Meet Jack. He is my first born and the reason that Little World Organics exists. He propelled me into this wild ride they call motherhood almost eight years ago to the day. Man those first days were hard. I had no idea what I was doing. I was certain I would breastfeed him for at least a year. Formula? Ha! Not for my child. No way.
One of the most important pieces of advice my OBGYN gave me was at my postpartum check up after having sweet Jack. She told me that as a parent you will quickly learn things don’t always go as planned. You need to be flexible and able to roll with the punches.
You see, I was an emotional wreck. I didn’t know that like many other mothers I was dealing with postpartum depression. It wasn’t even on my radar. On top of that I was in a very bad headspace because I was failing at breastfeeding. Jack cried a lot. Not as much as my second child who no joke cried for two years straight, but enough to make me question my decision to have children at all.
At the time I didn’t realize he was crying so much and nursing around the clock because the poor little guy was hungry. I went to a lactation consultant who confirmed that Jack was not getting nearly enough breastmilk. She then prescribed a routine of triple feeding that just about blew my mind. I knew that the best choice for my mental health, my relationship with my husband and most importantly my newborn baby was to feed him formula.
As a new parent, I was inundated with stories and data emphasizing how crucial breastmilk was to the health and well-being of my son. I was certain that Jack would be sick all of the time if I fed him formula. I was sure he would graduate at the bottom of his class. But what I didn’t expect was the amazing bond and love that developed after accepting my new reality. I was rolling with the punches.
I was a formula-feeding good mom who was doing what was best for herself, her baby, and her family.
And you know what?
Everything turned out A-OK.
Jack, who spent his first year of life drinking Holle 1 is now a rising second grader who loves soccer and school. He is a “mama’s boy” to the core, every teacher’s dream (hello rule follower!), and the most likely to care for me when I am old. I can count on one hand how many times he has been sick IN HIS LIFETIME, and he is in the GT program at school. I am not bragging (though I am extremely proud of my oldest child), but merely showing that formula feeding your child is not the end of the world.
For me, it was really just the beginning.
Holle Organic is the gold standard of organic European infant formula. For over 85 years, parents have trusted Holle to nourish their little ones and provide the most wholesome ingredients while caring for the environment, as well. To learn more about Holle infant formula or to make a purchase, click here.
If you’re bottle-feeding your baby, you’ll have likely heard of on-demand feeding. While on-demand feeding has traditionally been associated only with breastfed babies, research is now showing benefits of this style of feeding for both breast and bottle-fed infants.
In the past, health professionals advised parents to feed their baby at a regularly-spaced interval of 3-4 hours between feeds. However, recommendations have now shifted in favor of feeding babies on cue. There are a number of reasons for this shift in approach, but it is primarily because when we allow babies to determine the time and length of their own feeds, they are much more likely to get exactly what they need. Interfering with this process by using a strict feeding schedule doesn’t help babies to develop their own intuitions about food.
As an example, a newborn baby should be fed frequently, usually when they show signs of hunger and ideally before they start to cry. If this doesn’t occur, then a baby has a higher risk of developing dehydration and underfeeding, which can result in poor weight gain. On-demand feeding also helps prevent overfeeding and subsequent gassy symptoms and/or bringing back feeds from an over-distended stomach. While we know that all babies go through growth spurts and will experience fluctuations in their feeding requirements, feeding on-demand makes it easier for babies to increase or decrease their intake as needed.
You can reassure yourself that your baby is getting enough milk by popping by your pediatrician’s office to have them weighed. A baby who is getting enough milk will follow their percentiles on their growth chart, have plenty of wet and dirty diapers and be generally happy and content between feeds.
You’ll soon learn to recognize your baby’s feeding cues and you’ll quickly know your baby’s hunger cry from a cuddle cry. Remember it’s easier to feed a baby before they’re crying! Up to four months of age, your baby might ‘root’, this means they will turn their head and open their mouth towards your chest when picked up, even making sucking motions, putting their hands into their mouth. When you see these signs it’s a good time to offer your baby a feed. When feeding your baby, look out for signs that they have had enough, which will include slowing down the feed, taking long pauses and falling asleep. Don’t force your baby to finish a bottle, even if there’s some left. When your baby shows signs of having had enough, it’s time to stop the feed.
