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Where is The New Fan?

Subtitle: Greater Richmond (Housing and Public Schools) versus Walkable Fan Culture

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August 2017 — the month when my framework for thinking about Richmond changed. This month, I have told a number of people about how “the scales fell from my eyes” when I had a kid and started to realize that many of the places I frequented as a young single person lacked a key demographic: Parents of young children. Everywhere I looked: VMFA happy hour, Daily Kitchen, breweries, the Byrd Theater, anyplace in RVA after 7pm, there were mostly (a) young single people, (b) young couples without kids, and (c) middle aged empty nesters. What happened to people when they had kids? did they just stay inside? did they move to the soul-less cul de sac suburbs and watch empty TV all the time? Is it my destiny to live outside of real local culture for the next 20 years?

In my single days, I thought about “One Richmond” in the sense of RVA being united around a common culture, and that culture was sort of epitomized by “The Fan.” But the fan is not a good cultural place to live for people like me: parents of young children. Let me explain why we are thinking of moving…

FANMAGEDDON, OR WHY I MUST MOVE TO SUBURBAN RVA

Objectively, the Fan **is** the best place in Richmond. It is the most walkable. It is where the nexus of locally owned cafes, corner bistros, out of the way alleys and bike paths, museums, indie shops (aka Carytown) and the VCU College vibe.  But I can’t live here anymore.

I still think the fan is the center of a vibrant culture, I just can’t see myself living in the Fan for the next 15 years. Two reasons:

1. Housing. As a new dad, I am starting to see that our family needs to move to a larger house. If I am going to buy a house, I need to buy a house in an area that someone else will want to buy that house when I move again. People want to buy houses in good school systems, so I must buy a house in a good school system.

2. Schools.  Richmond has crappy high schools. I can’t bring myself to send my kid / kids to substandard schools.  I COULD purchase a house on the Northside and send my kid to private school (Veritas? Montessouri) but we are talking $5K -10K a year for the next 12 years PER CHILD. Why **NOT** move to the suburbs where my children can get a decent education for free? And given the need to resell my house, I don’t know if I am willing to risk buying a house in an area where other people don’t want to buy.

The other side of this argument is that I could / should be some sort of a pioneer of social change, where I commit to living in the city in the hopes that other young professional families will see a critical mass of people moving there and bring the school system up with it.

I reject this line of argument though… I am cynical enough about human nature to “”know” (or at least deeply believe) that even people of conscience (i.e. many of my friends) are not going to follow me to a possibly unsafe neighborhood with crappy schools. They love their kids too much for that. They want to send their kids to Freeman, Tucker, or Godwin (or Midlothian / JRHS on the SouthSide) and see them get into a good college.

So here is the logic so far:

  • I love the Fan.
  • my house is too small now; I need to move and soon.
  • I am not going to send my children to private school.
  • I need to move to a place in RVA area where there are good schools.
  • the only place where there are good schools in Greater RVA is in the suburbs (particularly, Chesterfield County and Henrico County, although I know that Powhatan and Hanover could also be considered good schools).

The natural conclusion is that I cannot live in the Fan.

IS BON AIR (OR REGENCY SQUARE ) THE NEW FAN? 

And then I add one more plank in this master plan: there are other people in this situation… I should move to a place where people like me would move…

Example 1: Fan dwellers who can’t afford private school could all move to Bon Air (23236 area code) and go to Perk cafe and send their kids to the Bon Air Community Center and then hop on the Chippenham parkway when they want to go to the VMFA or visit friends north of the River.

Example 2:  I could live in near Cheswick Park (23229 area code) in the near West End and hop on I-64 or Three Chopt Road  / Monument Ave when I want to go downtown to see VCU basketball games.

Young families who move to RVA from Brooklyn do their research and quickly realize what I am just now seeing… While the Fan is not the place to move if you have kids,  there must be ANOTHER semi-walkable place besides the Fan where Greater Richmond families could live together and foster healthy community and culture.

I don’t want to live in a soulless cul-de-sac. I want my kids to live in a health formative culture… I want them to ride bikes in the street with the other neighborhood kids and run around in the woods. I want them to walk to the pool and feel safe. I should not have to chauffeur my children everywhere. I am not going to risk thinking “maybe someday the schools will be good” in the City of Richmond when I can move to a place where the schools are already definitely good RIGHT NOW. Those suburban neighborhoods are attracting the families that I want to live near, and if I move there, I can build community there with them.

