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Making your own non-toxic, edible finger pains is simple with this quick, easy and inexpensive recipe using ingredients found in the kitchen. Give those little hands, feet and fingers free rein to enjoy being creative and having fun!

It’s so easy:

  • 5 tbsps of flour
  • 100ml of cold water
  • 1 tbsp salt (for shelf life)
  • To add colour try vegetable juices eg beetroot / carrot or spices eg turmeric (be careful, it can stain) or food colouring
  • Mix the ingredients together

Kept in the fridge, the paints should last up to 2 weeks.

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Did you know that most baby wet wipes, moist toilet tissues, hygeine wipes and cleaning wipes are made with plastic? Wet wipes are super convenient for cleaning mucky, sticky hands, faces and worktops, but how many of us realise that most are not actually made of paper but contain plastic. These plastic resins like polyester or polypropylene will never fully biodegrade and will break into smaller and smaller pieces polluting land, rivers and oceans, and entering wildlife and human food chains.

Short history of wet wipes

Disposable wet wipes were first used in the 1960’s and were detergent saturated tissue paper. The problem with them was that they would fall apart. Manufacturers started incorporating increasingly tougher fibres and structure in the blend and their usefulness and commercial value multiplied. The wet-wipe boom grew in the 1990s when Kimberly-Clark, makers of Huggies nappies and Procter & Gamble who make Pampers, began pushing baby wipes as the new must-have parental convenience.

Eco-friendly wet wipes?

There are wipes available that are made from more natural alternatives and contain no plastic. Natracare’s baby wipes are made from organic cotton cloth, as are the wipes from brand Organyc. Kit and Kin offer sustainable and biodegradable 100% plant-based wipes. None of these eco-friendly wipes however are flushable and should always be disposed of in the bin.

Why shouldn’t we flush wet wipes?

Even when a wet wipe package claims its contents are flushable, biodegradable or compostable, they won’t degrade quickly enough to avoid being a menace down our drains and in our waterways. Wet wipes, moist toilet tissue and hygiene wipes labelled as flushable can still block pipes and increase pollution in our seas and beaches. According to a study conducted last year by Water UK, wet wipes made up an astounding 93% of the material causing blockages in our sewers. The 2017 Great British Clean weekend found an average of 27 wet wipes for every 100 metres of coastline.

Only three things should ever be flushed down the toilet – pee, poo and paper!

Make your own wet wipes

A cheap, easy and eco-friendly alternative to disposable wipes and a gentler option for baby’s precious, delicate skin is to use a muslin, flannel or cotton wool. By just using water you know exactly what is being applied to your little one’s skin. For a newborn or small baby, water and pure cotton wool is all you really need. The dirty cloths can be washed each evening on a hot wash, ready to be used the next day.

When our children were babies we made our own wet wipes, daily if going out and about, by placing a number of organic cotton wool pads in a leakproof container and pouring over warm water and a few drops of organic baby oil (the oil helps to stop the cotton wool dragging and leaves tiny bottoms soft and moisturised). The pads needed to be wet but not too soggy. The container fitted neatly in the nappy bag, perfect for changing time.

When at home the simple solution was to fill a little pot with warm water and a couple of drops of organic baby oil. Cotton wool pads were dipped in the water and squeezed out as needed (and disposed of in the bin and not down the toilet). We found this to be an easy, much cheaper and more environmentally friendly option then using wet wipes for every nappy change!

We can all do our bit. Wet wipes are a convenience hard to give up, but we can at least make sure we only use the genuinely biodegradable/compostable ones – and absolutely never flush them.

Shop Ulula Baby Wipes

friendsoftheearth.uk/plastics/wet-wipes-keeping-them-out-our-seas-and-sewers

www.wetwipesturnnasty.com/

www.onegreenplanet.org/news/wet-wipes-made-plastic-uk-wants-banned/

www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/nappies/

www.thenappylady.co.uk/

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Week beginning 25th February 2019

After a wonderful play-date with a school friend, the end of the half term was celebrated with a two night sleepover at their cousin’s house… two very happy and very tired children arrived home!! The sunshine this week has been simply glorious, and allowed for lots of rushing about outside, be it on foot, bike or scooter – everywhere was reached as fast as possible – I wish I was talking about the grown-ups, but no, it was the children who had the speed at their heels!!

