Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Review

A little back story for those who do not personally know me or my situation in general: I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy back in October. The hospital that I gave birth in was less than helpful in assisting me with breastfeeding my child. It never has been an option, to me, to give my child formula. Despite the setbacks that we've faced during his two and a half months alive (and kickin'!) so far, I finally have begun to get the little one to latch on. It took me nearly 10 weeks to finally stop pumping (though I still have to on occasion, when he refuses!) so that I could truly experience what it meant to breastfeed!

During this time, I have had to deal with a myriad of problems ... Mastitis, from switching to pumping to breast-feeding, thrush, and most notably, cracked nipples. I'm sure this might be an awkward or uncomfortable topic for some women, but for me it's reality. And since I'm still working with the baby to get a proper latch (I had inverted nipples to begin with and he has a tongue-tie that hopefully will be clipped soon!), cracked and sore nipples are basically an every day thing for me to deal with.

When I asked manboog to pick up some crack cream for me, he brought home this lovely purple bottle; I think he chose the flashiest one that was available in the baby aisle for me. And so far ...

The Good: This stuff works pretty well! I would say I have a particularly horrible case of nipple cracking, and Lansinoh HPA Lanolin has helped me heal between feedings. The best part about this stuff is that you can leave it on even while the baby is feeding, unlike a lot of other creams and ointments designed to heal the sensitive area that is a woman's nipple. The lanolin is pure and 100% natural and safe for me and the baby.

The Bad: It takes a while for this product to get used to the temperature of your home. It was very hard to squeeze the lanolin out of the tube for the first handful of times I needed it. And when I did manage to squeeze a pea-sized amount of product out, before it finally was warmed up, it was unyielding and not particularly malleable. It is also nearly $10 in stores, but I feel that after the initial cost that it lasts so long that the price is reasonable to pay.

The Verdict: I would probably have bleeding and incredibly sore nipples if I didn't use Lansinoh HPA Lanolin. I'm not kidding. This product has facilitated the breastfeeding experience for my son and I tenfold. I would easily recommend this product to any mom struggling with the horror and pain that is nipple cracking.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer Review

For the most part, I am a mother that likes to snuggle with her baby. A lot. A heck of a lot, actually. But sometimes, I need to get things done that are impossible to do even having the baby wrapped up in a sling. And for these times, I have relied on the Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer.

The Good: This thing is soothing. It really is. If babyboog's being unruly, is inconsolable, or needs to hang out in an upright position somewhere he won't tip over, the Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer is the first thing I go to. The vibration is strong, but not strong enough to jostle the baby. It also comes with a strap that keeps the baby in one place; two side straps connect to a thicker, stronger clip that secures over the baby's pelvis. I have tested the security of the harness out by pushing the seat into a wide bounce, and it passes the test! The colors of the fabric and the lights are bright and fancy. I am in love with the fact that the bouncer not only plays chipper 'baby' sort of music, but has the option to turn on rainforest sounds as well! The playful cover is removable and washable, thank heavens, and soft, to boot! The bouncer is also incredibly light weight and sturdy for its design.

The Bad: There isn't much I can say I dislike about this product. The biggest drawback is the fact that the lights, sounds, and vibration run on four D batteries. Manboog and I have stopped using the lights and sound so we can conserve for what we feel is this item's biggest boon: the vibrating; we feel the baby is still a little too young to appreciate all of the bells and whistles of the bouncy seat. The weight capacity of this seat is only 25 pounds, too, so I will be quite the sad momma when the baby outgrows it!

The Verdict: This seat is amazing. I am in absolute love with it, and I am so glad my mom picked it up for the baby! It has given me piece of mind - when I need to use the restroom or clean up and don't feel safe toting the baby around in his sling, I am given a piece of mind and am reassured that he is completely well-kept in the Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Colic Calm Review

I remember furiously typing 'colic relief' into Google search and hoping to whatever powers may be that I would be able to find some sort of respite for Sol when, during his first few fledgling weeks of new life, he had colic. And he had it bad. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with a baby who has a meek or mewling cry; this kid has a set of pipes and lungs on him that would probably scare the hair off of a witch's nose mole. His painful, constant shrieking for hours on end without me being able to comfort him was many times too much to bear and so, I searched. I tried everything: I rubbed his belly, bicycle-stretched his legs, stopped eating dairy, vegetables that made me gassy, everything, and not a stinking thing worked.

