Fourteen Weeks of Lydia

Lydia is now fourteen weeks old, and it’s time for another summary.


She’s doing about the same as last week. She got up early one day, and I was thinking that would be a pattern, but then she’s back to doing around 10-9:30 or so (with feeding in there).

The biggest change is that she seem even less willing to just go to sleep wherever we are, even in a carrier. We had her out last night in the evening, and she didn’t nap for hours. Predictably, she was quite fussy. She calmed down and went to sleep pretty much as soon as we left and started heading home on BART, even though we were doing much the same thing at that point–carrying her and walking around. It’s pretty tempting to start reading intentionality into her behavior and saying that she wanted us to go home, then calmed down once we did. But that might be ridiculous.

I’ve been feeling ready for a change in her sleeping. She’s less portable, sleepwise, and definitely fussy when she’s not well-rested. I think I need to go out less. I also like the idea of doing the whole putting her down drowsy but awake thing, to get her able to fall asleep on her own. Sort of wishing I’d been trying that before, at least once a day or so, but I also think it should be fine to start now. I’ve blocked out some time on my schedule to experiment here.

I’m also wondering about debugging co-sleeping. It seems good on most counts, but I think I’m getting into weird positions nursing her at night. My back has been hurting, and I think that’s it. Our bed isn’t huge. Doubt I’ll make any changes in the next few weeks, but this is going to be at least in the back of my mind.


This week I tried pumping. I only have a manual pump, and it wasn’t particularly fast, but it worked fine. I could do it while reading. Then I tried feeding her from the bottle. She only drank about two ounces, but I don’t think she was all that hungry at that time anyway, so I think is good for now. 

We’re going to try some longer periods of babysitting next week, which was the motivation to have pumped milk. 

I also think Lydia’s current preference is to feed all the time at night and not as much during the day. I may try to influence this pattern. It also could just be she’s having a week of not being very hungry, or that she’s eating even faster. Not sure. I got a little paranoid about her consumption when I saw how long it took me to pump, but my understanding is that babies are much faster than manual pumps, so I think I should just put it out of my mind.

Elimination Communication

EC has been going pretty well this week. She’s pees a bunch of times in relatively quick succession in the morning, and then more regularly throughout the day. I’ve been meaning to get her used to going on the mini potty, but in practice haven’t been pushing it. Maybe next week.


Babywearing is still going well, but I think for the first few times the past week she’s actually seemed to want to get out of it and play on the floor more. Fine with me! Long walks still seem to be her favorite activity.

Motor Skills

Nothing big here, but she was very cute and intentional seeming about grabbing Sophie the giraffe today. No rolling recently.


I might be imagining it, but I think she’s been fussier this week. My latest theory is that it’s related to teething, but I don’t have much evidence for this, and I think parents blame all sorts of things on teeth that probably aren’t that. She drools a LOT, and she’s pretty into gumming stuff, which is where I got the idea. But I don’t feel any swollen spots on her gums or see anything obviously going on. 


Being well rested is still the most important thing. Last night I got up and couldn’t go back to sleep easily, so this morning was really hard. Then I napped for two hours while Will had her and I feel like a new person. I’ve blocked out some time on my calendar with the intention of scheduling as little as possible and just staying home with Lydia and getting into more of a routine. 

Will and I have our first date night with a babysitter tonight, which I’m very excited about!

And we’re going to be spending some time at a conference next week. Increased non-baby time may feel good and rejuvenating, but I’m not sure yet. Depending on how it goes, I’ll try to plan accordingly.

Thirteen Weeks of Lydia

As of today, Lydia has been outside of my body for thirteen whole weeks!

Tomorrow, she will be three months old, which feels like a pretty big milestone. It’s already getting hard to remember what the early days were like, so I’ve decided to start the tradition of writing a weekly summary of how she’s doing every Wednesday. I’ll try to include pictures too.

This summary will touch on the past three months, since it’s the first one.


From the beginning, based on the books I read, my plan was to get Lydia onto more of a regular sleeping schedule by around three months. At first, she could sleep just under just about any circumstances, and she would just drift off all the time. We never knew how long she’d sleep for, and some days she slept quite a bit more than others. She slept on us, either on the bed or in the wrap. Near the beginning, she’d pretty consistently wake up if I got up when she was sleeping.

