Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Crunchy Mama

Apparently breastfeeding is crunchy. I found this out on Babycenter (which, if you haven't hear of it, is a community of over 100 million parents, chatting about everything baby and non-baby related). People often talk about being crunchy. I actually wrote a short article about what being crunchy means, so if you're not sure, head on over and check it out.

So breastfeeding is crunchy because it is natural. I guess that makes sense. I got to thinking what else I do that might be viewed as crunchy. Well, I recycle, but who doesn't? I try to conserve energy but I think these days that's a given. I cloth diaper. That's a good one! While cloth diapering is becoming more and more popular (I definitely know more mamas who use cloth than disposables) it's still not a given. It saves your baby from being exposed to harsh chemicals and it helps the environment. There are other reasons I cloth diaper too, such as the cuteness, softness , affordability and of course, the addictive factor, but I don't think those count as crunchy.

I figured I would share some of my cloth diaper expertise with my readers, even though this blog is mostly about breastfeeding.

Let's start at the beginning. There are many different types of diapers. For a concise, informative outline of the various types, check out this article on Diaper Junction, my go-to website for diaper info. My personal preference are all-in-one (AIO) and all-in-two (AI2) diapers, but I really do like them all and I have a little bit of everything in my stash. I like that AIO's are all one piece, just like a disposable, and they are easy for babysitters and grandparents who might not be familiar with modern cloth diapering. The only down side of AIO's is that they often take a long time to dry. There are some brands, such as Thirsties AIO's, that can be turned inside out to reduce drying time. I love me some Thirsties! AI2's are great too, especially the "hybrid" diapers which cut down on cost and laundry by using several inserts in one cover. My favorite hybrid is the Flip system, it works great and fits as trimly as a disposable (not to mention the super cute colors it comes in!). Other favorite brands of mine include Tots Bots and FuzziBunz. The brand names are super cute too, aren't they? Most diapers come in a "one size" option which means you spend about $500 total on diapers to last from birth to potty training. Considering that the average disposable diapered baby will go through $2000 worth of diapers (which then end up in a landfill) I think that's a pretty decent savings. Plus, lots of people buy used diapers so you can buy used and save more money, or sell yours when you're done and make half your money back. Pretty thrifty, huh? Anyhow, so I cloth diaper and I love it! I might even say I like it as much as I like breastfeeding. Man, I'm gonna miss having babies!

Just for fun, here are a couple pics of both of my kiddos in their cloth diapers!

Jax in his first ever cloth diaper - Happy Heinys

Jax in a Bum Genius AIO (they no longer make these, but I buy them used cuz they rock!)

Jax in a Sunstainable Babyish fitted (best overnight diaper ever!)

Newborn Ange in a prefold with a newborn Rumparooz cover
Ange in a Doodle Dype (these are hard to get!)

And my stashes (which change all the time). Jax's boy stash, and Ange's girl stash. As you can tell, I love diapers! 


Nursing moms get THIRSTY. Yes, I put it in all caps because it's not just regular thirst it's THIRST. Especially during the first few weeks after your baby is born, the instant you start to nurse (or pump) you get hit with this intense need for water. Any good husband learns that when his wife sits down to nurse, he runs to get her a glass of water. Thankfully, my awesome hubby had this trick down a week or so after my son was born and actually remembered to do it the day my daughter was born, when we were still in the hospital.

Anyway, even when I am not in the middle of nursing, I find I am always thirsty. It's like I can't get enough water. I'm also busy (with a 3 year old and a 3 month old) so running to the fridge to fill up my water cup every 5 minutes is a pain. So the other day, while shopping at the dollar store for craft supplies, I spied the perfect water cup.

I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but this thing is huge! My husband calls it my "bucket of water" and that's what it is. Put it this way, it's bigger than a Jack in the Box soda and those things are big! I seriously freakin love it! I fill my cup and sit it next to me while I'm nursing, playing with the kids, on the computer, whatever, and I get to be my lazy, thirsty self. I highly recommend you buy yourself a giganto-cup ASAP. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bottles, Binkies and More

We have all been told not to offer a bottle or pacifier during the first month of a breastfeeding baby's life. The rationale behind this is to avoid nipple confusion. This does make sense but in all of my discussions about breastfeeding, I have never come across someone who had a problem with this. Of course I know lots of moms whose babies wouldn't latch from the beginning and I know plenty of little ones who refuse to take a bottle. But I know lots of people who broke the one month rule and none of them had any negative repercussions. After I delivered Ange, a nurse told me something that made a lot of sense, though. She said that it's not so much nipple confusion, but that if a baby is attached to a pacifier all day and all night, he won't have enough energy or strength to suck on a nipple when it's time to eat. That made sense to me and that's why I decided to give Ange a binky when she needs it, but not to just pop it in her mouth any time it falls out. I also take it out once she falls asleep.

 If anyone has had any issues with nipple confusion, I'm interested to hear about it. Please post here or email me (alanamichelledias@gmail.com)

Challenge and GIVEAWAY!!!

