Breast Decision I Ever Made…

For something that seems so natural, breastfeeding sure can get controversial. There are extremists out there. I’m amazed by the people that take offense to women breastfeeding in public, yet I ponder the idea of a four year old still being breastfed. It’s a touchy subject and I for one am not going to say what is RIGHT or WRONG. I simply want share my experience and why I feel breastfeeding was best choice for us.

First, let’s go into all the well known reasons to breastfeed. These are some of the reasons that I was initially attracted to breastfeeding:

  • It has shown to prevent SIDS.
  • It helps to build the babies immune system.
  • It’s a great bonding experience.
  • It’s healthy, all natural, and you know what you are putting into your kid (because it’s coming out of you!!).

While I was pregnant I would imagine what it would be like to breastfeed my baby for the first time. I just knew it would be the most magical moment. The doctor would lay Baby Bell on my chest and she would root around until she got a perfect latch. I thought about us locking eyes and immediately having a bond. While this would have been awesome, it didn’t happen quite like that.  I was way more concerned about her being healthy. Baby Bell gave us a bit of a scare (I hope to share our birth story in a later post) and was a little too shook up to nurse right away. When she did nurse for the first time, it was great, but I didn’t feel that bond that I thought I would. It’s completely natural. I actually didn’t feel “the bond” moment until much later.

As I’m writing this I’m getting quite overwhelmed….I just realized how scary the idea of breastfeeding can be. There is so much to think about. Like, what if my milk doesn’t come in or what if the baby can’t get a good latch? Then you have to worry about your supply. Oh, and what if you plan on returning to work? That’s a blog post in itself. You have to think about nutrition for yourself, too. How do you know if the baby is getting enough to eat? I’m stressing myself out and I’ve already been through it. Okay, take a deep breath with me…. and slowly release… It’s all going to be okay.

Breastfeeding is an amazing thing. If your body allows you to do so then that’s awesome. If it doesn’t, there are so many options out there for you and your baby. I’m going to stop you. If you are currently breastfeeding and really struggling, I urge you to reach out to the La Leche League or a local breastfeeding support group. I also warn you against continuing to read this post. Baby Bell and I have had a very positive breastfeeding experience with little to no issues. This is common but I don’t want to discourage any mother that is having a particularly difficult time. Help is out there and there are so many resources for finding what is right for you and your baby.

I continue to thank God daily for the blessings he has given us with Baby Bell. Our breastfeeding success is one of those blessings.  Now, I’m not saying we didn’t have any issues. I just feel like the problems I had were nothing compared to what some women go through.

My supply was amazing. I had to wear breast pads in my second trimester because my breasts were already producing colostrum. I would leak through overnight breast pads during the day. Hyperlaction was both a blessing and a curse. Yes, I was happy to be producing plenty of milk for my baby but I was not allowing my body to regulate the milk production. At one point I was stuffing my bra with newborn diapers to soak up the leaking milk. I was overproducing because I would pump to reduce the flow so that Baby Bell wouldn’t drown in milk. I soon learned that my body was producing the amount of milk it thought I was using. I remember one time when I was trying to feed in a parking lot and I literally squirted milk on the windshield. That was a low point for me and I decided to listen to my body. It’s kind of an amazing thing if you think about it. Your body adapts and starts producing the amount of milk the baby eats. This was wonderful for when I had to go back to work and pump for the next day’s feedings.

Baby Bell didn’t have a great latch right away but it was a learning curve for both of us, and with some advising from the lactation consultant, we got on track. The lactation consultant at the hospital was concerned that her upper lip frenulum could cause latch complications. She recommended we talk to our pediatrician about having it clipped. After several successful feedings, talking to our pediatrician, who had no concern with her intake, we chose to not have it clipped. She has successfully been nursing for 17 months and I have no pain with her latch. I do know of other babies that have had their frenulum (lip or tongue) clipped and it was successful in fixing their latch/feeding issues.

It was hard at times for me to regulate my supply because of pumping during the week and then nursing (not pumping at all) on the weekends.  I did get a clogged duct a few times but it never lasted more than a few hours. I was quick to apply a warm compress and massage the duct until I was able to nurse. Nursing always seemed to help clear the clogged duct. Thankfully I never experienced thrush or mastitis.

