Formula Feeding 101

by heirtoblair on May 24, 2012

img 3337 300x225 Formula Feeding 101
me & Harrison, March 2010

I chose not to breastfeed Harrison.

It was a choice I felt sure of after talking to my doctor, my husband, and my family. I knew the benefits of breastfeeding & The Momma nursed me. But we chose formula for our little boy & I am thrilled to say that he (not surprisingly) thrived & turned into a healthy, smart little boy.

While there is no doubt in my mind that “breast is nutritionally best,” I must give encouragement to those who decide to feed with formula by pointing out that my kiddo is a perfect weight, has zero health problems, has 20% better hearing than his peers, & didn’t catch his first real cold until his second year of life. And I bonded with him beautifully. Any future babies will also be exclusively formula fed, as I will be on a very powerful medication to help ward off postpartum psychosis. (A quick note here that the medication I will be on is NOT an antidepressant, some of which can be safe for breastfeeding mothers. So please don’t view breastfeeding as a reason to not seek postpartum mood disorder help. That’s my PSA, over & out.)

As a formula feeder, I’m pretty equipped with the tools needed, both emotional & equipment-wise. First, pick a good bottle. Choose one that is comfortable in your hand & that doesn’t leak. (It’s best to ask fellow moms for their recommendations!) While some folks will tell you that small 4oz bottles are pointless, I really liked having them on hand for the first few months; they were just easier to handle when only feeding 3oz of milk. Plus, as the kiddo grew, his “snack” bottles were still under 4oz, & those smaller bottles left more space in the diaper bag. We always handwashed bottles (oh, the monotony!) & then sterilized them in the microwave, but most bottles are dishwasher safe. Then pick a good bottle “routine.” We never offered cold or warm bottles – always room-temperature to ensure that Harrison would take the formula on the go.

I was never a fan of premixing formula, as it is powdered gold & a part of me died every time we had to toss it out. Instead, I kept bottles of room-temperature water, then used a formula dispenser to dump in the measured amount. Shake, shake, shake & let the bubbles sit, then feed. This was a great routine for night. We kept the bottles of premeasured water & dispensers with premeasured formula beside the glider, & I simply mixed it at 3am. Get ready to spend money. Formula is expensive & your grocery bill will triple. You will throw a party the day your baby drinks his last bottle. The end.

For the emotional aspect, gear up. It all depends on the culture of the “mom community” you live in & your family’s opinions. Some folks come from communities that are very supportive of bottle-feeding mothers, but if you aren’t so lucky, simply close your eyes & repeat “I’m feeding my baby.” That woman at the park that gives you the stink-eye for shaking up a bottle? Ignore her. You’re feeding your baby. The mom at daycare that loudly declares that any formula-feeding mother is selfish? Ignore her. You’re feeding your baby. The pediatrician judges your decision? Find a new one. The inappropriate questions at work on how your baby takes to the breast? File a report with Human Resources. So pour some water, shake it up, & feed your baby.

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin May 24, 2012 at 9:41 am

I breastfed Henry for a year and will do the same with my second son, who’s 3 months old now. But I wanted to weigh in and say that smug breastfeeding moms who look down their noses at formula feeding moms really irk me. You can’t bond with your child if you don’t breastfeed?! That’s insane. I’ll feed Ben a bottle sometimes after I’ve pumped and I feel a very strong bond since I can look right into his eyes as he eats, which I can’t do when he’s nursing.

And I know breast milk is the healthiest option, but Henry was sick nearly nonstop from 5 months until about 18 months – so it certainly didn’t help us there!

Formula feeding moms should own it and not feel guilty. Heck, I mostly breastfeed for selfish reasons – the milk is free and I burn lots of extra calories each day! And oh yeah, it’s good for the baby and all that, blah blah. ;)

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Tracy @ The UnCoordinated Mommy May 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

I was and will soon be again a breastfeeding momma, and I couldn’t agree with you more!! You said exactly what I was thinking!!!

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Courtney May 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Funny, I’ve encountered smug formula feeding moms…

Bottom line is, this type of discussion is totally unecessary. To make sweeping generalizations about a category of mom simply for the choice they make in how they feed their child just shows ignorance. Nothing more to it.

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Tess @ Lettters to Layla May 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

There’s such a stigma that comes with either breastfeeding or formula feeding. I remember sitting in a restaurant when my daughter was maybe 4 months old. She squirmed so I put on my nursing cover and she ate while I ate and everyone at our table was perfectly happy. Some old lady who was giving me the stink eye comes up later and tells me I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing in public and to carry a bottle of formula. Really lady?

