Change table organisation

I completely forgot to take a ‘before’ picture but I will describe the state of our changing table. The top had all sorts stuffed down the sides of the mat from rogue socks to different creams that had been gifted to us that I had meant try.

The second shelf wasn’t too bad but the ‘dirty’ container for our reusable wipes was forever overloaded because I would forget to put them in the wash with nappies (once our front loader starts there is noooo stopping.) Nappies were piled but not really neatly and I forever digging to find one.

The bottom shelf was the biggest mess with a myriad of STUFF. Nipple pads, cotton wool balls, disposables that had been given to us, blankets… I honestly can’t tell you what else there was – just STUFF. Basically it wasn’t working and my fears were coming true of owning a nappy change table! A big fat mess!

Sorry the photos are quite dark. It is a steaming hot day here and we closed all the heavy curtains to keep the heat out! I also snapped them on the iPhone as I was rocking Bonnie off to sleep.

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The ‘after!’ It is so much neater and more organised and I feel in control when I go to change her now! Whereas before I would panic slightly knowing stuff wouldn’t be available to me.

Let me take you on a your of our change table.

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Here’s the top.
The change mat is minky, backed with PUL. I love these as I can easily whip it off when it gets soiled and throw it in the wash. I have three – two for here and one I keep in the car in my emergency pack. I keep coconut oil and the paw paw balm I spoke about the other day tucked at the top as I use these two the most. The amber bottle is a natural hand sanitiser. I get weird, ouchy skin burns from other regular hand sanitisers.

Now we move down a shelf. On the left at the back is a small pink basket where I keep things I might need at hand. A digital thermometer, Perfect Potion baby moisturiser, nail clippers, baby sun cream, baby room spray etc.

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In front of that sits the cheeky wipes ‘clean’ container. This houses bamboo cloth wipes, water and lavender and chamomile essential oil. We love our cloth wipes and find them very easy to use. We also have the ‘dirty’ container but as I mentioned above are trying without!

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On the right sits a wicker tray with pocket nappy bamboo inserts, including the night inserts.

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And my wonderfully newly organised bottom shelf! The two wicker baskets are from Kmart at $10 each… I love them. They hold our cloth nappies. One holds the fitted, sized nappies and the other holds our osfm (one size fits most) pocket nappies. On the far right is a pack of disposable nappies that were put in a gift basket for us – we haven’t yet cracked them.

I really hope it stays a bit more organised now – it was a bit crazy there for a while!

How do you organise your change station?

x

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Modern Cloth Nappies

Yep, I am a cloth using mumma bear. I weirdly love it. I enjoy washing and hanging out nappies! There were a number of reasons we decided to use cloth nappies. Yes, hubby does use them as well, without complaint.

nb – This post ended up being hugelyyyy long so I have chopped in and will talk more about different types of nappies at a later date. x

1. Environmental factor My understanding is it takes 300-500 years for 1 nappy to break down, they are not biodegradable. With an average of 7 nappies a day, that’s a lot of impact on the envronment. The planet that my child will grow up in. I am sure there was some carbon footprint making the cloth nappies, however, these will last her to toilet training and then future children. 23-01-15 Modern Cloth Nappies Pt 1

2. Savings.

The hidden cost of babies can quickly add up and we knew when planning for our daughter we wanted to keep things as simple as we could. We estimate to save at least $1000 a year using cloth nappies. Any future children that come along will use this stash of cloth nappies, saving more again. 23-01-15 Modern Cloth Nappies Pt 1b

3. Ease factor.

We have enough nappies to have some dry and folded, some washing and some dirty. We can’t run out unless I dont wash for seven days! This means we don’t run out, there are always nappies available to us.We totally have our favourites we use first up, but they all get used and put through the cycle. 23-01-15 Modern Cloth Nappies Pt 1j

4. Generally no nappy rashes.

So far (14 weeks), Bonnie Mae has not had a single rash from nappy wearing. She might have a small bit of redness diretly after a number two, but it dissappears by next nappy change. I generally use coconut oil or paw paw to give her a helping hand.

