Today I was grocery shopping with Helena and Juno while Tempe was at preschool. Helena was in the car part of the shopping cart and Juno was sitting in the baby seat, both eating cookies and happy as a clam. Grocery shopping can be so easy sometimes! But then I started thinking about grocery shopping when Juno was in her cast and how not fun that was. In case you forgot, this is what her cast looked like:
Yeah. Her cast went up to her armpits and down to her ankles. She couldn't bend at all. Her legs were spread about as wide as they could go and there was a bar at her ankles. I figured things out, but it took a while, so I thought I should share in case anyone out there is looking for tips!
I did my "big" fill-up-the-cart grocery shopping when Jason could stay home with Juno, but no matter how well I planned, there were plenty of times that we were out of milk, or dishwasher detergent, or diapers, or something else that just couldn't wait. So when I did have to take Juno to the store, I took our Boppy pillow and put it in the bed of the shopping cart and nestled Juno on it. When she was in her second cast (it was just on her legs, so she could bend at the waist, but there was still a bar holding her legs apart), one of our grocery stores had carts with a baby seat that was wide enough to accommodate her cast, so that was nice.
When it was time to eat big girl food, I put Juno in a bouncy seat with a rolled up towel behind her to support her back (remember, she couldn't bend, and bouncy seats are sort of bent in the middle). Unfortunately, she really hated the bouncy seat. It was not comfortable for her, but with that stupid bar, she couldn't sit in any kind of "chair".
Again, the Boppy pillow was great. She could either lay propped up on her back or on her belly relatively comfortably to play. And tummytime is a very important component of skincare in the cast, because it lets air circulate into the back of the cast, so you really need to find a way to help your baby be comfortable on their tummy.
Our hospital provided us with a medical carseat--a Hippo. She used it with both her casts. It was such a blessing that our hospital had a loaner program. We were able to use the carseat free of charge as long as we needed it, which was great because it is crazy expensive. I've heard, but I'm not sure if this is true, that if your hospital does not have a loaner program, you can contact a car seat advocacy group and they can help you get an affordable one.
I posted about the stroller I used while Juno was in her cast here. She could also sit in an umbrella stroller when she was in her second cast.
My biggest concern while Juno was in her cast was her skin. I had nightmares of her cast coming off and finding big sores and flaking skin all over her body. Luckily, her skin was absolutely fine when her cast came off! Not sure if my skincare regimen had anything to do with it, but maybe. I made sure to always keep her diaper area dry. That meant changing her pretty frequently--here is my Spica cast diaper tutorial. A blow drier is your friend!! I also tried cleaning her skin every once in while by using a wipe to reach down inside her cast as far as I could and then using the blow drier to make sure she was dry. Every morning when we got her dressed, Tempe and Helena helped rub lotion all over her feet and ankles and we would make sure the cast wasn't rubbing her anywhere. I found a few rough spots along her ankles and inside the cast and I covered them with extra moleskin.
Well, there you have it, all of my Spica cast tips! Can you believe it has been almost 3 MONTHS since Juno got her cast off? Wow!