Poop Proofing Infant Swimming Lessons

I was looking forward to the age I could take my baby for swimming classes. A local pool offered classes from 3 months of age which might seem too young, but our son really liked it from the first time we went in!

The pool, like most pools with infant and children swim classes, requires “double diaper” policy – meaning a reusable swim diaper over a disposable. We have been using cloth diapers since Aditya has been 2 weeks old (before that he was too small for the ‘small’ size) and one of the reasons was keeping a one-time item out of landfill. Plus have you checked out the prices for disposable swim diapers? Insane and insane!

So I have decided to employ my wits and figure out a way where I would respect the pool policy and keep my decision to reduce waste. And believe me, I wanted this to work, I would certainly NOT want to be the mom, whose baby cleared the pool;) And after all, I ended up triple-proofing my baby’s butt…

Now, if you’ve never used a swim cloth diaper, this is how it works: it’s not supposed to keep the pee in, just “numero dos”, the poo. So if you’re going to the pool, you want to change your baby into the swim diaper at the pool, not at home, or you might end up with a piddle pool in your car/ stroller/ carrier before you get to the pool at all. The swim diaper lets the pee out – if it held liquids, how would the diaper distinguish between your baby’s juices and the pool water unless it was completely sealed off (which it isn’t)? It is meant to contain only solid waste. And don’t be grossed out. The reality is that many adults pee in the pool too (!!!) and because urine is sterile, it doesn’t pose any health risks. Mostly. Sorry, if you didn’t want to know…

Here is what I do now even if we go to the pool in our community:

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First I use a cheap reusable diaper that I actually got as a gift when we were staying in some hotel (it was part of their kid’s amenity), very similar to “i play” brand. You can get “i play” at almost any kids store and major department stores.

I insert a fleece liner or a small cloth insert (also known as “doubler” or “booster” in the cloth diapering community) into the diaper. Reason? If there is a small poop in the diaper, I don’t have to wash the whole thing, but throw the liner into the laundry bag with other cloth diapers and rinse the cover unless it is soiled. It also gives me the feeling of security that there is an extra layer that will encourage the poop to adhere to. I use Bummis brand for cloth diapering, so I use their liners and boosters too (both available on Amazon and major cloth diapering sites).

Here you see the diaper on my son. My problem with pull-ups is that Aditya is quite skinny and as you can see, the diaper is not sealed properly around his thighs, which is the key for it to work properly:

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Next step is to wrap the cheapo brand cover with a reusable cover with hook-and-loop closure. I love this style, because it is easily customizable and your child is likely to use the same cover for a longer time as he’s growing and the little body is changing shape. The hook-and-loop seals the thigh and tummy area really well:

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Now the staff at the pool sees that we are really wearing two diapers – no cheating here:) And by pulling the top part up a little I am pretty sure that Aditya won’t get his skin scratched by the velcro (it doesn’t happen often, but some reviews mention it, so I  thought I didn’t want to find out, if it happens to my baby;))) – every child’s body is different, so even the diaper will fit slightly differently on each). Again I use Bummis, I love the prints they have (AND their reviews are great)!

And then we just top it off with a rash guard if we’re in the outdoor pool and voila! Happy poop-proofed baby!

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Here are Amazon links to the diapers I like using so much:

 

Liners:     

Diapers:  

 

This post contains affiliate links from Amazon.com. I never link to products I would not recommend based on personal use or products I believe are not healthy/ eco friendly/ ethical.

The Day I Disagreed With Our Pediatrician

I am a self proclaimed Amazon addict:) This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon.com and Brillkids.com.

During our first visit to pediatrician, when our son was 4 days old, I asked the doctor: “What shall we do with the baby – how should we stimulate him? What can we teach him?”
And the doc said: “Nothing really. All you can do the first three months is to watch him eat and sleep. Babies this small don’t do anything.”
When we came home, me and my husband were feeling a bit let down. “Nothing? Really? So during pregnancy we were trying to play games and connect with the unborn baby and now for thee months NOTHING?”
When I was expecting this little boy, I found a beautiful book by Deepak Chopra – Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives.

