Monthly Archives: April 2012

Let’s Chat about Elimination Communication!

When I was pregnant, a girlfriend used to tell me about her “hippie” friends in Mexico who had their babies out of nappies and potty trained  before they were a year old. This was my introduction to “Elimination Communication”, it sounded a bit far-fetched to me at first but now it seems exactly the opposite.

Elimination Communication (EC) is basically recognizing the signs of when your baby is going to the toilet and then immediately putting them on  the potty before they go in their nappy.

When Miles was around 7 months of age, I noticed that every morning around 10AM he started to pull a face that indicated he was doing poo-poo. I revisited the thoughts of my girlfriend and her stories and thought I would try it out. The experience was AMAZING. I ordered a potty online at Diapers.Com and the next day at 10AM when I saw my Son do his poo-poo face I ripped off his nappy and put him on the potty. And just like that he went. After that experience he did that every day for months and months on end. It was a great party trick, people were amazed at his skills. We even had a potty in the back of car so we could pull over if we saw him start to pull his tell-tale face.

But, somewhere around the 1 year mark (when he started walking) he stopped with Elimination Communication. As he was older he was not pulling the same faces or going at the same time so it was harder to work out.  And, as he could stand by himself, as soon as we put him on the potty he just cried and tried to get off. Honeymoon Over.

I have heard that over half of babies in the world (mainly in Asia in Africa) never wear nappies, and of that number half of them are potty trained by the time they are 1 year of age!  So why does our society depend on nappies so much, what has changed since the Stone Age when nappies did not exist? Are we lazy, or we just do not care, or is it just too easy the way it is these days. I am not sure, but I do know with this knowledge I feel really guilty that I am contributing to such waste when many parents in other parts of the world, prove day in and day out, that there is no need.

I have decided, as he is 19 months of age now, that I am really going to try with the EC again. I really want him out of nappies. Yes, it is time for me to start the dreaded potty training!

If anybody has any suggestions as to make the process smoother I am all ears!

Stopping on the side of the road for a Potty Stop.

“Willy B” – Let’s Run a 5KM for the charity *Girls On the Run*

I have run, for exercise, close to 15 years now. I enjoy running. With this in mind, today I decided to do something I have always wanted to do on a professional level, and that is properly train to run a 5KM. I am very excited about it, especially as the 5KM is for children’s charity – Girls On The Run. It also helps that I can take my Son with me to the preparation workouts each week.

As a charity, Girls On The Run encourages positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development. The 5k Run is the “bees knees” of this program, where girls learn to stretch themselves — physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This particular race is for 18+ women Only, unless you are parent/legal guardian of one of 300 girls from the ages of 8 – 13 years participating in the event. GO ESTROGEN!

Jody Cammara (who heads the local Williamsburg/Greenpoint Baby Boot Camp Group) is training local Mummies for the race which is being executed at Ashphalt Green on the UES on Sunday June the 10th at 8.30AM!!!! Starting next week, the 6 week training is in McCarren Park every Tuesday and/or Sunday morning at 11AM with a flat cost of $75. There is an extra $25 charge to register and take part in the race.

Jody says – “As a postpartum mom, you are more susceptible to injury due to the dramatic physical and hormonal changes you have been through, regardless of the age of your child. Your joints (hips and knees) are most susceptible, both of which endure significant impact and possible injury. By incorporating walking intervals, this training program helps you build to your goal while also preventing injury”.

Besides being under the guidance of an expert who has designed the program specifically for Mummies, this is also a great opportunity to meet other like-minded souls in the area (and, of course, to get out of the apartment).

Are you a local Williamsburg/Greenpoint Mum? Are you interested in signing up too? If so you can email jody.camarra@babybootcamp.com for more information.

Did anyone, like me, consider a Water-Birth that never happened?

It seems to be common knowledge, if you are a holistic-minded mummy in New York City, that there is not one hospital on the Island of Manhattan that approves of water births. There is a birthing tub at St Luke’s Hospital but it is apparently there ONLY for relief before a mother gives birth, rather than for a mother to give birth in?

The Pro’s for having a baby in water seem endless – promotes relaxation, speeds up labor, reduces blood pressure, reduces the need for drugs and intervention, and is a gentler welcoming for a baby (among many other things).

