One of the things that bugs me about breast feeding advocates is that they sometimes imply that bottle feeding mums take the easy way out. As if bottle feeding is a casual Sunday stroll compared to the horror of boob feeding. Luck and circumstances meant that I did both and let me tell you I wouldn't buy a Groupon for either experience.
Saying breast feeding is hard or bottle feeding is easy is like saying you're guaranteed to meet the love of your life on Tinder - of course you would hope to encounter your soul mate but you could also end up with someone with a collection of stuffed ferrets*. You can't assume anything and therefore this post is for any Judgey McJudgeysons still preaching that bottle feeding is an easy way out and any pregnant women that might have been tricked into thinking breast feeding is the difficult option.
Getting up in the night. Not waking up in the night, getting up. And then going to the kitchen and then basically doing a science experiment in the dark. All to the soundtrack of a screaming infant. As far as I'm concerned I could end this list here.
The fact that it only lasts four hours. After which it self destructs or something. Once made a bottle of milk is essentially a ticking time bomb so if you make it up before you go out your trip to town feels like the next instalment of mission impossible.
Wrangling with shop owners to give you hot water. If I could give you one tip it would be to train your child to drink cold milk because it can be such an ordeal finding somewhere comfortable to warm your bottle and feed your baby. I don't know why vendors make this hard, I mean all new mums do is wander round and buy coffee right? If I had a cafe I'd have bottle warmers on site.
You only get one shot (as JLS would say). This one caused me all manner of angst. Once a baby has drunk from a bottle it's good for a limited period only, so if your kid decides they only want a wee nip, you've wasted a whole bottle.
Literally pouring money down the drain. Following on from the above - formula is dehydrated milk, how can it be so criminally expensive? And why isn't there a no frills, bargain basement baby formula? I imagine because no mother would buy it but that's just a tax on guilt as far as I'm concerned.
The selection. It will take you weeks to find the bottle, teat and flow that your little diva will tolerate and you are guaranteed to discover it about two days before they're ready to move on to something else.
The paraphernalia. Babies are so, so small and yet they require so much stuff! You literally fantasise about the day that you can once again walk through the world unencumbered. Bottle feeding just requires another sub section of stuff on top of the already indecent mountain of stuff. Basically if you leave the house for more than eight hours you need an articulated lorry.
Confinement. Breast feeding is like the bluetooth of infant feeding. With the child facing breastwards there's plenty of room to manoeuvre so access to the remote and Haribo are unhampered. With bottle feeding everything is that bit more precarious, prepare for your dinner to go cold.
No excuses. When people ask to feed your baby you have no excuse and will have to admit you just don't want their scabby hands touching your child.
There you go. Don't say I didn't warn you. In all honesty it's not all bad, for example bottle feeding allowed my husband and son to establish something called the Midnight Feeding Club. My husband would give Roscoe his last feed of the day and allow me to catch a few hours sleep. I don't think we talk enough about bottle feeding, the good and the bad. It's become our dirty little secret, so we don't know truly what to expect. If you haven't been put off by my list please check out this brilliant post by Tami of 'Mummy of 2+1' - 'How to: Bottle Feed'
What was your experience of bottle feeding? Would you do it again if you had the choice?
*no offence intended to the stuffed ferret owning community, it's just not my thing.