5. Cuteness factor!

There are some super cute designs available. As she has been a summer baby, it has been really sweet for her to hang out in just a singlet and a coulourful nappy. 23-01-15 Modern Cloth Nappies Pt 1k23-01-15 Modern Cloth Nappies Pt 1l

Some factors to consider when using cloth are

1. Washing.

Dirty Nappies go into a ‘dry pail.’ A pedal bin with a washable pail liner. They are then all thrown into the machine. I do a cold rinse cycle then a cold cycle with 3 rinses. I wash nappies every second day. You need to use detergent that is MCN (Modern Cloth Nappy) safe. These products are usually free from enzymes and fillers. I haven’t found a powder that is MCN safe yet and my understanding is powder is out – liquid wash is in. We already used eco store liquid wash and this happened to be MCN safe. This was great as we didnt have to switch or have separate detergent just for nappies. Two others options are Earth’s Choice and Biozet Eco or Rapid. All available in the local grocery store. Again only the liquids not the powders. There are others out there such as Rockin’ Green and natural soap nuts. Sun is your friend, soaking powders are not. I didnt understand the magic of sunshine until using cloth. MCN’s are made from beautiful fabrics like bamboo, hemp and minky, any powder soaker like Napisan will destroy your beautiful nappies. Any marks that are left after washing are hung in the sun. VOILA, it dissappears. I have only had one stained nappy so far from a fabulous number two. When I pulled the nappies in from the line that afternoon, I couldn’t find which had been the nappy with the stain! The sun will also freshen the scent of your nappies if you feel they are becoming a little musty. I am still cautious on leaving them too long in the sun on these super hot summer days we have been having. If you still find you need help moving a stain out you can use pure sodium per carbonate (Coopers Home Brew sanitiser – REALLY!) This doesnt have any fillers or other things that will destroy your precious bundle. 23-01-15 Modern Cloth Nappies PArt 1n

2. Creams and balms.

Rash creams containing zinc oxide will be very difficult to remove from your nappy and mess up the absorbency. A lot of creams contain this. Lanolin may leave traces after a wash as well. There are a number of products you can use on a cloth bottom including coconut oil (just from the grocery store – I use organic unrefined), some paw paw balms (not Lucas’ Paw Paw) and the very  popular CJ’s butter. Again there are many more, these are just a few. I use coconut oil and Natures Care paw paw. I really would love to try some CJ’s butter one day soon. They use both natural scents and synthetic and both are ok to use, however, I only want to try the naturally derived scents. I rarely need to use anything down there but I have these two products ready in my battle kit. 23-01-15 Modern Cloth Nappies Pt 1m

3. Out and about.

Initially for the first few weeks we did use disposable nappies. We used Naty eco nappies as our little bundle was too small for her cloth nappies at this stage. Once we transitioned to cloth we used a ‘wet bag’ when out and about. This bag stores our dirty cloth nappies and doesn’t leak through the rest of the nappy bag. The first few times I was a little nervous being out and about using cloth as I was still mastering the fit and I was still new to parenting rooms. I was, and still am a minority when changing a cloth bottom and some parents are really interseted, some intrigued and some disgusted. At first, I was a little anxious about this but I am TOTALLY over it now. I don’t judge a mumma bear for using disposable so ask those mummas not to judge me for using cloth. I am also MUCH better at fitting a cloth nappy now. It is different to putting a disposable on, so I was all over the place initially but now I can fit them with my eyes closed. 23-01-15 Modern Cloth NAppies Part 1o

5. Cloth nappy obsession.

I could spend hours pouring through the amazing cloth creations. You can buy them from established companies like Bambooty, Baby Bee Hinds, Bum Genius, Eco Naps (there are hundreds of other companies.) But there are also some incredible embroidered creations from WAHM’s (Work At Home Mums.) You can become easilly obsessed. I joined a closed facebook group for modern cloth mumma bears and we are all just as obsessed with cloth! 23-01-15 Modern CLoth Nappies Part 1p

Told you it was a super long post! I will talk about the different kinds of nappies at a later date. My little one had some Bowen Therapy today. She had a feed when we got home and has had a wonderful peaceful sleep, but I can hear her stirring – time to make a quick cuppa before she is ready to wake!

Are you a cloth mumma or a disposable? xx

Welcome back to me…2015

Yay! Our Internet is finally all fixed and we are back in touch with the cyber world! We did really miss it but it was also good for us not to have constant access to email, social media and www. It wasn’t us that broke the net here it was something at the exchange box (I don’t really know) but we are backkkkkk.

Hoping you all had a jolly Christmas and festive New Years. Ours was a hectic whirlwind with visiting family members and a new baby.

