Calling All Mom’s: Baby Bottle Conundrum

Ok, Momma’s…and of course Daddy’s too– this blog is going to be a little different. I’m going to review the bottles that I’ve tried so far for my little guy, but I’m going to beg ask for some help as well.

Here’s the situation, my wonderfully perfect adorable little boy will not latch to feed unless he is beyond desperate. Honestly, I’m probably not as disappointed about this as I should be because the few times he has latched it took everything in me not to cry at the amount of pain that came with breastfeeding. Instead, I have been exclusively pumping. Yes, I know what you’re thinking and to answer your questions:

  1. Yes, it is a pain in the rear end to have your day broken down into three hour periods.
  2. Yes, it still hurts…for me it’s not as painful as breastfeeding. I’ve found that using coconut oil during pumps s along with Lanolin cream in between each pump has saved my nipples– HALLELUJAH!!
  3. Yes, you get used to constantly smelling like milk (except for that brief period between when you get out of the shower and your next pump).

Anywho, here’s the issue– my kid likes to choke when we are feeding him. I’m not talking about a little cough kind of choke. I’m talking he can’t breathe, face turns red (we usually get him through it before he hits the purple stage), throw him forward and slap his back until he quits (and pray that he does) type of choke. It’s gotten to the point that we asked our doctor to show us baby CPR just so that we can be prepared, heaven forbid he gets that bad. My husband doesn’t like feeding him anymore because he freaks out when he does this, I do too but obviously, the kid has to eat.

We know the issue is that he is eating too quickly and somehow sucking in air which combined makes him choke. We can see it coming, so we try to pull the bottle out of his mouth to give him a chance to catch up with the milk in his mouth. Sometimes it works other times he tries to keep sucking on the bottle that isn’t there and ends up taking in more air which only makes it worse. We’ve tried feeding him sitting up, laying down, in just about every position you can imagine. Sitting up helps some, but hasn’t come close to solving our problems. He gets extremely gassy as well because of all of the air intake. It gets to the point that he screams for hours until he can get the gas out. Once he poops or toots he is immediately fine. Our doctor showed us different things we can do to help him when he gets like this: bicycling his legs, rubbing his belly clockwise, taking a warm bath, but none of this seems to help. I think if we could find the right bottle it would take away a TON of our stress and help our little guy to feel a million times better.

15183269We started out with the Munchkin Latch bottles. We chose these because they all had good reviews, a vent system, and mostly because we had friends that have used them and absolutely loved them. At first, we had no issues, the bottles were great. After about a week of being home from the hospital though we started having the choking problem. I put the three bottles that we had been rotating back in the cupboard and got the other three brand new ones out and discovered that it helped a lot. This told me that the wear and tear on the old nipples was enough that the nipple opening was now larger than it should be from washes and general use. For babies who don’t have an issue with eating too quickly it wouldn’t be a problem and you honestly probably wouldn’t even know the difference. For us, though it just wasn’t worth it.

On a side note, the bottle brush that comes with the Munchkin Latch set is AMAZING. It holds up great and there’s even a smaller tool that comes out of the bottom designed for cleaning nipples and all of the hard to reach places. We also purchased the bottle drying rack which has been perfect for us. It easily fits my pumping parts, bottles, pacifiers, and the reusable containers we have for storing milk. Each level spins too which is probably my favorite feature of it. There is also a cup in the middle of the top level to put the smaller parts in so they don’t get lost.

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I remembered that when we registered at Target I was given a bag of samples and coupons (which, FYI–was great). In that bag was a Dr. Brown’s bottle. I dug it out and we have been using that for the past week. It has helped a little with the choking, and a little more with the gas, but the problem is still there though. Overall though, I have been impressed with it. The nipple fits better into Paxton’s mouth which has helped a lot with air intake, but I know he is still getting some air. It’s easy assembly which makes it even easier to wash. I would recommend these bottles if your child doesn’t have the same issues as mine.

Desperate to find a bottle that would help Paxton slow down and not choke, I started researching. I was immediately overwhelmed and to be honest I still am. At one point I think I had at least 10 different bottles in my shopping cart to try because they all claimed to be “slow flow” and had great reviews. If I can avoid it though I’d rather not spend $100 trying to find the right bottle for him. If I have to I obviously will because it’s worth it to fix the choking issue but being on FMLA for 12 weeks with no pay puts a bit of a damper on my spending money. Right now I’m leaning towards trying Dr. Browns wide neck slow flow set only because we had some luck with the Dr. Browns Natrual Flow but I’m sure there are many other great options.

This is where you come in, I would LOVE to talk to anyone that could help. Which bottles do you use that work good and have a slow flow? Have you had any of these issues before, if so what did you do that worked, what didn’t work? Help a momma out here!

