Tag Archive | Infant

The Wandering Pacifier

Three Thursdays ago, I took Shlomo with me to see an apartment in a different city.  By the time I got back, I had a migraine.  I met Yitzchak at the Central Bus Station, and he offered to take Shlomo back with him, to get the stroller.  (I had left the stroller with Yitzchak, so I wouldn’t have to drag it with me on the intercity bus.)

Shlomo and Yitzchak walked off, and I caught a bus home.  I had about 45 minutes of quiet, and then I heard the two of them coming back.  As soon as the door opened, Yitzchak said, “Did you give me his pacifier?”

“Yep,” I said.  “It was in his mouth.”

“Well, it’s gone now,” said Yitzchak.

Oh, well.  The clip was starting to break anyways, and the pacifier, even though it was still good, was a few weeks away from needing to be replaced.  So be it.  Pacifiers come in packages of two, so we took the second one and gave it to Shlomo.

pacifier, tree, lost pacifier, wandering pacifier, baby, toddler,

For illustrative purposes only. Courtesy of Google Images.

Fast forward a week and a half.  The phone rings.  It’s Yitzchak.

“Chana, guess what?”

“What?”

“Guess what I found?”

Nu, stop keeping me in suspense already.  “What did you find?”

“I was walking outside, talking on the phone, and suddenly I looked up, and there was Shlomo’s pacifier and clip, hanging from a tree.”

What?!?!

He brought it home.  We washed the clip and the pacifier.  The clip is in use, but we still have to sterilize the pacifier – it was kind of gross . . .

A Bone to Pick: More on Nursing vs. Formula

I am planning to spend a day taking pictures, and then to spend a while posting pictures and commentary on life in Israel.  But before I do that, I want need to rant, get this out of me, and move on.

I have a [huge] bone to pick.  It has been bugging me since Shlomo was a couple of months old, over a year ago.  If you are super-sensitive and do not agree with my standpoint on nursing vs. formula feeding (read this to see if you do), stop right here, and do not read the rest of this post.  You’ve been warned; don’t say I insulted you.

Disclaimer:  I am not speaking, in this post, about the mothers forty years ago, thirty, or even twenty-five.  I am speaking about the mothers that I meet on the street, who are my peers, and are supposed to know (but evidently don’t) what I am about to write. 

I am also not referring, in any way, shape, or form, to mothers, or babies, whose doctors have informed them that they have specific medical needs that impede breastfeeding.  If you cannot breastfeed for a medical reason, either yours or your baby’s, that is what formula is for, and I support you completely.  Please do not read this post; it is not meant for you.

Now, back to the beginning:  I have a [huge] bone to pick with mothers who choose to formula feed.  It began when I started getting comments on why I was not feeding my baby formula.  I got even more annoyed when these same people started deriding me for continuing to nurse.  And I got extremely annoyed (even though, to my credit, I always kept my cool) when they started telling me that they knew more than I did, because they were pregnant again, or had already had two, when our [first] babies had just turned one.

I’m sorry; having two babies in one year (plus or minus) is nothing to be proud of.  No, it’s not.  Just forget it.  If it happens, it happens, but it is far from ideal, by any standard (including religious standards).  (Yes, nursing really does can work as birth control – more on that later.)

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from Green Grub Wellness

If I am right, and I know I am, do NOT put me down for it.  It annoys me (but does not, in any way, deter my determination to nurse).  It makes me want to ban formula from being sold in supermarkets and make it prescription-only, with each OB/GYN, psychiatrist, and pediatrician allotted a certain number of prescriptions per month, and no overlaps (i.e., you cannot receive a prescription from more than one doctor, and you are allotted a certain number per year).  If you choose not to nurse, the least you can do is not flaunt it; flaunting the fact that you chose, of your own free will, to do something harmful to your child is disgusting and absolutely repulsive.  That’s first off.

Second of all, do not tell me that I am wasting my time and energy nursing and pumping, because you know so many babies who were formula fed and were fine.  You just end up sounding like an ignoramus (to put it nicely) who is talking about things that she obviously has never researched.  If you knew what you were talking about, you’d know that breast milk is the best, with only a few extreme medical exceptions (such as the mother being addicted to drugs, on certain medications, or a baby who is extremely lactose intolerant), and that there is a direct correlation between formula and all sorts of health problems.

And third, do not tell me that your baby is just as well off as mine is, even though he’s being formula fed.  Go get a life, and get an education.

Sure, we all know some breastfed babies who were sick a lot, and some formula-fed babies who are hardly ever sick.  Well, first of all, anecdotes do not make evidence.  Second, imagine what would have happened if the breastfed baby, who seems to always get sick, had been formula fed.  He would’ve been a lot worse off than he is now, and a lot sicker.  You can’t know, when your baby is born, whether he will have food sensitivities and frequent ear infections, or not.  And because you can’t know, you have to give your baby the best stuff you can – i.e., breast milk – so that he can grow up as healthy as possible.

benefits of breastfeeding, composition of breastmilk, breastmilk, breastfeeding, nursing, formula, bottlefeeding, breastfeeding vs. formula, advantages of breast milk, disadvantages of formula, breast is best, breastmilk is better than formula, formula is not good for your baby, formula is not good enough, why formula is good, why breastmilk is good, healthy babies

from Ten Steps

If it turns out that your baby has sensitive skin and allergies, be glad you’re breastfeeding, because he’d be worse off without it.  And if it turns out that your baby is pretty healthy, then think how much healthier he’d be, in the long run, if he had been breastfed.  Did you know that Crohn’s, which shows up in young adulthood, affects nearly double the number of young people who were formula-fed as those who were breastfed?  There are many other illnesses that are the same way.  Obviously, this doesn’t mean that breastfed babies won’t get sick later on, or that formula-fed babies will.  It just means that these are the facts, and you can weigh the risks of formula for yourself.