We went through a rough stretch when we were visiting my family in NYC, sleepwise. I’m not sure if it was the time change, six-week fussiness, or that her day/night confusion was exacerbated by my walking around with her in the wrap all day even more than usual, since that’s been her favorite place to sleep, but around 7 weeks old she would be awake for really long periods at night. Usually a few hours. Sometimes she didn’t go to sleep until six in the morning. It was a pretty good time for it to happen, since Will and I could trade off soothing her and sleep in shifts, but it was still kind of brutal.

It didn’t last long though, and by the time we got back, she was back to going right back to sleep after feeding when she woke up at night.

Since then, we’ve been settling into more of a pattern. Lydia usually falls asleep in the wrap, though sometimes she falls asleep nursing lying down in the bed. Sometimes I swaddle her, but usually not. Her schedule is somewhat irregular, but getting more and more regular. I suspect she would be more predictable if we stayed home all the time, but we usually take her to do things at least a few times a week.

She doesn’t sleep much in the carseat anymore. She will eventually go to sleep in there, but mostly she just stays awake, pees on herself, and complains :-(. Early on, she would fall asleep in the carseat pretty much immediately, so that’s too bad. I’m assuming the carseat situation will get better eventually, and I am looking forward to that day!

Lydia usually gets up pretty late, mostly because I usually get up pretty late. This morning, she got up at 8:00am to feed only, then slept to 9:30. That was an early morning for her. I think the day before that, it was 11:30am, but that was a late morning. I think I noticed her squirming around more once the sun is up, but I can’t be sure whether it’s that I’m more awake by then or that she is.

I’ve been trying to get her down for the night the first time she goes to sleep after around 8:00pm or so, with the vague plan to move than up to around 7:00pm if she seems amenable. The easiest way to get on a regular schedule is probably to start the day at a consistent time, but so far it’s seemed best for my sleep not to wake up to an alarm. I may change my mind on this.

Lydia’s usually awake for less than an hour in the morning before she goes back to sleep. Her first nap is longer the later she went to bed the night before. Assuming no disruptions, she’ll probably nap a total of three or four times, with evening naps often but not always being shorter than morning ones.

I think she wakes up a few times a night to feed, which has been similar since the beginning. Hard to know for sure, since she sleeps with me and I don’t always fully wake to feed her. I think once she went about seven hours, but that’s definitely the exception. She sleeps longer stretches when she’s swaddled.

Walking around in the wrap is the best way to get her to sleep, and she usually transfers to the bed pretty easily, especially if I nurse her once she’s there.

I think she’s just starting to have the more adult pattern of going into Stage 1 sleep as she’s falling asleep, instead of going directly into REM.


Lydia has gotten pretty fast at nursing, and she does it a lot less often than she used to. She used to like to nurse pretty frequently, and I used to offer her the opportunity most of the time when she was crying. Now she’s pretty rarely interested, unless it’s right after she’s gotten up, or she wants to nurse to sleep. She doesn’t always nurse to sleep though, since walking works for her too.

I haven’t tried pumping yet, or giving her a bottle, though I keep saying I want to get around to that.

We’re not planning to start solids until six months, so there probably won’t be any interesting news on the eating front for a while.

Elimination Communication

It’s been up and down. We didn’t do as well when we were visiting Will’s mother in Oregon, and when I’m hanging out with people I’m sometimes distracted and miss more. But in the last 24 hours, I think she’s used only two or three diapers, including at night. Today was a good day!

She definitely understands that when we hold her over the sink, we want her to pee and poop, and she’ll almost always pee at least a little. Lately she’s been resisting a bit, but then going after a few seconds of complaining.

She’s down to pooping a little less than once a day, on average. She pees a lot more often than that, but I haven’t counted how many times recently. I’ll take her at least every 20-30 minutes or so when she’s awake.

Lydia doesn’t pee when she naps, and always has to pee right when she wakes up. These days she doesn’t usually need to nurse immediately upon waking, so this works out well. At night, she’ll usually squirm for a while when asleep if she needs to pee, then half wake up before peeing, then complain until I change her diaper. She doesn’t usually like it if I try to take her to pee at night, and will cry, so I don’t do that anymore much. My heuristic is to take her if it’s light outside. Some nights she won’t pee at all until morning, but that’s rare.

She very rarely pees when I’m wearing her, though it’s not unheard of.


I’m so glad we figured out how to nurse in the wrap! It makes life much easier. I mostly use the front wrap cross carry with the Girasol woven wrap. For Christmas, I got a hybrid stretchy wrap that I can use for back carriers too, and a water wrap.

