Our nappies – Tots Bots Flexiwraps and Motherease Airflow wraps

As we use two part nappies for night times (this reduces the chances of a leak) we need to use a wrap along with the nappy itself. Our night nappies are Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretches and our night wraps are Tots Bots Flexiwraps and Motherease Airflow wraps. I’m happy to use either wrap but am currently preferring the airflows as they seem to provide a slightly better fit as Eli heads towards the top of the size range for both.

Since I can’t think of cons for either wrap (for night time use the only real criteria is that they don’t leak) a brief list of the pros for each:

Pros

  • Tots Bots Flexitots
    • very soft flexible fabric;
    • good choice of colours and patterns;
    • trim fitting – not so much a consideration for a night nappy but useful if they are needed for days.
  • Motherease Airflow
    • poppers on waist and legs to get the best fit;
    • choice of plain white or a handful of other prints (recently updated);
    • make his bum look massive which I find really cute.

The airflows are a bit bulky when used with a day nappy but it doesn’t matter for me at night.

The vital statistics for our wraps:

How many do we have?

Currently in use I have 5 – two flexiwraps and three airflows. When Eli outgrows these I have the same again plus a few more for him to use.

Which sizes do we have?

We have size 1 and 2 flexiwraps and medium and large airflows. Eli is currently using size 1 and medium (both go up to 20lb).

How long would we be able to use just this part of our stash?

I have enough for our night nappies in our current sizes but will have a few spare when he moves up.

How often do these wraps need to be changed?

They last for 12+ hours overnight and I don’t tend to get any wicking unless I leave the night nappy on too long in the morning.

How easy are these wraps to wash?

We wash all our nappies and wraps together and don’t need to do anything special for these. I just need to make sure that the aplix is done up on the flexiwraps.

How long do they take to dry?

Both types of wraps air dry very quickly either indoors or out.

Our nappies – Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch

When we first started using cloth nappies at night we used a combination of Tots Bots Cotton Tots and Easy Peasy Bumbles. This worked for a while and then the leaks started. Eli was wetting heavily at night and we were regularly getting big leaks that soaked his clothes, sleeping bag and our bed. I doubted that we would have much more luck with a disposable overnight as we moved to cloth at night because of leaks using disposables! I wanted a more absorbent nappy and I knew that bamboo tended to be better than terry so bought a bamboozle stretch as a trial. It worked brilliantly and so I bought 4 more and ditched the other night nappies (except for emergencies).

We don’t use the bamboozle stretch as a day nappy (although I think it would work really well as one I’ve got too many other nappies to need to use it that way!) and so this review is wholly based on its use as a night nappy.

Pros

  • bamboo is softer and less scratchy than terry cotton;
  • trim fitting, which is a bit more comfy for Eli at night I think;
  • one-size so will last until he’s dry at night;
  • available in natural (which is what we have) or a variety of other colours to match other Tots Bots nappies and wraps.

Cons

  • none that I can think of.

As with most night nappies these do need to be boosted to give extra absorbency – we use a Tots Bots bamboo booster as it’s quite slim and doesn’t add too much more bulk to the nappy. These are two part nappies and need a waterproof wrap over them – we use Tots Bots Flexiwraps and Motherease Airflow wraps.

The vital statistics for our Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretches:

How many do we have?

5

Velcro/Aplix or Poppers?

Aplix

Which sizes do we have?

They are one-size nappies so will fit from newborn to toddler – there are two levels of poppers on the front to make the nappy smaller.

How long would we be able to use just this part of our stash?

5 days assuming no need for an overnight nappy change (which is a very rare occurrence).

How often do these nappies need to be changed?

These last 12+ hours overnight.

How easy are these nappies to wash?

We wash all our nappies together and don’t need to do anything special for these. I do unpopper the inserts before washing.

How long do they take to dry?

They are bamboo so not the quickest at drying but dry in the tumble drier on my usual cycle or on the line after 4-5 hours.

Teething – here comes tooth number 3

Teething must be one of those topics that sends a shudder through all but the luckiest parent. It seems that all unexplained fussy/cranky behaviour after the first couple of months is generally assumed to be the ‘T’ word, of course whether it is or not is never proven except for the odd occasion when the screaming does in fact yield a tooth the next day.

Eli has been a little slow in gathering teeth – although strangely aside from one notable exception this seems to be true for most of his baby group peers. For the last few weeks though I have been suffering with screaming at night (sometimes this is not only from Eli) that only abates with pain relief and today, finally, I can feel a new tooth! This will be Eli’s third, he has the two bottom central incisors and this is the top left central incisor (thank you Google for the names of the teeth!).

I am hopeful that this means I will be getting less interrupted sleep soon – a girl can dream can’t she?

Eli at 11 months

It’s hard to believe that Eli is only one month away from his first birthday. My baby is moving steadily towards toddlerdom – at a coffee meetup in a local café he was not at all content to sit on my lap or in the high chair, he wanted to be down on the floor exploring. I really hope he learns how to walk soon – crawling on café floors makes me feel somewhat queasy but currently it’s that or a lot of screaming sadly. Handily this particular café is in an old church and has the space (and general tolerance of babies and small children) to allow him some freedom but my quiet coffees with friends are certainly going to be a thing of the past soon.

