To Bottle Feed or Not to Bottle Feed...

Updated on July 02, 2008
C.K. asks from Arlington, TX
95 answers

I am exclusively breast feeding & I must admit, I quite enjoy that time with my little girl but I keep hearing that I should give her breast milk in a bottle otherwise she'll never take the bottle. This is my question though...who cares? Is it that big of a deal if she doesn't suck on a bottle? One person I know makes me feel stupid for not wanting to pump & give my husband a bottle to feed her with, like I'm being controlling or I've lost my identity. The truth is that I am a stay at home mom & after being in the work force for the last 16 years, I feel like I have finally found my dream job. Also, My husband LOVES to cook (and is great at it) & I know that when she turns to solids, he'll take over the feeding so is it selfish of me to want this time with her? She can just go straight to a sippy cup, right?

I find so often that it is frowned upon when a woman chooses to stay home and nurse her baby. I need a little encouragement because for the first time in my life I know exactly what I want to do but sometimes my confidence is shaky and I question whether it's the right thing to do.

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So What Happened?

I'm still nursing exclusively & am very confident in my decision to do so. I know there will come a day when she no longer nursees & I'm so grateful to have this time with her. In fact, she's turning 5 months old in a few days & she is a happy & healthy baby, getting ready to begin solds in a months time, my how time flies! I refuse to live my life based on "what if's", that's just a waste of energy. If the 'what if's" happen, I'll deal with it then. I truly appreciate everyone's advice & have found everyone's input very helpful. Thanks for all the wonderufl feedback!

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P.K.

answers from New York on

I would love to know why everyone is so dead set against
bottles, but love that sippy cup! And the difference is?
They have to suck both to get liquid.

It's great if you stay at home and BF. More power to you.
What about the mothers that have to work. You all sound
crazy. A bottle or formular is not the end of the world.
There are many brilliant, healthy folks running around that
were bottle fed and formula fed. You all need to chill.
Do whatever works. However, if a woman decides to bottle
feed formula,. be supportive. Her child is not going to
drop because of it.

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L.C.

answers from New York on

Hi C., my only thought was that you will not be able to leave her with anyone for the first year, since she would not take a bottle.....if you do not care I guess it does not matter...:)

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T.R.

answers from New York on

Personally, I breastfed both my kids - my daughter for 13 months and my son for 16 1/2. I did initially pump some milk for them and my husband or mother would feed them. However, it eventually got so that I wasn't really gone from them for all that long and it was so much easier than preparing a bottle. Neither one of them after about 4 months would ever take a bottle. They both went straight to the sippy cup without any problems. I found exclusively breastfeeding vs. the bottle was much easier - and cheaper!

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T.W.

answers from Buffalo on

You got a lot of responses and I havent the time to read through them to get an idea what other Moms are feeling. My view is like yours...who cares? Babies arent meant to suck on bottles...bottles are only a substitute for Mom...they arent necessary, never have been, never will be. If it is ever a concern that you need to be away from your baby (illness, accident, etc...) there isnt any reason she cant have a sippy cup, or a regular cup. I exclusively nursed my last baby (now 18 months and just weaned) and he never had a bottle. WOULDNT take a bottle...no skin off my nose. He is supposed to nurse, and I am supposed to be available to nurse. It worked for us and I loved it and regret nothing. I will do the same with all future babies. Good luck!

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K.S.

answers from New York on

I think it is so wonderful that you are able to stay home with your little girl!! I do not think you are being selfish- I felt the same exact way. Only problem would be if you ever wanted to go out, or would have to be away from your daughter for even one feeding. It would be best for her to be able to take a bottle--only if needed of course.

I exclusively breastfed my daughter, but after a few months I went to work part time :( and I pumped for her. I will tell you that even though her father never said anything before, once he was able to feed her the breastmilk from a bottle he told me that he had been waiting to do that since I was pregnant and he was so happy that he was able to. Fathers can get a little jealous, but be afariad to admit it even when you ask. But you know your hubby better than anyone else.

If you are afraid that she will like it better, or something like that (I definitely feared this) I can tell you that in my situation it only made her enjoy it more. She realized what she missed if she couldn't. There's nothing better than that bond, and as young as they are, they know that.

Good luck. And be selfish if you want :) no harm there!

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D.G.

answers from New York on

I just want you to know that I totally argee with you. Don't listen to what those other people have to say. I am also a stay at home mom to a 15 month old boy and I have another on the way. I fully intend on breastfeeding this one too and since I am home, I see no need to "train" my baby to take the bottle. If you are willing to take on all feedings at this stage, then I see no need for the baby to learn to take a bottle. In fact a friend of mine who had a baby recently is exclusively breastfeeding. Her little boy is now 10 months old and never took a bottle! He is going straight to a sippy cup! So keep your head up and don't let others ruin your special time with your precious baby. They grow up so fast.

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S.S.

answers from Glens Falls on

There are so many different opinions on raising babies and I think it is because so many different things work for different people.

My child raising theory has become: if it works for your family and it is not harmful then it is the right thing for your family.

The ONLY concern I would have in your situation is that IF there is ever an emergency (family, medical, etc) and you need to be separated from your daughter for some amount of time she might not eat. I think I might give her 1 bottle a week just so she would take it if necessary. (But I wouldn't admit it to the people who are giving you a hard time!)
I only mention that because my friend breast fed exclusively but when her father was suddenly in intensive care she couldn't bring the baby in and so she couldn't spend time with her sick father because the baby wouldn't take a bottle.

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A.W.

answers from Glens Falls on

i exclusively breastfed and it was the best ever. my daughter quit nursing 3 months shy of her 3rd bday and let me tell you, taking things at a slow, child led pace made things so easy for us. she never had a bottle and while i had friends suggest to pump, a year flew by so quickly i never got around to it. if you don't have to and don't want to, then don't. my feeling was that i would never get that time back, i had no desire to go out and play, i got that stuff out in my twenties. of course, if i have another baby, maybe i would do things differently because the dynamics change, but i'm so proud that my daughter never had or needed a bottle.

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K.G.

answers from Rochester on

My dd took a bottle, but I had no clue why I bothered. I gave her a total of 6 and said "forget this!" My two sons never had one single bottle. It's unnecessary.
Daddy can do ANY of the other stuff...change diapers, rock, walk the floors, sing lullabies, bathe, dress and bring baby to mama when hungry.

And if there is ever an emergency, there are plenty of other ways to feed a BF baby. Supplemental Nurser system, medical tubing taped to the finger, syringe, cup (even newborns are cup fed at the hospital!) and who knows what else is possible. And if the worst happens and something terrible happens to you, baby will be put on formula and hate the test anyway. So, it's not really worth it to plan for the worst, IMO.

Although I did plan. My husband had strict instructions to take my kids to either of my two best friends to be BF or I'd come back from the grave and kick his butt. Lol.

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E.E.

answers from New York on

I feel the same way. My son is 4 months old and he doesn't like taking a bottle and since I'm a SAHM, I don't mind. My sister-in-law also never was able to get her daughter to take a bottle and now she is a happy, healthy, extremely smart 2-year old. I still pump from time to time, especially if he sleeps through the night and I am overfull and he has already eaten. That way I do have some milk saved in the freezer so my MIL can feed him if we go out, but we are usually gone only 2-3 hours (enough for dinner or a movie) so it's not a problem. The only time when it can be difficult is if we want to go out somewhere without him for longer than that. He will drink only about 1 or 2 ounces. I would suggest trying to get out for dinner or a movie just for the sake of your relationship with your husband, but as long as you are only gone for 2-3 hours, it will be fine. Don't listen to those who try to make you feel silly. Your daughter is getting the best nutrition and love from you by breastfeeding her. For thousands of years, people fed their babies this way and it was not a problem, so if you don't want to give her a bottle, and you are both happy with the way things are, there is no need.

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C.R.

answers from Syracuse on

I nursed all 5 of my kids and the last 2 never took a bottle, who really cares...unless you want/need the freedom to leave the house while baby is still young(without baby that is)then why bother...you can introduce a cup when you introduce solids anyway...I loved nursing as well, it made me sit down and enjoy my baby even with (with the last 2) all the chaos around...(I had 5 in 7 years) as with everything in motherhood it's a balancing act...you'll try sevral ways to do things and settle on what works for you and your family...don't feel guilty or torn about it....It's your life, no one else has to live with the choices but you and your family, and if they work for you, go with it..."if it ain't broken, don't fix it" applies.
Good luck! C.

