Don’t get me wrong I like to succeed at everything I attempt to try out, but let’s face it we can’t always be winning. Here are my fails and wins with my newborn.
Cloth diapers: At first I was like no way will I cloth diaper! Who has time for that? Who am I Martha Stewart? Did m husband just expect me to do laundry all day? Then my mind set changed. I only wanted to cloth diaper for the first 6-8 months. My reasons were 1st the savings we were have by cloth diapers. It’s insane how many diapers a baby can go through! I’m a stay at home mom; what’s a little extra laundry? I thought it would be better on the baby’s skin and help the environment a little bit. I ordered 40 cloth diapers off a Chinese website. I was going to cloth diaper, but I wasn’t going to be a diaper snob. I ordered an array of inserts and even cut up old t-shirts for inserts. I figured if I went through 8-9 diapers per day I would only do laundry 2x a week. I didn’t want to start the cloth diapers until the baby was around 5 weeks because the first few weeks of poop can get messy and newborns swim in those larger diapers. Well guess what? I failed! I tried cloth diapering a few times, but they didn’t absorb the way regular diapers do. I would need 20 per day, and the mess was way messier than just tossing out regular diapers. I use them on occasion when I want to give her bum a break. She is 6 months now and they are already tight on her. Sometimes I lay a doggywee wee pad in her pack and play and let her go diaperless; that way she can air out that booty.
Schedule: I had friends who advised me I must have a schedule. It will make life easier, and the baby needs it. Well the first few weeks after bringing the baby home you are just trying to stay alive. Screw the schedule. I decided to just tend to my baby’s needs. I fed her the first two months every hour to hour and half. When she wanted to sleep, I let her sleep. I kind of just went with her daily moods, and so far it has worked out great! By month three she was almost sleeping throughout the night. I’d wake up and give her a few munchings during the night, but it didn’t keep me from getting a half decent sleep. From month 3 until 6 she would sleep from 10pm until 6 am, then have a few snacks and sleep from 8 am until Noon. I loved it! I would get so much done in the early morning, then have all day to spend with her. If she got cranky, I’d let her cry it out until she passed out for a nap. We’ve traveled across the country twice since we’ve had her, and she’s been a champion on the plane and during our trips. At 6 months old she is more active now, but I am still going with the daily flow. Regardless of her daytime activity she goes to bed nightly at 10 pm. If we don’t put her to bed she will pass out anywhere regardless; girl wants to sleep.
Bottle: I introduced it early at around 3 weeks, and she was taking the bottle and the breast effortlessly. After a month she started refusing the bottle which made it hard for me to leave her with anyone else. Not that I wanted to dump her on anyone, but she was attached to my breast, so errands were a challenge, and I had to skip the gym for a few months. By month 4 she started slowly taking the bottle. She still prefers my breasts, but if she is starving she will take it. The only nipple that worked were the soft brown playtex nipples. They are softer, and she preferred them.
Breastfeeding: Breast is best is no joke! First of all you are spending hundreds on formula. When I was recently on a trip and didn’t have a lot of milk on hand to leave the baby with the grandparents I almost attempted formula. When I looked at the labels I was shocked. Cow milk? Really? You aren’t even supposed to introduce that until over a year. Then I saw sugar was a top ingredient. I ended up getting organic oat cereal and having them water it down to fill the baby up when my milk stash was finished. Breastfeeding is easy once you get the hang of it. My baby lost 10% of her weight in the first 48 hours after being born because she was born tongue tied and it wasn’t noticed until it was time for us to leave the hospital. She had a difficult time sucking in the hospital, but once her tongue was clipped she learned to latch on. I was more focused on feeding my baby than caring who saw my boobs. I had never tried breastfeeding, so it was challenging a bit. I didn’t try hiding it when my family came over, I was more focused on feeding my child. Even now if I’m in public and I want to feed her I am not ashamed of it. I will take a private corner in the bathroom or the backseat of my car over a front stage of an audience, but if I have to feed her in public I will. It is a great bond between a mother and her child. She is getting the nutrients to help her grow strong and keep her immune system high. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. It can take longer if your milk supply is slow, or your baby is a light snacker like mine. She enjoys eating for five minutes to ten minutes every hour or so, but she is growing well and it beats walking to the kitchen to warm and mix bottles every night.
Traveling: My husband and I met abroad, so it was destiny for our travel to be bit by the travel bug at a young age. My munchkin has always enjoyed rides in the car. She cruises with her ET doll. We got her passport and nexus processed by her second month, so she is ready to see the world. Our first trip I was a bit nervous taking her on the plane at 4 months old. The looks we got when we sat in business were priceless. How dare we bring a baby on board to disturb the peace? Well guess what? She didn’t even whimper once. She nursed on take off and landing and slept most of the way. Maybe we are lucky she is such a content baby. Next year she has some big trips coming, so I hope she stays a pro traveler.
Co-Sleeping: There is no gray area for this topic of subject. You are either for or against. I was totally against it at first. My husband co-slept with his parents until he was 3 years old. I said, “Oh hell no.” I shut that down immediately. Babies belong in cribs. She needed to get used to sleeping on her own, in her own space. Once I was pregnant my mind shifted. I thought ok, maybe she can sleep in a bassinet in our room. The cribs looked so big and scary. There was so much empty space. After having two miscarriages in a row, I wanted to make sure my little bean was safe and breathing properly. I wanted her to be close to us. After much research and discussion with my husband, we both decided we would co-sleep, at least for the first 4 months. Well we are on month 6 and I absolutely love, love, love, sleeping with my daughter. My husband made a strong point. What did mothers do thousands of years ago? Did they just put their baby in a basket in a different room? I won’t get into the pros and cons of co-sleeping, but SIDs and Suffocation are two different things. Studies have shown that when a baby is near its mother, her breathing and heart beat can promote her infants heart and breathing because of the close connection. I never fall alseep under the influence, and I don’t have blankets or pillows near the baby. I like the fact I can feel her breathing next to me and check up on her through out the night, roll over to breastfeed her quickly, and when she wakes up I am next to her. We have a strong bond and she is a calm baby. I may have to credit some of that to co-sleeping. We fall asleep with holding hands; it’s the sweetest thing. She still naps independantly and falls asleep on her own at night. We plan on slowly weaning her away from co-sleeping after I get pregnant with the second child. Co-sleeping with two babies isn’t recommended because one baby could roll over on the other. But if you co-sleep mindfully it can be a pleasant and safe experience. I used to roll around the covers all night before I was pregnant. Now I have my arm in a postition that protects the baby from rolling over, allows good air flow, and keeps her safe. She melts my heart. Since she slept so much on her back at a young age (we did other rotations to prevent the flat head) she is trained now to pass out happily on her back.