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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

.the bottle battle (collective review)

During the first four months of his life, my son was almost exclusively breast fed, we would give him bottles of expressed milk from time to time when he was younger that I had pumped to keep up my supply, but after his two months ped visit, it was recommended to us that it wasn't necessary to give him a bottle in order to avoid any risks of nipple confusion or breastmilk reduction due to shortage of consumption.

However, at 5 months of age, my little one would remain hungry even after nursing, we supplemented very basic solids based on the paediatrician's recommendation as he was fully ready to start sampling, he still needed more milk and the breastmilk supply was not fully satisfactory to his need and we had to supplement with formula, of which he takes 2-3 feedings a day.

I must say, we have had a lot of products that we have regretted buying in all baby departments be it gear or even clothing, but the biggest bugger of all was definitely the choice of the ideal bottle for us, because with gear, even though there are many options, there is a specific criteria we learned to follow in order to get our child the most comfortable and safest item, but with bottles, it depended not only on his liking, but his mood as well.

I will list and shortly review each bottle we have used from the first bottle he was given till the one he is now settled on, which, by the way - spoiler alert- is probably my least favourite of them all!


1- Avent Bottle, Natural Nipple



Price: 7.00 JOD - Medium Budget


I was given away two bottles of this model by my brother, his twins absolutely refused them from the first attempt, but we decided to try them out with Adam, as we considered the fact that his twins were quiet netpicky and weren't easily satisfied anyway, well, he was not satisfied with them either, and neither were half the babies I know (including Adam's other cousin as well).

In terms of shape, they are adorable, quiet futuristic looking if I might add! aAnother pro to these bottles, which is actually the reason many parents choose them , is that they are widely available in Jordan, so it wouldn't be a hard quest to find replacement nipples or purchase a new set of bottles for the baby.
However, the cons are more serious.
These bottles have rubber nipples, that are quiet rigid, with very short tops, it does not really live up to the claim of mimicking a mother's breast in neither softness nor flexibility. The other more serious concern is that due to these bottles very bad bubble venting system, all the babies around me who have tried them have experienced choking, spitting up or basically, like in Adam's case, couldn't tolerate to finish up the milk as they were too bothered by the air bubbles.

We have used these for about two weeks, and then they were set aside to be given away.


2- Avent Bottle, Classic Nipple




Price: 7.00 JOD Medium Budget

These bottles were given away to us by my brother as well, on his second attempt with the twins.
I must say, this one is definitely better than the natural nipple on, in terms of nipple shape and material, it has a silicone nipple that is bell shaped which, through experience, I think is the best for baby to accept without refusing the breast. However, this bottles shares the same con with the natural bottle in that they both have very bad bubble venting systems, add to that, the nipples to fit this bottle have an overly slow flow, I know it is mostly designed like that in order to prevent nipple confusion, but my little one would get way too tired before finishing his feed.

So, away it goes.


3- Medela Calma




Price: unknown as it came with my Harmony breast pump, however I am positive it fits in the high budget category.

When I first unboxed my Medela breast pump, I immediately set this bottle aside, it just looked bizarre to me, and I was using the Avent bottles at the time which looked a lot less confusing than this spaceship like baby bottle.
I tired it later however, it is supposedly designed in away that makes it impossible to leak a drop of milk, and it only dispenses milk in accordance with the baby's sucking power, which is exactly why I found it to be very difficult for a new born, they don't have that much power to vacuum up the milk at a high voltage! The one time we tried it with him he couldn't latch hard enough and he started crying as there was no milk coming out. I honestly fail to see how this is supposed to mimic the natural flow of the breast, a new mother's breast leaks milk on it's own during the feed, and doesn't require some machinery to get the flow going.

Fail.

4- Tommee Tippee (Closer to Nature)



Price: 10 JOD - Higher budget

These bottles were the ones my twin nephews had settled on and loved, which is why we decided to purchase a trial bottle after we were noticing bad results with the Avent bottles.
When we first purchased the smaller 5oz bottle, we noticed a huge improvement in Adam's bottle feeding, there was no spit up, he would finish the whole bottle, and more importantly would easily accept it, which is what drove us to purchase two more of the 9oz models.
Two weeks, and he started refusing them again.
My theory is that there are two main reasons for that, which are basically the cons:
First of all, the nipples, again, like the Avent natural, are rigid rubber, with short tops that don't even come close to a natural breast, it doesn't matter if it is shaped like a breast, it doesn't feel like a breast!
Another major drawback, these bottles leak like crazy, and at that time they were the only bottles that I have experienced that with. The bubble venting system was fine in comparison, though.

He utterly refused them,however, which led us to give them away.

5- Playtex ventAire (the older model)



Price : 3 Pack for 16 JOD, I would consider this Low Budget, the newer model however is better yet more expensive.

I already had the smaller bottle given to me as a gift by my sister who uses Playtex products exclusively with her children. I didn't like it at first only looking at the nipple, as I had the belief that only the natural nipple shape was the best choice for a breast fed baby, and boy was I wrong.

