Thursday, 30 June 2011


I've had the Sproutling in cloth nappies for a few weeks now so I thought it was time to try to sound like I know what I'm talking about with them.  Haha.

The range of types, brands, fabrics and colours of modern cloth nappies out there is truly staggering these days, dwarfed only by the numbers of websites selling them. Not only is there about a million different types and brands, there is an enormous range of paraphernalia that is sold along with them, but isn't really necessary.

I wanted to try using cloth nappies from the start, but I really wasn't sure where to begin. The amount of information out there is completely overwhelming! A friend of mine who is using cloth with her daughter showed me the different types she had in a bit of a lesson one day before Sprout was born, so I started to have a bit of a clue after that.

The next stage was taking part in the Great Nappy Hunt during March, which introduced me to a whole LOAD of sites selling different nappies and various baby stuff. It's a shame it was slightly early for me as there were some great specials on around the place during that time, but it's semi-annual so there will be another round in September. There's a Great Diaper Hunt for you American types too!

After Sprout was born, we decided to buy some cotton pre-folds and covers, since they are supposed to fit newborns better than other types. I found that they didn't fit as well as I thought. The covers we used prevented leaks but the pre-folds themselves ended up quite bulky and didn't look comfortable at all. I gave up for the time being and went back to disposables.

Pocket Nappies
In mid-May Sproutling was two months old and getting a lot bigger, so I decided to buy a few different types of cloth nappies to see what I liked. I decided to go for pocket nappies, which consist of a "shell" made of waterproof Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) on the outside and microfleece on the inside. The shell can be stuffed with cloth to suit your needs - more for night time or a long car trip, less for around the house.

I bought a few of a couple of different brands to try. In the end I decided on Blueberry One-Size nappies, fastening with velcro. Although these are a pricier option than other brands, I got them on a great special and they came with their microfleece inserts and boosters included. They're a lovely soft minky PUL on the outside in lots of different designs.

They fit Sprout really well and only leak around the legs if I leave it too long before changing him. Also sometimes when he sleeps on his tummy the wetness can wick out the top of the nappy a little bit - I haven't worked out how to prevent that just yet apart from trying to make sure he doesn't go to sleep wet. We're still using disposables during the night.

Aussies, I've bought a few things now from Baby Blossom and they were great. No, they didn't pay me to say that :) Shop around though, there are some amazing shops out there!

The Routine
Looking after the nappies is proving pretty easy so far. I don't have a dryer and my clothesline isn't in the sun, but if I get the nappies out there by lunchtime they usually dry before dark, except for the couple with bamboo inserts that take two days to dry in the winter. Including the trial nappies I bought to start with, I currently have 14 in my stash. I wash the dirties every morning on the "synthetic" cycle at 40 degrees, with a little sensitive detergent. Some people recommend pre-wash cycles or rinses - I haven't bothered so far and haven't had any stains or funny smells yet. This may change once we start on solids!

The Advice
All that was a bit of a wall o' text so I'll give you the low-down on what you'll need:
  • Buy enough nappies to get you through at least two days, in case you have wet weather or can't wash one day. The nappies do need to be changed more frequently than disposables.
  • Get a nappy bucket with a sealing lid for dirties, or a wet bag (like this one that Darcy suggests) for the nursery.
  • Cloth wipes are not a necessity but they do mean that you can just throw it all in the bucket and not worry about disposing of wipes seperately. We just bought some fleece from a craft shop and cut it into squares, but you can buy special microfleece wipes if you prefer. I have a spray bottle with water in to wet the cloths when I'm changing Sprout.
And that, my friends, is pretty much it! Feel free to ask and questions or tell me about your cloth experience!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Going Cuckoo

I come from a rather musical family, so I wanted to try to instil in the Sproutling a love of music from an early age, as my mum did with me. Now, I'm terrible at thinking up rhymes to sing to him so I looked around for a musical playgroup-type-thing we could go to.

We started going to Boppin' Babies when Sprout was nine weeks old. The group was only about six or seven kids of which Sprout was the youngest, ranging in age up to about two years old. A lady with a guitar sings the songs and we all join in, sometimes with rattles, drums and other instruments - it's a lot of fun! Sprout is still a little small to be joining in properly but he seems to enjoy the singing and watching the other kids play and dance.

I have also recently discovered thanks to Lathere (of Hots & Dots and My Little Sapling) that our local council libraries put on a similar Babies and Rhymes session for free each week. Sproutling and I went along to one this week and sang some songs and some little rhymes along with about 15 other babies of varying ages.

We learned a new song while there. It goes something like this:
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
(rock back and forth)
I’m a little cuckoo clock,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
Now I’m striking one o’clock
(lift child in air)
(Repeat until as many o’clock as your back holds out.)

It was during this song that I looked around at the 15 or so women (there weren't any dads there!) shouting "CUCKOO!!" while waving their children in the air that I realised that something must crack in our brains when we become parents, switching off the care-what-others-think part and turning on the idiot-for-children's-entertainment part.

Thank goodness for that because I am having an absolute ball!

PS. No, Boppin' Babies aren't paying me to say how much fun we have there.
PPS. Once upon a time, Mr Ang and I were given a cuckoo clock for a wedding present. We opened it, said, "Ooooh, just what we always wanted!" then quickly relegated it to the back of a cupboard. 
PPPS. Yes, that is my MSPaint artwork :P

Friday, 10 June 2011

Out and About with Sprout

When the Sproutling first arrived, I was apprehensive at the thought of taking him out anywhere. There were so many things that could go wrong! I had visions of people frowning and tut-tutting at me as I carted my screaming baby around. What if there was a poo-splosion while we were out or he projectile vomited over a cash register or something?

My confidence in the matter wasn't helped by the fact that the first time I took Sprout shopping at about six weeks old, he had a complete screaming meltdown in the middle of Target and I had to drop the clothes I was going to buy and high-tail it out of there. Thankfully the "Parent Rooms" at Mount Ommaney centre are very comfortable so I was able to regroup after a big feed and settling him down to sleep.

Last weekend was my mother's birthday so my dad arranged a surprise dinner for her at a local restaurant (Turkish, mmmmm). Mr Ang and I decided we'd go along with Sproutling. Although he's been to plenty of noisy places before and also out at night-time, he'd never been to a restaurant so we weren't really sure how he would deal with it. Also he has been going to bed between 7 and 8 lately so this would be past his bedtime.

The restaurant was quite noisy inside. At first, Sprout was okay with cuddles with his Yiayia, but after a while he started to get a little restless. We were sitting in a corner so I tried to discreetly feed him, hoping he'd drop off to sleep, but it was too noisy and I ended up having to go outside and sit in the doorway of a neighbouring shop where it was quiet.  I'm sure it won't be my last breastfeeding hobo experience.

He did actually go to sleep for a little while after that and only had one other major crying episode the rest of the night, but it was so noisy in there that no-one really noticed. When we got home it was only about 9:30 but it took me at least an hour of sitting in a quiet, dark room before he calmed down and went to sleep.  After that he slept for about six hours in one go!

So I guess we now know that going out in the evening is possible, as long as there's somewhere quiet to calm him down if he gets upset and that we should expect overtiredness afterwards. We don't go out for dinner that often but it's good to know that we can.