When I found out I was pregnant I started looking into cloth diapering. I had a couple of friends who were "CD-moms" and were in love with it. I had always been very interested in the concept, especially for environmental reasons. I did not like the thought of the amount of paper diapers one child goes through until they are potty-trained. It was also a factor that usually the cost of cloth diapering should be less if you use them for the whole time your child needs diapers - but of course that depends on how much of a hobby it becomes. A lot of people get really into it and become collectors of certain diaper-types! Of course, you can often sell the diapers after use and regain a part of the original cost.
It just so happened that me and my boyfriend traveled to the U.S. when I was pregnant, so we could order some diapers online on a site that does not ship to Iceland. We also bought some second-hand diapers on Facebook, in a group where you can get diapers in good condition for a reasonable price. We also got a lot of information from Youtube - especially here, as well as in an Icelandic Facebook group designated to discussions and questions about cloth diapering.
We had decided to start using cloth diapers when our daughter was big enough to use One Size diapers - but usually newborns need special newborn diapers or other solutions. The One Size diapers have settings so they "grow" with the child. However, when our daughter was born she was so tiny that it looked like i would be months until she fit into the diapers we had. Soon I got tired of the disposable diapers and excited to start experimenting with cloth. We decided to buy a few prefolds - thick cotton inserts used with a waterproof cover.
We also bought some second-hand newborn diapers - personally I liked the prefolds system better and will probably use that from the beginning for the next child. At this time we were using disposables alongside the cloth diapers, since we did not have enough of the latter ones.
It was a happy day when our girl, at 2 1/2 months and just under 5 kg, started fitting in the One Size diapers! Now we only use cloth diapers during the days, although we still use the disposable ones at night. We have a total of 20 diapers and also sometimes use the prefolds and covers. I have found out that we can go up to four days without doing diaper-laundry, but usually we do it every third day. Below are the types we use.
Bumgenius Original (pocket style)
This diaper consists of a waterproof shell with a pocket for an insert. These come with two inserts, one small and one larger (the larger one is in the photo above). A lot of people use other types of inserts than the ones included to better control the absorbency. These diapers do not require you to remove the inserts before putting the diapers in the machine, as they do so themselves during the wash.
These diapers have two absorbent tabs that are attached to the waterproof shell. This is a so-called All-In-One diaper, since you do not need to assemble it like the pocket style diaper above.
Tots Bots Easyfit
I bought those second hand on the Facebook page mentioned above, for a very good price since they were slightly flawed (crooked seams, nothing major). These diapers have an attached insert - a "tongue" that is inserted to a pocket on the outer shell (the tongue removes itself in the wash like the inserts in the pocket diapers). These diapers have a velcro fastening whereas the others have snaps.
All in all, I prefer the Bumgenius pocket style diapers, since I feel that they fit my daughter best (she is still very tiny). I also like the snaps better than the velcro, but that is of course a matter of personal preference.
We keep the clean diapers in a shelf above the changing table, and put the dirty ones in a special bag (made from what is called pul-material) that contains all smell. When the bag is full we just dump it directly into the washing machine and wash it along with the diapers, so contact with dirty diapers is minimal!
We also use cloth wipes instead of disposable ones, I for one think they clean better and we just wash them along with the diapers.
Now I have been an almost all-in CD-mom since November and I have found that I prefer cloth diapers to disposable ones any day! Personally I find it to be much more of a hassle to constantly have to buy diapers and wipes, have an overflowing garbage can - not to mention the fact that the disposable ones are so smelly! We very rarely have to deal with "explosions" that make their way up to baby's back, since the elastic of the cloth diapers contains all that much better,
Of course we all have different situations and opinions, and cloth diapering is not for everyone. I at least hope that this blog will provide some insight into my reasons and experience, if there is anyone out there who is interested but sceptical. It really is no problem!
