Wednesday, October 08, 2008
8-Months-Old on the 8th!
Things I have learned about Iza:
Miss Iza B. loves to get her wiggles out just before bedtime. This is important because prior to learning this I had been trying to establish a "calm and serene" bedtime ritual that entailed warm bath, warm pajamas, warm breast, and off to sleep. (Not to mention dimmed lights and soft music.) Night after night Miss I. would enjoy her bath and then promptly cry in a desperate sort of please-don't-torture-me way as I attempted to diaper and dress her for bed. One night I had to step away for a moment to retrieve the forgotten diaper cream. She immediately began to kick her legs as fast as possible and smile and shriek-with-glee. It turns out that she loves being in her birthday suit, warm from the bath, with mama and tata there to see her wiggle and roll and show off her newest tricks. As she plays we finagle her into diaper and jammies. Soon she is ready to nurse and fall asleep. Lesson: a girl needs her wiggles before she can get down to the business of sleep.
Miss Iza B. learns. The neighbors loaned us their exersaucer--a contraption that allows the baby to sit up and rotate around a saucer of toys while bouncing on her newly discovered legs. I had heard mommies extol the virtues of these devices. I placed Iza in it and she was all smiles for about 45 seconds. Then she hit a toy--a noisy thing that rotates. She did not approve. Subsequent attempts went like this: smile--loud noise--cry--removal to another diversion. So we set out to learn to love our excersaucer. I sat with Iza in my lap and we touched and "played" with the toys from outside the saucer for a few days. Sure enough she learned that the loud noises are just what she loves. Now she plays happily in it while I drink my morning jasmine tea and provide an audience.
Things I have learned:
EC. Elimination Communication. I admit that I had never heard of this until Iza was about 3 months old. I didn't believe it. This is the practice of going diaper-free. (Read more about it here: http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/) You observe your baby and allow her/him to pee-pee or poo-poo in a receptacle. You can start this when they are a few weeks old. Mommies and Daddies, I have see this in action. A friend practices this with her three-month old. When we returned to her apartment after tea, she noticed that her baby's diaper was dry. She held her over a tiny potty and said "pish-pish" (a pee-pee sound) and she did just that. This is cool. Saves on laundering cloth diapers for sure. Not to mention that it is an intense way of really being tuned into your baby's cycles. We are vigilant about what we put into them. Some parents are just as vigilant about helping those things go out.
I admit: I don't think I have the energy or will to practice EC. But I do admire it. Concession: I finally ordered cloth diapers. Yes, I will now, after 8 months, attempt to give up my Pampers habit and switch to cloth. (Al Gore sheds a tear of joy.) Some say that it is an environmental wash (so to speak) between cloth and disposable due to the fact that cloth diapers require more laundering, i.e. more water and soap introduced into the environment. Yet, 1) I like the idea of less plastic/fewer chemicals used on my baby's bottom and, 2) I also like the theory that she will potty train sooner/easier because she will not like the feel of wet/poopy diapers. Never mind the fact that cloth diapers are damn cute and user-friendly these days. Check them out: http://www.wildflowerdiapers.com/
I have also learned that sometimes, despite all your talk therapy, you have to break up with your pediatrician. It was painful. I had interviewed three pediatricians before Iza B. was born. I chose a woman who was professional, worked nearby, and seemed well connected to the community. It was a private practice of three woman doctors. I liked that.
I had prepared a list of questions that I asked each pediatrician. But truthfully I had no idea what I needed/wanted in a pediatrician. In Boston the number of good doctors is overwhelming. So I just went with my gut feeling--I liked her style. It turns out, however, that we clashed on some issues. She recommends cry-it-out and starting solids as soon as possible, among other things I came to disagree with. The final straw concerned vaccines. Long story short, she was unable/unwilling to discuss an alternative schedule for vaccines. A significant part of me wanted her to convince me this wasn't necessary, but she responded to my questions with an attitude of impatience and contempt. Contempt, as we all know, is a relationship poison.
I am happy to report that I easily found two other pediatricians that will work for us and so the transition has been smooth. Breaking up is hard to do. Really hard. At least for me. But, parent lesson number #777: You must buck up and act in the best interest of your child even if that means breaking up with your pediatrician.