• Amazing Moments With Dove

    Amazing Moments with Dove | Oh Lovely Day #partner

    Since everyone I know seems to be pregnant, getting engaged, or getting married right now (hello, baby and wedding season!), I have been reflecting on those amazing moments of my life. The last eight years have given me one proposal, one wedding, seven years of marriage, and the birth of three sweet sons — each moment involved a lot of time and planning and blood, sweat, and tears, but also lots of joy and love. Most of life’s amazing moments — those proposals, weddings, births — are the ones that make us sweat (figuratively and literally!)

    amazing moments with Dove | Oh Lovely Day

    That’s why I’ve partnered with Dove to share how we can embrace these amazing moments that make us sweat. If you haven’t seen the brand’s new Amazing Moments campaign, Dove puts its Clinical Protection Antiperspirant to the test during a real woman’s surprise proposal. And what happens in the film is pretty amazing. Too bad we can’t be as prepared for the tears as we can be for the sweating!

    Some of life’s amazing moments are a total surprise. I’m someone who likes to be prepared for whatever those moments bring my way — from wedding planning and preparing for what I needed on my wedding day to registering for baby and packing my hospital bag. Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant is a must for every occasion. It has been tremendously helpful during my postpartum hot flashes and night sweats too (if you’ve been there, you know…) because it offers clinical-strength wetness protection and has ¼ moisturizers to care for skin.

    How do you prepare for the amazing moments in life that make you sweat?
    This post is sponsored by Simply Stylist and Dove but the experience and opinions are my own.

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    7 Tips for Dealing with Infant Acid Reflux and Our Experience with Reflux and Colic

    tips for dealing with infant reflux 3

    If you read this blog regularly or follow me on Instagram, you are probably well aware of our struggle with infant acid reflux with our third baby. It has been so so hard and I know that when I was in the thick of it I spent so much time online looking for answers. So I thought that if I shared our experience, the signs and symptoms that Quincy showed early on, and what ended up working for us that maybe I’ll help another exhausted momma out there googling for answers on her phone while she’s nursing like I did.

    Looking back, Quincy showed some signs of reflux right away, while we were still in the hospital (we had to stay an extra week due to some delivery complications and an infection.) I remember the nurse coming in to give Quincy medicine and he would make this sound like he couldn’t breathe – like he was gasping for air. The nurse and I both made mention of it like it didn’t seem normal, but he was fine otherwise. The gasping got worse later on and I realized that basically anytime I gave him medicine or when he would nurse that often happened and I think it was because stuff was coming up due to reflux, and it made him feel like he was choking when we were trying to get something else down.

    tips for dealing with infant reflux 2

    By two weeks old, Quincy had full-on colic. Like screaming for hours, not sleeping, writhing in pain colic. It was horrible. We went to the pediatrician and heard “sounds like colic. He’ll grow out of it eventually.” But since this was my third baby and not my first my gut told me it was more than that. I just knew something was causing the colic — it was a symptom of something bigger, not the main issue. I now strongly believe that colic is usually a symptom of severe gas, reflux, food sensitivities or allergies, or a combination. Seriously, if you think your baby has colic or if he or she is showing colic-like symptoms (prolonged and pained crying for hours, multiple times a week, for at least a week) I would try the tips below and see if there is any improvement. Your baby (and you) do not have to suffer and just “wait for him to grow out of it.”

    The first thing I did after doing some research online and talking with some mom friends was cut dairy. I should mention that Quincy was (and still currently is) exclusively breastfed (if you formula feed, there is dairy in regular formula as well, so switching to soy or a more hypoallergenic formula like Nutramigen or Alimentum may help (and I’ve heard buying it on Amazon is way cheaper – ask your pediatrician she thinks it is right for your baby.) I also started trying out some products to help him with his gas pain (you can see a full post on that and other colic helpers here.)

    tips for dealing with infant reflux

    After about a week of cutting dairy, I saw a drastic improvement in Quincy. While he still had colic-like fussy periods (especially in the evening or if we tried to go somewhere and he was in the infant seat) he wasn’t screaming inconsolably for hours on end anymore. He never showed signs of a full dairy allergy (no blood in his diaper, for example) but I do think he had a sensitivity and it was exacerbating the reflux that we didn’t yet know he had.

    After cutting dairy and using things like the Windi, Gerber Soothe drops, and an all-natural colic tonic for a couple of weeks, Quincy was good more often than not. But he was spitting up a ton, would still scream if he was laid down within an hour of eating (he really couldn’t be laid flat ever), and absolutely hated being in his infant seat or anything that put him in a curled position. He also would wake himself up with hiccups or spitting up about two hours after feedings. While he spit up breastmilk during and after feedings, he spit up a lot of clear fluid a couple hours after feedings, which is even more indicative of reflux.

