Cloth nappy trial review!

I have looked at cloth nappies from a distance since I was pregnant but was never brave enough to give them a go for a number of reasons:

1.            Disposables were familiar and sometimes it is easier to stick with what you know

2.            The initial cost of the nappies can be quite high

3.            I thought they would be too much hassle, adding to my already bottomless pile of laundr

So I stuck to disposables and never tried them until recently when I was sent a trial pack of cloth nappies from the Cloth Nappy Library and I can tell you, it was an interesting experience.

How it works…..

You log onto www.clothnappylibrary.ie and book your trial for dates that suit you. There are several different trial types you can choose from:

1.       Newborn nappy loan (20 nappies for 6 weeks at €45)

2.       Nappy trial kits (10 nappies for 3 weeks at €25)-this is the one I got

3.       Bed wetting kit (6 pull-ups for 3 weeks at €26)

4.       Long term nappy loan (10 nappies for 9 months at €30)

5.       Potty training (10 training pants for 3 weeks at €26)

There is also a facility to extend your loan as long as there is availability or you kit isn’t due to be sent to someone else.

Once your kit is booked, it arrives around the date you have chosen. The bag contains everything you need to get a good picture of whether the “fluffy” way of life is for you. Shortly before the end of your trial period, they even send you a reminder.

What is included?

My trial kit contained a variety of types and styles of cloth nappies, liners and inserts, two wet bags for storing soiled/wet nappies before they are washed, picture guides as to what is included and what goes with what and care instructions. They also include a return postage label so literally everything is included.

So what do I think of cloth nappies?

While I cant see myself completely turning my back on disposables, I will definitely use cloth alongside disposables. I have definitely come around to the idea of cloth nappies and I love the patterns and designs they come in. The fact that they are a money-saving, environmentally friendly option is a bonus. They are easier to use than I thought (I’m not sure what I thought beforehand, nappies are hardly rocket science) but they do take a bit of adjustment.

The main hurdles for me were:

1.       Learning how each type of nappy (pocket, all in one etc) works.

2.       Learning what way each one needed to be adjusted to fit Penny’s size.

3.       Getting use to non-disposable dirty nappies (including one or two explosions).

All in all, it was a positive experience for me. The laundry issue was nowhere near as bad as I envisioned, I was not knee deep in a pile of wet and dirty nappies, it turned out to be two washes a week!

And what is the verdict on the Nappy trial kit?

The Nappy loans from the Cloth Nappy Library are a great idea; low cost, convenient and a great way to try before you buy. The trial kits are very well put together, they literally include everything you need right down to picture guides showing what liner/insert goes with what nappy and fool-proof care instructions. A perfect kit for cloth nappy virgins like myself. So if you are curious or fancy trying them out without the large outlay involved when buying them, take a look or visit them on Facebook. There are also local chat groups on Facebook and if you want to meet cloth nappy enthusiasts for advice or tips on using them, there are regular local “Nappuccino’s” which take place nationwide.

Disclaimer: I was sent products on loan in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed are my own.

Advertisements

Celebrating National Breastfeeding Week 1st-7th October 2017

I haven’t mentioned breastfeeding to date on my blog, mostly because I am a believer that it doesn’t matter how your child is fed, once they are fed. Don’t get me wrong i would advocate breastfeeding as being of huge benefit for mother and baby but it frustrates me enormously when I see such a divide between mothers who make different choices for their babies. I believe we all need to do what’s best for us and our babies and that we should have each other’s back not tear each other down.

Anyway, back to my point! This week is National Breastfeeding Week and it got me thinking about my own journey with breastfeeding to date.

Penny is 8 months and I am still breastfeeding, though not exclusively. I applaud those that do it exclusively for a year or more but it just didn’t fit with my life and I won’t apologise for that. I love breastfeeding, it has been the perfect way for me to make sure I have time with just penny (which can be hard with 3 kids).

I have put together a list of things I want boobing mammies to know, not to scare or put them off feeding but more to let them know it’s all normal. (Disclaimer: if you feel something is wrong or just not normal, get it checked. I am not an expert by any means).

1. Niplash is a thing. This is when baby decides to have a good look around while remaining firmly attached to you. Who knew nipples were so stretchy!

2. Biting. Unfortunately some babies bite when they get teeth. It’s usually only temporary and there are things you can do to help. Usually unlatching for a minute distracts them enough to stop the biting. 

