Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Favorite Things: Baby Edition

Well...

I have severe blogger's block. I just don't know what to post about. Life seems pretty much like its running its normal hectic pace. Jeff was diagnosed with a Hernia, which means we will have the fun of surgery to deal with in the near future...my OB/GYN is concerned about my sugar levels. He wonders if I developed gestational diabetes after I'd had the normal test that they do when you're pregnant. Apparently, the medication I'm on for my Insulin Resistance can stop working all of a sudden while you're pregnant leaving you unprotected when your sugars decide to go haywire... This is all news to me. My midwife wasn't concerned about this at all. When I reached the 50 lbs mark she was concerned and asked if I had been taking my meds and when I responded ,"yes," she simply chalked it off to being what my body did naturally. He ordered some blood tests and decided to have me come back in two weeks to determine our next steps. I'm really, really hoping that I don't have to use a Glucometer through my whole pregnancy, but its very likely that I may...I am grateful that I have a doctor that is thorough and is trying to do everything he can to help me keep the weight down this pregnancy. Since I started out overweight (still needing to lose about 20 lbs of weight from my time carrying the little princess in my belly) he wants me to only gain 20 lbs...considering that I'd actually LOST weight at my last appointment, I'm hoping that won't be a problem.

But..that isn't what this blog is about.

I don't want to think of the hectic and crazy things going on. I've been trying to focus on the little blessings that come with modern technology, or even old technology made new that have been making my life much easier and more interesting... since I have lots of friends expecting their first baby or their first baby in a long time, I figured I'd share a few of my favorite things that I've discovered in the last almost 6 months...

1) Up and Up brand baby formula (found at Target)-
I know that breast feeding is best. My experience with breast feeding was one of frustration and sadness. I had planned on breast feeding to do what was best for my baby and to save money- but, when she came a month early, my body just wasn't ready to do what it needed to do. I didn't even start producing colostrum until a week after she was born...after that it was a constant struggle to keep up and get my body in line with when she wanted to feed. Nobody tells you that your boobs can be too big for your baby to feed off of...and unfortunately, that was the case for me. I was too big, or Faith's mouth was too small...either way she couldn't latch well and wouldn't stay latched for long. I'm sure if I'd kept at it we could have mastered it, but my reality was that I was waking up every 2 hours to pump and getting almost nothing, I'd have to mix it with formula anyway because, while she was only 5 lbs 3 oz, my little diva wanted 3 oz of food and then 4 very quickly. I was only to the point where my body was producing about 2 oz every time I pumped...then came the disaster known as Blessed Thistle ( I was allergic, she was allergic and together we were one giant rash). 

My doctor, a champion of breast feeding, gave me props for trying as long as I did, but even admitted that he hadn't thought that I would end up being successful since we hadn't really been given those crucial hours right after she was born to try to let her feed... he suggested the Gentlease formula by Enfamil, saying that its really the only formula he'd ever seen that had given the results it promised. We went ahead and did the Gentlease when the other formula we were using was still making her a very sad baby....but the ACTUAL Gentlease is about $26 a can...and when a can only lasts a week or two that starts to add up.

We started using the Walmart generic, but I started looking around to see if I could find a generic that was in a bigger can for less price...well, one day Jeff surprised me and took me to my favorite store on the planet....ahhhh Target...lo and behold they had a generic for the Gentlease, in a canister TWICE the size of the Walmart generic for only $4 more...when it all worked out the Target brand was cheaper by like $0.25 or $0.30 an ounce...and considering that a can of the Target brand lasts for almost 2 weeks in our house, we were saving even more!

If you end up having to buy formula and there is a Target close by, go ahead and use their generics...believe me, you'll thank me in the end...

2) Munchkin Bottle Scrubber

When I first had Faith, we had a bottle scrubber that came with my breast pump in this killer deal that we found on eBay. It was the same brand as the pump, Avent by Philips...it was okay, but not my favorite. When I saw how much they wanted for one of them in the store, I was impressed by our killer deal and thought that maybe I just wasn't using it right....no...it just wasn't brush enough for our bottles...

I LOVE the Munchkin bottle scrubber. We bought it because it was the cheapest one on the shelf (again, at Target, was there ever any doubt?) What I love about it is that the soft spongey top can double as a nipple scrubber (oh, it comes with one in the bottom of it, and its great,but on the days that I'm feeling lazy and don't want to pop it out of the bottom, its nice to know that the sponge on top will conform to the insides of the nipples and clean them out too!) I also use Dr. Brown's bottles (LOVE THEM) and this is the only scrubber I've ever used that can get inside the attachment that goes on the inside to clean it out as well. This bottle scrubber is a big winner in my house and makes the daily grind of cleaning bottles much quicker and far more painless.

3) Baby Bullet- sold at most major retailers and online at www.babybullet.com
I can't say enough about this little kitchen gem.  When I was debating the purchase of this, a lot of people suggested just buying a really nice food processor, but then I talked to people that actually owned and used the Baby Bullet, and I quickly changed my mind. 

They all said the same thing- NOTHING out there on the market will puree the baby food that you make as finely as the baby bullet does...in reality, it turns your sweet potatoes, peas, apples...whatever into a fluffy cream that baby can't get enough of, and you can later control the puree so that it is more textured as baby gets older. 

