• Home,  Parenting,  Sustainable Living

    Washing your Modern Cloth Nappies

    washing your modern cloth nappies

    I’ve written before about why we chose to use modern cloth nappies with our babies.  I thought I would write a little about washing, drying and maintaining the nappies, for anyone out there interested in trying them with their bubs.

    We mainly use baby behinds hemp one size fits all, and itti bitti snap in styles.  There are a couple of other types floating in the mix, but these are the main types.  They are all washed in the same way.  We also use face washers/cloths instead of disposable wipes.

    Modern Cloth Nappies

    So after a nappy change, I rinse any solids (or not so solid when they were pre-solid food) straight into the toilet.  I have a very handy partner who loves to DIY and he attached a hose to the toilet that helps no end with this process!  Once the nappy is rinsed I place it straight into a bucket in the laundry, put the lid on and leave it.  I dry pail – which simply means I don’t soak the nappies, but I wash at least every second day.  If you leave it longer, the urine can wreck the elastic in the nappies, and the stink increases also.  Also, this past year I’ve had two in nappies, so it has often meant I’ve washed every day. 

    Once the bucket is full, I place them all in the washing machine and do a rinse cycle.  I put the nappies and the covers all in together, along with the cloths and nappy liners (if I’ve remembered to use them!).   Nappy liners are great – you can purchase eco disposable ones, but I prefer to use reusable ones.  Super easy to make – strips of fleece material, you know, that jumpers are made from.  The solids come off the liner a lot easier than the nappy. 

    Washing modern cloth nappies

    After the rinse, I usually choose the 30-40 degree setting and an intensive rinse.  Most of the manufacturers seem to recommend no higher than 60 degrees (Celsius) for the nappies, to look after the elastic.  There seem to be differing opinions about using cold or warm wash, and on using washing powder/liquid.  I use whatever washing liquid we have in the laundry, although sometimes I manage to score some Rockin’ Green, which is designed for use with modern cloth nappies, but is often really hard to get.  We always have eco/green washing liquid in the cupboard.  Less is definitely more when it comes to MCNs – too much detergent will build up in the nappies, and they become stinky and less absorbent, and you’ll have to do a strip wash. 

    The nappies do well when you can dry them in the sunlight – the UV helps whiten them and is good for getting rid of bacteria also.  However, if you need to use a dryer no problem.  I find our hemp nappies soften up really well after a tumble in the dryer.  Just don’t put the PUL covers in.  They dry so quickly anyway, just whack them on the clothes horse.  We didn’t have a dryer until our second one came along, and they were both in nappies.  Couldn’t keep up!

    I mentioned a strip wash above.  This is for when the nappies become a bit stinky and aren’t absorbing very well.  Wash them as normal and then put them through a couple of washes with no detergent.  Some people recommend using a small amount of dish washing liquid in the first wash.  I sometimes use the Canesten Laundry Rinse also, particularly if the kids haven’t been well. 

    We don’t use cloth 100% of the time – if the kids are sick, if I’m sick – we do use disposables. But we do our best to use cloth most of the time.  How about you?  Any tips on washing and drying your cloth nappies that aren’t mentioned here? 

     

     

  • Five Months Old
    Family,  Parenting

    Cot to Big Girl Bed.

    Ahhhhhhh, the transition from the lovely secure cot (ie can’t get out until mum or dad let you out) to normal sized kids bed. Sure, I knew it would be tricky, but I also knew I didn’t want to move the Little Miss into a big bed until she was ready. You know, climbing out of her cot, happy to sleep on a bed at nanny’s, that kind of thing.  Then we had the Little Mister.  That was all good, all planned.  But – the Little Mister is bigger than the Little Miss was at his age. 

    Five Months Old
    The Little Ones at five months.

    In fact, he is our gorgeous little Buddha really. And that means he is not going to fit in the bassinet much longer (between you and me, he could probably be in a cot already).  Sob!  So that means it’s Big Bed time for the Little Miss.  I made a conscious effort to make her part of the process – she came with me and selected the sheets and doona cover, and she ‘helped’ her dad put the bed together.  She loves helping him construct things. 

    However, bizarrely, she is not cooperating with the transition.  I know right?  A two year old with her own mind.  Who would have thought.  I recently asked over on Facebook if anyone had any good ideas or suggestions for this transition.  So the suggestions confirmed what I had thought we would need to do.  Lead her back to bed when she gets out, keep things calm, tell her it’s her bed now.  And that this could go on for a week or so.

    Helping put big bed together

    But, best laid plans and all that.  The Little Mister chose this time to revert back to wanting two hourly feeds over night (no way Mister!) and I was not getting any quality sleep.  Trying to stay calm and encourage a two year old Little Miss back to bed for over an hour at a time was not something we were coping with on so little sleep and she just did not seem to be ‘getting’ it.

    So I’ve pulled the plug on the big bed for the time being and am working on getting the Little Mister to drop some feeds – luckily he has at least gotten over this two hourly thing!  If things become dire and we need to move the Little Mister out of the bassinet, my mum has a cot at her house we can borrow.  Luckily.

    I think the Little Miss is just not ready for the bed yet.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  She is only two and frankly, I’m not sure I’m ready for her to be in a big bed yet either.

     cot to big girl bed

  • Family,  Sustainable Living

    Sustainable or crazy? Why we use cloth nappies.

    Modern Cloth Nappies
    Modern Cloth Nappies

    This is the first post in a planned series on cloth nappies.  We decided early on that we would use cloth nappies as much as possible.  For both the long term cost factor and the environmental factors.  What we didn’t know was just how many options there are now!  Modern Cloth Nappies or MCNs as they are referred to come in different sizes, shapes, materials and prices.  And there are so many retailers and manufacturers.  Many are work at home mums or mums that have turned their nappy obsession into successful businesses.  It’s quite amazing really.