I was 100% per cent dedicated to having a water-birth, amplified by the quite renowned Neugarten Family Birth Center  located in the country town of Rhinebeck where I spend weekends upstate New York. The clinic opened in 1985 as the first hospital-based birthing center in New York State, which is very impressive! The water tubs were not added until 2000, but now on average annually 800 mothers travel from near and far to give birth at the facility. And why not, Rhinebeck is such a beautiful little town.

My husband and I took our official tour at Neugarten Family Birth Center months before Miles Storm was even close to being born. It is a lovely facility. I especially loved that the babies stay in the rooms with the Mummies after birth.

As I live between the city and the country, I had great plans of seeing my pregnancy through with my city Ob/Gyn Dr Andrea Dobrenis who delivers at New York Presbyterian Hospital in NYC, and then moving to an upstate mid-wife when it was closer to my delivery date. But, a few things happened A) I fell in love with Dr Dobrenis’s attitude and approach, and B) Miles Storm was breech.

Approximately a month before my Son’s deliver date I went to the hospital for a routine check-up and was told I had hardly any amniotic fluid in my body, and as a protection mechanism his body had started shunting blood to his head resulting in his head getting bigger. If I hadn’t been lying down, I would have fallen down from shock….. and the nurse was so casual about it all!!! It was all so unexpected. Long story short; I was directed over to the Labor and Maternity ward to have an emergency c-section!

Miles Storm was born just over 5 pounds perfectly healthy, and I made it through the ordeal just fine too. I had a great experience at the hospital, and I love Dr Andrea Dobrenis – she is one in a million!

The question is – if I ever have another baby will I want to try the water-birth thing again? The answer is – of course absolutely.

Miles Storm 6 days of age.

Second Annual Great Cloth Diaper Change.

This year I was able to take part in the second annual “The Great Cloth Diaper Change” at the upstate NY Rhinebeck based “Waddle n Swaddle” maternity boutique where 81 Mummies and Babies got their cloth nappy on!

It happened like this – At 12.26PM all the babies were held in the air, at 12.28PM all the clean cloth nappies were held in the air, and at 12.30PM the nappies were all changed. It was very fast and all over red rover in about 8 minutes!

Besides raising awareness about reusable cloth nappies and raising money for charity, the event also aimed to break last year’s Guinness World Record of 5,026 babies simultaneously changed into cloth nappies. That is a lot of nappies right, it sure is, BUT still less than the total number of disposable nappies that the Real Diaper Association (RDA) estimates one child goes through before they turn 2 years of age!

Cloth nappies aren’t like they used to be when I was a baby being that they had to pre-folded and fastened with metal pins – Ouch! These days; cloth nappies are bright and colorful, better for the environment and a lot cheaper than the thousands of dollars you can spend on disposable nappies until your child is potty trained. They can also be reused with additional children.

The event this year was held in 16 countries compared to 5 countries last year so excitingly awareness is growing at speed!

There is still no official word as to how many nappies were changed on Saturday, although I am sure, with 11 more countries joining the movement it will be a lot higher than 5026!

The Great Cloth Diaper Change upstate NY at the Rhinebeck “Waddle n Swaddle” store

The Great Nappy debate!

Cloth Nappies or Disposable nappies, this is the question I am asking today! Did anybody else go what through what I went through trying to work out what was best for the Earth, my Son and me?

I did a lot of research before Miles Storm was born trying to figure it all out. It was very time-consuming. At the end of it all I was adamant that my little boy would wear Cloth nappies, mainly because of the environmental effect disposable nappies have on OUR Earth.

Mainstream disposable diapers are NOT biodegradable meaning that they sit in landfills forever and ever. The average little human uses 6,500+ nappies before they are potty trained!  A 2008 Time magazine article says “The Real Diaper Association, an advocacy group founded in 2004, estimates that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used each year in the U.S. (according to the EPA, that translates into more than 3.4 million tons of waste dumped into landfills)”.  This is beyond Crazy to me and this was in 2008! Fast forward four years… and this is the reason I never use standard nappies, not to mention most of them are bleached white – Can you imagine sitting in a bleached nappy 24/7 for 2-3 years of your life? Also, most disposable nappies have insane chemicals in them like dioxins, sodium polyacrylate, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and Tributyl-tin (TBT), among other stuff. Sounds scary right? Yeah, well it is.

