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?

Meglet Thu 14-Feb-13 16:32:59

In the early days of DD bf was easy. Never got sore, short feeds, she podged up like you wouldn't believe - it was textbook.

I did spend a fortune on new tops, magazines (daily) and M&S ready meals as I was cluster feeding every evening and not cooking. So not cheaper, but less faff than cleaning bottles. I was fed up with it by 5 months though.

Fishandjam Thu 14-Feb-13 16:41:04

BFing DD, my second child. I sort of mixed fed DS. My experience is not normal, as with DS FF was MUCH easier - with him, I was pumping round the clock, sterilizing pump gear as well as bottles, feeding him (in between pumping) and generally working myself into a hysterical sleep-deprived mess. And my supply conked out just as I'd managed to start successfully BFing (he didn't latch properly until he was 12 weeks old). If someone had gently prised me away from the pump and given me a tub of formula, we'd all have been a lot happier.

But DD, after a few weeks of trickiness, is exclusively BF. Much easier in dead of night, and I hated all the bottle faff anyway. But now not easier as, at 8 months old, she won't take a bottle or cup and I am dying for a night out...

ChunkyPickle Thu 14-Feb-13 16:49:01

I've only BF, but I do know that once he started eating real food I found it really difficult to remember to have food/drink with me vs just loading him up and going whereever I was going, and not worrying about how long I'd be (because the food was on-tap, with me so we could stop and eat whenever we wanted)

Plus, I'm rubbish at managing to run the dishwasher often enough to have clean plates/cutlery for myself - the pressure of having to have however many sterile bottles you need per day would just about kill me!

I gave DS1 bottles (mostly expressed, some ff) until he was big enough for boob, and DS2 full time boob.

grin I found boob much easier, once the tricky first six weeks are out of the way. Chief is not needing to plan ahead. If baby wants feeding you just feed. No sterilising, no counting scoops and losing count and starting again wink , no boiling kettles and waiting for them to cool down, in fact no need to move at all. You can bf fast asleep (I did/do this lots).

Also you get to eat extra biscuit which is always good.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Thu 14-Feb-13 17:18:21

I've never FFd a small baby so I can't compare. I was also really lucky and had no issues with bf even at the start. I did get a lot of blocked ducts with ds2 but only after about a year - and they stopped after a while too.

I love bf, it's so so so easy, to me - it's always there, comforts them, keeps them quiet, gets them to sleep, it's the right temperature, no sterilising is necessary, no measuring, no washing up smile

if I was forced to ff I'm ashamed to say I'd run out of clean bottles constantly just like we do with plates blush especially like now, with a 6 week old and no time or hands free to wash up or cook. In fact I've never been able to cook and follow recipes, do you know what, breastfeeding is like someone coming in and saying, 'hi! You can now cook without measuring or shopping for the ingredients, without any measuring, no precision at all, and it'll turn out perfect! And you don't have to wash up after!'

I didn't stop with ds2 till he was nearly 5 and at school. I hated having to remember to take food with us once they began eating.

Horses for courses though. Also the getting up in the night - argh. I like being able to stay horizontal and just roll over slightly! I think I'd die of exhaustion otherwise.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Thu 14-Feb-13 17:22:12

I have had to buy some proper vests this time though as other babies were summer born. And my stomach was in better condition blush

That's been the only real outlay...I bought bottles before having him too in case for some reason it went wrong this time.

Startail Thu 14-Feb-13 17:35:59

You just can just feed where ever and when ever the baby needs it.

If DD1 wants to go to the park after nursery that's fine, if a friend wants to go for coffee fine, if the stupid car breaks down in the middle of nowhere that isn't fine, but it's still way less stressful knowing you haven't got a screaming hungry baby to deal with too!

