Joolz Geo Update…

So I was looking at my blog stats the other day and it turns out people have read my post discussing why we chose the Joolz Geo pram! I was pretty excited about this, as I’m guessing you are stumbling across me when rabidly searching for reviews on prams because you are pregnant or in the market for a new pram. I know when I was pregnant with Baby Dash I was a bit nuts about my baby reviews and research, anyone checking my search history at work would instantly know I was knocked up!

So I have been using my Joolz Geo just about every day for 10 months now, so I figure I’m well placed to give a longer term review. I calculated that I have probably walked over 1000km with my Joolz in that time, so the first aspect of my pram I can comment on it the durability! I like to walk Baby Dash and my dog just about every day, rain or shine (more on the raincover and sleeping bag later), so I would say my pram gets some pretty heavy use, mostly on concrete and gravel paths, but is showing zero signs of wear to the tyres or brakes.

Baby Dash is now approaching 10 months old and is a bit of a chunka, sitting in the 90th percentile for height and weight since birth, so we swapped from the bassinet to the seat at about 5 months. Unlike a lot of Joolz owners, who say the bassinet is unwieldy and oversized, I was sad to change over to the seat, as I love the look of a proper bassinet pram (Mum had an old school Emmalunga when my sister and I were babies). Seeing my bubba sitting up happily in his seat was bittersweet, because he looked so grown up and happy to see the world going by.

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First walk in his big boy seat 😦

The seat recline mechanism started off a little tough to adjust and definitely needs two hands to do smoothly, its only just now something I can do without needing to wiggle the seat with my knee as well (probably not that hard, I’m just uncoordinated!). I also much prefer to have him parent facing in the seat, even though this means the pram can’t be folded as one piece, mind you, I’m way too weak to lift the whole thing into my boot in one go anyway!

This probably isn’t recommended, but something I can lift is the seat, with my baby in it, when switching him to forward facing so he fits more closely up at a cafe table when making a cheeky coffee stop. He loves being able to see whats going on, without needing to swap to a highchair.

In terms of accessories, I really didn’t leave too much on the shelf, if you read my first Joolz post, you will know that we basically went for the whole shebang. I have used the side saddle bag exactly zero times so far, but you never know, it could be handy for a very big picnic?? And the rain cover has been used twice, because I don’t own a suitable rain coat, no fault of Joolz for that one! I will add that we have been caught in the rain a few times (curse you BOM radar) and the pram fabrics are quite water resistant, it takes a fair down pour to actually saturate the hood material and it dries out fast.

I have mentioned before the minor design fault with the cup holder, but you can see in my photo above that there is no issue if used on the bag hook on the inside of the handle bar instead of using the included frame clip.

But by far the greatest accessory you can get for the Geo is the sleeping bag, in fact, I want an adult size version! When we bought the pram, the sleeping bag was a bonus as part of the winter promotion, its valued at about $189 if bought separately.

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Snuggly in his sleeping bag!

The sleeping bag lies in the seat and is sewn to the same shape, so moulds to the seat base and back, with openings for the belt straps, which basically hold it in place. I take it in and out each day during winter here in Melbourne, depending on where I’m going, shopping centres, outside on walks etc. The sleeping bag is lined with a polar fleece type fabric and zips right around with a double zip, so its easy to get bubs in and out. When zipped up, the bag reaches right up to their chin, keeping them beautifully snuggly. The top edge also has hidden magnets that hold the front down at about waist height when the weather warms up. The outside is made of the same water resistant material as the rest of the pram, which is so great!

So, after so many positives, do I have anything bad to say about my Joolz Geo? Well apart from so many cool colour combos, including the Geo Tailor range, coming out since we bought our navy version, there are a few other minor points… Firstly, as I’ve mentioned in my last post, the silver frame marks horribly, even the locking clip that holds the frame closed has scratched up the chassis. If you are someone who hopes to keep their pram immaculate, or plans to resell and recoup their costs, I would suggest checking out the all black version as this may not mark up the same.

Also, moving to the seat attachment has not made the pram any more compact to transport! My poor Mazda 3 sedan only just fits the frame and seat next to each other in the boot, they can’t be stacked due to the boot height, so there is no extra space for shopping etc. Lucky I only have one baby and plenty of back seat space!