You might find that your little one goes through growth spurts and has times where they are asking for extra feeds for a couple of days. Trust in your baby’s instincts and need for increased feeds and offer them on-demand as needed. They will soon settle down again.
Remember, there are proven benefits to on-demand feeding which go further than focussing on your baby’s hunger and thirst. Research has shown that babies fed on-demand in the longer term have a decreased risk of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes and might even enjoy a cognitive advantage over their peers. All that said, it seems that the best schedule to follow when feeding your baby is no schedule at all, instead letting your little one tell you exactly when and how much they want to be fed!
If you’d like to learn more about organic infant formula from Europe, which contains no GMOs, no artificial colors or preservatives, and no added sweeteners, visit www.lworganics.com.
So you’ve decided that you want to bottle-feed, but you have no idea where to start when shopping for the essentials. Whether you’re at home or on the go, it’s always better to be prepared for your baby’s feeds. This will mean you won’t be spending unnecessary time preparing feeds when your baby is cranky and crying out for a feed – and being prepared will leave you feeling in control and less stressed. Below is a list of essential items every new bottle-feeding parent should invest in.
Bottles – The bottle will be the container in which you mix your baby’s feed. Keep your bottle sterilized, cleaned and dry well before it’s time to feed your baby. It’s always worthwhile having a couple of bottles ready to go as this will help with preparation time and also means you won’t be running out when you least expect it. Shop my favorite bottles here.
Nipples – The nipple is what fits onto the top of the bottle and then goes into your baby’s mouth to feed. Nipples come in different flow rates, always start with a slow flow nipple, progress to a medium flow around 12 weeks of age and then a fast flow nipple at around 5-6 months. Keep nipples sterilized as part of your bottles and keep an eye out for signs of wear, replacing if necessary. My favorite Avent bottles (above) come with a flow 1 nipple, but I prefer to start my newborn on a flow 0 preemie nipple, which can be purchased here.
Washing Solution – Your baby’s bottles will need to be washed in hot soapy water before sterilizing to remove any milk residue. You can use simple dish soap or you can invest in a soap specifically for cleaning baby bottles. Amazon has several good options available. Dapple Baby has the highest reviews followed by Babyganics.
Bottle Brush – A bottle brush is an essential item to have when cleaning your baby’s bottles prior to sterilizing. These brushes are double-ended with the larger end cleaning the inside of the bottles, while the smaller end fits inside the nipples. Always be as gentle as possible when cleaning the nipples so as not to cause any damage. The Munchkin bottle brushes check off all of the boxes and are an Amazon bestseller.
Bottle Drying Rack – This is where you will leave your bottles, nipples and accessories after washing in hot soapy water. Keep it nearby the sink and place everything on there after washing. It is best not to use this rack for other utensils in order to prevent accumulation of germs and dirt. Boon is a fan favorite, and I prefer it in white for a sleeker look.
Sterilizer – Your bottles and nipples will need to be washed and then sterilized after each feed. There are numerous types of sterilizers available on the market, the most common is either a microwave or electric steam sterilizer. Neither of these require any additional washing solution, the sterilization process is created through the use of water and convection or electricity. These are both very quick and effective, sterilizing everything inside within 5-7 minutes. Be sure to leave individual items inside until you need them and always use the tongs provided to remove before replacing the lid again. This option holds up to 4 Philips Avent bottles at once and kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria without chemicals in 2 minutes. Looking to sterilize at work or while away on vacation? These quick clean micro-steam bags are a convenient and portable option.
Burp Cloths – Your baby will need to be burped periodically during each feed and may well bring up a little bit of milk after feeding. Keep burp cloths within reach so you can be ready to catch any milk as it escapes! These basic white burp cloths are an affordable and practical option, but how adorable are these?
Bibs – You’re going to get through a ton of bibs during your baby’s first year! Keep plenty handy both at home and in your diaper bag and always put one on your little one before starting any feed.
Feeding Pillows – A feeding pillow isn’t just for breastfeeding parents, a pillow can help both you and baby to get comfortable during a feed.
