Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Condolences to Julie

I'm writing this post with tears in my eyes for Julie at the Progressive Parent. Her one year old son passed away this morning from what they think was SIDS. I don't know how many times I've thought to myself, phew, we made it through the SIDS risk age. As far as I know he was a happy, healthy, newly turned one year old that passed away in his sleep.
I am spooning my napping almost- toddler that I nursed to sleep in a bed at my grandparents' house, where I'm visiting my dying grandmother. He is warm and cozy and beautiful. So was Patrick. I cannot imagine losing this precious gift the world has given me. He is a part of me and my husband that brings joy to my heart all day, everyday. It's days like these that make me forget how tired I am and how many times I woke to nurse him last night because my baby woke last night and this morning. I should never take that for granted.
This also makes me even more confident in my choice to gentle parent and to listen to my baby's cries as communication. I'm not guaranteed a child to wake up next to so if that means nursing my sweetie back to sleep for the next two years, bring it on.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Love Fuzzibunz!

Fuzzibunz Elite or One- Size are our favorite daytime diapers (too much adjusting for nighttime).  The *vast* majority of my cloth diapering friends hate Fuzzibunz in general or particularly the One-Size diaper.  But I love them!  We have about 30 diapers in our stash.
They are so trim and I love that the adjustable rise is hidden.  I don't like the look of exposed rise snaps but I wanted the majority of my stash to be one-size diapers.  There are a few other brands that have a hidden rise adjustment but I love my Fuzzibunz, don't need those other brands!
I also love the color options.  They come in many primary colors that are especially boy- friendly, I would like to see more pinks and purples or prints.  Some brands like bumGenius tend to be pastel that I don't like very much, especially on a boy.
There was a time where my son had red marks around his thighs that went away as soon as I adjusted the leg elastic.  In the beginning when our newborn rental was all natural fibers, he got a rash from the wetness but as soon as we started using FB during the day, the rash went away.  The microfleece wicks away the moisture from the baby's skin, keeping them dry.  My son didn't mind feeling wet besides the rash but some babies will cry the second the diaper is wet feeling.
My husband's favorite thing about FB, besides the fact we don't have to buy any new diapers, is the warranty!  Apparently one day I was feeling feisty and pulled a snap loose.  A couple weeks later it finally pulled all the way out.  I submitted the warranty info with pictures and the receipt on a Sunday and on Monday I received a shipment email for priority USPS shipping and had the diaper in my mail by Thursday!  Amazing customer service!  This was my only time dealing with the company but I've seen them interact many times with unhappy customers on their Facebook page.  I love the diapers and the company!

My Natural Deodorant Solutions

PITS! Natural Deodorant by The Balm
In my opinion, one of the hardest conventional body products to give up is deodorant/ antiperspirant.  While I'm not sure of the antiperspirant qualities of these solutions, they definitely work for odor.  If you are wondering why I don't use these products, here's a somewhat reliable unbiased source for info about the risk of aluminum use.  This particular article discredits a link between aluminum and health risks but I'm not going to take the chance.  It is really hard to find a product that works without aluminum!  I loved my Secret Clinical Strength deodorant, especially the scent.  I've had to come to terms with smelling like a human, not a flower.  I adjusted better than my husband...  But he's really hard to change, which is his choice.  I started using alternative products in 2011.
I found this deodorant from "Clean" that uses "cotton technology" as an antiperspirant.  I have no idea how the cotton technology works but Trader Joe's also has a deodorant with cotton, so I guess it's not just something "Clean" made up.  This deodorant worked fine but the Original scent was overpowering.  I had just stopped using the aluminum products and was more nervous about sweating and I recall sweating more than when using the aluminum product, which is normal.  It was also cakey and I didn't really like it but it seemed to work for controlling odor.
I then started using a gel deodorant from Sprouts and it didn't work great.  I liked the smell but it didn't last or control odor.
I was so frustrated with my search as I can sweat pretty heavily and I don't want to be walking around stinking up the place.  After searching online for something that would *work* I decided to try apple cidar vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol (not at the same time.)  The ACV worked amazingly, for a short while.  I applied before a shower and made sure not to use soap on my underarms.  I had absolutely no odor for maybe two weeks and then it came back.  Resiliant bacteria!  I then tried switching between the ACV and HP every other day, the HP after a shower and it also worked for a short time.
But my saving grace?  Rubbing alcohol!  Do I love the idea of applying RA on a large part of my body every day?  No, but it works.  I began this method while pregnant and my midwife said it was fine as long as I wasn't breathing in fumes all day.  The smell disappates as it dries and it doesn't burn even after I shave my underarms (but maybe I am used to it.)  It seems to work perfectly on its own (I've been using this method for over a year) but my sister found me a natural deodorant from Lush that I like to use in conjunction with the RA.  It is called Guv'ner and is for men, haha.  It works *so* well!  They have other ones I would like to try when I run out of this one.  I've been using it everyday for a year and I'm still on the same bottle!  I apply with a fluffy makeup brush.  It contains charcoal to soak up sweat and essential oils for frangrence.  I love it.
But my favorite cloth diaper store started carrying a product that my friends were raving about called PITS.  So of course I had to try it.  And I like it!  My husband prefers it to the RA and the man deodorant that I've been wearing for a year!  I don't use the RA at the same time with this and it seems to be okay.  I like the one step solution and lately I haven't even been washing it off my hands after, I just rub it in like a lotion.  It comes in a jar so I use a spoon to take a scoop out and rub it in with my fingers.  So far it's my favorite!
I had such a hard time finding something that actually worked for me and the RA and Guv'ner truly made my life easier.  I was so self-conscious of my body odor if one of the other methods failed.  I'm so happy they worked for me and now to have found another product that works is great!  None of these products made me feel nervous about using them, except maybe the RA, and now I don't even need that.  Now, that being said, they don't keep you from sweating like conventional deodorant.  The Guv'ner seemed to work the best for sweat but it didn't eliminate it.
I just had to realize that humans sweat and sometimes smell like humans, not flowers.  But these products have keep the odor away for me and I hope if you make the change they work for you!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Our Nap Solution

