Hopeful Thoughts

The Diaper Sprayer

I mentioned in my previous post that I’d changed my mind about the need for a diaper sprayer for rinsing soiled diapers. I thought I would spend some more time explaining the evolution of my opinion and comment on the installation process.

What do you do with the poop in a baby diaper? If you are exclusively nursing, you just throw the whole thing in the wash and don’t give it a second thought. Breast milk poop washes right out like yogurt!

But, when we’re talking solids, down the toilet it must go! But how do you get it there? Cheapest way is to dunk and swish. If that didn’t work, I figured the shower sprayer would reach my toilet to handle the big messes. Why would I need a special gimmick just for diapers?

I think the dunk and swish must work fine with flat diapers. My sister has never complained. It was not, however, cutting it for my pocket diapers. I just couldn’t get the poop out of the nooks and crannies round the elastic.

So, as planned, I tried to wash it out with the sprayer from my shower. It was effective, but such a hassle. It was difficult to get over to the toilet in the first place, and then the spray was too wide to keep from getting water all over the floor, not to mention causing poop water to splash back in my face!

So, I finally decided to order a diaper sprayer.

It sat around for over a week, thinking I was going to ask my husband to install it. I kept thinking it was going to be hard to do, despite the promise on the package that is was not. So, today, I finally decided to get it done. While G was down for his nap, I installed the diaper sprayer all by myself.

I had a little trouble getting the “t” connector to seal around the connection to the toilet tank and ended up with a little water in the floor when I turned the water back on, but it was easy to fix. I simply hadn’t tightened it enough. Once I fixed that problem, it’s leak free and works perfectly!

I can’t wait for G to poop so I can try it out!!

Lessons learned...cloth and solid foods

About three weeks ago we started Grayson on purees. I knew that we would see a change in his diapers, but I didn’t realize how quickly that change would happen. We fed him mere teaspoons of banana for a few days, and all of a sudden, the diapers were chunky!

I’m not giving up, but I have changed my mind about a couple of things related to cloth diapering.

The Diaper “Pail”

Any old garbage can will NOT do when you are cloth diapering. Something with a good seal is a must. After a bit of shopping after my husband complained several times about the stink in G’s room, I have decided that the diaper pail people know what they are doing. I chose a model that clearly states on the box that it works with any bag.

I am a little miffed that the pails don’t hold nearly as many diapers as my step garbage can. I’m still looking for an option for stashing soiled diapers between washes to avoid stinking up the world so I don’t have to wash every time my pail gets full.

The Diaper Sprayer

I thought this was a gimmick. Absolutely NOT! BUY ONE!!! This is a way better option than dunk and swish in the toilet. Early solid diapers are really sticky, and I have trouble getting it to come off in the toilet. The water pressure from a sprayer helps so much.

Fighting the Battle For Sleep

If you’ve seen any of my Facebook status updates in the last three months, you are well aware that sleep has been a big issue in our home recently. Things got so bad that I was literally being woken up by the baby more that once per hour during the night, which made it impossible to get enough sleep. I was cranky, my husband was cranky, and really, the baby was too. Neither of us is a fan of letting our baby cry alone in his crib, but I was so exhausted that I didn’t think there was another way out. I felt helpless.

As my husband and I have worked to remedy the situation, we learned that we’ve been doing a lot of things wrong from the beginning. Our lives would have been a lot different if we’d made some different choices about sleep from the start. I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned in the last six months in hopes of saving new moms and moms to be form the same frustration.

First of all, EVERYONE has their opinions about babies and sleep. You’re going to get advice from every extreme and in between possible. The best thing to do is listen to what people have to say, do some research on your own, and then make choices that are right for your family.

Tip #1: Read up on sleep ahead of time

There are some great books out there, and knowledge is the best tool. If we had read more before G was born, then we would have been able to prevent a lot of the problems we’ve had.

Tip #2: Swaddle your baby

We started out doing this with great success and then I stopped for no good reason. G sleeps so much better when he’s cozy and swaddled. Now, I swaddle him every time he sleeps, even at 6 months old.

Tip #3: Decide where your baby is going to sleep and stick to it.

We decided that Grayson was going to sleep in his play yard and then transition to his crib. In a perfect world, he would sleep in the bed with us, but my husband is a very hard sleeper that moves a lot. That said, we felt it would be safest for the baby if he didn’t sleep with us. Take a look at these photos and see if you can identify a problem.

We allowed G to sleep in a zillion other places during the day as opposed to encouraging the behavior we wanted. I think what hurt his sleep patterns the most was allowing him to sleep with me for three weeks while at my parents’. Please let me make it clear that I am not opposed to co-sleeping. However, you can’t expect your baby to sleep in his own bed if he gets used to sleeping with you.

Tip #4: Don’t trust your baby to sleep when he needs to.

I was convinced that my baby was a cat-napper who wouldn’t nap more than 30 minutes at a time. Then I read in Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child that this simply isn’t true. Babies will give you clues to when they are tired, but parents have to take the initiative to put them down for naps.

Once I started paying attention to G’s cues, I realized a pattern in his sleepy times. He takes at least three naps a day, and every one is at least an hour. I am sure to swaddle him and put him in his crib if at all possible. He never sleeps as long if he’s out if his crib.

Tip #5: You are not helpless!

“Crying it out” was as highly recommended to me as it was opposed. Fact is, it works. Problem is, it’s traumatic for both the baby and the parents and we just weren’t OK with that. (No offense to those who’ve used it. As I said before, every family has to do what’s right for them.) What we wound up doing was gradually working up to getting G to fall asleep in his bed on his own, and limiting the times I would feed him if he woke up.

We don’t have a perfectly sleeping baby yet, but we are well on our way. I can now lay my swaddled son down in his crib, stroke his hair, and, quite often, he’ll fall asleep on his own.