The Clean Green Nappy Machine Competition Hints!

The Clean Green Nappy Machine

Regular readers of this blog will already know that Toby and I are big cloth nappy fans. We’ve got enough nappies now that we don’t really need to buy any more and hubby rolls his eyes at me every time I spot a new design that we just have to have! So, I’m always on the look out for a great competition where I can win some more nappies or accessories instead of having to buy them…

And here’s where The Clean Green Nappy Machine comes in. The Clean Green Nappy Machine has a great website stocking everything a cloth nappy user could need. There’s also lots of fantastic and helpful information if you are just getting started. Throughout December The Clean Green Nappy Machine are running a daily competition – all you have to do is find the numbered bauble on the website, fill in the entry form you find there and you could be in with a chance of winning the product on that page. The baubles will always be on a product page but they can be a bit tricky to find. So the lovely people at Clean Green have offered my readers a chance to get a special clue emailed to them every day. This clue will not be available on the website or on social media.

So click on the link below, sign up for your special clues…and Good Luck!

http://www.cleangreennappy.co.uk/advent-calender.html

 

**Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation to share this competition and link

Knitting Friday

Becky over at The Laughing Owls always has a Knitting Friday post, and seeing as I’ve just started knitting something new I thought I’d join her.

Knitting in progress

So I just started this last night. It’s going to be a Christmas Elf hat for Toby! We’ve got the Baby Sensory Christmas party in a couple of weeks and I’m taking the opportunity to dress him up. Although I would love to make him a whole costume myself, at the moment I don’t have the time or the inspiration. So I’ve ordered him this cute elf all in one from Tesco but I thought it would be nice if I made him a hat myself. And although it’s Christmassy colours he’ll still be able to wear it after Christmas too.

I bought the pattern off Etsy as a PDF download which was quite handy. I had the green wool lying around and as I wasn’t sure if there was enough of any one to make the whole hat I decided to go with the stripes. The hat is knitted in one piece and seeing as it’s only for little Toby’s head I would think I’ll have it finished for next Friday! Come back then to find out how it turns out…

Review: bumGenius Freetime

We have been using bumGenius Freetime nappies full time since Toby was about 7 weeks old. He used them right up to potty training at three and a bit. They are still our most used nappy with Gabe too and they make up the majority of our stash.

Bumgenius Freetime

The Details

bumGenius is a family run American company – I believe that most of their products for sale outside the US are produced in their own facility in Egypt. bumGenius nappies are available from a variety of UK stockists. I got mine from a few different places depending where I could get the best offers at the time. The bumGenius Freetime usually retails at £19.99 (unless you can get one in a sale or get discount for bulk buying) which is towards the top end of what you would expect to pay for a cloth nappy. However, the nappies are an all-in-one (AIO) nappy which essentially means you don’t need to buy any extras like inserts or wraps. It is also a birth-to-potty (BTP) or one-size-fits-most (OSFM) nappy so they should last as long as your baby needs to wear them. And they should last for more than one baby so the cost works out quite reasonable in the end. These nappies used to be available with popper or velcro fastenings but now only come with poppers. They also come in a variety of colours and prints. We started off with all velcro fastening as I foung it easier to get a snug fit when Toby was small but the velcro got quite tired (and Toby figured out how to open it) so I had all our original nappies converted to poppers.

The Pros

bumGenius FreetimeThe nappies are really easy to use as you can see in the pictures above. The length, or rise, of the nappy is adjusted using three sets of poppers on the front of the nappy. As the nappy is an all-in-one the inserts (the part that actually absorbs the wee) are attached, which means there’s nothing to get lost in the wash and no need to match things up with the right nappy afterwards. As the inserts are only attached at one end they open up for drying (1) which dramatically reduces how long it takes. On a fine, breezy day they will dry in an hour or two on the line. Seeing as we don’t have many of those at the moment though, mine usually dry overnight in the airing cupboard or in about an hour and a half on low heat in the tumble drier. Once you have your clean dry nappy then you simply fold the flaps back in. They can be folded several different ways. Because we have a little boy we fold the front flap in half before folding it back into the nappy (2). This makes it more absorbent at the front where the majority of a boy’s pee ends up.
The back flap is then folded over the top (3) and a fleece liner (if you are using them) is placed on top (4). I then store my nappies in a drawer like this so they are just ready to take one off the pile and put on when needed.

bumgenius FreetimeThese nappies, like a lot of others, also have laundry tabs which are used to protect the velcro during washing and to stop all your nappies ending up stuck together in one big ball when they come out of the machine.

The Cons

There really aren’t many; I think the bumGenius Freetime is a great all round nappy.  We have only had a couple of very minor leaks from these nappies. Even then it was only a little bit where the moisture had wicked through at the leg seams and really my fault for leaving the nappy on too long! Usually Toby can wear one of these nappies for two or three hours before it needs changing. Because of this I don’t think I would recommend the bumGenius Freetime as a night time nappy unless you want to change nappies as frequently at night as you do during the day.

