11 Reasons to Love Formula Feeding

11 Reasons to Love Formula Feeding

Formula gets an awful lot of shaft these days. It’s a shame, because formula feeding is pretty phenomenal, in my humble opinion.


I breastfed my first child, and honestly, I wish I never had.


Yea, there were some beautiful moments. Making eye contact and kissing baby fingers while nursing was great and all, but those moments didn’t outweigh the lack of autonomy and abuse that I suffered under her 2.5 year reign of terror.


When it came to postpartum depression, breastfeeding was like throwing gasoline on an already raging fire.


Come baby #2 I really didn’t care if I breastfed or not. After reading this sibling study that looks at the long-term health results of breastfed and formula fed siblings, I’m pretty sure that my kid will be fine, Carol. Thanks for your concern.


Now that #2 has turned my nipples into teething toys, and the pump is begging to be chucked across the room, formula has become a dear friend.


You can still make eye contact and kiss baby fingers while bottle feeding. Contrary to the opinion of most lactivists, formula feeding is not like giving your baby crack.

Here are 11 reasons to love formula feeding




Everyone says to take care of yourself, yet no one seems to have a good answer for how to do that when somebody is making demands from your body around the clock.

Need some sleep? A hot shower? A few minutes of silence? Oh. Nobody was talking about that kind of self care.

Using formula allows you the freedom to take care of yourself whenever you need, however you need.



Makes you less homicidal

 via GIPHY

The words, “Uh babe, I think she’s hungry” are a common trigger for new moms.

If you are resisting the urge to sucker punch your significant other several times a day, you aren’t alone.

The benefit of formula feeding, is that this becomes a non-issue. You think she’s hungry? Great. You have two hands. Use them to make a bottle. I’m going to sit right here and eat my dinner while it’s hot.

You don’t need to be milked like a cow

 via GIPHY

Has anyone else had to sit in a room while being hooked up to a breast pump with people on the other side of the door?

If you’ve never felt like a literal cow, having a crowd of people listen to a machine extract milk from your udders boobs will do the trick.


You know exactly how much your baby has had to eatvia GIPHY

There is NO possible way to know how much your baby has consumed when breastfeeding.

I hate it when someone asks, as if I could somehow produce an answer. Um, could you please tell me where the measurements are on my breasts? I can’t find them…

Eliminates uncertainty

 via GIPHY

She just drank 6 oz an hour ago, so no, she’s not hungry. Either she crapped herself or she’s bored. One thing is certain- She. Is. Not. Hungry.

Share the love and bonding

 via GIPHY

You won’t like this if you’re the martyr type.

Assuming you’re not looking for a stake to throw yourself on, formula feeding is a pretty great way to have other people bond with your baby while you do normal life things like shower, cook, or yes, poop in peace.

Those are all really difficult to do with a kid sucking your boob. Trust me, I’ve done them all.

You get more sleep

 via GIPHY

Oh sure, you could have your husband feed the baby expressed milk, but that means you need to wake up to pump those leaky boobs or risk mastitis.

Formula feeding lets you sleep as much as you want, assuming there is another adult around.

No pain but so much gain 

The early days of breastfeeding are brutal. Most babies can’t find a nipple if it’s staring them in the face and squirting milk directly into their mouth.

But when they do find it, hold on tight because you will be reminded of how cruel mother nature can be.

Eat and drink whatever you want!

 via GIPHY

Wine, cheese, spicy food, caffeine! The world is your oyster, so eat it all! Nobody is going to get gassy and scream at the top of their lungs for 6 hours if you eat something they don’t like.

Nobody confronts you and your baby about conspiring to seduce their husband via GIPHY

Wait. What?

Yes, you heard that right. Unfortunately it happens.



Your body is completely yours


Nobody will ever scream “BOOBIES!” at the top of their lungs while hitting you and trying to rip your shirt off as you wait in line at the bank ever again. Thank god.

