People say BF is easier. How is that?

(73 Posts)
IdaClair Thu 14-Feb-13 14:49:16

I have done both and FF is a (very very tempting) doddle in comparison to this. But I see many people say BF is easy, so easy, can be tough at the start but easier long term and so on. That's definitely not my experience. Tell me which you find easier and when and why?

mistlethrush Thu 14-Feb-13 14:51:38

I can't tell you which I found easier as I only bf. However, I did think it was very easy to go out, or indeed, feed in the middle of the night, as there was nothing to sterilise, and nothing to heat up.

CitizenOscar Thu 14-Feb-13 14:53:24

No shopping, washing, warming, paraphernalia, sterilising or planning. Portable, free.

Breastfeeding definitely easier for me.

Trazzletoes Thu 14-Feb-13 14:53:37

Yup, I would say BF is easier in terms of not having to be organised with feeds, heating milk, having enough stuff with you, getting out of bed at night etc.

However, it is bloody hard work while you are getting the hang of it.

CunfuddledAlways Thu 14-Feb-13 14:54:22

i also did both, i liked for breast feeding you didnt have to carry bottles/water/formula around/ worry about cleaning the bottles etc you literally just found somewhere to sit and fed baby

formula helped me see how much baby was feeding which i couldn't tell with breast feeding.

mastitis was my downfall with breastfeeding it got to painful and in the end i effectively gave up breast feeding dd2 as i was in so much pain and she was struggiling to gain weight, however if i was to have another child i would certainly start with breast feeding it is cheaper and means less stuff to carry around.

marzipananimal Thu 14-Feb-13 14:57:59

I found bfing very hard for the first month or 2 but after that it was a complete doddle. No washing up, mixing bottles, packing bag for going out, risk of running out if you're out longer than planned etc. Way of quieting a grumpy baby/toddler in the time it takes to unclip a bra. Best parenting tool ever!
I can see though that if you have lots of family around to help out and a baby that falls into a predictable and consistent feeding routine then FF could be pretty easy too but neither of those things were the case for me so I am extremely glad I managed to bf

Seeline Thu 14-Feb-13 14:58:08

I mix fed my DS, although mainly BF until 6 months, but it was lovely being able to leave a bottle with someone else to feed him, or DH doing a night -time feed every now and then.
I EBF DD for 15 months as she flatly refused bottles/cups and wouldn't take formula or expressed milk. That was bloody hard as I couldn't go out on my own and I had to do every feed all the time.
However, I agree that in terms of no sterilising, measuring, carrying stuff out and about and cost BF is definitely easier. It is nice to have a choice though grin

Whyriskit Thu 14-Feb-13 14:58:24

I did both. Found breast feeding great when I got the hang of it. Ds2 stopped when he was two. No paraphernalia required, totally portable.

noblegiraffe Thu 14-Feb-13 14:59:30

I'm currently bfing my second and my first bf for 17 months and never had formula or even a bottle, so I can't say whether ff is actually more difficult, however, I've never made up formula or sterilised a bottle, and having to figure those things out would certainly put me off giving it a go.
Making up formula seems full of rules about bacteria in the powder, the temperature of the water, hotspots, teat sizes, different types of bottles, different types of formula (comfort? hungry baby?) that I wouldn't know where to start. And how do you sterilise a bottle? The displays of sterilisers, Milton, bottle brushes look quite intimidating.
For night feeds, there seems to be loads of threads about waiting for kettles while baby cries, thermos flasks and so on.
If you go out and about, you have to pack milk, bottles, no idea what you do about hot water, what if you're out a long time and you run out of milk?
I just get my boob out and shove it in!

Obviously bfing can bring problems, but the vast, vast majority of feeds, if you bf for a long time really are no hassle at all, all the equipment is already there and set up.

Ahhhcrap Thu 14-Feb-13 15:00:33

Much much less faffing with BF.

I only breastfed so difficult to compare, tho ds did have some bottles. I think bf is practically easier, certainly when they're a little older, but mentally can be challenging. I struggled to leave them and felt it was only me who could settle them. But that might have been the case if I'd ff, I don't know. Was very stressful when I went into hospital when ds was 4m.

