We plan it all out in our minds. We know what we want. It is awesome when it works out just like we had planned, right? That’s the kicker that people fail to tell you when you are pregnant… sometimes it just doesn’t. Sometimes, our birth plan changes or our plans change, but thankfully there are so many options out there that work. Today, I have partnered with Parents Choice to bring you some encouragement about YOUR choice as a parent.
When our first son was born, he was just a little peanut- he was born a month early and he had a hard time latching on. I dedicated three months to seeing lactation consultants, attending breastfeeding meetings, etc… until he finally got it. Yes, 90 days later, he got it.
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(PS-I had a LOT of time on my hands as a stay at home mom when I was home with just one little baby boy!)
A year and a half passed and we welcome baby #2. I’m ready this time around! I know just what to do! I have it all down pat: Do the football hold and wait for the wide “yawn” instead of going for the latch when you see the small “cheerio” mouth opening.
Yep- I’m going to be a pro this time around!
Three weeks before our due date, I hear the news… “We need to bring this baby out NOW. He has stopped growing. He is four pounds. Let’s go”.
We go to the hospital, still expecting things to go our way…
I am induced and he comes a few hours later (each of our kids were quick labors- “one push babies”, as our Doctor called them by our fourth baby!)
Still feeling like I’ve got this whole breastfeeding thing, I’m ready. That’s when I hear the nurse tell me “We’re sorry- we are going to have to give him formula. His blood sugar is very low. He needs to be formula fed. You can breastfeed, too, but for now, we need to supplement.”
So it began. I gave him formula for over a week. Once he was used to that bottle there was no going back.
I tried to nurse him, but he had some major muscle issues (he was hypertonic – read about that here) that prevented him from latching on. I exclusively pumped for about eight months. At eight months, I started to add Parent’s Choice® formula back in, still pumping & giving him breast milk until he was a year… and you know what? It was fine. It worked out perfectly!
That’s the thing. You don’t know what you are going to do and I learned, after our second baby, that it didn’t matter.
I wanted to share my favorite image from Family Days that pretty much sums it all up:
It doesn’t matter WHAT you do, as long as you do it with love. Pick the products that you can trust and then let go… let go of what is holding you back from trying something new. For us, we found that
Parent’s Choice® baby and toddler products (available exclusively at Walmart since 1998) were the ones that our pediatrician suggested. We not only saved money (over $600 a year compared to other formulas), but Parent’s Choice® is nutritionally comparable to more expensive national brand infant formulas, including Enfamil®, Similac®, and Gerber®.
I always looked for a formula that was compliant with FDA nutritional standards and the recommendations of the AAP – the American Academy of Pediatrics and clinically proven to support growth and development. I think those things are important.
He had a hard time digesting foods, so we picked Parent’s Choice® because it was well tolerated by millions of babies. We ended up using the Parent’s Choice® Sensitivity Canned Powder Infant Formula.
Our third child was our only easy breastfeeder. He just got it. No issues. No complications. He just got it. He was really the best baby, overall- easy going. Great sleeper. “Hey- this is great! Lets have another! “
Our fourth child, our daughter, was exclusively breastfed for almost a year, but at the end, when she was closer to a year, she also received Parent’s Choice® formula. I made SO MUCH MILK that it would have been harder for me to formula feed from the get-go, but by the end, I was ready.
Even with her bottle, I was just happy to be feeding her, snuggling her and dressing her… after 3 boys, dressing a little girl is OH-SO-FUN!
I want to tell you that if you are formula feeding your baby- take pride in it. If you are breast feeding your baby- take pride in it. If you are exclusively pumping for your baby – take pride in it. You are FEEDING your baby, after all. You are CARING for your baby. That is what matters!
If you are still debating which choice is right for you, I want to tell you about two families.
Each of our four kids had breastmilk, at some point, while my friend’s daughters did not have even a drop. Do you want to guess which of those kids had the most ear infections?
Mine: totaling 113 ear infections between the four kids. (yes, they each had ear tubes)
Her kids: one. ONE!!!!
Do you want to know which of our kids have asthma:
ME: One of mine
HER: One of hers
Do you want to know which one of us have kids that are doing fantastic in school?
Do you want to guess which mom loves her kids to the moon and back?
ME: You bet!
Her: Without a doubt!
I know that there is so much hype about “breast is best” but do you know what is really best?
Loving your baby.
Smiling with your baby.
Reading to your baby.
Cuddling with your baby.
Singing to your baby.
Signing for your baby.
Talking to your baby.
Laying with your baby.
Embracing the night shift with your baby.
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