Breastfeeding can be great. I don’t want to discount that. Lots of women love it, and even find it addicting. Many mothers have fought hard to succeed and have no regrets.


But other women can’t do it, or straight up hate it. And that’s okay. If you fall into the latter category, know that you’re in good company. There is a rather large group of us who have been shamed into silence that would love to welcome you with open arms.



Sleep training for confused moms

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Sleep Training for Confused Moms: Considerations, Preparations, and 5 Methods

Sleep Training for Confused Moms: Considerations, Preparations, and 5 Methods


You’re in desperate need sleep, but the thought of letting your sweet baby cry for hours is unbearable.


If you’re an exhausted, sleep deprived mom, you’ve probably thought about sleep training at least once this past week, if not all last night.


It’s confusing and scary. I get it. I’ve been there. I am there right now.


Meanwhile, everyone around you is quick to offer their opinion, insistent that their favored approach (or lack of approach) is best for your baby, and anything else will traumatize them.


Let me fill you in on a little secret.


What works for one child will not necessarily work for the next, and the same goes for parents.


And while the You need to sleep train! camp and the Sleep training traumatizes babies! camp are constantly trying to intimidate each other with research, it’s really difficult to study the long-term effects of infant sleep training.

The number of variables is overwhelming!


What do we know about sleep training?


When you look up sleep training and all of the different approaches, the important thing to keep in mind is that there is no right answer.


We know that:

1. We all go through multiple sleep cycles every night. This is often the cause of arousal in young children.

2. Sleep is crucial for optimal health and proper brain development.

3. Sleep training does not cause long term problems in children with a normal parent-child attachment.

4. Sleep training does not harm the parent-child bond.


How you and your family manage to get sleep is a very personal decision, and one that may even vary from child to child.


Nobody can tell you what the best approach will be for you. Only you can determine that.

What are the different approaches to sleep training?


 It’s important to realize that sleep training does not always mean Cry It Out.


On the contrary, there are several very gentle approaches to sleep training. Cry it out, or CIO is by far the most rigorous of the approaches.


There are five major approaches to sleep training. Each one has its own benefits and drawbacks. None of them are easy, however the approaches that are most gentle for babies tend to require more hours of ‘work’ on the parent’s part.


We suggest beginning with a more gentle approach, and if it doesn’t work, move toward a more rigorous one.


Fade it Out (FIO) or Fading Method

This is also known as a “no-cry” approach.


With the Fading Method, you continue to help your baby fall asleep using the current sleep crutches that they already rely on. Examples of sleep crutches might be feeding, rocking, bouncing, or shush-ing.


Over time you gradually shorten the amount of time spent doing these activities, with the goal being that your baby learns to put himself to sleep.


The Fading Method is a good approach for young babies and parents who are afraid to let their child cry, however it is exhausting.


What age can you begin this method? Any age.



Pick-up-put-down method (PUPD)

The PUPD method is exactly as it is described.


You put baby down drowsy but awake. When they cry you pick them up and comfort them. After they have settled you put them down again. When they cry, you pick them up and comfort them and repeat as necessary.


This is another approach to sleep training that is gentle for the baby but exhausting for the parents.


The PUPD method is less effective for temperamental or colicky babies. It tends to just make them angry. It can be good for children with a mild temperament though.


Again, if you are afraid to let your baby cry for an extended period of time, this could be a good approach for you.


What age can you begin this method? Any age.



Chair Method

The goal of the chair method is to allow your baby to fall asleep on his own with the assurance that you are still there.


You begin by setting a chair next to the crib or bassinette. When your baby cries, you do not engage with them. Over the next weeks or months, you slowly begin to move the chair further and further away from your baby’s bed until they are falling asleep on their own.


This approach is less gentle the those mentioned above, and is by far the most taxing for the parent.


Children may be confused about the parent’s presence but lack of interaction or comfort, and parents are exposed to extended periods of crying, possibly multiple times a night, for weeks or months.


If this is an approach that you would like to try, I recommend noise cancelling headphones.


What age can you begin this method? 3 months.



Ferber Method/Graduated Extinction

Similar to the Chair Method, the goal of the Ferber Method is to teach your baby to self soothe while reassuring them of your presence.


The difference is that with the Ferber Method, you enter and exit the room at gradually increasing, predetermined intervals of time. This is a popular approach when the more gentle methods are not effective, yet parents are too nervous or unable to implement the cry-it-out method.


One of the appeals of the Ferber Method is that it can easily be tailored to your and your baby’s emotional capacity. There are no strict guidelines about how long the intervals must be or at what rate they need to increase.


Here is a sample schedule of the Ferber Method:


Night 1: (1st interval) 3 min, (2nd interval) 5 min, (3rd interval) 10 min. Continue checking in every 10 min until baby is asleep.


Night 2: 5 min, 10 min, 15 min. Continue intervals of 15 min.


Night 3: 7 min, 15 min, 20 min. Continue intervals of 20 min.


Night 4: 10 min, 17 min, 25 min. Continue intervals of 25 min.


What age can this approach be implemented? Can begin at 4 months, but 6 months is optimal.



Cry it out (CIO)/Extinction

This is the most rigorous form of sleep training, as it often involves a significant amount of crying for the first few nights.


The method is pretty straight forward. After all of your baby’s needs have been met and you have gone through their bedtime routine, you put them in bed drowsy but awake, and leave the room. If they cry, you do not go to them.


The reasoning is that when they “cry it out,” they learn to soothe themselves so that eventually they can put themselves back to sleep between sleep cycles.


The only time that you go to them is if they need to eat, and those times should be determined before you begin sleep training.


Critics of CIO argue that it causes emotional trauma, however there are no long-term studies to back this up.


Advocates of the CIO method argue that there is less crying overall because babies learn to put themselves back to sleep more quickly, however the total hours of crying can vary greatly from child to child.


For parents, cry it out is often emotionally brutal for a few days. However, most children begin sleeping for long stretches of time within 3-5 days, so parents who use this approach often state that they found the increase in sleep to be worth a few days of struggling.


Regardless of if you agree with this approach or not, it has been very helpful for many people, but is not recommended for everyone.


What age can this be used? Not before 6 months. If implementing at 6 months, do not expect them to sleep through the night without eating. Make sure that you schedule age appropriate feedings. Look back at past feeding records to determine when they ate larger quantities and plan to give them a “dream feed” shortly before those times.

Questions to consider before sleep training


Before you jump into sleep training, there are several things that you should consider to determine if sleep training is right for you and your baby, and if so, which approach you should take.

How old is your baby?

Certain methods of sleep training are not recommended for children under the age of six months. If your baby was born prematurely, you must count their age from their due date.

What is your emotional state? How much exposure to crying are you able to tolerate?

Parents are a critical part of sleep training, so it’s important to factor in your own limitations.

Dr Weissbluth from Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child recommends that fathers sleep train their babies because most often, mothers are already bearing the brunt of the sleep deprivation.

But again, only you and your partner will be able to make that decision.

How would you describe your baby’s temperament and attachment?

The combination of your baby’s temperament and attachment will play a role in the approach that you take to sleep training.

Some babies respond well to gentle forms of sleep training, whereas some do not. And likewise, some babies do well with strict approaches, while others will cry for up to 5 hours.


Does your baby have a history of neglect?

If you have an adopted or foster child with a history of neglect, you should not use methods such as cry it out.


preparation for sleep training


The process of sleep training does not begin on the first night that you decide to implement your plan.


If you want to succeed at sleep training, it is important that you spend about a week preparing.


Make a detailed record of your baby’s current routine for a while, even if its sporadic.

If you are trying to put him to bed but he is not ready, does he cry when you walk into the bedroom or you try to feed him in a certain chair? If so, those may be sleep associations for him.

This is helpful information when establishing a bedtime routine so that you can work with your baby.


