Happy 6 Months!!

Stats:
Laney W 12.5 lbs  H 24.25″
Livia  W 12.2 lbs H 23.75″

Dear Livia & Laney,

It seems like just yesterday we were in the hospital meeting you for the first time. You are growing before my eyes and becoming little girls. I can’t stand it – please slow down!! We had your 6 month check up and the Doctor said you were growing perfectly. You are small (2% for weight and height and 10% for head diameter) but mighty and meeting plus exceeding your development milestone! Hooray!! Mommy is so proud of you!

6month_circleWe are still working on rolling from back to front…ahh you are so close. Livia you jibber jabber all day long and Laney you’ve learned to shriek/scream whether you have an audience or not. I don’t know how Daddy gets anything done because our house is never quiet anymore. You are grabbing at everything which has thrown us for a loop. You continue to be very interested in each other and are always curious what the other one is doing. Did I mention LOVE for attention?? Umm yea that’s a big one now. And hatred for laying down or being in your car seat. You want to be out, sitting upright (Livia you have mastered this, Laney you’re almost there) and flirting with the world! Tummy time is going so much better. You aren’t close to crawling and I’m TOTALLY fine with that. I’ll need extra prayers, legs, arms, etc. when that occurs. Also no teeth yet. You are drooling and gumming everything you can get your hands on though.

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You are both super strong willed and get frustrated when you want to play with a toy and can’t figure out how it works. Lastly, I’ve noticed you are both wanting to play with the same toy at the same time. Some fussing has ensued because of this. I think you need to learn to share and we can’t have two of everything but if there was just one of you, you would get to have that toy to yourself. I don’t think there is one right answer so I’ll continue to mull over this dilemma. Thank you thank you for being such AH-MAZING sleepers. 11-12 hours per night and 2-3 naps per day.You get it from your Momma!

 

 

You are both doing better on the food front. I think it’s more fun for you to smash the food all over your face and on your Bumbo than to actually swallow but that’s ok. We are up to sweet potatoes, peas and prunes. I am still exclusively nursing you. Yay! I made it to my goal! Not sure how long I’m going to continue but for now, I’m thankful that you are both still willing and I’m able to keep up. I get to experience a side of your sweet bond that no one else does when you are both nursing and I LOVE it. I hope you both get to experience this amazing bond with your babies someday.

It’s crazy how different life is now that you are 6 months old. We say it all the time, we’re not sure how we survived the first 3 months but we did! I think we finally figured out this whole parenting thing. Well for now. Haha! Hallelujah!!

You are surrounded by so much love. I hope you feel it daily! Your laughs and smiles are contagious. Daddy and I can’t get enough! Always remember that we love and adore you!

Love,

Mommy

That fateful appointment

Most of you are aware that Kris and I were not expecting to get pregnant with twins. It was beyond shocking to say the least. So many people have asked so I figured I would document how that fateful appointment went.

 

Kris and I found out we were pregnant the Saturday before Mother’s Day in 2012. We starting “trying” (ugh we both hate that word but oh well) in April. We knew of so many people that had a difficult time getting pregnant right away so we figured it would take a few months which was fine. We weren’t in a rush. But if you do the math you’ll realize we got pregnant right away. Hooray!! We were very blessed!

Fast forward 3 weeks later…

I was sick as a dog with morning, afternoon, all day and night sickness the week of my first OB appointment so we felt confident going that it would be fairly uneventful. After all sickness is usually a good sign that the baby is safe and growing.

May 31st, 2013

twins_2The Sonographer, Melissa (I will NEVER forget her name) brought us into the ultrasound room. Asked the typical medical questions and on we started. Kris was sitting on a couch that was maybe 2-3 feet from the chair I was in. It didn’t take her very long to find the heartbeat which was fantastic! As I was looking over to say to Kris “well done” Melissa says “and there is the second heartbeat.” Completely monotone. “Congratulations you are having twins!” I flung forward and while grabbing her in a completely inappropriate fashion (because it’s not ok to touch someone you don’t know) I screamed, “WHATTTTTTTTT?!?!?! No that can’t be! Twins don’t run in our family!!! We weren’t using fertility treatments!!!! That can’t be right!!!” She laughed and said, “Yes there are two healthy heartbeats. And they are identical which is spontaneous so it can happen to anyone.” Total disbelief still! She just kept laughing at us and then finished off the appointment by saying she had a baby at home and couldn’t imagine two. Gee thanks! When we got into the exam room the NP came in and said she could hear us screaming from across the hall. I wonder why?!?! Haha

