Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Gideon 4 months old

Not sure how we got here but Gideon is 4 months old! Time has flown by and I finally feel like I am emerging from the newborn fog. We are sleeping and getting into a good routine....but with 3 kids 3.5 and under, things are always borderline chaotic. Gideon SMILES all day, laughs when he is tickled, and is smitten with his big brother and sister. I forgot how fun and sweet this age is and I know it is going to get better and better! It is so cool to watch Gideon learn new things,  notice new things, grab toys, and enjoy himself. I love being this sweet boys mama!

  • 14lbs 10oz (33%), 25.75in (77%), Head circumference 41.2cm (36%)
  • G had his 4 month well check this morning and is pretty much perfect. We are still dealing with eczema and are contemplating trying a dairy free formula (that costs 4x his Gentleease, boo). He got his vaccinations and hated those of course, talked to the doctor, and almost rolled over for the first time there!
  • Gideon is quite the eater! I feel like he is eating 99% of of the day. He'll take 2-3oz every 2-3 hours but I carry a bottle with us wherever we go. He is quite the messy eater so he is always sporting a bib (and going through 2-3 a day). 
  • Wears 3-6 month clothing...mostly onesies and one piece outfits. Gideon is such a hot body (just like daddy and Ford) so you won't ever see him in footies or pants. He sleeps in a onesie at night and even wakes up hot in that. 
  • Cloth diapered during the day and size 2 disposable diaper at night
  • G goes to bed between 7:30-8pm and sleeps 11-12 hours straight. 2 nights over the weekend he has cried out and woken in the night... no one is immune to the dreaded 4 month sleep regression. He slept 12 hours again last night so hopefully the regression was short and sweet. We are still swaddling him and don't really have a plan to stop just yet. He is not rolling over so I'm not worried about him rolling in the swaddle but we have a Zipadee Zip and Merlin suit when the time comes. 
  • Naps are hit or miss lately. Unlike Ford and Lucy, I am trying to be more laid back when it comes to naps for G because we are on the go most of the day. On good days Gideon will take a 1.5-2 hour nap around 8:45am when we leave for the day, a 2 hour crib nap at home when F and L are resting in the afternoon, and then an early evening snooze. I really want him to be flexible on naps and there are some days where I think "Well no wonder he slept 13 hours straight last night, he was exhausted and didn't get a proper nap!". 
  • Gideon smiles ALL THE TIME! He is such a joyful baby and his mouth gets so big and wide when he smiles. He laughs when we play games with him and is very ticklish on his sides. Ford and Lucy can get him cracking up.
  • He loves playing under his play mat and grabbing the toys. He loves his Freddie the Firefly, Sophie Giraffe, and Beanie Babies. He also loves chewing on his hands. So. Much. Drool. 
  • Giddy has found his voice and it is adorable and raspy. He furrows his eyebrows and gets this serious look and just talks and talks. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Gideon's New Car Seat, Evenflo SafeMax

As a 3rd child, Gideon gets the brunt of a lot of hand me downs. Fortunately for him, we don't have an extra convertible car seat so he actually gets something brand new, yay! We upgraded cars last summer to an Expedition XL with captains seats in the middle so our previous requirement of slender car seats wasn't an issue when choosing a seat for Gideon. To be honest, I never really thought of Evenflo for car seats until now. After reading recommendations and reviews online, the Evenflo SafeMax All-in-One Car Seat was an easy choice for our little man! Although we do plan on using it for Gideon, I love that the car seat fits the needs of each of my children and can grow from a rear facing infant, to rear facing toddler, to forward facing toddler, to harness and booster for an older child. It's nice to know we have the option of playing musical car seats if needed! The SafeMax literally looks like a plush movie theater seat made of temperature regulating fabric that helps balance your child's body temperature (Gideon is already a hot-natured baby and it isn't even summer yet!). We've never had built in cup holders on our car seats and boy are they convenient! Prior to us getting the Evenflo SafeMax for G, I would put his bottle, paci, a burp rag, and sometimes my cell phone or keys in his car seat for safe keeping. You will see in the pictures below how Lucy loved using the cup holders for her ponies! Safety is key when choosing a car seat and the Evenflo SafeMax Car Seat offers an integrated steel frame, extensive, rigorous rollover testing, and passed 2X the federal crash test standard. I am so thrilled with our car seat choice and highly recommend the Evenflo SafeMax All-in-One Car Seat!

Testing out the Evenflo SafeMax All-in-One Car Seat before we put it in the car!

Lucy wanted to take a spin in the SafeMax and there was plenty of room for her ponies, loveys, and doll. 

