Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cloth diapering advice needed!

I apologize for the silence on this blog. I've been having an internal struggle with whether or not I should continue blogging. My life is decidedly less glamourous since moving back to the US. Throw a baby into the mix and all glamour goes out the window. Hence this post about cloth diapering. God I wish it was a post about a trip to (insert awesome place here).

I'm hoping the title on this post will generate some traffic of some folks in the know about cloth diapering. We have been using BumGenius 4.0s and Fuzzibunz (both OS and sized) since A was 8 weeks old. I thought it would be difficult to get my husband on the bandwagon, but we both really like cloth diapering (as much as one can like dealing with their child's poo). He's always been prone to diaper rash, but we've typically been able to nip them in the bud after a few days. However, it feels like once we came back from our trip to Ireland in June (where he was exclusively in disposables) we just can't kick it. He had what was probably the worst diaper rash of his life on the flight back to the US. That was in disposables with Burt's Bees ointment.

I try to change him every 2-3 hours. We use Angel Baby Bottom Balm and while it has always worked a treat, even that doesn't work well any longer. In his wipes water, I just add some calendula oil and lavender oil. I switched to Ecover laundry detergent from Tide Free. That change showed some benefit, but now it's back to the same old rash. We give him occasional baths in baking soda. The doctor gave us some anti-fungal ointment, so we used that along with Boudreaux's Buttpaste and disposables for about a week. That worked okay, but it never went away altogether. My wash routine is: cold rinse with Bac-Out; long, hot wash with Ecover; short, cold wash with no detergent; 2 cold rinses. I typically dry the inserts/wipes in the dryer and hang the covers on the rack. I've stripped the diapers using Blue Dawn. I've added Grapefruit Seed Extract to kill yeast. I've dried everything in the sun. He's in disposables at night with the buttpaste. The diapers will start to smell like ammonia in the wet bag, but once they're washed (which is about every 3 days) they're fine. Even when he pees in them, they don't smell. If they do, I strip them with Dawn. What's left? Any ideas??

Does anyone know if it's possible for a baby to be allergic to the white material in BumGenius diapers? I know they can be allergic to the colored PUL on the outside, but that doesn't seem to bother him. The rash isn't around his legs where the diaper touches. He's actually starting to protest when I go to put the BG diapers on him. I bought him some size large Fuzzibunz and just started him in those. He's fine when I put those on him. But, I don't know if that's just because they're new and aren't 'tainted' in the way the BG are or if they're genuinely better. I'm thinking about selling my BG stash and just replacing it with Fuzzibunz (not OS, but the Perfectly Sized-style). But, as you know, these things aren't cheap, so if there's anyway I can salvage the BGs (which we've always loved), I'd rather do that as they're in excellent shape. I considered replacing the inserts, but I'm not even sure if that would be worth it.I think I'd rather spend my money on new Fuzzibunz.

So, Internets, what do you think?? We don't really want to switch to disposables, especially as it doesn't seem to make anything much better, but I'm just about at my wit's end here.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

No excuses

I'm not going to give you any excuses why I haven't been blogging. There's really only one and he's currently napping.

In my absence my blog hasn't been far from my mind. I'm trying to work out what I want to blog about. My day to day life is super boring. It makes me remember my time in Dublin as super kick ass. And England?? I was living the life of a superstar! I'm not sure the people reading my blog (aka my parents) want to hear about napping cycles, starting solids, and weaning off the pump. Crikey, that's boring. Maybe I just hate how lame I've become and trying to write about it just makes it all hit home.

Here's a list of some of the not-so-boring-to-me things that are in the works:

1. Adam is awesome. He is really a good baby and I have to remind my husband how easy we have it. Sure, he has his not awesome moments, but all in all, we're very lucky. He just turned 6 months old yesterday! He started eating solids a couple of weeks ago. Everything has been a hit (avocado, oatmeal, bananas, carrots, and peas) except apples. He was only lukewarm on those. Of course they're my favorite thing to give him because he makes hilarious faces. He's sitting up on his own. He still won't roll over from back to front, but quick to go front to back. And just today his first two teeth have started poking through!

