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Giving Up Cloth … At Least For Now.

I really hate posting this. I feel like I’m admitting defeat or giving in… but the truth is that, as with all things, I need to do what’s best right now for me and my family.

Cloth diapers have been a grand adventure! I have a good supply and washing routine, and I really do like using cloth diapers for a variety of reasons:

  • Much easier on baby’s skin. J always suffered from an allergic reaction when we used any Pampers diaper (Swaddlers, Sensitive, Baby Dry), but it immediately cleared up when we switched to cloth. It’s understandable; soft cloth > plastic when it comes to comfort. There’s a reason we adults don’t wear plastic underwear. (Or at least most of us don’t.)
  • Cute! But even with all of our adorable diaper covers, I more often than not covered them up with clothes.
  • Probably cheaper in the long run. They’re a big up-front investment, but the cost of those big boxes of disposables adds up, too.
  • Possibly better for the environment. There are plenty of debates on this topic online… I guess what it really comes down to is whether you’d rather use a lot more water or throw pounds upon pounds of plastic into a landfill. For the past several months, I chose the former, but I’m not sure which (if either) is worse.

And that brings me to the main reason I’m giving them up. Now that J’s poops are more solid and stinky, the smell is getting out of control. I keep all his wet and dirty diapers in a trash can with a lid, and the smell stays contained (for the most part), until laundry day arrives… Then I stand next to the washer, holding my breath while I take each diaper apart and plunk it in. It smells… well, like a bucket of pee and poop that has been allowed to fester for a couple of days. It’s really toxic. (Probably literally… doesn’t pee contain ammonia?) I use vinegar along with the detergent, so they always end up very clean and odorless after the laundry is done, but dealing with that stench (even if it’s just for a couple of minutes) every two or three days is pretty miserable (and unhealthy) for all of us.

On top of those concerns, it’s also just one more thing on my plate. I’ve been feeling a little more stressed than usual lately because of issues at work… and juggling a career and feeding the baby and naptime and spending time with my husband and cleaning and cooking and doing laundry and cleaning diapers… it’s just all a bit much, and I’d like to cut some stressors out wherever I can.

At least we finally discovered that Target brand diapers don’t cause J to have a rash. And they’re cheap! Major plus. J seems to be fine with them!

J in Target brand disposable diapers
J at 8 months in Target brand disposable diapers

If I were a stay-at-home mom and if I had a better storage solution, I would definitely continue cloth diapering. There are a lot of pluses. But I think that returning to disposables is what’s best for me, J, and D at the moment. And I still think having some cloth diapers on hand as back-ups is great advice! At least I know I won’t need to make any midnight runs to the store.

8 months old

I’m continually amazed at how much J looks like a little boy now. He’s grown up so much in the past few months, and every day he seems bigger and more mature. It’s so hard to believe that he used to be this tiny…

8 days:

baby boy, 8 days old8 months:

baby boy, 8 months old

J’s vocalizations continue to change almost week-by-week, but he’s still not “babbling” yet. He’s sticking primarily to vowel sounds, but he manages to “talk” in a way, with different grunts, volumes, tones, etc. I’m a little concerned about the fact that he’s not using consonants. (The way I understand it, babies at his age are typically saying “mamama,” etc. even though the words have no meaning yet.) But I’m confident that he’ll get there eventually. I know his hearing is fine — he responds to his name and kisses and hugs on command (as long as he’s in the mood to do it).

Speaking of kisses, there are times when J just loves giving kisses! He’ll kiss my face over and over (with his wide open mouth) when he’s really happy. It’s super sweet. And when I tell him what a sweet boy he is for kissing his momma, he looks at me and smiles as though he’s happy that I understood what he was doing.

As for movement, J is still immobile. I’m a little concerned about that, too, but he seems to be getting closer. I think he’s got such a laid back personality that he just doesn’t have the motivation yet to figure out how to crawl. If a ball rolls out of his reach, he’ll sit and look at it for a few seconds, as though he’s considering whether it’s worth it for him to try to get it… and then he turns and finds another toy to play with. He loves to be held (always has), and that may have something to do with it, too… He’s just not a super independent little baby, but he’s a big cuddle bug. Still, I’m expecting him to figure out the crawling thing any day now. He’s getting to where he can get his legs and arms up under him at the same time — it’s just that he doesn’t know how to move in that position yet. I suspect we’ll be babyproofing the house very soon…

baby boy, 8 months old

As you can see, everything within his reach goes directly into his mouth — even more than before, which is saying something. I couldn’t get him to sit still for a picture with his blocks without this happening every time I tried to snap a picture.

But at least now there’s a reason for everything going into his mouth — he’s teething! J got his first two teeth over the past week: his left, then right central incisors. I’ve tried to take pictures, but he hates it when we try to open his mouth. This is the only picture we have that shows both his little teeth! It looks way more violent than it actually was…

central incisors baby teeth

With the teething comes a bit of sleep trouble. He’s had a few rough nights (tonight being one of them) where it’s hard to get him to go to sleep (and stay asleep). I resorted to giving him baby Tylenol one night, and it helped tremendously, but I would rather not medicate him unless it’s really necessary.

