Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Skinny On: Diaper Cream

I am paranoid about diaper rash.  I wasn’t always. I was actually pretty blasé about the whole thing because Sophie only had the tiniest bit of diaper rash during her first year of life.  At any sign of redness or irritation (usually from heat or a long car trip) I would dry her off and slather on one of the five different diaper creams people gave me for my shower and viola -- it was gone.  I didn’t really understand how kids could have such bad diaper rash (and some of them seemed to have it all the time).  With my ignorance came hubris.  I could say I didn’t judge other moms diapering skills or wonder what they were doing wrong – but that’d be a bold faced lie.  I had trouble with nursing and had my share of mommy guilt over a bunch of (what now seem like) silly things – but my kid’s bottom was rash free and I was cocky about it. 

Then Sophie came down with a virus and…crazy diarrhea.  I focused on getting her fever down and making sure I changed her diaper constantly.  Every time she pooped I changed her diaper and wiped her down thoroughly.  I doused her in the thickest cream I had at the time—Desitin—and put her diaper back on until she pooed again.  I thought I had relative control over the situation.  Silly me.  Within a day she developed a rash.  After two days it was really bad.  On the morning of day three, it was so bad that Sophie would scream and cry bloody murder when I changed her diaper and was terrified of sitting. It was devastating to see her in so much pain. 

By the morning of day three I was made aware of some of my rookie mistakes. 

First, I should have stopped using baby wipes when the diarrhea started.  Constant use of the wipes just irritates the skin and contributes to the rash (ugh).  So I switched to wash clothes and warm water.  Second, I should have altered her diet.  I was so afraid of dehydration that I made sure to keep feeding her and giving her milk.  Yeah, I forgot that milk and certain fruit and foods make the diarrhea worse.  So I switched her to soy milk and put her on the BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Apples, Toast) diet to bind her up.  Third, I needed to “air” her out more—and let her run around without a diaper. This was a recommendation most of my friends made prior to learning she had the major squirts.  I was pretty reluctant since I am generally averse to feces on my kitchen/family room floor, but I broke down and made a special area in the family room (on the hardwood floor).  I set up the super yard to keep her contained, put some towels down and dropped the naked baby in and put on baby Einstein to keep her entertained—I didn’t want to get poop on any of her toys.  Can’t tell you how gross this experiment turned out.  Fourth, I started giving her Aveeno oatmeal baths to soothe her bottom.  It worked great, until she pooped in the tub.  Fifth, I started using Triple Paste [heavens open up, cue choir of angels singing]. This stuff is fantastic.  My friend and neighbor, who also happens to be a doctor, recommended it.  It’s pricy, but it was truly a godsend.  It took nearly two weeks, but with all these changes, S’s virus, diarrhea, and diaper rash slowly cleared up. 

I can’t tell you what a humbling experience this was.  Now I am much better equip to deal with the situation and I also know that diaper rash can happen for a number of reasons.  In addition, creams and ointments may not always be interchangeable—some work better than others depending upon the type of rash.  When I am dealing with just the run of the mill rash I personally like Desitin, A&D cream or ointment, & Dr Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.  I don’t mind the Aveeno, but just think the others work better for Sophie.  When it’s serious though--I am a Triple Paste disciple.  So which brand is best?  Sorry, this is going to be trail and error until you see what works best on your babies skin.  However, you might want to wait until after your baby shower to buy any diaper cream—I’m guessing you are going to receive at least 3 tubes/jars of it as gifts!

Ask Dr. Sears has a great primer on preventing and treating diaper rash on their site. I recommend checking it out.  They cover preventing rashes, identifying different types of diaper rash, and of course, treating them.

(as always consult your doctor when you have a medical issue-this is just my opinion/experience and not a substitute for real medical advice!)   

Cost of Diaper Cream in the DC area

Ok, so I checked out the prices on six different diaper creams (A&D, Aveeno, Balmex, Dr. Boudreauxs, Desitin, and Triple Paste.)  Yes, I know I am missing California Baby and a handful of others, but I tried to pick the ones that were available at almost all of the 9 stores I looked at.  As usual, I compared prices at BJs, Costco, Sams Club, BabiesRUs, Buy Buy Baby, Target, Walmart, &

As usual I will e-mail the spreadsheet with the actual figures to my subscribers.  Here’s the gist of it though.  Target and Babies R Us have the most options and the best overall prices.  Target has the best prices on 5 of the 6 brands.  Babies R Us prices are a close second (and with the 20% off coupon would be better).  BJs has the best priced 16oz tub of Triple Paste, but in general, the three wholesale stores have very limited options (1 or 2 choices). and Amazon have a lot of choices ( has more) but their prices are $1.50 to $4.00 more than, say, Target.  However, if you are buying a lot from and use one of their discounts, you might get it for a better price. 