    He also showed the following signs/symptoms:

    • raspy/gurgling breathing
    • coughing/choking, especially when put down or after eating
    • smacking his mouth and grimacing
    • sounded like he was congested but wasn’t sick
    • would often rub at his nose/mouth area like something was bothering him
    • could not be put down or laid flat without crying/screaming within a few minutes
    • would sometimes have milk come out of his nose when nursing and/or choking when nursing
    • arching back and stiffening neck
    • lots of spitting up, trouble burping (you’d really have to burp him for a while and if you put him down before he was able to burp things would get worse), hiccups

    Reflux babies are also often underweight, but Quincy was the opposite. He would nurse more frequently because it helped soothe the burning, but then that would also make the reflux worse. Some babies don’t want to nurse because they realize that is causing them pain. But he was gaining weight well. So don’t think yours can’t have reflux just because they aren’t having trouble gaining.

    tips for dealing with infant reflux 4

    I also realized that the reason Quincy screamed anytime I tried to put him in the stroller or car was because his infant seat curled him into a position that made his reflux even more uncomfortable. I thought it would be ok, because he was in a position that kept his head elevated, but it made him worse. And I tried a couple different infant seats — the brand didn’t make a difference because they are all basically designed to have baby in the same position, which unfortunately puts pressure on their tummies.

    So if this sounds like your baby, then here are the things that I did that worked for us. Maybe some of these tips or products will work for you too.

    1. Cut dairy. I also limited (ate but in small quantities or infrequently) soy, citrus, caffeine (I was having one cup of coffee in the morning and maybe one later in the day if necessary), chocolate, and eggs. A few of my favorite non-dairy substitutes or dairy free things are (aside from the obvious fruit and veggies): Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chunks, Earth Balance non-dairy butter, Back to Nature Peanut Butter Creme Cookies, Oat Mama Peanut Butter and Chocolate bars, Silk Almond Milk Creamer, Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars.
    2. Elevate baby when sleeping. Quincy slept swaddled in our Rock-n-Play until he was 4 months old. It was a lifesaver. I highly recommend it to anyone with a baby, but especially to those who have babies with reflux or who are happy spitters (lots of spitting up but otherwise a happy baby — my first son Charlie was one of these.) If you would prefer to have your baby in a crib you can buy a wedge like this and a sleep positioner like this to keep baby from rolling or sliding down when elevated. I’ve also heard a lot of great things about this product for helping baby sleep elevated, but I’ve never tried it. It would be a challenge for night sleep since you can’t strap baby in if he is swaddled but could be great for daytime.
    3. Elevate baby when eating. If you nurse, try to elevate baby on the feeding side. I use this nursing pillow and propped it higher on the feeding side. This meant I mostly nursed sitting up, as sidelying or similar positions kept Quincy too flat. If you bottle feed, pick a slow flow anti-colic bottle like these (my favorite when I’ve had to supplement with my first two babies – Quincy is exclusively breastfed so far.)
    4. Hold baby upright for at least 30 minutes after a feeding. I actually had to keep Quincy upright for 30-60 minutes after a feeding. This makes nursing to sleep and night feeds challenging. If he fell asleep while nursing I would just hold him upright on my shoulder, burping him off and on until I got a few good ones. And then when I did lay him down he was still elevated. Also, baby wearing helps a ton with this. I used both my Solly Baby Wrap and my Ergobaby 360 carrier, but now Ergobaby has a new carrier called the Adapt which you can use from the newborn stage without an insert. If you can only get one carrier that you want to work from birth to toddler, that one is the one to have.
    5. Give baby a probiotic. I tried pretty much everything from natural and homeopathic remedies, visiting a chiropractor (which didn’t work for us — per our chiro Quincy was perfectly aligned — but I hear chiropractors or osteopaths can really help), pediatrician visits, medication, etc. I was recommended different probiotics (fancier ones that you have to refrigerate and drugstore brands) and the one that I found that helped us the most was the one my pediatrician recommended: Gerber Soothe. It is targeted to help with both colic symptoms and food sensitivities.
    6. Limit their time spent in things that make them uncomfortable (like the infant seat) and use seats or bouncers that position then comfortably. For us, the two things that worked best for keeping Quincy comfortable but letting me have some hands-free time were the Baby Bjorn Bouncer and the 4Moms mamaRoo (at it’s highest position setting). Other rockers, swings, bouncers that we had from my first two babies didn’t work well for Quincy. He could tolerate them for maybe 5 minutes but then he would start with the choking sounds, spitting up, and getting fussy. Oh, and he HATED getting sink baths (similar positioning as the infant car seat) but loved baths in this bath seat in the tub (which I have had since my oldest was a baby). It made bath time so much more enjoyable for both of us.
    7. See your pediatrician and discuss whether medication could help your baby. I would prefer not to medicate a baby so young, but I also prefer for my baby to not suffer unnecessarily. After seeing how much pain Quincy was in and talking to his doctor, I decided that medication was right for us to try. We started on Zantac (a liquid form compounded at our pharmacy) and noticed an immediate improvement. But after a couple of weeks that went away (which is normal). So after a month on Zantac we decided to switch to Prevacid (a PPI). PPIs can take at least two weeks to start working, so we continued with our Zantac until it ran out, which was a little over two weeks on the Prevacid. I noticed more improvement with Prevacid (again the liquid compounded form). However, Quincy was rapidly gaining weight, so about every two weeks (when we would need a new dose, as the compounded form of Prevacid only lasts two weeks) he would start to regress a bit and we realized that he had gained weight and needed a higher dose. (I should mention that having the Hatch Smart Changing Pad was a lifesaver for me in dealing with the reflux too because I could track Quincy’s weight myself without having to go in to the pediatrician for a weight check before I could have his medication dosage adjusted. It’s also brilliant for breastfed babies so you know how much they are eating, especially in those early days before your supply is well established.) Finally, when he was around 4 months old we reached a good dose that has been working for us for a month. He gets 2 doses of Prevacid, one first thing in the morning and one at night before he nurses and goes to bed. It is important to keep in mind that for the compounded Prevacid you need to wait 2 hours after a feeding to give it, or wait 30 minutes after a dose for a feeding.