I have tried showering with her in the water wrap, which was fun and worked pretty well.

The most recent development here is that I’ve worn her in the rucksack back carry a few times. I like it. My back muscles are clearly still working up to it, and it’s obviously impossible to nurse that way, but my arms are even more free. I expect I’ll only use the back carries more as time goes on. I’d practiced a bunch before it seemed easy to get her on my back, but now that’s not an issue.

Motor Skills

Lydia rolled over front to back just before turning two months, which was pretty cool! She often rolls a few times a day. I tend to give her tummy time first thing in the morning and right after her first nap, since those are her happiest times. It used to be she would only roll then, when she was really well-rested, but now I’ve seen her do it in the afternoon too.

For a while now, she’s been putting her hands together a bunch, and the latest development is that she’s been getting much better at getting her hands in her mouth to suck on her fingers and thumb! We’ve never used a pacifier, so I like knowing that she now has something to suck that’s totally under her control.

Head control is basically perfect, and has been for a while now.

She grabs stuff a bunch, and seems to get smoother and more intentional with that over time.


Lydia has been pretty smiley recently! I still don’t think I really have any sense of what she’ll be like as a person. She’s happier in the morning, and happier just after she’s woken up from naps. Then she pretty much gets progressively fussier until it’s time to go to sleep again. I like how she reacts to faces and will smile in response. She also enjoys her own image in the mirror.


Sometimes I have a particular thing I’m worrying about with her, but not so much this past week. I’ve been trying to move her bedtime up, and get more consistent there, but I think the more important thing is actually my bedtime, not hers. Parenting ranges from fun to a little tedious when I’m well-rested, and more like neutral to miserable with moments of cuteness when I’m exhausted. I don’t have too many non-Lydia commitments, and she sleeps in pretty late when I do, so it’s pretty easy to sleep enough if I go to bed early. But then sometimes I like to hang out with people, or talk to Will, or get work done, and I end up going to bed late. I don’t have too much of a cushion of well restedness, so I can’t do this multiple nights in a row and remain happy.

I’m very glad I have Lydia, and I think I’m doing a good job of remembering to enjoy the baby moments, because every parent I meet tells me how quickly it all goes by. That being said, I do expect to enjoy having a kid more than a baby, so it should get better, if not easier!



Pros and Cons of the Baby Carriers I’ve Tried: Month Two

Lydia is currently eight weeks old, and Will and I have recently returned from a two-week trip to New York to see my family, where we did a substantial amount of walking around almost every single day. I also finally acquired a german-style woven wrap (in purple, naturally) from Metro Minis, the baby store on the Upper East side that has all the sorts of things that I love.

I’ve spent a bunch more time with each carrier than I had a month ago, so I thought I’d check in with some thoughts about each one.

Moby Wrap

I think I’ve used this once since I got the woven wrap, and it was when the woven wrap was in the wash. I had gathered from my reading that stretchy wraps were considered easier than woven wraps, but I basically disagree. It’s true that you can get the wrap tied better before you put the baby in. So, if you had a baby who hated being involved in the tying process, but was okay either being put down somewhere or held by someone else while you got the Moby tied, that could be an advantage. The Moby does get droopy after a while, and Lydia’s only around twelve pounds, and I find it comparatively difficult to get the fabric nice and straight so that it’s very ergonomic to wear. 

I’ve started to prefer the Kangaroo Hold to the Hug Hold, mostly because it’s a lot easier to adjust the wrap so I can nurse.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the Moby wrap is a useful item, just almost strictly inferior to my newly-acquired Girasol. If you’ve been dying to own a used Moby wrap, contact me and I’d probably be up for giving you one of the two that I own. I’ll keep the other one around, at least until I get a second woven wrap to use while the Girasol is in the wash.

Maya Wrap

Ring slings do have some advantages over wraps. The main one I see is that it’s faster to get the baby in. Will has been using the Maya Wrap more than any other carrier these days. I find it relatively easy to nurse in (not in the cradle position, but with Lydia upright, as she would be in a wrap).

But my shoulder hurts when I wear her for even a pretty short amount of time. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, because I know some people happily walk around with toddlers in these. Jane Austin, who taught my homebirth prep class and has a Mommy & Baby postnatal yoga class I’m planning to attend next week has offered instruction in optimal ring sling use, so I might take her up on that.


