When you’re pregnant, you spend lots of time thinking about how you’re going to do this baby thing. You’ve got visions of sitting in a rocking chair, already recovered from your low-stress 100% natural labor, and your baby staring at you with complete adoration. It is, like, SO PERFECT.
For about 1 out of a zillion moms that might actually happen. But the rest of us are living in the real world with emergency C-sections that interrupt milk production, medical reasons for not breastfeeding, having to go back to work quickly, or maybe we aren’t the birth mom. Whatever the reason, a lot of moms struggle with what most believe is literally the most natural thing in the universe — and feel some kind of way about it. Welcome to your first bout with mom guilt, people.
Let the mom guilt go. The best thing for your baby is to be fed — breast OR bottle. Because a fundamental truth about children from birth on is fed is what counts, and raising kids takes a village. Having someone else feed your baby can REALLY make life easier. So listen up, we’re gonna break down six ways bottle feeding makes your life easier as a mom, whether you’re doing exclusive breast milk or nah. After all, this is only the first step in the feeding-mom-guilt battle. In a few months, you’ll be introducing solids and worrying about not making your own baby food. The fun never ends, right?
1. ‘Nipple Confusion’ Was Invented to Make Moms Feel Bad
Okay, sure, maybe science says it exists, but every mom who has come before you knows that a baby will suck on pretty much ANYTHING including the dog’s tail (do not recommend). Luckily, there are great bottles out there that help babies go from breast to bottle with ease.
2. If You Bottle Feed, You Get to Leave the House Alone
We know you love being with this new perfect human being, but in a few weeks you’ll be saying, WHAT ARE PEOPLE AND SUNSHINE? Bottle feeding = Here’s the baby, Grandma. This is a secret all formula moms already know, so listen up nursing moms. You’ll need to get out alone sometimes too.
3. Bonding Is for Both Parents, So Don’t Bogart the Baby
Your partner wants in on that bonding action even if you don’t want to use formula at all. Pumping and storing means they can have a feeding turn (here’s a tip: try this NaturaLatch nipple to prevent the aforementioned nipple confusion). If you’ve reached the lack-of-sleep breaking point, a bottle feeding is your ticket to a full night’s rest. JUST IMAGINE.
4. Formula Is Pretty Great, Actually
Do you know what they fed babies before formula was invented? A mixture of animal milk, oats, and honey. Not only did you have to make it yourself, it was also missing like a gazillion nutrients. Today’s formula pretty much rocks, so use it guilt-free. Your baby will be just fine, and you’re still slaying the mom game.
5. A Bottle Isn’t a Boob So Don’t Hold The Baby Like It Is
Sure, it seems like the smart bet is to put your baby in the nursing position when you introduce a bottle. But babies don’t get it. Instead, they are all THIS IS NOT A BOOB AND YOU PROMISED ME A BOOB, so the bottle will feel all kinds of wrong to your baby. If you’re trying a bottle, hold them in a different way and they’ll think BONUS FOOD YAY. Plus, bottle-fed babies should be fed more upright than nursing ones because it helps prevent gas and reflux.
6. All Babies Are Fussy, So Try Try Again And Again And…
If you’ve been nursing and introduce a bottle, one of two things will happen: Your baby will reject the bottle completely or gulp it all down too fast. So before you start, first choose the right bottle nipple “flow” (you’ll find three different flow rates) — because while babies start out with a belly the size of a dime, it gets bigger fast and needs more to fill. And then leave the room while someone else offers the baby a bottle. It will make it easier on you and the baby. But mostly you.
We’re not trying to tell you not to nurse. How you feed your baby is your thing, and you’ll do a great job. But including bottle feeding in your parenting tool kit will definitely make your life a bit easier, and it isn’t anything to ever feel guilty about. After all, not a single college application includes “Were you breastfed?” as a question. You got this, mom!
For over 50 years, Playtex® has been committed to understanding what’s most important to both parents and babies. We work continuously with each new generation of parents and their babies to learn firsthand how we can provide the highest-quality baby products, such as bottles, pacifiers, sippy cups and diaper disposal systems, giving families exactly what they need for better beginnings right from the start.