My Baby-Feeding Philosophy and Plans for Feeding Baby #4

posted by Andrea | 08/2/2017
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Someone recently shared with me that the first week in August is World Breastfeeding Week… and they asked if I would share more about MY baby-feeding philosophy and how I plan to feed baby #4 when she arrives NEXT MONTH!!

I thought that was a pretty good idea — especially since I’ve already shared my very different feeding strategies for Nora and Simon!

Oh, and I have a fun little treat at the end of this post — another discount code for the amazing Glamourmom nursing tanks I love so much!

Let me first give you a little background information on my “baby-feeding journey”…

Feeding Nora:

As many of you know, Nora was exclusively breastfed (not by my choice) after months and months of unsuccessfully trying various types of bottles.

At the time, I was working 1 day a week outside the home, and I eventually quit that job because she refused to eat the entire time I was away (talk about new mom guilt!)

one of my many attempts to bottle-feed Nora (around 3 weeks old)

We found out later (MUCH LATER) that she had some major sensory issues — specifically related to food and oral stimulations.

After 2 rounds of intensive food therapy and nursing her for a whopping 21+ months, she finally transitionsed to table foods only a few months before Simon was born!

Now, at 5 1/2 years old, she is an amazing eater, cleans her plate at every meal, is fairly good about trying new foods, and really shows no signs of her previous food sensitivities or aversions! Hallelujah!

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Feeding Simon:

My sweet Simon boy never really had a chance in this world of being breastfed — I was SO DONE WITH IT after 21 straight months of round-the-clock feedings with Nora.

I nursed him until my 6-week doctors appointment and then promptly switched him over to bottles 100% of the time.

I initially had Dave do all the feedings since he was home on Spring Break, and I figured it might be easier for him to try the bottles than me.

It took 2 solid days of Simon fussing a little bit before he’d take the bottle; but after the first 2 days, he drank his bottles like a champ.

He is secretly my favorite child because of this πŸ™‚

I pumped for 6-7 months, and then transitioned to formula when I found out I was pregnant with James. The switch went surprisingly well — after about 2 weeks, Simon was drinking straight formula and never had any adverse side effects (at least not that we noticed).

One Formula Tip: since I’m very frugal and had a TON of free formula samples, I just mixed them all together in a huge food storage container and used that for the couple months of formula feeding. That way, I didn’t constantly switch brands or types because it was all mixed together from the start.

I realize this won’t work for every baby, but it was a great way to use up all the sample-size packs I got in the mail.

We switched Simon over to whole milk at 1 year old — and nothing seemed to phase him then either (Simon has always been our most easy-going child!)

Simon also ate table food much earlier than Nora, and although he is a VERY SLOW eater, he has a good appetite and eats well at every meal — especially dessert πŸ™‚

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Feeding James:

Since Simon and James are only 16 months apart, Simon was still drinking 2 bottles of milk a day when James was born (1 before his nap and 1 before he went to bed at night).

And although I truly am forever grateful to Simon for taking bottles as well as he did, the thought of washing 2 sets of bottles and pumping gear every single day for months and months didn’t sound super appealing to me — especially not with 3 kids ages 3 and under to care for.

So although I really did enjoy the freedom of using bottles with Simon, I came to terms with the fact that nursing James was probably the best, easiest, and least stressful solution for me at that point in my life.

And I never once even tried to give James a bottle!Β 

I know that sounds so crazy and very unlike my “all things in moderation” approach to life. However, I honestly think I was so scared of what might happen if I gave James a bottle that I just didn’t even want to try.

On one hand, I was scared that if I tried bottles and he continued to resist them, I would feel defeated, depressed, and trapped by the thought of being “forced” to nurse him forever. So by not even trying bottles, I always had that option in the back of my brain — “I could try bottles someday if I really wanted to… but I’m OK for now.”

Then, on the other hand, if I tried bottles and he loved them, I would be forced to wash them every day and potentially pump for several months if I felt like that was my best option.

Plus, I knew I would most likely be home 98% of the time with my 3 VERY young children… so nursing was extremely convenient and I never once had to feed James in public.

Surprisingly, I didn’t hate nursing him!Β 

I didn’t feel trapped or stuck at home, I didn’t feel awkward when people were over and I went back to the nursery to feed him (because Nora and Simon were still around to entertain our guests), and I didn’t even feel overly-anxious for him to finally stop nursing.

I did “cut him off” around 19 months (much to his dismay) after finding out I was pregnant with baby #4.

At the time, he was eating table foods very well and I knew he was just nursing for comfort before he went to bed.