The Verdict

I would recommend the bumGenius Freetime to anyone whether they are starting out with cloth nappies or are seasoned users. They are especially good for anyone new to cloth nappies (or maybe any reluctant Dads out there!) as they are really just like changing a disposable. The only thing I think that might put you off this nappy in favour of an alternative would be the price.

So, in conclusion, the bumGenius Freetime is a great all-in-one birth-to-potty nappy. It certainly gets my vote.

Toby is four months old!

Four months old baby
Four months! I can’t believe Toby is four months old. One the one hand it seems to have flown by but on the other he seems to have been with us forever!

Toby is developing so fast these days so I’m planning a monthly update to keep a track of where he’s up to.

He is holding his head really well now. He can sit in his Bumbo seat although does still seem to list to one side a bit. He also takes his weight on his legs really well and likes to stand with support.

Tummy time continues to go well – Toby has been able to lift his head since he was born pretty much but he now pushes up on his arms and has just figured out he can move them to reach for stuff. He does get frustrated on his tummy though – I think because he really wants to move but can’t yet! He’s rolled over from his front to his back on his own twice now but I think it was more luck than really on purpose. Toby is suffering a bit from plagiocephaly, or flat head, so we have to try and get him on his tummy or sitting up as much as possible when he’s awake to give it the best chance we can of growing into a more normal shape.

Toby has recently found his voice a lot more and likes to make lots of babbling noises but no distinct syllables yet. Although a few weeks ago he did very clearly just say ‘A’ but he hasn’t done it since! His chatting makes me laugh so much – he always seems quite serious about it. So cute.

No teeth yet – one of the babies from our NCT class has two already. And no real signs that they are imminent either. Toby is quite dribbley but he doesn’t really chew on anything and has only just started putting things in his mouth. I’ve started doing a bit of research about weaning but we’re planning on leaving that to as near six months as we can.

He can grasp toys and things fairly accurately and his now learning to let them go as well. We’re pretty sure he’s going to be left handed though as he really seems to favour hitting or grabbing toys on his bouncy chair or baby gym with his left hand.

And lastly, sleep. Toby is still sleeping through the night; about 14 hours usually, and hopefully that won’t change any time soon! The nap situation is improving too and I’ve managed to get him to have a nap of between one and two hours every afternoon this week.

So that’s it really. At four months old Toby seems to learn something new every day so I wonder where he’ll be when we get to five months?

Review: Nappykind Boutique

Nappykind boutique - Baby leggings and legwarmers
As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, Toby is a cloth bum baby. I’d seen other reviews of baby legwarmers suggesting they are a useful purchase for cloth nappy wearing babies and although I wasn’t convinced they would be that useful, particularly for a baby boy, I was interested to give them a try.

So when the lovely people at Nappykind Boutique offered me the chance to try some out I decided to give them a go. I was given a discount code to order whatever I wanted from the website so I chose the Huggalugs By The Ocean legwarmers and then I couldn’t resist the Cow Jumped Over The Moon leggings. (Both items seemed to have disappeared from the website so I am guessing they are out of stock at the moment.)

The Details

The legwarmers retail at £7.99 which to be honest is a bit expensive – but Nappykind have plenty of their own brand legwarmers from £1.99. The Huggalugs are very good quality though – they are soft and washed very well. Although the legwarmers are one size and sold as fitting ‘babies and kids’, at only 4 months they are quite big on Toby just now. They stay up without any trouble (and without leaving any marks on his skin) but because the cuff at the bottom is loose they to tend to slip over his feet leaving them flapping around. They do look very cute though and Toby seemed happy enough to wear them.

Nappykind boutique - Baby legwarmers

The leggings are what you would expect – there are quite a lot of different styles available, all with cute designs on the bum! I ordered the 6-12 months size as Toby is quite long and his cloth bum takes up a fair bit of room! The leggings are still quite loose but stay on fine and at least they’ve got plenty of room to grow into. I was a little disappointed with the quality of the leggings compared to to legwarmers – the label was quite scratchy and not sewn in properly and there are quite a lot of loose threads on the reverse of the pattern. However at only £3.99 I thought they were reasonably priced. They have held up OK in the wash too.

Nappykind boutique - The Cow Jumped Over The Moon Baby Leggings

The Pros

Both the legwarmers and leggings look very cute and they are useful for putting on around the house – although I can’t really see myself taking Toby out in them. I think though,as he gets more mobile, they should be good as they don’t restrict his movement at all like dungarees or jeans might. There are also none of the problems I have with getting trousers to fit over his big cloth bum!

The Cons

None really – they are definitely more of a ‘nice to have’ rather than essential items. I can see both the legwarmers and leggings being more useful for a little girl. The legwarmers would be a great alternative to tights under a dress, and you would be able to show off the cute bum designs on the leggings under a dress too.

