Bottle Blues

10.21.2010
My days as a stay-at-home mommy are numbered. My little girl is quickly approaching the five-and-a-half month mark and I will be home with her until just around eight-and-a-half months. This in itself is super sad and scary to me, but the thing that is most on my mind these days is the bottle. No, not that bottle - the BABY bottle.


I know that I don't want to wait until the last minute to wean Violet from breastfeeding, as I don't want to take away both her mommy being home and nursing with her mommy all at once. I know that I should very soon begin this process. The (small) side of my brain that is still logical tells me this, but my (much larger) emotional side keeps screaming, "Don't do it!!!"

And no, this has nothing to do with the whole 'breast is best' debate that rages between formula feeding and breastfeeding mommies, so please don't go all commando on me. You see, I know many many babies who are formula fed and are happy, healthy, beautiful little cutie pies. I think that Violet will continue to grow and thrive just fine on formula. The problem is really me. I. just. can't. let. go...



Maybe part of it is that beginning the switch means that I am accepting the fact that I have to go back to work (which as much as I love my job, I just really dread leaving my baby). Or maybe it's the fact that we finally have the hang of this whole breastfeeding thing. Maybe I'll miss the closeness and the cuddling time that I get with my sweetie. Or maybe I just have absolutely no clue what to do with a bottle - I mean, will it put her back to sleep at night like nursing does? What do I do if I go somewhere - do I bring a mixed bottle along and keep it cold or do I just bring some formula and a bottle of water? What if she needs it to be warmed? How do I do that when I'm on the go? Which formula should I buy? Why do my bottles always look cloudy when I take them out of the dishwasher? Will that hurt her? How do I go about weaning? Cold turkey or take it slowly? There are SOOO many unknowns and it SCARES THE BEJEEZUS out of me.



I know that some of you are probably wondering why I don't just pump while I'm at work. Well some jobs just aren't conducive to pumping. Like mine for example. I'm a teacher. I can't really say to my class - hey guys, I have to go and pump - I'll be back in half an hour. Be good!!! Haha, the thought of that just makes me chuckle... Plus you know how pumps and I get along.

Anyway, as you can see I'm freaking out a little bit over here. I'm sure I'm making a WAY bigger deal out of this than I should be, and it will probably be an easier transition than I expect it to be. At least I hope so. If you have any tips or advice from me I would sooo greatly appreciate it!

Have a great weekend - you're the best!





P.S. If you could spare two clicks to vote for wtc on Top Baby Blogs I would be forever grateful! They've reset the votes and I'm super excited to currently be in the top 50! Thanks for your continued support :) You can vote once per day!

14 comments:

  1. When I was weaning my baby girl, we switched out breastfeeding for formula one feeding at a time starting when she was about 6 months old. That gave my body and my baby time to adjust. We kept breastfeeding at night until 12 months when she finally dropped her last night feed. You could always keep breastfeeding in the mornings/evenings even if you're working, so don't put too much pressure on yourself to make the switch so soon! Take it slow and it will work out fine!

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  2. Lauren, As a former breast-feeding mom of two, I also encourage you to wean one feeding at a time just as Elise suggested. It is important to remember that you don't have to think of this in black and white terms. It is easier for your body to adjust and healthier for your daughter to combine bottle feeding during the day with nursing when the times are convenient like, in the morning and evening.

    Also, if she isn't used to the bottle, she may balk at taking a bottle from you... Your husband may have more luck if this is the case.

    I wish you all the best! It is a stressful transition, but it will go well! :)-- Also, I so enjoy your blog! Thanks!

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  3. Hi, Lauren! I've had milk production issues from Day One and just decided that nursing at morning and night work best for me. It is a way I can provide a decent amount of milk for my daughter, we can still have that "closeness" and it is something I can continue when I'm back to work. I actually nurse in the early evening, but her last feeding and night-time feedings are from a bottle. The bottle DOES put her right back to sleep. On the go, we take bottles of water with a container of pre-measured formula (they sell these at Target and such). She doesn't mind room temp water, so we don't heat. We've tried a variety, but Elyse does well on the Costco/Kirkland brand formula. It is good formula and very inexpensive. We just scrub our bottles with hot water and detergent and put them in the dishwasher from time to time. If they are cloudy, I'd just scrub them out afterward. I agree with the earlier comments on weaning, start a feeding a day and have your husband do it. Good luck - I totally get how scary this all is. I'm with you as my daughter is only six weeks!!

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  4. Unsolicited advice from a person you don't know! Don't you love that?

    I'm just going to echo the earlier posts -- many, many women continue their nursing relationship after going back to work! If you want, you can nurse at night and on the weekends. You don't want to go from nursing on demand all day to not nursing/pumping at all on your first day back at work, though! Take is slow and easy and it'll be better for both you and your babe :)

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  5. Thanks so much ladies. I was kind of thinking of it as an all or nothing type of thing. You have definitely all helped me to feel better about the whole thing - thank you sooo much!!! Any more bottle tips will be greatly appreciated.