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A.G.

answers from New York on

HI!!! I am a SAHM and breast fed my daughters too! Sierra until she was 14 months old and Isabella until 18 months old. They never had a bottle that whole time and we both loved the nursing. At about 9 months old I did start some solids but the breast feeding continued. Don't let anyone make you feel bad!!! Good for you and good for your baby if you choose to breast feed. It cuts back your risk of breast cancer as well!!! It was my time to snuggle and hold my daughters and I'm glad it was an opportunity we had. It is also more economically easy and you never have to buy or clean bottles or buy formula. For Moms that must or choose to pump or use formula that is the right choice for them. If you choose to breast feed that is the right choice for you!!! Please know that you are doing the right thing for you and your baby and don't let ANYONE tell you different. Enjoy the time together! It doesn't last all that long and they will be big and independent before you know what happened.!!!!! A.

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M.A.

answers from New York on

Hold your ground on what you believe and are comfortable with. I am currently nursing my 3rd child and just the same as my first 2, we have gotten him able to take a bottle of breast milk. This sometimes gives me a chance to teach the violin lessons in the afternoon, gives my kids and husband a chance to bond with the baby by feeding him, plus if I need to be somewhere else without the baby (like a 100 degree picnic), my parents or inlaws can feed him. Plus babies start holding the bottle at around 4 months, like a practice for sippy cup. But that is what works for me. I am very active in my kids school and at church, so everyone needs to be flexible, even babies. I have friends who have never done a bottle for their child and everything turned out fine. So don't worry and hold your ground!

P.G.

answers from Elmira on

YEAH stay at home breast feedin mama!!

You are right to do what feels best to you and our baby responds best to. Breast feed for as long as you need to. Stay at home until they go to school. Those first few formative years are so important.

If you want to give her a bottle with your husband for bonding, I say just water. Babies do not
NEED juice. My daughter is 14 months old and still breast feeding. She has a sigg water bottle to drink from (prior to that the born free sippy cup). She did well with each.

I had pumped two small bottles of breast milk and kept in the freezer for an emergency. We never needed them. But, if a baby is hungry enough, in an emergency, they will drink the bottle. There is no need to 'get them used to it' in my opinion.

Anyway, good for you mama. Enjoy your time, take it all in. It goes by so fast.

-P.

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M.A.

answers from New York on

I say forget the bottle! I'm a stay at home mom to a 2yo and an 8mo. With my first child, i pumped every night so he would have at least one bottle a day. i hated pumping, and that one bottle of milk, rarely gave me much freedom. with my second child, i pumped in the beginning and tried the bottle, but she flat out refused it. i decided i really didn't mind only breast feeding her and gave up pushing the bottle. of course i got some comments from friends and my mother in law, but i let it go, this was my decision. my husband and i still go out on the weekends. i nurse by baby around 6:30 and put her down or the baby sitter puts her to sleep and we go out. of course there are few instances where it would make life easier if she took a bottle, but these are so few, i'm still happy with my decision. do what makes you happy, she won't be breast feeding for ever!

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D.

answers from New York on

To breastfeed or not is a very personal decision. And no one has the right to make you feel bad about the choice you made. I breastfeed both my kids for as long as I could. And since I work full time I couldn't exclusively breastfeed them for as long as I'd have liked. However, this is your choice and your child. It's not true that she will never take a bottle. It's not true that you'll have a hard time with the sippy. The only thing that makes it difficult is for you to be away from your daughter for any length of time. But this is a very personal choice. Don't let anyone make you feel like you've made a bad choice when it comes to your child. You have to raise her, they don't. Next time they say something stand up for yourself. Tell them "this is my choice and my child. I've heard your opinion and it's not the same as mine. So either keep it to yourself, or keep you mouth shut."

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J.P.

answers from Syracuse on

I am breastfeeding my 13 month old. She doesn't need to take a bottle. I never left her until she was old enough for eating jar food. I just scheduled my time away from her when she would get jar food and a sippy cup with water. Keep nursing her. She does not need a bottle. I found that it was just one less thing I had to ween her from as she got older. She went right from breast to cup. Instead of breast to bottle to cup. It was just easier. I am still breastfeeding her but not as ofter. I plan to go until she is 2 or until she decides she is finished. Do not listen to people who say you have to get her used to the bottle. I had a friend who was breastfeeding her daughter. She had to have emergency surgery and couldn't breastfeed any more. After the first day her daughter took a bottle just fine. So don't listen to people who may tell you "What if something should happen to you. It would be easier on who ever had to care for her if she was already on a bottle". I heard that alot and ignored the people who said it. Most of the flack I got was from people who didn't breastfeed and found it unnatural. Listen to your instincts and your heart. Ignore everyone else. Just thank them for their advice and say that you already made the decision that is right for your family. Not sure if this made sense but I get very heated when people try to encourage breastfeeding mothers to give their children bottles. We work so hard to get the breastfeeding started and to keep going with it. Why interrupt that with a bottle? Keep doing things the way you want to do them!!

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S.H.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

Please don't let other moms or anyone for that matter make you question how you parent your child. You do what works for you and your family! I must admit, I envy you a bit as I have an 11 month old daughter and was unable to breast feed Lord knows I tried but it just didnt work for me. I also have to work which I dread leaving my little girl each and every morning, but its what I have to do for my family. You sound like a very proud and happy mama. Enjoy every moment doing things how you want to do them with your baby!

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B.F.

answers from Rochester on

You are making the choices that best work for your family. It would be different if your husband asked to do the feedings, but if everyone likes the way things are working now - honestly who cares what anyone else thinks. I breastfed my first until 6 months. He just had too many teeth and 17 yrs ago I wasn't aware of nipple shields. He went right to a bottle w/o hesitation. I breast fed by second until he was 1. I treasured that time w/him and so what if I was being selfish. There are lots of other things my ex did. For instance bath time was really their thing together. At 9 months even though I was breastfeeding I did introduce juice in a bottle because it was a hot summer. It wasn't always a matter of being hungry at that point, sometimes it was just thirsty. He was on solids, still nursing and had no problem taking a bottle. Again 11 yrs ago they weren't recommending sippy cups as early as they do now, but in retrospect he prob could have had one!!!

I am remarried and we are expecting my 2nd husband's only child. He is very involved w/my boys and has indicated a huge involvment w/the baby. I think I will prob pump so that he can feed the baby. For us that is a personal choice. He is an early riser (I think it's a genetic defect - who gets up at 5:00 a.m. - who can't sleep in???), so if he wants to get up early w/baby on weekends and I can sleep in, I intend to become very close w/the pump!!!! I imagine by the time I get up at 9:00 or 10:00 the baby will be ready for a morning nap. I think that will be a nice break for me. Again though it's a personal choice and you need to do what works best for your family. Don't worry about what other people think. I am sure there are those that will think I am lazy for letting my husband take care of the baby on Sunday mornings. Trust me while I know my husband is more than capable and I am getting some solid hours of sleep - honestly do you really think I am going to care what they think - HELL NO!

Best of luck to you!

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C.S.

answers from Syracuse on

Short answers: No, it's not a big deal if she doesn't learn to suck an artificial nipple.

No, it's not selfish of you to want this special time with your baby.

YES, she can go straight from the breast to a cup (sippy or no). My 1st baby had latch issues and she ended up being cup-fed for a while. Babies adapt remarkably quickly (and well) to drinking from a cup.

When that person tries to make you feel stupid for not wanting to pump so your DH can feed the baby, just calmly say, "I know you disagree, but I've made my decision and will not discuss it further." If she continues, change the subject or leave the room.

You are doing the right thing for you & your baby! So many women want to be able to stay home full time, but simply can't for one reason or another. You are one of the fortunate ones!

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R.S.

answers from Syracuse on

Enjoy the time! Who knows, maybe you will want to have more freedom in the future and let someone else feed her, but for now, the choice you made sounds natural and your husband is supportive? I had to stop nursing and after a bit, I will say, it was nice to let someone else have the chance to feed her. Everyone is different and some babies reject a bottle anyway. And some love it and don't go back to nursing. If you have found your groove, keep at it.

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L.D.

answers from New York on

Keep on keeping on! You sound happy and like you are enjoying being a mom. I fed my son without using a bottle and he went right to the sippy cup without a problem. The only concern in her not taking a bottle is if you need to have someone else watch her. My son was fine with the periodic bottle feeding, but it's good to know ahead of time how she will react in the event you would like a night to go out alone with your husband.

