Feeding Simon: Why I Chose Bottles

posted by Andrea | 05/21/2015
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feeding simon

Now that Simon is almost 15 months old, I feel like it’s time to officially publish this post.

The truth is, I’ve been compiling ideas and content for this post for over a year now — and I’m SOOOOO excited to finally be sharing it with you here on the blog (especially since I’ve gotten SO many questions about this subject).

The Back Story – Why I Chose Bottles:

My nursing experience with Nora was… well… long! (You can read more about it here.)

Nursing Nora wasn’t bad or painful or difficult in anyway. In fact, it was VERY VERY easy, fast (7-minutes every time!), pain-free, and natural.

I don’t say this to brag, but rather, to put the rest of this post into perspective. I want to be very clear that the reason I didn’t want to nurse Simon was not because of an emotionally or physically painful experience nursing Nora.

No, not at all!

The reason I didn’t want to nurse Simon is because I literally couldn’t handle the thought of being totally tied down by a baby’s feeding schedule all day, every day, for the next year (or more) of my life. 

I needed to do bottles for my own sanity.

I honestly wasn’t as concerned with what was IN the bottles as the fact that he would drink from a bottle — and I realize this might sound naive, selfish, or even completely stupid to some of you; but it’s the truth.

I was ready to go with my MAM bottles (which are totally amazing by the way), a breast pump that I got for free through our insurance company, and a whole bunch of free formula that had been sent to me from various companies or purchased with high-value coupons.

The first 6 weeks:

My “plan” was to nurse Simon for 6 weeks and then switch over to bottles with pumped milk for 6 months before I completely transitioned to formula between 7 and 8 months.

Part of my little plan was selfish — I wanted to lose my baby weight and I knew nursing would help. I also know how beneficial breast milk is for a newborn, and wanted to give it a go for at least a while.

Plus, our hospital and doctor’s office very heavily push breast feeding, and I honestly just didn’t want to deal with explaining why I wasn’t planning to breast feed.

So I nursed for 6 weeks, lost most of my baby weight, gave all those good nutrients to my baby, satisfied my doctors, and all was right in the world 🙂

Then… I switched to bottles!

The next 6 months:

As I mentioned above, my goal was to pump for the next 6 months. If it went well, I would keep doing it longer. If it was a huge pain and I hated it, I would quit earlier. And I fully intended to supplement with formula, even if I was producing enough milk, because I wanted Simon to get used to the different taste.

To start out, I simply pumped after every time he drank a bottle (which was A LOT!) After a couple weeks, I transitioned into a pattern where I could pump about 4 times a day to produce everything he would drink for the day (usually 5-7 bottles). I used formula at night as it was faster and easier.

This meant that I had a routine — which was my goal all along!

I knew that no matter how often, how much, or how little Simon ate during any given day, I had my OWN schedule and was no longer completely at the mercy of HIS schedule.  

I pumped first thing in the morning, during his morning nap, during his afternoon nap, and before I went to bed. Then I warmed up that milk as needed throughout the day.

Sometimes I had extra milk at the end of the day, sometimes I added a little formula if I ran short.

I did not put any pressure on myself, I just pumped my 4 times and said “enough is enough”.

Transitioning to formula:

Around 4 months old, I started to purposefully cut back on pumping and add in at least 2 ounces of formula to every bottle.

Part of this rationale was because I wanted to have a slow transition to formula and not just go “cold turkey”, but also because we were planning to go on vacation with Dave’s family around that time and I didn’t want to be pumping as often with all kinds of people around (no, I didn’t actually pump in front of anyone!)

So, I cut back to pumping 3 times a day and supplemented the rest with formula.

At 6 months, I cut back to pumping twice a day, at 7 months, I cut back to once a day, and around 7.5 months I was a free woman — except for the fact that I was pregnant again 🙂

This also happened to be soon after Dave went back to school and about the time Simon was starting to cut back on napping — so not needing to pump anymore was a huge relief.

Simon had no issues with formula, and I actually used 3 or 4 different brands in order to use up all my freebie formula I had been accumulating.

Once we were out of the free stuff and the coupons stopped coming as regularly, I settled on the Meijer brand formula (our local grocery store brand) and continued with that until he was a year old — of of course, we also introduced solid foods as time went on.

