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I just got my very first smart phone, an iphone. I cannot sign enough praises about finally having a smart phone. I love that I can take video and pictures of my kids and then text or email them to my family and friends in a snap. I have had a ton of fun finding educational apps for my son (3.5 years old) and my twins (2 years old). They have so many neat apps out there. But I found one that is an awesome baby log app and best of all…its free!!!

Philip Avent’s My Baby & Me App
Feeding:
This is a great app if you breast or bottle feed, since it allows you to record both bottle amounts and breastfeeding lengths. I breastfeed and only offer a bottle of expressed milk in a bottle at bedtime. What I found so wonderful about tracking the breastfeeding, is that you can hit a timer and choose which breast you started on. You can even hit pause if you have to stop in the middle of a feeding, awesome!!! Then simply hit done and the your feeding amount and which breasts were used are recorded. You can even add notes about each feeding (such as spit-up, difficult, ect.). But, you can always go back and edit your entries if you entered anything wrong or even if you forgot to record a feeding. This app will also show you a ratio of how often you breastfeed from the right vs. the left breast.

Sleeping:
Similar to the feeding option, you can record what time the nap started and what time the nap ended, as well as take notes. It is so easy to use and then shows you on a chart when your baby sleeps during the day for the week, so you can start to see trends. You can always go back and edit your entries as well.

Diaper Changes:
Keep track of wet, dirty, or wet and dirty diapers- and when they were changed. You can also keep notes. This has been so helpful for me. Haydon has had some crazy weird diapers (mucusy, green, and smelly) due to some allergies that I am trying to figure out. I can place a note about his diapers and what I ate that day so I can go back and see if there are any trends as to what is causing his weird diapers.

Other Features:
There are 3 other categories you can use but I have not utilized much. Moments, allows you to record things like first bath, first time they rolled over, etc. It allows you to put pictures in some of these moments as well. There is also weight and height that you can input from you doctor’s visits, and they show your child’s growth curve based on the WHO (world health organization).

My Rating:
I would give this app 5 starts (out of 5 stars). It is easy to use, you can track a ton of information with this app, and best of all it’s free!!

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I recently wrote a post about my over supply of breast milk, which is causing a foremilk and hindmilk imbalance. I am happy to say that I think I am on my way to correcting this issue. My supply seems to be calming down and my baby is doing much better with nursing and is having less tummy and pooping issues. But, my let down is still very strong. Once my milk lets down, it gushes out, and my baby is chocking down my milk. Poor guy! You can hear him gulping it down and spilling into his belly. He’ll pull off and my milk will just spray and soak his face and clothes. He would cry at let down due to the amount of milk that just filled his belly. The over active let down was also causing some spit up issues. Along with the strong let down, Haydon was getting too much of the foremilk, which is high in lactose and harder to break down in the gut, causing Haydon major gas and tummy cramps.

Here is how I have dealt with my overactive let down and its worked!

1. Latch my baby on until let down is achieved. Next, I would unlatch and allow my milk to flow into a cloth diaper or burp rag until my let down slowed down and was not longer gushing. Finally, I would re-latch my baby to resume nursing. I have several let downs while nursing so I repeat this step at every let down.

2. Hold baby upright position (almost a sitting position) at my breast so that the milk flow is not flowing to fast down ward. This helped Haydon not choke on the milk as much. A cradle position or football hold are not great position to be in during let down because they have your baby laying more flat as the milk spews into their mouths, causing them to choke.

3. Burp several times through the feed. The reason for this is with my over active let down, Haydon is gulping so fast that he is most likely gulping more air. This air needs to be released for the feeding to be easier and prevent tummy issue or gas. Seems to have helped so far.

For more information, please read this article:
http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvsepoct95p71.html

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What is Foremilk & Hindmilk Imbalance?
One of the problems with having too much breastmilk is something called a Foremilk Hindmilk Imbalance. Foremilk is the milk that comes out of your breast during the first part of the feeding. This milk is high in lactose. Lactose can cause a baby to be gassy and it is harder to break down in the gut. Hindmilk is the milk that comes out during the last part of the feeding from the breast. Hindmilk is high in fat and contains less lactose, which is the part of the feeding you want to make sure you baby is getting. With foremilk hindmilk imbalance, a mother is either producing too much milk so the baby is drinking too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk during a feeding, or a mother is not allowing a baby to feed long enough at one breast, allowing the baby to drain that breast, before switching the baby to the other breast.