I think Ford was a little jealous of how comfortable the Evenflo SafeMax carseat is...especially on those days he wakes up at 6am, doesn't take a nap, but passes out in the car at 6pm. Whoops. The SafeMax has a SafeZone headrest with an added insert for littler ones like Gideon. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Formula Feeding Tips and Tricks

We are 3.5 months into exclusively bottle and formula feeding our sweet Gideon and I have kept a running list of items in my head that I've wanted to share on my blog. I was able to breastfeed Ford and Lucy each for a year and they'd take bottles when I was away from them but for the most part, bottle feeding was brand new to me, especially formula feeding. I was worried about how it would be in the middle of the night trying to mix bottles and being out and about what if I forgot bottles or formula but it has been pretty darn easy and I don't know how we'd do it any other way! I constantly ask myself how the heck I exclusively nursed F and L in the beginning... all the night feeds were mine and I somehow survived. From the beginning, Jon and I split up the nights and now G sleeps through the night (10-12 hours) but having that help with night feeds was a life savor... especially when we have two other little alarm clocks waking us up before sunrise. We didn't really have a choice with how we fed Gideon but I have loved getting to experience bottle feeding a baby and don't feel one bit that we've bonded less, etc. It's really neat to get to see Jon take such a big part in feedin our baby, something that didn't happen with the first two. I also don't know how I'd be able to maintain our on the go schedule while nursing a baby... I know people do it but I am very thankful with what we've chosen! I wanted to share some of our favorite products when it comes to formula/bottle feeding, I have tried to stay as minimal as possible because having 3 kids in 3 years, we seem to have accumulated a lot of unnecessary stuff that I am currently purging of. I hope this list can help answer some questions or give you ideas/tips!

Sam's brand Member's Mark Gentle Formula- after doing lots of research and learning that both Sam's and Costco manufacture their formulas in the same place as Enfamil and Similac and they are basically the same thing, I was hoping one of them would work for G. The hospital feeds babies Similac Advance from the beginning but they switched him to Sensitive pretty quick because he was gassy and fussy. We used that for a few weeks before switching to his current gentle formula... the other was constipating him and we noticed an immediate change when we switched. I use a big tub every 3-4 weeks and it is significantly cheaper than other brands! A NICU nurse friend told me that babies' tummies were made for breastmilk so even the most gentle, newborn formulas will take some getting used to. My advice is to have smaller cans/samples of different formulas in case your little one isn't doing well on a certain kind. It is recommended to stay on a formula for 7-14 days before switching.

Dr. Brown's Bottles- I read that these are great for exclusively bottle fed babies because they reduce the airflow into baby's mouth/tummy thus reducing gas and colic. People complain about the parts but you're washing bottles all day anyway... what is a few more pieces. My advice is to skip the small bottles and invest in the larger, 8oz bottles. We used 4 bottles at the beginning and now just have 3 in in our rotation. I usually always have a full bottle with me and stick it in his carseat if we are out and about and if we are going somewhere where I know I won't have access to water, I bring a bottle of room temp tap water in his diaper bag. If we are going to a friend's house or my parents, I just bring one bottle and rinse it between feedings. We use room temp tap water... a great piece of advice I received so your baby doesn't require hot bottles (added time in the middle of the night and hard to do when you're out).

Mommy's Bliss Probiotic Drops- going back to the formula paragraph and talking about how hard it can be on babies tummies, I was recommended to get G on a probiotic to help the adjustment. I definitely saw improvement and gut health is so important so we do 5 drops in a bottle once a day. I go through a bottle a month and even give them to Ford and Lucy.
Lil Helpers Bottle Holder- this is the most genius invention ever! I saw a friend's baby using it at church and it has been such a helper for us feeding Gideon out and about. I can prop it up while he's in his stroller while we walk through Target and now at 3.5 months he grasps it! I know he'll be holding his bottle in no time.

Bottle Drying Grass- bottle feeding requires a lot of washing but honestly I don't mind it. I have a medium size glass bowl in one of the portions of my sink at all times and throw empty bottles in there throughout the day. Since we only have 3 bottles, I will wait to wash when I have two in there. I use this bottle brush and the tiny little one that came with my Dr. Brown's bottles and leave them to dry on the drying grass. I love how it doesn't scream BABY with bright colors and it goes well with my white kitchen. I've had it for a few years and even when I don't have a bottle fed baby, I use it to dry knives, medicine syringes, and other small things. I definitely won't be getting rid of it when G is bottled weaned!
Cloth Diaper Burp Rags- I had no idea how messy bottle feeding was going to be! G is also a happy spitter so we go through at least 2 cloth diaper burp rags a day (and I am talking soaked). I keep them all over the house, an extra in his diaper bag, and always one in his carseat. I think we have a stack of 10 but they are always in rotation of being used or in the wash.

Absorbent Bibs- like above, we go through about 3 bibs a day. I love these cute banana ones and they are absorbent. I also have some not as cute bibs I have on G at home. I do laundry every other day and half of it is bibs and burp rags!

Formula Dispenser- we have two of these... one that is always filled in his room and one in the diaper bag. The one in his room was great when he was still waking up in the night, I guess I can bring that one downstairs but it is nice just in case he wants to party at 4am or we are playing upstairs and I need a quick bottle refill. G is quite the eater and has taken 3-4oz from birth and now takes 6oz so every evening I make sure our diaper bag has new diapers, fresh burp rags, and plenty of formula. We are usually only out and about for 3-4 hours at a time (I protect those crib naps!) but I like to be prepared in case anything happens. If we are going to be gone all day (for example we went to my parents house last weekend for basically the whole day), I brought the whole formula container just in case.

Bottle Sterilizer- I didn't know this with my first two babes but you are supposed to sterilize bottles at least once a week. This helps keep them germ free but also clean. Have you ever seen cloudy bottles? Well that is because they aren't sterilized. I use this super easy microwave steamer and try to remember to steam them once a week... I notice a gross film on the bottles building up if I wait too long. And with breast milk bottles, the fat in the milk builds up around the bottles. Yuck. I also use the sterilizer to clean toys, medicine syringes, sippy cups that I find mold on, etc.

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