Pumping the Boob Juice: Supplies

This blurb below is one of my most requested “notes” from fellow mommy friends. So of course, I needed to republish here for others to reference. I will try to keep the links updated, but this was originally written in 2009 as I was performing my milk machine duties to my daughter. Looking back on the experience, and having to do it twice – It’s definitely what worked best for me. I’m too neurotic to deal with the initially unpredictable feeding needs of a newborn. Structured and scheduled pumping times was right up my alley. It allowed me to be consistent and I always had fresh stock on hand for when the feeding time came. ūüôā

I did not personally enjoy the breastfeeding experience and anticipated that¬†I wouldn’t anyways.. however,¬†I knew that I wanted to give her breastmilk because I feel that it would be best for her. I wanted her to at least get 6 months worth. So, after talking to one of my other friends who did the bottle thing…¬†I decided that I would only put her on the boob the first two weeks, and then switch her purely to bottle fed breast milk. It actually worked out really well for me since I dont mind the pumping as much. The pumping experience has been good! It doesn’t hurt or anything and¬†I like that¬†I can pretty much pump anywhere. For me, it worked out well because I liked to pump at certain times that worked for my schedule and then the milk would just be there and ready for her. Versus waiting to nurse Vy at unpredictable and inconsistent times. Towards the end, when¬†I was only nursing Vy on the boob once a day (at 4am because it was easier and quicker when you are half awake),¬†I was using the Medela contact nipple shield… it feel much better because¬†I wasn’t liking how she was latching. hehehe

I got the Medela Pump In Style Advanced. There are other higher end models, but this one worked just fine for me. I only pump for 10 mins each session. I opted not to rent because I figure I’d get my money’s woroth with baby #2. The pump comes with one set of the connectors, etc… when you are at the hospital: ask them to bring in a pump for you to use. When they do,they will crack open a brand new set of connectors/shields etc for you… so then you can take that home later and have a second set for free. hehehhe.

You will definitely need nursing pads. Those are the little pads that you put in your bra so that you don’t go leaking all over the place! There are some that are more comfortable than others, but¬†I was just fine with the basic Lansinoh ones.¬†So far, I’ve only needed to change it once (sometimes twice) a day…

The bottle that I use with Vy is the First years BREASTFLOW bottles (http://thefirstyears.com/breastflow). Love them. the nipple is shaped like a boob. Vy took to it just fine and even when she was on the bottle all day but boob at 4am… she switched between the two fine and had no nipple confusion. Best place I found those bottles at was on Amazon. If you are dilegent, you can find the extra nipples for those bottles on the Kohls website for pretty good pricing using coupon codes and Ebates (New to Ebates? use my referral link: http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=d1WP3PcGkOO6zQmkJBydXg%3D%3D¬†)

If you plan on freezing any breastmilk…¬†I think the storage bottles are better than the bags. The ones¬†I used for my milk factory are like the ones they give you in the hospital. I found a bulk supplier for CHEAP: www.abbottstore.com search keyword ROSS BOTTLES

Coupon code: 10NEW  to get 10% off your order

You can buy them in bulk of 144 bottles: http://abbottstore.com/infant-and-child/similac-breast-milk-storage-bottles-caps-combo-4-fl-oz-case-of-144-51950

Let’s just say… I ended up buying THREE of those bulk cases for my milk factory.

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Milk factory Part 1: 7×12 bottles, double stacked, 4oz each = 672oz frozen boob juice.

The best website to buy extra pump supplies, nursing bra, etc is: www.Breakoutbras.com 10% off coupon code BBSAVE10

The most comfortable nursing bra that helps keep them heavy boobs lifted is the Bravado Seamless nursing bra…. but to sleep¬†I wear the Medela sleep bra¬†because its more comfortable. I actually started to wear that in my second trimester to sleep because it was more comfortable since¬†I had to sleep on my side and wasn’t used to the bigger boobs. The Medela sleep bra provides minimal support though, so I wouldn’t venture with it outside of the house.

I tried both the Lansinoh nipple cream and the Medela one and I liked the Medela one better. You can get it on that breakoutbras site. the lansinoh one was really thick in consistency so it was not as appealing putting on.

After I had filled up most of my own freezer in the house, I had to invest in a deep chest for more storage space. I bought a deep chest freezer on Craigslist for $100.

Milk Factory Part 2: 17 bins holding 68oz each = 1156oz in the deep chest alone.

 

Update: After I used the pump, deep chest freezer¬†and Ross bottles… It all went into storage for 2 years (knowing that I was planning on baby #2 later on). Once I finished my second round as milk factory…. it ALL went onto Craigslist. I was able to resell the deep chest freezer for the same $100 that I bought it for (ahem… free rental!). I sold the breast pump for $150 (I included a brand new box of parts for it that were manufacturer sealed – remember to ask for one at the hospital!). And those hundreds of little Ross bottles? – I sold them all to another dedicated milk factory for 25 cents a piece!

