Posted in In the Apartment, Trips, tagged AC, apartment, CT, ct stay at home dads, diaper, Dora, family restrooms, fans, heat, infant, mall, mall walking, Manchester, Meriden, pool, stay at home dads, wife on August 4, 2013|
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So its been three months since I have posted anything here and we have been quite busy! O has gotten pretty good at all sorts of new tricks like standing up and speed crawling. We have done tons of baby proofing and plenty of worrying that it won’t be enough and he will somehow get hurt. Perhaps the biggest challenge was dealing with the heat. CT had several weeks of ridiculously high temperatures that saw most people we know huddling near their air conditioners. This was not an option for us because we have no working air conditioners in our apartment. We have a broken air conditioner sticking out of our wall and lots of fans but certainly nothing that blasts cold air/relief. Narrow windows and lack of funds mean we just have to deal with the heat however we can.
Each morning I would go through a ritual of opening and closing various windows and shades while changing fans from off to on or intake to exhaust, reversing the process before O’s morning nap. When he woke up I would give him a lunch consisting of some sort of vegetable and protein accompanied by lots of cold watermelon. A wipe down, diaper change, and a quick dressing later and we were into my car and its glorious sub-zero air conditioning. We spent most afternoons in either the Meriden or Manchester malls to bask in their AC and use their often crowded play areas. The stress of a play area full of children whose parents are glued to their smartphones is bearable when you have an infant who needs to get out of the heat. As a stay at home dad I found this to be irritating and I had to bite my tongue often as I tried to prevent rowdy older kids from running little man over.
We would spend the hottest hours of the day hanging out in the play place and walking around the mall. The mall walking always included the food court and the salespeople pushing free samples as if that wasn’t why I was there. I got to try sesame chicken made by three different places all calling it something else but always saying theirs was “Number One in America!” So there are other places calling themselves Cajun who make sesame chicken? Apparently if you are the only one that makes you number one. Both malls have good family restrooms which makes this all possible though it seemed like the same episode of Dora the Explora was on loop every time I changed the little dude in Meriden. Can you say repetitive? (blink blink) Good Job! After yet another exciting mall experience we would head home for a bottle and a nap. By this time the worst of the day’s heat had gone and the apartment is cooler than outside due to some strategic closing of windows and shades.
Some days O was able to handle the heat of the apartment and take a good afternoon nap. When he wasn’t we went swimming in our apartment complex’s pool to cool off and wait for my wife to return home from work. While at home he spent all of his time in a diaper and dealt with a little bit of heat rash but overall he was good. Has anyone else dealt with this sort of situation? Does anyone else’s baby sleep in the pool like this?
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Posted in In the Apartment, tagged apartment, Babies R Us, baby, baby safety, baby station, baby tub, balance, bath, bath seat, bath sponge, changing table, clutter, Connecticut, CT, diaper, diaper changing suppiles, Facebook, happy, play, re-purpose, splash, sponge, stay at home dad, storage, toys on April 2, 2013|
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I try to re-purpose our stuff for O whenever I can because we live in an apartment with limited space. Having too many items that serve only one purpose would turn our happy apartment into a miserably cluttered mess. The picture above is a great example of a re-purposing idea that I learned from a Facebook friend. The common solution to baby safety is a bath seat but I find that a laundry basket is much cheaper and it works better for a baby who can sit up. It keeps him from tipping over, gives him something to hold onto and contains his toys as he splashes and plays. He doesn’t need to lean out and try to grab them plus he learns how to balance himself in water in a way that he could not in a traditional bath seat. When he was younger we used a bath sponge that you can lay him on in the tub. It worked great and we still use it occasionally. When we visit family for any length of time we will re-purpose a couple of adult sized towels to reproduce the same basic function. If we hadn’t gotten the sponge we probably would have used the towel method instead. We also had a hand me down baby tub and found it to be a hassling space thief more-so than a helpful bath tool. When it comes to bath time there are clearly many opportunities to re-purpose stuff you already have instead of spending more money on single purpose items that will just hog precious storage space.
Another example of re-purposing is our baby station. The idea is to take any piece of furniture with a top roughly waist-high and turn it into a changing table by stuffing it full of diaper changing supplies and throwing an inexpensive changing pad on top. We went a step further and had my father in law build some custom shelves for the sides to create the ultimate baby station. I talk about our changing station in an older post “Diaper Central Command” which has an excellent picture of how it turned out. When we went out looking for baby stuff we were dismayed by the cost of specialize baby furniture. It was nice looking but we had a hard time with the idea of spending $100+ dollars on a changing table that we would use for only one purpose for a few years and then promptly try to shove into the limited storage space we have in our central CT apartment. Re-purposing has been the right solution for us and ended up producing a piece of furniture that is way better than anything we could have bought from a Babies R Us.
