About a Boy

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adorable formula fed baby

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.

European infant formula fed baby. Holle 1. Little World Organics

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.

organic infant formula from europe formula fed boy healthy and smart second grader

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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.

On-Demand Bottle Feeding

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Shop all Little World Organics formula here.

Bottle feeding organic European infant formula from Little World Organics

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.

This article was adapted from an article posted on www.kendamil.com.

Essential Bottle Feeding Items

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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.

Formula – Before your baby arrives, invest in a supply of formula to keep you going for at least the first month. Research the various formulas available, I would however suggest choosing a formula which is made with whole milk, palm oil and fish oil free and containing no GMO’s to ensure you offer your baby a formula which has a lower risk of causing issues such as colic-like symptoms and milk intolerance. Our most popular stage 1 formulas include Hipp Combiotic Stage 1 Ready to Feed Formula, Kendamil Stage 1 Organic Baby Formula, and Holle Stage 1 Organic Infant Milk Formula.

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?

soft organic cotton baby bibs
Organic Cotton For Sensitive Skin

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.

aden and anais baby bibs soft muslin
I am a sucker for anything muslin, and these aden + anais bibs are no exception (available in multiple patterns)

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.

The perfect pillow to support your arm while bottle feeding

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.

stackable formula dispenser for baby formula and snacking on the go
These are great for formula powder and snacks!

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.

Ten Popular Boys’ Names Inspire 101 Fresh Picks

By: Aimee Tafreshi

baby boy pic

Throughout my childbearing years, I have kept a list for potential boys’ and girls’ names. The girls’ list is about twice as long as the boys’ one. Girls seem to have a myriad of naming options, even borrowing from the boys (i.e., James, Wyatt, Hayden, Sawyer and McKinley) for a modern twist. There are gender-neutral girls’ names (Blair, Peyton, Quinn), retro girls’ names (Lottie, Lucille, Olive), frilly girls’ names (Lilliana, Annabella), exotic-sounding girls’ names (Catalina, Arabella) and made-up girls’ names (Brylee, Gracelyn, Julissa). But oh yeah, this column is about boys’ names…

In the boys’ camp, I could never come up with as many options as I would have liked. When my first child – a girl – was born, I almost named her Brooke. But I loved the name Brooks even more, and given my perceived dearth of boys’ options, I was thrilled to bestow the name upon my second child, a boy. When it came to my youngest son, my name options varied among stylish choices like Hudson and Emmett, classic options like Henry, and names that I felt a connection with like Beech (husband said no way!) and Blaine (the winner!).

As I delved more into the world of baby names, I discovered that there is a treasure trove of boy names just waiting to be unearthed. Boy names are great because there is a strong collection of classic names, Biblical names, (mostly) non-annoying trendy names and interesting word names that are ripe for the picking. As many of us parents are drawn to the same boy name choices, I have put together a list of 101 name alternatives to some of the most popular baby boy names used today. These names are inspired by the original and may share similar origins, sounds, letters or styles.

(Numbers in parentheses refer to a name’s popularity ranking on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) “Popular Baby Names” list; a name not followed by parentheses is ranked below the top 1000 most used boys’ names.)

1. Noah has enjoyed a presence in the SSA’s top 1000 baby names since 1900. In the mid-90s, Noah took off and began its ascent to Number 1, a position it has held the last two years. Noah calls to mind the biblical Noah, the character Noah from The Notebook and Noah Wyle of ER fame. It’s not surprising that this cool and softer-sounding name has climbed the ranks. For parents looking for a similar feel to Noah but wanting to avoid the most popular boys’ name in the country, consider these choices: Jonah (Number 138), Judah (Number 243), Nash (Number 364), Ronan (Number 366), Thaddeus (Number 732), Alton, Boaz (nickname Bo), Lazaro, Tobiah or Jorah.

