Look at those gorgeous faces.

There are many things I wish I’d known before I had children. It wouldn’t have changed my decision at all, and to be fair if someone had told me some of these things, I would have smiled and nodded politely, not really knowing what I was in for but still, there are things you just don’t know until you become a parent. Or at least an adult who is tasked with looking after a kid for more than just a couple of hours.

For example the other day I was standing in the bathroom trying to brush my (constantly moving) four year old’s teeth before he went to pre-school, while trying to block the not quite one year old from fiddling in the dustbin next to the toilet. With my foot. While he screamed his rage at being denied fiddling rights in the waste receptacle.

It was a true parenting moment.

Nevertheless there is one small, incredibly simple thing I recently discovered, which has made a world of difference to the task I hate the most.

Surprisingly this is not nappy changing. As a non-parent the thought of changing a poo nappy is one of the most disgusting tasks imaginable, however once you have kids you become surprisingly immune to the smell (ok, I have had a couple that are really vile and turned my stomach) and the entire process in general. That doesn’t mean I’m volunteering to change other people’s kids nappies, however it’s doable when it’s your own.

The task I absolutely loathe when it comes to rearing a child is washing bottles. It’s a never ending cycle of scrubbing and sterilising, generally when your child is screaming because you forgot to wash enough bottles in advance. Even when you move past the point of sterilising absolutely everything (they’re crawling around on the floor putting everything else in their mouth, what’s the point), you still need to scrub the damn milk scum out of the bottles.

Credit: Frédérique Voisin-Demery
Credit: Frédérique Voisin-Demery

And it’s this that I hate the most. Whether it’s formula or cows milk, it leaves a film on the bottles and most especially on the teats that is an absolute bitch to get off! No matter how hard you scrub, how clean you think everything is, as soon as the damn things dry you’ll find a thin layer of milky film over everything.

And here’s the thing I wish I had discovered when I had my first child, not four damn years later.

The Miracle Powder - Bicarbonate of Soda
The Miracle Powder – Bicarbonate of Soda

Bicarbonate of Soda. I never thought that such a simple household substance could bring me such joy. Sure, this might make me a bit sad and pathetic, however for any parent who hates washing bottles as much as I do, I promise you this will make a world of difference. Sure, the task remains and I can’t help you with regards to your time management and inability to wash enough bottles in advance (no judgement, I swear), but it becomes a million times quicker and milky film begone!

Honestly it was one of those random “life hacks” that pops up on your news feed on Facebook and I figured, “meh, might as well try that” the next time I ventured down the bottle washing path (which of course was soon because once again I put it off until the last minute). So, 1/2 a teaspoon of bicarb in your soapy water (don’t put as much as a teaspoon otherwise everything become super slippery) and then wash as usual.

Half of the people who read this post will forget about this and move on, perhaps thinking, “Um, ok. That was a bit random.”

The rest of you will be thinking, “Meh. What could it hurt. Let me give it a try”.

And to you I say, “You’re welcome”.

3 thoughts on “Opinion // Parenting // Things I wish I’d known sooner”

  1. Oh gosh… I’m with you on this one. Washing and sterilizing bottles is the most soul-destroying thing on Earth. I detest it. And why don’t they make bottle sterilizers bigger? Five bottles at a time? What is this? A sterilizer for ants?

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