It all comes down to.. to each mom her own. What worked for me isn’t going to work for the next momma who is just trying to do the best she possibly can.

Either way, breast or bottle, it’s empowering to sit and feed our child & know they are growing in your lap :) And as said above, it doesn’t matter which way your doing it, there is something totally intimate and relaxing and loving about ALL of it.

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Therese May 24, 2012 at 10:04 am

My 1st received breastmilk for a year – I exclusively pumped for her. When getting ready for my 2nd, I said from the beginning that I would try BFing but if it didn’t work & I had to choose between formula & EPing again I would choose formula. I tried BFing for a few weeks before I decided to switch to formula. My “girls” aren’t designed to easily BF – I was in constant pain & constantly stressed out. I began to DREAD her feedings. That was when I decided to switch. I don’t regret that decision for a minute!!! It made me a calmer & happier mom – which benefited the WHOLE family.

Both of my daughters are perfect, of course! ;)

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kk @ the mom diggity May 24, 2012 at 10:07 am

Thanks so much for sharing this!!! We are starting to try for baby #3 and I’ve decided not to breastfeed because it was a nightmare the first two rounds. I just can’t manage 3 small children and breastfeeding. I’m almost nervous to tell people that I won’t even try to breastfeed, but thankful for the support I can get from moms who get it!!! I will be coming back to you for advice when the time comes :)

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pemora May 24, 2012 at 10:12 am

thank you SO much for writing this. with both children, i decided to formula-feed. i thought about it, talked it over with both my doctor and the pediatrician we chose, vented to the baby daddy. at the end of the day, this is what i felt most comfortable with. i have a pretty ‘stank face’ in its normal state, so no one has questioned me upon hearing this. i kind of give the “i dare you to say something to me” look.

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Cristina Ramirez May 24, 2012 at 10:12 am

I have spoken with TONS of pediatricians about this and when you actually get down to it, they’re starting to say that there is less and less research indicating breast is actually healther than formula. A lot of those studies were done before the formula is as great as it is now, and they’re also done in communities where the water wans’t sanitary. If you’r ebuying decent formula (Target counts) and giving them clean water, formula is FINE. Yes, more expensive, but only to a certain extent. My friend breast fed for 5 months, but spent $300 on a breast pump and quite a lot on lotions, pads, etc. We did the math and I ended up spending $40 more. not bad.

Another thing … where is the Dad in this? My husband gets SO insulted when people don’t ask HIM about bonding time! Since we breastfed, HE was able to bond with little one every other night when it was his turns to feed. This made for SUCH a special bond with them that I can still see today (she’s 2 now). Why don’t we consider that in our decisions? You ask me, not including Daddy is quite selfish.

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Katie May 24, 2012 at 10:25 am

There is no need to try and make ANY mothers feel guilty for how they choose to feed thier child. I am quite certain the intent of this post was not to make Mother’s who EBF thier child feel inadequate. Perhaps I am reading it wrong (tone on the internet and all) but your last sentence felt to me like you were saying Mom’s who EBF are being selfish. I dont judge you for formula feeding, please dont judge me or my family for EBF. There are many ways to bond with your kids that dont involve feeding at all.

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Isha May 24, 2012 at 10:39 am

Yeah I’m totally with Katie here. My husband bonded with my baby in a hundred different ways aside from feeding. And then when I started pumping, he DID feed her. He is supportive that we are feeding our daughter the best way we can. It’s FAR from selfish.

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Arnebya @ whatnowandwhy May 24, 2012 at 11:49 am

Katie, I may be wrong too, but I got the impression that Cristina was saying the judgers of the world, not herself, don’t seem to take into consideration that dad bonds with the baby when feeding too. It seems like people always want to imply that the bond between an EBF mom is stronger than that of a mom who formula feeds which we all know is bullshit. Fathers, especially when bottle feeding, can feed just as often as moms do. I thought she was trying to say the judgers never include dads when they’re talking about lack of bonding time.

What gets me upset mainly is this: this shouldn’t even be a “real” topic for discussion, you know (but still glad as hell BA is talking about it, especially referencing PPD). So what you feed formula? So what I breastfed? BFing is not all easy, rosy, natural, warm glow inducing. Waking to mix a bottle is not as easy as it sounds. There are downsides to both just like everything in parenting. There are UPSIDES to BOTH just like everything in parenting. As long as the babies are fed…well, what else is there to talk about really? You feed your way, I’ll feed mine, she’ll feed hers, and they’ll feed theirs. As long as your baby doesn’t wind up in the washing machine, what you feed him/her shouldn’t really be my business. I mean, are they going to grow up and put breastfed on their job app?

