Categories
Product Review

Munchkin’s Favourite Eight!

The top 8 products for a Munchkin like ours.

Doomoo
The doomoo, I would say, stands for ‘do more’. It’s a comfortable bean bag seat with a safety harness for little ones, but changes to a seat without the harness for children up to 30kg. This was a gift for our Munchkin and it’s been a lifesaver. When you need to take your bubba to another room while you clean or do the washing just use the Doomoo with a few toys. They will be comfortable, safe and happy leaving you happy (but obviously devastated you’re doing the housework ๐Ÿ˜”). https://doomoo.com.

Angelcare bath support.
Before they can sit, with a little wriggley bum, you need a good bath support. This support is perfect for lying back, playing with the bubbles and kicking water to splash Mummy and Daddy ๐Ÿฅฐ. There was no way we could bathe our Munchkin solo without one. https://angelcarebaby.com.

Mio miosolo Reusable nappies
When you get used to them, reusable nappies are great for offloading some of that plastic footprint created by having a baby. They have awesome funky designs, zero nappy rash and make a happy Munchkin and Daddy who know they are helping the plastic pollution problem ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š. https://www.bambinomio.com

Baby Sleeping bags
Using sleeping bags simply took the fear away from bed time. No need to worry that the Munchkin will wrap himself in a sheet or be at the wrong temperature. Just pop him in, zip him up and relax. If he actually goes to sleep that is….๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ˜ด

In the photo below our Munchkin is sporting a Gro bag, however everywhere from Mothercare to supermarkets sell them!

Gro Egg 2.
Using sleeping bags means you need to know the temperature. The Gro Egg 2 makes this simple with colour coding lighting to let you know what temperature range you are in and a digital display to know the exact temperature. It’s an easy glance at bedtime to know he’s going in the right tog sleeping bag for complete peace of mind โ˜บ๏ธ. https://gro.co.uk/product/groegg-2.

Chicco Next2me crib.

This is wifey-endorsed recommendation. Night feeds are tough and every little helps. For ease of Munchkin access the Next2me has been essential. It also packs up with ease for use as a travel cot in the early months. So that’s two products for the price of one ๐Ÿ™ƒ. https://www.chicco.co.uk.

Cot with a changing station.
With babies come nappies and with nappies comes changing. Sorry, lots of changing. A cot with a changing station made this much easier and kinder on your knees and back. It also gives choice. When you didn’t want to crouch to change on the floor you can take the stairs. One evil always wins over the other.

Cosatto travel system
The Cosatto wow was our number one travel system choice due to its style and that everything was included in a package. It’s stylish, suits our nursery theme and the Munchkin loves it! (You can tell as you can often catch him talking to the foxes!) ๐ŸฆŠ

My full review. https://www.cosatto.com/

So that’s our favourite product line up (at least for months 0-7). What are yours?

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

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Categories
Plastic Recycling Reducing plastic

Recycle more with Terracycle

If, like me, you want to reduce the amount of plastics that end up in landfill you’ll be interested in Terracycle.

Terracycle is a company with three streams of recycling. There’s only one relevant to me, which this post is about, which is the free recycling.

The free recycling programmes are funded by conscientious companies and are then supplemented by a network of local people and companies. For example, I found a collector on a walk with the Munchkin the other day. They had an extra bin in their garden ready to collect for multiple schemes.

The schemes/collections take all the recycables you cant put in your local waste recycling bin. For example:

  • Crisp, nut and popcorn packaging
  • Chocolate wrappers, multipack packaging
  • Washing tab packets
  • Bread bags
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes
  • Air fresheners
  • Face wipe, soap dispenser nozzles, make up and cream tubs
  • Pet food pouches
  • Tassimo pods, pod packaging, coffee refill pouches
  • Ella’s kitchen packaging
  • And many many more…….