We’re still working on solid foods, but he’s only eating them once a day. I introduced puffs last week, but he gets bored after a while of trying (unsuccessfully) to get them into his mouth. And when he succeeds, he looks confused by the fact that there’s a solid object in his mouth. He’s still enjoying his purees (usually). He’s even able to feed himself a puree pouch (and he’ll often eat a whole one in one sitting)!

  • Next doctor’s appointment: Next month!
  • Teeth: 2 (lower central incisors)
  • New foods: Sweet potato puffs, veggie/fruit combo pouches (all yummy, apparently)
  • Breastfeeding: 5 times a day
  • Clothing size: 9 to 12 months
  • Sleeping: 12 hours at night; 3 one- to two-hour naps during the day (about 16 hours total)
  • Favorite toy: stuffed Tigger; Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
  • Likes: Having his tummy and toes kissed or “eaten”; being tickled (especially under the arms); being sung to; pattycake (especially when I clap his hands for him since he can’t do it on his own yet); being held (especially by me)
  • Dislikes: Having his mouth forcibly opened; dirty diapers

Lazy, Icky Saturday

J still isn’t sleeping well — I suspect because he’s still working on his first tooth, and the second appears to be close behind. And so, last night I was awoken at 3:30 a.m. … and we were up until 5:30, when he finally fell back to sleep. But I think D was actually the one who stayed up with the baby last night — I don’t remember because I felt so awful. I had a very queasy stomach (hangover-esque, but not a hangover) and simply couldn’t find the strength to stand up and rock J for more than a few minutes at a time.

Well, eventually we were all back in bed, but 8:30 rolled around and I wasn’t feeling any better. Still the queasy stomach, but I was also just exhausted. I fed the baby but could not get myself out of bed. Finally at 11:30, D convinced me to get up. I started to feel like I had overslept, and I hoped that getting up and showering, moving around, and eating something would help my stomach settle. We had lunch (after I fed the baby again, of course), and then we decided to take the baby to the park to swing.

Turns out, J wasn’t in a very good mood, either.

baby crying in the swingClearly the park wasn’t a great choice.

We came home and put the baby down for a (much needed) nap, and I was still feeling queasy. We lounged in the living room and watched a movie, and called our (new) friends and the babysitter to cancel our double-date plans (which I’m super sad about — but we’ll reschedule).

D was sweet enough to go to the store and get me some soup and Pepto Bismol, so hopefully that will help my stomach a bit. Unfortunately, while he was gone, the baby spit up quite a lot — I hope he’s not sick, too.

I’m still not feeling well (in case that wasn’t obvious with the pity party post), and I’m glad it’s a Saturday, so I’ve been able to relax, but I was really hoping to get some things done around the house today.

In other news, I’ve been trying to make some cosmetic improvements around the house. I replaced all the brass door knobs with brushed nickel ones, and I’m planning to paint soon — gotta get rid of this nasty yellow beige that we’ve had since we moved in. (Currently, the only room in the house that I’m actually pretty pleased with color-wise is the freshly painted nursery.) But I’m finding that picking out paint colors is way more difficult than it seems like it should be. I want something bright and happy without being too bright, warm without being dark, neutral without being the same color as my couches. So I’m working on calling in some help — my interior decorator cousin. Hope she’s able to come up with some ideas!

Toothless No More!

I have been planning all day to write a new blog post about how J seems to be in a sleep regression. He’s always been a great sleeper, but for the past few nights, he’s had a lot of trouble falling and staying asleep… and last night, it really came to a head. I spent hours rocking and bouncing him to sleep. He was being so stubborn and simply would not close his eyes, and as soon as I put him down in the crib and left the room, he would cry. Eventually, at 5:30 a.m. (after 2 hours), he finally fell asleep — but only while I was still in the room, lying on the bed. I originally chalked it up to separation anxiety — but it’d be strange for him to have such separation anxiety when he’s in his own bed.

Well, I now know the answer.

First tooth - left incisor - at 7.5 months

After picking him up from daycare and getting home this afternoon, I fed him, and then while we sat and played, he stuck my finger in his mouth… and what’s that? A very sharp, pointy, hard object was sticking out of his gum!

His first tooth had come in — his bottom left central incisor.

I suspect the right is not far behind. We actually noticed the little white dots of the ridges of both teeth about two weeks ago.

Side note: Today also happens to be my sister’s birthday! Happy birthday, Aunt S! 🙂

Ya know, I don’t blame him for being unable to sleep last night. I’m sure it hurts to have a tooth breaking through your gums! And I’m happy to report that he went to sleep with no trouble tonight.

I’m sure going to miss that toothless grin of his, but also excited to see what his new smile will look like!