David Attenborough – Little People, Big Dreams is OUT NOW

Today sees the release of the newest and much anticipated David Attenborough story as part of the Little People, Big Dreams series.

4th February 2020 is release day for David Attenborough (Little People, Big Dreams) book!
4th February 2020 is release day for David Attenborough (Little People, Big Dreams) book!

Not many individuals have been inspiring so many people of all ages, genders and walks of life for so long. Not many individuals have the power to make so many others listen and pay attention. The life’s work of David Attenborough has been to bring the wonders of nature to our living rooms, to make us think and care about wildlife as much as he does. His television series are absolutely iconic, particularly recently Blue Planet 2. It managed to have such a big impact that ‘The Blue Planet Effect’ is a phrase used to describe the mass awakening of people to the dangers of plastic in the seas and oceans.

In this book, aimed at children from 4 years, we learn about his childhood and his early interest in zoology. We watch him develop a television career and become the tour de force he is today.

The Little People, Big Dreams series tell the life stories of some of the most inspirational people from history and the present day. All these lives have one thing in common: a childhood dream. These books are perfect to fill children with a sense of determination, passion and resilience to pursue their dreams. The series also includes some of the more tricky topics to talk to children about such as disability and racism. There was an initial focus on inspirational women but now there are many books about outstanding men including Bruce Lee, Stephen Hawking, David Bowie, Mahatma Ghandi and Muhammed Ali.

This book is a real treat for any library. Whoever would have thought that a little boy with a love for animals would become the legend that is Sir David!

Holocaust Memorial Day – What books can help my children understand?

Using books to help children begin to understand extremely emotional, scary, complex and traumatic events such as The Holocaust is a common tool. Authors have a special skill with words that conveys the message with enough power to do the subject justice but enough sensitivity that children aren’t frightened. It can lead to lots of questions, discussions and not just from the children. Any book that sparks conversations, particularly about things that are hard to talk about, is a great thing.

When researching for this blog post I was looking for books aimed at children 3-8ish and really struggled. Nearly all books about the Holocaust or World War 2 in general were aimed at much older children. After some frustration on my part I understood that the sheer horror of the Holocaust meant that even with the most gentle approach it really was too much for young children. With that in mind it is unbearable to think of the children in that age group who had no choice to witness and experience those atrocities themselves. We owe it to them to make sure that our children grow up in a world where they are not forgotten or repeated.

One book that I came across and immediately knew I could rely on the author for perfect pitching was ‘The Lion and The Unicorn’ by Shirley Hughes.

'The Lion and The Unicorn' by Shirley Hughes
‘The Lion and The Unicorn’ by Shirley Hughes

A picture book aimed at children from around 5 years, this book is about a little boy called Lenny and his bravery. Lenny’s father goes off to fight in the war, he is evacuated and misses his mother terribly. Before he left his father gave him a badge, on it are a lion and a unicorn. Children can learn how Lenny and others like him embodied the bravery and courage of the lion and the unicorn to help them through these hardest of times.

Anne Frank’s is a voice we can hear all the way from 1942.

'Anne Frank (Little People, Big Dreams)' - Isabel Sanchez Vegara

While the Diary of Anne Frank itself is a fantastic, life changing book for older children this tale of her life and legacy is appropriate from around 4 years. With beautiful, quirky illustrations and a biographical timeline at the back. The whole series of inspirational characters written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara is fantastic.

Another safe pair of hands when it comes to tackling tricky topics is former Children’s Laureate and author of War Horse Michael Morpurgo. ‘Friend or Foe’ takes children to the very heart of wartime Britain. It deals with some of the contradictions and conflicts of the era. Recommended from around 8 years old with 128 pages of text, a relatively short story but a true page turner!

'Friend or Foe' - Michael Morpurgo
‘Friend or Foe’ – Michael Morpurgo

We were all deeply saddened by the recent death of Judith Kerr who we know from the classic ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’.

Judith was born in Berlin and left Germany in 1933 with her family, fleeing the rise of the Nazi Party. In ‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit’ Judith tells a semi-autobiographical story of Anna who is too busy being a child to notice the changes happening around her leading up to The Holocaust. We stay with the family as they cross Europe and so this book also touches on Anti-Semitism and being a refugee. It manages to be funny and warm and very accessible for children around 9 and over.

'When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit' - Judith Kerr
‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit’ – Judith Kerr

Another book based on a true story is ‘Hitler’s Canary’ by Sandi Toksvig.

