Help Hungry Children: Donate Formula Samples

Last Sunday I was walking out of church and a boy scout leader handed me a plastic grocery bag. I remembered hearing something about the local food drive, so I shoved the bag in my purse. The purse has been hanging on my banister for three days now...the grocery bag still crumpled up inside.
Then last night I was watching The Biggest Loser and the contestants were challenged to work in a food pantry making up food kits. That got me thinking...

I decided this morning to pull that plastic grocery bag out of my purse and try to fill it. It doesn't take much to fill a plastic bag and I knew I had a few things I could donate.

I started digging through my pantry to see what I could give that I wouldn't miss. I just bought a can of baked potato soup last week at the store so I threw that in there. I loaded up on spaghetti sauce, when it was on sale, so I figured donating one of the four in my pantry was hardly a sacrifice. I also found a spread that had come in a gift basket that I have yet to use so I threw that in there. 

Then I spotted the baby formula. I still breastfeed my daughter and only give her a formula bottle on a rare occasion. There's no way she'd never use the 8 sample containers I got in the mail shortly after she was born. So I loaded that bag up with formula. 

For anyone who's ever bought formula you know it can be extremely expensive. I was shocked to learn a large container can cost $25. A quick Google search found a two month old baby drinks nearly $5 worth of formula a day! That's $150 a month and $1800 a year! That's a lot of money for anyone. For a family who's struggling to make ends meet it might be tempting to cut back on formula or water it down to stretch the dollar. I remember, not too long ago, hearing a news report about a mother who found herself unable to buy formula. She was getting formula through state assistance but it wasn't enough for the month, nor was it meant to be. She would dilute the formula to make it last through the entire month.  What she didn't realize was by diluting her little boy's forumla she was nearly killing him. He was getting water intoxication and had to be hospitalized. I also think about what's going to happen to those California Octuplets. How is that mother going to feed those eight hungry babies, along with her six other children? Many people, including myself, want to help the children but want to be sure the donations  are being used they way they were meant to be! Donating formula, cereal, and baby food is an easy way to make sure these children are getting what they need. We all have a responsibility as parents to care for the children we bring into this world.  I feel a responsibility to help the children whose parents can't, for one reason or another. I would hope that I could turn to my community for help if my family should ever fall on hard times. 

If you have formula samples in your pantry, or if your pediatrician's office asks if you'd like samples, accept them on behalf of the hungry children. Donate them to a local food bank and teach your children a valuable lesson about the world's hunger problem and about giving back. 


Change Does a Baby Good

I've never been afraid of change...that is until I had my baby. Funny, how she changed everything and now I'm afraid any little change will throw off her schedule,put our day into chaos and spin our world out of control. Okay, so it's not quite that bad...

Here's what I mean about change though...in the last 6 years I have lived in 5 different states, had three different jobs, got married, had a baby, adopted a dog....so clearly I haven't always been afraid of change.

I guess it's a relatively new phenomenon for me since I'm always so certain it will throw my daughter's predictable schedule into a tailspin.

For the first five months of her life my daughter was swaddled to sleep in the Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe . Everyone kept telling me I had to start unswaddling her. I knew it was time when she kept getting out of the "straight jacket" because she was clearly too big for it. So one night I went cold turkey and unswaddled her. I swore she wouldn't be able to sleep. I swore her nights of sleeping 11 straight hours were over. I just knew we'd have at least a week of crying...but no! She was fine. She fell asleep, stayed asleep and woke up happy...arms flailing. (Although, I do have to admit, I miss the excessive stretching that came with un-velcroing the swaddle every morning.)

Before that we had the drama that came with finally getting her to sleep in her crib. No, she wasn't co-sleeping with us or even in our room. She was sleeping in her room...in the carseat, that for five months, was plopped right next to her crib. The pediatrician recommended putting her in there since she had a little reflux as a newborn. She was in there so long I was finally convinced that's the only place she could sleep. The change finally came (reluctantly for me) when she kept waking up because she was no longer comfortable in the confined space of the car seat. I was so concerned that she'd cry all night over the dramatic change that I tried to convince my husband she still needed to be in the carseat. Yes, she cried for a little bit...but, again, she was fine with the change. More so than me.

More recently I changed the way I feed my little girl. Not only has she started solids but I stopped the "dream feed" (suggested in "Good Night Sleep Tight: The Sleep Ladys Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake Up Happy" ). Basically the dream feed was a sixth bottle feeding that came around 10pm. Even though bedtime was around 7:15 I would then give my daughter a 2 oz bottle as she continued to sleep around 10pm. I did this for months. She always slept right through the bottle feeding and I was convinced she needed it to sleep through the night. (Like 2oz was really doing anything!) Anyway, last week she started waking up after I'd give her this last bottle. One night she was up for nearly two hours. For a few weeks I had debated about stopping this feeding since she was getting solid food and she probably didn't need those calories anyway. But since we had always done it, and afraid of making the change, I continued. Then when she started waking up I finally decided..that's it! No more! That night I went to bed without giving her those two ounces and I was convinced she'd wake up at 4am screaming because she was hungry. But 6:45 rolled around and she woke up babbling the same as she did the nights she got the bottle.

So here's my point in all of this. As much as I'm afraid to disrupt any semblance of order, my daughter has taken to the change without skipping a beat. She seems to be adaptable to change at this age and so I'm just going with it. I'm starting to realize I can't worry about what will happen if I change something in her life because her life is going to be full of changes.

So far, so good!
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