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Tess @ Lettters to Layla May 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I have to add that my daughter was also EBF. My husband maybe gave her two bottles in her entire infanthood. There are lots of other ways for daddy to bond with baby. My husband had her sleep on his chest. To the day that’s her favorite place. He was involved with diaper changees & nearly every other aspect of her life. I was just the only one that was able to feed her, and not only was he ok with that, he encouraged it.

She’s 18 months & the sun rises and sets in her father. He is her best buddy and they have a bond that is unbreakable.

**disclaimer: this is by no means saying formula or bf is better than the other. just a simple real life example that even ebf babies have strong bonds with their daddies :)**

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Ingrid May 25, 2012 at 1:37 am

Really? Cristina? Come on. Justifying feeding your baby synthetic food is one thing, but saying LOTS OF DRS say breast milk is not better? WHY does every.single world organization say to breastfeed till AT least 1 year? It all sounds like a bunch of bs, at least own up to putting your needs ahead of your child’s well being.

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Candi May 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

And thank you for perfectly illustrating the art of the mommy war. Part of the problem…seriously.

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Stephanie May 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Ingrid,
I think the point of the whole post is not to judge anyone and Christina was just trying to justify formula feeding her child. TO call her selfish is unnecessary. Formula feeding is not always putting your needs before your child’s. Some women just can not breast feed. They become ill after giving birth or suffer from PPD and it just doesn’t work. How about that? Do you think a depressed mommy is better because she breastfed or a happier mom who formula fed if that’s the case. Formula feeding is not putting your needs first. Any way you decide to feed YOUR baby is YOUR choice if it’s done out of love and no one can judge that, especially not a stranger. Your post is very angry and self-righteous. EBF babies are not better than formula fed babies. My daughter was formula fed, she’s brilliant and thriving! It’s who she is whether she breastfed or not. Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you.

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Erin @ Blue-Eyed Bride May 24, 2012 at 10:14 am

Love this. I love it because it came from your heart, and who’s to say that formula feeding doesn’t come from the heart?! :) our babies got their first formula when they were 3 days old and had formula exclusively at 6 weeks and 3 weeks. Trying to nurse was a nightmare. Sleepy babies, lots of humiliating pumping experiences, and babies who wouldn’t gain weight. Going to the doctor for weight checks every day for 3 weeks made me vow to not even attempt to BF a future baby #3. Formula works and my kids are happy and healthy. And so am I when I’m not stressed about nursing!

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Stephanie May 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Beautifully said, Erin.

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Laura Case May 24, 2012 at 10:20 am

Two more tips for formula moms:

* after you mix the formula, you can put a few drops of mylecon (sp?) directly in the bottle to cut down the foam. You can get big bottles of generic anti-gas drops cheap at Target and Walmart.
* start with generic formula because it is SO MUCH cheaper. Switch to brand name if there is a problem.

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Shannon May 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I agree with the generic brand being just as good! We have used the Target brand with both kids. I once stood for 30 minutes in the aisle at Target comparing ingredients. It’s the same stuff! I’ve tried to convince my friends who complain about the cost of name brands and they still don’t believe me. Both of my children did very well on the Target brand. We saved A LOT of money!

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Natalie B May 24, 2012 at 10:27 am

Thanks for posting this! Formula feeding for mommy’s health is not often discussed. I had PPD with both children and this last bout was particularly insidious. Because I was freaked out about taking meds while BFing I didn’t get help until I nearly snapped. 6 months I suffered or should I say, WE suffered because of my almost pathological desire to BF. Bottom line: mommy’s health is just as important to baby’s health as what he eats. Kudos to you for being brave enough to make the right choice for your family and to share that choice with other moms! :)

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Violina23 May 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm

This. The inability to successfully breastfeed was my biggest trigger for PPD. My daughter probably was hurt a lot more by me not being “all there” for her during those first few months than by switching to exclusive formula around 2-3 weeks. I know it was the right thing to do, but it was hard to accept. I still feel twinges of guilt/failure when I see other moms who maybe struggle, but get the hang of it.

