This is not an advertising feature, I have received no free samples. These are basically things that occured to me in the last few days as stuff that really does make life easier when parenting small children. They ain't glamorous but they are multifunctional, practical, cheap! A few of my friends have become parents for the first time recently. I dedicate this post to you...
The old school nappy cream. Yes rivals have come out (Metanium, Bepanthen and numerous pricey organic varieties) but this amazing white stuff is not just for bottoms! Sunburn, that sore patch that won't heal, I have even induled in the #sudocremfacemask. And for a couple of quid per bucket you will never, ever run out.
2. Antibacterial laundry liquid
Anyone else had the plague this winter!? Sorry, I mean the Ten Plagues. Maybe vomiting bug followed by chicken pox, the flu (the actual proper "feel like you're dying" influenza), tonsillitis, Scarlet Fever, the incessant hacking cough, rivers of snot? Maybe all simultaneously if you've been really lucky! Dettol do a laundry liquid that is supposed to kill 99% of bacteria and viruses at low washing temperatures. Maybe other brands do too? Anyway, this stuff gives me faith that I am in some way decontaminating clothes, towels, bedlinen, you name it, without having to boil the life out of it all.
I was very hesitant to embrace the onesie. Very NOT COOL on adults. On children, though, it is so practical! I mean, take 'em swimming - unzip out, zip up in, finito. They are cosy, they are simple. Keep one in the car/rucksack for that moment when they fall head first in mud - no need for an array of clothes to change into, just the one key item, the Onesie. And kids love them so there's never even an argument about wearing one...OK I'm going to stop now. You can see I'm a convert.
4. The detangling anti-nit spray
Vosene do a bottle of this that we use - it is a lurid green and has a strange picture of a princess on it so my kids take this as a guarantee that it is somehow not toxic and designed for kids. Lots of kids' hair products say "detangling" on them but the anti-nit element is what has me sold. It's just a bit of tea tree or eucalyptus or something but it has helped us get through nursery and school SO FAR (touches wood) without the dreaded "little visitors."
5. Thermal vests
You know when it's freezing and they WILL NOT wear a coat. I am always reassured if the kids are in their thermal vests. In my mind it is some kind of bullet proof armour that protects them from the cold and its accompanying ailments. This is clearly not the case but still, it makes me feel better.
6. Dry Shampoo
Having a shower to yourself, maybe putting on some conditioner, moisturising, I now regard as a special weekend leisure activity. More often, someone is opening the door, climbing on the toilet and rifling through the cabinet while I hurriedly lather myself and jump out to prevent disaster. Often, it is easier to skip the hair and just opt for the joyous modern invention, dry shampoo. It even comes in different shades now so you don't look like you've been in a fight with some talcum powder or prematurely aged overnight. And it adds volume and manages to keep your hair looking half decent for a good two days extra. I recommend.
7. Wet wipes
OK this is too obvious to be worth mentioning. However, to new parents you may not yet be aware of the full range of uses of a wet wipe. Immediate application to clothes, curtains and upholstery for stain removal. I was wiping down the paintwork today as the inexplicable and pretty dodgy looking marks at toddler height on the stairwell were starting to lower the tone of our already chaotic house. In fact, you can wipe down anyone and anything with a wet wipe. I imagine I will still have some in my handbag in my 80s, just in case...
So these products aren't contributing to the feminist cause! But they are items that you, as parents, may find useful. Anyone got any other favourites to add to the list!?