Holiday Reflections

Yule is passed. Christmas is passed. Since we’re a multi-religious home, we celebrated both holidays. It means more family, more presents, more feasting. I didn’t make the trip to the Grove this year – my health has been shaky for several weeks. I didn’t light a fire, or make an offering to the Gods. But as I keep walking along this path, adjusting to motherhood, the more comfortable I’m getting with my faith.

When I hug my child close, I sense all the generations before us that have done the exact same thing with their children. My grandmother, her grandmother, all the way back to the most distant ancestors. Every time I nurse him, carry him around with one arm while I clean or make something to eat, every beautiful smile he gives me, I feel the smiles of those spirits who came before us. As long as I’m taking care of him, I know the Gods forgive my lack of offerings. They forgive my missing a ritual. My very soul is the fire that both honors Them and nurtures my child – as long as it burns bright, I know that all is well.

I used to believe that suffering was the surest way to find faith – that pain led people to seek a higher power. I found my own faith amid the darkest shadows of my life, and I’ve known so many who did the same. But I realize now that joy is so much stronger. As the holidays – Holy Days – have drawn to a close, I find myself simply and purely grateful for my family and this life that I’ve been given.

Review : Babydoo Cloth Diapers

So, after about half a year of entering various giveaways, I finally won something!! lol. Random number generators apparently hate me…  But, my luck held out until I won something very nice. I had the option to get either a fitted diaper or an AI2 Babydoo diaper, in my choice of fabrics. Since my love-hate relationship with wool covers has come pretty much to an end (more about that later), I opted for an AI2. This American WAHM diaper has been in daily rotation for approx. 2 weeks so far, and this is a review based on how it has performed for us during that time.

Little Man wearing a Babydoo AI2

Little Man wearing a Babydoo AI2

Overall Opinion: On a scale of 1-10, I’d give this diaper a 9. It’s a very good product, and worth the investment.

Fabric Options: The fabric choices for fitteds (or wipes or wetbags) were much larger, including many very cute prints. AI2 fabric options were somewhat smaller, but they consisted of 11 prints and I did have a hard time deciding between two of them (they were both adorable). The interior layer of either style of diaper is an organic bamboo and cotton velour blend. Both styles also have a hidden interior layer of organic bamboo and cotton fleece. Near as I can tell, you have no options for those – but it’s organic, absorbent, and super soft.

Fabric textures for comparison, left to right: (orange) Microfleece, (white) Microfiber, (purple) Minky, (cream) Babydoo’s Bamboo Velour

Size Options: This was the first time I had ever heard of “Extreme One Size” (EOS) – but it has a longer rise than a normal OS, and 4 rise settings instead of the normal 3. She also has OS and Newborn sizes, of course, and I opted for a standard OS.

Fit: Super snug! This is one of the only diapers in my stash that I can get both a tight waist fit and a tight leg fit. The elastic is nice and strong. There are some light red marks on baby’s legs but that’s probably a combination of his fair Irish/Swedish skin and me fastening the snaps as snug as possible.

Tight waist fit

  Tight waist fit

Overnight Use: Because this diaper fits Little Man so well, I wanted to use it for overnights. He sleeps anywhere from 9 to 12 hours at night, so finding cloth that can handle the duration without leaking is tricky. I’ve found the trick to be a blend of fit and absorbency. Since I already knew it fit him well, I tested out the soaker layer the AI2 comes with, not adding any extra layers to help it out. The snap-in soaker is made up of 6 layers total – then of course the body of the diaper has 2 more layers before you get to the outside PUL. All-in-all, the 8 layers of bamboo/cotton fabric were enough to stop any leaking for a 10 hour sleep (he woke up, so I’m not sure if it could have lasted a full 12). Of course, if LO starts having larger nightly needs, I can easily sneak a few more absorbent layers below or in-between the soaker. For now, though, it’s up to the task without any assistance.

Tight leg fit

Tight leg fit

Downsides: If I were to make any changes to this AI2, it would be:

  • Less Drying Time – Wow this takes a long time to dry! Almost twice as long as a regular ole pocket. So, I admit, I don’t line dry my diapers… everything goes into the dryer for one hour-long low heat cycle. With 4 dryer balls, this thing came out still wet enough to need a second cycle. It takes 10 dryer balls to get it (and my overnight hemp/bamboo inserts) dry in one shot. Now that we actually have 10 wool dryer balls, and we can get it dry in an hour, I’m happy. But, I can’t imagine how long this would need on a line.
Insert snaps in and is made of 2 flaps sewn at the top, to lessen drying time

Insert snaps in and is made of 2 flaps sewn at the top, to lessen drying time

  • Add Double Gussets – So hard to find. I wish all diapers came with them. Having sewn them myself, I know they’re a pain in the neck, but I think they’re worth it.

Summary: I’m glad to have this in my stash, especially since it has joined the ranks of overnight-approved diapers. It’s cute, very soft, fairly trim, and fits LO exactly the way I like. This particular diaper (OS AI2) does cost $22, but I think it’s totally worth it for a solid organic WAHM product.

Happy baby

Happy baby

Check It Out: You can find the Babydoo website here:

Babydoo

Or check her out on Facebook.

My Hipster Baby

Credit - Erin McCabe

Hipster Baby

 

My hipster son wears his feety pjs ironically.

Found these awesome vintage pjs at the thrift store. Aren’t they fun? I paid a dollar for them. =)

Sleeping Through the Night

http://www.etsy.com/listing/112766778/baby-moon-bear-nursery-decor-boy-girl

credit: Talking Donkey Studio on Etsy

Little Man is 4 months old now. He sleeps anywhere from 9 to 12 hours at night, every night, in cloth diapers, almost never requiring a feed or a change in the middle of the night. This has been true for the past solid month.