If you still are on the fence about breastfeeding, let me give you another reason to go all in…WEIGHT LOSS. Breastfeeding is an amazing weight-loss plan, well it was for me anyway. Not only did I get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, I lost an additional 10 lbs.  Now I’m not a nutrition expert but I am conscious of what I eat and how much I eat of it. I also get regular exercise.  So when I say breastfeeding is a weight-loss plan, please don’t take me too literally. It is a great metabolism booster and that will aid in weight-loss. So start boobin’ your way to a healthier you.  Can you tell I like breastfeeding puns?

I am currently still nursing Baby Bell once a day. We are working on weaning her completely by 2 years. My original goal was to nurse until she was one but later decided it was important that we were both ready to be done, not just one of us. In all actuality, neither of us was ready to be done at one year. Now I am ready and I think she is getting close. She only nurses before bedtime for about 10 minutes. It’s more of a comfort thing for her now that she is completely on solids and drinking whole milk.

Breastfeeding my first child has been the most amazing experience. I truly believe it has attributed to her being so healthy. Its sooooo convenient, less expensive, and all around makes you feel like a Superwoman. The woman’s body really can do remarkable things if given the chance.  I hope if you were still weary about breastfeeding that my experience will encourage you to give it a try. I’m not an expert so do your research and find a professional if you have questions.

Breastfeeding doesn’t require a start-up fee and nobody is making you sign a contract. Put those breasts to work the way nature intended. Who knows, it may be the “breast decision you ever make.”

~Momstracted Momma

Mischief Managed

This weekend I found myself in a situation that I’ve been in more than I’d like to admit. We were spending some time at home and my rambunctious toddler was “exploring.” She was literally into anything and everything she could get her hands on. When this happens, I usually try to find something to occupy. I assume she is bored and just trying to find something to play with.

Here’s my situation. She’s running around like a mad woman, pulling things out of drawers. And I’m on my iPad frantically looking at Pinterest ideas of how to entertain a one-year-old. Poor timing, I know. This usually ends in a time-out for Baby Bell and me feeling defeated. I never have the supplies or ingredients needed to create a fun and entertaining activity. The other problem is that she wants to taste everything. YES, I have that typical “put everything in my mouth” kid. UGH!!! This is so frustrating. I honestly can’t trust her with anything.

Well, this time was a little different because I had Flick with me to help distract her while I searched Pinterest. It was like a dark thunder cloud opened up and the angels began to sing. I found it: the perfect non-toxic, edible, play dough. Not to mention, it’s good for your skin.

Baby Bell and I sat in the floor and mixed together the ingredients as Flick handed them to us. She had a blast mixing everything together. After we had it all mixed, we proceeded to play. The three of us played with the dough for at least half an hour, using cookie cutters, plastic cutlery, and straws.

We used a long, shallow plastic storage tub to control the mess. If you don’t have one of these, you need to get one. They are great for sensory play. We use it all the time.

I found the recipe on a blog post by Learn, Play, Imagine which listed a variety of different sensory dough recipes. It was originally posted on a blog called No Twiddle Twaddle.

Besides water, beans, and dough, what are your favorite sensory activities? We’d love to hear ideas of how you entertain your little one.

~Momstracted Momma

What’s App-enin?!?

How would we make it as a new mom without our iPhones? I mean, how did our mothers raise us without technology? I’m only kidding, of course. While they aren’t necessary there are some pretty handy apps out there that make motherhood a little less stressful.

Pregnancy & Baby | What to Expect by Everyday Health, Inc.

This app was my first ever “baby related” app. It’s great! Flick even download to his phone.

It has a Due Date calculator to help determine your due date based on last menstrual period and/or date of conception.

There is also a feature that tells you the babies development week-by-week. Every week before bed Flick and I would read about the latest developments of our Baby Bell. It was fun to experience this together. It even gives little illustrations as to what the baby should look like.

One of my favorite features is the Updates on your changing body. It truly was a “What to Expect” feature. It helped to calm my nerves and reassure me that what I was experiencing was normal or common.

We took pictures with an actual camera but there is a feature to snap belly pictures and create a slideshow.