The rest of the appointment was a total blurr. I will admit, there were lots of tears on my part. Mention of high risk, preterm birth, complications for me and babies. How in the hell were we going to take care of two babies?!?! Uncertainty and fear both weighed heavily on me. Kris was cool as a cucumber. He said we always wanted two so now we were getting it done at once. Men…they don’t like to complicate things. :-)

We raced home to tell our families and friends. Below is a video of my Sister’s reaction! Pretty much sums it up…

 

 

We have two angels that were heaven sent! I’m sure of it! It would be strange to have just one baby…and easy! Haha JK (well maybe not) :-)

Happy 5 Months!!

Dear Livia and Laney,

landl-yellowAs usual these last 4 weeks flew by! I can’t believe you are 5 months old already.

You’ve had a couple of first this month…

  1. Going to the beach. You HATED it but that’s ok. Your Daddy and I aren’t too fond of it either so we understand. Cold merky water and sand you can’t get off of you…ugh! No thank you! We will stick to pools, which you actually liked! Hooray! Between our pool, Grandma’s, Grandpa and Nana’s and Gramps and Mammy’s you’ll turn into fish I’m sure.
  2. Eating solids. This is a touchy subject. Your Pediatrician said we could start solids but it would be more of an activity for us and likely you would not eat much. Annnnddd he was correct! Rice cereal…fail, green beans…fail, sweet potatoes…fail. Seriously?!? What baby doesn’t like sweet potatoes?? Laney you finally got the hang of having a spoon in your mouth and liked that but you spit the food out as soon as the spoon came out. Livia you just cried and cried like we were feeding you poison.At the beach, Daddy was holding Livia and eating raspberry sherbet. Livia started fussing and was grabbing at his cup so he gave you some. You ate it off his spoon perfectly and then fussed for more. UNBELIEVABLE! I realized then, I was being played times two! And you have a sweet tooth like your Momma! Good grief! The next day I tried sweet potatoes again and finally you both swallowed it. Laney you seemed to enjoy it and Livia you just caved and ate to appease me. Thank you! :-)
  3. Going to the Sitter. Mrs. Susie’s house, so Mommy could go back to work. I’m only gone two days and you seem happy as pie to be with Mrs. Susie!  You play, do tummy time, read books, etc. We’ve only received one bad report card! LOL!! Mommy is thankful to have a break sometimes but misses you dearly. We are so lucky and thankful that Daddy works hard so that I can be home with you two!

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Developmentally…

You are both super chatty; so close to rolling from back to front and both standing strong! We started putting you in your saucer, which you both love. Usually one is inside and the other is hanging onto the outside. You’re a little small for it but we make it work. You’ve both figured out how to turn yourselves around so you can see the TV if it’s on. Smarty pants! Your giggles are on a whole new level. Kisses on the belly, cheeks, feet and neck all make you belly laugh! You also laugh at Chloe when she is playing or giving you kisses. It’s beyond precious!  It doesn’t take much to get a reaction out of you these days, which we love.

Everyone warned us about 4 month regression but thankfully you guys didn’t get the memo. We had one difficult week where you woke up a lot at night, naps were sparse and you were super fussy but that’s it. I thought for sure you were teething but nothing has poked through yet. I’m still nursing you so I’m ok with that.  Me’s scurred for teeth!

 

 

Even though these last 5 months have flown by so quickly, I can’t remember what it was like not having you here and not being a Mom. Sure our house is rarely as clean as it used to be and our lives revolve around a 3 hour eat/nap schedule but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Watching you two grow has been and will be my greatest joy!

 

Love,

Mommy

Happy Four Months!

Stats:

Laney W 10.15 lbs  H 22.5″  (2 months W 8.9 lbs H 20.5″)
Livia  W 10.11 lbs H 22.25″  (2 months W 8.6 lbs H 20.75″)

Dear Laney and Livia,

I’ve been so excited to write this post! These past four weeks have been so fun watching your personalities blossom and reach development milestones! You two just fill my heart!

