Monday, August 22, 2011

baby gadgets: what I can't live without.

So, I keep telling myself to write a post on things I love so much that I'd be willing to write a personal thank you to their manufacturers. Baby gadgets that I cannot imagine going without! Maybe this will help another future mom out's my TOP 5. When Bryce gets older I will add to the list (we have only scratched the surface of the things we will need and use)

5. Diaper Pail: with our bedrooms upstairs, it could have been a pain to throw away diapers downstairs and take the trash out so frequently. The diaper pail in the nursery holds nearly a week's worth of diapers before we take them out. And no smelly nursery :)

4. Microwave steam bottle sterilizer: It only takes a few minutes for me to have peace of mind that there is no bacteria, etc. on Bryce's bottles and paci's. I question how sanitized they get in the dishwasher so really loving this gift we received.

3. aden+anais swaddle blankets : Okay, so Bryce has never been a swaddle baby. He could wiggle out of the tightest swaddle. But, these blankets are perfect for swaddling, and everyday use blankets. I've used them as rain and sun covers on his car seat, naptime blanket, and to cover with while breastfeeding. They do not change a bit when washed, are super soft, and lightweight which is great in the summer. They are pricier than most other swaddles but well worth getting a 3-pack!

2. BUMBO chair: So thankful for this cheap looking, but couldn't serve its purpose better, gadget! I heard mixed opinions about using these, as some moms believe it is used too much as a babysitter when they should be playing, etc.. Well, I am very thankful for this babysitter! I am totally okay with Bryce enjoying Dinosaur Train for 15 minutes while I do dishes or fold laundry. He can't sit up yet, but absolutely loves to be sitting up. He also hasn't mastered napping more than 30 minutes so I need a few extra to get things done.

1. Baby Trend Snap-n-Go stroller : By far the best thing we have right now! We opted to buy this instead of the bulky travel systems you can get with the infant car seats. It is lightweight, I can get it out of the car and unfold it with one hand, and the car seat sits right on the frame. Bryce can be sound asleep in his car seat, and I don't have to wake him when we get out of the car. It is very easy to maneuver, and it even has a basket in the bottom and two drink holders.

Other notables:
*LOVE our Chicco Keyfit 30 carseat. We bought an extra base- so easy to ride in my car or Daniel's without moving the carseat back and forth. Money well spent!
*Don't know what I would do without Pampers Swaddlers diapers! We've tried them all and thse are the only ones that don't leak on us, especially at night. We have never had a leak at night with them, even after 12 hours! Even other Pampers have leaked..
*Definitely worth the money- our Summer Infant video monitor. Talk about peace of mind! I can scan the video to watch him playing in the floor too. LOVE IT!

(For pricey items I justified it by using 20% off  Bed Bath and Beyond coupons at Buy Buy Baby. We did this for the cr seat, stroller, video monitor, and breastpump. )

Hope this list helps someone!

Friday, August 19, 2011

4 months.

Happy 4 months Bryce!
You are our alarm clock when you wake up talking to the ceiling.. Daddy likes to go get you so he can get that first big smile of the day. (Of course he brings you to our bed so you can eat- your favorite thing to do.) Your schedule is still the same.. you eat every 2 hours and want a 30 minute catnap between every meal! Will you stretch these out for mommy? You are starting to sleep longer at night- you went 8 1/2 hours between feeds one night! Mommy loves nights like that :) Your favorite toy is Sophie the giraffe, mostly because she is one of your only toys. You are scared of your Jumperoo, and not too fond of tummy time. Your laugh is the cutest thing we have ever heard- we get to hear it when we sneeze, hiccup, or tickle your belly. Hope you know how much your mommy and daddy love you :)

4 month check-up:
  * 19lbs. 13 oz. - back on the charts in the 99th percentile :) ( you have slowed down in weight gain ALOT-     it's all those cool moves you have now )
  * 25 1/4 inches long- 65th percentile
  * 16 1/2 inches head circumference- 59th percentile
  * 3 shots in your legs and one by mouth- you got to sport some cool Cars band-aids for being so tough!
  * The Dr. says you should be getting your first tooth in SOON! we are ready to meet Mr. Tooth who    makes you fussy even though we can't see him yet..
I'll post pictures after our big road trip to Alabama for my dear friend Heather's wedding! Bryce's first long road trip and first wedding :) We are so excited for you, Heather and Andrew, and happy to be a part of your special day!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

living with a milk protein allergy.

I wanted to share about Bryce's allergy issues for 2 main reasons- to help other moms identify milk and soy protein allergies in their infants, and to be a resource for moms out there who have children with these allergies.
Let me begin by saying I am no expert with this- four months ago I had never even heard of milk allergies in babies! But, with careful research and studying food labels like it's my job, I feel that what I do know can help others. So here is our story..

Weeks 1-2: Bryce never wanted to sleep, seemed unsettled, and my first thoughts were that I had a "colic" baby on my hands. We were exclusively breastfeeding and it was no fun for either of us- he constantly pulled away at first, choked on the milk, and had a painful latch. I went for a lactation consult and things got better- he did still pull away some because he was choking. He seemed uncomfortable and fussy alot. Most people will tell you that this is "colic". I wanted to know more, and so this is when I started to look at all of his issues as a whole..
*not sleeping well
*choking on my milk alot (I had a very forceful letdown)
*fussing ALOT- and during feedings
*tons of GAS- drawing up his knees in pain, waking up frequently day and night because of this pain
*diarrhea/ bloody stool ( didn't see blood until I knew what to look for)
* a ring-shaped diaper rash

I googled some of these symptoms and came up with "oversupply colic syndrome"- it all made sense! I called my lactation consultant and she agreed with me and told me to block feed. She also suggested to me to cut dairy and soy out of my diet for 3 weeks to see if he may have a milk protein intolerance. After the phone call, I googled milk protein intolerance and entered into another world.. it all sounded like Bryce. Other symptoms with this included vomiting, skin rash (eczema), and hives.
A week into the diet I saw MAJOR improvement! His diapers looked better, he had virtually no more gas, and seemed to sleep better. I was excited and sad at the same time- I now knew that Bryce wasn't just a "colic baby". I also realized that this super hard to follow diet was going to be a lifestyle for me as long as I was breastfeeding.
So, here we are 3 months out from diagnosis, and we are still breastfeeding and thriving! We have had "episodes" with this milk/soy protein allergy since then- this stuff is hidden in almost everything you eat. We've been to the pediatrician alot and the pediatric GI doctor. Blood in the stool (from colitis) is the main concern, but thankfully we have still been able to breastfeed. If we ever have to switch, our only option is a hypoallergenic formula (Alimentum or Nutramigen). Although I do miss eating out, pizza, milk, ice cream, Starbuck's, mac-n-cheese, yogurt, etc., I am assured that Bryce is getting all he needs. Not to mention my diet is super healthy for the most part and it saves us money since I can't eat out.

Hopefully, sharing this will help some other mom out there. If you think your child may have allergy symptoms, please talk to your pediatrician and/or try an elimination diet. I will continue to blog about this as we continue this journey (dairy free/soy free recipes, safe grocery list items, etc.).