Personal Experience:
I never thought I would ever had to say this, but I am making way too much breastmilk. With my first child, I barely made enough. I was able to breastfeed him until he was 10 months old, but at that point, I was not making enough to satisfy him so we switch to formula. Then with my twins, I was able to breastfeed them until they were 15 months-old, but it took a lot of hard work to keep up my supply and I often was crying over how little milk I was making to sustain my twin daughters. I just thought my body had a hard time making an adequate amount of breastmilk, until I had my fourth child Haydon. I seem to be producing way too much milk. My son is only 2.5 weeks old, so I am hoping that my milk supply will decrease to meet the current nursing needs my son has without having too much excess.

In my case, I am just making too much milk. At this point, I am making so much milk that I am only able to feed from one side a feeding. I allow Haydon to nurse at one breast until he will no longer latch. This takes a lot of work to keep him awake long enough to finish a full feeding, but my goal is for him to drink as much as possible from my breast to try and correct my foremilk hindmilk imbalance. Even with all the effort to correct the imbalance, Haydon is probably still getting too much foremilk. He has been very gassy, explosive water poops (happening over +12 times a day, sometimes 3-4 times during a feeding), poop has a foul smell, very irritable after feeds, terrible diaper rash around his anus.

Symptoms (Found from this website)

- Green frothy explosive stools

- Baby spits up a lot

- Colic symptoms (fussiness)

- Baby wanting to breastfeed all the time…not becoming satisfied.

- Gassiness

- Blood in stools

- Slow weight gain

- Diaper rash due to acidic stools

- Baby has a bowel movement immediately after feedings

Coping Strategies:
Here are some of the strategies that I have been using to deal with the imbalance until it corrects itself.

  • Feed from one side a feeding. Making many efforts to keep re latching him until the breast feels drained. That way he is not only drinking the foremilk but also the hindmilk.
  • Burp him several times through out a feeding
  • Offer gripe water after a feeding
  • Pump his legs back and forth to get the gas out after a feeding
  • Hold him up right after a feed and gently rub his back before laying him down
  • Do not pump- that could be causing you to produce more milk than necessary
  • Try using cabbage leaves on your breasts to reduce amount of milk made
  • Only nurse when your baby shows signs of hunger, not sooner, too frequent feedings could be a culprit.

For more information:
http://www.breastfeeding-problems.com/foremilk-hindmilk-imbalance.html
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/foremilk-hindmilk.html

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I found that around 4 months of age, babies start to get very distracted while nursing. With my son, nursing was so difficult I almost stop nursing all together. He just was so fidgety and distractable. I made it to 10 months with my son before I weaned him, or should I say he weaned himself. Then with my twins, I was tandem breastfeeding them using the Best-friends Twin Plus Nursing Pillow. They did great nursing on the same pillow and did not bother each other. Actually, the girls use to hold hands and nurse together until the hit about 6 months of age. It was so sweet to see my two daughter holding hands. But then starting around 6 months, they started to swat, scratch, grab, and punch each other while nursing. OH, they even started to pull each others hair- OUCH! I thought I was going to have to give up nursing.

Around 6 months old, I gave them blankies to sleep with in their cribs. I started allowing the girls to hold the blankies while they nursed. Wouldn’t you know it, it made nursing so much easier. The twins stopped hitting, grabbing, pulling hair, and bothering each other while nursing. Instead, the girls played with their blankies. They would rub them, clutch them, and stroke them while they were nursing. I wish I would have thought to give my son a blankie while he nursed because I think it would have helped him to have some sort of distraction to help him stay still long enough to nurse. My twin girls are now 13 months old, we are only nursing in the morning and at bedtime now, but I still allow them to have blankies while they nurse and it is still working!

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If you have decided that you are going to breastfeed your baby, not matter how long your decided to breastfeed, there will come a time when you will have to be apart from your child and you will need him or her to take a bottle. Unless you make giving your child a bottle a part of your weekly routine, he or she will most likely reject the bottle at some point. This happened to me.

Here is my story:

I have 3 child. My first child, Cooper, I gave a bottle to at 3 weeks old after we had established breastfeeding. He did well taking the bottle and it really presented no issue for him. Cooper got a bottle at least twice a week if not more when he was a small infant. I would pump and then offer him the breastmilk in his bottle. When Cooper got older, around 5 months old, I started having issues making enough milk for him at his bedtime feeding. So I began to pump before I went to bed. I used that breastmilk in a bottle to supplement his bedtime feeding after I had finished feeding him. So Cooper got a bottle every day from that point on. When it came time to wean Cooper, he took all his feedings from a bottle so well. He weaned at 10 months and it was so easy. I cried having to stop breastfeeding, but Cooper did not seem to care one bit. I really think that the weaning process went so well because Cooper was so use to getting a bottle every day prior to weaning.