Other fun features are the Due-Date Calculator, Message Board, and Day-By-Day tips.

Baby Tracker from by Everyday Health, Inc.

When you go to your babie’s first check up and prepare for an overload of questions. How many wet diapers? How many poopie diapers? What does the poo look like? How often is baby eating? How much is baby eating? How long is baby sleeping?

Now answer all of those questions on 4 hours of sleep or less. We have a lot to remember as parents. And it’s all vital information for the well being of our child. However, it’s really easy for all of those poops, feeding, and sleeps to run together. One day can seem like one week.

This app helps keep all of that important info in one place and it’s easy to use.

It tracks sleeping, feeding, diapers, and vaccinations.

MommyMeds – Pregnancy Safety Guide by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Ten Products We Never Thought We’d Need:

When you find out you’re expecting you go through stages of emotion. One thought that can send a pregnant woman into a whirlwind of emotion is the BABY REGISTRY. The thought of getting so many cute clothes, fuzzy toys, and fun gadgets and gizmos is very exciting. When you look at the books, the magazines, and the Pinterest posts, reality sets in and you have your first real “pregnant lady meltdown.” How in the world will you ever get all of the stuff you need to care for this tiny, helpless human being? And God help us all if you forget to put something on the registry. Oh, the REGISTRY. Now that’s meltdown #2 waiting to happen. The sales associate follows you around the store asking you what bottles you are going to use, if you will be breast-feeding, if your car has a car seat harness, and a million other questions that have nothing to do with cute clothes, fuzzy toys, and fun gadgets and gizmos. The truth is, you might not get everything you need right away, but it’s okay. What you don’t get from showers and generous friends and family, you’ll get later on down the road. Save your receipts, to everything, and buy what you need as you need it.

There were several things we bought after the fact. Several things we had no idea we would need. Some of the things we had never even heard of. The truth is, even if we had heard of it, I’m not sure we would have purchased it right away anyway. You’ll hear everyone say it and you’ll get tired of hearing everyone say it, “ALL BABIES ARE DIFFERENT.” It’s so true though. We might have had to make late night runs to the baby store or plan a shopping trip while on vacation but Baby Bell is happy and healthy.

Now back to the fun stuff. Like I said, there were things we never thought we would need. My husband, Flick, will tell you I love listening to podcasts, reading mom blogs, and following mom groups on social media. He will also tell you that is where I learn the best ways to empty the bank account. It’s true; I’m a sucker for “new” baby products. However, Flick is pretty good at making me justify the purchase before spending the money.

I compiled a list of 10 different products that we never thought we’d need but later learned they made life a lot easier. I won’t go into great detail as some of these will be posts all of their own later down the line. Certain items, like baby carriers, required a lot of research to determine what was best for us. These are only recommendations. I am not a certified baby product expert in any way. Please do some research of your own before making the purchase.

Baby Carrier

Our favorite: Tula

We actually registered for a baby carrier and got one as a gift at our shower. However, we hadn’t done any research. We basically registered for the most popular brand and the middle-grade priced carrier. I later learned there are different types of carriers and many different brands.  This is a topic I’ve done a lot of research on and will discuss in more detail in a later post but for now this is why we love our Tula baby carrier:

-It’s comfortable for Baby Bell. She loves being worn (carrying your baby in a carrier is referred to as babywearing) in the Tula. She’s even been known to fall asleep in it.

-It’s quick and convenient for grocery shopping, walking around at fairs and festivals, etc.

-It’s so much better for my back than some other types and brands of carriers.

-I’ve learned a lot about parenthood in these very quick 16 months. One being, I’m not a fashionista. Let’s face it, I’m lucky to get out of the house in jeans and a t-shirt with my ponytail straight. With that being said, I like to look nice and I like nice things. I would consider Tula to be the fashionista of babycarriers. The prints are amazing. They are rather pricey but you can find great second hand carriers on social media babywearing groups. That’s what we did!


