Friday, January 25, 2013

Gentle Parenting

As parents, my  husband and I identify with an "attachment parenting" style.  We follow most of the principles such as babywearing, bed-sharing, breastfeeding and gentle parenting.  By this I mean listening to my child's needs and desires and cues.  When he was a newborn, he cried mainly when he was hungry and as long as I watching his cues, he didn't even need to cry before I realized he was hungry.  Nowadays he cries mostly when he's tired.  We can notice tired signs before crying like rubbing his eyes or even just slowing down his actions.  By watching our child, we meet his needs without him having to cry.
In regards to crying, this is one reason we won't be "crying it out" (CIO).  We do not like to hear him cry (but who does) and even though he can be up many times a night and sometimes is fussy for a bit at night, it isn't to the point where we would implement sleep training.  I was talking to my mother-in-law about how I don't NEED to do it right now, I am getting *enough* sleep even if it is broken sleep.  She agreed that maybe if I was working 40+ hours a week and/ or had other kids to attend to, it might be neccesary and we agreed that it DOES work but it's not something we would do.  I know many people who it was a miracle sleep cure for them!  But for me, it may work but at what cost?  I can survive right now without CIO.
I didn't cosleep as a baby with my parents (I did bedshare with my sister for a time, not as a baby though) but I can still remember climbing into their bed at night as a child when I had a bad dream or needed a cuddle.  I will never forget how they welcomed me and how cozy and protected I felt.  I hope my son grows up feeling that.

Now for the real reason I wrote this post...

I am *really* tired of hearing people talk about their kids like they are a huge burden.  Between a woman telling me that when she found her child sleeping on the ground next to her bed and marching her back to bed with a warning that if she does it again, she will be marched right back where she came from, to people joking that they only had kids to clean, etc. to the woman that told me she didn't know if teething affected her daughter cause when she put her to bed at night, she didn't see her til morning, no matter what.  Now these might be exaggerations or jokes but I do not find them funny.  They are disrespectful to your child and embarrassing.  It is not funny to hear one's parent say "I had you so I wouldn't have to clean anymore" instead of because you love them.  I will hope to never say these things to my children as it is not gentle, respectful parenting.  Are they supposed to treat me with respect if I don't treat them with respect?
Some people may think it's silly to particuarly treat a baby/ toddler/ child with respect but it will then teach them to respect others.  I don't think it's a coincidence that when a teen is treated respectfully at my job that he is (usually) polite in return but the same young man, will be rude to someone that treats him like an inferior.  Children are not inferior to adults because they are younger.  They are human beings that are our equals and our future.  I do believe in respecting your elders but those elders should treat others with respect in return.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Go- To Diapers

Day: Fuzzibunz One-Size/ Elite with one (the larger) insert

Night: Tots Bots Bamboozle Size Two with a Thirsties hemp insert and a Sweet Pea cover
Both work perfectly for me!

Cloth Diaper Confession: Tide!

Today I used Tide as my cloth diaper detergent! Depending on who you ask, Tide is either the savior of cloth diaper-ers or the devil. Since it is a highly tested popular brand, the consensus is that it cleans well and rinses squeaky clean. But many people are sensitive to the detergent, including a few people in my family. But it is worth a try to me. I have been battling stinky diapers for a whole now, maybe 6 months!
At first I used Country Save with a cold rinse, hot wash with a second rinse. Even before I ran out of that I was battling the stinkies. Sometimes it was a strong ammonia smell as soon as my son peed, or sometimes it was smelly diapers between the washer and dryer (but not usually both.) This is frustrating as I don't want him to smell like pee all the time and it is a deterrent to cloth diapering. I asked my sister if she was interested in CDing and she said she is thinking about it but when she has switched my diaper laundry that it has smelled. This is embarrassing! Plus that is the last thing that should be stopping someone from CDing.
The next detergent I tried was Ruby Moon. I didn't notice a difference between either detergent. At one point I added a towel to the wash, which increases the water and helps with agitation, and it seemed to help some. I usually forget to add one though.
When I ran out of Ruby Moon, out of desperation I tried my Trader Joe's detergent that I use on our clothes. It seemed to work! Just to prevent build-up I added a second wash with a tablespoon of Strip It! My diapers didn't smell the freshest between the washer and dryer but they didn't smell on the butt when he peed. But I hate having to do two cycles per load!
So we're trying Tide. I want to be able to do a rinse, a wash + extra rinse, with no stinkies between the washer and dryer. Then no stinkies on the butt. We'll see and I'll write another post about it.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