Switching to whole milk:

A few weeks after his first birthday, I started adding a little whole milk into Simon’s bottles… to my surprise, he never seemed to notice. He guzzled his bottles just like he always had — and within a week, I had him fully switched over to whole milk!

Now, at almost 15 months, he still drinks 3 full bottle a day (when he wakes up, around nap time, and before bed) with meals at the table in between.

He still doesn’t have the hang of feeding himself, so I hold the bottles for him — hopefully he’ll get better at this before the baby arrives! I’m actually hoping to fully nix the bottles here soon and just put his milk in a sippy cup, but he currently won’t drink it that way 🙂

My Opinion (PROS of bottles)

1. It saved my sanity!

I know it might sound so weird for those of you with different experiences, but I just HAD to know that I could have a baby without being 100% solely responsible for his eating needs.

I needed to be able to be away from the baby for more than 1.5 hours and I needed to know that even if something happened to me, my child could still eat.

This, by far, is the #1 reason I knew I wanted to do bottles with Simon — and for me, it GREATLY outweighs all of the cons I’ve listed below.

2. More modesty.

Again, I realize many people will not understand this, but I REALLY REALLY REALLY don’t like nursing a baby in public. And when I say “in public”, I mean… anywhere that is not the chair in the corner of our nursery.

I don’t even like people to know that I’m nursing… even if they aren’t in the same room as me. And yes, I fully understand how crazy this sounds, but I also can’t help that I feel this way.

So imagine how torturous it was for me to nurse Nora for 21 months. Not only did I feel awkward and self-conscious every single time I had to leave a room or public place to go nurse her in private, I also got SOOOOO many comments and snide remarks from people when they realized I was nursing a toddler with extremely advance verbal skills — so she essentially walked right up to me and asked to eat!

3.  Convenience. 

When it came to bottles and pumping, there were countless times when bottles were SO much more convenient than nursing (at least for me).

Not only could I could literally feed him anywhere that had water (or anywhere I brought my own water) I could also pass him off to anyone else to feed him if I was busy doing something else.

This meant I could leave and not worry about being back by a specific time… and I didn’t have to worry about leaving a screaming baby with someone who was completely helpless because they couldn’t feed him.

Also, I should mention how glorious it was not to be confined to nursing tank tops for 21 months!! I could literally wear whatever I wanted to wear without worrying if it was something I could easily nurse a baby in at a moments notice.

My Opinion (CONS of bottles)

1. Extra Hassle.

Obviously, I don’t need to tell you that pumping, storing the milk, warming up the milk, feeding the kid a bottle, then eventually washing the bottles and pumping stuff is A LOT more hassle than just nursing a baby.

Duh!

It was definitely more work to go this route, but like I mentioned above, my sanity was worth every single second I spent pumping and warming milk. And Dave definitely helped a ton with the dishes!

2. More expensive.

I was fortunate to get all my pumping supplies for free through our health insurance (seriously, you should check it out because many insurance companies offer this) and all my MAM bottles for free thanks to a couple promotions I’ve done for them on my blog. However, the cost of formula is definitely more expensive than free breast milk.

Those of you who know me, know how frugal I am — so for me to be willing to spend money on formula when I had a sufficient, completely free milk supply at home just goes to show you how much I HAD to do this for myself.

At one point, I thought about keeping track of how much I spent on formula… but then I decided that was a waste of time. Plus, I guarantee we spent more money on food therapy for Nora than I did on formula for Simon!

3. Lack of Convenience.

Yes, I know I’m completely contradicting my “convenience” PRO I listed above… but I felt the need to put it in both the pros and the cons for the reasons listed out below.

While there were hundreds and hundreds of times when I thought, “wow, bottle feeding is so much more convenient than nursing”, there were also plenty of times when I thought, “it sure would be easier to nurse him right now” (like on an airplane or at the park when mixing bottles isn’t as easy to do.)

However, when it comes to the convenience factor, I would definitely say that the “pros” outweighed the “cons” for me.

My Plan for Baby #3:

Honestly… I don’t have one!

I’ll start out nursing again, just like I did with both kids. And then I’m just going to see how I feel. If I want to keep going, I will. If I want to pump and do bottles, I will. If I want to switch to formula, I will.

I don’t care what anyone else thinks I should do, I’m just going to do what I think I should do.

