Unless you live under a rock, you know that breastfeeding is recommended for babies because of the many health benefits for both the baby and the mother. Breastfeeding gives your baby tons of antibodies to help them fight off illnesses, helps your baby’s brain development, and prevents obesity. It is also supposed to help the nursing mother with post partum depression and reduce breast and ovarian cancer risks. I love all of those reasons to breastfeed, but if I’m being honest, that’s really not the real reason I am doing it. I’m nursing because it’s free, it’s fast, and I can do it anywhere.
Truth: Breastfeeding is Free
I’m the type of person that fully believes the saying “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned.” My full time “job” is taking care of our 3 little boys all day, every day. It doesn’t pay anything. Sometimes I deal with the guilt of not providing any monetary help to our family. When I get stuck in that guilt, I try to focus on the saying above. If your baby is formula fed, it could cost you up to $2000 a year! So, to me, that means by nursing our child, I am saving us $2000!
Getting myself a fancy coffee now and then doesn’t make me feel so guilty when I look at it that way!
Truth: Breastfeeding is Faster than Bottle Feeding
Ok, so if you are nursing your newborn, you’re going to think I’m lying, but it really does get more efficient. Some babies are slow nursers, but I’m willing to bet slow nursers won’t suck a bottle down with lightning speed either. When my baby cries, I pick him up, grab a burp cloth and my phone, and sit down on the couch. I unsnap my nursing tank and we are ready to go… this takes roughly 1-2 minutes, depending on whether or not I have a hard time finding my phone (which I swear has legs and walks away from me on a regular basis).
He nurses for 3-6 minutes on one side. Then, I burp him for roughly 2 minutes and switch sides. Sometimes he will drink for another 3-4 minutes. His average time at the breast is 6-8 minutes total. When he is done nursing, I snap up my tank, and we go about our day.
If you are bottle feeding, you will need to either buy premixed formula, which is super expensive, or buy the powdered formula and water that is safe to mix with it. You have to measure the water amount and heat the bottle to the desired temperature, this is more difficult when you are out running errands. Then, you add the formula and shake it like crazy. This doesn’t seem like much, but when you have a screaming baby in your arms, it feels like an eternity… and I can tell you it will always take longer than the 1-2 minutes I spend unsnapping my nursing tank. Your baby will then drink the bottle. I’m sure some babies are super fast. My little guys were always faster nursers than bottle drinkers, probably because human nipples have more holes than bottle nipples.
For me, the worst part of bottle feeding is the time and effort it takes to wash all of the parts. This isn’t like washing a drinking glass. You have to take the bottle apart, wash each piece, and sanitize them if you feel that’s necessary. Then they air dry all over your counter. After everything is completely dry, you get to reassemble the bottle only to do it all over again.
Truth: Nursing is more flexible
Babies go through growth spurts. It always seems to happen at the most inappropriate times for you. Squeezing in unscheduled feedings isn’t fun if you are nursing or not, but I can tell you it is easier if you are nursing!
Let’s say you have an hour left on your trip home from vacation, and your baby just drank his last bottle an hour ago. You think you’re all set and will have smooth sailing for the rest of the trip. All of the sudden, growth spurt baby starts fussing, and you have no bottle! What do you do? Either let them scream for the next hour until you make it home or stop, run in a store and buy what you need, all while growth spurt baby is freaking out!
If you are nursing and this happens, you pull to the side of the road, Unsnap your shirt and let that growth spurt baby eat. You’re be back on the road in 10 minutes!
Truth: Nursing makes me take a break
When you’re a mom of three boys, sitting down is rare. You are just as busy as they are. One of your main jobs is keeping them safe, and it isn’t easy! Were it not for my little guy, I’d rarely get to sit down! I enjoy the 6 times a day I get to sit and stare at his innocence. I also have 2 free hands, which allows me to catch up with my friends and family on my phone, or read posts like this!
Don’t freak out at me!
I know nursing doesn’t work for everyone, so please don’t start a big debate with me. I had a miscarriage when my firstborn was 7 months old, and I received improper advice saying I needed to stop breastfeeding because of the medication I had to take. With my second baby, I stopped nursing at 6 months because I tried a dumb technique to get him to take a bottle, and it backfired on me.
I’ve formula/bottle fed, and I’ve nursed. I’m simply saying nursing is way easier. Here I am now with baby number 3, and I’m hoping I can nurse as long as possible. I am already up to my eyeballs in dishes, and I don’t have enough time to keep up. Adding bottles to the mix may send me over the edge.