It's funny, with modern cloth diapers, there is no longer a need for diaper pins, plastic pants or prefolds. In fact, the prefolds we own have been used mainly as burp cloths.  There are now pocket diapers and all-in-ones with stay dry fabric to keep your baby dry and comfy.  These are simple diapers that even the most lazy caregivers can't complain about.
But as always, retro things come back in style.  Hopefully no plastic pants but flats and prefolds (some with stay dry fabric themselves), fitted diapers and wool covers are in vogue.  And for many who get into cloth diapering to save money (one of my reasons), these now-popular options can make you wince at the price.  I've gotten almost all of my diapers on sale (B5G1) or with discount codes but Fuzzibunz are about $17.95.  For some people even that is prohibitive and some buy cheap Chinese diapers for about $5.  This may seem like a deal but often these diapers are bad quality or the labor conditions are terrible (read more about this at Dirty Diaper Laundry.)  But the moms that can afford to splurge (or can't resist the pull of pretty diapers) can buy these beauties and a lot of them.  My favorites that I'm saving up for are Bumby wool and Little Fancy Pants fitteds.
I have had a chance to actually get my hands on some Bumby wool and it is to die for.  If you've been imagining a itchy, hot sweater, this isn't the case with Bumby wool.  It almost feels like thick cotton material and can be machine washed (as opposed to many wool cloth diaper covers.)  I am planning to buy my first cover when preorders open up at Kissed by the Moon in early February.
The fitted I am drooling over is Little Fancy Pants.  They have adorable prints but the thing I like most about them is how absorbent they are.  During the day, a baby should be changed every couple hours or when they poo but I for one am not gonna wake my already light sleeper for a diaper change.  For nighttime diapers, the need is a diaper that absorbs all the night's pee and doesn't leak for up to 12 hours.  And reviews and friends say these will!  They are fitteds which means the whole diaper is absorbent and it requires a cover but this particular diaper is so absorbent, the pee often won't even make it to the outside before the next change, especially during the day.  And for supersoakers, there are sleepys and Windpros.  The sleepys have an extra two layers for nighttime use and the Windpros have a more water resistant outer fabric.  I've come to realize that my son is not as heavy a wetter as I thought, especially during the day but who doesn't want the best of the best, a very watertight diaper?
One scary aspect of wool is lanolizing.  This means adding lanolin to a wool cover to make it waterproof.  Add too little lanolin and the cover is not waterproof.  Add too much and it can stain the cover, make it very sticky and tough to put on.  The three resources I plan to use when I get my cover are:
I will report back when I try both of these products but I am 100% sure I will love them!

Cloth Diaper Stash as of January 2013

So in addition to all the Fuzzibunz I listed in my last stash post, my mother-in-law (MIL) made me three covers and some inserts, I made a purchase on Black Friday from Kissed by the Moon, I got some for Christmas and a woman at work handed down some to me.  I now have:
  • 29ish Fuzzibunz (still my favorite)
  • 3 bumGenius
  • 1 Thirsties AIO (all-in-one)
  • 1 Peachy Green (received as a gift and I love it!)
  • 2 Thirsties covers
  • 1 Sweet Pea cover
  • 3 Tots Bots Bamboozles (LOVE them for nighttime)
  • 6 Thirsties hemp insert (use at night with fitteds)
  • 6 fleece liners (to wick away moisture from baby while using natural fibers)
  • 1 Kawaii

Exercise- Couch 2 5K and P90X

I learned about a running app on iOS called Couch 2 5K from a youTube mommy, Jeni.  I've been wanting to get into running since my mom lost a TON of weight and got in great shape by running.  Another youTube mommy Allison lost 60 lbs (!) by running and eating healthier.  I want to tone up my body and also gain some endurance as I have just about none.  Run to the car?  I'm huffing and puffing and that's all the exercise I'll do in a day (besides wrangling a baby 24/ 7.)  But starting to run always sounds so hard since I never do it.  That's why when Jeni mentioned the app that helps you get from Couch 2 5K in nine weeks I was interested.  I don't expect to be able to run a 5K right off the bat and this app helps slowly increase the amount of running to make it more attainable.  I went on a walk with my mom today and we decided to run about a half mile from her house.  It was a good start and I will start the program tomorrow.
As for P90X, I still haven't found a time to fit it into my day yet.  Especially in addition to running.  I know DH would help me find time but I think I'd rather start with one, then maybe after 9 weeks, I'll find the time and maybe my son will be sleeping better, so I can exercise in the evening.
My New Year's resolution to drink only one soda a day is going well.  It's the 13 of January and I've been strong.  This doesn't mean I haven't had a 32 oz (!) cup but that I didn't have another soda the same day, no matter how big.  It is terrible to drink that much but at least I have one realistic way to moderate it.  
I'm excited to start this journey and that means a lot.  Being positive means I'll be more confident and likely to succeed.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What I'm Watching (and Reading Now)

