Elimination communication update

7.20

Things have been going well with elimination communication lately! Jack poops in the potty as soon as he wakes up most days, so as long as I am quick to wake up when I hear him moving I can always catch that. We only miss poops when either he’s not quite done in the morning or if he goes again later in the day and I don’t catch it. Overall I probably only have to wash a poopy diaper once a week or so, which is great! I’ve been washing them and spraying them with a hydrogen peroxide/lemon juice mixture and leaving them in the sun for a few hours and that’s amazing at getting the stains out!

We are still only catching about half his pees (and he wears cloth diapers most of the day) which is ok with me. I’m hoping when he gets closer to a year old he will learn the word or sign for “bathroom” and can communicate more easily when he needs to go.

I bought a cute little wool soaker a few weeks ago, and it’s pretty easy to get on and off to use the potty. (That’s a tree on the back of it by the way). I just pull it down half way and he can pee without it coming all the way off, and then it just takes a few seconds to get back on. I like the soaker style a lot because there is no velcro to scratch his stomach while sitting, and it can be easier than snaps depending on the situation. I think they also look the cutest out of any diaper I have, and can pass as shorts so they eliminate the need for an extra layer of clothes. We have been fine using a trifolded prefold (without snappis because I’m lazy) inside the soaker.

Velcro vs. snap diaper covers

Now that Jack is 7 months old, we have tried lots of different types of diaper covers. We always used prefolds (organic cotton ones) because that’s what our diaper services used, and we later bought used ones from them to launder ourselves because they are so much cheaper than any other options. They also save on laundry because you generally only wash the cotton prefold, but with pocket covers or all-in-one covers you have to wash the entire thing if the baby pees.

We used mostly wool diaper covers (organic by loveybums) and occasionally organic cotton ones (by imse vimse) which have PUL plastic on the inside to make them waterproof, so I didn’t like that as much.

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Pros about diaper covers with velcro:

    • A few seconds faster to take on and off (helpful if you do elimination communication and want to take them off often to potty, or just don’t want your baby in dirty diapers for long and change them very often)
    • Easier to put on at night when it’s dark
    • Get a slightly more exact fit around the waist each time
    • 1.26smile

 

Pros about covers with snaps:

  • They seem to last longer without getting frayed or coming off
  • They won’t scratch baby’s stomach when he sits up
  • I think they looks nicer (especially cute in photos)
  • You don’t have to worry about them sticking to things in the washing machine

Overall, I wish we had bought more velcro covers in the small sizes, but now that Jack is sitting up the velcro scratches his stomach often, so we switched to snaps for the large sizes.

First tooth

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On Wednesday, Jack’s first tooth broke through his gum! He was really fussy the night before which now makes sense, and has still been fussy especially in the evenings and nights since then. The night before and after the tooth breaking the skin were the worst ones- he was waking up and crying, while he usually wakes up, eats, and goes back to sleep.

I’m really nervous about him biting me while breastfeeding! He clamps down sometimes and I try to stop feeding him when that happens, but I don’t know if he realizes the connection. Right now the tooth is still barely out (I’m surprised how slowly it’s growing in) but I can’t imagine how much it could hurt if he bit me after the tooth sticks out more. So far it seems really sharp!

I wonder how long it will take until the tooth is all the way out- I’ve heard anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks. It also seems like in a couple of weeks his other bottom one and then top ones will start coming in. I get the feeling that the next 6 months are going to be non-stop teething! Ironically he is drooling less now than at 4 months, but the fussiness is pretty challenging. I may have to just wear him in some kind of carrier most of the days until it’s over.

I’ve been trying to offer him more solids lately, and he really enjoyed watermelon yesterday. I cut a slice with the peel on to make it easier to hold without breaking, but I took the peel off the edges so he was less likely to try to eat it.

I also made a puree for the first time (oatmeal with breastmilk and spinach) to see if he liked it. I was thinking since it had milk in it, he might prefer it more than the fruits and veggies he has been nonchalant about. Sadly he only ate a small spoonful of it (which I gave in a “loaded spoon” ) before deciding to play with it. I think even though it’s messy, I’ll try to focus on offering him food 1-3 times a day in small amounts to get him used to it rather than trying to get him to eat more at once. At least he really enjoys his baths in the sink afterwards!

ALL our baby things!

