Squishy’s Baek-il

Squishy turned 100 Days Old and I was consumed by my inner domestic voice to plan a DIY party. I’m no Ina Garten, but there are a few things that I truly enjoy such as the company of great friends and faces that live near and far.

‘100 Days’ Celebration (baek-il) is a Korean heirloom tradition that started back when infant mortality was a big issue in Korea. The gathering typically includes both sides of the family, tons of rice cake, and can be as large or as intimate as you’d like.

Our celebration was smaller and much more casual with no traditional costumes or rituals. Instead, I did a picnic style lunch with semi-homemade dishes, fresh produce from our local farms, and light bites from Veggie Grill. Oh and did I ever mention how the wine is insanely cheap here? $65 for 6 bottles from Ralph’s. The accessories (utensils and cutlery) was ordered from Oh! Happy Day, an online party store and our local Daiso.

Overall good vibes with plenty of food, a chill baby, and lots of ro-saaay.

On Formula

Our culture tends to stigmatize moms who decide to formula feed. Often times, moms who decide to formula feed are given the impression that they didn’t try their best. Squishy had a moderate case of jaundice and he simply wouldn’t latch. So, after a month of exclusive pumping and failed latch attempts, I felt somewhat deflated and began formula feeding.

As a mostly vegan mom, I found that there were other challenges aside from societal pressure to formula feeding. A very limited number of formula options available for vegans. My husband and I initially chose the ProSobee Baby Formula because it was technically vegan. We chose our preference for soy formula based on a few trials with others – Similac, Mother’s Best, Baby Only. Mother’s Best, while having the cleanest ingredient list, caused severe constipation for Squishy. Similac was too rich and oily.

The Gentlease Baby Formula, an alternative recommended by fellow first-time mom and sister-in-law, was effective in solving the constipation issue, but a short while later, we found ourselves trapped with a new diarrhea issue. When I consulted with my pediatrician, he mentioned that this is something that is, unfortunately, more common with formula babies. This brings me to my next point. It is very true that breastfeeding may less frequently encounter these gastrointestinal issues. Breastmilk is exclusively formulated for the baby that’s been growing inside the womb. This is why doctors and nurses so strongly encourage breastfeeding. BUT formula isn’t poison – it’s a perfectly safe alternative to meet the growing baby’s nutritional needs and a mom shouldn’t be shamed for making that choice (for whatever reason).

I’ve also heard great things about the Meiji Hohoemi Raku-Raku Cube. My friend from Japan used the cubes to supplement while breastfeeding her daughter. Formulated to mimic actual breast milk, the Hohoemi is easy to digest for babies.

If baby’s inconsistent bowel movements continue to ensue, I will give the hohoemi product a try.

In terms of taste, Squishy doesn’t have a strong preference for any particular one. As you can see from the picture he’s just happy when he’s fed.

First 5 LA

For today’s post, I wanted to share my experience with a wonderful program called First 5 LA. First 5 LA’s mission is to empower and strengthen families by offering them proper resources to establish a great start for children ages 0-5. The organization works with new families to provide affordable health care and routine in-home visits.

I was introduced to First 5 LA through Long Beach Memorial Hospital, where I delivered my son and where First 5 LA conducted routine visits to first-time moms. The first week home, my Welcome Baby Nurse came to our house to provide a routine checkup for my son.

Here’s a brief overview of the program. FYI, the program’s length varies per case and I was enrolled in a 2-month/3-visit program.

Visit 1. Post-natal check-up & initial baby check-up. I was given a handbook for new moms and combatting postpartum anxiety. Gifts included a Boppy and baby first-aid kit.
Visit 2. Communicating with babyWe were given a small package of books and pamphlets on child health. The case manager also provided options for affordable baby insurance.
Visit 3. Making the home a safe place for the baby. This was our last program visit and we were given a blanket to encourage bedtime reading routines along with a home childproofing kit.

For our follow-up phone conversation, we were referred to a similar program at the University of Southern California, which I’ll definitely be checking out in the upcoming weeks.

Newborn Goodies

Before I became a mom, most of my attention was spent on purchasing cute outfits for our little baby. After the first month, I realized that most of my purchases were completely unrealistic since there would be little time to play dress-up. In retrospect, here are some items that I definitely should’ve bought instead.

Diaper rashes are nothing new, but their familiarity doesn’t make them any more welcome. After going through several brands of baby wipes including the Honest Company’s hypoallergenic wipes, which didn’t leave me impressed. I love the super pure Water Wipes, unscented baby wipes that are composed of 99.8% water, 0.2% natural fruit extract – nothing else!

One thing worth paying up for are the smaller necessities that your baby will be using for awhile. This is why I love the silicon Como Tomo bottles, which are slightly more expensive than your standard bottles, but beneficial in two ways – the hole on the suction cup isn’t as large as the Dr. Brown’s bottles, which make them virtually leak-free and optimal for breastfeeding training. The rounded design is definitely mod, too.

The Goumikids Scratch-Free Mittens are perfect for the fussy newborn that can’t keep his hands away from the face. Prior to motherhood, I didn’t realize that babies love to self-soothe by jabbing their (surprisingly) sharp nails into their delicate skin. What I love about these mittens is the adjustable velcro closure which keeps the mittens on during intense fussing and crying.

Every mom will share their love for a good swaddle. In my house, you’ll find extra large 3′ x 4′ swaddles lying around in each room. Among my collection ranging from the Oh Joy! x Target to Aden & Anais, my favorite is the Pehr Designs Petit Swaddle, which is stretchy and breathable.

A safety rule – babies should sleep alone in an enclosed space. The DockATot Deluxe is a great alternative to a bassinet with its portable, flat design. The dock eliminates SIDS risk and is great for co-sleeping. Ergobaby 360 is the newly improved companion to the Ergobaby with a more airy structure to allow extra breathing space.