Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Product Review & Update

Since I realized I haven't updated in a week when I got into my blog this morning (oops - I completely forgot!), I'll do a quick Sunday Product Review, followed by an update of what's happened over the past week.

This week's product: the Graco Snugride 30 Infant Car Carrier & Graco Snugride 35 car base

I love our Snugride 30!  The best feature is this is one of the few Graco car seats that has preemies in mind - the weight minimum is 4 lbs., which is why John & I made the decision to change to this seat over the original travel system we had registered for (the fact that the other travel system was also out of stock constantly was an issue for me, but no worries now!).  Originally, if you recall, we were figuring that Judith would come home around the 4 lb. mark.  She was over 5 by the time the antibiotic treatment was up, but because she's so tiny we avoided having to use blanket rolls to stabilize her in her car seat by purchasing the Snugride 30.  She can remain in the seat up to 30 lbs. or about 32" in length.  Why is this important to me?  Our little peanut can remain rear-facing for at least a year.

The seat itself is easy to use, even though it looks very intimidating.  Adjusting the straps through the proper holes to get it to the proper height and fit can take some time to complete, but once you know what you're doing it's a snap.  The directions included are simple to follow.  This particular seat comes with 1 car base (extras sold separately, but I'll get to that in a minute), which is equipped for the LATCH safety system in all newer cars.  You can, however, easily install it into an older car like mine rather easily.  Figuring out where the latch clips are and getting the base installed the first time is tricky, but, like adjusting the seat straps on the carrier, once you've done it you can install the base in a couple short minutes.  Moving the base from car to car is also easy.

As mentioned earlier, you can purchase an extra base or 2 for your other vehicles.  The Snugride 35 is the base that's compatible with all Snugride 35, 32, and 30 seats.  This base has an extra feature that I really like: there is a special locking part to hold a safety belt in place when you cannot use the LATCH system.  Therefore, this base is in my car.  Installation was also easy...once we got my center seat belt to move through the adjustor piece (it hasn't been used in ages, so it was quite stiff).

A few negatives: installation of the bases takes 2 people: 1 to adjust the belts to secure the seat, and another to hold the base stable so it remains in the proper position during the tightening process.  On the seat itself, the restraints are easy to adjust, but the locks for the buckles at the crotch can be tricky to lock in.  The canopy is also a small problem, as the handle does not move over it smoothly.  I'm not completely convinced that this is a problem with the canopy, though, as much as it is with the shower-cap style Bundle Me that we have on the seat right now.  I will reevaluate this Spring once the cold weather gear is removed!

And now for our update!

Judith was at the pediatrician Monday for a follow-up for the reflux.  She does indeed have some reflux - the type where the acid is backing up and causing pain and problems.  She's on Zantac to help neutralize the acid in her stomach, and we've noticed a huge difference in her eating habits over the past week.  She's much more comfortable, and will not turn her head away or arch her back as much.  She'll occasionally spit up a bit, but the Zantac will not help eliminate that (and it's not a lot of spit up when it happens).  She's not wild about the Zantac, but I have an easier time giving that to her than the daily vitamin - at least she'll chase the Zantac down with her bottle.  The vitamin is hit or miss: some days she'll suck it down like it's liquid gold, other days she sucks it into her mouth and proceeds to dribble it right back out.

Judith is up to 6 lbs!  We're very excited, and are hoping that we can soon move to demand feeds.  We're still on the every 3 hours schedule, but I do notice that Judith is starting to eat more.  She's getting half breast milk, half formula - at least when the breast milk isn't spoiling on us - and has 2 all formula supplements throughout the course of a day so she's ensured to get the extra calories she needs.

All of the milk is frozen, and we're actually having a problem with it.  The only time Judith is protesting her feeds is when the milk goes bad, and we don't pick up on it right away.  Last night was particularly gnarly, and John was feeding her.  He couldn't figure out what Judith's problem was, but as soon as he brought her over to me I smelled it on her breath.  We took a whiff of the bottle and I quickly declared we had to dump the rest of the mixture in the fridge.  The kicker is the milk was only 12 hours out of the freezer - well below the 24 hour limit.  This isn't the first time this has happened either, and I'm beginning to think that something went wrong during the freezing process.  Our freezer is opened a lot throughout the day for me to take stuff out for meals, and I'm wondering if it's impacting the milk inside.  So it's looking more and more likely that Judith will actually have to move to all formula sooner than we think - I'm averaging having to throw out at least half of what I thaw any given day because it smells so funky.  Of course I packed up my pump parts for good this week, and am drying up nicely.  Go figure.

We have a head ultrasound for Judith this week - her pedi wants a baseline for herself since she did not see the results of the ultrasound from the NICU.  There weren't any brain bleeds before, and I doubt that there are any now.  The doctor also wants to check and make sure there wasn't any severe damage caused by the possible meningitis.  And I'm hoping that we'll have a nurse visit at the office this week for Judith's next Synagis dose - it's ordered, and we're just waiting for it to arrive.  I'm hoping that RSV season's starting to wind down, and our isolation from public places will be coming to an end in the next few weeks.  At least we have the stroller now, and I can get out of the house with Judith for walks on the warmer days!

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