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.
|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.