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  6. I just wanted to say that by 8.5 months, you can easily continue nursing your baby when you get home from work and at night, without nursing her or pumping in the day time. Your body will adjust to no day-time nursing, and your baby will adjust to waiting until you're around for mama milk. You may want to start cutting down on daytime nursing a few weeks before you go back to school, just so your body will get used to the reduced production. That way, you won't be dealing with engorgement when teaching. It's fine for her to have formula (or even a bit of food) during the day and breastmilk in the evenings and on weekends. I hope you'll consider trying this out, especially since you seem so sad about weaning. This way, you can wean her slowly, over time, when you are both ready.

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  7. I think your logical thinking is SPOT ON! I ignored that side of my brain when I returned to teaching with my 9 month old son (I'd be able to pump at school! No problem!). Well, that was a bad move, and I was really overwhelmed starting back to teaching with my mom watching my son who was refusing formula and me without any time during my school day to pump (even though the administration was supportive, it was completely impractical to think I would have time in the already jam-packed day to pump). It was a stressful return for everyone involved, and it eventually led to fully weaning because I just didn't plan well enough (and frankly, I was ok with that by the time the reality set in because I was so exhausted from attempting to keep up while returning to school). You know we are behind you 100% in making good choices for little V! Don't fret too much, but know that you are doing the right thing in starting early!

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  8. Renee - I tried to delude myself about the pumping at work thing for a while, but there is absolutely no way it would be possible. Thanks for the encouragement and advice! :)

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  9. Hi Lauren - I am back at work after two weeks and I am lucky to be someone who can pump at my job. I just want to say that my favorite part of the day is when I come home and my daughter just wants to nurse nurse nurse! It is the best way to relax after working. I hope the same for you!

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  10. I just finished weaning my son and this piece of advice on the transition *really* helped: start by dropping one feeding from the middle of the day, and then work your way "out," one feeding at a time, dropping one feeding per week. Taking it slowly helps you and Violet adjust and greatly reduces your chances of getting mastitis or having other issues. My little guy did just fine with it and I'm sure Violet will, too. Good luck!

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  11. Hi, I'm new here :)
    After having to find a new kind of bottle for my second son, gasp-who knew babies were so opinionated right?!, I found the awesomeness that is the glass bottle. For 10 months, we only had one bottle break (grandma dropped it on the driveway) and they are so easy to clean! I washed them by hand with a brush and popped them into the dishwasher once a week for sanitation assurance. We ended up using the Evenflo bottles without a rubber grip and never had a problem with holding them, me or babe. And as for making a bottle onthe go- my son HAD to have a warm bottle (ok so maybe I spoilled him a little). I would microwave the bottle with the water only until it was almost boiling, then I put it in a bottle coozie, which also helped protect it from falls while out and about, and it stayed warm for 3hrs. I've found that formula mixes better in warm water anyway so it worked for me. We ended up liking Enfamil better, though my oldest son did soy Similac, and the SAMs Club formula is supposed to be almost identical and very cost friendly. It worked great for my little guy anyway :). Good luck with your transition!!! You've gotten some great advice already and I'm sure you and Violet will figure out what works best for the two of you without any trouble :)

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  12. This is actually a breastfeeding question. Did you end up ditching the nipple shields at some point? Did breastfeeding generally get easier when Violet was a certain age?

    I ask because I have a 5 week old boy, and we've had various issues: he doesn't latch so we use a nipple shield, I got mastitis, and he's been very slow to gain weight (possibly due to the shield). I've heard that babies get better at breastfeeding around 6-8 weeks and I wonder what your experience was.

    Love your blog, and I've voted for you!

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  13. Hi Allison - We are still going strong with the nipple shield. I've tried to ditch it a few times with no luck. I've heard shields can cause supply issues, so that could definitely be contributing to the problem you're having.

    As far as breastfeeding in general, it has definitely gotten much easier and she has gotten much better at breastfeeding as she has gotten older.

    I don't know what I would do if I had issues like yours - I am of the opinion that although breastfeeding has its benefits, a happy and healthy mom and baby are most important. And if you need to switch to formula in order for that to happen, by all means do so. Do what's best for you and your baby, and best of luck to you!

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  14. Hi Allison - We are still going strong with the nipple shield. I've tried to ditch it a few times with no luck. I've heard shields can cause supply issues, so that could definitely be contributing to the problem you're having.

    As far as breastfeeding in general, it has definitely gotten much easier and she has gotten much better at breastfeeding as she has gotten older.

    I don't know what I would do if I had issues like yours - I am of the opinion that although breastfeeding has its benefits, a happy and healthy mom and baby are most important. And if you need to switch to formula in order for that to happen, by all means do so. Do what's best for you and your baby, and best of luck to you!

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