What I find interesting is that I still feel the need to DEFEND My decision to switch to formula by saying “I tried my best to Breastfeed, but it didn’t work out”. People seem to at least back off a bit and say “Hey, at least you tried.” But you know what? What if I didn’t try? Should I be made to feel like a horrible mom if I recognized right off the bat that it wasn’t going to be the right decision for me and my family? Thanks, Beth Anne, for being brave enough to post this and own up to your decision without any apologies.

I do agree that breast is best, and I got blasted for saying something similar in BA’s post about bonding with the bottle, but the studies on breastmilk are NOT double-blind studies. I do believe that breast is nutritionally best, because honestly it makes sense that it would be (nature does seem to tend to that), but the studies indicating that kids who are breastfed are smarter, healthier, etc etc — they do NOT factor in other kinds of socio-economic factors that might play a role in intelligence, health, etc. Would I still recommend breastfeeding to anyone who asks my opinion? Yes, if it works for them! But I won’t tell someone that breastfeeding is going to unquestionably make their kid smarter or healthier, nor will I condone anyone suggesting that formula feeding makes kids dumber or sicklier.

Thanks again, Beth Anne. I really appreciate this post.

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Meghan May 24, 2012 at 10:29 am

Amen. Although I come from a different aspect of formula-feeding, I agree 100%. I was pushed into formula-feeding. I didn’t have a choice. And though I would never wish what I had gone through on anyone, I’m thankful. I was diagnosed with a heart condition following my daughter’s premature birth at 29 weeks. So, I went through lots of tests and was told to pump & dump. It sucked. I finally called it quits and then the doctor told me I had to go on heart meds. I still got to experience the wonderful bonding with the bottle and my babe. I still provided nourishment for her.

Thank you for sharing your stories. You really are an inspiration and a reminder that no matter the way you go about it, you’re feeding your child. Everyone else’s opinions are just that – opinions.

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Nicole May 24, 2012 at 10:30 am

As a Mom who formula fed from day one it was a great experience. My son has been in the 95%tile for height and 75%tile for weight his entire life and he is 3 years old. He is smart, bonded to him Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle. Yes he was sick all the time the first year of his life but he also went to a daycare center with lots of germies but the last two years I can count on one hand how many times he has been sick. When we have #2 s/he will also be formula fed. I am not looking forward to the cost but I know it is best for our family.

Oh here is a great website for forumla feeders that I found recently and wished I found when I was making my decision to formula feed. http://www.fearlessformulafeeder.com/

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Kelli G May 24, 2012 at 10:49 am

Totally off-topic, but I love the short hair in the post-boob-shrink photo ;)

Back on topic, thanks for this post. While I longed to be a breastfeeder, my oldest had mouth issues that prevented it and my twins, well, it’s a long story. So I’ve always been a triple-threat trifecta of formula, pumped milk, and a little bit of nursing. While I agree that “breast is nutritionally best”, the statement still makes me cringe because of the feelings that I was unable to provide what was “best” for my kids and had to settle for the “just ok” option. But that’s my own issue that swirls around with inadequacy feelings inside PPD. Bottom line: thank you. It’s great to hear some encouragement for us formula feeders!

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Violina23 May 24, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I feel the same way regarding the “just ok” thing, but the reality is — it’s pretty darn close to what’s “best”, or else our children wouldn’t be thriving. And it’s just one of SO many things we do to take care of our little ones. My daughter might not have had breastmilk for her first year (or more) of life, but she willingly ate broccoli with dinner! Score 1 to me doing something right (at least for tonight!) ;-)

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Jenny May 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

I FF my son for totally selfish reasons. I wanted my husband and other family members to be able to feed him and I didn’t want to be the sole-feeder. I was 100% happy with that decision and no one (in real life) gave me any crap about it.
For #2, I’m considering BF for totally selfish reasons. I’m hoping it will help me lose the baby weight better/faster.

So, either way, I’m selfish, I guess. But my son is healthy and happy and totally attached to me. #2 will be too, I hope, either way I choose to feed.

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Katie May 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Just know that BFing burns extra calories a day, but you are HUNGRY for those calories. I ate about fourteen meals a day when I BFed. Plus, your boobs tend to weigh a ton just on their own. I was within 5-10 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight when BFing, but I didn’t hit my pre-pregnancy weight until AFTER I’d finished BFing. Just wanted to help you manage your expectations.