Lydia fits into this carrier better every day, and I’ve switched to putting her legs out. Like the ring sling, it’s quite fast to get her in, and I find it easier to adjust once she’l in there. Unlike the ring sling, I’ve found it pretty comfortable to have Lydia in there for hours at a time. It’s also been pretty easy to nurse in the Ergo, by just loosening it and shifting it down a little. It took me a while to get used to fastening the back strap myself, but I’ve gotten the hang of it by now.

As I write this, Lydia is currently nursing in the Ergo. She was fussy earlier this evening (as far as I can tell because I took a phone call instead of soothing her to sleep when she first got tired), and I didn’t want to put her down for the relatively short amount of time it would take to get my Girasol on, so I put her into the Ergo, positioned her for nursing, and fed her as I paced around. When she’s really upset, nursing while walking is one of the most reliable ways to calm her down, but without a carrier I can’t sustain it for long.

She slept for about an hour, I pottied her when she woke up, and now she’s nursing in the Ergo again, this time as I’m sitting here writing this. Taking her out and putting her back in were both easy and uneventful.

4.7m Girasol Wrap

My new favorite baby carrier, and I’m still only using the Front Wrap Cross Carry! It’s snuggly, fits perfectly (because I can adjust everything), and is the most comfortable carrier I’ve used yet. Most of the days we were in New York, I had Lydia in the carrier all day. (She loves to sleep in it, so doing so probably contributed to her temporary day/night confusion. That and jet lag–poor baby :-(.)

This was also the first carrier I figured out how to consistently nurse it. It’s a lot easier to retie than the Moby, so I could pretty easily just shift Lydia down a bit, and then move her back up when she was done. She has really good head support now when she’s awake, but rolling a prefold diaper into the top rail helps her head stay up when she falls asleep.

I also find this wrap to be prettier than any of the other carriers I’ve had, though I might not be saying that if I had a Sakura Bloom ring sling :-).

I have various practical reasons to love woven wraps, but I’m willing to admit that I probably prefer them in part because they’re, well, geekier. They’re touted as the hardest carrier to learn how to use, and then even when now that I have the basics down, I can keep geeking out about different carries and modeling the differences, aesthetic and practical between different brands. I already want another one, as you might imagine. 


My favorite thing about babywearing in Lydia’s second month, as compared to her first, is that nursing while wearing her has gotten much, much easier. I feel much closer to my romantic ideal of the Kung! San mother who wears her baby all the time, and feeds her as often as every few minutes without much disruption. I’ve gotten in a bit of a routine of wearing Lydia around the house in the woven wrap without a shirt (this isn’t particularly revealing) for some extra skin to skin time for the first nap she takes every day, while I do things like eat breakfast, unload the dishwasher, and do some laundry.

Next, I want to learn more carriers to use with my woven wrap. I’ve tried the kangaroo carry (not the same as what the Moby wrap mean when they say kangaroo carry), but I don’t see much reason to use it unless I have a wrap that isn’t long enough for the front wrap cross carry, or just want to mix up the way things look.

I’m more motivated to learn at least one back carry, since that seems useful to have in my repertoire. I’ve been practicing with Lydia bit when she’s in a patient mood, and is willing to put up with it, but haven’t had much luck yet.

Why Are Babies Fussy in the Evening?

Everyone knows that some babies, at least in the modern Western world, have times during the day where they’re fussy. They’ve been fed, their diaper is clean (and they don’t want to be taken to the potty, if they’re doing EC), and they’re either crying or would be crying if someone weren’t soothing them. In some babies, the problem seems to be caused by gas, reflux, or other digestive issues. Most if not all of us are eating a diet these days that’s well outside ancestral parameters. Dairy and wheat especially seem to cause problems for some babies. 

The Kung! San supposedly don’t report evening fussiness in their babies, but it’s not clear to me it’s because their babies don’t get fussy–maybe they’re just better at soothing them. Lydia has never been inconsolable, but has occasionally required fairly substantial intervention (breastfeeding while swaddled while I’m walking and shushing her). My (very likely naive, largely informed by a handful of books) understanding of hunter gatherer populations is that they’re emotional systems are less inclined to fight against reality than our modern-day ones, so it’s that they take the extra soothing effort in stride. Plus, there are a bunch of people around to help, and they would have had experience caring for babies since they were pretty young themselves, and are likely to be better at it.

