A Baby Reflux Story

About 2 weeks after she was born, Baby Carrot began to cry hysterically after eating and spit up a significant quantity of her formula back out. After first establishing that she wasn’t actually throwing up (which could indicate intestinal blockages and other serious conditions) but rather spitting up (which is normal for the most part – unless it causes baby pain, like it did Baby C), we took note of other things, like her constant grunting and twisting while sleeping, her tight sleeping posture (kiddo refused swaddles but slept so curled up that she might as well have been swaddled) and coughing during feeding, we called her pediatrician and Baby C was diagnosed with reflux.

We were prescribed a baby dose of Zantac, the most common of reflux medicines, and a reflux-friendly formula that contained less milk than most. We also became religious about adjusting feeding and sleeping routines to help make Baby C more comfortable. While the Zantac and our new practices helped reduce some of Baby C’s discomfort, we still consulted with a well known pediatric gastroenterologist to learn about reflux in babies and how to manage it. I will forever credit this doctor with saving my sanity over our nearly 9 month struggle with reflux, and for all the invaluable knowledge we gained thanks to her. While I claim no medical expertise and encourage anyone who thinks their kiddo may have reflux to talk to a doctor, I wanted to share some tips, practices and items that we found incredibly helpful during this time.

1) Go slow and elevate. One of the biggest adjustments we had to make to Baby Carrot’s routine was to keep her upright after feeding for at least 20 minutes, pace her feeding, and let her sleep slightly elevated so that acid wouldn’t splash back while she slept. Baby C was always a fast and hungry drinker who would down a bottle in just a few minutes. This meant that she was swallowing a lot of air, which added to her discomfort, and she would cough and choke as her stomach reacted back to the food. We began giving her small doses, about an ounce at a time, and sat with her at least a half hour, with her sleeping upright on my or Mr. Carrot’s chest, before putting her down to sleep. This did make night feedings especially long, but it definitely made a difference. For sleep, we used a Rock n’ Play exclusively for the first 3 months, and when we moved Baby C to her crib, we used a thin pillow between the crib mattress and the crib frame to just slightly elevate her head.

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Preparing for a Sibling

For the last almost three years, Chloe has had our undivided attention, hasn’t really had to share (unless we’ve had play dates, and even then it’s hit or miss…), and has really gotten used to her routine. Next week, her entire world is going to be flipped-turned upside down.  (I hope you caught that reference!)  We’re going to be bringing home a crying newborn who is, no doubt, going to steal Chloe’s spotlight… at least for the first few days home!  How exactly do you prepare a toddler that they’re going to be a sibling?

We told her we were expecting…  right away!
Chloe loved to jump on us and that was something that definitely had to stop asap.  We told her we were having a baby and I let her feel my tummy. She was 26 months old at the time, and we were no where near ready to begin to explain where babies come from, but Chloe seemed satisfied knowing that there was a baby growing in mommy’s belly. I was about six weeks along when Chloe told me Baby Charlotte was in my belly, and don’t you know she was right! We still don’t know where she got this name but we fell in love with it, and are using it for little sis.

As my belly grew, we had to explain to Chloe that she needed to be a bit more gentle. And as I grew even more, we had to explain to her that mommy couldn’t carry her anymore.. but that’s okay, because she’s a big girl!

We made a huge deal about her being a Big Girl
I was so worried about there being so many changes at once:  potty training, a new bed, and a new baby.  We started letting her have some responsibility and allowed her to (kind of) make her own decisions.  Things like, “Do you want chicken or beef for dinner tonight?” or “Do you want to wear your Minnie undies or your Cinderella undies?”  We always emphasized that these are things only Big Girls can do, and she’s a Big Girl, so she can make some of her own decisions now!

Big Girls get to go to the potty, they get to catch lightening bugs, and they get to go on the big blue slide at the park.  Sometimes she surprises us and says, “I can do it myself! I’m a big girl now!” so our Big Girl pep talks must have sunk in.

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Bunny’s First Nursery

I need to get a move on and start showing you Bunny’s nursery(s) before things change and we make way for the new baby! So let me back up about two years when we were still living in Italy. Once we found out we had a little bundle on the way, we decided to swap our guest room for a nursery. We were in a tricky spot for creating a room for Bunny since we didn’t know when we were leaving Italy. When I got pregnant, we were under the assumption that we’d leave in May—a mere two months after she was born. The need for a crib and other stuff wasn’t necessary, but I was pregnant, hormonal, and had the urge to nest and decorate however I possibly could with the knowledge of an upcoming move.

