seven months old

April 17, 2012

Dear Milo,

You turned 7 months old last Saturday so I’m a little bit delayed with this blog post because you have not been feeling well for a few days now. We did take your monthly photo last Saturday and since you were feeling unwell, it was hard to get you to smile for the camera.

Before you got sick, this past month was a momentous one for us. You reached a lot of physical milestones. You love to stand and take steps while your Daddy assists you. Every chance you get, you try to pull yourself up into standing position. Your legs are still wobbly when you do this so it scares me to death. It got to a point where you wanted to constantly exercise your muscles and move all the time. Diaper changes were becoming a regular wrestling match between us.

This past month, we also celebrated Holy Week. We took your for your first Visita Iglesia around Laguna, you experienced your first procession in Makati, and we went swimming in a pool for the first time! I thought you would be scared in the pool but you really had fun splashing around and sometimes, even tasting the pool water. I can’t wait to take you swimming again. Maybe we can enroll in swimming lessons or go to the beach sometime soon.

Unfortunately, since you got sick, you have lost your appetite and your energy. We’re doing everything we can now to take care of you so you can get back in good health. I hope you get better real soon. I miss my wrestling my malikot baby.

P.S. The bamboo tree is not dying. Daddy just cut the leaves off since it’s Summer now and the unbearable heat makes it hard for the tree to survive with so many leaves. Something like that.

month-by-month photo

This post is written for the Real Diaper Week Carnival with the theme “Real Simple. Real Diapers.” We aim to educate and advocate the use of cloth diapers in the Philippines. Please scroll below to read the other carnival posts about cloth diaper styles, how to’s or must haves.

While I was still buntis, Renz and I already decided that we would use cloth diapers on our baby. Thanks to the wonderful world of the Internet, I was able to educate myself with ‘modern’ cloth diapers. I learned that there were plenty of cloth diapering (CD) options and systems to choose from – all-in-one (AIO), pocket diapers, all-in-two (AI2 or hybrid), prefolds, flats, diaper covers, wool, sized diapers, fitteds, etc. I also looked into what accessories I would need to have on hand to ensure success with CDs – snappis, wet bags, proper laundry detergent, cloth wipes, bamboo, hemp, liners, etc. It was totally overwhelming but very addicting. By reading up on the various mommy forums, we decided to go with prefolds/diaper covers, pockets, and a couple of Grovia hybrids for Milo.

For Milo’s first month, we used prefolds with a Snappi and Thirsties Duo Size 1 diaper covers. Since newborns poo and pee so much, going through an average of 15 diapers per day, this was one of the most economical CD options for us. This system worked very well for us since Milo was born with skinny chicken legs and we were able to adjust the prefold to fit perfectly around his skinny legs. Also, we were able to always identify when he was wet so we were able to immediately changed his diaper – to avoid UTI or rashes. The best part is, we didn’t mind changing his diaper so often since they were washable and reusable. By the time he was 1 month old, he weighed 10lbs. By then, some of his pocket diapers fit.

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Pocket diapers are called this because they have a ‘pocket’ or opening within the diaper where the absorbancy can be adjusted as needed. Just like with disposables, you replace the entire diaper when soiled. But, with CDs, you don’t throw it away and you get to reuse them! Based on the various reviews I read and taking into account the cost factor, we invested mainly in Bum Genius and Sunbaby with a couple of Alva Baby and Next9 diapers. We have a total of about 25 pocket diapers in my stash Milo’s stash and we wash every other day. 7 months into it, our daily favorties are the Sunbaby diapers and Bum Genius for night time. Pocket diapers can even be used as swim diapers – just remove the insert! We used one of our Sunbaby diapers when Milo went swimming for the first time last week.

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The most frequent question I get when people find out we use CDs is – Isn’t it hard? The answer is a big fat NO. Sure, we do a few more loads of laundry a week but it’s really not a big deal – this coming from a household without a helper. We do all of the laundry ourselves and it’s a great feeling to be able to see how many diapers we wash knowing that we’re saving money every time we get to reuse a CD. Since Milo just turned 7 months old, I estimate that we’ve gone through about 2,100 diaper changes (7 months x 30 days x 10 diapers/day). Wow, that’s a whole lot of garbage we saved from going into the landfill. The advantages that come with using CDs far outweigh the disadvantages. They’re cuter, better for the environment, better for Milo’s bum, and better for our wallets!

