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Forget everything you ever knew about breast pads

Washable breast pads

Even after breastfeeding was established with my son I was finding I still had constantly sore nipples. No position changes were sorting it out, it didn’t matter how painless his feeding was afterwards I was irritated and sore. Even Lansinoh didn’t help. I found an old demonstrators set of Nature Babies washable breast pads in an old real nappy kit demo bag I had hiding in the cupboard. In desperation at having no disposable ones left I started to use them.

Now washable breast pads tend to be much larger in diameter; put it this way you won’t be wearing skin tight tops without seeing their outline. But they are made of soft absorbent materials like bamboo or cotton with a waterproof backing.

Four days after starting to use them my soreness had vanished. Completely gone. Nothing else had changed. In the interests of experimentation I still bought another box of disposable breast pads and switched to them. A few days later the soreness was back. I can’t use disposable ones!

I’ve bought these pads from Amazon and they wash really well, staying nice and soft and they are very absorbent. They are slightly larger than other makes but that is very useful overnight. Tesco also sell washable breast pads for £3. They are much smaller, which is much better for daytime use. But, they aren’t very good at night. The Tesco Breast pads tend to leak, especially if I’m slightly engorged in the morning.

Nature Babies no longer make breast pads but they are very good. That sounds like a boast since you can’t buy them yourselves lol.

I throw mine in whatever wash is going on and line dry if sunny or leave them on the windowsill in the sun if it isn’t an outdoor drying kind of a day. I started using the laundry bags that came with them but swiftly stopped – it was just something to lose, like an odd sock.

So if you have nipple soreness with no obvious reason, try switching to washable breast pads and see if it makes a difference. I’ve written about my experiences with breastfeeding and you can read them here.

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Summer Activity Ideas From The I’m Bored Jar

I’ve Got Nothing To Do!

How often did we say that as kids? How often did our parents get frustrated with us complaining about everything and using the word bored. I think it’s a fundamental part of childhood to complain that you’re bored, and my eldest two are no exceptions. In an attempt to stop their reliance  on the iPad at these times I have the “I’m Bored Jar”.

Here are the things that I put in it. These are in no particular order. Some are activities that I know they will love, but some I know they wouldn’t choose to do in a million years.

Activity Ideas

  • Practice your handwriting.
  • Practice your 2, 5 and 10 times tables.
  • Choose a colouring in sheet and colour it in.
  • Get out the Play-Doh and play charades with it. One sculpts, one guesses what they’re making.
  • Make your own Play-Doh. Use this recipe I blogged about earlier If you’re feeling brave: make your own play dough.
  • Use garden toys and football cones to make a crazy gold course.
  • Read me a story: or read each other a story.
  • Choose your favourite song and practice singing it to perform later on. This needs some kind of fake microphone…..
  • If it’s sunny do the garden Scavenger hunt.
  • Tidy your bedroom!
  • Tidy the play room!
  • Make a pretend newspaper – write the front page story with a picture.
  • Grab a duster and dust downstairs for me.
  • Hide some plastic Easter eggs for each other to find.
  • What insects can you find in the garden?
  • Set up a tea party: what food will you choose?
  • Get yourself an ice lolly.
  • Penalty shoot outs.
  • Find a toy you haven’t played with for ages and use it.
  • Ok then… Wii U or iPad time.
  • Build a den –  either inside or outside.
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Take photos to make a short video.
  • Pretend you’re going to the cinema, get the popcorn, get comfy and choose a film to watch.
  • Choose a board game and play it.
  • Let’s go for a walk.
  • Get the fairy garden pieces and make a fairy garden outside.
  • Make a card or draw a picture for your grandparents.
  • Phone your grandparents to say hi and tell them what you have been doing.
  • Let’s learn something new!
  • Make play sand using this recipe.
  • Write a poem
  • Let’s try yoga. Look on YouTube for children’s yoga videos.
  • Plan your around the world adventure with five pit stops using the atlas. Where will you choose to go?
  • Take the upcycling challenge. An old plain t-shirt? Design a logo on it.
  • Collect leaves or flowers from the garden and make leaf rubbings.
  • Wash the car please!
  • Get the Lego out and build something amazing.
  • Using my camera phone take a photo of something beginning with each letter of the alphabet.
  • Sort out 10 toys you don’t use to donate to charity.
  • Go on then… Put the TV on!

The Important Part!

I have tried to use ideas that they can do without me. After all I’m not the one who is bored! But also ideas that don’t involve going anywhere; you can do them all at home. These ideas are supposed to make our lives as parents easier not add to our list of things to do. You can always add in some trips out to the park or other local attractions your family enjoys.

I hope you like these ideas and that some of them might be useful for your children over the long summer holiday. Have fun!

 

The Tactical Mummy
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Plastic Free July Eco Challenge

Plastic Free July

Look in your weekly shopping bags and you probably have bags full of plastic containers, a lot of them not recyclable. This July you can choose to refuse plastic and take part in the Plastic Free July challenge.

Plastic free July

We’re late to the challenge but from now until the end of July we are taking part and keeping track of the plastic that we would have brought home but have avoided. No more pre-packaged fruit and vegetables, I think it will be harder to avoid plastic packaging with meat products, and milk, but I’ll try. I already avoid all beauty products with microbeads and recycle all packaging I can. This challenge is all about avoiding single use plastics.

Our Challenge

These are the challenges that I reckon we can succeed at:

  • Avoid plastic packaging with fruit and vegetables.
  • Buy paper straws. We don’t use many of them but by buying paper and carrying them out with us we can avoid using any plastic straws.
  • Reduce the number of disposable nappies we use. I already use reusables but I will make more effort to take them out as well as use them at home.
  • Use greaseproof paper to wrap sandwiches not cling film.
  • Dont forget my shopping bags!
  • Can I find milk in non-plastic containers?
  • Invest in glass storage containers and not plastic containers.

I’ll update you on how we’re getting on and what non-plastic alternatives I have come across. I fully intend to keep this up after July and change my buying habits. If you want to see what other people are up to use the hashtag #choosetorefuse on social media. For more information and to opt into the challenge visit www.plasticfreejuly.org

 

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School’s Out Summer’s Here!

School’s Out

For the next six weeks it’s all about summer holiday activities. Finding things to do now that school’s out to stop the “I’m bored” chorus. It can be challenging if your day starts at 6am to keep the same enthusiasm by week 2. So what am I looking forward to? What am I not looking forward to? We’re not going away this year so I’m filling six weeks with local activities in Cardiff and South Wales and a couple further afield.

What I’m looking forward to

  • Outside exploring. The summer can be the best time for getting out in nature and finding new places to visit.
  • Museums. South Wales has many excellent museums – some of which we haven’t visited.
  • Beaches! We’re spoilt for choice but Rest Bay is my personal favourite. Just remember to check the tide times to make sure there is some beach to sit on!
  • Trying new things. My eldest is going to try surfing, my son and daughter are going to try tennis. I’m hoping they like the latter I used to love playing tennis.

What I’m not looking forward to

  • Soft play, a necessary evil if the weather has a run of rain.
  • Swimming. Unless I can find a burkini to wear, swimming costumes are a massive faff in my opinion.
  • Muuuuuuuuuummmm. 24/7. How many questions will I answer each day? Bet it hits double figures.
  • The food shop with three children.

Seriously have a wonderful summer and check back for my blogs on what we’ve done and where we’ve been. You never know I might come up with something that puts a smile on your children’s faces. If nothing else I’m with you at the end of the day when you’re enthusiasm has faded into just sit in front of the TV for five minutes please mentality.

Parents let see try not to forget to give some time for us. Famous last words….