First Month Survival Guide

You did it!  You had a successful pregnancy and got that baby O-U-T.  However you did it, it doesn't matter.  YOU GAVE BIRTH.

Now what?

A close friend recently had her first baby.  She had suffered 2 miscarriages in 3 years and went through all sorts of genetic testing and mental anguish to try to put a diagnoses on their miscarriage(s) and to get pregnant again.  The third one stuck.

She planned a Natural Birth with a doula and read up on labor and delivery.  She was prepared.  But that baby didn't want to come!  At 42 weeks, she was induced.  Labor didn't progress and 2 days later, she had a c-section.

Welcome to parenting.  Nothing happens as planned and you learn to roll with it. 

But for those that are/were used to controlling their lives, including their body - (ahem, me) - this giving up control and "rolling" with it is/was hard to do.

Now - my friend had her body cut open and a perfectly healthy, gorgeous baby boy.  BLISS, right?  The ordeal was over?
Nah.  She was shocked and overwhelmed with tears of guilt when the expected BLISS didn't immediately arrive. 

But, really, give yourself a break!  Your body is recovering, hormones are pouring out of you (literally), and you can't get any sleep because that new baby doesn't know it is now detached from you and demands to be ON YOU all day/night.

So  - here was my advice to my friend:
  • Be the Boss.  Figure out what needs to get done and make it happen.  Remember Bride-Zilla?  Now you are Mom-Zilla.  
    • All of the well-meaning people who want to hold the baby?  Ask them to bring your family a meal instead.  Vacuum your floor.  Do your laundry.  You sit back in your Rocker and snuggle/feed your baby and put your feet up while you read Harry Potter again.  Sneak in a nap, too.
    • When you need a break.  ASK for it.  And leave the house.  Alone.  Get yourself to Starbucks for 20 minutes and read the newspaper.   Breathe.
  • Give yourself time to HEAL.  
  • Give yourself permission to use disposable diapers (all natural, chlorine-free, of course) until that umbilicus cord falls off.  Check out GroVia's BioDiaper in Size 1.
  • Invest in a Moby Wrap, Sling, Wearable Baby Carrier.
  • Consider kicking Dad out of the bedroom so that he can get a good sleep.  Meanwhile, breast-feeding Mom deals with Baby and Bassinet all night.  That way - Dad is refreshed and can take over after the 5am feeding and Mom gets THE BEST well-deserved 3 hours of solid sleep until the next feeding (knowing that baby is taken care of by Dad helps - your mental baby cry trigger can turn off until Dad comes).
    • Dad also gets time to bond with baby without Mom hovering.  Dad gains confidence in his new role as parent.
    • You stop the inner-monologue of wondering HOW IN THE HECK your husband can't hear the baby cry and continue to sleep so peacefully???  In my case, this created a bit of resentment.
  • Dreamfeed at 11pm before going to bed.  This means gently waking baby up to change into a fresh diaper and giving him one last drink before you crash yourself.
  • Have 2 diapers ready for nighttime changes (velcro is good for this - you don't have to completely wake up).
  • DON'T change his diaper unless he poops!
  • When baby wakes for next feeding, grab him and bring him to bed with you.  Learn to breastfeed lying down on your side.  Latch baby on.  Fall back asleep (BUT NOT A DEEP SLEEP!).  When you realize that baby is done feeding and asleep - swaddle him back up and put him back into his bassinet. 
That's it! 

Survive the first month.  That should be your only goal.  Bond with that baby and let everything else slide.

Don't expect too much of yourself.  Know that the first smile and demonstration of unconditional love from your baby is right around the corner.  

And to conclude with the story about my friend?  She employed (most of) these suggestions and came out a Winner!  At 6 weeks, she had it down.  Her belly was better.  Mom and Dad had a routine.

She opened the door to BABY BLISS.


CBS News.com Diaper Debate: Should You Use Disposable or Cloth?

by bumritediapers November 4, 2010 6:47 PM EDT 


AH!  CBS News just posted a video/article on Cloth Vs. Disposable Diapers and I am fired up!

Diaper Debate: Should You Use Disposable or Cloth?
So - I had to write a (long) comment.  So many people are unaware of today's modern reusable diapers that they "poo-poo" the idea of going cloth!

Here is my comment:


Disclosure: I cloth diaper my son and I own a store (www.bumritediapers.com) that exclusively sells cloth diapers - so I am obviously partial to them.