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Kate May 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

I respect mothers who choose to formula feed because they are making a choice for their child, and it’s their choice. I am going on 9 months of breastfeeding, and I have to say that I personally feel that I was at my worst when I was struggling to get my milk to come in, but once I got it established, I soared. I consider it one of the main reasons I avoided PPD. I congratulate you on standing behind your decision. Good job, mama.

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Julia May 24, 2012 at 11:13 am

I am SO sick of this debate! Obviously, 99.9% of parents make decisions in the best interest of their families – do strangers who judge actually think they know/care more than the parents? You say it well – “I’m feeding my baby!”

(for the record, I am an extended exclusive breastfeeder and do not give a rats ass how other families decide to feed their babies, as long as their babies are being fed!)

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Violina23 May 24, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Sing it, Sister!

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Rachel May 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm

As a mom who is still nursing her 2 year old, all I have to say is that I don’t give a shit how someone feeds their kid. Are they feeding him/her? Yes? Okay great. You want to whip your tit out? Great. You want to find a private corner? Great. You want to pump and bottle feed? Great. You want to o with formula from the first feeding? Great.

It doesn’t matter what we do, some asshole is going to make some comment about bonding or others’ opinions. There will be the stink eye issue regardless of what we do. It is annoying, but the best thing we can do is tell those assholes “I don’t give a flying fuck what you think!” There are all kinds of moms and dads.

As for the bonding issue or the little comment above about breast milk not being nutritionally superior, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. The difference is that formula is “bad” or “harmful” to a baby.

Also, i don’t know why bonding gets brought up every time. Dads who are deployed find ways to bond and have amazing relationships with their kids. My friend’s kid has spent more time away from his dad than with him. His daddy is his hero even though he wasn’t even there until he was 7 months old. My son never took a single bottle and is away from my husband 12 hours a day. Just this morning he was clinging to daddy and saying “no bye bye daddy!”

We aren’t bonded to our kids for one exact reason or another. It’s a cumulative effect from one heart loving another.

Every time you, BA, post one of these heart felt, encouraging posts, readers have to take it to another level. I won’t ever understand why. Your words are simple to understand and I hope you’ve helped another mom out there who might be struggling or unsure of her mothering choices.

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Rachel May 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Formula is not bad or harmful***

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Candi May 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Amen!

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Shannon May 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Amen BA, Amen. I chose to formula feed from the start, just as you. The thought of BFing never crossed my mind, its just not for me. Plus, my mother and aunts all FF’d their kids, so it was what I grew up with and what I was used to. I think I was probably a teenager before I ever saw someone BF their child, so the whole idea was foreign to me.
My son is off the charts for height at 22 months, and is in the 80th% for weight. I am 5’9″ and my DH is 6’4″, so his ginormousness is genetic, not from the formula. I work in healthcare, and I caught a lot of flack for my decision, and tons of people tried to convince me to BF, but I stuck with my decision, and I’ve never looked back and never regretted it. My future children will also be EFF.
I’ve also written a post about my experience with why I chose to FF, if anyone is interested: http://babyshmizz.blogspot.com/2010/09/why-i-made-decision-to-formula-feed.html

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Kelli May 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I breastfed my daughter for 16 months and am very excited for our second baby to be born in September so I can breastfeed again (I’m obviously excited for more reasons than just that!). I am very pro-breastfeeding, and I hate when people cannot succeed at breastfeeding because of all of the booby-traps and misinformation out there. Despite all that, I wanted to tell you that this post is very well written and I think will help to provide support to other mamas who choose not to breastfeed for reasons that are between them and their family. You made an informed decision, as does every mother, about what was right for your family, and besides that you continue to help support other mothers, no matter what choices they make for their family. Thank you.

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Amie May 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Thank you for this post!! I know the medical community is severely divided, and the momma community is sometimes vicious in their opinions. So how refreshing to hear from someone who successfully bottle fed (gasp!) formula. My son is just a bit younger than Harrison, and due to medical reasons (PCOS damn you!) I wasn’t able to breastfeed because there was nothing there despite trying EVERYTHING and I do mean everything the lactation consultants had to offfer (Fenugreek is nasty when burped up in case you ever wanted to know! Even with the medical reasons I encountered moms who were ruthless… Thank God for a great and supportive husband, family, pediatrician, and my own doctor (a PA actually) who told me she has two kids-one BF the other formula fed, and she was of the opinion that the formula fed one was actually smarter. :-) I also love that you are a postpartum ass kicker… I’m right there with you. Thanks again!

