Holding our head up.

Things have been pretty busy here recently. I”m continuing to look for the right balance between baby, housework, cooking, and other projects.  This week I tried to squeeze in some sewing with mixed results…when will I learn that I can’t accomplish everything I did before the baby came? Or even, like, 1/4?

My life, however, is not nearly as exciting as that of a certain baby. She has recently gone from this…

Learning to like her tummy.

To this!

And she's up!

Okay, that doesn’t look particularly exciting. But what you can’t see is the rolling over that preceded this little maneuver. Camilla has been able to roll over for weeks, but she suddenly gained a lot of enthusiasm for it. As in, whenever I lay her down on her back she instantly starts trying to roll herself over. This is followed by raising her head and looking around, which is eventually followed by getting tired and wailing for mom to rescue her. And then mom magically appears and puts her on her back, but a baby doesn’t want to be on her back anymore so she rolls over. Which is followed by….you get the idea.

While she prefers to be rescued from her own success, Camilla can also roll from front to back, which means that she now has mobility. The first time I left the room and found her in a different location when I came back was strange: I felt simultanteously empowered for her and panicked in that I can’t wait any longer to start some serious babyproofing. I can actually foresee crawling in the not-too-distant future. Aaaaahhhhh!

(She gets that worried frown whenever she holds her head up — I guess it takes a lot of concentration.)

There’s one other big change in our lives that I”m going mention since I went public about it before: we are no longer cloth diaperers. I’m kind of ashamed to admit it, but not everything works for everybody and I thought there might be another reader out there who has arrved at the same conclusion and needs some solidarity. For our family, it came down to the following list of pros and cons.

Things I liked about cloth diapers:
— They’re reusable and I didn’t feel like I was creating a lot of trash.
— They didn’t smell like chemicals.
— They ketp the poo in  lot better than disposables.
— I got a feeling of ecological and faintly moral superiority when I told other people we use cloth diapers (this alone is probably enough reason to quit).

Things I didn’t like about cloth diapers:
— I spent an awful lot of time doing laundry. In our apartment, every trip to the washer and dryer involves wrenching open our lousy sliding glass back door with two hands, opening a padlock, and working in a ridiculously hot little storage room. And the more time I spend doing laundry, the more apt I am to look at husband when he comes home with a and-what-has-he-done-around-here-today kind of attitude. This is not that great for our relationship, obviously.
— All that laundry is pretty energy inefficient (I dread our next electric bill). This would be mitigated if I could line dry the diapers, but due to our lease and apartment setup this isn’t possible for us. My cloth diapers took 70 minutes in the dryer on high to get dry. 70 min x every other day + regular laundry = a lot of electricity.
— While clean diapers smell great, dirty ones don’t. ‘(Nuff said.)
— Husband didn’t like cloth diapering the baby, which meant that she would sometimes mysteriously end up in disposables when he changed her. This was irrationally annoying to me since I was doing all that laundry so she wouldn’t be in disposables and was another source of relationship stress.
— Camilla didn’t like them. This was the clincher for me, really. During changing time she would smile and laugh and kick happily, but as soon as I fastened the diaper she started to fuss about 90% of the time. I experimented with all sorts of different folds and covers with the same result: she doesn’t like feeling thick around her middle, and she especially doesn’t like to feel wet. Being wetter also meant that she got a small, persistant rash that I couldn’t get to go away without using cream, which hurts the absorbency of your diapers.

In the end, husband asked if we could stop and I agreed. A cloth-diapering friend happily received our stash and I’m looking for other ways to reduce our budget. I feel less cool and hipster, but I honestly think that the baby is happier and that’s worth a little chagrin on my part. A happy baby, of course, it where’s at.


7 thoughts on “Holding our head up.

  1. I, for one, am in awe that you even tried it.

    I did not even consider the slightest, tinsy, weensy thought of cloth diapers.

    Can you imagine what that would have been like when our middle three came so close together?


  2. It’s great to see a little (or rather, a lot) of honesty from time to time, especially on blogs. It’s also great to see it in regards to subjects such as cloth diapering (sometimes a touchy one). We thought about cloth diapering Bella at home and then using disposables when we were out and about, but I foresaw myself cheating and using disposables whenever I was in a hurry at home (which would have ended up being 90% of the time), and so I was pretty sure it wouldn’t work for us. Many kudos to you for trying, though. Most impressive. Yay for happy babies. :)

  3. Yeah and Amen, Kiddo. One shoe doesn’t fit all feet and neither do life styles. I’m so happy you’re doing what works for you. BTW, which disposable diaper brand do you like the best?

    p.s. Sure love the pictures. :)

  4. *sigh* Thank you for your honesty about the diapers! I haven’t confessed to most of our friends that we gave up long ago… partly because of me cheating occasionally and because my husband didn’t like it. It’s so great to hear that it happens in other intentional households!

  5. Pingback: A Philosophy of Recycling « timmyjimi

  6. Haha, I was caught by surprise when you told me that you had stopped. You had made cloth diapering sound great on your blog.

    I am sorry that you felt pressure from me to use cloth. I was actually really surprised that you even gave it a try. You guys are so tidy, and cloth diapering is not.
    Confession: While using cloth, I always was freaked out by the thought of the bacteria growing in the washer and dryer.

    I wasn’t too upset to have to stop using cloth after I broke my hand. With disposables, I don’t like the chemicals on my girl’s bottom, but that just gives me incentive to potty-train early. We are working on that now. I think potty-training at age 2 can be difficult, but saves more money than anything else. I am hoping Jane catches on soon. She is not getting it yet. Miles and Henry were pretty easy to train.

    In parenting and marriage, you have to pick your battles, and I think you made a good choice.

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