Today is the sixth day of the 2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge! The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year, since I’ve just become a mum for the first time, my theme is: ‘an A-Z of Newborn Care’. I’ll be talking about all the highs and lows of parenting, sharing things that have been useful for me and posting some cute pictures.
For the letter ‘F’ I have chosen to talk about Feeding.
Options for feeding your baby
There are three main ways to feed your baby: breastfeeding, formula feeding and expressing/pumping. Of course you can also do a combination of any of those. The NHS usually recommend breastfeeding, because it provides many benefits for both mother and baby. However, not all women want to or are able to breastfeed, in which case formula is a good alternative. Unfortunately, some women are judged for formula feeding, but I personally don’t believe in shaming anyone for how they choose to feed their baby-whatever works for you!
I decided to breastfeed mainly because I wanted to boost my daughter’s immunity and also because I thought it would be more convenient. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time sterilising bottles, mixing up formula in the middle of the night and remembering to bring it all with me when I went out. It also saves us quite a lot of money. But different options work for different families. I was just lucky that my daughter took to nursing well from the beginning.
At first it would take around 45 minutes to feed her, so I was sitting down for long periods of time on a bruised coccyx, which wasn’t easy. But 13 weeks on, it’s really easy to feed her and only takes 10-15 minutes. I also pump a bottle every morning so that my husband can feed her when he gets back from work and I use that time to catch up with chores, get a shower or just relax. I usually try to keep a couple of bottles in the fridge so that I can take one with me when we go out. This works really well for us.
Feeding Leona a bottle of pumped milk.
My top ten feeding products
1) A nursing pillow like the Chicco Boppy Pillow. These are brilliant for positioning your little one and really save your arms.
2) Bibs. Babies drool and spit up A LOT, so you can never have enough of these.
3) Muslin cloths. These are a great multi-tasking product. You can use them to catch any drips and spills when burping your baby, as a nursing cover when feeding in public or even to swaddle your baby in during the first few weeks. We have the Muslinz brand.
5) A breast pump. These are so handy for when you are going out and don’t want to nurse in public or if you will be away from your baby for a while and might start feeling uncomfortable. There are both manual and electric versions available at a range of prices.
6) Bottles. Obviously if you’re formula feeding or pumping, these are a necessity. If you’re breastfeeding as well, it’s a good idea to choose bottles with slow-flow teats so that they don’t find the bottle easier, or they might start to prefer it.
7) Lansinoh cream. This was a lifesaver for me in the first few weeks when breastfeeding was still uncomfortable.
8) An electric steam steriliser. These are quick and easy to use. After washing, you can just dump all your bottles, teats, dummies and pump parts in it, press a button and leave it for 10-15 minutes to do it’s magic.
9) Infacol colic relief drops. These have helped so much with my daughter’s reflux and gas pains. You just give one dropper before each feed. She likes the taste and it calms her down a little when she is crying as well, which buys you some time while you get a bottle ready!
10) Milk storage containers/bags. These are fantastic if you have surplus supply and don’t want to waste anything, or if you want to build a stash for when you go back to work. You can store breast milk in the freezer for up to six months!
If you’re planning on breastfeeding and pumping, I recommend the Philips Avent Breastfeeding Starter Set that comes with a manual breast pump, steam steriliser, bottles, different sized teats, containers for freezer storage, breast pads, soothers and a cleaning brush.