Tuesday 30 October 2012

Which Nappies Do You Choose – Cloth or Disposable?

Whilst pregnant with Sophia I had a chat with a family friend about going the cloth nappy route. She convinced me it was well worth it so I decided to go with Tots Bots cloth nappies from BabyKind, who were very helpful with all the further questions I had. 

I had the nappies all prepared, ready for Sophia’s arrival but life doesn’t always go to plan and after a difficult time following Sophia's birth, I developed post-natal depression. Although I so wanted to use the cloth nappies I had for her (and I did try them on her once or twice), the thoughts of washing them, drying them (we were without a tumble dryer where we were in France) and what seemed to me at that time, all the effort involved with them, I bailed out. I therefore ended up going the disposable route.

I tried to source Eco disposables but they were non-existent in Brittany. I found Bamboo Eco disposables online but I found that they leaked so gave up with them. I therefore decided to use mainstream disposables with Sophia which didn’t sit well with me. However, at that time in my life, something had to give and it was my nappy choice. Having dug a bit deeper for this post, I feel sad that this is the route we took as the chemicals in disposables are truly horrifying. When I had Jess I did contemplate the cloth route again but in the end decided on Eco disposables after chatting to a friend who used Naty by Nature Babycare. She really rated them and said she’d not had any problems with leakage. I’m glad we did go this route because once again life threw me a curved ball and my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer when Jess was just 8 weeks old and sadly we lost her 6 months later. We travelled up and down the country quite a bit that year, so the logistics of cloth nappies was not a viable option.

That said I still feel strongly that cloth nappies are one of, if not the best route to take. I am from a generation that was cloth nappied as a baby. Obviously, it wasn’t the cute versions we get now. It was the old fashioned terry square nappy with large safety pins. Our Mums coped just fine back then and part of me wishes that we’d never evolved to disposables. 

My internet searches have shown that disposables have some very nasty chemicals in them:

Polyacrylic acid is the powder added to disposable nappies to make them absorbent and turns urine to gel. This substance was banned in 1985 from tampons due to its link to Toxic Shock Syndrome. Due to its strong absorbency it has also been found to draw moisture out of the skin which can cause nappy rash and in severe cases bleeding.

Dioxin is a chemical linked to cancer. Certain dioxins have been shown to be carcinogen and have been found to affect the immune and reproductive systems. Dioxin forms in the bleaching process of the wood pulp used in disposables. Several European countries have begun phasing out the bleaching of wood pulp with chlorine due to concerns about dioxin and its affect on human health.

Xylene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene and Isopropl are some of the chemicals reported to be released from disposables in a study published in the Archive of Environmental Health (1999). Lab mice were exposed to various brands of disposable nappies by Anderson Laboratories and they found that they showed asthma type symptoms, including bronchoconstriction and eye, nose and throat irritation.

Add to this that disposables often cause nappy rash, and do not degrade when in landfill, it is fair to say that we really should be looking at lessening if not stopping our use of disposable nappies.

So given this information, are Eco-disposables any better. Well yes and no. Yes, they are more than likely made from sustainable, eco-friendly materials and bleaching agents are not normally used in the manufacturing process. They are also biodegradable and break down quickly when in landfill but sadly still give off methane a green house gas. You could use a wormery to break down your eco-disposables but if you decided to go down this route, you would need to make sure that it was only wet nappies. It is illegal to compost a nappy soiled with poo in a garden composting system, as it carries disease. It is also illegal to put faeces in landfill too. We should all note this when disposing of disposable nappies in the bin. We should place the poo in the loo beforehand.

So, where do we stand with cloth nappies. Well according to the Environment Agency a reusable nappy is responsible for 560kg of greenhouse gas over the baby’s first two and a half years of life, whereas a disposable nappy is responsible for 630kg (This is the equivalent of an average car driven 1,800 miles). Also if we stopped using disposables in the UK we would stop approx. 6 million nappies a day, or 2 billion nappies a year ending up in landfill. That’s an awful lot of nappies! Therefore, I think it’s fair to say that cloth nappies are certainly better for the environment.