A question on Facebook prompted me to write this post. 
My name is Tricia and I am a Netflix addict.  Since my son was born I have watched A LOT of movies but even more tv shows.  With a book you have to devote your mind to it but a show can be on it the backgroung while you're finally catching up on the dishes.  I do watch tv with my son in the room and while playing with him but I do think there needs to be a balance between the attention I give the tv and giving Robbie the attention he needs/ deserves.  There is a happy medium.
I've watched Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, United States of Tara, How I Met Your Mother (love it), Sons of Anarchy, Rescue Me, Being Human U.K. (haven't finished), First Position (a documentary about ballet, love this too!), Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, the Millenium series (also LOVE), and lots more.
Right now I am watching Once Upon a Time, American Horror Story, and The Vampire Diaries and also reading the Vampire Diaries books.
This isn't even including my Hulu queue!  There I watch Law and Order: SVU (probably my favorite show ever), the Office, Parks and Rec, Bones.
Some books that are on my "to read" list are some natural parenting books like Beyond the Sling, some baby/ toddler play books, some financial planning books by Dave Ramsey, and of course all the classics that everyone has on their list: Anna Karenina, Dickens and so on.  Plus I gotta get my chic lit in and I have The Boy I Loved Before actually checked out at home.
I'm not very proud of how much tv I watch but at least I can admit I'm addicted!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Eight Months of Breastfeeding (So Far)

This will be a post about, you guessed it, breastfeeding.  If you don't want to hear about it, move along...

So I've been meaning to write this post practically since my son was born.  I want to describe the journey we went through because not only do I forget some of the difficulties of the start, I want to show some people that have the same problems I had that I overcame them.  Breastfeeding is so easy to me now and I wouldn't do it any other way!  Warning, this is a long, semi- graphic post.

My son was born at 9:45 pm on a Monday and probably due to being vacuum- assisted he screamed bloody murder for a while after birth.  Definitely not what I had anticipated!  I tried putting him to the breast in the cradle hold but he would rather scream so I let him do his thing and would try again soon.  I knew it was important to try within the hour so he didn't get too sleepy.  Soon enough, when we were moved to our postpartum room, I laid him next to me in the side lying position and he went to town.  I could tell his latch was somewhat shallow and he wasn't swallowing but I felt that if he was hungry, he would suck harder and get some milk.  When he fell asleep, we put him in the hospital bassinet but he woke soon.  I tried to nurse him again but it didn't seem to help so I asked the nurse for help.  She swaddled him and helped me latch him on, side lying, the way I preferred.  I didn't put him back in the bassinet for the rest of the hospital stay, shhhhh.   I continued to nurse him this way into the next day and when the lactation consultant came in and asked how everything was going, I said great!  His latch was a bit shallow and he doesn't seem to be swallowing but he was practically latched 24/7, which I knew was normal.  I figured he was full of amniotic fluid and would get milk when he was ready.  I was very confident in breastfeeding.
Tuesday passed and Wednesday morning we prepared to go home.  The lactation consultant came in to make sure everything was going well and to make sure I felt comfortable nursing at home without professional help.  I said I felt great about it and my mother-in-law would be there to support me if I needed it.  She asked to see him nurse and as I showed her, she practically gasped and said he's not swallowing anything!  He probably hasn't eaten since he was born!  Well, he's been at the breast for days and is happy as can be.  I then asked her, since she was there, can she help me get him to latch more deeply?  She said she was going to get a nipple shield and a breast pump because we needed the shield to get him to latch and the pump to stimulate my supply.
Um, why?  I started crying because I didn't want to use either of them, I just want to nurse my baby naturally, plus he's been stimulating my supply for days!
When she came back (after ignoring my tears,) I nursed him with the nipple shield.  You need like 5 hands to nurse a newborn baby with one of those things!  You need to put the contraption on (really hard to begin with), cradle the baby, then manage to put it in his mouth without poking his eye out, plus in my case, pull his lower jaw down to get him to latch deeper.  He nursed fine and then she said I needed to pump both sides for 15 minutes with the hospital grade pump.  She also said I can feed him the bottle after a feed "as dessert."  Wow!  Great advice for a first time breastfeeding mom!  Not.  After five minutes on each side, I filled the little 2- ounce bottles.  I asked my nurse Lindsay if I had to pump for the remaining 10 minutes and she said, wow!  Don't tell the other moms here you already have that much milk!
We finished packing up our stuff (that we brought WAY too much of) and I wanted to nurse him one more time with help before we left.  I sat down with the "Breast Friend" pillow, the nipple shield and my son and cried again.  I asked Lindsay to help me and when she saw my tears, she asked why I was crying.  I said I hated the nipple shield and pumping.  She asked why I was doing it then.  I said I needed help getting a deeper latch and she told me to get scrunch up my nipple like a sandwich and put it in there!  And wouldn't you know it, it worked!  While I continued to nurse him (in the football hold), Lindsay must have told the lactation consultant I was upset because the LC came back in and said she "consulted with another IBCLC" and they discussed how much I pumped and how the baby must really have stimulated my supply so I didn't need to pump anymore.  Soooo, I was right the whole time?  And my nurse who is not an IBCLC helped me more than anyone?  Great!  All that heartbreak for nothing!
Once we got home, nursing went great... for a couple days.  When he wasn't sleeping, he was nursing and when he wasn't nursing, he was sleeping.  But I didn't care, I was a mommy now and it was boosting my supply.  But between the constant nursing and the hospital grade pumping, on Thursday night when I woke up to use the restroom, wowza, those weren't there when I went to sleep!  I had SO much milk for weeks.  It may not seem like such a bad thing, especially to those who had supply issues, but it is really not as good as it seems.  It is painful and makes it hard for the baby to latch when they're so hard.  Plus, with an oversupply you are more likely to get plugged ducts or even mastitis.  Before each feeding I would try to pump with a manual pump the smallest amount possible in order for my son to be able to latch.  Or pump just a bit to be able to sleep.  I ended up with maybe 50 ounces in the first week just barely pumping to get the edge off of the fullness.  That is not normal!  In addition to the oversupply, I have (yes, present tense) an overactive letdown that caused my son to choke on the flow when I had a letdown.  He has gotten used to it and it doesn't faze him now but for the first six weeks, he would pull off every single time I had a letdown, soaking him and me in milk.  To this day I will leak through my shirt if I have a letdown and don't put pressure on my nipples.
I also depended on my Boppy pillow while nursing if we were not laying down.  I would only do the football hold because it was the only way he would latch well, and that wasn't even guaranteed.  The only guaranteed position was side lying and I wasn't going to lay down at Target.  This caused stress when I went anywhere because I was so nervous wondering if he would latch.  When I had my pillow it was usually fine but if I forgot my pillow or he was being particular, I would almost cry.  I don't remember at what point I was able to nurse him in the cradle hold, but it wasn't any longer than six weeks.  I remember hearing that before or at six weeks, breastfeeding became easy so look to then for the light at the end of the tunnel.  And one day before my son was six weeks old, I realized breastfeeding was easy.  I no longer had to pump.  He didn't unlatch at a letdown.  I could nurse him in the cradle hold, which meant easier nursing in public.  No sore nipples (that only lasted a few days and was manageable.)  I do still leak or would and I wear nursing pads to work still.

