our survival kit

i've been planning in my head some posts that i wanted to write here. one being about reflux and doing your best to survive it. another being a popular topic with all new moms which is baby essentials. as i started to work on them, i realized that my two topics were easily meshing into one. for me, they went hand in hand and all of the items were essential to us with a new baby in the house, who just so happens to have horrible reflux as well.

 i scoured the web many, many times, day and night, looking to read and hopefully learn from other people's experiences in dealing with all things reflux. so i thought i would put my two cents out there for other moms who might be doing the same.

 a quickie reminder on hadley's story- from the day she was born, we knew hadley had reflux. she gagged and made a funny sound when laying flat on her back. i can remember the husband and i crying in the hospital, freaking out that she was going to choke something fierce and we wouldn't know it until it was too late. it would be virtually impossible to have an eye on her 24 hours a day. we were so sleepless. we had two of the neonatal nursery nurses come in to speak with us, trying to assure us that they would watch hadley for a few hours while we tried to get a little sleep. we were so distrusting and fearful of what could happen. that is where it started. and everyone knows what a long road it has been for poor hadley in dealing with her reflux. she is here and despite living with devil that is reflux on a daily basis, hadley is everything one could ask for in a daughter. she is an angel and a blessing to us.

 so to get her from birth to now, a few essentials were needed.

aden & anais muslin swaddling blankets

i can't even tell you just how versatile these blankets are. just a few of the things i used them for are: swaddling (obviously, right), as a cover up when i was breast feeding, as a burp cloth because you know she had a lot of spit up coming out of her nose for months, as a changing pad cover, and simply as a light weight blanket during naps. these things are awesome. awesome i tell you. great for a baby gift if you are looking for some ideas.

if i wasn't being so lazy right now i would go back and move this item to #1 on my list because it was a life saver for 7 months. that's right people, 7 months! i will say we did use the nap nanny in conjunction with this at first but if i would have known how great the rnp would have been, i would have saved myself $130 and skipped the nap nanny. the rnp was used after feedings to keep hadley elevated, as well as for naps and bed time. it kept her upright at a 30 degree angle, which is so so important, and held her in quite snugly. no bells and whistles here.  simple elevation is key. she even had this to sleep in her first 4 months at daycare. life. saver. for. sure.

wearing a reflux baby is so beneficial. not only does it keep her elevated(super important, i think you are getting that point by now), it keeps her close to you which i think is essential to a baby who doesn't feel well. nothing comforts them like mommy can. this wrap was ultra comfortable to wear and i am pretty sure given the number of naps taken in it that is was also comfortable to be carried in. it just positioned hadley in a way that her stomach wasn't all bunched up, which would have made her reflux worse.  i'll be honest and say it took me a few tries when learning how to get it on but once i got it, i got it. easy peasy. this was, for the first 5 months, the only carrier i would use.

this started out as a long paragraph about how i couldn't breast feed after week 6.  i decided to just sum it up and say that when hadley was put on her special formula, we used these bottles and still do. love them, despite the extra two pieces most bottles don't have. they are really easy on her easily irritated digestive system. even at 13 mos, she is still on low flow #2 nipples. fast flow ones were also a reflux irritant. highly recommend these.

mylanta cherry supreme

what? an adult antacid on the list? sure is. and it works wonders. hadley started using this as a break through fix in between prevacid doses. it gave her immediate relief. the cherry supreme is the only one that does not contain aluminum so it is safe for her to use. she still uses is on really bad days. she welcomes it.

can you write a post about baby essentials without dropping the carter's name? i say no. you can only imagine how many onesies a refluxing baby goes through on a daily basis. well actually, with mine, not many as she was/is a silent refluxer. but still... many refluxing babies are pretty messy. love carter's onesies. this was hadley's wardrobe for months 1-3. plus, they work great with those monthly stickers i used on her.

hard to believe any baby could have a reaction to aveeno. they are supposed to be the best hypoallergenic brand, right. sadly hadley did have a horrible reaction to it which sent her to the er. so now the only thing that touches her baby soft skin is aquaphor's baby wash. it works perfectly for her and i don't see us changing any time soon. it is so gentle and smells so squeaky clean. even big sister caroline uses it as a bodywash.

this was a gift to hadley from her sweet aunt melissa. i loved the idea of it initially but in the end, loved the reality of it. when hadley was about 8 weeks or so i really wanted to try getting her on a nightly schedule. i knew this was important for her but would also benefit me when going back to work. the schedule was implemented and we stuck to it. still do. bath-book-bottle-bed. flawless right. well this sweet night light was part of that routine. hadley still loves when we turn it on at night. the glowing blue moon and stars all over her walls and ceiling are a key identifier that bedtime is imminent.

and lastly, the car seat. the infant carriers just never worked for sweet hads. the position the seat put her in scrunched her little tummy up too much and she refluxed every time as soon as i put her in it. it only took a few uses to realize she just wasn't comfortable. so we quickly moved her into her britax convertible. of course it isn't as convenient as the infant carrier but she was way more comfortable, and that was most important to us. she is still in this seat and will be for a few years. safety and comfort first, right.

there you have it. some great things that i would recommend for a healthy or gerd baby.

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