Bottle Feeding: Let’s Stop Shaming It!

Since everyone is going absolutely CRAZY over breast feeding this month (I have nothing against it, Promise), I figured I’d start my feeding series off with the bottle.

Unfortunately, everyone is not able to nurse their baby or maybe a nursing mom is just unable to.  She may be working, latch issues, baby is in the hospital (premie maybe), etc.  Well thank goodness we live in times with alternatives.
I am simply going to list what is entailed (good and not so good) when a parent chooses to use the bottle.
1. Types of Bottles- there are sooooooo many different types of bottles on the market it can be overwhelming.  Choosing a bottle in my opinion is really a matter of preference for the parent more so than the newborn, for if milk is coming out a baby will suck. Many bottles claim different features, but at the end of the day, you turn the bottle upside down, the baby suck, milk comes out, and some air will go in REGARDLESS of the bottle.  When it’s all said and done, you burp them and go on about your business.
2. Cleaning-Bottles have to be throughly cleaned to avoid germs, and the only bottle that can be sanitized via the old-fashioned method of boiling is glass bottles.  The least hassles are the Playtex with drop-ins.  Other bottles have multiple pieces you have to assemble and disassemble when cleaning which can be tedious.  There are bottle cleaning kits you can purchase, but hot soapy water with a bottle brush will do just fine.
3. Anyone Can Feed the Baby!- This means the nurses after you deliver, dear old dad, grandparents, siblings etc!  The act of feeding is not left entirely up to you, giving you the opportunity to rest, run errands, work uninterrupted, or to simply take a break if so desired.  This is an area where bottle feeding really frees mom up to handle business.

4. Preparation of Bottles- Bottles do require mixing of formula and powder and heating before actually feeding the baby.  There are ready made formulas available, however, they do not last long after opening depending if you buy the individual bottles or the large bottles.  The individual bottles are good for 24 hours after opening, and an hour after the baby has fed from it.  After the recommended time has passed, you have to throw it away.  The larger ready made bottles are good for 48 hours after opening and have to be refrigerated.

5. More to carry in diaper bag- When bottle-feeding, you have to carry water, the formula (there are handy containers available), and the bottles, which will add weight to your diaper bag.

6. Formula- All formulas are not made for every baby, hence some babies go through several different formulas until they find one that suits their digestive system right, and there are MANY different formulas on the market.  In the meantime, you may have some rough days and night due to gas, constipation, colic, reflux, and/or upset stomach.

7. Feed your baby without EYES- Bottle feeding is a method that is obviously accepted universally, and you can feed your baby anywhere, anyplace, anytime without having to find cover, reach for a cover, or cover up.  You don’t have to worry about stares, questions, possibly being put out of establishments if your views differ and so forth.  Let’s face it we all heard the stories.

With every decision we make as parents, we will always upset someone somewhere. Just remember to make the decision that is best for you and your baby.

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