Lastly, knowing I can add a second seat in place of the basket (it will be cramped for the 2nd bub, but doable) or a scooter board for my oldest down the track, my pram should be a family favourite for many years to come.

All in all, I’m pretty damn happy with my Geo, and judging by the little knowing smile us Joolz owners share when we cross paths in parks, shops and lifts, we are all a pretty satisfied bunch!

Tell me about your pram below, do you love it or hate it? Or if you are in the market, has my review made you consider the Joolz Geo?

(This post is not sponsored – goodness, imagine if my little opinion was noticed and I became ‘blog famous’ :O that would be unbelievable!).

 

 

 

 

It takes a village.

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So this post is a bit of a reflection on my first few months as a mum, how we are going and how I expected to feel by this point!

I feel like the first 6 months have really flown by, Tate has grown so much and is a totally different baby already, he’s gone from a helpless newborn to a real little person with so much personality! The overall emotion about our journey so far is pretty positive, I feel like we have done so well, I’m confident in my ability as a mum and that Tate hitting milestones and we have so much fun together. He’s not a great day sleeper, he doesn’t like to miss out on anything thats happening around him, thats caused me a bit of stress, but you know what – he’s no worse for it, he’s not a cranky or overtired bub, he just doesn’t seem to need as much sleep as I would expect!

On reflection, we would never have gotten to this point without the people around Tate and I doing everything to lift us up and support us, I want to spend a bit of time talking about these people and why they have been so important to me as a new mum.

Number one is Mr Dash, my husband has been a fantastic support, any time I think I can’t do something (first time was about 6 hours after delivery when Tate couldn’t get the hang of feeding), actually breastfeeding in general probably wouldn’t have succeeded without his encouragement and I’m so glad we persevered because its been going so well for the last 4 months in particular (the first two months were so h a r d!!). My husband has always given me a sense that I cannot fail, whether he believes that or not, he always leads me to feel that I can do it if I set my mind to it, this was true of Tate’s birth, feeding, surviving colic (only realised in hindsight) and sleep regressions and now as we start solids and I’m doubting myself again, he’s right there in our corner, gently suggesting alternatives in a way that makes me feel like its all my idea!!

Next is my family, I think the way you are raised and the self confidence that’s instilled in you from a young age will undoubtedly impact the way you start your own journey as a parent. It’s not that I’ve never failed, it’s just the way I was always shown to pick myself back up and carry on thats made parenthood not seem such an unsurmountable challenge. I guess it’s an innate feeling that ‘I’ve got this’ in the back of my mind whenever we are thrown a curveball. So often new parents are  reminded on the saying ‘this too shall pass’, but i like to think of it more that ‘you aren’t the first and you wont be the last’ whenever I face something difficult.

Its not just my upbringing that has been a positive influence on my start has a new parent, but the practical assistance and support my family has given us has been wonderful as well. Plus there is nothing better than seeing the way Tate is bonding with his grandparents, aunts and uncles already too!

The last group of people offering their support, although they probably don’t realise what a huge part of my life they have become are the 6 beautiful new mums in my first time parents group. We are a diverse bunch, joined together at a council run new parents group. We range greatly in age, background and the path travelled to motherhood, from surprise babies and long awaited miracles to infertility and the heartbreak of miscarriage, yet we have come together and share an amazing bond. Each week we meet up and chat for hours as our babies now roll around together on the floor, making their very first friends. For a group of girls who only met 7 months ago we have shared our greatest fears, deepest secrets and happiest moments all because we are experiencing new motherhood together and have found friend who we trust and know will understand.

All in all I know that I wouldn’t be as confident and successful (so far!) as a parent without the people around me offering their support and advice. The greatest lesson so far as a new mum is certainly that ‘it takes a village’ to raise a baby!

Cloth Nappy Update

So we have been using cloth nappies (MCN) for four and a half months now, so I thought it might be time for an update on how it’s all going.

In just two words – COMPLETE SUCCESS!!

Despite many of the people around me doubting that I would continue with cloth, I’m pretty proud of the fact our little boy has worn reusable nappies everyday and we have contributed exactly zero disposables to landfill!

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We have a very diverse collection of nappies, from old fashioned flannelette flats, cotton, bamboo and hemp prefolds that we use with covers, to modern pocket nappies, snap-in-ones, all-in-twos, all-in-one varieties and night time specific nappies, each type performs a different purpose at a different time of day.

