The Decided Cloth Diaper

Okay, so I know that I said before, waay back in another post about diapering, that we chose the gdiapers with cloth inserts. That didn’t work so well, as it kept leaking and leaking. I ended up getting all sorts of help from all sorts of mothers from all over the world who used gdiapers, both with flushables and inserts. After months (approximately 3.5 months!) of trying and trying, and getting leak after leak after leak, I had to admit failure. And I do not like admitting failure!

So, seeing that we were experimenting with different overnight diapers (the gdiapers always leaked overnight, so we ditched that almost at the very beginning), we wanted to see how they would work during the day. I suggested using Thirsties covers with prefolds, since we had some prefolds already and the Thirsties covers were very inexpensive. Dave wasn’t falling for that one — he wouldn’t touch the prefold during changings, so that sort of defeated the purpose. He liked the All-In-Ones one, or the pocket diapres, because he didn’t have to touch any of the poop or pee at all.

So I got some Bum Genius 3.0 One-Size diapers. Granted, they’re very expensive, and very effective. I bought one first, to try out. No leak. Then I bought 3 more, to rotate through. Still no leak. So then I kept buying a little at a time, and now our stash is about 14. I do laundry every other day (that’s down to a science now too). No stains, completely clean every time, and no leak. The best thing for using a one-size diaper is that the first spending is the most costy, but then you don’t have to buy another diaper for, like, ever. That sat well with us.

And, it left little to no bum rashes. I don’t have to use any products for diaper rashes like I did with the disposables and sometimes even with the gdiapers.

Here is a video of the Lily Bean in her BG cloth diaper. She loves ‘em as much as we do! It was taken just yesterday.


5-Month Update

I didn’t have much time to update yesterday, but she turned 5 months old yesterday! Woohoo, go Lily Bean! She is doing so many exciting things, it’s unbelievable. Sometimes I wonder how we catch up with all the cool new milestones that she hands us almost everyday. Everyone was right – the first few months — heck, the first year — is so very exciting and filled with so many changes. It seems to go by so quickly though. One minute, we’re bringing her home from the hospital and the next she’s 5 months old. What the heck? Where did all the time go?

So here are all the cool things our Lily Bean girl is doing.

  • She is getting stronger and stronger when on her tummy. She’s rolling over a lot more, though she still doesn’t like doing it very often. I’m just happy I’m able to see her do it now!
  • While on her tummy, she can lift the whole top half of her body up in a yoga cobra position, with her arms completely straight. She just learned that she can do this a few days ago while watching Daddy do it, and when she tried to imitate, she did it! She had a HUGE smile on her face and was quite proud of herself… hehe. She also likes doing the “seal” position, as we like to call it.
  • We’ve got her bedtime routine down pat (for now). She is almost always in bed, asleep, by 9pm. She puts herself to sleep when we put her in the crib, even if she’s completely wide awake. The behavioral training has worked! WOOHOO!!! She is still sleeping approximately 12 hours a night (give or take an hour), and only has 2-second “binky emergencies” once or twice every night.
  • Her daytime naps seem to be decreasing in frequency, but increasing in length. We’ve gone from three short naps to two long naps, it appears. Usually it’s around noon and then another around 5pm. We’re still trying to figure it out. When she’s tired, she lets us know with a bit of crankiness and eye rubbing, and we just put her down in her crib and she goes to sleep.
  • She is doing better around social situations and letting more people hold her. Usually, though, she asks for me when she gets nervous around lots of people.
  • She is reaching for things and they go directly into her mouth. Without fail. She’s using both hands, but can do this with one hand. Usually it’s just one hand.
  • She’s eating a LOT more. We’re going to have to dip into our milk savings supply pretty soon. I’m barely making enough to hold her over everyday. This is due to the fact that I’m pumping, instead of nursing, since I have to work a lot more now.
  • She is trying to roll over from her back to her front. She can do this with some help (when we take her hand and lead her, while she does most of the work), but on her own, she gets to her side, stays there and tries to squirm her way completely over, and then teeters back onto her back. SO CUTE!!
  • Quite the mover and the shaker!! She can scoot and squirm in all different ways and directions while on her back AND her belly. We can put her down in one spot, come back in a minute to see that she’s squirmed/scooted a couple of feet away already. Heh.
  • She likes to be held in an upright standing position, and then BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE. We definitely need a bouncer for this one.
  • She’s watching us eat, and is very very curious about food. She’s starting to grab towards what we’re eating as well. Before, she would just stare and stare when I put things in my mouth while holding her. Now she’s starting to grab towards it, and touch it, just to see what the heck it is.
  • She’s understanding some of the sign language words we’ve been teaching her, primarily “hungry” and “milk”… when we do these signs, she starts opening her mouth like a little bird, ready for the bottle. She’s also experimenting with her own hand and making the “milk” sign when she’s feeding. We’re also teaching her the words: more, up, yes, (diaper) change, all done, water, and book.
  • She’s quite generous with those smiles for both Mommy and Daddy, and quite reserved for strangers or other people she’s not completely used to. I think she’s going to be a shy little person.

