I say ‘fat’ Mr. Fairweather says ‘stout’. We’re talking about the guard dog. He insists that her breed are a muscular dog made for pulling and hunting. I reckon that all she seems to be hunting these days are the leftovers that the Little Paddler flings from the table. When the guard dog sees Little Paddler sitting at the table, she parks herself outside looking in; pretending not to watch but waiting all the same. It got to the stage when the neighbour’s dog would turn up at mealtimes to wait as well – she was not as subtle as the guard dog and would paw at the glass to remind us that she was waiting.
We do Baby Led Weaning here. That’s a fancy way of saying we feed the baby like people used to for years. She didn’t start on solids till six months when she would reach for food and bring it to her mouth herself. She has what we have (no special meals prepared or extra faffing involved) and we let her feed herself. That last bit, while not for the faint hearted is worth it for the sheer hilarity of watching a seven month old feed herself porridge or try to eat a mango. People often comment how she has such great skin. Why wouldn’t she, says Mr. Fairweather. She practically bathes in yoghurt three times a week.
So while the guard dog looks after the floor, I am left cleaning up the table, chair and the Little Paddler herself. That’s a lot of wet wipes if you use disposable wet wipes. But if you follow this blog, you probably know by now we don’t really use disposables that much. On occasion I have, and am always left feeling grateful that we are a cloth house. It seems to take tonnes of disposable wet wipes to do the same job as one or two cloth wipes. Cloth just has more cleaning power. And I can use them for everything; nappy changes, cleaning both the Little Paddler and table after grub, bath time and even cleaning duty in the house in general. They can be as fancy or as simple as you like. You can get handmade ones from places such as Etsy, fancy kits from companies like Cheeky Wipes or make them yourself. I bought pretty basic white fleece backed terry wipes. They do a great job. Fleece is lovely and soft and the terry side has great grip for scrubbing. The whole wipe is quite absorbent and a job that might take five or six disposable wipes will only take two reusable wipes. Everything gets bunged in the washing machine. If they are looking a bit grubby, I soak them in a bread soda solution. I do love my bread soda for cleaning!
And the best bit? I know exactly what’s going on her skin. I decide what goes into the wet bit of the wet wipe. Again, this can be as simple or as complex as I like. Water only is obviously the simplest solution. Or you can let your inner mad scientist loose. Guess which one I opt for? The ‘recipes’ people use tend to have four parts.
- Base solution which is usually plain water but chamomile and honey tea is also popular as it’s great when babies are teething.
- Oil for moisturising – coconut, almond and olive oil are popular
- Soap for cleaning – a nice gentle baby wash such as liquid Castile soap.
- Essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, lemon, orange etc for antibacterial, antiseptic or other properties.
There are lots of great ‘recipes‘ out there to experiment with but my favourite is:
- Brew a cup of chamomile and honey tea
- Add one teaspoon each of liquid Castile soap and coconut oil
- Stir until coconut oil dissolves
- Add two drops of lavender oil
- Soak ten wipes in this mix
- Ring out wipes and store in your wipes box (I use a plastic lunch box)
I usually prep twenty wipes at a time. Any less and I’m constantly prepping. Any more and they can get a bit musty smelling by the time I have worked my way through them all. Some people get around this by storing the wipes dry and keeping the solution in a spray bottle. Seems like too much fussing when you’re out and about for me.
Either way, the dog is going to have to get walked more often.