Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dear Mother Ship

I have been asked a number of questions lately about cloth diapering, attachment parenting and co-sleeping. I thought I would address some of this with you case you are interested? If not check back soon I will post something ...

As a NEW MOM I have learned a lot in the last 9 months from patient friends and was taught by the excellent mommy community out here in cyber world. What a fantastical network I didn't even know existed until I got all knocked up! So many resources and opinions and of course old fashioned trial and error to use as a resource.

Here Goes, Dear Mother Ship:

I have a few questions about how things went for you and Finley. I don't know anyone else who exclusively breastfeeds. It's pretty rare these days!
The World Health Organization advocates for breast feeding up to age 2 ...I doubt I'll go that far but my beloved Dr.Sears says 90% of calorie intake in first year is from breast milk. Link to Dr. Sears

I was very encouraged to hear that Finley only wakes once at 8 months. I was wondering if you had any tips that helped Finley sleep longer that you might want to share.

Fin sleeps with me at night and I let her have at the boobies as needed. Most of the time it's once at 4:15am, however she has high needs times like this last month when she has been cutting 4 teeth and had a cold and I felt like she was on me all night...but it does not disturb my sleep so much. No more than when I get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, she nurses and then falls back to sleep neither of us is wide awake. Not to say that I never have a fitful sleep cuz I do but it's not totally because of the baby.

Do you use a pacifier? I haven't used one with up until this point, but I'm wondering if maybe I should. I don't know if I want baby to use ME as one!

Fin would NOT take a paci or a bottle - yay me and my boobs - they have never seen so much action! I'm like the boobie milk gas station. haha. We tried several paci's only after she was established on the boob about 2 weeks onward with no luck. She does use me periodically as a paci yes...but only in high needs times. Otherwise she just eats and pops off. It can be annoying especially if I want to do something else. But then I remind my self there is nothing more important right now than soothing the baby and making her well fed and comfortable. This year passes SO quickly as you know and you can't get it back. So I am enjoying my nursing time even the suckling paci time...really I am. Really.

I know they say you can't overfeed a newborn, but I'm wondering about that one... She's already a whopping 14lbs at 10 weeks old! Maybe I'm too quick to just put her to my breast, I'm not sure. Did you follow a strict schedule with Finley or did you let her sort of make her own?

I feed on demand. So does my sister in law. Her baby is a little porker too! Both Steve's sister's babies are exclusively breast fed and both were in the 97th percentile for weight at their age when they were 3-4 months. Now at 7 & 9 months old one is a little peanut on the bottom of the percentile grid the other is still on the top end. It's true you can't over feed a baby on breast milk because you body only makes what is needed. So long as the baby is healthy keep feeding that's what is important! Babies need the nutrients so they can start moving and have energy to develop. If baby were a 2 year old eating pizza and soft drinks I would worry but not a wee boobie fed lass!

Girl baby is sleeping in a bassinet in another room (we had to remove her from the room due to some very loud grunting keeping us up!) She wakes about every 2.5, 3 hours, but sometimes even less. She has slept for 5 hours at a time a few times, but that was after hours and hours of screaming at the top of her lungs so she must have been exhausted! (colic) We are grateful that the screaming has subsided. But I am finding it hard to find the get-up-and-go that I need for these kids during the day without my sleep at night!

Every family does this differently. From what I learned and what instincts I am using is: DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO TO SLEEP OR GET SLEEP. This also comes from comparing notes at play group. Most of the moms I know use this philosophy too. Fin sleeps right beside me in bed. Only in the last 2 months have I been able to nurse her down into bed at night and then leave her so I can go have some ME time. I get her to sleep in our bed around 8pm and then I go to bed at 10 pm. She usually stirs a little and feeds a bit then we both go to sleep until 4 - 4:30am when I change her diaper and feed her. We then sleep until anywhere between 7-9am...I do feed her around 7am.

I am not a napper I have tried to lie down and sleep in the day with her but I can't so I need my night sleep. She would not stay asleep if I were not beside her I am sure of it. We tried the crib and she cried until I thought she was going to throw up. Right now she is having her morning nap in the sling...attached to me! She sleeps with out crying and is safe, feels secure and our trust bond is intact. It works for me. I do get a lot of criticism but I have always marched to the beat of my own drum and this works for me and I'm ALONE almost everyday with her so this is what we do to get through our day happily.

I have also been thinking a lot about cloth diapers recently. You are the only person I know who uses them and I thought I'd ask you about them if you don't mind. What do you need to start up and approximately how much would it cost?

Why don't you try a diaper service for a 2 week period and see how you like them before purchasing?

I also have Fuzzi Bunz which are snap enclosure and beautiful and soft but Fin is such a wiggle worm I find it hard to snap her in before she's rolling away. They also leak sometimes. The Bum Genius are Velcro enclosure so they are fast t get on her and we find they never leak!

