Over the past weeks my 10-month-old decided that it was time to leave the breast and move on to bottle-feeding. This was a very sad realization for me as I have enjoyed nursing her very much, but I guess this couldn’t go on for ever.
Now that my baby is drinking formula, I’m discovering more and more why I really liked nursing. Of course the bonding that happens between mom and baby is priceless but more than that, I think there is a certain pride in knowing that your baby is growing healthy because of YOUR milk. Then, there is the help you get shedding baby weight when you nurse. But most importantly, I think, is the convenience of it.
One can virtually nurse anywhere and at any time, granted, if you are in public you always take the risk of being exposed by a squirmy child who doesn’t like to be covered, but still, there is no preparation needed to feed a hungry child.
Now that I’m bottle-feeding, I feel like I have to carry loads of baby gear everywhere I go. One must always have a clean bottle, water and extra formula (because one can never foresee how many ounces will the baby drink in the next feeding). There is also the time factor. While a nursing mom can soothe a hungry baby in about 30 seconds, a bottle-feeding mom has to find the bottle, pour the water in it, mix the formula, shake it very well and finally feed the baby. It seems too much work to me. Lastly, a nursed baby will drink as much or as little milk as she wants without you having to worry about it; however, a bottle-fed child who normally drinks 4 ounces may, all of the sudden, want 6 or 8 -what if you only brought enough supplies with you to make a 4 ounce bottle?
My conclusion after experiencing this transition is that bottle-feeding is complicated and there is much clean up to take care of after the feeding session too. Although, nursing also has its challenges, I will definitely stick to it when the new baby comes -who wants to be carrying extra baby gear everywhere they go?