We have a reasonably small collection, I think only 11 modern cloth nappies (all one size fits most), plus about 60 flats and prefolds with 5 one size fits most PUL covers and a few sized clovers that are now too small. This has been enough for full time use over summer. My plan for the cooler months is to use the flats and prefolds more at home as these dry the fastest, saving the more convenient pocket and snap in nappies for out and about.

In the early days we used a nappy washing service (amazing baby shower gift!) that provided 70 prefolds and 5 newborn size covers per week, so we were able to use cloth from day one in the hospital, knowing we wouldn’t come home to a mountain of stinky wet nappies, or run out while we weren’t home. We continued with the service for the first 6 weeks, until we had our heads around the whole ‘new baby’ thing. Then I decided it was time to venture out on our own once our collection of one-size-fits-most (OSFM) nappies started to fit.

Now we are using approximately 5-7 nappies each day, including a night nappy that lasts us 10-12 hours overnight and I wash each day. This sounds arduous, but babies produce so much other washing, its pretty easy to just throw the nappies in first for a quick wash, then add his clothes for a full wash straight after. I wash everything in cold water and line dry, we haven’t had any product build up or smells so far and all the stains really do magically disappear in the sunshine!

I have found using cloth nappies whilst out and about the be pretty straightforward as well, they might take up a little more space in the nappy bag than a stack of disposables and we need to cart the dirty nappies home instead of throwing them away, but a nice sturdy wet bag contains any mess and smells so well you would never even know.

One downside I have found is how few clothes are designed to accomodate a squishy cloth nappied bottom. Especially with a boy, shorts and pants from mainstream stores do not have enough depth in the crotch. Our solution has been a size up in some styles, or stretchy leggings for around the house (yay bonds!). I plan to make some harem pants and bigger bootied styles for later in the year, I just have to get over my fear of sewing knit fabrics first! I might be biased, but I still think a peek of patterned nappy or PUL cover looks way better than the ruffled paper waistband of a disposable hanging out the top of his pants!

So which nappies are my favourite? Well it all depends on what we need out of our nappy in that moment, here’s a rundown (remembering I am in Australia, so not all brands will be available elsewhere)…

Designer Bums – by far the cutest prints and a very trim fit

Bambooty Basics – we have the microfibre inserts, which I boost with a bamboo insert sandwiched in the middle from a different nappy. These dry super fast and stay dry on his bottom. Look out for sales, mine were $10 each!!

Flannelette Flats – super fast drying (great in cooler climates) and very absorbent, but a little bulky under clothes.

Rumparooz OSFM covers – great prints, the best I’ve seen in covers. Took a little while for these to start fitting well, but now they do they’re pretty much bomb proof with double gussets and two rows of snaps.

I am waiting to see how our small collection holds up to longer drying times over winter, but I have my eye on a few more brands I would like to try, including the Grovia All-in-one and some Bambooty Easy Dry nappies.

Introducing baby dash!

It’s a boy!
Tate William was born on 23rd November 2015 at 4.27am. He was an unexpectedly big boy at 4140g (9 pound 2 ounces) and 52cm long.

  
Tate kept us waiting an extra 8 days past his due date, the longest 8 days of my entire life (my 30th birthday occurred in there somewhere too!). Now this next part I have tossed up whether I include, but I feel like I want a record of this for myself, so here goes, this is the story of my son’s birth!

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I started reading up on the process of labour, how it would start, what I could do (if anything) to make the process less painful and avoid interventions. I had never experienced serious pain, never broken a bone etc. but wanted to experience a natural labour if at all possible. How my labour panned out though, I could never have imagined!

I was due on the 15th November, for some reason my husband and I never imagined that I would still be pregnant on this date, or any day after, silly really as first time pregnancies regularly go overdue! So when the 15th came around and I went to bed with not even a twinge we were both pretty disappointed. Overnight I woke with cramps that, when timed, actually became quite regular! They were still mild so I tried to rest, thinking it might be the start of a long labour. Imagine my dismay when I woke the next morning to zero pains, zero contractions of any type? I had an appointment with my obstetrician that morning, who despite my desperate concern, did not seem at all worried that I was how overdue (by a whole day!).