I don't think this video did a good job talking about the actual cost of using disposable diapers. From birth to potty training a child will typically need 6,000 diaper changes. That equates to 2,000 pounds of plastic/petroleum waste PER child in our landfills. At $.20-$.40 each, you are looking at a total cost of $1,200 to $2,400 PER child. You can use cloth diapers on your baby from birth to potty training for as little as $175!

Think of the carbon footprint that is also involved in the processing, creating, and transporting of disposables. Some brands can hold up to 10 pees because of all the SAP (super-absorbent polymer gel) they contain. This is the same product that is used in potting soil to help retain water.

This video did not also show the new, reusable diapers that are available on the market today in a good light. bumGenius, FuzziBunz, GroVia - these are just a few of the brands out there that make a fantastic diaper that is as easy to use as a disposable.

Instead of going to the store, hauling the disposables to your car, lugging them in to your house, and hauling them back out in a plastic trash bag - you simply take them to your washing machine.

Regardless of how you decide to diaper your baby, poop belongs in the toilet so that it can be properly treated by a waste-water treatment plant (unless you wrap it in more plastic - then it won't leach OR biodegrade for 200 to 500 years!).

People just need to be educated about the choice that they make. And this video didn't help.

With the Ease of today's reusable diapers, the Environmental savings, and the Economical ($1000s) savings - why wouldn't a family choose a modern reusable diapering system?

Owner - http://www.bumritediapers.com
(707) 812-1BUM

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8618-504744_162-20021792.html?assetTypeId=41&messageId=10031127&blogId&tag=contentBody%3BcommentWrapper#ixzz14ME1WNFp


GroBaby or GroVia: What is the difference and which do I choose?

The Natural Baby Company in Bozeman, MT has re-branded their best-selling modern cloth diaper system:  GroBaby is now GroVia - a Diaper for Every Family. 

GREEN (new Biodiaper), GREENER (hybrid GroVia cloth shell and Biosoaker), GREENEST (GroVia Shell Set with Organic Cotton Snap-In soaker)

What does this mean to you?  SALE.

We love GroBaby so much that we bought out the manufacturer's remaining stock!  That is how confident we are in this product.  We have been using it for 15 months on our son.

GroBaby or GroVia: What is the difference and which do I choose during this transition period?


Things to Consider:
  • Age of baby
    • under 6 months, save a little money by purchasing the GroBaby Shells (1/2 inch smaller in the rise) and couple with the GroVia Soakers 
      • the new gussets on the GroVia soakers can contain the breast fed poop-plosions a little better.
      • over 6 months, save A LOT of money and buy GroBaby on clearance
      • Budget
        • GroBaby and GroVia are interchangeable - save a little money by mixing it up.
      • Size of baby
        • GroVia can accommodate a slightly larger build and/or older child with its extra 1/2 inch on the rise.
        • Velcro or Snap closure
          • GroVia comes with snap closures in solid colors (except Blackberry)
          • GroBaby is only aplix 
            • You can retrofit GroBaby covers to snaps by sending them to the manufacturer within the first 6 months for free.  Or for $3.50/shell thereafter.
              • We hope this helps a little.  Feel free to call us (707) 812-1BUM.


    Schedule a play date and learn about cloth diapers

    Live in the Bay Area? Need an excuse to visit Napa? Schedule a play date, bring your babies (or your pregnant self) and come entertain us for a while. 

    We have kids, too. So tons of toys are available to keep your kiddos occupied while you learn about all the different choices out there to fulfill your cloth diapering needs (or just to learn about them, in general).

    We started BumRite Cloth Diaper Company to encourage fellow parents to consider using cloth diapers. From personal experience, it can be an overwhelming decision. And without being able to see-touch-feel-learn, you can end up spending LOTS of money that you didn't need to. Learn from us: we spent at least a $1000 before settling on the diapers and system that work for us. That is why we put together the Birth to Potty Training package.
    This is what we personally use. This is what we wish we would have done from the beginning.

    We like to tell people to start to budget for their diaper spend as soon as they feel comfortable in their pregnancy. Then the cash outlay won't be such a shock.  But remember - you won't have to budget $75/mo for the next 3 years if you choose the disposable route!

    We also have a new Registry available on our site - so you can shop and your friends and family can purchase products or Gift Certificates for you!

    Cloth diapering is a simple choice: It's Easy, Good for your Baby's Bottom, Environmentally Friendly, and Economical (the money you save could fund your kiddo's education account).  Did we mention, Adorable?!

    Come learn!  Or put together a group for an evening or weekend event, and we'll come to you!


    Great Cloth Diapering Questions and Answers

    An excerpt from a new category on the bumritediapers.com website.

