Monday, August 30, 2010

JJ cole blanket

When I was completing our registry, there are some things that my husband questioned why I was buying.  One of those items was the JJ cole blanket.  He simply could not understand why we would need such a contraption.  Well he is now biting his words. 

Our JJ cole blanket has made its way to multiple countries, states, and venues, including Canada, various parks and Virginia Beach.  It is our go to blanket and has been great to keep in the back of the car for emergencies (for example when you are taking an 8 hour road trip with a 5 month old baby and she wants to get out of the car at a truck rest stop- just unfold and you are good to go).  

Here are my favorite features of the JJ cole blanket:
  • Water-resistant material
  • Super easy to fold
  • Large (5x5) and easily fits 2 adults, 1 child, diaper bag, water bottles, and packed lunches
  • Strap makes for easy carrying 
  • It's cute
  • I can actually unfold it one-handed, while holding a baby and a bag in the other


These photos were taking in Pennsylvania while I was out shopping for brides-maids dresses; Lilly's dad was about to keep her entertained in the park for hours!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stain, Stain Go Away!

Stain, Stain Go Away! I love you.  You are gentle, yet effective.  In the world of cleaning products, some may think this is an oxymoron, but not you.

Last week during Poop-sposion, Poop-ageddon, and Poop-disaster, you saved me.  That nasty stain on the carpet, GONE.  After only one round.  You are a mean, "green", fighting machine.  Amazing.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lactation Cookies

Lactation Cookie Recipe:

For nursing moms, give these a try, they work great!  Taste yummy and help with milk production.

Ingredients: 
  • 1 C butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 4 T water
  • 2 T flaxseed meal (no subs)
  • 2 Lg eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 C Thick cut oats
  • 1 C Chocolate chips
  • 2 T Brewers Yeast (no substitutions)


Note: Flaxseed meal and brewers yeast can be found at health food stores (GNC) and some grocery stores (wegmans).  Call in advance to make sure they have both products. 

Preparation:

Preheat oven at 375.

  • Mix 2 T of flaxseed meal and water, set aside 3-5 minutes.
  • Cream butter and sugar.
  • Add eggs.
  • Stir flaxseed mix into butter mix and add vanilla.
  • Beat until well blended.
  • Sift: dry ingredients, except oats and choc chips.
  • Add butter mix to dry ingredients.
  • Stir in the oats and then the choc chips.
  • Drop on parchmant paper on baking sheet.
  • Bake 8-12 minutes.


Skin Deep

Have you ever wondered about the safety and toxicity of the products you are using for your family?  We worry about what we eat, but why not about what we put on our skin?

Skin Deep has created an online safety guide for cosmetics and personal care products.   The database has nearly a quarter of all the products on the market (62,488 products with 7,644 ingredients).

The products are ranked on a 0-10 scale; 0 being the least chemically toxic and 10 being the highest.  You will be shocked to find out some of the nasty stuff contained in many products.

New parents, be sure to check out the Parent's buying guide; it offers suggestions on products that are lower in toxicity and chemicals.  For online viewing, click here.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

GoGo Squeez

Last night after Lilly was fast asleep and Guy was doing his homework I went out of the house to pick up some ingredients to make Sheperd's Pie for one of Guy's classmates that just had a baby.  If you have never tried Sheperd's Pie before, check the recipe out here, it is delicious!

While at the grocery store, which is newly renovated and about 100 times better, I decided to check their "natural" section.  I am sure glad I did.  I picked up a new product called GoGo Squeez by Materne.


GoGo Squeez is a pouch of  100% fruit squeezable applesauce.  It comes in 5 different flavors (applesauce, apple peach, apple banana, apple strawberry, and apple cinnamon) and is great for moms on the go.

I am so glad I bought the GoGo Squeez.  Today at the doctors it was easy to throw one in my diaper bag and take out when Lilly got hungry.  The applesauce easily squeezes out of the pouch so all you need is a spoon (bigger babies can eat directly from the pouch).  The bag also reseals which is perfect if you have little babies that won't finish the 3.4 ounces.

Unfortunately for Lilly, mom was hungry too so I ate her leftovers.  It was so yummy!  Don't let the all natural 100% fruit with no artificial flavors or preservatives fool you, this stuff is tasty.  Plus it is gluten and dairy free and Kosher certified.  