This past Tuesday night, we had dinner with my old internship supervisor, Leaf, and his wife, Louise. I hadn’t seen him since I was about 7 months pregnant, so it was nice to see him again. They came up through the border and we had dinner at White Rock Beach, in our favorite Japanese restaurant. It was really neat because they finally got to meet Lily Bean. I forgot to get my camera (we were running late because I had just gotten home from work and Lily Bean had a bit of a cranky day that day), but we had a grand ol’ time. LB let Louise hold her for a VERY long time, and she even got playful and bouncy on Louise’s lap, and then she started squeaky and yelling, having a grand ol’ time. She even let out a couple of big laughs for the two of them. It was awesome. I would definitely conclude that she approves of Leaf and Louise!


Sleep, Itch, and Other Happenings

We have a pediatrician appointment to tackle her allergy situation in the end of December, so I’m really looking forward to that. While her skin is doing well and there have been really no big outbreaks, there have been little flares here and there, and I’m really getting tired of having to put medicated cream on her. I’m using Arbonne’s baby oil on her, and it seems to help keep her skin moist and soft, but then I put the cream on her on top of that to prevent any more breakouts (seems like when I don’t, she breaks out in a very mild, dry rash and it doesn’t seem related to the oil at all). Her legs are dry and her shoulders are dry, though no scaley-dry. Just not baby soft the way she used to be.

I believe her binky is giving her “rug burn”… she may be allergic to the plastic around the actual sucker. She has the Ronald McDonald look after she has a binky in her mouth for a while, but then the redness stays for a few hours. It completely clears up by every morning because of course she doesn’t sleep with her binky in her mouth. She goes to sleep with it in her mouth, but spits it back out after a few minutes of deep sleep. So the rest of the night, she’s sleeping clear without the binky. By morning, her face is nice and clear (usually). But throughout the day, because she takes naps with the binky, the redness returns. It’s quite annoying, really.

And she seems to still be itchy when the cream isn’t on, so I’m having to dab her with the cream on her legs and shoulders and face about twice a day. I really can’t wait to find out what we can do about this so that I can use more natural products on her.

Anyway, for the most part, it’s going good. I just don’t like our poor little Lily Bean having dry skin. I’m afraid of using any other baby lotion since her huge breakout with Burt’s Bees baby lotion last month.

