From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby. It’s an indescribably experience of a special bond between mother and child that takes patience, understanding and commitment. I knew choosing to solely breastfeed meant hearing lots of “advise” and opinions from pretty much every woman who has already been through the joys of first time motherhood. However, I did not know that so much of their given advice would be things that ultimately did not suit the lifestyle I was trying to give my baby.
“Breastfeeding can be a scary, frustrating, and painful time for new moms.”
Do not get my wrong, I greatly appreciated all the loving support I got from those who praised me for sticking to breastfeeding and not giving up at the peak, of what seems to be an exhilarating time after birth. You are learning to care for a new born child, and she is learning what the world out side of your womb is really like. Now imagine having to produce their only source of nourishment while keeping yourself healthy and happy. Breastfeeding can be a scary, frustrating, and painful time for new moms. But once you get past that first month hurdle, you begin to recognize your baby’s cues and soon it becomes second nature to your momma bear persona. At least that is how it has been in my experience of the first four months of my little girls life.
With that being said, it has been five long months of long interrupted nights with her waking, what seems to be, every two hours sometimes every hour to eat. Now this is where that advise from everyone comes in. “Why isn’t she sleeping through the night yet? She’s at the age where she should be sleeping longer without eating. Try putting a little bit of rice cereal in a bottle before bed that will make her sleep longer.”
Just typing that makes me grind my teeth at the thought of how many times I’ve been told it. I am by no means bashing anyone that has decided to supplement their baby with formula or cereal but it’s just not for me, no matter how long it makes my daughter sleep. I would rather wake up and give her my body’s natural nutrients than to add weight on her tummy and later on cause digestion issues for her.
“all I can hope for is that I am doing my very best.”
The more I heard stories of parents putting cereal in the bottle, the more I wanted to do some research on it before trying it out. Something within my new mommy instinct just didn’t feel right. And boy was I glad I went with my gut because come to find out the whole “baby will sleep longer with cereal” is nothing more than a myth and opinion based on experiences of others. It just did not seem right to me to be putting a beginner solid food into a liquefied bottle of milk. If she was to be getting cereal, it should be introduced on a spoon, not a bottle.
Now that my daughter has hit the five month mark, it seems as if she can go longer stretches during the day without wanting to nurse, roughly four hours.. five if she’s too busy being so involved in what everyone else is doing and what’s going on around her. But once we make our way to bed at night, she wants nothing more than to stay attached to my breast. Eating a little then dozing off, only to wake up within two hours and eat again. And you know what, I’m okay with that. She won’t always be by my side recieving her only source of food.
My sweet girl has been introduced to solids since she hit the five month mark but we have not given her a bottle with cereal in it. And that is exactly how it will stay. It may not seem like a big deal to others, but to me, her mother, its huge. My little baby is growing everyday and exploring new tastes and textures besides from me and I could not be more excited. I am doing what I feel is right for her when it comes to her nutrition and well being. As a first time mother, all I can hope for is that I am doing my very best.
So I guess where I’m going with this is, if you have ever felt pressured by anyone, whether it be a family member, friend, or even your spouse about supplementing your baby just to get them to sleep longer, please go with your gut. No matter what anyone says or how much they may say they have the best interest in you and the baby, remember they are not you, the mother of the baby and they certainly are not the baby. Mommy knows best and don’t ever let anyone try to tell you any different.