Feel free to leave your response in the comment section or even send me a message through the contact page!

Thanks in advance for helping me keep my sanity!

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Binky Sanity: Soothies

Soothies, infant pacifier
Soothies— the pacifier choice of what seems to be just about every hospital around here.

About three months ago I decided I needed to be super prepared for when our little one would be coming home. So I waddled around my house trying to picture all of the baby things set up…Pack n’ Play would go in the living room next to the window, swing would go in the only corner left that was big enough for it to fit in, I would need to bring his clothes and blankets downstairs since I was having a C-Section and wouldn’t be able to go upstairs for a little bit to get things. The list went on and on, then it occurred to me that I had no pacifiers in our house. In a panic I got on Amazon and looked up different kinds, I was immediately overwhelmed at all of the different options claiming to be the best.

I had opted for the Munchkin Latch bottles, we had friends that had their first child about a year before and that was what they used. Since we were new to this whole parenting thing we just copied them. While on my mad search for the correct pacifier (as if that even exists) I found that Munchkin Latch also had the pacifier that was the same fit as the nipple on their bottles. I had hit the jackpot, this kid was going to take a bottle like a pro and not get too addicted to his binky since it would be the same as the nipple on the bottle, right?!….ha! No.

I ordered enough binkys, as we call them in our house, to put in his nursery, Pack n’ Play, our bedroom, his swing, diaper bag, and then a few extras just to have since everyone told me we would go through them like hot cakes (which by the way we haven’t). I made sure I had the one in the diaper bag in an easy place to find for my husband at the hospital.

Finally the day came, and I was a nervous wreck. I had never had surgery before, yet one that I would be awake for. Shoot…if we’re being honest the worst I’ve ever had was 2 cavities and I refused to get numbing shots because I was terrified of the needles going into my mouth. Surgery ended up going good…after I threw up multiple times in the OR (it was their fault they gave me gross medicine to drink before going back, they should really work on getting better flavors). In the recovery room though is where our binky situation started.

Now, I didn’t realize that they give the baby a pacifier that quick after delivery. Once we got back to recovery one of the first questions I was asked was whether or not we were going to give him a pacifier. Thinking nothing of it my husband and I both said yes, then I blinked and there was a pacifier in my childs mouth. I didn’t think much of it, I was still drugged up pretty good and the last thing on my mind was that it was the wrong one.

Then we got back to the room, after a while the baby started crying so I asked my husband to get in the diaper bag and get our pacifier out instead of the one they gave him. He wanted nothing to do with it. I tried a few more times, but he was addicted to the Soothie.

I have nothing against these pacifiers, they actually work really well, and they’re teal/green so finding them in my beige house is pretty easy too. My kid obviously likes them, and they keep my sanity at 3 am when I don’t have a bottle warmed up ready to go and he’s screaming like he hasn’t eaten in four days when in reality his last feeding was 45 minutes ago. My issue is that I now have an entire bag full of the Munchkin Latch pacifiers that my child refuses to use because the nurse didn’t think to ask if we wanted theirs or not. Luckily I didn’t have to buy all new ones, I asked the hospital for some Soothies to take home on top of what they had already given us while we were there (so technically I guess I did have to buy them, and I probably overpaid for them but that’s what insurance is for, right?).

So whats the moral of this story you ask? If you’re nine months pregnant and have crazy pregnancy brain–yes, it’s a real thing– and you are dead set on what pacifiers your child is going to use (even though in the end it’s probably the last thing that matters) you should definitely talk to your doctor or hospital–or just do the easy thing and go with the Soothies in the first place.

 

Work Smarter Not Harder: Inbox Dollars




Today I want to talk about Inbox Dollars. Starting off with this site for my first post on “Online Money Makers” is important to me because this was one of the first survey sites that I tried- way back when- that I actually made some money on.

I’m always a bit skeptical with online survey sites because to me it seems like a lot of work for a little bit of money. I used to work at the public school in town and one of the middle school English teachers that I was an aide for always taught her students to “work smarter, not harder”. It was the best advice I had heard anyone give in a long time, and I figured that if it applied to sixth graders then heck, it could apply to me too. Survey sites however, never seem to fit with that piece of advice. Inbox dollars has so many options though that I found if I used the site right that it could.

Now I’m not saying you can quit your day job and make a living off of this site, but you can earn a bit of extra change to get you through the weekend. Below you will see a screen shot of my personal account that shows how much money I have earned that is yet to be collected.