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Potty Training in 5 days… what?!?

Two kids. Both potty trained at 22 months old. One girl. One boy. Done. Do I miss changing diapers? That would be a negative baby!!!

Ok… so how did I even manage to do that? Well. A friend of mine had used this manual for a 3-Day Potty training and she had successful trained her son in 3 days, as did her sister and a friend. I told her to send it my way because 3 days sounds quite appealing to me.

This is the method we followed: 3-Day Potty Training by Lora Jenson. www.3DayPottyTraining.com

I say in my blog title “5 days”, because for me, it really took me 5 full days to feel like the kids had gotten it down. The first 3 days were definitely the core of it all, but the additional 2 days sealed the deal for me. Be sure to check out Lora’s book for details on her method!

Back to what I personally did…. I used Lora’s book as the foundation for my potty training week. I used almost all of her suggestions (except that I wasn’t brave enough to let go of pull-ups at¬† naptime and overnight – I know, I was weak). Here is another biggie: I TOOK ONE WEEK OFF FROM WORK. Now, if that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is! Now for your SAHM’s, you have an advantage here if you can give up doing nothing else but potty training for one week. But it really is commitment beyond the time dedicted to potty training, because you basically have to give up focus on anything else except that. That meant, I couldn’t sit at my desk, play on the computer, play on my phone, read a magazine… nada. We didn’t leave the house… actually, we barely even left the living room (because I didn’t want accidents on carpet). All I did for 5 days straight was stare at my child’s crotch… patiently waiting for these pee accidents (aka learning moments) so that I can promptly get to them to the potty in hopes that a drop or two will end up in there.

When I first potty trained my daughter, I was pregnant at the time (no double diaper duty here!), so you can imagine the range of emotions I was experiencing with this. I literally was ready to quit on Day 3 and cry in frustration that I failed. But low and behold! The very LAST pee on the 3rd day – she “got” it! She actually got it (the concept)! When I woke up on Day 4, I was rejuvenated enough to stick with it a few more days and hone in on her practicing and practicing. *sigh* memories…..

(Check out the outfit my daughter had to sport back then when potty training in the spring time weather: warm layers of shirts, Elmo undies so mommy can see accidents, and leggings cuz its chilly!)

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I was told that boys were harder to train, so I was apprehensive about tackling this one last week. Let alone, I had my now 4-year-old daughter with me so it gave me less one-on-one time with him. I honestly, couldn’t believe how much easier he was to train!!! It just goes to show, its all dependent on the kid. I don’t really think that its a matter of a girl or boy being ready… its the kid. But I do have to say, that Lora’s recommendation of potty training at 22 months old, did not fail me at all. I was skeptical at first that a 22mo would understand (especially since my daughter was not really talking much at the time)… but both kids picked it up. Perhaps we underestimate the 22mo too much? My son picked up potty training by Day 2. Regressed on Day 4 a bit, but shortly after that… we were home free. Now, me saying home free doesn’t mean there aren’t accidents! And we haven’t fully mastered the pooing. BUT – we are in a good place. There is no turning back to diapers as we only move forward from here! He’s pretty much been off diapers for over 2 weeks now and its been good!

After going through this experience twice… I’d have to say what I took from it was:

  • It was worth it to take a whole week off and dedicate it to potty training.
  • Cheering on even the smallest drip in the potty is incredibly exciting to a child.
  • You are their biggest cheerleader and its important to¬†keep cheering –¬†even when he pees onto your feet because it shoots over the potty seat.
  • Empowering a child to learn to read their own body signals can go a much further way.
  • Solid colored undies are easier to see small drip accidents on boys.
  • Girls drop major puddle accidents.
  • Accept that there will be accidents – even after the week is finished. They are still learning!
  • Try to have a fellow mommy you can call and vent to! You will need the support and your own cheerleader!
  • Make sure you reward YOURSELF with a “me” day the week after! You deserve it!

Spontaneity gives me anxiety.

So we’ve already established that I’m a neurotic “planner”. I function on schedules and predictability. Well. that all changed this past weekend.

I’ve been working my butt off, and after a long 10 hour shift… I came home and had the craziest idea to go to Vegas for ONE DAY and catch one of my all-time favorite music festivals. Ohhhh you can imagine the thoughts that ran through my head in contemplating on this gesture. I had no place to stay, no tickets to the event, NO childcare lined up yet… what was I thinking?

