Real Nappy Week 2019

Real Nappy Week 22nd -27th April 2019

It’s April, and all the cloth nappy retailers and manufacturers are going a bit crazy, their to do lists are pages long, they are working loooong hours… Why? Because, it’s nearly Reusable Nappy Week!

Whispers are already starting on the cloth nappy boards – it’s nearly Real Nappy Week, wait for Real Nappy Week, I’m so excited about Real Nappy Week…

But, what is Real Nappy Week?

Real Nappy Week is a week in April, co-ordinated by Go Real, but taken up by cloth nappy associations, retailers and manufacturers, where we shout to the world about how awesome cloth nappies are.

This year Real Nappy Week runs from the 22nd-29th April. Although some retailers are running a week later due to school holidays.

There will be discounts and competitions, but the real crutch of Real Nappy Week 2019 is helping people make the switch to cloth nappies. Go Real will be announcing challenges on their Facebook page that YOU can take part in to get more people using cloth nappies.

Take your pregnant/new mummy friend along to a cloth nappy event – check out your local cloth nappy library  or the Go Real website to find events near you.

Here at Grow Up Green, we will of course be offering special offers. But we also have promotional items for you to spread your cloth nappy love. We are also hosting a Great Cloth Diaper Change event promoting cloth nappies on Saturday 27th April at 10am in our headquarters.

If you want to know more about what we have going on for Real Nappy Week, follow or Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter

See you next week!


How to use cloth with newborns

Lots of people when first looking into using cloth nappies don’t realise that “birth to potty” nappies are a bit of a misnomer. Most birth to potty nappies fit from around 8-9lbs (4-4.5kg). This means they don’t fit the average newborn that is in the UK is about 7lbs.

So how do you cloth nappy a newborn?

A newborn needs a lot of nappy changes – approximately every 2 hours for the first few weeks as their digestive system gets used to receiving nourishment from milk and not straight from the placenta. With this in mind you need up to 30 nappies to keep on top of the washing. You have a number of options as to what to use to cloth your baby.

Newborn all in ones or pockets

Newborn all in one

These are nappies where the absorbent bit is either sewn to the waterproof bit, or the absorbent goes in a pocket so it is a complete nappy. They tend to fit from 5lbs to 12lbs. These are easy to use, change much like a disposable and are super cute looking. However, they are quite expensive, at around £10 per nappy and will only fit for a couple of months.

Newborn all in one on baby

Size one fitteds (or 2 part nappies)

Diddy Diaper size 1

These nappies are a nappy shaped absorbent layer, that you then put a waterproof cover. Size one nappies tend to fit from 5lbs to 16lbs, which means they can fit a baby for up to 6 months. They still retail at around the £10 mark, but are more absorbent and reliable than all in ones.

Flat nappies

Muslin in newborn pad fold

Flat nappies such as terry squares, prefolds and muslins are by far the cheapest way of using cloth nappies from birth. Standard sized terry squares (60cm x 60cm) can be a little bulky on a small newborn, but can be folded to fit. Muslins are great as can be folded really small, and then used as burp cloths when they no longer work as nappies. Teamed with a small wrap they make great nappies.

Baby in a muslin

Hiring nappies

Many nappy libraries hire newborn kits to help you use cloth from birth. Our newborn kits contain 10 all in one or pocket nappies, 15 size one fitteds, 6 wraps, 5 newborn prefolds, liners, wipes and wet bag. Contact us for more information

You can find your local library here


Great Cloth Diaper Change Newcastle 2016

Great Cloth Diaper Change Newcastle
Courtesy of Emerson Photography

Come help us break an international record for the most cloth nappies changed at the one time. Join a wave of parents across the world who are getting together to change a nappy and change the world.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change, Newcastle  will be a fun morning, with entertainment for the wee ones, stalls for parents to browse, refreshments and a chance to meet other cloth bum mums.

We have a raffle, with great prizes supplied from cloth nappy manufacturers and local baby and toddler focussed businesses.

Parenting North East sling library will be in attendance and refreshments will be provided by the very yummy Van-Illa Treats 

23rd April 2016

Held at Broadacre House, Market Street, Newcastle, NE1 6HQ

Starts at 10am and finishes at 12pm.