Thank you France for sharing one of your favorite snack brands with us here in the states.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pura Kiki

Looking for an alternative to plastic or glass bottles?  Ever think about a stainless steel baby bottles?

I didn't until I came across Pura Kiki.  Seriously how cool are these?!



There are many reasons that you should consider using stainless steel:
  • no worries of leaching chemicals, these bottles are 100% BPA-free, 100% phthalate-free, 100% lead-free, 100% PVC free
  • won't break or chip
  • anti-bacteria 
  • reusable and good for the environment
  • dishwasher safe
Stainless steel is great; both my husband and I have stainless steel water bottles so it is only expected that our daughter would one day have her own too.   We love the fact that they are nearly indestructible and don't pickup the flavors of liquids in your bottle like plastic does.

The Pura Kiki also converts to a sippy cup when your baby gets older so there is no confusion on a new bottle shape and you don't have to buy a bunch of extra sippy cups, trying to find one your kiddo likes.  Plus Pura Kiki offers a lifetime warrenty on the stainless components.  Bonus!

The ProGrade Health Gentle Vibes Nail Filer

Every once in a while you will come across an item and you will think to yourself, where was this all those other times I needed it?  For my family it was the The ProGrade Health Gentle Vibes Nail Filer. You are probably thinking to yourself that I am crazy, this is just a nail file, but for a family that made their daughter wear mittens for 4 weeks, this nail file was a savior.  Unfortunately we didn't find this item until Lilly was 6 months old, but as soon as we started using it, we were hooked!  

The The ProGrade Health Gentle Vibes Nail Filer is the perfect alternative to nail clipping, which with a wiggling baby should be an Olympic sport.  Okay, slight exaggeration, but it is really hard to get those nails short without inadvertently cutting too short! 

This nail file is easy to hold and makes the nail trimming process go much faster.  And the nail file head never needs to be replaced.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Leachco Cuddle-U Nursing Pillow

Lilly loved cuddling up on her boppy pillow for an afternoon snooze fest.  But after she keep wiggling down and ended up with her face in the sides of the pillow, a very compromising position, I decided it was time to look for a new product.  But why reinvent the wheel?  Lilly loved the boppy.  What I needed was something similar...   


I promptly did some internet browsing and ventured upon the Leachco Cuddle-U Nursing Pillow.  It has the same shape as the boppy and therefore doubles as a nursing pillow but also has straps!  That's right, I can attach my baby to the pillow!  Eliminating said suffocation hazard and allowing my baby to sleep comfortably.  Score!!  
  

  • Seat wrap prevents sliding out and "hugs" pillow sides inward for extra support, and it adjusts to meet the needs of both newborns and growing infants.
  • Enhances digestion, helps reduce reflux, and provides that essential "cuddle me" feeling.
  • Doubles as a nursing pillow, sit-up support, and tummy time aid.

Word of advice, the cover doesn't come off like the boppy so if your baby is prone to spitting up, place a burp cloth/ cloth diaper under their head. 

Lilly napped on the cuddle-U pillow for months.  As soon as she was able to sit up on her own, it was time to say goodbye.   Since it's been gone she hasn't napped nearly as well.    

     




 



Sunday, August 15, 2010

GoCrib

A portable, inflatable, crib that folds into a backpack?  Hmmm, I am intrigued.  Skeptics, meet the GoCrib.

The GoCrib was created by Guava Family, a company that has roots in the kiteboarding industry.  They have utilized much of the same technology on the GoCrib to ensure it is safe, sturdy, redundant, and durable.

Who says good things can't come in small packages?  The GoCrib weighs less than 11 pounds (including crib, mattress, backpack and pump).

Plus there are no hinges and no mechanisms.  Its rounded structure is soft, strong, and safe.
  • PVC Free, Phthalate Free, Lead Free non-toxic materials.
  • Curved sidewalls eliminate hard edges and corners to prevent unintended bonks and bumps.
  • Breathable ClearView Mesh allows for full airflow and an unobstructed view of your child, even when the side is zipped up.
  • 2 independent air struts fill each leg for stength and redundancy.
  • Dual-seal valves for extra safety also make inflation a snap. The air stays in as you pump.
  • Anti-Puncture materials improve strength, stiffness, and prevent leaks.  