NippyDrips Thu 14-Feb-13 15:05:44

I formula fed my eldest two and breast feed my youngest. I found it incredibly hard to start with, tounge tie, thrush, mastitis all problems to overcome but now I don't need to think, its just boob out nipple in. I can go out without making sure I have bottles etc, there is no waste, I don't have to worry about running out, no bottles to wash but for me its the weight loss that cinches it, I can eat what I want and the weight is sliding off. Easier than worrying about losing the baby weight.

FF easier in that it didn't make me feel weird / depressed / weepy at every feed, and DH could do some of the feeds. I actually really enjoyed FF as a special time cuddling the baby and focusing on them, without my body flooding with hormones that made me want to kill myself, which is what happened with BF.

FellatioNels0n Thu 14-Feb-13 15:07:33

It's only easier of you find it easy in the first place. FF is never difficult, just faffy and requires a bit of forethought and preparation. BF can be easy peasy of the most fucking difficult thing ever. I just depends on you.

SamSmalaidh Thu 14-Feb-13 15:11:45

I found breastfeeding easy, and much easier than formula (or even cow's milk once DS was over 1). No need to wash bottles, no planning ahead around feeds, no worrying about having enough milk in, being able to just spontaneously stay out all day or overnight somewhere. No worrying about waste, expense, how much he was taking, getting out of bed in the night. Oh and no concerns about health, safety, sterilising, food poisoning, keeping things cool or heating it up. When I have babysat my bottle fed nephew I have found it much harder, and that was with using readymade cartoons.

LadyMetroland Thu 14-Feb-13 15:12:08

Bf is often painful at first, but is definitely easier overall as you just whip up your top and get going. So easy when out and about and for nightfeeds (never even got out of bed with my two - bedside cot and sleeping). Things like going out for a country walk - no preparation or faffing with bags needed, just put baby in carrier and when he's hungry lunch is ready and waiting, at perfect temperature for him.

Ff is major faff and to do it 'properly" you've got to put boiling/very hot water on to the powder to sterile it. Difficult when out and at night, plus the expense of bottles, teats, formula etc.

Charleymouse Thu 14-Feb-13 15:36:46

I only breastfed, but did have to express and bottlefeed DS EBM as he needed meds mixing with milk.

For me the Positives of BF:
free,
portable,
always correct temperature,
sterile,
always with me in the correct amount/concentration,
comforting,
pain relieving,
soothing,
bonding,

The negatives of bottle feeding:
expressing,
washing/drying bottles,
sterilising (although did not do this after leaving hospital),
having to refrigerate/freeze milk
having wasted milk and meds,
worrying that the amount was not right,

At the pool (at an aquanatal session; I don't just flop my baps out willynilly) I once sat on the edge dangling my feet in the water whilst BF and someone said ooh what a faff wouldn't it be easier to FF.

What could possibly be easier than pulling your cozzy down and staying where you are. She obviously thought to get out the pool, go and get a bottle, get it to correct temperature then feed grizzly baby would be easier. HOW?

BertieBotts Thu 14-Feb-13 15:43:15

How old is your baby OP? I can see that FF would have been easier in the beginning, but for me although I have never FF I found BF so much easier than remembering to take drinks and snacks out later on, probably because I'm forgetful! But for me it's easier because there's no preparing, no having to think in advance, if you unexpectedly stay out longer than planned you don't have to worry about finding milk from somewhere. The milk can't go off and it doesn't just feed them, it also calms them down and even gets them to sleep, although I'm sure that a bottle does these things too (and perhaps that's based on personality). I never worried about how much he was getting because I knew if he wanted more it would be right there.

Ragwort Thu 14-Feb-13 15:43:30

Agree with nearly everyone else grin - it was hard work to establish at first (which I later found out may well have been due to having an EMCS & DS having serious medical problems which may have caused considerable 'stress' to me when we found out) - however, once out of the hospital environment & back home it was fine after the first couple of weeks.

