Friday, May 31, 2013

Update on Alex

I got a video of one of Alex's pain episodes, a very mild one, but it was enough that at Alex's six month well visit the doc confirmed that what we were seeing was reflux pain. Here's the video:

What you're seeing is a very mild Sandifer's episode. The pain in his esophagus makes him want to stretch his throat out. Alex will generally sleep through these episodes and wakes up a happy boy in the morning. I will say that him sleeping through these episodes is the only saving grace. It makes it a lot easier to deal with his pain as it seems he doesn't remember it in the morning.

Lately his episodes have gotten worse. He's arching a lot more in them and is crying out. I spoke with the nurse today as we were worried he was having night terrors. That was her first guess as well. The doc however believes it to be his GERD. We're upping his meds tonight to see if that can stop his pain episodes.

Another issue we discussed was that the side of Alex's head was kinda flat. It wasn't too obvious and we had tried everything we could think of short of flipping his head with a spatula in his sleep. (Family joke, kinda.) The doc tested his range of motion and found that he was a little resistant. This is called Torticollis and is rather common among babies in general, but very common among babies with GERD. This article gives a great explanation of torticollis and the relationship to GERD.

Alex started physical therapy the week after his well visit. The therapist said his case was very mild but there was enough of a difference in his head diagonals (measurements of the skull diagonally across the head to form an X) that he would benefit from some stretching and PT. Alex hates the stretches, but in just a week she noticed a great difference in how his neck moved.

Even with all of this going on, Alex is a bright and happy little boy who recently fell in love with blueberries and zucchini. He may have a few extra appointments and we might be on a first name basis with our pharmacist (I also taught his kids in Sunday School), but he is none the wiser. He's snuggled in his swing napping right now. He had a little episode a few minutes ago, but it didn't even phase him.

Alex after enjoying his blueberries!

If your little one has infant reflux/GERD, I feel ya. It's more than just a laundry problem for a lot of families. Feel free to share your experience below!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Diaper Review: Chickapea Baby Extended Tab Prefolds

I am an avid pocket diaper lover. They comprise most of my stash, but don't really work for us over night. Alex is just too heavy of a wetter. We've been using a couple of fitteds at night but were getting leaks. The diapers were soaked in the morning and so were his jammies. So, even though I was not particularly interested in prefolds, I jumped at the chance to try Chickapea Baby Extended Tab Perfolds.

Chickapea Baby Extended Tab Prefolds

Chickapea Baby is a mom-owned business run by Melony, mom to four here in Abilene. Current offerings include the homemade extended tab prefolds, cloth wipes, teething jewelry or "bling", and boingos. You can read my review of the boingo here.

I prepped the diaper and booster on the stovetop to make it a bit quicker and hung both pieces on the line. Putting the diaper on seemed a little daunting, but I studied Melony's instructions and practiced a few times diapering a stuffed animal first. I was able to get the diaper on and secured properly. I was pretty proud of this and may have done a little happy dance. (No judging.) I will say that when Alex is particularly squirmy, it can be a challenge. I think once I've gotten more used to it, I'll be able to do it faster.

We had no leaks that night! Or any other night we've used this diaper. Some nights, the diaper doesn't even feel soaked all the way through. I'm using a hemp diaper with a booster "insert" for added absorbency. Overall, it's a great diaper and much less daunting than it seemed! I might just be a prefold convert!

We're trying to find the cover that will work for us but have used a Flip and a Sweet Pea cover with success. After the diaper was prepped I just included it with our regular diaper laundry. It does take longer to dry then my pockets, but it's so much thicker!

I've already picked up another medium (the size Alex fits now) and have ordered two larges for when he grows out of this size, which probably won't be any time soon. You can get the diapers in hemp (what we used) or bamboo. There are a variety of prints. We have "All Crabby" (so cute!) and a striped one.

I received our All Crabby diaper at a discounted price as part of a small test group. I was not compensated for this review.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Simplicity Sunday

Here are some photos from when we went to the State Park earlier this month. We met up with some other cloth diapering families and had a great time. We saw some deer and birds and Alex tried his first watermelon chunk!

Drooling at the park!

Daddy trying to get him to smile.

Finally smiling at Daddy.
All tuckered out.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Farmer's Market Finds!

Alex and I went to the Farmer's Market this morning. Here's what we found!

  • One pound ground beef from Slow Poke Farms $6.50 (not "organic" but no antibiotics or hormones and grass-fed)
  • One beet $3 also from Slow Poke Farms for baby food
  • Four onions $2
  • Six beefsteak tomatos $5
  • Four yellow squash $3 for baby food
  • Two heads of butter crisp lettuce $2. The owner of this farm told me that butter crisp lettuce is sweeter and lasts longer at home. 
Not bad for $19.50, huh?

When was the last time you went to your farmer's market? What goodies did you find?