FORGING AN NEW URBAN-SUBURBAN NEXUS CULTURE?

As the world’s largest critic of the Southside, I know that even **considering** moving south of Chippenham parkway is a radical departure from my previous Fan-snobbery… but I can see no other option than to move South or West outside the traditional Richmond Virginia boundaries. One thing that sort of inspires me is the idea that I can maybe play a part in making the Greater Richmond suburbs less boring. Will I contribue to a music festival at Stony Point or Regency Malls? Will I start or join a Facebook group connecting people who live in my suburban neighborhood?  These sorts of ideas make me “expectantly wait” (versus dreading) moving to the suburbs.

I expect that my views and perspectives will shift over time as I continue to have discussions on this topic. I fully expect to find out that other people have thought about this before I have, and I hope that they are able to impart wisdom to me about what it means to move between downtown RVA fun and suburban RVA living.

Norm Core and Cargo Shorts

Some fashion experts have declared a trend: normal looking clothing, or Norm Core.

Other fashion experts recently began an information campaign disparaging Cargo Shorts as being some sort of social faux pas. I often see articles encouraging wives and girlfriends to secretly replace their significant other’s cargo shorts with “more fashionable” items.

Examples:

I like Cargo Shorts. I think they are incredibly practical AND comfortable. I am not sure if this makes me Norm Core or a counter-cultural hipster, but I am going to keep wearing them with flip flops to barbecues and other summer events.

 

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I don’t really care if you disagree, but feel free to comment!

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Amazon taking over the world

I am mildly obsessed with the impact of technology on culture. One of the great examples of this in the last 10 to 20 years is the rise of Amazon.com … and the resulting “creative destruction” it left in its wake. I watched it happen!

First Example: Internet Commerce Decimated Retail Bookstores and Music Stores

My first memory of Amazon is in Ann Arbor the late 1990s, when one of my roommates purchased textbooks online from Amazon TAX FREE.  I found it amazing that he could purchase books far more cheaply than the high prices at the official college bookstore.  Besides meeting up at the cafe in the Student Union to study, other cheap forms of underage / alcohol-free entertainment were: (1) browse CDs at the Tower records listening stations and, (2) browse books at the massive “original” Borders Books just off campus (3) Rent a video from the campus video store.

Fast forward 10 or 15 years… Tower records closed in 2006 due to competition with online CD purchase and free MP3 downloads. The last Borders closed in 2011 including the original Ann Arbor mega-store. Video stores (particularly Blockbuster) don’t exist anymore.

What happened? Over time, access to online information and online purchasing made retail stores commercially insolvent and culturally irrelevant. If people can carry hundreds of books and thousands of songs in their pocket, what is the point of going to a book or record store? Even if you want real books or CDs, you can order them directly to your house.

Over the last 20 years, I have watched technology slowly change the way that regular people do things. The rest of this article gives some examples and observations from my life, and walks you through why I am so interested in all the crazy things that Amazon (and others) are doing to re-shape the cultural and commercial landscape. How will technology continue to change society? this is something I am very interested in! 

24/7 Internet Connectivity Has Evolved Since The Olden Days

Obviously, Amazon is part of a larger phenomenon in the last 20 years — the rise of constant internet connectivity. When I was a freshman in college, most people did not even have email addresses or know what the ‘@’ sign meant. In the dorms, most people went to the computer lab to “get online.” If you wanted to use the internet from anywhere else, you had to dial up to the internet using an ultra-slow internet connection via modem.

People nowadays are used to having the internet on their cell phones. In the 1990s, cell phones (aka  “Car phones”) were mostly used for emergency phone calls. When my friends started to buy [pocket-sized!] cell phones in 2001, we used them like regular phones, to call people and have voice conversations. We did not text or web surf on our phones; this was mostly because the cell phone companies charged people exorbitant amounts for sending SMS texts and for access to a substandard, clunky version of the internet made for small screens.

And then in the 2000s, technology started rapidly changing.  It seemed like every couple years, another “game changing” technology came along and subtly altered the ways that people shop, communicate, and relate to each other.   Google arrived in 2000 with an amazingly superior search engine. In 2003, I remember being amazed with digital cameras and with friends who could send picture messages on their phones.  In 2004, wikipedia, blogs and gmail went mainstream and changed the way people shared information. In 2005 we got Myspace and Craigslist and internet forums and Google Maps. People started replacing dial-up with in-home wifi networks and using their digital video cameras  I to upload these things called YouTube videos.