On the night of Wednesday the 18th I again had cramps that became regular, then petered out to nothing by the next morning, which happened to be my 30th birthday. This was a day I did not enjoy, I was emotional, in pain, enormous and so very impatient to meet my baby. Little did I know that all these mini contractions were adding up to a drawn out pre-labour.

I went to bed on Sunday the 22nd determined that I would be asking my obstetrician for an induction at my appointment the next morning. I had read up on the pros and cons and decided I couldn’t possibly wait another day! At 11.56pm I felt what was undoubtedly a ‘real’ contraction, maybe I wouldn’t need that induction after all?

The contractions continued, I could no longer lie in bed and time them, as the intensity increased I jumped in the shower when they were about 4-5mins apart. At about 1.30am I woke Michael up and asked him to call the hospital, just to let them know we would probably be coming in that night. The shower was no longer working, so I jumped out, contractions continuing to get stronger and closer together. It was at about this time that I vomited e v e r y w h e r e !! I was also experiencing some bleeding, not a small amount either, think post delivery type bleeding. We called the hospital back and when I explained this, they asked us to come in. So at about 2.45am we packed ourselves into the car, made sure the dog had food and water until the morning (well I didn’t, I was a little occupied) and we made our way to hospital. Now this trip normally takes 7 minutes, but with contractions coming every 2-3 minutes that I couldn’t sit through, we constantly stopped for me to walk them out on the side of the road. There is one particular bus stop that I can’t drive past now without flashbacks of a feeling to push!

Once at the hospital everything became a bit of a blur, I was taken to a delivery suite straight away where I was hooked up to a foetal monitor due to the bleeding, that put an end to my pacing or using the shower for relief. With just a fit ball next to the bed to bounce on, I was very apprehensive when the midwife offered to check how dilated I was. If I was only 4cm how was I ever going to continue without serious pain relief? To everyone’s surprise I was 10cm! I had pretty much laboured at home for the whole thing, arriving at the hospital just in time to push! I ended up on my knees on the bed, leaning over the raised end for the whole final stage. I have no idea, but I think I pushed for about 30mins before my 4.1kg (9.2 pounds) son was delivered straight into my arms at 4.27am, I got to announce his sex and hold him first, which was pretty amazing!

So in summary, I was very very fortunate to experience a 4.5 hour labour without any drugs or other interventions and delivered a healthy baby. I did lose quite a bit of blood overall and ended up with a 2nd degree tear, but immediately after I felt like superwoman! My husband cut the cord and we enjoyed several hours of skin to skin time alone in the delivery suite  that morning, getting to know our new son.

The days of pre-labour and 41st week of pregnancy were both worth the pain in the end as I experienced a low stress, fast birth where I was able to manage the pain and trust my body, this is something that I am very grateful for.

How wrong I was…

So here I am 3 months into this parenting game and wow, I was so naive! Here I was thinking, hey they sleep 18 hours a day right, so I will have SO MUCH TIME!

Yeah, not so much. It’s true, they do sleep a lot, but they also eat a lot and cry a lot too. All these things require constant attention, making the first few weeks (months) a blur of days and nights. 

So now, after 3 months, I’m finally starting to get the hang of my new little human and find some spare time. Coming up will be a few posts on the arrival of our bubba and how we are going as I want to start a bit of a record of this special time.

Ash xx

So we chose…the Joolz Geo!

A little while back I talked about what we were looking for in a pram for our first baby, due at the end of next week! We wrote a list of the most important features we wanted, as well as extras we could live without, but would be ‘nice to have’.

After lots of research, test drives and an incident with a test dummy, we finally settled on the Joolz Geo Mono in Parrot Blue…ta da!

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Above is the pram set up in bassinet mode (suitable up to 6 months & approved for sleeping overnight).

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Pram set up with the seat in forward facing mode (also parent faces with the seat on).

So the Joolz Geo is a new design, released by Joolz in February/March this year in Australia. The biggest change with this pram from the existing Joolz Day model is the fact it can convert to a double pram quickly and easily, giving lots of flexibility for the future. By removing the basket and replacing with either the second seat or second bassinet, below the existing seat or bassinet, this pram caters for two children, from newborn twins, a newborn and toddler, or even two toddlers. Both the upper and lower seat positions can also carry a maxi-cosi capsule when adapters are fitted.

