** This post is only to inform you about breast feeding and bottle feeding. However you choose to feed your baby is up to you! Fed is BEST!
I have had two very different newborn experiences with either of my sons and the main reason was how they were fed. Because of this I have gained some unique insight into both bottle feeding and breast feeding.
With both my children I had planned to breast feed. I was breast fed. My older sisters and sister in law all breast fed. It wasn’t something I thought much about. And with my first, It wasn’t even something I prepared for. I think that was my first mistake! Neither of us had any idea of what the heck we were doing!
My oldest was born at 9 lbs 7 oz which is big enough for them (nurses and doctors) to be concerned about his blood sugar. He had his blood tested every few hours. Because of this we knew that his blood sugars were dropping. We tried every position/method, we even met with two different lactation specialist in the hospital and yet we still ended up having to give him the bottle before we could be discharged.
We pumped, breast fed and did formula for the first 4 months. After that we were solely using formula.
So here is what you need to know before you bottle feed.
- Your baby is fed! And in most cases they stay fuller longer! That means less time at night feeding them, every parents’ dream!!
- Anyone can feed your baby! Both mom and dad can wake up with the baby at night. This helps the mom feel a lot less tied down. Getting out of the house as a new mom is soo essential, in my opinion, to good mental health.
- It is easier to feed the baby in public.
- There is no learning curve. If you forget the formula to water ratio, you can easily look it up.
- It’s painless, for the most part. Loosing your milk is actually quite painful but once your milk is gone, you are pain free! It only took me two days to loose my milk and the worst of it was only the first two feedings on day one. It just feels like a lot of pressure built up.
- You can wear anything you want! No scouring for nursing friendly clothing.
- Your baby is not getting any antibodies from you.
- You have to be so prepared. I can’t tell you how many times I underestimated how much formula I would need and I was running to the store with a crying baby.
- It’s expensive. I was using Similac and at my local grocery store it was $16.99 a jar. There are cheaper options but many were only a dollar or two cheaper. We went through about 4 jars a week on average. And that is just the formula not to mention the bottles and bottle cleaners. Some people even get drying racks and special soaps.
- When you leave the house you have to pack a lot of supplies. Formula, bottles, water, sometimes even a bottle cleaner. And these items take up a lot of room.
- It takes time to make the bottle. You have to heat up the water, measure out the right amount of formula and mix it all together. It is tricky to do at night in the dark and even harder when you are under the pressure of a crying baby.
- You are cleaning bottles all the time! And if you don’t clean then right away, they stink and are pretty gross to clean!
- Changing a baby’s diaper on formula is much different then on breast milk. After experiencing both, formula, in my opinion is much smellier.
- Similac has a rewards program where you can get coupons and free vouchers sent to you every month. This helped so much with our formula bill! You can sign up HERE
- Costco has the best bang for your buck when it comes to formula!
- If you fall within the income peramiters, WIC (Women Infant and Children) will cover a lot of the cost of formula.
I am only 4 months into breast feeding but there are already so many things that I’ve learned that I had no idea about before! So here’s my pros and cons to breastfeeding.
- Breast milk is sooo good for your baby!Your baby gets your antibodies which helps boost their immune system and keep them healthy!
- It’s free!
- Your body is amazing at knowing how much your baby is eating and is able to self regulate. This is so crazy to me! I love the thought of never running out of milk.
- You never have to prepare to leave the house. You just take your baby and your boobs with you!
- There is little to no clean up. No cleaning bottles ever.
- You never have to warm up milk or measure formula.
- If you want to do bottles you still can by pumping. Best of both worlds.
- You get more skin to skin contact with your baby.
- Your uterus contracts back a lot faster! In the hospital after my second baby was born I had hard core contractions every time I nursed. I never experienced this with my first. My stomach shrunk down so much faster and I am loosing weight so much faster with my second baby.
- Your recovery goes a lot smoother and faster. I am not sure if this is the case for everyone but it definitely was for me! With my first it took so much longer for me to stop bleeding and I had a lot of other complications. With my second I have recovered so much better and I believe it is because of breastfeeding.
- It makes you to slow down. This honestly can happen with bottle feeding and breast feeding but I feel like for me it has definitely been a lot more with breast feeding. This is probably why I have recovered so fast as well. I have to sit down to breast feed and guess what? Babies eat a lot so you are spending a lot of time sitting down, taking it easy. When I bottle fed I was up a lot making bottles and cleaning bottles. I could feed him standing up or strolling around Target. And I did a lot because why not?
- No one else can feed your baby, that is if you decide not to pump. And let me tell you, nothing makes you feel more like a cow milk machine than pumping.
- It hurts!! This I didn’t expect. For the first 10 days of breastfeeding I had literal blood blisters on my nipples. I would try to hold him off from feeding for as long as I could and I could grit my teeth every time he would latch. It was painful and not because he wasn’t latched correctly. THIS CREAM was my saving grace and helped me heal.
- There is a bit of a learning curve! I mentioned earlier there are different positions and you have to find the one that works for you and your baby. I did a lot of reading before breastfeeding and THIS was my favorite book.
- Your milk can leak. I use THESE breast pads and I like them the best of all the ones I have tried. I’ve never leaked through my shirt while wearing these and I wear them every day.
- You have to wear a certain bra. My favorite nursing bra is THIS one from Target. It’s super comfortable and doesn’t stick out of my clothing.
- You have to adjust your wardrobe. I am the type that wears dresses almost every day and almost all of my dresses are not nurse friendly. If you are a jeans and T-shirt girl, you should have no problem adjusting.
- If your nipples hurt put lanolin cream on before and after each feeding. It also helps to change baby’s position each feeding.
- Never wash your nipples with soap, it will make them dry.
- Get a boppy!! This little pillow makes breastfeeding soo much more comfortable. Get it HERE
I really tried to make this post as neutral as possible because I know how difficult is it figuring out what method is best for you and your baby. These are the things I wish I had known going into to both of them. I hope they help you feel more prepared. The best piece of advice I can give, though, is for YOU to decide what’s best for your baby. Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing one way or the other. You know what’s best.