If you choose to formula-feed your baby, you are taking a serious gamble with his or her future health.  Don’t tell me that formula is good for your baby, or that I should stop nursing.

If you would like to see my sources, click on all the links.  Some of them are more informal, but some are pretty impressive.  All of them together are a small part of the wealth of research supporting breastfeeding and showing how formula is harmful.

Want to know why I think it’s my business how other people feed their babies?  Click here.  It’s long, but it states all the reasons I would have given you, in addition to others that I didn’t even think of.

For your information:  I Googled “formula is better than breastfeeding,” just to see the other side of the argument, and came up empty-handed.

Here is an understated summary of how breastfeeding benefits babies:

benefits of breastfeeding, composition of breastmilk, breastmilk, breastfeeding, nursing, formula, bottlefeeding, breastfeeding vs. formula, advantages of breast milk, disadvantages of formula, breast is best, breastmilk is better than formula, formula is not good for your baby, formula is not good enough, why formula is good, why breastmilk is good, healthy babies

from The Alpha Parent

Pushing Off Appointments

appointments, doctor appointments, calendar, appointment calendar

I have to make an appointment for Shlomo at the Tipat Chalav (the birth to age six health and wellness center, where they give vaccines, routine checkups, and screenings).  And I’ve been pushing it off, because every time I think about it, I get annoyed.  Why?

Well, first of all, it is an annoying [steep] uphill walk from where I live.  Granted, Yitzchak makes this walk almost every day, to go to the mikva. (I say “almost”, because sometimes he has to skip, and sometimes he goes in a different mikva, near where he is studying.)  I am not Yitzchak, though, and he is not walking uphill with a stroller when he goes.  Also, I tend to walk fast, which is good, but can wear you out early if you’re not careful.

Second of all, I am not thrilled with this branch of the Tipat Chalav.  Each family is assigned a branch based on where they live, and it is pretty much impossible to change branches.  Here’s why I’m not thrilled:

1) When Shlomo was eight and a half months old, we went in to make up a missed vaccine (more on those later).  The nurse weighed and measured him, and told me that he had gone down in percentile, even though he had grown since his last visit, at six months.  She also told me that to raise his percentile and make sure he was getting enough to eat(?!?!?! he’s been gaining weight steadily,he’s happy, and other than his size, he’s perfectly normal, thank G-d, and even a bit ahead at 8.5 months), I should give him a few ounces of chicken a day. Lady, what do you expect?  First of all, you are not asking for the background information:  We switched his nursing schedule drastically two weeks ago, and he hasn’t quite gotten fully used to it yet.  And, percentile isn’t everything: this kid has two tall, slender, parents, who both held to the lower end of normal for weight for most of their lives, and at one point, either during puberty or pre-puberty were slightly underweight.  So, I don’t care too much that he dropped in percentile.

Second of all, most babies in this country do not nurse past one month, usually not past three months, and certainly not past six months.  Yes, some do, but it is not common, at all.  In fact, it is so uncommon that I might venture to call it rare.  And, as we all know, in order to receive enough nutrition from formula, a baby needs to eat a lot more of it – and often, it makes babies slightly fat.  So again, percentile doesn’t matter too much here.  Compare him to other breastfed babies, and I might think differently.

And third, he is sick of nursing.  It takes too long, takes too much effort, and he knows that he can fill his tummy on something else.  So, we are literally fighting just to keep him nursing.  Give him chicken?  Right.  Then for sure he won’t want to nurse.  And I’m really sorry, Mrs. Nurse, but he needs my milk more than he needs any other food at this point.  Talk to me again after his birthday.

2) At Shlomo’s one-year checkup, we got a second nurse, who told us that she was giving him his MMR vaccination.  That was fine; that was why I had come.  Later on, I looked at his vaccination record to check something else, and realized that she had given him, with the MMR but without telling (or asking) me, the chickenpox vaccination.  This is a vaccination that we were on the fence about, for various reasons.  We had decided to push it off.  And she gave it to him, without permission?!?!  No matter what I would have done or would not have done, now or later, you don’t do anything to a child without his parents’ permission.

3) One of my friends asked the nurse at her branch (she’s not my neighbor, so different branch) a question, and the nurse told her outright that they have books with statistics and charts, and that is what they go by.   They don’t know anything except for the protocols in their books, so she can’t answer my friend’s question.  Very impressive.

Oh, and my last nitpick about the clinics?  They have formula advertisements everywhere.  Great environment for mothers, right?  They apparently offer lactation consultant services, too, but their services usually do not help a mother who is struggling to keep breastfeeding, and most mothers who turn there for help end up formula feeding.

So, given all of this, is it any shock that I do not want to take him back until I have to, for his last set of [early childhood] vaccinations?  I think not.  But, I will make the appointment and take him anyways, because a professor that I respect told me that even though he’s probably fine (and she said specifically that she doesn’t see a problem, thank G-d), I should still get him checked out.

Please take my poll!  Thank you.