The Truth About Formula Feeding
Now that we have made the switch to only using formula with Baby Bird and no breast milk, it seemed like the perfect time to talk about it. As you all know we went through an unexpected emotional turn a while back when we found out that Baby Bird was not putting on weight and was actually losing weight. (You can read about that by clicking here if you haven’t read it.) This had us confused as to what route to take. With so many different opinions being thrown at us, it’s tough to decide what to do, especially with it being our first child. Ultimately, we decided to make the switch to formula and, for us, it was the right decision. But let’s dive into the whole situation that is formula feeding, here we go.
The Public Perception
It seems to be one of those things that not only doesn’t get talked about enough, but often is met with some judgement or discouragement. I think it's safe to say everyone wants their baby to be able to latch on and get all the great nourishment that the breast gives. But what if that is not a possibility for the mom to give that to their baby. We have been told by multiple doctors that breastfeeding problems affect 2 out of every 3 women. That’s over half of the women out there that are having issues with milk production, quality of milk, baby latching, and other associated issues. Yet most of society still frowns upon formula feeding. You hear it from doctors, from friends, from family members, from the general public. It’s almost looked down upon as though you’re doing the wrong thing for your baby if you make the switch to formula. I have heard from friends that some of the doctors they have dealt with were actually a little argumentative about the whole issue and tried to really push the mother to only breast feed, even though there are clear signs that it’s not working, or obvious that Mom is completely emotionally drained. They will offer different feeding schedule approaches or appointments with lactation consultants but sometimes you just have to face the fact that even if you do everything right the milk might not come in. There are so many factors at play and every women is different and their hormones are acting differently. It might not happen no matter if you follow the “proven” steps to get it done. All the while the mother of the child is going through emotional hell because the baby isn’t getting enough food and they feel that pressure weighing on them because it’s considered their job to do it, if they can’t then they feel like a failure, and no mother should go through that at all. I could see the emotional toll it took on Mama Bird and that is something that was so brutal to see, let alone be the one going through it. There is nothing I could do to help, except be there for her emotionally obviously, but I just had to be a bystander in the whole process. Just terrible. Now there are significant benefits to breastfeeding your child and we aren't suggesting to skip it all together without giving it a try. But rather, we are suggesting to take into account the emotional state of Mom as well, and factor that into your decision. There are some great resources out there to help with breastfeeding (some of which we did) and if you feel determined and mentality sound to jump through the hoops then good on you! But if you are already emotional depleted from unsuccessful attempts, know that it is completely okay to switch over.
Pros and Cons
- Convenient, Convenient, Convenient (I’m sure some would argue breast feeding is more convenient but I would disagree completely. Anyone can formula feed, where only Mom can breastfeed - unless she pumps of course)
- Less stress on the mother
- Precise measurement of how much the baby is getting
- Parents have more freedom (You can go on lots of dates :) or do errands, and there will always be enough food to give the baby for whoever is watching the baby)
- No more pumping
- No more need for breast pads
- Gives the father a better opportunity for connection because they can feed the baby more regularly
- Expensive. Breast milk is free. (We have found that Costco has the best deal on Enfamil formula but currently Baby Bird is polishing off two 765g containers in about 10days aka $60.00 every 10days versus free breastmilk)
- The prep (I only put it on here because most people would find it tedious. But the prep and the organizational part of it is great in my mind and would go on the pro side. I know I’m weird ...haha)
- Heating up a bottle away from home (You either bring the bottle warmer or get boiling water from a coffee shop or restaurant - kind of a pain)
- Heating up the bottle in the middle of the night
How To Stay Organized With It
Because there is more prep work needed with formula feeding, you need to make sure you stay on top of it so that it doesn’t overwhelm you. Below are the steps to stay organized with formula feeding.
1. Sterilize all the bottles (Also make sure you have extra bottles. We have 16 so that they last longer but you don’t need necessarily need that many.)
2. Boil a large pot of water to sterilize the water (You have to sterilize it)
3. Fill every bottle except 1 (*I will explain later*). NOTE: Only fill in increments of 60mL. Do not fill completely to the top because the formula scoop ratio is 1 scoop of formula for 60mL of water. ie. The big bottles we have hold 260mL but we only fill them to 240mL.
4. Let the water cool down before putting the lids on.
5. Once the water is cool place bottles in the fridge.
6. Either add the formula to the bottle as needed or make 3-4 bottles in advance so you’re ready to go (always keep in the fridge). Now the bottles are ready for when the baby is hungry
*Why we keep 1 bottle empty. As you will find out formula is very expensive so you do not want to waste it. You will also find out, through trial and error, how much your baby likes to eat. So if you know your baby eats about 200mL in one feeding but the bottle is holding 240mL, you do not want to waste that extra 40mL because you cannot put heated formula back into the fridge. So you pour 40mL into the empty bottle, heat up the 200mL, and if your baby is still hungry then heat up the remaining 40mL. Of course if you don’t care about the wasted 40mL then ignore what I just said haha.
Overall the whole process of formula feeding is much easier and more convenient for us compared to breastfeeding and we definitely recommend it. But what do you think? Do you think it’s more convenient? If you made the switch, did it relieve the stress for you? Let us know in the comments down below. Also don’t hesitate to spread the word about us and our blog, we want to make Two Birds One Blog big in 2018 and reach out to as many awesome people as possible :)
- Papa Bird