So that’s the skinny on diaper cream.  Please let me know if I made any egregious errors!

Previous Posts
The Skinny on Infant Formula

The Skinny on Diapers

The Skinny on Baby Wipes

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

2 Things You Might Want To Check Out

Heads up ladies!

1. Today's Groupon is $50 of boutique clothing for $25 at Purple Goose in Del Ray.  Purple Goose was originally touted as a children's consignment shop, but it's more of a high end children's boutique with a small consignment section.  Last time I was there (May) they had a nice selection of high end kid's clothes (think Lilly Pulitzer, Jack Rogers, Zutano, Trumpett, Heart Strings, Lemon Loves Lime, Baby Lou Lou, See Kai Run, and I swear I saw Betsy Johnson, but I could be making that up!)  They also have a ton of decorative items and toys but they are not included in the Groupon.  FYI though- the store is a little overwhelming (read: it's really full).  

Here's the link to the Groupon:

Here's the link to Purple Goose's website:

2. New Local Maternity Consignment Shop!  529 Kids Consign is now accepting gently used maternity clothes for their online shop.  If you have some stuff you are looking to sell -- check them out now! If you are in the market for maternity clothes--check out their site periodically for new items (it might take a few weeks to get their new items up).  If you live locally you can meet with Pouneh and Megan in Alexandria to drop off clothes.  Also, since they are local--look out for their periodic sidewalk sales!

Here's the link to their site:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh Yes I Did...

Ok, I posted this on FB over the weekend, but thought you might get a kick out of it as well.  I'm not proud of it, but I resorted to the motor scooter cart at the supermarket on Friday. (Not a local one -- a gigantic Shoprite in South Jersey).  

I needed to go to the store with my mother and daughter.  My mother takes forever at the super market and this place is huge.  I wasn't risking exhausting myself or losing any of the 65 ounces of water I drank that morning walking around the stupid supermarket.  So, I broke down and used the cart.  It was pretty mortifying at first, but then it was just plain comical.  It took me a while to get my groove on and I was passed by more than one old biddy, but then I was rockin and a rollin, right up until the battery died in the dairy aisle.  Sweet.

So, I figured I would out myself and post the pics of me on my motor scooter.  It's a dreadful picture and my cute dress looks like a moo moo, but whatevs.  It's Monday morning and I though you might need a laugh.  

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pics from June Maternity Photo Session Giveaway By Kelly Smith Photography

"Kelly was sweet enough to meet my husband and I on a sweltering hot Sunday afternoon in Old Town Alexandria. Despite the 100 (+) degree heat, her photographic artistry makes it appear as though I haven't even broken a sweat - which was definitely not the case. Kelly was awesome throughout the shoot and really made my husband and I feel comfortable with our surroundings enough to have fun and pose ... even with tons of people milling around. We enjoyed the shoot so much that we're having her come all the way down to Stafford in mid-August to take pictures of our little girl who will be born on August 3rd. Thanks so much for an incredible day Kelly - it's one we won't soon forget! And thank you to EITB for allowing us the opportunity to document such a special time in our lives!"

Michelle, 30, Fredericksburg

Thanks again, Kelly!
Kelly Smith Photography

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Forever 21 Controversy ...

Ok, so you may have heard that Forever 21 recently launched a maternity line, Love21.  There's a bunch of controversy around this because, well, Forever 21 is seen as a store for juniors and is being accused of marketing cool and cheap maternity clothes to their teen clientele.  Some say they are trying to glamorize pregnancy.  Making it more interesting is the accusation that they only launched the in-store line in states with high teen pregnancy rates.  While this may be true, part of the line is available online and I'm sure they will probably expand to more stores soon.  

So here's my take.  Initially, I was appalled.  However, now that I've been sitting on this for a week, I'm not so condemning.  I took a look at Forever 21 demographics and was surprised at what I found.  More than 1/2 of their shoppers are age 18-50. Of that, 45% are 18-34.  So are they targeting to teens on purpose?  I really don't think so.  I actually think they found a niche that needs to be filled.  Cool, trendy and super cheap maternity clothes for middle/lower income pregnant women.  Their stuff is kind of cute and will give women on a budget a funky/fashionable alternative to Target and Old Navy.  Also, their clothes tend to be cut smaller (think juniors section) so they are also targeting petite pregnant women and since one of their largest group of shoppers are Asian women, this is a wise move.  Interestingly enough, H&M has similar demographics and a maternity line and they haven't received any slack.  But, that's probably because they carry all sizes and genders.