I feel pretty blessed. I’ve read so much information that has me convinced that this is a pretty rare thing at his age. I had also read a fair bit of internet parenting opinions that helped me encourage his behavior to get us up to this point. So, amid the hundreds of other things I thought about writing while my little darling is sound asleep tonight – I’ve decided to share a bit about how we centered in on his nightly routine, just in case it might help some other sleepy parents out there.

– There is NO need for CIY (Cry It Out)! This is not a requirement to get your little one used to sleeping alone. They might cry at first, and that’s okay, and you should totally feel like it’s helpful and encouraged to go comfort them. A child will sleep soundly knowing that help is there if something goes wrong.

– Notice when a routine develops. The first couple months are pretty haphazard. I suppose some people actually get their newborns into strict to-the-minute timing, but personally the first 10 weeks were a blur. He slept on my lap or chest when he was sleepy. He nursed when he was hungry. I caught snippets of rest when I could. We really didn’t time anything – we barely kept track of how often the changings and feedings happened, and only because the pediatrician needed to know. But after 8 weeks, I started to notice a faint pattern in his nap times. He took one slightly longer nap every day – that tended to be in the night hours – and this is what I had to start working with. If your baby has a slightly longer but consistently taken nap, then you’re ready to start encouraging overnight sleep.

– Start placing baby in bed when this long nap happens. At first you probably want to do this while baby’s sound asleep. You’ll want baby to wake up in the place you want associated with overnight sleeping (ie: the crib, cradle, etc.). They’ll wake up, and feel strange and lost, and that’s okay – comfort them and let them know it’s a safe place.

– White noise. There’s all kinds of good white noise out there, but our baby’s favorite one at first was called “Baby Got Colic” – which is basically a bunch of womb-esque rhythmic noise meant to sound like mother’s heartbeat and blood circulation and whatnot. It reminded him of the womb and thus calmed him down – so we played that softly in the nursery. When he woke up, he heard comforting noises, and that helped a lot. Sometimes it calmed him enough to go back to sleep.

– Make it dark. So this sounds pretty obvious, but it was something I hadn’t thought of doing until I read it on-line. If you want baby to sleep at night, make sleeping time dark. A little night-light is fine, but as soon as little one gets tired, start killing off the big room lights.

– Wardrobe change. This is a pretty big key in teaching your baby that sleep time is a different part of the day. This might be when you swaddle – or place them in a wearable blanket. I take this opportunity to give my little man a lotion massage (some folks do bath time, but baths do NOT calm him down). We use lavender J&J bedtime lotion. I put him in his comfiest, softest outfits – either fleece feeted pjs, or a soft shirt and wearable blanket combo. The goal is comfy and warm (and safe! If baby can roll onto side, don’t swaddle – and *never* lose blankets).

– Night-time diaper. If you’re using disposables, just change them right before bedtime, even if they don’t need it – consistent routine is important. We use cloth, however. There are TONS of posts and opinions out there about overnight cloth diapering. I’ll summarize with a couple of points:

1) Don’t be afraid of layers. Yep, baby’s diaper at night is going to be bulky and untrim. Put baby in larger clothes to accommodate the bulk, if you have to (or just shirt + sleepsack). Layers are what is going to keep baby asleep. Keep adding until you reach the limits of what your gussets can handle – basically, until adding one more layer would create a gap at the leg elastic. (My husband says that little one looks like a garlic bulb in the mornings… but since he’s a DRY garlic bulb, I’m happy with that.)

2) Use your best fitting diapers. The ones you love during the day because they never leak – that anti-leak ability will help a lot more at night.

3) Microfleece liners. Buy some microfleece, cut it into squares, lay it on top of the diaper (and all those extra layers) – in-between diaper and baby’s skin. It will wick the moisture away from the skin down onto the soaking layers below. Most diapers have a microfleece layer, but you might have to get creative with your stuffing process (ie lay things on top and not inside a pocket), so extra fleece is good to have. It’ll keep baby feeling dry, thus reduce the chance they’ll wake up crying from the moisture.

4) Layers/soakers/inserts – material doesn’t matter too terribly much, but the general idea is that you want the fastest-absorbing materials up at the top. For example, you might have a pocket with a microfiber insert. You could put an additional insert of hemp below/under the microfiber.. or trifold a cotton prefold diaper and put that above/on top of the microfiber. Never put microfiber directly on baby’s skin – otherwise be creative – even t-shirts or baby washcloths can be used to add layers.

5) Baby powder (cornstarch). It’s cloth safe, and we’ve found it to be really useful in helping to dry up the moisture before it can wake him up or cause a rash.

– A full belly! Pretty simple, keep baby very well fed approaching sleepy time.

So, I started to implement all of these things during the course of two weeks, once I noticed his habitual evening nap. Soon his nap lengthened and became a full sleep. Now it’s clockwork. Somewhere between 9:30pm and 10pm he’ll need a diaper change, and we start our routine: Turn the lights off in the nursery (except for a dim closet light so I can see the changing table), Turn on the white noise, Night-time diaper, Lotion massage, Wearable blanket or feety pj’s. Then we do a long nursing session until he passes out from milk coma. I carefully move him into the crib, and he sleeps for 9-12 hours. Once in a great while, it doesn’t work immediately. Sometimes it takes an hour or two longer. But just keep cycling through diaper changes and feedings until it works. Keep calm and patient. Eventually they say to put the baby in bed/crib while they’re still awake (but very sleepy) – but we usually have terrible luck with that so far. Once in a while he’ll manage to fall asleep if I stroke his hair.. but it usually leads to a crying fit that requires more feedings.

At the end of the day, he decided he would sleep at night, and I merely encouraged and shaped his inclinations.

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