2. I've finally convinced my husband to do some upgrades to the house. Living in the city and having a child can cause quite some parental stress. We don't have a yard (well, grass), will he hate us? We don't have a McMansion, will he hate us? We can't afford private school, will he hate us? Crime! No parking! Actually, the last two don't really bother us. It bothers other people who like to project their worries onto us. My husband's coworkers think we live in the middle of Islamabad. But, those first three things are real stresses that we have had, particularly schools. No yard? We live a half block away from a huge park. McMansion? We're not McMansion people, although I'd like a place a bit bigger. Living in this house, however, means I can stay home from work. I'm fine with living here (i.e. too lazy to get the house ready to sell), but there are some things that need to change if we're going to stay a few more years (minimum) and they're the biggies - bathroom and kitchen upgrades. Both need full remodels and this week people are coming to give us quotes! Squeee!!!

3. Schools - see number 2. My son is 6 months old and I need to start putting him on wait lists. I've done a tiny bit of research and I've learned that A.) Baltimore city elementary schools are not as bad as people think. Some actually out perform county schools. B.) You do not have to resign yourself to putting your kid in private school if you live in the city. and C.) I need to start getting him waiting lists pronto if I want to get him into one of these schools. We can't afford private school, plus, I'm not convinced my child would get a better education because we pay $20,000 per year to send him to a preschool. This means I'm going to have to do a bit of leg work and do some research. I grew up in a town where you went to this school for elementary school, then this school for junior high, then the local high school, so this is a whole new world for me. A good piece of advice I received was that since I clearly have no idea what type of learning style he'll do best in, we should put him on the wait lists for a variety of different schools so when it's time for him to go we'll have a choice. So, that's what I'll be doing this summer after we get back from number 4!

4. We're planning a trip to Ireland in a couple of months. CAN. NOT. WAIT!!! We haven't had a real vacation in way too long. Flying with a baby will be interesting, so I'm open to tips!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"You'll know when you're ready."

Hello out there! Is there anyone still reading this (besides my parents, of course)?? I haven't posted since October 9th! Yikes! October was pretty much a write off as my in laws were here for 3 weeks, then I had friends visiting during the last week of October into November. It was wonderful having visitors and I'm glad they were able to meet Adam, but it is really nice having our house back again.

Now for the title of this post - "You'll know when you're ready." I heard that a lot when I was pregnant. Most often they would say it when asking me if/when I was going to go back to work. I find it actually applies to a lot of parenting situations. You can plan and fret over lots of decisions, but you really end up just following your gut. Here are some examples over the last month:

I'm sure you're all chomping at the bit wondering what's going on with the nursing situation. Well, two days after I wrote that post I started pumping and I haven't looked back. I felt sooo much better once I made that decision and we've all be happier around here. I had the pump here at the house for a while and hadn't cracked it open. That particular day I was really trying to work on his latch. Pop him on, bad latch, pop him off, repeat. He just looked up at me and gave me huge smiles. Right. I was done with it. I cracked open the pump, ordered some extra stuff off Amazon, went out to buy some bottles and that was that. So far, everything has been going pretty well. Yes, pumping is a total drag, but I'll keep doing it as long as I can (or maybe until he starts solids). My current goal is to make it to 3 months and that's coming up quick!

Next up was cloth diapering. Good god I over thought this process. I had really good advice on using disposables for the early days as there's a lot going on and there's no sense throwing this into the mix as well. At about 5 weeks I pulled out a cloth diaper just to try it and see how it goes and boom - haven't used a disposable since. I don't know why people make a big deal out of cloth diapering, it's really not that bad. My husband even said the same thing. I use a mixture of bum.Genius and Fuzzi.bunz, but the BGs are our favorites. I love these diapers so much, I'm going to ask for some for Christmas! They rarely leak, even when we use it on him overnight. Sure, he'll get the occasional leak out of his leg (usually with a FB), but he's never had a diaper blowout up his back. Once he starts on solids, we'll use these flushable liners that make handling that poo a lot easier.