Chopra gives such a sweet ‘recipe’ to bonding with your baby before you even meet him or her, it’s impossible that all ends (or gets interrupted) at birth. I could feel him kicking, I could feel him respond to my touch – in my belly. So now when he is finally here, we do nothing?
I turned to Google (yes, I am a self-proclaimed Google and Amazon addict) and found wonderful Infant Stimulation cards – black and white pictures you can use from birth to stimulate your baby’s vision and brain development. I printed them and started showing then to Aditya at about 2 weeks old. I could see him trying to focus his eyes, I could see him trying to follow the pictures when they moved. It was all slow and very subtle, but then at about 1-1.5 months old he started wiggling when he saw the pictures. He would first stare and soak a picture in, when wiggle as if saying ‘next please’ and then focus on the next one I showed him. Now at 4 months we have a few different booklets including black & white & red cards and they have proven not only to be an educational toy, but also a great distraction tool then he’s fussy or bored.
Since then I have discovered a TON of great tools and toys and I will share them, so in case you’re still waiting to meet your miraculous baby or you’re at home “stuck” with a bundle only a few days/ weeks old, you can start playing games to boost your baby’s development.

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Other things they suggest you can do with your teeny tiny little baby:

  • play music
  • talk and sing
  • massage baby every day
  • show and read him/ her books
  • and, of course, play with your baby

Our days were not filled with watching the baby, but with doing lots of new activities every time he was awake and attentive (probably at that very little age it was all more stimulating for mummy and daddy, but we learned lots of things and created some little rituals that are now a natural part of our life with not-so-little-anymore baby).

And yes – you will spend LOTS OF TIME watching your little one feeding and sleeping, but it totally doesn’t end there!

 

This post contains affiliate links from Amazon.com and Brillkids.com. I never link to products I would not recommend based on personal use or products I believe are not healthy/ eco friendly/ ethical.

 

Getting Ready To Go Out With A Baby

I don’t know how mums of two and more kids do it, there is probably more crying in the house. I admire the women, if there is no crying… because with this little fella, you know when I’m holding him and when I’m not. He just doesn’t like being alone (or as my husband likes to call it, he has ‘abandonment issues’ already). So if I leave him in the bedroom to get dressed and apply make-up (yes, this mama needs make-up to make up for the lack of sleep on some nights;), he will usually start crying or at least sobbing. I can take it for a moment, but when I see he won’t soothe himself this time, I’d just rather pick him up. It’s easier doing things with one hand (or whilst having him in a sling) than having to calm him down.

So here is my humble recipe how I make it work:

Dressing up: I put the little one on our bed (yes, the big bed he gets to share with the two big people who keep kissing him), bring my clothes and lay them next to him. Then I proceed to put the clothes on. I keep talking to him describing what I’m wearing and I show him each piece – he gets a dose of vocabulary and likes when something is flying above his head. Sometimes I touch his face with the fabric, he squeaks with delight!

Make-up application is interesting. We have a rather large wash basin area – without it this trick would not be possible. I sit him down on a towel (so it’s not cold for his tush) and support his back with my stomach. I hold him with one hand and the other use for make-up application! He loves watching himself and mummy in the mirror and when he gets wiggly, he gets to hold bottle tops or brushes. And I again keep taking to him or sing songs to keep him entertained and make it our mummy-and-me time!   image

Emergency evacuation with a baby

Today was a scary day. Our neighbourhood had to be evacuated due to brush fires (if you’re interested, read more here). My husband was at work when he called me and said: “I’m watching the news right now. I want you to go and pack an emergency bag, just the necessities and put it in the car. Pack water bottles, our most important paperwork and anything that you might need in case you are not coming home tonight. I want you to be ready in case they order our house to get evacuated.”

I panicked for a moment. What about the baby? Are we going to be OK? All the fears that we new (and not-so-new) mothers have came all of a sudden alive…
I was so glad I had the heads up, I had the luxury of choosing my emergency items fairly slowly. But it got me thinking about refugees of war who sometimes have only minutes to grab their most important belongings and run! I don’t want to compare our situation to theirs, by any means – this is just how my thoughts were running to all corners possible.
One of my thoughts was to make our baby Aditya as comfortable as possible. He is only 3 months old, so he can’t run or hide. He can’t choose much anything for himself. But he can feel when us, his parents, are stressed or upset. I wanted to make sure, that he wouldn’t even know something dangerous is happening.
He was in a playful mood and didn’t want to be left on his own. I couldn’t imagine I would be running around the house packing what might become our only possessions and listening to him crying without having the time to comfort him (leave a baby crying and the “music” might double:), so I tied Moby wrap and put him inside facing out. As I was folding some clothes, I thought “Wow, he is very calm considering I’m running around with him like he was a rag doll.” And then he grabbed on a towel I was about to set down and I have realized, that he thought this was a new game! He’d recently started enjoying when fabrics ‘fly’ above his head and touch his face. So he was actually having a blast for a moment there!
We got packed in a comfortable speed and headed to a friend’s house away from the evacuation line and in the evening we returned home, happy to see the house just the way we left it.