At start up you will need about 20-24 diapers. Figure on 8-10 a day. I also bought an extra insert package to double the inserts for over night. The diapers are about $17 -19 each. So initial investment was about $400.00 but you WILL spend $3000.00 on disposable diapers by the time a baby is potty trained! So they are cost effective. You can also look to purchase second hand cloth diapers. I borrowed the 0-3 month size from a friend who had used them on her 2 kids prior to Finley. They worked great.

How often do you wash them and what do you do in between washes?

The diapers I use are POCKET diapers. You have to change the whole diaper at every change. I have 2 diaper pails. I bought slick looking stainless steel garbage pails from Walmart, step flip lid with a removable plastic pail inside. One is for the diaper covers and one for the inserts. You can get diapers that you change only the inserts and the covers you wear all day. That way you need only buy 4-5 covers. The diaper services use this type. I have used them and they are just as good.

To wash:
Drop into the washer ...even the poopie ones (until feeding solids)
cold water rinse cycle with table spoon or two of white vinegar. Then Hot water wash with a small amount of soap. If you use too much soap they will repel. High heat dry the inserts and hang dry the covers. I do this every other day.

Are there different sizes?

YES but the Bum Genius ones I have are adjustable so I have been using them since she was 3 weeks old. They snap from small, medium and large size. 8lbs to 35 lbs!

Are they much less absorbent than the disposable ones?
I have only found Pampers to be absorbent in the disposables as I used them when we flew. The other's I tried were not good! I find the cloth to be very absorbent, they wick away the wet and you will not get a diaper rashwhile wearing a cloth diaper. Unless the child gets a rash with teething but that's not from wearing wet against the skin.

E.C Elimination Communication:
I potty train Finley. She has been pooping on the potty since 4 months. She knows the sign and goes every morning for her poop on the potty. I don't contend with poo diapers which makes cloth diapering work for us now that she is on solids. Otherwise you are scraping poo into the toilet then rinsing and then washing it gets more complicated with solids poo and more work. My hubs does not help with laundering the diapers they are my deal. He changes them but doesn't even split them for the pails he leaves them on top of the pail. The reason for splitting is so they don't turn sour. I say this because the laundry is all mine and it does take effort and organization to stay up on it. If there was a diaper service I might have gone that route but for me the laundry is not that big a deal.

Please feel free to ask more questions or ad your comments and observations and let me know what works for you! I am an eternal student of the mother hood and always eager to learn anything that can make our ship run smoothly with baby on board!


LazyCrazyMama said...

Ah, great stuff. I also nurse on demand and co-sleep. Wouldn't do it any other way! I have seriously thought about cloth diapering, but I'm horribly lazy ;) I did start making my own baby food though - that's quite a savings!

Erin said...

Okay I HAVE to know more about the baby potty training. How did you get that to work? Share your secrets.

Kirstin said...

Thank you so much for answering these questions! My Husband and I are still newlyweds and not in the family planning stage just yet...more like family brainstorming! Regardless, I have really strong opinions (doesn't everyone? lol) about future children, he's been leery about cloth diapers and the notion of cleaning instead of tossing, no matter what I tell him!
He's totally reading this entry of yous!
Thanks for covering these topics, and offering up some great resources too!

jen512 said...

I found this very interesting (being preggo) and I've got a couple of questions!

I don't think I'm going to be able to co-sleep because our bed is too small (full sized) and I've been looking for a co-sleeper crib here in Turkey without luck. But I plan to keep the baby right next to my bed, probably in one of those packnplay convertible bassinets for as long as it is safe for her. I'm hoping this will still make night-feeding manageable. What I've always wondered is how do you feed the baby without being fully awake, isn't there some mess involved? I'm worried about burping, spit up and breast leakage. Do you find this is simply less of an issue when you are both asleep or is it something you have to deal with from time to time?

I also want to learn more about early potty training. How did you get started? How did Fin react to it at first? What kind of potty do you use?

Thanks for the help!

Earth To Mother Ship said...

Hi lady friends - I thanks for your feedback!

I will address these questions and offer some links in another posting VERY soon. I just started school so I have to knock out an assignment before I get to blog ...

In the mean time check the links in my side bar:

Tribal Baby

Diaper Free Baby

Twwly - is my friend who turned me onto E.C read her blog she has a whole hapter devoted to it! And she has done it with a boy and a girl. So she's an awesome resource and her blog is super fun to read!

Portland Green Parenting - Rebecca runs this site and it is here I bought my Bum Genius dipers. Best price ad often a savings code. I LOVE to support SAHM who run businesses.

Twwly said...

Dear MotherShip,

If I remember right, your little lady and my little lady both suffered from CarSeat-Screamitis.

My little lady outgrew her Screamitis, but I have noticed as she grows that her penchant for the dramatic has continued. I feel that the carseat screamies were just a part of her now developing personality.

Wondering if your wee lass is similar?

With Love,
A Mama Whose Daughter Hurls Herself to the Floor, Cheek Down, to Howl and Flail With Shakespearean Zest Over Anything Remotely Upsetting