(Information sources: toxipedia.org, babycentre.co.uk, climatechangechallenge.org and babiesnappies.co.uk)

When discussing cloth nappies many people feel overwhelmed by the possibility of the extra work involved in their use, but having asked several Mums recently who use cloth nappies for their feedback, the resounding response seems to be, “No, it’s not that much more work at all”. An extra wash a day maybe and getting yourself into a routine and being organised is key. Other feedback I received was that they look very cute (gone are the days of those square terry nappies), they are soft against baby’s bottom, they do not cause nappy rash and they are kinder to the environment. In addition to this, there are so many different types of cloth nappies available that you really are spoilt for choice. And if you fancy making your very own cloth nappies then get in touch with "The Make Place" who run cloth making workshops all over the country - UPDATE: The Make Place is sadly no longer in operation. 


Below are the responses of 3 Mummies (Marie, Fay and Leah) who use cloth nappies on their little ones. All answers given are theirs, and I hope give a good range of information to anyone looking to invest in cloth nappies. I have web linked companies mentioned so you can just click through to the websites concerned.

What made you decide to go the cloth nappy route?

Marie: I just had this image of all of my baby’s nappies piled up in a room, and decided that I’d rather make that pile as small as possible. The cost was definitely a factor too.

Fay: Cost and lack of biodegradable options in Spain. Also the environmental impact of disposables

Leah: They are pretty looking and great for the environment.

Which nappy brand(s) did you choose and why?

Marie: I wanted a one size nappy and I found the Mother-ease ones in a nearby shop, I looked them up online and they had excellent reviews. The price convinced me as well.

Tots Bots – bamboo, fast renewable resource, lower environmental impact, soft on newborn bottom
Wonderoos – looked gorgeous, quick drying
Close parent – slim fit, click in liner so less to wash each time. Only need to wash outside every 2 or 3 uses

Leah: I chose a variety to see which ones worked best for us.

Did they have Aplix or Snap fixings?

Marie: Poppers.

Tots Bots - Aplix
Wonderoos - Snap
Close parent - Snap

Leah: Both

Did you contact a specific company for advice before buying?

Marie: I did a lot of looking up online but I didn’t contact directly any company.

Fay: Yes, BabyKind (update: no longer in business) who were very helpful and gave great individual advice.

Leah: No, I joined a Facebook group and asked lots of questions.

Did you contemplate a ‘Nappy Trial’ where you can try before you buy?

Marie: No

Fay: I would have had it been available in Spain.

Leah: Didn't know such a thing was available.

Did you buy brand new or second-hand ?

Marie: I bought them new.

Fay: New

Leah: Most were bought pre loved.

How many nappies did you initially buy? Was that number enough?

Marie: We took the “part-time” kit which was 12 nappies, 8 boosters and 12 covers (4 smalls, 4 mediums and 4 larges) and decided to see whether or not it’ll be enough, and it was.

Fay: 16. Yes because of superfast outside drying in Spain. Otherwise I would have needed more.

Leah: 15, was just enough to wash every other day.

How many nappies do you realistically feel is needed to get going?

Marie: It depends I guess on your commitment and on your baby digestive system. I would say 15 is good as I felt a bit stretched at the beginning and had to a machine a day.

Fay: 20. 10 each day, then you can wash every other day.

Leah: 20 minimum just in case.

Did you use wraps and which ones?

Marie: I used the ones from the same brand and they were absolutely brilliant.

Fay: Yes, Tots Bots and Whisper Wrap.

Leah: I use wool over night nappies. Homemade.

What ratio of wraps to nappies did you buy? E.g. 1 wrap for every 2 nappies?

Marie: 1 for 3.

Fay: 1 wrap to 5 nappies, they only need a quick dunk in soapy water and dry really quickly.

Leah: I have 3 wool wraps and 8 night nappies.

Did you use liners? If yes, were they fleece or flushable?

Marie: I used the Little Green Earthlets ones which are flushable.

Fay: Yes, I have tried and used both depending on my daughter’s bowel movements!

Leah: No, I'm too lazy.

Did you use inserts (often known as boosters, doubles, and soakers)? If yes, how do they work?

Marie: I used them mostly in the first year, they would just come on top, they have poppers too to keep them in place but I never found the need to use that. Then I stopped because she was moving quite a lot so I wanted her to have less layers.

