Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Our "Baby Formula"

I've mentioned before how sensitive our little guy is - his skin, his diaper area, his tummy. We are far from "solving" our little health puzzle, but we have figured out a few things along the way that I hope can help out any other parents struggles with sensitive little ones, as well.


We have formula fed Asher from Day 1. I know the online community can be a cruel place when it comes to this controversial topic, but please, no judgement or harassment on the subject. :) Why did we decide to formula feed? Well there were a variety of reasons. We basically weighed the pros and cons, and in the end we wanted to choose what would result in the best environment and health for OUR baby in OUR situation. We wanted to ensure the most stress-free household that we could. With our list of pros and cons, formula feeding was the choice that would best achieve this for us. I did my research and read up on both sides and am happy with our decision.

I am aware that certain antibodies found in breastmilk and not not in formula could help with allergies such as those to dairy, etc. Could. This does not mean his allergies are a result of being fed formula. There are lots of breastfed babies who have allergies and sensitivities whose moms have to cut out this that and the other from their diets. Just putting that out there.

Anyways, from day 1 we fed Asher formula. We started with Similac Advance Ready-to-Feed. A few weeks in, he started getting terrible gas during and after feedings, which were every 2-3 hours in the early weeks, so basically always seemed in pain. He also spit up A LOT (sometimes projectile, but not always) and we had to hold him upright after every feeding for almost an hour. We added gas drops to each bottle and this seemed to help with the gas pains. I'd say we were 80% better at most times. Then the ready-to-feed started to get SO expensive. We switched to the powder. Now, doctors swear up and down that there is NO DIFFERENCE. Umm...he would not eat that stuff at first and when he did finally take it, he writhed in pain with or without gas drops. We then tried Similac Senstive. No decrease in pains, increase in reflux. Great. Our doctor suggested Similac Soy. Oh My Gosh. He was like a different baby immediately. He took the whole bottle without mid-feed fussiness and had no grunting and groaning afterwards. He was happy! It must have been a milk allergy (not intolerance, there's a difference)! Now we don't even have to add gas drops. I have only had to use gas drops one time in a month!!! He does have an "earthy" smell to him now... my sister said he smells like birdseed - haha - but that is such a small price to pay for a happy and pain free baby. OH - and the poo!!! On the Advance, he had (sorry, TMI alert!) really watery poo. Now on the soy, it is normal consistency. That says A LOT to me that this was a great choice.

We were doing the whole 'pre-make-32-ounces-of-formula-at-a-time-and-refridgerate' thing, but then found it was much more of a hassle needing to warm every bottle. Now, we make it as we need it with water from the tap. This makes for a happy baby who does not have to wait too long for his food. Hurray!


Weird - when on the ready-to-feed, Asher had baby acne. When we switched to the powder, although he hated it, I swear it seemed to go away. Then on the powder soy, he has it again. :( Maybe it hadn't cleared up and it was in my head. I'm not going to switch him back to find out considering how much better he is now.

Also, his body washes seemed to irritate him. I tried many different kinds. Sensitive washes, fragrance and everything-else-free washes, organic rice milk wash... the only one that I have had success with after who knows how many dollars is the California Baby Super Sensitive Wash. It does stink that he never can smell like those yummy fragranced washes, but again, a small price to pay. His face is not beet red after baths anymore. Baby acne is still a 'sort-of' issue. It just might need time.


This is summed up by the cloth diaper posts I have made. They have made a world of a difference for us. He still gets a "red crack" - heehee - when he is sitting in his car seat for too long. This is from the heat and the pressure and goes away quickly. We don't have him in it that much.


Sadly, people have many opinions on what modern mothers do for their children. I'm not saying we have faced this, but lots of us have and will. No mother should ever be "bullied" for making decisions for their children - whether it is to feed her child formula or breast milk, to switch to soy, to cloth diaper, to give her child a pacifier, to potty train at a certain age, or to do away with all fragranced soaps, lotions, and wipes. In the end, all any of us want is a happy healthy baby. No mother makes these choices with anything other than great intentions for the benefit of her child. So if you make decisions for your child that are looked down on by anyone, I hope you remember this if you are ever confronted or made to feel like you are doing something wrong. You are not doing anything wrong. You are just loving and caring for you baby. :)

Actually, no one should ever do or say anything to hurt a new mom who is only doing what is best for her child. New mothers should be cherished - they are most likely going through a trying time and should be made to feel the absolute best about themselves, their baby, and everything else in their lives. With the prevalence of post-partum depression and everything else that may or may not come with the new mom territory, I hope that every new mom gets the respect and love that they need and deserve.

Phew! ;) Now cute pics...

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