We’re almost one month from B-day and there is a permanent “tick tock” in the back of my mind. B-day (birthing day) seems like the obvious thing to call it; D-day sounds so ominous. I don’t understand why so many mothers and mothers-to-be use this term. For me it conjures up images of the allies invading the beaches at Normandy or the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan… not something I’d want to associate with the birth of my child.
The good news is that this existential trip into fatherhood is not freaking me out like the media portrays all dads-to-be are at this late stage in the game, but there is definitely a (healthy) hint of anxiety coloring life at the moment. I was born three weeks early, so as far as I am concerned he or she could appear any day now. B doesn’t like it when I talk about the baby showing up early as she is set on giving birth on March 27th as the doctors have predicted. If I could choose the date, March 21st would have my vote, as it is Spring Equinox and Naw Ruz – a time of new beginnings and a particularly auspicious date. It might inspire me to take B out for a spicy Sichuan meal and a brisk walk on the evening of the 20th… maybe.
As we move closer to the big day many decisions have been discussed, and B opting for the all-natural and hypno-birthing route has been a really big one. A few post-partum decisions have also been debated in recent weeks and I thought I would share some of the hot topics we’ve been discussing!
To co-sleep or not to co-sleep?
After discussions with friends and reading about the benefits (counter-intuitively, it appears that babies who co-sleep are known to grow up to be more independent as young children), and ultimately what feels to us like the right thing to do, we have decided to try co-sleeping. There are obvious advantages for mum too in terms of not having to get out of bed in the middle of the night to breastfeed and according to many of my friends it will also save me getting out of bed at night during the first few months to make sure baby is still breathing, apparently common practice among first-time dads!
Having decided to co-sleep, the next decision was how to do it practically and safely. Although we’re not obese or smoke/drink heavily, even the minutely small chance of rolling onto your tiny newborn baby in the middle of the night is a risk we didn’t want to take, so we invested in a (second-hand) bednest. It’s a really well designed crib, that attaches to our bed and has one side that is open for easy access to baby. The current plan is to use it for the first 5-6 months then bring baby into the bed with us when he/she is a bit bigger.
Cloth or disposable diapers?
We spent a lot of time weighing up the options and consulting friends who have gone both ways. In the end we have decided on cloth diapers for a variety of reasons. There are endless lists of cloth diaper benefits online but my top three are:
1. Health: Not only do cloth diapers mean less rashes by being more breathable and reducing exposure to the nasty little crystals that are used to absorb moisture in disposables, but there is also research that shows emissions from the chemicals in disposable diapers can lead to asthma and potentially have other as yet unknown consequences.
2. Environment: Babies go through 2500-5000 diapers before they are potty trained and if you are using disposable diapers, which are essentially plastic, they will end up in a landfill and take and take centuries to decompose.
3. Cost: Thankfully someone has already done the math, so I don’t need to lay it out here but there are big savings if you use cloth diapers. The savings in the first year increase in the second year because you hardly need to spend anymore to keep using cloth. We ordered all our “real” diapers from Green Mountain and have already started the process of pre-washing them in preparation for baby.
There are a few more big decisions looming like baby health insurance and vaccinations, but I’ll save those as future blog-fodder. It’s strange to think that next time I write might be after B-day and finally include the revelation of whether it’s a baby boy or girl (we have chosen names for both)… until then!
There’s more from the Daddy Diaries plus plenty of gorgeous gift inspiration on the BaoBae Blog!