Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Power of the Mighty Pen and Paper

Though Little One is a breastfed baby, we decided to have Hubby give her one bottle of breast milk at night so I can sleep a bit. I have to admit, I felt guilty about letting her have a bottle, but for the sake of my own sanity, we did this. I seriously don't know how farmers' wives do all of the things they do: work, help their husbands with whatever jobs need to be done, do all the cooking (mostly from scratch!), take care of the house and family, and breastfeed exclusively! Anyway, I feel a little less guilty knowing that she is getting breast milk in that one bottle at night.

We purchased Platex VentAire bottles. Though Hubby said they are good and he likes the design and the way the bottles are constructed, we have had a few issues with them.

1) The numbers (oz and mL) have rubbed off after only a week or two of using them. We wash the bottles according to the directions and Hubby only uses them for that one feeding at night. That's only seven times a week, so there should not be any reason for the numbers to disappear so quickly after such little use.

2) The bottoms of the bottles have started leaking. The bottles are designed to reduce gas, but the piece at the bottom seems to let liquid escape.

What did I do when Hubby told me this? I used to be the type of person who just accepted things like this, but I decided to write a letter to the company. The image above is a copy of said letter.

Within only five days after I sent the letter, I received a phone call from Playtex. I had a delightful conversation with the customer service person and she was so kind and helpful. She really appreciated the letter I wrote and said the company appreciates letters like that. We went through the issues we had with the product and she offered some suggestions and tips for caring for the products. The company has sent me four new bottles and two $5 coupons for more bottles if we buy more.

This experience has made me realize just how powerful the pen and paper (in this case, make that the keyboard and printer!) are! A letter written to a company in a positive way results in lots of positive feedback for both parties involved. I have to say that Playtex has been great in their response. We are thoroughly pleased with our experience with them.


Anonymous said...

Why beat yourself up? There is nothing wrong with that, and it s still BM!

I personally choose not to do this because it is quicker and easier (in my opinion) for me to just nurse Charlotte back to sleep, and since I started donating my expressed BM (back when Charlotte was allergic to it and I had a freezer full) I'd feel too guilty to use any of the milk I express for Charlotte (since I canistead of giving it to our recipient baby.

But really most of the babies I know get at least a bottle of BM or formula a day...I am in the minority and I think it is nice that your husband feeds LO!

Letters are great when you are unhappy with a product, many companies will work hard to remedy the situation!

Two other things:

1) i love your new wrap. i had a moby, and now use a lightweight linen wrap. it is a great way to wear a baby. i wore Charlotte for hours at a mall saturday, adam says we got lots of looks for it!

2) how do you feel about used (but stain free, in new condition) diapers? I have a few that Charlotte has grown out of that will fit your LO now or very soon!

C said...

Thanks! I have to thank you because you've been the inspiration behind my whole baby wearing craze. I fell in love with all your baby carriers!

I have to admit, a few people have told me that I'm doing LO a terrible injustice by "wearing" her because they think I'll "spoil" her. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten "Oh, dear! Put that child down! That child is going to get too spoiled!" or "Don't you ever put that child down?"

The answer to that is, yes. I do put her down. I let her play on her play mat and she does do tummy time several times a day. She also sleeps in her crib and in her playpen, so...Whatever.LOL!

I'm all for used cloth diapers :) What better way to be green? Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Anonymous said...

great, i'll wash them and send them to you! They are one size all in ones....but a SMALL one size, i think the company is crazy to market them as a one size...they are far far smaller than all my other similar dipes. LO is likely to be petite for a while though, so i think they last her. thay are great diapers except the size! they are these:

lol, of course you put her down. i love putting charlotte down, but i also love wearing her. it is easier than carrying her when she is fussy ands needs to be held, and easier than lugging out the stroller for a lot of outtings.

at the mall i see so many moms or dads trying to carry thier fussy babies and deal with older kids, bags, strollers, etc. using a carrier is so much easier. then hans are free for all those other things (and you can pile bags in the stroller!)

merinz said...