Book Review: How Did That Get In My Lunchbox?

Book Title: How Did That Get In My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food
Author: Chris Lutterworth
Illustrator: Lucia Gaggiotti

A Discovery Toys book that teaches kids about food sources. (Click to buy.)

How Did That Get In My Lunchbox? Is a brilliantly illustrated guide to basic food sourcing. The book tells kids the story of how several foods make their way to the supermarket and into their lunchbox. The author tells children how the food goes from farm to plate in simple, easy to understand language.

Discovery Toys suggests this book from ages 5-8 but I think it's never too early to start teaching your littles about where their food comes from. This book not only talks about the plant/animal source of food (i.e. bread from wheat stalks, cheese from cows) but also talks about the people involved, right down to the truck drivers that deliver the food from farms to factories to stores.

We're getting ready to head over to the farmer's market this morning and so Alex and I read this book after his breakfast. He really liked the colorful pages and I liked the rounded book edges as he's starting to grab at the book while I read (bookworm swoon!).

I love this book and think it's great for any child's library, especially if food education is important to you.

I purchased this book on my accord for Alex at a Discovery Toys party. I have not been reimbursed for this review in any way.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Boingo: Cool Name and It Works!

Boingo Diaper Fastner (photo from Chickapea Baby)
Over the weekend I tried my first extended tab prefold (review to come). This was my first diaper that didn't have snaps or aplix and I was a little worried. I had seen Snappis before, but they were a bit confusing and I couldn't ever find them locally (I probably wasn't looking in the right places). Anywho, I was trying out this diaper and decided I'd give the Boingo a try.

The Boingo is two little gripper pieces on a tight rubber band type thing with awesome stars on each end. You attach one side to each side of the diaper and you're done. It really was pretty simple and now I don't know why I always thought they were so daunting.

I was worried about using it as I had heard that the Snappis aggravated reflux in some babies, but I didn't notice any problems with the Boingo. (I've never tried the Snappi so I can't compare the two from personal experience.)

I got mine from Chickapea Baby for $5 per pair. (Link to purchase) It worked really well and was really cute. If you're going to be using any type of diaper without built-in fasteners, this would be my recommendation.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Mother's Day Wish

Some of you may recall when I wrote about Alex's feeding issues I mentioned that he struggled to keep his food down. Others of you have watched my Facebook posts about Alex's reflux. They diagnosed Alex with infant acid reflux at his two month well baby visit and upgraded it to GERD in March.

If you're not familiar, here's some info on infant reflux and GERD. (Alex has ten of the GERD symptoms listed.)

We started doing all the "behavioral" treatments, thickened feeds, keeping upright after meals, no time flat on his back, loose clothes, etc, around his first birthday. We tried the special "reflux" version of Enfamil at his 2 month check, it didn't do any good. (Just a side note: the Enfamil AR is slightly pink in color. If it doesn't stop your baby's reflux, you will have slightly pink stains on everything. You've been warned.) Then, Alex got started on Zantac. Yep, they make baby Zantac, it's even mint flavored.

The Zantac worked for a little while. About two weeks before Alex's four month visit his reflux symptoms started slowly coming back. By his well check, they were getting pretty strong again. The doctor increased his dose and said that would take care of it. Another week or two go by and I start questioning if I remembered to give Alex his meds. By the way he was acting and how much he was puking, I could have been squirting rain water in his mouth.

I call the doc and they switch him to Prevacid. It really seems to help, but after about two weeks he still seems grumpy to me. The doc assures me that he's fine. (He also says that I have too much empathy, but that's a different post.) I tell myself that the meds might just need a little longer. That was the end of March.

Around mid-April, Alex starts whining in his sleep again. He doesn't wake up, but he whines and arches his back. My first thought is that it's his reflux acting up again. Philip calms me down. We don't know that it's reflux yet. It could be teething or bad dreams. We agree to just keep an eye on him. By the end of the month he's more fussy, his still arching his back in his sleep, he's spitting more (and occasionally puking), he's fussing at his food and some of his spit-up is yellow. Now we know. This is reflux.

It was time to renew Alex's prescription. His six month visit is only a week and half away so we don't really feel we need another appointment just yet. When we call in the script we ask for an increased dose. They doubled the dose and we are to report back at the well baby visit. And that brings you to now.

Alex has only been on the increased dose for two days so there's no way to tell yet if it's going to work. He doesn't seem to be spitting as much, but he's still showing some signs of pain. If I could have anything in the world for Mother's Day, I'd want him to healthy. I'd want him to take a nap and sleep peacefully. I'd want him to play on the floor without his tummy hurting or rolling into a pool of his own spit-up. Maybe, by Sunday he'll be feeling better.

Alex made this at daycare for Mother's Day. :)

Do you have a GERD or reflux baby? How do you cope with their pain?