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Buy Nothing Project

The Buy Nothing Project. Have you heard of it? It’s only a year old and but has quickly become a social movement, with over 25,000 members in over 150 groups, in 6 different countries. If you live in Washington state, you’re in luck, because that’s where it started and there are many, many neighborhoods that have embraced it. It uses Facebook to connect you with your neighbors (and their stuff).

It’s a place to share the three-pack of ketchup you bought from Costco, and veggies from your garden that your family couldn’t possibly eat before they spoiled. It’s a place to find an old pallet to make wall art. It’s a place to give a second purpose to packing peanuts. I even saw a Coach purse being given away. Everyone has things they need and things they can give away to make someone else’s day. There are even “gifts of self” – people offer piano lessons, resume reviews, the use of their truck for moving furniture. Most posts stay up for 24 hours so you don’t have to be glued to your phone to score what you need. People comment with their interest, and you can choose a recipient based on your fancy or whim, you can look to places like random.org, or you can literally draw names out of a hat.

I love the idea of using it to source items for helping the homeless like this local man does.

In my group we have “round robins” – totes filled with items you can add to and take from. Here’s a tote filled with 9-12 month clothes, and it had everything from Carter’s to Old Navy, to Gap, to Naartje (never heard of that brand until now, but I assumed it was uber trendy!). I was so blown away by the very first tote I picked up – not only was it literally bursting with clothes, everything was stain-free and like new, and some clothes still had the sale tags attached. There are round robins for craft supplies, books, and even old school nintendo games. There are “library” lists filled with things people are willing to loan out – everything from Kitchenaid attachments, to camping supplies, Cricut cartridges, to DVDs. There are friendships to be made in meeting the people in your community, but there is always the option of “porch pickups” so you can fit it into your day.

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Day Two: Epcot

On our second day at Disney we chose to go to Epcot because EasyWDW had it as a recommended park that day. Like Hollywood, I wasn’t sure there was going to be a lot for Drake to do. Touring the countries is always a highlight for my mother and I was hoping Drake might get a kick out of it too. We decided to quickly Fast Pass a few rides upon entering, return to the hotel for a nap for Juliet after lunch, and then return to see the showcase as well as Illuminations at night.

This was my list for Drake at Epcot:

The Seas with Nemo - Before coming to Disney, Finding Nemo was the only Disney movie Drake had ever seen (and by seen I mean he lets the movie play in the background while he plays without demanding we change it as he had for both The Lion King & Dumbo in the past).  He was familiar with Nemo and Squirt and Dory, but I don’t even think he understood the story. Still I knew this ride would be one he would want to ride since it had Nemo in it, and he always loves seeing him. The ride takes you through an abridged version of the movie as Nemo moves through each room and its scenes. You ride in an open clam shell that moves along on a slow track as you enter each new area/room.  When the ride is over it leads you into a large aquarium setting where you can see all kinds of animals in small tanks, as well as a huge salt water aquarium  (2 stories) that I believe might be used in some research (there are divers in the tank that swim and wave at you), and a manatee area too.  Drake had a lot of fun running around and exploring this area after the ride was over.

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Sleep-Training: Choosing Our Method

When LO was 6 months old, we decided to try sleep training. We had just moved her bedtime up to 7:30, her bedtime routine was set, and I was tired of spending over an hour rocking and nursing her to sleep. Naps were completely trash; she averaged about 40-60 minutes per day. We had moved her to a crib in her own room at four months, and we had switched from the swaddle to the ZipadeeZip fairly recently.

If I had bothered to read about infant sleep at all before having LO, I probably would have spent ages doing research, comparing methods, and drawing up pro/con lists based on my (zero) experience. Instead, we were sleep-training on the fly, and I had no time to pore over the dozens of books at the library. I was hunting for a method that fit our (loose) criteria, but still had a fairly good chance of working. Here’s what I knew:

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Easy Mom Hairstyles

It’s hard enough on a regular day to find time for your own hair on a regular day. Or maybe that’s just me. Get everyone else ready and then I remember — I forgot to do my hair! School days are most definitely the hardest of any hair days. It’s usually a rush out the door to get there in time and the goal is to look at least half decent (If you drive to school, it’s much easier to just hide out). There are a ton of hairstyles you can do in just a few minutes that will hold up all day long if you need. Here are just a few…

WRAPPED LOW PONY TAIL – grab your hair in a low pony and take a small strand from underneath and wrap it around the elastic. [image]

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