How do I start? A walk-through

Find the list of free collection programmes here:

Find a programme that recycles what your waste. For example, if you want to recycle crisp packets youd find multiple schemes:

Scroll down and check the ‘Accepted waste’ section to check that that scheme collects the waste you generate. For example ‘The KP Snacksยฎ Nuts, Popcorn, Crisps and Pretzels Packet Recycling Programme’ takes all brands of crisp, popcorn, nut and pretzel packs.

Check the best practices section below to know how they want the recyclables then scroll back up and check the locations by clicking here:

Drop off locations list.

Find a collector, collect and deliver. Its as simple as that. Find a collector that is collecting for all the scheme of waste you generate and boom!, its just one extra trip each time you want to empty your collections.

Here is my ultra glamorous collection area at my home. When these boxes are full ill pop down to the road, empty and begin collecting again.

My current collection set up. I intend to get some proper bins soon!

There are collection points everywhere. Here is the map for England for the KP nuts scheme:

There’s more goodness…?

Yep. Not only will you be saving the planet but Terracycle also give Terracycle points to collectors which can be redeemed for ‘ charitable gifts, TerraCycle products, or a donation to a school or non-profit of your choice’.

Its a win win win scheme. Less waste, less plastic going to landfill, more money going to charities and schools and consequently more happy people.

If you have any questions, visit my contact page.

Here is the link again. Recycle more!

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin.

Categories
Plastic Reducing plastic

The Plastic Problem and our Promises

Unless you’ve been living under a rock it’s likely been unavoidable to know about the plastic problem on this planet.

To tackle our plastic footprint, reducing single use plastics are the swaps we started with and there have been some easy switches I’ve made. (Though there are plenty more to make too).

It didn’t happen overnight. It has been a slow process of reducing bits one by one for us.

We started in the kitchen. Cling film was a big bug bear of mine so that went first. Swiftly followed were food and freezer bags and both of these were easily swapped for reusable tubs.

We then looked to the next big pile up of plastic: shopping bags. We began recycle our shopping bags and replace them with more permanent tote style bags. Most supermarkets have collection bins and Ocado even pay you to take them (with an order). For fruit and veg we started to take it loose too. There are plenty of alternate plastic-free fruit and veg bags out there if you really need to use something.

Ocado’s bag recycle bonus from their FAQ

I then made an extra effort to recycle more and correctly. It’s amazing when you look at it what you can and can’t. Checking with your local authority is the place for this one.

Terracycle recycling began this year. A colleague at work set up collection for our company.

The Terrecycle scheme takes near to everything you can’t traditionally recycle. For example: crisps packets (grr), toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, chocolate wrappers, sweet wrappers…….the list goes on. And on and on and on. You just need to find a collector which you can do on the website, deliver to them and they send then on to Terracycle. (I’ll write a detailed post about Terracycle soon!).

My ultra glamorous (temporary as I’ll improve it) Terracycle collection set up

From those reductions I’d only be less than quarter-filling my bin destined for landfill, rather than the previous three quarters.

But then the Munchkin arrived and so did disposable nappies. You only had to look in the bin every fortnight to see the effect with the bin back up to half full.

We had to try something different! We changed to Mio miosolo nappies when Munchkin was around 5 and a half months and then just use disposables for the nights as this is where reusables seem to struggle. It’s another load of washing so a little extra effort but that is a small sacrifice for the 25 nappies not ending up in landfill each week. Especially given those 25 extra nappies would outlive our little Munchkin by 100 years or more.

A happy Munchkin in a Mio miosolo nappy ๐Ÿฅฐ

Future swaps I’m looking at are trying reusable baby wipes and biogradable nappies for the nights. Though hopefully when Munchkin sleeps through the night the washable nappies may last ๐Ÿคž.

It’s not about changing everything, and it’s not about doing it overnight. It’s about changing bit by bit overtime. It all adds up and makes a difference.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

Categories
Product Review

Product review: Cosatto

Before we even starting trying for a baby I’d already picked my travel system. It was all about the brand. It’s quality, it’s distinctive style and the companies passion and personality.

