Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nappies to Chaddies to Diapers

As a newborn, in the initial days of life, kids tend to pass stools which are dark and tarry and sticky frequently, possibly with every feed or even more and struggle to pass the stool or pass the urine as the canals are not yet strong enough, so straining with toilet and stool is not a problem if it is not really high in magnitude.

In fact, the number of wet and dry diapers is also an indication as to whether the baby is feeding alright and enough and hydrated enough. So, I personally used to keep a log of stool and toilet frequency along with feeds and spit-ups/vomitings if any. Since I was taking care of the baby kind of all alone right from the birth, keeping a tab of it all would make me understand the routine and establish a pattern as to feeding and all and any minor change in it would ring up alarm bells and I used to ensure everything was alright. Back then people around me in the village used to make fun of me, call me military general and the effort of a log a futile one but honestly to each his own. I personally found it useful. I knew exactly how many times my baby would pass stool along with its color and consistency, how many times she would pee with its color and quantity, how many times and what quantities she was fed, what amount did she spit up. Believe me, it helped me a great deal and gradually I won confidence that OHKAY I can manage the baby well... anyways, I digress.. back to the point of the post.

Prior to the birth I had collected a lot of old used very soft cotton sarees from elders in the family, my late grandfather's panchelu came in really handy, and got some langotis stitched by my aunty with soft cloth, some store-bought cloth langotis, Velcro langotis, washed them really well, dried in hot sun, neatly folded and kept for future use.

Initially, I used to throw away the cloth langotis after each use for a couple of days, then from 4th day of life onwards, I used to get them washed and recycle them. The hospital staff were strictly against the use of store-bought diapers in the newborn asking us not to use in the hospital and if need be and personal choice be, use at home. The explanation given to me was that they do not want the newborn skin exposed to diaper material and all that which was fine with me.

So, LO has never used diapers in the first 2 months of life. Even the doctor visit was with cloth nappies and a holding sheet in lots of clothes.

She used to wake up after peeing and move a little or utter a moan and go back to sleep, I would get up and clean her up and change the cloth.

From 3rd month, I used to use diapers for doctor visits and on nights when she was fussy during the day and I felt that she needed complete break-less sleep like the days of vaccination, etc.

It was easy up to that point, because the kid hardly used to move from her place but as time passes and the kid rolls over the area of movement is high and a lot more things in periphery would get wet, her blankets, my blanket, bed sheet, pillows, my clothes, her clothes and what not, even the toys on the bedside, so then came the time and an urgent need to use diapers at night.

After 3 months of life, I bought a couple of dozens of underwear/cotton knickers for her and used instead of langotis at a price of around 100 to 110 rs/- per dozen. I would suggest 2 dozens or more because you need more than a dozen in a day and there are days when the previous days chaddies are not yet dry :(.

After she has completed 6 months of life, now I use diapers at night, put her in one after her late-night feed and take it out after she wakes up in the morning.

This in one tiny way, would be my contribution to green parenting... but of course it is possible only because of the place and the help system that I happen to get here in the village.

As a newborn kid tends to pee and poop round-the-clock but once there is a routine set in the initial couple of months or so, or at the max by 3 to 4 months, the poop sessions during the night will be stopped, so then we can move from nappies to diapers for whole night. Diapers are made to absorb wetness, so no issues with water/pee but poop is definitely uncomfortable.

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