My current leading theory for Lydia’s fussiness is one that’s mentioned in a few books, including Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child: she gets overly tired. She does have gas pretty frequently, but the timing just doesn’t seem to fit. I wouldn’t expect any sort of digestive problem to cause fussiness for a few hours at a time, often in the evening. From what I can tell, Lydia is happiest just when she gets up, then she gradually gets more inclined to be fussy until she sleeps again, at which point the cycle repeats.

Lydia has never been fussy right when she woke up. And I’m pretty sure she’s never been all that calm after having been awake for several hours. Fussiness decreases when I’m good at soothing her, but it pretty much always ends with her falling asleep.

I initially found myself blaming artificial lights, but I’m actually not sure how much that matters. My understanding is that babies don’t produce much melatonin in the first few months, and fussiness decreases around the time they start producing more. Maybe the problem is that we try to get babies to sleep for longer periods during the night in the first place. My experience, common sense, and baby books seem to agree that, while being too tired can interfere with sleep, babies also can’t sleep more than a certain amount throughout the day. The usual situation is that parents don’t like it when babies sleep “too much” during the day and not enough at night. 

I wonder whether more of a true polyphasic schedule would eliminate baby fussiness. Maybe we could eliminate long wakeful periods by eliminating long sleep periods.

I have pretty low confidence in this prediction, but at least it’s easily testable.

NVC and Requests

At this point, I am very much in the habit of converting both my own and others’ statements to NVC. However, my increased focus on efficiency these days has made me realize that I tend to mostly ignore requests. I’m pretty consistent about expressing observations instead of evaluations, sharing my emotions, and tying them to underlying needs, but don’t usually go on to make clear requests, except for empathy. I do explicitly ask for that pretty often.

But lately I’ve had less time to do emotional processing and have extended conversations where Will empathizes with me. And I’ve found that I seem to be adapting by more quickly formulating specific requests. An example that jumps out at me from a few weeks ago was that I was getting upset when I had Lydia at night and Will would wake up just a little and suggest a course of action for me to take with her, such as taking her for a pottytunity. 

When I’m already stressed out and in a mad mood, I’m not the best at accepting well-meaning suggestions. I talked about that some, but I pretty quickly moved to asking whether Will would be willing to do whatever he was suggesting himself right away. Then, we ended up talking about whether that would work.

My recent experience has left me with a new appreciation for clear requests. I do think that leaving them out can be subtly coercive. Because if I’m not being clear about what I’m actually looking for, the message can be that I want the other person to figure out what I want and fix the problem so I feel better.

One Month of Elimination Communication

Deciding to Do EC

As I mentioned in my newborn gear post, Will and I have been practicing elimination communication, or EC, with our daughter, Lydia. I’d read an article about EC quite a few years ago, well before I was pregnant, and I was intrigued. It’s just the sort of idea that tends to a appeal to me: a bit unusual, contrarian, has a good story behind it where I can talk about hunter gatherer tribes and the evolutionary environment.

But when I first heard of it, I basically decided that it would be way too much work, especially if I wanted to do things other than just stare at my baby all day. I found out through my mother that at least one of my Indian aunts had used a version of EC, though not by that name, but I hadn’t met anyone else who had successfully used EC.

Fast forward to 2012, where I’m pregnant and reading up a ton about everything baby-related. EC seems to have gotten more popular in the intervening years, and my internet browsing ends up one day at EC Simplified. The copy drew me in, and I started to get the idea that maybe EC could actually work in practice.I bought the product, quickly read through the book, and decided it was something I was going to try. I wish I could remember exactly what tipped the scales, but it might have been realizing that I could use a diaper backup full-time, and just do my best to notice patterns. I read a few more books about EC and some of the forum posts on EC Simplified, and then I met some people who used it successfully (mostly though the homebirth community), and it started to seem more and more doable.

It Actually Works

One month into having a newborn, my basic update about EC is that it’s worked really well! It’s been pretty fun and not that hard. I’ve heard from other parents that some kids take to it much more so than others, but it definitely works for Lydia.

The first week I mostly concentrated on observing and cueing. We’ve done basically no diaper-free time, but her bowel movements were hilariously easy to hear right as she made them, and using a Snappied prefold without a cover allowed us to tell when she was peeing in real time as well. 

After some failed attempts to hold Lydia over the sink when I thought maybe she had to go, I fondly remember the first time I noticed her gut rumbling and rushed her to the bathroom so she could poop in the sink. I was so proud! And after the first time it worked, it all started to feel possible.