As for sleep, Lily Bean’s been doing some weird stuff, though not as bizarre as Corbin’s (poor Mommy Erin!!) sleep behaviors. Almost daily now, for about 2 weeks, she’s been waking about twice a night, mostly at 2a or 3a and then again at about 5a or 6a, giggling and laughing and having a grand ol’ ball by herself. It startles me awake because all of a sudden, I hear through the monitor this bubbly little baby squeal and giggle. I check on her, and she sees my silhouette and she gets all excited and starts kicking and wiggling in excitement and starts talking to me. The first few nights this happened, I tried to reason with her. Can you imagine a sleepy mommy telling a 4-month-old baby, “Now, baby, what are you laughing at? Nothing can possibly be that funny at 3am in the morning!” She just gets so excited when I’m interacting with her at this time, and she thinks it’s play time. So then I would pick her up because I figure she’s already wide awake anyway. I would then nurse her in the rocking chair in her room and she would fall asleep, and then she would get put back down in her crib and I’d go back to bed. This would last about… oh, an hour or so.

Then I’d be WIDE AWAKE by that time, and wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep until an hour later. By then, she’d wake up an hour after I just fell asleep again to start the whole process over. I was getting so very tired because I had to work in the mornings. Nurse her, pump, do morning routine, clean her up, oil her up, cream her up, and then head off to work. All by 9am. So I was very exhausted for a few days.

Then it dawned on me — WHY on universe’s beautiful green earth am I PICKING her up and humoring her when she isn’t crying or cranky or demanding? So I thought I’d just try something and see what happens. For about a week now, it dawned on me to just stick her bedtime binky (in her crib) in her mouth whenever she woke up during these times giggling and laughing and playful, and then walk away out of the room. First couple of nights, I wasn’t sure if it would work. She seemed pretty darn wide awake. First few times, she would spit the binky back out and giggle to herself again. I would wait a few minutes, and then come back in to stick the binky back into her mouth. Then walk away. No interactions or anything. I’d lie in bed to hear what she was doing. More babble and gurgling through the binky, still in her mouth. Then… after a few minutes… complete silence.

SCORE!!!

I go in to check on her, and she had put herself back to sleep with the binky still in her mouth. So from cheerful awake to sleep in a matter of minutes. I tiptoed back to bed and half slept (since I was already wide awake by then.. ugh — my thyroid issues are making it really difficult for me to fall asleep well), only to be woken up again by her giggling and happy gurgles. I did the same thing, and score again! She put herself back to sleep with the binky in her mouth after only a few minutes.

So I did this for the next few nights, and by about 5 nights in a row, it came down to a science. She’d see me in the middle of the night after she wakes up laughing and giggling, open her mouth like a little baby bird because she knows the binky is coming, and I’d stick it in, give her a quick kiss, and walk out the room and back to bed. By the time I even get back to bed, there was already silence from her room and she had already fallen asleep.

So the last two nights, she has been waking up just once instead of twice in the middle of the night laughing out loud. Usually around 2 or 3a, and then she’d sleep till 9a. If we don’t count these brief one-minute wake-ups, she sleeps every night between 10 to 13 hours. Heaven. Absolute heaven.

Now, if only I can control how I fall back asleep. I’m not getting well-rested sleep, but it’s not Lily’s fault. It’s my post-natal thyroid issues. I’m usually either extremely wired, or extremely tired. Nothing really in between. I’m waiting for when my hormones go back to normal because this is really crazy.

With sleep training, we’ve been working on one thing in particular. We’re working on moving her bedtime a little earlier so that Dave and I can have some time to ourselves after she goes to bed. She takes about 3 naps during the day, each approximately 45 minutes to an hour long. Her last nap cannot surpass 6pm, 6:30pm at the absolute latest, because we want her to go to bed no later than 9:30pm. The overall long-term goal for now is 9pm.

