Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My crazy, hippie mom life: an update

While on a playdate at the park, I was changing Dalton's diaper. I pulled out the cloth diaper, cloth diaper bag, and a little mason jar of coconut oil to use as diaper cream. It was at that moment that I was like...WHO AM I? I got an epidural. I drink diet coke. I mainly recycle, but sometimes if there's like a peanut butter jar with a narrow lid that would be a major PITA to wash out I throw it away. I'm not a hippie. But I do have some hippie leanings as a mom, apparently. I've discussed them before, but someone actually requested I discuss my cloth diapering experiences! It was so exciting to have a reader request! Additionally, I want to talk about some other hippie stuff, including breastfeeding. Because I don't do that enough. But in my defense, it's all I have to share. Other than that, it would be cute stories about what my kid did that are cute to no one who hasn't provided his DNA, or talking about how I moved desks out of my classroom to provide more room for reading nooks. NO ONE CARES.

Diapers: We switched to cloth in April. I love Earth. But I love money more. And I'd like more of it, which was the driving force. I thought cloth diapers were these (and they were, when I was a baby).
Now, it's a burp cloth, for me at least.

Turns out, now they can be these

Way cuter, and more importantly, easier.

Cloth diapers were insanely overwhelming for me in the beginning. There are tons of types, tons of brands, tons of acronyms, and the feeling of I do not want to be scrubbing crap on a daily basis. Once you get past the learning curve though, they really aren't any more work (trust me, I'm not trying to add that to my life). We use pocket diapers (they have an outer waterproof cover and an insert that soaks up the pee), whatever brand I can find cheap in good used shape, don't judge me, it's a thing. They basically snap or velcro on like regular diapers, no pins or covers or anything.

The main difference is, obviously, washing them rather than throwing them away. Doing an extra load of laundry every other day doesn't really bother me, and then I just quickly get them ready for the baby bottom out of the dryer and throw them in his drawer. At first I was wary about using them whenever we left the house or overnight, but now we've been doing both for a while with no issues. Daycare doesn't love it, but has compromised and does a combo of disposable and cloth. The grossness factor is a huge turn off to people, myself included before I dove in, but I really don't think it's any worse than changing diapers in general.

Breastfeeding: Society is weird because the expectation is you breastfeed for one year or else you suck.
Yes, a lot of this is self imposed, but it's out there, and nothing could have prepared me for how intense the pressure would be. But, for the love of God, DO NOT go past that one year mark by even a day or you're a weirdo. I'll admit, I thought the same early on, but as the year went on, I wasn't planning to breastfeed while packing up for the kindergarten bus, but I also could kind of see Lysa Arryn's point of view.

But I swear I won't go this far.

At any rate, I really had no intention of weaning at one year on the dot, and figured if we continued to nurse at night a couple months past I would enjoy that. But, I think we are weaning. I have been really opposed to using the W word, but I think it's time to call a spade a spade. Dalton will literally nurse for 1.5 minutes then drink one gallon of water (he is his mother's son, I'm known for my hydration). I've read tons of about how babies don't self wean before a year, and how to bring them back to loving the teat, but really, at this point, I've experienced one too many watermelon sized boobs and bloody nipples from being at the mercy of tiny razor sharp teeth. I'm trying to just let the chips fall where they may.

Nothing really prepared me for the emotional aspect of breastfeeding. Despite the many times I've complained, and the recent pain and fear that makes it not even enjoyable, I'm hanging on for dear life and not ready to stop. And I could just stop, I have enough in the freezer to get to that coveted one year mark. I just don't want to, somehow. Sign me up for My Strange Addiction: Breastfeeding.

Babywearing: I have literally only ever used my stroller for exercise purposes (although maybe if I'd had my baby during the hot summer months this would be different). For all practical purposes, I wear my baby. I also wear him just for fun.  I have the classic "hold me all the time and then hold me some more" baby, he has the softest, most beautiful skin on earth, and he's the one human in this world I actually like touching. I like it, he likes it, and I get two hands to get stuff done. Win win.

Baby Led Weaning: This is how we approached solids, except that when we actually began, I didn't even know what it was. It wasn't until we were doing it that I understood what it meant and realized it described us. In my opinion, it was invented by people like me, for people like me. I really like to find the most efficient, least time consuming route to the same quality result. You'll never hear me bragging about how late I stayed at work, but you might hear me bragging about how early I got to go home and still got my job done well. Baby Led Weaning (BLW) can be summed up as follows: don't make fancy baby food, don't buy overpriced jars, just keep eating as normal, but throw some of your dinner on your baby's high chair tray while you're at it. I assume some yuppie was like "hey, let's invent some fancy name for this and pretend it's some new movement instead of letting everyone know I like doing things in the laziest way possible". Thus, BLW was born.

It's messy, but in a hilarious way.

I started out attempting to puree foods, except I did it wrong, and it was a lot of extra work, and then we realized we were blessed with a baby who would eat literally anything. Now we haven't changed our eating habits at all, and Dalton eats what we eat. Spicy food, ethnic food, vegetables, meat, quinoa, stinky cheeses, whatever we're having, he's having. We're going out for Ethiopian this weekend for Eric's birthday, and we won't be bringing separate baby food.

Co-sleeping: Sleep became a HOT MESS this summer.

Side note: We got a selfie stick.

We traveled twice, got four teeth, separation anxiety is off the chain and probably some other stuff was happening over there in baby brain land that he can't explain to us yet. I texted everyone in my phone freaking out when bedtime became an hour long scream fest last week and everyone assumed I was texted for support to stay strong during CIO (cry it out). But no, it was a scream fest WHILE I was holding him.