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Bonnie (now 13 weeks) was so spoilt with gifts we were so incredibly blessed. We decided to share the love and donated a box of her things to Assist-a-sista. We aren’t trying to offend any wonderful gifters however,  with her being born in October then having  Christmas 10 weeks later we were heaving under the love and genorisity of family and friends. We felt we could help others by sharing the love around. Assist-a-sista is a volunteer community who support survivors of domestic violence rebuild their lives. This time our parcel went to them. You can check them out on facebook too.

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Have you made any goals for 2015? I gave up calling them resolutions in 2014 and tried to set a goal every month last year and put it in a jar so I could look back on it come year end. I really loved the idea and made up a chart like the one below. I modified it so we both fit on one chart (nb-I pinned the below goal chart from Pinterest but the link to the original source does not exist anymore.) We had a weekly and a monthly. I lasted about 3 months last year- hope you can do better! This year we have one big goal in the pipeline but I won’t share it just yet as it is still in ‘goal creation mode.’

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I have quite the list of things to talk about since my little break…you can expect a post at least every second day this year – unless the Internet wants to break up with me again…

Share your 2015 goal…..x

Working Out After Baby

Hello lovelies.

Today my little precious bundle is eight weeks old. The actual birth is a fading memory, yet I can’t believe she is two months old already. A fortnight ago I got the all clear from my OB to start working out again but she warned me to take it slow and not jump into anything heavy straight away. Somehow a fortnight passed and I still hadn’t done anything, until today.

Today, I began my post baby body journey. I have already been really conscious of my eating habits since Bonnie’s arrival as I didn’t want to upset milk supply and I didn’t want to upset her little tummy. I did manage to make her uncomfortable with berries, but this seems to have passed for now.

I know I need to do some serious work on my core to gain back control and of my pelvis. At 26 weeks pregnant I was diagnosed with acute SPD (Symphiysis Pubis Disorder.) I ended up hospitalised for 5 days, then crutches for a month and was on rest after that, so I stopped work, yoga and all movement from 26 weeks. Everytime it hurt, I was aggravating the condition and making it worse.After lots of physio and accepting the rest I was able to hold till full term and birth naturally. I only have a bit of stiffness to work through now. Needless to say my fitness levels took a major nose dive.

Before my bedrest days I was a fan of swimming, yoga and pilates. As a former elite swimmer the pool still comes naturally to me (although slower now.) I have practised yoga on and off for years and had dabbled in pilates a small amount but not until two years ago when I discovered Blogilates. I seriously love this girl and her pilates videos and it is allllllll free! The app is brilliant as all her videos are right there organised. Every month she puts out a new exercise routine to follow. She is super upbeat and happy and always gets me moving. I hope to use swimming, yoga and pilates to get my core, strength, flexibilty and overall health back on track.

Today, I went back to Blogilates Beginner’s Workout calendar. I lasted about two minutes before I realised I needed to take it back a further step. It was too much for my pelvis and core to start with. Not yet defeated I hit pinterest. In the early hours of feeding I had pinned a heap of post baby workouts and stretches, the stretches were what I was after. Along with needing to build strength, I need to stretchhhhhhh. I can feel very sore shoulders and neck building, from breastfeeding I presume.

This is what I ended up doing (I have hyperlinked the images for you.)

I started with these simple yoga stretches. I felt stiff and sore as soon as I lay on the ground. I played some relaxing music in the background to help get me in the mood. Bonnie was (and still is) napping in her bassinet.

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I found these in my pinning pile after I realised my back and shoulders were sore and continued with the quiet music focussing on breath and engaging core.

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Then I started working on my core. I didnt push it but made sure I could feel things working. I did lots of pelvic tilts as I felt the strongest with these.

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Finally, I gave my back a really good stretch and this felt great! The towel really helped me open up my back and shoulders.

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From today’s experience I am not planning on doing anything different for a while until I can get a good handle on these moves. I would like to throw in a swim or walk where I can as well.

NB – Remember to seek clearance from your doctor before starting any exercise. I am not at all an expert on fitness. This is what I have chosen to do from my experience with yoga, pilates and my physiotherapist.

