As Liam turns six months, I started thinking about how drastically our lives had changed. My daily activities are completely different than they were when I was pregnant. Having a baby will do that but some of what we do is unconventional and I wanted to share what we’ve been doing and how it’s worked for us.
1. Extended Breastfeeding- We’ve been breastfeeding every single day, multiple times a day and sometimes all through the night for 6 months. For some of you, this may seem like an eternity. For others, not very long. I made the decision before Liam was born to breastfeed. I knew I would do anything and everything I needed to to ensure he got my breast milk for at least a year. We’re halfway there. Now that our relationship has solidified and my milk supply is steady, I know that we’ll go beyond that, breastfeeding for as long as Liam needs to.
Liam’s First Latch
2. Cloth diapers- We started off using disposables from the hospital and our gDiapers for Liam’s first 2 weeks. Then we moved and lived out of a suitcase for a week so we used disposables exclusively until we got settled into the VA house. Since then, however, we’ve been CDing (cloth diapering) 98% of the time. Only exception is when we go to visit family overnight (unless it’s for longer than a few days, then we bring the cloth).
It does take extra time doing the laundry and prepping clean diapers but I really prefer the look of cloth and since I have the extra minutes, will spend them being “green” if I can!.
My stash consists of gDiapers, pockets & Flips. Liam used to wear G’s exclusively but once he grew out of Mediums, I realized I couldn’t afford all the large covers he’d need. So we use a combination of used Large G’s, new Flips (which fit gDiaper inserts) and pocket diapers (which I actually really like). The flips & pockets are one size so hopefully they’ll fit him until he’s potty trained.
Speaking of which…
3. we’re still ECing
. With life as exciting as it is, our catches are pretty infrequent but he still goes most of the time I put him on it. He just gets really distracted so it’s frustrating for me to try and hold him (since he’s not sitting up 100% unassisted) while he squirms and reaches for the latest thing that caught his eye. We’ll keep at it though!
4. Bedsharing/Cosleeping- I honestly didn’t think we’d be bedsharing for 6 months but it still makes sense for us just as much as it did in his first few days. It’s easier to nurse, I like having him in bed so I don’t have to get up and he seems to sleep better with me next to him. Some nights I need my space so I’ll roll and face away from him, but I always end up turning back to cuddle. I just can’t help it!
We started off cosleeping with the pack & play next to the bed but that never got used. Then we attached a toddler bar to the bed so he wouldn’t roll out. That worked for awhile but then he started to grow. So we bought a crib and sidecarred it.
This has worked out really well and Liam has his own space to sleep when he’s restless and needs to be alone. It does happen than he sleeps better on the crib some nights and others, like when he’s teething, for example, and wants to be close, there’s still room in the big bed. Ryan is still on the overnight shift so we have the bed to ourselves but even on the weekends there is ample room when we’re all sleeping together. We’ve even taken Family Naps with the dogs without any issue.
5. Babywearing has saved me many many times over. I wear Liam every time we go shopping which makes life much easier. Really the only times I don’t wear him when we’re out is if we’re on our morning walk/run when I use the jogging stroller or if we’re out to eat and I bring the small umbrella stroller so he can sit and look around.
When he was a newborn, I used the Moby and Boba wrap around the house. He loved being snuggled close to me and I loved being able to do things with 2 hands! When we’d go out, I used the Ergo with infant insert because it felt more secure and he was able to nurse without any disruption or jostling.
As he got bigger, I stopped using the Ergo insert and just used the carrier on its own. Then he grew into the Boba carrier which is very similar to the Ergo except that it fit me better because I am short-waisted. I decided to sell the Ergo since I just wasn’t grabbing for it anymore.
In the meantime, I got my first woven wrap which enables me to wrap Liam safely on my back. I also wear him on my back in the Boba but wrapping him makes it easier for me to move around and bend over while doing things around the house. I recently got the Boba Air
which is an awesome carrier that collapses into a little packet like a windbreaker. We keep this one in the car.
I like using the ring sling as well for both in and out of the house and recently got a mesh ring sling to use in the shower and pool/lake/ocean.
As you can tell, I am CRAZY about babywearing and cannot imagine surviving the last six months without it. Now I just have to get Ryan to try it…
6. Dog Love: From the moment we brought Liam home, the boys have been curious, but very good with Liam. We only had one instance where Jeffrey jumped on him but given the fact he is around them all day, I think that’s pretty good. They love to lick his feet while he sits and giggles. Liam pets both of them while they patiently sit. Sometimes Liam is a little rough so we have to remind him “gentle” and “don’t pet Charlie’s eyes”, etc. All in all, they reside very peacefully and we feel lucky to have a calm-ish household.
We are amazed daily at our son and six months later still in awe that we are parents. How lucky we are to get to raise a boy like Liam! He is such a joy to our family and really, everyone he meets. I feel so blessed to be his momma and help him through this journey and am so excited to see him become the person he’s meant to be.