I think that you are wise to get Little One used to taking a bottle.

When the baby will not drink from a bottle at all it can cause all sorts of problems when something urgent crops up and the child has to be left with someone else.

And of course if the bottle can contain breast milk then all the better!

Good on you for writing a letter. And heartening to get such a good response too.

Karen MEG said...

I've found that since I've become a mother, a parent, I've become a lot more outspoken and critical and willing to say something when it doesn't seem right, especially when it comes to my kids. I find the responsible manufacturers go out of their way to make it right.

Way to Go!

Oh, and the bottle, every so often is so liberating. Don't fret about that at all! And it gives Daddy a chance to bond with his little girl too.

J at said...


Personally, I think getting her to take a bottle is a GREAT thing, and we started Maya off much younger than Little One is now. How else are you supposed to get to go for a date sometime? ;) And Karen Meg is right, it's a great bonding time for daddy.

C said...

Oooooooooooooh! I'd love to see your linen wrap! Have you already posted a pic of it? You've got so many great carriers, that I can't remember. All I know is that I have Mei-Tai (sp?) and baby carrier envy! LOL! :)

Thanks so much for the dipes. I've been meaning e-mail you for a while now, actually! I'll catch up with you sometime this week.

C said...

Oh! That is such a good point! I never even thought of the possibility of something urgent cropping up and having to leave the baby with someone! Yes, that would be an issue. You're right (and you've made me feel a lot better). Perhaps it's good that she is taking one bottle a night now.

I do admit that I am secretly glad that she does prefer nursing. Perhaps it's selfish on my part.

C said...

That is so true about being more vocal once you're a Mom. I used to not vocalize my opinions as much and just let things slide. I was pretty meek in that sense. Since Little One was in the hospital for the first two and a half months of her life, I learned to be more vocal. After all, we are our children's advocates. If we don't speak up for them or act in their best interests, then who will?

Oh, it surprised me the first time I questioned the doctors on things going on regarding Little One. All of a sudden, there was a voice inside me that wasn't afraid to speak out. I think that was my "Wow! I'm a Mom and I have a daughter" moment!

C said...

So true. Hubby actually mentioned to me early on that he envied me because Little One and I shared something so special. He said, "You two share something that no one else has with her. No one else can nurse her. That's your special something that only you two share and I'm jealous of that". He does treasure giving her her bedtime bottle. They bond, they exchange coos and stories. They do enjoy their special moments together. Oh, and I sooooooo enjoy being able to sleep at night! LOL!

Ohhhhhh! Date nights would be great!!! I'm looking forward to that :)

Anonymous said...

Well, I have had 2 no-bottle babies now (still have 1!)...and it is not that big a deal. Not saying there is anything wrong with giving a bottle, but not giving one is not so awful weither!!! Adam has his own rituals with our daughters that are special and bonding, and Charlotte lights up when she sees him. Zoë actually prefers him to me these days!

If I am not home and a baby needs to eat, they are offered a bottle or sippy cup, or can be fed with a medicine syringe or cup. Once they start solids, they can be fed baby-food mixed with a little BM or formula, or something else, to hold them over. If it was a long term thing, they'ed take a bottle soon enough when it was their only option.

Again...not saying there is anything wrong with giving a bottle (or only bottles) at all...but it hurts me to see comments that seem to imply that by not giving them, I am denying my husband a chance to bond with our kids and not adequately preparing for an emergency. Not true. We have 1 bottle, 2 sippy cups, a big medicine syringe, BM in the freezer and fridge, and a note on the fridge reminding anyone who may need to buy DD forumla which once she'd need (due to her allergies). C, I know this is your blog, and people are being supportive of you (as they should)...but it is also a public place and ther comments are not just for you but for the readers I assume (on my blog they are), so I hope you don't mind this comment.
You are doing great!

I don't have a picture in the new wrap yet, but here is one from the lady who made it for me:

The pattern is the centre, then the solid is the straps.

C said...

