January 15, 2012

The Non-Disposable, No Waste Life and Baby... Post Birth Update

So... after 9 months of being sick and 2 months recovering from surgery I now have a 10 week old baby boy. Hooray!

baby feet!
I got to thinking about the planning we did before Poppyseed was born regarding the stuff we need, the stuff we want, and the stuff we don't need (or want). Now that kiddo is 10 weeks old, I have some revisions to make, thoughts to contribute, and things to add.

Diapers, etc. My baby is a super pee-er. I know we have 35-40 diapers and for the first month we went through more than that each day. We could have used more diapers in the stash although our diaper pail (a bucket salvaged from the dissection lab at the high school) just barely holds every one we have. But, it would have been nice to not have to wash every single day. As it turns out, Mom, Dad and Grandma have different preferences (and success) when it comes to style of diaper. Good thing we have flats, contours, prefolds, and fitteds with both pins and snappies because otherwise one or two of us would not have been able to diaper the baby.

Also, we had no covers for the first few weeks. He was smaller than expected and I only had 0-3 month wool covers on hand (far too big). For a while we tried wrapping him up in a blanket and hoping for the best but mostly everyone got sopping wet. Finally we got some tiny covers and they rocked (thanks Aunt Amanda!). I know some people rarely use covers but that just doesn't work for our baby (at least not yet). I'm very glad we got wrap around covers because the changes were so frequent. Now that things have slowed down (slightly) I use some pull on covers (super cute) some of the time. The long ones are particularly good at keeping explosions in.

Conclusion - What worked: LOTS of diapers in various styles (homemade diapers worked fine), appropriately sized covers, salvaged diaper pail (for the moment), cloth wipes from old sheets, spray bottle of water rather than a wipe warmer, backpack for diaper bag (can't imagine using something with only one strap), wet bag. What didn't work: all is well so far.

Clothes. We have waaaay too many clothes. Some I swapped for, some I bought used through ThredUp, and of course we were given some clothes. I was told I'd be changing his clothes all day long and that one could not have too many onesies. Turns out kiddo is mostly naked. We live in a mild climate but even on very cold days he's either being worn, held, or snuggled up with us for sleep. Everything I've read warns against over bundling babies and apparently keeping baby too warm increases the risk of SIDS so we keep him only in a diaper. When we go out he wears some kind of clothing, mostly to protect him from the car seat straps, and if it's cool while he's being worn naked we put on some socks. Also, he went from too small to fit into most newborn clothes to too large to fit into his 0-3 month size in very short order. Part of issue is his diaper which, since it's non-synthetic cloth, adds serious bulk to his bum, but gaining 2 ounces a day for two weeks between check ups contributed. I bet he only wore 6 things out of the many dozens he had in two size ranges. 

Conclusion: Many fewer clothes needed unless we live in a truly frigid location or keep the house much cooler.

Baby Monitor. Haven't used it yet, may never.

Puddle Pad. I was thinking we'd put the puddle pad under the area he mostly sleeps in our bed but since I switch which side he sleeps on every time we get up to nurse, it doesn't really help us out. We may never use the puddle pad.

Blanket. We were given 4 blankets but the one we use most right now is a light quilt made by a friend. It's perfect for bed sharing because even if it went over his face it can't mold to his nose (it's a little stiff) and it won't clog his nose (not fluffy). So every night I pull my covers up to my waist and then we both sleep under the ducky quilt. 

Limited Toys. He's not interested in toys yet. He can't grasp things and he doesn't even notice the toys he has when we shake them. We were given some nice toys that meet our criteria and I don't think he needs more for the foreseeable future. I'll get back to you.

Car seat. Wish there weren't flame retardant chemicals in it but there probably are. Not much I can do about the car seat.

Baby Wraps. We do wear Poppyseed a lot. For the first 6 weeks or so he was not happy unless he was being held (anyone would do) so we wore him a lot. Starting at 8 weeks he really began to settle down. Now he can sometimes sit for half an hour looking around the room or even take a nap by himself. Either way we still wear him a lot including those times people normally use a stroller (we don't use one).

We started out with a Moby and an Ergo. The Moby is very very comfortable but definitely a pain to put on. While I can leave it on all day even when he's not inside, it tends to shift around after a while which means I have to take it off and re-tie it anyhow. The Ergo is very uncomfortable for me but comfortable for my husband. The bigger problem is that the infant insert, which he's finally about to outgrow, makes him super hot. Not healthy for tiny babies. It's just too warm here to wrap him in what is essentially a pillow and put him up against an adult body. So we ended up getting a Baby Hawk mei tai. This is where he is as I type. It carries him like an Ergo but the straps fall on your body more like a Moby. Plus it's thinner and doesn't require an infant insert for tiny babies. I'm loving it. I'll give the Moby another try sometime and I'd still like to get a woven wrap to experiment with but for a quick, comfortable solution I grab the mei tai.