Fay: Yes at night time.

Leah: Yes. As we use pocket nappies all of them need inserts. They soak up the wee. Different fibres work in different ways. Microfibre and minky soak up wee quite quickly but don't hold that much where as bamboo soak up wee slower but hold more for their weight.

Did you use different nappies for night-time and if yes, which ones?

Marie: No, I would use the same as in the day.

Fay: Yes, Tots Bots at night now.

Leah: Yes, I use Little Lamb Bamboo and Luscious Little Somethings.

How many night nappies are needed?

Marie: Just the one as long as she didn’t make a poo, which she has never done.

Fay: About 5.

Leah: 3 as a min but 5 would be better in case they poo in them!

Any useful advice on night-time usage? E.g. Do you have to change your little one more often?

Marie: I never found that I had to do so.

Leah: Find a combination that works for you and stick with it. Night nappies are great some people prefer wool, some fleece, some pul wraps.

What other equipment do you need?

Marie: Well, a bucket for the house and a wet bag for going out.

Leah: Wet bag for out and about and an XL one for home. Oh reusable wipes are great too.

Did you use any essential oils for your nappy bucket/pail? If yes, which ones worked best?

Marie: Simply tea tree oil.

Fay: Yes, tea tree.

Leah: No

Do cloth nappies smell more than a disposable?

Marie: I don’t think so but then being on a vegetarian diet might help.

Fay: No

Leah: No, can't smell my nappies, yet disposables stink.

Are cloth nappies easy and practical to use?

Marie: The Mother-ease ones certainly are. The poppers system is nice because it’s safe and fast.

Fay: Yes

Leah: Yes even daddy can do them!! As easy as disposables.

Were family members including Dad’s happy to change them in cloth nappies?

Marie: My husband was alright, my mother-in-law a bit anxious but she always managed.

Fay: I wish.

Leah: They had no choice. If they didn't like it they didn't do it. To be honest only me, dad and nana change him.

How often do/did you change your little one?

Marie: 5 to 6 times a day. But if she had had a more random “output” we would have needed more changes and more nappies.

Leah: Round about with every feed.

Did you always have to change the whole nappy (nappy, liner etc) and the wrap at every nappy change?

Marie: Not necessarily, depending on if it was number one or two.

Fay: Tots Bots - just the inner
Wonderoos - whole nappy
Close parent - just inner

Leah: Yes

Did you find that they restricted your baby’s movement?

Marie: Well they definitely made her look very bulky at the bottom but she was okay (crawling by 6 months, walking at 10...)

Fay: No

Leah: No. My baby can roll etc just like everyone else.

Did/do baby’s clothes fit well over cloth nappies or did you find you needed to buy certain brands which allowed for the extra bulk of a cloth nappy?

Marie: I just bought regular brands a size above.

Fay: Some clothes need a bigger size, although I use Frugi
 mostly which fits well over both.

Leah: Some clothes are tighter on the bum than others. Frugi are great as they are cut for cloth but expensive. Sainsburys and Asda seem a really good fit.

Have you had many wet / pooey accidents using cloth nappies? If yes, what were the reasons for these mishaps?

Marie: Actually I had more accidents with disposable ones!

Fay: None

Leah: Only a few if for example he was in the Jumperoo and the wee was compressed.

What do you do with the poo? Flush away, rinse out before washing?

Marie: Take as much with the liners and flush away and then a good rinse.

Fay: Flush then quick rinse if sticky poo, i.e. early breastmilk days.

Leah: Just chuck it in the wash as he is exclusively breastfed.

Did your little one suffer with nappy rash? If yes, was it very often?

Marie: Not once but I did oil her daily for 6 months.

Fay: Yes very occasionally when teething, but just a little redness, nothing open or too sore.

Leah: No never. Been in cloth since he was born and now 6 months old, and not a single nappy rash.

Would you say babies are more prone to nappy rash in cloth nappies than disposables?

Marie: Not in our case.

Fay: No

Leah: No, other way round due to chemicals in nappies and sensitive skin.

Did you use nappy creams with your cloth nappies?

Marie: No.

Fay: Yes, whenever she got a little red.

