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Mother Me


Diaper Free Baby. Well, Not Yet!

I swear, once you start to put your baby on the potty, you'll never turn back. I have bought a ton of different types of diapers: custom cloth from San Francisco's East Bay Jessica


, cheapish cloth diapers from Green Mountain Diapers


, biodegradable diapers


, and


from Lucky's down the street. And, nothing compares to NO diapers at all!

When West has to go poop, he works on it for a good hour and sometimes three hours if he is on his back in bed. I was getting no sleep listening to him grunt and moan for three hours. At first, I thought that he needed to burp. So, I picked him up for a burp and he pooped. It turns out that laying flat on your back isn't the best position for pushing a poop out or a baby for that matter. Plus apparently, we can't pee or poop in our sleep. We have to be awake for the bowels to open. I believe it. If I potty West right when he wakes-up, his diaper is often dry.

It all started when


told me about a friend of hers who pees her baby in her sink when she comes over for a visit. It sounds completely unladylike but putting manners aside for a moment, pee is sterile and is okay for the kitchen sink. So, no big deal?

I asked Lydia if she knew of any books on the subject and she pointed me to

Diapers Free

, which she remembered seeing at her

pediatrician's office

. I checked it out from the library and read it. Serendipitously, I received an email about an Elimination Communication (i.e. Diapers Free) workshop in San Francisco by

Willow Lune

. I signed up. I was curious.

I decided to do a 24-hour trial period before the workshop. My first goal was to "catch" West's nighttime poop so that I could get some sleep. So, when he woke me up in the middle of the night with his groaning and moaning, I took off his diaper and held him in a squat position over a cloth diaper. I can tell if he has to go because his penis is sticking up and looks full. Sure enough, he pooped and peed right away and we happily went back to sleep. I didn't have to clean up a sloppy mess of poop smeared all over his butt either. Now I use a potty and not the cloth diaper and I have less laundry!

Once he is over the toilet, he poops. It's like he waits for it. I don't catch a lot of his pees right now, but I am hoping to as I get use to this new method of diapering or should I say not diapering. I catch the obvious pees like after nursing and first thing in the morning.

Ah yes, I have been pooped and peed on, but it has only been once or twice and isn't much worse than a diaper blowout, which I just had to clean up this morning because I was too tired to poop West in the potty. After changing the bed and doing laundry, I'm motivated again to listen to his cues and put him on the potty. Putting West on the potty isn't much different than reminding a toddler to go to the bathroom at key transitions in the day like before leaving the house, before bed and in the morning.

The concept seems outlandish, but when I started thinking about what most of the world does for diapering babies, it totally makes sense. Most places don't have a Lucky's down the street with


. And the people living in these places don't have the money to spend on diapers. They carry their babies close to them and learn their signs for peeing and pooping.

Yes, I realize that we don't live in India or Tibet but baby instincts are the same. Babies don't want to defecate on themselves. What animal pees and poops on themselves and sits in it for hours.

When I asked Zack this question, he answered, "worms." I responded, "I think worms are insects." Actually, we are both wrong. In any case, I think that we can agree that worms are a far cry from human babies.

I mean really, the more that I think about it, the more that it grosses me out. Would I want to sit in my poop? Diapers are a convenience of modern life for adults. I bet if the babies could talk, they would have something to say about it.

West is five weeks old and wears diapers. I take them off like I would pants when he has to pee or poop. He still sits in his pee sometimes if he is sleeping but it's less now. And, I do hope to have him out of diapers by his first birthday.

Now if only I can get my three-year old out of his nighttime diaper.



Helping with the dishes


If Mikey is begging me to play and the dishes are piling up, I put him to work. Including him in everyday chores is easy and he loves it. In this picture, I am just to his left washing dishes. I made a tub of soapy water and pass him dishes. When he starts getting bored of a dish I say, "Thanks, that one looks done; here's another one. " Sometimes it morphs into water play with two objects. Often, I finish the dishes and he still wants to play with his tub of water.

I always put a towel under him because water never stays in the tub.



What? The doctor doesn't know everything?


Way back when I was breastfeeding, I called my pediatrician with a breastfeeding question, the nurse told me to call Day One (a retail store for new parents). I thought that was bit strange but figured that pediatricians don't handle breastfeeding questions. Recently I called Mikey's doctor because it looks like he has athletes foot, the nurse said to wait until it's cracked and bleeding and then to call her back. What I really wanted to hear was ways that I could help Mikey's feet before they reached the cracked and bleeding stage.