So, what is Eli like at 11 months?

  • Weight: 19lb 2oz
  • Length: 75cm
  • Clothing Size: 6-9 months
  • Teeth: 2 bottom central incisors and top left central incisor (this one only came through today)
  • Mobility: crawling, cruising, able to stand by himself but is generally too cautious to do it and sits down without support, can walk holding onto 1 hand
  • Communication: babbles and coos, screeches if he feels ignored, says something that sounds like ‘wow’ when he’s looking at something interesting (e.g. the cats), makes a ‘heh, heh, heh’ sound if I ask him if he wants milk and he’s hungry, waves sometimes, gives high 5s if asked and he wants to, holds his arms out for cuddles, responds to his name and has started stopping what he’s doing if you tell him ‘no’
  • Sleep: he just cut a new tooth so it’s been a bit lacking recently, can now put him to bed in the evening and get an hour or more before needing to settle him again
  • Playing: likes cars and balls, can make either go around the ramp on his toy garage, loves rolling a ball between himself and another person
  • Eating: generally only interested in feeding himself, loves most food especially peas, throws food on the floor or onto the table when he’s done
  • Personality: easy going, likes cuddles and being around other people, will happily pootle about the lounge playing with his toys, when he’s tired or hungry he crawls up to one of his grown-ups and head butts their shins until he gets a cuddle

All in all he is a gorgeous ball of scrummy cuddles – I can’t wait to see what kind of toddler he’ll be.

Our nappies – Itti Bitti Tuttos

When I was looking at nappies online, before I bought any new nappies for Eli, I really liked the look of the Itti Bitti nappies. We then bought three at the Baby Show to try and well we haven’t bought any more.

I just don’t like these as much as my other nappies but I still use them regularly and they do look very cute!

Pros

  • look really cute and the minky outer is really soft;
  • lots of colours and prints to choose from;
  • trim fitting;
  • one-size and lots of poppers to get a good fit;
  • the ‘poo fence’ really works.

Cons

  • I find the trim fit around the legs means lots of wicking.

The vital statistics for our Bitti Tuttos:

How many do we have?

Three.

Which sizes do we have?

They are one-size nappies so will fit from newborn to toddler – there are three levels of poppers on the front to make the nappy smaller.

How long would we be able to use just this part of our stash?

Not long – less than a day but in theory if we had extra soaker sets we could make them last longer.

How often do these nappies need to be changed?

To avoid wicking it is best to change these every 2-3 hours.

How easy are these nappies to wash?

We wash all our nappies together and don’t need to do anything special for these. I unpopper the inserts and wash them with the covers.

How long do they take to dry?

  • the covers can be tumbled but I air dry them and they’re ready by the next day;
  • the soakers dry in the tumble dryer (the small soaker is always the last thing to be dry) or will be dry within 4-5 hours on the line outside.

Our nappies – gNappies

I must admit – I’ve been intending to write this review for a while but have found myself putting it off instead of just getting in there and writing it. I think this is mainly because I love gNappies but haven’t always wanted to use them. I know that sounds strange but there were a few reasons:

Pros

  • very neat fit - definitely the slimmest fitting nappy we have;
  • can wear tighter trousers that are a no go with other nappies as the way they fit means they never leak at the waistband (unless the tabs are done up too tight);
  • look great – lots of colours and cute prints to choose from (especially for girls – they do some very cute dress and nappy combos);
  • easy to put together – consist of a gPant (cotton outer that can be reused if not dirty), a snap-in gPouch (waterproof and breathable) and a gCloth (the absorbent bit that fits in the gPouch);
  • leaks don’t tend to cause much bother – I tend to find the gPant gets wet/dirty but not the clothes Eli is wearing.

Cons

  • tricky to fit well – there really is a knack to fitting these nappies, if you don’t get it right they will leak;
  • need changing more regularly than some other cloth nappies – 2-3 hours is about as long as we can go without leaks;
  • not as reliable in the sling as other nappies – due to compression breaking the seal of the gPouch I think.

A few months ago I was getting very frustrated with my gNappies, I struggled to get more than one wear out of a gPant due to leaks and I just couldn’t work out where I was going wrong with the fit. Well I think I’ve got it sussed now, you really, really, really have to make sure that the pouch is right in the crease of the leg. The fitting info from gNappies does tell you all of this but I don’t think I realised until recently just how deep into the crease the pouch had to go and getting it in the right place turns these nappies from duds to in regular use (so much so that we had a total gNappy day today). There are helpful videos on YouTube (search for gDiapers the brand’s US name).

Since I want to do a review for each type of nappy we use, the vital stats for gNappies:

How many do we have?

  • 6 gPants (Game Day – navy and red stripes – is my personal favourite)
  • 12 gPouches
  • 12 gCloth

Which sizes do we have?

We have medium gPants and I’m pretty sure that’s all we’ll need until Eli potty trains as they are good up to 28lb. We only started using cloth when he was 13lb so never needed a smaller size.

How long would we be able to use just this part of our stash?