People often ask how our co-sleeping son takes naps by himself.  I've asked many moms myself when searching for our solution.  One mom told me she slept with her arm drapped over her child.  I said, yeah, at night I do that, but what about during the naptime?  She told me she *was* describing naptime!  Well, naptime is just about the only time I can shower without my son crying so that's not very helpful.  My husband and I were literally getting ready to take down our bed to put on the ground when the simplest idea came to me.
We put the crib mattress on the ground!  This might not be the solution for people whose rooms are not baby-proof but since ours is, it works!  Sure when he wakes up he often climbs off and gets into stuff but the dangerous stuff is put away elsewhere.  Our bed is relatively short so he can't shouldn't be able to crawl under it, I'm not worried about that yet.
His mattress is close to the ground so even if he rolls off, he'll be fine.
In regards to the length of naps, it varies every single time.  On a good day, it will last at least 45 minutes and on a great day (today), it is at least 90 minutes.  If he's sick, it may be 10 minutes!  I have absolutely no tips for nap time as we just go with the flow.  He also has no schedule of nap times, we just put him down when he shows us he's tired.
I hope this tip for co-sleeping babies helps someone!

My Try-It-Out with Cry-It-Out

So after our experience with the scratched throat, we were frazzled from restless nights and fussy days.  When I got home from work at 8 pm on Thursday, my son seemed a bit tired.  By 9- 10 pm, he was ready for bed.  But he would not settle to sleep with nursing!  It just seemed to give him a boost everytime!  So when midnight rolled around and we (the parents) were exhausted and my son was fussy, we were more than ready for bed.  We all laid down together and my son crawled all over us.  He would not settle even though he would lay his head down every once in a while, obviously tired.  I knew he would probably fall asleep if I rocked him but I was being stubborn after a day of fussiness.  I kept laying him down trying to nurse him but he kept rolling over.  I was grunting with frustration.  We can't agree now who first suggested it but DH went to get the front of the crib that we have "sidecarred" onto our bed.  We turned the light on and set up the front and put Robbie in there.  We agreed to be gentle about crying-it-out. 
At first he just crawled around in there.  Then he started whining, but not crying.  It was like he was trying to get my attention, not that he was upset.  I sleep next to the crib so I patted his hand and then he put his arm through the bar to touch me.  I let him but got into the sleeping position.  He continued to "talk" but not cry but not sleep!  I gave up and rocked him to sleep, haha.  Of course it took a much shorter time than setting up the crib and letting him hang in there took.
When we talked about it the next day, I told my husband I don't want to try it again.  He said him either.  I asked then why'd you want to do it then and he said it was my idea!  Neither of us recall why we did it or who suggested it but we agree that we won't be doing it again soon.  It's just not for our family.

***Disclaimer:  I'm not bashing anyone who practices CIO.  In our situation, it is not worth it.  If our situation was different, maybe it would be.***

"Bad" Mommy Moment

On Wednesday, I got a package from Amazon (yay!).  I thought nothing of giving my son the box to play with after I took the packaging out and making sure he wouldn't eat the tape.  Sure, I knew he could chew some pieces off, he has before, but I thought what's the worst that can happen besides him swallowing a piece or having to fish it out of his mouth later.  I'm not sure now what prompted me to take the box away, maybe the fact that I noticed he got a piece off or maybe he started coughing?  But I took the box away.  It wasn't the first time he'd eaten paper so I didn't think anything of it.  But when I tried to nurse him, he would latch on then immediately pull away with almost a disgusted look.  It was offending me!  But it made me think he had something in his mouth, he doesn't nurse if he has food in his mouth.  I offered him water in his sippy cup but it just dribbled out.  When I offered him Joe's O's, his favorite food, he gagged on them.  I was getting concerned.  He is not usually a fussy baby unless he's tired but he was crying but wouldn't nurse.
I tried getting him to sleep but again, he wouldn't nurse to sleep.  I asked my husband to rock him to sleep and then he went down for a nap.  But no even five minutes later, he was crying.  I went to rock him to sleep but when I tried to put him down on his bed, he woke up crying.  He ended up sleeping for about an hour in my arms.
The rest of the day he was fussy and it sounded like he had something in his sinuses.  He would cough and make a sound in the back of his throat.  He continued to gag on solid food and wouldn't nurse.
I called my mother-in-law, who is a advice nurse, and asked her what could be wrong.  She thought that he had scratched his throat with the cardboard and that the scratch was swollen, similar to scratching your throat on a tortilla chip.  It was a relief to have a reason why he was acting like this.  She said just to make sure he *could* swallow as if he can't, he needs to go to the doctor ASAP.  My husband offered him water from our water bottle, a novelty to him, and he did swallow it.
To give him a change of scenery, we took him to a coffee shop and then to my parents' house.  It crossed my mind that he might not want to nurse cause it was irritating to lay down so I made him a bottle there and he drank it.  That was a relief cause he hadn't really eaten since his first nap.
When we got home, he did nurse to sleep which was a *massive* relief, especially since I was terribly engorged.  When he went to sleep I pumped the other side since it was hard to the touch.
He slept pretty much normally that night.  The next day, he was a bit fussy and still gagging on solids but nursing better.  That night however... will continue in another post...