Nursing/Postpartum Tuesday: Lactation Cookie Bites

Full disclosure: I did not ever exclusively breastfeed, so I am a little limited in my knowledge of the tricks of the trade when it comes to milk supply. However, I have read a lot of message boards and posts in mom groups, and lactation cookies are frequently recommended as a means to ingest nutrients that are meant to increase supply. I don’t have personal experience with this, but these Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites have 250+ mostly positive reviews that mention that they do the job as advertised. If you Google “lactation cookies,” you’ll find tons of results to bake your own, but baking cookies would personally be last on my list when juggling a newborn or baby. These are $21.99 (for a box of 10 serving-size bags), are eligible for Prime shipping, and come in flavors Chocolate Salted Caramel, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip (which would be my pick), and Oatmeal Raisin. Lactation Cookie Bites

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  1. I made the How Sweet Eats lactation cookies in the waiting for baby period and they were delicious. I froze them in balls and popped them in the freezer.

    • 313Tif says:

      Same here – I made lactation muffins before the baby came and froze them. I love cookies, but too many of them and I tire of them. I made banana muffins and oatmeal blueberry muffins and incorporated the “lactation goodies” like ground flaxseed, oatmeal, and brewers yeast. And to be honest, it wasn’t just those ingredients, I think a lot of it was an easy way to consume more calories. I was too tired to eat some days! Just pop a muffin in the microwave for a few seconds and boom, a couple hundred calories and milk boosters to boot.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, I never did lactation cookies, but I made a huge batch of muffins. They were the only thing I could eat for the first few weeks.

      • Also the most effective thing I’ve found to boost milk production is oat milk hot chocolate – oats and some extra calories. I produce 1-2 extra ounces the day after consuming them.

    • I had a bag of these specific cookies (well, the Oatmeal Raisin ones) and would get a full 4 oz more on the day I ate them. They tasted delicious too! I had dreams of making my own stuff because people said it was easier and cheaper, but I was bfeeding and working full time, so time and convenience won over money.

  2. Nursing Two says:

    Who can tell me about nursing two kiddos at the same time? I’m due with #2 in December and still nursing my 21-month-old before bed. I did not intend to go this long, but she dropped all the other sessions pretty easily by about 15 months, and her bedtime nursing session is only about five minutes. She’s fine going without if my husband or a babysitter is putting her to bed, but I can tell it provides some comfort when I put her down. I’m wondering about when #2 is born…will my toddler drink the colostrum? Isn’t the content of b*milk after birth specially formulated for newborns? And aside from technical issues, I’m wondering if I should expect jealousy or any increased desire to nurse by my toddler. Part of me thinks I should try weaning her completely now so it’s a distant memory when baby comes, but I’m hesitant to stop something that comforts her and is easy for me just because it MIGHT be a problem in the future. I’ve been able to think my way through a lot of the logistical issues that seem inherent in becoming a mom of two, but I’m struggling to wrap my head around this one. Any advice/suggestions/anecdata would be helpful!

    • AwayEmily says:

      There’s a reasonable chance that nursing will be a source of some stress for her regardless of whether you wean her. I weaned my first at 14 months and her baby brother arrived when she was 22 months. Watching me nurse the baby was really tough for her at first; probably the hardest part of the entire transition — I don’t think she necessarily remembered when she did it, but it was very clear that my attention was focused on the baby and not her. And for the first month or so when the baby was getting the hang of it I wasn’t able to do all the recommended things of “read her a book while you nurse!” etc.

      I’d also think through what it means for scheduling…if you are busy feeding/soothing the baby during her bedtime, will she stay up until you’re done so that she can nurse? Etc.

      All that being said, lots of people tandem nurse so if you feel like it’s right for your family go for it! I think there are a fair amount of online resources, check out Kellymom.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just wean her now before baby comes.

    • FTMinFL says:

      I think this decision is completely up to your preference. I struggled with the same set of facts – my son was 21 months when my daughter was born and he was still nursing at 16 months. I ultimately chose to wean at 16 months just to take responsibilities off of me (son would not settle down for my husband). He did remarkably well with it because his receptive language was good at that time – I told him that the milk had “gone night night” and he repeated it back to me for a few nights and that was that. He didn’t ask to nurse after the baby was born, though he seemed to remember doing it. He loved his sister from the start, but was very concerned with differentiating “baby” things from “brother” things which caused its own set of problems. Bottom line, the transition from 1 to 2 will not be free of unpredictable bumps in the road whichever way you go, your daughter will be physically fine whether you choose to wean now or later, so this decision sounds like it should be a guilt-free parent-driven decision. You’ve got this!