Hi! Oh, I'm totally with you on the breastfeeding. In fact, I intend to nurse Little One until she's a year old or so. One of the doctors even suggested that since she's a preemie that I should nurse her until she's TWO!!! I'm not sure if I'll be able to do two years, but I'm hoping on nursing for as long as I can. I know some people might think it's weird, but if LO wants to nurse until she's two and if I can nurse her until she's two, then so be it. I mean, breast milk is partially what got her so strong and so healthy despite her prematurity, right? The passive immunity and the antibodies...Little One hasn't gotten sick once so far (knock on wood).

For me, breast feeding my baby is one of the most important things to me. It's a gift that only I can give her. Plus, I know it's something she needs. It's what is healthy for her. Like the nurses and doctors encouraged us at Mt. Sinai, breast milk is "liquid gold".

You're also right about there being other ways for dads to bond with their baby girls. First thing in the morning, LO looks for her Daddy. When Hubby goes to her crib to get her, she goes nuts!!! The arms and legs go like crazy and she starts giggling like you wouldn't believe! It's really heartwarming to see (and hear).

I'm sure that people who have commented probably didn't mean anything hurtful by saying that giving a bottle isn't so bad. I know for myself that being able to nurse my baby is more of a priority than being able to have Hubby give her one bottle of breast milk a night. This said, I'm glad she does take one bottle a night from my husband :)

Off to check out that pic of your wrap!

P.S. Word ver= wordy! Ha! a real word! I guess "wordy" would describe this comment, as it's a bit long! LOL! Chat soon! XO

Karen MEG said...

I agree with Fancy and you about the breastfeeding... the girl nursed until over 19 months, and I would have gone longer if she wanted it. It's such a special time, you have to treasure it as long as you can. I wasn't a super regular bottlefeeder, just when they really needed it or more (I had to supplement a lot initially).

C said...

19 months! That is AWESOME!!! I wonder how long LO will go for. I'm finding that her appetite has increased A LOT lately. She's grown a lot in the past two weeks too.

I also agree with what Fancy said about the frozen breast milk. The nurses in the NICU were mentioning that I could use my frozen breast milk (I had a lot of it since I was pumping every 3 hrs) and add it into LO's cereal when she starts eating solids. That totally makes sense! BM whenever and wherever she can get it!

Karen, I've been thinking of you a lot this past week for some reason. I'm going to have to catch up with you soon :)

Anonymous said...

Chrissy, thanx for understanding.

If you want to nurse until 2...take it a little at a time. I Nursed Zoë until 28 months...and believe me if someone had told me before I had a baby, or even when I still had a young baby, that I'd nurse that long...I would have laughed in thier face! But once you get to that point, if you are both still enjoying just feels more natural to continue than to put stress on yourself and baby to stop just because 365 days have passed!

Also, nursing a toddler is way easier. They will usually take something else quite easily if you are not there or it is not a good tome to nurse, and it is only a few times a day usually. Since they are no longer living on BM and it is no longer essential (though still very benificial) you no longer stress about how much they are getting or missing a session for some reason. If you work away from them, it is a great way to reconnect, watch the news and settle them after a day at work before moving on to battling dinner!

Jinxy said...

Don't beat yourself up.

I have to give Lily a little formula each day because she wasn't gaining enough (like almost nothing) on breastmilk alone. At least LO is getting all BM and growing like a weed.

I am so impressed with the letter. I am just the type to get frustrated and toss the item. I will have to start getting more proactive about things like this.

Maria said...

OK STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP!!!! We used to do that with the boys too... that way Sean would get to enjoy cuddling up and feeding them....

When my stroller was a day over the year warranty the front wheels broke on it. Are you kidding me? It's like almost $400 for a stroller & car seat set. SO I wrote to the company. First they wanted me to pay for wheels.. it wasn't that much but it was the principal, eventually they sent me 2 sets of new front wheels. Baby stuff is expensive and there is a lot of it to get to begin with so good for you!

BTW we used Avent bottles. Found they were great with no problems.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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