The most recent situation is moving him to the crib. When I was pregnant I went back and forth on whether or not we would have him sleep in our room or put him straight in the crib. I had no idea what I would prefer and I got a lot of good advice from both sides of the situation. My husband didn't really care either way, but he did have a sister who died from cot death, so I think he was kind of leaning towards having the baby in our room. We ended up getting a use Moses basket from a local mom and that's actually where he's been sleeping at night since he was born. It's been great! But, it's only so big and our big boy is really filling it up. It wasn't uncommon for us to wake up and he would have moved down to the end with his butt against the end and his legs up at a 90 degree angle. Oh, and the basket was tilted at a 45 degree angle. Oops! For the past few weeks I've been working at getting him to nap in the crib. See, he would spend his nights in the Moses basket, morning nap in the Pack n Play in the living room, afternoon nap either in the stroller or sling if we were out and about or on his favorite bed, mom. Where was he not sleeping?? Yeah, in his crib. So, I've been pretty successful with the morning naps. Regardless, at this point I couldn't imagine not having him in our room at night. I loved have him wake up next to us. Fast forward to two nights ago. We finally got him to sleep in the basket and we're tip toeing around and whispering so we don't wake the beast. Well, of course it didn't work and I was like, right, we're putting him in the crib. He has a perfectly good room where he can sleep without distraction! Off we went to the nursery. It took a few tries for him to realize that we weren't there for playtime, but he finally caught on and he's been in there for two nights and all of his naps (unless we happen to be out). Success! 

Oh, and as for the original reason most people ask this question. I'm definitely not ready to go back to work full time. I'm really enjoying this time with him and I'm fortunate that I don't have to go back right away. I am going to do a project part time from home for my old job. We'll see how that goes, but I have no desire to go to the office full time right now. People ask me if I miss adult conversation, but not just yet. Who knows though, maybe one day I'll just up and decide that it's time!

And, if you stuck around this are a few pictures!

The pink boppy was a hand me down! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

One Month Old!

It's hard to believe it's been one month already! He just had his one month appointment and he's up to 9lbs 9.5oz. He gained an ounce a day for two weeks. Yay! No more weight checks at this point! Thank goodness, because he's been eating like a horse. If he hadn't gained, I would have been really frustrated. We no longer have to wake him to eat, just feed on demand. He's starting to discover the world around him which is really fun. Things that he could have cared less about last week are now the most fun ever. My in-laws are visiting for 3 weeks, which has been nice. I've been able to get things done (like fill out all those recall postcards) and even cook dinner. My MIL can get him to nap like a champ.
The Sore Boob Saga continues. Last night I seriously think I was going delirious from the pain. Basically, shooting pains on both sides (nothing localized, just all over), warm to the touch, a freakin' crevasse in one nipple. I called the lactation consultant who told me she thinks it's a yeast infection, even though he's not showing any symptoms in his mouth. She told me to call my OB to see if they could call in a prescription for an oral antibiotic. I did and the nurse called me back. She asked me a bit more information then relayed it to my OB. She called me again and said that she wasn't going to call in the prescription because he wasn't showing any signs. Cue me crying my eyes out. She thinks it's irritation from the breast pads (which I agree is probably part of the problem) and I should try to go without them whenever I can. Uh, I don't particularly want to walk around soaked with breast milk. The LC told me I should sleep topless. What? My boobs will not cooperate with that. Plus, it's cold. When I got to Adam's pediatrician appointment, she asked me how things were going and I told her the situation. She said that yeast infections can be only in the mother or only in the baby, they don't have to be in both (which is what I read), and she was able to prescribe me some ointment. Fingers crossed this helps! We also need to continue to work on his latch. Basically, I'm lazy and need to be more diligent. I'm so sick of thinking about my boobs all the time. They're taking up too much time in my life right now.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

3 weeks!

It's amazing how much longer it feels than 3 weeks. Thanks everyone for their comments on the blog or via email regarding my last post. He gained 3oz at his appointment on Tuesday (now up to 8lb 11oz) and they said they like to see .5-1oz per day, so at .75oz per day we were right in there. We don't need to go back now until his one month appointment on the 9th. We definitely have our good days and bad days. It's funny because he was good at latching on the left for awhile, but that seems to have switched to the right and now that's his better side. Babies don't make much sense!

It's amazing to see his development and changes on a daily basis. He is still sleeping like a champ and is happiest in the morning. His worst time of the day is the evenings, but last night he was actually fairly settled, so that surprised us! Someone gave us a mirror that hangs in the crib. I took it out of the box to show it to him earlier this week and his reaction was less than impressed. Now he can't get enough of it. He also really likes the playmat I set up for him the other day. He's more awake now when he feeds and he tries to flip all around (all while holding my nipple in his mouth, ouch!). We need to go to the drugstore this afternoon and we're going to attempt the carrier and head over to a farmer's market that's going on nearby.