A lot of families with two young children find that a dedicated double is more suitable when children are close in age or if they are both older, as these models (generally side by side configurations) tend to be more spacious and accept higher weight limits per seat. But since we are only at the beginning of our parenting journey and don’t yet know how close or far apart our children will be in age, the ability to quickly convert our existing pram for the occasional tired toddler could be all we need in the future.

The Geo also accepts a toddler board on the back, so should we be graced with 3 little people close in age, we could potentially transport them all on this one pram! The telescopic handle could be extended to give more stride space in this instance, just one example of the design philosophy behind the Joolz, where the pram is designed around those using it.

Aside from the ability to alter the seating configurations, this pram caught our eye because its just so damn pretty! Joolz is a Dutch company, renowned for their product design and I think the Geo is a beautiful streamlined and minimalist pram that almost hides some of its best features. The zips, tabs and buttons that attach accessories, hide vents in the hood, adjust seating positions and even the folding mechanisms are placed in logical locations, but are not features that overshadow the overall appearance.

Here is a list of some of the main characteristics that we looked for in a pram that the Joolz Geo has in spades:

Basket size – As you can see in the images above, the basket on the Geo is HUGE! However… as soon as you add a second seat, that basket is gone and extra accessories are needed to store anything at all on the pram (side packs are sold for this exact purpose).

Easy to fold – When the seat is installed, the Geo folds in one piece, otherwise, the bassinet needs to be removed first before folding the chassis. We compared the fold of the Joolz to other prams in its class and found the Geo to be the simplest, its really just two buttons and a flick of the wrists, no bending or secondary folds required, same to re-assemble. The Geo also has a locking clip to keep the pram folded – surprisingly this feature was lacking on the next best contender in our pram search, so if the wrong part of the pram was grasped when lifting into the car, whoops, whole thing unfolds on you in the carpark (Yep, I’m talking about the Bugaboo Buffalo)!

Durable – the Geo has suspension in all 4 wheels and 4 air filled tyres, making for a smooth, gentle ride for our little passenger over bumpy terrain. The tyres can go flat after a while, so a bike pump will be necessary, however, air filled are generally more durable than foam filled tyres if you are covering many outdoor miles.

The one main compromise that we made with the Joolz Geo is weight, this is not a light pram. With the bassinet attached, the whole thing weighs over 14kg! Even the chassis and basket alone weights 10kg and with the seat attached, its 13.3kg to lift into the car. however, when you are out and about, the smooth steering and ergonomic design means all this weight can be pushed with one hand, so doesn’t feel as unwieldy as other much lighter prams can feel (I’m looking at you Baby Jogger!).

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Pram is supplied in 3 boxes (plus all the accessories!) The boxes themselves are works of art, each turns into a cardboard model or toy for creative play.

So we purchased just a couple of accessories for our Geo (ok, so all the accessories), including: UV sun shade, tailored rain cover, side pack, Maxi Cosi adaptors, sleeping bag and the cup holder. I have the following comments on each of these:

Sun Shade – This nifty little accessory snaps onto he main hood, firstly adding one extra panel (similar to the extendable hood on a Bugaboo), but zipped up inside this is a full coverage UV/mosquito net that slips over the whole bassinet or seat, instead of clipping a dinky muslin cloth to the pram. The one con of this item is its only available in black, so doesn’t coordinate so well with my stylish navy pram 😦

Rain Cover – Ive honestly been too scared to take this out of its neat little zip pouch in case I can never get it back in, the pouch itself could be clipped to the side of the pram of thrown into the cavernous basket should rain be on the horizon.

Side Pack – This clips to the side of the frame in either bassinet or seat mode, providing extra storage if the basket is full (say for a picnic or day at the beach) or when the second seat is installed. I haven’t tried to load the side pack up with items yet, but I have a feeling it looks like it holds more than it actually will, its very padded, like a soft cooler bag. Again, thesis a universal accessory, so only comes in black, boo.

Capsule Adaptors – The Joolz prams will only accept adaptors for Maxi Cosi branded car seats, in Australia this includes the Mico and Mico AP (even though these are not specified on their website). The adaptors are very easy to use and just clip into the same slots as the bassinet and seat components do.

Sleeping Bag – This was a free promo accessory for July when we ordered the pram. The sleeping bag fits on the seat component only (perfect as we will only start using the seat come winter 2016) and looks to be very cosy! The sleeping bags are colour coded accessories, so we have a Parrot Blue one to match our pram fabrics, yay!