Then, people started to adapt their habits to these new technologies. People stopped thinking that online dating was only for creepers. Sometime between 2004 and 2006, Facebook was invented, killed off MySpace, and became the de facto way to share pictures. In 2008 and 2009, the iPhone and the android phone were introduced, allowing people to surf the REAL INTERNET on their phone. I remember the AMAZED FEELING I had when I realized I could ordering a pizza WHILE DRIVING HOME FROM WORK and know that the pizza delivery guy would be arriving to my house 20 minutes later exactly as I was arriving home. I could print a picture to my wireless printer from my smartphone! I WAS LIVING IN THE FUTURE!

I should have listened to the rumors of big changes

Going back to college for a second, I have to say that IN THE 1990s the futurists warned us that the “new Economy” of  E-commerce would supplant the “bricks and mortar” retail stores like Circuit City, Kmart, Sears, and Best Buy. They were right, but most people didn’t really understand until later what was happening.

In retrospect, I can see this change in concrete events in my social group. Some of my friends graduated from college and moved to California to work for “dotcom” startups, but I just saw this as them getting jobs. I  had friends who left college in 1999 to work for consulting firms that helped corporations make their computer systems Y2K compliant, and helped them ultra-fast T1 cable internet and cisco routers. I just saw this as “My college roommate is good with computers” versus “the internet will soon be fast and ubiquitous”

I can see now what I could not see then — technological changes which at first seem like novelties in individual people’s lives, actually affect the larger society in profound ways.

I am now constantly keeping my ear to the ground for the next big thing, and trying to predict how it will affect THE FUTURE!

Amazon (and others) have been doing big things in the 2010s.

In this decade, I have watched Amazon make some pretty substantial changes that seem to be having large effects on culture and commerce.  An I am not talking about selling books or Kindles. Some examples:

  • Amazon Prime — a subscription service that offers free delivery, and makes it super easy to search for and purchase pretty much everything with one click.
  • Amazon Mp3 — (now called Amazon Music) a strong alternative to iTunes where you can actually download the music you buy.
  • Amazon Prime music (2014)– free unlimited ad-free music streaming
  • Amazon Video — (live streaming of movies)
  • Amazon Fulfillment (Distribution) Centers — (to accelerate delivery times)
  • Amazon Fire Phones — (extinct after 2014, but a strong foray into the cutthroat smartphone market)
  • Amazon Now — (2015+) deliver within 2 hours)
  • Amazon Prime Air — DRONES — to deliver thing via air??!??!??!
  • Amazon Alexa — (a smart assistant akin to SIRI)
  • Amazon Prime Pantry – Order bundles of groceries and save money by subscribing to regularly deliveries of these supplies.
  • Amazon Storage — a way to backup your computer on the cloud
  • Amazon Cloud Services — (web-based software as a service)
  • Amazon Merch — (make your own tee shirts and mugs and keychains a la CafePress)
  • Amazon Payments — for mobile payments from your phone
  • Amazon Echo (2014) — a smart speaker akin to SONOS. responds to voice commands.
  • Amazon Go (December 2016) — Bricks and mortar Amazon stores that demonstrate Amazon Pay and may give starbucks and small markets a run for their money.
  • What is next?? 

Evidence of creative destruction as Amazon takes over the world

Meanwhile, there are stories in the news that indicate the commercial landscape is changing as the traditional stores are forced to compete with Amazon and other online retailers:

  • MALLS – say a large percent of retail space in the Unites States will soon be vacant due to people buying things online instead of stores.
  • BIG BOXES. Stand-alone stores like TARGET or Walgreens or Lowe’s – why drive 15 minutes to buy batteries or a hammer when you can have Amazon deliver them to you? Even big-box powerhouse Walmart is now starting to Amazonify and convince their customers to buy through Walmart.com
  • GROCERIES – Why lug baby over to the grocery  a store when you can have the groceries come to you? Kroger is now offfering ClickList services where you can order groceries online and pick them up in the parking lot or  I have them delivered to your house for a small fee.
  • ENTERTAINMENT – Why pay $15/ person for a movie or $250/month for cable when you can get all the movies and shows you want for next to nothing? Television is quickly un-bundling and going online while consumers are cutting the cord to cable providers such as ComCast. Online video services like NetFlix, Hulu are creating original concent to keep up with Amazon, and killing cable and on-air television advertising in the process. ESPN just fired dozens of their well-respected sports correspondents because they can’t afford their current business model.
  • NEWSPAPERS and Journalism — YOU WONT BELIEVE THESE 10 TRICKS TO SAVING YOUR MEDIA COMPANY!!! This one is a little bit obvious, but it is widely known that newspaper and magazine subscriptions have taken a financial hit from the migration of advertising dollars to online media like Google. (You can probably see an ad below that some business paid WordPress insert ar the bottom of my blog.) With retail stores going under, the money that Sears might have paid your local newspaper to place an underwear ad is now going to online ads placed by Amazon. Will people start paying to see news behind paywalls? Or will media companies continue to fire staffs and then publish viral listicle articles to bump up their pay-per-click ad revenues? No wonder “fake news” was the word of the year in 2016 (according to the highly respected reporters of BuzzFeed, anyways)
  • CARS? HOUSES? — All I know is that Sears &Roebuck used sell animals and houses from its famous (and defunct) Sears Catalog. If a thing can be shipped, I am sure Amazon will figure out a way to sell it to people.