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K.W.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,
I exclusively breastfed my daughter for 14 months and never regretted it for a second. I actually received the opposite response from friends and family. Everyone thought it must be a lot of hard work and admired my decision but I thought it was the easiest thing in the world. I never had to worry about bottles, nipples etc.
I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with my second and have struggled with the decision to either exclusively breastfeed or try to pump to allow my daughter and husband to feed the baby. I don't want to take that away from them so I may try a bottle here and there.
I always say trust your own instinct - you know what is best for you, your family and your baby, not your family or friends. Follow your heart and you will do what is right.
Good luck! and Enjoy!

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K.K.

answers from New York on

Hi!
I have two boys and they never took a bottle (straight to the cup). And you know what? I did not care. So I had to limit my outings to two hours and never left my kids overnight with anybody. No big deal for me. They grow so fast so enjoy that special time with your little girl and tell everybody that this kind of arrangement works for your family just fine.

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A.S.

answers from New York on

You are woman hear yourself roar LOL! Some people never truly understand the bond of nursing and never will. It sounds like your friend is the stupid one for being so judgmental. Go with what your heart is telling you. I learned to nod and smile and tell people "yeah this is what works for us". None of my 3 boys 10 6 and 4 ever really took a bottle well and that was fine me and my DH. My DH is no less bonded for not feeding his children. It is a commitment in that it is really hard to leave them for any length of time. They are only this small for a millisecond in the whole scheme of things and if need be they will adjust. I did have to go to the hospital for 4 days unexpectedly when my youngest was about 10 months. After about 24 hours he finally sucked down a bottle because he got hungry enough. You are one of the luckiest woman in the world being able to stay home and be with your children!
You sound like your are doing a fabulous job! Bravo!!!

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S.L.

answers from Binghamton on

My 16 month old daughter never took the bottle and I exclusively breastfed for almost 9 months and she didn't really get into solids until 13 months! I plan on letting her self wean. She just started liking her sippy. Frankly, I never minded the fact that she never took a bottle because I only needed a 2 or 3 hour break (perfect amount of time to go see a movie) from her and then my boobs wanted me to get back to her! In my experience most people who say things like, "She doesn't take a bottle?! Oh poor you!", didn't breastfeed or didn't for very long. I know many more moms who nurse for a long time and whose babes didn't bottle drink and they all said, "So what?" If you are a SAHM it's totally doable and enjoyable, after all, it's how most babies were fed for centuries.

My husband is also a great cook and since she skipped the baby food stage all together, he has enjoyed cooking real food and feeding her. You're not selfish at all, you're just indispensible. Give your baby a good feed and leave your husband to play with her while you go out for a little down time. He doesn't need to feed her to be connected to her.

One more thing, where is the negativity coming from? maybe people who don't have kids or didn't stay at home with them? Talk to moms who did what you are doing and see how many negative responses you get. My bet? zero.

Enjoy enjoy enjoy. Listen to the mammal mama inside you for guidance and remember that those naysayers....just don't get. it.

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J.K.

answers from New York on

You are doing fine. Excellently, in fact! You know that - sometimes it can be hard when so much criticism is coming your way. You are absolutely right. Your baby will go straight to a sippy cup, and skip the bottle.

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O.S.

answers from New York on

C.:

Congrats on your new baby. Nursing is the most wonderful thing and like you I loved it sooooo much. It was the one thing that I was the only one able to do it and that was special. Actually my daughter weaned herself from the breast and I was sooo heartbroken as I was not ready :o(, so enjoy it while you can. No, you are not selfish at all, however if your hubby decides he wants to feed her then let him, but if you don't have a need for anybody to feed her don't worry about it. On the other hand bottle feeding becomes important if you want to leave the baby with someone for whatever reason, a night out with your hubby, or any other event that you may want to go to where you can't or don't want to bring her (trust me this seems impossible now but the time will come when you will want to take a break) and may need to leave her with someone that will need to feed her. It would be good practice to introduce the bottle so that when the time comes she is ready. One time I went to daycare to drop off my daughter and there was this 4 mo old crying her lungs out as that was her first day at daycare and had never had a bottle, it was very frustrating for the caregivers and the girl was truly suffering hungry and not wanting to feed from the bottle. The caregivers where handling well but it was very heartbreaking. You don't want this. So do what works for you and your family. Good luck1

O.

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C.H.

answers from New York on

You really sound confident and comfortable with what your doing so run with it ...
You say she "would never take to the bottle" if you needed to change over... but she would do it some way.. cause she wouldnt starve.. :)
You know when people are happy.. there is always a naysayer
to shake you if you let them...

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K.P.

answers from Albany on

You've got some great support and advice on Mamasource - but I wanted to offer up another suggestion. Sometimes if you surround your self with like minded people you get more confident like "strength in numbers" -- what about a La Leche League meeting (I never attended one - but hear they're great) OR a lot of different churches have Moms groups or MOPS, Internatioanl groups - I belong to a MOMs group at my church and all the moms are so supportive and most (like 99%) breastfeed. And the "older" church ladies are just as -- maybe more supportive. They remember the days of babyhood and give you reality checks like "this too shall pass" or "babies aren't babies forever - enjoy your time". I don't know just another thought. By the way, you're doing a great job. Have fun with your sweet babe.

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L.S.

answers from Binghamton on

Hi C.--

I would initially say "Great job, and keep doing what you feel is right for you and for your baby!" I have two little ones and they had breastmilk until they were each 12 months old (13 months with my daughter).

Then, I would just caution you about closing your mind to bottle feeding. Not because I feel like kids need to have a bottle (my daughter never wanted one, and so actually did go to a sippy cup at a pretty young age), but because you should get them to be able to be without you for at least a short time in case of emergency (God forbid if something happens and you can't breastfeed), or in case you just need a mental break and want to get away for a day.

We got my daughter to grudgingly take a bottle when she was about 2 months old (it was pumped breastmilk), and she really only did it if I wasn't there and she was quite hungry. But the fact was, she did it. And it was nice for me to be able to get away once in a while. My son was my first, and I had to get him to drink from a bottle because I still worked, and I missed that nursing time with him so much.

So, it's not a bad idea to get your baby used to taking a bottle, but I don't think you are being selfish in the slightest by wanting to nurse her. There is something about it--it's a peaceful time of bonding that, if you want it, you should have it. It's only a short time in their little lives, and if your husband does not mind not feeding her a bottle, then do what you feel is right in this short time.

I discovered there are so many strong opinions about breastfeeding vs fomula feeding vs a mixture of both. I ended up just taking in all of the various views, and deciding what was right for me and both of my babies.

Good luck to you!

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D.D.

answers from New York on

C., never let anyone make you feel foolish for your choices as a mother. opinions are like a**holes, everyones got one. I breatsfed my son and still continue to at 11 months, he never ever took a bottle. he went right to a sippy cup. you are doing the right thing. No worries about bottles and such, just keep on loving that little baby!! congratulations on nursing! its the best bond between mother and child! D.

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J.A.

answers from Syracuse on

You are doing great!! Congrats on being a SAHM and loving it. As a Mom who exclusively breastfed all three of my boys, I can tell you that what you are doing is normal and wonderful, and fleeting!! My oldest is 18, and boy has his "adulthood" made me realize just how fleeting it is. It also made me relish my little ones even more than I already did! Keep on enjoying your new "job" and be confident in the fact that you are doing exactly what your beautiful girl needs.

As for all of the "what-ifs?"...she'll take a bottle if she really needs to, because babies will never allow themselves to starve. No need for her to get used to a bottle at all.

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L.M.

answers from New York on

C.,

You're right who cares if she never drinks from a bottle. My godson went from breast to sippy cup - no problem. It's NOT selfish to want this special time with her. Dad can find something else to do that's his special time - maybe reading a story every night.

Actually, I've found that it's frowned upon when mother's choose to go back to work, especially when they start school. Enjoy your time with your baby.

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G.B.

answers from New York on

It sounds like things are going really well for you. I don't think it's a big deal if your baby won't take a bottle. It only matters if you want to go somewhere and leave your baby in someone else's care. Breastmilk "from the tap" is better than pumped milk because it contains some antioxidants that are unstable. Some of these nutrients are lost when the milk is pumped and stored. Also, even if you use bottles without bisphenol-A, I've read that something can still leach out of plastic bottles.