    I know that was a long post, but I wanted to try to include any information I thought might be helpful. If you have a specific question, feel free to comment below or email me and I’ll do my best to respond! Good luck and just know that it is temporary and things will get better 🙂

    This post includes some affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and purchase the item, I may receive a small commission. You can also bypass that link if you would like.

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    An Ode to The Daddies

    jonathan fredrick | father's day | Oh Lovely Day

    Here’s to all the papas.

    The ones who know how to pack lunches and wear the babies and lead the dance parties. Who take the kids to the park or museum or the zoo for the morning so the mommas can have a break. The daddies who take two kids in a stroller to the grocery store. The ones who change diapers and wipe butts. Who rock the colicky babies to sleep when the mommas can’t listen to any more crying. The ones who give baths and create adventures. The ones who teach the kids to sing James Taylor and John Denver and Queen and Michael Jackson. The ones who love the mommas even when the mommas aren’t so lovable. May you get a nap and 20 minutes in the bathroom without interruption. May you be allowed to watch at least the second half of game 7 in peace. And may the tantrums be minimal. Here’s to you.

    And to the papa of my three beautiful boys. Thank you for being the best daddy I know. Because you do all of those things and more. So much more. We love and appreciate you every single day, even if we don’t always show it. I’m so glad you are my partner in parenthood, helping to remind me that every day is an adventure to enjoy. You help me a better mother and a better person. We all love you so much and are so so lucky to have you.

    Happy Father’s Day.

    fathers day

    How did I ever get so lucky?

     

    (Photos) top: Jennifer Roper, collage photos: Oh Lovely Day

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    A Gamechanger for Parent Sleep & Peace of Mind: The Owlet Baby Monitor

    Gamechanger for Parent Sleep & Peace of Mind: The Owlet Baby Monitor

    Ah, sleep. That precious thing you totally take for granted before you have kids and then spend so much time focused on once you do. Getting the baby to fall asleep, bedtime routines, helping them sleep through the night — and once you finally get them sleeping you hope to catch some zzzz’s yourself. But nerves, anxiety, and worry plague most new parents at night, keeping some of us up when we could be resting. I remember often wishing I had a clone of myself that could keep vigil over my new baby to make sure he was ok during the night so I could have peace of mind and get some much needed sleep. Enter the Owlet Baby Monitor – it is an infant heart rate and oxygen monitor that watches over your baby at night giving you peace of mind and the ability to rest (finally!).

    Gamechanger for Parent Sleep & Peace of Mind: The Owlet Baby Monitor

    The Owlet baby monitor is a smart sock you slip onto your baby (it comes in three sizes), that uses a technology called pulse oximetry that doctors have used for decades. It is connected via bluetooth to a dock station that will alert you if the oxygen or heart rate levels are off with both light and sound alarms. I can’t tell you how much I would have loved this as a new parent! But even now, with my third baby, I find it so helpful. Quincy had colic and reflux and doesn’t sleep as well at night. Because of his struggles in the beginning I always jumped up at the first noises he made, which is bad for both of us because it doesn’t give him a chance to learn to self soothe and it means I’m up constantly as well. But with the Owlet I know he’s fine and worry less, sleeping through his minor noises and only waking up if he cries to be fed, or if the alarm should go off (which it never has).