My husband and I have been trying to be more minimalistic since we moved to California and have a small two bedroom apartment. With a baby, it’s been especially challenging! We try to not buy too many unnecessary things, and use things we already own, but it’s hard to know what we will need. My husband thought it would be interesting to see how much baby stuff we have and put it all in the crib, and here is what we ended up with:

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On the left is the Tripp Trapp chair, and on the right is the Babybjorn organic bouncer. The main things not pictured are our Orbit car seat and babyjogger stroller. I also have prefolds and a few toys and blankets in my car and at my dad’s house. Oh, and I forgot to include the Moby wrap because I was wearing it! It feels weird not to have it on nowadays!

Here are more specifics about our stuff (click for larger picture):

IMG_0886-001If we were more minimalistic, there are a bunch of things we could have done without:

  • The changing pad (I change him on the bed 90% of the time anyway)
  • The manual breast pump (I had no idea beforehand, but hand expressing is just as fast and more comfortable for me)
  • The bouncer
  • As many books (but they were all gifts…)
  • We could have used a couple fewer diaper covers since the sizes overlapped
  • Obviously we didn’t need the compostable diapers! But they were nice to have during some long car rides and events
  • We could have probably gotten a smaller umbrella stroller instead of the city mini

Some things I’m really glad we bought even though I was unsure at the time:

  • Two baby carriers (I wear the Moby most of the day, and the Beco sometimes so that I can wear the baby on my back while cooking. My stepmom wore the baby in it today, since everyone is scared of tying the Moby)
  • This wool wash works amazingly well at getting out newborn poop stains from wool covers as well as clothes and our bedsheets (yikes). I just used soap or shampoo at first, but that left stains on my wool covers that I can’t get out now.
  • I’m in love with our wood high chair which is so easy to clean, and conveniently adjustable
  • I also use the potty every day. I wish I had found a more eco-friendly version in recycled plastic though

Allergy update

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Jack had his 6 month visit to the pediatrician today (a month behind schedule because the doctor was on vacation). He weighs 19 pounds now and is right around 50% for everything. I told the doctor about his getting a rash on his face after eating tomatoes, so now neither of us are supposed to eat tomato or citrus fruits until he’s a year old.

Apparently tomato allergies aren’t that uncommon, and may be due to the fact that they were not historically part of many people’s diets until somewhat later than other foods when they were brought over from the Americas to Europe in the 1500s.  I told the doctor that Jack has been waking up every 2-3 hours at night which he said can be allergy related, so he advised for me to continue avoiding dairy, but also try cutting out soy again as well as the citrus fruits and tomato. Of course that happens right after I went to the farmer’s market and bought tomatoes yesterday! It’s a shame too because Jack found tomatoes easy to eat because they are so watery.

Some new foods I have been meaning to have Jack try are:

  • Watermelon (has as much iron as spinach! but probably easier for a baby to eat)
  • Oatmeal- probably a baked oatmeal “muffin” so Jack can hold it himself
  • Maybe egg yolk which is supposed to be high in a lot of vitamins. I just have to figure out how to serve it. “Loaded spoons” with food haven’t worked well so far since Jack just grabs them and flips them upside-down or something and doesn’t end up eating it.

I’m a little sad to have to go back to basically cooking/baking everything from scratch because most processed things have soy in them. The new diet means no mayo, ketchup, any desserts from trader joe’s, or most frozen foods I eat. Some desserts I can still easily make are:

  • Pancakes with whole wheat flour (made with almond milk)
  • Brownies in a mug if I feel really lazy!
  • Easy peanut butter cookies
  • Brownies (but not with chocolate chips because they all seem to have soy)

Our decision about vaccines

I know this is such a polarizing topic, and that everyone has to make the best decision for their family, but I wanted to share what we decided to do. I got the Dr. Sears vaccine book which I thought had a lot of great scientific info about all the ingredients in vaccines, the fact that there is not really a proven connection to autism, but that there are a lot of chemicals in them which are not necessarily safe. We decided to use his alternate schedule which means that we broke up the vaccines instead of giving 5 or more shots in one visit. I was sad that our doctor only carried the DTaP with the highest aluminum levels, but we got it anyway because of the threat of pertussis.

Here is the alternative schedule:

2 months-DTaP, Rotavirus

3 months-Pc, HIB

4 months-DtaP, Rotavirus

5 months-Pc, HIB

6 months-DTaP, Rotavirus

7 months-Pc, HIB

9 months-Polio, Flu (2 doses)

12 months-MMR, Polio

15 months-Pc, HIB

18 months-DtaP, Polio

21 months-Flu

2 yrs-Chickenpox

2 yrs. 6 months-Hep B

2 yrs. 7 months- Hep B, Flu

3 yrs. Hep B

4 yrs. DtaP, Polio, Flu

5 yrs. MMR, Flu

6 yrs. Chickenpox, Flu

7 yrs. Hep A, Flu

8 yrs. Hep A, Flu

age 9-18 yearly Flu

12 yrs. Tdap, HPV

13-14 HPV (3 doses)

16 Meningococcal

I’m not positive yet what we’re going to do about flu, chickenpox, and polio, but as of now we have followed this schedule for the first 6 months.

