Better Safe Than Sorry

As many parents must know by now, there has been a safety recall for Fisher Price’s Rock and Play Sleeper.

This is a sleeper I have personal experience with, as my daughter slept in this very same sleeper for a week while we were staying with my In-Laws just three weeks after my daughter’s birth.

This comes on the brink of yet another infant death, a beautiful baby boy from a Virginia family passed away tragically, after rolling over in the sleeper. Naturally, after such a loss, mom’s everywhere were outraged and called for the product to be recalled.

Millions of the product are being recalled as over 30 infant deaths have been reported. This is an alarming number and my heart goes out to every single one of these families. The loss of a child is something no parent should ever have to experience, and I personally don’t think I would be able to live through it.

As parents with a new baby, every moment is overwhelming and we look for rare moments to ourselves. Exhausted, we long for a safe place we can lay our babies for even just twenty minutes so we can close our eyes. No matter how prepared we are, the constant duties of a new parent sweep us up and leave us feeling like we are caught in a wave, unable to swim to the surface.

I know this feeling all too well. When my daughter, now six months, finds something that piques her interest, I experience a joy that I can’t even explain. Because that means I may be able to get enough time to myself to use the bathroom alone or eat. Every parent has been there.

That being said, when we purchase a product of any kind, whether it is a product geared towards babies or towards ourselves, as a consumer, we take the responsibility to use that product as instructed in the manual. Every product has a manual that will tell us how to safely operate it. The manuals for most baby gear is oversimplified with pages and pages of warnings. Most of these products even have warning tags stitched to the product itself that can’t be removed. The perfect example of this would be our infant car seats where the tags are attached near the headrest and along the sides, not mere stickers that can be removed, but permanently attached to the fabrics.

When I had my daughter, I was over-cautious and extremely paranoid when using products. The baby swing we chose, I chose because it had more of a bucket seat, and it had a five-point harness. I walked the aisles of the store for hours, my husband trying to hide how annoyed he was as he pointed out swing after swing and I would wave it off. The full harness was important to me, because I knew there would be moments when I would walk away from that swing leaving my daughter unattended as I did chores or tried to do little things for myself. She was never left for more than ten minutes at a time, but so much can happen in a moment, and I wanted to take every safety precaution. Having that harness meant she was fully secured, and I knew, there was little chance of her being able to move out of that seated position she was strapped into.

My husband has read an article about a baby suffocating in the infant car seat, the cause, in that case, was the straps being fastened incorrectly, and because of this, my husband would not want to go out for long durations of time while she was in the car seat (best in mind the car seat was the seat in the stroller for almost four months). He even went so far as taking her out of the seat and carrying her when we were in the mall or out for the day, because he was so nervous.

As new parents, we are given this precious little thing and sent out into the world with it with almost no instruction. We try to remember every little thing we have ever been told about babies and what to do, while getting constant guidance (sometimes unwanted) as we go along.

I am part of a mom community on a social app, and on the day this story hit the news, there were several heartbroken moms sending out their thoughts and prayers and condolences out into the universe for this poor baby boy. Then, amidst it all, someone wrote a hard truth; This is extremely sad, but 100% preventable.

So close to a loss, it is hard to hear. We definitely don’t want to point fingers because at one moment or another, every parent will do something for the sake of their sanity and wellbeing. We will steal a moment, we will forget or forgo the safety straps on a swing or seat, we will look away while they are sitting on the couch, or in the tub. We are human, and there is always a voice in our head reassuring us that it’s only for a moment, only for a second, what could happen?

Sadly, the consequences could be higher than we would have ever dared to think.

I can’t stress enough how important the safety of our little ones are. Please, try to take absolutely every precaution when using products. Use all the necessary safety straps, read all the warnings, and follow the guidelines to using the products to ensure there is no risk when it comes to your babies.

For those who want products where you don’t have to fully supervise your baby, no judgment here, I absolutely get it, try to find something with a full harness that keeps your baby safely secured and limits their movements as to completely eliminate the risks while you are moving about out of sight.

 

*What’s written here is not to take place of the actual manuals for any products. Please use every product with care and read the supplied literature for the safety guidelines.*

Breast Pump Review: Medela vs. Evenflo

This afternoon I am running on empty since getting very little sleep last night. My daughter has caught a virus, doctor tells me nothing more serious than a cold. She has been extremely fussy the past few days, very clingy and giving me very little time to myself. I have been doing everything with her attached to my chest. Have you ever tried wiping yourself with a baby attached to your chest? It’s no easy task.

Exhaustion is setting in but I don’t want to fall back into the bad habit of going days, even weeks without a post. So here goes it, please try not to judge my poor grammar usage. I’m a new mom on the grind.

Here we go…

Since I was pregnant I knew without a doubt in my mind that I wanted to breastfeed. I wanted to do it to bond with my baby, and for all the benefits they say goes hand-in-hand with breastfeeding but if I am being completely honest, the main reason I wanted to breastfeed was to save money. 