I'm still breastfeeding my 1 year-old and she started using a sippy cup a few months ago without any problems. It's not selfish of you at all, breastfeeding is such a wonderful thing to do for your baby.

I had a career before my baby was born too, but gave it up so I could be home with her full time. Sometimes I miss working and obviously my career will take a hit because of this but I can't imagine being anywhere else right now. You are doing great!

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A.S.

answers from Albany on

Breastfeed to your heart's content, and pay no attention to your friend. I think the idea that a child will never learn to suck on a bottle is ridiculous. (I agree with your comment, "Who cares?" Your friend must have issues with how you are raising your child, and is trying to undermine who you are.

The truth of the matter is that your husband probably will made a larger impression on your daughter, since she will be older when dad starts serving her gourmet meals!

I was a stay-at-home mom, too, and am so grateful that my husband made a good living, so I didn't have to work. My husband bonded with our son nonetheless, by giving him his evening bath, reading bedtime stories to him (from birth), and doing other "dad" things.

Although I am in my 60's, I can tell you that two friends of mine breast fed their children until one kid was four, and the other, five. My child was only breastfed for a year, and took to a bottle immediately.

The child who was breastfed until five, went off to Oxford University (England)at 15, to study some really obscure computer language. He's now living in Paris doing brilliant research!

I'm not sure he ever was introduced to a "bottle" as he was breastfed until he could use a cup. I don't think it even matters now.

Anne

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M.W.

answers from New York on

I exclusively bottle fed (b/c of my dgtr - not my wish!!! She wouldn't do it!) It was great b/c others could participate in the feedings - and it wasn't great b/c other people kept WANTING to participate in the feedings!!! Whatever works best for you and your husband is key - what works for some does not work for others! As long as it is not causing animosity within your marriage - no one else really matters in this decision!

I personally don't see anything wrong with going from breast to sippy or straw cup. What worked for me with transition from bottle to those was to keep one type of cup for a type of liquid. (i.s - straw cup for milk and sippy for water - she never really liked juice - so she rarely drinks it now - almost 2yrs old). At first she wouldn't drink much milk with each meal - but I let her be and she transitioned fine and quickly started to drink enough (if she didn't drink alot at a particular meal - I didn't automaically supplement with bottle - just kept with a schedule and kept a bottle in the schedule between lunch and dinner so I knew she'd at least get a nice 8 oz amount and whatever else she drank with meals was enough to get her to the 16-24 ozs the MD recommended (this was around 1 yr old).

So - longwinded response for - you do what works for you and your husband and enjoy your wonderful life!!! They grow up so fast and this time of breastfeeding will quickly be a distant memory - don't let anyone else make you feel guilty!!!

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M.G.

answers from New York on

hi C.,
first of all, congratulations for sticking with breastfeeding, it is sooo rewarding and such an amazing experience for both you and your baby... i too, am an exclusive breastfeeder, my baby is now 9 months this saturday, and he never took a bottle...at first, like you said i was being pressured, so i kept trying and shane would also freak out if i offered a bottle,and then i thought, ok, i am a stay at home mommy, my baby is only a baby once, and seriously, what is more important than my baby that i must leave and give him a bottle!? Yes, it is hard to have "you" time and sometimes it is alot on you, but look at the beautiful bond, and outcome that is happening ... how amazing is it that your baby is thriving because of YOU!
so no, he never took a bottle and yes who cares!!

he does however now drink water from a sippy cup, which he just started with some food( he only started eating food last mont)whcih your baby will too!!
go with your gut and do what feels right for you and your family and whatever others think, really shouldn't matter, it's your story, your life and you get to create it! if you ever need any questions, you can always ask.... [email protected]____.com..
good luck!- M.

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D.R.

answers from New York on

hi C., and congrats! you sound so happy and content, i cannot imagine why you would mess with it. enjoy! a lot of people have an awful lot to say, especially when you breastfeed. just remember that some people do not have your best interests at heart, they are jealous or wishful or whatever, but please remember that a lot of people really do have your best interests at heart, even if you dont agree with their opinion. as long as someone isnt hurtful, just smile and say you have thought about that, good point, whatever, and thanks. you can change the subject. this certainly wont be the last time people try to tell you what to do where your kids are concerned. listen to the advice, consider it, because it might be good, then do what you know is best. breastfeeding is wonderful, imo, i am so thankful i have had this brief period in my life where i am able to do it. this baby is my last, he is almost 1, and i just dont know when or how i am going to stop nursing him, i could cry thinking about it....
all that said, i do want to point out that if there is some kind of emergency where you cannot nurse, it would certainly be much better if you knew that she could be fed. i have had to leave my babies for surgery twice and a death in the family out of state. it happens. i dont know how old she is, if she is under 2 months, i wouldnt mess with it just yet. but older than maybe 4 mos, it wouldnt hurt to give her a bottle (or sippy) of breastmilk a few times to be sure she would take it. i also always feel better having a stash of breastmilk in the freezer. you never know. and by the way, if she doesnt take a bottle or sippy from you, she still might from someone else, have someone else try it, im sure hubby would love it, and you might even have to be out of sight, because she knows where the goods are! dont stress over it, and enjoy that baby!!

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A.A.

answers from New York on

It's no big deal not to give a bottle. My first son didn't take one and neither does my daughter. I can even go out some evenings (when I need a break) because my daughter is now old enough for solids so we just mix a little formula with cereal and she can eat that. When your baby is old enough for cow's milk, then give it in a sippy and avoid the bottle thing all together. Don't let people make you feel badly for your parenting choices. What's good for them isn't necessarily good for you. Good luck!

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L.L.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

I breast fed my son until he was 2 yrs.7 mo.. The last couple of months, it was only at night. I am now breastfeeding my daughter. Well meaning people also told me to introduce the bottle. I felt I didn't have to.(I am also a stay at home Mom) I attempted from time to time but my son refused. although he drank from a training cup waaaaay early.Babies nurse for comfort ,love and nutrition. I also tried to give my daughter a bottle from time to time but she thought of it more as a novelty. When she did take the bottle it was a sip or two or rarely whole thing and she still wanted to nurse.
The reason my well meaning family and friends told me to introduce the bottle as well is so they can have that moment feeding and bonding. It is also difficult to leave the baby with relatives etc. when you have Mommy and Mommy and Daddy time. If you are ok with always being on call, (it's difficult at times)Go for it.Bottle,sippy cup, they still want you! GOOD LUCK ! L.

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A.D.

answers from Kansas City on

Follow your heart. If you know what you want to do...do it! I was only able to partially nurse my daughter for 3 1/2 weeks...and that included pumping and bottlefeeding. The times we spent actually nursing are forever burned into my memory. I loved it and I only wish we were able to make it work. At the same time, when we did have to go to the bottle by necessity, it did give me more freedom and did allow others to feed her, but I still did the majority of feedings. I think the idea of introducing a bottle occasionally is to allow the baby to use a bottle in the case of an emergency (ie. you get appendicitis and end up in the hospital and cannot nurse...etc.) My neighbor never got her son to take a bottle and she made it work...doing things like bringing a sitter to a wedding so they could stay in the hotel and she could go upstairs and nurse when he needed to eat, etc. Now at 11 months, he'll take a sippy cup of milk happily.
P.S. I was a "career" girl too and am now a SAHM and I too feel like I've found the job of my dreams! M.O.M. is the best title ever!

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T.L.

answers from Syracuse on

I have been breastfeeding my daughter for last two and a half years. She never took a bottle...not of breast milk or anything else. Babies do not need bottles. That is why we have breasts. She trasitioned to a sippy cup with no problems and uses a "big girl" cup now. I too have been able to stay home with my little one and I treasure the time we have that is just ours. She has a terrific relationship with my partner as well and like you said, once she started with solids my partner was able to help with the feeding. Breastmilk and the bond of nursing are such a special thing. Way to go following your instincts and taking such great care of your baby.
-T.

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E.S.

answers from New York on

A week ago I would have said don't give a bottle if you don't want to.

Then I spent 5 days in the hospital.

I hadn't really given my little man a bottle at all before that so had no idea how he'd respond. He made it through the days but I think it would have been a little bit easier on me had I known beforehand that he had no problems taking a bottle.

Regardless it's your decision and you need to do what you're comfortable with. Good luck!