Inbox Dollars Dashboard

Right now I am at $18.40, this might not seem like a lot (I told you that you wouldn’t get rich) but keep in mind that once you get to $30 you can cash out your money through a few different methods. Typically once I hit $30 I cash out with a Prepaid Visa just so that I have a little extra spending money. So really, my account never gets past $30. But cash that $30 out 4 times and you’ve made over $100.Inbox Dollars Cash Out Online Money Maker

As you can see, you will be able to get paid as quickly as that same day you request your balance, or if you’re more traditional and would rather have a check or prepaid card mailed to your home that is also an option. I also like all of the options for gift cards that they have as well. The selection is huge and is a good option if you are wanting to use your funds to for something specific. I do wish that you could request the gift card be physically mailed to you though instead of only being redeemable through computer, tablet, or phone. I would love to be able to have physical cards that I could use as gifts later on.

Now, you’re probably thinking that you get it– you can make some money off of this site. But you’re wondering exactly how you can do this and have it still be worth your time. The thing I love most about this site is all of the different options you have to earn money. I’m only going to go through a few of the methods they offer because these are the ones that I use the most to make my money. Keep in mind though that there are many different option available on this site.

Just by signing up you earn your first $5. This leaves only $25 left for you to earn before you can get your first payout.

Inbox Dollars Survey Site

First up is surveys, there are quite a few different ones that you can take for different amounts of money. I like Inbox Dollars for this because it tells you how long the survey will take along with how much money you will make. This helps me to determine whether or not it will be worth my time. I’m not going to participate in the survey that will take 41 minutes if I’m only going to earn .25 cents when the option right below that is a 16 minute survey that will earn me .50 cents, or even better yet a 25 minute survey that will earn me $1.50–again you want to work smarter not harder. Now keep in mind that you have to qualify for most surveys. This is the only part of this that I have found to be frustrating. Now that I’m a mom I qualify for a lot more than I used to. Being 25 married with a government job making average money didn’t get me a ton of surveys before though. I would go through the qualifying questions which took a minute or two of my time just to pretty much be told, thanks but no thanks. Eventually I learned which companies would more than likely want my input and when their surveys opened up I would take the time to qualify. If it was a company I knew that I normally was rejected from I didn’t even bother qualifying if I had already met my Spin & Win max spins for the day.

Billy's Spin & Win Inbox Dollars Online Money MakerScreen Shot 2017-08-22 at 2.11.56 PM

Now, one of Inbox Dollars extra features is whether or not you qualify for a survey they have a “Spin and Win Wheel”. So if you finish a survey then great you get to spin the wheel, but even if you don’t qualify you aren’t out that extra chance to win some money. They do put a limit on how many times you can spin the wheel per day, but I found that once I hit that limit I was sick of spinning the wheel anyways and it was getting to a point that the amount of time I was taking wasn’t worth it. So really the limit they put on it, in my opinion, is good.

Inbox Dollars Paid Email

Next up are the paid emails. These are exactly what they sound like; paid emails which you earn a penny for simply clicking on. I typically let these build up throughout the week and then at the end of the week I go through and spend five or ten minutes clicking. You see the money right go into your account right away. If you don’t want your inbox cluttered with these emails though I would create a new email specifically for sites like this. I used to go through my inbox and click the emails through there, which took extra time because I had to find all of them first and it just didn’t seem worth it. Now I just go to the mail button on my Inbox Dollars dashboard and you can find all of your emails in one place and it goes much quicker.

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The Offers and Easy Money sections are where you can make the most money the quickest. This is where you have the opportunity to complete free offers or earn money for signing up for various sites or even making purchases on different sites. If you can remember to check with Inbox dollars before making purchases your money can add up quickly through here. Above are a few examples of the different sites you can make money through. Sometimes the earnings take a few days to show up but I have always gotten paid.

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And last but not least– referring friends. This is a great way to earn a little extra. You will earn 10% of whatever your referrals make through Inbox dollars. All you have to do is get friends and family to sign up and show them how to use the site (if you’re nice)  and you will earn money without having to lift a finger after that. Now it’s not a lot unless you have a lot of referrals, but hey it’s free money so who can complain?!

Again, you’re probably  not going to get rich or be able to quit your day job, but the extra money you earn will be worth it if you budget your time right. Feel free to comment or shoot me an email through the contact form with any questions or comments you might have!

The Search for Sleep: Dream On Me Karley Bassinet

 

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Dream On Me Karley Bassinet

Having a newborn really puts a dent in the whole sleeping all night thing. Even if the baby sleeps good (meaning for more than two straight hours) I still have to wake up every three hours to pump. While I was pregnant I figured that I would breastfeed and then pump what was left that way if my husband or someone else needed to feed the baby they would be able to. Lucky for me my child had other plans. His first few days in the hospital the nurses were determined to get him to latch, apparently not breastfeeding while in the hospital isn’t an option. His first day he did amazing, second day–not so much. By our third day in the hospital my poor little guy was cranky and hungry. We finally got a nurse that told me to pump and then put whatever I got into a syringe and feed him that way since I wasn’t making enough milk yet to put into a bottle to feed him. Let me tell you, that made a world of difference. My little guy gulped down the little bit of milk I was able to provide him and started searching for more immediately. So now it takes a little longer at night when I wake up to pump because on top of that I have to feed and change the baby as well since he seems to be on my schedule.