Bracket Friends 2K17 — MARCH DADNESS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_NCAA_Division_I_Men’s_Basketball_Tournament

https://www.reddit.com/r/dadjokes/top/

SCHEDULE –> http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2017-03-12/cbs-sports-and-turner-sports-exclusive-coverage-2017-ncaar

Bracket Friends –> http://games.espn.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/2017/en/group?groupID=123867

241 Madness –> http://games.espn.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/2017/en/group?groupID=152086

2017 0314 DOSEQUIS

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NEWBORN PARENTING: BREASTFEEDING, BABY POOP, AND OTHER ADVICE

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One of my hot button issues is learning about things that “nobody ever told me about” with an eye towards developing a body of knowledge and sharing that with others.

Parenting offers the me opportunity to learn funfacts about newborn babies. After 30 days as a parent, I am starting to compile my findings. Below is a brief synthesis of things I have learned so far that I share with other friends who are first time parents. This is broken out into (1) Breastfeeding (2) Poops (3) Crying (4) Sleeping (5) Other Funfacts.

Please let me know if there are online resources or funfacts I should add to this article.

UPFRONT CAVEAT: The two veteran parents who reviewed this article for me BOTH reminded me that parenting is an art, so I would take everything you hear from other veteran parents with a grain of salt. Not all advice is good advice, and not all good advice applies to your PARTICULAR CHILD who may, for example, hate bottles or pacifiers or swaddles. To quote a friend of mine, “I love doing research and one thing I learned about parenting is that you will get a ton of different viewpoints, which leads to emotional debates (parenting is extremely emotional)…which leads to this…I’ve learned that parenting is not an exact science (although I contend some approaches are more effective then others)”

That said, there are some common advice and keywords that I found useful and that I wish people had told me, and that is what you will find below.

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1. BREASTFEEDING –

  • Just after birth, before the breast milk comes in, there is actually something called *Colostrum* that is super-nutritious and helps baby with immunity.
  • Colostrum is super nutritious, a fact I learned when I googled colostrum and came up with a google image of a really muscular guy who drinks COW COLOSTRUM.
  • The baby’s stomach is really small at first, like as big as a large marble, so you are basically giving your baby drips at first.
  • The baby’s initial ferocious sucking/feeding is not solely to drink the colostrum, but it is also important as a signal stimulating mom’s brain to tell it to produce milk. There is a cool diagram out on the internet showing how sucking triggers hormones (oxytocin and prolactin) that lead to bonding and milk production. Some lactation consultants encourage new moms to pump above and beyond what baby needs, to stimulate milk production. The milk comes in at around day 3 to 5.
  • kellymom.com is the layman’s go-to source for breastfeeding advice. I can’t say enough about kellymom. they have a facebook page that you should join. some topics to research on kellymom are:
    • adequate latch
    • how feeding frequency and volume change over time
    • cluster feeding (4 hours of fussy feeding AT ONE TIME!!!)
    • letdown
    • foremilk / hind milk
    • positioning (football hold versus cradling)
    • when to use a shield / syringe / feeding tube
    • strategies for using a breast pump to stimulate milk production
  • There are other resources for breastfeeding, to include the following
  • Every lactation consultant has different recommendations because breastfeeding is not an exact science; all babies are different and keep changing as they grow.
  • Breastpumps are a great tool. Most health insurance plans will pay for one, but they might not pay for “the best” model. A lot of people try this free model before buying a “gold-plated” model.
  • There is no shame in supplementing with formula, but once you start doing that, you might have to pump or else the breastmilk supply will dwindle as the body stops receiving the “signal” to produce milk.
  • Getting help. There is no shortage of support for people who choose to breastfeed. Lactation consultants bend over backwards to have you call and text them at all hours of the day with ALL QUESTIONS (there are no dumb questions). Also, most veteran moms who breastfeed have lots of advice for new moms and are good for commiseration with the frustrations of baby refusing the boob.
  • Feedings can be from 10 minutes to an hour depending on how lazy your baby is.
  • You might have eight to 10 feedings per day. Some lactation consultants say to expect “12 feedings in 24 hours” which is not the same as “one feeding every 2 hours.” It might be every 2 hours in the day time and then once every 4 hours at night. What nobody tells you is that sometimes babies cluster feed, which just means that they might spend 3 to 5 hours feeding at one time. You should just pray that they do not cluster feed from 2 to 5 in the morning. Listen to your lactation consultant, but be aware that they might say something slightly different to different babies in different situations. AND YOUR BABY MIGHT BE DIFFERENT EVERY DAY!!!!!
  • The point is to make sure the baby gets nutrition, stays hydrated, fills the diaper with poops and pees, and gains weight. (Also there is some bonding going on, so RELAX)

