What I’ll Do Differently With Baby #2

When I was pregnant with Haines I pretended I was flexible on baby things but in reality I had my heart set on doing things a certain way. If you asked me if I was planning to breastfeed, I would say “Yes, if I can” but mentally I was screaming “I’ll be devastated if I can’t.” Now that we’re less than 3 weeks from welcoming baby #2, I’ve been thinking about the things I want to do differently and hope to do again.

This time I plan to…

Communicate more // I struggle very hard with communicating my needs. When pregnant and postpartum I struggle even with identifying my needs. These last few weeks I’ve felt at times I was struggle with all my many intense mama emotions, but when asked what I needed, I had no answer. It’s hard not to anticipate my hormones preparing to go out of whack and just how intense I will be feeling in the coming weeks. I’m not sure how I’m going to improve in this area but I am going to try to be proactive as much as possible with sharing all my craziness  so even if I can’t identify what I need, maybe someone else can!

Have formula on hand // Yes, I want to breastfeed again. Yes, I would love to exclusively breastfeed for the first 12 months. But with two babies and work and life and sanity I plan to have a can of formula on hand. Supplementing with formula may allow me to breastfeed for longer. Knowing that Haines could be a healthy, happy formula-fed baby means knowing that I don’t need that pressure on myself.

Let’s be honest, I’m mainly into breastfeeding because it’s free anyways. I hope to start pumping fairly early, like week 2 as I did with Haines and will be slightly more aware of freezer stash this time around. I really like the freedom of being able to leave the baby with even if just for a short while and not worry about any feeding.

Try to get out of the house more // When I was on maternity leave with Haines, I always intended to get out of the house every day but it didn’t often happen. When it did, I felt infinitely better. I’m hoping as I will come into this maternity leave knowing how to survive baby outings, I will brave them more frequently. My tendency to isolate myself is a habit I have to break!

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Ask for help //  It is incredibly hard to ask for help. For the last three years I’ve been pregnant, a new mom or pregnant with a toddler and I haven’t felt very able to help others. Mentally and physically I’m out of whack and working with limited resources and it’s made me hesitant to reach out to anyone when I need a hand as I feel like I can’t repay it. I’m trying to get over that.

It’s hard to remember that this time is temporary and I have the potential to be a genuine, contributing member of society and my friendships again!

What I’ll do again (hopefully)…

Sleep train // We weren’t super intense about sleep training baby Haines but we started a few things early on and have stuck with it. Haines had a bed time routine pretty early on. I don’t want to make anyone jealous but it involves my beautiful singing voice. Now Haines tries to sing along with me which makes my heart explode. (He also stops singing mid-song to say, “Haines sing. Mama sing.”) Between 6 and 7 months we did a long weekend of cry it out. Cry it out blows but Haines has been sleeping through the night ever since. Hell yes.

Cloth diapers // I would really like to make it 12 months with baby #2 in cloth diapers. We’ll start the first couple weeks in disposables but then hopefully switch to a diaper service after that. Haines was in cloth about 90% of the time for his first 15 months. I’d love to do all cloth all the time but I do feel like using cloth at least some of the time helps minimize our environmental impact.

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Make our baby food // Haines rarely ate store bought baby food when he was little. He pretty quickly transitioned out of purees regardless. This new little dude will obviously dictate what he’s into but making our own food wasn’t that hard and saved us money. I just got to be honest, I just liked making it.

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Baby’s first lasagna

Worry way more than necessary // Although I’m hopeful I’ll be way less stressed out as a second-time mom, I know I’ll still be a nervous nelly. Once we get through the first few weeks and I no longer have to be concerned about sepsis, that will be a big help. Still, every runny nose and cough are hard to be cool about when they come from such a tiny being.

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Less than 3 weeks to go!