Free to attend, please register your place here

For more information, check out our facebook page and event 

Participants will receive a goody bag and there will be a raffle on the day to win cloth nappies and other baby goodies.


What to get a baby for it’s first Christmas…

baby's first christmasI remember each of my 3 children’s first Christmases. It is an exciting time, and, as I have winter babies, they were nearly a year old.

Everyone says Christmas is a time for families. This year, finally you have your own. It is exciting, thrilling. Finally, you get to share the wonder and magic of Christmas with your own tiny bundle of joy.

Then the question pops into your head. What are you going to get this precious little child for it’s very first Christmas. Surely it should be something amazing, awe-inspiring, a thing to entertain them for months to come. You start to see the posts on social media, showing mountains of presents. Baby forums start to fill up with the question “what are you getting your baby for Christmas?” The budget some people are stating in the hundreds.

Well, you see, I like to be a bit counter cultural. All of my children just got stockings for their first Christmas’. Yes, that’s right, a large sock filled with things I knew they’d love – a bath toy, their favourite food (I really did put a  banana in  my eldest son’s first stocking), a board book, a new beaker. Small things, nothing significant.

You may think I am a bit mad (many people do!). But they way I saw it was this. At not quite 1, my children had no understanding of what Christmas is all about. As far as they are concerned, it is just another day. In fact, a lot of babies are a bit overwhelmed on their first Christmas day with all the hustle and bustle, presents, food, people  – just take a look at the face of my youngest on his first Christmas in the picture above, and  we hadn’t arrived at Nana’s yet, with all the people that involves!

In addition, we are blessed with a HUGE extended family. So my children are always inundated with gifts, far more than any one child needs (I have been known to give away presents to other families, and I am training my family on more ethical gift giving – there are some ideas here)

No, a tiny baby does not need lavishing with countless gifts on Christmas day. They need that which they need every day – to be loved, to be cuddled, to have their needs met and to feel secure.

So spend your baby’s first Christmas with those that love him or her, cuddle them, hold them, sing to them. Start family traditions to carry forward if you will (we do stockings in front of the fire while eating a continental breakfast picnic – my kids look forward to this as a big part of Christmas these days!), but don’t overspend on gifts. They are not needed just yet.


(If you want some ideas of nice stocking fillers for your little one, check out our gift range here)


Does my bum look big in this?

Ladybird action shot

One of the questions or comments I get about cloth nappies is whether they will cause fit issues with clothes.  It’s a question, like many in the cloth nappy world, where the answer is “well it depends!”

It depends on the shape of your baby. My babies tend to be long and thin and so actually cloth nappies made their clothes fit better, and we often found we had more problems when we potty trained.

It also depends on what nappies you are using. A lot of modern cloth nappies are very slim fitting, and won’t add much more bulk than a full disposable (remember, disposables are slim when you first put them on, but as they absorb urine, they swell).

However, if you are finding that you are struggling to get trousers to fit your cloth bummed baby, here are some tips.

  1. 1. Some retailers are more generous with their hip allowances than others, so it can be a case of trial and error as to which ones fit best, but the cloth nappy users in chat groups routinely recommend H&M, Morrisons/Nutmeg, Sainsbury and Frugi as ones that tend to fit cloth nappied babies.
  2. 2. Go for stretchy fabric and elasticated waists. Leggings, joggers, tights etc.. will work better than jeans or cords. We have a lovely range of leggings with designs to suit all genders here
  3. 3. If it’s your vests that are the problem, consider vest extenders. These nifty little devices add a couple of inches to the bottom of your baby’s vests, meaning you don’t need to go up a size.
  4. 4. Consider the nappy as clothes! If your baby is in a cute nappy, just add a top and your good to go. In cooler weather you can use leg warmers to keep baby warm.
  5. 5. Shorts or crop trousers can work as long trousers the next size up.

Comment below with which brands you find work on your cloth bummed little one.


Ten tips to reduce your waste…

nww300X200-2015Well, it’s Zero Waste Week and the theme this year is reuse, which I am sure you will appreciate, is a cause close to my heart! Each year the average UK household produces over a tonne of waste, and even if most of that is recycled, it is still a waste of resources and energy. The best waste reduction strategy is not to buy it in the first place, but second best is to reuse.