'Hitler's Canary' - Sandi Toksvig
‘Hitler’s Canary’ – Sandi Toksvig

Sandi pulls together this adventure story from snippets of real life she has been told by her Danish family members, particularly her father Bamse. This is the story of the Danish Resistance and how they aided the escape of Danish Jews who were about to be taken to concentration camps. A fantastic book for older children (around 9 and over) about what children and communities can achieve in the face of the most grave adversity.

My final recommendation is a new release from yet another literary hero- Michael Rosen.

'The Missing' - Michael Rosen
‘The Missing’ – Michael Rosen

Michael takes us on a journey to discover what happened to his great-uncles during World War 2. Through poetry, prose, original letters and photographs children can have their hand held while learning about the awful realities. This book makes comparisons to present day issues and processes some of the emotions that children can feel when faced with injustice. We all know and love Michael Rosen and it feels comforting to trust him to deliver extremely difficult subject matter.

There are of course many many books for Teens and Young Adults about World War 2, ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ and ‘I am David’ being very well known. It can feel daunting deliberately exposing our children to sadness but by the magic of books we know that it is done carefully and considerately. Today on the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Holocaust Memorial Day, use this magic to help remember the people we lost.

You can find all of these books at www.yesbebe.co.uk/books or by clicking on the links below:

The Lion and The Unicorn – Shirley Hughes

Anne Frank – Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Friend or Foe – Michael Morpurgo

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit – Judith Kerr

Hitler’s Canary – Sandi Toksvig

The Missing – Michael Rosen

If your child would like to find out more about The Holocaust I recommend using the BBC Newsround website HERE

Yes Bébé Reading Challenge

One of my 2020 resolutions is to read more widely. I know what genres I like and tend to stick to my comfort zone. Recently I have found myself covering the same themes again and again, although I’ll continue to enjoy that content who knows what else I’ll enjoy! I also love Bingo…. So I’ve created this Yes Bébé Reading Challenge for 2020…. Join me!

I will read something……

There is only one rule…. One piece of writing per square

You’ll notice nowhere it says ‘book’. Reading challenges that specify the length of the piece of writing and ultimately only consider lengthy books to be worthy don’t appeal to me. In this Yes Bébé Reading Challenge you are free to decide the length of what you read and what type of writing that read. There are endless variables that influence what we read, some are very personal and some are trivial. This challenge allows you to focus on the diversity and enjoy the material you decide upon.

It may also be the case that you don’t read with your eyes. That’s cool too! There is a fascinating discussion around the way we absorb words and what difference that makes.

You can pick your own goal, whether it’s one square, a line or a full house.

Each month I’ll be writing a short blog article reflecting on the journey and making reading suggestions so please, if you come across anything amazing do share! I can’t wait for you to join me on this challenge!

For now you can find a fantastic selection of books for children and adults here

And information about Yes Bébé Book Club here

Yes Bébé Gift Guide – The Classics!

Over the years at Yes Bébé a few products have stood out as favourites, best sellers and come to represent us a community. Here are some of those:

Spectra Wooden Swing - Full Colour Yes Bébé Edition
Spectra Wooden Swing – Full Colour Yes Bébé Edition

The Spectra by Utukutu defines multi functional toy. It stimulates the senses, promotes gross motor skills, builds strength and balance. When one beautiful toy can switch between a bridge, a tunnel, a house, a seat, a climbing frame, a slide or a counter it feels pretty magical for a child! Build from birchwood with a weight capacity of 60kg this is a real family toy. From 10 months babies can sit and rock, crawl through and learn to stand and older children can practice gymnastics and balance skills. As there are no games it cannot be incorporated into it really becomes part of the furniture, and a stunning part too! Yes Bébé Edition Spectra is also available in Yes Bébé Blue, Monochrome, Pastel, Ema colourway and Emil colourway.

Sumblox Building Blocks Home Set
Sumblox Building Blocks Home Set

Sumblox need little introduction as they so perfectly epitomise the Yes Bébé Ethic. Number shaped wooden blocks from 1 – 10 where each block represents the number not just in shape but in size and proportion. The 2 is half the size of the 4, the 2 and 3 stacked on top of one another equal the height of the 5…. you get the idea. Immediately the scope for these blocks is obvious, from number recognition and conceptual understanding addition to complex fractions. S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) toys are really important to us and these are perfect. They are suitable for all ages of child and adult but academically best suited to children aged 2-12. Pictured is the ‘Home Set’, there is also the ‘Education Set’ for classroom or multi child use, the ‘Starter Set’ for introducing Sumblox at Home and the ‘Sample Pack’ as a little taster. Supporting materials are available in the form of ‘Activity Cards’ and ‘Lesson Books’. Sumblox are a true investment piece and an invaluable gift.