Willdoitinaminute Thu 14-Feb-13 17:38:26

Bf was absolute godsend when DS picked up d&v bug. It's really hard to starve a child under 2. No need to with bf and the amazing ingredients speed up recovery.
Also you get amazing endorphin rush when you haven't fed all day and give them a bonding feed when you pick them up from nursery.

Iggly Thu 14-Feb-13 17:41:52

Once I got past 6 months BF felt easy. Boob out, feed, done.

When they were ill, give them bf which comfort and fed them especially when they lost their appetite. Also knew I was helping them get better.

I used to make up ff for my sister and found it a right pain - getting the temp right, and what about when you go out? I'd just have to pack nappies and clothes and done.

Iggly Thu 14-Feb-13 17:44:02

Fish, have you tried a straw and cup?

OneHundredSecondsofSolitude Thu 14-Feb-13 17:45:47

Baby squeaks

Lean out of bed

Get baby

Put baby on boob

Doze/ feed

Lean over to return baby to basket

Back to sleep

What could be easier (once it stops hurting obvs)

wigglesrock Thu 14-Feb-13 17:46:09

I have only ever formula fed so like other posters can't really compare, but I never found making up bottles, cleaning bottles a hassle. I found it as difficult as making a cup of tea and I have to wash dishes any way so the bottles were just an extension of that. It's just what you're used to, I suppose.

NaturalBaby Thu 14-Feb-13 17:50:06

Sounds like you've got a trickier deal but it was much easier for me. I never bothered with bottles and expressing for ds2 or ds3 - I had enough washing up and stuff in my bag so an extra bottle wouldn't have fitted among the usual baby+toddler stuff.

I was walking to toddler group with a mum and half way down the hill she gasped "I've forgotten her bottle of milk!" so back up the hill she went while I carried on with my boobs full of milk. I'm one of those people who would have forgotten the bottle/carton so it was one less thing to worry about.

Zara1984 Thu 14-Feb-13 17:52:34

Bf is only easier if you don't have problems bf. If it doesn't come easily too you, then it (and expressing) is the most miserable and soul-destroying thing you could ever experience.

Doing the bottles is not hard, and it's no more hassle to pack a clean bottle and a carton as it is to pack a couple of nappies. The "hassle" of FF is really overstated. Yesterday I was out with a mate and I had a bottle ready and in DS' mouth in the same time it took her to lift her top, unlatch bra and get him to latch.

FF is way WAY easier than trying to bf a baby who isn't keen on the idea. I hope I can bf DC2 so I can really compare the two.

As I wasn't expecting to FF it was scary at first, but now it's a complete doddle! Honestly it is as easy as changing a nappy. After DS goes down for the night I listen to some nice music, wash and sterilise his bottles (done in 8 mins in a microwave steriliser), and make up the next day's bottles. It's actually quite relaxing in it's methodical nature! And on a chilly night it's nice to hold a warm baby in my left arm and a toasty warm bottle in my right.

Much like bf I think, seems daunting initially but then you do it without a second thought. To me the thought if trying to get DS to latch actually makes me shudder.

The expense is the worst part of FF, I think. But then again you don't have kids because they're cheap, right? grin The best part of FF is on a Sunday morning when I hear DH say "you stay in bed darling, I'll get him up and feed him" grin

Many people I know mix feed and they do get the best of both worlds I think!

Zara1984 Thu 14-Feb-13 17:55:23

Iggly in fairness I don't think I would consider bf easy if it took 6 months for it to become easy! confused

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Zara1984 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:01:25

Also forgetting formula is not that common. For me it'd be like forgetting the baby! Wherever DS goes, a bottle goes too. Easy!

Basically horses for courses I reckon. You make the feeding style you're doing easy for you because you're doing it 5+ times a day.

Zara1984 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:08:27

Actually this makes me wonder, for DC2. How long generally is it ok to accept bf to be hard for until you switch to ff? 6 weeks? Christ any longer than 6 weeks of what I went through with DS (only managed 2 weeks) would give me PND for sure.

