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I remember you saying you were going to Cuba in the new year?? If you have already left hoping you can send a brief udate on how things are there with the baby adjusting and such. Enjoy your visit there!!
Thanks Amira! I'm now back from my trip. I couldn't use the internet there for the entire month because ... well Cuba is "special", let's just leave it at that. LOL
Marcos did really well on our trip as far as adapting to the different environment. The only big issue for us was that he would not nap anywhere other than his pack and play, so it made it very difficult for us to go out or make plans with friends (this is not an issue in Canada because we had always invited people over instead of going to their place).
DH's cousin has a 4-month old daughter so we had the opportunity to talk about the differences between raising babies in North America and in Cuba. I cannot imagine all of the challenges mothers have to face there, raising children with barely any money or resources all the while dealing with chronic shortages they have. But at the same time, it's a reminder that you really don't need all that much to raise a baby. People all around the world raise babies without strollers, carseats, exersaucers and other things which to us might be seen as "essential" but in all reality is a fancy trinket. For example, they don't even have any plastic baby spoons DH's cousin was still bottle feeding solids to her 4-month old because she was teething and she was afraid she'd bite down on the metal teaspoons they have to use to feed their babies. I ended up leaving all but one of Marcos' spoons for her.
Another thing I found incredibly resourceful is that Cubans practice a combination of cloth diapering/disposable diapering. What they do is buy a package of disposable diapers and then once it's used, they make a slit and take out and throw out the gel pack inside. They then wash the diaper and through the slit will insert a cloth lining, or if available and at a good price, and large overnight sanitary napkin. That way, they can reuse the disposable diaper until the elastic on the sides wear out (about 4-5 times). A pack of 40 diapers can last them 3-4 months. DH's cousin reused all of Marcos' Huggies that I was going to throw out after they were soiled.
As far as diet, Marcos adapted pretty well over there. DH's cousin would prepare purees with "malanga" (kind of like a potato but softer and less starchy), pumpkin, plantain, green beans, and chicken or beef, and Marcos just loved them. Cuban diet is very rice based but rice cereal made Marcos very constipated so I stayed away from it entirely. The only fruit I could give him which was appropriate for his age were mangoes and bananas (I felt he was too young for citrus), but mangoes were unavailable since they were not in season. I had to buy jarred fruit for him which was okay, although I prefer he eat fresh food, to be honest. Now that we are back, I will try to vary his diet a lot more with things he hasn't tried yet, like zucchini, berries, turkey, cauliflower, broccoli, things like that.