There’s Nothing Cuter

… Than a baby in a diaper.

Bryn Huggies 2

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for Huggies and Target. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

 

It’s been a long week you guys.  I am officially wrapping up my 4th week of my 4th quarter and I am wiped.  This week I had exams in Clinical Medicine and Surgery and next up is Epidemiology/Biostatistics.  UGH.  I came home yesterday overwhelmed and tired and was greeted by my sweet Bryn at the door.  And everything instantly got better.

 

Because in my mind, there are few things in life that can make you smile more than some chunky little thighs in a diaper.  Since I got home at her bedtime Bryn and I got to go upstairs and hang out in her room for a few minutes before it was time to nurse and go to sleep.  And I was in heaven.

 

Bryn Huggies

 

With two kids three and under you can imagine that we probably go through a lot of diapers.  Emmie’s diaper days are pretty much behind us but Bryn is going to be in them for awhile yet.  When we first were pregnant with Emmalyne I so wanted to do cloth diaper but Chris put his foot down on that so we have been a disposable family ever since.  Throughout the years we have tried our fair share of brands but nothing has compared to Huggies.

 

Huggies 1

 

Disclosure: I totally received the above products for this post, however, I buy Huggies products every single month.  I try very hard to limit the sponsored content I do here on the blog to products that benefit my family, we use regularly, and I actually love.  Huggies is one of those things (and their rewards program is pretty awesome!).  The Snug&Dry have a SureFit design that provides up to 12 hours of leak protection which is great for nights like last night where she slept from 6:30PM-6:30AM.  Now that she’s mobile the flexible waistband moves with her keeping her snug and dry throughout her adventures.  The Natural Care wipes are a favorite of ours and I like to buy them by the box load.  We have refillable boxes of wipes throughout the house AND in our car for the mess that kids create.  Emmalyne currently sleeps in their night-time diaper while we are starting to toy with the idea of night training.

 

Now, one of the things that would make diapering two kids even easier is having them delivered to my house on a monthly basis.  Fortunately, Target is answering that need and starting a new subscription service for diapers, wipes, and other household products.  With my crazy busy schedule having this option takes one errand off my plate!  I’m also all about saving money so you can score a Huggies coupon from Target HERE.

 

I am really happy to be able to say that my week is officially over …. well when it hits 7PM and I am finally out of class at least.  I am excited to recharge a bit this weekend, go Trick-or-Treating tomorrow with the girls, and hopefully be ready to head into Week 5 on Monday.  In the meantime, I am day-dreaming about snuggling my diaper-clad baby later tonight :)

 

What diapers do you prefer?  Are you a Huggies fan?

 

 

What is Milk Sharing?

Disclaimer: I am sharing my personal experience about milk sharing and resources available for moms interested in pursuing it.  This is not intended as medical advice.  There are inherent risks in accepting breastmilk from others so please keep that in mind. The FDA advises against milk sharing so take that for what it’s worth.

 

I posted last week about a family here in Savannah facing unspeakable tragedy when a woman and her mother were killed in a car accident leaving behind her husband and three children, the youngest of which is a nursling.  The baby refused formula and would not eat adding to the family’s stress in a time of grief.  A local woman reached out to different social media groups in a desperate plea for donor breastmilk and over three hundred women answered the call.  I myself donated and shared among my local community.  This was not my first time donating milk though.  Last time I donated to a local mama whose supply had dipped.  What surprised me was how many people didn’t know about milk sharing so I thought it was about time I wrote this post.

 

Milk Sharing

 

Back in January when I went started PA school and had to pump during the day I was extremely nervous that I would not be able to keep up with Bryn’s needs.  I feel incredibly fortunate that I have had an excellent supply this entire time and have been able to provide enough milk to meet her needs as well as stock my freezer.  When I realized that I had more than enough I reached out to Katie to discuss the possibility of donating.  A milk bank wasn’t going to work so instead she suggest I consider milk sharing.  And I did.

 

So what is milk sharing?

Milk sharing is when someone donates their extra breastmilk to another family.  It’s more mom-to-mom than through a bank.  A mom can be in need of milk for a number of reasons like low supply, baby is adopted or fostered, or heaven forbid something happens to the mother which is what happened here last week.  Now I have to admit if this had been brought up to me before having kids or even right after Emmalyne was born I would have thought it was really weird.  Now I see milk sharing as a gift that you can give to another person.