  3. European destinations with 20 month old? says:

    What European destinations would you recommend with a toddler? We’re thinking about a trip in mid-April when baby CB will be about 20 months. We’re in the UK so no worries about travel time and jetlag. We like wandering outside (parks, sculpture gardens, etc), fun museums, cafes, people watching and aren’t big beach or resort people. Berlin seems to to be pretty kid friendly but I wonder if people had any other suggestions.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think Paris is one of the most kid-friendly cities on the planet. So many parks and playgrounds.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1. Paris was incredible with a 20 month old last year. I wrote a long email to someone else about my experience, happy to forward if you have a burner email.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      I know you already mentioned Berlin but I just wanted to emphasize what a great place it is with a young child. Very stroller friendly (flat), lots of parks/playgrounds, everyone is so nice, English spoken everywhere, wonderful zoo. We had a great time.

      • Wonderful, that’s what I’ve heard. I think it satisfies my desire for slightly cool city with the needs of a toddler.

      • +1. We stayed in Prenzlauerberg and it was a leafy, pleasant, affluent universe set up for toddlers.

        • P-berg is great for kids! We were in Mitte and walked to P-berg to play a few days. (There was also a playground near our bnb in Mitte.)

          Seconding Berlin!

    • Anonymous says:

      We’re going to Florence + Siena soon, and I can report back. Generally, I think anywhere is fine as long as you go into with the right expectations – ie, that you’ll be parenting in an interesting new place, not on a true vacation.

    • Lisbon? says:

      On a related note, anyone done Lisbon with a toddler? We’re thinking about taking our 22 month old there this winter.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lisbon is great but you should be aware that it is extremely hilly in a way that can make walking hard for fit adults. Challenging to manouvre a kid and winter can get a lot of rain.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lisbon is a beautiful city, but hard with a stroller because of the hills and uneven streets. I’d recommend babywearing, if your kid isn’t a good walker.

    • Anonymous says:

      Copenhagen is fabulous.

      • Anonymous says:

        Completely agree about Copenhagen — very kid friendly. Lots of parks, lots of inclusion for little ones in the museums, etc., and there’s an amusement park right in the middle of the city with lots of good rides for little ones!

    • LifeScienceMBA says:

      Great to hear that many like my hometown Berlin!

      Barcelona was fun with our 15 month old. Many parks with playgrounds, beach if you like, great food, and good public transport.

      Join any Facebook Expat groups and ask for recs for cafes, restaurants, parks, and activities.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vienna is great as well. And Budapest or Prague can be done as a daytrip from there.

    • NYCer says:

      I think you can make most European destinations as family friendly as you want them to be. South of France can be lots of fun with a toddler. There are some great family friendly resorts in Portugal. Barcelona and Paris both have lots of parks and cafes (go at off times and all the outdoor seating is super fun for kiddo!). I had friends who did Rome and Tuscany (rented house) with two kids ages 4 and 2 and raved about it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We had a great time in Paris with an 18-month-old. Beautiful city to walk around, easy to picnic in parks, great museums, nice daytrips out of the city (bonus points for trains if your kid is like mine), cafes and restaurants were very friendly and accommodating, great playgrounds literally every few blocks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously meant for above…usually the threading works on mobile as long as I request the desktop site!

    • That’s so good to know. I’ve been to Paris loads as an adult but never really thought about the kid component – beyond being really annoyed by French parenting books :)

  5. Anonymous says:

    My daughter is still squarely in the toddler stage, but I’ve enjoyed Janet Lansbury a great deal. Who kind of continues this parenting philosophy as children continue aging? (Big plus for the single-serving-size readings, rather than a book.) TIA!

  6. Anonymous says:

    My 7 month old has developed a really bad habit of grabbing and pinching my skin while nursing. Usually it’s just my arm, but sometimes she pulls off and does it to my nipple. It’s incredibly uncomfortable, even when it’s just my arm. When I tell her “no” in a sharp tone of voice, she stops but then starts again 20 seconds later (pretty sure she doesn’t understand the word no and is just reacting to my tone of voice). I’ve tried holding her free hand so she can’t pinch but then she starts crying – she’s generally a chill baby, but she’s a very determined little girl and when she can’t do something she wants to do, she gets pissy. Should I try mittens? Any other brilliant ideas?

