuff that was reminiscent of peanut butter, I really can’t let it go to 3 days.
I’m also finding that I’m reaching more for different nappies, in order to accomodate for the change in climate. He seems to be the most comfy in low rise nappies during the day, but will tolerate more bulky nappies at night. I’d got into the habit of using a more bulky nappy in the morning but he’s having none of it! When I try to put one of those on him I tend to get a bit of a wriggly, upset baby.
How are your little ones adjusting to the change in temperature? I know some friends are finding that their little ones really don’t seem to like it and are thoroughly grumpy!
The time has arrived! The week that all cloth mummies have been waiting for, eagerly flicking through a multitude of websites and drooling over their dream fluffy stash – hoping that Real Nappy Week will be the time where their dreams come true! That their fluffy favourites will be on offer! That they may even get to win one!
So, yes – YAY IT’S REAL NAPPY WEEK 2012!!!!!
Make sure you really have a good look around all the fluffy websites to see what deals they have and which giveaways/ competitions they’re running.
It’s really worth being a member of a cloth nappy group this week, such as ‘Cloth Bum Mums’ and ‘Green Fluffy Bottoms’ on Facebook, and the Cloth Nappy Group on Babycentre. You’ll find lots of information from others and it’s a lot of fun!
Check out Go Real to find out info on their giveaways, plus find out what’s happening near you!
Most importantly, keep checking this blog as I have TWO fluffy giveaways, courtesy of the lovely ladies at Nappy Go Lucky
and Baba + Boo!
Have a wonderful, fluffy, fun-filled week!
It’s that time of year where all seasoned fluffy mummies get stupidly excited and new cloth bum mums probably look the same way that I did – ever so slightly bewildered!
April 16th – 22nd is REAL NAPPY WEEK! It’s honestly the week that most of us have been looking forward to for months.
We know, we know – they’re just nappies. But…but… they’re NOT just nappies. They are lovely fluffy bundles of gorgeousness that we thoroughly enjoy putting our babies in and have such great patterns, prints and fabrics that we can’t really resist them.
Some of us even have dreams about them…
Anywaaaaay – I digress into the realms of slight (ahem) obsession!
Real Nappy Week is a fantastic chance for new (and old) cloth mummies to get their hands on massively discounted fluff, as well as the chance to enter lots of lovely competitions and giveaways. There are some amazing bargains to be had and it’s well worth having a good look around.
Of course, it’s a fantastic marketing opportunity for companies as well, but what I love about Real Nappy Week (RNW) is that lots of councils give out free packs that they would usually charge a nominal fee for. That’s a great opportunity that you really shouldn’t miss. Have a look on your local council website to see what events they have planned – it’s often well worth your while doing so. I got hold of some fab free nappies last year that really helped to kickstart my love of cloth.
Go Real is a fantastic organisation that provides people with a great independent source of information about cloth nappies. Lots of companies and nappy advisors are part of the it and I found their information invaluable when I first started out. They always have lots of info about different events around the country and during RNW, there’s lots on there.
This year they are running their fantastic nappy giveaway again, which was wonderful last year (I got some Smart Nappies from them). Lots and lots of different companies, including Baba+Boo, Close Parent and Little Lamb have donated nappies that new cloth nappy users can win! Isn’t that a brilliant idea? Details on how people can enter will be up on the site on Monday
The theme of RNW 2012 is ‘Real Nappy… Real Easy’, so this should promote that concept – that cloth nappies really are a piece of cake to use!
My bit of advice for RNW2012 is have a look at the websites of nappies that you use/ would like to use on your baby. Chance is that they’ll either be having some offers/promotions/discounts running next week (some have actually already started), as well as competitions/ giveaways. Some of the companies run a different one each day, so it’s worth checking.
If you use Facebook or Twitter, Like or Follow the companies that you want to keep an eye on and be ready to jump on in there!
Real Nappy Week is a fantastic way to promote the use of cloth nappies – so see this week as your chance to go, in your friend’s eyes, a little cloth nuts!
Talk about them
Show them to people
Perhaps get your friends around for a little demo.
Whip them out in public and change your baby somewhere where people can see!
Strike up a random conversation about them with someone.
Stalk pregnant ladies in the street and bombard them with fluffy information….
Ok. Seriously – don’t do the last thing – you’ll freak them out and potentially put them off! But there are ways that you can subtly (ish) drop the concept of Real Nappies into a conversation and gently steer people around to either your way of thinking, or just towards the idea of giving them a go!
