Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Getting baby to take a bottle

Getting my baby to go from breastfeeding to bottle feeding has been a difficult task! Originailly my goal was just to be able to pump and allow someone else to feed baby if necessary. I have a 2 year old as well and I had visions of being about to go on mommy/toddler dates with my guy and leave baby with my husband, which would mean leaving him with a bottle. I wanted to wait until my son was at least 5 weeks old to introduce the bottle to avoid nipple confusion (as suggested by doctor and lactation consultant), but once I finally did, it took 2 long months to get him to finally take a bottle! SHEESH!

So I decided to compile a list of helpful tips to hopefully make your breast to bottle journey a little easier!

Who is giving baby the bottle? 

This may vary from one baby to the next but some little ones will not take a bottle from the breastfeeding mother, they will smell the breastmilk and want to nurse. You can try different positions (see below in "where") to help this OR if possible start introducing the bottle by having your spouse and or family member give baby the bottle while you are not in the room.

If you are home alone with baby and don't have the option to have someone else give baby bottle, you could prop baby up in a rock and play (like THIS one) or just use your nursing pillow (THIS one is my favorite) to hold baby at the appropriate angle (to prevent ear infections) and prevent baby from thinking it's nursing time!

What type of bottle, what goes in the bottle, what is the flow of the nipple? 

These were probably the areas I tested the most to try to get Haines to take a bottle.

Here are the TOP BOTTLES I found that people had positive remarks about consistently in my research:

Tommee Tippee
Dr. Browns Narrow Neck Bottles  ---(we use this one)
Lansinoh Breastmilk feeding bottle
Playtex nurser with drop ins

As far as what goes in the bottle goes, if baby is breastfed I would start with only breastmilk then slowly start to add in formula if necessary/when ready. The trick for my guy was to warm the breastmilk slightly.

The flow of the nipple was crucial too. If you have the premie or newborn bottle nipples, the flow could be too slow, causing baby to get frustrated, you can probably tell this if baby is sucking frantically and pulling off and crying. If the flow is too fast, it is pretty obvious because milk will be spilling out the sides of the baby's mouth and baby may gag/choke.

Helpful tip: If you have a pump, take time to pump a bit and learn your natural rhythm, this will help you best determine which nipple flow is good for your baby.

Where is baby being fed, and how is baby being held during feeding?

I have heard some moms cannot feed their baby a bottle where they usually nurse. For instance if you always nurse baby in the same chair in the nursery, you might want to try a different location so baby doesn't assume its time to nurse and get frustrated when you try the bottle.

I think its best to hold the breastfed baby out away from your chest when bottle feeding, just to affirm that nursing is not going to take place.

I had to feed Haines while bouncing on an exercise ball for the first couple weeks. The bouncing helped soothe him. Crazy kid! :) heres what I have: Ball 55cm

The timing of feeding time is important: not too hungry and not only snacking.

Haines fed best from the bottle at the 3 hour mark. 3 hours from his last feeding, after a great nap, he would take 3-4 ounces from the bottle. If I tried to feed him sooner, he would only snack 1-2 oz. If I waited too long, he would get frustrated and want to only nurse.


I wanted to take a second and remind you and myself why I was trying to hard to get my baby to take a bottle. If he preferred breastfeeding, why would I want to stop that? Well my why will probably be different than most of your "Why's", the important thing is that you prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the weaning process, since you have started this sweet bond of nursing your babe it may be hard to let that go. Just remind yourself of your WHY constantly and eventually your baby will move forward, take the bottle, and continue to grow up strong and healthy.

Best of luck!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Surviving the Newborn Stage

We just welcomed our sweet second son, Haines Carter Sewell! What a blessing to have two boys so close in age, I can't wait for the season where they can play together and be the best of friends! That being said, we are in major transition right now in our house! It's amazing how much you forget from the newborn stage!

Here are some things that have helped us survive this crazy (but precious) newborn stage:

1) Take notes
So much of the newborn stage is completely out of your control. When will they sleep? When will they want to eat? Will mom ever sleep or eat again!? One thing that brought a little order to the crazy was taking notes. Each day I set up a new note in my phone and track my newborns day. This way I can recognize patterns and try to start to get the little one on a schedule. Here's what my notes would look like: 

Up @7:30 
Put down for nap @8:35...8:55 fell asleep until 10:05
Put down for nap @11:10-12:15 in rock n play 
Put down for nap @12:50-2:40  
Put down for nap @4:10-5:15 
Put down for nap @7-7:45
Put down for the night @8:55-12:20
Woke, ate, back down 12:50-3:50
Woke, ate, back down 4:15-6:50


2) Recognize the Season

With all the details and notes you are focusing on it can be really overwhelming. You can get completely stuck in the chaos of the day and forget that this is just ONE short season of your little ones life. It really does go by fast even though the days are long and the nights are exhausting! But each day brings new growth and change in your newborn, and soon enough you will be at your sweeties 2 month check up and have forgotten all about the umbilical cord you had to carefully care for the first week, or the feeding frenzy your baby went through on his second day of life, or those pesky contractions and stretch marks! Have you forgotten about that already? I have and it's only been 3 weeks! Wow! I know it's hard, the bags under my eyes will speak for themselves, but it's just a season, this will pass, and then we will all wish we could have this precious time back.