3. Feeding makes you sleepy. It could be because it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling or it could be because they are literally sucking the life out of you. Either way you will be wrecked mama!

4. Friends and family who have breastfed before will become an invaluable source of advice and a great sounding board. Forget Dr. Google, these ladies will become your Encyclopedia Breastannica!

5. Thrush. If baby gets Thrush, it can pass to your nipples and back again. If you suspect Thrush which hasn’t cleared in a few days, see your doctor.

6. Trifecta of pain. Mastitis, blocked ducts and cracked nipples are a very unfortunate possible side effect of feeding. They can happen as a result of over-supply, poor latch or a whole host of other reasons. They can happen individually or all at once and they are agony (feels like you are being stabbed by tiny knives while your boob is about to explode). A trip to the doctor is often necessary. Don’t suffer in silence. There are no medals available if you do.

7. Leaking. Ah yes this is great! Don’t even look at a baby unless you are wearing breast pads. Breast pads are your best friend now. The boobs can leak a lot at the start as your supply settles. The rule of thumb with milk production is the more you feed, the more you make so during cluster feeding that is pretty much 24/7. Even after a while, leakage can happen if you leave it too long to feed. Recently I was doing tan on my legs for a wedding and noticed something was dripping on me…..It was me! 😂😂😂 I laughed as i pumped, removed the tan and started again. Oh the glamour!

8. Latch issues. This is probably the most frustrating thing at the start. It can take weeks to get the latch right as baby is just learning to perfect their suck reflex. It’s not easy but keep trying. I found the flipple technique worked really well (Google or youtube it for tips).

9. Contractions in the early days. Oh god this came as a bit of a shock to me. During the first few days, you may have aftershock pains during feeds as your womb contracts back to normal size. Not pleasant!

10. Cluster feeding. You may be lucky and escape this but most baby’s have days/weeks where they feed around the clock. They are growing rapidly in the early days and trying to trigger your milk production so while it’s frustrating it’s a good thing!

11. The clothes. The range of clothes available for feeding is sh*t. Most are maternity and nursing which is fine except most people don’t still look 9 months pregnant when they are feeding (it’s common to retain some weight but unlikely that you will still have a big round bump). Don’t get me started on nursing bras….ugly, non-wired granny bras seem to be the standard here. It’s like you don’t need to feel good because you are busy feeding. I also found myself having to double layer in order to avoid showing my stomach if I wore a normal top  when feeding in public which is not ideal in summer!

12. Not everyone loses weight. You may have heard that breastfeeding gets rid of baby weight almost immediately. This isn’t the case for everyone. In some cases it happens slowly, for some not at all. Part of the problem is that breastfeeding makes you hungry so you might have the urge to eat all round you.

13. The unquenchable thirst (& hunger).  As I mentioned, you might get really hungry but nothing prepared me for the thirst. I had constant dry mouth, especially in the beginning. I always make sure I have a drink beside me when I feed her now to make sure I stay hydrated.

14. It’s all you. Choosing to breastfeed can be a massive commitment as every feed is your responsibility but remember that once feeding is established, you can try to introduce expressed bottles so your partner can help with feeds and maybe you can get a full nights sleep, go for a walk or catch up with friends without worry.

15. It’s hard. Make no mistake breastfeeding is tough. There will be days where you want to stop, days where you resent your other half because they don’t have boobs and days where you are so exhausted, you can barely open your eyes. Breastfeeding is not for the faint hearted.

With all this in mind, there are a few things to remember:

1. You are not failing if it doesn’t work, stop putting pressure on yourself. No-one can tell you whether to breast or bottle feed, it is a personal choice but whatever you choose, don’t ever feel you are failing if it’s not working. Keep trying, you are doing a great job. 

2. There is help available. Local cuidiu and la leche league groups are great for support and social interaction. Your gp and public health nurse are a great help too. If things are really not going well and you don’t want to quit feeding, there are certified lactation consultants you can hire to come to your house to help and advise on things like latch technique, feeding positions and expressing. You can find them by location here.

3. It will settle. All of the issues and difficulties you might experience at the start will settle and feeding will get easier. Once it does, you might even forget how hard it was!

4. The internet is one source of info but there are professionals available to advise on safe medications etc…dont rely on search engines/forums to give you medical advice. If you are worried or need to know if something is safe, ask your doctor or a pharmacist as they are the only ones qualified to give such advice!

