The blind leading the blind? Who’s in charge here?

Since when did I become the one dishing out parenting advice? This morning I found myself ending a message with the legend ‘You can never have too many muslins’ while wishing a friend good luck on leaving the house with her newborn baby girl.

A few hours later it dawned on me just how far we’ve come from that point.

I still remember Adam’s first trip out to the Broughton Deli (still a regular hangout now; he has his regular highchair and we share lunch). He was snuggled into a stretchy wrap and we fussed about whether he was warm enough/too warm, if he would suffocate and if we had enough spare nappies etc for the 200 yard walk. I was all at sea, and my enduring memory is of a sense of ordered chaos. Its a fond memory now but seems like decades ago. A different me, a different Adam.

And what a learning curve it’s been. I want to caveat any advice I give you, should you be a new parent in my company: feel free to ignore me. Advice gets hurled at you from each and every direction in those first few weeks and months. Take on board the stuff that you like the sound of; that sits well with who you are; that suits the way you want to live. The rest is entirely redundant and belongs to another sort of parent.

What would I have done differently? Not much, actually. I believe you need to make your own mistakes to learn independently – something I’m trying to pass on to Adam now as he goes through some massive developmental changes.

I’d maybe have avoided springing out of bed to lift Adam as the first sob rang out of his cute wee bake; he’d maybe be able to settle himself to sleep by now (at 10 months I’ve still got to be in the room for him to nod off). Meh, he’ll do it eventually. I never heard of a three year old who couldn’t fall asleep on their own.

I’ve read a few articles about child development and been interested to find that independent learning is really important for babies. We’re conditioned to intervene almost constantly to keep babies doing what we want them to do, and stop them doing what we don’t. We engage them in structured play and games, songs and stories. We take them to classes and playgroups. We get disappointed when they don’t listen or take part, and allow ourselves to feel guilty or inadequate for that.

Since I stopped worrying about this (along with the sleep, the pressure to do baby led weaning, and the eternal fear that he will be emotionally damaged by something I must be doing wrong) and started letting him ‘free play’ I’ve seen how much fun babies can have when they just use their imagination.

We have a story at bedtime – most of the time he grabs the book (which has a cut out hole on the front cover) and opens it so he can ‘peep’ at me through the window. Once the hilarity of that is over with he will tolerate me reading to him because its a habit now. I know some babies love books and it used to vex me that Adam’s main interest involves trying to eat them.

But then I see him crawl over to his toybox and pull himself up to stand peering into it. He will carefully select what he wants and then spend a while interacting with toys, cruising around different parts of the room, overcoming physical obstacles and whooping with delight at inanimate objects. He doesn’t need any input at all! What is lovely is that he frequently comes over to me to ‘touch base’, give me a toy or pull me down for a cuddle, to make sure I’m watching. He knows I’m there and he feels secure enough to play independently – learning all the time.

So can’t a new parent learn this way too? I feel like I struggled to follow advice from books and websites and peers, to the point where my brain began to fizz and I found myself feeling quite down – as though I was a bit of a failure for not managing all the things I felt I should.

No one was harder on me than… well, me. And yet I’m still rushing to suggest stuff to new mums. I’ve reflected on this today and while I know its just out of a desire to help, I want to be mindful about it. Unsolicited advice can be helpful but can also weirdly make you feel under pressure, like you’re a sandwich short of the full picnic. I don’t want to perpetuate that so I’ll stick to answering questions I’m asked, and making sure my proverbial door is always open.

If I want Adam to learn anything from me, its that he can be confident and have faith in himself. I think I have been on an amazing journey over the past ten months, and have learned a huge amount – most of it just simply through experience. There is just no substitute for ‘on the job training’.

But it IS true, you really cannot ever have too many muslins.

I let him go and do what he wanted at the Mela. Turned out he wanted to join a Senegalese drum circle.

I let him go and do what he wanted at the Mela. Turned out he wanted to join a Senegalese drum circle.

 

Nine months later…

So pipsqueak has been keeping me very busy, and as ever the blog slips down my agenda. It’s situated below items such as ‘veg out on sofa once baby is asleep’, ‘remember to cook and eat food’, and my favourite ‘try and do housework’.

I often think about it though, and think I really must keep it up. And promptly move on to the next thing, mainly looking after Adam or sitting, eyes glazed, scrolling through Facebook until my thumb hurts. So here’s the latest.

