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Why do I need a baby swim nappy?

Nowadays, many swimming schools in South Africa offer wonderful baby and caregiver swimming lessons in beautifully heated, indoor swimming pools.  These lessons for babies provide a special way to bond with your baby, while also teaching them to be water-safe.   Swimming teachers then do a gentle transition from water-safety basics with you in the pool,  to teaching little ones to swim, while you watch from the sidelines. Until your baby is potty trained, teachers require a swimming nappy to be worn in the pool.

So, if you are keen to do baby swimming lessons, one of the first things you will need is a swim nappy.  We are very proud to sell the cutest swim nappies on the market- Mother Nature Swim nappies!

Mother Nature swim nappies have the following features:

  • Available in 2 sizes that cover weights from 7kg- 10 kg (size medium) and 11kg+ (size large)
  • 3 sets of poppers on each side of the nappy, so you can get the fit just right
  • Cute fabrics so that the nappy can easily be worn on its own (in indoor pools where sun exposure is not a concern)
  • Front tie for nautical pizzazz
  • Great used under MooMoo poppersuits when out in the sun
  • Endorsed by swimming teachers
  • Machine-washable and able to be used again and again
  • Save money because you won’t ever need expensive disposable swim nappies

Please note that when in water, swimming nappies will not prevent urine from escaping, but are there to “catch a poo” (this is the same for a disposable swimming nappy).  For outside the water, Mother Nature swim nappies do have a towelling inner to prevent leaks.

Click on this link to find out more.

Click on this link to buy one now.

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When babies, toddlers and children refuse to wear a hat

It is such a common problem.  Parents are always telling me that their baby/child simply refuses to wear a hat.

In my opinion, wearing a sunhat in South Africa in the summer sun, is just not negotiable- like seat-belts and car-seats.  Reducing the risk of skin cancer is one of the modern parents (many!) important responsibilities.

Here are some practical strategies for getting hats on heads.

Distraction is often best for babies- just pop the hat on while pointing out something interesting and they may well not notice the hat (especially one of the MooMoo baby sunhats, which are beautifully soft and comfortable!).

But as soon as babies are mobile, or for toddlers and children, calm, consistent enforcement of the “no hat, no outside play” rule is called for and this is not as hard as some parents anticipate.

The key thing is not to make the mistake of starting the sunhat on/off game, where as soon as you pop the sunhat back on your toddler takes it off.  This is a highly unproductive exercise- admittedly, quite fun for the little one, but completely frustrating for the parent!

So, instead, if your toddler takes the hat off, don’t put it back on- just pick them up and bring them inside, saying- “No hat, no outside play”.  You can intentionally set up a fun activity outside (eg a basin of water with toys, a new toy in the sand-pit, etc),  so they will be highly motivated to get back out there.  Tell them they need to wear the hat to play outside, pop it back on and let them go out again….  a few repetitions of this exercise and your little one will know the rule and be playing happily with a hat on!

Of course, you must also wear one- leading by example is also very important, as well as ensuring all other caregivers know the new rule.

With older children, gently explaining the dangers of the sun- especially if they have grandparents who have had to have cancerous lesions cut out- is a highly effective strategy for getting hats to be worn.  Most schools also make wearing hats at break and for sport compulsory nowadays.

To make it easy for everyone, have a basket with hats for the whole family kept at the door to the garden- and then another full set of hats in your excursion/nappy bag, or just in the car.

Click on this link to shop our great sunhat collection- you can never have too many hats!


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MooMoo babygrows

Well, a babygrow is not a new concept.

When my children were babies, I quickly realised a babygrow is the ideal babywear.  No worries about their soft little tummies being hurt or restricted by a waistband, their feet were covered, and nappy changing was easy.  I remember often keeping the night-time babygrow on in the morning (assuming it was dry, etc after the night, and that was definitely not always the case!) and just adding some cuter clothing over, if I was going out.  My babies did not enjoy being dressed in fiddly things, so unlike the dolls I loved dressing as a child!

Anyway, back to babygrows and how useful they are.  One of the issues I sometimes had with babygrows, was when the design was what I would describe as fussy.  My babies hated clothes being pulled over their heads, so a babygrow where one needed to pull it over, was a no-no in my house.  Then, many all-in-ones, and I am yet to understand the logic- have hoods.   Hoods with ears are really cute, but I don’t understand putting them on garments babies are probably going to sleep in because there is just so much more risk of them getting caught/strangled/suffocated in the hood.  I had some cute little jackets with hoods, which I loved, but I would not recommend putting a baby to sleep in a onesie with a hood.

So,  babygrows are not new, but we would like to believe the MooMoo babygrow is the ultimate all-in-one baby clothing solution!

MooMoo babygrows feature:

  • a choice of 100% pure cotton, or 100% polyester fleece, or 100% polyester coral fleece (the fluffy version)
  • a zip-front, because sometimes it is tricky to get all those poppers done up in the correct order (this is often the case in the middle of the night, when you are trying to quickly change a sleepy, little one and time is of the essence!)
  • a full-length zip protector with chin guard, so that the zip does not make contact with your little one’s precious skin
  • a double zip, so that you can unzip from the bottom, to check on the nappy- or change it- while baby’s chest is still covered.  We call this our “upsy-daisy” feature!
  • all MooMoo products are made with pride and to the highest quality standards, here in Cape Town

Click here to shop MooMoo babygrows in cotton and here to shop for fleece ones.


