This post was originally published at Christine Keys.
I’ve often weighed the pros and cons of breastfeeding versus bottle feeding (both with formula and/or breast milk). With my first child, I came to a simple solution.
The solution was simply to try breastfeeding. If it worked, great. If it didn’t, I’d try pumping and bottle feeding. If that didn’t work, I’d move on to formula.
My thoughts and considerations on breastfeeding, pumping, and formula when it came to my first baby:
- The science shows us that breast milk has added immune boosting benefits that formula doesn’t have.
- Breastfeeding was going to be free, and I very much appreciated saving money with a new baby to plan for.
- I knew from reading stories, that breastfeeding could be very difficult. I was mentally ready to have challenges, and was ok with making the decision to move on to formula if need be.
- A breast pump was free through my insurance carrier.
- I wasn’t honestly sure that I wanted to have a tiny human sucking on my nipples. I envisioned feeling much like a cow being milked…
- I valued having help in the middle of the night. I didn’t want to be the only one able to feed our child.
- With our scientific advancements, formula is a great option and completely ok to use!
With this in mind, I came to this prioritization and order:
- I would try breastfeeding and give it my best shot.
- I would also pump and create a freezer stash, so my husband would be able to assist me with feedings at times. (Dads…here are even more ways you can help.)
- I’d read about latch issues when baby was also on a bottle, so the plan was to wait a few weeks until introducing the bottle.
- If breastfeeding was too much of a challenge, I was ok to make the switch to formula.
With my first child, I was lucky. Breastfeeding was only a bit difficult for the first couple of weeks. Our daughter had a great latch. It just took my nipples a bit to adjust to their new function in life.
I attribute our success mostly to the Babywise method. The Babywise method helped to get us on a schedule.
I know most people go into breastfeeding thinking that you have to feed on demand. Had I fed on demand, however, I honestly don’t think I would have made it a full year.
Breastfeeding on a schedule helped my supply, it helped my sanity, and it especially helped my daughter.
She slept better because of Babywise, and she ate better. (Instead of snacking all day, she got in good full feedings when I directed her to do so).
As I now make the consideration of if I want to breastfeed my next child, I am suddenly struck with new questions and thoughts.
My thoughts and considerations on breastfeeding, pumping, and formula for my next child:
- Breastfeeding is time consuming. While I know we’ll be on a schedule and have relatively set times throughout the day, I still have another child to care for.
- Pumping in addition to breastfeeding (like we did the first time), would create an even bigger time suck on our day. Again, I have another child to care for!
- I want our older daughter to experience feeding her younger brother. He needs to be on bottles in order for this to happen.
- I still want help from my husband, and I also want him to have the feeding experience. It’s such a sweet moment to bond.
- I still want to save money.
- I still want to reap the immune boosting benefits of breast milk.
- I had a love hate relationship with breastfeeding. Sometimes I hated it and wanted to be done. Sometimes I loved it and enjoyed the bonding time. Stopping at one year was shockingly harder than I’d anticipated it would be.
Clearly I have no set direction here! LOL!
So, with my mind all over the place on this topic, here is my plan with my next child:
- Figure it out as I go
I know this probably sounds so ridiculous, but it’s the honest truth. With more than one child, it just has to be that way.
I know full well that plans are great when it comes to things like this, but I also have to just wait and see what our time looks like and how things go.
Ok for real, here’s the order and my thinking (knowing full well this might change):
- Give breastfeeding a shot again. It may or may not go as smoothly with this child.
- Definitely implement the Babywise method to help breastfeeding go more smoothly.
- Find and clean my breast pump. I even qualify at this point for another free one. So I might donate the older one and order the new free one.
- See if I have time to create a small freezer stash. Maybe even just one bottle per day. This will give both my husband and daughter a chance to feed the new baby.
- Save any free formula samples I get my hands on, and perhaps do one feeding per day that is formula (starting after a few weeks). Pumping might prove to be too time consuming with a toddler running around.
- Go with the flow. Life with more than one child is just going to throw curve balls my way!