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Saturday, 1 April 2017

Using cloth nappies on a budget

Recently I was asked by a fellow mother at my local playcentre where I got my cloth nappies from and where I would suggest she shopped if she wanted to use cloth but on a budget. So I thought in reply to her question and for my own research I would compile a list of ways that you can use cloth nappies on a budget in New Zealand.

After lots of research and comparing of prices I have found a few ways that you can cloth nappy on the cheap. The best ways I have found is to go for a two part system, so cover with prefold, flat nappy or shaped insert or for pocket nappies. Please note that sometimes cheap doesn't always mean best quality, or best ethics when it comes to manufacturing of the nappies. It is up to you as the consumer to decide what you think is important.

For the two part system the idea is that you need less covers as you only need to change the cover when soiled or very wet. I recommend having two covers in use at the same time, so when you take one off you replace it with a new one and the old one is left to air out until next change. The absorbent inner will need to be changed each time, but covers(except pocket covers) can be used multiple times before needing to be washed.

So for the covers:
There are many options out there and it all depends on how much you want to spend.

For anywhere from $5-$10 you can covers from overseas on websites like Aliexpress. Most of these ship from china and it varies from brand to brand and also dependent on the type of cover you want. Most are one size fits most style, with some stores offering newborn sized as well. Simple covers to use over flat nappies or prefolds are generally cheaper than the pocket style covers.

Nappy Needz has a selection of covers ranging from $9 - 19 depending on style and colour you want to buy. The majority are sized so you will need to buy more as your baby grows but they are a good price for a good quality cover.

Retailers such as Nappy Heaven, Tweedle, Nappy obsession and Cheeky Cherubs all have branded covers which range from approx $22 up to about $30 depending on brand for OSFM or sized covers and about $18-22 for newborn sized covers.

Now for the absorbent part:

Flat nappies aka old fashioned flat nappies. 
These are a good option as you can fold them to go around your baby, to sit like a pad inside a cover, or to fit inside a pocket style nappy, the options are endless. They also dry fast as they are one layer. The best places to buy them are:
Baby stores like Baby Factory, Baby City or Nurtured. Approx $35 for 6
Nappy Needz: Cotton flats currently priced at $3 each or 6 for $16, Bamboo is $4 each or $22 for 6.
Kmart: 12 Pack of terry flats $20, so approx $2 each.

These are sized so you may need to buy a few different sizes but it is all dependent on the baby and how you want to use them. If you want to pad fold them and use them laid inside covers or as an insert for a pocket nappy then you may only need one size with a few boosters(I will talk about these at the end) for heavy wetters or nigh time. If you are wanting them to be folded and fit around you baby like with the angel wing fold then you will most likely need to get a few sizes as you child grows.
Prefold prices generally range from $17 -$30 per pack depending on size, brand and fabric composition. Most are 100% cotton but a few do offer bamboo prefolds. Most come in packs of 6 as standard but some of the more well known brands come in packs of 3, such as Grovia.
You can buy them from:
Nappy Heaven
Cheeky Cherubs
Real Nappies

Sized/shaped inserts.
If you are going for a pocket nappy system, or don't want to have to worry about folding anything then Sized/shaped inserts are the way to go. You can buy these individually or in packs. You also can choose whether you want Microfiber, hemp, bamboo or cotton inserts. Price is between approx $3-$6 each for standard inserts, price varies on fabric composition and whether you buy individually or in a pack.
You can buy them from:
Nappy Needs
Baby Its You

So that is all the individual components broken down. I recommend 6 covers and 18 sets of inserts/prefolds/flat nappies you may need more or less it all depends on how often you child needs changing, if you are using cloth overnight and how often you wash. Now for approximate costs. Below is a table based on approximate costs. I based the costs on the following calculations and assumptions:

6 covers + 18 flat nappies

6 covers + 54 prefold nappies (assuming you will require 18 of 3 different sizes)
I averaged the prices as prices vary with size and also chose the cheaper cotton prefold option when available. The prefold options are also listed as brands as they can be found at many different retailers for approximately the same price.