Then I had the twins. I tandem breastfeed my twin girls using a double nursing pillow. The girls took to bottle pretty quickly around 3 weeks of age too. They got an occasional bottle with daddy and we use to use the bottle to give them a dream feed for a short while. I soon dropped the dream feed and giving bottles was difficult for me to do with two babies at the same time so I decided to exclusively breastfeed for ease. Plus, my husband needed to occupy my toddler son while I was breastfeeding in the evenings so I did not have an extra pair of hands to feed the babies bottles. The girls did get bottles at church or when my mother-in-law would watch them, but that was very infrequent. Around 5 months old, I started to not make enough to satisfy both girls at their bedtime feeding again. The solution was to give one girl a bottle of expressed milk at bedtime and the other to breastfeed. That allowed for enough milk for them both. Anna got the bottle and Molly was breastfeed. BIG MISTAKE! So Molly almost NEVER got a bottle from 5 moths and on. Anna got a bottle every night. Guess what, now at 11 months old, I cannot get Molly take a bottle. It does not matter if I hold the bottle, if Daddy holds the bottle, or if she holds the bottle, she just will not take a bottle. Anna on the other hand, will take a bottle no problem.

Closing Thoughts: I think it is important to introduce a bottle at least 2-3 times a week with your infant even if you choose to breastfeed. There may be a time when you will not be able to be around to breastfeed, and you will want someone else to give your child their milk. I am very “boob-bound” because my daughter Molly will not drink from a bottle. How I wished that I would have done bottles with Molly more often so she would be more willing to drink from a bottle, giving me some more freedom to come and go without having to race home to nurse. I am trying to wean Molly to a sippy or straw cup since she will not take a bottle, but it is a very slow process. Hopefully, I will be able to wean Molly in time.

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If you have a newborn, I bet you are looking forward to getting a longer stretch at night, at least longer than 3 hours. I really wanted to get my twin girls to sleep through the night as soon as possible so I could get some sleep. I have a toddler, who was only 18 months old when my twins were born. Therefore, it was very important that I get some good sleep so I could be my best to take care of not only the twins during the day, but my toddler too.

Dreamfeed
A dreamfeed is a feeding that you give typically around 10/11pm. Your baby has already gone to sleep for the night and you wake your baby to give him a feeding and then put him right back to bed. Typically, this feeding you don’t turn on the lights. You don’t talk to you baby. You don’t make eye contact. You don’t change a diaper unless it is really wet or poopy. You try to keep your baby almost asleep through the feeding and then place your baby back down in his crib or bassinet for the night. The goal of dreamfeeding is hopefully fill your baby up so that he or she will sleep longer through the night. This means, you the parent gets to sleep longer.

Cluster Feeding
Cluster feeding is feeding in short intervals in the late afternoon or early evening. Many mothers who breastfeed do this because their milk supply is not as high in the late afternoons or evenings. This also keeps your baby from getting as fussy in the evenings, during the dreaded “Witching” hours. Clusterfeeding also acts like dreamfeeding, in that you are trying to “tank-up” your baby with lots of feedings/ milk in order that he would sleep longer at night.

My personal experience:
My kids have not done that great with dreamfeeds. I am not really sure why because I know so many moms who swear by the dreamfeed. The dreamfeed really helped their baby sleep longer through the night. I found that dreamfeeding actually made my kids wake up more frequently. I think they thought that if I put them to be at 7pm and woke them at 10pm that they should wake up and eat every 3 hours through the night. Yikes!!! I did not want that to happen. But I have use dreamfeeds when there have been points in my twins lives when they go to bed super early- 6pm and I want them to sleep until 7am. When they go to bed at 6pm, I know they will not make it to 7am without needing a feeding. I would much rather feed them before I go to bed than at 4/5am. You know what I mean.