PS - I'll be glad when this blog isn't just about babies again. Unfortunately, I don't really have anything else going on in my life right now! I am ridiculously excited to go to the farmer's market this afternoon, that's how lame it is around here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Breastfeeding woes

I'm sure you've seen other posts with the same title. Actually, maybe you haven't. It seems lots of mothers don't like to admit that breastfeeding is really. freaking. hard. until you yourself admit to THEM that it's hard. There certainly is a stigma attached to admitting this. Well, it's hard and painful. Oh my god is it painful. My friend pointed out that it makes no evolutionary sense for it to be so painful as that's the main reason most woman throw in the towel and shouldn't they WANT to keep feeding their child?? I can completely understand why people stop. I don't get excited when it's time to feed him again, I don't feel a nice bond while we do it. I do it because my body is producing the milk to give to him.

Adam will be 3 weeks old on Thursday and it feels like we've been battling this for months. He latched on beautifully as soon as he was born, but his interest in latching waned while we were in the hospital. He was losing weight, which is normal, but since he wasn't really interested in nursing the colostrum-which meant a very frustrated baby and mother-we ended up finger feeding him formula. Starting on the Wednesday after he was born, he has only received breastmilk, either by nursing or by expressing it and finger feeding him. Getting him to latch on was still extremely painful and I was in tears most of the time. I had a huge crack slicing across one of my nip.ples and the other side wasn't much better. I went to see a lactation consultant and she was great. Of course he latched on like a pro and probably had the best feed of his life. When she was instructing me on how to fix things she said, 'Use one hand to do this, one hand to do that, and one hand to do this.' need to have three hands to nurse your child! Even with my lacking a third hand I was able to get to a point where it actually doesn't hurt when he latches on. However, they hurt pretty much all the rest of the time. The let-down hurts, they're heavy, engorged, and everything is sensitive. It feels like little needles are poking all around. I'm afraid I've been lazy with his latch and now we're backtracking a bit. I got a nice electric pump, so I'm hoping that will help to give me a break periodically and allow things to settle down. I'm also looking forward to my husband being able to give him bottles and bond with him a bit more. He's really wonderful and helpful to me when I'm nursing, but I know he wishes he could do more and seeing me in tears leaves him feeling a bit helpless.

By Adam's first pediatrician appointment he was back up to 8.4lbs from a low of 7.7lbs in the hospital. By two weeks he was back to his birthweight of 8.8lbs and he's been primarily nursing. We only used formula once and that was because everything hurt so bad I couldn't even express. Apparently, this still isn't good enough and the doctor would have like to see more of a gain from him (although she did admit a gain is better than a loss!). After days of him eating every hour and lots of pain, this is really frustrating. We're back for another weight check tomorrow. He's been eating like crazy, but I'm not going to get my hopes up.

I've been told it gets better and at this point I'm setting mini-goals for myself with the thought that it WILL get better. I'm taking it all on a week by week basis!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Sorry for the silence, but I imagine everyone can figure out why I haven't been able to update! Adam was born on Thursday, September 6th at 4am via c section. He was 8lbs 8oz and 22in long! The weight didn't surprise us (well, it surprised us that it wasn't more), but his length sure did! He definitely gets that from his dad!

My water broke at home at 8am on Wednesday morning. Since it wasn't a big gush and I wasn't sure if that's what really happened or not, I sent my husband off to work and told him I would evaluate the situation. I called my doctor and she told me to head up to L&D to have them check it out. There was no doubt that's what happened, so we were admitted around 11:30am. I was 4-5 cm and 50% effaced. I wasn't having any contractions (at least that I could feel), so they put me on pitocin, which didn't thrill me, but I didn't really have much choice since my body didn't seem to be interested in doing it on its own. They had to keep ramping it up as the contractions still weren't that strong, so by 4:30pm I was ready for an epidural. Eventually they put in a monitor to see how strong the contractions were. I guess they should have been around 180 (180 what? I don't know), but mine, even with high doses of pitocin were only between 140 and 160. Around 11pm I was checked and I was 8cm, 100% effaced, and the baby was only at 0 station (it needed to be at -2). My doctor came back to check me again at 3am and there was no progress. At that point, since my water had been broken for so long, they opted for a c section. I was totally okay with this and I was just glad that I didn't have to try pushing for 2 hours before that decision was made. The baby wasn't in distress, but seemed to be a little too cozy in there! He was born at 4am on the dot and he was perfect!
He has the longest toes of all time. Again, just like his dad! 

Using the shushing technique to calm him down. It actually works, even if he's not so sure about it!

One week old! Hanging out with his buddies in the pack and play. 
He likes to stare at the imagines around the edge.