6 Covers  + 36 sized inserts (assuming your child will need 2 inserts per change as this is common especially for older children)

18 Pocket Covers + 36 sized inserts or 18 Nappy Needz prefolds
This is for those who want a system most like disposables where you remove the whole nappy(cover and insert) and replace it with a new one at each change. Please note that when pricing Baby Its You covers and inserts together I opted for buying covers and inserts separately, they do have bulk packs available which also help to save costs.

The following table has 3 cover options listed across the top with the inner/absorbent options labelled down the side.

CoversAliexpressNappy NeedzNappy Heaven
Price for 6$48$108$150
Flat Nappies
Nappy Needz$96$156$198
Baby Factory$153$213$255
Nappy Needs$258$318$378
Real Nappies$264$324$366
Nappy Needs$192$252$394
Baby its you$235$295$337
Pocket NappiesAliexpressBaby It's youNappy Heaven
Nappy Needs$288$324$594
Baby Its You$331$367$637

Prices in the table above are all approximations and are based on prices for April 2017.

Some last things to note when buying budget options:

Boosters or inserts are generally one in the same, just different names

Microfiber inserts should only be used in pocket nappies. This is because microfiber can draw moisture out of the skin when in direct contact causing rashes and other issues.

Bamboo, Hemp and cotton are all more absorbent than microfiber and less likely to cause issues with compression leaks.

Often on Aliexpress you can get better prices when buying in bulk lots.

Cheaper is not always better when buying nappies. Yes there are some that wash and wear really well, but then there are also some that don't. It's all about making informed decisions and knowing that you have made the right decision for your family.

If you find you have a heavy wetter, or you want to boost your nappies for night time use I recommend hemp, cotton or bamboo inserts/boosters. I successfully used one cotton prefold with one bamboo insert overnight for my son, though he was an average wetter, heavy wetters may need more boosters.

If you want to save more money then buying secondhand from places such as Facebook or TradeMe are good options. You can often pick up bulk lots of prefolds or flat nappies for cheap.

I didn't include a buying used option as prices vary depending on condition and brand of the nappies. Buying branded nappies secondhand is a very cost effective way of trialling nappies before forking out for a set  at full price. Opting for branded nappies or the more well known ones is one of the more expensive options as they do often come with a higher price tag. But if you prefer the styles offered with those nappies then secondhand is often the cheaper option.

While the initial outlay of cloth is a bit daunting, if you stick with it then you will save money as you will be buying less disposables.

The stores/websites linked within this post are only a few of the options available. There are too many to list them all.

Any questions just ask.

Links to where to buy:
Baby Its You
Baby Factory
Baby City
Cheeky Cherubs
Kmart - instore only
Nappy Heaven
Nappy Needz
Real Nappies

Monday, 27 June 2016

The birth story of my second child...

It all started with a craving, spicy noodles(aka two minute noddles, instant ramen etc or whatever you call them in your country). I didn't really have cravings as such during my pregnancy unless you count all the tomatoes that I ate so me requesting that my partner pick up some spicy noodles was a rare request.

Monday January 11th and I was now officially a week overdue. At my midwife's appointment that day my blood pressure, heart rate(suffered from Tachycardia during my first labour/delivery so midwife checked to get a base rate), pee, everything was fine. My feet were massive however and I could only fit in jandals(A.K.A flip flops or thongs). Baby's heartbeat was normal and it was head down(though not in an optimal position). I booked in to see my midwife the next day for a stretch and sweep and went home with some positions to try for turning the baby or my stretch and sweep wouldn't happen.

I spent a fair amount of Monday afternoon on my hand and knees in an attempt to get my baby from a slight back to back(posterior) position into a more favourable one. But they were a determined wee thing and wouldn't budge. Bear in mind however that while my son spent most of my pregnancy in the optimal position during labour he moved and was posterior making my labour and birth with him long and hard.

Monday evening rolled around and after an early dinner my partner and I were feeling a bit peckish again. E was in bed asleep and we were watching some tv when my partner decided he wanted pizza so went out to get some. I was craving those spicy noodles that I mentioned earlier so asked him to pick some up while he was out. About 20 minutes later he returned home with pizza and a 5 pack of spicy noddles. While my noodles were cooking I stole some of the pizza then gobbled up the whole bowl of spicy noodles. Man they tasted good. While I knew that they were in no way good for me I was beyond caring, I was fat, uncomfortable and running out of time until an induction needed to happen.

