I refuse to feel guilty for bottle feeding my baby

Bottle feeding my baby allowed me to take care of my mental health.

I refuse to feel guilty for bottle feeding my baby

Before my second son was born, I made a plan. A plan that I swore I would not change. This plan felt a bit selfish, but I knew in my heart it wasn't. My plan was necessary for my health and my newborn's wellbeing.

I was going to bottle feed my newborn baby boy so I could continue taking my antidepressant medication postpartum. I had done the research and talked to my doctor and I could not breastfeed on the antidepressant I knew worked best for me.

After having debilitating postpartum depression with my first son, I knew that I needed to be proactive in taking care of myself. If I wanted to be a loving, happy mom that could physically and mentally take the best care of my child, I needed my medicine. If I was battling depression, I wouldn't be able to do that.

But this plan of bottle feeding was easier said than done, at least in my head. Every article, birthing expert and lactation consultant went on and on and on about how breastfeeding is the best for your child. The baby will have less allergies, more bonding time with mom, and a better chance of getting into Harvard on a full scholarship. And then there's the upside of mom losing the baby weight faster (which is actually a harmful message and not true).

I thought that when I told the nurses in the hospital that I was going to bottle feed, they would try to talk me out of it. They would pummel me with the benefits of breastfeeding. I wasn't ready to tell them the reason why I was choosing to bottle feed. I didn't want to come across as an unfit mother that had a mental illness (because, sadly, there is still a stigma associated with that).

Then the day came. I checked into the hospital for my planned C-section. As I answered the multitude of questions they had, they moved onto the one question that terrified me. They asked if I wanted to breastfeed or bottle feed. My head started spinning, my heart dropped, and I second guessed my decision for the 100th time. Luckily, I blurted out "bottle feed" before I could change my mind. The nurse didn't even pause, just said okay, made a few clicks of her mouse and went on with the questioning. Relief took over my body and I finally relaxed. I could be excited about meeting the newest member of my family now.

After a couple weeks, things were going as well as possible after having a baby. My husband could pitch in on the night shift and despite the fact that I just had a human surgically removed from my uterus, I felt good, both mentally and physically.

I decided to share my experience and journey online, so many women stood up and cheered, thanking me for telling my story. It was empowering to know that I was helping women that had been too ashamed or scared of judgement to say something. Except for one woman who disagreed with me and had no problem telling me so, in not the best way possible. She messaged me, saying that I was selfish and a horrible mother for choosing myself over my son's health and development. In her eyes, I was choosing myself over my newborn son.

And that made me feel like an awful mother. I read that message and cried.

Once my tears dried up, I reached deep into my mom heart, and messaged her back. I wasn't going to let her speak to me like that, even if it was via Facebook Messenger. I had to let her know that her words hurt. And I let her know that I wasn't choosing myself over my baby. I was choosing myself for my baby.

I swore from that point on I would advocate for any woman that bottle feeds their child, no matter the reason. We all know what is best for us, our bodies and our children. And I will no longer feel guilt or shame for that. Power on, mamas. We've got this.

These products can help you in your bottle feeding journey:

Baby's Brew bottle warmer

Baby's brew

This bottle warmer will make sure your milk or formula are warmed to exactly the perfect temperature for you to safely bottle feed your baby.


bökee bottle holder

bokee bottle holder

This little contraption is the extra hand you need when preparing bottles. Created for mamas, experts in doing everything one-handed while carrying a baby in the other, the bökee allows you to open bottles of sippy cups with just one hand. You can also use it to pour milk into bottles without worrying about losing any drops.


14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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