So that is how we have done a bit of re-purposing for our baby in an apartment. What kind of creative re-purposing have you done? Have any re-purposing tips that this stay at home dad could use? Share in the comments section below so we can all benefit from your experience!
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Posted in Projects and Updates, tagged business, chain stores, changing station, Connecticut, CT, dad accessible diaper changing station, diaper, diaper changing, diaper changing station, diapers, local, locations, mall, map, map project, map project page, men's restroom, resource, restaurant, restroom on March 12, 2013|
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The map project had a serious growth spurt over the weekend and now boasts over 35 locations listed where there is a dad accessible diaper changing station. That means that now the map up and public on its own page with a link dads can share, but we’re not done yet! The next goal is 100 locations in CT where a dad can use a diaper changing station. If we can hit that goal then I will make the map searchable on Google so it can reach even more dads. I want this to be as useful a resource as possible to so it is important that all locations are verified either by the person submitting them or a reliable source. You can check out the map project page for more details on how you can contribute along with a preview of the map and a link that will show you the map details. This map is going to be especially useful to stay at home dads on the go in CT so I want to send out a special thanks goes out to everyone who has contributed locations and brought the map to this point!
Here are a few things I have noticed along the way:
- Almost all the locations listed are either chain stores or malls. The only places with purely local ties are libraries.
- There are few locations listed outside of the center third of the state.
- There are very few restaurants listed
I’m not exactly sure what these observations mean but I do know that these are areas that need to be addressed. So if you live in the eastern or western portions of the state, or if you are out and about at a local restaurant or business I encourage you to get involved and help out your fellow Connecticut dads. Please check to see if there is a changing station in men’s restrooms as you use them and leave a comment on the map project page so that I can add it to the map.
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Posted in In the Apartment, tagged Connecticut, CT, CT stay at home dad, ct stay at home dads, dad, Debbie, diaper, diaper changing, diaper changing secret technique, diaper changing station, diaper genie, diaper rash, diapering, gauze, onesie, pacifier, vaseline, wipes on March 7, 2013|
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This is our diaper changing station, also known as CT central command in a stay at home dads endless fight against the forces of urine and feces. From here (in the name of truth, justice and a dry butt) I wage war on things that would seek to cause diaper rash and lots of fussiness. I have everything I need within easy reach so that I am prepared to respond quickly when my son craps up his back or tries to pee in my face. Starting from the right, light, garbage can, diaper genie, towels, vaseline, wipes, non sterile 4×4 gauze pads, uncovered changing pad, pacifier(not visible) regular diapers, overnight diapers, extra wipes, extra gauze and extra diapers. There are other helpful items we store on the shelves such as burp clothes and blankets but the focus of this post is on diapering.
I get lots of questions about the gauze (which by the way can only be purchased online) so I will explain it by walking you through a typical “O pissed his pants again” scenario. I set him on the pad, take off his pants, open his onesie and pull it up around his armpits in case he pees. I find that his Pamper’s Swaddlers are clearly wet due to the yellow line turning blue. So I grab a short stack of two gauze pads, open his diaper and put the gauze on his junk to prevent him from peeing on me. This has the added benefit of absorbing much of the urine if he pees, plus if needed I can quickly grab more to soak it up before his back and butt are covered. I grab a wipe, move the gauze and quickly wipe him off. I then blot him dry with one side of the gauze. This step is important for preventing diaper rash so do not skip. I flip the gauze pads over and put them back on his junk so that the damp side is up.
The next step is applying Vaseline to his leg creases and all over his butt/everywhere in between. Vaseline is important because it creates a barrier so that the next time he sharts or wets himself it will not stick to his skin and irritate it. The other benefit is that during the next diaper change you will wipe off soiled vaseline instead of trying to scrub the excrement or smelly liquid off of his skin. It’s also cheap so there is no reason to be stingy with it. Then I use the gauze to wipe the vaseline off my finger and get another diaper ready under him. I start to close up the diaper and quickly remove the gauze followed by the buttoning up of his onesie. I roll everything up in the diaper and toss it in the garbage can. If it’s a turd filled diaper it goes in the diaper genie to add to what will surely become an epic poop snake.
That’s a typical diaper change for my little man! Having everything easily accessible makes this process a lot easier and the more often you do it the faster you become. As a stay at home dad I get lots of practice! A special thanks to my father in law for building the side shelves and to our CT friend Debbie for giving us the (insert furniture name here) that our diaper changing station is built around. Whats your diaper changing secret technique? Do you have any must have items that you keep where you change your baby? Any questions about what we have on our changing station? Leave a comment!