So in the end, I think it's a shrewd business move.  Is it appropriate, prudent, or ethical? That remains to be seen.  However, if it turns out that they really are marketing to teens -- I take this all back.   

So, what do you think?

Here's a peek at their online collection:

Some recent articles:



Monday, July 19, 2010

A Sweet Story I Thought I'd Pass On

A young woman who became a follower of this blog a few months ago delivered her first child yesterday.  I am including a link to her birth story because despite multiple miscarriages and a whole bunch of IVF treatments, she and her husband persevered and are now the ecstatic parents of Liam Daniel.  She has a blog of her own where she chronicled her journey...even while she was en route to the hospital and shortly after her birth.  I imagine she's pretty tired today.  

Here's Kari's story -- It's sweet and very real:

Phew, Crisis Averted!

With the help of my husband, a babysitter to pinch hit for two hours each day, a fair amount of sitting on my butt, and nearly 500 ounces of water/gatorade -- I was able to get my fluids up in four days and am in the clear for the time being.  Baby looks good and water is up from 6.9 centimeters to nearly 13 centimeters, which they said is perfectly fine. (Although for some reason I had 15 as the number to beat in my head).  I have to go back on Thursday so there will be no slacking off on the water intake.  

Thanks to Dr. Poggi and Vicky at the Brock Perinatal Diagnostic Center for being patient with me when I had to pee several times during the test!

Sophie and I are sharing a celebratory burrito bowl from Chipotle, our favorite.  I even gave her the lion's share of the guac!

Ok, just an update.  Drink up ladies - it's hot out there and as much as you probably want that baby out at this don't want it to happen this way, nor before 37 weeks.  For your health and the baby's you want him/her to cook as long as possible!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Today's Groupon: $79 for $136 worth of do-it-yourself meals at Let's Dish

Dear Groupon People:
I [heart] you.  You made my day.

Due to my recent bout of idiocy, I'm in baby prep mode.  Things I normally would have put off until 4 weeks out are now on my more immediate "things to do" list.  Going to pack my "go" bag this weekend so I have it ready.  Briefed my mom on situation and told her there may be a chance I'll need her sooner than expected.  Husband going to move guest bed to 4th floor to transition guest room to kid room.  Cleaned out fridge and freezer and started thinking about what meals I can make and freeze.  Then, like manna from heaven today's Groupon showed up in my inbox: TODAY'S DEAL: $79 for $13worth of do-it-yourself
meals at Let's Dish.

Basically with this deal you go to one of their locations and assemble the meals (they have a number of recipes to choose from each month) yourself and package them to bring home and freeze. All the prep work is done - you just follow the directions.

The 4 entrees you make can be enjoyed 2 ways:
  • Eight meals for 2–3 people (singles, couples, small families)
  • Four meals for 4–6 people (bigger families)
So yeah, I bought in before 8am this morning.  I'm down with paying $80 for idiot proof meals I can make and freeze before baby comes.  Saves me time and $ running to the store and prepping, etc.  I'm still going to make a number of my old standbys (sauce, pot roast, white chicken chili) but was thrilled about this offer.

A couple of things you need to know:

-You have 2 more days (it's Friday afternoon now) to buy in
-You have until Oct 31 to assemble your meals- so if you are due between now and early fall this will work for you
-You can upgrade the package! For a bit more you can have them assemble it and deliver it!
-If you like it- next time you return (if its shortly after you deliver- you can take advantage of their new mom's deal (free delivery).  However, you can't combine the free delivery with the Groupon.

Here are the locations for Let's Dish:
Columbia, MarylandAlexandria, VirginiaFairfax, VirginiaAshburn, Virginia; and Timonium, Maryland.

Here's the link:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So you know how I am always reminding you to stay hydrated?

I should take some of my own advice...I'm on modified bed rest ladies and came 1 centimeter from landing myself in the hospital. 