Leah: No, most creams affect absorbency of nappies although I do love ‘Monkey Farts’ from C J Butter! Get some its smells lush.

What is your advice on removing stains from cloth nappies?

Marie: Wash as quickly as possible.

Fay: I’ve never had a problem with staining. They always seem to come out clean enough. You can use a nappy specific powder though. I did have an issue with nappies smelling of ammonia so used a product called Rockin Green which was great at removing the smell, not covering it up.

Leah: The sun or rain even a little snow is great ;)

What temperature & wash cycle did you wash your nappies on?

Marie: 70* on a baby cycle that soak longer.

Fay: Mostly 30, cotton wash along with baby clothes or other whites/pales. Then, every so often at 60.

Leah: I do a cold pre wash then 60 then extra rinse. The cold pre wash helps stop the stains being set in by the heat. Extra rinse makes sure there is no build up of wash powder which affects absorbency too.

How do you store your dirty nappies when you are “out and about”?

Marie: With the wet bag, never had any troubles.

Fay: Material nappy bag. Easy to carry and non smell leaking!!

Leah: A medium wet bag.

Have you ever used Eco disposables as well as cloth nappies? If yes, which make did you use?

Marie: We used eco disposables when we went on holidays and couldn’t use a washing machine.

Fay: Yes, Naty

Leah: No, never.

Have you any further information which you believe would be useful for parents looking into the cloth nappy route for their babies?

Marie: I stopped using ours when Sita was around 20/ 21 months because they became too small which is a shame as we have to make the bridge until she’s potty trained with disposables.

But I really enjoyed using the Mother ease, they are nice comfy organic cotton and practical. The only downside would be that I had to do a machine wash a day so as not to get behind but that was only because we didn’t buy the full pack. On the plus side they dry very quickly.

Fay: It’s so much easier than I thought it would be. I bought disposables for the first few weeks as I thought I wouldn’t be able to cope. But, one look at my newborns soft botty and the softness of the tots bots nappies and I used them from day one.

Leah: Lots of research. Also factor in things like tumble dryer etc.


Other useful websites:

Plush Pants - Washable nappies, nappy wraps and natural menstrual products. 12 years of independent cloth nappy sales and advice.

The Cloth Nappy Tree - Founded in mid 2010 by Elle, The Cloth Nappy Tree is an information resource covering all aspects of cloth nappies and cloth nappy paraphernalia.

The Used Nappy Company - The Used Nappy Company - the number 1 auction site in the UK to buy and sell used, pre-loved washable cloth nappies!


I would like to express my sincere thanks to all 3 of the Mums who helped me out with this questionnaire and also to the Mums on the Attachment Parenting FB page who also gave their feedback too. It has all been gratefully received. 

If you have any comments, feedback or information that you feel may be helpful to prospective parents who wish to know more about cloth nappies, please feel free to comment at the end of this post. Thank you x


Saturday 27 October 2012

Potty Training Must-Haves

Not everything within this post is of an Eco-friendly nature but hopefully you will find some useful ideas to help you set off on your nappy free adventure.


As I write this post I know that the next phase my youngest and I are about to embark on is learning to use a potty and a toilet. Jess is now 22 months and is showing signs of being ready for her next adventure. A lot of parents dread this phase but if we can get our heads in the right space it can be less stressful than we imagine.

When I look back at potty training Sophia (although I really don’t like the phrase “potty training” – it’s more about learning that training), it all seemed to go relatively smoothly. I started her off in nappy pants which were a half way house between nappies and pants. At first I chose certain times to offer her the potty such as before her nap, after her nap, before her bath, after her bath, before bedtime etc. By starting gently it gave both her and I a base to build upon and we were able to create a routine together. We also had the security of the nappy pants being there as a back-up especially when we embarked on car journeys. Sophia embraced it well and I really don’t remember it being too stressful for us both. I remember vividly the day that her nursery teacher said to me that she felt Sophia was ready for just knickers / pants. She was just shy of 2 and a half. “Really?” I asked, “You’re sure?” I knew in my heart that she was ready for the next phase but was I? One thing that is key to positive and stress-free potty training is being in the right head space ourselves. A stressed and unsure parent is a stressed and unsure child.

