Eco-parenting: cloth bum birthdays and alternatives for new parents

Two things on my mind today, potty training Joss, and thinking about how new parents are introduced to eco alternatives.

Potty training is something we’re taking really slowly and it’s definitely easier now the nicer weather is here; we had a lovely day with the paddling pool out yesterday and she pootled in and out to use the potty and announced loudly all her movements, followed by “clever girl” and clapping herself!

I’d guess we’re not going to be using our cloth nappies for too much longer so what I’m about to share is lovely, but we won’t be indulging in more nappies anytime soon!

So, Happy First Birthday George! In honour of Prince George turning one Totsbots have released a super-duper new unlimited easyfit V4 print, Birthday! I don’t have one but I have seen one today, and it’s a beauty, here’s a sneak peek!

totsbots george birthday nappy

When I wrote this post about eco-parenting I guess it was aimed at folks who are already interested in the green and ethical route. It got me thinking about the information parents get in the early days and I suppose for most parents the Bounty Pack will have been one of their first experiences of marketing aimed at new parents. Given out at my first antenatal appointment I gratefully accepted my pack as a way to carry my hospital notes, by the time I got the forms for my last pack I didn’t collect it. The cynic in me finds the idea of this marketing route really interesting, especially as most mums I’ve spoken to have stories to tell about receiving theirs and a survey by Mumsnet last year of more than 1,000 mothers who gave birth since May 2012 found that over half – 56 per cent – thought that the Bounty rep invaded their privacy.

My own story is that I heard I wouldn’t be taking my baby home on the fourth day from the Bounty rep who said, “oh we’ll see you tomorrow as you’re staying another day or two” – it just felt like this person on the hospital wards had access to more information than I’d have liked.

Aside from my experiences, the contents of the Bounty Pack are highly commercial and in some ways a bit scary. As an anxious new parent all the antibacterial sprays, washes and stain removers fed my fears about cleanliness and most of the contents were highly chemical, stuff we just didn’t and don’t use.

This week I’ve reviewed a Mama Pack and I think it’s a brilliant alternative. A much nicer, less wasteful sample pack this is the pack I’d have liked to receive when Joss was born. I’ve seen some of the variations of these packs, priced at £1 (sometimes free with larger orders) and available from many cloth nappy or eco retailers they are a good introduction to eco and ethical alternatives and one I’d like to see rolled out locally including good quality local information for new parents.

The Mama Pack is a breath of fresh air in this respect, packed with goodies that get you thinking about green issues.

Mama pack

Water Wipes are a good crossover for parents who might be unsure about making the move to washable wipes but who want to avoid chemical nasties. They are a cotton wipe which contains 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract; I use these for long days out and they’re great for sensitive skin too.

Palmers is a brand I didn’t know as much about but I do like cocoa butter and they are a member of the World Cocoa Foundation so care about the origins and sustainability of their raw materials, I try to avoid parabens so it’s good to know this is paraben-free and is a nice treat alongside the Pregnacare cream for Mums and there’s a treat in here for new Dads too which is sweet!

Gin Gin sweeties were a godsend to me during pregnancy, both for morning sickness easing properties as the ginger kick is lovely, and later to pep me up when I was tired! A lovely addition to Mama Pack!

Caffeine free Tea Pigs are a real treat for mums, great if avoiding tea and coffee during pregnancy a good cuppa and feet up is definately a treat! I got green tea and berries which were really refreshing, good for those long night feeds, these are a really great quality tea and I was impressed to see them in here!

Pregnacare is a welcome addition too alongside Wellkid, it’s important to take care of yourself during pregnancy and as a busy working parent during pregnancy I found supplements gave me peace of mind. I’d also welcome more information on taking care of yourself in Mama Pack, great to see some health info in the form of this meningitis card but friends were asking whether there’s information on mental wellbeing in here for example, and that could be a great addition too

You can get yourself or a friend a Mama Pack (contents may vary) from Grow Up Green who kindly provided me with this Mama Pack sample – thanks Aggie! – (and you can also get yourself the lovely Totsbots Birthday print from Grow Up Green too!)

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