Friday, February 29, 2008

Lunch isn't what it used to be

In the weeks BW (before walking) I could meet with my baby-friends and enjoy a leisurely lunch every now and then. We'd kick back over singular glasses of wines and discuss pureed food, sleeping habits and how to deal with work/baby issues.

But this week - and you're going to like this one - L'il lovely is walking. Not sure if you'll have heard of the expression... but I 'didn't know I was born'.

After releasing her from the high chair, I was no longer able to take two consecutive mouthfuls of food or listen (let alone join in) the conversation.

My friends' boys have been walking for a while, but somehow they seem to ignore the potential/actual mayhem going on around them. They are also very convincing in not appearing to notice me vaulting over buggies to make sure L'il Lovely doesn't fall off furniture, down steps, get in the way of waiting staff and so on. I know bumps and bruises are inevitable - but I don't want her to be hurt unnecessarily.

So perhaps I'm being over protective. Hopefully once L'il Lovely is a bit steadier and less staggering, I can get back into the conversation - even though we might not be able to spend so long over lunch.

And of course, she's going to listen to me when I tell her play nicely, do some drawing and not to run around... isn't she?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Maternity profiling

Here's the link to the Guardian story about maternity profiling.

http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/family/story/0,,2259070,00.html

I'm reposting it, because I think this is a shocking situation for American women. It's a level of discrimination that we'd be appalled by in the UK - though I'm sure there's a few employers who would disagree.

Stokke Care - changing station

One of my concerns about having a baby was screwing up my back. I'm 5ft 9 - I really didn't want to find myself kneeling on the floor changing L'il Lovely's nappy or crouching over a changing station that's just too low.

17 months on and I'm still really pleased to have this changing station. It's very deep, so L'il Lovely can lie down in front of me - far easier than changing her from the side.

Like all babies, she can wriggle. But because the changing table is at the right height, I feel far more in control and able to deal with her writhing about.

With very deep shelves underneath, I'm still able to stash stuff out of her reach at the back of a shelf. The whole thing is on wheels - so whenever I take it into my head to rearrange her room, it's really easy. (What does it mean if you love rearranging furniture - constantly striving for the perfect arrangement... after all, I'm no good at crafts, so is this my creative outlet?)

Ikea Antilop High Chair

This high chair from Ikea costs just £11 plus £4 for the tray.

Easy to clean, very modern, easy to assemble - but not ideal if you want to fold the chair away between meals.

Even my mother-in-law couldn't fault it. When you are in the early months of having a baby and feel inundated with stuff you don't like, that can seem really important.

Totseat - the portable high chair

I'm going to start a review section of all the baby gear that has worked - and some that haven't.

To kick off - I present to you, the Totseat. £22 if you are buying in the UK. Their website gives details of international suppliers.

It's a genius lightweight, portable high chair. Especially good for pokey restaurants and cafes and a tactful way of avoiding grotty, dirty or just plain broken highchairs that some places are so thoughtful to provide.

I keep this in the bottom of the pram. It goes everywhere with me and has been borrowed by a number of friends for holidays and emergencies. Despite appearances, it doesn't turn all babies into beer-crazed fiends.

Reusable nappies... you know you want to

For anyone considering using reusable nappies (diapers), I have to say I recommend it - especially the pre-shaped nappies. I used bamboozles with aplix (like velcro) fastenings in small and medium up until L'il Lovely was 11 months old, and then swopped over to Mother-ease nappies. These were sold in a local baby shop (Baby Ark) and also had popper fastenings - which L'il Lovely can't undo. My daughter has only experienced nappy rash when using disposables. I do use disposable nappies for nightime, but overall I think reusables look a whole lot cuter and give a baby a lovely round butt.

A few other benefits include;
  • They work. Shaped nappies stay on and use flexible velcro or popper fastenings allowing for plenty of growth. Additional liners can be snapped on to motherease nappies (and other makes) and can handle quite a lot of liquid. Using flushable liners between the nappy and skin, wicks moisture away from the skin while the natural fibres allow air to circulate, hence less risk of nappy rash.

  • Less impact on the environment from the production of reusables compared to disposables. Bamboozle nappies made by Totbots are made from bamboo, one of the fastest renewable sources in the world.

  • It's possible to reduce the environmental impact of washing and drying reusables. Pre-rinse any of the real nasties off the nappy as soon as possible (a good shake down a flushing toilet usually does the trick) and then nappies can be washed at 30 degrees along with other clothes - making up a full washing load. Air dry when ever possible, however a tumble dryer will keep the fibres softer - so use a low temperature setting.

  • They don't stain. Incredible isn't it. Although if you are nervous of stains, Totbots do sell nappies in a particularly vivid shade of orange...

  • A few drops of tea tree oil in a lidded bucket will tackle any nasty smells while you wait to generate enough washing for a full load.

  • In theory, babies using reusable nappies are quicker to potty train. They know when they are wet and understand how much better it is to be dry.

  • Everything you need is availble on-line. In the UK, it seems only Waitrose stocks reusable Mother-ease nappies and flushable liners on a regular basis. Boots do some great liners in some stores - these are washable (fine when just wet but not when covered in stinky stuff) but aren't said to be flushable.

Starting over

Blogging had rapidly gone from being something to do now and then, into something I was starting to do at work.

It was getting out of hand. It was even making me feel guilty and paranoid. So I quit. Ditched the blog.

But I did like blogging and did like the people I was meeting through the blogging community. So this blog is about keeping things in proportion, sharing thoughts on motherhood and childcare - but leaving work... at work.

I won't be posting so frequently - but I hope that will lead to more thoughtful posts and more opportunities for comment.

If there are any old blogs that you'd like to see again, let me know. There are a few I'll be recreating just because I liked them.