Camping With Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapering on a camping trip… I know what you’re thinking. Madness! Well no, actually, it’s not. The idea might seem a bit scary, but it is 100% possible with a bit of preparation. If you’re wanting to take reusable diapers camping there are two questions you need to ask yourself.

How long are you going to be away for? And what facilities will there be?

How long your trip is will determine if you need to wash your diapers, reusable diapers shouldn’t really sit around waiting to be washed for more than 3 days – I’ve heard some horror stories about mould and mildew growing on dirty diapers. If you are only going for a couple of nights, you can get away with just dry pailing and then just washing once you’re home.

Camping seems to create a lot of laundry anyway, so what’s another load? If you will be camping for longer than 3 days, you will need to do a wash. Which brings us to the second question.

Some campsites will have laundering facilities if this is the case you just need to remember to bring your washing powder and some change and you can wash and dry as you would at home. Others will not have washing and drying facilities, but might still have clean running water, all this means is you need to handwash your diapers. For this, you will need your washing powder, a large bucket, a plunger and rubber gloves. You’ll need to scrape the poo off your diaper/liner into the toilet, then presoak them for 30 minutes (laminated items only for 10 minutes) in warm water with a pinch of detergent. You then need to remove diapers and refill bucket with cold water, detergent and diapers, now you will need to plunge at least 50 times, let the diapers sit in the water for around 30 minutes and then plunge again another 20 times. Empty and refill the bucket with cold water, plunge until the soapy water is gone. Now just hang your diapers to dry. If you do not have access to warm water extend your presoak time.

How many diapers should you take and what kind? You probably already have an idea of how many diapers your child goes through in a day, multiply by 3 and add your night diapers. This way you have enough for 3 days or to wash every other day. I personally would pack an extra one or two, (I don’t know about you but when I go on vacation I always pack extra pants) you know just in case… As for what kind of diapers to take, take what you are confident work for you and your child, don’t take a bunch of brand new diapers that you’ve never used before. Prefolds and wraps will take up the least space when packing, but it is easy enough to stuff 20 pocket diapers into a wet/dry hanging bag or if you only have one really big wet/dry bag, do what I did and just take a big laundry sack!

If you plan to dry pail you will need somewhere to store your soiled diapers, a large wet bag, a bucket with a lid or even a bin liner will work for that. You will also want a smaller wetbag for when you’re not at the campsite.

It’s really not so different from cloth diapering when you’re at home, it will just take a bit of planning.

keeping baby cool

Keeping Baby Cool During Hot Summer

We have had highs of 35 Degrees Celcius in the UK recently, something we really are not used to! Although now it is cooler and the sky is grey, the hot weather is set to return next week. It is extremely important to keep little ones cool. Here are some things that we have been doing to stop Izzy from getting too hot.

Lots of fluids! Breastfeed more often, when the weather is hotter and baby needs more to drink, our very clever bodies change the makeup of our breastmilk to meet our babies needs. If your baby is formula fed, you can give water (cooled boiled if under 6 months) between their normal bottles.

Give refreshing snacks (for babies over 6 months) such as cucumber sticks or a breast milk ice lolly.

Thin, loose clothing, such as a loose dress or a t-shirt which is a little bit big. When it has been very hot, you might even want to forget about the vest. On a night time, Isla has been sleeping in just a nappy & sleepsuit/vest (depending on the temperature in the room) with a very thin blanket.

Do not cover pram with anything, it might seem like you are doing good by keeping the sun off your baby, however, it can be extremely dangerous, as it actually makes it hotter in the pram for your baby, it prevents the air from circulating. I found this graph from Which? extremely helpful. pushchair overheat covered

Keeping your baby in the shade and try to avoid going out during the hours of 11AM-3PM, as this is when the sun is highest in the sky and therefore the hottest time of day.

Close the blinds. Open the windows. Keeping the blinds closed during the day can help keep the room cool and opening the windows will create a through draft.