For me being organised was key to everything running smoothly and something I found invaluable on this new journey. I’m a tad anal when it comes to being organised. Some may say slightly OCD ! Being organised helps me to cope in a world that I can rarely control these days. Children seem to do that; remove the ability to control everything. Relinquishing that control has been a steep learning curve for me as a Mum :0)

Along with being organised, there were a few items that really helped me back then and will definitely be making a re-appearance now that Jess is ready to embrace nappy-freedom. We’ve mentioned nappy pants. I use Naty Eco nappy pants but in my internet searches I’ve been pleased to find that there are also cloth versions as well. Some people go straight to pants, others try the “nappy free” approach at home. It all depends on your preference and how you started out initially. If you do decide to let your little one go “nappy free” at home there are some gorgeous leg warmers you can purchase by ‘My Little Legs’. They are very cute, come in a variety of designs and will keep your little one’s legs warm and toastie as they embark on their nappy free journey especially if you are starting now as the weather gets chilly.

A potty and a child’s toilet seat are a must. We have a Baby Bjorn with the inner bowl that you take out and place the contents in the toilet and flush away. We also have a padded child’s toilet seat that makes sure your little one doesn’t disappear down the toilet bowl! And, if you wish to be Eco friendly with your potty choice you can now get a Becopotty Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Potty. You use it as normal and when you have no need for it anymore, you bury it in the ground and return it to nature. How fabulous is that?

If we didn’t already have a potty, I would definitely be getting one of these.

Another must have item on the nappy free journey is a step. We invested in the Safety 1st Wooden 2-step Stool.

It is great for helping your little one reach the sink to wash their hands after they have been to the toilet but it’s also invaluable when your little one is sat on the toilet and doesn’t wish for their tiny legs to be dangling in limbo. Being in the right position when on the loo is very important, especially when going for a poo. And this step is made of wood which is a big plus for me.

The other must-haves for me are the “Cushie Traveler™” and the “Potette®”.

These have been life savers for me when out and about, especially when you get caught short and need to administer an emergency wee (not yourself of course, although the thought has crossed my mind when I’ve been desperate!) or you go into the public loos and find yourself unsure of placing your precious little one’s bottom on their less than savoury looking toilet seats. It certainly saves you having to complete the “hover your child above the toilet seat” move as well.

The Cushie Traveler™ is a folding padded seat that fits on most standard toilet seats and can be carried around in your change bag or in my case, my handbag. It is easy to wipe clean, has its own washable carry bag and is thickly padded so very comfortable to sit on. There are some who do not like the Cushie – see Amazon reviews. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I never found Sophia had any difficulty with it as long as I made sure I’d placed it on the toilet seat concerned properly. It has underside brackets too which keep the seat from sliding about.

And the Potette® & Potette Plus® is a must have too. You can use it folded out as a toilet seat or as a portable potty. It folds back down and fits into a convenient bag which you can place in your change bag or handbag. You buy separate liners which fit over the Potette® and collect the wee and poo as a normal potty would. They have an absorbent bit within the liner. The whole liner is then removed and can be tied up and disposed of when you get home. The Potette® liners I have are also biodegradable.

Oh and last but by no means least, maybe a book to help you on your new adventure as well. I like “The No-Cry Potty Training Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley. She has also written the “No-Cry Discipline Solution” and the “No-Cry Sleep Solution”. Her approach is gentle, realistic, practical and covers everything from; is your little one ready, bed wetting, to common toilet training problems.

So there you have it, a few ideas to help you on your way to Nappy Freedom ! Above all enjoy it. The more enjoyable and fun you can make it for you and your little one the more likely you are not to get too stressed out about the possible mishaps and  set-backs you may encounter along the way. Good luck. Or as they say in France, Bonne Chance!


Do you have any must-haves you couldn't / can't do without on your journey towards Nappy Freedom? I would love to hear your comments, so do please share :0) 


Sunday 21 October 2012

Everyone Sing and Sign !

I have always been a great believer that even though a baby cannot speak this doesn’t mean that they do not understand everything we are saying to them from the moment they are born. If we spend our time talking to them in the womb assuming they can hear / understand us, then why would we assume different once they are born.