So, everyday between 6pm and 9pm, she is completely wide awake (or so we hope). Sometimes she gets reaaallly tired, especially if she didn’t have very good naps during the day, and she’d want to fall asleep at 8pm. We don’t let her, simply because we know her system very well. If she falls asleep at 8pm now, she’ll wake up at 9pm and then stay up until 11pm or midnight. We have to do the sleep training really very slowly and progressively. We had worked it from midnight to 11pm to 10:30pm to 10pm to 9:30pm and now to 9pm. Eventually, we’ll want her to go down for her night time sleep at 8pm. We’ve been doing this for approximately 2 weeks now. It’s working out very well. Her bodily rhythm is getting the point. By bout 8pm, she starts getting a little cranky and yawning. By about 8:30pm, she starts yawning and rubbing her eyes more vigorously. By 8:45pm, you can see her eyelids getting veerrryy heavy (and it’s really quite cute). Then it’s cue for me to do her nightly routine, which includes oiling her up, creaming her up, changing her diaper and putting her into her overnight dipes, putting her mitts on, and zipping her up in her sleep sack. Then we go have a little cuddle with the lights off while I give her the last feeding for the night. She falls asleep with the bottle in her mouth, I pull it out, put her in the upright, burping position over my shoulder. She lets out a few burps while she continues to fall asleep. Daddy kisses her goodnight, I put her in her crib, still drowsy but not completely asleep yet, stick the bedtime binky in her mouth, kiss her goodnight, put her bedtime music on, and close the door.

Not a peep until 10 to 13 hours later (well, unless she’s waking up laughing and giggling, of course).

We hope this keeps up. She seems to be a go-with-the-flow kind of baby, with the few exceptions of crankiness and shyness around crowds (just like her parents, I would say). She’s a bit of an introvert and observer type, as far as we can see right now. She’s pretty easygoing for the most part, and we hope she continues to be this way — at least through adolescence! Ha! Knock on wood!!

It’s good though, because now that I’m working more hours and essentially going to work for about 6 hours a day, four days a week, I really need my sleep at night (Dave doesn’t wake up unless the house is burning down :P ), and it makes morning and bedtime routines that much easier.

I miss her while I’m at work. I miss her like I’m missing a limb. It’s absolutely horrible that mothers are forced to do this. I don’t understand the logic at all. I would much rather switch positions with Dave. I would much rather be stay-at-home mom. I can totally do that and love every single minute of it.

Over the weekend, I took her to the park to take some more outdoorsy photos of her. It was just me this time, as Dave decided to stay home… so it was kind of difficult to take photos of her on my own. I did get a few good shots, though, and she was as pleasant and easy-going and patient and tolerant with me as ever. Even had a bit of face plant into the dirt, and not a sour peep out of her. She was actually a little amused.


All On Our Own

Well, American Thanksgiving came and went. We didn’t celebrate it because we had already celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in mid-October. There is a lot to be thankful for this year. A brand new, beautiful baby girl. A warm house and a loving family. What more can a girl ask for?

Yesterday, I had a mini-milestone with Lily Bean. You guys will all think this is very silly, but hear me out! Well, Dave (Daddy) has been home on parental leave ever since the month before Lily was born. Canada gave him the parental leave because I wasn’t a resident yet, so I couldn’t get maternal leave. Well, since then, he’s been at home with us, and been there every single day, all day, with Lily, especially when I’m at work. Because of this, he’s seen all the milestones, the laughs, the giggles, the big things and the little things that Lily has done. Because of this also, he’s been very protective about his little baby girl. Lily can’t go anywhere without him. Seriously. Everywhere we’ve gone, we’ve had Daddy with us. Into Washington state to visit my friends, Daddy was with her, too. To the park, Daddy went with us. To the store, Daddy went with us. To family events of course, Daddy went with us. I hardly ever get any one-on-one time with my little Baby Bean outside of the home (sometimes we each take off on some errands and leave the other parent at home with Lily Bean).

Well, yesterday, for the first time EVER (EVER!!), Lily and I went out by ourselves. Granted, it was just to the doctor’s two blocks from our house, and it was only for an hour, but I was ecstatic! Dave hemmed and hawed and finally said he’ll let me take her to the appointment by myself. Hhehe. He’s very cute about how protective he is of his little girl and his wife.

So there I was, I buckled her into the car seat, took off with her, took her out of the car seat at the doc’s appointment, and went to see the doc with her all on my own. It was so cute. I love all the attention I get when I’m with her. Everyone just flocks to her and talks to her and tells me what a beautiful girl she is. It was so sweet.