A cooler bath before bedtime can keep baby at a nice temperature. Try and do relaxing things before bed, so that baby does not get worked up or excited.

Enjoy the hot weather!

Why Is My Baby So Clingy?

Have you noticed that your baby has become quite clingy recently? Isla has always been a high-needs baby, but over the past month or so she has definitely been more clingy, crying more often and being more cranky.

The most likely reason for this is because at around 7 months babies go through a cognitive leap. During this leap, your baby will begin to realise that you and she are separate people. This is often referred to as “separation anxiety”, you may notice your baby becomes very upset when you leave her, whether that be for a few seconds to go to the loo, or a few hours to go to work. She doesn’t yet understand that when you leave the room, it isn’t for good and you’re coming back.

Up until now, your baby has thought of herself and you as one person, a single unit. And why wouldn’t she? After 9 months of being physically attached to you, it makes sense that it would take a while for your little one to start to learn that they are their own person.

So how can you help your baby through this?

  • Try and leave baby with people they know and see regularly (e.g. Dad or Grandma)
  • Have some routine to when you leave her and who you leave her with, for example, if you are going to work, it would be the same time each day. This way, your baby will begin to learn that when she is left with X person at breakfast time, Mummy will come back
  • When you leave baby, also leave something you wear often, such as a pajama top, your scene will be comforting to baby
  • It is a good idea to say “goodbye, I’ll be back soon” to your baby when you leave her, as she will begin to associate this with what is happening
  • It is better for your baby to see you leave, that way she will not panic when she realises you are not there.

Separation anxiety is generally something your baby will grow out of in time. Yes, it can be a very hard time for both Mum and baby, but there is light at the end of the tunnel!

10 essentials hospital bag

10 Essentials For Your Hospital Bag

There is no knowing when your baby will make their appearance, so it is a good idea to pack your hospital bag a couple of weeks before your due date. Knowing your bag is pre-packed and is sitting by the door will be a huge weight off your mind. Not only do you have to pack for yourself, but you have to pack for your new baby too.

baby clothes hospital bag

There are lots of things you are going to need during your labour and after birth, here are my 10 essentials:

1. Your birth plan (if you have one) and medical notes

A birth plan is a great idea, it can make you feel a little more in control of the situation. You might want to make a plan that is quite open to change, for example, you might want a certain type of music on while in labour, who you want to be your birth partners, how you feel about student midwives being present. When you first get on to the maternity ward, it can feel like there is a lot going on and you might not have time to speak about your wishes for your labour and birth, having a birthing plan makes it quick and easy to communicate your wishes.

2. A comfortable nightgown

Wearing a nightgown of your own can help you relax during your labour, no one really wants to be stuck in one of those open back hospital gowns! If you are planning to breastfeed it might be worth buying a nightgown with buttons down the front.

3. A phone charger

Who knows how long you will be in the hospital for? You will definitely need your phone on full charge so that you can take lots of beautiful pictures of your newborn once they are here, you will also want to let friends and family know that you’ve had the baby, and maybe to play some games while in labour to distract and pass the time.

4. Going home outfit for baby

Babies can not regulate their temperature when they are first born, it is good to take something nice and warm for baby to go home in. Remeber not to choose anything too complicated, a simple cute sleepsuit will suffice.

5. Toiletries

You will definitely want to take a shower after giving birth, so don’t forget your shampoo, body wash and toothpaste. Natural products will be gentle and soothing on your skin, such as Almond Milk & Honey shower cream from The Body Shop. Oh, and don’t forget lip balm!

6. Maternity pads and extra pants

The hospital might provide you with a couple of maternity pads, but this is something you can definitely not overpack. Extra pants which you don’t mind getting ruined and chucking out, or even disposable pants for afterwards.

7. Snacks

For yourself and your birthing partner. You will be provided with food, however, your partner will not. Flapjacks and dried fruits are a good choice, as they are easy to eat and will also provide you with energy, which you will be needing!