The price is steep, but due to its light weight and portability, it might just be a the best option for traveling, camping, or spending time outdoors.  Plus it is duel functioning- the GoCrib's sides can be unzipped to become a fort when the child gets older.  I love when a product has a long life :)           


Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality

Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, is a phenomenal resource for new parents.  This book was right smack in the middle of our coffee table for about 3 months after we bought Lilly home for the hospital.  


Written by two pediatricians and moms, Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, contains everything you need to prepare for the first few months of your baby's life.  It covers it all.   Health concerns, baby's appearance, feeding, diapering, sleeping habits, dressing, traveling, sickness, and more.  This is a one stop shop for answers that you WILL have.  


It is published by the American Academy of Pediatrics so the information is up-to-date and inline with your doctor's recommendation.  




Medical Cabinet Checklist



Medical and first-aid supplies

Infants:

  • Digital thermometer 
    • Make sure you have one that can be used both rectally or under the armpit.
    • If taken under the armpit, the rule of thumb is to add 1 degree Fahrenheit to temperature to get more accurate reading (ie if temperature under armpit is 99 degrees Fahrenheit, actual temperature is probably 99 degrees Fahrenheit).  
  • Babies' non-aspirin liquid pain reliever (acetaminophen).
    • For babies 6 months and under.
  • Ibuprofen.
    • For babies 6 months or older.
  • Rubbing alcohol.
    •  Used for disinfecting instruments (thermometer) and drying out umbilical cord stump.  
  • Petroleum jelly or a water-soluble lubricant. 
  • Saline drops to loosen mucus.
  • Bulb syringe for removing mucus from noise.
    • Note: you can request one before you leave the hospital.
  •  Electrolyte solution for hydration after vomiting.
    • Pedialyte was suggested by our nurse. 
  • Cotton balls.
  • Cotton swab.
  • Nail clipper.
  • Nail file.
  • Mild liquid soap.
    • For cleaning any cuts or abrasions.
  • Hand sanitizer.
    • For you!  Keep those puppies clean. 
  • Gripe water, anti-gas drops, or other gas or colic remedy.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Insect Repellent. 
  • Shampoo or body wash.
  • Lotion.
  • Diaper Rash cream.
    • Teething pain relief.
      • Toothbrush.
        • Works great to as a brush to break up cradle cap.
      • Baby oil or olive oil
        • Softens dry skin associated with cradle cap.
        • Apply 15 minutes before bath; rub into scalp to loosen dry skin. 

      Children:
      • Tweezers.
      • Antibacterial ointment.
      • Bandages.
      • Adhesive tape.
      • Gauze rolls (1/2 to 2 inches wide) for making bandages.
      • Gauze pads (2 x 2 and 4 x 4 inches) for making bandages or applying pressure to cuts to stop bleeding.
      • A pair of sharp scissors for cutting gauze and tape.
      • Topical calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream for insect bites and rashes.
      • Heating pad.
      • Cold compresses.
      • First-aid manual such as the American Red Cross's First Aid & Emergency Preparedness Quick Reference Guide.


      The above information was featured on babycenter.  

      Costco

      Did you know that you can use your Enfamil and Similac coupons at Costco?  Plus when you buy in bulk you will get a much better price.

      Friday, August 13, 2010

      Baby safe feeder

        



      The baby safe feeder has been a great addition to our feeding supplies. The mess bag allows Lilly to practice eating on her own and try a variety of different foods.  We put frozen fruit in it since she is teething; the cold feels good on her gums.  It also works especially well to keep a loud infant quiet while eating out.  The bananas are a little messy to clean out of the mesh bag, but other than that I can't complain!

      Can't get it down fast enough.


      Windows

      Window treatments (curtains or blinds) may have potentially dangerous cords.  These dangling cords, which of course are irresistible to babies, may act as a strangulation hazard.

      Simple solutions, such at installing a hook to hold the cord well above your infants reach will be effective, easy to install, and very inexpensive.  Various brands, such at 3M and interDesign, sell these hooks.   They can be found at many stores, including hardware, grocery, and carry-all (such at Target).