I always feel so bad taking Jack to get vaccines, and my friend told me about this buzzy the bee thing that I bought to see if it helps Jack cry less. I think at 6 months he’s too young to really use it now since the vibrating might scare him, but I’ll try it on myself next time I need to get blood drawn or a shot (I get scared of needles so I’m hoping it can help like the studies show!) and if it works, maybe it will get used by the whole family! For now, I just ask the nurse to let me wear Jack in the beco carrier during the shot because he gets a lot less upset being in a “hug” than if I had to hold him down on the table. They have given me a hard time, but it’s worked out in the end every time so far.

Organic baby carriers

Jay in the organic moby wrap

I think that our baby carriers (the moby and beco) have definitely been our most-used baby items. I started wearing Jack in the organic moby the day we got back from the hospital, and he has been in it for hours every day since. I wasn’t sure if having two carriers was too much, but it’s great to have another one to wear when the moby is drying after being washed, and other family members prefer the more structured beco. I’ll give some info about the carriers we have as well as other organic options.

These are some soft wrap-style carriers:

1. Organic moby wrap

I got the white organic moby as a gift, but I would definitely recommend another color that hides stains better! I know some people are worried about how hard it is to tie on, but either go to a local store and they can show you or just watch a few youtube videos. After a few tries, it gets really easy and I can put it on faster than the beco now. I still wear Jack at 7 months and 19 pounds and find it really comfortable. It doesn’t hurt anywhere and the size is totally adjustable each time you put it on. I also love that you can wear it in so many different positions. Jack loves it and falls asleep in it all the time.

2. Organic boba wrap

Like the moby but more stretchy. My friends who have it find it really comfortable, but stopped using it sooner than the moby because it doesn’t support bigger babies enough (probably best up to 15 or maybe 20 pounds).

3. Organic baby K’tan

This is a wrap style like the moby, but you don’t have to actually wrap it, it comes already attached and slips on. It’s not as versatile though and has different sizes, so your husband probably needs another size. I would definitely rather have a moby, but if you are too nervous about the wrapping, this seems like a good alternative.

I never tried a ring sling because I was worried that having the baby’s weight on just one side of my body (off one shoulder) would end up hurting. I know a lot of people like them, but I wanted to get carriers I could use for hours and feel comfortable. I’m glad I did that since I ended up wearing Jack 90% of his waking hours for the first several months, and still several hours a day now at 7 months.

Structured backback-like carriers:

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1. Organic Beco

This is the one we have, and I like it a lot (although it gets used less than the moby since it’s a little less comfortable on me). I sewed my own drool cover straps for it because my baby chews on the straps (a good reason to get organic carriers!). This fits me and my husband well, and can be worn facing in, out, on your back, and sideways on your hip. It does have foam unlike the moby which is all organic cotton. I like that it’s pretty small compared to other structured carriers like the Ergo which has thicker straps and a larger sunshade cover part. I find it easier to wear than the Ergo because instead of snapping something behind your upper back, you criss-cross the straps, but I’m sure people have different opinions about that. At the time I bought it, all the Beco carriers were organic so I liked supporting a company that did that, but I think now they have non-organic ones too.

2. Organic Ergo

All my friends seem to have Ergos and really like them. The only reason I didn’t get one was I heard they are better for larger-framed people since they are a little wider, and I thought the sunshade part didn’t look very streamlined in it’s little front pocket. You also need to buy a separate infant insert while you don’t for the Beco. But overall it seems great and people say it’s really comfortable. You can’t wear the baby facing out, but that’s not supposed to be comfortable for the baby really anyway.

I know a few people who have the baby bjorn which comes in organic too, but I’ve heard that it hurts your back and the way it hold babies facing the front puts too much pressure on their crotch. I’ve never tried a mei tai which as far as I can tell is like a beco but it ties closed instead of having snaps and everything. They seem really comfortable and I would definitely try one if I needed another carrier.

My overall favorite: the Moby wrap because it’s SO versatile and comfortable. Runners up are the Beco and Ergo depending on what’s comfortable for you.