The birds in our hedgerows, to the cattle in the barn, the farm is feeling this weather means spring is here, but they aren’t privy to watching the weather forecasters warn us about the cold making a return once March reaches us…eeek!

The bird song has been absolutely amazing. We hope that you can hear it on the following video we took at the spinney by the brook that runs through the farm.

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When do babies start teething?

A baby’s first teeth (commonly known as milk teeth) start to develop during pregnancy while your baby is still growing in your womb. Some babies are born with their first teeth, others start teething before they are 4 months old, and some after 12 months. But most babies start teething at around 6 months. The bottom front teeth are normally the first to come through at around 5–7 months, followed by the top front at around 6–8 months.

Teething symptoms

Teething is part of the normal process of development. Your baby’s first teeth may come through with no problems, but it can also be a painful experience. Many parents find that the symptoms are worst before the tooth actually emerges, while it is pushing its way up through baby’s gum.  Signs that a tooth is on its way include:

  • Red, swollen and sensitive gums
  • Heavy dribbling
  • Red flushed cheeks
  • Rubbing the ear on the same side as the emerging tooth
  • Changes in the way baby latches on to the breast
  • Inconsistent feeding
  • Sleepless nights and grumpiness
  • Chewing on his/her fingers, fist, toys or clothing

Some believe that teething causes other symptoms, such as diarrhoea and fever, but the National Health website suggest that there’s no evidence to support this. Ear infections can also be mistaken for teething. If you are at all worried about your baby’s symptoms do seek medical advice.

What are the best ways to soothe my baby’s painful gums?
  • Teethers give your baby something to chew on safely. This may ease their discomfort and distract them from any pain. Some teethers can be cooled first in the fridge (but never the freezer), which can also help to soothe your baby’s gums.
  • Try gently rubbing you little one’s gums with your clean finger or give a cold flannel to chew on. Its texture will feel good on their gums too.
  • If your baby develops a red rash on his/her chin from dribbling, gently wipe the dribble off with a soft cotton cloth. A dribble bib is a great way of keeping clothing dry and always having something to hand. You could also apply a barrier cream to your little one’s chin to protect against soreness.
  • One alternative remedy that helps to soothe the pain is homoeopathic teething granules which can be given to babies crushed and dissolved in boiled and cooled water.
  • Another alternative teething remedy that is applied to the outside of the cheeks is a cheek rub or oil. Essential oils are selected for their soothing qualities.
  • Breastfeeding can be really soothing for a baby who is unhappy or in pain.

If your baby is older than six months, you can give a variety of foods to chew on, but always stay close to avoid the risk of choking. The following foods may help:

  • cold, raw fruit and vegetables, such as a piece of apple, carrot, celery or cucumber
  • rusks, teething biscuits or a piece of bread with a chewy crust that’s not too hard

Finally, lots of cuddles, huggles, fun distractions (during the day), and lots of patience will get you all through!

 

(We used the Weleda Chamomilla granules and found them to be an excellent help when our own little ones were teething.)

Does teething affect breastfeeding?

Many mums fear for their nipples during this period, but don’t worry! Many babies never bite at all, and most who try it once usually respond to your startled reaction by never doing it again. With some babies, it is a little harder to break the habit, but all babies, no matter how old, can learn not to bite.

Sometimes when a baby is cutting a new tooth they will bite on anything to help ease the pain in their teeth and gums and that can include your breast or nipple. Biting is most likely when the tooth is on its way through, rather than after it has emerged, so they actually ‘nip’ with their gums. However, a new tooth can be very sharp, so may leave a scratch.  Being extra mindful of maintaining good latch and positioning will be especially helpful in this period of change.

When baby is latched on and feeding effectively, their tongue will be between their teeth and your breast. If baby is starting to bite bring your baby firmly into your breast so she has to open her mouth to breathe and, therefore, unlatches herself. Alternatively, inserting your finger between his/her gums behind the front teeth helps extract your nipple. If you say ‘no’ calmly but firmly at the same time, your baby will begin to understand the sound and learn what it means.

If gumming the nipple and biting become an issue, one thing you can do is to observe your child closely to see when active feeding has finished. Once you see signs of slowing down at the breast, unlatch your little one by gently breaking the seal by inserting a clean finger at the corner of their mouth. At that point, offering an alternative to chew on may work well as a preventative measure.  If biting tends to happen at the beginning of a feed, offer a teething substitute before the feeding.

