Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

Welcoming Baby Number Two! May 25, 2018

Filed under: baby,Pregnancy — Stephanie @ 2:35 pm
Tags: , ,

As I mentioned in some previous posts, we were expecting our second child at the end of May/beginning of June (estimated due date of June 3rd). Well, apparently our little boy had alternate plans, as my water broke very early in the morning during the 37th week of my pregnancy.  We had only partially packed our hospital bags when we had to rush to the hospital!

So now we’re a family of 4!

It’s definitely been tricky getting used to navigating the needs of our toddler daughter with our newborn son, while also making sure I’m taking the time to recover!

Luckily we’ve got some help: a really good friend of ours was able to come to the hospital to watch our daughter when I went into labor, then my mother-in-law came to watch our daughter during my recovery at the hospital. And now my parents are up to help out for a week. And my husband was able to save up a lot of PTO so he will still stay home with the baby and me for a month before he has to go back to work.

I’ll be taking the 12 weeks allowed for me from FMLA, with some portion of it paid.  Then I’ll be heading back to work, with both kids going to daycare.

I still plan on breastfeeding (and later pumping/breastfeeding) this baby like I did with his big sister, but we’ll see how it goes.

We didn’t bother with cloth diapers this time around. We tried it last time, it definitely cut down on our trash output, but was not a long term solution for us.  We’re currently using up the stash of newborn diapers that the hospital gave us, as well as the extras my sister gave us after her baby outgrew the newborn size.  Our toddler is still in diapers, so we are dealing with quite a lot of diapers these days!

I’m going to try to find balance in maternity leave.  There’s some things we need to take care of, but for the most part, especially early on, I need to focus on recovery and, of course, caring for and bonding with my new baby

I was going to write a blog post about how to help out new parents (and I still might) but for now I’d recommend the YouTube video from Bridget (from Money after Graduation).  Parents of new babies definitely appreciate the help! Just be prepared to show up to a messy home and offer up some help and/or food!

Back to resting up and nursing!

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Trying out cloth diapers May 9, 2017

Filed under: baby,Boston,Environment — Stephanie @ 9:42 pm
Tags: ,

As you may have noticed, my blog has taken a turn towards baby topics. The baby (okay, she’s now a 15 month old toddler) is a big focus in my life.

I figure I should let you guys know about a few things we ended up doing, what worked, and what didn’t for us.

One of the many parenting decisions we went through was “cloth vs disposable diapers”.

We had a few reasons we wanted to try out cloth diapers. The idea of throwing away disposable diapers bothered us on both an environmental and financial level. But we also weren’t 100% sure we could keep up with the routine of cloth diapers. Luckily, we had a few friends who had also tried cloth diapers, and they referred us to Diaper Lab in Davis Square. This store offers a few rental programs to try out cloth diapers. Plus they offer classes to prep you for it and other baby care activities.

We opted for their newborn rental program, which allowed us to try out a bunch of different types of cloth diapers, from the cheaper prefolds through to the fanciest all in ones. Also included was a laundry bag, some special detergent, and a wet bag (for storing dirty diapers on the go). We also took their cloth diapering class to help us understand how to use them (diapering, cleaning, etc.)  The rental program was for 3 months, which was just a bit longer than my maternity leave.

We used disposable diapers in the hospital (since they were provided), and that meant we also got to take home all the ones they provided that we didn’t use.  Which was good to have some as backup.  Which was important for me, because as a shiny new mom, my first few nights home, I found trying to do the cloth diapers completely overwhelming. I may or may not have had a meltdown during my first cloth diapering attempt. But we spoke with the folks at diaper labs, and they gave us some pointers on how to make the diapering process easier.  Plus they offered to exchange some of the bigger diapers they gave us for smaller ones, since part of the problem for us was that she was born so small that a lot of cloth diapers were just too big for her!

After getting used to the diapering, as well as the laundering, it wasn’t too difficult.  When we traveled a few weekends to visit family, we brought disposable diapers because the idea of lugging around a weekend’s worth of dirty diapers did not appeal to us.

So, what did we end up doing at the end of the Newborn Rental Program?  We returned all the items, and didn’t end up going forward with cloth diapers.   There were a few reasons:

  • I was going back to work.  This meant less time to do the diaper laundry (on top of all the other laundry).  This also meant daycare, and while they told us they’d be fine with cloth, it really was going to make things a lot trickier, including picking up a bag full of soiled diapers every night.
  • We knew things would change once she was on solids.  Even though we didn’t introduce solids until around the 6 month mark, we’d heard that things got trickier after that….having to spray the “solids” into the toilet before laundering, etc. etc.  YEAH….that was a lot of extra work
  • Overall laziness.  On top of the extra laundry, we just found the disposable diapers easier to deal with, travel with, get onto a squirming child, etc.  Plus it was easier to get family/friends to help with diaper changes since they were all more familiar with disposables.

We definitely were hopeful that cloth would work for us, since, especially if we want to have more kids down the line, we could reuse the cloth diapers, and get more bang for our buck.  I think it was a useful experience, and I’d recommend this type of program if it’s offered in your area (or if you ask a cloth-diapering friend if you could borrow their set of newborn sized cloth diapers).

What have you all done about the cloth vs disposable decision?  What pushed you in one direction vs the other?  Do you have any questions for me on our experience?

[As a note, this is not a sponsored post by Diaper Lab!  They’re just who we went through for this program!]

 

 
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