Cup Holder – Design Fail! We were very surprised to find that because of a slightly different telescopic handle set up between the Joolz Day and the new Geo, the cup holder does not slot onto the frame like it does on the original pram model. There are two possible alternatives – the cup holder can be attached to the frame further down towards the wheels and facing out (easily accessed by little hands and increasing the pram’s width) or by removing the frame clip and hanging the cup holder from one of the built in bag hooks on the inside of the handle (thereby making the bag hooks unusable for, you know….a bag?). Not ideal!

We spoke with a demonstrator at the Joolz exhibit at the recent Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s expo in Melbourne and they mentioned that this issue had been raised with the designers and potentially a second, redesigned frame clip would be included for Geo owners in future cup holder designs. It’s great to know Joolz are onto the issue and working on a solution, based on customer feedback, its just surprising that for a company that prides themselves on good product design, that this occurred in the first place.

All in all, we are very happy with the Joolz Geo so far, without ever having tested it with a passenger that is! The pram looks good, functions well and meets all of the criteria we set out when first researching the perfect pram for our family. Only time will tell how well it stands up to day to day use and if the features we selected end up being the most important.

Check back in for updates on how we go with the Joolz Geo and if we love it as much as we hope we will!

#Mummyfail?

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So I had been in charge at home for all of 3 hours at the beginning of my maternity leave and the above happened…

I was busy sorting out an ASOS return and was quietly proud of our puppy Evie amusing herself for the first time ever, that I never noticed she was dissecting her favourite teddy all over our house!

By the time I found her she had removed most of his abdominal stuffing (who knows how much she consumed). I will say she was very guilty once she realised what she had done. I still haven’t gotten around to sewing him back together, which she not too happy about. Teddy would sleep in her bed with her at night and guard her inside toys while she played outside, so she’s missing the sharing of responsibilities I’m sure.

What worries me most is that surely a 2 year old human child can get up to far more trouble than a 10 month old mini groodle – so what chance do I have of keeping things under control in the future?? Looks like I’ll need to start paying lots more attention, especially to silence, silence is surely a sign of impending disaster!

So what is a Food Scientist??

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I mentioned my occupation on the ‘About Me’ page, but it’s not something thats clear cut like ‘Real Estate Agent’ or ‘Nurse’, so I’ll fill you in 🙂

A Food Scientist understands the way foods work in the human body, but not to the same degree as a dietician, we also understand manufacturing processes, a bit like an engineer, but we are different to both these roles. Basically Food Scientists study the way food works, when ingredients are combined, what happens? We often have a background in chemistry or microbiology, then our expertise develops based on the roles we assume within industry.

In Australia, Food Scientists generally work for government departments, food retailers (supermarkets) and the bigger manufacturers, in product development, regulation and marketing. We can be lab based, working on product formulations, or never don a lab coat and deal entirely in product labels or consultancy, depending on experience. When a new food product is launched, a Food Scientist will have been involved in many ways, from developing the initial formulation, running tasting panels, approving label designs and building a marketing strategy.

I have worked in both the manufacturing side (chocolate factory – nothing like Willy Wonka) and for a food retailer as a private label product compliance consultant. The most interesting thing about the job, to me, is the variety and the opportunity to be part of something bigger. Everyone eats and in today’s culture, most people have an interest in food, how its made and where it comes from, so its cool to be a part of all that!

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Why I chose cloth…

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Before we ever saw those two parallel lines on a pregnancy test, years and years before in fact, I knew I would be a cloth nappy mum. It was one of the first aspects of parenting that I discussed with my husband and I was so relieved that he was also on board.

I always assumed that terry towelling flats, pins and plastic covers, like my mum used on me nearly 30 years ago were going to be my only option (which I was ok with) – so imagine my surprise when I first started researching all the options that make up Modern Cloth Nappies these days! The absorbency options, gorgeous patterns and washing routines were mind boggling!

I love a project and there was certainly a lot to learn before I started buying up my initial cloth nappy stash.

But firstly, why did I choose cloth, what had made my mind up all those years ago? To be honest, it was rubbish – neighbours overflowing bins full of rubbish, seeing them sneak bags into other people’s garbage on bin night because they had a bazzilion dirty nappies filling up their own wheelie bin. The waste produced by the smallest members of our neighbours families was mind boggling, not to mention the affect this has on landfill and no one needs anything extra to add to the existing mummy/daddy guilt lumped on news parents these days!

