Having a child, for the first time can be something that you are questioning everything about. There are so many different topics that you need to discuss along the way that it can be over whelming to say the last. One of the hardest things you need to decide on is how are you going to feed your new baby. After all, they only do about 3 things for the first few weeks. That being Eat, Sleep, and Poop.
Deciding how you are going to feed your baby is challenging even if you have thought about this many times before. I know for me I was kind of dead set on trying to breast feed my son however in the beginning that was quickly done when I found it far too stressful. I was panicked and worried if my son was actually drinking enough, if I was doing it right. I never really researched it and what I did it seemed to make it look super easy. It is not. It is not as easy as some moms and movies make it look. Breastfeeding is work and it is hard. Not to mention not every baby can pick it up that quickly.
I have also written a blog here about how to normalize formula feeding if you are interested in reading it here. Today is seems so taboo to formula feed because now women who breast feed sometimes snub people who do not. For me, it made me feel ashamed when I choose to switch to formula even after my son was a few days old. We started breast feeding in the hospital. The nurses even give a bit of pressure for you to breast feed because of whatever reason too. Myself and a friend of mine who had given birth a few months before had also thought the same thing when she was there with her son. We were in there for 2 nights and then we went home for one night, and had to come back so my son could be under the lights to tan due to jaundice. Being there the whole time alone because my partner had to go home in the evenings to be with our pets so they wouldn’t go completely insane was hard. When you have a new baby you are legit feeding them every 3 or so hours. Their tiny bellies are so small that they honesty cannot take a whole lot of milk at once. After running on such little sleep because remember, when you breast feed, you are the only one who can do it. Unless you pump and save milk which in the hospital we never really did either. You are doing it solo. When we arrived home I still was stressed out he was not eating that I just said I was done. I wanted us to formula feed which I think my spouse also felt good about because he was also able to help. He could warm bottles, give him one and or I could also. We were no longer tied to just me feeding him. It relieved a lot of stress.
Now as I write this, pregnant with our second son (Which I gave birth to in November, I just schedule blogs ahead for planning!). We have decided to just go right to formula. We think this is again the great choice due to the fact that my partner will not be taking parental until the spring time and he will be able to either take a late night feeding or an early morning feeding before he goes to work so I can get a little bit more sleep. Instead of just me getting up every 3 hours feeding our newest little fella he can take turns with me as well. I feel like there is a relief for me knowing when this baby is born that I will be not fussing and fighting with myself and we will just be going right to formula feeding. There is absolutely nothing wrong with starting with formula feeding even though the media or friends may make you feel that way now.
So where to begin? That is the question. Here are a few things you need to purchase to start:
– Bottle Warmer
– Formula (Powder, Liquid, Concentrate)
– Sanitizer (Personal Preference)
When we had our son we had friends who had given us a bunch of bottles. We used the obviously very small ones to start which were about 4 ounces sometimes 5 and we worked with those. Once our son grew we had to buy larger ones where they were a max of 9 ounces since he was no longer drinking so frequently but drinking more each time. Bottles are all a personal preference on what type you want. However remember, at some point they will also need different nipples based on the flow. I did not know you needed to change nipples for a while so we were a little behind on that!
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A bottle warmer comes in handy because they say that in the microwave it does not evenly heat up the bottles where you can have really hot spots as apposed to the entire thing being warm. Find a warmer that you like though in the beginning you could just use a cup of hot water and then putting the bottle in that as it warms up as well too. His is because you again are only making a few ounces at a time and it will take no time at all to warm up. We only used a cheap 20$ one before and got the same brand but a slightly better model this time. It can take a bit to get the hang of it and how much water you put in for steam and what not but it really is convenient.
Next is formula. Going to the hospital we made sure to have the premade formula where you just buy the nipples and can give them to the baby. This is debatable since a few people online said the hospital provided formula while others said they did not. We got it just in case. Since it is not the brand we will be using we still got it none the less so that way we didn’t look bad when we got there if we had none. There is also some debate that people are not supposed to use powder with newborns for a few months. We used powder formula right off the bat and it was completely fine with our first son. No issues. Once we arrive back home we will also be doing the same things as well too. Also remember, Name brand is not always better. We started with Similac for our son which made him constipated. We switched to the Walmart brand on recommendations from friends and he did just fine on that not to mention it was 10-15$ cheaper as well too. As far as where we live in Canada, standards for formula are pretty standard so we were not really worried about which is better over another one.
Lastly a sanitizer, I know people who did not use this at all. Some people say that they only sanitize the bottles the first few times than they just use soap and water with it. Others have said that they do it every time. We do it every night to the bottles after they are washed however after your young one can start to bring things to their mouth or put their hands around we kind of stopped due to the fact it didn’t really make sense anymore if they were already putting things in their mouth. It really takes no time at all and we used a tray you put with water in the microwave that you can sanitize them relatively quickly.
Which ever formula you choose remember that you are not alone in this. Again, I talk about my struggles and how I think formula feeding should be normalized again here. And whichever brand you choose, follow the instructions! They say not to use boiling water however we always boiled the water and let it cool before mixing formula. It really helps even though the can said you could just mix it with water. Most cans also come with a specific scoop to use when mixing per so many ounces. If you don`t follow this it could result in constipation or your baby not getting the full nutrients.
Did you jump right into Formula feeding with your child?
Did you feel the stigma when you announced you were skipping breast feeding and going right to formula?
Let me know in the comments below, I’m sure there are a lot of people who feel the same way also too!