So here are some easy reusable alternatives to mainstream disposable products:

  1. 1. Paper plates. Hands up – who buys paper plates when entertaining because it’s easier? I am as guilty as the next woman! I run a monthly event for families for my local church, which involves a meal. We were going through so many paper plates. So, we invested in several packs of the plastic kids plates and cups from Ikea. It only cost a little bit more and they are lovely bright colours. They don’t take much washing, and if I’m feeling lazy I take them home and stick them in the dishwasher.
  2. 2. Bottled water. Buying drinks out and about is probably one of the biggest reasons for plastic bottle waste in our house. I have 3 children, that’s a lot of plastic bottles. Then last year we all took part in a Sky Big Ride in Newcastle and were given sports bottles for all participants. That summer was a revolution. We filled our bottles with a drink of choice before leaving the house. No thirsty children, no thirsty parents, no plastic bottles!
  3. 3. Lunch boxes. A friend of mine posted on Facebook last year that her husband had been using the same empty icecream container as a lunch box for the previous 5 years, when it had finally given up the ghost and had to be thrown out. She offered to go out and buy him a lovely new lunch box to take his lunch to work. “Tell you what,” he said, “go out and buy us some icecream, then we get a treat for tea and I get a new lunch box!” Wise man!
  4. 4. Dishcloths. I grew up with Jeyes cloths for washing up. You know, those blue thin material ones that go really slimy and have to be thrown away every day? When I moved into my own home I switched to washable cotton ones. Since then I’ve progressed to brightly coloured microfiber ones as they are fab for cleaning with limited need for chemicals and detergent.
  5. 5. Food. Tonnes of food is wasted every year and binned unnecessarily. Learn to love your leftovers and create more meals from your ingredients. You’ll save money.
  6. 6. Plastic bags. In October, the Government is bringing in a law that will require all larger retailers to charge 5p for every plastic bag taken. We’ll all need to be more organised. But before you rush out and buy reusable bags – use the plastic bags you’ve already got until they fall to pieces! (However, as an additional incentive, I’ll pop a free cotton Grow Up Green shopper in your order!!)
  7. 7. Clothes. Buy second hand, pass on when your done. It’s not hard. Even if you have a specific brand you like or style that suits, there is always ebay and Facebook buying groups that give you access to specifically what you are looking for.
  8. 8. Nappies!! Obviously I had to mention this one. Disposable nappies add a huge amount to landfill. Reusable nappies no longer necessarily need folding, pins, soaking and boiling. Contact your local nappy library to find out more!
  9. 9. Wipes. If you can’t face the idea of washing nappies, or if you already are, then consider washing your baby wipes. Washable wipes are a really cost effective alternative to disposable baby wipes that are actually more effective at the job they are designed to do. Check them out here
  10. 10. San-pro. Queue screams of horror from the women and men looking confused! However, if you haven’t investigated it before, there is a whole range of reusable items out there to help you deal with your period sustainably. I stock Mooncups which are a silicone cup, worn internally like a tampon and emptied, washed and used again. You can also get washable pads, just rinse in cold water and wash in the machine.

So there we go, 10 tips. But I suspect I am stating the obvious for a lot of my readers, so feel free to share below your top tip on reusing!


Regular nappy events in the North East

If you want to see cloth nappies up close and personal, get advice and meet like minded parents, pop along to one of our regular meets:


1st Wednesday of the Month, Newcastle Slingmeet, Playstation, Gosforth 10-12. £2 entry

2nd Thursday of the month, Basement Coffee House, Corner House Church, Carliol Square, Newcastle, 10-12

4th Tuesday of the month, South Tyneside sling and nappy meet, Hedley Hall, Argyle Street, Hebburn, 12.30-2.30


1st Friday of the month, Kids First, Hexham 11-1pm (email to check before travelling)



What happens in Real/Reusable Nappy Week?

square logo


It’s April, and all the cloth nappy retailers and manufacturers are going a bit crazy, their to do lists are pages long, they are working loooong hours… Why? Because, it’s nearly Reusable Nappy Week!

