A question answered- Eco baby wipes

I don't get many emails through my blog. But when I do I always try to answer them. This week I had an email from Sarah who is preparing to cloth nappy baby no 2.


Thank you for your informative blogs. Can you recommend an eco/skin friendly way of wiping at nappy change time?


I thought I'd publish ny reply in case any other mamas wanted to know


Hi Sarah,
Pleased to here you like the blog. We just use water and reusable baby wipes.
You can buy these from a company called cheeky wipes or make them by cutting microfiber kitchen cloths into 5" squares.
They can go in a normal wash and if your baby has a rash then you can use any natural oil (coconut, olive etc) to act as a barrier.
We've just had baby no2 and these wipes are so handy for cleaning spit up too. Much easier than using a muslin every time.
Good luck with the cloth!

Toddler allotmenting -Chitting Parsnip Seeds

chitting parsnip seed, growing vegetables with toddlers
We are still in the process of digging over our allotment beds for planting at the moment. So I'm trying to start off as many seedlings off indoors as possible. Today we took on the challenge of trying to germinate parsnip seed indoors.
Parsnips are notoriously hard to germinate. You need to give them the right temperature (above 8c), they have a rubbish germination rate unless you use fresh seeds, and ensure the beds are well prepared before planting. Parsnips hate having their roots disturbed so you can't start them off in modules under glass.
We have clearance seed bought last year, before I read up that parsnips do best from fresh seed. So I know the germination rate won't be great, which is why I've chosen to start them off by chitting them.
As you can see small person loved helping sow the seeds. He enjoyed it far more than any sensory play we've tried lately.

How to chit parsnip seeds

  1. Lay sheets of kitchen or toilet roll in a seed tray
  2. Water the sheets
  3. Scatter the seed on top
  4. Check every day
  5. When roots start forming plant seed up

Sowing parsnips indoors

  1. You need biodegradable tubes to start the plants off in- toilet rolls work great, or you can make tubes out of newspaper. Fill the pots with compost
  2. Put two seeds/seedlings in each tube
  3. Gently cover with a thin layer of compost
  4. Once you have your third leaf showing (the first true leaf) thin our the weaker of two seedlings.
  5. Slowly harden plants off outside over 7-10 days

Planting out parsnip seedlings

  1. Before planting out make sure you have dug over beds well. You need to dig down to a depth of two feet, removing any stones or weeds and add a layer of mature compost.
  2. Plant parsnips in trenches 10" apart, with a spacing of 3" between plants
  3. Time to harvest is approx 100 days from germination. You can winter your parsnips by building up around the plant before first frost with compost. 
  4. Pull up as required

An apology to my "naughty" toddler

Today I was struggling with being a heavily pregnant mum of a toddler. Nobody slept well last night, and I woke up nackered, headachey, nauseous and generally pretty crummy.
Unfortunately it is my 18 month old son who has really suffered today. A tired mama, has meant lazy parenting. Or perhaps not lazy, but negative parenting. He's been told no, been called a pickle, don't do that, stop, and even at one point ( I am ashamed to say) naughty.
It all starts to unravel, once you start saying no. Well in my house it does. My toddler laughs. He shrieks and runs. He rushes to repeat the "doot-doo-dat" activity or giggles as he repeats and shouts nah ah ah. The behaviour gets worse as a try to hold him still, and get him to listen to what I say. Or I become frustrated and try to up the ante, by making eye contact and explaining it is a no.

Let's be honest. My experience has shown me that saying no doesn't work. Getting cross with my baby, makes him respond by performing more negative behaviours. I'm so deep in the trenches, feeling so sorry for myself, feeling so cross that I have to deal with this monster child solo- that I have temporarily become insane.

Cleaning without chemicals - the five things you need to buy

After I got pregnant with my son, a desire to live quite simpler life took hold of me. I found I was no longer happy dousing my body and home in chemicals in the name of cleanliness. Over two years later, our home is mainly chemical free.

Planning a homebirth

With less than two months til I am full term with baby number two, I have just started thinking about planning my homebirth.
I have already told my midwife that I want my homebirth, she has been very supportive, and will be visiting me later this month to officially write my plan.
In the meantime I want to make sure that I do everything I can to make labour a smooth process and reduce risk of hospital transfers.
I plan to start using natural and herbal remedies to condition my body to be in the best condition it can possibly be.
planning a natural homebirth

Planning allotment beds

Last May we got our allocated our allotment plot. It was my first proper garden and I really wanted to make our allotment a great place for family time and growing food.
As it was late in the season and the plot was over grown, our key mission last year was to clear the plot, and pray we could get something in on time. We did well with Bush plants like marrows and pumpkins. In fact we just used the last pumpkin this week.
But there was no real plan involved. So this year I've been using the last legs of winter to plan the perfect allotment bed set up.
planning childrens allotment

Alternaritives to Supermarket Squash


Freaked out but reports of a recall without reason on Tesco's squash? Worried about the aspartame that's inside those drinks? Maybe it's time to say good bye to supermarket squash and say hello to one of these alternatives?

Fighting colds and flu with food

I'm pretty good at getting through the cold and flu season without being wiped out. I'm not sure if it's because I'm pregnant or because the weather is so miserable this year, but this week I was really suffering with a yucky cold.
Being pregnant there isn't much I can take to treat colds from the pharmacy, so I started to look into foods that could help cure my cold.


Five vegetables to grow in pots

starting  container garden

If you want to grow vegetables but don't have any ground to grow in, there are still plenty of ways you can grow your own food. From barrels, to hanging packets, plastic pots and poly sacks we've pretty much tried it all in our attempt to grow a kitchen garden. 

Starting a degree on maternity leave

I've taken a giant leap of faith and have started my degree in Psychology. It's quite scary because I've just seen my tutor assessment dates, and I will be due to hand in one assignment a week or so after sissy's due date.
starting a degree on maternity leave