What do you do while breastfeeding?

I love breastfeeding my babies because I love the bonding time. I love feeling their skin against mine and having quiet time together that nobody but me gets to experience. However, I have noticed that every time I sit down to nurse my little one, I bring my phone with me. Or the iPad. Or the TV remote. I feel like I have to do something while I'm nursing. Maybe it's just that I'm so busy all day so since I'm already sitting down, not being productive, I think I deserve a chance to check in on Facebook or catch up on my DVR list. Whatever it is, I can't help but feeling a little hypocritical for boasting about the bonding aspects of nursing. I praise breastfeeding because I claim it is a bonding experience, yet I sit there ignoring my daughter while I surf the web on my phone.

So... I have started my own challenge. At least once a day while nursing, I will do nothing but look at, and talk to my precious little girl. I can't even imagine how much I will miss this when she is older, so I am going to force myself to soak it up as much as possible.

Now for the giveaway part! You must be a nursing mama to participate (if you're not, you wouldn't have any use for the prize anyway). I challenge you do the same as me. For at least 3 days, spend one nursing session a day doing nothing but talking to and looking at your baby/child. No phone, no TV, no Ipad, no staring into space thinking about everything you have to do, nothing! Of course this in on the honor system. Then, write a short (a couple sentences) summary of how it went and if you will continue to do it. The prize will be a pair of custom nursing pads from The Pampered Mama. You can pick the color and print and I will order it, pay for it and send it to you! I have a pair of these and love them! 

Enter here to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway (Giveaway details: one entry per person.  You must reside in the United States to win. You must be a follower of "Mama's Got Milk" to win. This giveaway is not sponsored by The Pampered Mama, I just love her products so I'm buying the pads as a prize. Each entry will be numbered in the order that they are received and I will use random.org to pick a winner)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mustard is not very appetizing anymore...

If you have breastfed a baby, then you know that breastfed poop looks just like yellow mustard. I had read this description while pregnant with Jax but it didn't really sink in. I guess I didn't realize that the color, consistency, frequency and amount of poop was going to be such a big deal. Well, it is. Poop is one of the focal points of early parenthood. Since having my son I have been known to talk to strangers about my baby's poop, take pictures of poop and even resort to sticking my finger into it to check out the texture (yup! I did that).

One awesome thing about breastfed poop is that it actually doesn't smell that bad. I mean, it's not my favorite perfume (despite the fact that I have likely had some both behind my ears and on the inside of my wrist) but it doesn't smell as bad as other poop. If you've ever smelled a formula fed baby's poop - holy smokes that stuff can be potent! The not so awesome thing about breastfed poop is the consistency. Keeping a nice little turd inside a diaper is easy, keeping a huge explosion of gooey liquid in the diaper.. not so easy! Thankfully I discovered cloth diapers when my son was about 6 months old and  we have had very few blowouts since we switched. Ange has been in cloth since birth and last week we had our first real blowout.

Now I would like to discuss the color of breastfed poop. It's yellow. Mustard yellow. Not a little bit like mustard, not sort of resembling mustard, it looks EXACTLY like mustard. Which is great. Better than nasty brown poop, I think. Until you go to make a salami sandwich. You squirt the mustard all over the bread and for some reason you lose a bit of your appetite. But you can't figure out why, so you finish making the sandwich, pour yourself a nice glass of water and sit down on the couch to eat your lunch in peace while the kids are napping. Then you glance to your left and right there on the couch next to you is a dirty diaper from the pre-nap diaper change. On top of the diaper is the wipe you used to wipe your little darling's butt. And all over that wipe is... mustard... I mean poop! Suddenly you realize why the sandwich tweaked your gag reflex and before you know it, the sandwich is out of the question and you're eating oreos for lunch. This is what happened to me yesterday.

So, yes, breastfed poop has its ups and downs. It's not too smelly and you can keep it contained in a good cloth diaper but don't expect to eat a salami sandwich any time soon ;)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nursing, Hawaiian Style

In case you don't already know, my family and I live in Hawaii. My hubby is Hawaiian, born and raised (actually he was born in CA while his parents lived there for a couple years, but he moved here before his first birthday). I came here for grad school and after 3 days of Hawaiian living I called my mom to warn her that I was never coming home (home is Montreal, Canada). Here we are, 6 years later, and I'm loving life in Hawaii. Well, I don't love that the average house costs $700k or that you're lucky to get a gallon of milk for $6 on sale. Don't even get me started on gas and electricity prices. But, cost of living aside, Hawaii really is paradise. We just got home from a wonderful beach day with the kiddos and I figured I would share a couple pictures of me nursing Angelina on the beach. I love Hawaii for the weather and the beaches, but I also love how liberal minded everyone is. Nobody would ever judge or stare at me for nursing in public. I don't even own a nursing cover, I'm not too sure what I would need it for.

So, here ya go, this is me nursing my beautiful baby girl on the beach. I put her big brother's hat on her to keep the sun off of her delicate, 2 month old skin.