Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Right Formula for Us

This post is about why Benjamin and I chose to formula feed Winston and the reasons why it was the right formula (haha!) for us.  

I have been thinking on how to write this for quite some time.  How you feed your baby seems to be a subject that ignites a great deal of passion within folks.  I feel that there are a lot who speak out for breastfeeding and I want to do the same for using formula.  Like most things in life this is a personal preference.

I view choosing to breast feed or to use formula one of the first big parenting decisions a couple makes.  For us, it was a simple decision to make: we were going to feed Winston with formula.  Benjamin and I were both formula fed, and to be honest, the idea of breast feeding kinda weirded me out.  I knew that I would be returning to work and I wanted my time in the evenings to be spent enjoying my family.  I also knew that with the use of formula, I'd be sure that Winston was getting all the necessary vitamins he needed along with an amount that would guarantee he was full up!

This choice, for us, was a huge blessing.  With the unforeseen outcome of the C-Section, formula feeding allowed Benjamin to do many of the night time/early hours feeding while I was laid up in the hospital.  It allowed our family and sweet friends the ability to feed and love on our little man so that Benjamin and I could rest and watch them experience our little miracle.

In the hospital and for weeks after, I did have to be conscious to take cool showers and wrap myself to keep the milk from coming in.  I also used cold savoy cabbage as a way to "dry up the milk" as they say.  The coolness felt amazing, but after 20 minutes or so I wasn't very attractive smelling!

Using formula to feed Winston guaranteed we always knew how much he had eaten and along with a few other factors ensured that he was sleeping through the night early on.  With Winston in daycare, formula makes it easy to prepare his food for the next day and I don't have the pressure of remembering to pump at work.

I have heard that people who do not breastfeed do not bond as well as those who do.  I call baloney on that.   The first time Winston heard my voice outside of the womb, he turned and just stared at me.  We snuggle just as close when we bottle feed and he is always eager to see Benjamin and me.  If anything, using formula has more easily allowed Benjamin to have sweet treasured moments with Winston from the very beginning.  Now, four months later, one of Benjamin's favorite times is the last feeding of the day, after I've gone to bed, where he gets to have time with just him and Winston.  Feeding occurs once every three to four hours, and what happens in between is just as important.

I know that once a Mom starts pumping, some of the things I talked about above happen and I think that is fabulous!  I celebrate the fact that we are allowed the flexibility and options on how to raise our children.

There are some people who will insinuate that you less of a mom, don't love your baby as much, and are dooming your child to fail in life if you don't breast feed.  I like to refer to them as "Teet Nazis."  I felt it important to post this in support of moms who may have wanted to breast feed and couldn't for one reason or another and for the working moms who may not have the type of job that allows them to pump at work.  This isn't meant to persuade anyone to formula feed or say that breast feeding is wrong.  It's just what was right for our family!

Below are the items that we use every day when feeding Winston.  {Note: Most or all of these items can be found at Amazon, Target, BabiesRUs, Walmart and other places that have a baby aisle!}

1. Playtex Nurser Drop-in Bottles and Liners
Made in both 4 and 8 oz sizes, these bottles have been the easiest thing since sliced bread to use!  The drop in liners make it super easy to pre-fill with water for daycare and outings.  The drop in liners make clean up nice and easy as you just throw the liner away and insert a new one for the next use.  Playtex also makes bags for breast milk that can be used with these bottles as well.
2.  Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bibs
Are these bibs cute?  No.  Do they work like magic?  Yes!  Bought on a whim, these bibs have been the best thing we've used with Winston when feeding.  There is a plush ring that fits snuggly against baby's neck to keep milk from running into their adorable neck folds.  They are incredibly soft and I highly recommend getting two or three packs.  They come in packs of two and Target has the best price on them.
3.  Similac: Sensitive
Benjamin and I were both on a sensitive brand of formula when we were first feeding, so we figured our kid would need it to!
4.  Anti-gas Drops
These have been a God send!  When mixing the formula, many tiny bubbles form and the gas drops magically take out all of the bubbles.  To this day I am still amazed at how every bubble disappears!  There are a few different brands of anti-gas drops, Little Tummys being one of them.  The store brand versions work just as well and are normally half the price.  You can put the drops into the bottle or directly into baby's mouth.  When applied directly to baby's mouth, it neutralizes the gas bubbles in their tummy - also good for either breast or formula feeding.
5.  Babyganics Foaming Dish & Bottle Wash
This wash is fabulous and we use it every day.  It leaves no residue on the bottles and I personally like the pump feature.  Refill liquid is also sold.  Another use is for washing spit up out of baby's clothes.
6.  Boon Drying Rack
Who doesn't love cute items to sit out on the counter?  I do!  This drying rack is not only great for propping up bottles, nipples and passies, but also good for bowls, sippee cups and favorite teething toys that need a good rinse!

3 comments :

  1. Love this post! We also formula fed. I wanted to breast feed but couldn't, and now I love the convenience of formula feeding. And you really don't lose any of the closeness. It's all what you make of it.

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  2. Here's my 2 cents:
    Bravo to you!
    I have breastfed both of mine and am NOT a teet nazi. Truthfully, if I had gone back to work, I can pretty much guarantee that they both would have gotten formula and I would have felt just fine and dandy about it. I hated breastfeeding at first (did a blog post about that) and although I've gotten comfortable with it, I've never become a huge fan. For us, it was the right decision, primarily to save money, but I often envy bottlefed baby mommas. That bonding business is baloney - it was never that way with my first (in fact it had the opposite effect at the beginning) and is only somewhat that way with my second. There are MANY ways to bond with a baby and over a yummy bottle is certainly one of them. As for me, 6 more months and I'll be done breastfeeding forever! Yay! No more rushing home for feeds or trying to nurse while out and about... no more picking my outfit based on access to my milk-makers... no more being a food source... my boobs get to go back to being fun-bags (albeit smaller ones - I will miss that). Can NOT wait! I love that I've been able to breastfeed both of them and it was/is the right choice for our family, but I can certainly understand the choice to go another route.
    Bravo for doing a blog post like this. Moms need to know that they are not a failure or less of a Mom if they go the formula route.

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  3. So I'm really late reading through my google reader, but props to you for writing this post. You are sooooooooo right.....not enough people talk about formula feeding. Obviously I'm very pro breast feeding bc I nursed Pearson for 15 months, but I'm also very pro doing what is best for you, your baby and your family. For us breastfeeding worked, but for some it doesn't. I feel really bad that some of my friends spend their whole 12 weeks (or less depending on how much you get) of maternity leave trying to figure out breastfeeding, stressing about if their baby is eating enough, wasting their time pumping blah blah blah, only to quit right when they go back to work. I feel like they would have gotten so much more time with their babies if they would have just formula fed. I wish more people would realize that not breastfeeding doesn't equal a failure or a bad mom. I think you are so smart for starting formula right off the bat since you knew you were going back to work. You truly got to enjoy every moment with Winston and Benjamin while you were on maternity leave. So anyways.....all this to say, thanks for shedding light on the other side! I think this will help lots of moms struggling to breastfeeding or not knowing for sure if they want to. And help them know it's a perfect fine option!!

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