I cleverly thought I’d fill some space by asking for guest blogs. The problem? I asked Dads. I asked Jamie who is even more frazzled than me in the evenings, as he has been at work all day being busy and important. And I asked my friend M, who is a dad to twins. ‘Nuff said. So there may be a couple of dad blogs to look out for.

Adam is almost nine months old now. He can sit up, roll over, pick stuff up and feed himself, and he can crawl around like a wee creepy crawly. I’m thrilled to see him growing and learning but it astonishes me that just nine months ago he was a tiny, sleepy bundle of hiccups and new baby smell, and he has changed so much. And THEN my mind gets blown when I think about how much he grew and developed in the first nine months when he was, er, in utero, so to speak. From the teeny wee space prawn we saw on our first scan to the full term baby, those 40 weeks were intense!

We are determined to make the most of this time while he is growing so fast, and I don’t want to wish his babyhood away. Except for one thing that is. I’m counting the days hours and minutes until he sleeps consistently through the night. I’m devastated to find that my sweet little baby is in a minority (supposedly) of babies who don’t sleep through by nine months. And I can look forward to further sleep regression between 9-12 months too. I honestly don’t think Adam’s sleep could regress any more!

My my friends with babies who do sleep all night are sympathetic, and I get sick of hearing myself repeat the same tired phrases like “this too shall pass” and trying to stay optimistic. So pass already! I’ve done my time, seriously. I’ll do whatever you like and I mean whatever.

On the seemingly random occasions when Adam does sleep through I no longer get excited, metaphorically hand-rubbing and thinking “this is it!”. No, I just try and be thankful for the extra sleep and attempt to replicate the following day minute for minute in case routine and diet have anything to do with it. They don’t.

Now that Beelzebub can crawl and sit up etc he does that in his cot and it can be quite comical to find him staring through the bars like a convict. But it’s hard to maintain a sense of humour when you’ve not slept more than four consecutive hours for nine months.

Believe me I have scoured books and the web, I’ve interrogated the parents of good sleepers, I’ve honed my routine and even changed it completely, and I’ve never quite cracked the code. But I haven’t done ‘controlled crying’ because wee Adam cries in the night for me, and at 4am I’m not doing anything more important than dealing with his needs. He’s only a baby for a short while, and I can sleep when he’s ready to let me.

Any time you like, boyo.

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Does my baby look big in this? …a blog about babywearing

My friend Jen had her little girl a couple of years ago and opened my eyes to the world of babywearing. I was naive, married but not-yet-pregnant and wide eyed listening to her tell me about slings, carriers, buckles and wraps. It seemed to be a bit of a secret members’ club – a bit like the nappy thing. But the foundations of the whole idea make a lot of sense, after all parents have been carrying their babies in slings for centuries – millenia in fact.

It’s become rather trendy to sport your little one on your front or back in a funky wrap, and as well as seeing an increasing number of mamas and papas ‘babywearing’ in public (even spotted someone in Dungloe, Co. Donegal) I’ve found that there is a thriving online community on Facebook as well as countless blogs, brands and other related information. It’s not just for hippies (but you could be forgiven for thinking it at first glance) and it’s sweeping the UK. Your common or garden Baby Bjorn is no longer the only thing you’ll see a baby in. You’re just as likely to see a bairn in an african style papoose thingy – especially if you happen to visit Stockbridge on a sunday around lunchtime :-)

The benefits of babywearing are many – babies who are ‘worn’ regularly cry less, sleep more, are calmer and have calmer parents (less prone to postnatal depression) and attachment between a baby and their caregiver is more secure. The practicalities are also pretty big advantages, especially if you’re on mat leave and feel like you can’t get anything done. Babywearing allows you to keep your baby close (and often asleep in the early months) while still allowing you free hands to do laundry, make yourself some lunch or even (eek) go for a wee without disturbing them.

During my pregnancy I did very little ‘housework’ nesting – in fact most of my nesting instinct was channeled into online shopping for dreadfully important things, and gumtree bargain hunting for other terribly important things. I added a ‘stretchy wrap’ to my list as a matter of course, not knowing that it would become one of my treasured items from Adam’s first few weeks.

Here I am in post-caesarean hobbling phase, carrying the almost weightless Adam in the wrap. You can’t see the cool design panel that’s part of it but you can see how it’s designed – it keeps the baby’s body pressed close to the parent, and keeps their head supported. This type of wrap is made from stretchy ‘jersey’ fabric and is really good for newborns. It’s just one big 5 metre piece of fabric that you can wrap in any number of ways to carry a baby:

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Here is some more information about wraps like this. They come in a neverending array of fabrics, colours, designs and styles in sizes to suit any frame. Some are breathable for hot weather; some are ‘woven’ wraps – made from thick cotton, linen or hemp materials that will last for many many years. These are more expensive but much sturdier, taking a lot more weight and suitable for a wider range of ‘carries’ (ways to carry the baby).