Develop bedtime and nap time routines

Use your notes about sleep associations that your baby has already developed, and build a routine from there.

You could give your baby a bath, massage them with a special lotion, sing a song, and nurse them in a certain recliner.

The logistics don’t really matter. The important thing is that you do the same thing every night before you attempt to put them to sleep.


Determine the age-appropriate length of time that you baby can go between feedings at night

Because a baby’s stomach is growing rapidly, every month of age can make a significant difference.

Here are conservative estimates for how long babies can go between eating at night.

    • 0-3 months: every 2-3 hours on demand
    • 3-4 months: every 3-6 hours on demand/2-3 feedings total
    • 5-6 months: 1-2 feedings, scheduled
    • 7-9 months: 1 scheduled feeding, but possibly 2
    • 10-12 months: Able to be night weaned. However you could still do 1 night feeding if you are concerned.
    • 12 + months: Night feedings not necessary.


Track current eating patterns

Take note of when your baby has large feeds, and when they snack. If your baby still needs night feedings, this will help you find the best time to feed him.


Get your baby on a feeding schedule to ensure that they are getting enough food during the day

One of the biggest anxieties parents face with sleep training is that their baby is crying from hunger.

The best way to handle this is by keeping track of how much food your baby is consuming during the day.


Block off a time when your family’s schedule will be relatively consistent for at least 1 month

Don’t attempt sleep training before a move, in the month prior to the birth of a new baby, or while on vacation.

Make a plan

The worst way to begin sleep training is by jumping in head-first without hashing out the logistics.

Susie Parker from Sleep Baby Love recommends that you ask yourself these vital questions:

  • Are you ready to make a change
  • What soothing method are you going to use?
  • Where will your baby sleep for nights and naps?
  • What changes are you going to make to your baby’s room to create the optimal sleep environment?
  • What will your bedtime routine look like?
  • How many night feeds will you have?
  • What will your soothing method be for nighttime?
  • Is the soothing method the same for night wakings, naps and bedtime?
  • What time will your day start?
  • Will you work on nights and naps at the same time?
  • Will your feeds be before or after naps?
  • Will naps be based on a set time or flexible times from when your baby is up?
  • What will you do if your baby takes a short nap?
  • Are you ready to be consistent? 

How can I choose the best approach to sleep training?


When choosing a method of sleep training, there is no right or wrong answer. The best approach is one that works for you and your baby.


For first time parents that are scared to let their baby cry, we recommend beginning with more gentle approaches such as the Fading Method or the Pick-up-put-down Method. These are usually the approaches that new or nervous parents are most comfortable with.


If they don’t work, it may be helpful to transition to the Ferber method, and if that is ineffective, move to Cry-it-out.


Seasoned parents are more likely to be comfortable with the Cry-it-out method, however they may need to adjust their approach depending on their child.


Whichever approach you choose, give it a week before determining if it is effective or not, assuming you have the capacity to pursue it for that length of time.

Remember that while consistency is critical, so is your emotional health. If you have tried an approach for a week and things are only getting worse, do not hesitate to throw in the towel and come back to the drawing board.


The most important thing for your baby is a happy mom.



SIDS: Causes and prevention

SIDS causes and prevention

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Pumping Hack Guaranteed to Save You TONS of Time!

Pumping Hack Guaranteed to Save You TONS of Time!

All pumping moms know the headache of constantly washing pump parts. Do you remember the song that never ends? Well, that is your life now.


 But it doesn’t have to be. 

This stupid-easy hack will save you hours, if not days of being bent over the sink.

Ready for it?


Stick your pump parts in a plastic bag, and throw them in the fridge between pumping sessions.

That’s it!

Still wash and sanitize them daily of course.


 Don’t forget to  join my mailing list below to catch all of the other quick hacks and mom stuff that I’ll be shooting out!




Pay it forward by sharing with a frustrated, sleep deprived friend! 


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Speed up Pumping and Increase Milk Output

Speed up Pumping and Increase Milk Output

Who has time to hang out, attached to a breast pump for 4 hours a day? Nobody.


If you have come across this post, your time is probably limited and you have already lost your sh*t at least once today.


So I’m going to make this short and sweet.


The two tips to speed up pumping sessions and increase you milk output are

  1. Breast massage
  2. Breast compression


Do not, I repeat, do NOT strap on that pump and expect to extract every last drop of your liquid gold. Your milking sessions (yes, let’s just call a spade a spade) will take foreeeever and you will still fail.


Watch the pump. When your milk begins to slow down, stop. Massage your breasts in a circular motion, then reattach and squeeze your boobs to help push the milk out.


Repeat until your breasts are soft.

Doing this loosens the milk from the milk ducts. It allows you to gather more hind milk (the awesome, fatty kind) and pushes it out faster.

*Affiliate links to two of my favorite products ahead. You can read my anticlimactic disclosure here.


If you have a single breast pump, using a haakka will speed things up by siphoning milk from the opposite breast.

If you don’t already have a pumping bra, I recommend the Simple Wishes DLITE bra because it is fully adjustable (size XS-L) and has two layers of thick fabric to hold the pump in place.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so you can catch new tips, tricks, hacks, freebies, and all that good stuff.




And as always, pay it forward by sharing 🙂 




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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Causes and 13 Tips for Prevention

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Causes and 13 Tips for Prevention

Often known as “crib death,” Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS is defined as the unexpected death of an otherwise healthy infant under one year of age, typically during sleep.


SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants age 1 month to 1 year. Approximately 2,500 babies die of SIDS each year in America alone. The risk peaks between 2-4 months of age.


While the exact cause is unclear, researchers have discovered several factors that increase a baby’s risk for SIDS, as well as ways to reduce the risk.

*This post contains affiliate links. Feel free to read my super anticlimactic disclosure here.


Risk factors and Causes of SIDS


Brain defects

According to the Mayo Clinic, the portion of the brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep is underdeveloped or immature in some infants. This means that if they fall into a deep sleep, they may stop breathing and never wake up.


Babies who were born prematurely are at especially high risk for SIDS because their brain is still underdeveloped.

Respiratory infection 

Many infants who die from SIDS have recently had a cold or other respiratory infection.

Sleeping on their stomach or side

Because infants have limited control over their head and neck, sleeping on their side or stomach puts them at a high risk for suffocation. 

Sleeping on a soft surface

This again increases their risk for suffocation.


While there are many new advocates for co-sleeping, such as Dr. Sears, the American Academy of Pediatrics still warns against it. Risks of co-sleeping include rolling over the baby and accidental asphyxiation. Chances increase greatly if one parent is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you are unable to stay awake for night feedings, I recommend a co-sleeper such as this one to keep baby near, but still give them a separate surface. 

This co-sleeper folds down on one side so that you can slide baby in, and flips up again if you need more physical separation.


Overheating is another significant risk factor for SIDS. Babies should always sleep in a cool room.


Secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke increases your baby’s risk of respiratory infection or illness, which in turn increases their risk of SIDS.



Male infants are at a slightly higher risk of SIDS, but only slightly. 


Non-caucasian babies are at a higher risk for SIDS. Again, researchers do not understand why.


I’ve been hesitant to include this, because I don’t want to get into the debate. However, several of the vaccine inserts given to infants at ages 2, 4, and 6 months specifically list SIDS as an adverse side effect. Here is the Dtap insert from the FDA where SIDS is listed at the bottom of page 12.

 Maternal risk factors

Several maternal factors increase a baby’s risk of SIDS. Factors include smoking, being under the age of 20, using drugs or alcohol during or after pregnancy, and not receiving proper prenatal care. 


Tips to Prevent SIDS

While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of SIDS, there are many steps that parents can take to ensure that their baby is as safe as possible.