It’s been somewhat up and down, with some evenings where it seemed like she peed in her diaper ever ten minutes, and some days where I took her to the sink again and again when she didn’t have to go. At first we couldn’t really tell when she was going to pee, but she was pooping so much that we caught a bunch of her pees anyway. Then, she slowed down a bit with her pooping and we stared to figure out her patterns with pee as well. 

Really early on, Lydia clearly got the idea that when we wanted her to poop when we held her over the sink. It was pretty adorable to see her trying, even when she didn’t really have to go. By now she seems to have also decided that she prefers peeing in the sink to going in her diaper as well, but until she actually goes, we can’t really tell whether she’s trying.

I kept vaguely planning to keep track of when she was nursing, waking up, and eliminating to figure out patterns, but I never did end up keeping actual records. Instead, I’ve been building up an approximate model that combines timing, cues, and intuition.

Right now, I’d say we’re getting well over 2/3 of her pees and almost all of her poop. Sometimes it’s been less when we’re out and about, but taking her to bathrooms wherever we end up has worked pretty well too.

Here’s how we do it:

When Lydia has just woken up, I make a judgment call and either offer Lydia a “pottytunity”, as they call it, or an opportunity to nurse. If I think she’s hungrier, based on how long it’s been since she last fed and whether she’s rooting, I’ll feed her first. Otherwise, I’ll take her to the bathroom. She doesn’t like to do much of anything other than feed when she’s hungry.

If I’m feeding Lydia and she detaches repeatedly (without also falling asleep), even after I offer her the other side, I take her to the bathroom.

If Lydia is fussing and I’m not sure what’s bothering her, I take her to the bathroom.

The coolest thing to me is at this point she already seems to be learning to wait to be taken, because early on she used to go in her diaper while she was feeding or sleeping pretty often, and now she basically never does. There’s almost always some signal before hand, even though it’s pretty nonspecific. 

She can even hold it at night when she’s sleeping in blocks of more than four hours, though sometimes she’ll wake up fussing, go to the bathroom, and go right back to sleep for an extended period of time.

It’s happened a bunch of times recently that she got through the entire night without going in her diaper at all. Other times, I’ve been too tired to pick up on her signals (this usually happens early in the night). Not a big deal, and we do put her in a diaper cover so the bed stays clean.

Benefits, Drawbacks, and Open Questions

EC has been fun to do, and I like the feeling of accomplishment I get when I correctly predict Lydia’s needs and patterns.I also like that she almost never sits around in a wet or dirty diaper, and that she gets to squat for her bowel movements, which I’m sure she prefers. I like that she’s retaining awareness of her elimination patterns and also increasingly gaining control of them. Using fewer diapers is also a plus, especially when we’re out of the house, since cloth diapers are bulky to carry around. No diaper rash, but she might not have gotten that anyway. EC is also just kind of a cool trick.

However, it does take time to do EC. We still have to take a diaper off, clean her off, and put one on. The cleaning her off step is shorter, but not shorter enough to make up for the time spent holding her over the sink. It seems worth it to me, but it’s a bit inconvenient. We’re also pretty much training her to dislike going in her diaper and being in a wet diaper, so that makes her a bit higher-maintenance. I don’t mind, but it seems worth noting.

I’m hoping, naturally, that our early success continues, we get even better at this, Lydia gets out of diapers early, and we smoothly transition into her being potty trained, but it’s definitely too soon to say. My understanding is that babies often have their ups and down with EC, especially as they concentrate more on learning other skills, such as crawling, walking, and talking. We’ll see what the future holds.

Another thing I send a medium amount of thought cycles wondering about is what other babies preferences are about peeing and pooping in their diapers. Now that I see Lydia consistently complaining about the prospect of going in her diaper, I can’t help but wonder whether all the non-EC babies are doing the same thing, but their parents have no idea what they’re trying to communicate. I’m pretty sure some babies don’t care, or at least quickly learn not to care, but I’d also guess that some babies do care. I know I’d be considerably more confused about what was going on with breastfeeding if I didn’t have a model of why she sometimes refuses to latch even when she’s not done eating.

I do also realize that getting into the whole EC thing has made me into even more of the stereotypical parent who is always talking about poop. Oh well.

Baby Gear for the First Month

Will and I actually haven’t used all that much stuff for Lydia’s first month, but I mostly did a bunch of research for the things we did buy, so I thought I’d share our list of gear for other people who might be interested!


