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Home made baby food

Posted by Alina on Thursday Jan 15, 2009 Under feeding, mommy products

magicbulletI give my son both home made an store bought baby food. I have found the website www.wholesomebabyfood.com to be a great resource for information on age appropriate foods and recipes. Making baby food at home is quite easy. Most of the vegetables and fruit can be steamed and then blended. I use The Magic Bullet blender system, which is made up of a base that takes up very little counter space (and in our Manhattan apartment counter space is prime real estate) and comes with cups of various sizes. There are no buttons or settings, a piece with the blade screws on directly to the cup, then it’s placed on the base, when you push down it blends, you can hold it down longer for a finer puree. My husband and I also use this system for making fruit smoothies for ourselves.

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Nursing on the go, in a front infant carrier

Posted by Alina on Monday Nov 17, 2008 Under feeding, useful tips

My son was born in April, and with the nice Spring and Summer weather, I was usually out and about. At times, it was difficult to find a good place for breast feeding, so I figured out how to do it on the go.

Sling:

When the baby is very young, you can feed him/her in a sling as you sit or walk. It is very discreet. I was able to do it wearing a V-neck shirt or tank top. The sling has to fit just right, if it is too loose, it may be difficult to walk and nurse. Just pull back the inner piece of the sling material and have the baby latch on.

Baby Bjorn:

I wore a tank top with a built in bra and a t-shirt over it. When I needed to feed my son in the Bjorn, I was able to lift the front of the t-shirt and pull down the top of the tank top, thus keeping my abdomen covered. Once the baby is in, facing you, loosen the shoulder straps to align the baby’s mouth with your nipple. Placing a hat with a brim (summer hat) on the baby’s head helps block the view from above. Placing a burp cloth on the strap, helps cover the side view. My son often fell asleep while nursing this way.

Ergo Baby Carrier:

The head cover on this carrier protects the baby’s head from the sun, helps to make nursing discreet, and provides support for the baby’s head once he/she falls asleep. You can either wear a tank top with a T-shirt over as described above under Bjorn, or you can wear a V neck, a shirt with buttons, or one with a stretchy neck line, so that you can just pull it down and have the baby latch on. Snap on the head cover and a burp cloth on the side strap if necessary for complete cover. Now you can walk, have your hands free, and nurse at the same time.

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Baby fresh food feeder

Posted by Alina on Tuesday Nov 11, 2008 Under Baby Products, baby safety, feeding

When your infant gets to a certain age, you may be tempted to let them suck on an apple that you are eating or some other food that you may want to expose them to. There is a product on the market to prevent them from accidentally choking on a piece which may brake off. Different companies make a version of essentially the same thing. I like the Sassy Teething Feeder because it comes with a cap and replacement mesh pockets are available. You can place a piece of fruit inside the mesh pocket, which closes tight, and has a handle. The baby can chew or suck on the food in a safe manner and get accustomed to the taste.

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Breast feeding and back pain

Posted by Alina on Thursday Oct 23, 2008 Under body mechanics, feeding, useful tips

Breast feeding often results in some back, neck, and even shoulder pain for the mother. Being aware of and correcting body mechanics can have a big impact on preventing and/or relieving some of this pain.

Breastfeeding in sitting:

1. Choose a comfortable seat, with neck/head support if possible.

2. Use armrests or place pillows to support forearms/elbows.

3. A small pillow or rolled up towel at low back for lumbar support may help.

4. Bring the baby to the breast rather than leaning down to the baby. This may require placing the baby on a couple of pillows or placing an extra pillow under the Boppy or the My Breast Friend.

5. Try to have the baby’s weight resting on pillows so that your arms are relaxed.

6. It often feels good to elevate the legs and rest them on a foot stool.

7. Periodically perform a body position check: shoulders down, head/ neck in neutral (not forward), back relatively straight, abdomen slightly tucked, legs relaxed.