So I thought I had taken in enough water over the past few weeks.  I really was trying, but I was also running around with Sophie non-stop.  Taking her to the beach, boardwalk, zoo, pool etc-- often by myself.  Evidently, not a smart move.  Turns out my body seemed fine because it was drawing fluid from the baby.  At my ultrasound on Monday my amniotic fluid measured 6.9 centimeters.  At 33 weeks it should measure between 15 and 25 centimeters.  Once you hit 5 centimeters, you are in serious danger of going into labor.  Awesome, huh?

After my ultrasound they hooked me up to monitors for 30 minutes and did a non stress test to monitor baby's heart and my heart and contractions.  (Sophie, the poor thing, was trapped in her stroller in the hospital for more than two hours while this was going on--she was a trooper) 

The baby, thank god, is in great condition.  I, however, was read the riot act by my doctors and told to sit on my arse and drink water till it comes out my eyes this weekend.  On Monday they will measure my fluid level again.  

It is almost impossible for me to sit still, especially now that we're 7 weeks out -- so this is going to be hard.  However,  since I am allowed to sit in bed and be on the computer...maybe I will get some other posts finished!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Favorite Beach Snack Giveaway

So I've already admitted that I've succumb to a number of the traditional pregnancy cravings--but I'll be honest--there are a whole slew of cravings that pop up when summer rolls around...especially when I'm down the shore.  (Which is where I escaped to for the past week and a half.  God love my parents for holding on to their house in Ocean City, NJ!)  

I'm pretty good at not indulging myself  too much when I'm not pregnant.  However, when I'm pregnant I don't, um, hold back.  I didn't go too overboard this year, but I have had almost all of my favorite beach snacks at least once.  It doesn't help that my parents basically eat themselves simple all summer.  So I was thinking that I would "share the wealth" so to speak.  I've returned with three (3) different beach favorites, so I have three things to give away this month.  Obviously, some of my super perishable favorites like Mack & Manco's pizza, Dot's donuts and Kohr brothers ice cream couldn't survive the trip, but three did make it back with me.

Soooo...what's your favorite beach/summer time craving?  First person to guess each, gets it.  HOWEVER, I can't ship them so you will have to meet me somewhere to pick up in the next 5 days (I'm in Alexandria). Read: if you are in say, Fredricksburg, you better REALLY want this to make the drive to meet me!

Ok, let the guessing begin.  Just add your guess in the comment section.  

As always you have to be a subscriber, follower or fan to play.  Oh and just a teaser for August.  I have an awesome giveaway and discount coming in August!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baby Week on Discovery Health

Hey Ladies,
July 12-16 is Baby Week on the Discovery Health Channel.  Every night at 9pm there will be a new baby show on.

Strange Pregnancies, Mon. @ 9 p.m. 
A Baby to Save Our Son, Mon. @ 10 p.m. 
Big Babies, Tue. @ 9 p.m. 
Too Many Babies? , Wed. @ 9 p.m. 
Born on a Bad Day, Thurs. @ 9 p.m.
 NICU, Thurs. @ 10 p.m. 
10 Most Unbelievable Births, Fri. @ 9 p.m.

However, if you tend to be the nervous/worrying type, you probably shouldn't watch some of the more tense shows!   I have a girlfriend who watched way too many of these shows before giving birth to her son -- she made herself a nervous wreck!

Here's the link to the website for more info:

The Skinny On: Infant Formula

Ok so here is a quick primer on the three most popular brands out there and the seemingly endless types of formula they offer: Similac, Enfamil, & Gerber Good Start.  There are several store brands and there are even prescription formulas, however I am sticking to the three most popular for now.

Infant Formula: A Very Rough Primer

Regular Formula

Similac Advance
Enfamil Lipil
Good Start Protect Plus

All contain DHA & ARA. What are DHA & ARA?  DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid) are fatty acids, or lipids, found naturally in breastmilk.  They help develop healthy brain and eye tissues. During your third trimester, you pass DHA & ARA to your baby.  After baby is born, you can provide DHA & ARA to baby by breastfeeding or giving her formula with DHA & ARA.  Evidently Enfamil has a few more mg of DHA and ARA than Similac per serving.  However, Enfamil uses palm olein which is believed to decrease the amount of calcium the baby absorbs. 