Formula Dispenser – If you need to make bottles when out and about, a formula dispenser will come in very useful. Containing space for 2-3 feeds, they enable you to measure out the correct amount of powder for each feed to have ready to make up feeds when away from home.
Additional items which will make your life infinitely easier:
Dr. Brown’s Formula Mixing Pitcher– Prepares up to 32 ounce of clump-free formula, which can then be stored in the fridge and used as needed for up to 24 hours. This works perfectly when boiling water prior to mixing formula (to sterilize powdered formula). Use a bottle warmer to heat bottles as needed throughout the day/night.
Baby Brezza Instant Warmer– Heat the water instead of the bottle…. Genius! Instead of waiting 3-5 minutes for a bottle warmer to warm a bottle, use the Brezza warmer to dispense warm water on demand 24-7. I own and LOVE this gadget!
Baby Brezza Pro Advanced Formula Dispenser Machine– The ultimate formula feeding gadget! The Baby Brezza has patented mixing technology that automatically mixes formula and water to the perfect consistency. It works with virtually all formula brands and all bottle brands/sizes.
I hope this article is helpful! If you’d like to find out more about European infant formula, click here.
If you decide to switch brands or stages, you’ll want to keep a couple of factors in mind.
If you decide you want to change your baby’s formula milk to a different brand or stage (e.g. from infant to follow-on milk), or even if your current brand launches a new formulation, there are a couple of things to bear in mind.
First is the type of formula milk your baby is currently drinking. There are four main types of formula milk: cow’s milk based, goat’s milk based, soy-based and hydrolyzed protein formulas. Unless you’ve been advised by your GP to switch from one type to another (usually because of a suspected allergy), you’ll probably want to stick with the type of formula you’re already using. For most parents, this is a cow’s milk based formula.
You’ll also want to consider your baby’s age. If you’ve already started weaning, the transition from one formula to another can be quite quick. Try changing one feed on day one, followed by two feeds on day two, and so on until all feeds have been changed to the new formula.
If your baby is still only having milk, the transition may take a little longer. To start with, switch just one feed on both days one and two, and then switch two feeds on days three and four, and so on.
If you are changing to a different brand, instead of just a different stage of formula, you may want to swap as slowly as one feed every 2-3 days to allow your baby time to adjust to the new formulation.
Shop Certified Organic Infant Formula from Europe here.
It never fails. With each new baby comes a somewhat desperate quest for the perfect swaddle that will undoubtedly lead to a full night of sleep. I always start with my very favorite baby must-have, the beloved Aden and Anais swaddle blanket. It is perfect for a newborn and really all you need to successfully swaddle your sweet little bundle of joy.
I loathe the hospital swaddle blankets. They are rectangular in shape, which makes swaddling a baby a rather difficult task. A good swaddle starts with a square blanket, which is precisely why you need the soft, light weight, and beautiful swaddle blankets made by Aden and Anais. I have packed these blankets all five times I have checked in to the hospital to have a baby, and I rarely leave home without one.
So what exactly does that look like? First, I start with a basic Carters onesie, as I want to keep this layer light weight. After that, I velcro her into the SwaddleMe Original Swaddle. I love this particular swaddle because it is so easy to use! Now Cora did end up with a free arm a handful of times, so I decided to add an extra layer to ensure she couldn’t escape. A loose arm wouldn’t bother me if it didn’t wake her up.
Adding the secondary swaddle is my “secret swaddle sauce,” as it increased Cora’s night time sleep from 2.5 hours at a time to 5 hours at a time, and that’s a win in my book.
As you may know, I recently gave birth to my fifth baby. I consider myself a seasoned mom, and when it comes to baby gear, I’ve pretty much bought it all, sold it all, and bought it all over again. Side note, if there is even the slightest chance you may have a second, third, or fourth baby in the future… DON’T SELL YOUR SH*T.
You see I’ve made this mistake more than once, and I can assure you that (happy) accidents can happen, even multiple times, so do yourself a favor and hang on to every last piece of baby gear you own until the baby factory is closed FOR👏 GOOD👏.