    • I never had a pinching problem, but my kid wanted to bite at that age. Hell to the no. Honestly, I put her down immediately and said, “Mom can’t nurse you when you bite.” She was pissed. I’d leave her in her crib for like thirty seconds or so and we’d try again. It took very little time to make her realize that biting meant no more milk.

    • Anonymous says:

      You might try wearing one of those teething necklaces they make. I have no personal experience with this, but a friend did and she had success with redirecting the grabbing to the rubbery necklace.

    • AwayEmily says:

      How long has this been going on? Can you wait it out? My now 8 month old developed an irritating habit of punching me in the face while nursing when he was around 6 months but he stopped doing it after a couple of weeks.

    • Anonymous says:

      My babies have always wanted to grab my face or stick their fingers in my mouth while nursing. I try to give them a lovey or whatever burp cloth or piece of fabric I have lying around. This does the trick the majority of the time.

  7. Anonymous 3 says:

    Side note – does anyone have any resources for deciding on whether to add to a family or deem it complete? Our son will be 2 years old in a couple of weeks. I find myself obsessing about another child and going back and forth about whether it makes sense, etc. Did IVF with son – I am 38 and my husband is 41. Would love insight from others who made a decision one way or the other and resources that you may have found helpful. TIA!!

    • Anonymous says:

      My instinct is that if you can’t stop thinking about adding to the family, you want another child. I’m happily one and done, but I’ve felt that our family was complete from the moment I met my daughter.

      Besides the gut feeling that a family of 3 is perfect for us, a few factors for us were:
      1) I’m a very happy only child, so I don’t believe only children are lonely or miserable; parents and DH aren’t close to siblings so we don’t personally see the benefits of siblings as much as other people may.
      2) Finances – we’re comfortable but not wealthy and our daughter will have a lot more opportunities (including college paid in full) if she doesn’t have a sibling. Plus (selfishly) I love to travel and this will also be easier (financially and logistically) with one.
      3) We have twins in the family and I’m tall and older, which are all risk factors, and we both felt that 3 children would be absolutely unmanageable for our family (and neither of us would want to do a voluntary reduction).
      And now that our daughter is a bit older we have a 4), which is that we both work full time and already feel that we don’t have enough time to spend with our daughter, we can’t imagine splitting that with a baby and spending 50%+ less time with her than we do now.

    • I don’t know of any specific resources, but I think you add to a family when you can’t deem it complete. When I wanted my son, it didn’t matter whether it made sense, and I would have done anything to have him.

      I feel like my family is complete. Like the Anonymous above, there are a lot of reasons having another child doesn’t make sense for us–health/pregnancy complications, finances, our ability to travel and maybe retire one day, not splitting our time and attention. But I also know that if I felt like I did before my first (and only), I’d find a way to make it work.

    • anon for this says:

      agreed with above, I’m currently going through IVF for my #2, when I had sworn to my husband that we would just be trying and if it didn’t work oh well (he was quite happy with just one). The minute we got the diagnosis I couldn’t have a second child, with met a RE to start the IVF process as we both knew I would otherwise regret it for the rest of my life (and this is why I know I made the right choice marrying my husband btw).
      all that to say, it doesn’t matter what is difficult or makes no sense, it’s what makes sense to you and your partner that counts

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and my husband and I are discussing off and on. We are similar in age to you (both 38) and our son is almost 2.5. Advice someone on the main s!te gave recently (though for a move/job-related situation) really resonated with me – act as though you are waking up the day after the decision is made. I chose to thinking about 1) waking up after my husband had a vasectomy (I think I would feel sadness, a sense of loss, but ultimately it wouldn’t be devastating) and 2) waking up the day after learning I was pregnant (I’d feel excited and happy, but also anxious and a little worried). It wasn’t an AHA! moment for me but it really helped me live through the reality of those choices.

      Anyway, we’ve been talking about it for almost a year, and I feel good about our continued conversations – we haven’t made our final decision, but we’re not just spinning our wheels, either. Keep plugging away at the conversations! Good luck.