3 More Parting Thoughts:

#1. As I wrap this post up, I feel it’s very important to mention that although so many women claim to be “shamed” for not nursing their babies, I honestly NEVER EVER felt like anyone was looking down on me for using bottles and formula. 

In the last 15 months, only ONE person has even made a somewhat snide comment about the fact that I used formula… and that person isn’t a parent yet so I have to cut her some slack because she truly doesn’t understand.

Although I wouldn’t have changed what I did based on anyone else’s opinions, it was very refreshing for me to realize that my friends, family, acquaintances, and blog readers would be so open-minded and supportive of my decisions — especially the ones who are extremely pro-breastfeeding.

#2. Although I fully realize, believe, and accept that nursing IS the best for babies (and really good for moms too) I am confident that I was a better mom for both Simon and Nora because I used bottles and formula.

Yes, maybe Simon missed out on a few months of extra nutrients, but he has gained 15 months of a mama who felt like she was in control and not going crazy. And I’m guessing that in the broad scheme of life, a happier, less stressed mom with a more positive presence in his life will make a bigger impact than the fact that he drank formula for 5 months.

.

#3. I don’t care what anyone says about the inability to bond with a baby if you’re not nursing… there is absolutely NO denying that my little boy loves his mama more than anyone else in the whole world.

I am with him every day, all day. I do everything for him and he knows that I know what he needs. He comes to me when he’s hurt, when he’s tired, when he’s sad, when he’s scared… and yes, when he’s hungry.

I am his favorite — just as I am still Nora’s favorite. That has absolutely nothing do to with the fact that I nursed Nora for 21 months and Simon for 6 weeks. It’s simply because I am their mom!

I’m honestly happy to have had 2 completely different baby-feeding experiences as now I feel like I’m just THAT much more prepared for whatever is to come with baby #3.

If he loves nursing and we go that route, I know I can do it, and I’ll be thankful for the fact that I’m able to nurse.

And if we decide to go the bottle route, I know what I’m in store for and can look forward to a little extra freedom (and lots of bottles to wash!)

Either way, I do realize that in the broad scheme of my life, this is a very short season of life… and no matter what, we will all survive 🙂

I’m convinced that how we feed our babies is not nearly as important as how we love them… and as long as we keep loving them, I think we’ll end up just fine.

My boy sure is loved!

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44 comments

  1. lyssl

    06/25/2015

    Love this! I totally get you! I had a love/hate relationship with nursing, although different from your experience. We had issues with the whole latching on thing, so I had to use a shield. My first literally took 45 minutes to nurse. Every couple hours. I felt like I was glued to a chair! My second usually took about 30 minutes. Still seemed like forever, especially with a toddler to care for. I ,too, lived stressed out with being so tied down nursing. I don’t regret nursing, but if I have another baby that takes so long, I am so going to try pumping! Having a sanity-saving routine sounds so awesome!

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  2. Mary

    05/27/2015

    Wow! What I refreshing read!@ Thanks for opening up about your experience. I just had my 4th baby in March. I have 4 kids 5 and under and I was blessed to be able to exclusively breast feed my first 3. With my 4th I literally could not sit down long enough to nurse him after he was born (chasing after my 19 month old son, also my 5 and 3 year old daughter.) I began pumping and that’s how I’ve been feeding him since he’s been born. To accept not exclusively breastfeedind has been hard, because I did 4 home births and I’m totally pro breastmilk, pro-organic non-GMO food, and I am surrounded by friends who have breasfed all of their kids.

    Anyhow I compeletly agree with you, that it does come down to “MY” sanity! It’s is so stressful to drop whatever I’m doing to nurse or to be unable to leave him with other people.

    Your blog was totally refreshing, I felt like I was talking to a friend 🙂 I came on here to print some more monthly food calendars and was excited to read you pregnant again! Congratulations and thanks for sharing! I’m accepting more and more my decision and glad to know I’m not alone. And my baby will love me wether he nurses exclusively or not! 😉

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  3. Stephanie

    05/25/2015

    Thank you for sharing you experience. I am due with my first in a couple of weeks and I am ready to give breastfeeding a go. I think, like a lot of parenting things, I feel apprehensive about choosing how to feed my baby and feel worried about what other people might think. In reality, it doesn’t matter what people think. I need to do what works for me and my baby.