One of the books I read before having Sophia 6 years ago was ‘The Baby Whisperer’ which had been recommended to me. I loved the way Tracy Hogg spoke of taking your baby around the house when they had been born talking them through each room, what it’s purpose was, where they would be sleeping etc. I so connected with this way of being with your baby.

I have a sister who at 15 months old was left severely brain damaged after a vaccination. From that moment onwards she could no longer say the few words she had recently learnt and was locked inside a new world where everyone assumed she no longer understood anything. How wrong they were. As her younger sister, I watched her frustration at the way people often treated her. Granted her mental age was hard to guage but she wasn’t stupid, far from it. She understood everything and sensing this my relationship with her was quite different from others. Because of this unique relationship and bond I vowed to find a way that I could communicate with my own children when they were babies. If we believe that the soul is all knowing when we are born then surely we owe it to our babies to at least try to find ways to communicate with them and allow them the ability to communicate with us as early and as easily as possible, alleviating as much frustration as possible – for both parent and child.

So when Sophia was born, I looked into baby signing. I had come across ‘Makaton’ with my sister. It was something we had all learnt to use with her in small amounts. As defined on the Makaton.org website “Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate.  It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.” Baby signing as I understand it, is a modified version of British Sign Language (BSL) or American Sign Language (ASL) dependent on your country of origin and is also used whilst saying the words themselves. When you sign to your baby you speak too. This is very important.

Initially, because I was still in France when Sophia was very small I didn’t have access to baby signing classes so I searched the internet and found a baby signing book and then found the ‘Sing & Sign’ website run by founder Sasha Felix. I ordered her ‘Sing and Sign’ DVD and didn’t look back.

However, at first even I was sceptible. Sophia was about 6 months when we began and it seemed at first that all our efforts were futile. However, we persevered and after about 3-4 months Sophia started signing. Sophia did not sign massively – she would mainly use the signs for milk, more, eat and drink – but she understood an awful lot of what we signed to her. Seeing the delight on her face at being understood was just incredible. She knew we were trying to communicate and understand her and as time progressed even when we just couldn’t work out what she wanted (despite all out efforts), she knew we were trying so would often giggle at us instead of getting frustrated. And we would laugh too !

We moved back to the UK when Sophia was about the age Jess is now, 22 months, and I looked into classes near where we lived. We then found Sarah Glover who runs the East Devon Sing & Sign Classes which were just fabulous. We attended the Stage 2 classes as Sophia was too old for the baby class, and she loved it. We invested in the CDs to play in the car (singing helps to promote talking too) and Sophia decided that she would also like a Jessie cat of her own. Jessie cat is a bit of a star in the Sing & Sign world. She is a black and white cat (see picture) who the babies / toddlers just love. She plays peekaboo in the classes and is an integral part of it all. We all love Jessie !

After our own Jess was born we started signing with her too at about 6 months of age and she became a keen signer from the off. She has also had Sophia signing with her, which has defintely helped her development. I have continued Sing & Sign classes with her, and used all 3 of the DVDs (Sign & Sign, More Sing and Sign and Have a Sing and Sign Christmas). There have been times when Jess has insisted on having one of the DVDs played almost on a loop ! I suppose if you place your child in front of the TV, a Sign and Sign DVD is a better choice than most. She has grown out of this obsession now (thank goodness) but I suppose if we understand that children learn through repetition, I can see why she wanted to keep watching it over and over. Whilst watching the DVDs I would sit with both of them and partake in the experience learning the signs myself.

Both Sophia and Jess have been early talkers, both speaking 2-4 word sentences from about 12 months onwards. It has been an exceptionally rewarding thing for both my husband and I to be doing with our children and I would seriously recommend it to all parents. It will be worthwhile time invested.

In addition to ‘Sing & Sign’ there is now the 'Little Signers Club' who also run classes around the UK, but mainly I believe in the home counties at the moment. I have not attended one of their classes so cannot  personally recommend them, but they seem to be growing fast.

I seriously hope that after reading this you have been inspired to give signing with your babies a go. I don’t believe you’ll regret it.   