3) Make the most of your minute

Every minute counts when you have a newborn. Especially if you have any other children at home. I was having a really hard time feeling like I was getting anything accomplished in my day, even though I felt busy nonstop. My husband suggested making a daily list of things I'd like to accomplish. Sounds old school right? But man it was a game changer! I have my yellow legal pad and every morning I sip some coffee and make a list of todo's for my day... And you know what? I WAS getting a lot accomplished! Even if the house still looked like a cyclone hit it, I was still making progress! 

4) "ME" time is necessary

It looks a little different when you have a newborn, and possibly another child (children) to care for. But it is still important to take care of YOU mom! The way I see it, if the caretaker isn't cared for, how can she care for others?? My me time is a quick 30 minute workout in the morning (where I catch up on my trashy TV shows :)) and getting myself ready for the day so I don't feel gross in my Pjs all day! (Although there are times this has happened). Also, a quick nap while my boys naps was KEY since baby boy is waking through the night still. So, figure out what refreshes you and make it a priority! 

5) Lean on your people 

This may be the most important tip for surviving the newborn stage. When I had my first I was so overwhelmed that I shut everyone out, even my mom! I was disappointed that I couldn't do it all myself, and felt like I didn't want anyone witnessing me "failing". Ugh! What a lie! It's more than ok to ask for help! And it's ok to not have it all together! It's so crucial to have your friends surround you too. Other moms that are in the same life stage as you will make you feel less alone, especially when you are super sleep deprived and can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there and lean on your people! 

Enjoy this time, even through the difficulties, remember you are AMAZING and God has entrusted this sweet baby to you to care for and I know God will equip you with all you need to survive this newborn stage ❤️

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

MUST GET registry items for baby #2

As I near my due date, I've been compiling a list of items that are a MUST for baby #2. As most of you know, having your first you can definitely feel prepared that you already have everything you need. But I reached out to many friends who have just popped out there second bundle of joys, and here are some great things they suggested.

1) MANUAL breast pump: CLICK HERE

I already have a breast pump that I love: THIS ONE!
But my friend suggested to get a manual one for the times you have to be on the go. She literally walked into a girls night with it filled with breastmilk she pumped in the car on the way! HA! LOVE IT! So easy to use and easy to clean!

2) A White Noise Sound Machine: CLICK HERE

This should be my #1, because it is so very necessary! Esspecially with a toddler running around, you want to ensure your new babe has the best opportunity to sleep. Research shows that there is a constant "white noise" swooshing sound when baby is in your womb, so they are comforted by this after they are born! This is my favorite sound machine, my husband and I actually use it as well, and it can be portable.

3) 2 Camera Baby monitor: CLICK HERE

I originally thought of just buying a brand new monitor for the baby's room, but then thought how annoying it would be to carry around 2 monitor screens to see and hear both babies! So I opted for the 2 camera baby monitor, You can split screen between both kids and only have to worry about ONE monitor screen, PERFECT!

4) Swaddler: CLICK HERE!

I have a LOT of swaddle blankets from Hunter, but in the past 2 years there have been some awesome new companies that have made COMFY and efficient swaddles. I LOVE this one because it actually GROWS with the baby, so you don't have to buy a new one every few weeks your babe grows!

5) Double Stroller: BOB Click Here! and the City Select Click Here!

As most of you know I love to work out, so getting a double stroller was a MUST! The BOB is great for off-roading, jogging, and is SO easy to maneuver! It can be bulky for those mall shopping trips, so the City Select is another option that has stacked seating, so it is easier to fit in and out of tight spaces. If you can grab both, do it! It may motivate you to get up and out of the house as well which is so important.

6) Wearing Baby: Moby Wrap: Click Here! and the Ergo 360: Click Here!

I used the old school Ergo literally EVERYDAY with Hunter, he LOVED it. Especially when doing big grocery shopping trips, he slept in the Ergo and I had the entire cart that I could load up without having a carseat in it. The Ergo 360 allows for 4 positions which is great as baby grows. The moby wrap is SUPER lightweight (great for sweaty summers) and easily transportable.