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Hydration woes…

I’ve debated whether to talk about some of this on my blog for a couple weeks now, but I’m in a bit of a conundrum and needing some advice from moms that have been there and done that. There’s a bit of background on the issue, so hopefully you’ll stay with me.

A couple months ago, Bean started waking up in the mornings completely dry. She’d also do it sometimes during naps. While I was slightly concerned about this, I figured that maybe it meant she would potty train early or be easier to potty train. She was still making plenty of wet diapers throughout the day and about 15-20 minutes after waking up she’d have a super soaked diaper like she’d been holding it all night long.

Then, a month ago when we went to Tahoe we had another “scare” with this. The morning we left for home, Bean woke up dry as usual. I gave her a bath, we packed the car and headed out. For the most part Bean slept the whole way. A couple hours later when we stopped still no wet diaper. This went on for two or three more stops. I was really freaked out. I had nursed her several times during the previous night and at every stop we made. So I started to think that something must be wrong with my milk supply. This is also when I was starting to feel pretty gross in the pregnancy so I worried that I wasn’t staying hydrated enough due to my morning sickness.

I contacted my midwife from the road and she said that it sounded like I needed to get some more fluid into Bean. We stopped at a Target somewhere on I-5 to get a bottle and some juice. I gave her a bottle of watered down juice and by our next stop she had a wet diaper and at every stop thereafter. My midwife said that I might have to consider supplementing, but that it might just be a fluke thing because of all the travel and sleeping.

After that car trip we really didn’t have any issues. She was still skipping wet diapers during naps and at night from time to time, but still having plenty of wet diapers otherwise. I had several friends that said their girls did this from a very early age and that it would make potty training easier. So I stopped worrying about it.

Since dealing with our diaper funk issues I’ve added an extra step to my diaper laundry routine, and that is rinsing out my diaper inserts in the sink prior to tossing them in the washing machine. During my last two loads of diaper laundry, I noticed that the wet diapers were highly concentrated (I could tell by the smell and the discoloration for those that are wondering). While this is pretty normal for a diaper that has been sitting at the bottom of the diaper pail for a day or two, it is not normal for a diaper that just came off her.

So once again I started worrying about my milk supply. I think it is a pretty valid concern since it is highly probable for one’s supply to decrease during pregnancy. I called my midwife yesterday and after talking to her about it I really don’t think my supply is the issue. If Bean wasn’t getting anything during nursing she wouldn’t nurse for as long as she does. When we offer her other forms of food or drink she would likely gulp them down as if she was starving, which she does not (she’s actually pretty picky and slow when it comes to that stuff). I know I still have plenty of milk because I can hand express it even after she’s just nursed, I can feel my letdown still and I can see the stuff in the corners of her mouth when she’s nursing.

The best conclusion we can come up with is that for whatever reason my milk doesn’t have as high a water content as it used to. This totally makes sense to me because when I have pumped I noticed it is way thicker looking, almost like cream. So the need has arisen for Bean to get additional hydration throughout the day. Which isn’t that big of a deal really except that I have to spend what sometimes seems like hours and hours of my day glued to the couch between nursing and giving her bottles of watered down juice (we’ve tried plain water and she won’t have anything to do with it). And it doesn’t usually help things that she takes FOREVER to finish a bottle, much, much longer than it does to nurse her.

So I’ve been a bit jealous lately hearing about friends who have babies younger than Bean that can hold a bottle or sippy cup all on their own. Gah!

I’m thinking this is probably a consequence of the fact that she hasn’t had that many bottles in her lifetime, but I’m not completely sure.

I’ve been trying to introduce Bean to a sippy cup or at least to holding her own bottle for some time now, but I haven’t had much success. We’ve tried the starter, no-spill sippy cups that require sucking to get out the liquid and even the more advanced ones that just spew liquid when put at the right angle. She just doesn’t seem to get it. Taking my sister-in-law’s advice about how straw cups seemed to go so much better with her girls, I tried that today as well. All Bean wanted to do was chew on the straw. So then I reverted back to the starter sippy cup for another attempt. This is how it went:

I actually got her to drink out of it and even hold it a couple times but if I tried to put her down or let go of the cup for too long she’d throw the thing down in frustration and errupt into a mess of tears and red cheeks. So she is capable of doing this, she just doesn’t want to.

Anyway I guess that is my long winded way of asking for help from my fellow readers and moms. When did you introduce sippy/straw cups? How did you go about getting them to accept it? And any other tips you have for me on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

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