I know all children are snotty, I knew this before I had a baby and it was one of the things I was least looking forward to (nappies, birth and vomit were also high on my dread list), but I hadn’t actually appreciated what the worst bit of it would be.
When my baby was young I was a real connoisseur of nappies, I tried them all.
Naturally my favourite, Huggies, went out of production so after importing some from abroad I settled for whatever I could get my hands on.
Whatever I tried I have ended up with leaks (yes even with my favourites) and although friends had the occasional leakage, I seemed to have it nearly every night*
One particularly horrible evening after changing the moses basket sheets twice, changing clothes, a poonami, many feeds, infacol, raised lets at the head end of the moses basket etc I went through everything I could to make him sleep, I finally got him off and as I was drifting into sleep he started squalking. I was grumpy and exhausted, I had run out of ideas and had no idea what ELSE could he need. I picked him up and there it was AGAIN, literally 10 minutes after I had put him down, the cold damp patch on the front left side of the nappy.
Why? WHY? and HOW?
I understand that there are times when the nappy isn’t done up quite right, or a child is in between nappy sizes. Now I expect it more as Jem sleeps on his front so if he’s particularly wee-ey in the night it has an excuse for squeezing out, but when he was little I just couldn’t work it out. Always in the same place, not every night but at least once a week. I label it “the curse of the mandatory nighttime nappy leakage” because it doesn’t seem to happen to other people but I really suffer from it. Surely after all this time my nappy fastening technique has improved…?
* I say night, but those of you who know me know that when he was little Jem didn’t really sleep at “night” so by “night” I mean whatever ungodly hour he dropped off to sleep for his long** sleep
**by “long” I mean 2 hours…max…it’s “long” because the rest of the day he only slept 20 minutes at a time…I don’t miss those first few months.
When we moved from our flat in Tufnell Park we had to decide whether to bring our furniture with us, normally this seems like a no brainer but bearing in mind we were moving into a house that we were intending to gut we thought it might not be such a wise idea. Instead we decided to travel light and freecycle most of our stuff. Bookcases, unwanted gifts,wardrobes and beds you name it, we got rid of it. We didn’t even have to pay to get rid of it, we advertised our belongings on Freecycle and a steady stream of people came to collect. Whilst you don’t usually get to know much about the background of people collecting we know that some of our items went to great homes, including a band who wanted our ripped sofa for their studio (…I hope they remember us when they’re rich and famous).
When we moved the previous owners had left a variety of unwanted furniture, so we ended up Freecycling again to clear out before we started building.
We did bring a few things with us that we couldn’t bear to part with, one of which was the cat’s scratching post which had been too large for it’s former owner:
We spent months and months with only a garden chair (from freecycle) and a sofa chair to perch on while we watched TV in our kitchen. We slept on an airbed from Freecycle (which we still have – it’s an aerobed which needed a puncture repairing and it’s fantastic – we slept on it until I was about 8 months pregnant!)
Once our house started coming together it meant we were sorely lacking in furniture so we started scouring Freecycle for anything that would come in handy!
We got a bed, wardrobe and a mattress from Freecycle eventually when we had a bedroom, but that wasn’t the best thing about Freecycle. When it became really lifesaving was when we had a baby!
We have so many thank yous to give to our lovely local Freecyclers, I couldn’t possibly list them all, but to give you an idea of what they kindly donated to us:
- moses basket and stand;
- Changing table;
- Wardrobe (for adults but we use it in the baby’s room);
- chest of drawers;
- storage unit (we use it for toys);
- newborn sleepsuits;
- Bouncy chair;
- a Bumbo;
- a door bouncer;
- Older baby clothes;
- bibs, lots of bibs!;
- a pregnancy pillow;
- a nursing pillow;
- a breast pump;
- reusable nappies;
- baby toiletries;
- two baby baths;
- an umbrella fold stroller (missing a wheel which we’ve managed without but could buy a new one!);
- bath toys;
- a Mothercare playcentre;
- a BabyDan portable stairgate;
- a playpen;
- a travelcot;
- an Ikea rocking chair; and
- an Ikea egg chair.
I genuinely don’t know what we would have done without all these generous donations. Some of these have already gone onto new owners via Freecycle, some of them we only used to try things out before we invested money in them (like the feeding cushion) but others we have kept and will love until we come to pass them onto a new home. Our financial situation has been very difficult so it has allowed us to prioritise
The best thing about Freecycle is that it has given items which might otherwise have been thrown out another chance to be used. Pretty much everything we have received or given away (even old paving slabs or bits of wood) has some life left in it and I just hate to throw things out if they can be used!