We had a few teary nights where I had to avoid sitting in the specific chair I fed him in, but after that, he got to have a bedtime snack while reading books with the big kids — which he thought was very cool!

James is an excellent eater. He especially loves breakfast foods, all types of cheese, and yogurt (as long as he can do it himself!)

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Feeding Baby #4:

At this point, I am planning on nursing baby #4 — simply because it has always been fast and easy for me, and because I don’t want to mess with bottles and pumping with 4 children vying for my attention.

I definitely do still have my pump, all my pumping supplies, and several of my most favorite MAM bottles. I will also sign up for all the freebie formula offers again — just in case. After all, I can always pass the formula samples along to friends if I don’t end up using them.

Although I’m somewhat torn between the “freedom” of bottles and the convenience of breastfeeding, I do feel that the least-time-consuming option for me this time around is nursing.

However, I’m completely ready and willing to switch gears if, for some reason, we decide bottles would be a better way to go with this baby.

I even got a few pink bottles this time around!

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My “Fed is Best” Philosophy:

The truth is, my two main objectives when deciding how I will feed my babies is what I feel is best for ME (this might sound selfish but it’s true) and making sure my baby’s bellies are full.

My apologies if you thought this was going to be a post about how breastfeeding is the best and only way to go πŸ™‚ It IS a great option and I’m so thankful it has worked well for 2 of my 3 babies… but it’s not the only way.

I know there are some people who have strong opinions about this, but I’m NOT one of them — honestly, I think very few people really care about how WE feed OUR babies. It’s just that the people with strong opinions are the ones who speak out and talk the loudest!

I don’t feel one bit of guilt or regret for using bottles with Simon. If anything, it was the break I needed to be willing to have more babies!

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2345 days… and counting!

If you read through this post carefully and did a little math, you might have realized that I was nursing (or pumping) for each child when I found out I was pregnant again with the next child.

That equates to being pregnant or nursing every single day since February of 2011 — roughly 2345+ days.

Considering I’ll most likely be pregnant for the next 7 weeks and then potentially nursing for 12-18 months after that, my grand total of CONSECUTIVE days spent pregnant and/or nursing will be very close to 3000.

WHEW!Β 

Baby-making and baby-feeding is definitely a crazy season of life — one that I truly am enjoying, but one I will also be extremely grateful to move past.

We’ll see if we have more babies after this one, or if we call it quits… either way, I’m almost certain my philosophy on feeding babies will stay the same.

Whatever works best for ME AND THE BABY is what we will do!

33 weeks!Β 

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Ok, time for that discount code!!!!Β 

If you are in the market for the most fabulous nursing gear ever, you can use the code GMAD7257Β to get an additional 20% off everything in the Glamourmom store AND the Glamourmom Outlet.

My favorite Glamourmom items are:Β 

Offer good through August 31, 2017.

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26 comments

  1. Jane

    09/12/2017

    I know a lot of mom’s that feel the way Andrea had originally felt (anxious about nursing in front of other people etc) for some people it’s because they are self conscious for others (like me) it’s because we feel we need to be the host or at least not just sit there nursing while people are over but please surround yourself with people who realize that babies only breastfeed for a short time (even 3 years is a short time) and people that realize your baby needs you and deserves your attention more than any adult or child that has their own mama. Then more importantly remind yourself of these things ! It has been hard for me too to have a messy house at times and to almost never wear makeup but my baby is much more important than those things.

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  2. Luba @ Healthy with Luba

    08/03/2017

    Andrea, you always amaze me at how much you can get done with children and running a business. I am so excited to “meet” baby #4, who will be loved and cared for by your entire family. πŸ™‚

    It seems people have strong opinions about one way or another–until they cannot do it their way. One of my friend’s baby would not nurse at all, and she had to pump.