Breast Shells/Milk Collectors

Our favorite: Avent Breast Shells

Let’s face it. Breastfeeding is a task within itself. If you are lucky enough to be able to breastfeed, you’ll learn that EVERY…DROP…COUNTS. I was extremely blessed with more milk than I knew what to do with. That was both a blessing and a curse. I will say that these weren’t helpful when I was engorged and my milk production was at an all-time high, but when I was more regulated and feeding/pumping on a schedule they were great! It was wonderful when I ran across the Avent breast shells and here’s why I love them:

-They are reusable (which means they are a one-time cost). Just wash/sanitize with the baby bottles and pump parts when you are done.

-It fits right into your bra and catches all of the dripping milk from your non-feeding/non-pumping side. That’s a whole ounce that doesn’t soak into your bra and through your shirt. That’s a whole ounce you get to pour into the bottle for baby’s next feeding.

-Don’t hate me for saying this but I never really experienced the sore nipples from breast feeding. I can’t really speak to the benefits of the product in that nature. I can see how they would prevent any rubbing and help keep lanolin from being rubbed off and promote healing.


Swaddle/Sleep Sack

Our favorite(s): Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle, Just Born Wear-a-Blanket, and Halo Early Walker Sleep Sack

Most of you have probably heard of these and will purchase one. You might even be given one in the hospital when you have the baby. I was not. I was, however, lucky enough to be given one by a dear friend from when she had her first baby. There is a funny and memorable story behind why we love it so much.

To begin you need to know that I will be talking about three different products here. While they all serve the same purpose, they are different. The first is the HALO SleepSack Swaddle (we used this particular style until she was able to roll over and move about more).

-Baby Bell spent several days in the hospital being held while tightly swaddled in her Aiden and Anais swaddling blankets we brought with us. Our first night home, I unswaddled her blanket and laid her down safely on her back in the Pack n’ Play beside our bed. She slept for a bit and then began screaming. I picked her up and she was fine. We soon learned she wanted to be swaddled but we didn’t feel safe with her sleeping swaddled in the blanket. I remembered that we had the sleep sack swaddle our friend gave us. Once Flick, in his slumberless state of exhaustion, finally found it, she was immediately quiet. This would soon become our most prized possession, besides our new precious baby girl, of course.

-As I stated before they come in different brands. We particularly like the Halo brand because they come in a variety of different fabrics for the changing seasons.

-It allows for arms in or out swaddling.

The next is the regular sleep sack. While we do have several brands (Aiden and Anais, Halo, Summer Infant, etc.) of the regular sleep sack our favorite is Just Born Wear-a-Blanket that we found at Babies R’ Us. I’m not sure they carry this particular style anymore but you can find it on Amazon. She wore this until she was too long for it and started crawling around in her crib.  And this is why we like it:

-We ran across it by mistake….okay maybe not a mistake. It was on sale. But when we bought it we didn’t realize it had the interior swaddle straps. Instead of the Velcro wrap being around the outside it was on the inside and wasn’t as bulky as the previous I discussed. It was just enough to make her feel “hugged”. Many sleep sacks won’t have the “swaddle band.” This was a gem.

-It has the breathable mesh vents to help keep baby cool.

Lastly is the HALO SleepSack Early Walker. We got this as she started crawling and moving around. She is now 16 months and still wears this every night and even at nap time on occasion. We had to buy this online because we couldn’t find it in the stores. We love it because:

-It’s lightweight and has the open feet so that she can move around freely but is still warm without having blankets in her crib.


White Noise Machine/Soundtrack

Our favorite: 120 Nature Sounds

We live in a small apartment so we didn’t want to buy anything that would unnecessarily take up space. Baby stuff takes up enough space as it is. So, instead of buying a sound machine we bought the 120 Nature Sounds album to put on our digital devices. This is why we love it:

-With a normal sound machine you have about 6 or so sounds to choose from to calm the baby. With this album we had 120 to choose from. The Wild Loon Call is Flick’s favorite. 🙂 Baby Bell particularly likes track number 59, Powerful Waterfall.

-You can download it to all of your devices. That means you can take it on vacation with you, you will have it when she is screaming in the grocery store, or even in line at the bank.

-It can be placed on repeat for continuous play. No sneaking in the room to turn it back on in the middle of the night. We all know what a risk that is.