 

You see, these moms are just trying to keep their babies on breastmilk as long as they possibly can.  For some babies breastmilk is medically necessary.  For others, the mom is struggling to meet their child’s needs and wants to keep their baby on human milk for as long as possible.  I can tell you that for all of these moms, regardless of the reason for their request, are extremely grateful for every donation, big or small.

 

While I don’t think it should take a tragedy like what occurred here in Savannah for women to step up and donate, I do think that it helped bring awareness to milk sharing as a whole and was a powerful demonstration on how social media can be used in such a positive way.  Personally, talking to Katie really opened my eyes to the possibility.  Now that I know more, I shudder thinking about the breastmilk that I naively threw away when I didn’t use it with Emmie.  That could have helped someone out!

 

SO, if you’re a mom and you find yourself with an abundance of breatmilk I encourage you to consider sharing it with another mom.  I personally went through Human Milk 4 Human Babies which is an awesome organization with chapters all over the country.  For ours, if you have milk to donate you can post it to the Georgia FB page or you can simply respond to another mom’s request.  It’s really very simple.  The same thing goes if you find yourself in need of breastmilk.

 

Regardless of how you personally feel about milk sharing I hope that this post helped to bring a little more awareness to milk sharing so that it doesn’t take a tragedy for people to know that such a possibility exists.

 

Had you ever heard about milk sharing before?

 

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Bryn: Month 8

Here we are again … another one of Bryn’s month updates.  I know it’s cliche to say but I honestly feel like I JUST wrote her 7 month update.  The idea that she is 67% through her first year of life puts a lump in my throat and I honestly just can’t think about it.  Sigh.

 

Bryn Month 8

 

 Grow, Baby, Grow!

No check-up this month but Bryn continues to grow!

Clothes: 6-12 months, 9 months

Diapers: Size 4 (due to blow outs)

 

Bryn Month 8 4

 

Breastfeeding/Pumping

Bryn continues to be a great nurser and I am still producing plenty of milk to meet her needs. We have yet to supplement with formula which is something I am really proud of. My ultimate goal is to let Bryn self-wean the same way that Emmalyne did but I honestly take it week by week. Luckily I have a great freezer stash that could last us awhile :) I posted all about my tips for pumping at work so if you missed it be sure to check it out.

Bryn Month 8 5

Baby Led Weaning

It’s amazing how laid back I am when it comes to introducing foods to Bryn. OOPS. Maybe it’s because Baby Led Weaning rocked our socks with Em? Since I pack her food for school I always pack either roasted sweet potatoes and butternut squash that I prep on the weekends. I also include 2 Mum Mums. At school they know they can give her anything soft so depending on what’s on the menu she might get some more. She has also had bananas, blueberries, applesauce, yogurt bites, and a French fry. #Truth

Bryn Month 8 3

Sleeping

At daycare she tends to not nap because she is so excited to play. However, at home on the weekends she naps like clockwork. She tends to take a 2 hour nap around 9AM and then 1.5 hour nap around 2PM. If there’s one thing sweet Bryn could work on it would be her nighttime sleep. Some nights she’s a rockstar … other nights not so much. I try to soak it in though because these middle of the night snuggle sessions are fleeting.

Bryn Month 8 2

Personality

Goodness … I feel like Bryn is a misrepresentation of what it’s like to raise a baby. HA. She is SO happy all of the time. She rarely fusses and gives her smiles freely to anyone and everyone. She doesn’t care who holds her as long as she is getting snuggled. Bryn is truly one of the happiest babies I have ever seen.

Play

Bryn is really starting to play and it’s a lot of fun to watch! I can set a basket of toys in the middle of the room and she will dig into them for a long time while I get some things done. I also have her Pack-N-Play currently set up in the kitchen so that way she can safely play while I am cooking dinner. She is perfectly content to play on her own as long as she knows you’re in sight :)
Bryn Month 8 6

On the Move

Bryn is definitely Army crawling now and can get all the way across the house fairly quickly. She has also pulled to standing at “school” but I have yet to see that happen. Probably because we don’t have our living room set up in a way that’s conducive to it! I remember with Emmie I was SO EXCITED when she started to do these things. With Bryn I just feel fear because I know soon I will have TWO kids running around the house to chase.

Sisters

I am having so much fun watching my girls start to play together. Since Bryn is more mobile she is getting around the house. Emmalyne likes to pretend her sister is her baby doll which is both endearing and frightening. Ha. My favorite thing though is when Em says Bryn is “so cute” and calls Bryn “her baby”.