  8. This recently came up on another listserv I’m on, and many people weighed in, a lot of them with older, now grown children. If there was an overreaching theme, it seemed to be that no one regrets the individual that was born, but many have regrets about overtaxing their resources- financially, mentally, emotionally, physically. While they all love their kids, many, in fact didn’t love their life with + 1 kid, and quite a few said that they would probably not have had another if they knew that having one more would be so hard, especially in the middle school/ high school years.. Of course, the emotional urge for having a kid is not neccessarily rational.
    For me personally, we have two, five years apart (aged 6.5 and 20 months), and I turn 40 this year. We know if we had started sooner we would definitely be trying for a third kid. Right now, I still toy with the idea, but age and finances and my husband’s reluctance are the main factors against.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is an important point. As a mom of an only, I get told a lot “you’ll never regret having a second but you may regret not doing it.” I think that’s BS – every choice can result in regret or no regret, and regretting your decision about family size isn’t at all incompatible with loving every child you have.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have 3. I have 0 regrets about #3. She is the easiest, most chill baby ever and was such an easy addition to hot family. My second though…. you gotta be prepared for a difficult kid every time time you have one!

  9. White Flag says:

    If there was a metaphorical white flag, I would raise it right now: This past weekend, DH and I attended the funeral of a dear friend who lost her battle with cancer. She was young and has two young kids. My heart broke into many pieces all weekend and continues to be broken. My eyes are still puffy. Last night our youngest decided to take a header into the coffee table, which necessitated stitches in her mouth. She and I got home from the ER at 1am. DH is in the midst of an episode of MDD and is rapidly spiraling down. We have a call this afternoon with his providers to discuss inpatient treatment. My boss is not understanding on mental health issues (we work in the health care field) and so I am loathe to raise that DH is having trouble. White flag raised.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry. Any one of those would be a lot. I’m sure all of them together is really hard. I’ll be thinking of you.

    • Anonymous says:

      You didn’t ask for advice, understandably, so I’ll just provide well wishes. Life goes in stages and sometimes things are complete sh!t. It will get better, it will improve. Hold your children close and ask for support and love from those around you. You’d be surprised how many are willing to help, either because they have been through something similar or just because they care about you. Hugs from an internet stranger.

    • Marshmallow says:

      I am so sorry you’re going through all this, especially all at once. Many Jedi hugs for you.

    • I am so sorry.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m so sorry. Life is neither easy or fair. (I mean this with sincerity!)

    • Been there says:

      I am so sorry to hear this—it is just so much. Sending all the virtual hugs your way, and prayers too if that is your thing. I hope you can find a few hours just for yourself very soon. You are an amazing mom, wife, and professional. Be good to yourself.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Late in the day, but suggestions for a “big” grandparent present for my 2 year old? She goes to daycare where they have every toy imaginable so I am reluctant to get a play kitchen or something similar, especially because we don’t have a ton of space. Already has a balance bike. Grandparents really like the “presenting” too, so I don’t think they’ll do an experience present, although I could try that for Christmas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Membership to an aquarium, zoo or children’s museum. They’re usually $100+ and you could get an even more expensive one that would allow the grandparents to take the kids, so it’s an experience gift for grandparents too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ikea kitchen is quite small but has been one of the most loved toys in our house. Even my 7 year old still plays with it sometimes.

      • Yeah, I know this isn’t what you are looking for, but the play kitchen has gotten SO MUCH USE at our house for years…

        • Anonymous says:

          In my house, too. It was a Christmas gift almost 3 years ago, and is one of the only things with that kind of staying power. The other was a red wagon…if you have outdoor space, highly recommend. The kids love both pulling stuff in it and sitting in it to be pulled.

    • The Melissa and Doug shopping cart! We got it for our daughter when she was two and it is still getting a lot of use, four years later. I like it because it looks like a real shopping cart and you can use it for toy storage too, so I don’t begrudge the space.

      Other ideas:
      a dollhouse or castle. We have the Melissa and Doug Castle that folds up when you aren’t playing with it.
      Or a baby doll and stroller. Anything them at you can put stuff in and push around is always fun.
      Indoor slide.
      Or our 20 month old really loves playing with trucks- we have the Wow ambulance and recycle truck and they have lots of interactive moving parts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Magnatiles? Scooter? Balance bike? Easel? Kid-sized table and chairs? Kid-sized picnic table? Sandbox? Outdoor playhouse? Cozy Coupe? Dollhouse?

    • My parents have bought an indoor easel and a play tent, and they both get a lot of use. The play tent folds up and gets shoved in the bottom of the closet. The easel also folds up, but it’s still large, so we just leave it out. Both have been great toys for my kid though.