I negotiated with my employer to give me an extra half hour for my break so I can go home and nurse my son, instead of pumping (employers are legally obligated to provide a mother time to pump up to 12 months in California, and many other states.)  I left milk (from pumping in the early days) just in case but he only took a few bottles in the early days of me going back to work.  He began to wait for me to come home on my break at about three and a half months, a couple weeks after I went back to work.  Now he waits for me and might eat some other foods while I work.  Interestingly, although he would nurse for comfort of all kinds, when I went back to work, he cannot be soothed just by nursing.  He actually wouldn't take a bottle for a while when I went out a few times for more than a couple hours.  Thankfully he ate some food and stayed in a good mood until I came home to nurse him. 
A couple weeks after I went back to work, coincidentally I think, I got a plugged duct.  I was so worried it was going to cause a bigger problem like mastitis.  It developed on my day off so I paid a lot of attention to it.  I nursed the baby on that side a lot, the best way to unplug it, I pumped but not too much to increase my supply, I massaged the spot, ran a wide toothed comb down the area and took a hot bath and soaked it.  I went to sleep that night with it still there, nervous it would get infected, but sometime during the night it disappeared, thank goodness.
Besides that plugged duct, I had some random soreness on my right side a couple weeks ago that HURT.  It lasted about a week but I would curl my toes while he nursed but just dealt with it like I had in the early days, continuing to nurse and applying lanolin.
Even with those two incidents, nursing is a breeze.  There is no end in sight and my supply is right where it needs to be.  When he has rough nights, nursing will put him back to sleep (knock on wood).  I don't have to make bottles in the middle of the night, or ever.  Since we cosleep I can be lazy and just roll over to switch sides.  I don't have to pack bottles and formula when we go out but I do try to find a quiet room.  I am (for the most part) completely comfortable nursing in public but I have a very curious child that pulls off to look at everything.  Even though he's working on teeth #5 and 6, that's rarely a problem and I have a finger ready to save myself.  Side lying is still his favorite position and mine, since he is SO distractable.  The vast majority of the times he nurses, he is nursing to sleep side lying.
I love it and it makes us both happy.  I love when he pulls off to smile at me or when I make him feel better by nursing.  Since we are both enjoying it, we'll continue until who knows how long.
Sorry for the long post!  It's for my reference too and I hope it helps someone someday!