I am blessed beyond words to get to call these sweet girls my littles. They bring my life so much more joy than I ever thought possible. I love you sweet Bryn. You and Emmalyne are my sunshine!

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Tips for Pumping at Work

I consider myself very fortunate in that I experienced an awesome breastfeeding experience with Emmalyne and nursed her until she weaned at 13 months.  However, my experience with Em was very different than what I was heading into with Bryn.  As you guys know, with the Emster I was a stay-at-home mom and got to nurse her throughout the day.  The only time I had to pump was if I wanted to have some on hand to head out of the house.  When I was pregnant with Bryn I found out I was accepted to PA school and realized I would be starting my program when she was 5 weeks ago.  Cue panic.  I had a thousand thoughts racing through my head … would I be able to pump?  Would I be able to pump enough?  Would Bryn struggle switching between the breast and the bottle?

 

Luckily all of my fears were unfounded and I am happy to report that we are heading into our 8th month of pumping and breastfeeding and everything is going great!  I wrote a Q&A post on my thoughts on breastfeeding and I’ve been promising a post on pumping for awhile so here it is.  My tips for pumping at work.  (I consider myself a full-time working mom since PA school IS a full-time job to me).

 

Tips for pumping at work

 

1.  Introduce a bottle early on.

I know this goes against everything many breastfeeding advocates say but hear me out.  When your baby is nursing 10-12 times a day the first month I personally don’t feel like 1 bottle a day or every other day is going to cause nipple confusion.  I have however heard many of my friends say they waited too long to introduce a bottle and then their baby refused it.  This is definitely a personal choice but this has worked for us with both girls.

 

2.  Stay hydrated

Many times when you are working full-time you are busy, busy, busy.  Making sure you take time to hydrate is essential for your breastmilk supply.  I aim to drink ~3L of water a day.  More if it’s really hot or I exercise.  I pump 6-8oz per nursing session which is a cup of water by itself.  My body also needs water so I have to make sure there is adequate supply for both me and my milk supply.

 

3.  Eat Enough

This goes with #2.  When you’re busy you sometimes forget to eat.  I make sure to have a snack every 2 hours.  I try to eat mostly healthy foods and keep a good supply of healthy fats in my diet.  Breastfeeding and producing milk can burn 300-500 calories a day so you definitely need to make sure you are providing the fuel your body needs to produce milk.  This is one of the reasons I counted calories after having Em.

 

4.  Stay consistent with your pumping times

I pump every 3-4 hours during the day at school which amounts to 2 pumping sessions.  My program was incredibly helpful in helping me find a discrete and private place to pump.  There are laws to protect you as a working mom too so make sure you know your rights.  Staying consistent with your pumping times keeps your milk supply on schedule with your baby.  I know if can be really hard to find the time but I adjusted my pumping schedule to fit my school schedule.  I am also very fortunate that my pumping sessions are about 10 minutes long.  Katy also has some great scheduling tips for pumping!

 

5.  How long to pump

I pump for as long as I am getting milk and then a little bit longer.  I don’t have a problem with letdown but if you are experience difficulty getting milk to start flowing looking at videos or pictures of your baby can help.  Those things signal your brain to secrete oxytocin which is responsible for lactation.

 

6.  How much milk you need

I love this resource from KellyMom that calculates how many ounces of expressed milk your baby will need throughout the day.  It calculates a total amount as well as how much per feeding.  Bryn is a big fan of her 4oz bottles!

 

7.  Invest in a good pump

I have the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump double pump and love it.  It has lasted me for 2 babies and is well worth the money.  However, with changes in healthcare, most insurances are now required to supply a breastpump to pregnant women so make sure you check with yours!

 

8.  Have the right gear

Having the right gear is a good way to set yourself up for success.  Here are some of my favorite things:

  • Ameda Cool N Carry Breast Milk Storage System – This is my favorite thing.  The ice packs keep my milk cool all day long and the carrying case fits right into the breastpump bag.
  • Medela Car Charger – The car charger comes in handy when pumping on the go. Having the option to pump in the car between classes or running errands helps lower my stress levels when it comes to staying on schedule.
  • Medela Pump & Save Breastmilk Bags – I love the Medela storage bags for storing my extra milk in the freezer. I found they they don’t leak which is a must!