I’ve put a couple of photos below so you can see us enjoying some of our wonderful gifts. To all who Freecycle:
Sorry this is more of a rant than a blog, I love my Bum Genius reusable nappies, even second hand they were great value and have lasted us well. I have used them since Jem was about 7 months (once I knew what was likely to come out of that end and that it was unlikely to be too squishy!) but I have friends who have used them since birth and been fine. In all honesty whilst I loved the thought of reusable nappies when I was preggers at that time I had never changed a nappy (yes, really, in fairness I only held a baby for the first time when I was 35 weeks pregnant) and even though I thought I was fully conversant in nappies (I literally read everything the internet had to offer) I was not fully prepared and when I saw it, I just couldn’t face washing it. In all honesty it probably wouldn’t have worked for us at that time anyway, we only had access to our washing machine intermittently and I had to brave the building site to get to it, we also would have only had our kitchen/living room to dry them in and as this was already housing all our possessions (enough to fill a house – honestly) it wasn’t ideal.
In short we used “sposies” for the first 7 months and still do at night/on holiday/on days of dodgy tummy but this doesn’t make our nappies any less “real” grrr. I just hate this term and whilst I really support initiatives such as Real Nappy Week (28 April to 4 May 2014, check it out and follow on Facebook http://www.goreal.org.uk/real-nappy-week or the website http://www.goreal.org.uk/real-nappy-week) the name drives me potty, REUSABLE surely NOT real?!?!?
This is a little post about the wonder of changing bags, I’ve put you a picture of my own changing bag to give you an idea of what I’m talking about…
Admittedly I like to be organised and am often to be found with a large handbag even pre-baby (I have a list in my handbag notepad of what should be in my changing bag as a bare minimum…no really, I’ll take a photo for you: ) and it contains obvious things, nappies (sposies and reusable), changing bags, food, water…it goes on…parents you will understand this. However a recent journey for lunch with a friend resulted in a sore back and I did begin to question all the things I was carrying around in there.
Of course I need a book/Kindle, for reading emergencies when the baby may be asleep and boredom strikes, and then a couple of crochet projects, because it’s silly to waste time (I did actually do one of these in fairness whilst the boy was asleep in the car). Then a selection of food, grapes, a banana, baby food pouches, fruit yoghurt pots, ricecakes and breadsticks…naturally the food monster just ate my lunch so I didn’t actually need any of these. A change of clothes for Jem and spare top for me…we haven’t needed these for several months…do they even still fit? A spare cardigan each and 2 hats for Jem.
Toys, lots of toys, today we had a chewable bug (Kiddiecare) and joining rings from Mothercare, a Nuby Ice Bite teether, a Lamaze elephant and our V-Tech Toot Toot helicopter (possibly Jem’s current favourite thing). He didn’t play with any of these…he did spend most of his time trying to steal cutlery or eat napkins (oh and staring at old men…)
Half a bag of disposable nappies (he did a poo, I needed one… and used a reusable one anyway), a full pack of Huggies wipes (my favourites) and ab
out 50 nappy bags, also a spare reusable nappy and a carrier bag for the dirty nappy (used!) I also had a disposable changing mat (yet I still ended up just changing him on the floor of the toilets without using it).
Also of course general things for me as I don’t carry a separate handbag, this consisted of:
- 6 mini tissue packs
- 2 lip balms
- 3 lipsticks (no I haven’t worn lipstick since our wedding)
- a lip gloss
- hand cream
- notepad and pen
- spare pen
- Tampons & Sanitary towels
I never did buy an actual changing bag, because they were expensive, and my voucher for a free Boots one never came through, so although I was disappointed I ended up using an old messenger bag (endorsed by a Trade Union I used to be a member of…) which I figured did pretty much the same thing, and then after a couple of months moved onto a large handbag. You can buy made up changing bags containing lots of essentials, pockets and hidey holes for all your essential things (presumably making them easier to find…?) but I do wonder whether it’s really essential to make such a big deal about changing bags. I manage to carry a whole lot of junk around with me and in fairness rarely use it. I have developed a habit of simply sticking a couple of nappies in a carrier bag in the bottom of the buggy and ‘winging it’ (admittedly at 10 months it’s easier as there is less likelihood of leaky pooage).