I finished my noodles and within 30 minutes I started to get contractions. Throughout the whole pregnancy I had had relatively painful braxton hicks contractions so I wasn't holding out much hope that these were the real deal. Due to a very stubborn baby being in a slight posterior position these "contractions" started in my back and then progressed round to my stomach. At about 11pm after approx 30-60 minutes of regular contractions I decided to try and get some sleep. At this stage they were lasting 30-40 seconds and were 3 minutes apart. I took a panadol(paracetamol) to try and relieve some of the discomfort and laid down in bed.

The contractions didn't ease and despite doing all the helpful positions during the day the baby didn't flip to a more favourable position until I had been lying down for a bit. I felt it move and suddenly the contractions were easier to deal with. They no longer centered in my back. Sleep became illusive as they became more intense and more frequent. By 1.45am when I called to midwife they were about 60-90 seconds in length and 3 minutes apart. My midwife had told me to call her once they were 5 minutes apart but they were never that far apart always 3 minutes right from the first one. We had a chat about how I was doing and then I talked to my partner.

We decided it was time to go to the birthing centre so text the midwife and took E over to the neighbours for the night. By 2.15am we were at the birthing center and all settled into the birthing suite.

I was very calm at this point, very collected, the total opposite to the birth of my son. I had the oil diffuser going with some calming lavender oil and I was breathing through my contractions, while walking around the birthing suite. I couldn't stay still, I just had to keep moving even when a contraction was upon me. I would just stand on the spot and sway my hips while I breathed in an out calmly. It was kind of a surreal experience.

At about 2.50am the pressure down there was starting to get a bit much so I decided that I wanted to get in to the birthing pool/bath. My birth plan had been to use the bath while in labour and then move elsewhere to actually give birth. But my body was telling me otherwise, I wanted to try the bath. As soon as I got in I relaxed and the pressure while still there was far more bearable.

I just concentrated on what my body was telling me. There was no " ok time to push, thats it keep pushing" etc from the midwife. In that moment when I realised mentally and physically I was ready to start pushing it was like a release of some bind that had been holding me back. At that moment I trusted myself and I trusted my body(it had kind of failed me a bit during the birth of E) and I began to push.

Not long after I got into the birthing pool and felt the true need to push my baby was born. I had done it, I had conquered all my fears that my body wouldn't hold out like last time and I would need an assisted birth again. I had released all the negative thoughts that was holding me back and embraced what my body had told me to do. Giving birth had been a massively empowering experience. I had read multiple stories about empowering births and that amazing feeling that you could get, but I never experienced that with E's birth. I don't and never have felt disappointed by the type of birth that I had with E. I had tried, I couldn't cope and had needed help and I have always been fine with that. Sure I would have liked to have had an all natural empowering birth but for me to cope with what the universe had dealt me birth wise I needed an epidural(though ended up being a spinal block), I needed the help of the forceps and I needed all the drugs afterwards.

This time round however the universe dealt me a different set of cards. The labour while being more intense, was easier to cope with. It was shorter, 4hrs and approximately 45 minutes from first contraction to the birth of my baby. I only pushed a couple of times before the baby was born. I did it and the only pain medication I tried was a panadol(paracetamol) when I had attempted sleep at the start of labour. Sure I was exhausted, but I had done what I had once thought impossible. I had birthed my baby without any medical interventions or any pain relief. The only unfavourable bit this time was having to get stitches for a minor tear along my old episiotomy scar from E birth.

At 3.13am on Tuesday January 12th we welcomed a little baby girl, C into the world. And while she may be nearly 6 months old when this is posted, she still amazes me, just like she did when I first laid eyes on her.

Me and baby C 24hrs after birth.

So for any of you pregnant ladies out there wanting to know my secret of how I coped this is what I did. I spent the whole labour thinking and chanting in my head " I made it through the last contraction I can make it through this one". I just keep repeating that in my head while concentrating on breathing in and out. I found it helped to concentrate on the breathing rather than the pain. I have always been a firm believer of the power of positive thought and it worked. Now it may not work for you and you may require a c-section or possibly an epidural to cope with the pain but just remember no matter what type of birth you have, all births are magical as all babies are miracles.

