We made it to TWO months!

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, right? 

This past month has been pretty gascinating. Nope, not a typo. We continued to explore our baby’s GI issues and have had quite an adventure, all leading up to his vaccinations this past week, and his entrance into the public.

So clearly he’s putting on weight, so we can’t be screwing up that badly, right? He’s about 10 pounds or so, nearly double his birth weight, and has grown nearly 2.5 inches since birth (a hair under 2 feet tall!) What we’ve learned thus far:

  1. If at first you don’t succeed, formula, formula, formula. We’ve landed on Enfamil Gentlease after sticking with the Similac brand for awhile – ultimately, his constipation and gassiness from the “foamy” Similac Sensitive were intolerable. We’ve been happy with the Gentlease, which is visibly thinner, lacks the foam, and he takes it with no issue….except spitting up. Acceptance is a virtue when you’re a new parent, and I’m ok trading a little spit up for his general gassiness. Was it the formula, or him growing up? We’ll never know. Cheapest I found Gentlease is at, shipped for 4 containers at $104, which isn’t too much more than Similac. Enfamil also sends samples and has partnered with Rite Aid for a total of $30 in rebates to try out their formula – we did, and were thankful for that gentle assistance.
  2. IF YOUR CHILD HAS REFLUX, you should read this: formulary for most health insurance company’s covers only Zantac, which tastes horrible and, in some cases, doesn’t work. We switched per doctors orders to Prilosec, which not only tastes amazing, but we’re giving it once a day and he takes it like a champ. His symptoms associated with reflux are gone. Minor detail most parents don’t know is, you’ll have to pay for Prilosec cash anyhow ($50 out of pocket), so instead of putting yourself through ultimately a futile situation with Zantac, you can just jump to Prilosec. Yes, the insurance requires you fail Zantac to progress – but then doesn’t cover it, so who cares?!?! I don’t care, he’s happy, and I wanted you parents that are reading this to not have to go in circles like us. At least check with your insurance, we have Aetna and were astonished.
  3. L. Reuteri is your baby’s friend. No really, a prospective clinical trial demonstrated prophylactic use of probiotics in baby’s helped prevent colic, regurgitation, and constipation. I am a scientist by training, so I’m looking for a well-designed, double-blind, placebo controlled study to hang my hat on for any thing new I’m introducing to this little guy – this study was published in JAMA Pediatrics this past March, 2014, and it made good sense to me. My son has been going #2 every day now (he was going every 1-3 days before), and he’s able to pass gas much more easily (I’ve also noticed as a parent that I talk a lot more about bowel movements in public, like it’s a pride thing sometimes….”he took a huge ____ this morning, it was amazing!”). Gerber has jumped on the bandwagon and is packaging some of their formula with this probiotic, but literally any sort of probiotic for infants should work (consult your pediatrician first). Some baby’s have the right kind of gut flora, some don’t, so the idea here is to assist in getting the right bacteria into their gut.
  4. Vaccinations are your baby’s friend. In the wake of Andrew Wakefield’s horrible research that was later retracted in the Lancet,  it’s important to remember that despite the vaccinations hurting your baby within the first few moments of the shot (and maybe 10 minutes after), vaccinations save lives and literally are a public health service you are doing for your community. Yes my son was clingy and had a fever the first 48 hours, and yes, I had to use Tylenol after about 14 hours because he wasn’t well. But, he recovered, and despite still being mildly clingy due to an early teething episode, we’re glad we can take him out of the house now!

And so the third month begins – what adventures will we get into? Only my son knows, I’m just along for this wild ride!


The Great Bottle Debate

If you’re like most Dad’s, you’re handling the back end of the deal (cleaning, grocery shopping, bottle making, diaper changing), while your wife is handling the bulky task of keeping your child…alive!

We supplement breast milk and landed on a bottle journey that’s been interesting. We saw others in our family use Dr Brown’s, and that was probably all the research we did since they’ve created a strong space in the anti-colic field with their gadgetry – there are 4 parts to this thing not including the bottle!

I’m definitely of the camp – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, so why explore other options? Well, as our son started to wean off of breast milk and transition to be bottle fed, the number of bottles being washed, cleaned, dried, and refilled overnight was a bit much (10 bottles x  4 pieces, ack!)