I was by no means a 'militant' breast feeder and I preferred to feed in private (lovely excuse to go to my bedroom anytime I wanted grin) but being lazy there was no faffing about with sterilising etc. And its free. I did then start mixed feeding and would give my DS a carton of milk most days if it suited me. I don't know why mixed feeding isn't promoted more, then you get the best of both worlds smile.

sleepyhead Thu 14-Feb-13 15:57:27

It depends on the mother and baby.

I ebf ds for the first 6 months, although he had quite a lot of expressed breast milk so there were bottles as well. Mixed fed from 6 to 12 months, but again mostly bf.

I found bf really, really hard to start with and had a horrible time with latch, infection, mastitis, oversupply etc, however ds was thriving so I didn't have to worry about him gaining or reflux etc which would have probably been the nail in the coffin.

Once the latch stuff got sorted/bearable then it was such a piece of piss and I'd often pop out with ds in a sling and a wee bag with a nappy and a pack of wipes . He had a pretty predictable feeding schedule and slept through at about the same rate as my ff friends.

I found expressing very easy after lots of practice in the first few weeks so going out an leaving a bottle wasn't hard. Yes I did all the night feeds, but so did many of my ff friends.

Horses for courses, but having the milk on tap and not having to prepare bottles, even if I'd gone the shortcut route and made up a day's supply at once, made it easier.

MewlingQuim Thu 14-Feb-13 16:08:48

DD is 11 months and nearly fully weaned now, I really miss being able to leave the house with just a couple of nappies and my boobs. Now I have to remember food and water etc. As far ad I can see, ffing would have been like this from the day she wad born, poor DD would have been half starved, I am a terrible scatter brain. Can't forget my boobs! grin

IdaClair Thu 14-Feb-13 16:20:08

Baby is almost 6mo.

Baby sleeps about 2 hours at a time through the night, I can bf lying down and not get out of bed but I can't sleep through night feeds as dd latches on/off every couple of seconds. Night feeds take about 40-50 minutes. If I had a carton and a sterilised bottle on the bedside table I could feed her lying down and not get out of bed and cut the feeding time in half. Plus someone else could do it!

Carrying stuff around, well I need to grab a bag and pack enough nappies, wipes, clothing changes for both of us, medications for as long as I think we're going to be out - if I want to stay out somewhere I can't if I don't have the clothes/nappies/meds so it's not so much more difficult to add a bottle and carton in there.

I always have to think about what I'm wearing so I can manage to feed when I'm out and about but then I have a boob-refuser so lots of the time I end up with a starving screaming baby when out somewhere who won't eat, and I have to go home, express and bottle feed - which is a heck of a lot of crying for dd. If I take expressed milk out to guarantee I won't need to come home in the middle of something I can only plan to be away for about 5 hours because if DD refuses to feed for longer than than I am very uncomfortable and I need the breast pump if she won't latch. We often waste expressed breast milk if she then refuses again and it can't be reused. I am not great at expressing but I need to pump at least twice a day to keep up supply.

Cost wise I have bought pump, bras, storage bags, bottles, steriliser, I take supplements, vests, BF books, BF pillow, probably works out about the same.

I think I'm getting a raw deal!

BertieBotts Thu 14-Feb-13 16:25:08

That does sound like you're getting a raw deal! When you say she refuses the boob is that a latch thing?

Wishihadabs Thu 14-Feb-13 16:30:45

Idaclair I have worked in a SCBu and I think feeding a baby expressed breast milk is the most labour intensive thing ever invented. I am in awe of the mums who do this even for a couple of weeks.

Bfing on demand is a thousand times easier. I have a friend who FF her first and started bfing her second because she thought it would be easier. It was a complete nightmare, her Ds' s feeding difficulties had nothing to do with bf ing and she ended up having to make and sterilize at least 12 bottles a day as he would only take an onze or two at a time, day and night !

I think some babies are just easier to feed than others TBH.

Wishihadabs Thu 14-Feb-13 16:31:41

Sorry she switched to formula because she thought it would be easier

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