One thing that I’ve learnt since doing my nappy talks at various baby groups is that people really do see cloth nappies as hard work (pfffft! they’re so easy!) and they also see it as an all or nothing decision. I’ve been telling people that you can use both cloth and disposables, if that suits your lifestyle better and the fascinating thing about that is most of the people who have tried have moved over to full time cloth use once they realise it’s ok!
So, there isn’t a moment to lose! Get out there. Buy fluff! Enter competitions! Chat about fluff! Go to a local event!
But most importantly
PROMOTE FLUFF. GET THOSE CUTE LITTLE PADDED BOTTOMS OUT ON SHOW AND LET THE WORLD KNOW HOW UTTERLY BRILLIANT FLUFFY BOTTOMS ARE!
Oh…and have I mentioned that I’ll be running TWO FLUFFY GIVEAWAYS next week?
When we first thought about the fact that we were going to have to send Monkey to nursery, the things that crossed our minds were the usual stuff. How much would it cost? Would we like the way in which the nursery did things? Would they help support us, considering that Monkey is still (and will continue to be) predominantly breastfed? How would our non-routine led baby settle into a nursery environment?
I have to be honest, I started getting into a little bit of a tizzy about it all. The choice of nursery wasn’t actually too difficult as I used to work in nursery education and I knew the options locally. For those of you who might be in a similar situation, it’s really a case of looking at what you do at home. Do you have a routine or are you more baby-led? If you’re more baby-led then a nursery that adopts a more child-centred, relaxed approach would probably suit you more than one that has strict timings and routines. I did look at one nursery that had me seething with anger as they expected Monkey to sleep at x time and eat at x time. I don’t have a set pattern as an adult, so how on earth could a baby? Madness! (in my opinion!)
The reason I was in a tizzy was more linked to the fact that Monkey still prefers napping on me, no matter what I do to try and persuade him that other options are ok. The nursery that I’ve found are absolutely lovely and he’ll be cuddled to sleep if necessary. I know some of you might be screaming, ‘rod for your own back’, but if that’s what he needs then it’s fine. I don’t know of any adults who need to be cuddled to sleep or require a Mummy to nap on, so I’m sure that Monkey will sort himself out in due course!
What has been interesting is how keen the nursery has been to support my decision in using cloth nappies. I rang around a few nurseries before I even properly started and some of them were very very reticent indeed, even suggesting that he should wear their disposables (that they kindly include within the fees) whilst he’s there. I didn’t bother ringing them back to make viewing appointments.
The thing that bugged me the most was that they weren’t even interested in discussing it, even though as a nursery they are meant to support the parent’s decisions. I know of a few cloth bum mums that have had these issues, or have had nurseries really not try very hard with cloth, sending them home in back-to-front nappies, or not putting them on properly and then complaining about leaks. Being the utter cynic that I can be (on a bad hair day), that does seem like a lack of effort and even an underhand way of making a less confident mum cave and allow their child to wear disposables at nursery…
However, there’s obviously a distinct lack of training when it comes to using cloth nappies in nurseries. Perhaps that should be included in one of the nursery nursing modules of study?
I’m looking forward to seeing how well Monkey and his lovely fluffy nappies get on at nursery. I’ve been sensible, choosing a stash of easy-to-use nappies for nursery (mainly Tots Bots Easyfits and Bum Genius V3′s and V4′s) as I think that sending the same kind of nappy will be less confusing!
I know that I'm usually very upbeat and cheerful when it comes to blogging about my lovely fluffy nappies, but I'm actually getting increasingly annoyed. Annoyed with some of the reasons for not using cloth that people come up with whenever they talk about it to me.
Now, please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I'm right and that others are wrong. Everyone is entitled to make their own choices and I firmly believe that. However, I believe that you should make an educated choice based on knowledge and understanding rather than hearsay and lack of information.
I have respect for people who hold their hands up and tell me that they're not using cloth because they're just couldn't be bothered, that they don't have space for airers, that it never appealed or that they weren't aware of the options that cloth has to offer. That's honesty. But the excuse that keeps getting trotted out is:
It's going to take up too much time,
I don't have the time.
Or another version of it.
So. Right. Here's how much time dealing with my cloth nappies took me today.
I picked up the wetbag full of dirty nappies and walked downstairs - 1 minute
I put them in the washing machine - about 30 seconds
I added powder and sanitiser - another 30 seconds
I turned the machine on - a second
Ok, so the washing cycle then took 2 hours, but I was busy playing with Monkey, feeding Monkey, etc, so I'm not going to count that.
Then, I took the nappies out and put them on the airer - 5 minutes.