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2. POOPS

  • MECONIUM is baby’s initial poop, which is made in the womb. As the fetus drinks the amniotic fluid and sucks up the LANUGO (fetal body hair), VERNIX (something like in utero skin lotion) and excess cells, it congeals into meconium. The first poop is dark and tar-like.
  • Transitional poops…
    • When your baby is feeding on colostrum, she will continue to have dark poops until the breast milk comes in… then it starts to lighten up. This middle state is called transitional poop.
    • The end goal for breastfed baby poops is “dijon mustard yellow with small blobs that look like seeds.”
    • Baby poop is soft and mushy… they do not create turds until they start to eat solid foods.
    • If the poop is green after being dijon yellow, you should talk to your lactation consultant or pediatrician. (This may be normal or it may be a serious medical issue)
    • Formula-fed babies do not have dijon poops; they do more “green pea soup” type poops.
  • Poop and pee frequency
    • The 1-2-3 rule is that on the first day, baby should poop once, day 2 = twice, and day 3 = three times. The truth is that babies poop whenever they want. You should plan to track how many “Stools” (poops) and “Wet Diapers” (pees) baby makes and report this to all the doctors, nurses, pediatricians, and lactation consultants that will ask you multiple times a day in the hospital and at ped visits.
    • There are apps that will help you track poops and pees, as well as paper handouts. If you make your own paper tracker, you might want to track poops, pees, feeding time (and whether the feeding was on the left or right breast), sleeps, fussiness, and drugs administered.
  • Parents of newborns spend a lot of time changing diapers, duh. But which diapers should you buy?
    • The hospital and most parents I talked to use PAMPERS SWADDLERS at least at first. They do not leak and they are available everywhere.
    • Diapers come in something like 6 sizes (N for newborn and then 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
    • Typically you are in N size for the first 6 to 8 weeks (size N is for babies under 10 lbs, and size 1 is for babies between 8 and 14 lbs.)
    • Currently (2016) Newborn diapers cost about $0.25 per diaper. Size 5 cost about $0.45 per diaper.
    • My poop frequency estimate for a newborn is 12 diapers per day.
  • Barrier cream (Aquaphor!) and BUTT PASTE is a thing. you don’t want your baby to get diaper rash. Some people swear by old fashioned Vaseline for everything from diaper rash to small cuts.

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3. CRYING

  • When babies are born, they are not being manipulative, they cry when they need something. It might be food, a diaper change, reassurance that someone is around.
  • To calm your baby, use Harvey Karps’s  five S’s:
    • Shush
    • Sway
    • Swaddle
    • Side-lying position.
    • Suck
  • There is a whole debate about pacifiers, but as long as your baby is able to feed correctly (google keyword: nipple confusion) most people have told me they think pacifiers/ soothies / “non-nutritive sucking” is an excellent way to soothe a baby (particularly after the first two weeks).
  • Crying can be frustrating to a parent who is trying everything, but (as they said in my Dad Boot Camp) NEVER EVER shake a baby… it is better to let an inconsolable baby cry alone in their crib than have them aggravate you to the point of doing something dumb.