Shop Ulula Teething Care Product Range Good tooth care for children

Well cared for baby teeth are the essential foundations for a healthy set of teeth later in life. With a baby or toddler, the main objective is to get them used to tooth brushing as part of their morning and bedtime routine. From the very first tooth, start to remove any plaque using, for example, a damp cotton wool bud. It’s a good idea to try and make it fun so that tooth brushing is associated with a parent’s attention and an enjoyable time.

When children start to learn to clean their teeth, they may enjoy sucking the toothbrush and swallowing the toothpaste. There are many natural toothpastes that will clean your little one’s teeth effectively, without the nasties.

Children lack the skills to clean their own teeth properly until they are around eight years old, so they will require assistance until then.

Diet plays an important role in proper dental care. During breastfeeding your baby doesn’t normally need any additional drinks. As soon as you start weaning, continue to give your baby either breast milk, formula, water or unsweetened herbal tea. Fruit juices contain acids which attacks tooth enamel and is best avoided.

Shop Ulula Tooth Care Product Range

www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/teething-and-tooth-care/

www.nct.org.uk/parenting/teething

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Week beginning 18th February 2019

Hooray!!! We’ve reached half term, for which we are all very grateful – the children are tired out but very cheerful; there was a play to perform twice to an audience before the holidays started, and then an older class were putting on a play of Swallows and Amazons – top stuff and well worth a late bedtime!! And now, the sun is shining, the dogs are so happy to have their playmates with them all day long, and to top it all, the snowdrops and cyclamen are making the garden look so pretty too – all in all, this week looks like it will be the perfect setting for one or two Winnie The Pooh’s Expotitions… “sing ho for the life of a bear”, or in our case, sing ho for some very happy children.

At this time of year our ewes have their ultrasound scan. This happens at around 3 months into their pregnancy which lasts 5 months in total. Scanning was scheduled for 8am on Sunday morning, with our lovely scanning lady Stacey, who set up her machine at the barn. Stacey’s sister Sophie is also trained in scanning sheep. She lives in New Zealand and scans around 250,000 sheep a year! It took Stacey just 45 minutes to scan all our 130 Ulula ewes. The good news is that we are expecting 1 set of quads, 18 sets of triples, 84 sets of twins and 23 singles with a due date starting around the 10th of April!

Harbingers Of Spring – Poem by F. Kenrick

‘Springs just around the corner
The harbingers we see
The bulbs are pushing through the earth
And bulbs adorn the trees
Now days are getting longer
Nights not quite so dark
The sun rays getting stronger
And fields don’t look so stark
The hedgerow starts to thicken
As plants begin to grow
This forms a perfect hiding place
For the birds to go
They nest and fledge their young there
And fill the air with song
They know they’ve got to hurry
Spring doesn’t last for long’

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When it comes to choosing the right materials for their products, ECOlunchbox always do their research. They want to make sure you’re getting the safest, most eco-friendly options for your family. That’s why, when they were creating their leak-proof Blue Water Bento product lids, they chose silicone over plastic.

“Silicone is durable, and more ocean-friendly than plastic. It lasts longer, and stands up better against heat and cold than plastics. It’s safer for your family, too, with no estrogen-mimicking toxins like BPA to worry about. It is odourless, stain-resistant, hypoallergenic, and has no open pores to harbour harmful bacteria.

Yes, it’s recyclable like plastic even though you might not be able to leave it with your wheelie bin. Plastics recyclability however, is no panacea, since the global market for this petroleum-based material is sinking and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find buyers in China and elsewhere to recycle the discarded plastics. Another good option for end-of-life silicone is incineration, which converts silicone back into its harmless ingredients: amorphous silica, carbon dioxide, and water vapour.

 

Thankfully, you won’t have to worry about silicone breaking or cracking for a long time! It’s super durable, resisting melting, breaking, and warping. Chances are our Blue Water Bento silicone lids will outlast anything your family can throw at them.”

To read more about how ECOlunchbox decided to use silicone in their products and why they think it’s the best option when it comes to leak-proof food containers, click here!

Shop the complete ECOlunchbox Blue Water Bento lunchbox range and 100% Stainless Steel collection.

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