      Baby proofing

      Lilly is now 7 and a half months old.  She is a little explorer and LOVES to get into everything- especially the dangerous things like wires and corners.   My husband and I started baby proofing the house about a month ago.  It is still a work in progress since Lilly is constantly finding new, dangerous areas.   

      One item that I have found particularly useful is foam pipe wrap.  The particular brand we bought can be found at Lowes in the plumbing section.  $5.86 will get you 6 feet of the stuff and it is a very effective cover on a variety of items.

      To date we have used it on:
      • coffee table
      • desk
      • tv stand
      • stero speakers
      • desk chair
       
      Embedded tape makes for easy application.
      Desk chair legs.
      Used on sides and center shelves.
      Corner of the desk- added this morning with recent head bump.

      Milk Storage

      The following information was compiled from La Leche League International, Kellymom, and Ameda.

      Milk Storage Guidelines and Tips:

      Store Milk:

      • Preferably, human milk should be refrigerated or chilled right after it is expressed. Acceptable guidelines for storing human milk are as follows. Store milk:
        • at room temperature (66-78°F, 19-26°C) for 4 hours (ideal), up to 6 hours (acceptable) (Some sources use 8 hours)
        • in a refrigerator (39°F/4°C) for 72 hours (ideal); up to 8 days (acceptable)
        • in a freezer (-0.4 to -4°F, -18 to -20°C) for 3-6 months (ideal) up to 6-12 months (acceptable- if in a deep freezer)
      • If baby does not finish milk at one feeding, it may be refrigerated and offered at the next feeding before it is discarded or stored at room temperature for up to 1 hour.


      Thaw Milk:

      • Thaw slowly in the refrigerator (this takes about 12 hours – try putting it in the fridge the night before you need it). Avoid letting milk sit out at room temperature to thaw.
      • For quicker thawing, hold container under running water - start cool and gradually increase temperature.  If using a milk storage bag, may place big in lager bag to ensure no leaking occurs. 
      • Previously frozen milk may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours after it has finished thawing. Do not refreeze.


      Warm Milk:

      • Heat water in a cup or other small container, then place frozen milk in the water to warm.
      • NEVER microwave human milk or heat it directly on the stove.



      IMPORTANT: The cream will rise to the top of the milk during storage. Gently swirl milk (do not shake) to mix before checking temperature and offering to baby.

      Milk Bags

      If you are a pumping mom you are going to need a way to store your precious milk.  I say precious because a) you worked SO hard to get it and b) you will be in a rage if anything happens to it!  This proves that whoever started the saying "don't cry over spilled milk" was not a pumping mom.

      If you do not plan on saving any of your milk, simply pump it into a bottle and store on counter or in refrigerator (I will go more into milk storage in a later post).  However, if you plan on building up a supply, you are going to need a more efficient way of storing it.

      Lactation consultants suggest freezing the milk in 1 oz ice cube trays so you can take out the exact amount you need for a feeding.  I found this method too time consuming and if you are storing large amounts of milk, this will not work for you (unless you buy a ton of ice cube trays).  Then I tried regular freezer Ziplock bags.  This also did not work as well as I hoped since they did not stack well and took up a lot of space.  Finally, I bought specialized milk storage bags.  In my opinion the  Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags are the best value and they work great.  In all my defrosting I have yet to have a leaky bag. 



      Here are some of the specks on this product:

      • Re-sterilized medical grade milk storage bags
      • Patented double zipper seal prevents leakage
      • Convenient write-on tab outside fill area eliminates potential puncture
      • Tamper evident safety seal
      • Tissue Pack Dispenser for easy access and storage
      • 100% Bisphenol-A (BPA) Free

      Wednesday, August 11, 2010

      Mittens

      If you have a face scratcher like I did, you are going to want to invest in several pairs of mittens.  Lilly lived in mittens for the first 4 weeks... is that bad?  Well I am just being honest here.

      My husband and I had major issues filing and trimming her nails- they were so small and it was hard!  No matter what we did she still scratched herself.  Case and point, here is Lilly only a few hours old... with a nice scratch across her little face.



      So, while we did our best to keep them short, we also made wear Lilly in mittens for the first month of her life.

      Here are just some of the shots of Lilly in mittens... trust me there are MANY more.