We inherited a few packs of disposables from a friend’s baby. My plan was to use them until Lydia was done producing meconium, and that they’d be good to have around in any case. We ended up using them until her cord stump fell off, which happened on day four. I think it happened  quickly because she mostly wasn’t more than a diaper, so it got to air out.)

Before she was born, we had bought two dozen OsoCozy infant diapers, one dozen in 4x6x4, and one dozen in 4x8x4.

They were really long for a newborn, and, at 8 lb, Lydia was a pretty big newborn!

The diapers were fluffy, absorbent, and seemed pretty high-quality overall, but I’m really not crazy about the proportions. They worked okay with the big diaper covers Will’s aunt had made us, but most of the time we were doing without a cover so we could know right away when she peed and better learn her patterns. We ended up getting an EC belt, and, being longer, they work pretty well belted, but I ended up preferring Snappis, for the times when we weren’t using a cover, at least for now. We did try folding them them over to make them shorter, but that got bulky and didn’t work that well.

Two dozen was also not as many as we wanted. I had been thinking that we’d be able to get away with having fewer diapers because we’d be doing EC, but it didn’t work out that way. For one thing, the first week and a half or so was more about noticing her patterns and cuing with her than actually successfully pottying her very much, and we were also changing her diapers as soon as we noticed that she was wet, so she wouldn’t get used to sitting in a wet diaper, so I think we ended up using more diapers than we would have if we hadn’t been ECing.

We ended up getting one dozen Cloth-eez prefolds each in newborn and small from Green Mountain Diapers. Those were similarly fluffy, absorbent, and high-quality, but they don’t have as many layers as the more absorbent OsoCozy diapers. That didn’t matter a ton for us, since we change them right away. They’re wider though, which I very much prefer. It doesn’t matter a ton for folding them up inside a cover, but it really helps when we’re using them with Snappis, which is what we do all day unless we’re taking her out or having other people hold her a lot.

Will’s aunt had made us four small diaper covers, but they’re still pretty huge on Lydia. We use them at night (with the thicker OsoCozy prefolds), but we also got a Bummis Super Whisper Wrap in the newborn size, so we could have something that actually fit her really well and would work better under clothes. However, at almost a month, she is already close to outgrowing this cover, so I’ve ordered one more that’s a little bigger and another one that has snaps to make it different sizes. (I can review those once we get them.) The Bummis Super Brite Cover is a good size, and I like that the inside is exposed PUL, since that means we can wipe it clean and not always have to wash it every time we change her.

We did get a top hat potty with a cozy to make it less cold for Lydia to sit on, but we actually haven’t used them much yet. (I also don’t think she cares about the temperature, based on what I’ve seen.) If I’d had it from the beginning, I might have used it more, because I was mostly staying in bed for the whole first week, but we didn’t get this until the second week, and by that point we had gotten in the habit of taking her to the bathroom sink. The nice thing about the sink is that we can watch her in the mirror and see what she’s doing. I expect we’ll use this more as we’re increasingly out and about with the baby, but maybe not.

We had this wet bag from the beginning, which was great for keeping in the diaper bag, but we quickly realized we needed something to use at home. (I guess we could have just used garbage bags, but I wanted something we wouldn’t have to keep buying.) We got two large pail liners from Green Mountain Diapers, Mommy’s Touch in flight and Blueberry in monkeys. I like both patterns, and the bags are fine. We switch them out so we can wash them with the prefolds and covers.

I also didn’t want to use disposable wipes, both because I don’t think they’re ideal for the baby’s skin, and I didn’t want to have to keep buying them, so we got these wipes, one dozen small and two dozen large. I like having the option of the two surfaces. Especially since we’re ECing, we rarely use much surface area of the wipe at all, so in retrospect I probably would have gotten more of the smaller ones. I thought we might end up putting them in a wipes warmer, in which case the small would have fit better, but instead we just kept the wipes solution at room temperature, and that seemed to work fine.

For a wipes solution, we used this mixed with water stored in these spray bottles (we have two). I like that it doesn’t have too many ingredients, and it does seem to be more effective than just using water.

We got a diaper bag and changing pad from Will’s aunt too, so we used those. A regular bag and a blanket, towel, or big prefold diaper could substitute pretty easily if you don’t want to buy either of these things, but I’ve liked having them.


We inherited a bunch of clothes, and I bought a few things because I wanted them, and because they would be more EC-friendly. Onesies don’t work so well with EC because they take longer to get off, so I got some baby T-shirts, elastic waist pants, and long newborn socks. The long socks actually seem too tight around her chunky thighs in newborn size, so I don’t always pull them up all the way, but they definitely stay on better than other baby socks I’ve had experience with.