I have to say as well that the legwarmers are sold (not just by Nappykind but all over) as being great for quick nappy changes. But with my wriggly little baby I wouldn’t risk leaving them on during a change as he would be bound to get them dirty as soon as his nappy was undone!

The Verdict

Nappykind Boutique have a great range of legwarmers, leggings and other baby items (hats, shoes, cloth nappies) and they are all very reasonably priced. The only thing that slightly let down the service for me was that my order took two weeks to arrive (to be fair this was due to a supplier issue and they thought I had received an email about it but I hadn’t) and the parcels were sent using second class large letter stamps which would be fine if I hadn’t been charged £3.20 for shipping. Having said all that I believe Nappykind Boutique is run by two university students and is a fairly new business so I’d be happy to buy from them again in future.

**Disclaimer: I received a discount on the purchase of these items in order to write this review and was able to keep them. However, all opinions are my own.

Starting out with cloth nappies

I had thought about using cloth nappies while I was still pregnant and I did some research. What I found out is that there seems to be a limitless amount of options available in the world of cloth nappies. There are two part nappies, pocket nappies, all in ones, sized nappies, birth to potty nappies not to mention wraps, disposable liners, reusable liners, wet bags, reusable wipes… To be honest, the only scary part about using cloth nappies is making a decision about what kind of nappies to use. Other than that it seemed like a no brainer – cloth nappies are cheaper than using disposables (although there is an initial financial outlay needed), they are better for the environment (even when you take into account production and washing/drying cloth) and they are better for your baby (keeping all the nasty chemicals found in disposables away from your precious little one’s bum!).

Cloth nappies aren't scary

I did decide that having my first baby and dealing with all the new challenges that would bring would be enough to cope with in the first few weeks so we would leave cloth nappies for the first month or so. A lot of the advice I read also suggested trying a few different types of nappies on your baby to see what kind of system works for you before committing to buy a full set of nappies. Obviously this isn’t going to be possible until your baby is actually here! The other thing that put me off starting with cloth nappies was the cost. Cloth is definitely cheaper than disposables in the long run and I was pretty sure I wanted to maximise this cost saving by choosing a birth-to potty nappy. This is a nappy which uses a series of poppers and sometimes velcro to adjust the nappy to fit your baby. However, these nappies are usually very bulky on a small newborn baby. Toby was only 6lb 10oz when he was born and we would probably have had to invest in some specific newborn nappies to use them straight away. However, if I wasn’t already convinced, the amount of nappies that went in our landfill bin in those first few weeks certainly cemented the decision to use cloth nappies in my mind.

So, when Toby was about five weeks old I got some personalised recommendations from The Nappy Lady and ordered two different nappies to try out. There are lots of cloth nappy retailers that will provide you with free, impartial advice to help you choose which nappies to use. Some also offer trial schemes, or you might be able to find a nappy library in your area. Anyway, after trying the nappies during the day for a few days I was really happy with them. I chose my favourites (the Bumgenius Freetime – an all in one nappy for day time, and the Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch with a separate wrap for night time), took the plunge and ordered some more. Toby went into cloth nappies full time at about seven weeks old and it actually makes me very proud to say he hasn’t worn a disposable since. I added a few more nappies to my collection over the next few weeks and now with fourteen day nappies and four night time nappies I have enough to wash every 2-3 days and dry them on the line (if it ever stops raining long enough!) or more usually, hung in the airing cupboard.

I absolutely love our cloth nappies and sing their praises to anyone who will listen! Toby has never had nappy rash, we’ve only ever had two leaks and that was only a tiny damp patch on his trousers because he’d been in the car seat for too long without a nappy change. I love seeing his colourful little bum in his nappies every day and most of all I love that we are not sending hundreds of nappies to landfill every month. We use reusable wipes (the brilliant Cheeky Wipes that I have mentioned before) and washable fleece liners too so everything from Toby’s nappy changes is just washed and is ready to be used again and again and again.

Cloth nappies do seem to be gaining in popularity. I’ve seen quite a few babies wearing them at the various baby groups we go to and there’s been quite a bit of interest from other mums when they see Toby in his. Lots of the blogs I read and people I follow on Twitter are cloth nappy users too (although that could well be due to the fact I tend to find other people who are similar to me when deciding what to read). Judging by the number of nappy retailers you can find online, cloth nappies are certainly big business and as we become more aware of our environment I can only see that they will become even more popular.

There will be more posts to follow about the ins and outs of having a cloth bummed baby (including the all important ‘what do I do with the poo??’) as well as my opinions of the nappies that we have chosen to use. I’m still pretty new to cloth but if you have any questions about using cloth nappies then I will do my best to help. Do you use cloth nappies on your baby? Which are your favourites? Are you considering cloth or could you not even entertain the thought? I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts and opinions.