      Formula



      Whether you plan on breastfeeding or formula feeding you should take the time to register with several formula companies.  In the first couple weeks it is reassuring to have a can in your pantry to break out in case you need it.  Many of the formula companies will send you free samples, coupons, and free hospital swag just for registering.  I highly recommend you register!  Yay free stuff!  If you don't need the free formula they send, you can always donate it to a shelter for woman and their babies.

      Here are some of the companies you may want to use:

      • Gerber Goodstart:
        • Free backpack, formula, bib, and nutrition guide when you print the gift certificate and take it to your hospital:
          • http://www.gerber.com/Pregnancy/Special_Offers/Backpack.aspx

      •  Enfamil:
        • Up to $60 in formula savings, one-week supply of formula, and gift certificate for hospital bag.
        • https://www.enfamil.com/app/iwp//ConsumerRegisterLoadConsentInfo.do

      • Similac: 
        • Up to $329 in offers and deals.
        • http://similac.com/ 

      When it's cold outside

      Lilly was born in the dead of winter- January 3, 2010, right smack in the middle of two of the biggest snow storms Virginia and DC have ever experienced.  So having a winter baby I know the challenges that come with keeping your little one warm, while also keeping them safe.  Jackets/ snow suits are unsafe for the carseat since the extra padding can interfere with tightening the straps.  Any winter cover that goes under the baby voids the warranty of the carseat and can make it unsafe.  The ever popular JJcole bundle me goes between the baby and the carseat making it unsafe for carseat usage (could still be used in a stroller).

      After searching high and low for a carseat cover that would not interfere with the mechanics of the carseat but also keep Lilly nice and toasty was a challenge.  Finally I found the PoshPouch by Kiddopotamus.

      The PoshPouch is made of a soft cover that keeps your baby warm and dry.  The soft faux suede is wind- and water-resistant, while the plush faux fur keeps baby cozy.  The cover is easily slipped over the outside of the carseat and stays in place with its elastic edges.  It is machine washable and has a pocket for cellphones, keys, or shopping lists.



      If you have a winter baby, this is absolutely the best option to keep your baby warm.  

      Color choices are: pink, green, and graphite.

      Lilly all snuggled up in her posh pouch.

      Websites you should visit

      I am constantly looking for a good deal.  I refuse to pay full price when I can get something at a discount.  I am a coupon clipper and an internet surfer, always managing to pay less than retail.  Here are some of the sites that I love/ regularly visit for good deals.

      • Babysteals: 
        • http://www.babysteals.com/
        • One steal a day at 9 am MT (11 am for you East Coast mamas) until it sells out- and you have to be fast!!
        • My all-time FAVORITE steal site

        • Kidsteals:
          • http://www.kidsteals.com/
          • One steal a day at 9 am MT (11 am for you East Coast mamas)

          • Scrapbooksteals:
            • http://www.scrapbooksteals.com/
            • One steal a day at 9 am MT (11 am for you East Coast mamas)
            • Carries a wide variety of scrap booking accessories.

          • Mamabargins:
            • http://www.mamabargains.com//
            • Steals throughout the day- you never know when they will appear

          • Babyhalf off:
            • http://www.babyhalfoff.com/
            • One deal a day, Monday - Saturday at 8 am MST (10 am for you East Coast mamas)

            • Hippobargins:
              • http://www.hippobargains.com/ 
              • New item is offered between between 10:00 and 11:00 CDT (11- 12 for you East Coast mamas)

              • Greenbabybargins:
                • http://www.greenbabybargains.com/
                • New bargain at 12 pm EST
                • Products meet one of their "green" classifications:
                  • chemical free (BPA, formaldehyde, etc.)
                  • eco-friendly packaging
                  • made from sustainable, renewable or recycled materials
                  • manufactured with minimal environmental impact
                  • fairly traded
                  • made with minimal or no artificial materials (organic, bamboo, soy, or non-toxic fabrics/fillers/dyes)

                •  Eco Baby Buys:
                  • https://www.ecobabybuys.com
                  • One buy a day offered at 9 am EST until it sells out
                  • Meets the following standards:
                    • use of non-toxic materials and dyes (i.e. BPA-free)
                    • use of organic and/or recycled textiles and materials (i.e. organic cotton)
                    • eco-friendly packaging
                    • commitment and adherence to the standards of fair-trade

                  • Zuily:
                    • http://www.zulily.com/
                    • Deals for moms, babies, and kids

                  Note: I have not ordered from all these sites so I cannot comment on their customer service. 