5. The benefits outweigh the drawbacks so give yourself a pat on the back! If you breastfeed even for one feed, give yourself the kudos you deserve. Every feed has benefits so don’t put yourself down for not doing more. You are doing well to give any!
Enjoy it while it lasts, you might miss it when it’s over and when the time comes to stop, the last feed can be bitter sweet so roll with it!

Tooth fairy plate review

The lovely ladies at The crafty Sisters recently sent me this adorable plate for my little guy in exchange for an honest review. 

I am a big fan of handmade and bespoke gifts and I think this ceramic plate is perfect for a child Jack’s age (6) who is starting to get excited at the prospect of the tooth fairy visiting. As we know, the tooth fairy can sometimes find it difficult to get the tooth from under the pillow without waking the child so this is the perfect solution!

This plate retails at €12 & €6pp (free delivery in Dublin and some surrounding areas) and can be ordered through their Facebook page. Their range is not limited to tooth fairy plates, they have a whole host of personalised gifts available and I for one can’t wait to see their Christmas range. 

To see what they have to offer pop over and give them a like on Facebook. They have kindly given my followers a 10% discount if they mention “seriouslymammy”. 

Disclaimer: I was sent this product in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed in this post are entirely my own.

To my not-so-little girl on your 10th birthday

Ella,

This day ten years ago, I held you for the first time. The first person in the world who would ever call me mammy. The pain of labour and chaos of an emergency section disappeared in an instant when you wrapped your little hand around my finger and melted my heart.

I was young and only figuring out who I was but I knew the moment I held you, I would do everything in my power to keep you safe. I can’t put into words how proud I am of you.

Every day, I see more of the person you are becoming; you are thoughtful, kind, funny, gullible, stubborn and so intelligent. It is becoming clearer with each passing day that my little girl is no longer little but sometimes I see glimpses of the little girl who called me her best friend and I hope that in the future you will think that way again some day.

I know that the next few years will be hard on both of us. There will be moments when you will hate me, moments when I just don’t understand you and times where we will both say things we don’t mean in the heat of an argument. There will be times when my best won’t be good enough and I will fail at being a mother but just know there will be more good days than bad.

You have taken to being a big sister with patience and grace, as you do with everything. You have been a rock, a steady guidance for your brother and now your baby sister. You have been my right hand while your dad has been away and I would be lost without you. No matter how frustrated I get with the things you do, I will always have your back and I know I can count on you to have mine. I realise the things that frustrate me are the parts of myself I see in you. 

Today is hard for me as I realise that one day when I wasn’t looking, you stopped holding my hand but I know that means I am doing my job. 

So today as you celebrate your first day in double digits, I want to give you a few pieces of advice:

1. Be yourself. I know that people say it all the time but the best thing you can do is be yourself, everyone else is taken. This way you can always be sure people like you for who you are.

2. Stand up for what you believe in. Learn to fight your corner but equally learn what battles are worth fighting

3. Follow your dreams. If there is something that you truly believe it, that puts fire in your belly, chase it. See the world if that’s what you want because if you Don’t, one day you will wish you had.

4. Laugh until your face hurts. Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter can fix everything. Never forget how to laugh and learn to make others laugh. They will love you for it.

5. Good friends are worth their weight in gold. You can never truly appreciate the value of good friends. They are the family you choose for yourself. Cherish them.

6. Work hard but let yourself fail sometimes. It is important knowing when to put in the work but failure is good for you, you can leave a lot by letting yourself fail sometimes.

7. Stop and smell the roses. Don’t be in such a rush wishing your life away that you miss what is going on around you. Stop and take in the world. Appreciate the little things.

8. Don’t hold a grudge. Resentment only hurts you. Don’t let it poison you.

9. Don’t waste a minute. Today is further proof that life goes by in the blink of an eye so grab it with both hands. Life won’t wait for you to be ready to live it.

10. It’s not all about you. While your world revolves around you right now, other people’s world don’t. Remember that you are important but you are not the centre of  the unuverse. 

Above all, never forget that I love you baby girl and I always will x

Bakerdays Review!

What is better than cake? Well cake delivered direct to your door of course! To celebrate my blogs first birthday recently, I was kindly sent a delicious item to review and let me tell you….it was by far one of the best things I have gotten in the post for quite a while!

