Alright, I’ve gone full hippie granola with this baby.
If you don’t know, I recently had a baby. For a while, I was going crazy lack of sleep and the pain of of trying to breastfeed a baby with a tongue tie. On top of all that, I am also minimalist by nature, and we’re trying to do for diapers, and we were running out of dishes and laundry.
I tried several different methods to help. I tried old-school methods and many different types of newborn schedules. Nothing helped enough. I was able to get a little more sleep, but I was still sleeping through my alarms and the baby screaming it in my ear.
The last few days, I seem to be on to something that’s working. First, I tried baby wearing. That was fantastic for comforting my baby, comforting me, and allowing me to get some more sleep and do my regular house chores.
After a couple days of getting enough sleep, I started doing elimination communication. Basically, whenever the baby has to go to the bathroom, you hold it over the toilet so it goes there and not in their diaper. This was an interesting process at first, but this is day three, and even though we’re not perfect at it yet, I have definitely passed the learning curve and feel much more confident about taking my child to the bathroom. (By the way, a toddler toilet seat was super helpful. My son isn’t a toddler yet, but the seat was definitely helpful for my arm muscles, and I don’t feel as nervous about dropping the baby in the toilet.)
Because of my son’s tongue tie, I began trying to exclusively breast pump, because breastfeeding became really painful. Even though it felt better, I wasn’t able to keep up with the schedule for exclusively pumping. But I also didn’t want to give up and go to all formula. What I started last night is trying to breastfeed some (for 10 minutes at the beginning of each feed), but still supplementing with formula after. And then I pump three or four times during the day. Yes, my breasts got pretty roughed up in the first few days, but I’m realizing that that was because I was trying to feed for hours on end. Then my son wasn’t able to get enough milk, and I ended up with about 20 clogged milk ducts. (My breasts felt like old, hard cottage cheese) It’s a miracle I didn’t get mastitis, because I was right on the edge of it. With this method, I’m still able to sleep because I’m not up all night feeding, my son gets fed, and I won’t get mastitis because I’m still pumping. This combination is also much easier than trying to do all one thing.
Very little of what I’m doing is conventional, and I probably seem a bit bonkers to people, but I don’t care. I’m finally getting an adequate amount of sleep, and the laundry and the dishes are getting done. I also feel like my mental health is stabilizing. There were a couple weeks there where I felt like I was trying to run in quicksand. I don’t know if this is the answer, but it’s definitely helping.