Adventures of a Free-From Clothbum Mum!

Cloth nappies, dairy-free living, reviews and parental ramblings!

Nappies and Nursery – an update

As those of you who’ve been reading the blog probably know, my little Monkey has recently started at nursery as I’ve gone back to work. I was initially a little concerned about sending him in with cloth nappies, but – I’m so so pleased to let you all know – it’s working out incredibly well!

I send in all the nappies he needs (plus spares) for his two days in nursery at the start of the week, along with a couple of wetbags so that I can take one home each night, when I pick him up. After a little bit of trial and error, we found that bumGenius V3’s stuffed with a Flip staydry insert are the best ones for us.

The BG inserts can be so bulky and the nursery nurses found them a little difficult to put on, whereas the Flip inserts are so nice and slim and work really well for my little man. We can often get about 4 hours out of each one, which is brilliant!

He’s had one leak since being there, right at the very start – so I’m immensely impressed. So many friends have said that they’ve either given up on cloth once their little ones started nursery (due to the nursery being rather difficult about using them) or that they have had lots of issues with the nursery not putting the nappies on properly.

So – cloth at nursery CAN be easy and I have to say that I’m so grateful to the nursery that I’m sending Monkey to for being so great! They’ve made that transition really easy and carried on with my parenting choices.

If you’re thinking of sending your little one into nursery with cloth, what I’ve found is that you just need to be quite organised and clear about what you need and how the nappies are to be used. Make sure that you have enough wetbags so that you can take home a bag each night and also ensure that the nappies are really simple to put on. I’ve found that some of my BG’s have poppers that come open too easily (affecting the rise of the nappies), so those ones aren’t good for nursery as I need the nappies to stay at the correct setting!

Also – if you use fleece liners, make sure you emphasis the importance of not throwing these away, otherwise you’ll get through one hell of a lot! Invest in some cheapy fleece blankets to make spares (such as ones from Ikea) as those will save you a bomb!

The final thing you need to do is make sure that the nursery knows to change your baby more frequently that they would do a baby in disposables. That should stop any potential leaks and make your nursery a bit happier at using cloth.

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To hold, or not to hold. That is the question…

It’s been suggested to me, by the nursery that Monkey is going to be going to, that he should bring in something from home that can act as a comforter/ familiar object. That’s a great idea, in principle, as it’ll have smells from home and will be something that he recognises.

But, I have a little problem with this. Apart from his Jumperoo, he’s not really attached to anything yet – and that wouldn’t really pack down very well! He doesn’t have a toy that he makes a beeline for, no dummy that he sucks on madly and no muslin/ comforter that he clings onto.

I actually think that’s a good thing. He obviously is happy enough and it’s much better for us as we don’t have the issue of having to remember ‘Bear’ or a bit of rag that he’d suck on. I’m fairly pleased about that. As a child I never had just one toy or object that I took around with me, although my little brother did. I remember the absolute nightmare that we had once when we were on a plane and he suddenly realised that he didn’t have his bear with him. It was like his little world had ended. I can’t remember whether we had it in our hold luggage or whether we had to manage on holiday without it, but his anguish at not having it on the plane was awful.

So, I’m slightly torn about what to do. There is one little blue rabbit comforter/puppet that he seems to play with a little more. I’ve been sensible and found two more that are winging their way to me, thanks to Boobox. I searched everywhere online for this rabbit and they were the only people that had any in stock, thank god. But – do I put a lot of emphasis on his rabbit? Do I try to encourage him to have it more? Ugh – I don’t know!

Answers on a postcard please…

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Nursery and Nappies

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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!

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He’s leaving home… (for two days a week!)

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As you might already know, Monkey is off to nursery and is going to be the only cloth-bummed babe there. I’ve organised his nursery stuff so that they’re all easy to use (Tots Bots Easyfits and BG’s) and I’m really hoping that it all work out ok.

However, I’ve realised something as I’ve been getting all the stuff ready. I’m going to have to talk them through what to do with his clothes, especially using vest extenders. In fact, I reckon I’m going to have to buy a whole new load of them just in case they get lost whilst he’s there. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve managed to survive with just 6, but I think that I’ll be pushing it once he’s going out and about away from me.

I’m trying to be as organised as I can possibly be, making sure that nursery has absolutely everything that they could possibly need. But I hadn’t taken into consideration that I might need more wetbags – something that my friend has helped me out with, bless her! They probably won’t like to use the same one two days on the trot (he’s only there for that time), so I’ll have to have extras. It, therefore, looks as if I’m going to back to using my nappy pails at home to free up the bags that I do have.

The other thing that I’m going to have to do is educate them a little on dry-pailing. It’ll be awful if his nappies come home individually wrapped in plastic (I know a lot of people have had this happen to them). I might have to buy some eco-disposable bags just in case. All things that I just hadn’t considered.

Have any of you sent a cloth-bummed baby to nursery? What was your experience like? It’d be really nice to hear other stories so that I am well-armed for the future!!!

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Doesn’t time fly…

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Isn’t it funny how time flies when you’re having fun? In my case it really is flying by and it’s not long now before I’m rejoining the world of the working and my little Monkey is off to nursery for a few days each week.

So, how am I feeling? Honestly? I’m ok. A little sad as I obviously don’t want to part from him at all (who would – he’s amazing!), but it’s something that I always knew would happen and what makes it much easier to deal with is the fact that I love my job. That’s going to make not being with him much less upsetting that it could be. I don’t know if I could do this if I was going back to a job I hated. I have days where it upsets me, but I know that once we’re in a routine then we’ll be fine. Plus, I’m lucky enough to be spending more of the week with him than without him. Some people aren’t so fortunate, so I’m very aware of how good this is.

The next month, therefore, is our countdown. I plan on spending a lot of time with him, enjoying every single second – but I’m being very realistic. The worst thing that I could possibly do is keep him with me at all times and then just plonk him in a nursery the day that I go back to work. That’d just be cruel. He’d find it very strange to suddenly not be with Mummy and as we don’t have any family near us, he doesn’t spend the afternoon at (for example) Grandma’s, like some other children do.

My plan is to ease him gradually into being away from me. He’s already been at nursery for an hour each week (with me hiding in another room where he can’t see me!) He loves this and is having a whale of a time. We’re going to ramp this up over the next few weeks so that he’s going to end up going for full days before I head back to work. Alongside this, he’s spending mornings with a lovely friend of mine, time with Mr Clothbum and also going to a little local creche so that he gets more and more used to being away from Mummy.

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ll also know that other parts of this plan include getting him used to taking milk (mainly expressed) from a cup and, hopefully, substituting Mummy for a dummy. The dummy idea still isn’t taking off (I’m not too bothered – he’ll find his own form of comfort, I hope…) but the cups are proving to be a massive hit.

I think the only problem I’m having with all of the above is that my little boy is growing up! I know he’s only seven months old, but he just seems so much more like a little boy than a baby and it’s quite a shock at how quickly that’s happened. I’ll be dealing with girlfriends, nights out clubbing and teenage hangovers before I know it! Eeeeeek…

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