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  3. Shelley Fessinger

    08/03/2017

    I also had three under 3 1/2! πŸ™‚ All planned! My oldest turned 3 at the end of September and I had the third the first week of January. I also mixed it up a little.
    I breastfed my first daughter for 4 months and had to stop as I went back to work and those weren’t the days you had the opportunity to pump at work (even if I wanted to). So I had no choice in the matter and didn’t feel too strongly one way or another, except for the fact that I was going back to work and leaving my precious child in the care of our beloved friend/neighbor. By baby #2, 17 months later, I was no longer working outside of the home! πŸ™‚ I took the opportunity to breastfeed her for an entire year which was, for me, a normal time to wean her. I loved the convenience of bf. With that said, I worked in a bottle feeding so I had the opportunity to leave for any time period of 4-5 hrs., if needed. But, it was primarily used for the 11 p.m. feeding (by hubby with a bottle) so I could go to sleep and be up for one of the middle of the night feedings. It worked very well for us on most nights. I wasn’t averse to formula, that is what we used for that one feeding/day.
    By the time, #3 came along, in middle of winter and 3 weeks early-she went to the NICU for a week. I had no choice this time but to pump if I was ever going to have the chance to bf her. It was brutal for me. The pumping…aye yi yi! Talk about boring and painful–with two toddlers underfoot. But, eventually, when she got home, we got into the routine of regular breastfeeding. I barely ever used a bottle despite having 3 under 3 at the time. I guess I finally got used to less sleep! πŸ™‚ Ha! I actually cried when I weaned her at a year, knowing it would be my last baby. By this, time I really enjoyed the whole process and I am not one of those crazy bf only moms by any means. It was convenient and personal for me. I loved it!
    With that said, it can tie you down and I missed out many things. However, for me, it was a one shot deal, they were all going to grow up and I wouldn’t be doing this forever. I also wanted to point out that bf CAN be very hard to start. Latching, or the lack thereof, the constant leaking, the bra pads to keep that leaking in (lol), etc. is part of the process. And, I do want to say that just bc people bf, doesn’t mean they were professionals at it from the start. It does take work. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to just give up bc of a few difficulties. I had to go to a class to help me when I started with Baby #1. While there, one woman nearly suffocated her baby bc she was on the larger size and had to do it laying sideways and the baby stopped breathing while underneath her very large, engorged breasts and she started crying, “my baby’s not breathing…” All I could think of was how hard all of us women work at this…Just the beautiful humanity of it all. I think mixing it up like you did is just perfect!! πŸ™‚ Enjoyed the post and reminiscing even though all three will be in college this year!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your story Shelley!

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  4. Catherine

    08/02/2017

    Hi Andrea,
    I just wanted to say that I think you’re an amazing Mum and inspiring person! It’s so encouraging reading your posts. Feeding is such a personal journey however I think it’s great for us all to share our stories to help each other with one of the toughest jobs there is. Thanks again.
    Catherine πŸ™‚

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  5. Debby

    08/02/2017

    Loving them and nourishing them is what matters. I nursed one for four months until someone brought their child over with hand foot and mouth and my oldest one caught it. She couldn’t nurse and so we went 100% with bottles. (I had been supplementing her with two four ounce bottles a day due to her size.) Baby two went to bottles at 5 weeks when my husband came home from a boys ski weekend. Seriously who leaves a momma with two under two. I met him at the door with my sweet baby girl and told him guess what I am not nursing anymore and we’re taking turns getting up each night. πŸ™‚ I had tremendous guilt and I wish I would have had someone tell me it’s ok not to nurse. I struggled so much for four months with that first baby. My biggest advice for new momma’s is make that eye contact however you feed them. No phone while nursing or bottle feeding. Just look into those eyes and stroke that sweet head. They grow up fast. Mine are 19 and 21. It blows my mind how fast it went.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Debby,
    I do want to add that I use the time when I’m nursing to read on my iPhone ALLLLLLL the time (especially at night and especially when they are really little). My babies have always slept, or at least had their eyes closed while they were feeding so it was sort of “my time” to relax and catch up on reading, emails, facebook, etc.
    Obviously, different things work for different moms and babies, but I don’t want someone to read this and feel bad that they occasionally check emails while feeding their baby. πŸ™‚

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  6. Erin

    08/02/2017

    You said it.. “Fed is Best.”

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  7. Emily

    08/02/2017

    Great post Andrea!! I loved your 2345 days and counting…I’ve been either pregnant or nursing since fall of 2011 so I’m with ya! Kind of fun to think about. πŸ™‚ I bottle fed my first two, breast fed the next three, and now the baby was breast fed for the first two months then we switched to bottles after some health issues for me. It also helped her immensely as she always seemed fussy and never settled while I was nursing. All that to say, I agree with your approach that you do what’s best for mama and baby and that each baby is different and has different needs. Looking forward to meeting your newest addition soon!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    ah, I’m losing track of all your kiddos — how old is the baby now? I’m guessing he/she was born recently since you have another one around James’ age right?

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    Emily Reply:

    Haha! You’re great! Yes, Jonathan (#5) is two months younger than James. He’ll be two September 14. Leah (#6) was born February 20, so she’s currently 5 months old. I know, it gets confusing…some days I can’t keep track. πŸ˜‰

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  8. JJ

    08/02/2017

    I had a friend who was bf because that’s what all her friends were doing and the docs encouraged it. I also bf(pregnant and/or bf since 2012!), but she came to me so worn down. She said it just wasn’t working for her. I could tell she was so defeated. I told her she needed to do what was best for the baby AND her! Like many moms, she felt like she needed permission. Well, thankfully she did switch to formula. She was having health issues and had a mammogram(something she couldn’t have had if bf), and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because they caught it early on, she beat cancer. Because she stopped nursing and formula fed her baby, she is still alive today! I’m all about doing what is best for both Mom and baby! Great post!