A child is born. There are many things to consider. Feeding, diapering, bath time, car seat. And of course, very important: photos, photos, photos. It just so happens that the little ones are so very photogenic. in almost any situation! Even though you may have told yourself that you are not going to be "that person" you soon find out that the storage space on your phone is running out - and a tiny person has become the main star of you and your partner's Facebook pages.
And then the challenge begins. You are alone with the child and as usual he/she is doing something adorable. You want to get a photo of the two of you, but taking a selfie with an infant is no easy task.
Sometimes the child is not completely in the photo... and neither are you
Sometimes the child is technically in the photo, but not really
Sometimes everyone is in focus, looking their best...
Sometimes not all participants are fully conscious
Even though parents are not always looking their most "fresh" during the first months, all of these photos will turn out to be very precious memories one day. Do not lose yourself behind your phone camera and remember to also enjoy these first moments of your baby's life as they are happening - they go by so fast!
When I was expecting my older daughter I wanted to photograph every little thing she did in her precios first steps of life. Knowing myself I knew I would not remember to photograph everything and store in good order. My husband´s cousin had taken cute photos of her dughter with numbers from a playmat for every month for her first year. I found the idea do-able and decided to make my own version of it.
Instead of numbers from a playmat I decided to use a small chalk-board (see photos above, click to enlarge). Then, when I was pregnant of our second daughter I noticed that many people where takin similar photos of their children with various props to their assistance. One of my friends complained of not having a good enough handwriting to write on a chalkboard and soon the idea of the Tiny Moments cards came together; a box with cards displaying the first 12 months and other important events that would make it easier for parents to capture all those precious moments.
Today I enjoy going through those photos and see how my daughters matured every month and compare how different they looked at the same age. For fun you can here see photos of Katla to the left,now 4 years old, and Elma to the right, now 2 years old, both holding the sign.
I learnead alot by taking these photos and have improved since I took these, today I take all photographs for Cuddle-Me. Soon I will write a blog post about how to prepare for a photoshoot with the little ones.
Dear friends, we would like to send our warmest holiday greetings. Many thanks for everything - looking forward to spending more tiny moments with you!
In Iceland most children honour the tradition of putting a shoe in their window on the eve of 11th of December. Each night up until Christmas Eve one of the Icelandic thirteen yule lads (figures from Icelandic folklore who in modern times have become the Icelandic version of Santa Claus) will leave them a small treat or a gift in their shoe to reward them for a good behaviour. In case the children behave badly, a potatoe will be left in their shoe.
Each Yule Lad has a name reffering to his bad habbit, e.g. Pottaskefill or Pot-Scraper steals left overs from pots and Kertasníkir Candle-Stealer has affinity for candles and therefor steals them. Their mother name is Grýla and their father is Leppalúði. They live in the mountains and come one by one to town to
As a parent it comes in my responsibility to assist the yulelads to bring the small gifts to my daughters shoes. To give you an example, here are some ideas of what icelandic children reiceve from the yulelads and a photo of what I have prepared for the Yulelads to deliver over the next thirteen days:
In my household, baking cookies is a very important part of the Advent. Apart from being "practical" - in a way that it produces something the family can consume during the holidays - it is also an enjoyable time to spend with the little ones. Children of a certain age can however make this task more challenging than if I would just make the cookies alone. It is important to plan this activity well before you start, so all participants can enjoy it. I would like to share with you some tips that I use.
Of course, the final task is to sit down with a cold glass of milk and examine how the cookies turned out!
180 g powdered sugar
480 g butter
600 g flour
small pieces of chocolate
Mix the batter well and chill before forming small cookies. Put one piece of chocolate on each cookie. Bake for 13-15 minutes at 180°C.
As most of you have seen, we have various photos of various children displaying our products. One could very well argue that photographic evidence is a necessity for those who intend to sell a product! Therefore, we have on more than one occasion sought the help of friends and family members who have appropriately aged children when a photo session was imminent. Since this year marks the tenth anniversary of our company we thought it might be interesting to look back and see how our tiny models have grown.