Comment below with your story, how did your birth go? Was it exactly as you planned, or did nothing go the way you had wanted?

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Baby essentials...

Every baby shop, parenting website, book or person has a list of things that they find essential(please find a few linked below for future reference). But after already having one, and seeing what seems like the endless list I thought I would write my own. Please note that some items I class as unnecessary may indeed be necessary to you.

My must haves:
The big ticket items:

  • Cot/crib
  • Carseat(either convertible that is suitable from birth or a capsule)
  • Pushchair/buggy/pram
  • Baby Monitor
  • Onesies/bodysuits and lots of them
  • pants(no jeans or big bulky ones though)
  • SOCKS as in at least ten pairs them little suckers go missing in no time
  • All-in-ones/sleepers what ever those footed one piece garments are called.
  • a few shirts, long and short sleeved.
  • A couple of woolen cardies/jumpers and some nice cotton jerseys too. 
  • A nice outfit or two just in case you want to dress your baby up super nice. But nothing impractical, 
I am a firm believer in dressing my babies in only natural fibers so we had no polar fleece or polyester clothes until my son was about one and a half. 

Other stuff:
  • A baby carrier/front pack if you think you would be into babywearing. 
  • Waterproof playmat and changemat
  • generic cloths that can be used as burp cloths. I just used muslin baby wraps and old fashioned flat nappies.
  • Bibs and lots of them in different styles/shapes etc. 
  • a nappy/diaper bag or a bag that can function as one(no need to buy one specifically designed to be one when a simple backpack will work just as well). 
  • Nappies/diapers its your choice whether you go cloth or disposable(I personally am doing disposable for approximately the first week then starting bubs in cloth). 
  • a play mat with the toys hanging from above, those are brilliant.
  • wipes
  • face cloths
  • bedding
  • a few select toys as in 4-5 max.
  • baby manicure set
  • bum cream and as natural as you are willing to go.
  • baby wash(in case they get really dirty, but just water and a wash cloth works fine for the first few months). 
For mum(please note most of this list is catered to breastfeeding simply because that is what we did, if you plan on formula feeding then ignore most of it).
  • 3-4 comfortable nursing bras
  • nursing pads either reusable or disposable.
  • a pump, I have a manual one but it is personal preference.
  • A few bottles(like 2-3 in different styles)
  • Nursing singlets(these are prefect for sleeping in)
I have probably missed stuff off the list and it may seem like a lot which it is but in reality baby just needs somewhere warm and safe to sleep, someone to look after them, clean clothes and nappies and food. Everything else is non essential so only buy what you need. Oh and don't do a big shop until after your baby shower if you are having one.

Here's some links to some lists put out by shops/websites here in new Zealand:

Bump date weeks 17-24

Hello there again. Yep I'm still pregnant. I kinda promised myself that I would post a new bump date every two weeks and somehow I missed a few, but oh well better late than never.

My belly has definitely popped out and I am starting to feel fat something which didn't happen this early when I was pregnant with my son. I think this time round the reason why I feel that I am larger is more to do with what I do everyday. When I was pregnant with my first I worked in a call centre answering telephones, now I run around after a two year old all day and spend far less time on my bum. Another first with this pregnancy is that I actually own pregnancy jeans, I just used track pants with my first. While they may be comfortable I do find that the style of waist band I got and the way my stomach is(still have a flabby bit at the bottom, bloomin genetics and baby weight) pushes my pants down a bit and I repeatedly have to pull them up when walking. I have also started wearing more to show off my belly which has meant that I am getting more comments about it.

I do find that if I do too much I ache some at night and sometimes into the next day, but other than that nothing much is wrong. The night cramps in the legs have returned, something which I got with son but much later in the pregnancy. I hate night cramps.

Cravings I don't really have many as such but I am loving Snickers bars at the moment and will eat maybe about 3-4 a week. Oh only other craving is anything that involves pastry so our menu plans rather than be a lot of dishes that require rice(a previous craving) they now include pies and the such 2-3 times a week..... MMMMMMM apple pie. This week we will be having steak pie and fish pie. I am still loving fish at the moment so have been trying to eat it at least once a week.