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Product Review: Oh-Lief Natural Olive Baby Shampoo

I have a rather sensitive skin.  As a baby, my mom fondly remembers having to deal with terrible nappy rash, and changing my (obviously cloth) nappy almost hourly to try to mitigate the problem!  As an adult, my skin has definitely settled down, but the one problem I do have is with standard shampoo on my scalp.  I seem to get allergic to it (red and itchy scalp)- after a few months or sometimes just weeks of use.  This has made me a complete shampoo slut- moving from brand to brand…..  until now!

I am very happy to tell you that I have been trialing our beautiful Oh-Lief Natural Olive Baby Shampoo on myself for almost 6 months now and I am just thrilled with the results!

It lathers beautifully, feels very soothing on my sensitive scalp, and smells very pleasant.  My hair is shiny and clean after use and I can highly recommend it- for the whole family, as it happens!  Feedback from one of our customers on it, was that it can make baby’s fine hair more prone to tangles, and if I have any complaint/feedback for Oh-Lief, it is this:

Oh-Lief, please bring out a conditioner (and perhaps a detangling spray)  to complement the shampoo as soon as possible!  Click here to buy some!


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What’s in a name?

Do you know that we were making- what are now called “onesies“- WAY before the name “onesie” existed?!

Yes, it does make us (and me!) feel old!

So, when MooMoo was in its infancy, we had to come up with a name, for our new product- what we thought of as a babygrow, but designed especially for toddlers and preschoolers.  I was toying with the name toddlergrow, but it didn’t have much of a ring to it- and a dad at the playschool my 2 attended, suggested kiddigrow would be better (dah!)….  and so MooMoo kiddigrows were launched!  The response from South African parents just amazing, and it took us 3 winters before we were meeting demand.  Oh, those were the days!

As my children got bigger, as well as those of our loyal customers, we developed bigger versions- with front pockets, no feet and optional hoods- for older children in sizes from 7-8 years up to 15-16 years.  Again, onesies were not around, so we called them what they were most commonly referred to at the time- MooMoo jumpsuits!  We have just updated this to call them onesies- we have had to move with the times.

Then, I finally got the message that people were not joking when they said they wanted all-in-one sleepwear for themselves (ie adult sizes), as onesies started trending overseas- so adult MooMoos are called adult onesies!


A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a frequently referenced part of William Shakespeare‘s play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her rival’s house of Montague, that is, that he is named “Montague.” The reference is often used to imply that the names of things do not affect what they really are.

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Oh-Lief Natural Sunscreen- product review

I have to admit upfront- I hate sunscreen.  I hate applying it, I hate wearing it, I hate the way it sometimes melts into my eyes.  I hate that you can so easily miss a spot and get burnt in funny strips and stripes.  I hate the way it makes sand stick to your skin.  I hate having to remember to reapply it.

My aversion to sunscreen has led to the development of MooMoo sunwear, to minimise the amount of sunscreen needed.

I do acknowledge that sunscreen still plays an crucial role in protecting skin in sunny South Africa.  Experts warn that babies have thinner and more permeable skin than adults, and that toxins can pass far more easily through their skin than through ours.  Smothering little ones with chemical sunscreen does not feel right.

 That is why I was so excited when Oh-Lief launched their natural sunscreen for the whole family this summer.  We rushed out and bought a tube and all of us at MooMoo Kids started testing immediately!

 This is what we liked:

  • The sunscreen smells like beeswax (in a nice way)
  • It definitely works (risked our adult skins on it initially, and then the children- no burning!)
  • We love that it contains no nasties, and is safe for the whole family
  • Endorsed by CANSA
  • SPF30 broad spectrum protection and water resistant
  • We love the packaging and the fact that it is made right here in Cape Town, was SPF tested at the same South African laboratory that tested our sunhats and that Oh-Lief is another “good news” local business story


This is what we didn’t like, (but are prepared to live with):

  • It is a bit grainy on application, but this does disappear as you rub the cream in
  • It feels greasy on application- this also improves once it has been absorbed/dried- about 10-15 minutes later
  • It needs rather a lot of rubbing in, which is challenging with babies and toddlers.  Definitely needs to be applied at home- ideally as part of a morning nappy change routine or something.  Not ideal to apply on the beach- that stickiness will be problematic in the sand.

So, I recommend Oh-Lief natural sunscreen for the whole family as a great option for South African babies and toddlers- because it works AND has only natural, high quality ingredients.


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Things to look out for when buying your baby a sleeping bag

It is hard for us to be completely objective when it comes to the criteria for choosing a good baby sleeping bag, because we obviously believe MooMoo sleeping bags are best!  Here is a list of what we found important when shopping for baby sleeping bags.