Bakerdays offer a truly unique service; a delicious cake delivered straight to your door! They have loads of flavour options including sponge, chocolate, lemon drizzle and fruit cake. The letterbox size option is 5″ but they have bigger sizes available too. They also do cupcakes and balloons which can be personalised so there is something for all occasions and budgets. There are a wide variety of preset designs to choose from or you can contact them directly if you have a particular design in mind.

So what did I think?

I chose the letterbox sized chocolate option and had it personalised. It arrived quickly and in perfect condition, nicely packaged. It was fresh, moist and delicious. It tasted like a giant brownie. My kids loved it too and it lasted all of 5 mins once we opened it! I will definitely be ordering from bakerdays again soon.

If you are looking for a unique idea to brighten someone’s day, bakerdays have you covered. Check out their website for options and designs. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter! 

Disclaimer: I was sent this product in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed are my own.

The beginning of the end….

Here I am, a week away from returning to work, where have the last 8 months gone? The last week of the last time I will be a stay at home mammy (even writing that fills me with dread) has arrived.

I have loved being at home these last few months getting to know my gorgeous girl Penny and having some much needed time with Ella and Jack. Don’t get me wrong, there have been several moments of exhaustion and longing to get back to normal life but I am so glad I have had this time at home, I just wish it didn’t have to end so soon. 

This week alone Penny has learned to clap hands and has gotten her first two teeth (maybe she is trying to make sure I don’t miss it) and it has just made me think about what I will miss….i will probably miss her first crawl, stand and walk. The thing I dread most is the fact that I know within days Penny will have adjusted to her new routine and will be completely fine. Me? I’m not so sure.

Oh I know I’m being a bit melodramatic here and that I’m not the first or last woman in the world to do this, I’ve done it twice before, but this time feels so much harder because I know that once I’m back, time will slip away from me and they will start growing in the blink of an eye again without me even noticing. Being at home means you see it more gradually I think.

So to snap myself out of this dread, I have decided instead to focus on the good things about going back to work. Here are my top 5:

1. A hot cup of tea

I think this is top of everyones lists for what they love about being in work. To actually finish a cup while it’s still hot! This is especially important to those with toddlers at home…..it can seem like forever since you had a hot cup of tea or enjoyed a nice coffee without having someone trying to grab it or putting it down half way through to deal with a fall or toilet emergency! The same can be said for lunch, you can eat the entire thing without someone looking longingly at it (unless you have a strange colleague) and you don’t have to think about whether somewhere is child friendly in terms of high chairs and buggy access if you go out for lunch!

2. Adult Conversation

This is another big one for most parents. While time at home with little ones is precious, the conversation can be quite one sided or can consist entirely of baby talk/nursery rhymes and describing what you are doing. These are all great for your little ones development but it can feel like you have completely lost the plot when that is your only conversation in an entire day. You end up vomiting all adult conversation at your partner within 5 minutes of their return from work just to feel normal!

3. No drool covered shoulders

You can finally walk around in clean clothes without discovering random stains on shoulders, knees and cuffs throughout the day. You can do your hair and not worry about it being pulled. You can wear your good clothes, even a pair of heels if you are feeling adventurous without wondering if you can run around after a toddler in what you have on. You will finally spend more than half of every day looking, feeling and sounding like a fully fledged grown up.

4. The big welcome home

The hugs and smiles you get after a day at work, especially in those first few days, make it so worth it. It is like your children’s way of saying you are doing the right thing, you have earned this. The little people genuinely can’t wait to see you in the evenings and tell you their news or just have a cuddle and my god they are the best cuddles you will ever get.

5. Normal bras

Any of the breastfeeding mommas will be with me on this one….nursing bras are a great invention, a functional necessity when you are feeding your little one but they are not exactly pretty. They are as basic as basic comes and generally not underwired so not really supportive either. I actually can’t wait until I can choose any bra I like instead of wondering if it will work for feeding. The same can be said for clothing. The range of nursing clothing is so limited, expensive and generally is meant for pregnant and nursing women so just looks baggy once your tummy goes down after those first few weeks. I do look forward to wearing whatever I like without examining it for ease of feeding! I think a shopping trip is justified to make sure I look the part for work, don’t you!

So that’s what I am looking forward to, let me know if there is something I haven’t thought of….i’d love your thoughts!