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  4. Teresa

    05/24/2015

    Andrea, this article is another reason I so enjoy your blog. You tell it like it is . You know YOURSELF and your children better than anyone else, and by switching to formula and bottles doesn’t look like Simon suffered at all! And you kept your sanity. Keep being the loving, caring Mommy you are. Good luck with baby number three.

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    Andrea Reply:

    thanks so much teresa!

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  5. Julia K

    05/23/2015

    A lovely post Andrea – as I have mentioned in comments on other posts – you truly are a “rock of sense”.

    The “breast vs bottle” debate is such a crock and I was pleased to hear that you didn’t suffer any negativity from others (apart from your one friend who – as you fairly pointed out – is not really in a position to comment yet).

    The breast / bottle thing can vary between babies as the dynamics of the family change.
    I had my first son at 27 years of age and, on the recommendation of the hospital – I breastfed him. I didn’t “get it” straight away and came home after 8 days in the hospital quite a nervy mum. Nevertheless – I got it eventually and went back to work f/t when my son was only 10 weeks old drinking expressed milk from a bottle while I was at work and nursing from me in the mornings and evenings. I also had him drinking formula so it took the pressure off if I wasn’t able to pump so much.

    10 1/2 years later – baby #2 arrived. I “retired” from my job the night before she was born and was determined to breastfeed as I knew I was going to be a stay at home mum this time round. Breastfeeding at the hospital didn’t go so well but once I came home – I was more relaxed and while she drank breastmilk from a bottle for the first couple of weeks (due to my poor damaged nipples) – I was able to transition her back to the breast and she was breastfed until she was two years old and happily drank other fluids from a sippy cup. I will admit though – this little “breastfed baby” was much more reluctant to try solid foods and didn’t eat her first solids until 8 months of age.

    3 years later – mum is now just shy of her 41st birthday when baby #3 arrives. This little boy seems to feed well but cries and cries and cries. He is gaining no weight at all and after struggling for almost 5 weeks (when he still had not gained weight) – a tearful mum was convinced by a very sympathetic male doctor to “buy a tin of formula and stop putting pressure on yourself”. Within 2 days my husband said – wow – it feels like I have my wife back !

    Another 4 years – Mum is now almost 45 and has a healthy baby girl. Once again I try to breastfeed – yet I don’t feel that I’m supplying enough milk. The lactation nurses kept encouraging me but – when the baby was 10 days old I made the comment to the lactation nurse “I am very privileged to have fallen pregnant and given birth to a healthy child at 45 years of age….to breastfeed her “successfully” would be the icing on the cake – but, quite frankly – I am happy to eat this cake without the icing”. So I switched her to bottles and she thrived beautifully.

    So – a very long comment to describe my story of different dynamics – but the end result is the same. All four babies – now aged 24,14,11 and 7 are healthy and happy individuals – and that is the result of the fact that they were raised in a loving family NOT whether they were breast or bottle fed. They are LOVED – and that’s all that matters !

    Dekker # 3 will also thrive – because he is loved and born into a loving family. Keep on keeping on – your heartfelt, honest and articulate blog is appreciated the world over – even 52 year old mums down under !

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  6. Jennifer

    05/22/2015

    I love this post!! Just had to say it. There is so much information and so many different opinions about the “best” things to do for babies/toddlers/children. it stressed me out trying to do it all “right”. When I finally sat back and considered what was best for our family as a whole, I finally loved motherhood and we all thrived.

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  7. Lisa

    05/22/2015

    Hi – I loved your post about this issue. I only have one child who nursed until 3 years of age. As much I am proud of this fact, I don’t know I would able to make this same commitment to another child. As much as I am breastfeeding supporter, I am more of a supporter of moms!!! There are so many ways to experience motherhood and not everyone should be made to feel one option is more superior than another. By the way I love your blogging style.

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  8. Karla

    05/21/2015

    I nursed my first two babies. Neither one of them would take a bottle and they were both really fussy and miserable babies. This made me completely tied down and at their mercy for about 9 months each. I almost lost my mind! I started nursing my third baby, but used bottles as well. He preferred the bottles and I quit nursing completely around 2 months. I was so much happier and less stressed. I actually enjoyed him! Didn’t regret it for one second!