2 and a bit days (we would have to use a different nappy at night, these are not night nappies).

How often do these nappies need to be changed?

To avoid leaks it is best to change these every 2-3 hours.

How easy are these nappies to wash?

We wash all our nappies together and don’t need to do anything special for these. As we wash at 40°C I don’t bother to separate off the gPants to wash with clothes (as is the gNappy recommendation). All I need to do is make sure the pouches are unpoppered from the pants and that the velcro tabs are turned back.

How long do they take to dry?

  • the gPants dry quickly in the tumble dryer or hung on an inside drying rack at times when everything else is hung outside (they shouldn’t be put in the sun to dry as it will affect the dyes);
  • the gPouches air dry overnight;
  • the gCloth dry easily in the tumble dryer or will be dry within 4-5 hours on the line outside.

Summer fun with the cousins

Sunday was a fun day at Grandma’s – all the cousins (with Tilly missing) had a great time. Lex and his same age step-cousin T discovered they both are big Lego Ninjago fans – all the better to break the ice when you haven’t seen each other for a year. A game of boules kept the boys entertained in the garden, complete with a measuring tape to check distances and action replay on the camcorder (although they never figured out if T’s ball brushed or not). Finally a game of football in the park and a few runs around the obstacle course completed the day. Lex had a brilliant time but was so tired he was sobbing through most of the bedtime routine. Eli was ok when he was with me, sadly summer events (and lots of people who would like a cuddle with him) and ‘stranger’ and separation anxiety have arrived hand in hand at the same time.

Today SIL and the local cousins came to visit for the afternoon. A trip to ELC after our family dentist appointment yielded a new paddling pool with a shaded area, sprayer and slide which (after I finally worked out how to get the air bed inflater to work) wasn’t too bad to inflate and fill. This, plus the water play table and SIL’s paddling pool enabled us to sit and watch whilst the kids had a great time.

Well, the big kids at least. Eli clearly isn’t feeling 100% and was not impressed by the padding pool, being wet, the grass – pretty much everything. He cheered up at points but really just wanted to have an afternoon of cuddles poor dot. Currently he is in bed but waking up every half-hour or so needing another feed to settle him. The air-con is on so he won’t be too hot at least.

The only hope now is that this won’t be the single decent week during the summer holidays – looks like it’ll change by the weekend sadly.

Now, off to settle the baby once more.

Poorly boy (yet again)

I’ve just dosed Eli with painkillers just as I did last night when nothing else would settle him. As usual I have no idea what is unsettling him – teeth/cold/upset stomach or all of the above?

I just hope it settles soon – after the screaming at midnight last night I’m even more exhausted than usual.

Beginnings and ends – school year 2011/2012

Today was the last day of the 2011/2012 school year. Lex, Eli and I enjoyed the school summer picnic out on the field and took a leisurely stroll home after lunch. Lex then went around to have a water fight with friends who live around the corner.

I think he is relieved that school is finished for summer – the poor kid has a cough that he just can’t shift and is constantly shattered. We’ve bought him a children’s multivitimin to see if we can help him feel better. If the cough doesn’t clear up in a few days I think I’ll be taking him to the doctor just to check what’s up.

Here is Lex the year before – he’s grown up so much since the start of reception!

Today was also Tilly’s last day of nursery. She started in the baby room just before she turned 11 months old (September 2008) and is finishing (after moving through each of their four rooms) at 4 years 9 months so she’s been there for almost 4 years! I’m really sad that she’s finished as we’ve been really happy with the nursery and will miss it. Eli is unlikely to ever attend there as it will probably be much easier to send him to the pre-school attached to the children’s centre next to the kids’ school. We gave them a thank you card and two boxes of chocolates – I’ll take Tilly back on her first day of school so that she can show everybody her school uniform.

Finally we have Eli at the start and end of the school year – it’s hard to believe that this time last year I was very pregnant and still 5 weeks away from meeting my gorgeous little boy.

So now we have 6 weeks of no 7am alarms or nursery runs (in fact no more nursery runs at all!) and we start it with family dentist day tomorrow…

We may yet have a summer

OK, so actually I doubt it but today was nice! Tilly is at the coast with my Mum in order to attend a cousin’s Christening and so it is just my boys and me at home. Much as I love my daughter, she has a raging case of middle-child syndrome at the moment and it has been quite quiet and conflict free at home – I know she’ll be loving the 1-to-1 time with my Mum too.

Lex, Eli and I had a lovely afternoon at a friend of mine’s house – there were a gaggle of kids 0-13 years and enough young boys to keep even my socially awkward lad entertained. I was able to sit and chat whilst cuddling Eli and the food was yum. After lunch we took the kids to the park, definitely a good day.

Tomorrow we get to see R’s step-brother and his family and they get to meet Eli – Lex normally gets on quite well with his step-cousin so it should be another good day. Only having to keep an eye on one child (Eli is easy to keep near me) should reduce the stress I normally suffer at MIL’s house – my two big kids do seem to bounce off the walls there in a fairly hideous fashion!

Fingers crossed I may even have a lie-in tomorrow – no squabbling, or even chatting nicely, siblings at 6.00am would be a relief – I am very tired.