 

 

 

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Cloth Diapers: Diaper Service vs. Launder Your Own

Stuff makes me claustrophobic. Moving houses, packing the car for camping, having to carry luggage literally causes a physical reaction in my body. I want to shove everything to the curb regardless of whether or not it’s useful. Who cares if I use it every day? It’s dragging me down!

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So when we found out we were pregnant a definite panic came over me. Babies come with endless stuff. I didn’t want to buy a lot of plastic toys or send garbage bags full of diapers to the landfill. But also, I was worried about money. Daycare costs alone are terrifying but then you thrown in diapers, wipes, clothes, toys and formula if you need it.

We’ve gotten incredibly lucky with most things. People have gifted us clothes and we’ve gotten quite a few hand-me-down toys to get Haines started in life. I try to mainly shop at second hand stores. We’ve got a long way to go with breastfeeding but so far I haven’t had to buy formula. All those things are just luck and the kindness of others. Diapers I knew would be another story.

Despite being the one who insisted on cloth diapering, I was really skeptical about our ability to do it. Tyler didn’t protest the idea but he also didn’t jump on board. I think he was hoping I would eventually just change my mind. Between going back to work, breastfeeding, and the plan to make our own baby food I had some doubts about how well this would go over. The idea of making a significant financial investment only to be left with a pile of diapers we weren’t going to use, would be devastating. Still we moved forward.

After getting a few recommendations we added Rumparoos to our Amazon registry. At the end of my pregnancy though we also discovered a diaper service in town that laundered traditional cloth diapers.  We’re currently using the service, Green Baby, at the generosity of my mother and eventually will switch to laundering our own.

Diaper Service:

Pros

  • We’ve been with Green Baby Diaper Service since Haines was about 4 weeks. We started with 6 diaper covers and 2 plastic Snappies which was fine initially. It really couldn’t be easier- after each diaper change you just toss the diaper into the pail with a liner bag.
  • Once a week I place the liner bag full of stinkiness out on the porch and a man comes and collects in the morning.  A bag full of fresh one is always waiting when I come home from work!

Cons

  • Our daycare treats each cover and cloth diaper as one. They take the whole thing off and throw it into a plastic bag. So a cover that we would use over and over again until soiled gets used once and then sits with a dirty diaper all day. Initially this really grossed me out but I got past it. I wipe out the covers each evening and hang them to dry overnight. Every second or third (it’s hard to make it to 3 days) I wash them all.
  • We did have to invest in a lot more covers though so they could do this. 11 has turned out to be our magic number.

We use Thirsties and Best Bottoms covers. Both are great but Best Bottoms definitely seems more durable. Whatever you pick I’m anti-velcro. The velcro deteriorates faster than the snaps (which look perfect) and also sometimes get shifted so it rubs Haines’ belly.

Wash Your Own:

Pros

  • They’re incredibly easy to use. We opted for Rumparoos and like them a lot. Slide in the insert and snap on to that baby bottom. To remove and wash you do need to take out the insert. Can be a wee bit on the gross side, but it’s manageable.

Cons

  • It’s hard to go more than one day without washing. We don’t have many of these so that plays a part but the longer you go between washings the harder it is to face the task. It’s kind of a bite the bullet situation.
  • It’s just more work. No way around it.

Overall:

Several friends have complained about the number of poop blowouts they deal with every day using disposable diapers. While we do encounter them, it’s pretty rare, regardless of the cloth diaper we use. HEB is much more likely to need an outfit change due to excessive spit up rather a diaper leak or explosion. We also always keep a few disposables on hand for babysitters. Most people aren’t familiar with cloth diapers, even our pediatrician.

One thing to keep in mind is cloth diapers make for big booties. HEB is not a big baby but he goes through some sizes more quickly just because of his big ol’ cloth covered bottom.

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Please note enormous booty area.

The expense of cloth diapering is undeniably more up front, although if you’re laundering your own the overall cost is definitely less. Cloth diapers are one size and intended to last until potty training. I don’t know if we’ll make it that long but it brings me some relief to know we won’t be impacting landfills as much as we could be!