1. Fabric composition

Pure cotton is best, and usually comes at a premium price.  Often if a sleeping bag is cheaper, it is not 100% cotton.  A polycotton or fleece sleeping bag is not as breathable and shouldn’t be used before a baby is at least 12 months old.  If the garment is marketed as cotton, but it is not specified that it is 100%, in all likelihood it is a polyester blend.  Particularly in summer, pure 100% cotton is best.  For the depths of winter, however, a choice has to be made between either heating the baby’s room (which does bring with it safety concerns, not to mention the costs in terms of electricity consumption) OR using a sleeping bag with a filling like a duvet.  These fillings are generally polyester for warmth.  I prefer using a puffy winter sleeping bag rather than heating (and drying out) the room, but the choice is a personal one.

 2. Country of origin

If you prefer to support local business- and local business is the only way we can hope to make a dent in our unemployment rates-  take note of where the sleeping bag is made.  It will probably say it is made in SA, if that is the case.  If the country of origin is not mentioned, it is likely to be made in China.

 3. Zip protector

If the sleeping bag uses a zip opening- which most do- check that there is a zip protector- you don’t want the zip to be at all uncomfortable for your baby.

 4. Design

Check the strength and practicality of the design.  It is easiest if you are able to open the sleeping bag out flat in your little ones cot in preparation for naptime, and then just zip them in as you put them down.  Struggling to put an almost asleep baby into a sleeping bag and waking them up in the process is no fun at all.

At night, laying the sleeping bag and nightclothes on the change mat in preparation for bathtime, makes that sometimes very unhappy transition from bath to bed-time routine, as quick as possible.  Babies are often tired, and really impatient to get to the breast/bottle feed and bed part of the routine.

Then, it is useful if you are able to do night-time nappy changes without completely taking the sleeping bag off (especially in winter), so look out for that as a feature.

Also related to design, you need to decide if you are wanting a slit in the sleeping bag so that it can be used in a car seat.  A word of caution here- just be sure you are going to use this feature regularly, as the hole can start gaping and be a bit chilly on cooler nights.  The other thing to check is that it is still easy to get your baby out of his/her car seat quickly in an emergency situation.

5. Sleeves and hoods

Babies need to be cooler than adults at night.  I am uncomfortable with regards to the safety of sleeping bags that have sleeves, as I think it is much easier for a baby to overheat in a sleeved sleeping bag.  If you do opt for one, be very strict with only using the sleeves when the room temperature is very low-  don’t use a subjective test, e.g. just because you are feeling a bit chilly.

Similarly, a little night-cap or hood on a babygrow or sleeping bag increases the risk of overheating dramatically, and should be avoided.

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Similar sunhat advice to our own!

It is always great when you find that a parenting expert agrees with your actual experiences- this article by Alyson Schafer in Canada, is exactly in line with my views on little ones and wearing sunhats!

She is talking about wearing sunhats in Canada, so all that she says can only be more important for us living under the African sun.

Click on this link to go to her great article!

Sun Hat Chuckers

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MooMoo Beach Gowns make waves in Australia!

MooMoo Beach Gowns are a real South African good news story!

Like all MooMoo products, they are made in Cape Town from beautiful, 100% pure cotton beach towels that are themselves manufactured in SA- so you can’t get more “lekker local” than this product.

Inspired by the weekly struggle to get little ones out of wet swimming gear after swimming lessons, we knew there had to be lots of parents out there that would appreciate their zips, hoods, great absorbancy, fun colours and ease of use!  This has definitely proven to be true here in SA.

Now, thanks to an innovative and brave ex-South African living in Perth, MooMoo Beach Gowns are available in Australia and are a huge hit there!  Be sure to mention to any Australian friends and family to browse  Gill will be pleased to help.

And of course, for South Africans wanting to support the local textile industry, please click on this link to shop MooMoo Beach Gowns.

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Summer is on its way- so get prepared for protecting those young skins!

Idyllic beaches, wonderful, relaxed afternoons by the pool and lots of summer adventures are just around the corner.  I can’t wait!  But, I also know that the summer sunshine brings additional parental responsibilities.

The statistics are frightening.

  • Excess sun exposure at a young age, significantly increases the risk of skin cancers developing later in life.
  • 80% of a person’s sun damage is done in the first 18 years of life.
  • South Africa has the second highest incidence of skin cancer in the world (we are second only to Australia)[i]

With these facts in mind, I have really struggled in the past to strike the right balance between being a complete kill-joy while protecting my children from excess sun exposure, and yet still protecting them sufficiently.  One of my problems turned out to be relying too heavily on sunscreen.  All too often I was the desperate mom brandishing sunscreen, chasing little ones down the beach, kids and me screaming.  I was never sure they had enough sunscreen on, and because sand and sunscreen create a sand-paper effect, my wanting to re-apply frequently was not popular!

For more peaceful summers, I have learnt to rely more on physical barriers (i.e. MooMoo sunhats and MooMoo Sunwear!).  This way I can actually see the protection, and I don’t have to chase the kids with sunscreen as frequently!  I hope you find our range just as useful as I do.

Please click on this link to shop!

[i] All statistics sourced from CANSA website-