Your baby has to eat, and the first step to feeding your baby is making a personal decision. Are you going to breast feed your baby or are you going to use formula?
If you decide you want to breastfeed, you can pump and feed with a bottle or you can directly feed your baby from your boobs, or you can even breastfeed and pump…. this can lead to problems, I’ll share this in blog post later.
If you decide you want to do formula, you have to decide on a brand early on- I’ll explain why later.
Either way, you should have a couple of bottles on hand, because in the end, if you want some sleep, your partner will have to take a feeding in the middle of the night and he can’t breastfeed. That would be quite funny actually!
So make sure you are set up for baby… here is what I recommend having on hand:
- Breast Pump (You can get one for free through insurance, contact your company! We upgraded our pump to the Spectra, so we paid a little bit for the upgrade)
- Breast Milk Storage Bags or Bottles
- Sharpie (For some reason we did not have one.. make sure you do)
- Drying rack
- Drying lawn for larger items
- Breast Pump Cleaning Set or Bottle Brush
- Bottles (We had three 4 ounce bottles and one 8 ounce bottle to start)
Nathan and I started out pumping and feeding Theo from the bottle, since he was in NICU. This allowed us to sleep through the night instead of walking all the way across the hospital to the NICU every 3 hours… well really every 2 by the time you are done feeding him. It wasn’t realistic for us to exclusively give Theo directly from the boob. We would have been sleepless zombies and wouldn’t be able to enjoy our time with him
Now that we are in his 10th week of life, we do not pump or breastfeed anymore, we feed Theo breastmilk during the day (from our frozen supply) and formula for the nightly feedings.
So even though you may have a plan on how you are going to feed your babies, it may not go as planned. It definitely didn’t for us. I wanted to exclusively feed Theo from the boob, but that wasn’t in the cards. I had to come to terms with that. We all have to find out what is best for our family and what is best for the baby.
Is your baby eating and gaining weight?
Is your baby receiving the right nutrients?
Are you and your husband, your whole family happy?
Are you enjoying these first few days of life together?
Does your pediatrician think your baby is fine?
If your answer is “Yes” to all the above, then you are making the right decision for your family and for your new little one. Being a new mom is hard, and even harder when things don’t go as planned, but the best thing that you can do is to accept that life throws you curves. You just have to learn how to swerve with it.