As we used a stretchy one Adam grew out of it fairly quickly. I wanted to get something that would last longer and that Jamie could use too – the ‘soft structured carrier‘ seemed a good choice and my eagle eye got me the Ergo on Gumtree. It’s got straps and buckles – you can wear the baba on the front, the back or the hip. Some other structured carriers also allow you to face the baby outwards, but that’s becoming less common as it’s recommended that their wee legs are kept facing in and in a froggy sort of ‘M’ shape up against the wearer. I personally feel if you’re not wearing your baby every day then it doesn’t matter, but if you’ve ditched the pram and wear full time then you should probably go for something ergonomically designed. Here’s Jamie up a hill with the wee man. I love their bobble hats. We also loved being able to take Adam everywhere we went and not feel constrained by the pram:

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Along with a number of benefits, babywearing has one amazing advantage over just using a pram – the ultimate ability to calm a baby down. Not every baby loves being worn but a great many are almost instantly calmed when popped into a carrier of any sort. Think about it – they’re right up against mum or dad’s chest, they’re comfortably supported, they’re moving around – the rocking motion of your walking will be similar to what they felt when in the womb, and they’re cosy with you body heat keeping them warm. What’s not to love? It’s like a mobile hammock up against the people you love most in the world.

The ultimate weapon against tantrum-tastic meltdowns is the ring sling. My friend Katy converted me, as I always thought they looked ‘faffy’ – in fact they are one of the simplest types of baby carrier. They still come in loads of fabrics, patterns, colours and sizes but the main feature is the use of two rings, usually metal, to fasten, tighten and adjust the fabric. Again you can carry your baby in a variety of positions but it’s easy to keep it simple. Pop the baby in, tighten the sling so they’re snug against you, always with their face pointing up and chin off their chest, sort their legs out so their knees are higher than their bum and off you pop. I bought one on a facebook group, preloved (a fancy word for ‘used’) and it has become my favourite of the lot. Not just because of its lovely earthy rainbow colours (it looks well hippy) but its magical sleepy dust abilities. Adam can go from screaming rage to flat-out unconscious in about 2 minutes once he’s in this. We recently used it at some friends’ wedding and Adam was able to join us, asleep, as we got on the dancefloor for the couple’s first dance. Here he is having a snooze in it:

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You can see the two rings and how they act like a 70’s belt to keep the sling fastened. As you can imagine, Jamie is less inclined to wear Adam in this article but I love it, and feel like a proper earth mama when I wear it, even though its usually just to the post office or tesco. There are lots of times when its easier to leave the pram at home, and I often stick this in the changing bag anyway in case of aforementioned meltdowns. The Ergo will also be coming with us to the beach this summer, and it came to Skye with us instead of the pram too – saving valuable car boot space for the vast number of cloth nappies I insisted on bringing!

I’m definitely not a full time babywearer but lots of mums and dads have ditched their buggy in favour of carrying their babes everywhere they go. Like many products there are different options (like the three types I’ve experimented with) and different things suit different folk. These carriers can be expensive so you can try them out for free or for a small cost by using a ‘sling library’. You’ll probably have one in your local area – Facebook is a good way to check (just search the word ‘sling’ for a number of options) or do a wee bit of googling. If you don’t have a library near you then you can get lots of advice online and either try from a library by post or just buy preloved, and sell on if it doesn’t work for you. I’m not about to ditch my pram just yet but I absolutely love carrying Adam in the Ergo and the ring sling – and he loves it too.

Finally, there are some simple safety principles with babywearing that I feel I ought to share because they’re important: here’s a handy picture to save me typing them out:

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Green goddess or green eyed monster?

My baby’s skin is like silk. His rosy cheeks and chubby thighs display the very picture of health, and I’m particularly proud of his bottom.

Yes, that’s right. His wee bum is as smooth as… A baby’s bottom. He has no trace of nappy rash, no irritation and wears his nappy all night up to 12 hrs with no ill effects. At 14 weeks old the only thing we have ever used on his skin is coconut oil, and my homemade baby wipes are soaked in a mixture of boiled water, baby oil and lavender oil.

But I believe the real reason for his peachy wee buns to be his delightful set of cloth nappies. And when you have this as an excuse, not to mention the financial and environmental benefits it’s easy to get carried away.

