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Day to day Parent

Five tips for a New Dad

You are excited, but apprehensive. You make the most of those final full nights rest before being flung into a world of changing nappies, sleepless nights but magical moments. Everything changes, so here are my five tips for a new parent, from my experience.

Day one for me

1. Share the Responsibility.

This is 2021, and parenting isn’t the Mum’s job, so its time to share everything. Share the piles of baby washing, the feeding (if you can), the bath times and the bum changes. Chances are you are both equally knackered, so make it the best for you both.

Oh that note, don’t sleep through the night feeds (as hard as that can be). I would always wake, and ask if there was anything I could do or if Natalie wanted some company. This meant I’d usually do the bum change, then pass to Natalie for a feed.

2. Remain in the moment

I started blogging and my Instagram during time off with our Munchkin, but this is where time begins to fly. So pull yourself away from your devices and have some quality time with your little one. You can read about my realisation of this in ‘Living in the Present‘.

3. It can be overwhelming. Take some ‘me’ time.

This could sound like the opposite of points 1 & 2, but its also important to have some time to yourself. Make time for whatever helps you unwind, as all that play and baby books could send you a tad crazy. So make a deal with your partner to give an hour to them, and half one yourself.

4. Split all the jobs and always offer to help

Similar to point one, split all the other jobs. Take a 50:50 approach and see how it helps. My wifey and I split everything, from the cleaning, to the washing to the garden. As a result, there’s never a disagreement and with a little baby around, that’s more important than ever.

5. Make time for your partner

It’s easy to spend all your time on your little one and forget about each other. It may seem silly, but it can be good to schedule in a ‘date night’ or trip away (when permitted) while the Grandparents get some baby time. We had a spa night away in Munchkin’s first year. It was great to have some chill time and some ‘us’ time.

Do you have any other tips for new dads? Let me know in the comments.

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Day to day Plastic Product Review Reducing plastic

Koh – The all in one cleaner – review

I never thought I cared that much about cleaning, then I spent months at home during lockdown and kept seeing the same adverts. One cleaning solution for all jobs, which powerfully cleans the oven but is equally safe for kids toys. There was only one way to know if it works. I had to give it a go.

I bought one of their packages. This included cleaning solution (delivered in a wine box style container), reusable washable cleaning cloths, a refillable spraying bottle and some tough diamond scrubbers. That’s a significant saving of single use plastic bottles and cloths. Its also eco-certified, vegan and cruelty free.

I tested the bathroom first. Blimey did it shine like never before, and all without burning my nostrils and throat with bleach (the usual occourence when scrubbing the grout.

Then came the true test, the oven. Following the instructions, you spray and leave the solution on for two minutes, then spray a diamond scrubber and get to work. Our oven needed some TLC, but after one go it improved substantially, and after two looked good as new. No over-priced, hazardous oven cleaning set in sight.

A few months down the line, impressed, we tried the mop package. With reusable, washable mop pads this is another game changer. It also comes with a neat little silicone scrubber and hair catcher. The pads attach and detach easily, and machine wash for re-usability.

The solution is scent free. However, that makes it personalisable. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the bottle, shake, and you’ve got your own personal fragranced cleaner. We’ve currently got some lavender scent and its lovely!

Then the most important one. It’s child safe (although keep the neat solution away from their little hands). What it means, is we can go from the oven to his toys, knowing when dry, they are perfectly safe to play with again. And we can use it with the mop, knowing he can crawl or walk over it straight after!

Price wise it also pays for itself. With what I now have, compared to the oven cleaner, non washable mop pads, mop solution, window cleaner, cloths, bathroom cleaner, bleach…. etc etc I now just have one solution.

Therefore its cheaper, safer, effective and better for the environment!

I’ll sum it up easily:

Price, safety, useability, environmental impact

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Do you have any eco friendly cleaning switches? let me know in the comments below

Daddy reviewed, Munchkin approved.

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Day to day Plastic Reducing plastic

Wood you like to play?

With a planet drowning in plastic the switch to wooden toys may be one thing to help prevent the crisis. With wooden toys becoming reasonably priced, featuring popular characters, readily available and aesthetically pleasing why wouldn’t you?

We knew we wanted to make Munchkin as single use plastic free as possible from before he was born (though, we admit, it took months to be totally plastic free). So we switched his nappies, wipes, removed nappy bags, bought second hand plastic (or promised to re-gift or hand down) and always aim to buy wooden toys. Read about our plastic swaps and promises in the links below.

Admittedly, with toys, its not always this simple. Toddlers are stimulated by lights and sounds, where wooden toys can be more aimed at role play, or mentally challenging tasks like puzzles, shape or colour sorting. Knowing this, we didn’t avoid plastic to allow Munchkin access to these features, but use Facebook marketplace, or when buying new, are happy knowing we will use this for Baby-G 2.0, or sell on or donate in the future.

However there are many a wooden alternative to plastic toys and their prices are decreasing. Just weeks ago, we found a solid wooden alphabet animal shaped puzzle in Wilkinson’s for £5. The big shows are also going plastic free with ‘Hey Dougee’ and ‘Peppa Pig’ getting eco-friendly with their offerings so there’s something for every child.

My only worry now though, is when you take a glance up the older children’s aisles in our toy shop. It seems the older kids get, the more limited the wooden offerings become. Lets hope this changes before Munchkin grows up.

So why not treat your little one this Christmas, and also help save this wonderful planet for their future?

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Day to day Family Nanny

Just in case you were wondering…

Just in case you were wondering…

I felt compelled to write a few words about what I was up to at the moment, obviously no fantastic holidays abroad, no day trips to London or theatre experiences to talk about, but I have been busy!

Tuesdays are just so special, looking after the munchkin. He is so full of energy and so funny. He picks up songs and actions so easily and literally copies a lot of what I do and say. We have a little walk out in the morning to the park and to go puddle hunting! He chatters non stop, listens for the planes and trains, points out birds and dogs and hands me many stones and wet leaves. My son is working from home, at the moment, so I see him too, which is great. We go out again, in the pushchair, in the afternoon, to give his Dad a bit more peace to work in.

I see my mum regularly and this involves a little cleaning and getting her shopping. This has also involved getting her new fencing and a shed, sorting out other sheds, rooms and cupboards, buying various household items, doing her online banking and bills. There is always something that needs replacing or looking into.

The gym has been a blessing, but now it is closed again, I am back to walking, as long as it is not raining. My husband and I practice on our guitars regularly and a bottle of wine occasionally accompanies us! I have done some baking, but that always involves calories, so have tried pickling onions and homemade coleslaw. We do tend to watch tele in the evenings and old episodes of “task master” has kept us entertained.

That almost sums up life, at the moment. Longing for the chance to see friends and family on a regular basis and the possibility of a normal life seems to be almost there.

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