My husband has still not accepted my love of cloth nappies, we fought tooth and nail about it before our Son was born, he wanted to use disposable nappies end of story. I went ahead and secretly ordered from my-cloth-nappy-of-choice the Australian GroVia and hid them in the cupboard from him. When he found them he was not a happy camper that is for sure!

Anyway, what ended up happening when Miles Storm was born was that I was too tired and exhausted to use the cloth nappies. It was too much for me, I did not have the energy to clean his nappies by hand and then wash them in the washing machine and wait for them to dry. I also did not want to pay for a pick up service to take care of it for me. And, we live in a city apartment so we do not have a laundry sink to clean them off.

As a compromise; my husband and I came up with a hybrid plan where we started using Vermont based Seventh Generation “helping to protect human health and the environment” disposable nappies which are free of fragrances, latex and chlorine and are semi-biodegradable. I still use, occasionally, GroVia cloth nappies with their 100% biodegradable disposable bio-soaker inserts (when by husband is not around). My husband is so funny in that I can have a nice row of GroVia nappy outer-shells set up and the inserts right next to them and he will still say to me “Why don’t we have any diapers”? He is just a blank to the cloth nappy vibe. Oh well! He is beautiful in other ways.

Everybody is different and you have to do what is best for you. For me, this works for my peace of mind.

If you want to use Seventh Generation nappies/products Diapers.com deliver overnight – which is wonderful.

Upstate New York, (my second home), you can buy a whole range of cloth nappies at my favorite store Waddle n Swaddle who have two locations in Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck.

In the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area Caribou Baby is the only place that I know that you can walk in and buy Cloth nappies; they also have the ability to answer any question that you may have. Hopefully soon there is a store more into the “Willy B” that also offers the same, I have a feeling that might just happen!

Miles Storm in his one of his GroVia cloth nappies!

Little Duck Organics – Photo Shoot opportunity. Fun for the whole family!

Who loves Little Ducks Organics – me and Miles Storm do! Besides all of their products being 100% Organic, Kosher, no-sugar added, Gluten-Free & Non-GMO Verified (etc etc) – they have a really cool and fun vibe!

LDO is right up my alley being a holistic do-my-best for the Earth Mum. This is why I am very excited to announce to all the local Greenpoint/Williamsburg parents out there that they are looking for 5 local Little Ones to be photographed for all of their Summer 2012 marketing materials. It is a great opportunity!

If you have a little superstar at home who you want to put forward for consideration, please send hello@littleduckorganics.com a few RECENT photographs of your child, as well your child’s clothing size, their name/age and the best way to reach you. This is open for babies to children up to the age of 6 years of age.

If your munchkin is chosen you will be notified by next Wednesday the 25th of April (you are going to have to sit tight till then). The shoot date is Tuesday May the 8th so your child + one carer must be available on this day in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Shoot times will be determined, and Little Duck will send you more information about that as it gets closer to the shoot date.

In appreciation, Parents (and models) will receive copies of the photographs, a wonderful goodie bag of treats, some clothing from the shoot, an amazingly fun day, and of course lots of love from Little Duck!

What more could you ask for?

LDO_Spring_2012_Photo_Shoot

The Easter Bunny came last night.. so I let Miles Storm eat chocolate for breakfast!

In Australia – Easter Sunday, for the typical family, is extremely different to when the Easter Bunny visits in the USA. In Australia, for weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, aisles at supermarkets are taken out just for chocolate Easter Eggs, and I mean hundreds of different foil wrapped eggs in all kinds of colors, shapes and sizes!

For children, the Easter Bunny visiting is almost as exciting as Father Christmas leaving presents in December; they go hand in hand.

This year I tried to recreate an Australian Easter for my little boy in New York. In the morning when he woke there were a ton of foiled wrapped eggs at the end of his bed (carted in my suitcase from my recent trip to Melbourne). He was so excited to see them, and for just this ONE DAY of the year I let him eat chocolate for breakfast.

Happy Easter Everybody!

HALF of an Australian supermarket chocolate Easter Egg aisle. I could not fit all the eggs in!