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Posted in Trips, tagged central ct, changing, CT, CT dads, CT stay at home dad, dad, diaper, diaper changing station, father, improvise, map, road, sahd, stay at home dads, wife on January 29, 2013|
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I have spent a lot of time on the road with my wife and O over the last week and I found myself getting more and more annoyed with the lack of changing stations in men’s rooms. This got me thinking about how dads are asked to improvise if they are on their own while moms almost universally have easy access to changing stations anywhere they go. Sometimes I just assume that a place does not have a changing station in their men’s room and awkwardly change him in my car. Wouldn’t it be nice to know before going into a place? I did some searching and there is a guy in New York who has put together a map of all the places in NYC that have changing stations in their men’s room. I thought, “Why couldn’t I do the same thing?” So I have begun putting a dad’s changing station Google map together for Connecticut with a focus on the central region. I will put the link for the map up once I have 25 bathrooms with men’s room changing stations. If you are interested in collaborating let me know. You can send me the names and locations of places you have found and I can add them or I can give you access to the map so that you can put them up as you find them. I think this could be a huge help for stay at home dads, but we are certainly not the only fathers who take their kids out without mom. So dads out there, if you find a changing station in a men’s room you can leave a comment below, post on the Facebook page or drop me a tweet @ctstayathomedad. Whatever is easiest!
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Posted in Trips, tagged babywearing, breastfeeding, Connecticut, crunchy, CT, CT dads, CT stay at home dad, dad, dads, diaper, facebook page, parents, prolactin, sahd, stay at home dad, stay at home dads, structured carrier, wife on January 24, 2013|
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It seems like ages since I last posted despite it only being six days. It has been an eventful period of time including our visit to the babywearer’s group, my first solo overnight with O, and a death in the family. Currently I’m staying with family near Philadelphia so that I can attend a funeral tomorrow. My wife is home taking care of him while I here. I find that blogging helps take my mind off of things so I will attempt to cover all of this ground in my next few posts. This post will focus will be on the babywearer’s group that my wife and I attended this past Saturday.
I will begin by briefly recounting our first visit to this group together several months back. It was a small gathering of parents with at least one dad and interesting mix of crunchy and average moms. By crunchy I mean one ha dreads and a toddler who walked over and pushed her shirt out of the way to breastfeed. By average I mean parents who were interested in the carriers and had varying levels of interest in cloth diapers and breastfeeding. I had some very nice conversations with the parents there and overall enjoyed the experience. My wife bought two different carriers, uses them regularly and has attended multiple meetings since. Neither of us has seen more than 12 people there and generally there’s a dad or two.
This past Saturday was a bit different for a couple of reasons. The first was that I was there and was quite excited about it. I wanted to try out a structured carrier and potentially buy one, plus I was hoping some other dads would be there that I could tell about my blog and facebook page to hopefully get a ct stay at home dads group up and running. I also pictured the small low key and not intimidating group I attended several months back. I walked into a group of roughly twenty moms and lots of babies and toddlers crammed into a relatively small space with limited seating. I got to try out a Boba Carrier and I loved it but O isn’t quite big enough. Diana was nice enough to help me with the carrier, and suggested that we might be able to prop him up higher in the carrier to make it work for the next month or so. I can’t see spending $100+ for a carrier that he won’t fit into yet. A friend is also giving me her carriers to try so that might hold me over until he is big enough for the Boba. My wife learned how to do a back carry with her woven wrap and he seemed to like it, but I found myself a bit sidelined because I was not interesting in the various wraps all the moms were trying out. There were no other dads there, although one mom did say her husband was staying at home to take care of their child and might be interested in what I was trying to do.
I will go back to the group again because I have seen that it isn’t an necessarily an overwhelming experience but I can’t see myself going back if I am going to be the only dad in a sea of moms and kids. Its a bit overwhelming to be the only guy in such a noisy and prolactin fueled environment. Everyone was very nice but I felt more like some sort of rare bird. Most moms I talked to thought it was great I was there, but seemed surprised at the same time. “We want you to be an involved dad, but we are surprised when you are” seemed to be the general sentiment. I need to get used to this kind of reaction because it seems to be a common one when I do amazing things like “show up” and “change a diaper.” So dads out there, any thoughts or stories about showing up to a group or event and being the only dad there? Maybe some of you have had some interesting reactions to doing basic parenting things? Leave a your story below in the comments section or on the facebook page!
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