Saturday, May 31, 2008

EC - the update

So, you're never going to believe this (or maybe you will). We have been *really* successful with the whole EC thing! Today, JJ only used 1 diaper all day long - he would indicate he needed to go and I would take him over to the toilet, take off his diaper and voila! he would pee in the toilet, even at the restauraunt! I am totally amazed that this worked. We've been working on it for about 2 weeks and I'm really impressed that it works so well.

If you want to try this yourself (they say it works best if you start before the baby is 6 months), here are some tips for you:

1) Check out and/or read one of the EC books out there (I read Infant Potty Basics: With or Without Diapers-- The Natural Way by Laurie Boucke but there are lots of books ou there) I'm so new at this - I'm sure there are lots of things I'm doing wrong.

2) It took me 2 days to start being successful a little and 2 weeks to be successful a lot. They reccommend having a diaper free day where the baby hangs out on a waterproof pad nekkid you can observe what he/she does just before a pee or poo. I think this would work well, but I didn't do it(no time) - I relied on knowing when he'd had accidents before and trying to watch for signs. As a result, I had a lot of changing table accidents during the first 2 days. (never got me wet, but I had to change the pad cover rather a lot) I give him an "op-pee-tunity" every time his diaper would normally come off (after waking, after eating, before bath, etc.)

3)Plot out how you're going to hold him and what your key word is going to be ahead of time. I hook my fingers under his knees so he can sit with his back leaned up against my chest and all his business bits dangling down. We use "would you like to pee? pss,pss,pss" as his cue. I was inconsistent at first and so it probably confused JJ a bit.

4)It's more about training you than training the baby. It's made me a lot more observant. Plan on feeling a little silly and having times where baby just doesn't need to go cuz you guessed wrong.

5) If you use diapers to back you up (I do - I'm not confident enough to go without yet), use All-In-One cloth diapers if you can. They are easier to get on/off frequently. Disposables get all stretched.

Friday, May 23, 2008

First sniffles

Poor JJ got his first case of the sniffles today. And being the obligatory over-protective first time parents that we are, we rushed him to the doctor. After sitting in the waiting room for 1.5 hours (ridiculous, I felt, since we had an appointment), we finally got to see our pediatrician, Dr. Hidalgo. He was great as usual - took us very seriously and checked the little guy over thoroughly. He couldn't find any indication of anything seriously wrong - just a very stuffy nose (which did not include his chest) and a low grade fever. He was very glad we brought JJ in though because it showed we were "paying attention". They weighed him while there and he was 12lbs 6oz. Way to go JJ!

Now the reason I was soooo concerned about a stuffy nose, is that I had read that infants are "obligate nose breathers"- a fancy way of saying they can't breath through their mouths. This is by design so they can breathe and swallow at the same time without aspirating milk into their lungs. Medically this is explained as follows:
"Infants are obligate nose breathers due to the posterior soft palate covering the oropharynx and the neonate's tongue in close proximity with the hard and soft palate."
So a stuffy nose can be really bad. But when do they out grow this condition and start being able to mouth breath and snore like the rest of us? Good question! I have found bits and pieces that say anywhere from 4-6 weeks to 4-5 months! So I guess, like so many other baby oddities, "it depends"...
Also, it's not like you can hand them a tissue and say blow. To clear a baby's nose, you use a suction bulb to vacuum it out. If you think that sounds a little gross and a lot distressing, you'd be right! It kinda feels like you're in danger of sucking out his little brain...but you gotta do what you gotta do. And a little freak out for mommy is better than no breathing by baby any day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Turning pages!!

I was reading to JJ this morning before putting him down for a nap (today's selection was That's Not My Dinosaur - a gripping story with several unexpected plot twists - impressive for a 6 page board book ;)) when JJ reached up and turned the page! I thought, yeah well he's batting at stuff these days, it's just an accident. So, I'm reading the next page and he does it again! I read the whole book to him 3 more times (did I mention it's really short?) and he turned all the pages each time. Obviously not an accident at this point. How cool is that?!?