Carried away? With what?

My name is Ruth and I’m a cute cloth addict.

I recently joined a Facebook group to try and sell on my newborn size ‘stash’ and made a tidy £90 back from my original spend of £120. Result. But in doing so I found myself scanning the ‘for sale’ posts in the group, day and night while waiting for mine to sell.

I have to confess there is now only £23 left in my paypal account. I’ve been unable to resist buying some of the cute designs I’ve seen. And I’ve been telling myself that this is a perfect example of a low carbon cycle – all these nappies are ‘pre-loved’ (let’s not think about all the Carbon Royal Mail are expending pinging these things to and fro across the country from one mad mum to the next).

Like a real addict, I’ve been rooting through my other nappies to see which old tatty ones I can sell on to fund my new habit. I was given a bunch of tired but functional nappies by friends and colleagues and *ping* they just sold tonight so I’m like a gambler – trying not to be tempted by more cute cloth.

My poor, poor husband. He is becoming increasingly bewildered by my new habit. Lots of new nappies arriving means new systems to work out and new methods, remembering which boosters go with which nappy and so on.

My favourite type of nappy is a pocket style – you have an outer ‘shell’ with Velcro or poppers to fasten and more poppers to adjust height (so they can fit a baby for a long time). These have an opening at one end so you can insert a booster pad, which is the bit that absorbs all the wee. The leg/waist elastic is what contains any solids and the great thing about pocket nappies is that you can add more boosters for more absorbency. Here’s a picture (copyright Little Lambs Ltd):

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My favorite booster material is bamboo – not only is it a natural material but it’s super absorbent. It takes a while to dry compared with cotton or microfibre but it’s by far the most effective of the three. You can also get boosters made of hemp and even charcoal… A whole new world eh?

In the beginning I was tempted by ‘all in one’ nappies – the bigger versions of the first patterned nappies I bought. They’re so convenient but not always as leak-proof.

At night time we, like many cloth nappy users, switch to a traditional two – part system. The inner nappy is shaped to fit like a disposable – and then covered with a waterproof wrap. There are loads of types to choose from, and again we use bamboo as it NEVER leaks and the wrap we use is totally bomb-proof:

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The more I grow to love my cloth nappies the more interest I get from friends – most are curious because I post photos of my cute wee man in his cute wee nappies. Some are actually planning to use them or at least try them and in some cases I like to think I’ve influenced or inspired them.

The question I get most (or with most curiosity) is about washing them. Contrary to popular old fashioned belief there is no soaking or hand rinsing or boiling; I use a bucket with a snap-on lid (similar to most disposable nappy bins) with a mesh bag stretched over the rim. All wet and dirty nappies and wipes go straight into the bin and when it’s full I just lift out the mesh bag and stick the whole thing in the wash. Pic:

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A few drops of tea tree oil in the bucket keep it smelling fresh (it’s also a natural disinfectant). Here are some other factoids:

Cloth nappies should be washed with just a small amount of washing powder; fabric softener affects their absorbency so avoid it at all costs.

To keep nappies soft dry them outdoors or use a tumble drier and those Eco ball things – because we are in a flat and use ages-to-dry bamboo our washer-drier comes in very handy. Not so green but still greener than pampers. :-)

To keep nappies smelling fresh add a few drops of essential oil like lavender or tea tree to the prewash tray of your washing machine.

Most of the time you can get away with a 30 degree wash (with a cold pre wash to rinse away the poop) but to keep smells and bacteria away do an occasional 60 wash with an extra rinse and no washing powder – called a strip wash – to thoroughly clean them and reduce the build up of powder.

For small babies poo is water soluble so you don’t need to do anything before washing – post-weaning this is another matter.

While out and about I keep a couple of wet-bags in the changing bag to pop used nappies in. These are also handy for occasional damp babygros due to pee/puke/rivers of drool. Just remember to transfer to the bucket – not nice to discover a two day old shitty nappy in your wet-bag while you’re changing your baby in front of the health visitor, which definitely didn’t happen to me today.

Vest extenders help prolong your baby vests – say what you like about disposables, your baby will never get a complex about having a big ass. Cloth-bummed babies are bootylicious, but that does make for awkward between-size dilemmas.

See? I’ve not just been blindly impulse-buying pretty nappies (although I mostly have) I also know my stuff and am ready to educate and encourage other parents too! One of these months I might even drag myself out of bed and head to a Changeworks Nappuccino, the funky wee coffee morning for fellow cloth-addicts.

