Monday, October 20, 2008

Mommyhood at Three Months - Part I

When I started this entry it was our little boy's three month birthday. I think this will need to be a multi-part entry.

There are a lot of things we've learned about the logistics of being parents, particularly because I hadn't been around babies much. We're still learning all the time, but here's a start... for us to recall and for our many friends who are preparing for parenthood.

Some of these are more obvious than others, but still things we learned.

-Changing and Diapers:

Changing cover...At the hospital they used a white cloth on the changing area. We now use a plain white cloth (labeled as lap burp cloth but they're just a square of absorbent fabric, maybe 8x8 inches) on top of the changing pad cover. We can easily change this without changing the whole cover, and it keeps our changing cover looking nice!

Quantities...Apparently size 1 diapers are significantly over bought by parents. We had multiple people pass along extra diapers in size 1 - parents of Thomas, Evan, Mia. Combined with a pack from our registry and a pack from my aunt... we will have bought no size 1 diapers. Thanks!

Brands...Since we received diapers from several people, we've been able to try different brands. We've heard you get what you pay for, and I agree. Luvs have good absorbency but stay wet like a pillow, are more plastic than soft feeling, and the tabs stick to baby (compared to most brands which only stick to the special area, like velcro). Huggies seem smaller in the same size and don't absorb as much, and the ruffled part is stuck to the outside and has to be separated before changing each time. It is important to make sure the ruffled part is out around the edge of the diaper. Pampers are soft, very absorbent with a core to lock in moisture, a soft baby powder scent, very good all around. They have a drying film that seems to build on my thumbs sometimes, though. I hear good things about Target brand as well but we haven't tried them yet. Target wipes are fine though.


Starting out... It is wonderful, particularly after you get the hang of it - which took us a month or two. We didn't take a breastfeeding class and I think we should have. It is not immediately perfect but expect that with some hard work it will come. For me, I feel like I have to eat as much as when I was pregnant. Newborns can seriously take an hour to feed, and hour to sleep for a full 24 hours until their little stomach gets big enough to hold more food and mouth becomes stronger. There are also other things like improper latching, cracked nipples, clogged milk ducts to work through. These reasons are why it is good to have a pump. Have confidence that after a month or two you and your baby will feed faster and your body will 'establish' milk supply and figure out consistent production.

Pumps... A friend advised renting a breast pump from the hospital for the first month to make sure breastfeeding is going well before buying a pump yourself. The Medela Symphony is what we rented. Hospital grade pumps are also better at pumping than personal use pumps available for purchase. This is helpful starting out to establish milk supply.

Choose your pediatrician early. Somehow this was still on our to-do list after our son was born, so we were in the hospital calling friends for references. Plus, we would have been able to have our pediatrician visit us in the hospital if we had chosen her in advance. Turns out we may lose insurance coverage on our doctor, so we might be in the search again.

more later.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Medicine Cabinet Tip

Our linen closet, in my parents house, and now, in our house as adults, has a basket or two of miscellaneous medicine products. Usually, its full of smashed cardboard boxes, random pills in blister packs, and a few things covered in red cough syrup, not to mention probably buying excess of something we already had. Today I was looking for something (that I still haven't found) and started cleaning the cabinet. I had several empty or old bottles from prescriptions as well as several smashed cardboard boxes of OTC medicines.

I took the labels off the prescription bottles. Next, I tore off any non-critical info from the smashed cardboard boxes, making sure to keep the expiration date, dosing info, product name and ingredients. Then, I put the folded cardboard pieces and remaining pills/tablets/gel capsules in the prescription bottle. Put the label facing out for easy identification, and use larger bottles when you have many pills left, and smaller for just a few doses.

The medicine is kept clean and organized, with no more messy boxes!

I'm maybe a little over excited about this one, but I'm using things I already have in a new way!