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april May 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

great post. Although I wanted and tried hard to breastfeed, it just didn’t happen long term. I bottle fed the exact way you did and I loved feeding my son and bonded with him beautifully. Bonding doesn’t happen when your baby puts his mouth to your breast, it happens when you both look lovingly into one another’s eyes and share that beautiful moment of closeness. Thank you for helping support those mamas who cannot or choose not to breast feed.

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Jessica May 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Thank you so much for posting this. I am FF my son when he arrives in July. Most of my reasons are pruely selfish but I stand firm that my choices are mine to make.

I have received zero push back from my doctor, my future pediatrican or my family members. By lord have mercy, the general public. Why does everyone feel the need to ask me how I’m feeding my child? And then judge me for my decisions…. geez!

Am I judging them for having McDonald’s for lunch or sucking down that 5th cup of coffee? I dont’ think so.

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Ingrid May 25, 2012 at 1:43 am

THEY ARE JUDGING YOU FOR PUTTING YOUR NEEDS BEFORE YOUR CHILD

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Kristin @ What She Said May 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

You’re knocking them out of the park this week, BA. Thanks for this post, especially in the wake of that ridiculous TIME Magazine cover. While I did choose to breastfeed, my daughter self-weaned at 7 months old – an act that broke my heart and sent me spiraling into postpartum depression due to feelings of inadequacy and guilt (which were perpetuated by written propaganda from the supposedly “supportive” La Leche League). Two years later and emotionally healthy again, I now understand that it wasn’t my fault. For some, breastfeeding (and how long to do it) is not a choice at all. For others, it IS a choice – the key word there being “choice.” You’ve provided some excellent tips here for mothers who make the perfectly legitimate choice to formula feed their babies. And I for one am thrilled to see the other side of attachment parenting – aka more conventional methods – being represented in the blogosphere. After all, as long as our society is hellbent on breaking our parenting choices down into “styles,” I feel both sides should get due recognition.

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R's Mom May 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Kristin (& BA) — Your comment just hit the nail on the head of something I have struggled with but have not been able to articulate since R was 5 months old (almost 2 years to the day) — and I feel like a huge burden was lifted. Breastfeeding is not a choice that everyone can make; formula feeding was not a choice for me, but was a necessity.

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Christina May 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I find this post 100% unnecessary. I breast fed. You bottle fed. We both have healthy happy children. When we stop putting our choices on a pedestal and stop pitting the benefits of one over the other, then we’ll realize that really we all do what we feel is right and is best.

If your maternal instinct led you to the bottle vs the boob, then so what. What does it matter at the end of the day? I don’t think bottle feeding moms need anyone to defend them and I don’t think breastfeeding moms to either.
Ultimately if you’re sound with your decision, then there’s no need to sound off on it. I hate these posts in general because no matter what , someone is feeling defensive and it just perpetuates the mom-wars

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Jennifer May 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Dude. We get it. You formula fed. I think YOU are more hung up on this than anyone else. Isn’t Harrison like 3? Give it a rest, already.

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sara mcfall May 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm

We are just over a month away from our last formula bottle! I can’t wait!! I keep hoping I have enough formula already bought to get us to that point so that I don’t have to buy anymore.

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Courtney May 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm

BA – Your blog is struggling a bit. Not sure if it’s the new job, upcoming move, or your obligations with Babble. Lately your posts have taken a hit.

If you felt the need to trot out the breast vs. formula debate, then it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate. It’s ok to take a break every once in awhile to recharge.

I think you are losing readership and are trying to drum up some sort of reaction with this tired old debate.

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heirtoblair May 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Courtney, it’s not to drum up a debate.

As you see by the Huggies icon at the top, this is part of the Huggies campaign that I am writing for over the next few months where it’s not a review of any product, but rather sharing stories of motherhood. This months topics surrounded feeding, schedules, etc. as last month’s topics discussed diaper bags. ::shrugs:: They asked me to write a post about any tips I had regarding formula feeding & I wrote it.

I tried very carefully to steer away from any language that might start controversy. But I didn’t mind writing it because I do think it’s nice to see support for formula feeding moms when there is so much support over blogs for breastfeeding (which I never mind reading). I’m not sure where the controversy is coming from by me suggesting to use 4oz bottles or to remember that how you feed your baby doesn’t matter as long as you’re feeding your baby. I’m sorry if any of my language in the post seemed to pick a fight. It was not my intention.

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Courtney May 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Well, i guess we will agree to disagree because I think the entire last paragraph was meant to drum up a reaction.