There’s not one perfect cloth diaper system/brand/type for everyone. My advice to those interested in using CDs is to research and gather differing opinions first. Don’t invest in only one kind/brand of diapers especially if you have never tried it. Diapers are not made equal and cheapest is not always the best. All babies are also built differently so even though some diapers claim to be ‘one size’, what fits well for some may not fit well for others. Even when you have settled on some brands/types of CDs, it is still addicting to buy new ones to try the different kinds. This is one of the funnest parts with Cloth Diapering – learning and experimenting with the different kinds to see what is best for you and your baby.

Check out the other entries for this blog carnival:

Next9 Baby’s The CD Revolution

Tickled Mom Clarice’s Stuff you need for an easier CD-ing life

Happy Tots Studio’s Matteo’s Diaper Story

Hoo Goes Where’s Real Diapers Our CD Journey

Misisagun’s We Choose Cloth

MrsBry’s Z loves: Next9 Cloth Diapers

This Mom’s Life’s Transitioning to Cloth Diapers

ms. Masungit’s Cloth Diapers? Where?

The Odyssey of Dinna’s nurturing rafael: the cloth diaper chronicles

The Articulate Pen’s Making the Switch to Cloth Diapers

The Common Mom’s Surviving the Holidays with Cloth Diapers

Tickled Mom Abie’s Cloth Diapers. A Quick Review of the Different Systems

Swept Away’s What We Love About Cloth Diapers

Chronicles of a Nursing Mom’s Going out of Town with Cloth Diapers

six months old

March 14, 2012

Dear Milo,

This past month, we let you have your first tastes of real food. You started with carrots but so far, have tried broccoli, zucchini, kamote, squash, pan de sal, banana, avocado, papaya, and baby corn. It’s really fun to watch you learn about the different textures and tastes. During your first meal, you wore a shirt and a bib. By the next meal, you were down to just a bib. By the third meal, we’ve learned our lesson and now, you eat naked – except for your cloth diaper of course. Your favorites (those that you’ve eaten the most of) were the pan de sal with squash palaman, baby corn, and zucchini.

Lately, it seems you’ve also discovered that you can control different parts of your body. You squirm when you’re being carried to try to reach for an object you’re lusting after. You hold out your arms if you want to get picked up. You are now also crawling a bit on the floor. I  get so surprised when I leave you in one position and when I come back you’re in a totally different position.

We have upgraded your bath situation. You no longer use the newborn sling your bath tub came with and you now take baths in the bathroom! Woo hoo! We need to get you sleeping on the lower part of your crib though. You’re getting too mobile and too heavy for that top part. We have to figure out how to put you down there without waking you up and without breaking our backs.

Unfortunately for all of us, you still don’t sleep through the night. One time, you surprised me with a 7-hour stretch. Key words = ‘one time’. Usually, you still wake up every 3-4 hours. Sleeping is so nice, you should really try to enjoy it.

Your favorite songs I think are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Ba Ba Black Sheep, and the ABC song – or maybe I think they’re your favorite because these are the only ones I can sing to you? Note to self, we should learn more songs.

We’re now starting the Summer season so I hope we will get to go swimming soon!

month-by-month

solids & BLW

February 26, 2012

Yesterday, we got the ‘go’ signal from the Pediatrician. We initially wanted to wait until he was 6 months old but since he is already practically 5 1/2 and showed signs of readiness, we decided to go for it a couple of weeks earlier than planned. So today, we went to the Sunday Legaspi Market and bought a bunch of organic veggies that we will try as his first solids.

At first I planned to make homemade baby food – no store-bought jarred baby food for us! But then I learned about something even better – Baby-Led Weaning (BLW). To summarize in one paragraph, according to a BabyCenter forum:

The biggest component of BLW is in its name, baby led. This means the parent does not feed the child, the child feeds themselves from the start. There is no spoon feeding or purees in BLW. Parents offer table foods in manageable pieces and the child gets to explore and eventually eat. You will often hear the word “offer” in discussing BLW instead of “feed”. This is because parents only offer and the baby gets to choose (remember, baby-led!).

It made so much sense as a natural progression from on-demand breast feeding. I got so excited about it, I immediately reserved a copy of THE book from Fully Booked and started to read as much as I can about how to go about it from the Internet.

So today, we broke our first BLW rule (waiting until 6 months) and started Milo off with his first real experience with solids. Plan A was to offer him avocados since it’s loaded with good kinds of fat, it’s in season, and because it’s my personal favorite! The avocado I got from the market was not ripe enough though so we went with Plan B – steamed carrots.

Must get it in my mouth!

Is this how it works?

Gah! Hands are so over-rated! Nom nom nom!

There were a couple of times I got nervous because he gagged. But from what I’ve read, there is a clear difference between gagging and choking so I tried not to be too worried. It’s all a part of his learning experience. He did manage to get a few pieces in his mouth but most of the carrots actually ended up on the floor. All in all though, I think it was a successful first attempt with solids.

five months old

February 14, 2012

Dear Milo,

During this past month, I saw you becoming more and more aware of your surroundings and the world. You are definitely not a newborn anymore and you can let us know what you want. You know who your  mom and dad are and you recognize your favorite toys. You also have a very loud voice that you use frequently to tell us when you are unhappy! But, when you laugh and giggle, it’s such music to my ears! I love hearing you laugh and I’ve made all the silliest faces and silliest sounds I can think of just to hear you giggle.

You’ve become a lot more active this past month. You can completely roll-over now and move your body in the strangest positions. You even roll in your sleep and you end up waking yourself up and crying probably wondering how you ended up in that position.

You love going out and going for car rides. The problem is you’re so eager to sit up that you’re not content lying on your car seat for long periods of time anymore. You’re actually getting a little too long for your current car seat so we have to look into upgrading it.

You’ve also mastered the art of grabbing. Anything that comes within your reach, you grab it. We have to be careful now of what we place within your reach. So far, no accidents though.

Your favorite way to learn and discover is still by putting everything in your mouth. You still put all of your fingers in your mouth but sometimes, you do manage to favor your thumb only.

The bad news is that you and I are both shedding a lot of hair.  According to the Internet, it’s still part of the pregnancy hormones adjusting in our bodies. You now have a bald spot on the back of your head and it seems to be getting bigger still. Supposedly, it’s quite normal and it’s just your baby hair making space for your ‘real’ hair but right now, it does look a little funny. Poor baby. Don’t worry, we have hats to cover it up. 🙂

One more month to go and we’ll start giving you solids! What do you want to eat first?

month-by-month

four months old

January 14, 2012

Dear Milo,

In the past month, there were a lot of firsts for you! First Christmas, first New Year’s Eve, first road trip to Dagupan, first wedding, and first times to roll over!

We went to a few holiday parties but you didn’t really like being in a large group with a lot of noise so you spent a lot of time crying – probably asking us to take you back home. You should remember that you received a lot of christmas presents! There are so many people that love you. So much so that we have no idea where to put your stuff anymore! Our loft is more of a storage space for your toys now.

I didn’t know how you would react to all the fireworks on New Year’s Eve but surprisingly, you were not that afraid. You slept through most of it but you did wake up crying right about at midnight when there were the most fireworks.

Lately, you’ve discovered your feet and you always try to grab them especially while playing with the toys on your gyms. You love being held upright (standing up). It’s almost as if you want to start walking already! You also love it when we read books to you. The Goodnight Scout book is your favorite so far. Every time you see it, you already flash us with your biggest smile.

Tomorrow, I start work again so you will spend your afternoons with a babysitter. I’m hoping you will choose to drink your milk from a bottle while I work or else you may go hungry. Right now, you always still fight us when we try to get you to drink from a bottle.

You are a lot more playful now so I’m really excited to see how active you will get in the next couple of months. We’re also getting close to eating solids! Exciting!

month-by-month

three months old

December 14, 2011

We didn’t follow the rules of keeping everything the same this month. I really wanted a shot with Milo sitting up but the green chair is not easy to sit on for babies with no stable upper body control so we added another prop to this month’s photo.

Dear Milo,

Today you are three months old and after taking your monthly photo, we headed to DFA to apply for your first passport! I wonder where we will travel to first.

This month, you were one busy baby. We had your baptism on the 27th, when many family and friends celebrate with us. I guess you’re not used to having so much attention focused on you because you were crying practically the whole day.

You are now learning how powerful your hands are. You’ve learned to suck on your fists, toys, and anything you can get your hands on. Sometimes you are content to be left alone, sucking on your fists. No matter how much I wipe them dry, your fingers get so wet that they’re starting to look like raisins.

I think you’re also just discovering and learning how to use your voice. You really like it when you are spoken to and sometimes you answer and join in the discussion with your own squeals and sounds. You definitely have a lot on your mind and I wish we could understand everything you’re trying to say.

This month, you experienced your first taxi ride. The taxi driver was cool and calm until he heard you cry hysterically when the taxi stopped at a red light. It seems you love car rides, but you hate it when the car stops. Hmm, you might have just been born in the wrong country since traffic and stops are inevitable here in the Philippines.

Best of all, this month, we heard you giggle and you are smiling more and more now. You have even made a roomful of adults clap and cheer just by showing them one of your smiles.

Early this month, you’ve already outgrown your newborn/0-3 months clothes so I’ve packed them away. You have graduated on to the next stage of infancy and are no longer a ‘newborn’. Exciting times ahead!

 

month-by-month