Breastfeeding has perils all its own, but a sick baby adds a new dynamic of breastfeeding difficulties. Your little one may have trouble wanting to latch on because they can’t breathe through their nose. Or they may spit up more than usual. Here are a few ways to help breastfeeding along while yoru little one isn’t feeling well.
Keeping a baby’s airways clear during breastfeeding is always important. We all check to make sure our body isn’t covering the nose of our little one while they are on the breast. With a congested baby, however, we have to help keep their little nose clean, or we are in for a frustrating feeding time. Before the feeding and after each burping use a nasal aspirator to clear your little one’s nasal passages. You may choose to pump and give your little one your milk in a bottle during this time. It makes positioning more flexible and may help your little one pick a better position for their breathing. Check with your pediatrician before using any medications including nose clearing rubs. Some types of medication should not be used before certain ages.
I’m sure there are people who will feel adamantly different, but I am convinced that children potty train whenever they darn well feel like it. I don’t know much about elimination communication, so I don’t consider that when I write this. I have a friend who did it that way and that kid has been trained to potty for a long time. But for those of us not going that route, this is for us.
My daughter is smart. I don’t say that because I’m her mom. I say that because she is always one step ahead of me and I see her wheels working to get what she wants. I started cloth diapers when she was a little over two years and we had a four month old. I didn’t get a ton of diapers because I thought she would be out of diapers soon anyway. Boy was I wrong.
At first, I was casual about it. We got her a little potty and showed her how to use it. She liked the potty, and if I recall correctly, she even used it a couple of times, so I thought this was going to be easy. But after the novelty wore off, she didn’t seem to see the importance of the potty when she had the convenience of a diaper.
I started to take a little more initiative. I bribed her with the promises of M&Ms if she went. She liked the idea and it worked a couple of times, but again, she decided the treat wasn’t worth the effort. I upped it again, making a nice chart with stickers to record how many times she went and another chart with pictures of what to do that also would get stickers. It was fun – for the first two stickers.
A billion years ago (so it seems), the only diapers that were used were flat-style diapers. Many cultures across the world did and still do practice elimination communication, but many cultures also still use flats. Don’t get me wrong, flats have plenty of upsides—they’re easy to wash by hand and quick to dry, and you can make a flat diaper out of almost any spare fabric you have lying around, in a pinch. I totally went through a “flats phase” and understand the benefits. One of the reasons I liked flats for a while was because my daughter did best in cotton fabrics. Anything else she was more prone to getting rashes in, but that good ol’ 100% cotton was cheap and breathable.
Flats: as close to a universal diaper as you can get
However, the upsides of flat diapers can quickly become the downsides as well. They can be difficult to fold quickly, and aren’t as absorbent as some modern manmade fabrics. Another downside I only discovered after my second child was born: Some kids simply do not like sitting in a wet diaper.
Breastfeeding doesn’t always go the way we plan. There are gas pains, lack of cooperation, and lots of crying. Sometimes your child has colic. Sometimes you don’t know why they aren’t cooperating and your pediatrician says it’s normal. Before throwing in the towel try these tips.
Yes, your little one is crying. Yes, you feel the need to help him or her be happy and quietly go to sleep. Right now, however, you are frazzled and your nerves are raw from trying to get them to calm down for the past hour. So take a step back. After you have made sure they are burped, fed, and changed, take a five to ten minute break to regroup. It may be that your child will calm down because frazzled you has stepped away. Or it may be they will continue crying while you get a drink of water, go to the bathroom, or get a snack. Put your little one down for tummy time or in the baby swing. With a moment to breath you may think of a new way of approaching your unhappy baby that will bring a stop to the sadness.
All-in-one diapers are very popular, for good reason. Every part of the diaper comes sewn together in one neat piece, rather than having multiple pieces, such as inserts or covers, that must be assembled to make a complete diaper. The convenience comes at a price—they are more expensive than other diaper types—but they are especially well-liked by daycares and other temporary caregivers that may only be familiar with disposables. However, because all-in-ones are all one piece, they require a little different care and look different than other diapers. To make things even more confusing, some diapers that are actually pockets, especially foreign-made ones on eBay, are often labeled as “all in one diapers” even though they are what we call “pocket diapers.” Let’s look at the parts of a true all-in-one diaper below.
One of the biggest concerns with cloth diapers is how good they are to travel with. With disposables, you have your diaper bag with diapers and wipes (and possibly additional things like trash bags and creams). After a change, you throw it all away whenever you find a trash can, which we’ve found is sometimes harder than others. At someone’s house, you may have to be creative since they don’t want stinky diapers in their trash can.
It’s not that much different with cloth, and I actually think it’s better. You still have your diaper bag with diapers and wipes. You will change the diaper, just like you would disposable, but instead of throwing it into your closest trash can (complicated or not), you pull out your travel wet bag and dump the diaper in that. It is water proof (same PUL material as some cloth diapers), locks in odors, and zips or ties shut. And they stay in there until you are ready to do a load of laundry.
We know what is good for our little ones even when our culture or society is ill prepared to work with us. Here are a few ways to help our communities embrace a better understanding of how important breastfeeding is to the moms living in them.
The Nursing Room
Most churches I have attended have a nursing room. So do some, but not all, day care centers. That’s about it on the list of places that provide a room for women to breastfeed in public, which is disturbing for two reasons. First, gone are the days when it wasn’t common knowledge that breastfeeding a child was the best option for a child’s health. Second, if so many people are truly offended by the sight of breastfeeding, you would think they would provide an out of sight place. This would be good for customers and clients and employees of establishments and be a great compromise for those who find breastfeeding unsightly.
Bring these ideas to local business, assuring them that you would frequent them more often if they would reach this compromise with you. It doesn’t even need to be a new room. It could be an old utility closet with a sign on the door and a rocking chair.
Have you ever tried to diaper a newborn while receiving aid from a toddler? It’s one of the most frustrating things to do. On one hand you want to encourage the helpful nature of your toddler. On the other hand you would rather not have the contents of the newborn’s diaper decorate your home’s carpet. Luckily, for us all, there are ways to nurture your little helper and keep your carpet refuse free.
Let your toddler help with snaps. The best way to allow this is the unsnapping of the diaper. This is because there is a pulling motion rather than a pushing motion. It’s not likely that, with your supervision, the toddler will fall on the baby. At the same time toddlers are fascinated with things that can open and close. This could also help the toddler with motor skills. The upside for you is as long as your little guy has a part to play he will most likely be fine letting you do the rest without trying to help more.
Have your toddler be your gopher. Have him help get the wipes, the Desitin, or an insert for the diaper. Make sure all the materials are close by and then, as you need an item, ask for them. Between eighteen months and two years of age a toddler should be able to carry out simple requests. It will take some time for them, so be patient.
Breastfeeding mothers everywhere should be excited for the month of August. First the there is the week between the first and the seventh. It’s World Breastfeeding Week. The fun doesn’t stop there either. The whole rest of the month is Breastfeeding Awareness Month.
World Breastfeeding Week
All you need to do to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week is log on to WorldBreastfeedingWeek.org. There are downloads and contests. There is even a pledge that you can take as a breastfeeding mother. They list their objectives quite clearly, and they really aren’t anything anyone could object to. My particular favorite is getting young people of both genders interested in breastfeeding and how it is still relevant in our changing world today. With the easy access to formula and our fast pace society here in the United States it’s easy for us to want to sweep breastfeeding under the rug. This week is to help keep that from happening. Downloads consist of action folders, calendars, desktops, and even promotion flyers. Plus the materials come in a variety of languages.