Nom Nom ...Babies Need to Eat, Too!

11:39 PM

I'm on the baby circuit.  You know, there are these circuits in a woman's life.  The single circuit...the wedding circuit...the baby circuit...the mommy get the idea.

Many of my friends are currently pregnant.  Seriously, I have to use both hands to count how many pregnant friends I have right now!  So many people ask me about different products that I use with Jane and Emma.  It's like birthing twins has made me this instant mommy expert.  And I'm totes fine with that!  

One of the things that I'm asked about the MOST is my feeding regimen with the girls.  Now, it's a little bit different because the girls were 8 weeks early, so my main focus was on pumping them as full of formula and breast milk as possible to get their weight up as quickly as possible, but the STUFF that I use is universal. 

Yesterday I posted a link to this study that shows that Dr. Brown's bottles are the best bottles to use overall.  I had heard that they are great for preemies, and excellent for reflux, but I had no idea just how great they are for ALL babies.  Since I have twins, I have them in two different colors.  Since the girls are different sizes, their volume is different, so I color-coded the bottles (Jane gets pink bottles, Emma gets blue bottles).  The only total rip off is that the colored bottles are $3 more expensive than the original Dr. Brown's bottles.  There is NO difference, other than the fancy color.  Register for the fancy colors if you want them, but buy the original yourself.  Save the money!

Notice Mommy's bottles to the left.  ;)
I have the 4 ounce bottles, with size 2 standard flow nipples.  The girls started on size 1 standard flow, and we just bumped them up to the number 2 this week because they were starting to show signs of frustration at the nipple (shaking head back and forth, stopping sucking and making whining noises, putting fists in mouth with nipple).  Apparently this means that they aren't getting the milk fast enough (fatties), so we moved them up a size.  It took them about a day to adjust and not dribble as much, so you have to be patient when you move them up.  

Another word about bottles.  I have been feeding the girls 8 times a day, so I have 9 of each bottle.  That way, I only have to wash bottles once a day (in the dishwasher!).  I also have the 4 ounce bottles, which they will be growing out of within the next month.  They are currently taking 3 ounces, so they are about to need a bigger bottle!  I would strongly advise against starting with a bigger bottle, though, because a bigger bottle with a little bit of formula means more air in the bottle, which can go into the nipple and into baby and cause painful gas bubbles.  Also, when you have more air in the bottom of the bottle, when you tip it up, the air will force the formula faster into the nipple, causing the formula to fly into baby's mouth.  Then they choke, spit up, and that's counterproductive!

I have heard a lot of push back on Dr. Brown's bottles because they are 6 pieces each (yes SIX parts that you have to clean each time!).  The good news is that these bottles are dishwasher safe.  After each feeding, I break the bottles apart, put the parts into dishwasher baskets, and soak the nipples in a tub of soapy water in the sink.  I also use a different sponge and specific bottle cleaning paraphernalia to clean the nipples.  

Playtex Brushes that came with a drying rack that I no longer use.
I use a regular tupperware container to soak the nipples, and a separate sponge from the one
I use for the rest of the kitchen to clean the parts by hand when needed.
I hand wash the nipples to avoid dishwasher detergent residue and to keep the nipples young!
The baskets that saved my life!
Fun Fact:  Don't wash your bottles in the dishwasher with anything covered in spaghetti sauce.
I dyed all of my bottles and bottle parts ORANGE and had to replace parts because they looked
The hubs took about 15 of these sanitizing baggies off of a Medela table at a baby expo,
and was so proud of himself that he got us some free swag!
This is the new drying rack that I use.  It takes up hardly any space, and I can pile stuff up on this like there's no tomorrow.  Drives the hubs crazy, but I love it!

 It took me a while to find a bottle warmer that I liked.  At first, I figured I would save my money and just heat up bottles in hot water.  I quickly learned that that took FOREVER, and when there is a baby screaming in my face and one screaming on the couch, I need to know that in 3 minutes and 50 seconds I will have perfectly warmed bottles.  I finally went with the Dr. Brown's warmer because it seemed to have everything I was looking for, and it goes with my bottles and I have OCD and love things that match!  Just make sure to clean this thing every other day or so.  I smelled something disgusting the other night and looked inside of the warmer and it looked like yellow cheese had formed on the inside of it.  GROSS!  I had to dump the bottle and resort to hot water in a measuring cup as Jane screamed bloody murder at 3:30 a.m.  Don't do what I did!

I found this warmer cheapest on Amazon, and it was delivered in two days for free with my Amazon Mom account!
 Now, this warmer does not travel well, and we like to go places that we can stay in for more than 3 hours.  When we go to people's houses, we can just use the water in a cup trick.  But if we are on the road, or if I want to take the girls to a park for the day, I need something that will warm the bottles without having to plug in.  I found a Tommee Tippee warmer on Amazon that had great reviews.  It is scheduled to arrive on Monday, and I'll let you know in a follow up post how it works out.  Another staple for traveling with baby is an insulated bottle carrier.  I use an Ameda one that I purchased when I was breastfeeding, and I used it to transport my milk to the hospital while the girls were in the NICU.  It fits four 4-ounce Dr. Brown's bottles perfectly, but once we move up to the next size I will have to invest in a larger bag.  Probably this one, because I'm crazy!

I also purchased travel tops for the bottles, because I found that just plugging up the bottles or putting the tops over the nipples allowed the bottles to leak.  These tops were LIFE SAVERS!

While I love taking my girls out on the town, there is nothing like staying home, rocking them and feeding them.  I tried to create an area in the nursery that was dedicated to bonding in this way.  Here are some pictures of our feeding area.

Shout out to my friend Staci at My 3 Monkeys Designs for the AWESOME subway art of the girls' names behind the glider.
Please visit her page, like her and consider purchasing some swag for your babe's room!

The "Babies Sleeping" sign above the glider was purchased from this shop on Etsy.  She was wonderful to work with. 

I won't bore you with 3,000 details.  If you have questions about the things that we use in our feeding area, please leave me a comment and I'll be happy to answer any questions you have!

Finally, a lot of people ask me what kind of formula we use.  Right now we are using Similac Alimentum.  The girls have a milk protein allergy that causes bloody poop, so the doctors wrote us prescriptions for the special formula.  Our insurance covers it 90%, so if you find yourself in a special position like this, make sure to call your insurance company and find out if they will cover it.  Alimentum is $60 for a case of six 32-ounce bottles, which we go through in less than a week.  Submitting the claim is a total pain in the ass, and we are still waiting on our refund checks from 6 weeks ago, but it's TOTALLY worth it!

One final word on feeding.  Our babies have reflux medications that they are on, and they get very gassy, and they get belly aches frequently.  Invest in gripe water (REFRIGERATE it after you open it.  It says it so small on the bottle, and we had to throw a bottle away and get a new one because I didn't realize, and this stuff is NOT inexpensive!), and gas drops.  Gas drops can be used at every feeding, and they HELP!  I also brought home extra syringes from the hospital which I wash every day so that I can set up the reflux medication ahead of time so that I can just grab a syringe and go when it's time to administer the meds.

Ok, this turned out WAY longer than I meant it to!  Hope you aren't bored to tears!

Happy twinning!

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