Breastfeeding lying down on your side:

1. Place pillow under your head.

2. Place the arm you are laying on straight out in front of you, may bend elbow to bring hand under head.

3. Make sure your head is aligned with the rest of your spine, not excessively forward.

4. Bending hips and knees and placing pillow between knees should help relieve back pain.

5. Placing a pillow behind your back, or having your partner close behind you to lean on and rolling 1/4 of a turn back may also help relax the back muscles.

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High Chair in Manhattan Apartment

Posted by Alina on Saturday Oct 18, 2008 Under Baby Products, feeding

We live in a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan, as seems to be happening more and more with new families, according to a recent NY Times article. As a result of having limited space, I had some serious thinking to do when choosing a high chair. When I went to a store to look at them, I was surprised at the amount of floor space that most of them required. Even if the chair part looks small, the base is typically quite large. As a gift, I received the Phil and Teds Mee Too chair. I think this is a fantastic product! This chair attaches to most tables and counter tops, is very light weight (2 lbs), easy to clean, and folds up flat to the size slightly larger than a laptop, making it great for going out to restaurants and traveling. It can hold up to 40 lbs and has a 3-point safety belt. We typically have it attached to our dining table, so our six month old son can sit with us during meals. We bring it along when we go to visit family, which frees up our hands during dinner and makes him feel like he’s part of the activities.

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Breastfeeding and supplementing with formula

Posted by Alina on Tuesday Oct 14, 2008 Under feeding, useful tips

My son was born 8lbs 8oz. I began with purely breast feeding and at one month he seemed to be OK on the scale, although he did seem a bit thin. At two months, he had dropped to the 5th percentile in weight even though I fed him every couple of hours around the clock. His pediatrician said that we should supplement with formula, he recommended Enfamil Lipil with Iron.

I sought the help of a lactation consultant, Susan E. Burger, MHS, PhD, IBLCLC, RLC, who after exploring lactation issues with me, evaluating and weighing my son before and after feedings, and charting his weight gain from birthf agreed that supplementation was necessary. She worked closely with me and we explored various options. Susan showed me a way to supplement with formula and try to boost my supply at the same time. She had me use a nasogastric tube (Curity Kendall feeding tubes, 36″ long, size 5 fr), one end was taped to my breast, areola, and nipple such that the tip extended just beyond the nipple and in a way that the tube would contact the baby’s tongue. The other end of the tube was dipped into a bottle of formula, which would stand on a chair next to me (below the level of the nipple, so there would be no assistance from gravity). The plan that the lactation consultant devised for me, was to feed my baby 10 minutes on one side, then the other and then again on each side for a total of 40 minutes (4 breasts). At this point I would attach the tube as I just described and have my son latch back on. When he sucked, he was drawing in formula from the bottle and at the same time stimulating the breast to produce more milk. It may sound complicated, but it was quite easy to do and did not require dealing with bottles. After the feeding the tube needs to be flushed with water by use of a plastic syringe. I typically flushed once or twice with hot water and once with cold. Soap should not be used as it is hard to get it out of the very thin tube.  I was advised to use each tube for a week and then throw it out. I mistakenly bought and tried using a tube that was 15″ long, which I thought was too short and difficult to use. I normally placed the bottle with the 36″ tube in it on a chair next to me but with the 15″ I had to hold it in my hand which was too much to juggle while trying to nurse. One thing I should mention about the tube is that on one end it is closed and has two little wholes, this whole piece needs to be cut off creating an open end. The other end has a plastic tip (white or green) and a piece that can be used to plug the opening, I tore off this little plug piece, because it is not needed. This nasogastric tube method is also quite cheap.  (one tube is about $5, I have seen a case of 50 sold for $115.99, making it $2.32/tube)

During this period I also learned about something called the Medela Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). It is the same idea as I just described, except there is a special pouch that goes around your neck that holds the extra milk or formula. I read that the pouch is a bit cumbersome to fill with formula but I’m sure with practice it gets easy. The system costs about $80.

I found this to be a great way for supplementing a very young baby, for increasing lactation, avoiding nipple confusion, and an option if the baby refuses a bottle from the mother. I’ve also read that some women use this method for breastfeeding an adopted baby for bonding.

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