Related: My Baby Almost Died of SIDS- These Products Saved Her Life


Here are 12 tips to keep your baby safe:

1. Put them on their back to sleep.

Since the launch of the Back to Sleep campaign in 1983, recorded cases of SIDS have dropped 71%, though the AAP speculates that the real number is somewhere between 30-40% because of a change in the way that infant deaths are classified. Either way, it’s significant. If your baby is able to roll onto her tummy by herself, there is no need to worry. But until then, it is important to always lay your baby on her back.

2. Always Place them to sleep on a Firm, flat surface

Use a firm mattress with a well-fitted sheet. The use of loose sheets, soft cushions and fluffy blankets pose a serious risk to small babies.

3. Share a room, but not a bed

The AAP recommends room sharing with your baby until he is at least 6 months old. It is speculated that rooming in enables parents to catch bouts of apnea more easily. Some parents can’t do this because of the finicky sounds that babies make when they sleep. Speaking from experience, I can honestly say that sometimes room sharing is not the best sleeping arrangement for a family. If room sharing is not for your family, rooming out can be done safely with the use of a an oxygen and heart rate monitor such as the Owlet.

Standard audio and visual monitors can be used as well- or none. People have had their babies room out on and off for centuries. What it really boils down to is both your comfort level and your baby’s risk level. If your baby is premature or has a heart defect, and you are unable to sleep in the same room, an oxygen monitor can decrease the risks of SIDS significantly- and help you get more sleep too.

4. Keep crib or bassinet bare

This is pretty straight forward, but always a little disappointing (baby toys are and blankets are so cute).

No crib bumpers, pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals.

5. Don’t use blankets

Opt for warm clothing or a swaddle such as this one. Do not use the blanket-style muselin swaddles when your baby is sleeping. I know, they are the most adorable thing. But babies can easily squirm out of them, causing the blanket to ride up over their face and suffocate them.

When your baby is able to roll over, stop using the swaddle immediately. They could get stuck face-first on their belly. If your baby still has a strong startle reflex and struggles to sleep without a swaddle, consider a Magic Merlin’s Sleep Suit or Zipadee.



6. Breastfeed for as long as possible

Researchers agree that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of SIDS. At a minimum, it keeps you from falling asleep with the bottle in their mouth.


7. Keep the room cool

To avoid overheating, experts suggest keeping the room temperature between 68-72 degrees F, or 20-22.2 degrees C.

8. Turn on a fan

While an overhead fan is ideal for air circulation, a standing fan pointed in the direction of your baby’s crib will help as well.

9. Give a pacifier

Pacifiers can reduce the risk of SIDS by creating a gap between your baby’s nose and their sleeping surface or blankets.

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10. Practice tummy time

As soon as your baby is able, get into the habit of practicing tummy time. This helps to strengthen his back and neck, giving him the ability to move his face if it were to become covered while sleeping.

11. Don’t smoke around the baby

Secondhand smoke greatly increases a baby’s risk of respiratory infection, which in turn increases the risk of SIDS. You can protect your baby by giving up smoking, or committing to smoking where they will not be exposed.

12. Research vaccinations

Vaccinations are seen as both a personal and public health matter. With the debate in full rage, I don’t feel that this is the place to get into it.

However I stand firm in the belief that mothers can find joy when they are able to make decisions that are best for both them and their children.

Whichever side of the fence you are on, consider reading the research and listening to concerns from the other side. As humans, we tend to lock ourselves into only receiving information that affirms our personal beliefs. This is called a confirmation bias.

If you are unsure where you stand, I would also encourage you to take a look at the European schedule where fewer people are coming forth with experiences and concerns about adverse effects.


13. Use an oxygen monitor

Oxygen monitors such as the Owlet can alert you if your baby’s oxygen level begins to drop too low, or if their heart rate falls out of the normal range. This is especially helpful if your baby falls into a deep sleep and is unable to rouse himself. Of course an oxygen monitor should never be used to compensate for placing your baby in unsafe sleep conditions.



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