Ocamora Cala Children's Knife
Ocamora Cala Children’s Knife

When the Ocamora Cala Knife was released at Yes Bébé things went WILD! Check out this YouTube video featuring the gorgeous Diana and Riley to see it in action! Made from Olive wood, each knife is individual with the wood grain taking centre stage. Cala Knifes are treated with a natural (ecological) oil for utensils that are in contact with food. Giving young children the freedom and ability to prepare their own food appeals to the senses, development, independence and a great relationship with food. When this can happen safely with no risk of cutting little fingers….what an opportunity! What a gift!

Wee'Un Folding Climbing Frame by Sawdust and Rainbows
Wee’Un Folding Climbing Frame by Sawdust and Rainbows

Yes Bébé and Sawdust and Rainbows are great friends. Rosie and S&D designs and builds not only the Wee ‘Un pictured here but also The Folding Hump, The Ladder, The Slide and accessories all of which can be used together to create a fantastic indoor playground/assualt course, jungle adventure or wherever the child’s imagination takes them! 

The Wee ‘Un itself is a much sought after and admired Pikler-inspired triangular frame, completely safety tested to the highest standard and awarded a CE mark. It can be used to aid sitting, standing, cruising and climbing and is tested to 50kg. The Wee’un is currently available in Natural, Rainbow, Monochrome and Pastel.

Ocomora Teniques
Ocamora Teniques Wooden Blocks

Teniques are a completely original, timeless, ageless item. Based on the Japenese game ‘Tumi ishi’ of rock stacking Teniques are a joy to play with. Their colour, shape and wooden individuality appeal directly to the senses of even the youngest and oldest of us. Hold, stack, build and incorporate into all kinds of play! Irregular shaped and sized blocks develop and train the sense of balance, motor skills and creativity. Here at Yes Bébé Teniques have become a complete favourite, regularly recommended and praised in our community group Yes Bébé Babble and a perfect way to begin a journey into open ended play. Also available in ‘Ice’, ‘Sand’, ‘Clay’, ‘Volcano’ and ‘Natural’.

Hape Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano
Hape Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano

Children love to make their own music! This First Piano is made from wood and has ‘magic touch’ technology so no need for buttons or keys. Your little one can make their own music or learn to play 6 different familiar songs. No annoying electronic sounds, only ‘real’ piano sounds here! Hape have long been a bestselling brand at Yes Bébé, renowned for high quality toys that inspire play, learning and exploration of the world we live in. This Piano is a perfect example of this and has proven to be a Top Pick in it’s own right. If you fancy starting a ‘magic touch’ band then Hape Baby Einstein Magic Touch Drums are a perfect accompaniment!

men Preschool Set (32 pieces)
Flockmen Preschool Set (32 pieces)

Flockmen have been with us for a long time and are very dear to our hearts. Person shaped wooden figures made from the mightily strong European White Oak are inspired by Montessori and based on Waldorf principles. As your child grows Flockmen will be used in different ways, from simple and advanced construction, tessellation and small world play (these Personalisation Stickers are perfect!) to calendar and numeracy work. Flockmen are also available in a Sample Pack of 5, a Set of 16 and a whopping Set of 100.

Olli Ella Dinkum Dolls

The Dinkum Dolls from Olli Ella are the latest runaway heroes at Yes Bébé and who on earth could resist them. The gorgeous dolls are soft and snuggly as well as poseable so perfect for play and cuddles. The body measures 35cm and is made from 100% cotton. Each doll comes with its own removable unisex outfit, socks, nappy, and shoes and further accessories are available! Pick your doll from Tiny, Peanut, Sprout, Roo, Poppet and Pumpkin. Dinkum Dolls are in HIGH DEMAND so sign up for stock notifications!

Gift Guide for 3-5 Year Olds

If you have a child this age (which you probably do, or at last know one, if you are reading this) you’ll know that they devour toys, games, activities. Finding gifts that engage them can be tricky so let us offer you some ideas based on our customers top picks in this Gift Guide.

At around this age many children show a fascination and fantastic skill with jigsaw puzzles as their hand-eye co-ordination and problem solving skills develop. Petit Collage have a stunning range of beginner and larger floor puzzles. With 24 large and sturdy pieces which are perfect for little hands. They are bright, bold and have detailed illustrations. Packaged in a keepsake carrying box with a soft cotton rope handle they are ready-to-gift and for little hands to carry. Petit Collage puzzles are made with recycled paper printed with non-toxic environmentally friendly vegetable-based inks.