8. Nappies for baby

This one is a no-brainer. Some hospitals may provide nappies, but it’s best not to take the risk.

9. Comfortable clothes for you going home

You don’t want to be going home dressed up to the nines, a pair of leggings and a baggy t-shirt will do.

10. A few big bottles of water

Maternity wards are very busy places, it could take a while for the midwives to refill your water jug, so why not just take your own water bottles. You will need to drink plenty of water during labour.

What were your hospital bag essentials? Tell me in the comments below.

Cloth Nappies: Washing, Drying and Storage.

When you chose to have a child, you signed on the dotted line for more laundry. If you have a good wash routine and a decent sized stash, you don’t really have to have that much more work to do when it comes to cloth diapering full time. Read why I chose to use cloth nappies here.

What Happens To The Poo?

Firstly, let me point out that if your baby is exclusively breastfed (no formula or solids), then washing is super easy for you, you just chuck the soiled nappy straight in the wash, because a breastfed babies poop is water-soluble. Okay, so what about formula fed babies or babies who are eating solids? When it comes to weaning poop (or formula poo), you’re gonna want to have a poop spatula or knife or spoon, just whatever works for you. We have a lovely pink spatula from Poundworld, it sits beside the toilet. The more solids your baby eats, the easier the poo is to scrape off, as obviously your babies poo becomes more solid.

cloth diaper storage This is our storage system (and half of our stash)

How Often To Wash?

This question depends on how many nappies you own. I probably have around 35 reusable nappies, but there are a few that I really don’t like, I only use them if we are behind on washing/drying and are desperate. Let’s say there 28 nappies that we actually use, I could get away with washing every 3 days, however, to be safe I like to wash every other (and I only have 5 night nappies).

The Actual Wash… (I am washing mostly pocket nappies)

You’ve flushed your poo, now what?

  • Pre-wash – A cold rinse cycle with no detergent and no softener (on my machine this cycle runs for 50 minutes)
  • Main Wash – A long 40 Degree wash, not an eco wash, with detergent but no softener (this is a 2 hour cycle for us)
  • Rinse – A spin (this is a 10 minute quick spin just to take out extra water)

What Detergent Should I Use?

When choosing a detergent to wash reusable nappies with, it is best to look for something which has natural ingredients, and manufacturers often recommend a detergent in powder form. In our house we use Miofresh, which is a nappy cleanser, plus LIDL own brand washing powder. And NO SOFTENER.


Line Dry Or Tumble Dry?

The answer is either!

Line drying is great, it saves you money since you don’t need put the tumble drier on. Sunlight is a natural stain remover, so all those nasty poo stains will magically disappear! The only downside to line drying is that it is weather permitting, and in England, it’s sometimes quite hard to predict the weather.

Tumble drying is great because it is fast and makes your boosters feel super soft. Always tumble dry on a low heat, and try to avoid putting anything PUL in, so your shells and pockets shouldn’t go in.

In our house, if the weather is nice they’re on the line and then a “freshen up” in the dryer. If it’s not nice weather, the pockets/shells go on the radiators (which are rarely on) and the boosters go in the dryer.


Sorting And Storing

I usually stuff my nappies on a nighttime while watching the TV, but before stuffing them I put all my inserts in piles of what material they are, which makes it much easier as I just grab one from the microfiber pile and one from the bamboo pile.

You can see above how I store our nappies, I usually put my favourite ones towards the front, night nappies and extra inserts are on the shelf below. Everyone has a different storage system and it’s just finding what works best for you.

Victoria @ TheGrowingMum keeps most of hers under the changing table but has a few stored downstairs too. victoriaBoth Sarah @ TobyGoesBananas and Paige @ PaigeAndTheTeaParty use an IKEA kallax for storage.

It’s not so hard after all. It just takes a little getting used to.

Find lots of great information from The Nappy Lady.

Info on how to srip and sanitize your nappies here.