Good Start is the only one that contains Bifidus BLGood Start claims that these cultures can help support Baby's healthy immune system by, “ increasing levels of key antibodies, and helping to support the natural protective barrier in the digestive tract—where 70% of the body's immune system is found.”  (Good Start website)
Most hospitals will give you a starter kit with regular formula.  In this area almost all the hospitals use Similac. 
Gentle Formula (for fussiness and gas)

Similac Sensitive
Enfamil Gentlease
Good Start Gentle Plus

This formula is for babies that have sensitive systems or are mildly lactose intolerant. How do you know if your baby has a sensitive system?  Oh, you will figure this one out pretty quickly.  If you baby is screaming like a banshee shortly after eating or spews most of the regular formula out within 30 min of each feeding—you probably need to use a more gentle formula.  The regular formula might be too heavy for your baby and cause gas and reflux (in other words: major tummy pain for your baby).  The gentle formulas have less lactose. 

Soy Formula

Similac Isomil Advance
Enfamil ProSobee
Good Start Soy Plus

Soy based formulas are milk/lactose free.  Some parents just prefer to feed their baby soy formula.  However, some babies might develop a milk allergy a few months after being on regular formula and will need to be switched to a Soy or lactose free formula.  Also if baby gets a virus and comes down with wicked diarrhea and diaper rash, your doctor may tell you to switch to soy formula until baby is better.  The milk-based formulas often make the diarrhea worse!  However, it definitely tastes different and baby may not be a fan!   (Sidebar: If you are nursing and supplementing with formula and your baby develops a milk allergy—guess what?  You have to cut milk based products out of your diet—yup, that means soy milk for you too and say goodbye to cheese and ice cream for a while!  My friend Gretchen had to do this.  While it stunk that she had to give up a bunch of food she loved—she did drop the baby weight really fast!)  There is another option to the Soy formula if your baby has a milk protein allergy…

Lactose Free Formulas 

Similac Lactose-Free Advance
Similac Expert Care Alimentum
Enfamil Nutramigen Lipil

The Similac is specially formulated for babies with lactose intolerance. The Similac Alimentum & Enfamil Nutramigen are hypoallergenic formulas designed for babies with cow's milk protein allergy symptoms such as colic, rash, and diarrhea.  If the gentle formulas don’t work and your baby remains in pain and colicky, your doctor might recommend trying one of these.

Acid Reflux

Enfamil A.R

If baby is spitting up all the time and it isn’t related to milk allergy, you might try this.

Premature Babies

Similac NeoSure Formula
Enfamil Premature LIPIL
Enfamil Enfacare

Specially formulated to help meet the nutritional needs of premature and low-birth weight babies.

Organic Formulas

Similac Organic

Certified USDA Organic and uses cow's milk produced without the use of growth hormones.

Night time Formula

Enfamil Restful

I believe this is pretty new.  I have only seen it once.  It’s basically a heavier formula help your baby sleep at (through) the night.

 Infant Formula FAQ

So which brand is best? 

Everyone has an opinion on this one.  It is really up to you—for the most part the formulas have very similar ingredients. 

What if my baby doesn’t like it?

You’ll have to figure out if it’s just the taste baby doesn’t like or if there is a deeper issue (gas, acid reflux, etc).  You might be lucky and baby takes to the first formula you try, or you may have to go through a couple of brands to get it right. 

Should I stock pile formula ahead of time?

Tough one.  I am a fan of stocking up on things in advance when I have coupons, but if baby doesn’t like the formula you choose or needs a different type – you might be stuck with formula.  I’d recommended buying a case (ready to feed) or a few big containers of powder, but also getting a few individual quart bottles (ready to feed) or smaller containers of powdered formula to test it out with baby before opening the expensive cases.  At least this way if baby doesn’t like the type you test out you can exchange the unopened case or containers for the type she likes/needs.

What is a year of formula going to cost us?

Formula feeding is not cheap.  It will run you between $1,500 and $2,500 to feed your baby formula for the first year if you formula feed exclusively.  Nursing is definitely more cost effective!

 Powder v Concentrated v Ready to Feed

What’s your budget? 

Ready to Feed formula is the easiest and most expensive.  It can cost nearly double what a powdered can that yields the same fl oz costs.  It’s pre-mixed and ready to go—you just need to put it into a bottle (or stick a nipple on it if it’s a small bottle).  Since it’s premixed it is also the smoothest.  However, you only have about 72 hours to use a bottle ready to feed once it’s opened.  If you don’t calculate correctly you could waste some. 

Concentrated formula is, well, concentrated.  You can’t feed it to your baby right out of the can, but it doesn’t take much work to prepare.  You mix it with water and shake before serving.  Because it is concentrated it’s smooth like the ready to feed.  It is less expensive than ready to feed and more expensive than the powder.  This is the middle of the road option—however not all brands carry concentrated formula.  Enfamil, I believe, offers the most options.