Petit Collage Mermaid Friends Floor Puzzle
Petit Collage Mermaid Friends Floor Puzzle

SHOP PETIT COLLAGE

Smallfoot have an absolutely HUGE range of absolutely fantastic toys perfect for this age group. Do you have a little one that likes to play at being a grown up? Be a hairdresser, a dentist, a gardener and more!

Smallfoot Safe including play money
Smallfoot Safe including play money

This clever play safe comes with numerous 5-, 10-, 50- and 100-Euro bills, there are also pretend gold and silver coins as well as pretend gold bars made out of wood. The mechanical lock seals the safe and can only be undone when the right position is found, a little bankers dream!

 

 

Smallfoot Mailbox with Accessories
Smallfoot Mailbox with Accessories

Mail call! This yellow wooden mailbox is a real eye catcher and . A blackboard on the front of the mailbox can be individually labeled with the attached chalk. Four wooden postcards and letters complete this post set and can be thrown through the slot into the mailbox.  The active role-play in sending and delivering the letters stimulates children´s imagination and creativity. Now any child can slip into the role of a postman and fulfill their desire to ‘post’!

Orchards Toys have been creating colourful, educational games and jigsaws for over 40 years. Made in the UK their boards are 100% recycled and the paper they use is sourced from sustainable forests. They offer two piece puzzles suitable from 18 months up to puzzles with 150 to challenge the most experienced puzzler! Their games will bring together the whole of the family to make learning fun.

Christmas isn’t Christmas without some family games! Compact mini games, classics and originals will all become firm favourites.

Orchard Toys Mini Games Animal Families, Rocket Game and Old MacDonald Lotto
Orchard Toys Mini Games Animal Families, Rocket Game and Old MacDonald Lotto

Established in 2011 Indigo Jamm produce lasting toys that are designed here in the UK, using high quality and sustainable materials such as rubber wood. These toys inspire long lasting fun whilst encouraging development through safe play. Their toys often have a quirky or retro style to them and have designed a number of toys specifically for younger children with numerous lines suitable from 12 months plus.

Indigo Jamm- Flo the UFO
Indigo Jamm- Flo the UFO

Flo the UFO is really original and fun. It’s made from sustainable rubber wood and ply wood and comes complete with two colourful wooden aliens. Flo is sturdy and top quality making it ideal for play.

 

 

 

Indigo Jamm- Motorbike Micky
Indigo Jamm- Motorbike Micky

Motorbike Micky is ideal for little ones that love vehicles. Push, pull, roll and promote fine motorskills and hand to eye co-ordination! The biker is removeable and made from sustainable rubber wood and birch ply wood. We love Micky!

 

 

Indigo Jamm- Recycling Ronnie
Indigo Jamm- Recycling Ronnie

Recycling Ronnie is a wooden push-along truck. He has two removeable figures, a driver and a refuse collector, you can name those yourself! 6 pieces of recycling need sorting into the tipping and opening rear section. Here’s to your new friend Ronnie!

 

 

Hape DIY Dream House Furnished
Hape DIY Dream House Furnished

The Hape DIY Dream House allows little ones to create their own house of dreams. With brights colours and over 30 pieces of magnetic furniture just waiting to be positioned and played with. Empty picture frames are waiting for their own art work! At over 70cm high it’s the ideal size to move around and crouch down to peep inside. Pick your own family and accessories too!

Gift Guide for Babies and Toddlers

Buying for Under 2’s can be very tricky, especially when you need to have ideas at the ready for friends and family. From rattles and stacking toys to noise makers and soft toys you can take your pick secure in the knowledge that everything we sell is safe and ethically traded. Enjoy this Gift Guide for Babies and Toddlers….

Haba cuddly gallivanting goose
Haba Cuddly Gallivanting Goose

Best Years Crochet Baby Dinosaur Toy- Blue Dippi Rattle
Best Years Crochet Baby Dinosaur Toy- Blue Dippi Rattle

Based in the UK, Best Years have been making toys for over 10 years and were the first to introduce knitted dinosaurs, still a favourite today! They care about remaining ethical all the way through their production process, from where they source their materials to whom makes the toys, currently- a network of fair trade cooperatives, artisans in Peru and disabled groups in Vietnam. All of Best Years toys are suitable from birth and safety tested to CE and EN71. All of their toys are also Machine Washable. 

CLICK HERE TO SHOP BEST YEARS

 

Babies LOVE to make noise and Hape have a huge selection of instruments suitable for even the smallest child. Hape is guided by the philosophy that the future belongs to our children and creates toys that inspire play, learning and exploration of the world we live in. From the best selling and forever loved Pound And Tap Bench to Percussion Sets baby can find their rhythm in their own way!