Luckily, I have an amazing Aunt who I call when I get these types of responses from my doctor. She has recommend most of the homeopathic products listed below:

From Left to Right on the picture:

Enfamil Poly-Vi-Sol Multivitamin

: Studies are coming out that show that vitamins taken outside their natural food don't do us any good. They are placebos. Nonetheless, I still have vitamins in the mix during flu season. I buy these at the grocery store and give them to Mikey when he seems a little slower than usual or has a slight runny nose. He likes it straight in his mouth. No mixing required.

Cold & Flu Immune Defense with Elderberry, Echinacia, and Goldenseal

: Herbs are different from vitamins, so as far as I know taking these herbs can help boost Mikey's immune system. When needed, I give myself and Mikey a dropper full mixed into our afternoon smoothie.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

: This is also an immune system booster. It may seem like overkill to have all this immune system stuff but the immune system does more than just protect us from the common cold. It protects us from cancer and other serious conditions. If we are feeling a little sluggish, a few drops of this will help keep whatever is knocking at bay.

Probiotics by Natren Life Start

: If Mikey's poop is a little runny, I sprinkle probiotics in his smoothie and it hardens his poop right up. The California Pacific Medical Center's newsletter published an article about the benefits to probiotics. It's great to take while on antibiotics or for children with chronic ear infections. Yogurt has natural probiotics in it. Natren is probiotic supplement. Mikey hasn't had an ear infection since I started putting a dash of probiotic powder in his smoothie two or three times a week.

3 Flowers Healing's Miracle Healing Oil

: Being two years old, Mikey has a lot of cuts and bruises. This oil is great for healing these little or sometimes big bumps and scratches. This healing oil helps heal wounds or sunburns or pretty much any skin issue. I sometimes use it for myself on the occasional pimple.

Arnicare Gel

: This is similar to the healing oil but its specifically for bruising and burns. I see the best results when applied right after the bonk! It's great for making bruises disappear. Sometimes I use it on my stiff neck. Mikey is now 32 lbs. and loves his rides with mommy. Mommy is trying to get him to walk.

Bach Rescue Remedy

: A stress reliever. I take this before leaving for the airport or Best Buy. My face get tingly when I feel stressed so as soon as I get that sensation, I drop four drops of this on my tongue, the tingling goes away, and I feel centered again. I hear that some moms use it for colicky babies or hysterical toddlers.

Ear Drops by Gaia's Children

(not in picture): I'd say that using herbal ear drops is crucial to avoiding ear infections. When Mikey starts rubbing his ear, I use these ear drops and the next morning a huge glob of yellow ear wax comes out.

Oh, and for the athletes foot, I aired out his feet as much as possible (i.e. no socks in the house and dried between his toes after tub time). I also soaked his feet once a day for about four days in warm water and vinegar and it went away. I was worried about him sitting still for the foot soak but it isn't an issue. He loves it, he lifts his legs up high as I slip the warm water under him. Now, he plays imaginary foot soak with the little tub that I used.

Does anyone else have homeopathic remedies that they'd like to pass along?



Biking in San Francisco with Mikey

As I locked my bike to a pole, a woman asked me, "You road here with him in that?" I smiled and said, "Yes." I take Mikey, my 23-month old son, on the bike to activities such as music class, the park, and play dates. He loves to chit chat as we cruise around, "that bike," that car." He plays a game where he taps my butt with his feet and giggles. He likes to cheer on my peddling efforts by singing, "around and around." He points out dogs, bikes, trees, and red trucks. The only downfall is the fear that someone might hit us with their car. I stay alert and on the sidewalks despite the rule that bikes should be on the road. But I still mumble a little prayer in my head as I go, "Oh please God, let us get home safely."

So, why do I bike if it's so dangerous? I do it because I enjoy bicycling. I do it because it's stressful to find parking. I do it because it's one of the benefits to living in San Francisco. I do it because it makes me happy. I do it because it makes Mikey happy. I do it to get exercise. I do it to save gas and not pollute. I do it because biking is one thing that I can do to help the planet. Are these reasons good enough to risk being hit with my baby on the back? No!

So then, why do I bike? I don't have a good answer. I guess it's like why we fly in airplanes or cross the street when the light is red. I depend on everyone to keep us safe. I hope people don't think, "Well, if she and her baby get hurt, it's their fault for biking." I rely on people to notice that we're biking and to use caution. I have hope that people are sensitive to the fact that I have a child with me. I trust people to feel concerned and to slow down. I can't bike safely without everyone's help. No amount of bike lanes or laws can do what compassion from others can do.