Laney you were the first born and have been the pioneer to try and do new things ever since. You started grabbing toys, rolling from front to back, standing up and cooing first. You have a love for Mickey Mouse Club like no other! You kick and talk to the TV the entire time! You also love and need lots of attention! Ha! If you could spend all day in my lap, watching your sister play, you would. You are the first to celebrate your accomplishments like smiling so big when you stand up! You are so proud! You love your play mat but only when your sister is on there with you. If I pick her up, you lose it! You are definitely going to be more stubborn, I mean strong willed, compared to Livia. But I absolutely  love that about you!

 

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Livia you may not do everything before your sister but you are quick to follow! You are super independent and laid back. Unlike Laney, you are happy to play on your play mat alone and don’t mind hanging on the changing pad or couch while I tend to your sister. You just take in your surroundings. You really enjoy kicking and splashing in the bath tub. Your Dad and I are taking bets on whether you’ll be a soccer player or swimmer. We shall see. You usually wake up before Laney and enjoy sitting on Daddy’s lap while he works. You love staring at his computer monitors and having alone time with him. I know this is so special for him too!

 

 

First and foremost I would like to thank you both for taking the big step of sleeping through the night! WAHOO!! Mommy and Daddy have learned we LOVE our sleep and are super thankful that you do too now! You also started sleeping in your bedroom. We took so much time to make sure it was perfect for  you! And that pretty light you love to stare at before bath time, Daddy carefully hung every single one of those crystal. It makes him very happy that you like it so much.

You both are finally fitting into 0-3 month and most 3 month clothes. Getting dressed still requires a little fight but it’s getting better. Dresses…not your fav! You do LOVE to pull the dresses above your belly so you can suck on the bottom. Not very lady like ya’ll!

I have two favorites from this past month…

  1. We finally got to hear you laugh! Simply the BEST sound ever! Shortly after you turned 3 months, you started doing small giggles. Then two weeks ago you started belly laughing! Livia you did it first. We were playing airplane with you and putting you in your sisters face and you thought it was so funny! Then a few days later during our nightly walks we decided to swing with you in our laps! You loved it and both laughed the whole time which in turn made Daddy and I laugh hysterically! Your sweet laughs are so contagious! I will never forget that moment.
  2. Your bond is becoming more and more apparent. You are always touching one another. This could be holding hands while nursing or on your play mat or sucking on each other hands after you’ve finished eating. It’s like you need to make sure the other one is there. Most of the time when you see each other you smile. It’s a different smile than you give to anyone else. You also starting cooing at each other or having “twin talk” as some call it! It’s your very own secret language. You coo and laugh at one another. It’s so fun to watch!

I would say overall you’ve become much more interactive which has been amazing! Your Daddy has been waiting for this stage since before you entered this world! You sit on our laps and play with your rattles and talk and smile at us. Its the best part of my day!!

I know I say it over and over again but you are both such a blessing! Everyday is so fun with you! I never knew my heart could feel so much love. Thank you for that gift!

Love,

Mommy

Happy Three Months!

Dear Laney & Livia,

Yet again another month has flown by! Everyone warned me that it goes by so fast but I didn’t really believe it until I had you.

Developmentally, I think you’ve both made the most strides this month which has been so fun to watch!! You’re both super alert, love to smile and are now “talking” to us!  You have so much to say, I wish I could understand. I always tell you “I love you” and you give the biggest grin back. Then you usually start cooing and it makes me think you are saying “Love you too!” Melts.me.everytime. We are still waiting for laughs!! You are so close!!  You prefer to suck on your hands, rather than your pacifiers and you get so much joy out of kicking your feet. Kicking Mommy and Daddy or your toys on the play mat is way more fun than touching anything. Silly girls!

My most favorite milestone has been watching you notice each other. Laney you started to look at Livia and smile first! It took my breathe away!! Livia you quickly followed!  Daddy and I joke that it must be strange to see an identical person staring back at you. Haha!  You have both been much better about sitting with/next to each other and sharing Mommy and Daddy. Thank you for that! Sometimes when you finish nursing you like to suck on each others hands. It’s precious! I can’t wait for you to be able to play together!

laneyandlivia-3months

In addition to paying attention to one another you also have taken a liking to your big sister Chloe. You watch her all the time and love to get kisses from her. You’ll have to deal with Chloe kisses your whole life so it’s great that you don’t mind it!