Turning Over

So apparently today is a big developmental day for JJ. John got home and was playing with him during tummy time. JJ was getting a little frustrated, so John says "hey, you just have to turn over. See put your arm down here and kick your leg over and ta dah! You're over" And he demonstrated by rolling over himself (very funny btw). JJ looks at his daddy very intently for a few minutes then BOOM, he rolls over just like John did! Wow! If I hadn't seen it I wouldn't have believed it!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pumping - TMI

Alright, for those of you who don't know diddley about breastfeeding (BFing), let me bring you up to speed. This "natural" process is in, large part, a learned behaviour by both the baby and the momma - you both have to sort out how to get the little guy latched on (baby has to open mouth wide, get tongue under the nipple, suck voraciously etc., momma has to make sure he's at the right angel, has enough nipple in his mouth, doesn't slip off etc.) AND the mother has to figure out how to trigger what's called a "let down." A let down is an involuntary muscle reaction that pushes the milk toward the nipple. Note the "involuntary" portion of that. This means that you have to get in the right head space to relax enough to make this happen. If you're tense, it ain't happenin'. So, now, imagine you are trying relax and zen out while you have a screaming baby beating on your breast insisting he's hungry, dammit. Tricky? You ain't kidding.

Well, for the most part, I finally got this let down thing sorted. JJ and I have it all worked out. Enter the pump. Now, I've been pumping since the little guy got home, trying to get my milk supply up to his demand and trying to give myself a break and let John (and other folks - like daycare) feed him too. And I tell you what - I SUCK at pumping. Remember that let down thing? Well, you have to manage the same thing with the pump. Except, now instead of a snuggly warm sweet baby (or thrashing screaming baby, depending on where you are with this), you've got a little black machine with tubes coming out of it that attach to some fairly scary looking flanges that fit over your nipples. When you flip it on, it whirs to life with a disconcerting "voopah, voopah, voopah, voopah" and you look down in mild horror to see your nipples rhythmically extracted into the flanges as you once again attempt to zen out. Give me the screaming baby any day!

Getting so big

I looked down on JJ in the bassinet this evening and realized he's going to be to big for it soon. He's moved from 0-3 month cloths to 3-6 month clothes last week and none of his PJs fit anymore. It's hard to believe how much bigger he's gotten - and even harder to remember how very tiny he was. When I think that it won't be long before he no longer fits in the crook of my arm...that soon he'll be too big rest on my's amazing. Time just seems to fly past us and it's all I can do to enjoy him in the now. I try to take lots of pictures and not get impatient when he's crying because he needs me to pickhim up when he's lonely - I know that it won't be long before he'll be running ahead of me and wanting to do things "by self"
And as much as I'll enjoy getting a bit more independence, I know he'll never be so small and helpless again, never so sweetly innocent and guiless... I'm in no hurry.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

sighing in his sleep

OK, so I still feel the need to verify that the poor kid is still breathing when I wake up in the middle of te night. At this rate, I'll be sneaking into his room when he's 16 and putting a mirror under his nose...
Anyway, I'm watching him while he sleeps and he does the funniest things. He'll have this great big sigh, or he'll grimace shaking his head from side to side - he'll even laugh in his sleep (he's giggling in his sleep right now while I wait for him to get into deep sleep before I move him to his bassinet)! I wonder what he dreams about. Let's face it - the whole "showing up at work naked/didn't study for the test/being chased by wolves" dreams are unlikely for someone who's nekkid a good bit of the time, doesn't know what studying or tests are, and thinks wolves are just another doggie. Does he dream about the goofy faces I make to get him laughing? Does he have nightmares about empty bottles or lost pacifiers? Makes you wonder...

Monday, May 12, 2008

First Mother's Day

Wow - my first mother's day as a mother! How cool is that? We drove down to visit my Mom and Dad (v. cool) and John really out did himself - he gave me professionally arranged flowers, delivered to work (they are GORGEOUS!!!), 3 cards (so cool), and he's building me a veggie garden and taking me out to dinner next weekend. Wow! I am overwhelmed - it is all so wonderful. And best of all, I have this wonderful little man to snuggle and kiss and love after trying so hard to get him here. I am the luckiest woman on earth, indeed I am. Best mother's day ever! I love my life.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Nursing necklaces

So here's a cool thing - nursing necklaces! They give the baby something to do with their hands while the nurse. Neat! I am going to have to get one of these. JJ is at a stage where he loves to touch and feel everything. I don't know that he realizes that those are his hands, but he's grabbing and holding things pretty well. Especially my shirt while he nurses :) I bet one of these necklaces would be much more entertaining to fondle than a bit of cotton jersey.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Elimination communication

Diaper free, natural infant hygene - whatever you want to call it. EC, elimination communication, is a fancy phrase that means "paying attention to when your baby needs to go so you can park them on a toilet rather than letting them sit in a wet/poopy diaper." There's whole books and support groups for this - which is really kind of odd when you think about it. Sort of like having an advisor to tell you how to breastfeed (see previous rant on breastfeeding). I mean, half the world manages to do without nappies most of the time and they're not swimming in baby poo. So, we decided to try this - it's supposed to help the child potty train sooner and of course it cuts down on the number of diapers you use, both of which seems like a good thing for the baby (and for the parents).

