85 thoughts on “Similac formula recall”

  1. As someone with low milk supply (who is still breastfeeding at 7+ months, thank you) who needs to supplement quite substantially, this underscores the vulnerability I feel about safely feeding my baby. As with his older brother, in some ways I count the days until he’s one and I don’t have to worry about feeding him such specialized food. Of course, then I can worry about the quality of the cow’s milk he’s getting. Sigh.

  2. I always bought the bigger canisters.. but still… it’s a beetle and that’s gross, but my 1 year old tried to eat a dead doodlebuy that we somehow misses in our sweeping/cleaning, so at least it’s “organic” material.

  3. Though I’m a lactivist through and through, I HATE that this recall is going to be used by the insensitive among us to flog people who use formula with proof that nursing is better because how can feeding an infant beetles and their larvae be better in any way than breastmilk?!?I’ve already seen fb posts to this effect and it angers and frustrates me. Mothers I know whose babies need the recalled formula are panicked and scrambling. They do not need the additional distraction of people criticizing a decision that is, at this point, a fait accompli.
    PS: I have found undigested Japanese beetles in my son’s diapers. Almost whole.

  4. I nursed (and pumped) and kept my pumping supplies in the pantry in the kitchen. I used to pump in the overnight hours when the baby would take a long sleep and then only nurse one side. In the morning, I would get up and clean out the pump stuff and put a cap on the bottle, refrigerate it, etc. One morning, I found that there had been ants in the pantry (and in the horns of the pump) before I pumped. I just picked the ants out of the (most precious and valuable) milk and went on with my life (but I did shuffle up the bottles without looking so I wouldn’t “know” which one had the ant in it so I wouldn’t be grossed out).

  5. last night my husband drank a fly with his wine (first glass,not, you know, out of tipsiness) eeeew, and my daughter carried around a pale dead earthworm in her mouth at 3 years old. She IS an animal lover. We used solely formula, and had great results. Sorry that those of you who now have babies expecting similac-flavored food might be facing a struggle! You will be in my thoughts.

  6. @MrsHaley you said it beautifully. No one needs to make these poor mothers feel bad as they are scrambling to find safe nutrition for their baby!

  7. I use Similac for my 8 month old. Not the powder, we use the concentrate. But still… hello? Quality control?@Sarcasticarrie, I love the ant story! hahaha! Reminds me of when we had a wee little mouse problem. Cleaned the mouse turds off the pantry shelves but did not throw away any of the pantry food (there were no obvious chewed out holes in boxes or bags of stuff, but still the little buggers were running all over the containers and boxes with their grimy little feet).

  8. I’m in a bit of an unusual situation.. my friend is a first time single dad to a 2 week old baby (born 4 weeks early). As I’m still nursing my own 15 month old DD, I’ve offered to pump milk for his daughter and he is grateful. However his ped. wants me to hold off until there is no more blood in the baby’s stool. The ped. has just switched her to a special formula that is easier to digest. I’m not positive but I think it may be a Similac.How do I let him know about the recall, and the new universe of recalls in general, without coming off as sounding like I’m trying to push my breastmilk?

  9. @FriendWithMilk, just tell him. Send him a link to a reputable source. If you’re worried about seeming pushy, mention to him that this is the only brand that’s been recalled, and he should ask the ped what other brand’s s/he would suggest.

  10. The American-made formula I feed my 6 month old is some of the safest, most consistent, well-tested and monitored food available. It is certainly better than the chicken nuggets I occasionally feed my 3 year old. The beetles are probably better than the chicken nuggets I occasionally feed my 3 year old. This recall is testament to the fact that the system sometimes works appropriately.

  11. Rather than having commercial milk for your babies there is a safest way to feed them- breastfeeding. Just try to think losing weight is just one of the those benefits of breastfeeding, insteresting isn’t it? I do hope that similac management will do their best for the wellness of our babies.

  12. @magie, I am sure you mean well. But as stated earlier in this thread, there are myriad reasons a person may not be breastfeeding (legitimate physical reasons, such as underproduction, despite work with doctors, lactation experts, dietary supplements that normally increase supply, etc.), above and beyond ‘just not wanting to.’ For many, it is utterly heartbreaking to not be able to breastfeed.Therefore it is so fortunate that there is formula available for all the people who need it, such as the single dad to a 2-week-old mentioned above, who have no other option. When their source of nutrition for their baby then becomes unsafe, it would truly be devastating.

  13. “The beetles are probably better than the chicken nuggets I occasionally feed my 3 year old.”hee.
    And thank you, Mrs Haley. As someone whose nursing simplified her life during a similar freak occurrence (hurricane, no power for more than a week with a newborn), I hate it when what is often a complex choice gets turned into worst-case scenario fodder.

  14. I have been wracked with guilt. I have been phasing out breastfeeding (at almost 8 months old) and increasing formula consumption. I felt good about this decision and proud of myself because my goal had been 6 months. What formula was I using? Similac that has been recalled. I now feel so anxious and bad about my decision. My opportunity to pump at work has diminished without a lot of hassle (it took longer than I thought so I would have to alter a limited train schedule which would me almost 14 hours away from the baby/work day. I figured it was more important to spend time with her and pump less).

  15. I think we need to remember that this is a common beetle and that kids eats bugs every day. The FDA allows a certain amount of bugs in all food production, including formula. Also, there is no evidence of any bugs in the formula and this is a voluntary recall. We have a few quarts of the liquid at home, so we’re going to use that for the weekend, watch for further news developments, and think about this. I don’t want to switch my 9 month old daughter off Similac b/c the switch will be harder on her system than eating bugs will be. I have 2 34oz tubs at home that are on the recall list and I might just use them anyway. Call me crazy.

  16. @Melissa, please don’t feel guilty. The beetle thing is gross sounding to our American sensibilities but really, truly not likely to be harmful. When I was in Thailand, I could have bought fried bugs to eat from street vendors. I am an incredibly picky eater, so I passed on this opportunity… but my point is, this seems to me to be more ick factor than risk factor.I am lucky that I have a computer based job so time pumping can also be spent working. If I had your choice to make (pump, but get less time with my baby or formula, and get more time with my baby) I’d probably do the same thing you did. You can still nurse in the morning and at night and as much as your baby wants on weekends, if that is what you want to do. Just be aware that there is often a supply dip around 9 months- if that happens to you but you still want to nurse, just keep going. It didn’t last long with either of my babies (but freaked me out both times).

  17. @Donna, I’m with you. While I’m annoyed that there might be a quality control issue at the plants that make Similac, I think that switching my 8 month old to a different formula now would be harder/riskier than just carrying on with the Similac.@Claudia, akeeyu, thanks for standing up for us formula feeders. We all have our reasons for doing what we have to do to feed our babies, and its nice that others understand this.
    @eep – hahahah! I bet the beetles ARE better than the nuggets. At least the beetles are “all natural” and contain only one ingredient that we can all pronounce: beetle.

  18. Maybe we should talk about the Enfagrow brand CHOCOLATE formula. It’s stage 2 formula, not infant formula, but really? Really? I am sure there are seriously ill children who have growth issues whose parents would do anything to get their kids to eat, and for that, this might be a valid market niche product, but it has not been marketed that way. Oh, wait, I just googled it. Mead Johnson has discontinued production. Neat. My outrage is over. Thank you.

  19. Chocolate formula? How could they possibly think that was a good idea? When my baby was in the hospital with RSV, the wonderful nurses sent up home with a trunkful of ready-to-feed liquid formula. I hate the way it smells, so don’t use it often, but it is handy for traveling and keeping on hand for emergencies. I usually put it in one of my regular bottles for feeding because baby likes them better than the disposable nipples. The ready-made strongly resembles chocolate milk, and I am always waiting for someone to accuse me of bottle feeding my 6 month old chocolate milk! Hasn’t happened yet, thank goodness.

  20. Melissa, seriously, don’t feel bad.My kids have now eaten their weight in peanut butter, since the FDA has established a known acceptable level of rat hair and bug bits in foods like peanut butter, they’re probably up to an entire ant farm’s worth of creepy crawlies by now.
    Your daughter is going to eat SO many weird and inappropriate and Wow, How Did She Get THAT In Her Mouth? things, not to mention the Oh Shit, What Is The Number For Poison Control*?? things when she is older that you will look back on buggy formula and laugh. I promise.
    If that doesn’t help, think of the wise words of my father after opening the last box of macaroni and cheese 15 minutes before dinner time: “Well…it’s just protein.”
    Yes, he picked out the bugs, but yes, we ate that macaroni and cheese (and probably a few bugs) anyway, because macaroni and cheese costs money, consarnit.
    *Poison Control: 800-222-1222 I have it written on my computer in permanent marker and saved in my phone. They’re just the sweetest people.

  21. And contrary to my fears and suspicions, the Poison Control ladies do NOT keep a running tally of how many times you call and send the baby snatchers to your house once you’re reached the magic number of accidental poisonings! All they ask for is your first name and sometimes your phone number. Mostly, they chuckle and assure you that your kids will be fine. My DD ate one of my mother’s heart pills (!!! AIIEE !!! PANNNNIC !!!) and the Poison Control lady could not have been more BTDT and unalarmed about it. They do call back in 2 hours to make sure no one is dead, but nobody has ever come knocking on my door to revoke my Mommy License (Oh? You don’t have one of those?), and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve called them!I didn’t call about the Japanese beetles, though. That has happened so many damn times, it’s gotta be fine or he’d be sick by now, for sure. He did eat a stinkbug last night, though. And those guys are BIG.

  22. Ding ding ding! We have a winner! Congratulations, Brooke, you’re today’s winner of the I Bet My Kid Ate Something More Disgusting Than Yours award!Gak.

  23. You’re right… but “Today’s Loser” is a bit of a downer! I’m thinking positive, here.This vaguely reminds me of the story about the Mom that caught her kid applying her chapstick to the cat’s bum. She wondered: was that the first time, or the tenth?

  24. I read that cat-chap stick story somewhere too. Good times.Most disgusting things my kids have consumed (besides the ant-infested milk): an entire bottle of grape-scented bubbles (really? Why make them smell like food? I did not call poison control or do anything at all.) and chalk (because the texture, gak! the dry! ack! did nothing there either…probably full of lead or something…he’s fine).
    Does it make it better or worse that I was standing right there both times and somwhow did not stop it?

  25. Eeeewww…you guys are grossing me out! So far our worst is crayons, dog food and cat food. May do a little more putting things out of reach this weekend…. ;)Thankfully the cat litter is impossible to get to. That was taken care of ages ago when the dog started eating cat poop. Blech.
    @Melissa, Just wanted to echo others to say ‘DON’T FEEL GUILTY!’. There is no way the two things had anything to do with each other. It’s not like you said, ‘Hmmm, I’m going to phase out BF and feed my baby formula with beetles.’ (And even if you did as @Cloud points out, not so unusual in other parts of the world). Simply an unfortunate coincidence. Please go easy on yourself.

  26. @FriendWithMilk: Can I just say – I’ve pumped, and I absolutely hated it. What you have offered to do for your friend’s baby is extremely generous. I hope he appreciates having such a good friend!

  27. Just wanted to chime in to say that I love this thread oh so much. My kids, fortunately, had very short “putting random things in mouth” phases, so I have no story to share.I do wonder, and I hate to be a downer, about babies who haven’t started solid foods yet eating beetles… It’s one thing if they’re over six months, but what about the little guys? Their guts might actually not be able to handle “real food.” (Ew.)

  28. Would you like to know exactly how much dog food my “picky” toddler eats daily??? Or maybe the pools of water he’ll get down on all fours to lick or slurp off any surface at all?? Seriously I worry about the bacteria he might get from a puddle or something weird like that!!Such a bummer for any mom to have to worry, scramble to feed their child:(
    @friendwithmilk you rock, what a generous friend you are.
    @magie you should check out Moxies post “we should all suck together” on her blog it says it all.

  29. @Clare – I couldn’t remember the brand but I did remember the packaging, looked it up and it’s Enfamil, so no need for me to worry about offending him.@cs & @creatingbalance: thank you.
    When I went back to work, I pumped for my DD for 5 months before I couldn’t bear it any longer. I felt so deficient, and disappointed in my body, the most I ever brought home in a day was 8oz. She was drinking much more than that and we supplemented with formula to make up the difference.
    Funny thing about this time around, I am relaxed about it, my attitude is different. Pumping to supplement my friend’s baby, I view it as: I’m blessed to be able to offer this gift, something she wouldn’t have otherwise.

  30. Apparently there is a small tolerance of bugs in a lot of processed foods from the FDA. I read that somewhere. But people can relax. A lot of things are worse than ingesting beetles. People around the world eat bugs all the time. If you have a pet and your baby interacts with it, well, that’s already worse than beetles.

  31. @ Maggie, I think you were speaking out of kindness and empathy, don’t be scared off! Sometimes breast milk is actually unsafe because of drug addiction, prescription drugs, or HIV. As a foster family of a 5 day old, we received wic checks for formula and used them for the doctor recommended brand of formula until wic stopped compensating for that brand. When I learned more, I wished we found a goat’s milk source, or mail-order milk, however that works. I ALWAYS worried about DD not getting her fair share of immuno globulins, but, despite my husband and I being disgustingly sick when she was a month old, she did not have a sniffle until she was weaned to cows (organic) milk. She was shiny and fat, and developed well despite a drug exposure. I sometimes thought her chubbiness neutralized (with fat-based myelin) any really detrimental neurological effects. She stretched out so perfectly, too, currently between the 50th and 70th percentile across the board. Anybody out there have experience giving their infant goat’s milk?

  32. @lisa, We gave DS goat’s milk before we gave him cow’s milk. This was just after the 1 year mark. So, not so much an infant. But anyhow, he really liked it at first and drank goat’s milk + BF for a few months. He eventually became less interested in it and at that point we tried cow’s milk (which he drinks now along with BF at 2 1/4). He didn’t end up having a problem with either. But we thought we’d take the route less likely to be allergenic to start since DH has an unknown allergen that has caused anaphylactic shock.Don’t know if that’s the info you’re looking for, but thought I’d add it just in case.

  33. My boys are 100% breastfed with only the purest, most wonderful, perfect wholesome milk…Okay, well the first one was…for the first year. Two children and four years into breastfeeding, that milk is now perhaps a bit tinged with a mixture of wine, Diet Coke, and Claritin. Quality control has gone down.
    And, speaking of things that my children consume, my younger boy once pulled out a broken drain stopper in my sister’s sink, stuck his toothbrush down it, and brushed his teeth with the scum. Finding him thus was among the most horrifying moments of my life, but I’ll feel a bit better if I win the “grossest thing my kid ever ate” contest….

  34. Coprophagia is the medical term for the ingestion of ahem, poo.Learning about it made me very queasy in my cat lady days.Cat waste is very nutritious. They have very short ineffective digestive tracts as carnivores and they get fed the high protein tasty food they prefer. Dogs can smell the goodness. Urgh.
    Before DD was even a twinkle a friend visited with a toddler and he shampooed with my cats litter box contents. I thought that was normal but I did kind of brace myself when I became a mother. Squeamish and all that.I did not envy his mama.
    Like Cloud I’ve also found that having a child that doesn’t eat much takes care of the ingestion angle. So far of course, she’s only 2 2/3.
    She’s also very squeamish. I feel kind of guilty about that because I wonder if I somehow infected her in infancy with that. Rather vain glorious that but can you inherit being worried about cleanliness ?
    Whenever DD gets her hands dirty she holds them up like Lady Macbeth and cries ” HANDS ” so they may be cleansed. After eating, after playing, after painting, anytime It raises plenty of eyebrows if observed but she’s not in pre-school yet.
    If no help is coming in time she very carefully wipes her hands on any fabric surface. Not a good thing.
    It’s so the opposite of careless exploration and of course she needs the exposure to things to outgrow her allergies.
    She was breast-fed until she stopped abruptly at 16 months, but she had plenty of formula when born as she was very jaundiced. Formula is a wonderful thing. I can only imagine how scared and worried those mums affected are.
    I don’t think the beetles amount to anything dangerous as the quantities are so tiny. And there is lots in breast-milk too, not only good stuff. For me the whole feeding saga was very fraught as a new mother. Beetles are not what you need then.
    As DD is allergic to animal milks we looked for a formula after the stop at 16 months and she wouldn’t have it. Any non animal milk product. I just gave her an all singing calcium/magnesium/vitamin D supplement. But it was very worrying. Even though she was thriving.
    Until at 2 she liked a little chocolate soy milk.Had there been chocolate formula who knows? She might have drunk it.
    Fortunately there are no awards in motherhood. I wouldn’t win one. I would award one to the posters sharing their stories above though.

  35. It’s interesting how a formula recall can polarize people into “well, that’s what you get for not breastfeeding” versus “don’t feel guilty for not breastfeeding” camps.I don’t see the point of taking sides. Instead, I think we should discuss the need for more donor milk and milk banks in this country. Many mothers don’t even know this is an option, or they live several states away from the nearest milk bank, or their insurance won’t cover it and they can’t afford to pay several dollars an ounce. Think of how many families wouldn’t be freaking out or feeling guilty right now if they had access to banked milk.
    @FriendWithMilk: It’s wonderful that you are willing to pump milk for your friend’s baby. However, informal milk sharing also carries some risks since the milk is not screened as it would be if it were donated to a milk bank. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with your milk, of course, but certainly anyone considering feeding their baby someone else’s milk should look into having it screened at a local hospital. Some do this for free.

  36. @Wilhelmina, FWIW my DS does the same thing for dirty hands (at home and at daycare I believe). When we first started taking him to the park he didn’t even like getting his hands dirty with sand! He’d always ask me to wipe them off. Thankfully he’s learned to rub them together to get the sand off himself.

  37. @ the milliner thanks a lot for sharing your experience of DS. In real life here I see all the other tots grab into paint and mud and sand with great glee. DD doesn’t and is quite perfectionist.Since she could walk she puts items misplaced back right on shop shelves etc. At home her toys are like a whirlwind all over so that helps me not worry.
    But it’s good to know the hand thing is not hers alone.
    On other matters FWIW ever since the last molars have fully emerged, and that took months of hellish sleep DD is sleeping much better. she even let the dentist look at her teeth this week.
    No she’s not an early riser or going to bed type still, we’ve not swapped her for a doll, but she honestly sleeps much better since 28 months. Honestly.
    And on the speech side she didn’t talk much at all and made no sentences until 29 months but now she talks away just fine and uses sentences. I often get the impression that DD does not do a new skill until she’s good at it.
    Your mileage will vary, but I hope you’ll get more rest soon too.

  38. Ok I’m giving @Meredith the Gold and @Wilhelmina’s friend a close Silver in the grossness stakes.I once ate goat shit thinking it was a sultana and I was in my teens. So far the grossest thing my kids do it leave their toothbrushes in the bidet. I don’t even bother sterilising them anymore. A quick rinse with a bit of soap and Bob’s yer uncle.

  39. @ Julie – So right! I’m a milk donor, and there is a critical shortage of donor milk and banks.I had this jolt of terror a couple of years ago when I found out that my neighborhood’s water had been under a boil order for FOUR DAYS before I found out about it – in fact, I only discovered the order after it was over. It turns out my county has some of the worst quality water in the country. God only knows what we were drinking. But my first thought was OMG what if my baby had been drinking formula made with that water?!? I know they market bottled water for formula, but who can afford that? Luckily my baby wasn’t getting formula, but I’m sure there were formula-fed babies in the area. I was *outraged* for them and for their parents.
    (And count me in with those going through two-year-molar hell. Will those wretched teeth ever come through? Seems like months and months of drooling and bleeding.)

  40. @MrsHaley – “And contrary to my fears and suspicions, the Poison Control ladies do NOT keep a running tally of how many times you call and send the baby snatchers to your house once you’re reached the magic number of accidental poisonings!”That’s totally what I’ve worried about! Having a toddler who could get into “child-proof” containers was a tough period!

  41. @Wilhelmina,Yep, DS is big into ‘Away’ right now. As in putting things away in their rightful spot. Not always. He does often have books and things strewn about. But especially if the living room is mostly tidy and a few of his toys or puzzle pieces are out (and he’s not playing with them) he brings them to me, says ‘Away’ and then, well, puts them away. I can’t say I have any issue with this and only hope it continues!! I suspect perfectionism definitely has a bit to do with it. Hmmm…no idea where he gets that from…
    Ugh, the molars. I think his 2nd year molars are coming in now. Fingers crossed, so far they are not as bad as the bottom canines (one of which has finally popped. YAY!). I’m hoping his 2nd year molars are like the first, which is to say bad, but not as bad as canine teeth.
    @Erin, What is up with the months and months and months it takes them to come in?! Double ugh. Every time he his cheek/ear hurts (he touches these spots and cries) I’m not sure if he’s in teething hell or earache hell. Don’t want to go to the doctor again (take time off work) to find out his ears are fine, and it’s ‘just’ teething. But don’t want him to suffer with an earache either. Grrr.
    We’re sleep training/night weaning again and it’s going fairly well. We’re sticking to our plan and things are generally moving in the right direction in a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of way. I think his teeth are waking him up now. But otherwise he seems to be getting better at putting himself back to sleep. I’m no worse for the wear (as compared to the night wakings/BF nights of the past), so there’s that. And one night he slept from 7:30pm – 4:30 am, so I’m feeling more human again. The craziness of 26 months seems to have passed and sanity has returned to our house. So hoping 28 months is our magic point too.
    Thanks for remembering everything!

  42. @ the Milliner,I am so happy that more sleep is happening for you and that night-weaning is working better this time. That’s great news.
    I’m afraid with DD she did the night- and all the time- weaning herself, but she still can’t really put herself back to sleep. Well she does now post-molars, but it’s because one of us parents co-sleeps with her in the marital bed and the other parent has the nice single ( twin) bed we got for her. Ahem.She cuddles up closely and goes back to sleep. It’s much better honestly.
    Before molars it was hard. All told the molars took five months of like @ Erin says of drooling and bleeding. DD gets teeth in pairs and the top two were through within two months. DH and I were doing the alternating beds as above so one of us was a shattered zombie and the other human.
    We had two weeks of calm and the bottom two started and stopped and even covered over with gum again, that happens says the dentist, and then there was more bleeding and more not eating for 16 weeks. And the toothbrushing, oh my.
    The canines were hard but not as hard for her. Molars first year and second year were our Waterloo really.
    I am sure that most two year molars are not the same drama as at ours. And you’re well ahead of the game as DS can self-soothe. I wish him speedy and none too painful molars and his parents more rest !
    Less off on a tangent on the formula thing, I used ready mixed formula as that was what the hospital had when DD was born, and kept on using it for some weeks as a top-up until she was no longer jaundiced. Our differing Rhesus status was suggested as a cause for it.
    So I never mixed formula from powder, but I thought that you’re always supposed to boil and cool the water for it? I’m probably behind the times. It’s really scary when your water turns out not to be safe. Maybe we are told to boil and cool as none of ours is too safe anytime?

  43. @ Wilhelmina – if we are supposed to boil formula water nobody ever told me.Yeah I keep waiting for the molars to be over, and it keeps on going. But happily DS appears to be one of those rare kids your ped tells you about (is never adversely affected by teething n sleep or behavior). Mostly I’m tired of changing his shirts & sheets all the time.

  44. “Bugs I can deal with. It’s the cat poop that made me want to die after bleaching out the baby’s mouth.” (@Brooke)I’ve never been so glad my dog went after the cat poop pre-kids, like @the milliner. We’ve had to put the litter boxes in an area where no dog or baby or kid can get to.

  45. @Meredith – “Quality control has gone down.” Isn’t that the truth?!As for the formula recall, my understanding is that some of the formula made some babies have gasterial intestinal problems and not want to eat. So there was an effect for some babies.
    Which must really suck, cause I think we all have been through phases when our babes don’t drink as much milk or formula as we think they should be drinking. I know I’ve been panicked when my first reduced the amount she was drinking, and I thought there must be something wrong. It would be really upsetting to have to wonder if she really just wasn’t eating or if it was a problem with what she was drinking.
    My heart goes out to all that are affected by this recall! I hope all the babies are doing just fine in spite of any issues digesting the bugs. And I really hope it helps those babies build up their immunity for all the gross things they will ingest as they grow. 😉

  46. Finally, molars. My boy’s first year molars have been working their way through, and it’s been sucky. He finally got both on the bottom, and I’m hoping things will ease up a bit for him now.Good luck to the others going through the molar teething misery!

  47. Oh, re: boiling water for bottles…the can of formula does say to boil and cool the water, but that will only protect you if there is bacteria in your water supply. If your water is contaminated with benzene or perchlorate or something, the boiling won’t help.At almost 2 years old, I’m still mixing bottles for Bobo. I use warm tap water (monitored, municipal tap water from Lake Michigan). Some people in the family, ahem, find that gross and think I should be using Britta or bottled. They can be the ones stumbling around at 2 am if they’d like to complain.

  48. I would just like to point out that I did have the litterbox where the baby couldn’t get to it. But the turd must have stuck to one of the cats’ fur and fallen off in the living room.And we are also in two-year-molar-prolonged-agony.

  49. Couple things…Re: water for mixing formula… if you use bottled water, your babe is missing out on the flouride that is added to most treated city water. If you don’t live in a city that does this, or if you live somewhere with compromised water, then hey I’d be all over the bottled stuff. But seeing as I myself have terrible teeth and am more prone to cavities than most, well I use tap water for mixing formula and for drinking to make sure we all get our flouride.
    And re: cat poop. Stop reading if you’re squeamish. Most cats have parasites. Even domestic house cats who never go outside. Recently my husband had a live blood test done (which was super cool – they look at your blood under a microscope and check for stuff, and you can see it right in front of you) and they saw cat parasites in his blood. They told him if he has the microscopic blood ones, he likely has the intestinal ones too (ahem… roundworm. size of a bic pen. eeeewwwww). Their eggs are in cat poo. If you have a cat in your house, the simple fact that he walks in his litter and then on your floors makes it pretty likely that everyone in your house has cat parasites, unless everyone washes their hands every 5 minutes.
    Sorry to gross everyone out about the cat poo. Yech.

  50. All this cat poop talk makes me more convinced than ever that we should have trained our cat to go on the toilet.P.S. Sorry for all my off-topic diversions!

  51. @Julie -I hadn’t even though of that. I’ve encouraged my friend to discuss it with his ped., I specifically mentioned she may want me to take a blood test and perhaps follow dietary precautions, etc. And he has talked to her about it, that’s why we’re holding off until the baby gets the all clear. I imagine my friend will follow the ped’s lead if she thinks screening is necessary.What does milk screening look for? It is for every unit of milk or first time screen to check I’m okay? What does it do to the milk? What are the risks for informal sharing? Appreciate any insight you can give.

  52. The two year molars are making me claw my face off.The worst part of it around here is the diaper rash from the bloody drool he swallows all day — his poop is straight liquid and I’m giving him water all the time because I’m so afraid he’ll get dehydrated.
    So we are on the baking soda sitz bath routine 3x a day, lotrimin on his bum under the desitin, which goes under the cornstarch, which goes under NOTHING as often as I can manage — but that gets very messy.
    I love it when they say teething doesn’t cause all this weirdness. Come to my house and tell me what’s causing it then! At 2am!
    Also? Intestinal parasites the size of a pen? Horrifying. What kind of treatment do you get for that?

  53. Well, I’m terribly allergic to cats, so I suspect we are cat parasite free….But, have y’all heard of the hygiene hypothesis? It is the idea that the reason we have so many more allergies and related diseases in Western societies is that we’re too clean, and our immune systems are basically bored and start attacking benign things. It is not proven by any stretch- but, there was some research awhile back that implied that if this was a factor, it was likely our decreased parasitic load that was the culprit. Specifically, infection with parasites called helminths was protective against allergic diseases. Apparently, some really desperate folk with really bad asthma or IBD fly to Africa and attempt to infect themselves with helminths (this basically involves walking around barefoot). And they swear it helps. Fascinating stuff.
    *Disclaimer: I can’t be bothered looking any of this up right now, so it is all from my memory. Which is a tad impaired from the beer I’m drinking. Yeah, the quality control on my milk has gone down, too…..

  54. @MrsHaley”I love it when they say teething doesn’t cause all this weirdness. Come to my house and tell me what’s causing it then! At 2am!”.
    OH YEAH. Our doc is all over the symptoms being related to that mysterious, general, ‘virus’. Pfft.
    @Cloud, Well, that theory makes me feel a bit better about the likely cat parasites in all our bodies.
    “*Disclaimer: I can’t be bothered looking any of this up right now, so it is all from my memory. Which is a tad impaired from the beer I’m drinking. Yeah, the quality control on my milk has gone down, too…..”
    Bwahahahahaha! Yes, I suspect the quality control on my milk has gone down as well.

  55. @Cloud-YES! There was a thing on This American Life about it. Although I learned about it as an immunology grad student, but that was a long time ago. Cats are apparently not as protective as dogs to have for your kids.Also I think beer in the milk means quality control is going up, myself.

  56. @MrsHaley – I love our ped because she doesn’t discount things like teething for all the wierdness. She shrugs and says could be and that all sorts of wierd things happened to her kids during teething. It always makes me feel so much better. Cause each of my kids had all sorts of wierd things with the teething!@Cloud – My BIL was just talking about that study. Also, a recent issue of The Economist had a blurb about some study by an Italian scientist who looked at the gut flora of children somewhere in Africa and in Florence. He seems to think the more “western diet” is part of the problem with the lack of diversity in the gut and the rise of allergies. I wish I could blame my lack of looking things up on a beer, but I’m just lazy…

  57. Hygiene Hypothesis means my (lack of) housekeeping standards are PROTECTING my children. Yes. Excellent.I’ve heard having parasites and other GI tract infections is protective against colon cancer too (you know, if you live through the cholera to make it to old age).

  58. @Friendwithmilk:Milk screening looks for any disease that can be passed through breast milk – the ones that come to mind most directly are Hepatitis and HIV. That is, it’s a blood test *on the donor*; the milk itself isn’t tested. Though contamination through breast milk is rare, you have to test free of these disease to donate milk. I can’t remember the others they test for (it’s a panel), because I did my initial blood work a couple of years ago, and while I recently re-screened I didn’t look at the paperwork. At the milk bank they re-screen every 6 months, but otherwise, it’s a one time blood test to make sure you’re all clear. At the milk bank, they pasteurize the milk to make sure it isn’t contaminated with bacteria and test to make sure it has a good cream-skim mix (in fact at the milk bank they mix everybody’s milk together). Pasteurizing the milk is a bit controversial because that kills some of the good antibodies, but they have to make sure the milk is as safe as possible for the NICU babies with compromised immune systems.

  59. PS The milk bank also has pretty strict rules concerning how much caffeine per day you can drink, you have to wait 12 hrs after having a drink to pump, and various other times for medications (even tylenol and advil). But these are very conservative – if I were sharing in a more informal way, I would think that one would just use the same diet for milk-sharing as for one’s own milk, unless the donor baby has some kind of intolerance. (At the bank they’re always looking especially for women who will give up dairy, because some babies have sensitivity to breastmilk with dairy protein in it.)

  60. I always use the hygiene theory to rationalize my slovenly housekeeping as well as why I don’t wash my toddler’s hands more often. But I believe, too. I bought a cooking for people with allergies cookbook a while ago, and there’s an intro by a pediatric allergist who expounds the hygiene theory. So, to sum up – cat poop = good, antibacterial soap = bad. It makes me crazy to see those ads on TV for Clorox trying to convince mothers to bleach their babies’ toys. . .

  61. I’ve heard the hygiene hypothesis credited with why kids who grow up in agricultural families have fewer allergies — like, farmer parents come home with allergens (mostly seasonal) all over their clothes and skin, so the kids are exposed and desensitized at an early age. Also farmhouses are less likely to have A/C to filter the allergen-laden air.I wonder if the reason dogs are more protective is because they are more likely to carry allergens in their fur since they go both inside and outside, whereas many cats are inside-only.
    Also, @Friendwithmilk – would your friend be opposed to allowing you to actually nurse his daughter? Even just from a supply perspective, having that stim might be good for your production. Plus that kind of contact would be nice for her. That might be too intimate for him, but maybe not …

  62. @Erin, thanks for the information, much appreciated! I was getting confused between screening the milk and screening me. I totally expect they would want to screen me.As for cutting back/eliminating caffeine/medications/drinking/dairy etc. .. that makes total sense and I’ve actually been bringing more awareness to my choices. I think my 16 month old can roll with it, but not so much a 4lb10oz little one.
    Regarding the milk bank pasteurizing the milk. That’s very interesting. I was just thinking this morning that the baby would benefit by getting my antibodies if I pick up a cold/flu (not that I would seek it out) esp. during flu season.

  63. @Friendwithmilk – you’re totally right about your friend’s child benefiting from your antibodies during this cold/flu season, especially as such a little one. What important protection for a preemie! Mrs. Haley’s idea is a beautiful one as well – babies thrive so off the skin-to-skin. I think we’re unnecessarily squeamish about cross-nursing in our culture. Women have been cross-nursing for millenia.I’d be happy to share with you the milk bank’s instructions to me regarding diet and medication if you’d like (offline – maybe Moxie can set you up w/ my email address since I don’t have a blog?)

  64. Not the place to share how my uncle acquired a tapeworm abroad while in the army, and how many feet long it was when it was finally discovered to be the source of his ill health years later then.I always feel irrationally guilty over the hygiene hypothesis. Long line of very cleanliness inclined ancestors etc. But DD was born overdue with a rash and that turned to eczema within two weeks. That then led to egg-, milk-, and peanut allergy.
    The allergist said to expose your eight week old to a cow-pat as prevention, jokingly, but that would have been too late for her.
    On teething here all symptoms of teething are dismissed by doctors as ” teething” was a leading Victorian cause of child death. Lots of dread fatal illnesses were put down to teething.
    But it was awful even though it ended. The gums and no sleep was hard, but the teething acid poo just broke my heart. My daughter’s eczema turned it into blisters at every contact.
    It went all over her legs as it is like water sometimes and she was in so much pain. Baths, drying the bum with a cool hairdryer, lots of ointment and sadly steroid cream under the nappy from time to time helped a lot, but it stayed sore till the teething was done.
    It does end though, really!

  65. @friendwithmilk – I just wanted to thank you! I have ben looking into donating to a milk bank but after reading your post realized that I should offer my frozen supply to my bff. She and her partner are doing AI, she is the pregnant one but she had a bilateral mastectomy because she is BRCA positive. I called her today and she is thrilled. Apparently not being able to offer breastmilk was a big source of personal stress to her. I never would have thought of offering to an individual if I hasn’t read your comments. Thanks!

  66. Oh, I should have read todays comments too. I will email my friend the link to this post while we try to figure out how to make it work.

  67. @Erin – I’ve created an email account: friendwithmilk at gmail.com, if you’d like to send me the milk bank’s instructions that would be awesome! I’m interested to see what their standards are.@MrsHaley / @Erin- It’s been in the back of my mind to offer to nurse. I’m thinking we’ll take it one step at a time. There’s virtually no possibility that she would somehow prefer to nurse instead of bottle feed, right? Isn’t it usually the opposite. I wouldn’t want to create a situation I can’t live up to. Along those lines, I’m thinking they should combine the milk and formula in one bottle so she won’t develop a taste preference.
    @Hera – all right! *high five* I’m so happy for you and your friend and I hope it all works out!

  68. Threads like this one are why I love this blog. What a wonderful discussion.I don’t know that I’ll win any awards, but I would close my 18-month old in with me while I mucked my horse’s stall (the horse wasn’ts in there with us); letting him wander around picking through the shavings seemed far better than allowing him to dash under the feet of other horses in the barn. I don’t know that any handsful literally went hand-to-mouth, but it’s a safe bet plenty of dirty shavings and bits of manure ended up stuck to his hands and … yeah (though I’ll admit this sort of thing is one reason why I was a fan of the pacifier at an age far past when many mom’s tolerate it — a kid with a pacifier in his mouth is a kid who’s not putting poop in his mouth). I’m sure there were bug parts in there, too.

  69. @FriendWithMilk, I would say it’s probably not likely for *him* to have a problem with her preferring to nurse than to take a bottle *from him* but if she nurses from you, then she will probably fuss to nurse from you when she’s around you and can smell you. You can hardly blame her, right?!?Also, you can tell him (when it seems appropriate and he’s ready to hear) that the more she nurses from you, the more your body will become tuned in to her needs and your milk will adjust its composition to what she requires as far as both nutrition and antibodies. This might be especially important for a preemie during the upcoming flu season. When a human mother is tandem nursing, the body adjusts to the youngest nursling’s needs. You nursling(s) will benefit from that adjustment — it will be like a multivitamin for them!
    But like you said — baby steps. In this case, it’s a nursing triad (instead of the typical dyad!) so everybody has to be comfortable with every aspect of the relationship, every step of the way.
    My heart is full with the beauty of what you & Hera are doing.

  70. I just want to thank you all for being such supportive, encouraging and FUNNY women. I came across this post after a friend emailed me a link on “sleep regressions” and feel MUCH better about the unfortunate circumstance that caused me to turn to formula for my baby’s nourishment. Although I live in Canada and haven’t been affected with the recall…I really needed to read these comments 🙂 However, I am now DEVASTATED to think of WHAT my son will be ingesting by his own choice in the near future….yikes!! I may rethink getting that Cat or Dog to add to our family dynamic 🙂 hahahaha…

  71. So, I got a padded mailer in the mailbox last night with a letter from the makers of Similar alerting me to the recall. Funniest thing: I’ve never purchased Similac (though I did sign up years ago for their coupons and gave them to a friend). So they had my address, though by now any child I had would be grown out of the Similac stage.

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