                  Tuesday, August 10, 2010

                  Low Milk Supply

                  Anyone who is struggling with low milk supply, rest assure that there are resources and products available to help you.

                  Here is a great article from Motherlove, an herbal care product line for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and babies.



                  I have used several of their products including more milk plus, more milk special blend, and goat's rue.  After using these products (couple with some others, including drinking a beer at night, non-instant oatmeal, and Mother's Milk Tea) I saw a drastic increase in my supply.  When I started pumping I was hitting a high of about 10-13 oz a day.  After using Motherlove I pumped as much as 40 oz a day.  I feel like I should add a disclaimer here- results may vary ;)  But seriously I am sure it depends on the person, however it did work for me.    

                  ____________________________________________________________________

                  Low Milk Supply Article: 

                   

                  What causes an inadequate supply of breast milk?

                  There are so many reasons that women may not produce enough breast milk. We are confident that our herbal extracts are the best formulas available, but not all issues can be corrected with supplements. An inadequate or low supply of breast milk can result for a variety of reasons. Most women can produce more breast milk by properly addressing these issues. Confer with a lactation consultant for help in determining the cause of low milk supply.

                  Milk Supply Equation - Copyright © Lisa Marasco
                    1. Sufficient lactation tissue
                    2. Intact nerve pathways
                    3. Intact ducts
                    4. Adequate hormones
                    5. Adequate receptors
                    6. Adequate milk removal
                    7. Adequate stimulation
                    8. Sufficient frequency
                  • Adequate removal of milk - Make sure that your milk is being removed frequently enough to maintain supply. Breastfeed or pump often, your body produces milk to replace milk that is removed, so the more milk that is removed, the more milk is made. Be sure your baby is latched correctly to maximize milk removal.
                  • Hormonal - Hormonal imbalances can sometimes cause low milk production. Thyroid, insulin, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, prolactin and fasting glucose can all affect milk supply. Receptors and pathways must be intact for each hormone to work properly.
                  • Mammary tissue - Women can have damaged or insufficient mammary tissue for several reasons. Breast implants, reductions and other types of surgery can reduce milk production by damaging glands, ducts, and nerves. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a possible cause of poor mammary tissue development. Goat’s Rue can help to increase mammary tissue.
                  • Scarring - This can result from any type of surgery affecting the mammary tissue, including diagnostic, ablative and cosmetic breast and nipple surgeries. Areola piercings can cause scaring in the nipple that can damage to nerves critical to milk ejection.
                  • Anti Galactogogues (Galactofuge) - Women may ingest certain food items while breastfeeding, not realizing they might be having an effect on their milk supply. Try to avoid these spices in large quantity while breastfeeding; sage, parsley, thyme, and peppermint (including breath mints). Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (especially four months postpartum) and hormonal birth control (especially in the first weeks after birth) can also decrease milk supply.

                  What can women do to increase their supply of milk?