Saline Nasal Spray

Our favorite: Boogie Wipes Saline Nasal Spray

It’s gonna happen. Your baby will get a nasty cold eventually. If it’s not bad enough that your perfect little angel is sick, you can’t give them any medicine to make them better. The best thing you can do is keep their nose clear and moisturized. We tried the saline nasal drops…that was a bust. By the time we got her pinned down to drop it in, we had more drop on us and in her face than up her nose. This is why we love the Boogie Wipes Saline Nasal Spray:

-It’s in a can with a misting nozzle. That means no drops; just a quick spritz and you’re good to go.

-It smells yummy. The cap is scented. It’s a great tool for getting the little one to let you put it up to their nose.


Diaper Balm

Our favorite: Grovia Magic Stick

-Babies butts will get red and sometimes they will get a rash. It happens. What you do to prevent and treat it is important. There are so many products out there for diaper rash but have you seen the list of ingredients? I’m typically not an ingredient checker but when it comes to my Baby Bell, I try to be more aware of what is going in and on her body. I also don’t have a choice because she is super sensitive and has allergies to a lot of stuff. This is why we love Grovia’s Magic Stick:

In my intro I mentioned that we cloth diaper. We only cloth part-time. I’m still trying to figure out what works best for us and Baby Bell. However, you can’t use just any old diaper rash cream on a cloth diaper. The Magic Stick is cloth diaper safe.

-It’s all natural.

-It’s great for sensitive skin.

-It works on other rashes too, not just butt rashes.

-It helps prevent rashes not just treat them.

-One stick lasts forever.

-Best part of all….it’s not messy.


Travel Booster Seat

Our favorite: Summer Infant Travel Booster Seat

Have you ever gone into a restaurant and had the waitress bring you a high-chair that is sticky and covered in cheese from the last kid? Yeah, it happens all the time and it’s disgusting. Sure, they make those fancy highchair covers but what about when the safety belt is broken? A fancy highchair cover won’t fix that situation. Or how about when the highchair is shorter than the table and your baby smacks their face on the edge? Baby Bell got one too many busted lips for me to deal with that happening. That’s why we decided to get a travel booster seat and here is why we love the one we got:

-It’s easy to clean plastic.

-It folds up for easy travel and storage.

-There is a tray that can be used or you can fold that down and just use it as a booster. The tray is nice when sitting in some booths. Often times the bench of the booth sits too far away from the table and can’t be scooted. That’s when we just put the tray up and she has her own little table.

-The adjustable straps fit almost any chair or it can be used in a booth.


Baby Food Dispensing Spoon:

Our favorite: Boon, Squirt Baby Food Dispensing Spoon

So I’ve read too many horror stories about people finding mold in their kids “pouched” food and drinks. If I can’t see through the container I’m not buying it. I also made all of Baby Bell’s baby food purees. It was super easy, much cheaper and a whole lot healthier than buying it out of the jar. I’m not discrediting anyone that does buy jar or pouched food. We just decided to go a different route. Either way, homemade or store bought, we need convenience when it comes to feeding the babies. We also need less stuff in our diaper bags. This is why we love the baby food dispensing spoon:

-It’s easy to use and clean. Just fill the spoon with any (almost any, some things get stuck in the dispensing hole and we had to use a toothpick to dislodge them) puree, snap on the cap and throw it in the bag. I typically would pack a container of the food and would fill it when we got to our destination but if it’s a quick trip, you can skip this step.

-It cuts down on dishes.

-It’s less messy.

-No bowl for the baby to grab and dump on the floor.


Something that Smells like Mommy:

Our favorite: Get One, Give One Blanket

-Going back to work after maternity leave was the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. It was especially hard because Baby Bell wouldn’t drink out of a bottle. She wanted the milk from mommy. We did have some issues with the flow of the bottle we were using but even after we found one she liked, she would still only drink from it with me holding her. I did some research and found that scent plays a big role in feeding time. Our church gave Baby Bell this little security blanket, a Get One, Give One blanket, when we had her dedicated. I slept with that thing every night for a few weeks and then we would put it across Flick’s chest when he would feed her. After a while, he was able to feed her the whole bottle without feeling defeated. I was still super emotional about going back to work, but at least I didn’t have to worry about her starving while I was away from her. Here are a few more reasons why we love the Get One, Give One blanket:

-Every time you purchase a blanket for yourself or as a gift, another blanket just like yours is made and sent to Kenya, Africa for a child in need.