Powdered formula is the least expensive, but requires the most preparation.  When I say preparation, I mean you have to measure it out and mix it with water before serving. It’s definitely leaves room for error if you’re not paying attention.  Both Similac and Enfamil offer measured mixes now which is great if you are on the run or traveling.  Powdered formula is more chalky because it’s a mix, but most families use powdered formula because it is the most cost effective.

 Can I use the brands interchangeably?

For the sake of consistency, your doctor might recommend sticking to one brand if that brand works best.  If you little one has no major health issues and seems to take the other formulas without any problem, then go for it.  You’ll find that many moms use the formula they have coupons for.  When I supplemented, I stuck with Similac for most of Sophie’s first year, but when Good Start had a killer sale at Babies R Us  I stocked up on some of that.

Manufacturers Coupons?
You can sign up for Strong Moms on Similac's site and get mailings and coupons.  I did but I only recall receiving two coupons.  You can register for mailings on Enfamils site as well, but I am not sure of what they send.

Still not sure what type of formula to get for your baby?

Check out the Enfamil Formula Finder- it asks you a series of questions to help you figure out what formula is best for baby.

Is it better to purchase formula at the store or online?

Wholesale Clubs
Well if you have the time to do the shopping then buying in bulk from a wholesale club is very cost effective.  However, the wholesale clubs don’t carry many varieties. If you use the Regular, Sensitive or Soy Formulas -- you are in luck. But if you need a specialty formula, you will have to look elsewhere.  Costco carries the largest and best priced powdered formula.  They offer 41.8 oz cans of Similac Advance and Enfamil Premium Lipil for $31.  Sam’s Club and BJ’s carry the smaller 34 oz cans and they too are a good price.  BJ’s carries the best priced case of Similac Ready to Feed (8 -1 qt bottles for $40).  The wholesale clubs offer $4-$6 coupons on formula every few months (Similac mainly), which makes them an even better value.

You have to decide if it’s cost effective for you to join a wholesale club.  Annual fees range from $35-$50 so if you are just buying formula there – it might not be cost effective.  I get my diapers, wipes, formula, coffee, paper products, etc there so it works out for me.

Babies R Us & Buy Buy Baby
I really don’t like buying my formula here. They don’t have the best prices, but every few months they have coupons that make it worthwhile.  Occasionally, Babies R Us will have a great offer - especially on the Ready to Feeds. 

Target & Walmart
Target and Walmart have good prices, but you can’t buy in bulk and you are limited to the smaller size containers. Walmart prices are better overall.  Much better on Enfamil (several dollars) and a little better on Similac (less than a dollar difference). &
If you’re working and totally pinched for time, it might be easier for you to order online. and deliver to your door and you can set up an automatic delivery schedule.  Very convenient.  In addition, they both offer many varieties, and sizes, and you can buy in bulk.  When it comes to formula, has better prices and a more stable supply than  However, formula at both online stores is more expensive than it is at any of the other stores.  However, often has an offer going on and has free delivery on orders over $49 (so just order your wipes and diapers together).  I’ve found that the prices and selection on Amazon are not as stable as, however if you subscribe you save 15% on your orders and get free delivery.  But, I still wouldn’t recommend Amazon this time around.

Supermarkets/Convenience Stores
While both put formula on sale from time to time, the packages are very small and usually don’t compare to the savings you get at the discount and wholesale stores.  I mentioned this before, but I saw a woman buying a bunch of diapers and formula at the Teeter a few months ago and I desperately wanted to throw myself in front of her cart and tell her not to do it.  Only buy formula at the supermarket if you are in a pinch or if they go on great sale—otherwise you are wasting your money.  You’ll pay a lot more.  One 32 oz bottle of Ready to Feed Similac costs about $2.00 more than it does at Target, Walmart or Babies R Us.  

Spreadsheet with cost of formulas at aforementioned locations in DC area.  If you can't open this- subscribe by e-mail and I will send it to you via e-mail.

Questions, comments, info I missed? Please let me know!

