Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Aisle 9 - Baby Challenges: Nappies, Milk and Toys

* Challenge 25: Do real nappies do the business
* Challenge 26: Mothers milk or formula?
* Challenge 27: Which toys pass the toddler test?

I hope you aren't expecting anything surprising from this one! LOL! When I turned to this chapter in the book, I read it with even greater interest than the others.

Nappies - diapers for those who don't speak the language - should be far from my mind with children in their early 20s! Except, in my line of work, I get to see and discuss them an awful lot! And in the case of disposables, I am I get to deal with their "disposal" a lot too!

Back in the olden days, when I had babies, this was a hot topic. Cloth meant terry toweling squares, folded into shape and covered with some sort of over-pant. Disposables became mainstream in the 80s and I could watch their design and usage evolve of my years at the front line of nappy changing.

Melissa was wholly cloth-clad, except the occasional outing. Kaitlyn was mostly-cloth, with disposables in the toddler years and Kieran was cloth to begin and then disposables (his skin coped better this way). I used "plastic pants" until Fluffies were invented.

From start to weary end, I had nappies in my life for most of a ten year period!

So, if I was starting now, what would I do? Well, I am in love with what Australia calls Modern Cloth Nappies (MCH) and I hope my children will be too when they have babies, as I would love to start collecting them now! They are so beautifully designed and so much improved on the proto-types I remember. However, I also accept that disposables have a place in the early days (I would rather the focus was on feeding, not washing) and also to use MCH in Melbourne's winter, you would need good drying options.

So - to feeding the baby! Well, no surprise here! I have been an advocate of breastfeeding for all of my adult life and there is no doubt in my mind that it is a health issue, not a lifestyle choice. Any parent who considers it to be a choice that is their's to make must make that an informed choice, fully aware of the risks of formula feeding. However, I also believe that women do not fail to breastfeed, rather society fails to support them to do so. except for a very small minority, most bottle feeding mothers would dearly have loved to establish or continue breastfeeding and I will do all I can to help reduce their numbers.

Now toys should also be relics of nostalgia, except I trip over them three days a week at work AND get to organise them and pack them up! I agree with the book author that wooden toys tend to appeal to adults and plastic ones appeal to children. I did some photography work for a friend who worked at a toy chain wholesalers a few years ago and got to photograph just about EVERY toy in their product range! That gave me a lot of time to ponder what children are offered and what adults pretend they are buying for the children.

I can safely say that, dollar per hour use, Lego and Duplo were the most used toys in our household - used until Kieran was approaching high school and still squirreled in his room! I look forward to grandchildren oohing and ahing over their parents old Lego. And probably their children as well. So even though it is plastic, it is a much better option for the environment in the long term.

From what I see, the toys children love most are the ones they haven't played with before, so perhaps the best bet is joining the Toy Library!

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