It had to be a Cosatto.

Munchkin agrees too!

Firstly the design. There are just so many dull travel systems on the market and Cosatto challenge that with their beautiful patterns. You’ll often find Munchkin staring up and sometimes chatting to the foxes ๐Ÿ˜Š. It also perfectly compliments our woodland nursery design and is perfectly gender neutral for baby.2 (if baby.2 will be a girl).

A versatile off-roader

We went for the whole nine yards bundle of travel system from 0-4 years, car seat, i-size isofix base, changing bag and footmuff.

It was at the higher end of travel systems yet still a few hundred short of some of the other big brands with more included in the package. It’s easy to use and versatile, handling poor pavement and off-road adventures with ease. It’s easy to navigate and simple to adjust.

Comfy I-size security

I-size car base means it’s super safe too. Which makes us super happy parents ๐Ÿ™‚.

Overall I love the brand. But when it comes to buying your travel system go with your heart.

Oh and also wait for the sales! Over nine months of pregnancy you are likely to go through three sale periods at least ๐Ÿ˜. There’s no point in paying more than you have to.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin.

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Categories
Weaning

The Wonderful World of Weaning

Food glorious food

Just before Munchkin’s 6 month milestone we started weaning. The wonderful world of weaning that is.

From the off you could tell he loved food when he grabbed the first spoonful and took it to his mouth. This surprised us both. Though, it was shortly followed by a face of disgust.

One month later after the taste-test phase we are on to three meals a day. Generally porridge for brekky, a puree for lunch with a crisp and some fruit to suck on and something with more solids for dinner.

Yummy Ella’s kitchen melty crisps which Munchkin immediately took to.

We have tried and tested many baby foods and making our own purees but when it comes to a baby food company, the standout for us is Ella’s kitchen.

This is for two reasons above the good taste, organic ingredients and our Munchkin’s preferences .

For starters, home freezing. Ella’s kitchen purรฉes are generally freezeable. This was a necessity for us when starting out, as our Munchkin would only have less than a quarter of a pouch.

Secondly, all their packaging is recyclable as part of their Ellacycle scheme via Terracycle. (I’ll praise and tell you more about Terracycle in a future post ๐Ÿ˜Š, but if you want to do more here’s a handy dandy link).

The next weeks’ dinners

I also thought that there is a lot of contradictory information out there on weaning. So what we did is look over that advice and follow what we felt at the time. For example with solids we experimented early and stepped back if it was too soon.

Overall, my main piece of advice would be to enjoy it. It’s messy and can be a worry but it’s fun to discover what your baby likes and seeing them cover themselves in food like our Munchkin in the gorgeous shot below.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin.

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Categories
Shared Parental Leave

Shared Parental Leave (the reason I started to blog)

Shared parental leave is the government initiative to give the Mother’s partner an opportunity to share the Maternity leave entitlement. It can begin when you opt to end maternity leave and then the remaining leave can be shared between both parents.

For us, we decided that the wifey Natalie would take the first 6 months and I would take the final 3. This meant we would get the same pay entitlements as shared parental pay is equal to statutory maternity pay, which is what Natalie would be receiving in these three months. It also meant Natalie returned to work at an ideal time for her career.

In September 2019 I began SPL and my three months of leave. It’s fair to say it was a rocky start. We were fully breast feeding our Munchkin for the first 6 months. So 6 months began a switch to bottle feeding, the start of weaning and a change from Mummy to Daddy. This was A LOT OF CHANGE and the resulting Munchkin bottle hunger strike was a fair response. But we made it through…

Regarding SPL, the whole process can be a tad confusing and, as per anything like this, there is a lot of forms to complete. It’s also a new-ish process so naturally that comes with unknowns.

If you have any questions feel free to ask me and I’ll try my best to answer them.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin