Saturday 26 November 2016

Spring Cleaning - A Guide for an Organised Home

Spring is in the air and the weather is beginning to warm as summer is just around the corner. Moods and motivation are lifted so what a great time make your home nice and clean, fresh and clutter free! 

In this blog post we outline a generic deep clean routine to use on each room of the house plus a handy checklist for every room that you can use throughout the year to keep track of what you have done to keep your home in order. If your not one for a big spring clean once a year you can break it down into sections and tackle a room per month and do a deep clean for one room each month.

Give Each Room a Deep Clean 

For each room you tackle, open any windows so you can let fresh air in while you work plus will get rid of any musty smells that may be lingering. Dust lights fittings, wash walls and skirting boards.

Wash doors, door knobs, light switches, power points and mirrors. Empty out any cabinets, cupboards, storage units and wash inside and out then clean any appliances or items that are to be put back away BUT only put back away what you will use in the next year, be really strict with yourself and throw out or donate anything that you haven’t used in 1 year!

Dust or wash window coverings and any mats.  Wash floors and for tiles scrub grout with good quality grout cleaner to bring back to new.  Don’t forget to move any furniture so you can also wash those areas as well.  Finally close windows and wash them both inside and out.

We have also created a handy printable Spring Cleaning Checklist which includes an extensive list of chores for each room in the home making it easy for you to keep track of what has been done and what still needs to be done.

Best Cleaning Products

Grout Cleaner
The best one I have found is from Bunnings labelled Heavy duty Grout Cleaner in a yellow spray bottle you can also buy refill in bulk.

Shower Cleaner
I am a big fan of Shower Power for cutting through the grime in the shower and you can get it most big supermarkets.

Surface and Glass Cleaner
I love Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner it is eco friendly but really does a great job of cleaning surfaces, windows and mirrors.  You can also view or shop the wide range of seventh generation cleaning products here.

Floor Cleaner
Handy Andy is a good choice and can be used on all types of floors even polished floor boards just make sure you dilute it more than you would on other floor surfaces.

Cleaning Cloths
Terry Towelling or Flannelette Traditional Nappy Squares are the best cleaning rag ever! Surprisingly hard to find these days but you can use them for absolutely anything. The Nappy Shop always has plenty of stock.  You can shop for them here.

We hope this blog post has helped make the task of spring cleaning feel less daunting as many of the jobs are small ones that can be done quickly and easily and the rewards of a nice fresh clean home will make it well worth the effort.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you can think of a something we have missed on our Spring Cleaning checklist we would love to hear from you.

Next Blog Post
In our next blog post we will give new parents some helpful tips for washing babies clothes, cloth nappies, bedding, toys as well as advice on the most suited type of laundry detergents to use.

Saturday 22 October 2016

Beauty products that are safe for pregnant and breast feeding women

Did you know that some things we put on our skin will get absorbed into our blood stream?  If you are pregnant or breast feeding you may want to think twice before applying nail polish, using that hair removal cream or even dying your hair.  It is also a good idea to check your regular everyday skincare and cosmetic product ingredients to ensure they contain no nasty ingredients that could potentially be harmful to your growing or breast fed baby. 

In this blog pot we will list some ingredients to steer clear from that can be found in beauty products. We will also share some products we have found that are free from all the above nasty ingredients and safe to use by pregnant and breast feeding women.

Ingredients to Avoid

Mainly found in prescription acne and anti-aging medications but sometimes can be found in anti aging creams. Could also be listed as Differin (adapelene), Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin), Retinoic acid, Retinol, Retinyl linoleate, Retinyl palmitate, Tazorac or avage (Tazarotene).  Best to avoid while pregnant or breast feeding.

Also listed as BzBP, DBP, DEP, DMP, or diethyl, dibutyl, or benzylbutyl phthalate which can be found in nail polish and perfume.

Toluene, methylbenzene, toluol or antisal 1a
Could be found in nail polish and these are considered a toxic combo that should be avoided especially if you are pregnant.


Found in hair dye products.

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)
Found in some self tanning or spray products.

Thioglycolic acid
Which can be present in hair removal products.

Botulinim toxin
Found in botox injections.

Safe Products


Dr Roebuck's skincare products are a complete skincare range that really work. Minimum ingredients that give maximum results. Created by a doctor, specifically formulated plus safe for pregnant and breast feeding women to use.

Wotnot and Little Innoscents Sunscreen can be used by pregnant and breast feeding women and also on babies from 6 months old.

Paw Paw Balm
Little innocents paw paw balm is great for any kind of cut or rash and also makes a great lip balm. Safe for pregnant, breast feeding women and also great for baby’s bum as a nappy rash cream or barrier layer. 

Hand Wash
Eco store hand wash is an eco friendly anti bacterial hand wash that is safe to use for pregnant women and breastfeeding women.

Stretch Mark Lotion
GAIA Pure Pregnancy Belly Butter cream has been tried and tested by many pregnant women and they all raved that they did not get any stretch marks! Gaia Belly Butter will leave your ‘baby bump’ soft and supple. It can also be used on breasts too.

In this post we have outlined a few products such as nail polish, tanning lotions and hair dye that may contain some of the nasty ingredients we talked about. We recommend to always check the ingredients label of the products you use if you are pregnant or breast feeding just to make sure there are no nasties in there that could be potentially harmful for your baby. 
We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you know of any other potentially harmful ingredients that probably shouldn’t be used by pregnant women or breastfeeding women we would love to hear from you.
Next Blog Post - November 2016
Spring is in the air! In our next blog post we will outline how to spruce up, clean up and get your house in order this spring (or any other time of year).


Wednesday 7 September 2016

Child Proof Your Home for Babies and Toddlers

When it comes to childproofing your home, you will find there is a multitude of safety gadgets on the market for absolutely everything! While installing these safety gadgets all around your home may help reduce the risk of your child injuring themselves, common sense and keeping sight of your little one at all times is the best thing you can do to help protect your little one from hurting themselves around the home. 

In this blog post, we will outline some preventative things you can do inside the house to minimise the risk of your baby or toddler hurting themselves at home.  We have also created a handy printable checklist: Child-proof-your-home which includes an extensive list of things that could be done around the home to make it safer for babies and toddlers.

Electrical Safety  

In every home you will find Electrical Cords and power points in abundance in every room of the house. Appliances such as Lamps, TV, toaster, kettle, electric toothbrushes will all have cords that can be dangerous if in reach of children. For example, if a cord is dangling it could cause your child to pull the appliance onto them, trip on it, or worse get the cord tangled around their neck.

Installing the below two products on all electrical cords and unused Power Points can make a big difference to the safety of your home for children.

Electrical Cord Shorteners reduce the risk of children and other family members tripping on dangling appliance cords.

Electrical Cord Shortener

Outlet Plugs help keep your children safe from electric shock. Simply place the Outlet Plugs into all unused power outlets to prevent curious kids from inserting foreign objects into the source of dangerous electrical currents.

Outlet Plugs

Secure Cupboards drawers and appliances

It is a good idea to secure any cupboards and drawers that contain anything that could be hazardous to your child such as medicines, cleaning products, poisons and sharp objects such as stationary or kitchen utensils.

Cabinet Safety Latch

Also consider using appliance locks on kitchen appliances such as fridge, oven, dishwasher and microwave. 

Appliance safety lock

Windows, Glass Doors and Balconies

It is really important that there is never anything underneath or next to a window or balcony that your child could climb on to. This is to ensure that they can't climb up and fall out of the window or off the balcony.

Make sure you always teach your children to play away from glass doors and windows. You could also consider applying a shatterproof film to glass doors and windows so that if they do break the glass won't shatter everywhere but remain in tact.

To help prevent children from bumping into glass doors and windows you can put stickers on them to help them see them.


In this post we have only briefly touched on a few basic things you can do to help minimise the risk of your child hurting themselves around the home. There are many more things you can do to make your home as safe as possible for your little one. Our extensive child proof your home checklist covers just about everything you can think of to help keep your child safe in your home.

Leave us a Comment

We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you had something in your home that your little one was always getting into or any other safety tips that we haven't mentioned in this blog post or on our checklist we would love to hear from you.

Next Blog Post - October 2016 
In our next blog post we will take a look at beauty and skincare products that are safe for pregnant and breast feeding women to use.


Wednesday 10 August 2016

Hospital Bag for Birth - What to Pack?

Generally most pregnant women start thinking about what to pack in their hospital bag at about 26-28 weeks, so when the time comes to get to hospital to give birth they can just grab the pre-packed hospital bag or bags on the way out the door with no further thought or panic! 

In this blog post, we provide a link to download our hospital bag for birth checklist which includes everything you will need for mother, baby and support partner.  We also talk about organising your bag into compartments or smaller bags so you can find things quickly and easily when you need them.

Start with a checklist


To help you pack your hospital bag, we here at The Nappy Shop have put together a handy hospital bag checklist for birth that you can download, print and tick off as you go. It has everything you might need to take for your hospital stay for mother, baby and support partner.


Organise your Bag or Bags


Realistically you will need more than one bag! We suggest having a bag or compartment each for Mother, baby and support partner plus a nappy bag. We have everything you will need to get for the Nappy Bag over at The Nappy Shop.

For Mother

Clothing including lots of old underwear or disposable pants, labour aids, snacks, toiletries, paperwork, and anything else such as the "Other Things" category on our checklist should all be organised into smaller bags or compartments.  For example, once the labour is over you won't be needing the labour aids any more so you can pop that bag out of the way.

For Baby

Surprisingly, baby's things won't take up that much room in your bag. If you have a separate "Nappy Bag" to keep everything you need to change your babies nappy then all that is left is baby's clothes (which are so small they won't take up much room at all) and Formula and bottles. 

Although feeding aids are optional, if this is your first baby you may want to pack them just in case you are unable to breast feed straight away.  They will also come in handy if your milk is light on because you can mix it with the formula you have chosen.  Also if you have too much milk then you can express and store it in the bottle to feed baby later on.

For Support Partner

Probably a  separate tote bag for your support partner is best for things like change of clothes, snacks, camera, chargers, pillow and blanket.


Packing your hospital bag shouldn't have to be a daunting task but it can be if you leave it until week 38! We suggest start getting your hospital bag ready around week 26 that way you will have your bag packed and ready to go if you don't go full term or complications arise. Use our checklist along with your hospital's guidelines of what to pack to make packing your hospital bag for birth easier for yourself.

Leave us a comment

We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you had something that you found particular handy whilst in labour or that you used during your hospital stay we would love to hear what it was.  Please let us know via the comments link below.


Next Blog Post - September 2016

In our next blog post we will talk about everything you should do to make your home as safe as possible for your new baby or toddler. We will also share our baby and toddler proof your home checklist.



Tuesday 12 July 2016

Preparing For Baby's Arrival

When the time comes to start thinking about all the baby gear, clothes, bits and pieces you will need to prepare for your baby’s arrival, the list can seem somewhat endless not to mention the costs involved in acquiring everything you will need for your baby to exist comfortably just for the first three months alone! 

In this blog post we outline everything you will need to prepare for your baby’s arrival and how to budget for it. We also have some helpful hints to prepare for maternity leave.

Gear, Clothes, Bits and Pieces you will need

The list of things you will need to acquire in preparation for the arrival of your bundle of joy can seem overwhelming at first ie; prams, clothing, feeding and nursing stuff, traveling stuff and it seems like the list just goes on and on! In our preparing for baby checklist we have summarised all the essentials you will need to prepare for your baby’s arrival including clothing, change time, bath time, getting the nursery ready, nursing and feeding. 

Budgeting for Baby

Budgeting for baby early in pregnancy can help reduce the financial stress you may face when the added expenses start to roll in, some of these may include: 
  • Doctor, pathology and hospital bills
  • Maternity Clothes
  • Baby gear, clothes, bits and pieces
  • Child Care
We found a good budget planner from the My Money website. You will also want to take into account any changes to your household income, such as half or no pay maternity or parental and the duration. This parental leave calculator will help you work out all the changes to your income plus it also guilds you on what government benefits you may be entitled to.

There are also many ways to keep the cost of all those extra things you need to buy under control such as: 

  • Ask family & friends for hand me downs
  • Purchase some of the big ticket items second hand
  • Have a Baby Shower
  • Start a Baby Gift Registry 
  • Shop around if buying brand new

Tip: Have your baby shower early so you know what is still left to get. 

Preparing for Maternity Leave

To make the transition from working to maternity leave as smooth as possible for yourself, your employer and your work colloquies it is important to plan for your maternity leave well in advance. Here are some handy hints to help you plan for your maternity leave:

  • Tell your employer as soon as possible
  • Ask about your paid leave entitlements
  • Finalise your leave start and end dates
  • Discuss returning to work options with your employer
  • Plan how your work will be managed when your away
  • Prepare a handover work-plan
  • Create a contingency plan (if leave earlier than planned)
  • Indicate preferred method of communication while on leave
  • Tidy up your work space at least 2 weeks prior to leave start date
  • Arrange for the hand-over of any equipment etc.


Preparing for your baby's arrival is an exiting time and with good planning and preparation the task will be fun like it should be instead of overwhelming and stressful.

Use our preparing for baby checklist to find out everything you will need to obtain before babies arrival, prepare a budget so you know exactly where you stand financially and make a plan of action in the lead up to your maternity leave to ensure a smooth transition for yourself, employer and co-workers. Happy Planning!

Next Blog Post - August 2016
In our next blog post we will outline everything you will need for your hospital stay while giving birth. We will summarise this in a handy hospital checklist of what to include in your pre-packed hospital bag for yourself, baby and support partner.


Sunday 5 June 2016

Food and Exercise During Pregnancy

It is important to remember, diet during pregnancy is all about quality not quantity unlike the popular saying “Eating for Two” which suggests otherwise! In fact, pregnant women should only eat one extra snack per day to achieve a healthy weight gain.  It is more important to eat a wider variety of food to meet the increased nutritional requirements a pregnant women needs for healthy growth and brain development of a growing baby.

Eat a Healthy Diet with a Wide Variety of Food 

To get the increased nutrients, vitamin and mineral requirements during pregnancy a variety of foods from the following five food groups should be eaten daily.

Meats or Alternatives
It is vital that pregnant women increase their daily protein intake by approximately 60% to ensure normal growth and prevent low birth weight.  3 ½ serves per day should be eaten from red meat, chicken, fish (*some fish should be avoided), eggs, legumes, tofu or nuts. 
* There are certain types of fish that should be limited because of their high levels of mercury. Shark (flake), broadbill, marlin and swordfish shouldn’t be eaten more than once per fortnight and orange roughy (sea perch) and catfish, more than once per week. Other fish are safe to eat and canned tuna is not restricted.

Fruits provide vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre. Eat 2 Severs of fruits per day such as Avocado, Mango, Grapes, Lemon, Sweet lime, Bananas, Berries, Orange, Apple, and Lychee.

Vegetables are also a great source of  vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Eat 5 serves of vegetables per day from Leafy Greens, Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Green Peas, Beetroot, Carrots, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Spinach, Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus and Sweet Corn. 

Breads and cereals
Breads and cereals are important form of carbohydrates. They are a great source of vitamins and fibre, and are satisfying without containing too many calories. 8 ½  serves are recommended per day of Wholemeal varieties such as bread, potatoes, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, maize, millet, oats, sweet potatoes, yams and cornmeal.

Dairy foods
Dairy foods are important because the contain calcium and other nutrients that your baby needs.  2 ½ serves of Dairy foods is recommended per day such as milk, cheese, fromage frais and yoghurt. 

Folic Acid & Multivitamin Supplement

Although a supplement is recommended it should not substitute a healthy well balanced diet, it should be taken in addition to well balanced diet. A supplement such as Elevit with Iodine will help meet the nutritional needs of pregnant women.  Folate or Folic Acid is a B group vitamin needed for healthy growth and development and helps prevent birth defects which is also included in most pregnancy multivitamins. 

Avoid or Reduce
Pregnant women are generally more susceptible to food generated illnesses however there are some foods that pregnant women should simply avoid.  Food including cold cured meats, raw or uncooked meat, liver products, chilled seafood, raw seafood or shell fish, packaged salads, fish high in mercury and blue or soft cheese should not be eaten because they may contain listeria, a type of bacteria that can harm an unborn baby. 
Don’t take high-dose multivitamin supplements, fish liver oil supplements or any supplements containing vitamin A, and avoid alcohol and smoking.  It is also recommended to avoid energy drinks and reduce caffeine intake to 200mg. 

Food Safety
Practising good food hygiene by making sure food is always washed thoroughly and only eating freshly cooked or freshly prepared food will minimise the risk of food related illness or harm to baby.

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
There are so many benefits of exercising while pregnant.  Regular low impact exercise such as 30-60 minutes per day 5 days per week (recommended exercise) can help prevent complications and negative symptoms such as;

Exercise helps Prevent pregnancy related Symptoms
Exercise can help eliminate backache, constipation and fatigue. It is great for maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight and can help you sleep better, prevent depression, improve self esteem, prepare mind and body for the demands of labour,
help manage blood sugar levels related to gestational diabetes. It may also help you to have a shorter labour and increase your chances of having a natural birth.

Exersice helps Prevent Pre-eclampsia
Pre-eclampsia is a condition which can occur in the second half of pregnancy, characterised by high blood pressure, sudden swelling and rapid weight gain due to fluid retention, and protein in the urine. It is also harmful for unborn baby as it restricts its growth.

Exercise Caution
Avoid raising your body temperature too high, don’t over do it to the point of exhaustion, avoid excessive sweating, avoid lifting heavy weights, don’t exercise if you feel ill or feverish, don’t increase intensity over 75% of maximum heart rate, avoid high risks activities such as skiing, horse riding, scuba  diving and contact sports.

In Summary
A healthy diet and moderate exercise throughout pregnancy will help ensure a healthy pregnancy with lower risks of complications occurring.  It is important to be mindful of certain foods that shouldn’t be eaten during pregnancy and always practice good food hygiene in cooking and preparation.  It is also important to remember that you only need to increase your calorie intake by approximately 1 extra snack per day however you do need to meet a higher nutritional intake done by eating wider variety of nutrient rich foods. The benefits of regular moderate exercising are immense and it comes highly recommended for every pregnant woman without complications to partake in 30-60 minutes 5 days a week.

Next Blog Post - July 2016
In our next blog post we will touch on some other important topics to consider before your baby arrives such as finances, time organisation and we will also include a handy check list to help prepare for your baby's arrival.

Sources for this article

Saturday 7 May 2016

Preparing for Pregnancy

When it comes that time in your life when you are thinking about starting a family or having another child, there are so many things to consider and the list just goes on and on! 

In this blog post we will focus on some of the key things to consider before getting pregnant such as diet, exercise and lifestyle choices that will help prepare your body for pregnancy.

Preparing your body for Pregnancy


The best thing you can do for yourself and your baby to be is to be healthy.  It is important to be in the healthy weight range for your body as being underweight or overweight can limit fertility and increase the risks of complications during pregnancy.  The best way to keep your weight at bay is via food and exercise.





Exercise is great for your general health and well-being and should definitely be kept up pre-pregnancy at a low to moderate intensity level.   High intensity workouts during preconception should be avoided as excessive exercise could alter your menstrual cycle and even halt ovulation in some women.   

Brisk Walking
Brisk walking is an excellent low impact preconception exercise when done in moderation such as 30-60 minutes 3-5 times a week. 

If you are already a runner, then you can continue to run however limit it to moderate pace jogs and avoid training for that marathon!

Avoid lifting heavy weights instead lift lighter weights with increased repetitions or resistance training such as push ups, squats, lunges and crunches. These will still help you build muscle tone and bone strength and help prepare your body for pregnancy.

Avoid Bikram yoga (intensified yoga class run in a room very hot room). However in general yoga can be and ideal exercise before pregnancy as it builds strength, endurance, balance, muscle tone and a great relaxation tool but like any exercise,  just remember not to over do it.

Swimming or Cycling
Avoid triathlons or those endurance long rides, however both offer great low impact forms of pre-pregnancy exercise when done at a low to moderate intensity level.

Extreme Sports
Certain activities such as downhill skiing, horse back riding, scuba diving or other extreme or contact sports are not recommended during the preconception phase due to the increased risks of receiving a blow to the abdomen.  

Food & Diet

Not only is a healthy diet great for your health in general but sticking to a healthy well balanced diet can also help increase your chances of conceiving.

Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet
Pre-pregnancy is the perfect time to start making changes to your diet by eating more of the things we know are good for us and less of the bad.   Try to include each day in your diet five servings of fresh fruit and veggies, lots of starchy foods such as grainy bread, pasta, cereals, & rice.  Some protein with every meal.  Iron rich food such as red meat daily or substitute if your a vegetarian and  aim for three portions of dairy a day.

Reduce or Avoid
If you consume alcohol or coffee unfortunately now is the time to start thinking about reducing your intake or eliminating them from your diet.

If you are a smoker then you should definitely be thinking about quitting as smoking has been proven to increase the risk of complications during pregnancy and also could attribute to Sudden infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Folic Acid & Multivitamin Supplement
Although a supplement is recommended it should not substitute a healthy well balanced diet, it should be taken in addition to well balanced diet. A supplement such as Elevit with Iodine will help meet the nutritional needs of women who are trying to conceive, pregnant and breast feeding.  Folate or Folic Acid is a B group vitamin needed for healthy growth and development and helps prevent birth defects which is also included in most pregnancy multivitamins. 

Preparing for Pregnancy Checklist

Click the link to veiw, save or print our Pre-Pregnancy Checklist.

In Summary

Planning for a baby can be somewhat overwhelming not only for those thinking about starting a family for the first time, but also for parents considering bringing another bundle of joy into this world. Although as the saying's go "you will never truly be prepared for parenthood" or "there is never a right time to have a baby" however you can make it a little less overwhelming by being well prepared and informed about the journey you are about to embark on.

Next Blog Post - June 2016
In our next blog post we will guide you on eating well and food safety as well as exercising to continue a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy.

Sources for this article: