Favorite Baby Items (7 Months)

There are a few new things Evan has been loving (i.e. playing with and chewing on constantly) this last month. These posts are, in general, going to be pretty short and sweet, because let’s face it…he’s a baby. Like I said in the last one of these posts, give him anything with a tag and he’s good. (Seriously…what is it with tags and babies???)

Let’s just dive right in:

The Peek-a-Boo Panda by Melissa and Doug
When Evan got this for Christmas I never would have imagined the pure joy that would spread across his face when he is playing with it. I don’t know if it’s the blue eyes that catch his attention, or the cute little panda smile, but oh my goodness…this kid loves his panda. No matter what he is already playing with or even if he is whining or crying about something, if I pull this out and make the panda play peek-a-boo with him, he starts grinning from ear to ear. Sometimes he even starts laughing. It is adorable. Plus, the toy is small so if doesn’t take up a lot of shelf space (or bag space when I take it with me places) and it is pretty inexpensive. I’m excited to watch Evan figure out how to make the panda play peek-a-boo all on his own.

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Photo via Melissa and Doug

Baby’s First Blocks by Fisher-Price
We purchased this bucket of blocks at Walmart for less than $10. Evan plays with this all the time. The blocks are great because they are structured so it is really easy for him to grasp (and chew!) them and pick them up. Placing the blocks in the correct space in the lid is way beyond him right now, but he loves taking all of the blocks out of the bucket. This entertains him for at least 30 minutes at a time, no joke. The blocks go in, the blocks come out, the blocks go in, the blocks come out. So. Much. Fun! They hold up well to teething, everything wipes clean really easily, and at the end of the day I can put everything back inside the bucket and put it on his toy shelf all nice and organized. The only thing I wish were a little better is the lid–it doesn’t click on at all–it just kind of rests on top. Honestly though I think Evan likes it better off anyway, haha.

Photo via Fisher-Price

Photo via Fisher-Price

Baby’s First Library: Animals, Numbers, ABC’s
These books are great because they are a durable board book that withstand the constant chewing of my little boy (teething means literally everything in his mouth…all day, all the time!) The pictures are big and bright, and he loves to flip the pages all by himself and “read” his books. He thinks it’s especially silly when I make the animal noises for him! We found ours at a local library book sale, but I think they are pretty inexpensive to buy. Right now we have just the animals, numbers, and ABC’s books, but apparently they make quite a few other titles as well. You can check them out on Amazon–I know they are available there for sure.

Photo via Amazon

Photo via Amazon

Mirrors
When Evan sees himself in the mirror, he goes nuts. Smiling, laughing, shrieking, giving himself a high-five, and every now and then pressing his whole face up against his reflection as if he were giving himself a kiss. It’s so funny! He just loves catching a glimpse of his reflection. Sometimes I catch him starting to smile at himself in the window of the car before I open the door to put him in his car seat. So cute. The only problem is that most mirrors on things for babies/toddlers are totally distorted and all fun-house-like. Regardless, he loves to see himself. We haven’t bothered purchasing anything special; usually we just let him play in front of our closet doors which are mirrored floor to ceiling, and he has one toy from a tummy-time gym that has a mirror on it. But that’s about it.

Haha his little face is all elongated because it's such a cheap mirror, but he's just too adorable!

Haha his little face is all elongated because it’s such a cheap mirror, but he’s just too adorable!

That’s about it for this month! As was the case last month, I am not being compensated in any way to recommend these products–they are simply items that Evan really loved at 7 months old that I wanted to recommend to all you other moms and dads out there who might be looking for ideas!

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Eight Months

This little boy! It’s amazing how much he has changed in just a month. Earlier this week he pulled up for the first time! He isn’t quite crawling yet though. He will dive forward over himself, but he isn’t really sure how to stay up on his knees, so he usually just ends up on his belly and wiggles and stretches where he wants to go. There is so such thing as sitting still anymore…now that he has figured out that he is even a little bit mobile he is on the move constantly! Since last month, his second tooth has broken through and he is still chewing on everything, so I’m expecting a few more teeth to break through somewhat soon even though none are visible under his gums yet. He is a super happy little boy! The last few days he has been playing and just smiling and almost laughing to himself. It’s so adorable. His new favorite “trick” is making silly noises with his mouth. It would be too hard for me to explain in words, but if you follow me on Instagram or on Facebook there is a cute video of it! He is getting more and more hair, but it still looks like he is completely bald because it’s all super blonde, just like his daddy was when he was a baby. I love watching him grow and learn, especially when he examines everything so intently. Oh, and he is completely fascinated by the water coming out of the faucet when we fill his bath. He just can’t understand why it makes such a loud noise and he can see it, but he can’t grab it. He fights tooth and nail to try to climb out of his laundry basket (which we use as a tub…thanks “parent hacks” site on facebook!) to put his hands under it and hold it. Speaking of which…he is super strong. Or I am super weak. One or the other haha. Let’s go with him being strong. Happy 8 months baby boy!
Month 8 Final8 months close up 8 month collage close up 8 months collage sitting 8 month collage8 months 1Also, if I were more coordinated, I would have had him wear this shirt for 9 months…since it has a 9 on it and all. But, I’m not…and I had already taken all of the pictures when I realized it. I thought about changing him and taking them all over again, but it was almost nap time and I didn’t think he would be up for that. Then I considered photoshopping the 9 into an 8…and then I realized I was crazy and the number on his shirt really doesn’t matter. There’s no such thing as perfection, right? And, that’s okay.

On Monday I’ll be posting Evan’s favorite things from this last month (month 7). See you then!

 

High Five for Friday

It’s Fridayyyy! This really means absolutely nothing since both my husband and I have to work tomorrow (yay retail!) but oh well. I still feel like celebrating anyway! Here are just a few highlights from the past week:

1. Easter dinner with our friends on Sunday. It’s hard living so far away from family, but having such amazing friends makes it a lot easier!
Easter dinner2. Cuzzupi cookies! I love this Easter tradition. My family makes these every year and now I have started to make them with Brinton and Evan too. They are so yummy! Next year I’ll try to post a recipe before Easter, in case any of you want to try them as well!
cuzzupi cookies3. Last week at LensCrafters we had a special employee promotion where Rx sunglasses were way way way on sale! I got these fantastic Tory Burch sunglasses with my prescription for a steal of a price! I seriously love them. Love love love.
TB sun4. This week was the first full week that I worked part time instead of full time. It has been amazing. I like being able to get out of the house and work outside the home, but it was so hard for me to leave my little boy every morning. Our new arrangement is the perfect compromise! Brinton gets to work at a job he really enjoys, I still get to put my talents to good use, and I get to see this little face more during the day.
Evan smiling with pacifier5. I tweeted this morning how ridiculous it is to live in Hawaii sometimes because of how much it costs, but it really is nice to be able to look up at the sky on any given day and see a rainbow smiling over me. If you look closely, you can almost see that it was a double rainbow (which was awesome in the sky…but didn’t show up quite so well on my phone’s camera).
rainbow

Well, hooray for Friday! Now back to my spring cleaning. Does anyone have any useful tips on how to get rid of clutter? I love the idea of scaling down, but I have so much trouble actually doing it. How do you let go of things? I’m always afraid that I “might need it someday.” If I can ever figure out how to successfully scale back, maybe I’ll write on the blog about it. But until then…I’m gonna go stare at my closet. Woohoo!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth today!

Braided Bangs and a Striped Dress

I have absolutely loved my hair since getting it cut by the fabulous Sarah Rose here in Honolulu. It takes me so much less time to style it now, and I love how it turns out every time. Sometimes when I am in a rush in the mornings or just want to pull my bangs back, I’ll throw on a headband to get my hair out of my face. But the thing is…I almost always hate headbands. The elastic ones never seem to stay on my head, and the other kind are hard to wear since I wear glasses every day. Something always seems to get in the way. The other day as I was getting ready before rushing out the door, I decided to try and braid my bangs back and pull my hair half up. I love the way it turned out, and all you need is a hair-tie, some bobby pins, and hairspray!

ImageThe how-to is so simple: French braid your bangs and tuck the tail of the braid under a section of hair. Bobby pin into place, pull your hair half up, and secure with a hair-tie. For added interest, I made a small opening in my hair just above the elastic and looped my hair through. Hairspray and you’re finished!

I really like this dress too. It’s cute and comfortable, and works well paired with these wedge boots! It’s on clearance at Old Navy now…go check it out and see if you can get a great deal!

Confession…I took this picture this morning when I realized I hadn’t gotten a picture of my whole outfit yesterday. I threw my hair back up in the same hairstyle and didn’t even attempt to put on any make up. The dress is still cute…but the rest of me looks like I just woke up. Which I had. So…yeah. Haha. Oh well, right?

ImageLinking up with Shanna, The Pleated Poppy, Style Sessions, and Get Your Pretty On!

 

Favorites for Mom and Baby: Top Picks for a Registry

Since I was still taking time off from blogging when I first had my baby, I wanted to go back and share some of my favorite things from when Evan was first born. As I have mentioned here several times before, our apartment here in Hawaii is pretty small. We tried to keep our baby gear pretty simple, but I did have a few things that I absolutely loved and made my life so much easier. Some of these things helped me keep my sanity as a new mom too!

All photos are linked to a website where you can learn more about the product or buy it directly. And no, none of this post is sponsored. These are my honest opinions!

Chicco Keyfit 30 Magic Carseat

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Photo from Babies R Us

When we were looking for car seats, I was mostly inclined toward the Britax brand. Their seats are so nice! Before we could purchase one though, we had a family friend give us their Chicco car seat and we figured we were set. Less than two weeks before my due date, however, we went to get the car seat inspected and were told it was missing the infant inserts we needed. There wasn’t enough time to order just the inserts, so we decided it would be easiest just to buy the whole thing brand new. When we got to Babies R Us, they didn’t have the Britax car seat I originally wanted in stock, so I decided to look at the Chicco ones instead because I had heard awesome things about the Keyfit 30. I kind of liked they Keyfit 30, but I hated how small the canopy was. Then I saw the Keyfit 30 Magic and I was sold! The canopy is large, shades well, and my favorite feature–it zips open to expose a mesh panel to help with ventilation and air circulation. It’s perfect here in Hawaii! It also comes with a nice foot muff (which we haven’t ever had a need for, but I’m sure I would have loved if we lived somewhere cold). Plus, Chicco products are always highly rated, so I felt like Evan would be very safe in this car seat…which is the whole point!

Side note: I have used Graco car seats as well, and I do not like them. The one I used was a bit of an older model, but I really didn’t like the way the straps tightened and felt like the canopy was too small. My personal preference is for Chicco or Britax.

My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow

Photo from Amazon

Photo from Amazon

This nursing pillow saved my life. Breastfeeding, at the beginning, was super hard. I sat up crying so many nights because I just couldn’t figure out how to help Evan latch on in a way that didn’t make me want to scream. It took a few months (and a few meetings with a lactation consultant) to figure out the latch issue, but this pillow helped me so much. For the first few weeks, I was borrowing my friend’s Boppy pillow, and though it helped, it wasn’t quite cutting it. The pillow would always somehow slide away from my body and Evan would slip down and roll into the crevice between the pillow and myself. When I finally got this pillow, I felt like Evan stayed in a much better and more supported position for breastfeeding. The flat surface helped him to stay where he needed to while still giving me support, and I loved how it wrapped around behind me too because it both prevented the pillow from sliding away and also supported my back as well. The snap closure was nice because I could quietly take off the pillow without waking Evan up if he had fallen asleep, and the pocket on the side was a convenient way to keep extra Lanolin cream, my nipple shield (for the short time I was using it to help with latching), and a burp cloth just in case I needed it. They also make a deluxe version of this pillow, but I found that the regular one worked just fine for me! I definitely recommend it–don’t go without a good nursing pillow!

Lansinoh Breast Pads

Photo from Lansinoh

Photo from Lansinoh

So…nursing breasts leak. There is just no way around it. I tried several different brands of breast pads, but I liked the Lansinoh brand the best. No nursing pad is attractive, but I found these ones to be super absorbent and discrete enough that I didn’t look like a teenager who stuffed her bra with tissues. They were also nice and soft, which is a godsend with cracked or sore nipples.

A close runner up were the Medela brand breast pads. Nice because they were slightly rounded, but sometimes they looked a little too pointed…if you know what I mean.

My Little SnugaMonkey Deluxe Bouncer

Photo from Fisher-Price

Photo from Fisher-Price

I think this was Evan’s favorite thing. I know a lot of people love swings for their baby, but because of our limited space we didn’t have the real estate for something so big. We figured the bouncer was a nice compromise, and someplace we could put Evan down that wasn’t his crib. At first he just kind of sat there, but in the early months it was nice and cozy and sometimes the only way we could get him to nap (he seemed to have a touch of reflux and I think the upright position helped him feel more comfortable). He also was completely enamored with the monkeys hanging over him, and it wasn’t uncommon for him to just stare intently and just smile at them all the time. As he got a little older and discovered that he could bounce…this kid went to town. Oh my goodness. He LOVED it. He would just bounce for what seemed like hours on end. This was by far our most used and best purchase that we made. Eventually when he started sitting up he would just try and lean over and play with the buttons and grab the monkeys, so sadly we retired it…but a bouncer has now become a staple on my baby needs list.

Oh, it also has nature sounds, music, and vibrations, but we didn’t really use them much. He did seem to like the nature sounds, but was pretty much indifferent to the vibrations and music. It was nice to have sometimes, though.

Soothie and Mam Pacifiers

Photos from Target

Photos from Target

Since I was dead set on breastfeeding and was already having a hard time with it, I decided to not give Evan a pacifier until he was a month old. When we did introduce a pacifier, we used the Soothie’s and he loved them. They didn’t cause any issue with his latch, which I was really happy about. He also really loved the WubbaNub pacifier that he got for Christmas. You should definitely check them out! It’s a small stuffed animal attached to the end of a Soothie pacifier. As he got older, probably around four months, we decided to try a few different brands, including Nuk, First Years Gumdrop pacifiers, and a few generic brands, but other than the Soothie, the only pacifier he liked was the Mam brand. These seemed to stay in his mouth the best and be the most satisfying for him, so we stuck with them.

SwaddleMe Blankets

Photo from Summer Infant

Photo from Summer Infant

For the first month and a half to two months, Evan positively hated being swaddled. Eventually it got to the point where he kept waking himself up and we decided to try the swaddle again. The first night we wrapped him up he slept for 10 hours straight. Needless to say, we were sold on the swaddle. Swaddling is truly an art-form, so I really appreciated these swaddling blankets because I really couldn’t do it wrong and it was always effective. Evan couldn’t really wiggle out, he was nice and cozy, and I didn’t have to worry that my poorly wrapped swaddle might unwrap in the middle of the night causing him to wake up and become a risk factor for SIDS. Eventually we stared swaddling him with one arm out, and then both, and now we just use a regular swaddle blanket to just give him a little feeling of familiarity and security. I recently realized that Summer Infant has wrap-sacks and wearable blankets too which I would love to try!

Moby Wrap

Photo from Moby Wrap

Photo from Moby Wrap

This was my favorite carrier from newborn to about 4 months. I didn’t have one until Evan was about a month and a half old, but I think I really would have loved this for when he was still all scrunched up and brand new. This wrap is super comfortable to wear and Evan always seemed to be nice and cozy when I carried him in it. It has a bit of a learning curve to it regarding how to tie it properly, but there are so many YouTube videos with easy to follow instructions that it didn’t take me long at all to master it. When I was considering a wrap (because Evan was still too small for the Ergo we received and we didn’t want to purchase the infant insert) I was also looking into the Baby K’tan, but I went with the Moby because it’s a one size fits all kind of deal (which means hubby and I could both use it), and the Baby K’tan is sized. I also chose the Moby over the K’tan because even though the K’tan was available in a mesh-like breathable fabric, reviews said that it tended to slip and not be as secure. I figured if I had to get the regular material anyway, I might as well go with the Moby and have my husband be able to use it as well.

I used my Moby carrier while travelling across the country (Hawaii to North Carolina and back) on all of my flights and it was so easy to use and so comfortable to sit in for that long. Evan was all snuggled up and barely made a peep the whole time! But more about flying with babies in another post…

Ergobaby Carrier

Photo from Ergobaby

Photo from Ergobaby

The Ergo has always been my husband’s favorite carrier (he could never really get the hang of the Moby, haha) and my go-to carrier from about 4 or 5 months on. I love it because it is so structured and really evenly distributes Evan’s weight, giving me lots of support while I carry him around. I prefer to carry him in front, but my husband has used it for both front and back carry and says it is really comfortable both ways. I really like the way it also supports Evan’s hips and how it cradles him so that he isn’t hunched over. It’s just a great carrier all around. Plus, it has a roomy zip pocket, a smaller slip pocket, and a snap up hood so I can cover Evan’s head if I’m trying to get him to nap (which, ps…works every time). Within the last week or so I heard that Ergobaby just came out with a new line of carriers which allow you to carry baby in 4 positions, if I’m not mistaken. They look really cool! I’ll probably look into them when it’s time for baby number two.

Lamaze Symphony Motion Gym

Photo from Amazon

Photo from Amazon

We lucked out and got this from our neighbors when they were moving, so I didn’t realize that these are kind of pricey until I just looked it up to find the picture! There are a ton of tummy time mats out there, but what I liked about this one is that the purple attachment that holds it together at the top also rotates and makes the bars move back and forth. Evan really loved to watch the planets and stars move around, and eventually when he was big enough he enjoyed swatting and grabbing at the little plush characters. Parts of the floor mat are crinkle-y sounding (is crinkley not a word?) and Evan loved to discover which parts of the mat made noise and which didn’t. We got a ton of use out of it, and even now though we retired most of it, he still loves to play with the plush characters and the rubber star. We just detached them and added them to his toy bin. Hopefully we can keep them all together, but if not I’m sure we can eventually we can find another play gym when the need arises.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles

Photo from Amazon

Photo from Amazon

As I mentioned before, Evan is exclusively breastfed, but I still wanted him to be able to take a bottle. About two weeks after his first pacifier (about 6 weeks old), we introduced a bottle, but used it only on occasion. Luckily, he didn’t have any issues switching back and forth between bottle and breast, which made it way easier on both of us when I unexpectedly had to return to work full time when he was 4 months old. To be honest, these were the only bottles we ever tried, but since Evan took to them like a champ I never felt any need to experiment with other brands. With the Tommee Tippees, he never had any issue with air bubbles or gas, and the bottle nipples caused no issue with his latch. There are several pieces to clean, but I feel like it’s worth it. Also, the bottles never leaked–even after being tossed around in my diaper bag. Awesome.

Honorable Mention Items
Babies mean burp cloths, and lots of them. My favorite ones were burp cloths that some friends made for me. Super soft and absorbent flannel was so nice to clean up both myself and baby, but also actually got the job done. All of the burp cloths I purchased were pretty much useless. If it’s pretty or cute and doesn’t soak up lots of spit-up milk…I have no use for it.

As far as diapers go, we preferred the Pampers Swaddlers when Evan was really little, but around the time that he graduated to size two diapers, we made the switch to Luvs. They worked just as well–if not better–and were less than half the price of the Pampers. It was a definite win/win situation. We tried Huggies when Evan was a newborn and they gave him a rash, so we never went back to them. We also tried the Pampers Baby Dry, which are supposedly very similar to Luvs, but I hated the chemical smell that they gave off every time he peed. For some reason they also had a tendency to leak. The Luvs have worked great for us. He has only really had one or two blowouts in them (which judging on the size of the blowout no diaper would have been able to contain it), and now that he is sleeping 12+ hours every night, occasionally they will leak. If anyone has any recommendations for awesome overnight diapers, I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Unfavorites
I don’t really like my stroller. I ended up getting a Bugaboo Cameleon used off Craigslist because I found it for super cheap (for a Bugaboo, that is) and totally bought into the hype of the “name.” Well, I regret it. I wish I would have just taken the amount I paid for it used and invested in a brand new stroller of a different brand. The features I wanted were a large under-basket, able to accommodate a car seat, a large canopy, and a parent facing and outward facing seat. If I could repurchase, I would probably go with a Britax, Baby Jogger, or even the new Summer Infant strollers. Bugaboo just isn’t worth the hype. The under basket is huge, but really hard to access, the canopy is big, but doesn’t cover as far as I’d like (and it has no peekaboo window), and it is able to carry a car seat, but you have to have the somewhat bulky adapter. The only thing it does that I like it switch from parent to outward facing. Also, I find it to be really inconvenient that I have to break it down into two parts (three, if I’m using the car seat adapter) in order to fold it up and put it away. A two hand fold is hard enough, especially when you are trying to do it carrying a baby, but having to separate the parts first kills me. Plus, it is on the heavy side for strollers. All in all…I wouldn’t purchase again and certainly wouldn’t spend that ridiculous amount of money to buy it new.

Lastly, this one isn’t really an unfavorite, but rather…a lack of favorite. I never really found a baby bag that I liked. Mostly I have just ended up using different large purses that I already had. I did find a great Petunia Pickle Bottom bag, but it is a “weekender bag” or something like that and it is HUGE. It was awesome when I traveled and works fantastically for long day trips or for going to the beach, but as an every day bag it would be completely impractical. I really would love to find something that looks like a purse that is big enough to fit Evan’s things as well, that I could use both when I have him with me and when I don’t. If any of you have any awesome suggestions I am all ears!

Well, I think that about wraps it up! I clearly don’t know how to be concise, but oh well. I have a lot to say about the baby/mama things I love! If you know of products you think I (or Evan!) should try, let me know in the comments. I am always on the lookout for new things to make life just a little bit easier.

Thanks for being here!

 

He Lives!

Painting by Joseph Brickey

Painting by Joseph Brickey

This is my favorite painting of Christ at the Tomb. It hangs in the Laie Hawaii Temple, and though you can’t really tell from this print, the colors are so vivid and bright that the first time I saw it I literally stopped in my tracks. The painting itself is nearly life-sized, and it feels almost as if Christ is illuminated and glowing standing right there in front of you. My husband and I have searched high and low for this painting so we could hang it in out home, but unfortunately it was commissioned only for the church and isn’t available for distribution (I somehow managed to find this picture pinned on Pinterest). I’m glad that I found at least this picture of it, because every time I see it I feel the Spirit.

On this wonderful resurrection Sunday, I feel fortunate to have a personal relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful for everything He has done for me in my life, and every blessing that I have received because of Him. Though I have taken a bit of a journey in finding my faith, the one thing that has never wavered has been my faith in Christ. He is my Savior and my King, and I know that because of Him, we can live again. What a wonderful and amazing miracle. He lives!

Happy Easter!

Medela Breast Pump Review: Freestyle vs. Pump in Style Advanced

Last year when I was pregnant and in the market for a breast pump, I did a ton of research because I knew absolutely NOTHING about breast pumps, pumping milk, storing milk, or anything to do with breastfeeding in general. I read several blogs, went to the Medela website and took their quiz to “find out which pump was right for me,” and went on YouTube to find reviews. In case you are wondering…going on YouTube can be kind of…well…startling, because you can be sure that in addition to people giving their opinions about different pumps there are a lot of practical “how-to” videos, and I wasn’t really prepared to see that much boob. Let’s face it. Pumping is necessary, but not exactly attractive. I mean, it’s not supposed to be. But still.

Anyway, now that I have been using a pump for almost 8 months, I figured I would add my two cents to the plethora of opinions floating around out there. Background on my pumping experience: my son is exclusively breastfed, and at the beginning I primarily used my pump to create a backup store of freezer milk in case we wanted to leave Evan with a sitter for a few hours. About four and a half months postpartum I ended up having to go back to work full time, so I started pumping a lot more, up to 4 times per day. That being said, I have experience with both situations–pumping occasionally and pumping at work–and have tried two different kinds of pumps, so hopefully some of this information will be helpful for someone!

The Medela Freestyle

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Stock photo from Amazon

Originally, this was the pump I chose. I was lucky enough that my insurance covered the cost of my pump completely, which is part of the reason I went with this one. This pump carries a hefty price tag ($330-$400 depending on where you buy it from) and I decided that I liked enough things about the pump and knew I wouldn’t be able to shell out the money without insurance to purchase it on my own. 

Pros:
This pump is tiny! It is also relatively quiet, which I appreciate, and it gets the job done. Super convenient feature: it is hands free and battery powered so you don’t have to be tethered to a wall in order to pump! I can’t tell you how many times that came in handy for me, especially when I was at work/travelling and there wasn’t always an outlet available. Also, the charge lasts for quite a few days which means you don’t have to be worried about making sure it is plugged in every night. The pump parts themselves are easy to assemble and just as easy to clean. 

Cons:
In my experience using this pump, I found that I had to have the suction almost all the way up. The suction power goes from 1 to 9, and I would usually have to pump on level 8. Sometimes this would make me sore, but if I pumped on a lower setting, the suction didn’t seem to be enough to express milk effectively. Also, the lower the battery charge, the weaker the suction became (which I suppose is to be expected, but was annoying none-the-less). I don’t really have any more negative comments on the pump, but the one con is kind of a big one. 

The Medela Pump in Style Advanced

Image

Stock photo from Amazon

When I unexpectedly went back to work full-time, my milk supply began to decrease. I tried to pump as much as possible, but sometimes with only one or two person coverage, I wasn’t able to pump as consistently as I should have. Couple that with Evan starting solids, and I started to feel like my supply was really in trouble. I wasn’t able to express as much milk, and it became a serious source of stress in my life. While I was doing my original research on pumps, I had heard that the Medela Pump in Style Advanced (PISA) was very efficient, and so I decided it was worth a shot to try a different pump and see if that helped me maximize my pumping sessions. 

Pros:
This pump really works! I find that I have to pump a shorter amount of time to get the same results as I did with the Freestyle. This is awesome. Not only do I have to spend less time pumping, but my output has actually increased since I started using the PISA. I also don’t have to have the suction level up very high in order to get results, but even when I do have it quite strong, it doesn’t make me sore at all. For some reason I find this pump to be very comfortable, and I don’t seem to look at pumping like so much of a chore. The pump doesn’t seem to make that much noise either. Always nice!

Cons:
You have to be sitting next to an outlet to use this pump. It does come with a battery pack and a car charger, neither of which I have tried, so I really can’t speak to the effectiveness of those other power options. It is a bit of an inconvenience to be stuck to a wall while using the PISA, but because the suction power is so much stronger than the Freestyle I don’t mind having to find an outlet to use it. It does take up a lot of real estate on a table or floor where it is sitting…at home I don’t care, but at work it is kind of cumbersome to have to make sure I have the space to have everything set up. The membranes for this pump that create the suction are very small, and seem like they might be somewhat easy to lose or misplace while cleaning, but if that happens a pack of replacement membranes isn’t very expensive to buy. Also, the tubing tends to get condensation collecting inside if I pump for longer than 20 minutes, but it is easily taken care of by leaving the pump running with only the tubing attached (it dries out really easily). 

My Choice
Overall, though I like both of these pumps I prefer the Pump in Style Advanced. Since I purchased it I haven’t used my Freestyle again. I plan on keeping both pumps because the Freestyle is still an excellent pump and I’ll use it when and if I am travelling while still breastfeeding. For now though, the PISA is perfect for my pumping needs and helps me to express more milk. It earns bonus points for doing it in less time, too! If you have to choose just one pump, I’d recommend the PISA.

Hopefully that was useful information for some of you! If you’d like to see more product reviews or have questions feel free to let me know in the comments!