2. Liam was a relative latecomer, breaking into the SSA’s top 1000 in 1967, after which it drifted in obscurity. The Irish Liam picked up its pace in the mid-90s and broke into the top 100 in 2006, now sitting high at Number 2. If you are after an Irish-inspired or softer sounding boys’ name, think about these cool names: Rory (Number 416), Rhys (pronounced Reese) (Number 483), Callum (Number 729), Cael, Cian (pronounced KEE-en), Corbin, Cormac, Deegan, Eamon (pronounced AY-mon), Edmund, Lyle or Rafferty.

3. James has an illustrious history on the SSA’s top baby names list as a moniker bestowed upon presidents, royalty, biblical figures and pop culture icons. James remained in the top 5 of baby names for a period of at least 80 years, beginning when the government made available these statistics from 1900. James reveled in the Number 1 name spot for 13 years straight from 1940 through 1952. This name titan once again returned to the top 10 list this year at Number 9, after a 21-year hiatus. For an alternative to the cool and durable James, consider the following strong and classic male names: Vincent (Number 104), Theodore (Number 126), Victor (Number 152), Edward (Number 160), Oscar (Number 183), Maximus (Number 192), Rex (Number 663), Seamus (Number 900), Magnus (Number 977), or Chester.

4. Elijah, a biblical and literary name, began gaining traction in the early ‘90s and steadily climbed to the Number 11 spot in 2013. I predict that Elijah will break into the top 10 and continue its climb to the top. For parents wanting to avoid an uber popular name but who desire a similar vibe, think about one of these promising names instead: Ezra (Number 119), Malachi (Number 179), Ezekiel (Number 181)/nickname Zeke, Atticus (Number 370), Enoch (Number 721), Ephraim (Number 928), Jericho (Number 948), Canaan or Jethro.

5. Aiden popped onto the top 1000 scene in 1995, perhaps influenced by the actor Aidan Quinn, who played Brad Pitt’s brother in a movie of the same year, Legends of the Fall. During Aiden’s meteoric rise to popularity, modern parents may have associated the name with Sex and the City character Aidan Shaw, Carrie Bradshaw’s amiable boyfriend. For those ready to give another name a turn, how about these pleasing to the ear choices? Cole (Number 116), Brantley (Number 120), Declan (Number 122), Bryce (Number 131), Rowan (Number 239), Joaquin (Number 326), Kellan (Number 385), Jensen (Number 395), Garrison or Stellan.

6. Although Gabriel (Number 24) has enjoyed a presence in the top 1000 since 1900, this biblical name has experienced its greatest popularity during the past seven years in the top 25. Gabriel lends itself to the friendly and preppy Gabe for a nickname, and I nearly gave both of my sons this name. However, its burgeoning popularity scared me off. For other parents afraid of a name becoming too in demand, try one of these viable alternatives: Micah (Number 109), Emmett (Number 156), Gage (Number 202), Gael (Number 213), Gideon (Number 349), Ellis (Number 443), Quentin (Number 471), Yael (Number 910), Bartholomew/nickname Bart or Galen.

7. Carter, a trendy surname name, achieved its highest popularity to date last year at Number 27. I predict Carter will continue its climb into the top 20 in the next few years. For those parents looking to distinguish their sons, here are some other upscale surname choices to add to your list: Harrison (Number 127), Dallas (Number 268), Knox (Number 286), Cruz (Number 290), Archer (Number 303), Anderson (Number 304), Dalton (Number 312), Walker (Number 327), Cohen (Number 342), or Porter (Number 368).

8. Though not (yet) in the top 10, last year Luke found its greatest popularity of record, climbing to Number 28. Many parents find Luke appealing for its biblical roots, cool vibe and simplicity. If you already know three baby Lukes, think about one of these new (or new again) choices: Nathaniel (Number 94)/nickname Nate, Jude (Number 162), Mark (Number 189), Peter (Number 204), Seth (Number 250), Rhett (Number 338), Malik (Number 376), Ace (Number 379), Tate (Number 388) or Piers.