So, finally, I gave in and bought Colic Calm. I will admit to being a fan of homeopathic remedies as opposed to conventional Western medicine. I feel that nature provides the necessities in order to heal oneself of their ailments, so after discovering this product, I decided it was very much worth a try.

The Good: Almost instantly (which is less than 5 minutes for a mom who has been listening to a baby scream for hours on end), this stuff works. You have to initially titrate the doses, increasing in small increments until you finally reach the suggested dosage. It worked well and I used it (and sometimes still use it!) very, very often.

The Bad: This stuff is a tar black liquid, due to the activated charcoal present within the ingredients. And it stains. Horribly. That's not to say the manufacturer doesn't let you know to begin with that it stains, but good golly, this stuff ... stains. On top of the staining (even in the baby's poo!), which is bound to happen since babies love to regurgitate, and even after a few hours, can still have little streaks of black in their lovely spit up, this stuff is expensive. It is not very economical at all; a 2 ounce bottle, which can be anywhere from 24-48 doses, dependent upon age and weight, (when you can give up to 6 doses per day), is not going to last you very long at all.

The Verdict:
Despite the price, I know some moms (myself included) are willing to stain their baby's clothes, their clothes, the furniture, the carpet, the dog, as well as willing to pay 20 bucks for the piece of mind and temporary relief this stuff will give. It worked like a charm for what I consider to be a severe case of colic. If you have the money available, and are at your wits' end with needing something to relieve your poor child's colic, I would definitely, definitely recommend Colic Calm.

The First Years Breastflow BPA Free Baby Bottle Review

Manboog and I have been trying very hard to find a bottle for the baby that does not let him suck down all the milk I pump in one swift guzzle. Seeing as I have been also trying to promote him to better latch onto me, I saw The First Years Breastflow BPA Free Baby Bottle for sale at our local Wal-Mart and decided that the 4 or 5 bucks I was going to spend to try the bottle out was worth it.

The Good: This bottle really does mimic breastfeeding, at least in the highest capacity that a bottle might. The nipple collapses and resembles a 'sandwiched' boob, both upper and lower lips flange out (as they do when a baby is properly latched upon a breast) and the very tip curves up after being sucked upon by a voracious little monster (like my son). The measuring scale on the side is dark and, with quite a few washes, the numbers and lines have yet to fade. Overall, the bottle does what the makers say it will do as well: less colic, fussiness, gas and spit up. I have noticed quite a few less spit-up accompanied belches from the little man and towards the end of the bottle, and sometimes even in the beginning or middle, he will fall asleep, just as if he were at the breast. I truly believe this helps him not overeat; the fact that a baby has to work to suck and get the milk out of the bottle, I feel, very much assists in the true capacity that a baby's stomach might have at that moment, causing less stomach bloating, discomfort and all of the mess that goes along with overeating!

The Bad: That's not to say I don't have a few issues with the First Years Breastflow BPA Free Baby Bottle. The fact remains that the bottle is -bulky-. It is large and almost too large for me to comfortably hold while feeding the baby. It makes the bottle also hard to store with freezer packs if I have to go anywhere, since most of the bags used to keep bottles cold are meant for slimmer designs. Also, when the baby is sucking and sandwiches down on the nipple, a lot of the milk gets stuck inside the nipple and within the blue plastic insert that goes inside (which is the mechanism to make a baby suck harder). And, because the bottle is so plump, it is also a pain to angle it enough to get all of the milk out without laying the baby down, which is a no-no (or so sources say) if you want to help prevent ear infections for your child. There are extra parts to clean, and for some reason, the plastic that comprises this bottle retains a milk smell, even after a good scrub. Hopefully that will disappear after a rinse in the top rack of the dish washer!

