Thursday, December 15, 2011
First, baby carriers! Since November likes to be carried pretty much all day, it was hard at first to figure out how I was ever going to walk the dog, do laundry, or anything else without another set of arms to help. But, luckily, she loves being snug in the Moby wrap or Balboa baby sling as much as she likes being carried. I prefer the Moby when I want extra security and need my hands free, because it really does keep baby secure against my body. But the baby sling is great when she is still awake, or I just need something for a short time to support while I throw in the laundry. It isn't quite as secure or hands-free, but it is easier to put on than the Moby, and can be put on without having to put her down. With these carriers I can walk Kitsune, do laundry, and clean up around the house! Also handy when out and about when she starts to fuss in the stroller.
Next, cloth diapers! I never had any desire to use cloth diapers until my grandma got us some as a gift. Afterward, I researched them a bit, and found out how easy they could be and how much money they could save, especially since ours were a gift. Once she gained a couple pounds, we started using them, and I have loved them ever since. We primarily use GroVia all-in-two system. We have 13 outer shells (in super cute pink and purple colors) which is more than enough. Since the outer shell rarely becomes soiled, we only go through 1-3 a day. We also have 24 snap in inserts and 10 booster pads. The inserts do a great job at containing the mess, only sometimes soiling the shell if she has a very large poo. The booster pads are great for night time, and help her feel dryer longer. In addition to GroVia, we have 5 Fuzzibunz one size pocket diapers. They work well also, but I think the GroVia velcro tabs and rise snaps (for sizing) are much easier to use than FB snap closures and button sizing. I also like the fact that part of the GV system is reusable (the shell) throughout the day, where with FB, you wash both the pocket diaper AND the soaker inserts each time.
And how bad is the laundry? Not bad at all! With our 29 total diapers, we only wash a load every other day. Since we use community coin laundry at our apartments, I choose to hang dry, which means we only spend about $3 or $4 a week! Compare that to the $24 we spent a week during the first weeks of her life, and you can see how much we save! And they aren't hard to use at all, not even when out and about! We just store the soiled diaper in a 'wet bag' or ziplock and dump it in the laundry when we get home. And what about poo? Not too bad! Newborn poo in so wet that it washes out completely in the washer without any special treatment. And stains? None! Especially if you leave the discolored ones to dry in front of a bright window. It doesn't even have to be sunny (I am writing this on a gloomy December day); the sun somehow penetrates and bleaches them naturally, no exaggeration! I thought cloth diapers would be difficult, but I can't recommend them enough, especially GroVia. They are cheaper, cuter, and environmentally friendly.
I also can't live without things that move! Since November loves movement, her cradle swing, bouncy chair, my gliding rocking chair, and yoga ball have all become invaluable. It took her awhile to warm up to the swing, and even now she only likes it for short periods of time, but any time at all with my hands free is great! She also loves when I hold her and bounce and rock on the yoga ball, or soothe her in the rocking chair.
I've found fussiness relief with gripe water! Sometimes November gets bloated, gassy, and fussy causing frequent waking and frazzled parents. We've used both 'Mommy's Bliss' and 'Colic Calm,' both of which work wonders on soothing her fussiness caused my tummy upsets and helps her sleep better. She doesn't need it frequently, but when she does, it's a lifesaver.
The books I've loved are the Sears Baby Book and What to expect: the first year. I love reading and searching for answers, and both have provided much useful info. The Dr. Sears book has especially helpful info on the attachment style parenting (which suits November's needs perfectly) and has great info supporting 'sleep sharing' for parents who need or want their child to sleep in their bed.
And lastly, I must mention the Boppy nursing pillow. Not only does it provide arm support when nursing, but it also makes a comfy cushion when November feels like 'sitting' semi-propped up.
So there ends a post that took me forever to type with one finger, while my little baby sleeps, nurses, and cuddles in my other arm. And most of this time spent bouncing on the yoga ball simultaneously.