Once they're dry I'll sit and stuff them, making them ready to use - 15 mins whilst I watch TV!
Take them back upstairs and put them away - 2 minutes.
So, excluding the wash that took me/ will take me - 24 mins.
Ok, so it's not as time efficient as picking up a disposable, putting it in the bin and taking a bag full of them outside every now and then, but it's not exactly a lot of time. And, to add to that - it's spread out over a couple of days (including drying) so it's not really noticeable.
Then just think about the savings and the reduced impact on the environment (as long as you're washing full loads, line/airer drying and not washing over 60 degrees)
I can be very lazy in other areas (love my snuggly lazy days in bed with my family), but I really can't see how that's a lot of effort!
As it’s nearly the weekend, I thought I’d do my Quick Weekend Catchup early for a very good reason. Monkey and I are off on a little holiday to see our family, leaving behind Mr Clothbum (awwwwww…) Don’t worry, though, I’ll be popping in and out courtesy of Wi-fi!
Going away with cloth – I’ve blogged about it before, but this holiday is going to be a little bit different. Whenever we’ve been since Monkey has been born, we’ve stayed at my parent’s house. The great thing about that (as far as cloth nappies are concerned) is that they have the same washer and dryer that we do. That makes my whole laundry routine pretty simple as it’s just the same as being at home.
Whilst I’m really looking forward to staying with my lovely in-laws, I have to be honest that I’m a little nervous. I’ve never washed my nappies in another washing machine and I’ve not used a different machine for about eight years. I think it’s the slight control freak in me coming out, but eeeeek – I don’t want to ruin my lovely nappies.
Soooo – I have a confession. I’ve mostly packed nappies that I don’t care about so much. Ooops. Is that wrong of me? There’s another reason behind that – they’re a stash of Flip inserts that I bought secondhand for taking away on holidays. They pack down so small that they’re perfect for taking away and I won’t be quite so heartbroken if something happens to them. On the other hand, if I managed to ruin one of my lovely Itti’s by messing up the washing then I’d be really annoyed.
Have any of you been on holiday with cloth and used a machine that you weren’t sure about? Anyone had any disastrous moments? Let’s all share – I’ll let you know if I manage to keep my Flips in one piece…
In previous posts, I’ve mentioned that there are lots of lovely WAHM (work at home mums) who make the most beautiful creations. I love making things myself, I can kind of crotchet as long as it just involves going in straight lines (I make a mean blanket!) and I love creating things like decoupage boxes, but a skill that seems to elude me somewhat is sewing.
Don’t get me wrong. I can do the basic stuff like hemming, creating basic items like curtain tiebacks and dribble bibs, but I cannot – for the life of me – do anything more than that. I’m trying, I really am, but I just make a mess of things and can’t follow patterns to save my life. My Home Economics teacher would be so disappointed in me, especially as I was top of my class and made several stunning items (according to her report notes, I kid you not!) including a fetching blue cookery apron, flouncy nightgown (yep, in the 90′s they still thought that this was an appropriate thing for a teenager to make…) and a skirt. I can’t even remember what colour it was, but I’m sure it was lovely…
Anyway… the point is (after all my lovely, rambly wanderings down memory lane), is that I get rather impressed when I see WAHM creations and one landed on my doorstep the other day that I just had to share with you. It’s a sized nappy by Baby Dubois www.babydubois.co.uk in a lovely, funky stripy material. Baby Dubois make and stock slings, clothes and cute little baby gifts. Their cloth nappies are a new range and as the company is a local WAHM one to me, I thought that I should blog about the nappy as I really, really like it!
The nappy is a very simple, side snapped outer that you lie an insert and liner inside and then popper onto your baby. Being honest here, when I first saw the nappy I didn’t think that it would hold an insert, let alone hold in anything else, as it’s really thin in the crotch area. I was wrong! I put a Weenotions insert inside the nappy, poppered it onto Monkey (making sure that nothing was sticking out of the sides) and popped him into a babygrow.
For the next three hours he played on the floor, in his jumper and had a feed. I checked every now and then, convinced that the slimness in the crotch wasn’t going to hold everything in, but it did! When I went to change him, he had only done a small poo but had piddled loads (as usual) and his babygrow was dry. No leaks! Result!
Every time he’s worn the nappy since, it’s been very good and we’ve not had an accident/ leak yet. He hasn’t, however, done anything horrendously explosive in it so I can’t say for certain how it would hold up, but I’m quietly confident! New nappies are always a bit of a leap of faith, so I’m really pleased that mine paid off!!!