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  9. Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    05/21/2015

    I’m glad you shared this Andrea! I think when more Moms speak up how we do things differently, it continues to prove we can love and raise our kids in different ways – and it’s okay! We, as Mamas, have to do what is best for us and for our children. It’s hard to believe you’ll have another little one soon, and I’m glad you are giving yourself the flexibility to decide as the months progress. Again, thanks for sharing this – and all you share!

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  10. Melodie

    05/21/2015

    I also used bottles. My husband left his job to be a full-time stay at home dad when our daughter was born and I felt it was important for him to be involved in the feeding from the very beginning. I started pumping right after my daughter was born and continued until her first birthday. Initially we also gave her a couple of ounces of formula each day but that was mainly to make sure she could adjust to different flavors and textures. For us it worked great. I am now pregnant with our second child and we plan to do pretty much the same thing. Often we would all sit on the couch and I would pump while my husband bottle fed. One other thing is that I was told by multiple professionals that my pumped milk could be at room temperature for up to 10 hours (some said 12). I routinely left milk out for 10 hours and we never had any issues. It made it very easy to take breast milk with us to public places. In addition I learned from my sister the advantages of not warming bottles. It worked great with her children and did for us as well. Our daughter drank breast milk straight from the refrigerator or at room temperature. Not once was it ever warmed – unless of course she drank it immediately after I pumped. My daughter wasn’t sick at any time during her first year – not one cold or fever. So I fully believe that it is fine to leave breast milk out for 10 hours. Good luck to everyone working through these choices for yourself. There are so many differing opinions out there but you really have to decide what is best for you and your family and then be strong!

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    Becky Reply:

    I definitely agree with the not warming it up thing. My boys adapted to that very easily, and it really saved us a lot of time! We left ours out, too, as that’s what we were advised. I don’t think the not getting sick thing is related to that, though. I wish it would have been like that for us, but we had a nurser who got all kinds of sick in his first year.

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  11. Jacquie

    05/21/2015

    Good for you! Who cares what you feed your baby as long as you feed him? A happy mom is way more important than what he is drinking.

    (By the way – when it comes to what is “healthier,” there is some evidence that socioeconomic factors are more at play than the breast milk).

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  12. Amy B

    05/21/2015

    Way to go mama!
    I barely produce milk, so I’ve nursed both kids for about 8 weeks and supplement with formula from the first few days.
    I think that however you choose to feed your baby is your own choice-I felt like I needed to explain WHY I wasn’t nursing my first to other mamas (most I knew at the time were very anti-formula).
    But with my second I decided that “ain’t nobody got time for that” 🙂 and didn’t make any excuses for my choice (actually a necessity in my case)

    Choose what helps mama be happier and baby healthy and growing!

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  13. leslie

    05/21/2015

    What a beautiful and inspiring post! It’s all about having choices, loving our babies, and keeping our sanity!! Love your candor, as always. Thanks Andrea.

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  14. Katherine

    05/21/2015

    This post makes me think about childbirth. I think there’s a good bit of pressure on moms to deliver naturally in my area. “All natural” applies to food for your family, fabrics you cloth your kids in, and how you deliver your babies. I went “all natural” (no drugs) for my first and- I know this sounds dramatic, but so it is- really had a hard time feeling attached to her immediately. (I mean in the first couple of hours). I was just so traumatized by what my body had just been through. So that was very very counter to the “all natural” approach to childbirth that is supposed to let you bond with your baby immediately, without all those pesky drugs getting in the way.

    I got an epidural with my third (not with the second- he came too fast for me to get one. Darn.) and felt like I could enjoy him immediately. It was so nice!

    Anyway. All that is to say that, like you said, you have to do what works for you. And you know that better than anyone. Bottle/breastfeeding/whatever.

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    Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving Reply:

    I thought about this too, Katherine! Childbirth (just like breastfeeding) has so many heated opinions! I had an epidural too and am glad I did. But natural or meds, either way, the end result is the same – a baby! 🙂

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  15. Heidi

    05/21/2015

    I did both for the very same reasons and it was such a sanity saver! There is a lot of scare literature on the internet about formula feeding that just isn’t true. I loved pumping and letting my husband give the kids a bottle when I was tired and needed the rest. All of my children have been and will be C-section babies and my body truly does need the rest and recovery that sleep provides.

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  16. Megan S.