We tried Phillips Avent – and that worked for not even 30 seconds. I’m lucky that my son is highly self-aware and quick to dismiss things that he won’t entertain for a second. I’m like that.

Then we tried Lansinoh – they make creams for nursing, and we received a free bottle from either Baby’s R’Us or a Pediatric Group’s interview session (more on doing that later)

I was quite impressed with the simplicity – 3 parts, the bottle, the ring, and the large nipple. Cleaning was a breeze, and the fact that it didn’t introduce air while he was aggressively downing his milk made it even better.

Price wise they are all about the same – Amazon had the Lanisoh’s on sale for $18 for a pack of three, which is about $5 cheaper than a Dr Brown trio. Ultimately, you’ll have to see what your little one can handle before you commit.


We made it, one month old!

I’m sure we’ll look back at this past month years from now and remember it as a complete blur, but I will have to admit, no one EVER warned us how difficult it would be.

There are countless things that we learned with our son this first month, so hopefully I can add some insight for other fathers so they won’t be as surprised as me the first time around:

  1. The first few weeks of your child sleeping doesn’t mean they’ll always be like that – turns out babies are as dynamic as adults, and every week is a different hallmark with their development (duh), which then impacts their sleep, eating, and diaper-creation patterns. how?
    • We went from waking our son up every few hours to remind him to eat, to him doing the duty himself – we were thrilled to know he could start expressing his needs, not so thrilled at the inconsistency of his reminders.
    • Bowel movements went from literally every few hours to…once a day. THRILLED that it’s not as often, but it surprised us, and obviously concerned us.
    • He’s truly my son now – he farts all the time, and needs to be burped more frequently. Thrilled that he belches as loudly as me! However, the fussiness and gas led us to do what most parents that are supplementing with formula to do – the dreaded formula dance. We landed on Similac Sensitive, but the process was truly trial and error, nothing scientific about it. We also realized quickly that the powder form, which is a bigger pain in the ass to prepare, was easier for him to digest with even less spit up than the bottled form that is pre made (he spit up much more with Similac Advance). I’ll have a whole separate post on Formula later.
    • Acid reflux reared it’s ugly head around week 4 – we initially thought it was gas or something else, but some tell tale signs that Mayo clinic and WebMd don’t share with you:
      • he will arch his back
      • cry when there’s a bottle or nipple in his mouth
      • reach for his ears/eyes indicating pain after eating
      • The Zantac that is given at pharmacies is horrible tasting, try it – it’s literally worse than most things adults have to stomach. I still need to see if it can be flavored, but the .75 ml’s he takes twice a day are a struggle, because on top of him suffering from some acid kick back, he has this vile tasting stuff coming back up.
      • How will he sleep with minor acid reflux? This will save you hours of sleep, the Fisher Price rock n’ play has a nice 45 degree incline that will let the contents of his stomach stay down there, and it is slightly “fitted” so that he will feel comfortable and coddled without having to do a tight swaddle (more on swaddling drama later).
  2. Breast pump rental: do this before you go to the hospital. A separate post later will detail intricacies of this – the pump matters, because regardless of whether you’re exclusively breast feeding or not (if you are, get a scale for home so you don’t have to go to the pediatricians office for weigh-ins every week), you’ll ultimately need a strong pump to get things flowing so that as your baby’s jaw gets stronger over time, your wife has adequate flow.
  3. Car seats range in prices and safety – get the one that fits your car correctly and fits your budget best; a separate post will detail the car seat we decided on, and why it’s part of your hospital bag the day you rush to the hospital.
  4. Bottles – you can either buy a dozen of one, or experiment with 2 at a time and see how your baby reacts. I’ll post more about that later (this was an adventure for sure!)
  5. Diapers – you can either double down and commit to one brand and stock up (like we did), then realize he’s not chubby enough and you have to return all of them one evening at Baby’s R’Us and buy a whole new set of another brand. I’ll post more about this adventure as a separate blog too (I’m starting to realize a trend that each one of these numbers requires their own entry!

This post ended up being an introductory post to a number of other entries I’ll make, so check back for new links that I’ll add over time.