-They are made with several different types of fabric and have high contrasting colors. This is perfect for sensory development.

-They are small enough (only about 11″x15″) for the baby to grasp and carry around as they get older.

-It helps to support a wonderful organization.


Baltic Amber Teething Necklace

Our favorite: Momma Goose Baltic Amber Teething Necklace

No, it’s not a necklace for the baby to chew on. It’s something they wear. And I had never heard of it before Baby Bell started teething. Paranoid as I am, I looked into the best options for soothing her sore gums. I read that Orajel is actually bad for them because it can cause rare diseases and is also a potential choking hazard. Yes, I know. My parents used it on me as a kid and I am fine but if there was a safer alternative out there, I wanted to find it. Why not, right? So, I heard about the teething tablets and we started giving those to her. Wouldn’t you know as soon as we did this there was a news report about how they were causing seizures in some kids. Well, I went to my most trusted resource…other moms…specifically on social media. I got lots of good non-medicinal recommendations but the one that I got more than any was the Baltic Amber Teething Necklace…..huh?

It’s a necklace made of Baltic Amber (fossil resin) beads. It is said that the amber releases minuscule amounts of healing oils from the amber when in contact with the warmth of the baby’s skin which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. These oils have anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties that ease the symptoms of teething. Yep, sounds like a load of bull doo-doo to me. But you know what? It’s natural and drug free and I was willing to try anything to keep from dosing her with Tylenol. There are two different kinds, raw and polished. We got polished. I’m not sure if there is a big difference. Supposedly there are different levels of succinct acid (the pain relieving component). After buying the necklace we didn’t give her anymore Tylenol. Actually, I didn’t even realize she was teething when the rest of her teeth came in. It could have been coincidence but I’m okay with that. Here is why we like the Baltic Amber Teething Necklace:

-It has a safety clasp to keep them from strangling themselves. We only allowed her to wear it when she was being supervised and not while sleeping.

-The beads are small enough to not be a choking hazard.

-They come in various lengths. You want to get one that is just short enough that they can’t chew on it.

-They are all natural.


There you have it. Our ten products we never thought we would need. They aren’t necessities but boy did they make life a whole lot easier. As always, I am not an expert on any of these items. Actually, I’m not really an expert of anything. Do your research and ask questions…that’s how you learn.

Thanks for reading and I would love any feedback you have for me. I just ask that you keep it positive.


~Momstracted Momma


Welcome to the world of being MomStracted.

Since we set out on the journey to become parents, my husband, we’ll call him Flick (a nickname I’ve created that is inspired by Harry Potter but originates from his love of Ultimate Frisbee), has been pushing me to start a blog. I was, and still am, hesitant. My grammar is sub-par and I tend to ramble. Finally, 16 months after having my daughter, we’ll call her Baby Bell, I’m taking the leap, not to mention, it’s a new year so why the heck not?!

You’re probably wondering what “momstracted” means. It’s a phrase I often use to describe those moments when your overworked mind wonders from what you are currently doing to a million other places. It’s like that moment when you simply get up to get a glass of water but see the dirty dish towel on the counter and realize that you need to get a clean one. That takes you into the bathroom where you see the hamper of dirty diapers (that’s right, we cloth) and then remember you don’t have any clean clothes for work tomorrow and you need to do laundry. Well, 3 hours pass and you are folding clothes with your eyes half shut and blowing powder because you are still very thirsty for that glass of water. That’s being momstracted!

But that’s not the only definition of being momstracted. I think it’s also that thing that happens when you become a mom and you absorb yourself into anything and everything that has to do with your baby and making both of your lives better. There is rarely a time, whether I’m at work, at home, or just out and about that I’m not thinking of my daughter or anything that has to do with being a parent. That’s also being momstracted.

My goal is to share stories of my momstracted moments and also share insights I get from other moms. I’ll share tips, tricks, and info about all things mommy.

My hopes are that you’ll read, say “hmm…. that’s interesting”, laugh, and share with other mommies.

Welcome to the world of being momstracted!

~ Momstracted Momma