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10 Reasons a Breastfeeding Mom Might Want to Use a Bottle

Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

10 Reasons a Breastfeeding Mom Might Want to Use a Bottle

*We collaborated with Munchkin to highlight their LATCH bottle , specifically designed for the breastfeeding mom, and to show that bottle feeding your breastfed baby has some benefits.

Breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing. Sure, feeding directly at the breast has many benefits – from passing on evermore antibodies to baby to fostering good oral-motor development. But nursing full time can be a lot to handle, inconvenient or simply impossible. Giving your breastfed baby a bottle, whether it's to fuel him with a little formula or to give your breast a break, is perfectly normal, and it doesn't have to indicate the end of your nursing days. With the right guidance and the right bottle, baby can in fact move from boob to bottle (and back) without suffering from the much-dreaded nipple confusion.

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While many experts say that babies are born and wired to eat at the breast, bottle feeding is not without its advantages. Here are 10 reasons breastfeeding mamas should use the bottle to feed baby.

1. Share the responsibility (and that special bond). Getting baby used to the bottle early on will allow dad to take the lead, even for middle-of-the-night feedings, and may buy you time to shower, eat and even sleep. Feeding baby with a bottle also lets him bond with dad (and other members of the family) the way he bonds with you when he nurses.

2. Let baby #1 be a little helper. Your firstborn will need to adapt to a new baby in the house, and one way to help him adjust to his new role in the family is to make him feel involved and important. By letting your oldest child help you with feedings, you give him the opportunity to connect with baby, which in turn may make the transition a little bit easier.

3. It will make the transition to daycare much easier. If you are planning on going back to work, someone else (be it a nanny, a family member or a daycare educator) will need to feed baby. So let him practice drinking from the bottle well before he transitions to a daycare environment. Accordion-style nipples mimic the sensation that baby gets when he nurses to ease the transition from the breast to bottle.

4. You know exactly how much milk he's getting. When nursing baby, there's no way to gauge how much he is eating (since babies are eventually much more efficient than a pump, the amount of milk that you can pump may not be a good indicator of how much they are getting). If you are worrying about your little one's weight or simply want to keep track of his food intake, this may be a real struggle. Bottle feeding offers peace of mind by letting you measure how much baby is consuming. With its anti-colic valve, Munchkin's LATCH bottle is particularly great for colicky newborns.

5. Fortify your milk. The human body produces vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin," in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, babies should avoid direct sunlight until they are at least 6 months, and breast milk doesn't pass down enough of the vitamin to make up for that loss. The AAP recommends using supplements for exclusively and partially breastfed babies, and one way to do that seamlessly is to mix vitamin D drops to your milk directly in the bottle.

6. Keep impatient babies happy. Have you noticed your little one fussing before letdowns? If so, he may be impatient for the faster and more consistent stream of milk that comes with them. With a bottle, you can provide your frustrated child the immediate gratification of milk flowing at a steady pace. Plus, as baby grows, you can adjust the flow to his liking or switch to a transitional bottle .

7. You won't need to whip your breast out wherever you are. We're all for normalizing breastfeeding in public — people can stare all they want, if baby is hungry, mommy is nursing. But there are certain social situations, like at a holiday party with colleagues or a brunch with friends and acquaintances, during which we'd rather keep our breasts under wraps.

8. It's okay to supplement. We've heard it before: breast is best. But not all women make enough milk, and not all of them want to exclusively nurse – and that's okay. Your baby's health and happiness depends largely on what works for you, as a family. So if you need or want to combine breast milk and formula, your baby will be (more than) fine, and you may find yourself much more relaxed, which, in the long run, can help you nurse longer.

9. You can wear whatever you want. Nursing fashion came a long way, and there are a lot of “regular" clothes that work great with your new mama duty. But while we love button-down shirts, crossover tops and wrap dresses, finding clothes that give access to your baby-feeding boobs can feel limited at times. With the occasional on-the-go bottle, you can say hello (again) to maxi dresses with good old crew necklines and boat-neck jumpsuits. Whatever outfit you opt for, don't forget to protect it with nursing pads . After a few hours without nursing, leakage can be unpredictable and inevitable.

10. Give yourself some “me" time. Are you yearning for a new 'do to hide that postpartum baby hair? A massage wouldn't be bad either now, would it? If baby can drink the bottle, mama can get some much-needed “me" time to care for herself – because a happy mama means a happy baby.

Photography by Jonica Moore for Well Rounded NY.

*We are so grateful when brands support our content and community. This post was sponsored by Munchkin .

This year many of us have a tighter budget than usual given (looks around) everything that has happened. Coupled with the uncertainty of what Halloween might look like, many of us are reluctant to spend money on brand new costumes that our kids will outgrow by next year. I get it. But I also know that many, like me, love Halloween so much. I thought about skipping the celebration this year, but that just feels like too big of a disappointment in an already disappointing year.

That's why I started looking into alternative costumes—something my kids will be able to wear once the clock hits November, and maybe even hand down to siblings and cousins in the coming years. At the same time, I'm not a DIY person, so I wanted outfits that didn't require any sewing or hot glue. Last year I attempted using one to build my son's Care Bear costume, and of course, I burnt my hand.

So with some creativity (and the brainpower of my colleagues), we came up with these costumes that are both fun and practical, made with items that your children will be able to (and want to!) wear year around:

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

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My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for two minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills.

"You're going to be hungry," I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising, and even though I'm trying to stay calm, I'm getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight, I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but at the moment… there was nothing.

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