Sunday, 29 April 2012


Please see the attached link to another blog that I ran into via CNN brAvery

I would suggest getting tissues!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Bottle Feeding

Even though my initial thought was that I wanted to breast feed my 27 weeker, it didn't really turn out that way. I ended up "pumping and dumping" into bottles for her to eat. As most parents figure out, your planned bottles may or may not work out.

When searching for bottles for my then unborn child, I went with Playtex VentAire seen here below. 

I was all set up when she came home for her to eat out of these bottles, but I soon realized that night it wouldn't work out. The nipples were too hard to suck for my little 5lb baby and she couldn't get anything out of them. At that point she was only drinking up to maybe 120ml a feed, but the poor thing was so tuckered out trying to get it! I went out to the local Zellers that next day in search of what could be a good bottle. I quickly discovered that the Playtex Drop-Ins were perfect.

These nipples came in three different flows but collapsed enough for her to be able to eat wonderfully. The only two problems I had with these bottles was the constant cost for the drop ins (which can easily be found in 'no name' brands in supermarkets) and the nipples over time will deform from sterilizing. Eventually the cost became too much for us and after about four months, we were on the hunt again for new bottles. 

At our local Toys'r'us I found a trial size of Dr. Brown's bottles, a coupon for free Born Free bottles, and the popular Tommee Tippee bottles were on sale. I purchased all three. 

Tommee Tippee will be my first review because they were a bust. The product is highly rated, but for my preemie they just weren't soft enough or easy enough for her to suck. I did purchase the above bottles with the filter inside as opposed to the regular bottles at first. Then I tried the normal non-filtered bottles with the same result. I had high hopes for them but couldn't use them. The Dr. Brown and Born Free bottles however, were a success! 

 I used the Dr. Brown's and Born Free for quite some time and only switched after having to replace each bottle twice. Since my daughter eats more than normal and eats formula, these filters can become really hard to clean and even have some left overs inside that you cannot get to. Obviously this is gross so I would have to replace either the filters or the bottles (saves more you just replace them). Each of the speeds of these nipples and the softness of them was perfect for Abigayle and her sensitivities. I did not notice much throw up or gas after using them either - which was a change from the Drop-Ins. Once I "gave up" on the filters and the constant replacing them I went on the hunt again for more bottles. I tried Avent and  Nuk (Gerber).

The Avent bottles were wonderful but I just could pay the price they wanted when she ate from the Nuk bottles just the same. The Nuk bottles were not expensive at all - just the replacement nipples were ($6). These bottles have lasted for about 6 months and the nipples have been replaced only once. They are so easy to clean - like Avent - because there are no filters and no added "merchandise". The Nuk nipples are a little odd because there is a hole for air that has to be pointed upwards so that the orthodontic nipple is in proper position. Now that she is older, the Avent and Nuk nipples have that more stable feeling (like Tommee Tippee and VentAire) that allows her to suck at her own speed.  

We tried these Nuby bottles just for a little experimenting and unfortunately they did nothing for her. After reading a review I tried cutting the nipples open more to allow more milk through - but no dice. They are a nice design and easy to clean but the nipples are too hard and do not allow milk to pass through. 

Now that Abigayle is over a year old I have been under "public pressure" to change her to a sippy cup. I will review sippy cups at a later date but I have found a great go between. It is shaped exactly like the Nuk bottles she loves so much just with a modified nipple. 

The advice that I will give to every parent whether a preemie parent or not - never just assume the child will eat from the bottle you want them to. It doesn't matter what it is rated online or who thinks it's a better bottle. The baby is going to tell you what they want to drink from and what they do not like. 

Keep Calm and Carry On :)

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Car Seats - OMG!

Oh yes car seats. I've only had four, but let me tell you! It has been one heck of an experience.

First of all - you get what you pay. We purchased a $100 travel system from Zellers and I think the brand was Cosco? Well poor premature Abigayle was 5lbs and a who lotta car seat! I had to stuff rolled blankets on each side because the bunting bags are actually in the process of being illegal. The car seat part had no way to loosen or tighten quickly and for a growing Abby, this was the most frustrating part.

We looked everywhere and found certain car seats that actually had a strap hanging down like this one:

What this strap means is that you can tighten and loosen as quick as that strap can be pulled or the button pressed. It was a snap to get her in and out and I recommend it to everyone.

The second process for us was the all-in-one car seats. We got a similar type with the same strap and it works wonderfully..just not in rear position. If you are in a rear position phase - it is best to get one of the removable car seats and travel systems as it will save you tons of time.

Graco is a well known name as is Safety First. We have had Graco Alano Flip-It and the Safety First Alpha Omega car seats. As Zellers is going out of business there is no point in telling you the name of our crappy car seat. Just remember this is your bundle of joy and you get what you pay for. Don't cheap out on safety if it is within your budget!

Onaroo Personal Baby Assistant: A Review

The first product I would like to review for you is the Onaroo Personal Baby Assistant (PBA). I found this product while randomly searching on the website. It is supposed to be a handheld tracker for everything baby. When you have a premature child especially, doctors, therapists, etc. constantly ask you how much in quantity that the baby is consuming a day. Diaper changes, medicine, bottles, breast, and even sleep is tracked in this handheld device and uploaded online to their website Onaroo PBA. I was able to find it cheaper than Chapters on eBay, but shipping took at least two weeks. Obviously shipping is more of an issue with the seller than say Chapters.

When I first received this PBA, I was so happy and excited. I was finally able to track her bottle intake and play around with the settings. Then I was completely disappointed...the batteries (AA) wouldn't last more than a day. I would be scrambling to retrieve more batteries and angry when the computer wiped all the information away.

Overall in my experience only, the product has the right idea, especially for premature babies. However, the functions and battery life need to be looked at by the manufacturer. Also, a backup like a SD card would be helpful so I am not throwing the item across the room when it has completely erased Abigayle's information.