Where to buy infant formula in the DC area:

BJ’s Locations
Alexandria, Fairfax, Woodbridge, Fredricksburg
Waldorf, Columbia, Bowie

Costco Locations
Arlington, Springfield, Fairfax, Potomac Mills, Chantilly, Manassas
Beltsville, Gaithersburg

Target Locations
Columbia Heights
Alexandria (2), Falls Church, Skyline, Springfield, Fairfax, Manassas, and a whole lotta other places
Rockville, Columbia, Gaithersburg, etc

Babies R Us
Alexandria, Falls Church, Woodbridge, Waldorf, Chantilly, Silver Spring, Sterling

Buy Buy Baby
Rockville, MD
Springfield, VA

Alexandria, Burke, Fairfax, Woodbridge, Manassas
Waldorf, Columbia, Germantown, Landover Hills, and more

Sam’s Club
Woodbridge, Sterling
Waldorf, Gaithersburg, Laurel, etc

Friday, July 9, 2010

Decisions, Decisions: The boob or the bottle

Ok, let me preface this by saying I am not about to launch into some heady debate over breast feeding and bottle feeding...this is simply an intro to The Skinny on Infant Formula article I am posting on Monday!  It's my blog so I wanted to start out with a personal story.  Chill out, I will cover breast feeding as well.  I thought the title was catchy for a Friday afternoon...You're here, aren't you?

To breast feed or to formula feed – that is the question.

Since I was one of the last of my friends to have a baby I asked myself this question a thousand times before having Sophie.  Most of my friend’s breast fed their children — however, the amount of time they nursed varied greatly.  Some nursed for three months, some for more than a year.  Most pumped and eventually supplemented with formula, but a few breast fed exclusively.   Several of my friends chose not to breast feed at all.  I respect all of them equally and not until I was pregnant did I even know there was controversy over the issue.  I thought the most important thing was that the baby was well nourished -- regardless of how.  Silly me. 

I was very fortunate – I was only guilt tripped/lectured about breast feeding a few times; once by the hospital lactation consultant, once by a pediatrician, and once by a stranger.  Ok, there were probably others, but these three stick out in my mind because I came darn near biting their heads off.   Funny thing is…I did breast feed for nine (9 ) months!  However, my decision to pump early on so my husband could feed Sophie and my desire to eventually supplement some feedings with formula, ruffled the aforementioned people’s tail feathers. 

Yes, I’ve read all the literature on the benefits of breastfeeding and yes, I think it’s an excellent way to nourish your child -- but it’s not for everyone.  However, I don’t buy the “your baby will have more ear infections, be more prone to diseases, be obese or even dumber” arguments.  I was bottle fed, my husband was bottle fed, most of my friends and family members were bottle fed.  It wasn’t all that “en vogue” to breast feed in the 70’s!  And, nope, never had ear infections as a child, no major illnesses among us, schools range from good to Ivy League.   Oh and for the record, Sophie is almost two and has had one virus and one ear infection. 

So all that to say – I respect whatever decision you make.  It is after all — YOUR DECISION.  Good luck and god speed.

If you do choose to use formula -- I wanted to give you a quick primer on the three most popular brands out and the seemingly endless types of formula they offer: Similac, Enfamil, & Gerber Good Start.  There are other brands and there are even prescription formulas, but I am just going to discuss the one’s that most people use. 

On Monday I will post the Infant Formula Primer, an FAQ on formula, as well as a spreadsheet of where to buy formula for the best price in the area.  Not everyone can open the chart so shoot me an e-mail or just subscribe and I will e-mail it to you.

I am breaking this into two posts (maybe even three) because it’s a lot of info to absorb.  If you’re a first time mommy, get ready for your head to spin! 

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's Official...

...the baby ate my brain.  Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I am suffering from a major case of pregnancy brain--which is to say that I have become dumber than all get out.  My husband is a sweet and understanding man.  He is also a wise man who knows what not to say to me when I am pregnant.  However, even he could not hold back from making fun of me after my recent slew of dumb ass statements.  I would recap some of the more ridiculous things that have come out of my mouth lately---if only I could remember them.   My memory and focus have gone out the window and as I enter month 8 I am more than a little scared...could I possibly get any dumber?  Man, this little one better be a freakin genius! 

Some day soon I will finish the Skinny on Baby Formula post... I promise. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Natural Birth Series: Water Birth

Kathleen's Story: Water Birth

I share my story not to beat up on OBs, hospitals or decisions that anyone has made (I TOTALLY respect the choices that moms out there have made). I want women to know that there are other options that most women (sadly) don’t know about. I think its one of the most important healthcare and women's rights issues today!

 I was pretty far along when I switched to a midwife & home birth plan!

In Sept 2008, I had my 1st baby at a very young 37 years old! It was a successful home, water birth with a midwife Marilee Pinkleton and doula Wendy Wright. They were WONDERFUL! Now, before you get the wrong idea and think we are way out there, we are a normal, professional, educated couple. After much research, this is what we decided to do. I love to share.