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M.L.

answers from New York on

You've already received 36 responses, so I'm sure you've already heard this, but...stand your ground, Mama! My baby is 20 months old. She nursed (plus solids, after a certain point) until she was 11 1/2 months old. Why 11 1/2? She ate me like an artichoke...once she had two teeth that would connect with each other, I was toast. I didn't take the time when she was a newborn to correct her "latch" and I paid for it later. I tried bottles, but she hated them. When she was almost 1, I decided to stop breast feeding, but she didn't like sippy cups, so I introduced the bottle again, mostly just so she would get all her liquids during the day. The first time I did it, all I had in the house was skim milk, so I heated it up and added some sugar...and my baby never asked for "me" again! That's us. Every baby is different, but you CAN go straight from breast to cup. My baby is just stubborn. She's 20 months old now, and I'm sure I could wean her off the bottle...but she takes half a bottle, every night before bed,and I LOVE that 10 minutes of snuggle time. You're not selfish for breastfeeding - breastfeeding a baby isn't your husband's job. Like you said - he loves to cook, and (God willing) your baby will be eating his meals for the next 45 years! Enjoy your time with your baby.

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R.C.

answers from New York on

My suggestion is get rid of the person who makes you feel stupid for the way you have decided to feed your child...It's none of their business.

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T.M.

answers from New York on

Hi. I am a mom of three. Congrats on becoming a mom. I exclusively breast fed my first, my son. He never took the bottle. My husband was able to bond with our son in different ways. The only time it was a slight problem was if we wanted to go out without our son. My mother-in-law would wait to he was really sleepy and then stick the bottle in his mouth and it actually worked. Don't let anyone make you feel funny about your decisions for your family. You are doing a great job so far.

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T.C.

answers from New York on

Hello C.-

I see nothing wrong with you strictly breast feeding, I breast feed my son until he was 8 mouths old and he had no problem going to the bottle or Sippy cup and besides that you husband and daughter will bond in any other different ways. The whole reason why mothers wean there children from the breast to the bottle is for themselves so they are not in pain it is not for the child because the child adjust right away. Don’t let people make you feel stupid for not wanting to pump, everyone has there own way of doing thing and all you need to do is what is right for you and your family. You are very privileged to stay at home with you child, so you need to bound and enjoy every minute you have with her.

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L.L.

answers from Syracuse on

Just thought I'd echo the responces- going straight from breast to cup or sippy cup ( or for that matter even a sippy cup with no valve so it pours) makes no real difference in the long or even a lot of time in the short run. Enjoy feeding her, it is a draining but wonderful full months that you can't ever have with her again. Also you mention your husband enjoys cooking- what a real treat for you and will be for her in such a short period of time. Hang in there. On another note, I love the fact that more stores and churches are providing places where one can comfortabley nurse. I got fairly good at nursing in public, but at times a quiter spot with a chair would have been great. I nursed my daughter until 13m and she went to a cup, my son wasn't such a great nurser so we struggled through 9months. Then he went to the bottle and a sippy with no valve( he refused to have to pull his food in from the valve in the cup) Stick with it, particularly if your husband is supportive. That is a big piece for the long haul. If he isn't really talk about it with him and give him LOTS of other quiet times with her, when she's happy and not jsut frustrated with you--- enjoy mother hood,it is a great job.

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L.S.

answers from New York on

nurse your baby as long as you and she are happy with it and ignore the naysayers. she never needs a bottle. you can go successfully from breast to a sippy cup. pumping is an option if you want your husband to have the experience of feeding her. it sounds like she's well-established on the breast so if you want to pump and give dad a go at the bottle you can, without concern that she won't want the breast anymore.kudos to you for making the choice to breastfeed. it is the best for mom and baby. good for you!!!

about me:

mother of three breastfed sons; maternal/child health educator

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K.O.

answers from New York on

Hi C.. I can't really help you with the breast feeding question as I bottle fed both of my children. I can tell you that you should never secong guess your decision to stay home. It's the best thing you can go for you and your little girl. See if their is a MOMS Club in your area. They are a support group specifically for at-home moms. Their website is www.momsclub.org.

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M.K.

answers from Syracuse on

Coming from somebody who HAD to pump and give breast milk via bottle....You are lucky to be in thsi position and, you are mama, nobody can tell you what to do ya know. Youa re doing teh right thing by following your instincts and baby is not missing anything not having a bottle. Daddy has plenty of time to bond with her in ways that doesn't include a bottle.

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A.J.

answers from Albany on

What if you are hospitalized and can't breastfeed. What if she is hospitalized and can't breastfeed? I have been in both situations and I was fortunate that all my children were introduced to a bottle of breastmilk or formula at 3 weeks as per our pediatrician's advice and were able to be nourished without undo stress.

No it is not that big of a deal if she doesn't drink from a bottle, but it also isn't that big of a deal if she does drink from one.

I commend you for staying home and taking care of your daughter so well. But giving her an occasional bottle isn't going to make you lose control or any bonding time. Really, in the grand scheme of motherhood it really isn't something you should be worrying about. Enjoy your baby.

A.

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B.G.

answers from New York on

Hey Carloyn!! I am a stay at home mom also my daughter is 8 and half months old. I breast fed until 5 months. I did have my husband give her the bottle due to the fact i had responded to two showers prior to be me having the baby.
So, I had to go and my husband just took over. They say that if u have someone else give the bottle other than u it is not a problem. Listen, do what u want. u are the mother. Whatever r motherly instincts are telling u do it.. seriously..This is just what I did. I did pump and that takes at least 40 minutes. So, I pumped the entire week before going to the two parties I had to go too.
Everything worked out fine. I used the playtex vent aire wide it seems more to be like a womens nibble. Also, my husband just grabbed this bottle in the closet. THat is what we have been using all this time. I returned all of the fancy dr. Brown bottles and the fancy sterilizer. I do it the old fashioned way.
Yours Truly,
Barb G.

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L.M.

answers from New York on

Personally I do not feel that the act of breast feeding is the bonding it's the act of feeding. I was unable to breast feed so I had to pump and put in a bottle this allowed my husband to share in the feeding and enjoy those special moments. I heard many comments on how my child would suffer because they were not attached to my breasts you know if you are confident it what you do and feel you are right don't question it. If you are not sure then you may listen to others opinion but remember she is your daughter and as long as you are not harming your child and your husband agrees do whatever you feel is best.

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A.M.

answers from Rochester on

I probably should not respond to this one...but I must say that you might want to get your baby to learn how to suck on a bottle for a multitude of reasons...Are you never going to go out on a "date" with your husband? What happens if you get sick and cannot feed her? I know a lot of what ifs...but they should be taken into consideration. I did not breastfeed, I know stupid on my part, but I have known a lot of people that have, including best friend, relatives etc...They have at least tried and were successful at pumping and getting their child to take a bottle for those exact reasons...Just think about it.

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M.B.

answers from New York on

C.,
Don't worry about what anyone else says! People told me to pump bottles too and I thought, "why bother if I'm here and able to nurse?" If you are planning to go out without your baby for an extended period of time, then I would suggest having some milk for when you're gone. And if she is really hungry, she will take the bottle. If your husband doesn't mind not being able to feed your little girl, then do what you want! Everyone will always have their opinions, that doesn't mean you have to do what they think is best. Enjoy being a mom and do what you think is best for your baby, that's your job!

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M.G.

answers from New York on

Hey C.,
Being a Mom of Twin Girls 26 years ago now, I will advise you that YOU are doing the right thing for yourself! I have learned the hard way to be a critical thinker and my new found Master Mind group has supported this direction. As I breast fed my two twins (we did supplement with the bottle because I could NOT stand one to cry because one always had to wait to feed, so my husband would feed the other one a bit and then we would switch)If I had one baby to feed at a time, I would not have used a bottle at all!! So my babies had use of bottle and breast and NEVER HAD a problem with the bottle back and forth. GOOD Friends do not dictate, they support their FRIEND'S decisions through their lives. Especially when they are NOT harmful to anyone and are GOOD choices, just your choices. I have learned through my many years of living and now supported by this wonderful group of Mentors that..."It is none of my business what other people think of me...The only thing that matters is what I THINK OF MYSELF!!!!!!"