Hape Instruments Featuring: Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano, Baby Drum and Beaded Raindrops
Hape Instruments Featuring: Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano, Baby Drum and Beaded Raindrops

 

That's Not My Baby - Fiona Watt
That’s Not My Baby – Fiona Watt

Usborne have been publishing the very best in board and sensory books for baby’s and toddlers and the ‘That’s Not My’ Collection are must-haves. Why not start a gifting tradition this Christmas?

 

Also available are gift sets featuring a delightful soft toy!

 

SHOP ‘THAT’S NOT MY’ AND OTHER ACTIVITY BOOKS

 

Grimm’s are a family owned and sustainably managed manufacturer at the foot of the Swabian Alb, which produces natural, high quality and safe wooden toys made to officially certified standards. In product development, they are guided by the principles of Waldorf education and other educational approaches, such as Montessori.

Grimms Toys have a huge selection of toys that are just perfect for babies and toddlers:

Grimms Bead Grasper Natural
Grimms Bead Grasper Natural

Graspers are available in Rainbow, Pastel and Natural colourways and made from  maple, cherry and beech wood with a non-toxic plant based oil finish. Little finger are naturally sensory, what a true gift to be able to put these graspers in their hands and allowing these first sensory experiences to be with natural, hand crafted wooden toys. Grimms graspers are also popular with older children who still enjoy their calming and grounding feedback.

Grimms Large Conical Tower
Grimms Large Conical Tower

The classic stacker with 10  trade mark Grimms rainbow coloured discs! With the large Conical Tower the children can sort, stack and build. Through play little one’s develop eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills and colour sorting. Made from lime wood with non-toxic water based colour stain. Beautiful to display in a nursery too!

 

 

Grimms Rainbow Turtle to pull along
Grimms Rainbow Turtle to pull along

When babies have learned to walk then love to pull things behind them especially if they can load  all their favourite things on top. The Rainbow Turtle has 10 blocks which can be used as building blocks and a puzzle too. This gorgeous turtle is 24cm and made from lime wood with a non-toxic water based color stain and non-toxic plant based oil finish.

 

Le Toy Van create traditional wooden toys with a modern feel and high quality. They focus on role play to help promote early learning and imagination development in young children. They ensure they use natural materials including replenishable legal quality smooth rubber-wood. All of Le Toy Vans toys comply with rigorous  safety standards and are hand finished to achieve a unique look each time.

Le Toy Van 4 Piece Sensory Tray
Le Toy Van 4 Piece Sensory Tray

This fun sensory toy features 4 pieces to stimulate different senses and skills: sight, sound, touch and dexterity. Each piece is made with solid rubberwood and water based colours,to sort into the matching tray. Shape and colour recognition develop logical thinking. Discover them all with this multi sensory toy.

 

Grapat is a small family project built on the premise of letting children play, at their own pace and in their own time. They are inspired by the sacred and complete immersion of child like play when new worlds are created with rules unique to that moment and time. They believe in nurturing the safe space children create when playing and provide natural material without instructions. The finishes are made with waxes and oils of vegetable origin and it is made following traditional processes.They use thick soft raw materials and natural dyes which leaves the wood veins visible through vibrant coloured waxes and oils with a slight shine.  All products are home made and hand painted with great care. While some small parts might not be suitable for the very youngest of children they have some great toddler friendly items. Check out Tinker Trays for an ideal play companion.

Grapat Bowls and Balls, Grapat Palos, Grapat Nins, Rings and Coins (Natural)
Grapat Bowls and Balls, Grapat Palos, Grapat Nins, Rings and Coins (Natural)

 

Going on holiday with Cloth Nappies? Here’s how…..

Whether it’s a vacay or staycation many of us are committed to the cloth nappy life and don’t wan’t a little thing like a holiday to disrupt that.  Shear determination, medical or ethical reasons, whatever the motivation, it CAN be done!

This is not to say that anyone who does want to use disposables while away shouldn’t, it is pretty much what they were designed for anyway. In fact, 31 years ago my Mum saved up to be able to afford disposables on holiday so she didn’t have to take the terry towels with her!

Tickle Tots Prints
Tickle Tots Prints

It all depends on the nature of your holiday…….. One of the first things I look for is whether the place I’m staying has a washing machine, it’s just habit now!