Friday 19 October 2012

Introducing The Lovely 'Green People'

When I began my search for creams and lotions to lavish on my new born baby’s delicate and sensitive skin, I was sure it didn’t include all the chemical nasties which are so common place in many of the main baby product brands we find lining our supermarket shelves.

My internet search quickly landed me on the ‘Green People’ website and I jumped for joy. These guys are great. They have been around since 1997 and were founded by Charlotte Vøhtz when in 1994, her then 2 year old daughter Sandra was suffering from eczema and allergies. Charlotte found this was linked to chemical-based household and personal care products. She searched for alternatives without these chemical nasties in but was dismayed to find that all the supposedly “natural” products still contained them. Not deterred, Charlotte made her own home-made natural products to use on her daughter and was impressed by the difference they made. Several years of development later and Green People was born.

Our family has been a fan of Green People products since 2006 when Sophia was a baby. We have tried quite a few of their range over this time and have found certain ones that work well for the girls. They not only do baby and child toiletries but they also have adult toiletries and make up too. And, at affordable prices, given that the ingredients are organic and have no (yes none!) horrible chemical nasties like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, alcohol (ethanol) or synthetic fragrances or colourants. Hooray !

Their range is vast – they have everything from shampoos to toothpaste, sun cream to nappy cream. Some of our favourites are the baby salve (great for nappy rash or sore, dry or chapped skin) - just this week both the girls were suffering with dry sore skin around their mouths from the change in temperature. I applied the baby salve and within 24 hours the skin had cleared and no tears from stinging creams either - the mandarin toothpaste, their organic children suncream (not a burnt bit of skin yet. I burn easily and have found using their sun cream has allowed me & the girls to tan safely, quickly and without prickly heat), their lavender body wash (great for soothing bedtime baths), and the aloe vera lotion. We have had no allergic reactions, the products smell great, and above all they are 100% natural. Green People are a company I have come to trust.

As mentioned before, they also do yummy adult toiletries too. I have tried several items from their skincare range (they come highly recommended) and aim to sample their make-up very soon.

And finally, with Christmas coming up and I’m sure many of you with friends about to become parents, why not treat them to one of Green People’s range of gift packs. Step on over to GreenPeople and take a look for yourself, I'm sure you'll love what you find. Enjoy !


Thursday 18 October 2012

Welcome to Sophia's Choice !

Firstly, thanks for stopping by to visit Sophia’s Choice.

As mentioned in the “About” section, Sophia’s Choice has been in my head for a long time now. I had my first daughter, Sophia, 6 years ago in Brittany, France and struggled to find natural, organic products to lavish on her. Creams, nappies, clothes, mattresses, toys and baby classes that weren’t conventional or mainstream were extremely hard to find in rural Brittany. I would spend many an evening trawling the internet for products that could be posted out to me in France and so my search began. Not everything we bought was of a natural and/or organic nature, but it was always our intention to make these choices where possible.

The choices available to new parents now are vast, and the variations within those choices are also much more diverse than they ever were. Certainly when choosing natural products for our little ones, the choice we now have is far better than even a few years ago and having the internet at our disposal means that location rarely stands in the way of getting the product we want. You can have it sent from across the other side of the world if you are prepared to pay the shipping costs and it’s not restricted in the country you live in .

Since having my second daughter 22 months ago, what’s available to me now is far greater than it was 6 years ago. We have come a long way in a short space of time – thank goodness.  And some of the mainstream supermarkets are also now stocking some of these items, making them far more accessible to a wider audience.

Through Sophia’s Choice, I aim to share with you the products that have worked for us over the past 6 years and beyond. Not everything within this blog will be natural and organic. We have found some really useful products which do not tick those boxes but I feel they are worth sharing especially if you are first time parents looking for ideas.

All items have been tried and tested by myself and one or both of the girls unless otherwise stated. I will try to give as much information as I can to help you make a decision. Feedback is always welcome. You may even have a similar product from a different company you would also recommend. Please suggest it or email me and I’ll give it a go if appropriate. All views given within this blog are my own unless otherwise stated.

I hope you enjoy reading what I have to share and if by doing this it helps new, or existing parents to make more conscious, and environmentally friendly choices along the way, then I believe that's a good thing.

Happy Reading !

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