9. Is the name Wyatt your huckleberry? With its western roots, Wyatt sits at its highest peak ever at Number 28, and I see it breaking the top 20 in a few years. If you want to keep the outlaw vibe, try Weston (Number 136), Maverick (Number 206), Jasper (Number 218), Beau (Number 228), Lane (Number 295), Colt (Number 339), Boone, Django, Townes or Wilder.

10. Hunter, a name that calls to mind a pink polo-clad lad sailing on Martha’s Vineyard, has hovered steady in and around the top 50 spots for the past 20 years. Though this name’s not completely played out, consider giving one of these dapper options a go: Blaise (Number 845), Dash (Number 951), Baylor (Number 958), Bridger (Number 986), Bishop, Bowie, Flint, Gentry, Ledger or Ranger.

Whatever your style, the only limits when it comes to naming boys is your imagination. There are plenty of untapped names that are within the bounds of good taste but not destined for overuse.

Aimee Tafreshi is a mother of three young children and former litigator who has contributed to Nameberry.com, Fé Fit and her own blog, aimeetafreshi.com. She also enjoys teaching Zumba in her spare time, seeking out Mexican food dives (in Florida!) and watching Texas football.

Baby Brain

Before I had a baby, I would roll my eyes at coworkers and friends blaming their forgetfulness and general stupidity on “baby brain.” If there is ever a time for excuses, pregnancy is certainly it. But after the baby is born and the first few months pass, I thought it was time to retire the new mother card.

The baby is born and your maternity leave is over… Pull your s**t together, I thought to myself…

To all of you other skeptics out there, I am living and breathing proof that baby brain does in fact exist. Since having Baby J, I am not only dumber, but clumsier and more forgetful, too. I literally cannot remember anything.

It has become a running joke in my fourth grade class.

Last week I informed my students that I would be creating their homework for the week instead of pulling it from resources we already have.

Their response?

“So we should expect mistakes, right?”

My response?

“Probably.”

I truly hope that my students don’t go home and tell their parents what a complete airhead they have for a teacher. Prior to every lesson I walk around in circles searching desperately for my book, papers, and/or handouts that I have somehow misplaced in the span of sixty seconds or less.

I often stand in front of the class waving papers in the air for everyone to see.

“Boys and girls? See these science notes that I am holding in my hand? I am putting them in my file cabinet. Does everyone see where I am putting them? Say it with me now. The science notes are in the file cabinet.”

My students are kind enough to leave Post-it notes all over the classroom for me.

Email my mom about homework.

Print an extra field trip permission slip.

Today is Tuesday.

And the dumb factor is way worse than the forgetfulness factor.

I make a ton of academic errors in class now, especially when it comes to math. I happen to teach the accelerated math class (how that happened I will never know), and the students are more than happy to point out my mistakes.

“Yes, I know that the answer is 24 and not 32, Caroline. I was just testing y’all to make sure that everyone is paying attention.”

My darling little students love to count how many “epic fails” (their term, not mine) I make in one day.

“How many epic fails do you think you will have today, Mrs. A?” they taunt. 

They also like to encourage me with treats. For example, if I have a day free of “epic fails,” they may bring me a bag of Goldfish crackers the next day as a reward.

This is what my professional career has been reduced to since having a baby.

And it’s no better at home.

I put clothes in the dryer and walk away without ever hitting the start button.

I dial a phone number and panic when the phone starts ringing, as I have no clue who I am actually calling.

I pull up to the grocery store on Sunday afternoon and wonder, “Have I brushed my teeth today?” For the life of me I can’t remember.

I leave for work with two different shoes on.

The list goes on and on.

Thank God it is Spring Break and I have some time to recharge. Maybe a little time off is just what the doctor ordered, because you know, the sixteen weeks I’ve already had off this year (maternity leave, holidays, & ice days) have clearly not been enough.

On another note, J’s six month pictures are finally here.

jack2jackjack

jack6jack7

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 9.36.20 PM

I meant to post them last week, but I totally forgot.