Today is your first day wearing size 1 diapers. Sad! A part of me wishes you could stay small forever.

So far you love:

  • Being outside! There is so much to stare at!
  • Sitting on Mommy or Daddy’s lap and smile at us clucking our tongue! It’s your favorite new thing!
  • Mickey Mouse club in the morning. Don’t worry I don’t park you in front of the TV all day but Momma’s gotta shower and brush her teeth at some point!
  • Kicking! You’ve finally figured out what those legs can do. You love to splash in the tub and kick the dangling toys on your play mat.

Not really fans of:

  • Getting into your car seats! It’s like we are murdering you almost every time.
  • Evening time. You generally scream from 5:30ish until bath time. It’s really not fun and we are looking forward to you outgrowing this. We’ve tried everything from gas drops, gripe water, bouncing you, rocking, playing with toys, etc. Nothing seems to help. Poor girls! Your Doctor has assured us nothing is wrong, just tired and over stimulated and a phase you will pass.
  • Sleeping in your cribs. You will go to sleep but won’t stay asleep then you wake your sister up! Sheesh little ones!

 

You are both a lot of work, but it’s the best work I’ll ever do! I’m sorry if I get overwhelmed and frustrated at times. Its a learning process for all of us. I love you so much and only want you to be happy. Someday when you become mothers you’ll understand.

I stare at you in awe of what your Daddy and I created! You are so perfect God decided the world needed two of you! I’m sure of it!

Love,
Mommy

Big Sis Chloe

As many of you know, our almost 6 year old Boxer, Chloe has always been the Queen of the Carter castle! Spoiled since the day we picked her up from the breeder.

We are really lucky that Chloe has been good with kids. And when I say good I mean LOVES to lick them, specifically in the mouth if she can! If a baby is crying she’s always been super curious and attentive. We knew she would make a GREAT Big Sister to Laney and Livia!

Here’s pictures I’ve taken since the girls were born!

chloe-wide

Chloe loves to give her sisters kisses, big shocker there! She also loves to lay near them anytime they are on their play mat our blanket on the ground. Chloe can’t wait for them to be able to play fetch or tug! She drops her toys near them all the time but no luck yet. :) She tries to lick them in the mouth when they are crying. It actually makes them stop crying for a little bit, no joke! Ha! But when both the girls are crying, she bails! We’ve also noticed she is very protective over them when it comes to my Mom’s dogs. They are not allowed near the girls or else!

 

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Dear Laney and Livia,

I’ve typed and retyped this post about a dozen times. I wanted it to be perfect. It’s about your Mimi Linda. We talk about her sometimes. You met her before you were born, I’m sure of it. Daddy and I always say that Linda played a funny trick on us when we found out we were having you both. She always thought I was such a handful, strong and independent, but a handful nonetheless. So I’m sure she had quite the laugh when God decided that we would have twin girls! Ha!

She wished for you and Grayson all the time. I wish more than anything that she could be here to hold and love on you. She would have made you laugh and would have gotten a kick out of your larger than life smiles.

Even though she isn’t here, I feel her often. Just the other day Laney you were dressed in a black and red sleeper. It had a black Scottish Terrier dog on it, one of Mimi’s favorites. I was getting ready to take a picture of you to send to Grandma when suddenly you had a bit of an explosion. You smiled and I knew, Linda was there. She would have thought that was so funny!  She would have also been so proud to see how protective Tug is with you. She loved him so much!

Grandma wanted to make sure you both had a piece of Mimi Linda with you so she had beautiful quilts made with her favorite pajamas. They turned out amazing, just as Linda would have wanted.  They include a beautiful prayer:

linda-letter

My Dearest Laney/Livia,

This quilt is made from my pajamas with love and a gift from me to you. I wanted and wished to see you so badly. But in this world I was not meant to stay sadly. Although I am no longer here, I will watch over you and always be near. Cuddle up in this quilt as if my arms are wrapped around you ever so tight. I will keep your dreams free of whatever may give you fright. Angels to the North, South, East and West will watch over you as you lay your head to rest.

All My Love,

Mimi Linda

 

Linda, thank you for watching over our two little angels and bringing them to us safely. Please continue to watch over them. I promise to talk about you often. I hope our girls will grow up and learn to love life and cherish their lives as much as you did! Happy Birthday!