And if you have to tell a mom how to put formula in a bottle with water and shake it up, then there is no hope for the world

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heirtoblair May 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm

We will agree to disagree then!

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Turner May 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Hehe. I love people who are mad about this post, when clearly, it is a sponsored post you were ASKED to write.

I breastfed for 3 weeks, had a nervous breakdown, switched to formula and never looked back. My daughter hasn’t ever been sick one day in her 13 months of life.

I don’t understand Moms that stress themselves out in order to BF. That is more harmful to the family, in my opinion. Happy Mommy = happy family!

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Jessica May 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm

As a first time mom, with a little guy due in July, I liked hearing your experiences about bottle feeding.

I have actually wondering about warm, cold or room temp bottles and you answered that question for me.

Everyone who feel the need to be negative, can please remove their panties from their behinds and back away slowly.

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Betty Anne Davidson May 24, 2012 at 8:59 pm

I know it wasn’t quite the purpose of this post, but I definitely think you should mention the hilarity that comes with not breastfeeding and the PORN STAR BOOBS one acquires for a few days when one’s milk comes in. I placed my first child for adoption and therefore did not breastfeed her. I knew there would be a process of milk drying up and all, but I had no idea how completely RIDICULOUS my boobs would look in the mean time, or how badly they would hurt! I needed some levity in my life at that time, so I chose to laugh about it. As a funny-girl, BA, I think you should write about THAT!

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Christina May 24, 2012 at 8:59 pm

is there a way to blow off huggies when they have a subject that you know has either been discussed ad nauseum on your blog or that is of absolutely no interest to your readers? I actually didn’t notice the Huggies thing at top and now I feel like an idiot for having even read this post if any of it is sponosored by crap ass huggies. LMAO! but serious. But still, LMAO

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Violina23 May 24, 2012 at 9:32 pm

As someone who faced a lot of guilt issues over using formula, I happened to really appreciate this post. Formula-feeding was a part of Beth Anne’s motherhood journey, and it was of great interest to me because I relate to a lot of her stories and I wish I was as strong and confident in making my decision as she was.

It’s almost like you’re angry because what she felt like sharing isn’t what you felt like reading… Unless you are paying her to blog for your amusement, I think she can post whatever is on her mind, and you can choose to read/not-read it as you see fit :)

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Christina May 24, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Thanks for explaining that. I wasn’t sure that’s how blogs and any information anywhere worked. PHew. Dodged a bullet there.
Do I seem angry? It was an honest question as i didn’t even know this post was sponsored by huggies.

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Violina23 May 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm

My point was that just because something is of no interest to you doesn’t mean it’s of no interest to anyone else — Regardless of who may or may not be sponsoring the post.

You’ve certainly dedicated an awful lot of words to telling everyone how much a blog post that you don’t find interesting/relevant pisses you off, so sorry if I mischaracterized that as anger!

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Katie May 25, 2012 at 11:03 am

What’s funny to me is how people can read comment threads like this and then say that Time Magazine is way out of line for insinuating that there are “mom wars.”

This is all pretty much an open and shut case (geared more toward the comments than the post itself):

1. When people know that they’ve made the right decision, they do not justify their decision to people whom that decision does not effect, they don’t feel guilt about that decision, and they don’t go around soliciting other people’s opinions about the decision.

On the flip side:

2. When people feel secure about their decisions, they don’t worry about what other people are doing, and don’t go around criticizing other people.

And that’s pretty much how I see this issue and every other issue ever debated in the “mom wars.” And, if we want to end the mom wars, I think mothers need to spend less time arguing about stuff on the internet and more time taking care of their kids IRL. And I include myself in that last sentence. I gotta go take some Midol now. Peace.

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Laura May 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Beautifully written post, BA. It’s nice to see information about and support for formula feeding being spread around the blogosphere, regardless of people’s personal opinions on the subject. Breastfeeding moms get a ton of support, and formula feeding moms should, too.

I exclusively breastfed my first daughter for seven months and partially breastfed her for a further transitional month before exclusively formula feeding her for months 8-12. She’s now a happy, healthy, energetic, and precocious almost-two-year-old with both forms of infant food under her belt.

I am currently still exclusively breastfeeding my second daughter, who is seven months old, and don’t have plans to stop soon. She’s a different case than her sister and I have different reasons for breastfeeding her at this point in her life than I did for her older sister—but I’m not planning to breastfeed her longer than I did her sister because I feel like I “failed” the first time around.

