Friday, 21 December 2012

Keeping the mozzies away

The mosquitoes are out in force, especially when we were visiting the tropics. I don't like spraying Chubs with insect repellent, especially just before bed. Some things which work for us:
- using roll on insect repellent rather than spray makes it more contained and less likely for her to breathe it in. I'd rather get it on my hands than in her lungs.
- wipes. We found sime insect repellent -soaked wiped (like baby wipes) which made wiping down her arms and legs easier than spraying or rolling. They were pretty expensive though so we used them sparingly.
- in the evening before bed, we put her in a long sleeved romper (pictured) and then put her shoes over the top. It was so hot that she was sleeping in just a nappy, but we put this on while we were enjoying the evening oursite. No need to spray her for a short period of time or to wash the insect repellant off before bed. The shoes over the top looked a bit silly but kept the suit clean and dry - win!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Cloth nappies while actually travelling

As a follow up to the earlier post about travelling and nappies, we have used disposables every time on our actual travel days. The most we have travelled in one day is an 11 hour drive, and we have also spilt this drive over two days. We use mostly cloth and sposies at night and as spares, but using disposables on the actual travel days is so much easier. Being able to toss a wet or dirty nappy when flying means less to carry, and when driving it's one less thing in the car. I've also been worried about washing when travelling for more than one day. When staying away from home (especially in a caravan park) then soaking overnight in the machine and hanging out to dry on the next travel day is not going to work. Nappies aren't like clothes where you can save the laundry up for a week. The ease of the rare use of sposies like this is totally justified in my opinion. We also use sposies all day on the day before we travel (when leaving or when coming home) so that I don't have dirty nappies left at home needing to be washed, or travelling with a big bag of poo.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Cloth nappies (diapers) while travelling


We’ve been using MCNs since Chubs was a newborn, and have travelled several times with and without them. Here’s the decision making process that I think through when deciding to take them or not.


Trips where we didn’t take the MCNs and used disposables only

-          When Chubs was 14 weeks old we flew 800km to visit my in laws for 10 days. Dear Husband had some work at the time as well.

-          When Chubs was 5 months old we flew 1000 km in the other direction for a five week stay; also with Dear Husband’s work.


Trips where we have used mostly disposables and a few MCNs

-          When Chubs was 10 months old we drove and had two nights in an apartment at the beach (100 km)


Trips where we did what we do at home – ie mostly MCNs with disposables as spares and at night.

-          When Chubs was 18 months we drove 800km to visit my in laws for 10 days.

-          Shortly we will be going to a remote island for a week; I plan to take MCNs then.


So how do I decide what to take?

1.       Swimming

If we are somewhere where we will be swimming, the at least a few MCNs is a must. Since we use pocket MCNs, they readily transform into a swim nappy – just leave out the insert. Disposable swim nappies are expensive and wasteful and regular disposable nappies explode when the polymer crystals expand, spilling the crystals ev-ery-where.

If Chubs is in her clothes and an MCN (even with the insert) then it’s generally no worries for some impromptu water play. The MCN with the insert will sag, but it won’t explode with icky chemicals everywhere.

2.       Luggage

When going by air, then the MCNs may need to be left behind. Each time we have flown with Chubs we have been going to major cities where disposables are easily purchased. By the time you add a portacot, stroller, car seat and nappy bag to all your usual travel gear (keeping in mind that a lap child has no extra luggage allowance for her clothes) then fitting in a few days’ worth of MCNs might be too hard. Whenever we have gone away and taken MCNs we have been travelling by car.

If disposables can’t be easily purchased at your destination, then cloth is probably the way to go as reusable cloth will take up less room than single use disposables, especially if you are going for a week or more.

3.       Washing facilities

At home I have my MCN washing routine down pat, and that’s one of the things that makes using MCNs so easy. However, if the washing routine falls apart then it very quickly comes a disaster. One trip (when we were away for five weeks) we were in a serviced apartment with a combination washer dryer and no hanging space. Thank goodness I hadn’t taken the MCNs. The washer dryer was a disaster – it took over four hours to dry a half load and was too noisy to have on at night.

Recently we drove to visit my in laws and we were sleeping in their rumpus room; the laundry is a sectioned off part of that room. This meant that I couldn’t do what I normally do, ie run the nappies at night. It was all ok in the end, but it’s something else to consider.

Another factor is drying – if you plan to line dry, what will you do if it rains for days on end?

4.       Availability of more

When we head away for our remote-ish holiday, nappies will be available if we run out but they will be very expensive and possibly in short supply. I may not be able to get the brand or size that fits, they might be sold out that week and they will be over three times the regular price. I will be taking disposables for night time and spares, but the reusable MCNs will hopefully guard against having to buy more.

5.       Environmental impact

One of the main reasons that we use cloth is for environmental reasons. To head to a World Heritage Listed National Park and leave behind 50 disposable nappies which take hundreds of years to break down didn’t sit well with me.

6.       Ease of use

Our MCNs are pull ups, which is a huge help for a mobile toddler. Especially in summer, a standing up change underneath a dress is so easy. The disposables we use aren’t pull ups so we can’t do that.

7.       Aesthetics

The most trivial of all my points, but I do think that cloth looks much nicer under skirts and dresses than sposies.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Gingerbread House

As previously discussed, I'm not much of a baker AT ALL, but I was thinking that it might be nice to make a gingerbread house for Christmas. I thought that it might be a nice thing to do each Christmas, and I spent quite a long time looking at images to get ideas.
I originally planned to make the hose from scratch, however I have chickened out for my first try. I found too many horror stories about walls collapsing and house falling, and that was without considering the fact that I can't cook and it's very likely that I would burn it. We will be away for Christmas at a fairly remote location, so just popping down to the shop for more ingredients would take more 24 - 36 hours and about $150 extra expense.
Since that all sounds like too likely a disaster, I went with the kit; for $12 I got this one. I've never used one before, but hopefully this will be a nice first time.
Some people do one every year and make them spectacular and even themed - I would love to get to that stage down the track! So I am guilt-less-ly easing my toes into the metaphorical water this year -hopefully all will go well!
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