What has your post baby health plan been?

x

Today’s Achievment

I write today’s post feeling proud of my accomplishments as the day draws to a close. Today I showered and crumbed the chicken for dinner.
That’s it.
You know what though, I am proud of it. I did not think I would be able to prep dinner at all and was totally prepared to eat toast or a bowl of cereal.
Yep, it’s been tough in our house the past 72 hours and last night I had 3 hours of sleep before Miss Bonnie woke, cried and cluster fed until the break of dawn. The Wonder Weeks app I mentioned the other day alerted us that she was in the ‘patterns’ change but we knew something was awry!

Anyway I got her to have a sleep at about 6.30am. I showered, had breakfast and then had about 2 hours in dreamland with her. The rest of the day has been feeding, changing and feeding- all in bed watching telly. It’s just that kind of day.

About a half hour ago, she had a cat nap and I quickly prepped dinner for later (something I like to do as dinner time seems to be chaotic here now.) I was so happy I got this done I couldn’t stop grinning.

Today, I just had to let it go and accept my fate for the day. I wasn’t going to get to steam the tiles, or scrub the bathroom (both on my mental ‘to do’ list.) I stayed calm and went with the flow. For me, and I think a lot of mumma bears this can be a hard thing to swallow.

I like to keep things tidy. I can’t lay around and relax if there are jobs to be done. I like to clean and organise the home and then totally chill with my mental household list checked off. So being able to let go of a whole day was a big leap for me. Also being proud of the small accomplishments I did get done. Not cursing the ones that didn’t get done!

It just dawned on me I managed to wash Bonnie’s cloth nappies and hang them out too! Even more fabulous!

As for hubby, I got a good one. He will be giving me a high five that dinner got prepped and nappies got washed too. He will be ecstatic that mental list of mine didn’t get a look in today.

That’s today’s post feeling proud for crumbing Jamie Oliver’s chicken pieces.

How was your day?

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Parenting apps

Living with iPhones and iPads only metres away all the time isnt always a great thing. However, two apps discovered in this household has been a life changer, In this instance I thank technology.

Firstly, as I said yesterday, I really didnt know any of Bonnie’s feeding or sleeping patterns or how long feeds would go. It was when our lovely GP asked me to think hard I realised it was all a fog and felt I definitely needed to know more about our bubba’s daily habits. I initially planned to write it all down and was instantly tired by the thought of it. “There must be an app” I muttered as I started scanning through the app store while nursing Bonnie the other day. Yep, there totally is and it is awesome!

The Baby Sprouts app is free or you can pay $6.49 (AUD) to upgrade to premium (which I ended up doing.) It tracks sleep, feeds (both breast and bottle), pumping, medications, activities, nappy changes, milestones and more. I am finding it super easy to use. When she falls asleep I open it up and hit ‘asleep’ and the timer starts. If I forget I can jump into the edit section and start the sleep/feed when it occurred. I can even enter an entirely missed activity too.

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You can look at the data in charts or a simple written overview. You can share it with a babysitter or hubby too so they can jump in and add data and everyone can see. Additional children seem easy to add as well.

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Being able to track Bonnie’s activities has been super easy using this and it runs in the background so once the timer starts you can make a call, jump on pinterest and cruise around the net. This was the tool that made me understand Bonnie’s habits more (except last night – I don’t know what she was up to!) I realised she has a big morning sleep around 8.30am – 9am then has another big sleep around 2pm.

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I thought her feeds were an hour long but they were half that! It just felt longer haha. I now know she has a couple of shorter feeds in the evening before she enters dreamland for the night. As a couple we enjoy sharing her day as hubby can jump on at work and see that she has had tummy time (I can add photos too) and mat play and he doesn’t feel so distanced by work.  We can also look at her milestones and see what is happening with her little self as the weeks continue.

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The second app we have used since arriving home is the Wonder Weeks app.

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A midwife at the hospital told us about it and it helped when Bonnie Mae hit her first milestone. She all of a sudden became really fussy and grisly. The Wonder Weeks told us she was going through a change and what to expect – it helped immensely and gave us first time parents tips on how to help her through it. We set up family sharing with our iTunes so we can share this app together and both track her development (in fact I think she hits another change soon!) You simply pop in the childs D.O.B and other info and it sorts all out for you.

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The baby face is where your child is at and the stormy clouds indicate a ‘change’ or ‘milestone’ period. It’s been fun to see where she is heading, but also helpful to know she is entering a time where she needs more support. (note ALL of today’s images are from baby sprout or wonder weeks – not my own.)

Have a wonderful weekend mumma bears… x

What apps or technology tools have you discovered and love?