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.

My Breast Pump Broke!!

Last night, I was expressing some milk for while I was at work today. I usually express the night before work, on the morning first thing, and I was about to start expressing once while at work. While I was expressing last night, my breast pump started sounding weird and I noticed that there was a buildup of milk, that wasn’t going into the bottle, all of a sudden the milk was spurting out of the motor part of the pump. I turned it off and the all that milk spilt into the bottle… No problem, I thought. I went to bed and forgot about it all.

This morning I made myself a coffee and some porridge and sat down to express. I turned the pump on, on the lowest setting and gradually turned it up, yet the suction didn’t change. I tried everything I could think of, changing the bottle, taking the whole thing apart and putting it back together again, new valves and membranes, but nothing worked. And that’s when I remembered that it had gone all funny last night.

Medela Breast Pump

It was broken! So I have spent all day scrolling through eBay trying to find a new (second hand) one – they are just too expensive to buy new, especially at such short notice. I’ve been bidding but keep loosing. I want the same one again, as it was good (until it broke), it was small and compact, it can be plugged in or run off batteries (perfect for when I’m at work or we go away).

I really hope I can get a new one fast, as I only have a small stash of milk in the freezer.

Back into the World of Work

As of yesterday, I am officially employed again. I decided to quit my previous job while I was on my maternity leave, as it simply would not be possible to do with having Isla and moving out of the area. That was two months ago, and I knew my maternity allowance was coming to an end soon, so I began looking for a new job in South Shields. I went for 3 interviews, at 3 totally different places. The first interview was for Greggs, I was unsuccessful. The second interview was for the Co-op Funeralcare, I didn’t hear back for quite a while. The third interview was for Weatherspoons, I was unsuccessful again. I carried on applying for different jobs, when I received a phone call asking if I was still interested in the position at the Co-op, I said “yes, definitely, thank you” and the process began. The long, drawn out process of screening checks, as working in such a place required a short DBS check.

I’m not going to lie, I thought I was never going to actually start work! The screening checks took such a long time as I had quite a few gaps in my employment history, with being at university and having Isla, nonetheless, I did hear back. I received a text message late one night, apologising for the delay and asking when would be a good time for me to attend an induction. Which brings us to yesterday, I had to be at the funeral home for 9AM and I was to wear whatever I felt comfortable in (thank goodness). I had arranged for my Mum to babysit, so I got up, I expressed and fed Isla’s, got dressed and left instructions with my Mum.

I met all of the other staff and was given a tour of the building. I was told what I had to do, to clean, dust and vacuum the reception area, the chapel and arranging rooms, clean the toilets and kitchens. My hours were to be 9AM until 12PM on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I thought, how hard can it be? I was quite confident about starting, I had worked as a cleaner for 2 years. I went in today for my first real day, they haven’t had a cleaner for about a year, people had been doing what they could have to keep the visible areas tidy, but it needed a good clean. I started at the bottom today and tidied everywhere, then moved upstairs, and before I knew it, it had been 3 hours. I hadn’t managed to get everywhere done, which will be what I do on Friday. Once I have done all that needs to be done this week, it will just be a matter of keeping on top of it.

As for leaving Isla, I was really anxious, it was the longest I had been away from her, and recently she has not been in the best of moods, I believe she currently has separation anxiety. However, she was an absolute star for my Mum, and apparently didn’t even know I was gone. The funny thing is, I came home at lunch time today and when she saw me she realised I hadn’t been there and burst into tears. I wish I had it on video! A quick cuddle and feed, and she was fine.

Here is a photo of her waiting for her Nanna to give her breakfast.

Now I just have to find the energy to vacuum at home…