Let’s see what the right option for you is………

Cloth Nappies on Holiday Flowchart
Cloth Nappies on Holiday Flowchart

Option 1

Carry on exactly as you would at home. Store wet and dirty (poo removed as much as you can) in an extra large wet bag or two. When you get home wash the nappies across two loads with plenty of detergent at 60 degrees after a rinse cycle or short cold wash.

option 2

Invest in Prefolds and Muslins to bulk out your stash and use inside wraps a few times before you need to change the wrap . If you have already used the wrap on your travels you can hand wash to allow you to use a second time with a different insert.

option 3

Grovia Biosoakers
Grovia Biosoakers

Buy some biodegradable soakers, for example Grovia Biosoakers. These will bulk out your stash and allow you to use wraps before changing.  If you have already used the wrap on your travels you can hand wash to allow you to use a second time with a different insert. Dispose of the soakers responsibly.

option 4

Use the facilities to wash your nappies. If you see signs to say that washing nappies is prohibited (unlikely) ask staff if it acceptable to wash wet only nappies. Many campsites and similar accommodation would much rather you used and washed your cloth nappies than fill their bins with disposables!Remember the machine is going to be different to yours so check dosage and keep an eye on them.

Some things to keep in mind….

  • If you will be spending time in water each swim nappy us one less nappy option

    Bambino Mio Swim Nappy and Rash Top
    Bambino Mio Swim Nappy and Rash Top

    you need to factor in. Reuseable swim nappies can be hand washed/rinsed, dried and reused incredibly quickly and easily. Remember they are not absorbent!

 

  • Your choice of nappy will make a huge difference, packing lots of All In Ones for example will not only take up lots of luggage space but will be a lot harder to hand wash if you need to. Two Part nappies with an insert and wrap take up much less space, are easy to hand wash and dry really quickly.

Close Pop-in Nappy Liners
Close Pop-in Nappy Liner

  • Even if you don’t use them usually, disposable liners might be handy to deal with solids more easily when you are not changing baby near a toilet.

 

  • Wet Bags are your friend! When you are packing store all clean nappies in an extra large wet bag, take another empty extra large wet bag with you. As you change nappies put the used ones in the empty bag and as one gets full the other empties. Take as many smaller wet bags with you as you can for changing out and about.

 

 

 

 

  • Leave a couple of clean nappies at home to use on your return!

How to hand wash your wraps and pocket shells…..

Remember we are not trying to wash anything absorbent so we don’t need to worry about detergent build up or any unseen yuckiness. We just want to remove any urine or faeces if you are unlucky from the surface to get another use out of them before you get home.

Handwashing nappies in a bucket
Handwashing nappies in a bucket

If you have access to a bath, that is perfect. A sink or bucket will do the job but you might need to do a few batches at a time.

Step 1. Rinse. Use a shower head, a jug or sluice in the bath or sink.

Step 2. Scrub. Use soap, shower gel, shampoo it doesn’t matter too much. You don’t need to use a lot at a time.

Step 3. Rinse. Get rid of all the suds. If sluicing you might need to change the water a few times.

Step 4. Wash. Fill whatever vessel you are using with water as hot as you can manage to have your hands in. Add some detergent, they usually give hand washing dosages. Give the wraps a really good sloshy wash. Rub things together and agitate as much as possible.

Step 5. Rinse. Last rinse to remove suds.

Drying nappies while camping
Drying nappies while camping

Step 6. Wring out and hang to dry. On a nice day this won’t take more than a few hours maximum.

For peace of mind you’ll naturally want to give everything a really good ‘strip’ wash in your washing machine when you get home but this method will definitely give you a clean wrap or shell to use again.

Et voila! You have successfully achieved a great holiday and used cloth nappies on your little one throughout! You’ve continued to achieve all the environmental and lifestyle benefits you were at home! Give your self a BIG pat on the back and here’s 100 golden cloth nappy points for normalising cloth nappies!

Grovia Hybrid Hook and Loop Shell
Grovia Hybrid Hook and Loop Shell

 

Make your own Pallet Garden

Have you got a spare pallet knocking around? They are easy to get hold of if not…. and what a gorgeous project this is! Just follow the steps below to create your own repurposed Pallet Garden. Thank You so much to the ingenious Hannah at The Chimney House for the inspiration. You can check out her fantastic Blog using the link for Meeting, Making and Munching!

DIY Pallet Garden Front
DIY Pallet Garden Front

1- Find a pallet. They’re all slightly different. Look at their bottoms or underneath. This is the side you will have facing you to plant into. I chose ones with just four slats as I wanted a bit more space between each slat for the plants. Also, if you’re having a few side by side, check the ‘colours’ and fading of the wood match. I found one was very grey and one was a warm yellow, so searched though our pile until I had two similar in colour.

2- Turn them, so the underneath is facing you and slats are horizontal. Now you have two choices! You can either back the whole lot, fill with compost whilst lying on the floor, plant whilst it’s flat, then stand and secure to wall OR stand against wall (preferably a garden wall. If it’s against the wall of your house you must leave a gap and put a watertight membrane against the back of the pallet you so don’t end up getting damp! ) secure to wall, put in little compost holders and fill with plants.