In all honesty, I don’t love breastfeeding. I don’t hate it, either, but, for me, it’s definitely not the euphoric bonding experience it’s cracked up to be. When I weaned my first daughter, the relief I felt in transitioning her to a bottle probably helped our bonding more than any amount of breastfeeding did.

To restate what other commenters have said: mothers make informed decisions as to what is best for their families, and for each individual baby as s/he comes along. For some, that’s formula feeding. For others, that’s breastfeeding. For still others, it’s a mix of both. Do what keeps you sane and healthy. Babies have thriven and will continue to thrive on both formula and breastmilk.

Kudos to moms whose kids are well-fed. Period.

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Kim @ MamaByTheBay May 26, 2012 at 12:53 am

I read your post this morning, and my first thought was “Shit, if this is what happens to big-time bloggers, then I hope to god that I continue to get about 35 page views a day.” I am shocked and horrified by how mean-spirited some of these comments are. This is your blog. This is your career. This is your motherhood, and your truth. Would someone ever go in to an accountant’s office and tell them they are doing their math all wrong? Would someone ever go to their hairdresser and say “You know, your business is really slipping. Do you have fewer clients now? Is that why you’re offering a discount?” I was hurt FOR you when I saw the lack of manners around here, but then I was pissed off because I’m a formula mom too. I wanted to write a blog post about how we didn’t need to feel ashamed for our choices, but I was afraid to. I didn’t want anyone to find me and write comments on my blog that would hurt my feelings. I didn’t want to out myself. I was afraid to stand up for you. And then a friend emailed me today, and she had questions about formula. Questions that she didn’t want our other friends to judge her on. She was embarassed, and confused, and she was just like us. So I did it anyway. I wrote my truth. For her, for me, and for you Beth Anne. Because the only way we can change being branded with the Scarlet F, is by standing up and saying “Me too.” That’s not about page views. It’s about refusing to be bullied. http://mamabythebay.com/2012/05/25/on-formula-failure-and-freedom/

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Jen May 26, 2012 at 1:34 am

Kim, excellent reponse. I breastfeed, but a million times wondered what the grass was like in the formula feeding yard… Thank you for the snapshot. It’s hard being a mom, and it is also lovely. I wish those mommas above “a good day sir” as I cannot stand those types of mean spirited comments. You came here to read, if you don’t like it. Don’t come back.

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Amy May 27, 2012 at 11:24 pm

ahh, the great debate!

i bf my daugther for 15 months. i was lucky enough to be able to do so, and barring everything goes smoothly, i will do the same with the one on the way. we are lucky here in the states that we have the option, and i myself was bottle fed. while it makes me no difference if you choose formula or bf, it does bother me to some degree if you don’t even try it out. it’s not just the “breast is best!” mantra, but it’s a gift to be able to do this for your child. babies have been living off of breast milk since the dawn of man, and i can’t help but wonder what repercussions can/will occur further on down the line- whether it be in the child or mama. bf reduces the risk of ppd. studies have also shown that bf babies weigh less later in life. the list goes on and on, which is why i question why some mama’s don’t even try it. the excuses “i’m too tied down” or “it’s too time consuming” don’t cut it for me. i really, really try not to judge, but i’m very hard headed so when it comes to something i don’t understand i get kinda snarky! :)

i guess i just feel like “who are we to break this chain in the development of humans?” it’s 100% natural to bf, and it seems (to me) like our society is down playing it. like it’s saying “do it if you can, but don’t worry about it if it doesn’t work out.” i do feel the same way, but only if you’ve given it everything you could. more than just a week or two. ladies have been able to do it since forever, so are we saying we aren’t as strong these days? i highly doubt that! many women work outside the home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try it during your mat leave, right? bottom line is there is no harm in trying, and unless you have some medical condition or treatment which discourages you from bf, i see no logical reason why you can’t whip out a boobie!

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Stacey June 7, 2012 at 10:51 pm

To me Amy, that is the whole point. I get what you are saying and I get your beliefs and respect them…..but people who decide to feed however they think is best do not need to offer anyone else “a logical reason “for their decision. It is absolutely no one else’s business. No one needs to justify anything to anyone else.

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Laura June 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Fabulous post. I just discovered your blog and it’s great. Thank you for your openness and your honesty. I hate hate hate the breastfeeding pressure that is out there in the media and in the medical community. Like you said, you are feeding your baby. Period. And formula is super healthy! Good for you for being open about your decision, and for standing up for the choice you made.

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