As soon as my breastmilk came in, I realized my daughter wouldn’t feed enough to completely relieve the pressure and fullness of my breasts. I was leaking through those breast-pads insanely quickly, I was waking up with the bed soaked underneath me. It didn’t take me too long to realize that pumping was going to be a must. 

Off to Babies R Us we went to choose one out. 

I chose my breast pump based on two things. Number one thing was price. I wasn’t sure if pumping was going to be for me. I had read that a lot of women tried breastfeeding and pumping and it didn’t work for them so I didn’t want to purchase an expensive pump and end up abandoning breastfeeding altogether. 

The second thing I had in mind when purchasing was ease of use. 

I knew there were going to be nights when I got almost no sleep, was groggy and would have engorged breasts and all I would be looking for was quick relief. I didn’t want to have to assemble all these pieces, I didn’t want to fuss with it. I just wanted it to be simple and electric. 

Manual pumps just seemed like added torture, so I nixed the idea of those right away (even though the prices seemed enticing). 

Evenflo Advanced Single Electric Pump

I bought this pump at Babies R Us for $69.99 CAD. 

I had been reading about mommies who had been pumping for hours and only ended up fora few ounces of precious breast milk. I was nervous about my breast milk supply and whether or not I would have enough breast milk to succeed at my goal of breastfeeding throughout the first year of my daughter’s life. 

The pump is extremely easy to put together, and take apart to clean. I love that everything is in a single piece which makes it so easy to walk around with and shift positions without worrying about where the pieces are. 

There is a silicone rubber cover that goes over the nipple cover thingy (I know, super technical terms being used today) which I think is what makes it stand apart from the Medela Swing Single Breast Pump. It just gives the pump more suction. 

Sitting for about half an hour on each breast fills the little bottle the pump comes with every morning. It had me wondering whether or not there was a problem with women’s milk production or just the pump they were using. 

The pump only requires AA batteries or can be plugged in. I use the batteries so I can move around freely, and my couch is annoyingly not by an outlet. To clean it you simply pull the frosted plastic pieces away from the large white and teal piece and everything can be rinsed/cleaned in the sink (aside from the large piece with the battery pack attached. 

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. 

Medela Swing Single Electric Breast Pump

The Medela Swing Breast Pump can be purchased at a number of locations here in Canada, but it is available at Babies R Us for $199.99 CAD.

So you are probably wondering, ‘Well, if you liked the Evenflo pump so much, why did you even try the Medela?’ Excellent question. Long story short, I have constant baby brain and would forget my first name if you asked it to me and forgot to pack my breast pump when I went to visit my in-laws for two weeks. 

One of my husband’s cousins lent me her pump while I was there so I could get some kind of relief and because I had hoped to go out one or two nights while there with my husband and leaving my daughter without food, even for a few hours, is a recipe for disaster. 

I was thrilled with how easy it was to find someone to lend me a pump. As soon as I got it, I sterilized all the pieces I would be using and once everything was dry, I put all the pieces together and gave it a go. 

First things first, I didn’t see the point in that long tube. After using the Evenflo pump, that piece seemed kind of pointless. Also, I found that after sterilization it was pretty much impossible to get all the condensation out of that tube. I don’t know if that makes any difference in terms of how well the pump works since I was just borrowing the pump I didn’t have all the manuals and information.

I also didn’t like that it felt like a lot of separate pieces. You have the cone that you cover your breast with that connects to the bottle. The top of that cone piece connects to the tube which then connects to the circular control piece. 

Typically my pumping routine at home is first thing in the morning when my breasts are the most engorged. I will feed my daughter who usually drifts back off to sleep, then I will pump the remainder of my breastmilk out. As I mentioned earlier this is typically between 4-6 oz. I then pour the breastmilk from my pumping bottle into my Tommee Tippee Pump and Go Pouches

I LOVE these bags. The tops on them make them perfect to pour into the bottle of your choice without spilling, and they also make it extremely easy to pour breastmilk into without losing a single, precious drop. 

This has been my routine since I bought my Evenflo pump and I have gotten used to it. So you can imagine my surprise when I was using the Medela Swing pump, 45 minutes on one breast and I had barely gotten an ounce out of it. My breast was still engorged slightly and I could see the milk spraying out into the pump, so where in the world was all my darn milk going?

I am sure there will be women out there who say they love the Medela breast pumps and they worked perfectly for them. To those women, I say power to you, and keep at it. I think it is important for each and every woman to do what feels right and is best for them. I am merely hoping that for women starting out with breastfeeding that are unsure, the do opt to try the cheaper Evenflo pump to see how it works before breaking the bank on a Medela. If they don’t like it, it’s only $70 gone as opposed to $200. When you are a parent, every penny should count. 

Anyway, off to pumping.