The 9 things that are pants about bottle feeding



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.


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21 comments

  1. Ha ha I love the group in comment. So true. And the Bluetooth. Both are hard. It's a mathematical conundrum every day. How many bottles are sterilised? How many more will you need? Great post :)

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    1. It felt like I was constantly doing mental maths, on three hours sleep - not fun!

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  2. Fab post! You're right, it isn't spoken about enough. I don't envy people having to find hot water or fork out for formula. I boob fed but supplemented night feeds with 'goodnight' formula milk so I could get more than a couple hours of sleep. It pained me to even buy the formula for that even though it lasted ages. They cost the earth!!

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    1. Thank you! On the topic of lasting ages this reminds me of something I still feel awful about. My lovely friend gave me a carton of aptamil that hadn't agreed with her son. Now he was about 16month when she gave it to me so I'm not entirely clear how long she had had it. I checked out the expiry date and continued to use it, she'd only made one bottle so I got another six weeks out of it. Because no one had educated me about bottle feeding and I was too exhausted to read the small print I never knew that you should throw the carton out after 30 days if open! Luckily my son did and still does have a steel plated stomach

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  3. I was planning to breastfeed but circumstances intervened (she was in NICU and I was on everything going!) so we bottle fed and, to be honest, if I had another I think I would just bottle feed again. I had to go back to work after 8 weeks and it would have been much more stressful if I needed to express, etc, but with bottles my OH could just get on with it. (Though when she was about 4 months I found out that instead of boiling water and letting it cool, he had been filling half from the kettle and half straight from the cold tap!! I was horrified but thankfully it didn't seem to do her any harm!) #fridayfrolics

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    1. I'm so glad my OH wasn't the only one that did this!

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  4. I did both too and there were definite advantages to each. Loved your summary, and hated all the smug breastfeeders of the world. They need to smug off. Keeping a baby alive is bloody hard work and we all deserve some support! Great post. #fridayfrolics

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    1. My goodness I love smug off. I am taking it for myself (but I will credit you natch)

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  5. Groupon, tinder and JLS reference hilarious!!! #FridayFrolics

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  6. There are pros and cons for both breast and bottle feeding. Wouldn't be great if we just left others to get on with feeding their babies in the way they think is best?!

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    1. There you go being all reasonable and the like ;)

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  7. You know, the thing about you moderate mum, is that you're always right. Nothing is shitter than having to actually physically open your eyes and get up to make a bottle, as opposed to just rolling over and flopping a boob out.And I'm such a cheapskate that I hate buying formula and I hate chucking it out after 4 hours, which has bitten me on the bum when I casually let me 1 year old pick up an old bottle of milk, left over from the night, thinking its only like 6 hours old, it will be OK....WRONG! Diarrhoea central.
    I will add that I HATE tipping the formula into the bottle. No matter how I do it, I always end up with powder encrusted gunk everywhere. Ugh. #thelist

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    1. Bahahahaha what is it with kids and old milk? Have definitely swan dived across the living room to retrieve a beaker full of what has basically become yoghurt from the toddler. I totally forgot about the formula gunk. I would stress about the fact that I couldn't rinse it off with tap water because the germy germs might contaminate it and I'd have to start the whole tedious process again.

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  8. I remember when I made the decision to stop breast feeding and it took three days to get my son to take a bottle. The first three days I couldn't stop crying. I wailed to my husband "he's never going to take a bottle, I am never going to leave the house again". Then when he finally accepted the bottle I spent three days crying because "he doesn't need me anymore!" Bloody hormones! It is very true that their are pros and cons to both and neither option is a picnic! Thanks for linking up to #Friday Frolics. Hope to see you again next week.

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  9. love this Chaz - yep, I did both approaches with all three and with varying success. Let's just say that despite all the logistics involved with bottles, I am just grateful that formula milk exists for those cases where breastfeeding just doesn't work out. I have cried over my share of spilt milk - my own and from Aptamil and when the focus is on getting your precious little one to start putting on the kilos (especially early on), mums need to do whatever feels right for them.
    keep up the good work babe
    Fatima x

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  10. Would you believe I have a post lingering my draft folder for ages, entitled "why I admire formula mums"? One of the main reasons I was so stubborn about breastfeeding was that I just could not handle the faff of washing, sterilizing, mixing, keeping warm, keeping cold (which also goes for expressed milk btw). For me night feeds involve me rolling over and pulling my top down and I am in awe of anyone who actually gets out of bed to feed their child in the middle of the night.

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  11. Fabulous post. It isn't always plain sailing. I bottle fed through choice (I know I am the actual devil) and for convenience bf would have been easier (all being well). Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

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  12. This manner of sterilizing bottles is right for folks that cannot afford or create use of the opposite strategies owing to the instrumentation concerned, get more information visit here Shara.

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