Love,

Mommy/Sarah Belle

 

 

Happy Two Months!

Stats:
Laney W 8.9 lbs (birth 5.3 lbs) H 20.5″ (birth 18.5″)
Livia W 8.6 lbs (birth 4.15 lbs) H 20.75″ (birth 17.5″)

 

Dear Livia and Laney,

I can’t believe how quickly your second month of life has come and gone! It’s crazy!! Looking back at your newborn pictures, I can’t believe how much you’ve grown and changed. You are no longer these little babies that eat, sleep, poop and repeat! You both are so much more awake and alert these days. Grandma said it best, “They are ready to be apart of the world!” You still prefer to be held by Mommy or Daddy but you want to be sitting upright facing away from us so you can see everything. You’re already showing signs of independence which makes me so happy and proud!

The best part of this month has been seeing your sweet smiles! Livia started first but Laney quickly followed. One day I was holding Livia and telling her that I loved her and she gave me the biggest smile and coo! Ahhh! Seriously amazing!! You both are still working on laughing. You open your mouth after smiling and let out big coos so we think you’re getting close. These moments are so precious and are happening more and more.

 

2month

 

I’m happy to report that you both are finally fitting nicely into your newborn outfits and a few headbands. Don’t worry I don’t dress you a like all the time! I do like you to coordinate though, sorry! I can’t wait for you to fit into your 0-3 month clothes! Ya’ll have some fabulous outfits to rock soon!

So far you like:

  • Bath time
  • Being held by anyone at anytime!
  • Going for strolls outside with the limo (as Mammy named it) or in your Bjorn carriers. We enjoy walking to Downtown Winter Garden for weekend festivities or to eat.
  • Livia you love staring at ceiling fans and Laney you love watching the TV. You both love looking at the mirror and birds dangling on your swing!
  • Getting kisses from Chloe! She loves doing tummy time with you!

You’re not fans of:

  • Laying in your rockers unless you’re sleeping.
  • Getting into your car seats.
  • Being swaddled with your arms in. You will squirm and cry until you or we can get your arms out.
  • Having gas bubbles. But who does really?!? Poor girls have been battling with this for a few weeks now.
  • Laying or just being near each other. I understand you were smushed on top of one other for 9 months but I hope you will want to share the same space without screaming soon! You’re supposed to be BFF’s! :-)

 

chloe-2-months

 

There seems to be mixed opinions about who you look like. Most people think you look like Daddy! He says you have my wrinkly forehead (thanks Dad) and I think you have his lips and double chin! Ha! Sorry girls! You’re both absolutely beautiful and look like little dolls! I couldn’t have wished for more adorable girls!

I still stare at you all the time in awe that you are both mine!  God gave us two of the best and greatest blessings! I hope even now at such a young age, you know how much you are loved!

Love,

Mommy

Seeing Double

Everyone: How do you tell your girls apart?

Us: We can’t.

I know we are up for Parents of the Year with that response, but it’s the truth! Laney and Livia truly are identical twins. Neither were born with birth marks, a freckle, different facial features, etc. Livia has small stork bites on the back of her neck but we were warned these may not be permanent and could fade away.

At the hospital, we used their ID bracelets.

 

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Then we noticed Laney’s left ear had a pointier shape then Livia’s. She of course outgrew this after two weeks! Go figure!

Finally we resorted to nail polish! It had to be done!

Can you tell them apart?!?!

Breastfeeding Twins

So many people have asked and are curious about breastfeeding twins so I figured I would make a post about my experience so far. Disclaimer: not interested in boob talk, scroll on!

I’m proud to say I’m exclusively breastfeeding both Laney and Livia. To maintain my sanity, I feed them both at the same time, using the football hold. Picture below. Just kidding that’s weird! If interested – Google it!

I’ll start from the beginning…

When you find out you’re expecting twins, everyone will tell you it’s practically impossible and unheard of to breastfeed twins. During my pregnancy, I religiously read blogs about twins/twin pregnancies. This was so helpful! Real life stories of what worked and what didn’t work for moms. A couple were able to breastfeed without any issue but many had to pump and bottle feed or use formula because their milk never came in.  I remained positive that I was going to give breastfeeding a try and if it didn’t work out then at least I tried.

