5 Things That Change After Baby

Your Body

I’m just going to start with the elephant in the room here. Almost no one goes home from the hospital in pre-pregnancy jeans. Heck, most moms I know don’t get into pre-pregnancy jeans until closer to 6 months, or in some cases until breastfeeding is over. Your body just took nine months to grow a watermelon-sized package, it’s going to take 9 months to get back down to size.

And spoiler alert: even when you get back to pre-pregnancy weight, your body won’t be the same shape. Even Heidi Klum and Beyonce and Angelina Jolie have different bodies. Your ribs and hips literally change position. Your resources are re-distributed. And every mom has stretch marks. Consider them your badge of awesomeness.

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That’s a 10 lb baby in there. Folks, there’s no going back to the original packaging.

Sleep 

Anyone who utters the words “your baby can/should sleep through the night at X months/years” is–pardon my French– full of shit. Babies and children are biologically wired to be close to you and wake frequently. In fact, researchers have recently discovered that frequent night wakings are actually a sign of a healthier baby; a waking baby has a lower risk of SIDS.

There is a whole industry out there that wants to sell you books and special swaddles and sound machines and tools to get your baby to sleep. A few babies do respond to these methods. Many don’t. The best thing to do is to get rest when you can, stock up on coffee, and understand that in 10 years you will STILL be losing sleep–for totally different reasons.

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Sleep: The Elusive Mistress. Luckily I caught a snapshot in the wild.

Sex

That’s right; I went there. Sex after baby is different for many reasons:

  1. Your doctor will tell you no sex for at least six weeks so your cervix can close and heal
  2. You may be touched out from all the nursing and snuggling
  3. You may experience vaginal dryness thanks to breastfeeding hormones
  4. You may experience a drop in libido, again thanks to breastfeeding hormones
  5. You may be too tired (see above) to even think about sex
  6. Your bed may be invaded by a tiny human being

Since your partnership is important here’s some help:

  1. Follow your doctor’s orders
  2. Ask your partner to take some burps, diaper changes, and snuggles with the baby
  3. Use lubricant
  4. Communicate your needs to your partner
  5. Drink coffee
  6. Consider finding a new place to DTD or even a different time of day
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We’re just happy to sit down for a few minutes.

Love Language

What you do to show love to your partner, and what you appreciate in return, may change once you have a baby. That’s because things like personal space and chores just don’t happen when you have a human being to raise. Be prepared to adapt and change in your relationship and communicate with each other about your needs regularly. None of us are mind readers, especially when the game changes.

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The man has a point.

Schedule

Yeah, I know you are thinking that your baby will just adapt to your schedule and you’ll just strap him or her in the carrier and be on your way. To some extent, this does work until baby is on the move, but you can’t account for things that make baby sensitive to outings. Teething, illness, changes in routine, and even good old separation anxiety will rear their ugly heads at some time or another (or, pretty much constantly in the first 18 months), and trust me, everyone will be happier when you are flexible.

That, and you will find a 4:30 mealtime at restaurants is the dream, and a 9:30 bedtime is not early enough! Just own it.

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And just wait until you have two of them. Navigating multiple schedules, potty training, and nights when neither wants to sleep (aka “taking turns” goes right out the window).

What kinds of changes have YOU noticed in your life since having children?

 

Cloth Diaper Care Quick Troubleshooting

Worried about how to care for your cloth? Do you have leaks? Stink? A little bit of troubleshooting can help!  I made a quick guide to cloth care with bullet points. Some day I hope to expand upon each of these topics in longer posts, but if you need to know anything right now, this should help!

Proper care goes a long way

  • Store used diapers in open container—closed containers trap odor and make it worse!
  • Wash at least every two days. The longer it sits, the more it stinks.
  • Always use a cloth-diaper safe crème or ointment on baby’s bum (no petroleum) to protect your diapers and keep them from becoming waterproof! If you use a petroleum-based cream, you will have to scrub the area with Dawn dish soap and a toothbrush to get it out!
  • Keep your laundry routine simple. One cold pre-rinse, followed by a warm or hot wash and an extra rinse is all you need. Use the full amount of a good strong detergent like Tide and your diapers should be fine. Complicated routines and not enough detergent cause extra wear and stink.
  • Never dry shells in the dryer—air drying helps protect the elastics and keeps them waterproof for longer

Absorbency and leaks

  • How is the fit? Be sure to check your brand’s website for fit instructions, and GroVia actually has several videos on fit for each style of diaper. Generally, there should be no gaps when you lift up baby’s legs and the diaper should fit snugly around the waist, with the rise falling right at the hips. Extra fabric from snapped down rises should be folded upward. You can always hop onto GroVia Families and crowd-source your flip as well!
  • How many times did you prep? All diapers (even no-prep) gain absorbency with continued use and washing. Cotton and hemp diapers should be prepped a MINIMUM of 6 times before use, and if you are using a diaper for nighttime, 10 washes is your best bet.
  • Change more often. Cloth diapers are not meant to last all day like disposables, and that is a good thing (keeps the ick away from baby) most kids will need changed AT LEAST every 1.5 -2 hours. Newborns may need changes as often as every hour.
  • Add more absorbency. The truth is, some babies pee a lot, which means you may need to add a booster or even an extra prefold for absorbency. Just keep fiddling with it until you find the right combination, and remember that things change as baby gets older!
  • Try different fabrics. Synthetics are more absorbent than cotton, which means you may wish to try a cotton-covered microfiber or something like that to get better absorbency!

Odors and other issues

PROPER STORAGE and CARE—remember, open air container and washing every two days is the best way to avoid funk

Barnyard or ammonia smell—probably ammonia build-up. Do a regular wash, followed by mighty bubbles treatment. If the odor persists, do the routine again, followed by a hot wash with a quarter cup bleach. This should be done very infrequently since bleach can wear diapers down!

Fish smell, repelling issues, other odors: Probably mineral build-up. Do a regular wash with RLR. If smell persists, do again followed by hot wash with quarter cup bleach. (Again, use bleach rarely!)

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New Name, More Programming

Some of you may have noticed that Cradled in Joy Birth Services has recently changed our name to Cradled in Joy Birth and Parenting Education. It’s a small tweak, but reflects the growing and changing nature of our website. For those of you who have been with us for a while, you know that our website is a referral source for a wide range of services connected to birth and parenting. We are excited to welcome Julie Gladney to our site as our preferred IBCLC (board-certified lactation consultant), and can’t wait for her to meet each and every one of you and share her wisdom!

In addition, Jackie and Rachel are offering a different array of services as well. Both of us love our doula work, but have increasing demands in other areas of our lives that require us to offer doula services on a very limited basis. But when one door closes, another opens, and that couldn’t be more true with us!

Rachel is working her way through additional trainings and seminars to offer an even broader range of educational services. In addition to Lamaze Birth Classes, Cloth Diaper Education, and Placenta Encapsulation, Rachel is training to learn more about infant massage, postpartum rehabilitation, baby wearing, and mother care in the coming months. Stay tuned to see how these trainings will help us to offer even more to the Athens birth and parenting community!

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GroVia Valentine’s Promotion

Hi, quick post here to let you know about the GroVia scratch off ticket promotion starting today! Be sure to hop onto GroVia.com to pick up some new ONEs, trainers, all-in-ones, hybrids, or accessories to round out your stash!  Plus, you can always consult with me to pick out the perfect diapering solutions and save a little extra in the process!  (Hint hint!) Contact me to take advantage of this awesome promotion, running now through the end of February!

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