I just have to say that hands down, these bottles are my absolute favourite of everything I have tried, they are not my child's, but definitely mine for a variety of reasons, but the main and most important one is : the air venting technique, it is phenomenal!

The bottle basically releases air bubbles through a vent at the bottom since it is to be held upside down, it has a medium length classic silicone nipple that is easy and comfortable for baby to latch on, and I was just staring in amusement when I couldn't see a single bubble in the bottle.

However, Mr.Moody decided he doesn't like this one, due to one drawback: the nipple, even if silicone is quiet rigid, so he dropped it, and I didn't like that one bit. :/


6- Junior's bottles (Centrepoint-Baby Shop)



Price: 1.9 JOD, need I say more?

So, these bottles are cheap, by all measures. First of all, they have an air venting system that is worse than anything I had tried earlier. The 0-3 months stage nipples are actually what I use on my child now, and he is 6 months old, they have extremely fast flow, I can't even imagine a newborn baby tolerating them! The material of the bottle body is very light, that I  never even consider popping them inside the bottle warmer, not because it doesn't measure the temperature correctly, but these bottles don't look like they would handle any kind of heat.
Pros, however, they the most flexible, softest teats, that I think are the only ones I have seen that actually mimic the feel of the breast( definitely not the shape as you can see they are classic nipples).
They also have a very cute sort of vintage looking, or maybe basically they didn't put that much effort into the design lol.
And most importantly, baby loves them! I wish we had given them a try earlier though, would have saved us a ton of money.

But thank you baby for being a super saver a choosing wallet friendly items. :D

To be continued.. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

.and then there was Adam

An unexpected visitor, at an unexpected time, with an unexpected name choice
(he was planned though lol)

On November 8th of 2013, my fairytale dream came true by marrying the wind that has blown beneath my wings for several years going quiet unnoticed for the majority of them, my wonder wall whom I now have the honour to call my husband.
My life has continued at the same pace it was going at prior to the marriage, the same dull routine, same boring job that got even more boring as the days went by, same outings, same friends, circles, places..etc. As lifeless as it may sound, I was quiet content with it that way, I was in no place for taking risks or engaging in new experiences as I thought to myself I had already done that by getting married, nothing major had changed in my routine but that is undoubtedly a major chapter.

And then all of a sudden, hit the maternal instincts, and the question that my husband dreaded for weeks before the pregnancy, and which made him question the exact level of maturity his wife was on:
"how come I am not pregnant yet? We've been married for a good amount of time now!"

Needless to say, I was quiet naive and uninformed, doing a laboratory test just to be one hundred percent certain, I found out about my pregnancy when I was around 8 weeks far along!

When I got the lab results, I was nothing like I would have imagined myself to be, long before getting married I always thought of pregnancy and labour as this horrifying experience that I simply wouldn't want to go through under any circumstances what so ever, and if my maternal instincts were to kick, I'd get a pet and call it a day. But it was completely different, I was not happy, I was euphoric, to see the least.

I was just seeing so vividly how beautiful this wild ride is going to be, and how much both my pea in the pod and I are going to enjoy it, every milestone, every trimester, every growth spurt, every development and every single moment of it all, I knew it was going to be priceless. I was utterly unafraid, I had a relatively large ovarian cyst that absolutely meant nothing, the cesarean meant nothing, as long as it all led to me meeting the light of my eyes.

On October 19th 2014, I delivered my baby "Adam", not only had a new chapter of my life just begun, I felt like that was the first day of my life.

The first week post partum was very difficult for me giving the c-section (obviously I acknowledge that women who give vaginal birth go through hell and back as well), but I can recall how painful it was not being able to eat,rest,sleep, pass anything,, or even talk due to how much pain I was feeling.

I remember the moment I woke up after the surgery, I was hungover, on a hospital bed in the post-surgery transfer room, on the other side of the wall, there was a woman going into labour and she was screaming bloody murder, I grabbed the closest nurse to me in a way that felt like it was straight out of a horror flick and I recall whispering to her "get me out of here". She did, out of fear, I'd like to believe.

When I had arrived to my room at the hospital, Adam was not there, which freaked me out! See, watching a lot of TV, I always assumed the mother and newborn stay at the same room, but apparently no :D they would bring him to me every four hours, which was devastating, I couldn't get enough of looking at him, I remember the first time I held him in my arms and my husband wanted to take him from me to send him back to the nursery, I yelled: "no, he's mine!". Well , he is. :/

Going back home with the baby was very easy, two weeks before giving birth I had set up everything I might need, which made transiting him from the hospital to the house very easy, and he made it very easy as well, Adam was a very peaceful newborn, he had a very precise schedule of feeding and sleeping that he fell into on his own, and he would only cry a little bit when waking up hungry, but there were no unexplained  fits of crying of any sort (at least not until the dreaded phase were that is expected to happen).

Now as the days go by, I find that every stage has its beauty and its own challenges as well, but so far it has been a magnificent experience, watching my little guy grow from a ball of fragile flesh into this travel sized human being with an ever developing bright personality, and the connection I have with him is indescribable. I will do whatever it takes, but I need to pray that i have the strength and ability to be the best mother you could ever ask for, my everything <3 nbsp="" p="">