    05/21/2015

    I just weaned my 13 month old and I have to say good for you! I had a terrible time nursing at the beginning but I ended up loving it and now I actually miss it. But that was my experience this time. The next time I may hate it.

    The point is all moms need to support each other regardless of the choices we make or sometimes are forced to make. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding does not make you a better mom. Thank you for being honest and talking about your experience. Good job feeding your baby, Momma!

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  17. Rachel

    05/21/2015

    THANK YOU for this post. My husband and I are expecting our first, and the discussion of how to feed our baby has been a very difficult one. I was raised that “breast is best” and really the only option. My husband was fed formula because his mom had to work and so he fully supports the idea of doing formula for our baby. I’ve been torn between the two — health benefits on one side, flexibility and freedom on the other. Since I want to work out of the home part-time, it’s a dilemma for me.

    As I was reading your blog, I felt myself relaxing and thinking “yes. I could do something like this.” Thank you for sharing your “middle-of-the-road” approach. You’ve inspired me to figure out what works for us. And reminded me that it doesn’t have to be breast-feeding OR formula. We can find a mix that works for us. Thank you.

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  18. Wilma

    05/21/2015

    So interesting. I did a mix of breastfeeding/pumping/bottle/formula for my first two boys. By 5 months, they were on full formula. I did not have the issue of having to go back to work, as in Canada we’re entitled to a year of maternity/parental leave, which most women take. For my third, breastfeeding was easy! We gave about a bottle of formula every day or two to give me a break (and sleep), but once the baby was on a good schedule, I stopped bottle feeding and now exclusively breastfeed. And no pumping (yay). I agree with all the other commenters–do what’s best for your family, and your baby will be JUST FINE.

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  19. shelly

    05/21/2015

    Great post! I did a little of both with my boys who are now 29,17,13. I didn’t work out of the home with first one and nursed,formula. Second I was working nursed till maternity leave was over then pumped. Last one was a combo of nursing and formula. I think whatever works for Mom and baby go for it! I never felt comfortable nursing away from home either and that’s when I would supplement with formula.
    You are a great Mom!

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  20. Debby

    05/21/2015

    Bravo. Love this post. I wish I would have had that support with my first baby. So much pressure to breastfeed. She wasnt so good at it and I was majorly stressed. We lasted 4 months before someone else child gave her hand, foot, and mouth and she couldnt nurse because her throat was so painful. We transitioned to bottles and I was so much calmer. My second daughter was only nursed for 5 weeks. She’s hardly ever sick, has an IQ over 120, and has always been a momma’s girl. Even now at 17. People should do what is best for them. Keep their judgements to themselves. You are so right. Both of my babies knew that I loved them and it also gave their daddy major cuddle time before bed. They are extremely close to him even now at 19 and 17. Keep on keepin on girl 🙂

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  21. Tara

    05/21/2015

    This NEEDS TO BE SAID! Don’t keep saying it! Nearly 7 years into this mom gig and I’m still working up to the confidence you have to say “I don’t care what anyone else thinks is best, I’m going to do what I think is best.” Wish I could have been so settled about it at your age, but I’m getting there. And I particularly love that you pointed out how you and your babies aren’t lacking for bonding and connection just because you used a bottle. Yes yes yes!

    I’ll be honest, I think God intended for me not to be able to breastfeed because I spent a season of motherhood being quite fanatical about all the “best” things for babies (ie. cloth diapers, breastfeeding, ONLY super organic foods, NO chemicals etc.) and preached it WAY to much. I still do feel pretty strongly about many of those things for my own family, but many of them have had to be subjected to reality (can’t really lactate and sometimes you just can’t bring a cloth diaper or ask your kid to starve rather than eat a processed snack) and the 80/20 rule in all things has brought a more rounded outlook for me.

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    Tara Reply:

    Haha! My second sentence…I meant KEEP saying it. LOL Choose sanity! 🙂

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  22. Stacey B.

    05/21/2015

    Your confidence is inspiring. I’m with you 100%.

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  23. Catherine

    05/21/2015

    What a lovely post Andrea. You’re right these are personal choices and should be supported regardless of how everyone else does it.
    I have a suggestion regarding getting Simon to feed himself. This worked well for us when my daughter wouldn’t take a bottle or sippy cup. I filled a sippy cup of water and left it in the play room for her to discover. It made it more of a game, it wasn’t an option for me to give it to her and there was no pressure. It took a week or two.
    All the best to you and your family

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  24. Julie

    05/21/2015

    Thank you for this post, Andrea. I hope we can all be inspired to be less judgmental and accept each other. You never know what is going on in someone else’s life and why they make certain choices. As long is someone is trying their best, it shouldn’t matter if a baby is breastfed or bottle fed.