He would bite me during nursing, so I'd put him in the crib, and walk out for a minute to discourage that (nothing else worked). That would cause him to become completely hysterical and he would fight sleep. Even on nights that didn't happen, he would still fight sleep so hard with me because he didn't want me to leave. That sounds arrogant, but really, he's as obsessed with me as I am with him. When I use the bathroom, he crawls over and sits outside the door and yells until I come out.

This week we switched things up and started nursing earlier in the evening, and Eric puts him to bed. So far, knock on wood, it's improved bedtime. He is still up a lot throughout the night. We usually stay strong until the single digit hours and then get too exhausted and just bring him into bed and give him the boob and everyone sleeps happily then. Which is another reason I don't want to wean yet. I need what little tiny broken pieces of sleep it helps me salvage.

That's what's been going on over here. To summarize: I have no idea what I'm doing as a parent, but  my kid will eat ethnic foods at a young age so that's fun to experiment with.

Which of these hippie things do you find the most weird and/or stupid? Pre-mom me probably would have said cloth diapers, although I would have thought they were all pretty dumb.


  1. I don't think cloth diapers seem hippie or weird at all. I think the constant purchasing and throwing out of disposable diapers is weird when you think about it in terms of the sheer amount of time people have been changing diapers on this planet. Then again, I'm not a parent, so my opinion means very little.

    1. I never thought much about it until I bought a box and saw how much it cost and how little time it lasted and then I was like nope.

  2. I'm already all over the baby-wearing. I literally wear my son 24 hours a day. Hopefully he likes it as much when I give birth to him as he does in utero. (Also it is so weird to type "my son" OMG). We would totally do cloth diapers if we had laundry in our apartment, but basement laundry can bite my ass. I have mixed feelings about co-sleeping, but that's mostly due to the fact that we only have a double bed, and there is zero available space left in the bed between the two of us, my giant belly, my 800 pillows, and a very needy cat. (fortunately, the cat sleeps at our feet and will make himself comfortable in any available space, so he's not really an issue.)

  3. Get an amber necklace and your admission to the crunchy club will be complete. Trade the bjorn for a woven wrap for bonus points!

  4. I was into baby wearing. I loved it for the reasons you stated. We also did BLW. My daughter has always ate what we did. She loves spicy foods too. We still co-sleep, and she is 2 1/2. That was a bad habit I shouldn't have started. Now I can't break it. And we didn't wean from nursing until she was 27 months old. That was way longer than I ever imagined we would go. She just wasn't ready to be done with it. I finally had enough and forced the weaning.

    1. This is my fear but I'll just cross that bridge when I come to it. I wouldn't say we exclusively co-sleep, plenty of nights we don't. My intention is never to co-sleep, it's just to SLEEP by any means necessary.

    2. My fiance works 3rd shift. I just feel better having her close since it is just the 2 of us at home most nights. Occasionally, I'll move her from my bed to her bed once she is asleep. When I do this she does fine and usually sleeps through the night. Now, getting her to fall asleep in her own bed is a completely different story.

  5. Cloth diapering is definitely my jam, but if you had suggested it when I was pregnant, I would have laughed and laughed.

  6. We have been cloth diapering as well, and I have not found it to be bad at all (and my discovery of liners has made it way better as I now spend way less time interacting with poop). Of course, his daycare includes diapers and wipes and were not into doing cloth, so it has made it a lot more manageable being back at work when he is only using 2 diapers a day during the week. I feel like I should feel bad for not making a stink about daycare using cloth, but I am all about making my life easier.

    I have not tried coconut oil yet though. A co-worker who is super-into #cleaneating is constantly going on about the wonders of coconut oil, so I am boycotting it in protest.

    1. Heck yes, if daycare provides it, don't make life harder on yourself! Coconut oil is fine for eating but I really like it for diaper rash. Cheap, smells great, keeps the bum soft!

  7. Breastfeed for 11 months = OMG your child is going to be ruined
    Breastfeed for 13 months = OMG your child is going to be ruined
    But 12 months is some magical number of course!

    I don't have kids but I will probably do any hippie thing that is less work for me and/or costs less. Not making extra or different food for baby, definitely for me.

    1. That's my parenting philosophy. If it
      A. Saves me money
      B. Saves me time
      C. Gets me more sleep

      then sign me up.

  8. This isn't a hippie mom question, but you posted a blog post so I'm assuming as with all bloggers, you're an expert. :)
    In a previous post, you mentioned that Dalton is exclusively using a sippy cup. My kiddo is turning a year old next week (holding in tears) but he's a stubborn guy and only uses the cup for water. He will throw the cup and have a meltdown if formula or breastmilk is in it. Any advice?

    1. Aww happy early birthday to your son! I'm sorry to tell you that I sadly don't have much advice, we were just lucky to get a kid who loves to eat and drink and doesn't really care how things are served to him. We started giving him water in cups at 7 months, it took awhile for him to get used to it, and we do use ones with straws mostly. We started giving him a little breast milk at dinner in the sippy cup and then sent it that way to daycare with an empty bottle, and after 2-3 days he didn't need the bottle. But I doubt any of this is helpful, since, as I said, we just got lucky. I'm sorry! I know a lot of kids transition to sippy cups later on, so you're not alone at least!

  9. I must have totally missed that you are using cloth diapers! I've started my stash and have also been buying used as a way to keep costs down. IT sucks to get the comments from people who don't know how it works, but to each her own. Saving money is my primary concern too. I have heard horror stories from some--blowouts and whatnot, but you'll get blowouts with disposables too? I am really going to give it my all to make it work and I'm happy to hear a fellow working mom's experience. What stroller do you use for running with baby? Thanks!

  10. I find the coconut butter thing to be the weirdest. I'm a big fan of medicated diaper cream, but my kid had GI issues for two years and that colors my perspective :)


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