Guess things were meant to be, because in the blink of an eye, the stars were aligning tickets, my cousin’s hotel room to crash in, and three last-minute babysitters willing to help out. It was crazy. I pulled the trigger and agreed to go through with it. EEEEEEEK. Let me tell you though… seriously like 20 mins later – I was like “What am I doing? Is it too late to back out?” It was seriously giving me anxiety just thinking about what I had just agreed to proceed with and then furthermore… now I have to carry out.

Fortunately, due to the neurotic nature of my parenting skills, its not hard to watch my kids (even for a last-minute baby sitter that has never watched them for a full 24 hours by themself before – gulp!). But I had faith that the kids would be fine…. How could anyone mess up on watching my kids when there a clearly color-coded daily schedule right up on the fridge? Its a no fail gig!

Ok, so all the pieces have been laid out and away I went. In a span of less than 48 hours… I managed to drive myself to Vegas, dance until the sun came up, then get back home and into mommy-mode. whew. Took me probably another two days after that to fully recover….

Was it worth it? I’d say so. Would I do it again? Well… maybe I wouldn’t wait until the day before to decide on things…. but I guess I can’t always plan evvvvvverrrything. All I know is that this past weekend is still sort of a blur. I really pushed through a lot of the anxiety that was creeping in the back of my head during that time.. and I survived. Perhaps neuroticism can have an off button?

Mood: Excited. Thoughts: Where to start?

I’m actually feeling pretty excited about my new blogging venture. Gosh I feel that so much goes on in my tiny big brain, that this may just be the perfect outlet for my ramblings.

 

Where do I even start? I will need to go home and sort through my various notes stashed away on my harddrive. There’s my suggested registry list, my whole email on pumping breastmilk, color-coded excel spreadsheets of the kids daily schedules (and how they evolved over the course of 18 months), my method for organizing frozen breastmilk, oh – and let’s not forget my suggested diaper count! I’m going to have to spread it out somehow, otherwise my neurotic self will stay up all night getting all this onto my blog in 24 hours (and I totally would do it!)

 

Since I just spent ALL of last week potty training K. I think that’s where I will start, since it was the most current thing happening in my neurotic parenting life. Yes. That’s what I will start at. Everyone’s favorite thing to do: Potty Train. And if you are anything like me, you will want to get it done as quickly and painlessly as possible.

 

If there is ever a topic that you have come across and wonder what experience or input I may have on it… leave a comment. I’m always open to topics to ramble about! I could talk/type foreverrrrrr.

A place to feed my soul ey?

Well, today is a day of firsts! I’ve never blogged before in my entire life (“entire” makes me swear like I’m old or something). It never really dawned on me to do it surprisingly – even though I love to write and am constantly in thought about something or another anyways. But I guess there is no better time to start something than NOW.

So here I am. What brings me here? Well… my therapist (yes, I see a therapist¬†and recommend that everyone try it at least once in their lives – it doesn’t mean you are crazy, although we all have a little crazy in us)¬†has recently suggested to me that I should find something to do that “feeds my soul”.¬† It started when I found myself so deeply entrenched in a robotic, yet¬†fast-paced moving life – that if I were to stop for a second, I’d realize that its basically passing me by. What was I doing for myself? What was I personally getting from anything anymore? I’m basically in a rut, surrounded by the¬†so many obligations that life asks¬†of me. ¬†So I dwelled on the concept of “filling my cup” with something that could be somewhat therapeutic for me. But for a person who doesn’t like to exercise, doesn’t like to cook, isn’t musical, and already super busy as it is… what could I possibly do. I took to the masses of my Facebook peoples and asked people for suggestions….. and someone suggested a mom blog (Thanks Norma!)

Anyhow… there are a gazillion mom blogs out there! And it was nice to see a good number of blogs related to neurotic, analytical, overthinking mom’s like me. But I just couldn’t find anything that was MY kind of neurotic. So what will make this different? Well, anyone who knows me well enough… knows that I am a neurotic planner. I plan, log, color-code, and take diligent notes. Why? Because that’s how I function and its actually what keeps me sane.

I’ve gotten multiple requests from friends and colleagues who inquire about my methods for various parenting issues. I’ve consulted with others on sleep training because I am so very rigid about scheduling. So it dawned on me to perhaps put this all in one place for all to access and hopefully I can lighten up some of the underlying neurotic mommisms in others.

At this time, my daughter (V) is 4 and my lil’ man (K) is soon to be 2! I think this will be a nice outlet for me as I have just passed the “infant” hump of parenting and moving into the next stage. I DO (of course I do because I keep diligent notes of everything) still have lots of my notes related to items that take place in the first 2 years… so I will be posting them as I go along. I’ll probably do them sooner than later because I have some people who are knocked up right now and want to get their reading and research on!

I hope that those who stumble across this blog will find something of use for their own neurotic parenting lives.