Last time I talked about stuff, I already mentioned the Playtex Drop-In bottles. They are still, by far, our favourite bottles. And with the recent plastics thing (about that one kind of plastic that leeches into the liquid in it), it’s affirmed our choice, as they aren’t made with Bisphenol A. While glass bottles are probably the safest from a toxicity standpoint, I would venture to say that the drop-in system isn’t nearly as bad as some of the hard plastics out there. As I may have said before, I prefer the silicone nipples, as they are less prone to breakage, and the just look better (and you never know if your baby is going to have a latex sensitivity.
As you may know, Kitten has recently started solids. Yay Kitten! She went from eating cereals which she loves, to eating all sorts of baby foods… which she rejected for some time. Now, she eats just about everything we give her. So here are my favourite things, including: Bowls, spoons, cereal, crackers and formula.
- Bowls – I really love the Heinz Baby Basics Bowl. It has a separator with a little cup in it so you have three compartments for food… more or less. Truthfully, none of the compartments are watertight, which means that you may have some mixing going on, especially between the two main compartments. Usually, I take the divider out and use it without. When we’re on the run, though, I do put a fruit or veggie in the little cup portion and then mix the cereal in the main part of the dish. It works pretty well, although not flawlessly. My favourite part of the whole thing is that the lid has a covered spoon holder. This is such a great innovation, because you know your spoon is going to be clean when you go to use it, and you’re not having to wash it off before you throw it back in your bag! You can see a good picture of it here. I am constantly on the look out for a second set, so we have more than just one bowl. We also have a set of Munchkin bowls with the suction bottoms, but they are constantly getting stuck when I don’t want them too, and you can’t put them in the microwave. The one nice thing about them is that the lids snap on REALLY tight. I’m not sure if they wouldn’t leak, but I know that you can give a full bowl to a baby with the lid on, and there’s no way that baby (well, my baby anyway) will get it off.
- Spoons – You’ll notice a theme here… But I really love the Heinz Baby Basics Spoons. I only have these ones, although there are Mom’s spoons with longer handles and short stubby spoons for baby to use himself. The ones I linked are the ones that fit properly with the bowls, and I’m not sure how the other two would fit as I haven’t seen them in person. Ok, why do I love these spoons? Let me tell you! First, they’re very flexible. The entire scoop part of the spoon is bendy, so if your baby is a biter like mine, you can scrape all that goodness off the spoon into her mouth. Second, the spoon is bendy, so you can use it as a spatula to get that last little bit of food out of the jar or the bowl. Seriously, the bendy is AWESOME! Third, the scoop part of the spoon is really thin. Kitten doesn’t like to open her mouth very wide when eating, so it was really hard to get food in there with traditional spoons. Most of it would end up on her upper lip as the spoon just didn’t fit. So these work really great. To be honest, I probably have 40 spoons or more. I have the Munchkin spoons that change colour, and the Nuby spoons that change colour. I also have Gerber spoons, and First Year spoons. I have them all in a cleaned out diaper wipe box in the bottom of my pantry, because the only spoons I use are the Heinz ones. I’m thinking that maybe when Kitten is older that we might use them? I don’t know. If nothing else, she can pretend play with them to feed her dolls.
- Cereal– We tried a few kinds of cereal, and Kitten certainly has her favourites. We first tried a cereal that my mother in law gave us, and Kitten hated it. I don’t remember what brand it was, but it’s in a blue box. I just spend 15 minutes trying to search for it, but I can’t find the name. Anyway, I would put it in her mouth and it would just be spat out again. It was very frustrating. I also noticed that it had palm oil listed in the ingredients, which made me nervous as I know it’s not healthy for adults. My friend bought Kitten a box of Nestle Rice Cereal (add breast-milk) for Christmas (along with our favourite spoons and bowl!) and I couldn’t believe how she gobbled it up. The kid pretty much LOVED it right off the bat. Since then, we’ve bought the Wheat cereal (add breast-milk) and the Oat cereal (add water). She likes all three, and eats any of them really well. I’ve found that the wheat cereal gives her the thickest poop (not that you needed to know that really, but just as forewarning), but when we also give her veggies/fruit, it seems to balance out a bit. Our favourite is definitely the Nestle family of cereals [note: Nestle offers a lot of combination cereals – strawberry & wheat, banana & rice, etc. which in our opinion isn’t the greatest. You can chose for your baby, but we’re sticking to the plain cereals. If we decide to mix it up, it will be with REAL fruit, not dehydrated crap].
