Formula Feeding: The Good and Bad.

Although I primarily breastfed my children, they didn’t all breast feed for two years, like my first.  My second switched to formula at 8 months old.  My third switched at 9 months old.  My fourth has breastfed exclusively from 1 month old to now (just over one year old).  During his first month, I supplemented him with tiny amounts of formula after nursing. I have been fortunate enough  to have lived only a half a mile from my job this time.  Lucas was brought to me by my husband every three hours to nurse, so I have pumped very little.  Unfortunately, I was laid off from that job, and had to get a new job that is a 30 minute drive with no traffic, and an hour with traffic.  Joe tried to bring him to me to nurse as before, but the drive plus the gas was just too much.  I had to pump.

The first day, we bought formula because there was no stored up breast milk.  Lucas refused it.  wouldn’t take it from a bottle or a sippy cup.   I pumped, but not a lot, and pumped when I got home as well.  Lucas drank the tiny amount I pumped from the bottle with no nipple on it.  i carefully tipped it into his mouth.  so i knew fresh breastmilk was okay.  The next day, he refused the previous day’s breastmilk, formula, most solid foods offered.  He hardly ate.

We went to Target and looked for foods that Joe could easily offer Lucas.  I also bought ingredients to make home made meatballs, stewed chicken and stuff like that for Joe to reheat for Lucas.  While there, I looked at the formulas and was dismayed by what I found.  There is a special formula blend for everything.  Gentle digestion.  Gas.  Spit Up.  and SLEEPING!

That one made me stop and read.  What are they putting in formula to make kids sleep?  Allergy medication?  That was actually my first thought!  Then I read that it was a special formula designed to thicken in baby’s tummy and digest slowly.  What? Breastmilk digests quickly FOR A REASON.  It’s how babies were designed to eat.  I am completely opposed to engineering formula to be heavy in a child’s stomach.  Studies have shown that breastfed babies are less likely to die from SIDS, and one theory is that they don’t sleep as soundly.  We don’t want babies sleeping 8 hours.  It’s NOT NATURAL!

Now, I’m all for formula being developed to be as close to breastmilk as possible.  For babies who are not able to be breastfed, I want them to have the best food possible.  I don’t care why the mom formula feeds, I care that the baby is properly nourished. I think all formula should be designed this way.  But to design it to make a baby sleep?  What are they thinking?  When is Benedryl going to start marketing itself as a sleep trainer? Like @sufficiency said on Twitter, “shades of medicating your kids for your sake.”  Exactly.  Want to sleep better?  Cosleep. Leave your breast out for the baby to access on his or her own whenever they get hungry (of course, they need your help for a little while), and they can eat without waking you.  We were designed by millions of years of evolution and God to sleep with our babies.  Sleep studies have shown that moms and babies respond to each other throughout the night WITHOUT WAKING.  I’ve coslept with four children, and I never wonder “when is my child going to sleep through the night?”  Never.  When people ask me if the baby sleeps through the night, I don’t even know how to answer that.  “no, but I don’t care”? or “I’m not sure.” (at this point, I think he mostly sleeps through the night, but I’m not positive.  All I know is that he hardly wakes me up!)

The multi million dollar baby industry is designed for us to buy cribs, bottles, nipples, sterilizers, bottle brushes, formula, crib bumpers, crib mobiles, baby monitors, crib toys, blankets.  In order for them to profit handsomely, we need to bottle feed our babies and sleep them in cribs.  If we all breastfeed and cosleep, imagine how much money corporations would lose.  Can’t make as much on cosleepers, nursing pillows, and nipple creams.  Books and books and books and books are written on how to “sleep train” your baby to sleep when you want it to.  All of this is designed to make children “self soothe” and “be independent,” but that isn’t exactly what they want in children is it?  The people who sleep train do not want independent children. They want compliant children. And they want compliant children enough to feed them this thick formula goopy stuff.  Yuck.

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3 Comments

Filed under breastfeeding, cosleeping, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Formula Feeding: The Good and Bad.

  1. I could not agree with you more…the first time I saw an ad for Enfamil Restful my heart sank. That set back the perception of formula feeders about 1000 years. Blecch.

    My opinion? Formula companies are like any other big corporation – out for money. No better, no worse. But we all need to take responsibility as parents to ignore stupid advertising.

  2. pocket.buddha

    I totally agree that this is a sick invention.

    It makes me so sad that our society expects so much from our babies, and that some will go to seamingly endless lengths to get their babies to meet those expectations.

  3. astromezzo

    thanks for the mention – i specifically was thinking that because the advertising copy on the can says: “So you both can rest better.” gah! they start by emphasizing how important sleep is for babies, and then they end with a little wink wink nudge nudge about how important sleep is for the parents

    now i wasn’t one of the lucky ones who can sleep through nursing at night – believe me i’ve tried – my first was 1.75 when we night weaned, and my second just over 2… so i’ve spent years of waking in the night to nurse – but i’d rather that than SIDS!

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