    I read reviews and trawled through site after site.  I didn’t know anyone who had used MCNs and so didn’t have any ‘real life’ feedback available.  In the end, we took a punt on the Baby Beehinds hemp one size fits all model.  Mainly because they were having an awesome run out sale!  So they were a good price.  These nappies are supposed to fit from birth to toilet training and they need covers.  We have also used itti bitti.  So far they have worked pretty well and I’m amazed to say that we use them full time and only use disposables when we have gone away for more than one night, or when something has happened like me hurting my back and not being able to move!  Getting nappies in and out of the washing machine when you can’t move ain’t easy…

    Modern Cloth Nappies

    Recently, we went through a period where we used more disposables – my toddler had gastro and we had a newborn who didn’t quite fit into the nappies straight away.  This period reinforced for us the decision to use cloth nappies.  I truly hate throwing bags of used nappies into the bin!  And spending that money on a packet of nappies!  Urgh.  It can be tricky with two in nappies and living in Melbourne to get them dry in time, but really, I just need to work on being more organised with the washing!!

    How about you?  I would love to hear from others who have used MCNs or who are planning on it.  If you do use them, what was the main factor behind your decision?

     

  • Blogging,  Parenting

    Baby Blogger

    baby bloggerI’m writing this post with a four month old sitting on my lap.  Literally.  It’s a slow process.  I had been working on a different post about cloth nappies, but between the Little Mister deciding that sleep is not cool, and the two year old Little Miss deciding the same, focusing on that was a little hard.  All I could think about was the question ‘how do I find time to (insert any activity here!!) with two little ones?’  I’m sure it’s a question all parents are inevitably smacked over the head with.

    I have no answers at this point!  But I am making an effort to be organised, and to try and work out how to set some time aside for me.  It’s not easy – there is always ‘something’ that needs to be done.  And a baby to be cuddled.  The baby cuddling must always come first though.

    So here is a question for you – how do you find time for you, for the things you want (or need!) to get done with little ones around?  I’d love any tips or ideas!!

  • Food

    Recipe: Drop Scones

    Photo 25-06-12 12 02 16 PM

    Did you eat drop scones when you were growing up?  Or did you call them pikelets?  They were always drop scones in our house, although when I called them that my Mister had no idea what I was talking about! We love them here, especially the Little Miss and they are so easy and cheap to make.  And you can do so many variations!  Here is the recipe that I am loving at the moment – it’s taken from “The Margaret Fulton Cookbook” and makes fluffy yummy drop scones:

    20120725_122116
    “The Margaret Fulton Cookbook”
    Revised and Updated 2004

    1 cup S.R flour
    a pinch salt
    2 tablespoons of sugar
    1/4 teaspoon of bicarb soda
    1 egg
    1/2 cup each of buttermilk and milk or all milk with 1 teaspoon of vinegar added ( I do the latter – I never have buttermilk!)
    2 tablespoons of melted butter
    extra butter for frying

    Now, sift all the dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the milk and the melted butter.  Then stir all together – ideally, make a well and draw all the ingredients together slowly.

    Place spoonfuls onto a hot, greased heavy based fry pan, turning when bubbly on top.  Serve with butter and golden syrup, or with jam, or with maple syrup or whatever takes your fancy!  Best when still warm and with a cup tea or coffee. Yum!  What’s your toddler’s favourite food to snack on?

    {Recipe posted with permission} 
  • Parenting

    Guess Who’s Making a Delivery?

    That’s right, this guy will be visiting at the end of the year:

    Vintage Stork via  The Graphics Fairy

    We are very excited here, although our Little Miss, who is 14 months old, is quite oblivious to the fuss! We are also very thankful that this has happened when we wanted it to, knowing so many people who have had to travel a hard road with their pregnancies.

    So I’m about 15 weeks along, and finally starting to feel more like me again! With my first pregnancy, nausea was nearly non-existent. Not this time. I had quite a few weeks of it, but thankfully it’s gone now and my energy is coming back. Thank goodness! I was getting sick of feeling tired and feeling guilty that I wasn’t paying enough attention to my little one. Luckily, she LOVES books at the moment so we have been reading a lot (over and over!). She has also found her legs, and seems to love toddling around and getting into what ever she can.

     
    The new bub and our Little Miss will be about 20 months apart in age. There are so many different ideas out there about ‘the best’ age gap to have between babies. But in reality, you have to go with what suits your family. There are pros and cons in waiting or going ahead earlier I think. A con for us – two in nappies!!

    copyright 2012 Tully & Mishka
    I’d be interested in hearing about your experiences in your second (or subsequent!) pregnancies and how any hot tips for entertaining small toddlers along the way!
  • Sewing

    A Project For A Friend

    Recently, one of my closest friends had a baby, a little brother for his two older sisters.  To welcome him to the world I decided to make something for him, and chose a blanket.  Now, this was inspired by another friend, over at Letters To Audrey.  She is fabulous at making these blankets and very generously helped me get started.

    Now, unfortunately I did not take great photos as I went.  But I chose a deep navy for one side and a bright green for the other.  And for his name, lovely blue polka dots with orange thread.  It’s a simple design, but does require patience – tying the knots just so, and hand stitching the thread around the letters.  I confirmed what I had suspected – I am not a hand sewing person!!!  And of course, it wasn’t a short name!

    Finally finishing it in time to take to the hospital, I packaged it up in blue tissue paper and a big white box.

    It was really lovely to give a handmade gift to such a good friend and her new little boy!