Conclusion: Different people love different wraps for different reasons. Unfortunately you just have to try them out. Hopefully you can borrow them from a friend or can find them used. You might want to avoid the "crotch danglers" though.

Highchair. Also not there yet but we decided to go with a clip on Chicco chair since it takes up less space in our small house.

Changing Pads. I made a travel one for the diaper bag and was given a lovely wool one. Hooray, no flame retardants here!

Potty, Doorway Bouncer, Food Mill, Bibs, Cups, Plates. Not there yet.

Mobile. My dad made an amazing mobile from cedar which Poppyseed does find entertaining but since he doesn't like to be laid down on his back in the crib, he hasn't used it that much yet.

Breastfeeding Compatible Shirts. A friend of mine is making some for me but so far I just lift up my shirt and go for it. In public I grudgingly use a nursing cover (most of the time) although it is a tremendous pain and I mostly think people just need to get over it.

Nursing Pads. I love my wool nursing pads! Soft, effective, warm.

Crib. Poppyseed doesn't sleep in the crib at night but we borrowed one so he'd be contained when we want to put him down. He mostly doesn't like it, which is a pain because it's centrally located above dog height. Hopefully he'll grow to enjoy it. 

Bottles and Breast Pump. We definitely needed a breast pump. So far we've had breast injury that required temporary pumping, small amounts of pumping and bottle feeding to dose him with gripe water, and a 24 hour period where he couldn't drink my milk because of medical tests (so I needed to pump and dump). I'm not sure how one establishes a back up milk supply because the little dude drinks every 2 hours and it takes that long to recover enough to feed him again. I couldn't get a manual pump to work at all so we bought an electric. Unfortunately it's now starting to break. The reviews I read were about half positive and half negative so this pump is just hit or miss. I think I'd probably invest in or rent a hospital grade pump next time. 

Bouncer. We bought a BabyBjorn Babysitter Balance bouncer to keep him contained and perhaps entertained since at this point all he can do is wiggle randomly and this thing will translate his movements into bounces. He definitely likes being in the chair because he can see what's going on in the room or outside (he looooves looking outside) depending on where we put him. However he wants to be violently bounced and he can't coordinate his movements to achieve this. Once he discovers control over his limbs I think he'll have a lot of fun. Since he loves being outside this should be a great place to put him while I garden.

Pacifier. We had no intention of giving kiddo a pacifier. For one thing, they're plastic and while there are latex versions I'm not sure if they are are pure latex (they do have those as well). Also, I have no desire to use it to shut him up when he's trying to tell me he needs something - we're not baby schedulers so for example I'm not going to give him the pacifier when he's hungry to stop him crying because it's not time for him to eat (and while I've heard people say they do this I'm not sure how it works because if he's hungry he's not satisfied with the pacifier).

BUT!... turns out that some babies have a sucking need that is weeeeelll beyond what's necessary for feeding. He doesn't want to suck on the breast, he actually just wants to suck on our fingers. Our little dude loves to suck and he can not find his thumb (please oh please find your thumb soon!). One evening after we traded off our fingers in his mouth for over an hour it became obvious we needed a pacifier. Now we have 6 and when he's in the mood to suck that is the only thing that will satisfy him. They're a total pain though and I can't wait till he discovers his hands and learns to extend his thumb (right now he tries to suck on a closed fist). And to head off the arguments, I sucked my thumb well into childhood and my teeth have always been perfectly straight.

So those are my revisions and lessons learned so far. What did you learn once you had kids about what you did and didn't need?


  1. Very sweet baby feet picture! I enjoyed reading your take on the necessities and non-necessities so far. They sound about the same as here, except in our cold climate, we had to keep baby bundled all the time, even when snuggled with us! Congrats on your new little one!

    1. Thanks Danielle! I sort wish we had to dress him up more because his clothes are just so cute and I don't get to play with them as much as I'd like :-)

  2. Congrats! How exciting. It is neat to read about your preparations and then what worked for you. Love his little footsies! Emily

    I have been having problems commenting through wordpress on some blogger accts. oh well - https://emilysincerely.wordpress.com

    1. Thanks Emily! Glad you enjoyed the post. Hopefully I'll be back to doing and posting about my normal homesteading activities soon.