I’ll post a pic of my new stash when they’re all out of the wash. A new one arrived this morning but before I could put it on I had to use it as a shield against a pee fountain! Here it is after a wash – it’s a Charlie Bananas ‘BlackBeary’ (geddit?)

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If you’re reading this and you’re interested in finding out more I’d recommend the nappy lady site for a pee fountain of information, as well as Changeworks for local information if you’re in South East Scotland.

I’m also happy to answer questions about my experience and give any advice I can. It’s so cute, fun, green and good for your baby – no nappy rash here, just peachy wee cheeks!

Motherhood in full swing, diet… not so much

Well, it’s been a wee while, no? Any wonder, when I’ve been busy learning to be a mummy to beautiful, perfect baby Adam.

He is 10 weeks old today and I have enjoyed a short hiatus from blogging, while I got to grips with having a new baby for the first time. To cut my own long story short, it’s been a total whirlwind of love, joy, cuddles, tears, hormones and ebay.

The green thing is going well – all the things we said we’d do are working out; the cloth nappies are wonderful (Adam’s skin is silky soft) and my home made baby wipes are excellent – we have bought two or three packets of disposable wipes and about 3 packs of disposable nappies since Adam was born. we have already saved a fortune, and I’m about to re-sell his first wee cloth nappies already! I will be keeping my favourite little cute nappy as a wee keepsake. I’ve also been able to pass on lots of his newborn sized clothes to other expectant mums, which feels nice.

We have made some amazing second hand purchases on Gumtree and eBay, like Adam’s bouncy chair where he naps during the day, and his baby swaddling blankets and later his sleeping bags – and of course nappies – my new obsession! My favourite purchase recently is the fab Ergo Baby organic carrier that I got on Gumtree second hand – it means I don’t have to lug the pram around each time I need to go out. Adam loves sleeping in the carrier up against me, and I love feeling him snuggling in while I plod around. It makes getting out of the house really easy and pleasant. After a c-section it’s a while before you can bear much weight so a sling or carrier is perfect. My recovery was ok, not easy but ok. 

I read this recently, and a friend posted it on my Facebook today which spurred me to dust off the laptop and write something. Its true, I felt enormous pressure to ‘get out and about’ and be a model new mum straight away. Now I am happy to declare a duvet day if we’ve had a restless night (like today, we’re watching Fargo and having cuddles) as I know the time will soon come when Adam won’t let me hold him captive in my arms all day. 

When I do go out I generally find it very easy to bring Adam to cafes and public places, and I no longer even bother with the breastfeeding cover that I bought – who cares about a wee flash of boob now and then? I’m just going with it. I was given a real baptism of fire last week when Adam had a mad screaming tantrum in the middle of Mimi’s Bakehouse, a popular cake place in Leith full of yummy mummies. My ladies from Pregnancy Yoga meet there every Friday and I was happily eating an excellent cheese scone when Adam suddenly burst into full on screams. I shushed, rocked, patted and swayed to no avail, and quickly felt colour rising on my cheeks as I noticed a few people looking over (none of the yoga mums batted an eyelid I must say, and I’m sure they were relieved it wasn’t their baby having a fit). One lady came right over and peered at me, then Adam, and pointed towards the ladies’ toilets saying ‘There is a corridor down there you can use’. I snapped at her that I was just about to go there, and stomped off with Adam still wailing. I spent a very unpleasant few minutes trying to calm him down – I even popped into the baby change room and tried to feed him – this usually cures anything – but he just wouldn’t stop!

Eventually I emerged, resigned to just grabbing our things and hailing a cab home, when a lovely lady appeared from the ladies’, and gave me so much sympathy and encouragement that I actually wept a wee bit with gratitude. She said she was a childminder and had four boys of her own. ‘It’s absolutely normal and you’re doing really well’ she said. At that moment Adam ceased his tantrum and pretty much passed out in my arms. I sagged with relief and joined the mums again, even finishing my scone before I headed home with Adam snuggled in the sling. It turned out the lady who’d directed me to the corridor was the owner of Mimi’s, and my Yoga chum says she passed comment about Adam and me after I’d left – ‘How can something so small make so much noise?’ and ‘It sounds like someone’s being murdered’. Well, thanks a bunch Mimi. Your cheese scones aren’t tasty enough to tempt me back again.

I feel I dealt with it really well but at the time I understood what it is to be a fussed out stressy mum. At the bus stop yet another woman who’d obviously witnessed it asked politely if he had cried himself to sleep. Yup, cheers for that.