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow! That’s an amazing story! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  9. Rhiannon

    08/02/2017

    I’d love to hear more about how you approach bed time snacks. I have twins and one is in food therapy and they need bedtime snacks but it seems like we’re just finished cleaning up dinner and then it’s time for more food!

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    Andrea Reply:

    They can choose from grapes, a banana, or a string cheese. DONE. And yes, we often have bedtime “snack” about 1 hour after dinner πŸ™‚

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    Jane Reply:

    I have adopted your bedtime snack idea and it has helped our bedtime routine run so much more smoothly. Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — glad to hear it!

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  10. Beth

    08/02/2017

    Girl, good for you. Get food in the baby. That’s the main objective. Moms can be so judgmental of ourselves and each other. We’re all doing the best we can. Your kids are awesome and I’m happy for you.

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  11. Jennifer

    08/02/2017

    Ive been pregnant and/or nursing for almost 5 years now and the biggest thing I’ve learned and the main piece of advice I give to new moms is give yourself grace and do what’s best for you and the family as a whole as well. Every family, mom, and child are different and what works for one family isn’t going to work for everyone especially during different seasons of life. If someone wants to breastfeed go for it, but that’s not always possible or best for every person. Basically exactly what you said

    Can’t wait to see your new little one and love your perspective on so many parenting aspects. Your articles definitely helped me so much with our first who was also a high needs baby!

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  12. Kimberley

    08/02/2017

    I appreciate your thoughts on this and love that you are so open-minded on the topic. I attempted to breast feed both of my children and it just didn’t work out for me. I have lots of anxiety issues and didn’t like the idea of having to be “tied down”. Neither child latched anyway and my patience in the matter didn’t help. My husband also stayed home with them when I returned to work, so formula worked well for them and for us!

    I don’t understand this mom shaming that goes on. I don’t know if this has always been a thing and it’s only seen more because of social media or what but it’s just terrible. Why do others feel they have any right to judge (publicly) someone else for their decisions. I have seen this with breast feeding vs. bottle feeding and natural childbirth vs. c-sections. I had both children by c-section delivery and recently read an article that said because I had c-sections, I really didn’t HAVE my children…wait, what? If I was a person who took those things to heart, I would be devastated but luckily, I just don’t care what others think! I carried both of my children to 38-39 weeks with complications during both pregnancies, the hell I didn’t “really” HAVE my children!!!

    This silly, silly world we live in!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kimberly!
    In all honesty, I think there are just a handful of rude, self-centered people who do most of the shaming. I Feel that most other moms I know (no matter how young or old they are) usually don’t care much about bottle-fed versus nursing, etc. etc. etc. it’s just that the ones who talk, TALK LOUDLY and make sure everyone hears their opinions and what they have to say. So they are the ones we hear constantly!
    Too bad — but I’m like you, I’m rarely bothered much by other people’s opinions of me so I don’t get too worked up about it!

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    Jane Reply:

    I was unable to breastfeed. My son was in the NICU for the first 19 days of his life and being apart from him made it hard to “get the milk flowing”. About 6 months later we were in a restaurant and bottle feeding when a rude person chose to interrupt our meal to inform me that breast feeding is best for babies. I then spent 20 minutes telling them all about why I couldn’t breastfeed and why they should mind their own business. I know they were shocked and hope they will think twice now before giving their unwanted opinions to a stranger.

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    Andrea Reply:

    that’s crazy! I honestly can’t imagine confronting any other parent about any of their choices in a public setting. Some people are very courageous!

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  13. Meghan

    08/02/2017

    Andrea, you have got to be the most selfless person I know! (Well, I don’t really know you. . .) I have tons of friends who have nursed for a year or more but all are ready to have their bodies belong to just themselves again. The longest I ever nursed any of my three was 11 months, and that was partly for selfish reasons. I liked my nursing breasts and knew what was in store after I quit πŸ˜‰
    You are so amazingly content; it’s so inspirational!

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  14. Francie

    08/02/2017

    Thanks for sharing, Andrea! http://www.supersimpleways.com

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  15. Kelly Hess

    08/02/2017

    Great post Andrea! I love your honestly about this topic. I do agree you have to do what is best for Mom and Baby.

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