This whole unfortunate adventure made me contemplate how unprepared I was to lose everything in fire and how much some material things mean to me.
Next time I hope I will know what to take with us and consider this a rehearsal for a possible quick exit.
Mainly I hope there is NO NEXT TIME!!!

I wish none of us is in a similar situation, especially with children, but life happens. Shit happens. Let’s try to put together a good evacuation plan for parents and babies!
DISCLAIMER: This is not an official evacuation guide, this is a personal account of events. This guide is food for thought and a little list you should tuck away in your mind and use it if needed with a good dose of common sense and tailor it to suit your situation and needs. Some city/ county government websites have a link to emergency checklists. I also like the Red Cross Preparedness List. If you have time to read this blog, you have time to find and print an emergency list and keep it on your fridge or in your car!
I cannot be held responsible in case you think my list caused you trouble
(sorry, I thought this was necessary).

If you are walking, you need to consider how to hold a baby, that doesn’t walk yet, and a bag/ suitcase at the same time. Use a sling or a baby carrier to free your hands and pack a bag you can carry or pull with one hand or consider a backpack.
If you’re using a car, you can take much more stuff!

Make sure you have:
•car seat for your baby
•stroller or baby carrier for your destination
•lots of water and some non-perishable food (even if you’re just going to a friend’s house – in the event of evacuation, you can be stuck in traffic for hours!)
•baby food/ formula if you’re not breastfeeding or if you’re supplementing
•mobile phone and charger
•map of the area (some roads might be closed)
Your bag should have:
•at least a day’s worth of clothes for everyone
•sturdy shoes
•basic toiletries
•medicines, if you take any; prescription glasses/ contact lenses
•utility knife (or Swiss knife or multipurpose tool)
•cash/ checkbook
•important documents (IDs, social security, mortgage, bank info contact list etc.)
•flashlight and batteries
•paper towels/ toilet paper/ tissues
•hand sanitizer
Personal items:
•laptop and external drive (especially if you have lots of important info and photos stored there)
•irreplaceable items like photos (this is an item

most missed when people lose most of their belongings) or important religious items (I have for example wrapped a cross blessed by the Pope, something that just caught my eye as I was packing and I knew it was important to me – and it didn’t take much space)
•camera with batteries or charging cable
Baby items:
•at least a day’s worth of clothes
•a pack of diapers and baby wipes
•clean bottles
•blanket, burp cloths
•favourite toy or book (you may consider this a non-emergency item, but as I mentioned, my intention was to make the evacuation seem just like a trip and not affect the baby – you will need to entertain the baby and have him/ her feel comfortable with a familiar toy in an unfamiliar situation).
If you have time like I did, change and feed the baby just before you leave. Who knows how long you would be driving or stuck in traffic.

Hmmmm, I feel better now. Just in case we need to evacuate again tomorrow morning! Good night (and good luck)!

Blogging about parenthood – WHY?

Parenthood changes your life. Every mama knows it. Every papa knows it. Why would I want to blog about it? Especially if I’m not the only one!
Well… because I’m a mama. And the world has changed. And I’m at home with this little mini-me and I want to tell somebody and everybody how it feels.
But mainly because I have a million questions. Every single day. And I’m looking for answers, reading books and magazines and “googling” all day long (oh, let’s make this clear right away – “all day long” means about an hour a day in total, between feedings, diaper changes, playtime, walks outside and ‘etcetera’). So many people have done it (being a parent), the answers are clearly there. But with every person comes a theory and an opinion and like most mamas I’m looking for the best. Or at least the good enough;)
And maybe you are a mama and are looking for the same answers. Let’s search together. Maybe I will help you with some of the questions we all have. Maybe you’ll slap me and help ME.