    I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I breastfeed my daughter, then pumped when I went back to work. At about 5 months I needed to start supplementing with formula. Eventually her bottles were all formula, but I would nurse her when she was with me (at night, in the morning). I had to wean her when she was 12 months old so I could take some medication. I loved nursing her, but the biting was a bit much 😉

    With my second, I was taking some medicine were I couldn’t nurse him (and the medicine helped me to be healthy and thus a better mom). It may sound dramatic, but I was completely heartbroken to not be able to nurse him (when my milk came in and I was rather full…), but it was nice to share the feeding duties and my husband did some bottle feedings at night. When the baby was 2 months old some circumstances changed and I tried to re-lactate- it IS possible, but it’s REALLY difficult. He would only latch when he was really tired. We were moving at the same time, so I was stressed and didn’t have time to pump as much. So after a month of trying, I just had to let that breastfeeding dream go. And he’s doing great. HE’s 15 months old and happy and healthy. I’d give a bottle and snuggle him and he’s still very attached to Mom 😉

    I’m not pregnant now, but we do plan to have more kids, and when we do, I REALLY want to breastfeed. I agree that it’s hard to be attached to baby’s schedule (side note: I took a week to go on a vacation with my twin sister when my son was 9 months old- I couldn’t have done that if I was breastfeeding. I totally would have delayed the trip if I’d been nursing, but gotta look on the bright side!), but the way I see it is that breastfeeding is very important to me (more the act of breastfeeding- I don’t want to be a pumper- I want to breastfeed, and if I can’t, I”ll just do formula bottles), and It’s ONLY a year- really only 6 months where I will be super tied to baby’s schedule (at 6 months, baby can eat solid foods).

    Anyways, I LOVE breastfeeding, but have had to exclusively formula feed one of my two babe
    . I don’t know why those had to be my circumstances, but I do think that maybe God had my go through this experience so that I would be less judgmental when someone didn’t breastfeed (not just couldn’t breastfeed- but didn’t. It’s none of my business why someone’s bottle feeding.) So I hope that I am able to be more accepting now. I think your post is great, Andrea. Sorry for rambling, but maybe my story will help others who’s hopes with regards to how they want to feed their baby has been dashed.

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  25. Katie

    05/21/2015

    You found what worked for you and your family – isn’t that what we all want? Kudos to you for doing just that.

    I have breastfeed from the source, pumped and bottle fed by choice and formula fed as well – but not in the same order as you did.

    I do feel badly that you were never comfortable nursing in public or in front of other people. It’s not a criticism of you – you feel the way you feel and everyone should respect that. I was actually always more uncomfortable of using bottles, awaiting people’s judgement!

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  26. Holly

    05/21/2015

    Thank you for writing this post. I really feel like you’ve shown how hard all of the decisions that mom are faced with can be and hilighted the fact that what society says we should do isn’t always what is best for us and our families. With both of my children I felt extreme pressure to breast feed and when it didn’t workout like it was “supposed” to I felt like a failure. You illustrate very well that a one size approach doesn’t always work. Thanks for telling your story!

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  27. Julie Spady

    05/21/2015

    Great post! Well written! Always love reading your thought process! I can’t wait for Baby3!

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  28. lydia @ frugaldebtfreelife

    05/21/2015

    You go, Mama! The important part was your baby got fed and he is obviously thriving. My youngest refused a bottle or anything else until 14 months. It felt like being held hostage. I know that sounds horrible, but it did. He nursed every two hours around the clock for 30 minutes at a time for 14 months.

    I know as a woman who struggled with infertility people will tell me to just be grateful and I was grateful to get to nurse, but it still felt very isolating and overwhelming.

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  29. Stephanie

    05/21/2015

    As for #3 it doesn’t have to be a bottleonly or a nursing only relationship, it can be both.
    I usually try to include one bottle of pumped milk a day so my kids know how to take a bottle. But I know many people who only do bottles in the evening and nurse in the morning and day. So there is a third option for you. 🙂 And this can be either formula or pumped milk.