Boy let me tell you, it's trickier than it sounds (just like breastfeeding ;) )!

So what you do is observe your child and see what they do just before they pee/poo. Then when you see them do that again, you whisk them over an appropriate recepticle (toilet, bowl, sink, etc.) and give them a cue word to let them associate with the act of elimination (like "pee" or "poo"). Eventually, they associate the word with it being ok to let loose, and you are home free, diaperwise. Sounds cool in theory, right? Well, there's a reason they have support groups for this kind of thing. I've been "observing" JJ for signals and as far as I can tell, he'll occasionally stare off into space if he's peeing...but sometimes he does that when he's tired or gassy or sees something interesting over my shoulder. I've talked to him about being more consistent in his cues, but he just gives me that great big gummy smile and laughs as if to say "yeah, right lady! you think I'm going to make this *easy* on ya?"

In spite of all this, we had our first successful "pee" yesterday and first poo today - I was changing his diaper and thought, hey that looks like that mile long stare he gets just before he pees all over me...So, I held him over the toilet and voila! he peed into the toilet. Cool! And this morning I was giving him an "op-poo-tunity" at the toilet and sure enough he pooed. It'll probably never happen again, but it was very encouraging to have it work this once! Hooray!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cloth diaper reviews

First, I have to say, I would want to buy these just for the names - they crack me up!

BumGenius - Excellent pocket diaper. It uses velcro as the waist fastener and snaps to change the length (it's one size, so it will grow with him - hooray). They cleverly ensured there's extra material above the velcro so that the hard part can't accidentally slip and dig into his delicate tummy. The liner is so efficient, sometimes I have to take out the insert to see if he's wet! So far this is also very stain resistent. Overall, the best value for your dollar (they run around $17) and a smart piece of engineering. It's easy to see why these are so popular with CD moms.

Happy Heiny - A very trim fitting pocket diaper. This one comes in some fun prints and works great - very adjustable. It uses velcro as a waist fastener, with the extra material to protect the baby's tummy. They also have a one size fits all, but I haven't tried it yet - I have a small one and it is wonderful. The lining is very soft and kushy on his little bum. They are a little harder to find, and a bit more expensive ($19), but nice if you want more choices on the colors/prints.

BumWare - These are my favorite All-In-Ones (AIOs) even if they don't come in a one-size fits all. They are very absorbant and trim-fitting - easily as small as disposables. I haven't had occasion to test the stain resistance, so that'll be the big deciding factor. Not terribly expensive at $17 for smalls, but I'll have to get mediums and larges eventually.

Fuzzibunz - The best snap pocket diaper and oh so soft! They're very adjustable. I like these a lot (no velcro to get caught in the washer or to chafe JJ) and they're not a bad price at $18. Unfortunately, they're not a one size fits all, so I'd need to get mediums and larges eventually. Good news though - it's easy to get "seconds" (slightly defective, but totally usable) from the company directly for about $14. And some really cute prints too!

ImseVimse - My least favorite of the AIOs, I've had an issue with the velcro creeping up and rubbing on JJ's tummy. Not good. The gussets around the legs are really cool and I imagine if he was to have a blow out it would easily contain it. I may give these a second chance though, the one I have is not the latest design and they may have improved on it. Kind of pricey though at $21.

Swaddlebees - This is a great looking diaper, but I keep having issues with these leaking. I have tried stripping them and may have to do it again. I've got 2 - one leaks and one doesn't. Very frustrating. The snap fittings look good, but it's hard to get a good fit with them. Overall - attractive and I want to like them, but can't recommend them from a functional standpoint (and let's face it - who wants a diaper that doesn't work? And at $21 a pop, they better darn well work.

Friday, May 2, 2008

3 months

JJ turned 3 months old yesterday. Hard to believe it's been that long since I was pregnant and waddling around. I've lost all the weight I gained during the pregnancy (now I just need to lose the weight I needed to lose before I got pregnant!!). Breastfeeding is going great - I can barely remember all the trouble we had at the beginning. While he's still so small and helpless, I know he's scads bigger than he was (almost 12.5 lbs by the bathroom scale) I still check on him all the time to make sure he's still breathing. And I already want him to stop growing up so fast - it really does seem like things just fly by. He "talks" and laughs and smiles and plays - he can roll up on one side and knows his daddy's voice well enough to turn and look for him when he hears him. He can grab toys if you put them near his hands and sometimes will follow my eyes to see what I'm looking at. But, oh, that smile....! It lights up his whole face - and my whole heart.