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    Nursing and Supplementation

    September 5, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    A couple nights ago, the older kids had Awana, so Si took the opportunity to run a few errands since he would already be near the stores we patronize. One of said errands was to take one of our handy dandy Babies R Us giftcards and get some disposable liners for Baby O.’s bottles.

    Those boxes of fifty liners don’t last long when a baby is cluster feeding in the evenings, which translates into around ten feedings per day! Thankfully, such days don’t last forever. And really, there is reason to savor them. Soon enough, Baby O. will be big enough to act like Q. and leave Mommy’s lap in pursuit of High Adventure in the playroom.

    Anyhow, while Si was searching Babies R Us’ meager inventory for what we needed, he noticed a young couple trying to make decisions about what sort of bottles they were going to use. He watched them spend a lot of time staring at all the brightly colored packaging. And he offered to help. Even the man of the house is a bottle expert, it seems.

    We here know more than we care to know about bottles due to my perpetually low milk supply. With every baby, I have had to supplement. And I’ve tried a few of the bottles on the market {not all, mind you}, and I have a favorite, which is what you can see in the photo above.

    The Avent Tempo Nurser replaces the old Avent nursing system and I am having the same success with it as I had with the original. The Tempo system is bulkier, but it still fits in my diaper bag, and so I am satisfied.

    Let me explain why I like it.

    I was introduced to the Avent bottle line by my very first lactation consultant, back when E. was less than a month old. This consultant was a fan of Avent because the nipples required the baby to latch on in a manner very similar to breastfeeding. This significantly lowered the chances of nipple confusion.

    The regular Avent bottles, however, sometimes require venting. They build up a bit of a vacuum and the baby must stop drinking in order to let a little air in. This changes the rythym of the feeing, and, if your babies are like mine, you will begin to notice that the bottle rythym carries over into their regular nursing and causes some problems.

    A nurser {any nurser with a collapsible liner, not just Avent} will solve the rythym problem.

    But Avent has one advantage over all: four nipple flow options rather than two. In my area, the Playtex nurser is by far the most popular. But Playtex only offers slow flow and fast flow. I used Playtex with my third baby {long story}. When the slow flow became far too slow for her, I reluctantly switched to fast flow. She weaned herself within the month, and I was devastated. She had been my best nurser, and yet she weaned the earliest. I truly believe it was because of the flow issue. The bottle now gave milk so fast, and nursing was such a contrast, that my daughter simply got impatient.

    I tried and tried, but I was unable to woo her back, and our nursing relationship was over.

    But Avent has four options, like I said: newborn {which often comes with the bottle}, slow flow, medium flow, and fast flow. If you have a low milk supply like me, chances are you also have a slow flow when nursing. Keep your baby on the slowest flow he will tolerate, and chances are you will delay weaning longer than if you moved up quickly.

    To review, the Avent nurser takes care of all the problem areas of supplementation: latch, rythym, and flow. This makes it a great choice for moms who do not want to choose between bottle and breast feeding. There are cheaper options {though remember that cheapest isn’t always the best} for moms who solely bottle feed, but that is another post entirely.

    One last frugal suggestion: Skip buying the four-ounce bottles. If you are pressed for cash, four-ounce bottles, no matter which bottle brand you are buying, are a waste of money. Big bottles can be filled with whatever amount you choose. Eight-ounce nurser bottles will hold the four-ounce collapsible liner without a problem. The little four-ounce bottles are cute, no question. And if someone buys them for you {or you have a very healthy checking account}, then fine. But if you are trying to find ways to trim the cost of bringing up baby, cut out the little bottles. In the instance of the Avent system, this will save you to the tune of seven dollars per bottle. I like to have four bottles on hand, which means I saved didn’t spend an extra twenty-eight bucks. Not bad.

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  • Reply Rahime September 8, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks be to God that the laws of physics still stand!

    Seems like they use the 4oz. bottles for such a short time anyways.

    Good advice as always, Brandy!

  • Reply Kristie September 8, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Glad I could help you out. Laughter is good for the soul. =) I had a dream about you and your family last night during one of my 1.5 hour bouts of sleep. Your kids were all way older than they are. Weird.

  • Reply Brandy September 7, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    You know, Kris, I miss you most when you make me laugh. 🙂

  • Reply Kristie September 7, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    I have actually wondered if I were missing something about the 4 oz. bottles. I’m glad to know my instincts are right– you CAN get 4 ounces of liquid in an 8 ounce container! Thanks for building the confidence of a newbie…. =)

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