Health + Food, Parenting
Comments 22

Filthy hippy

I think I’m becoming a hippy. Scrap that, I think I’ve already become one. The realisation dawned on me at my parents house yesterday when I found myself talking about a homemade remedy that I’d whipped up with kitchen ingredients in lieu of a visit to the GP. Yes, that’s right, I’ve become that person. The person who snubs modern medicine. The person who suggests that you take oregano oil for a cold instead of Lemsip (do it, it works). And honestly, it’s not just because I was too scabby to shell out €65 for a doctor’s visit and subsequent prescription for my child (yes, in this instance it was for my child – even worse, I know), but rather because I genuinely believed that my voodoo juice*, as it’s affectionately known in our house, would cure her ailment better than drugs, and would do so without upsetting her gut bacteria.

If the Suzy of ten years ago could see what she has become she would want to stab me/herself.

I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about gut bacteria these days. This is definitely a hippy thing. I already told you about my dabblement (is that a word? it should be) in making sauerkraut. I also bought some kefir the other day which, in case you’re not familiar, is a wonderful lacto-fermented gut-delighting shrine to excellent gut health. I wanted to see if I liked it enough to make some myself. I don’t. It tastes like 10-day-old fizzy milk. Nonetheless I swigged a load of it (whilst making gagging sounds), and did so in the joyful spirit of improving my intestinal good bacteria.

In fact, as I write this, my nostrils are filled with the scent of my homemade bone broth gently bubbling away in the kitchen. It is midway through its 24 hour cooking cycle. Tomorrow I will make chicken noodle soup out of it, smug in the knowledge that this nourishing stock will help to heal our gut linings and keep our joints limber.

You want to stab me now, don’t you?

Co-sleeping is a hippy thing as well, isn’t it? We were talking about it yesterday. I am a big believer in the idea of the family bed. Brendan is less keen, for obvious reasons. Nonetheless he is on board to co-sleep with the new one, just as we did with Amelie, and if, like her, it takes the baby 15 months to get out of our bed, well, that’s something I’m willing to live with. Brendan – not so much. But I’ll sell it to him on the basis that it we’ll be less likely to accidentally make any more humans. Plus, you know, sex on the couch (SORRY, MUM).

In the spirit of keeping Brendan vaguely happy I’ve offered to explore the option of getting a cosleeper, which is basically just a small crib with three sides that attaches to your bed. You can buy terribly fancy ones with rockers and whatnot, but the general idea is that the baby is close enough that you can stay up late chatting about the wondrous insides of your womb (or just feed/vomit/burp/hug – I’m talking about the baby here) without having to get out of bed.

Anyway, we were talking about this yesterday, and I found myself defending my right to keep my child in our bed for, like, ever, and we got onto the logistics of it. You see, the problem with cosleepers is that they tend to be expensive – over €200 for some of them – and in most cases they’re quite small and will last a maximum of six months. And that’s assuming that you don’t give birth to tall babies, which I do. Amelie was in the 90th percentile for height. If you’ve met me in person you’ll laugh at that – I’m a midget – but my child is not. And in all likelihood her brother will be tall as well. So we’re basically talking about investing a big chunk of cash into something that’s going to be obsolete in 5 months. And no, he can’t go into his own cot at that stage – I don’t believe in that. Because I’m a hippy. Keep up. So he’d end up in our bed either way but I’d have to lament the lost €200 and fantasize about things I would have spent that money on. Like a hospital grade double electric breast pump. Sexy.

All of this has me investigating the possibility of building our own, much cheaper version of a cosleeper. I’ve found an Ikea hack which looks as though it’ll do the job. Basically you buy Ikea’s cheapest crib, the ridiculously named Sniglar, but only put three sides on it. Then you bolt it to your bed. That’s it. You don’t have to make a bloody quilt for it. And the best thing about this option is that it’s a full-size cot, so it will last for months. Years, even. So we’ll be able to not have sex in our own bedroom for YONKS.

What else? Babywearing. I’m mad into babywearing. That’s a hippy thing. I’m basically the go-to review person for the Kibi carrier. I wrote this half-assed review of it a while ago and it sends an awful lot of search engine traffic my way. Sorry, people. But yeah, I’m all about the babywearing, much to my mother’s disgust. In fact, I’ve organised to do a sling swap at the upcoming IPB Awards with the lovely Lisa. I’m going to lend her my Kibi for her toddler and in return she’s letting me borrow her Moby wrap for baby 2’s first few months. I probably shouldn’t be so excited about the prospect of strapping my new child to me (just think of all the head sniffing!) for what is likely to be 24 hours a day, but I am. You know, because I’m a hippy.