You may want to adopt this motto and pass it on to your less evolved friends. EVERYONE is entitled to THEIR PATH THEY CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES. I for one now, NEVER DOUBT MY DECISION and know that the "little voice " inside myself is ALWAYS RIGHT AND I now do not question that and my life has been so much more content! Please, Please, Please do not allow others to steal your power and dictate to you your life. You will be as miserable as they are! Live your own to your own principles and if it feels RIGHT continue, if it doesn't, then YOU DECIDE TO CHANGE THAT, not someone else! You are ultimately responsible for your decisions, not them. Enjoy that and live your own life and do not care what others think of you, your only business is WHAT YOU THINK OF YOURSELF!!! I SURE HOPE THIS HELPS YOU!!! ENJOY YOUR FIRST BABY, GOD'S GIFT TO US!!!
I can be reached at [email protected]____.com and my Mentor Group helps people with all aspects of their life through a common interest of building a biz at home to "OWN YOUR LIFE". Email me if you would like a schedule of free training calls! It is a great group of positive minded people! The only people I choose to hang around with these days! M. G
###-###-#### anytime

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A.M.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

Congrats on your new baby! As for your question- breastfeed as much as you want! Toddlers are supposed to come off of a bottle by the age of two and should be using a sippy cup close to one year anyway, so if they never take a bottle, better for you! I have the same issue with my son, who is now 9 months old. I have introduced a Nuby cup (sold in grocery stores) which doesn't require as much sucking to get the fluid out as regular sippy cups. You could always pump and put some milk in there to help with the eventual transition when you decide to stop breatfeeding or when you need to be away for a while. In fact, my son, at this point, will suck a bit from the cup and will wait for me to get his true nutrients from breastmilk and since he's been on solids for a while, he doesn't nurse as much or as frequently anyway, so I can easily have time away when needed and I don't have to worry about weaning him from a bottle! Enjoy the close moments because they go by too fast! Good luck!

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E.S.

answers from Orlando on

Do what you get the most enjoyment out of. My son was a preemie and I was forced to give him a bottle while we were still in the hospital so, when I had my daughter in February, I wanted to breastfeed exclusively for at least a year. But, unfortunately, I only lasted a month and half before my daughter was wanting way more than I could provide her. She is now 4 months, on formula & baby food and I am miserable! I missed out on it with my son & now my daughter. It saddens me deeply as I felt it was such a bonding experience & comforting both for me & my daughter. So, if you're able to and you and your daughter find comfort in it, why stop.

D.L.

answers from New York on

BF your little one & be thankful you can!!!

I bf my 1st son & enjoyed that bonding time :) When I was pregnant the 2nd time around...I assumed I would bf hime too! For whatever reason my milk never came in as strong as it did with my 1st son & I had to supplement his bf'ings with a bottle/formula. He is just as happy & healthy as his big brother!

Trust your hear & instincts. Don't bottlefeed if you don't need to or don't want to! It is not about control. Everyone ALWAYS has SOMETHING to say about what SOMEONE else is doing, UGH!

Daddy can bond with her in so many ways - there is bath time, tummy time, & like you said solids are right around the corner - let him get messy (LOL!)

Good luck!

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A.F.

answers from New York on

do what you want, adding bottles will make more work for you and your baby may decide she prefers the bottle and then you have another problem! stick with what works for you, your husband can spend time with the abby in other ways.

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J.T.

answers from New York on

As long as you're willing and able to be there as a feeding source for your baby, you should do what you feel is best. Trust your judgement and listen to your own feelings.

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K.L.

answers from New York on

There is nothing wrong with exclusively breast feeding... and by the way good for you. But if you ever want a night out with the hubby, or with some girlfriends, my suggestion is to give a bottle to get her used to it. You many not seem to want a night away from your little one now, but soon enough you will realize that it is good for you and for your husband to have some alone time. But that won't happen b/c your baby won't take a bottle, and no one else can feed him/her. That is the only reason I would introduce a bottle sooner rather than later. Continue to breast feed but allow one feeding during the day to be a bottle. That way she gets used to it, and you still get to breast feed.

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E.B.

answers from New York on

I am a "stay-at-home" mother with 3 kids. (More like "stay-in-the-car.") They were all breastfed for at least 1 year. With each of them, I tried to have bottles w/breastmilk be a small part of their feeding so that I *could* use bottles when I needed them. I found that if I wanted them to take a bottle when I needed it, I needed to have the bottle be a regular event--at least once or twice per week. I, like you, enjoyed breast feeding, and the hassle of pumping and bottling and fighting the battle with the baby taking the bottle or not was more work than it was worth to me. My sister and my sister-in-law both needed to bottle feed because they were going back to work, and both came up against the same battles but won them, because they had to. The drawback is that if your baby does not sleep well, you cannot EVER go out for more than a couple of hours on your own until the baby is about 7 months old, or until she eats solids reliably, and you need to consider the importance of time on your own and time with your husband. Then again, if she nurses well and you aren't terribly shy, you can bring her just about anywhere while she's really small and just subtly latch her on if she makes too much noise. My babies slept through many movies... So yes, she can go straight to a sippy cup. And no, I don't think you are selfish at all!! Think of it as "good for your baby" or "easier for you" or just think of it as "enjoying the moment you are in." Ask any veteran mother, and she'll tell you that the most important thing is to enjoy these precious moments because babyhood is over in a flash!

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A.M.

answers from New York on

You are totally doing the right thing. I completely breastfed for 11 months, I wanted to longer but it just became too painfull for me...but there is NO need to bottlefeed...just like you said, who cares what other people say and think. People just project thier own insecurities on others. SOund like your friend may be jelous. Find other friends, join a la leche legue in your area. They LOVE breastfeeding women!!! It is a great group!

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L.P.

answers from New York on

Wow C....I've never seen so many responses. Ha. Hope you're feeling encouraged today!!

BREASTFEED!!! Whoever that person is that's making you feel that way is just ridiculous. It has nothing to do with wanting to be in control. That's the way God made it. Why in the world would you want to start pumping all the time, extra washing, bottles, etc, when you're perfectly happy just nursing. My first took a bottle of breastmilk occasionally. I had SO much milk with him, so even sometimes after I fed him I would pump just to feel "lighter" and then freeze it. He would switch from bottle to breast easy and it was only for convenience sake if we were in a restaurant (i'm not a good public nurser...i just couldn't get the discreet thing with my first) HA. And my first loved his bottle. My second only wanted to nurse and never took a bottle and it was fine. I was a pro the second time around.

Anyway, don't listen to anyone...sometimes I think people say that stuff out of jealousy...it's great that you're nursing. Stay with it girl and enjoy your family.

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J.B.

answers from New York on

The first thing I would say to you is that only you know what is right for you and your family. If you are most comfortable with nursing, than that is exactly what you should do. It might make your life a little easier when your baby is older for her to be able to take a bottle since you may want/need a break and bottles allow others to feed her. Also, your husband might enjoy feeding the baby since as you noted, it is a strong bonding time, particularly with an infant. People tend to be very opinionated with parenting and the truth is that every child and parent is different so what is right for one person is not necessarily right for another. Best of luck!

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B.K.

answers from Binghamton on

Hi C.!

You do whatever feels right. This is your baby, and if your husband is ok with you feeding exclusively, then there is no problem. My son had to go to daycare 2 days a week, so he did need a bottle, but at 4 months he actually preferred the sippy cup. Just follow your instincts and enjoy this time! At about a year, try a sippy and a regular cup. The quicker your baby can manage a regular cup the better (I am a speech pathologist who sees way too many kids who can't manage a regular cup. The sippy is just a glorified bottle). Good luck!

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A.M.

answers from New York on

hi C.! well you asked for support and looks like you got it:)
dont you just love "friends". what i have realized is some moms try to convert other moms into their parenting ideas so they have no guilt/doubt over their own decisions. no one wants another option that might be better than their own staring them in the face.
i bottle fed my first daughter because of not being informed. now i exclusively breastfeed my 2nd and love it. there is NO reason a baby needs to be on a bottle if EBF. 1. the whole "well what if something happens to you" is quite silly. i dont live my life thinking i need to give my baby a bottle once a day in case i get in a car accident 10 months from now.
2. daddy needs to bond. let me tell you, my first was bottle fed but i always fed her the bottle. she was a very distracted eater and wouldnt eat from anyone else, so daddy didnt have any feeding time at all. but guess what, when daddy walked in the room, her face lit up. now at 3, she wants nothing to do with mommy when he gets home.
3. you need time away. the question is do you? are you someone who needs lots of breaks or maybe even an overnight getaway from your baby. if the answer is yes, then maybe you are the type of parent that a bottle might be needed. i believe in attachment parenting, and dont leave my kids overnight. i just need 2 hours to get my hair done, run errands, ect. so there is no need for me to use a bottle when i would be back before she needed another feeding. you know your childs schedule so its not like you wont feed her before you leave. also, when she gets older, solids will be filling too and the time between feedings gets longer. so why would you need a bottle?