The statistic that has stayed with Mr Dash, that he likes to quote back every time someone casts doubt over our cloth plans is this ‘every disposable nappy ever made, ever, is still in landfill somewhere on this planet’. This is because biodegradability studies have found that a standard disposable nappy takes 500 years to break down, since disposables were only invented last century,  that’s a lot more generations of nappies to add to that statistic too.

Often the water usage of washing cloth nappies comes up in the cloth vs disposable debate. I read somewhere in my research that assuming you do cold water washes every second day, the water used to make disposables is greater for an equivalent number of nappies. Not to mention the fact that other baby clothes can be added to a nappy wash cycle after the initial rinse is done.

The initial outlay for a full time cloth nappy stash can be considerable, especially if you go down the full MCN all-in-one route (I recommend the fluff love university page for a great run down on nappy types), but when this cost is averaged over a child’s whole nappy career and if subsequent children are included, the savings compared to disposables, even in Australia where prices an higher, are significant. You’re looking at around $500-1500 for 3ish years in cloth, compared to over $2000-3000 for disposables, more even if you stick with Huggies or don’t shop the specials.

An unexpected perk of cloth, that I’m sure goes against the whole idea of reusable baby products is the consumerism – there are so many colours, styles, systems to try, it’s been a bit addictive! To keep the cost argument in my favour I have had to reign in the spending and stick to only one or two of each type to trial, but buying nappies has been a really fun way to prepare for baby. Once we have found the best solution for our family, then I can start buying up more.

Seriously, do I need to say any more about the cute factor…

  
Lastly, I will say that we have faced some backlash, plenty of people have thrown us shade when we tell them we are going cloth, especially my workmates, who say we won’t last til Christmas. The poo factor is the main sticking point (pardon the pun 😜) for most people. Yes I understand the desire to chuck a particularly nasty disposable straight in the bin when out, but an airtight wet bag in a hidden corner of the nappy bag or pram basket can be just as convenient if you are prepared.

I guess I’ll be back with an update on our cloth journey once Baby Dash arrives, but we are pretty determined to make cloth work for us!

My Pram Wish List

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High on the ‘must buy’ list for all new parents is a pram or stroller for getting around with a new baby. As the excitement of the initial pregnancy news starts to wain and the itty gritty research begins, this is where most mums and dads begin.

We know basically no other parents with babies, so started our pram search as complete novices, first having to learn the differences between prams and strollers, 3 vs 4 wheelers, travel systems, forward and rear facing and convertible bassinets. It was a lot to get our heads around!

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After reading a few comparisons online and a quick visit to a local baby chain store, we had compiled a list of features that were ‘must haves’ as well as some ‘nice to haves’, these are below:

Newborn suitable – we preferred the idea of a dedicated bassinet rather than a lay flat seat option.

Ease of use – I’m not the most mechanically minded, so a pram that was easy to fold and set up was very important. I have had nightmares about being stuck at Chadstone in the Christmas rush with a crying newborn and a pram that refuses to collapse – the fear is real!

Pretty – Is it just me or are there some ugly-a*se prams around these days? I didn’t want something that looked like a space ship and the colour had to be gender neutral as we don’t know the sex of our little dash.

Durable – I love long walks and our puppy demands them, so a pram that can not only withstand many, many kilometres a day, but transport bubs in comfort was important to us.

Storage – We live about 300m from the local supermarket, so popping baby dash in the pram and ducking to the shops will be much quicker than getting in the car. Therefore, a pram with a big basket to hold groceries was important.

Now on to our ‘nice to haves’ –

Capsule compatible – shortly after we announced our pregnancy our gorgeous first niece was born, her parents swore by the convenience of a pram frame that accepts a capsule, making short trips out and the transition between shops, car and home much simpler.

Sibling enabled – a pram that takes a second seat, but avoids the bulk of a true double pram adds flexibility and longevity without knowing when our family will be expanding next.

Lightweight – something i can easily lift in and out of the boot of the car on my own, either in two pieces or as a single fold.

So thats it, thats basically what we were looking for when shopping for a pram. Now stay tuned next week for a run down of what we chose, if there was anything we had to compromise and if our needs changed once we started shopping…