Mommy Moment: Quart Milk Jug

Today I went to the grocery store and one of the items I needed was half & half. I usually buy the store brand (which comes in a tall cardboard carton), but I saw this instead. This is a quart milk jug. One that looks like a baby version of the gallon milk jug. You can’t see, but it even has the little handle around back, just like the big ones.

And you say, “Yeah. So?” First off, this may be a common container some places, but our local dairies don’t seem to use it. Today’s the first time I’d noticed it and I go to the grocery store all the time. It’s kind of neat.

The reason it’s neat is that I have little girls who are of an age to still play with a toy kitchen set. This quart milk jug is the perfect size to use as an accessory for that. So, once I’ve used up the half & half, my girls are getting a new toy milk jug. They’ve already asked me if they could have it, in fact.

Just a little mommy moment I thought I’d share.

Oh, the image came from the Roberts Dairy website, since that’s the brand I bought. It’s not my photo.

Ranting About Child Car Seats

I would like to take this opportunity to express my frustration with the entire child car seat industry.  Even with the LATCH system, installing a child car seat is still extremely difficult to do correctly.

I heard a statistic the other day that 80% of child car seats are installed incorrectly.  And this is acceptable!  What other safety product is designed so that 80% of people using it cannot install it correctly?  In fact, it’s recommended that you go to your local fire station and have them install it for you.   As if it is expected that normal people probably can’t do it.  Am I the only one outraged by this?

Getting the thing in tight means climbing in with your knee in the seat and pulling with all your might to get it as tight as possible.  Overweight parents or those with compact cars may find that they can’t fit back there to do this.

When you do install your rear-facing car seat correctly, you’ll likely find that it takes up so much room that the front passenger seat has to be moved up to accommodate it.  So, the entire first year of your baby’s life, anyone traveling with you in the front seat is sitting with his knees against the dashboard.  That’s not exactly safe for the front passenger.

It’s one thing if the child’s car seat is on the passenger’s side, but what if you have twins and need a car seat on both sides?  You either have to install it at the wrong angle, live with driving with your seat way too far forward, or buy a minivan or large sedan.  Those aren’t good options.

And the angle of your seat may mean that you need to buy a special bolster to help position the child’s car seat at the correct angle.

Front-facing works better, but I’m still dismayed by the amount of space it takes up.  My children’s car seats both have bases that are actually deeper than the depth of the car’s backseat bottom cushion.  My daughter’s poor feet are squished sideways between the child car seat and the back of the driver’s seat. I’m looking forward to her weighing 40 pounds so I can switch her to a backless booster to give her more legroom.

Then there’s the whole issue of a three-passenger backseat not being able to actually fit 3 children’s car seats.

And if you have a booster up against a child car seat, how do you manage to buckle the seatbelt without having to move the booster over to reach the buckle?

And don’t even get me started about traveling with your child’s car seat in tow.

So frustrating.  And yes, I realize I’m offering no solutions, only complaints.   But that’s not my job.  I’m appalled that whoever designs these things hasn’t come up with something better.

Things I’ve Learned About Breastfeeding

It occurs to me that I should write down all the stuff I’ve learned about breastfeeding before I forget about it.

Background
I nursed my first daughter until she weaned herself at 22 months. I’m still nursing my second daughter, who’s just over two years old. She doesn’t show signs of weaning herself, so I’m starting to taper it off to force her to wean now.

Starting Out
It hurts. Even when you know what to expect and what to do, it hurts. But only for the first week or so. The deal is, your nipple isn’t used to being constantly sucked on and your baby doesn’t automatically have her technique down perfectly. She will latch on wrong a time or two at first and that will injure your nipple. Having her continue to suck on an injured nipple just increases the injury.

What to do? Put a lanolin cream on it. This does nothing for the pain, but it keeps the scab that’s forming soft. This will make nursing on the painful nipple a bit easier. It’s natural and non-toxic, so you don’t need to worry about wiping it off before nursing again. Use ice packs between nursing to help with the pain.

Nursing Pads
There are lots of options for nursing pads. I used the disposable ones occasionally, but I mostly used washable cloth ones. I liked the kind with a bit of lace on one side because the lace helped keep them in place in my bra without any adhesives.

Nursing Clothing
For the most part, you don’t need to buy special nursing clothing. T-Shirts work great. Just pull them up to nurse. The top of you T-Shirt will cover you pretty well, and the baby will cover your belly. Button-up blouses work well too.

Nursing Bras
These are essential. Forget about pretty, lacey things for now. You just need to find one that’s supportive. Unfortunately, I can’t find a nursing bra that fits me as well as a standard bra, but I do the best I can.

You’ll likely find yourself wanting a sleep bra, perhaps for the first time in your life.  When you’re very full of milk, they can be heavy and a little extra support is helpful.  More importantly, however, you need something to wear to keep your nursing pads in place.  Because you’ll likely leak a lot and otherwise you’ll get milk soaking your nightgown and sheets when you wake up.

Mastitis
I occasionally get a mastitis infection if I don’t nurse as often as normal the day before. I end up with too much milk and it causes an infection. I get a fever for a day and feel pretty miserable, but I’m better the next day. To prevent this, I try not to change my nursing patterns from day to day. Especially on days when we have company over or we’re traveling.

Pumping
It’s a nuisance. I did it for a year with my first daughter so my husband had milk to do one feeding at night. I also did it occasionally to prevent mastitis when I had too much milk but the baby wasn’t interested in nursing.

Storing It
I froze it in the baby bottles.

Reheating It
I used the microwave. I know that experts will caution you against this. But as long as you make sure to shake it up before giving it to the baby, it works fine. Shaking it is important to prevent hotspots that the microwave can cause.

Nursing in Public
It’s really not that big a deal. Have the courtesy not to flaunt it (face away from other people in the room and, if possible, find a private corner) and they will have the courtesy to avert their eyes and give you your privacy.

Milk Supply
Sometimes it will seem like your body isn’t producing enough milk and you start wondering about ways to increase your milk supply. I’ve seen lots of advice about teas and herbal supplements and such. The first thing you should try is to just drink more water. Seriously, that was all it ever took for me. That always solved the problem. If you’re dehydrated, your milk production goes down.

Breastmilk vs. Formula
Breastmilk is free. I’m cheap. I breastfeed.