    GREAT QUESTIONS and inspired, unedited answers

    My diapers have poop-stains, what do I do?

    1) dry in sun 2) spray Biokleen BacOut on them after you spray off 3) don't worry, they are diapers 4) occasionally use oxyclean or a bit of bleach (but don't tell anybody that we told you to!) with the wash cycle and double rinse 5) stop feeding your baby blueberries...

    Why do Gro Baby Soakers take so long to dry? Any suggestions?

    Gro Baby soakers are made with thick, thirsty layers of organic cotton. They take about as
    much time in the dryer as a prefold. The Gro Baby shells make up for the long drying time of the soakers: they line dry (over the staircase banister) overnight.

    Suggestions: 1) fast spin cycle 2) do another load of wash and dry with the next load of towels (laundry chores for a family never end)

    Do I have to change my baby's diaper more often in cloth?

    Yes and No. Babies in disposables typically are not changed often enough and that is why they can develop a rash. Disposables are so absorbent, that we forget to change them until the SAP gel (super absorbent polymer gel) bursts out and touches our baby's delicate skin. An aside: Those same little beads that hold extra water in your Miracle Gro Potting Soil are found in copious quantities in disposable diapers! "Green" diapers use less, including Gro Baby Biosoakers
    (3 grams compared to 18-20 in some mass brands).

    2-3 hours is reasonable, depending on how much your baby wets. No different than with disposables. Remember, especially with natural fibers like hemp and cotton, the more you wash, the better they absorb.

    I am afraid to use my cloth diapers at night. I have a heavy wetter

    We strongly advocate the use of a pocket diaper at night. The microfleece wicks away moisture leaving the baby more comfortable and you can adjust the absorbent layers within the pocket, depending on your baby's habits. We also suggest not giving fluids after 7pm to a toddler to help with bed wetting. We have been using a pocket diaper on Bodie at night since he was 6 weeks old (when he poo'd, we would change it). Once he stopped pooping during the night, we were able to put him in his pocket diaper at 6:30pm and not change it until he woke up at 7am the next morning. We use 1 FuzziBunz Med/Large microfiber insert backed by 1 JoeyBunz Premium Hemp doubler. Happy Heinys, in our humble opinion, are easiest to stuff: even with man-hands.

    Why all this hype about detergent?

    The detergents that we grew up with and that are marketed so prolifically to us contain all sorts of fancy "extras" that coat our diapers. We want them to be absorbent. Softeners and Fragrances coat the fabric. Brighteners and Enzymes break down fabric faster - we need these hard working diapers to last 3 years!

    It is important to use the recommended detergent not only on your diapers, but on all your laundry. Those "extras" hang out in the washer and dryer and don't go
    away between loads.

    No BOUNCE or dryer sheets either!

    We recommend Tiny Bubbles and Country Save Detergent. About $.25 per HE load. Dye, Fragrance, and Phosphate Free (why is this important? FISH. Some places, like Spokane and Seattle, WA have proposed legislation to ban the use of phosphates in all detergents. When they hit our rivers, streams, and lakes, the phosphates encourage algae blooms, which in turn, suck up all the oxygen. Plants and Fish die. Personally, we are fans of Salmon from the Copper River in Alaska. We choose Tiny Bubbles. We like Salmon.

    Look at the color of the Copper River King!

    How Many Diapers to you Recommend?

    Depending on your system and age of baby. Like that answer? Seriously, from birth, we recommend 24 diapers. That is why we put together the Bumrite Favorites package. Or the Gro Baby LIVE Package. Or the bumGenius 20 count package. Any less and you will be asking too much of your diapers. If you washed your fancy Victoria's Secret Lacy Panties every day in Hot Water - how long do you think they would last?

    My baby gets red marks where the cover meets his legs. Suggestions?

    Every baby is different. Just like our bodies are different. Not everybody can pull off a G-String. Or we shouldn't. :-)
    Just get used to how the shell fits your baby and adjust as necessary. Sometimes people find snapping down to the middle setting makes them fit better.

    Sometimes, you will have to try several different diapers/covers to find the right one for YOUR baby. Diaper Swappers makes this learning process a little more bearable on the wallet.

    My MIL/Mother/Friend/Husband/Wife thinks we are crazy for wanting to use cloth diapers!

    Send them our way. We love to talk fluff. It really isn't a hard decision to make. Remember the three E's. Modern cloth diapers are:

    I don't think I can do this!

    Really? You gave birth (or watched your partner do it)! You can do anything. Any new routine takes time to establish. Have faith. Call us. Post questions on Facebook. We are here to guide you through!

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