                  • Herbal galactogogues have gained a reputation for increasing breast milk from years of traditional use. Our liquid extracts and liquid capsules are stronger, more easily absorbed and more effective than dried herbal capsules or teas. Some popular herbal galactogogues are: fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle, anise, dill, fennel, goat’s rue, raspberry, and alfalfa. Motherlove’s More Milk contains blessed thistle, nettle, and fennel seed. More Milk Plus contains fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle and fennel. More Milk Two, for women who are nursing and are pregnant, contains raspberry leaf, nettles and alfalfa. Our newest combination More Milk Special Blend, adds Goat's Rue to the popular More Milk Plus formula and is helpful for women who need to build mammary tissue. Please consult our Product FAQ's to find the formula that is right for you.
                  • Talk to a professional - We always recommend working with a lactation consultant. They can best advise mothers on their exact situation. Every woman’s body, physiology, biology, hormonal levels, baby’s habits and personal habits are different. One on one consultation can really help target the reason and solution to low milk supply.
                  • Pumping - Sometimes the body needs extra stimulation and milk extraction to produce enough milk to feed your baby. Residual milk can be pumped after feedings and stored for later use.
                  • Latching correctly - Your baby might not be latching deeply enough, preventing adequate milk removal. Have a lactation specialist check for problems such as a tongue tie if it appears that your baby is struggling to latch, frequently slips down on the nipple, the nipple has compression stripe, clicking is heard during nursing or if pain continues after the first few weeks.
                  • Alternative techniques - There are a variety of alternative therapies that can help address low milk production including chiropractics, acupuncture, reflexology and yoga. Visualization can be a helpful tool, visualize abundant milk as it effortlessly flows from you to nourish your child.
                  • Nutrition - Remember that food can be medicinal too. Eat a well-rounded diet with adequate calories (even more than during pregnancy) that includes vitamins and minerals with levels high enough for yourself and to produce milk. A healthy diet rich in protein, fiber, iron, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and omega 3 can make a big difference. Avoid junk food. You need adequate liquid so drink plenty of fresh water.
                  • Lack of Confidence - Sometimes it takes time to feel comfortable with motherhood. It doesn’t just come naturally for every new mother! Some may be uncomfortable with the new feelings of pleasure or pain while nursing. Find a place that is comfortable for you to nurse. You may want privacy or quiet until you feel comfortable. Having eye contact with your infant while you nurse can help you relax and feel a nurturing bond. Find a friend or support group to talk with.
                  • Relaxation - Remember to relax and do not put yourself under additional stress. Many women are too hard on themselves when struggling with milk production. It may very well be something out of your control. Some breast milk is better than no breast milk! It is important to find the stress relievers that work for you (quiet time alone, talking with someone, exercise, getting plenty of rest, taking a warm bath). Keep trying, expand your resources and let us help you any way we can.

                  Where can I find more information?

                  Dr. Brown Bottles

                  Whether you are planning on breast feeding or going straight for the formula, you are going to need a reliable bottle.  Breastfeeding moms need a break too and it is nice to give other family members a chance to feed the baby.

                  Here is my experience with bottles.... buy lots.  Newborns eat anywhere between 8 to 12 times a day.  You may think to yourself that you don't need that many bottles and you will just wash them midday, but trust me, it will save your sanity to buy extras so you aren't constantly running to the sink with a screaming baby in your arms, washing a bottle.

                  The bottles I chose for Lilly were Dr. Browns.  We also looked at Advent, BornFree, and Playtex.  Ultimately I opted for Dr. Browns because of the following reasons: BPA, PVC, lead, and Phthalates free, positive pressure (versus vacuum feeding), helps reduce colic/ spit-up/ gas, plastic and glass bottles, varying sizes, and standard and wide-neck nipple options.

                  Since using the bottles we have never had a leak and Lilly rarely, if ever, gets fussy due to gas or spit-up (I am not sure if this is due to the bottles or we are just lucky).

                  Here are some words of advice when buying bottles:
                  • Buy lots!
                  • No need for the 2 or 4 oz size, your baby will only be drinking the small amounts for the first couple months.  Therefore invest only in the 8 oz bottles.
                  • Keep a dish bucket in the sink and after each bottle is used disassemble and soak the pieces.  This makes for easy washing.
                  • If you buy glass remember the baby should never feed him or her self so plastic might be a better option if you have an independent baby. 

                  Be forewarned that Dr. Brown bottles come with a lot of pieces- 5 to be exact.  The first time you assemble it you might be intimidated, but after a couple times you will be able to do it in your sleep.  Well maybe not literally, but you will in the zombie like stage from getting up at 3 am with your baby.

                  Sunday, August 8, 2010

                  Swaddle

                  For you swaddle challenged moms... Meet SwaddleMe.


                  After one night of using this product my husband ran out to get more!

                  Please note that not all babies like to be swaddled.  Lilly liked it when she was itty bitty, but as she got bigger we switched to a sleep sack.  However, SwaddlMe comes in three sizes if your baby wants to be swaddled even when he/she is bigger:

                  • Preemie: 3- 7 lbs
                  • Small: 7-14 lbs
                  • Large: 15 to 22 lbs
                  SwaddleMe also makes diaper changes easy. 




                  Here is my Lilly in her SwaddleMe.  :)



                  The SwaddleMe also works great to hold a billy blanket if you are in need of a jaundice cure ;)

                  video