In the beginning, we started going to a midwife/obgyn collaborative practice. Everything was fine, but I started to feel like there was a better practice out there with more personalized care. I wanted more personal care. As we worked thought the twelve week Bradley Method classes (WHICH I LOVED) we began to learn about obgyns, hospitals, and the "procedures" that we would be exposed to within the traditional hospital setting. I had wanted a home birth, but my hubby was not keen on the idea. We learned more and more about the interventions and then toured the hospital. The last straw was when the Dr. visited us for about six mins and w her hand on the door, said, "Are there any more questions?”  We didn’t even know her after many visits.

The more we learned, for example, that the laboring woman's body releases certain hormones when comfortable, which move labor along quickly and different hormones when she is scared or in an unfamiliar setting, which can stop/slow down the labor, the more we started considering an alternative birth scenario. Then we toured the hospital and questioned our guide, we were told, “Wanting your birth your way is nice, but we have a set protocol around here.” We realized that for us, we wanted to be in charge of this event, but if we went to a hospital, it was likely that they would be in control and turn it into a medical procedure. We discussed with the hospital personnel the fact that we did not want a fetal heart monitor, which is rarely medically necessary and can actually slow labor down because the laboring woman is confined to the bed. We know the best thing to do between contractions in early labor is to walk around. However, they informed us that there were certain things that are standard and must be followed.

Women have been having babies for millions of years without the help of the medical community (except for emergencies) until the last two generations, when the medical community turned giving birth into a medical event. Pregnancy is not a medical event-it's an athletic event. I kept thinking that if I could conquer the Marine Corps Marathon, I could have a baby.

We found Marilee and from the very beginning, she was so different. She came to our home, for starters, and the visits were 1-1.5 hours. We immediately created a bond with her. Marilee was well informed, always taught us something new, and is a very loving and respectful person!

Wendy has had (I believe) two 9 lbs VBACs water births and I have a ton of respect for her. I figured I wanted someone like that at my birth (if she can do it, so can I......although mine was only 7lbs 11oz)! Both shared my values regarding organic, sustainable natural living. There was just a personal bond between Marilee and Wendy and me, my hubby and my mother in-law (who came to several of the appointments and the actual birth and was in tears often saying, "This is so different and beautiful compared to what I experienced at my birth).

We decided to give birth at home in safe, comfortable surroundings including all the germs that she was already immune to via me. For us, this was the right way: relaxed in our home with dimmed lights and candles. It was perfect. Adam, my husband, was the only one there with me mostly, by choice. We labored together with him talking me through each wave of the contractions. Remember, each contraction only last about a minute or so. The midwives and Adam's mother didn't join until the last 30 minutes after I had gotten into the tub (the best thing in the world)! Of course, we were ready to go to the hospital if anything happened and are glad that there are facilities to help sick babies and people.

I felt and feel very confident that I could trust them w our baby's life! I am an attorney and my husband is in finance and we are pretty skeptical and meticulous people. Marilee came through for us with a both successful pregnancy and birth and I credit her for that!  We will use her for all our babies (we are already trying). Our insurance is Guardian and it was all reimbursed, except for our deductible. We had to pay in advance, but it was SO SO worth it!

I want to suggest Bradley classes vs. other methods of birth prep as only Bradley really brings in the husband as an active, necessary support roll. Depending on where you live, Julie Miamone was our Bradley teacher and was great! You can contact Marilee at and

Let me know if you have any questions. I loved my water birth and HIGHLY suggest it if you have not had one. We were safe and relaxed in our own home, with our own germs, on our own terms. Women are made for birth and it’sa beautiful thing! 

Do you have a Dr? We have an AWESOME family Dr who sees my husband, my 20 month old, and me Katharine Grace.  

Dr. Kim

I highly recommend them. I would be happy to answer any questions that you have. Each pregnancy and birth is so personal and unique and I am not criticizing any choices or decisions parents make. I just wanted to tell you about my birth experience. It was beautiful, peaceful, and safe and brought my husband and me so close with a special bond! 

Warm regards,

Kathleen, 38
Falls Church, VA

Watch my birth (in private of course): Make sure to have the speakers on! I promise its not gory... :-)


Here’s a great resource. It’s a group to join and to get information on midwives, doulas, and homebirth:
Go to      
Search on         novahomebirth

Here is the trailer to Pregnant in America

Watch the movie! So worth it!