In terms of baby buys I have only purchased one item of clothing and a new nursing singlet. Though to be honest we are sorted for everything else except a baby carrier than can be used from newborn(trying to avoid buying a double pram) and a new bouncer as the one we do have I don't like as it is too upright for a newborn. But then again that is a non essential item and I will wait until something comes up for sale or is cheap secondhand.

Only thing I don't feel overly ready for is the birth itself, but that is another kettle of fish.

Thats it for now, I think I have covered everything....

Friday, 31 July 2015

Bump Date Week 16

Hi all, so as I sit here in bed writing this I am technically into my 17th week of pregnancy but only just so it still counts right?

 So for this past week and I bit I have really been feeling like a pregnant woman. My belly has popped out, I have been having cravings and I have wanted to nap some days. But other than that its been a good week.

As my belly has popped out and isn't just this layer of jiggly belly fat anymore sitting in some positions is a little uncomfortable and pants that used to fit are getting a bit tight. I've started to have "I have nothing to wear" issues quite a bit earlier on this pregnancy. It has made me contemplate actually investing in some pregnancy pants, something I didn't do last time as my trackies fit fine. But even the larger pairs I have for my 'fat' days are getting a bit tight and my fat jeans are just the wrong shape for my body type so are useless and won't stay up.

For cravings I still want sushi often, though that is passing a bit. I still cannot stand the smell of beef, especially when cooking so my poor partner is having to do without steak for a little bit. I still love my toast in the mornings with cream cheese and tomatoes. Overall I haven't had any major cravings this week, I really just eat what I feel like eating even if it is egg sandwiches for dinner.

So overall a good week, though a busy one.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Bump date weeks 1-15

So weeks 1-15 were relatively uncomplicated and uneventful but here's a recap anyway....

Weeks 1-4 are void and null since I was but wasn't pregnant during this time as that's when sex etc occurred.

Weeks 4-5 - Not many pregnancy symptoms appearing apart from some slight nausea. It was at about this time that I confirmed the pregnancy by peeing on a stick and visiting the doctor to make it all official.

Once I hit the 5 week mark however those early pregnancy symptoms started to appear. I got terrible morning sickness all day every day for nearly 4 weeks. My stomach bloated so pants no longer fitted and I felt like a fat blob most of the time and my boobs ached.

Morning sickness for me however never results in vomiting other than once or twice, I just get all day every day nausea that causes a loss in appetite and weight loss from not eating. However this time rather than not eat I did force myself to eat little and often and it helped ease the queasiness. Having naps when my toddler did also helped.

Once I reached 9-10 weeks the nausea eased off and I could eat properly again. However I discovered new food aversions that I didn't have when I was pregnant with my son. I can't stand steak/beef and occasionally pork. Before pregnancy a nice juice steak was one of my favourite meals, now just the smell of raw beef puts me off. I'm loving chicken, fish and rice at the moment with lots of veges.

The bloating went at about 12-13 weeks so now pants are started to fit again, though if I put on any weight it wont be for much longer.

We told all the family the good news at about 8 weeks, same as last time and all those public pregnancy announcements were made at about 12-13 weeks after we had the first scan.

Overall the my first trimester wasn't as hard as other peoples and I get that others have it worse. But for me having morning sickness and exhaustion was not fun with a very full on toddler.

So that's it really for the first trimester. Stay tuned for more bump dates to be posted soon.

Oh and in case you missed it in the last post here is my scan pic:

Friday, 17 July 2015

A wee something in the making!

So some of you may know if you are either a follower of my business page or a personal friend, but here it is. I am pregnant! I am currently 15 weeks pregnant with baby #2.

I had planned on doing a big announcement on this blog, but to be honest I am an exhausted pregnant woman who has to keep house, chase a toddler and run a business, so unfortunately a simple announcement will have to suffice. But isn't bubs just so cute. Scan picture below is from 12 weeks, so nearly a month ago now, gosh how time flies. 

Just like last time we won't be finding out the sex until it is born. But I do kinda hope just a little bit that it is a girl that way I can have one of each. In reality I don't really care too much just so long as it is happy and healthy..... So please hit me with baby names, while I know what I like for girls most of the boys names I liked were poopooed by the father. 

More pregnancy updates to come, though I cannot guarantee how frequent they will be.