 

9.  Keep your eye on the prize

Pumping is an exhausting thing.  It’s really hard to maintain and I have a serious love/hate relationship with the whooshing of my breastpump.  On those really hard days I remember just WHY I am pumping to begin with.  Providing Bryn with the perfect nutrition for her and some maternal antibodies are what matters most to me.  So I keep at it.

 

10.  Cut yourself some slack

If pumping is no longer working that’s ok too.  Ultimately all that matters is that little tummies are full.  Whether that be with breastmilk or formula you are providing for your baby.  It’s ok to call it a day if it’s too much.  You are no less of an amazing mom.  A happy mom = a happy baby so if the stress is too high and you can’t fix it do what YOU think is best for yourself and your baby.  :)

 

Sorry for the super wordy post but these were just some of the things that have been working for me for the last 7 months!  If you have more questions please email me.  Not a lot is off limits 😉  foodfitnessandfamily @ gmail (dot) com.
You Might Also Like:

Breastfeeding Q&A

Lactation Cookies Recipe

Weaning from Breastfeeding

 

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Bryn: Seven Months

Thank you for all your comments on yesterday’s post about my post baby body progress!  It’s a long road but I am thankful to be enjoying the journey.  Now it’s time for Bryn’s turn!

 

Bryn 7 Months

Grow, Baby, Grow!

Bryn is growing like a weed just like her big sister.  At 6 1/2 months she weight in at 19lbs 12oz!  Not sure about height but she was in the 70%.

Clothes: 6-12 months, 9 months

Diapers: Size 3

 

Bryn 7 Months 5

 

Breastfeeding/Pumping

Breastfeeding is still going strong!  Bryn is sticking with the same schedule that she had at 6 months.  She nurses first thing in the morning and then takes 4, 4oz bottles throughout the day at “school”.  She nurses before bed.  I pump 2-3 times a day depending on the day itself and get plenty of milk to keep her exclusively on breastmilk.  Still working on my pumping posts so if you have specific questions let me know!

 

Baby Led Weaning

We did baby led weaning with Emmalyne and I was excited to start with Bryn.  So far she has had sweet potato sticks, roasted zucchini, roasted carrots, bananas, and avocados.  Her favorite snack is Mum-Mums.  We haven’t exactly been following the “4 day” rule for introducing solids but I am ok with it.  So far Bryn hasn’t met a food she doesn’t love and destroys her lunch.  Right now she is getting lunch and a snack at school and some dinner at home.

 

Bryn 7 Months 2

 

Sleeping

So far sleeping is still going ok for the most part. Bryn wakes up for the day between 6:30-7:30AM depending on what time we have to get out the door. She takes two solid naps throughout the day and sometimes a catnap before dinner. I put her down for the evening between 6:30-7:00PM. Sometimes she wakes up during the night. Sometimes she doesn’t. It’s a gamble at this point!

Bryn 7 Months 4

Personality

I think sometimes people think I am making up how relaxed Bryn is but Presley, Lindsay, and Erin all met her over the weekend and I think they know what I am talking about! Bryn is really one of the happiest babies I have ever met. She is rarely fussy and only gets mad if she’s overtired or hungry. Bryn is free with her smiles and snuggles into your shoulder. The only naughty thing she has started to do is gnaw on anything and everything … including arms, legs, shoulders, and thighs.

 

Play

Playing is getting more fun with Bryn. She has discovered her reflection and loves the play mirror she has. I put a basket full of her toys in the middle of the floor and she will happily sit there and go through all of them. Considering the fact she is starting to “scoot” she can easily get to whatever she wants. I have set up the pack-and-play permanently downstairs for her to safely play in while we do things int he kitchen etc. I no longer trust her around Emmie’s toys.

 

Bryn 7 Months 3

 

Sisters

My favorite thing about this month is that Emmalyne has started to play with Bryn.  No one can make Bryn laugh the way that Emmie can.  Emmie constantly says, “aww the baby’s cute!”.  She will show off Bryn as her sister too to anyone who will listen.  I love watching them sit together on the floor and play.  It is giving me a glimpse into the near future and them giggling away in the playroom playing dress-up and cooking in their kitchen.

 

I couldn’t be luckier when it comes to being a mom.  If there was a role I feel I was meant to play it is being their mom.  Chris and I are both very very blessed to get to learn about the world through the eyes of our daughters!  If you want to catch up on Bryn’s updates you can see them all HERE.

 

Dear sweet Bryn – I love you so very much!  You and Emmalyne are my sunshine.

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