The Verdict: While Sol has experienced less gas associated with drinking expressed milk from a bottle, the bulky design and the fact that there almost always seems to be milk that gathers in the wide nipple that is unable to come out bother me. If he continues to do well with this bottle, I suppose I will have to suck up the fact that the aesthetics do not please me and that a little milk (about a half ounce) is wasted nearly every time, no matter how hard the baby sucks. I would say this bottle is worth a shot and that maybe, after being spoiled by not having to work hard to get milk out of the previous bottles we have used, that Sol might just need to get used to working his jaw harder for that delicious boob-juice. The First Years Breastflow Bottle would probably be a great way to introduce a breastfed baby to a bottle and so far, despite my son not being exclusively on my breast at every feeding, he has done well compared to everything else we have tried.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pampers Swaddlers Review

I enjoy trying different diapers out. I think every mom is on the quest to find the right diaper for them, and the right diaper for their baby. Since Sol was born, we've tried a plethora of different diapers.

Originally, our plan was to go the cloth diaper route; I have a bunch of diaper shells and covers, I just never bought liners and it is probably a good thing I didn't, at least for now. That's not to say I don't have guilt for using disposable diapers, since I know they take so very long to erode within landfills ... but at the same time, the hospital stays we have had to endure, on top of all of the other medical issues with the baby, I think it is best, at least until he starts eating solids, to continue on this path.

That being said, Pampers Swaddlers were the first diaper that my child was ever put into. They are everywhere in the hospitals. Now, I realize every baby is different, and every situation is different, but aside from maybe receiving sponsorships from the company for the hospital, and their yellow-to-blue indicator for wetness, I'm not sure this is the best choice, at least for us.

Here's the good and the bad:

The Good: Swaddlers are pretty unique in that they have a yellow strip that turns blue when a baby is wet, which is very helpful in determining whether or not your child needs a diaper change. They also consist of an inner mesh, which reminds me of a (sorry for any men reading this) woman's menstrual pad, which seems to lend the diaper a bit more staying power in the, "We're out and about, I haven't checked my baby's diaper in a little while, oh God I hope he isn't leaking" department. They hold up fairly well and are durable ... for the most part.

The Bad: I hate to be critical of anything, but where Pampers Swaddlers are great at catching and keeping urine in them, they have had a tendency, with my child, for the poop to leak out. And when your baby has that liquidy, seedy breastmilk poop, it never makes for a good time. The one thing that the Swaddlers seem to lack is a lining at the diaper's back, that makes it more uniform to a child's hindside, to keep icky messes in. I would add to this that the diapers' leg holes also can leak baby poop very easily; I find I have to latch the diaper very tightly in order to deter this, which can lead to the infant's discomfort.

The Verdict: Pampers Swaddlers would be the best diaper I've ever used, if only they would add a body-forming lining at the back of the diaper and tighter leg seams to keep the more interesting and violent of baby messes cooped up within the diaper. The baby and I have had our fair share of clothes ruined because of rather explosive messes finding their way out of the back, and also down the leg holes.

For newborns, this is not really a problem as their meconium is thick, tarry, and not overly viscous. I would also say that for newborns, these diapers are not a horrible choice; they are a good learning tool for parents and they also help mom and dad keep track of dirty and wet diapers more easily, which is very important in making sure a baby is receiving adequate amounts of food at every feeding.

I would recommend these diapers to parents of newborns, for sure, but I would not recommend them fully for children over one month of age.

Motherly Reviews

Hello there, everyone! This is my first blog post for my review website. I'm going to be reviewing, as my little tyke grows, products that we purchase and those bestowed upon us by gracious sponsors.

Babyboog is currently 2 months and 1 days old; time really does fly. Since we in this household strive to try new things, I have, over the course of his short life, used more diapers, wipes, clothes, pacifiers, bottles, and so much more, than I care to admit! I can only imagine that this product list will grow more and more as he ages, and as manboog and I might add to our little roost. :)

I hope everyone finds these reviews informative and helpful when trying to make purchases online. I will be objective and review items for what they are; if I have had a bad experience with a certain line's diapers, I will not necessarily hold that bad experience against another product of theirs.

I strive for ease, to be as 'green' as I might (with the exception of diapers! I will be switching to cloth as soon as the baby's poops are a little more solid. 8D), and for all around contentment in this household! I hope that what I might find out about certain products will help other moms, dads, and families in general make educated decisions about products they may be considering purchasing.

So, here goes!