Shall we leave it at that? I’ve got loads more examples but I really need to go to bed. Anyway, it’s not really the end because there’s a massive asterisk to follow. Look:

*Voodoo juice is usually known as GOOT (garlic oil ointment), and I keep it next to the GHEE in my fridge. Snigger. It’s basically just raw chopped garlic, olive oil and coconut oil melted and whizzed together. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-establishment (just kidding – almost). It cures everything from colds to athlete’s foot and I just want to smother our entire lives in it because this stuff is MAGIC.

In this case (mentioned in the first paragraph), I used GOOT to cure what I had decided (via Dr Google) was a mild case of impetigo. Amelie had a sore on her chin that was not a cold sore but was an ugly weeping wound. The first time she got it I thought she’d cut herself and that it had become infected. I put nothing on it other than a bit of paw paw ointment (which I use as a lip balm) and it took weeks to heal. When it reoccured in exactly the same spot less than two weeks later I decided it was something more sinister. This time I consulted Google, diagnosed impetigo (or perhaps it was just some sort of bacterial ickiness) and then looked at treatments. Conventional wisdom would have had me get a prescription for an anti-bacterial cream from the GP. Hippy wisdom led me to GOOT. And GOOT healed it in THREE DAYS. I was sold. The hippy treatment won. It really is amazing stuff. I suggest you make some after watching this annoying video.


That was an awfully long asterisk. Sorry*.

*Not sorry.


  1. I was about to scathingly call you Gwynneth, with all that talk of Kefir and whatnot, but then you moved on to co-sleeping and babywearing, which are of course perfectly reasonable things to do. But THEN you went back to GOOT which is so very close to GOOP (in letters, if nothing else) that I HAVE to call you Gwynneth. You big dirty hippie you.
    Signed, a perfectly reasonable hippie.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good to know yet another hippy has slid all the way down the rabbithole of infinite hippydom and arrived at GOOT and Kefir and cloth nappies and- , well, I hope you are making your own deodorant and laundry liquid?! (Btw, we have a large co-sleeper. Never gets used. Looks pretty (95 year old handmade bed attached to our bed) but is only used when those children of mine are playing “Orphans” and they all have to live on the bed. All six of them)

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m a new hippy, I’ve only gone so far as to consider cloth nappies and making my own laundry powder, but I’m with you on the rest (what’s deodorant anyway??).

      Yeah, I’m worried about the co-sleeper – plenty of people say they end up not being used – but I have to be seen to try, which is why I’m taking the cheap route.

      Would you mind home-educating my children, please?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Muuka says

    I haven’t come across GOOT yet. I should just hand in my hippy badge now. The shame. But thanks for the tip, I’ll be looking that one up too.


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  5. Jesus,I’m actually considering doing this for the littlest mini.She’s been in her own room since 7 months but she s just not sleeping well.Worse since we moved into the new house.Shes ending up in our bed anyway.Would it be the craziest thing to bring her back to co sleeping at the ripe old age of 16 months?


  6. Oh you’ve had me in stitches as usual. I reckon if we knew each other you’d have stabbed me by now. I currently have a garlic and onion poultice attached to my baby’s ear. Garlic ROCKS! Thanks for this GOOT. I’m straight on that band wagon.


    • Garlic is the absolute dog’s bollocks. Amazing stuff. I’m off to google what the hell a poultice is now, sounds VERY exciting!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yeah I was considering the co sleeper route too but then I was put off it because a) the ones I’ve seen look a little gak and b) would it rely be that much hassle just to get up n move 1 step
    Ask me this in 3 months time n I’m sure I’ll resent that 1 step massively


    • Trust me, you will. One step at 1am, 3am, 5am is three incredibly angry steps. Or maybe that’s just me🙂


  8. I have an excellent cough medicine, as passed on to me by my Granny. Layer of onions, apples and brown sugar, repeat to top of the bowl, pour over boiling water, let it steep and then drink. My personal theory is that it tastes SO BAD that your body has a real incentive to get better quickly.

    I am also a reluctant believer in mustard plasters for colds. Although I do draw the line at sneaking up on my sleeping five year old and applying them to his back in the middle of the night, unlike my mother in law, mainly because the resultant yelling is offputting.

    Oh dear, stop me now. But I do applaud your Ikea hack. My main area of rampant hippiness (aside from the above) is second hand clothes for the kids. Well, that and the tie die dresses from my uni days I recently found at the back of the cupboard…


    • Wow, you’re hardcore. Even as a child of the 80s I have always known that there is something intrinsically wrong with tie-dye 😉


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