When my sisser gets here, we’re going to take off without Daddy to do lots of sight seeing and shopping around Canada. Maybe I can even convince him to let us into Washington again to see some friends too!

It’s a lot easier now, too, to take her anywhere, since she’s big enough for me to hold her in a different position in her sling. Her cute little legs hang out and she just completely relaxes against my body. She looks and looks around, taking in her environment. And when she’s tired, she rests her cute little head against my shoulder and just relaxes. I love my little girl.

Lily still has a bit of the eczema on her cheeks. It’s really stubborn, those spots. Her shoulders and her legs are clearing up nicely. We found out she’s allergic to Burt’s Bees baby lotion. Who would’ve thunk it, huh? She doesn’t have anything that’s chemical-based. Everything I use on her is completely organic and natural and non-animal tested and non-toxic and all that good stuff. Of course, while this helps in the allergenic category, it doesn’t eliminate the fact that babies can be allergic to even natural ingredients. So whatever’s in Burt’s Bees, she’s allergic to it. I had put some on her arms and legs the other week, and within an hour her whole body started burning up and going red, breaking out in hives. I gave her a warm bath immediately (after freaking out for a bit with Dave), and washed the lotion off of her, and put some more prescription cream on her. It went away in a few hours, but dude, that scared the heck out of me.

So now, the doc has made a referral for us to take her to an allergy-specialist pediatrician right here in town. End of December, we got an appointment for it. We’ll figure out once and for all what she’s allergic to. Dr. M. said that most likely, she’s going to grow out of it, as a baby’s skin is very sensitive. Lily just happens to have overly sensitive skin. I think she got it from me. Poor baby.

However, no fever, no breathing problems, no scars. It appears to just be surface allergies, so that’s good.


4-Month Update

So I’m a little late in this post, but better late than never. It’s been a busy week. This week, we celebrated Dave’s birthday and the very next day we celebrated Lily Bean turning 4 months old. She’s the cutest little 4-month old baby ever! She is doing so many exciting things. She’s learning how to giggle and laugh on command, and she does these awesome little noises when she’s excited and playful… like a squeaky gasp sort of sound. And then she’d kick her legs and wave her arms all excited-like. It’s the cutest thing, and it makes my whole day worthwhile.

Whenever I hear Dido’s song, “Thank You,” I think of Dave and Lily Bean. It’s hard to have a “bad day” when you get to come home to these two every night.

She is really “perfecting” her grabbing motions. She can grab things very well, and she thinks her hands are the most fascinating things ever, especially when she grabs onto things. Everything goes straight to her mouth. She has this deeply concentrated look on her face, and I just want to eat her up.

She giggles and laughs whenever I kiss her hands and tickle her belly. Loud baby “ha ha”s that make you think the world just melted and the vestige landed on her heart. I don’t remember what exactly I lived for before all this, but I find my mind drifting back to her. She is home.

Her rash is clearing up nicely. We took her to the doctor’s on Thursday, and did a 4-month check-up and weigh-in as well. She was diagnosed with having a bit of eczema. Not too serious, but enough to have been prescribed a watery low-dosage cream. Since yesterday, the redness has gone down quite a lot. Her arms and legs are becoming softer, like they were before. The only “redness” are on her cheeks, like they were when this got started. The dryness is gone, and her ear looks so wonderful.

Lily Bean, as of Thursday, weighs in at 11 lbs 12 oz. She is still solidly in the 25th percentile. Teeny tiny little thing. Dr. M was very impressed with how strong she is, and what a happy baby she is. She was quite impressed with Dr. M too. She was all smiles and squeals for her during the visit. And everyone came over and ooh’ed and ahh’ed at what a cute and beautiful baby she is. I was a preening, proud mama.

And now, some photos.


Can you see a bit of the rash? She’s such a trooper.


Rash pretty much gone now, with a bit of redness left over.


My sweet little girl.