- Crackers – I’ve only recently started to allow Kitten to have cracker to gum to death. I understood that the Baby Mum-Mums were fast dissolving, so I bought them and have given them to the kid on the occasional basis. She really loves them, and they do turn into a sticky mess quite quickly. She hasn’t choked on them yet, which makes me happy, and they look like tiny surf boards… which is quite funny. The one thing that I DON’T like about them is that they have sugar in the ingredient list, which isn’t fantastic. She doesn’t get them very often, as I don’t think she needs the extra sugar in her diet. If you google teething biscuits, I am sure that you can find a recipe without sugar for you little guy or gal. My sister swears by the kind that are basically solid cereal, where you can add breast-milk or maybe water and turn them into cereal. I don’t know if they have added sugar or not, but they don’t dissolve, baby has to really suck on them to get anything off.
- Formula– When we were at the hospital, we used the Enfamil formula because that is what they gave us. It came premixed and we just had to put the nipple on the glass bottle – it was way too easy. The night we brought her home, we gave her another bottle of the Enfamil and she threw it all up, all over our couch. We thought that maybe it was hard on her tummy, so we ended up using the tin of Good Start with Omega 3 & 6 that we had in the pantry instead. It seemed to work so much better for her! Good Start comes in 3 formulations – powdered, concentrated, and ready to serve. We’ve always used the powdered because it’s cheapest, but we know people who like the ready to serve because it’s convenient. The annoying thing about the powdered and the concentrate is that you have to have previously boiled water in the fridge to mix it with, and if it runs out while you’re trying to make a bottle? YIKES! Oh well. We recently switched to the Stage Two formula, which Kitten still likes. It comes in both the powdered (that we get) and the concentrated formulas. We’ve been lucky with her, as she’s not picky. I just found out that you’re supposed to gradually add the Stage 2 stuff to the original to get them used to the change in taste. We didn’t – oops! The Stage Two formula has more iron and calcium, for baby’s growing needs. I’m at a loss as to whether it’s really necessary to switch, but we figured that extra iron and calcium couldn’t hurt. To be honest, I don’t know a lot about the other formulas out there, as we didn’t switch brands after we started to offer the Good Start. [note: Yes, I do realize that Breast is Best. I did breastfeed mostly with one bottle a day once breastfeeding was established. We are actively weaning now, and she is down to 2 or 3 nursing sessions a day, with 2 – 3 bottles a day. I don’t think that formula is as good as breast milk, but it definitely helped us out!]
- Bibs– I’m not really picky about our bibs, except that I don’t want them to get stained. It makes me so sad that the veggies that we use are so concentrated in colour! The orange veggies, especially, don’t seem to come out. Poo. Oh well. We are currently using Carters bibs and Nuby bibs. I like the Carters ones, because I don’t worry that anything is going to leak through them. They have a fabric layer, then a plastic type layer, then another fabric layer, which is nice because then the plastic is never against baby’s skin. I use the Nuby ones more because I can go to Walmart and buy a new package of those whenever I want (I don’t have a Carters store anywhere near me, and although The Bay carries the line now, I’m not paying $20 for 2 bibs that I know cost $2.50 each in the States). These ones are two fabric layers sandwiched around what feels like poly-fill, like cheap quilt stuffing. I suppose that it’s supposed to be absorbent. I don’t have links to either of these because they’re hard to find online, at least the exact ones that I have.
I could go on about a bunch of other stuff that I love for feeding, like our high chair, and cleaning her up with a Norwex Body Cloth, but I really don’t have the time. My American Godsnovel by Neil Gaiman is calling my name.
[edited to fix my crap spelling]