I’ve had some time to reflect on what products really are worth buying (over and over again), and I am here to impart my baby crap wisdom to the world. And the truth is…. You really don’t need that much in the beginning. Diapers, wipes, obnoxiously big bows for your baby girl… These things are actually necessary. Wipe warmers, baby mittens, a grass countertop drying rack? Not so much.
So now that I am six weeks into life with my fifth infant, I feel as if I have figured it all out (ha, ha). So, without further ado, I present to you my top 5 baby must haves (in no particular order):
Ergobaby Embrace Cozy Newborn Carrier– I have tried A LOT of carriers throughout the years (the original Ergo carrier, Baby Bjorn, K’tan, Lalabu), and I haven’t been a huge fan of any of them. Neither have my babies. The Ergobaby Embrace is a game changer for me. It is soft like a wrap, but super simple to put on like a traditional carrier. Cora doesn’t fuss when I put her in, and she usually goes right to sleep. As a matter of fact, she is sleeping in it as I type at this very moment. If you are a first time parent, you may not know that newborns don’t like to be put down. They want to be held all of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love the baby snuggles and when I had my first son Jack, I literally sat in a chair 24/7 rocking him, feeding him, and holding him while he slept. Now that I have FIVE kids (7, 6, 5, 2, and 6 weeks old), I don’t have that luxury anymore. And although I am remarkably good at doing things one-handed, it can be quite challenging at times. And bonus, carrying a baby in a carrier instead of putting them down to sleep can help prevent the dreaded flat head phenomenon. If you’re like me and slightly intimidated by baby-wearing, give this carrier a shot. You won’t be disappointed. I have pink (of course), but the carrier also comes in blue, gray, black, and cream.
2. Philips AVENT Ultra Air Pacifier– I was given this pacifier with baby number four by a kind mother who recognized a moment of desperation at a preschool event for my oldest son. The audience was supposed to be quiet throughout the gymnastics presentation I was attending, but my newborn baby didn’t get the memo. This fellow mom sprang into action, dashed to her car, and returned with a brand new pacifier that she had on hand for emergencies. #momgoals She said it was the only pacifier her son would take. My baby took it with ease, stopped screaming/disrupting the program, and I was sold. With over 1,200 five star Amazon ratings and 98% nipple acceptance, this pacifier is a winner. Shown in pink but also available in blue.
3. Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle– These bottles are fantastic for several reasons, but above all else I love how simple and straight forward they are. Bottle, nipple, nipple ring. That’s all. Plus they come in several sizes, colors, and a range of nipple flows, too. In my experience, these bottles are quite durable, as well. If you are exclusively bottle feeding, I recommend stocking up!
4. Baby Brezza Instant Warmer– Let me just start by saying that I used the Baby Brezza Formula Pro with several of my littles ones, and it was freaking amazing, BUT, there are a few downfalls to this otherwise genius product. First of all, it is expensive. Also, you have to clean it a lot. Ain’t nobody got time for that (at least not in this house). And most importantly for me, I never trusted that my baby was getting the correct amount of formula powder. Any time they were fussy, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were being over/under fed by the contraption. Fast forward a few kids and boom! I found this water warmer on Amazon and bought it immediately. It is my current favorite baby product. Instead of using a traditional bottle warmer, which takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r and often leaves you with formula that is way too hot for your screaming LO to drink, this product heats the water to your liking (room temp, body temp, warmer than body temp) and dispenses it on demand 24-7. It maintains the water temperature all day and night, and I am here for it! It is about $50, and if you are a formula feeding mama, it is worth every dang penny.
5. aden + anais Essentials Swaddle Blankets– These are a long time favorite of mine. I still own a couple from my first son, and every child after that, too. I always buy a new pack or two when I have a baby. They are so versatile and soft, and the patterns are beautiful. Bring them to the hospital. Pack them in your diaper bag. Throw them in the stroller. You cannot go wrong with aden + anais swaddle (all purpose really) blankets.
And that’s a wrap, folks. All of my favorite baby things that I will finally be able to discard of/sell when Cora is a toddler, because I can now say with 100% confidence that the baby factory is closed FOR👏 GOOD👏.