DIY Pallet Garden
DIY Pallet Garden

A)
If you chose the backing and planting whilst flat, here’s what to do next…

Back (as in, cover the top/front, since the underneath is now your front) the pallet with a strong weed-stop membrane. I use a staple gun…not a craft one but a more substantial DIY one. You might also want to cover the sides to create an enclosed space. If you’re putting against a house wall I suggest you google how best to back it.

Fill all areas with compost.

Choose your plants…depending on the size of your pallet and your gaps, you’re looking for 2/3 per slat space/area. Choose a range to suit you. I have three types of fern forwards the bottom, a few herbs in amongst, a few pretty little flowers, some sedums that grow tall, some that will trail, and some taller plants (erysimum, wallflowers) for the top to make it pretty!

Plant as usual where you fancy. Shady, water loving plants towards the base.

Water and wait until all soaked in.

Raise pallet, leave a gap of 2/3 inches between the base of the pallet and the wall and lean gently!

I would definitely suggest securing the top of the pallet to the wall. I was lucky, there were already several screws in the wall and the perfect height. I used garden wire, wrapped around a top slat, round the screw, onto the next screw and back around the top slat of the next pallet.

Stand back and admire your new garden!

DIY Pallet Garden #1
DIY Pallet Garden #1

B…
If you chose the lean up and plant when in place option, here’s what to do next…

If you’re putting it up against a house wall I suggest you google how best to back it. You’ll need something like a waterproof membrane to put over the back of the pallet to prevent damp. But please do look it up properly. I use a staple gun…not a craft one but a more substantial DIY one.

Raise pallet, leave a gap of 2/3 inches between the base of the pallet and the wall.

I would definitely suggest securing the top of the pallet to the wall. I was lucky, there were already several screws in the wall and the perfect height. I used garden wire, wrapped around a top slat, round the screw, onto the next screw and back around the top slat of the next pallet.

Now you need little pouches for the compost and plants to sit in. I was lucky…each half (left or right side) was just the right length to use the bottom of a bag for life! Flatten the plastic bag, run a pair of scissors along about 3/4 inches up (leave it taller if you’re not sure, you can always cut down to size when you’ve tried it out) to cut the bottoms pouch section off. This will then sit inside each section and you use your staple gun to secure in place. I began with one staple in the middle at the back, then each end, then secured over the front lip of the slat at each end. It takes a little while.

If you don’t want to use plastic, weed netting or similar will be fine but you need something the water will drown through.

Stab holes with a pair of scissors through the bottoms of all the plastic pouches.

Fill each little pouch with compost but leave them shallow enough to top up with plants.

Choose your plants…depending on the size of your pallet and your gaps, you’re looking for 2/3 per slat space/area. Choose a range to suit you. I have three types of fern forwards the bottom, a few herbs in amongst, a few pretty little flowers, some sedums that grow tall, some that will trail, and some taller plants (erysimum, wallflowers) for the top to make it pretty!

Plant as usual where you fancy. Shady, water loving plants towards the base.

Water.

Stand back and admire your new garden!

DIY Pallet Gsrden #2
DIY Pallet Garden #2

Hope that helps everyone. I sort of made it up as I went along. If I did it again, I

think I’d go for the complete fill with compost and then lean up approach rather than the shallow ‘beds’…thinking it through, it would mean each plant has lots of space and growing room. What I might do as they grow is top up each section

with compost so it goes to the ‘top’ of each slat. I may even, at some point, take them down and redo if I find the plants aren’t growing strongly. But bear in mind, they’ll be a lot heavier if completely filled. I’ve also seen people used them as shallow raised beds laying flat!

DIY Pallet Garden Side
DIY Pallet Garden Side

Why not have a go yourself? We would LOVE to see your creations in our Facebook group Yes Bebe Babble! It’s a fantastic, friendly community full of ideas and inspiration like this!

How to start using Cloth Nappies and stick at it!

If you have been inspired this Real Nappy Week and fancy using cloth nappies

What Would You Rather? 3000 disposables or 15 Cloth Nappies
What Would You Rather? 3000 disposables or 15 Cloth Nappies

but have no idea where to start then read on for Top Tips on how to START and KEEP GOING with Cloth……..

Whether it’s for environmental reasons, reducing your household waste or pretty prints…. whatever the reason it’s time to stop procrastinating and give it a go.

Top Tip Number 1: Chat to someone who knows what they are talking about.