Krister Máni was the very first Cuddle-Me model, even before the company Cuddle-Me existed! In 2005, when we needed to prepare materials for the Young Scientist contest (see more about that here) this young boy was the star of a video we had made for the trip to Russia. As you can see this was before we had developed the final look of Cuddle-Me Clothes - the animal family we know and love today,
Dagur Snær (above) and Þorleifur Barri (below) joined us in 2006 when the company had officially been founded, the bodysuits had been revamped and were available for purchase along with a brochure. Furthermore, Þorleifur appeared with Una in a segment about Cuddle-Me Clothes in a television show.
In 2013 we did a lot of work developing our product and updating the marketing material - with the help of Júlía Mjöll.
Our most recent model, Glóa, joined us in 2015 when we started making the Tiny Moments milestone cards with the help of a group fundraising platform.
We will be eternally grateful to these awesome kids and their parents for their help - oh how time flies!
There are few things Icelanders enjoy more than a family trip to the local swimming pool. The feeling of freedom in the water, fun, games and exercise that is so good for us all. However, it can sometimes be stressful to bring your little ones to the pool, and if it becomes a chore the enjoyment of the time spent together can swiftly fade. I have gathered some practical tips for you to keep in mind when planning a swimming adventure:
I had a birthday last spring and many of my gifts were dedicated to the new role I took on this fall: motherhood. One of them was a gift certificate for a massage course, intended for a spouse/birthing partner to learn how to ease the aches of pregnancy and childbirth, Me and my boyfriend attended the course in the beginning of June (at that time I was 24 weeks pregnant). The course took place during one evening and consisted of a short presentation followed by practical exercises. The course was attended by eight couples, ranging from 21 weeks to 35+ weeks pregnant. Of course, the partners had to practice massage with "the clothes in the way" - in light of common decency! However, we got a good insight into techniques we can use, both during the late stages of the pregnancy and also during birth. We also thought this was a good way to empower the partner to find a role as an active participant of the pregnancy and birth process.
For me, personally, it was a slightly different approach to things I had thought a lot about. In the work I do for Cuddle-Me I am constantly thinking about infant massage and other aspect contributing to infants' well-being and growth. In the course we took I was in a different position, as the "massage recipient" - my well-being becoming very important since I was carrying the child. This is something I have had to remind myself of during the pregnancy. In general I have a strong inclination to be working on many projects at once and even at times pushing myself more than I should. During the pregnancy I had to be more aware of taking care of myself, since I was responsible for this tiny person whose well-being was closely related to mine. So I tried my best to put myself and the baby in first place. A course like the one we took is certainly one way to do that, but what is most important is to be open with your partner about how you feel, not being afraid to ask for help, listening to your body and being realistic about what you demand from yourself. Which is exactly what I had to do later on, 34 weeks pregnant, when I had to cut back on my hours at work due to my health. Luckily my employer was very understanding, more so than I was understanding towards myself. Nonetheless, as I soon realized, the fact is that during the pregnancy there was something more important at stake than what I demanded of myself - on behalf of others. Therefore, it became a regular part of #missionbaby to work a half-day, go swimming and relax with my feet up in the air (heeelllooo edema).
On the occasion of our company's tenth anniversary we decided to start a blog here on our website - a sort of birthday present to all of you from the Cuddle-Me family. In our blogs we mean to share our experiences as mothers, post news and tidbits about the company as well as telling you about our products.
Cuddle-Me is owned and run by three friends. Valdís is a nurse, mother of three and avid knitter. Una, pursuing a master's degree in translation studies, recently had her first child and likes to spend her free time working with children and young people in the scout movement. María has two children and works as a graphic designer and marketing representative.
This blog is a big step for us, one that we have been aiming towards for quite some time now and we hope that you will find it both enjoyable and educating. We will take turns writing posts, so they will cover a variety of subjects.
We are very excited for the coming weeks, don't forget to add us to your blog-routine!