Now with my son, I never cluster fed him. He never really seem to need it, but in hindsight, I wish I had done it with him when he was a small infant because I think it would have helped him to sleep though the night quicker. I did cluster feed my girls, and I did it for a long time. Once I started to clusterfeed them, it was like magic and they started to sleep longer stretches for me. I also breastfeed so my supply is lower in the late afternoon/ evening and I think the girls needed to cluster feed in order to get enough milk to hold them over through the night. Check out the schedules I kept with my twins to see examples of the clusterfeeding in the late afternoons/ evenings. http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/infant-schedules-by-month-updated/

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My twin girls are now 3 months old and I have been pretty successful at exclusively breastfeeding them and not having to supplement with formula yet. I recently have had some issues trying to keep up my milk supply while feeding them both. I have not been getting enough sleep and eating well and thus my milk supply has suffered. I also believe that the girls hit a growth spurt which meant I needed to nurse more frequently to increase my milk supply.

I thought I would share some pointers to successful breastfeeding twins and maintaining your milk supply that I have recently learned and implemented (and they are working!!!):
1. You must feed at least 7-8 times a day. More frequent nursing helps to drain your breast and stimulate milk production.  My girls are sleeping though the night so this was hard to achieve so what I do is I feed every 3 hours during the day, then cluster feed in the late afternoons and evening, as well as pump right before bed. So here it the feeding schedule: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 5:45pm, 7pm, 10pm (pump). This way I can squeeze in 7 nursing/ pumping session in during the day.

2. You must eat well, at least 3.000 calories a day and at least 110g of protein a day. If you are nursing two, you need to stop and take time to feed yourself properly. I know this is easier said then done because you are busy running around the house trying to take care of house hold chores, your twins, and perhaps other children that are still at home. It is important to fuel your body well so have enough nutrition to produce adequate milk for two infants. I have been making a protein shake to have in the later afternoon that has 60g of protein. I also went out and bought some healthy snacks that are high in protein to have on hand to much on throughout the day. Nuts are a really great source of protein and they are quick and easy! I also made sure to have some chicken cooked ahead of time to make sandwiches from lunch. Remember, you are feeding 3 so you need to take in more. If you find it hard to prepare a meal, try to do some precooking ahead of time so all you have to do is grab the meal and go!

3. Drink plenty of water! I make sure to fill up a very large water bottle and carry it around with me at all times. I found that if I did not carry around the water bottle, I did not drink nearly enough. I strive to drink at least 10oz of water after each nursing session and then sip on water in between.

4. Rest, Rest, Rest!!! If you can, makes sure you take some time in the afternoons to rest, even if it is only for 30 minutes. You body does not produce as much milk in the afternoons because of fatigue. If you take time to rest or nap in the afternoons, it will significantly help to boost your milk supply in the later afternoons and evenings. Try to get 8 hours of sleep a night. I know this is hard, but everything I read says that getting proper nighttime sleep is very important to creating a good milk supply.

5. Tandem Nurse. When you tandem nurse, nurse both babies at the same time, you are simulating both breasts. When you stimulate both breasts you actually produce more milk than breastfeeding one breast at time. I am using the Breastfriends Twin Plus nursing pillow to tandem nurse my girls and it is working out great. I love the pillow and highly recommend that you look into buying one if you want to successfully tandem breastfeed. To read more about My Bestfriend’s Twin Plus Nursing Pillow read this: http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/my-best-friend-twins-plus-nursing-pillow/

6. Take a supplement with Fenugreek. The supplement that seems to be working really well for me is More Milk Plus by Mother Love. It contains fenugreek and it has been proven to help boost milk supply.

7. Make sure that your twins are taking full feedings. You want to make sure you twins take full feedings and drain your breast adequately after nursing. You will know they took a full feeding if your breast feel softer at the end of the nursing schedule. Make sure to burp your baby and re-latch her after her burping to see if she will nurse some more. The longer your twin nurses at the breast, the more stimulation your breast will receive to make more milk.

8. Feed more frequently during growth spurts. I know that a lot of twin moms feed on a schedule to keep things simple. I feed on a schedule, but if you do this during a growth spurt your babies will be fussy and also not get enough to eat. You also will not be stimulating your supply to increase if you keep to a strict feeding schedule. Growth spurts usually only last a few days or a week at most so it is best to just feed on demand during a growth spurt. Usually once the growth spurt is over, your babies will return to schedule feeding and naps again.

For more information on breastfeeding twins and multiples, read the book: Oh Yes You Can Breastfeed Twins and The Nursing Mothers Companion
If you are having supply issues, please read the following posts:
How To Increase Low Milk Supply
Milk Supply & Breastfeeding During Menstruation

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