BertieBotts Thu 14-Feb-13 18:14:31

I think it depends how organised you are - I did used to forget nappies on occasion when we were out and even when I didn't I used to just leave them in the bag constantly which you can't do with milk.

BertieBotts Thu 14-Feb-13 18:21:07

I don't think there is any question of when is it acceptable/unacceptable. I wouldn't judge anyone who decided to FF for any reason at any age. But it's certainly not normal or expected for BF to be difficult, minus the whole frequent feeding thing, past the first few weeks and I'd urge anyone suffering to seek help - specialist help - if they want to continue because quite often the initial support mothers come across with BF is inadequate and sometimes even harmful.

specialknickers Thu 14-Feb-13 18:29:47

Much much easier! Less faff, no forward planning, totally stress free (after the first few months anyway - ds had a tongue tie, but that's a whole other story). Best of all, when you get acute gastroenteris, your baby doesn't. Happened to me twice, both times the doctor said he'd be protected and he was. Magic.

The other thing that's great is that when you look at the terrifying list of synthetic ingredients on a packet of formula you don't have to worry what you're actually putting in your child.

Zara1984 Thu 14-Feb-13 19:09:08

Bertie I needed you at my house 3 months ago!! Instead of the witch doctor fucking useless lactation consultant who said that I had to bf, because bf babies are always better bonded to their mothers hmm and refused to return my calls when I said I was considering switching to formula as I was so exhausted from round-the-clock expressing. I'm temped to name and shame her on MN I'm still so furious.

And it's true I'm a bit of a Type A over-organised person so perhaps that helps with all the FF stuff!

IdaClair Thu 14-Feb-13 20:21:18

OneHundredSeconds - it would be easier to stay asleep and let DH feed the baby grin

DD has always been a boob refuser. She doesn't stay latched on for more than a couple of sucks unless she is very sleepy or the sun is in capricorn (ie totally randomly). She takes bottles (of EBM) fine. Suck, drink, job done, happy. I didn't start feeling let down or a milk response to her suckling until she was three months old, she would suck a tiny bit and then drop off screaming, and again and again. She still does the same now only with added flashing of my boob to everyone in the room.

Even when she did go for a long determined suck lots of the time she would come off without ever having swallowed. She has bad reflux and was branded failure to thrive, still below birth weight at 8 weeks. I'm not pumping for her, she BFs from source the majority of the time but feeds take either seconds or hours, I get stuck all kinds of places feeding her, on/off for ages, or she refuses totally, and I end up with a hysterical screamer and no way of comforting or feeding her, and I have to literally drop everything I'm doing and take her home. As you might expect from this I've also had mastitis several times, twice was infective needing antibiotics, and we've had thrush from those.

And still no more than 2.5/3 hours sleep in a row for months and months. zzz. Hence just wondering what is easy about this, do you think it will become easy one day? Because I'm nearly at 6 months and I am still hating every minute of it.

BertieBotts Thu 14-Feb-13 21:17:26

Zara she sounds terrible!

OP something is not right with her latch - it doesn't sound like she is "refusing" more that something is stopping her or making it painful, which might be something like tongue tie (very well heard of these days but commonly missed by HCPs) or lip tie or bubble palate (which can cause similar problems but less known about and even more likely to be missed) or even some kind of allergy to something appearing in your milk - although I'd have thought this less likely if she's happy with Ebm. This then leads to feeding becoming a negative experience for her which may be why she refuses outright sometimes even though you know she's hungry.

I don't think in your situation it will become easy by itself - you need to get her looked a by someone who knows about lip & tongue ties. You can also have a look yourself - here are some links.

Tongue tie

Lip tie

OneHundredSecondsofSolitude Thu 14-Feb-13 21:41:18

OneHundredSeconds - it would be easier to stay asleep and let DH feed the baby

But he has to go to work. I don't. Once I'm back at work it's even Stevens, until then il'l do nights. Suits us

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