For my first two weeks home I slept on the couch so that my husband wouldn’t have to wake up all the time since he had to get up early for work and I didn’t. Our couch is extra deep, I can fit myself, my husband, our eighty pound dog, and our beagle on it laying one in front of the other. It’s great normally, but right after having a C-section it makes getting off the couch a tad more difficult, not to mention sleeping on the couch is never more comfortable than your own bed. Paxton slept in his Pack ‘n Play bassinet right in front of me which was nice and convenient. After a few weeks though I was more than ready for my own bed. Unfortunately our Pack ‘n Play was just a tad to big to fit comfortably in our bedroom.

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My husband and I did research and came across the Dream On Me Karley Bassinet. I tend to gravitate towards buying items off of Amazon unless I can find it ridiculously cheaper somewhere else. I have a Prime account so the free two day shipping almost always makes it worth it to purchase from them. Even if I do end up going with a different company to purchase from I have found that reading the reviews on Amazon still helps my decision on whether or not to buy the product. To put it simply, it’s just easier. There are more reviews in one place on Amazon normally than anywhere else, I love that the users can take their own pictures so you can see firsthand what you’re buying.

The Dream On Me Karley Bassinet had 457 reviews when we purchased it, so if you are looking for more reviews than just mine it’s totally worth it to check them out. I did find it cheaper to order from Wal Mart, however the shipping estimate was 5 days out and well…I wanted to sleep in my bed as soon as possible. Amazon had 2 day shipping with Prime and I actually ended up getting my package before the estimated arrival time.

When we received the bassinet we were extremely pleased. We weren’t looking for a nursery feature or anything like that so the simplicity of this bassinet is wonderful.  The bassinet top zips together to keep baby fully enclosed so bugs or whatever else you want to protect your little one from will stay out. It took a few times for me to get the fabric on the zipper stretched out enough to be able to zip it without any hesitation from the zipper. I found that leaving it zipped all day for a couple of days while the baby wasn’t in it helped a lot. My zipper now zips without any issues. The reviews I read said that the mattress in it wouldn’t be comfortable, but I thought it was just as, if not more, comfortable than the Pack ‘n Play. There is also a hanging basket on the bottom that is great for storing items in once set up.

Set up itself was very simple. It arrives mostly put together, it took us maybe five minutes to get it out of the box and get everything put together. It is extremely portable so if we want to take it with us when we travel it will be great for hotels or even camping. It folds up pretty flat which makes storage and transportation easy.

Overall, I would highly recommend this product. It’s good quality, very portable, easy to set up and use, and a good investment if you’re looking for something affordable that will last.

 

Money Makers and Reviews

There’s nothing like poopy diapers, constant spit up, and sleepless nights with a screaming baby to make you not want to go back to work and stay home with that tiny human. I thought I would be more than ready to go back to work, but I’m not. Call me crazy but being a stay-at-home-mom and being able to still provide for my family sounds like an amazing–yet far fetched–goal. Like many families though, we can’t afford to live off of one income. My husband likes his cars, and I like to impulsively buy things when I shop online. Going down to one income would make it hard to buy groceries, let alone have any fun hobbies.

That’s the main reason I’m starting this blog. I want to go through the different companies and methods online that claim to be “money makers”. Along with that, as much as I like to spend money I also like knowing I’m getting the best deal. I will be posting my reviews on different items I have tried out and the best place I have found to purchase these items.

Being able to set your own work schedule, be your own boss, not have to worry about work place drama or that co-worker that you just can’t stand. Who wouldn’t love that? There are tons of “money making” schemes online that claim to make you rich. Most are just dead end roads and a waste of your precious time. It can get frustrating trying everything you come across in hopes of making that extra dollar or two.

This is where I come in, I want to make a space for you to be able to come when you find that next business that claims to be able to let you quit your day job. Don’t waste all your time giving them you’re personal information without knowing whether or not it will pay off. Come here, read up on the company or method, and then decide if it is the right fit for you or not

Whether or not you are dreaming of being a stay at home mom or you have no kids and just want the freedom, this is a good place to start to get honest reviews on these companies and know exactly what to expect in terms of whether or not you’re going to become a millionaire overnight or simply make enough extra money to have a fun weekend out (or in my case be able to afford a babysitter long enough to take a hot shower and pretend to feel like a human again for five minutes).

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to wonder around!