The other clothes I ended up picking out were from Babysoy.

We’ve gotten a bunch of clothes as gifts too, so we’re definitely not lacking in this department. Especially because when Lydia is at home, which has been the vast majority of the time so far, she mostly just wears a prefold diaper and a Snappi, no clothes, to facilitate skin to skin contact.


We have some non-plastic bottles that we inherited from Izzy and a manual pump that we bought, but I haven’t used them at all yet, so I can’t comment there. Eventually, I would like to pump to give me the option to be away from the baby for longer than usual, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.

I did end up getting a Boppy pillow. I didn’t do any research about whether it would be better than a Brest friend or something else similar, but it works fine. I’ve used it for nursing sometimes, and also found that it was good for sitting on when I was still healing. My basic recommendation here is that having a bunch of blankets and pillows of various shapes and sizes around is good for making nursing as hands-free as possible.

I mostly used laid-back positions for breastfeeding at the beginning, which didn’t go all that well with the Boppy, but within a week I was already switching things up a bunch.


We inherited a rear-facing carseat, so we just used that for the car.

We also inherited a green Moby, and I had already bought a purple one, so we have two. It’s nice to be able to use one while the other one is in the wash, but if I were picking now, I would probably pick two different wraps instead of two of the exact same kind. I haven’t used woven wraps yet, though I’m probably going to get one soon, but I’d at least get a Boba wrap to compare, and because they’re somewhat shorter.

I could easily do with a much shorter wrap than the Moby, but it ultimately doesn’t matter that much. It takes a little while to get the Moby on, but it’s quite comfortable for walking around and doing stuff, and I like that I can get it pretty tight. I think it makes Lydia calmer to have it that way, in the same way that swaddling would (though we haven’t tried that yet).

I also ended up getting a Maya wrap ring sling a little after the birth, because I thought that would be nice to have too. The ring sling is really fast to get her in and out of, and is easier for hands-free breastfeeding, so I am definitely glad I have it. I wish I’d have it from the very beginning. It’s not quite as ergonomic, and I don’t feel as comfortable bending down and picking things up a bunch, but it’s great to have in the rotation.

We had an Ergo, but we didn’t get the infant insert, since people didn’t seem to love it, and my plan had been to use the Moby at the beginning. Yesterday, I tried Lydia in the Ergo without the insert just to see how it was, and I think it actually worked pretty well. I was going to use a blanket as an insert if it seemed like she needed it, but she seemed fine. Her legs fit inside in the froggy position, and her head was supported. The straps needed to be tightened quite a bit for it to work, but I think I’ll end up using this a fair amount too, now that I’ve tried it.


Lydia sleeps in the bed with us, so there’s not too much gear involved here. We did get a waterproof mattress cover to put under our sheet, which I would definitely recommend if you want to keep your mattress clean, and I would have wanted this even if she were sleeping somewhere else, since we hung out on the bed with her quite often, especially at first.

We inherited a baby swing, a vibrating seat, and another seat that moves in a few different ways that we haven’t used yet. The swing seems like the best of the lot, but Lydia doesn’t seem that crazy about it. Once we put her in there and she fell asleep, but in general she prefers to be closer to us (and I prefer to be closer to her). I think it’s likely we could get her used to sitting in these seats, and that it’s likely she’ll be more okay with them as she’s older, but right now I use the swing pretty infrequently, mostly when I want to put her down and go to the bathroom.

We have some swaddle blankets, but haven’t really used them. We might in the future though.

I have needed some light to wrange night-time feeding (though I expect I won’t forever). At first, Will had set up a great station for me by the side of the bed with food, water, and everything else I might want, so we put a lamp there, which worked pretty well. Now, we’ve retired that, and I have a motion-activated night light. I would have preferred a red LED, so it wouldn’t mess with our circadian rhythms, but given that it’s off when we’re not moving, I doubt it matters much.


I’d love to hear other people’s recommendations here, but I think at this age there isn’t much she’s capable of playing with. We inherited a bunch of toys and gotten some as gifts, but so far the only ones we’ve used have been some high-contrast blocks for her to look at.


It’s been hard for me to use my computer while nursing (though I’m actually doing so semi-functionally now), but reading on my iPad has worked really well. Will and I also played a ton of Dominion while I was in bed, because I could mostly do that one-handed.