i totally get what you are saying though about staying at home and comments about losing your identity. i want to ask them back, did i really lose my identity? or have i finally found it in being a mom? it seems so hard for some to comprehend that i might be completely enjoy being home with the kids, that i dont need all this "me" time, and that i actually love my life as it is. people make you feel like since you dont need to get out and sit around drinking cocktails that there is something wrong. like they dont get how im not pulling my hair out dying to get away? i wonder sometimes, is that really how others feel? then i remind myself, most of these are people who havent had children yet or who are not believers in attachment parenting ideas.
always remember, people can live to be 90 years old. but babies are babies only up till about 2! thats it, jsut 2 years. why not enjoy it and get every memory we can as it will be gone before we know it.

it seems for first time moms, people tend to think we NEED their help. DO NOT let anyone intimidate you. YOU know YOUR child. there are lots of differenting parenting ideas and opinions out there. find out which ones work for you, then locate internet groups, or even local groups, where they are supportive of your ideas. you will get the support you need and information from experienced moms, rather than someone trying to change your ideas. good luck to you, sorry if this is all over the place, a little tired but i had to comment:)

p.s. watch out for this person to say things about starting solids before 6 months or about weaning at 1(aap recommends 2 years for breastfeeding). make sure you research these topics now so you can be informed, and have comebacks to give. take care

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J.G.

answers from New York on

I wouldn't normally answer something with 90+ responses, but have to put in my two cents ... since I've done both.

My son, now 16, nursed exclusively at wake-up and bedtime ... by his own decision. His dad's office was in the house and wanted to feed him on occasion, so initially I would pump and he would give our son the bottle. We left our son with my in-laws one night when he was 6 weeks old, with bottles of breastmilk .... my son got hungry and my old fashioned in-laws decided he needed more than I left, so started him on GoodStart .... my son loved it!! So rather than me pumping during they day, my son had breastmilk when he nursed and Carnation Good Start when his father gave him a bottle. I'm proud to say, at the age of 16 years old ... he's none-the-worse :)

My daughter, on the other hand, refused a bottle regardless of what was put in it .... breastmilk, formula, water, juice. When she decided to drink juice, she did so through a straw ... her choice. I nursed her until she was 4 years & 3 months old .... and only stopped because I was going away for 10 days and refused to pump and toss. Now, 2 years later, she continues to drink only juice & water from cups ... never did a bottle, and only did a sippy cup in the car. Granted, she's only 6 but so-far she's also no worse for going a different route.

In other words ... do what works for you and your child. Your husband will have opportunities to feed her soon enough. In the meantime, he can still have quality time holding and playing with his daughter.

Good luck ... and enjoy!!!

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M.N.

answers from New York on

One reason you may want to try the bottle is to give yourself a little freedom - ie. go out for a few hours and know if she gets hungry your hubby or sitter can give her a bottle. But you should do whatever feels best for you. My first never took a bottle and went straight to the sippy cup at one year. Because he was my only child and I did not work it was easier just to breastfeed. My second took a bottle at one year because he was not ready to give up that oral satisfaction. My third breastfeeds mostly but I did introduce a bottle at 6 weeks so when I do leave her for more than a couple of hours with my sitter (I work part time) she will take a bottle if she's hungry. That is peace of mind for me. But I prefer to breastfeed as well! They are only this age once so enjoy it.

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K.B.

answers from Rochester on

Good for you mommy! Keep on nursing that baby!! Yes, she can just go straight to a sippy cup. And you're right, who cares if you don't?!?!? I would suggest pumping and freezing your breast milk for emergencies and/or allowing dad some feeding time so that you can shop, take a long bath, or just have some you time. One out of four of my breast fed babies would not take a bottle no matter what.

I always had a good stash as it came in handy when I started doing cereal at six months and I even put it in a sippy cup. You do what you feel is right. And I advocate for any breast feeding mom! Breast is best after all! Good luck!

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Z.Y.

answers from New York on

As a mother follow your heart...the chance of being able to breast feed your baby it's now...enjoy. As a mother the best advice... follow your heart and don't listen to those people.

Z.

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H.R.

answers from New York on

Wow, The pressure we get from all sides! I remember my mother in law insisting that I absolutely must give my new born water from a bottle if it's really hot out. Breastfeeding should be such a joyfull time where we naturaly bond with our babies and our babies with us, enjoy the closeness etc. don't let everyone give you doubts and cause you to question your intuition about what's best for you and your baby. before baby bottles did children suffer? of course not. You and your husband sound like a good team and I'm sure your baby experiences love and cuddling and bonding times with him as well. sounds like a good recipie for a happy baby and a happy family.
Relax and enjoy this time before it's over. I'ts great for you and baby! H. R.

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A.L.

answers from Albany on

C.,
I breast fed all 3 of mine. For quite a while, BUT, I gave water bottles and 1 soy or goat's milk, and good thing...my grandma died and my milk dried up for a week!!!! So, in emergency, it is a good idea.

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P.D.

answers from New York on

C.,
If you are a stay at home mom, there is absolutely no reason for your baby to have a bottle!!! Both of my sons went from the breast to the cup with no problem at all. Breast FEEDING is the most natural and rewarding experience -- it's not all about just the breast MILK.
Stick to your guns and enjoy your little one!

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M.T.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

It isn't a requirement for breastfed babies to have bottles of pumped milk when they have access to mom. Some moms need to be away from their baby, so those babies must have a bottle of pumped milk, or some moms prefer to let someone else feed the baby and choose to give the baby pumped milk. Your daughter won't receive any benefit from being given bottles of pumped milk by someone else "just because." And while some people feel that a baby should have bottle experience "just in case" of some kind of emergency, the baby can learn to take a bottle at that time. Whatever the baby's first time is, is bound to be a learning experience and may be a little traumatic for her, so it really doesn't matter when it is. Why have the trauma now, for something that may never be necessary, rather than if the time comes at some later day? There are babies who never have a bottle.

It is wonderful to hear how much you are enjoying motherhood and breastfeeding. Join La Leche League or a natural/attachment parenting group so that you can hang out with like minded people.

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M.H.

answers from Albany on

C.,

I never was able to breastfeed and I would have loved it. I also stay home. I can only imagine the bond you feel. My only suggestion and this is just my opinion is that men are very needy. Your husband my want to be able to experience the whole feeding thing. I know that my husband loved feeding our kids and there was just a sort of "thing" about it that he loved. Being a mom whether stay home or not is a huge job and you might get a little tired at times and just want a break. If you the baby always needs you that might become a problem with you being able to have your time. Because trust me you will need it. This is just a suggestion. Enjoy that little miracle, there is nothing in the world like it!! Good luck and enjoy. It sounds like the baby is going to have a personalized chef when the time comes!! Lucky little thing!!

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M.F.

answers from New York on

C.,
Good for you for wanting to nurse! Never let anyone make you feel badly about your decision to nurse exclusively. My 1 year old daughter has had exactly 1 bottle in her whole life. I had to be away from her one day and it couldn't be avoided. Don't worry about the bottle, if an emergency arises and your daughter gets hungry enough, she will drink from a bottle or cup. Daddy will get plenty of opertunity to feed her later on as you said. There is no reason to introduce a bottle in my opinion.
Keep up the good work!

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L.W.

answers from New York on

I breastfeed as well and am letting my husband bottle-feed from time to time. Yes, I have to go back to work eventually, but what if you have to go out and only your husband or a sitter can be with the baby? Or you may be in a place where breast-feeding is difficult. It will make it a lot easier on them and the baby if the bottle can be taken. It was torture when I had to bottle-train my daughter at four-months. Maybe you can just let your husband do the night feedings!!! To answer your other question though...no, you are not being selfish. Breastfeeding is wonderful quality time with your baby!

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A.P.

answers from New York on

My son just turned one and NEVER had one bottle. I exclusively breastfeed. My husband helps out now that our son eats solids and he didn't mind one bit that he never gave our son a bottle. If you don't want to introduce the bottle then don't.

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J.O.

answers from New York on

I know just how you feel...with my first, I felt alot of pressure to pump and bottle feed - but why? I was a stay at home mom (I left teaching) with no plans to leave my daughter at any time. She had exactly one bottle from dad, and would never take another one, I hated pumping (how totally unnatural!), and it felt like a total waste of my time. From then on, I exclusively breast fed, my daughter and then my next two children. You love what you're doing? Great! Breastfeed exclusively, and be so grateful that you can. And ignore any pressure from those 'enlightened' pumpers.