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4. SLEEPING

  • At first, parents should expect to feed baby every 2 to 4 hours. It makes sense for dad to change the diaper and mom to get ready to feed. That means nobody gets sleep.
  • Somebody might have to hold baby for 30 to 60 minutes after a feeding, and that person is not necessarily the mom.
  • Some good advice: SLEEP WHEN BABY IS SLEEPING. The caveat is that baby sleeps like 15 hours a day and you only need like 8 to 10.
  • Take naps.
  • Did I mention CLUSTER FEEDING. Train your baby to eat more in the day so that she sleeps at night.
  • Babies like to be swaddled. Learn how to do a basic swaddle (see diagram below).
  • Because you are sleep deprived, you are worse at decisions and so is the other parent. Be especially graceful to each other as you muddle through life and do irrational things.  (This is probably good advice for people who are not sleep deprived as well!)

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5. OTHER NEWBORN PARENTING FUNFACTS

  • When you are in the hospital, you are surrounded by experts. You should learn all you can from them by asking lots and lots of questions. They will teach you how to breastfeed, how to change a diaper, burping techniques, and other stuff you didn’t know that you didn’t know.
  • It is normal to be terrified that something bad will happen to your baby. Babies are delicate, but surprisingly resilient.
  • Baby breathing is weird. They go really fast and then they basically stop for five seconds. Did you know this? I didn’t. At first I was terrified, thought our baby was gasping for air. It is normal.
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a thing, but it is not the same thing as suffocation. It is actually a mystery that nobody knows why it happens, but there are steps you can take to  reduce the probability that your infant will suddenly die (!!!)
    • Don’t sleep with them in your bed
    • Avoid drugs and alcohol
    • Don’t use pillows and blankets; instead, put them in warm pajamas (the rule of thumb is to have them wear ONE LAYER more of clothes than you would be comfortable in).
    • Put them on their back (not their front like your parents used to do)
    • I don’t need to list all the things, but just read the handout that every pediatrician gives you about how to avoid SIDS.
  • It is easy to think that you have to be “doing something” every minute (changing, feeding, laundry, dishes, texting photos to friends and family, researching green poop on the internet, etc) but there is something to be said for just sitting there and enjoying the company of the child in your lap.
  • Unless you have a degree in babies, you probably don’t know what you are doing. Apparently “not knowing” is normal and acceptable for new parents. 
  • Because you probably don’t know what you are doing, there is NO SHAME in calling your pediatrician / Lactation consultant / veteran parent friend with your “DUMB” QUESTIONS, especially if there is something you are concerned about regarding your baby. How are you supposed to learn these things unless someone tells you?  Everyone already expects that you are an ignorant, scared, sleep deprived parent, so ask all your questions and they will be very understanding and give you good advice.

Please let me know is there is anything I need to add to this list of advice. I hope to provide it to my pregnant / expecting friends.

 

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Dairy Free and Soy Free

This post is about how to eat and cook without using Soy and Dairy ingredients.

Background: Babies sometimes develop allergies in their guts … In many cases, the “enteritis”  goes away after less than 9 months, but in the mean time, a breastfeeding mom has to steer clear of foods. In our case: Soy and Dairy.

Just to give you a sense of how big this is for us… we cleaned out our fridge the other day…

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These foods are off limits… they contain DAIRY or SOY!

We went to Ellwood-Thompson and Kroger and got some other grocery snacks

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These foods are all Dairy Free and Soy Free

Some safe foods: 

Chips / Salsa / Tortillas

Chicken dishes (prepared without butter or cheese)

Beef dishes (for example, stew)

Almond milk is a good replacement for milk. Soy milk is obviously banned.

Ice cream, sherbet and chocolate are out. Sorbet is in.

Anything labelled “vegan” is dairy free (but you still have to check for soy)

Apparently, quiche (without cheese) is still tasty. My sister recommends Pilsbury pie crusts.

Some things to watch out for: 

Most breads have soy flour in them (BANNED!) and many baked goods have milk/butter (BANNED!)

Pasta is PROBABLY ok, but be aware that some pasta noodles contain soy(BANNED!), and some pasta/pizza sauces contain parmesan or other cheese (BANNED!)

There is soy in canola oil “spray” (BANNED!) but not in regular canola oil (NOT BANNED!).

any milk product labeled “Lactose free” is still considered dairy (BANNED!) because of the cow proteins. Also,”Casein” is a dairy (BANNED!) ingredient.

Bottom line:

we have to read the ingredients on everything now.

(submitted by my sister):  http://www.godairyfree.org/dairy-free-grocery-shopping-guide/dairy-ingredient-list-2