So a duvet day seemed preferable to doing anything sociable today. I am needed by my baby so I’d better sign off. Before I go, here are a few pics.

Sorry I’ve been busy…

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A radio silence can only mean one thing. My waiting game is over and I’ve had my baby!

Our gorgeous baby boy Adam arrived in the early hours of last Monday morning after a total of 23 hrs since my waters broke.

I had been planning a home birth for months and practising hypno birthing as well as yoga to help with relaxation and breathing for pain relief.

I had an amazing labour, that’s all I can say. The contractions did build in intensity but I felt so safe and relaxed in my own home, with a total of 3 amazing midwives over the course of the day and my amazing husband keeping me motivated and looked after.

I went from the yoga ball to tens at about 1pm, then got in the pool about 8 – the relief! – before deciding to honk on some gas and air at around 12midnight.

I loved the pool, set up in my nursery with fairy lights and soothing music. But after several hours in it the midwives encouraged me to follow my body, but the pushing/bearing down urge wasn’t strong.

They examined me and to my absolute horror I was not fully dilated, only 9cm and Adam was approaching from an awkward angle making the pain worse and the contractions less productive. They were amazed I had done that long without drugs but asked me to think about how long I had been labouring.

I weighed up how long I might have to go and in the end we decided to go to hospital for an epidural. Once there I couldn’t stay still for the epi and Adam had a wee drop in heart rate… A section was decided on.

The relief from the spinal block was unreal. The operation was standard and my experience has been fine… I have absolutely no regrets as this was the best delivery possible for me and my baby, who as it turned out was totally back to back!

Those hours I spent at home were some of the most profound and powerful of my life, the connection to my husband and my home were strengthened in a way I just don’t think would have happened in hospital.

Most importantly I do not consider this a ‘failed’ home birth. I might not have delivered at home but my labour is a wonderful memory I will always treasure. I marvel now at my own strength – meeting Adam at the end of it all was just out of this world and I wouldn’t change a thing.

I wanted to document this story and share it in case it inspires, comforts or reassures anyone. Maybe you’re thinking of having a home birth – I’d say go for it, don’t be nervous. It could be the most meaningful experience of your life. If there’s even a hint of need for you to transfer to hospital your midwife won’t waste a second. I didn’t deliver at home but I loved the security and familiarity that came with my labour.

And maybe you’re scared of labour. Don’t be. It’s an awesome experience – I felt so in control and able to just ‘blow the contractions away’ as a friend suggested. I used breathing techniques from yoga and hypno birthing to help and they really did – the first noise I made in pain was in the hospital just before they decided I needed a c section – 22 hrs in!

If I can do it, anybody can. I felt empowered and strong and I will always have that as my lasting memory. The operation was a blur, and recovery has been okay. I’m getting a bit stronger every day and being the mum of such a beautiful wee boy definitely helps.

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Nesting, nesting, 1 2 3

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Today’s blog is brought to you by the letter N – as in ‘nesting’. Now anyone who knows me will be doubled over at the thought of me on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor. It’s hopefully a little easier to visualise me industriously making useful things whilst creating a lot of mess.

My current project is all about reusable baby wipes. Yup. Glamourous.

The ‘cheeky wipes’ system is very clever and also quite expensive. I have inherited a dose of terry squares and I decided to copy that system, putting my ever so basic sewing skills to good use.

Here’s how it works: you have two clip-close Tupperware boxes and two ‘wet bags’ for when you’re out and about. One container or bag holds the ‘fresh’ wipes, which are usually steeped in an antiseptic solution eg water with essential oils or even chamomile tea. The other container is for your ‘mucky’ wipes, and you can either use another solution eg tea tree oil to cancel out whiffs, or just seal it up until you can deposit the wipes into your nappy laundry bin.

The wipes are just cotton, bamboo or microfibre and the boxes are literally the Tupperware tubs you see for £1 each in Poundland. I decided to be thrifty and try to make my own rather than spend a (not unreasonable) £30-odd for a new set. Well, I have the raw materials here in the flat!

I started by cutting out a shape that fits nicely into my Tupperware so I don’t have to double them up. I found that grease proof paper works well as a pattern template! I’ve got as far as cutting a whole load out, and will run a simple zigzag stitch around them to stop them fraying. If I had an overlocker (the holy grail of seamstresses worldwide) I’d use it to do a more thorough job.

Will post pics of the finished job- in the meantime here is the pattern cutting:

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