    • Anonymous says:

      We got a ton of use out of a small plastic Little Tykes slide that we used indoors. It’s cheap – maybe $30? – but nicely large when assembled (folds flat for storage).

    • Magnatiles last forever, are expensive (so good to get for a gift vs yourself), and don’t take up much room.

      • Magnatiles are *super* fun, and they can get a big set with the cool pieces. Or a scooter.

    • Toy box or (compact) toy storage, small table and chairs, play tent or teepee, scooter and helmet.

  11. Anonymous says:

    How do you handle baby/toddler eating when you don’t eat a very well-rounded diet at home? All the advice I’ve heard is just ‘feed kids what you eat’ (or at least until they get too picky for that to work). I wouldn’t describe myself as vegetarian, but DH and I are basically pescatarian at home, mostly because neither of us likes handling raw meat. Is it ok to not feed our daughter meat, except in restaurants? Are there toddler pre-cooked meat things we can buy? I’m clueless about this and don’t want to force her into vegetarianism (especially since it’s not an ethical decision or really a conscious choice at all on our part) but I really don’t want us to have to prep 2 meals every day.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, pre-made meat is a thing. I’m lucky enough to have a Whole Foods nearby, which has pretty healthy kids’ frozen meals, but I regularly buy frozen meatballs and other meat products for my kiddos (I don’t eat red meat or feel comfortable handling it, but I want her to get the iron). It’s also OK to not feed her much meat at home– especially if she is eating fish with you– just make sure she’s getting protein from somewhere (yogurt, cheese, beans, etc.).

    • mascot says:

      Does your local grocery store have a decent deli? Ours sell things like cut up rotisserie chicken, roasted pork tenderloin, meatloaf, etc that you can heat and serve. You could also freeze into smaller portions.
      Or, a hot bar like at Whole Foods for single serve options.

    • We feed my kid Aidell’s chicken sausages whenever he is not eating what we’re eating. They’re pre-cooked. We sear the sausage in a cast iron pan to heat it up, then cut it into bite-size pieces or thin strips. They also make pre-cooked meatballs. If your toddler decides she likes them, you can buy them in bulk at Costco.

      You can also buy meat in prepared food sections at the grocery store, to give her some meat that’s not processed.

    • Why do you think a well-rounded diet needs to include meat? And if your diet isn’t well-rounded for other reasons, shouldn’t you fix that, to set an example for her if nothing else?

      • As someone who does not always eat a well-rounded diet (for other reasons), I figure I am old enough to make those decisions and trade-offs. I don’t feel right imposing those choices and trade-offs on my child when I am fully capable of giving her a well-rounded diet until she is old enough to make choices on her own. As for the example point, I have no trouble saying mommy is allowed to make bad choices, but until you’re older, that’s not something you’re allowed to do. Also applies to many other choices in life (e.g., my habit of swearing like a sailor). Growing up, there were definitely categories of things Grown Ups Are Allowed To Do but I as a child was not, and I had no trouble distinguishing between the two.

        I personally don’t eat a lot of meat either – I usually put chicken or pork in the crockpot and cook it for her (freeze half, serve half as leftovers for the week) so that my child has a quick and nutritious form of protein if, for example, her mama is eating pizza for dinner.

    • Anonymous says:

      Deli, or pre done grilled chicken strips

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m pescatarian, and meat icks me out. I give kiddo frozen chicken nuggets or meatballs because I don’t have to touch raw meat.

      I also have DH poach chicken breasts once a week so I have a bunch of chicken to put in kiddo’s food throughout the week. If neither of you are up for that, you can just buy a rotisserie chicken for the same idea.

      Mostly he eats pescatarian as well, and enjoys salmon and shrimp in particular, which we eat at least 1x a week.

      But yeah, hamburgers and steak he only eats at restaurants pretty much.

    • I think it is totally ok to not feed your kid meat if it isn’t what you eat normally. Both my children (6 and 20 months) eat fish and tofu and beans in addition to chicken and beef. They eat what is on the table. Also- I am personally very wary of processed meats because of all the additives and nitrates, so pre-cooked meats isn’t neccessarily a better protein choice. Also- it seems to me that that “forcing” your kid to be an omnivore isn’t that different than forcing her to be a vegetarian diet. Think of it this way (and extreme example) – I don’t feed my kids lobster because I find it expensive, But I Don’t feel like I’m depriving my kids or forcing anything on them.

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