C.S.

answers from New York on

I exclusively nursed by daughter for 14 months. And it was the greatest experience. She had a bottle maybe 5-10 times her entire life. And its something that I am proud of.

You dont NEED to bottle feed a baby. But, it does make it easier if you and the husband want to go out for dinner. Just knowing she will take a bottle when you arent there provides you with peace of mind.

My daughter never preferred the bottle. But, in my absence, and if she was hungry, she would accept it.
We used Avent bottles and I loved them.

Also, she started on a sippy cup around 9 months old.

Follow your heart. She is your daughter, and you are her mom. You know whats best for your family. Dont let anyone tell you different.

People that make you feel bad about being a SAHM and nursing your daughter are only jealous they couldnt do the same.
Take Care!!

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R.W.

answers from Albany on

I say all the power to you. My little girl never took a bottle, and I'm very happy that we've exclusively breast-fed. Now, at 20 months she has her sippy cups and a wonderful relationship with her father as well as myself.

I think it's the most wonderful thing you can do, and all part of embracing your new identity as a mother. Good luck

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T.M.

answers from Utica on

hey, you do what you feel is right for your family. If your husband wants to feed her you can give him a bottle of water or diluted juice for the baby. those are important for her diet also, some babies never get a bottle. my grandmother told me that my mom went from the breast to a cup. she would give her drinks of juice or water from a little cup, she never had a bottle, and of course back then there was no such thing as a sippy cup. i had bad milk and could not breast feed, so it all depends on the circumstances. as long as that baby is happy and healthy, and daddy is happy that is all that matters. T.

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K.K.

answers from New York on

Whether it's exclusive breastfeeding or bottlefeeding, you have to do what is right for your baby and family. Babies adapt. Go with your gut and do what you want. Good luck!

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K.M.

answers from Syracuse on

You are doing exactly the right thing. Not because you are breastfeeding or staying home with her, but because it's what you feel is right. Like you said, who cares if she never has a bottle? If it's right for you, your daughter, and your husband then that's all that matters.

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S.H.

answers from Albany on

You are doing everything perfect~ God wouldn't of made our breasts get milk if that wasnt' our job. I did the same thing. I loved being the only one that fed her. And she started drinking water out of a sippy cup at 6 mths. It's hard being the first time mom when everyone likes to input there opinions. Just always do what you feel is right and learn to let the what others say roll off your shoulders. That is awesome your husband cooks...I am super jealous! And congrats for being able to be a stay at home mom. I had 4 mths off and then went back part time. It was hard but I had too. Now my daughter is 19 mths and I am due with another girl in 5 weeks! I can only afford to take off 8 weeks this time and I am wondering how I am going to leave her when I'll be a feeding machine. I hate pumping but I'll have to get used to it. Lots of women these days can't be bothered to breast feed....I think they are crazy for doing bottles. It's a pain. I started her on bottles at 4 mths cause I went back to work. at first it was hard but she took to it. I mixed 1/2 breast milk with 1/2 formula. So if you decide to switch it up...you'll be able too :)

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W.K.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

congrats on you new baby and on the breast feeding. I nursed both of my boys and loved every minute of it too. I did introduce a bottle of breast milk to each of them fairly early on though. I think I was encouraged to do so because I had a close friend whose baby would not take a bottle. she too was a stay at home mom and it really wasn't necessary to bottle feed, but as her baby got older it did limit her from being able to be away from the baby at all.

I would encourage you to try it once and see how it goes, If it is successful....it is not a bad thing to do once in a while and have the peace of mind that if a need comes up and you have to be away from your baby, you can. it will also allow you to go out some night and have a date with your husband.

good luck to you.

W. K

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L.D.

answers from Albany on

C.,

I have been a SAHM since my oldest was born 7 1/2 years ago. I've nursed all 3 of my children. My oldest took an occasional bottle but not really until he got older (like about 9 months old) and we would be taking car trips. He nursed for 13 1/2 months. My middle son would not take a bottle for the longest time. I tried them all. I think he was about a year before he would drink any kind of milk from a bottle. He was 22 months when he was weaned and his was not by his choice poor guy. LOL They both would take sippy cups or bottles with some water but not milk with their food once they started solids at 6 months.

My baby now just turned 10 months. He would not take a bottle until 6 months when he started solids and even then it is water once again. We did have a bit of a car ride last month and he took one in the car but honestly, I don't sit and pump like I did for the first two because all I pumped with them got thrown away.

If your husband and you are comfortable with what you are doing, then keep doing it. I hate to say it but I wonder if the person who is giving you a hard time isn't the type who would find nursing tedious and be "bothered" by "having to do it all the time". These are just my reactions based on what I see and hear a lot of parents say. It's almost like they want to be parents but they want everything to be convenient all the time and if they aren't getting the sleep they want, the "stuff" they want, the time they want, whatever, then it's a problem. They are only babies for so long and personally I applaud you for recognizing the time is going to go by FAST. I look at my oldest now and he is up to my underarms and I'm 5' 7"!! He's only 7 1/2 years old! He's such my big boy but yet I can remember waiting for him to be born and that day like it was just yesterday. I can't tell you where the time has gone because to me, time flies by lightening speed now that I'm a parent.

Enjoy your little one and don't let anyone make you feel bad for loving the time with your daughter. Now if your husband feels differently, then I would visit ways you can get him more involved. If he's good...keep going on the path you are and tell your friend "thank you but this works for us". If she keeps pushing, I would kindly tell her she has made her opinion clear but this is your baby and you will decide how you will nourish her.

Hugs,
L.

http://APerfectMoment.MyArbonne.com

C.B.

answers from New York on

The only reason I chose to give my breastfed daughter a bottle was so I could go out without her every now and then. Like on a date with my husband. If you don't want to spend any extended amount of time away then don't worry about the bottle. She will just start using a cup when the time comes.

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P.D.

answers from New York on

C.,
Sounds like you're doing great! I wouldn't change a thing. Trust your instincts.
I did breast only for both my girls. Still nursing my 13mos. and my older, almost five, nursed till 20mos. Both also went right to a sippy cup or regular small glass. I didn't/don't use the plug in the sippy and they learned right away to drink rather than suck it out. This was nice 'cause then we could use a regular cup wherever we were.
Keep up the good work, MOM!
P.

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S.H.

answers from Albany on

Congratulations! A Mom who takes her job seriously. My daughter NEVER had a bottle. It's totally unnatural for the teeth and jaw structure. She just started drinking from a cup when she was ready. I weaned her at a 2 1/2. I wouldn't trade those years for anything.

Other people need to mind their own business. Join La Lache League and read some of their books. It is the only natural and normal way to feed a baby. Using a bottle should be an exception when there is a real reason to do so, not just to make it easy for someone or to fit into what society is sadly misguided to believe is normal. I mean, when's the last time you drove by a field of cows and saw them feeding the calves with a bottle? Absurd.

While I have strong feelings on this matter, I would never judge anyone who has gone a different route. I did find that many, many mothers wish they had breastfed. Many get talked out of it. Unbelievable.

La Leche will help you and they are in almost every town. I learned so much from their books like The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. My baby never had colic because any crying was dealt with using a technique I found in the book to relieve it.

Stick to your guns with this one. You are 100% right in this case. The others are not. Many people try to relieve their own guilt by talking you into doing what they did. Sure their kids survived but how would they have been otherwise? They will never know. Keep up the good work. Nothing compares to being a stay at home Mom and if your husband is supportive, you've got it made!

S. Hoehner
www.sharethecause.com/detoxqueen

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L.G.

answers from New York on

Hello C.,
I had somewhat the opposite issue. I bottle fed and sometimes got opposition from breast feeding advocates. Bottom line is.. It is YOUR child. YOU need to do what is best for YOU and your child. If breast feeding is what you want to do, you are comfortable with it and you enjoy it then who cares what anyone else thinks?

Some kids never take a bottle and you are right go to a sippy cup or straw cups. The people who tell you to get her on a bottle do not live in your home, nor do they live in your heart and soul. Live your truth..and if your truth is to breast feed then do so. My daughter never latched on properly so I couldn't give her breastfeeding. That comboined with my own anxieties was nota good match. Bottle feeding was better for me.. but sounds like breast feeding is better for you.

Be strong.. as long as you and your child are OK.. then ignore anyone else

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