Sample day with a 6 month old

I remember when I was pregnant I wondered what to expect my days to be like once I had a baby, so I thought I would write out approximately what out typical day is like. It really varies a lot though depending on what we are doing. I’m not working much at all these days, so I spend most of the day taking care of Jack. He generally eats about every 3 hours, and takes either 2 or 3 naps per day (the 3rd one will often only be 20 minutes).

7:00am  Jack wakes up and poops on the potty

7:00-7:30 breastfeed

7:30-8 express breastmilk for later in the week, play with baby in bed

8-8:30 baby plays in bed while I get my clothes on and put the harness on the dog

8:30-9 walk with the baby and dog

9-9:30 baby has tummy time while I play fetch with the dog in the living room

9:30-10 I get my food ready and feed the dog while baby sits in highchair

10-10:30 wear baby in the carrier and sing since he’s tired and fussy

10:30-11 baby breastfeeds to sleep

11-1 nap time, I eat my food and check email, look online (naps vary from 20 min to 1.5 hours, average 40 min)

1-1:30 I do some kind of errand like calling health insurance company and staying on hold for a long time

1:30-2 play with baby doing a new activity every 10 minutes or so (reading, music, standing, tummy time, sitting with toys)

2-3:30 have a dog playdate or meet at the park for a baby playdate for an hour

3:30-4:30 walk around and nurse the baby until he falls asleep

4:30-5:30 nap

5:30-6 make dinner while Jack is in his high chair watching or in the wrap

6-7 eat dinner, feed Jack with us at the table (then give him a quick bath)

7-7:30 walk with the dog and Jack

7:30-8 wear the baby while picking things up around the house to clean up etc (he’s usually fussy in the evening)

8-8″30 nurse until Jack falls asleep (bedtime varies a lot- it’s between 7 and 9 usually, with different amounts of walking around needed depending on how fussy he is)

8:30-10:30 relax and look online, occasionally exercise, sometimes watch an arrested development episode with my husband while wearing headphones so we don’t wake the baby. Jack often wakes up every 30 minutes for a few hours and wants to eat for a while, then falls back asleep so I try to stay close by.

I try to sleep around 10:30, but sometimes it gets later. Jack wakes up and I nurse him and change his diaper every 2-3 hours recently. I nurse and change him right before I go to sleep too. He used to have a 5 hour stretch at the beginning of the night, but at around 4 months that went away. At least he eats and then goes right back to bed though, so it’s not that disruptive.

Elimination communication update

IMAG0323

We have been washing our own cloth diapers for a few weeks now, and it’s going pretty well so far. We used a service for about the first 6 months of Jack’s life, but now that he’s pooping in the potty about 75% of the time, it seemed easy enough to do the laundry of mostly wet diapers.

We got this Rockin Green detergent (usually we make our own, but I was nervous to mess up the diapers) and so far it’s been fine.  Luckily Jack is pretty regular with having a big poop in the mornings, so I can catch most of them in the potty right after he wakes up. It feels so great not to have to clean many dirty diapers, and instead just rinse out the potty! We use the little toilet seat too, but the potty is easier since I don’t have to get out of bed!

I started using ASL signs with Jack once in a while, and I try to use the one for bathroom when I remember, but it doesn’t seem like he really looks at my hand when I do it. I’m just hoping that by around 12 months he can either use the sign or words to let us know when he has to go. Right now I take him to pee on the potty a few times a day, but he pees so often that he goes in his diaper a lot, so it would be useful if he could tell us when he needs to go.

We have been dealing with the poopy diapers by washing them and letting them soak, and then just putting them in the regular laundry with everything else. We try not to use too many wash cycles since we have to pay for laundry in our apartment. There has been some faint staining, but leaving in the sun helps a lot. We also made a solution of lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide that I still need to try.

We bought a bunch of used organic prefolds from our diaper service which was really inexpensive, and the 60-70 we got have been lasting for about 4 days since we change him whenever he’s wet. They work well, and the only time we get leaks in sometimes at night, so I’ve been debating if I should buy some wool shorties for nighttime. I think they would give more coverage, but I think they are ideally for use with fitted covers which are more expensive, and I don’t know if they would be harder to change at night. We use prefolds with no snappis which makes diaper changes really fast, but I’m not sure if that means we need to keep using normal covers that fit snugly to hold the prefold in place.

Jack started sitting up by himself this week which is so adorable. Maybe someday soon he will be able to crawl to the potty and sit on it on his own! For now, it’s fun to have him practice sitting with some toys or books and to see how he is happy to have some more control of his body.

7.5