    Gamechanger for Parent Sleep & Peace of Mind: The Owlet Baby Monitor Gamechanger for Parent Sleep & Peace of Mind: The Owlet Baby Monitor Gamechanger for Parent Sleep & Peace of Mind: The Owlet Baby Monitor

    You might wonder how I know it works if the alarm has never gone off for me. Head to the Owlet site and read the stories of other mothers who have used this product and did get an alert. Their testimonials are amazing! It’s one of those products that, once you have and use it, you’ll be wondering what you ever did without it — even if it isn’t your first baby. I’d highly recommend adding this to your registry (which you can do with sites like Babylist). Quincy doesn’t even notice he’s wearing it and I just swaddle him over top of the sock like I would otherwise.

    Gamechanger for Parent Sleep & Peace of Mind: The Owlet Baby Monitor Gamechanger for Parent Sleep & Peace of Mind: The Owlet Baby Monitor

    And exciting news for android users – they just released an android app today, so now iPhone and android users can both get alerts to their phones as well as the dock (great for when you’re getting a long overdue night out!) I really don’t think you can put a price tag on peace of mind and safety of your baby, or on sleep for that matter. But saving a little money never hurt either, am I right? So I’ve arranged for you to get $20 off your Owlet by clicking here. No coupon code needed — the link takes you to the Oh Lovely Day reader special automatically. You can thank me for all that extra sleep later 🙂

    This post is sponsored by Owlet but the opinions are my own.

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    Embracing Your Postpartum Body

    Embracing Your Postpartum Body | Oh Lovely Day & Solly Baby

    It’s sooooo hard for most of us to like our bodies (or not totally hate our bodies) after we have a baby. Even those blessed with amazing genes and tiny postpartum bodies are probably not loving them right after having a baby. Things aren’t the same. You’re bloated, stretched, swollen, have stretch marks and varicose veins and loose skin and c-section scars and enormous nursing breasts with big nipples. New mom body is tough no matter who you are. You feel frumpy, not yourself, and completely undesirable. It’s hard to find things to wear that you feel good in. It’s hard to feel good about yourself.

    It took me until my third postpartum body to finally accept it. To realize that this is part of the beauty of motherhood and that my body is like this because I have grown three beautiful boys inside of it. It has done amazing things. And it deserves to be embraced for that. When you look in the mirror and see your stretch marks and your soft round tummy, remind yourself of all of that before you start your inner self-hate.

    Solly Baby asked me to be part of their SS16 Lookbook back when Quincy was first born to represent that early postpartum stage. I immediately said yes — it wasn’t until the night before when I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I would be showing up super sleep deprived with a 10 day postpartum body and hair that was desperately in need of highlights. And then I reminded myself why they wanted me, why I looked like that, and that I needed to embrace it. So that when other women were looking at photos and saw a mom wearing a newborn in a wrap, they would see themselves. It’s ok to look like shit for a while you guys. Let’s allow ourselves time to look and feel like shit, and when we do, remember that it won’t last forever and that we look like that for a really good reason and that it is ok to just embrace it. On that note, here is me, 10 days postpartum (with professional hair, makeup, and styling, of course).

    Embracing Your Postpartum Body | Oh Lovely Day & Solly Baby Embracing Your Postpartum Body | Oh Lovely Day & Solly Baby Embracing Your Postpartum Body | Oh Lovely Day & Solly Baby Embracing Your Postpartum Body | Oh Lovely Day & Solly Baby Embracing Your Postpartum Body | Oh Lovely Day & Solly Baby Embracing Your Postpartum Body | Oh Lovely Day & Solly Baby

    When I look at these photos now, 4 months later, I don’t see how much I don’t like my weird postpartum hair or my still swollen face or the body bulges as much as I see that teeny Quincy. My body is still not where I want it — colic, reflux, sleep deprivation, cutting diary but surviving on carbs and sugar, not being able to exercise yet due to the colic, reflux, and sleep deprivation have all kept me from making much progress — but it’s ok. I’ll get there. I’m in survival mode still. I’m doing my best. I was a home to that teeny baby and have nourished him to a whopping 17 pounds in those 4 short months. So I’m trying hard to not dislike myself or put too much pressure on myself. To be forgiving of myself. We’ve earned at least that, haven’t we? Big thanks to Solly Baby for asking me to do this and to Max Wanger for taking such sweet photos of Quincy and me. And to the whole team there for making me feel pretty and comfortable at a time where when I was so not feeling either one.

    I’d love to see you embrace and share your own postpartum body photos proudly on instagram with the hashtag #embraceyourmombod and #battlefieldmotherhood. Let’s start a movement!

    Photos: Max Wanger courtesy of Solly Baby / Dress: Madewell / Shoes: Bryr Clogs / Hair & Makeup: Shew Gal / Wrap & Swaddle: Solly Baby

     

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