This might be a friend or family member who is using modern cloth nappies (I say modern cloth nappy because everyone will have a relative who has used traditional terry squares and boiled and pinned them. This is really quite a long way away from how we use cloth nappies in 2019). If you are lucky they might even lend you some!

You could visit a nappy library.

UK Nappy Network
UK Nappy Network

Volunteers up and down the country run loaning and demonstration sessions. Click here to see where your nearest one is.

At Yes Bebe we have a nappy advice service. You can ask questions and receive a personalised reply, fill in a questionnaire and get recommendations of what cloth nappy is best for you, based on the individual needs of your family. Regular #ClothChat and #ClothClinics give lots of information on all you need to know to use cloth nappies via video and discussion.

#ClothClinic
#ClothClinic

Talking to someone with lots of personal experience that you can trust means that you can ask all the questions you have and have the answers explained in a way that makes sense to you.

Top Tip Number 2: Start small and don’t be scared of cloth nappies.

(If you have never used any kind of nappy before and are about to begin caring for your first child this may not apply….. in this case I would suggest you just go for it!)

If you have been using disposables try not to see cloth nappies as a mysterious world full of code words and secret handshakes. The principle is the same; catch the poo and wee. Take it from me disposable nappies can seem alien when you haven’t bought them before too, numbers and sizes and symbols and different brands can be really confusing. Following Tip 1 means you can get eyes and hands on the nappies which helps massively to understand the terminology and different parts.

Miosolo A Bug's Life Collection
Miosolo A Bug’s Life Collection

You will also learn along the way that it is hardly ever a good idea to pick a cloth nappy, buy enough for full time use and get yourself stuck in the middle. You may be swept up in all the excitement and really want to get going but take your time. It is much better to come to understand cloth nappies properly, make sure you are using them correctly and buy a few of a nappy that suits your needs. If you don’t have a lot of drying facilities you are really going to end up resenting having 20 very slow drying nappies hanging up all over the place.

Once you have a few, just start! Nothing bad is going to happen. Yes, you might get a little leak but a) clothes wash and b) you’ll fit it better next time.

How to fit a cloth nappy
How to fit a Cloth Nappy

It is a bit of a learning curve, there is no lying about that but, what part of parenting isn’t. You aren’t a pro at everything straight away and this is no different.

Top Tip Number 3: Keep an open mind, keep learning and Enjoy!

Even the most experienced cloth nappy users are constantly learning, experimenting and trying new things. Once you are past the teething stage (of your cloth nappy journey, not your ACTUAL baby) and your collection of cloth is growing you can really start to have fun.

  • Mix and match your nappies, you might find new combinations that work really well!
  • Take washing line photos! A little twee maybe but there is no denying it’s a glorious sight all those nappies blowing in the breeze. You can look back on those photos with real fondness and maybe sharing them will inspire others.

    Tickle Tots Washing Line
    Tickle Tots Washing Line
  • Get involved in your local cloth nappy community. Whether that is through regular nappy meet ups, a group of parents who happen to use cloth nappies or a local Facebook group, it’s a great way to meet people and make friends.

Top Tip Number 4: Stop buying disposables and BE PROUD!

When your stash of cloth nappies is big enough just stop buying disposables! You’ll soon see that cloth nappies are appropriate for all situations if you want them to be. Going back to an earlier point, having a range of types of nappy including various inserts and boosters means that even when you are running low and behind on the washing (let’s face it, who isn’t?!) having those two basic components of a nappy: 1. A waterproof layer and 2. An absorbent fabric, means that you can practically conjure a nappy out of nowhere.

Now you are a total Pro, BE PROUD! We are all at different stages of our parenting journeys travelling down many different paths but having chosen this route means that you have done something that really deserves a huge pat on the back!

Well Done from Planet Earth!

BM Planet Earth
BM Planet Earth

 

A First Book of The Sea – Nicola Davies, A Story Sack

With this book, children can swim alongside dolphins and flying fish, pore over rockpools and sail from pole to pole and back, learning about everything from phosphorescence and plankton to manta rays and puffins – all in the comfort of their bedroom. Emily Sutton’s exquisite watercolours capture the breathless excitement of a child’s first glimpse of the sea, the majesty of ancient trading ships and the sheer, staggering wonder of the humpback whale.

These beautiful collection of poems can now come to life with the addition of some of your favourite Yes Bebe toys and figures!

A First Book of The Sea and associated figures
A First Book of The Sea and associated figures

First Book of the Sea – Nicola Davies

The Wave

Mermaid Peepul

Pirate Peepul

Ostheimer Dolphin down

Ostheimer Turtle

King Neptune Doll

Purple Mermaid Doll

Pink Mermaid Doll