The girls arrived and the nurses were aware that I wanted to try to breastfeed. They were extremely supportive and helped to get the girls latched! L&L didn’t have any problem! Yippee!! They fed for a little while and then had to have their blood sugar levels tested. Unfortunately both levels came back low so they advised us to supplement with formula until they were able to regulate their blood sugar on their own. I was totally fine with this. Formula is better than medication. I also knew most moms of twins have to supplement in the beginning until their milk comes in anyways. The feeding schedule they put us on was grueling but what the girls required. Every 3 hours I would breastfeed until they unlatched, then give them 15-20ml of formula and then pump (to try and help my milk come in) and feed them what little I pumped. By the time we were finished, we slept for maybe 45 minutes and started the process all over again. It makes me yawn thinking about this! Poor Kris would walk from one side of the hospital bed to the other, helping each baby latch. He says he understands why people give up. It was a lot of work and took a ton of patience in the beginning. After day 3, they were good to go!

We visited L&L’s Pediatrician the day after we were discharged. Since the girls were gaining weight, she said it would be more practical to start a 4 hour schedule and I didn’t need to pump after every feeding. Seriously, I could have hugged her. Best news!  She also said if my milk was coming in, it wasn’t necessary to give them formula at every feeding. We agreed that it might help for night feedings. It makes them feel fuller and in turn sleep longer.  So we thought…

During the next couple of weeks, we continued on with our 3.5-4 hour schedule. In the beginning they would feed for 30-50 minutes at a time.  I noticed they were pretty fussy at the 2 hour mark so I started pumping again after every feeding and would give them 1-1.5 oz of expressed milk at that 2 hour mark. They seemed content but I had this overwhelming anxiety and stress about pumping. There was no time! One of the girls always required my attention. If I pumped right after a feeding, which is suggested by just about everyone, I would get barely anything. Totally not worth the effort so I would pump 1 hour after feedings finished. I fed the girls formula at night only. During week 3, I noticed they were starting to refuse the formula. When they would take it, it didn’t really help them sleep any longer and they both seemed to spit up more. I also think this contributed to their fussiness during the day because it aggravated their tummies. No more formula for these babes!

I’ve mentioned this before but the girls came down with minor colds during week 4 which rocked our whole world!  When visiting the Pediatrician, she suggested while they were sick to bump up the feedings to every 3 hours if the girls would tolerate it. Breast milk apparently aides in the healing process, as well as, keeps them hydrated. These eating machines couldn’t have been happier. Plus I had my best friend’s wedding coming up and needed to pump and store milk for 2 days so this was a blessing. I would pump about the same time (still gave me 2 hours to regenerate my milk supply for the next feeding) and I was able to start storing milk. It’s so crazy how your supply will change when feeding every 3 hours compared to every 4 hours.

We slowly moved back to 4 hour feedings because it’s just easier and I feel like less of a Milk Maid. I guess because my supply went up, they feed now for only 15-20 minutes and don’t need the supplement in between feedings. Yay! Less pumping for me! Now I only pump once per day in the morning and store that milk in the freezer. I can get about 6 oz of expressed milk and only pump more if we are going to be away and the girls need to be bottle fed.

What I’ve learned:

  • Don’t listen to the Pediatricians, OB/GYNO, nurses and family and friends that tell you it’s very difficult and more than likely impossible.
  • I couldn’t do this without having babies who are willing to latch. Many babies won’t/can’t do it.
  • Coconut oil works great for sore/cracked nipples. Don’t buy expensive creams, this is natural and works so much better! Also you can use it before pumping to help express milk easier.
  • Nipple confusion is total bull**
  • In the beginning, you will constantly question and worry if they are getting enough. Its ok, they are getting enough as long as they are gaining weigh and going to the bathroom.
  • It can’t be done without the My Breast Friend Twin pillow!
  • Don’t buy/register for tons of 3-4oz bottles. My girls are not even two months old and drinking 3 oz. The hospital will give you small bottles, your Pediatrician will give you sample formula that has small bottles inside and your breast pump will come with some also and that’s all you’ll need. I have like 15 – 3oz Aventi bottles I sterilized and have never used. GRRR!
  • Formula is expensive, BM is free = I will breastfeed as long as I can!

Hope this helps any expecting moms!