Whispers are already starting on the cloth nappy boards – it’s nearly Real Nappy Week, wait for Real Nappy Week, I’m so excited about Real Nappy Week…

But, what is Real Nappy Week?

Real Nappy Week is a week in April, originally decided by Go Real, but taken up by cloth nappy associations, retailers and manufacturers, where we shout to the world about how awesome cloth nappies are.

This year Real Nappy Week runs from the 18th-26th April.

You’ll love it, because most retailers offer a massive discount during RNW, the Reusable Nappy Association, Go Real and the Great British Nappy Hunt run competitions to win lots of cloth nappies and accessories.

But, it is also an opportunity for you to spread the cloth love. Take your pregnant/new mummy friend along to a cloth nappy event – check out your local cloth nappy library  or the Go Real website to find events near you. You can even collect stickers at events that will enable you to enter another competition to win more nappies!

Here at Grow Up Green, we have 3 events during RNW:

A Great Cloth Diaper Change international world record attempt on the 18th April, 10-12

A meetup joint with Durham Nappy Library at Ikea Gateshead on 21st April, 1-3

A pregnancy social joint with Parenting North East on 24th April, 6pm-8pm

I will also be offering 20% off all orders with the code RNW15 – but don’t get excited, it won’t work until the 17th April, when our new website goes live.

So have fun, grab some fluff and spread the word about how awesome cloth nappies are!


Some thoughts on Mothering…

Grow Up Green (40 of 43)

When I was pregnant with my eldest child, I came across an advert for Johnson’s Baby Lotion that read “When a woman gives birth, a mother is born” *- in my hormone riddled, loved-up frame of mind, I thought this was beautiful. When a really thought about it later, I decided it was not so great.

The reason I decided this is because I don’t, not for one minute, think that what makes someone a mother is the fact they have given birth, or that giving birth makes you a mother. Other people who might agree with me are foster mothers, adoptive mothers, surrogate mothers, the children of abusive mothers, and many others.

To me, mothering is something you do, not something you are.

Think of the words you associate with mothering –  love, nurture, guide, support, hold, protect, discipline, sacrifice… I’m sure you can think of more.

Someone who has never given birth can do all these things. Someone who doesn’t have the care of children 24/7 can do all of these things.

In my life I have been blessed with many people in my life that have mothered. My own biological mother is a wonderful woman who has helped make me who I am today, but there have been many, many others whose care, love, support, and guidance have helped me along the way.

So for me, the saying should be – when someone lets another into their heart, a mother is born.

What about you?


Reconditioned – eco friendly shopping!

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet – I have been without a laptop for several months, and this has really limited what I’ve been able to do. However, I am now back on line – thanks to a fantastic company called the Laptop Centre, which sells refurbished laptops.

When my laptop brokedown, I believed it best to try and get it fixed. I believed this for several reasons:

1. Buying a new laptop had not been budgeted for, therefore was going to be costly.

2 A new laptop requires significant amounts of the earth’s resources, just for me, just to run my little business and play on Facebook 😉

3. I despair of society’s “throw away” mentality and dream of a time when we revert to “Make do and mend” as a way of conserving money, resources and each other!

4. Discarded house hold appliances, gadgets etc are difficult to recycle and take years to biodegrade.

So, after 9 weeks of waiting for the manufacturer of my original laptop to let my repair man know when they could get a spare part and how much it would cost, I decided I was going to have to bite the bullet and buy a new laptop.

Then, I had a chat with a good friend and pointed out my reticence bearing in mind the 3 points above and she introduced me to the Laptop Centre. All my problems solved at once!

So how does it work?

Well, our throw away mentality society means that when the new best thing comes out, many people “upgrade” immediately, casting off perfectly acceptable gadgets in pursuit of the NEW.  Clever entrepreneurs snatch up these discarded gadgets, clean them up, strip any data, check all the parts are working and sell them on. So I got a bargain – a perfectly good, business grade laptop, in full working order, with 12 months warranty, for less than £200. I am back on line, without using any new resources, and at an affordable cost!

Spurred on by this success, when I needed a “new” vacuum cleaner recently, I found a local sales man that sells reconditioned Dysons. Another bargain grabbed without impacting too deeply on the earth.

What’s the best “reconditioned” thing you’ve bought?