We've had our ups and downs this month for sure, but overall the first 4 months of EC have been wonderful. In the busyness of family life, especially when you have older children to tend to, it is a gift to practice EC. It is a reminder to pause and give your focused attention on your baby, even for only a few minutes. But these pauses are fairly frequent (compared to the routine of regular, non-EC diapering) - and allow parents to check-in with baby regularly to consider his or her needs beyond hunger, boredom and sleepiness. I have definitely been blessed with a calm and content baby - but I also really believe that a part of his contentedness is because of EC.
Alek is nearly always in a dry diaper (or no diaper at all) and because of that, aside from a bit of redness, he doesn't have a diaper rash, so he is dry and comfortable. Secondly, he is never gassy or constipated - this may not be entirely due to EC - but because I am holding him in a deep squat position (the easiest and best position for humans to poop in) dozen's of times per day, any gas or poop comes out frequently. Finally, when he's crying and there is no "obvious" reason why (ie. he's not hungry, tired, bored or hurt), I know that his diaper is either wet or dirty or he needs to use the potty. Either way, after a change and a potty, he's usually back to his contented self again.
A week after Alek turned 3 months old, I had to strip all my cloth diapers; a lengthy process that involves washing, soaking, sterilizing and the washing them again a few more times. I had just purchased some second-hand diapers and many of my old ones must have had build-up remaining from when my daughter used them, because they were beginning to stink! It took over 12 hours to complete the process, and the diapers weren't quite dry for bed time. I ended-up having my most successful EC day ever, and managed to go a whole day using only 1 large prefold diaper, 1 pair of training pants and 3 disposables (including the one he wore to bed). Considering that both the training pants and 1 disposable were retired because of some drips of runny baby poop (but no pee) in them, I think that's pretty incredible! Amazing what one can accomplish when the need (and challenge) arises.
Despite that super-successful day with lots of catches, we have also had a number of "off" days where it seems that Alek and I are just not in-sync EC-wise. Those days when he begins to pee as I am taking off this diaper, or I catch nothing in the potty but he pees 2 minutes later on the floor, or even some days where almost every diaper was wet and very few pees ended-up in the potty.
Last month I talked a bit about Alek's emerging signals - mainly crying out uncomfortably - and was looking forward to building on that this month. Unfortunately, his signals have retreated for the most part this month, even for poops which I find surprising! I wonder if this could be a natural part of his development, as I have been following the "Wonder Weeks" and these last 5 weeks he has been progressing through mental leap 4. Perhaps as his world rights itself, his signals will return or become more overt. I've also just noticed his two bottom front teeth starting to break through, so its possible he is a little preoccupied at the moment!
A funny example about this lack of signals happened yesterday... I had taken off Alek's poopy diaper, offered him the potty (too hastily perhaps), and then just placed a prefold diaper under his naked bum so that I could carry him to the kitchen. I was standing at the computer that lives on our kitchen island, holding Alek in my left arm, controlling the mouse with my right. Then suddenly, with not a wiggle nor a peep, a huge gush of poop flew out of Alek's bum and onto the floor, completely bypassing the prefold somehow! What the heck???
In another unfortunate turn of events this month, Alek has developed Eczema on his torso and a bit on the sides of his head. When moisturizing didn't help, I decided to get him some baby probiotics which we started one week ago. Ever since his first dose I have noticed a big increase in the number of poops he takes in a day, sometimes he will poop 4-5 times in one morning! With this increase in poops, my catch rate has gone way down. Even if I'm catching several poops per day, several more are ending up in a diaper.
Another interesting development this month is Alek's increased dexterity and ability to move! By his 4-month birthday he can roll both ways and somehow manages to turn in circles as well. Sadly, his grabby little hands have discovered his genitals and every time I have him naked he is grabbing them so hard I am worried that he is going to hurt himself! Therefore, clothing-wise I am trying to keep him in something for the most part. Generally a cloth fitted with no cover, training pants or a cloth prefold with or without a cover.
Alek's dad is finally getting a little more comfortable trying EC and has made a few catches. Although he is not as enthusiastic about it as I am, I know that he sees the value in it and is amazed by our successes!
This week is the 6th Annual Go Diaper Free Week and all about helping you begin a diaper-free reality with your little one - at any age. There are contests, free on-line classes and more being offered by Andrea Olson over at Go Diaper Free, so check it out! In honour of this week, I am also going to hold a contest and the winner will receive a copy of the tiny potty board book (including shipping anywhere in Canada)! All you need to do to enter is to "like" the pinned post on Wee Potty's Facebook Page and comment on this or any one of my blog posts between now and Saturday April 28th, 2018. The winner will be tagged in a Facebook post and sent a personal message on Sunday April 29th, 2018.