We purchased ours about a month before we needed it (at Target...what can I say? I'm hooked) it was a killer deal. It was their regular price of $59.99, but you also got a $10 Target shopping card with the purchase. Since I shop there regularly, it was effectively like getting it for $49.99. Gotta love it...and it was so much cheaper than buying a regular food processor and praying it would work...

Making my own baby food is not only rewarding, but its super fast! In about 5 minutes I can have enough baby food to last 2 weeks stored between my fridge and freezer... its also WAY cheaper. I can buy a single sweet potato for $0.30 to $0.40 (depending on the time of year) that single sweet potato can make 8-10 servings of baby food!...And I get to know, without a doubt, how fresh everything is and what exactly is in it...I read an article recently online that shocked me...if people knew what could be in their $0.30 to $0.60 jar of baby food, they may think twice about convenience over saving money...did you know that jarred baby food can have ground up bugs and rodents in the mix because the conveyor belts that the food is processed on can't stop everything from going through? YUCK! Here baby, have some applesauce with a hint of field mouse...yum yum.. GROSS! 

4) Sunbaby Diapers


I originally made the choice to start cloth diapering in an effort to help save money. When we found out that baby #2 was on the way so soon after the Little Diva, I knew that, even though we technically would have the money for disposables, it would be costly. We usually would spend about $50 a month on diapers (that's not even including the wipes and creams to combat diaper rashes that Faith frequently got) Once we added another baby to the mix it would make it a little over $100 for diapers a month...that is $1200 a year (again, not including wipes and creams...)  I had been debating cloth since I was pregnant with Faith, but baby number 2 made my decision for me.

These diapers by Sunbaby, can only be ordered online at http://www.sunbabydiapers.com/

For $108.00 I got 24 diapers and 24 liners (they are pocket diapers, you put the liners inside and pull them out when they are wet.) They fit any baby 7 to 35 lbs- meaning: we can use them THROUGH potty training!    Just be aware, that as they come from Shanghai, shipping takes 20-30 days. Mine actually made it in 18... I love them. I love the snaps because the diapers don't magically come undone (a problem I'd had with my wriggly baby...I guess the fake velcro they use for the disposables just didn't stand a chance against her...LOL) and I love the cute, bright designs. It also comes in a size 2 which is for chubbier babies...since my Little Diva takes after her daddy, we went the size 1 route to accommodate her skinny frame.

At this point, I will only be washing diapers twice a week, which really isn't much when you consider that I already have to do laundry twice a week...so what's one more load?

It started out as a money saving venture...but now a week into it I can honestly say that I would NEVER go back to disposables!  Yes- it is a little more time consuming...if you consider taking anywhere from 1-3 minutes out of your day to take care of a dirty diaper super time consuming...and I don't...but it also  has done so much more!

Faith had a horrible diaper rash when we first started using them a week ago...but you can't put any rash creams on a baby in cloth (well you can, but there are special creams you have to buy...) the trick is...you should NEVER need a rash cream with cloth. I've read several articles (wish I could find them again to link them for you all) that explain that there are chemicals and other treatments that are done on the materials that they make disposables with and generally the chemicals and other treatments are what causes the rash! I was skeptical after I read this...but I will say that after 2 or 3 diaper changes with cloth, the Little Diva's rash had completely disappeared. She actually sits still now for her diaper changes and doesn't scream when I wipe her...its AMAZING!

Another story to further bring my point home...on Tuesday we ended up running an unexpected errand with Jeff (well, somewhat expected...he was having an ultrasound to determine what type of hernia he has and I wanted to come, but didn't ask until later if he was willing to come pick me up. He surprised me when he said yes. I was glad to get to go support him) I knew Faith needed a diaper change when we left, but there wasn't time, as Jeff was already going to be late. I grabbed the diaper bag and put Faith into her carseat knowing that I had one disposable left, tucked away in the diaper bag that still needed to be used (waste not, want not.) Well, I changed her at the doctor's office and didn't think a thing about it...until we got home and I decided to put her back in cloth. She was acting really fidgety and I was wondering if maybe it was the feel of the papery disposable against her skin...well, you could say it was that...I took off her diaper and found a huge, red, angry rash covering her whole bottom! I quickly put her in the bathtub, and then into a cloth diaper- praying that it would go away on its own.  Lo and behold, the next morning, there was NO RASH...it was a contact rash from the disposable. Once I took her out of it and bathed her and put her back in cloth the contact was gone and her body was able to calm down.

I am so grateful to my cousin Desiree for pointing me in the direction of Sunbaby! I was going to buy BumGenius 4.0, which was almost $300 for, "all the diapers we would ever need," according to the website I was buying them from. I was attracted to BumGenius because I liked the idea of being able to reuse the covers after changing...but I will say that there is something so rewarding about a fresh cover and clean liner every time I change my baby!

If you're debating cloth- just do it! You will save so much money (even if you do opt for a more expensive brand like BumGenius) and your baby will be much happier!

Well...that is a few of my favorite baby things...I would add more, but this blog is already becoming a novel (so much for blogger's block.) I guess you will just have to wait for part deux!

Hugs and Loves until next time darlings!

1 comment:

Lisa Thomas said...

Hello my dear! I'm loving your blog, fyi. Loved all your little 'loves'. So cute. But what bugged me a bit was your little comment about how 'that's not what this blog is about.' Really? I'd love to hear about your struggles as well as your strengths. It's what makes us human!!! :)
PS - Where's the pictures of pregnant Britt and baby Diva??? I'm missing seeing you!