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    Stephanie Reply:

    Oh, and my third threw a wrench in my system by only taking bottles from me….so then I gave up on the bottle and eventually just switched to sippy cups. I was able to leave for 2 nights when that child was 10 months old and my nursing relationship was never “ruined” by it.
    Each story is definitely different. 🙂

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  30. Lisa Morosky

    05/21/2015

    So much wisdom is gained with the first child when it comes to this issue, I feel like. When your expectations aren’t met, it can be hard. I had a really tough time nursing my son, and I probably held on to that ideal too long considering how our lives drastically improved once I started supplementing with formula. Next time I’ll probably go in with no plan (be prepared to nurse, and have a few bottles and some formula around) and be much less militant about it. 🙂

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    Julie Reply:

    flexibility is so important! I wish I’d realized that earlier in my “Mom” journey.

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  31. Jen

    05/21/2015

    I love this! I nursed all four of mine for 18 months each-but only because that’s what **I** chose to do. I am much like you in personality but my frugal side won out! HAHA That, and nursing in public doesn’t bother me- to do it or to see someone else doing it. I also had two babies with reflux and, oh the spitting up!! I can’t imagine how it would have been with formula!

    I’m happy to hear that you felt comfortable choosing and doing what was right for you! And to hear you acknowledge that what worked for you doesn’t have to work for everyone! 🙂 Those babies sure are loved and happy. And we all know that’s what matters most! Well done, mom!

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  32. Michelle

    05/21/2015

    LOVE this post! I’m SO tired of the mom-shaming if someone chooses to use bottles/formula over breastfeeding. Like you said, the most important thing is the way that you love your children. My mom-motto has constantly been “you do what works for YOU!” Thanks for sharing!

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  33. beth

    05/21/2015

    Here’s to doing what works for you!

    I bottle/formula fed both of my babies from birth. My reasons were my own. No one else needs to understand them because no one else is me.

    Wishing you all the best no matter how you decide to feed baby #3. After all fed is best.

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    Amy B Reply:

    “fed is best” 🙂 love it!

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  34. Kari

    05/21/2015

    Love this post! What works for one mama doesn’t work for the next just as much as what works for one baby might not work for the next.

    You weren’t soliciting tips, but for getting rid of bottles completely, I started offering milk in a sippy or water in a bottle. The first couple times, my girls would choose the bottle, but quickly realized they wanted the milk more.

    I had to chuckle that Simon won’t hold his bottle. My first wouldn’t even attempt it until about 11 months old. I thought it would happen much sooner, but I guess she isn’t alone.

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  35. Ann

    05/21/2015

    Bravo to you Momma. A happy Momma is the best for the children. Obviously your children are healthy and thriving! Life is challenging and raising children is hard work. You and your husband have made it work. I am a grandma and great grandma. I think today with social media etc. moms are under extreme scrutiny. I think people need to mind their own business!

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  36. Leanne

    05/21/2015

    I used bottles for all three of my boys…
    my first 2 boys are adopted….so, I just assumed I would bottle feed… then when we were ready to adopt baby #2, I had people telling me to use other mom’s breastmilk (which I could just.not.handle.)… or go through the very TEDIOUS process of trying to make milk myself…. I bottle fed…. he seems fine…
    when I gave birth to my 3rd son, I had a LOT of pressure to breastfeed…. I had one friend tell me that I probably harmed my baby by not breastfeeding (that HURT)… but, I could NOT fathom trying to care for 3 boys… (2 toddlers and an infant 20 months apart and breastfeed), too….
    and child #3 turned out fine!
    I, like you, am VERY modest and I don’t think I could mentally handle breastfeeding in public… that’s just me!
    the act of giving care…. feeding, holding, comforting…. is what bonds a baby to his mother… not how they are fed…. I know there is some research that might dispute that…. but, I feel like my 3 experiments turned out great!! and I love that my husband did that early morning feeding and the feeding that needed to be done when I just needed a trip to Target!!!
    thanks for sharing!! beautiful pics!!!

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  37. Jenna

    05/21/2015

    Health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding. These services may be provided before and after you have your baby.

    These rules apply to Health Insurance Marketplace plans and all other health insurance plans, except for grandfathered plans.

    https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/breast-feeding-benefits/

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