Monday, 22 September 2014

Reusable Nappies

(Image taken from

First up - this post is intended for people curious about using reusable nappies. It is not a post intending to persuade people to use them of for me to brag about my eco credentials. Parenthood is hard and no one wants the added pressure of feeling that they should be doing something extra on top of the mind blowing amount of other things that they are trying to do. As someone who really wanted to breast feed and didn't succeed, i'm quite aware of the pressure and a sort of left outness one can feel by not subscribing to your own tribes parental norms. I would hate to think that any posts on my blog would ever make someone feel like that.

I wanted to write this post though because I always intended to reusable nappies but struggled to get my head around one part systems, two part systems, nappy wraps and nappy boosters and struggled to find the right information at the right time. We moved house just before Frieda was born and my mind became filled with mortgage advisor’s, broken chains and trying to rope in friends who could help us move. The nappy idea retreated to the back of my head.

I tried reusable nappies when Frieda was six months after talking to a few mums who use them and being given someone’s old ones to try. Saving money was a real motivator for us, we had very little spare pennies and I certainly didn't want to be spending my precious pennies on nappies. Looking after the planet and less contact with chemicals were also real motivators. I was given a whole bag of new tots bots birth to potty, two part system nappies from a mum, who didn't get on with them, at a baby group. I use these as Frieda's bed time nappies with a motherease wrap. I do not use extra boosters. These work great for us. In the day I use really basic, no frills motherease one size, two part system nappies with motherease wraps. I love them, they are very basic though but I like that. I got all of my motherease really cheaply, ssecond-hand from ebay. In order for this to work for us it had to be low cost I couldn't be buying fancy new nappies as we just didn't have the money. I did buy some all in one little lamb nappies but I really didn't get on with all in one nappies but I know many people that do. My initial start up costs were therefore very low and I intend to use them if we have any more little ones. I also often see bundles on freegle so it's worth keeping your eye out.

(Image from

We do a lot of laundry, I really can't make out that we don't, because we do ALL THE TIME!! In the summer I hardly notice, the nappies dry really quickly outside. It has more of an impact in the winter when It can be difficult to find places to dry them in our small house. I did check our water usage as I thought this may be high but it turns out that we use less than average for a family of our size, so it hasn't had too much of an impact. I use cloth nappies when out and about and I take them to nursery. We use disposables when we go on holiday.

Here are my top tips:

  1. TheNappy Lady  fountain of cloth nappy knowledge. Fill out the questionnaire on her website (like your own private consultation) and she will recommend products that will suit your needs.
  2. Join a cloth nappy facebook group. I use a Brighton and Hove one and use it to ask other cloth nappy users questions.
  3. If using a two part system the wraps are so important they must cover the whole of the cloth nappy or you will experience leaks. I really recommend motherease airflow with poppers. Don't get cheap wraps they really are prone to leaks (I speak from experience)
  4. Try using reusable wipes they really will save you a small fortune. I use the all in one cheeky wipes kit. I know it can take people a little while to get their heads around reusable wipes so no pressure!!!
  5. Ask friends and look out on freegle for cloth nappies to try before you buy
  6. Start when it feels a good time for your family. I know people who only use reusables for their little ones as they start potty training.
  7. Check out local council websites for useful information re cloth nappies.  The Vale of Glamorgan website has some great information re cloth nappies 

I have started to use some of the old boosters as night time sanitary towels. I'm not sure i'm ready to take the full plunge yet with regards to reusable sanitary products but I am more open to the idea since using cloth nappies.  I would be interested to know your thoughts.

Friday, 19 September 2014


My partner is Scottish, meaning my daughter is half Scottish or British depending on how you want to define her.  I have spent much more time, in the past five years, in my partners Scottish home town than I have in the town that I grew up in, a town I have not visited in 12 years.  Given this I will always have a connection to Scotland.  Needless to say I was interested in the Scottish referendum.  I didn't have a strong opinion either way and yet I sort of did, sometimes, for fleeting moments, depending on what day you spoke to me. The referendum moved me in a way succeeded only by the invasion of Iraq and Brighton Pavilion electing Britain's first Green M.P.  I knew whatever way the vote went I would feel a mixture of sadness, elation, and anxiety.  When I turned on the radio, at six in the morning, I felt a certain amount of relief, as James Naughtie announced that a No voted looked inevitable and a little bit of sadness for my Scottish friends who wanted a yes vote and a feeling of anticipation for the world my daughter will grow up in, a strange day. 

(Frieda on the beach in St Andrews)

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Keep on Learning to Jump

Frieda has learnt to Jump. I have been watching her practice for weeks now. The joy she felt when she mastered the 'jump, jump, pump it up (in her own words), was infectious. Somewhere in my late teens and early twenties I lost the love of learning something new. I failed to see the value in putting in the hours, I failed to see that all the best things take effort. I believed that there were many things that I would never be able to do because I was naturally not very good at them. Now I believe that there are so many things I can do with a little practice. The uninhibited energy Frieda puts into activities, the amount of joy she experiences from learning, well it's contagious. So here's to life long learning In the spirit of life long learning I took to the cross stitch. This is my 'Keep on learning to Jump' if you squint and look hard enough you will see a peacock.


Sunday, 14 September 2014


Sometime ago in the now distant summer, we took a little two night trip to Bristol.  Bristol was pretty much how I hoped and expected it to be.  We stayed in a little hobbit hut at the bottom of someone's garden, in the suburbs, on the edge of a council very Bristol! We found the little gem of a hobbit hut on air bnb.  I suppose we were glamping???!!!!  I must confess that if glamping was indeed what we were doing, well then i'm a convert. Compost toilet, electricity, kettle, futon, warmth, breakfast made for you in the morning- you were all components very much lacking on our recent welsh camping holiday. We had access to the main house to take a shower which gave it the added charm of feeling like we had a secret den in our parents back garden; it's these little whimsical feelings that really make a holiday for me.  In the morning chickens could be heard all over the suburbs (which is what I expected from Bristol) and it made us feel all' Tom and Barbara'. Gushing? yes I am, do go check it out. I must add that our hosts were super lovely too.   Air bnb is so good for finding reasonably priced accommodation. 

We went to the Stokes Croft area of Bristol.  It reminded me a little of Berlin.  The street art didn't disappoint, vegetarian food was everywhere, with options other than vegetable lasagne and men wore their trousers a little baggier than in Brighton.  Stokes Croft was a little more edgy and a little less whimsy than perhaps us  30 some thing parents have become accustomed to.  I fear we may have stood out!! We blended back in however when we reached St Andrews Park.  In short we had a fab time in this great city.



Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Printing with nature

I recently had a play at printing with nature.  It made for a very pleasing afternoon indeed.  

I like how the ginkgo leaves look like butterflies.  I think printing could become my new hobby it's so satisfying! 
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