Which is Hardest: Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding?

I always imagined breastfeeding would be a lot harder than bottle feeding. As a French girl, it was natural for me to bottle feed: everyone close to me back home had done it. I was the ‘normal’ way to feed a baby.

When I found out I was expecting Crevette, I started reading pregnancy magazines and chatting to new mums. Breastfeeding seemed to be a big thing on this side of the Channel. I was not against giving it a go, but I would certainly have bottles and a steriliser ready at home. Surely a small human being sucking on your nipples would hurt? What if there was no milk? What if the baby did not like it? What if I did not enjoy breastfeeding?

I did give it a go, and I breastfed my four children. At times, breastfeeding was tough. Feeds in the first few days of Crevette’s life were toe-curling. Mastitis when Beanie was only four days old left me in agony and unable to move my left arm for a few days. Jumpy, who had no idea what to do with the nipple I was shoving in her mouth, had to be taught how to drink from it. When Wriggly arrived, she loved drinking milk, but her enthusiastic suckling made it so painful it took a few visits to the midwife to make it less painful.

My Baby, completely and utterly milk drunk

When I had Crevette, the one and only person I was close to who had any experience with breastfeeding was Hubby’s sister. She was an invaluable source of advice and the first thing she told me was to express a bottle of milk a day and to freeze it (who knew?) so that I would have a supply of breast milk ready in the freezer. Milk production would also be higher than Crevette needed, making growth spurts and his increasing appetite easier to manage (my sister-in-law is a genius!).

Hubby gave Crevette his first bottle when he was three weeks old. To start with, he would only take a bottle when he was desperate for a feed and I was far away from him, but after a few weeks, he was as happy to take a bottle as he was with the breast. How easy was that?

Moving from breast to bottle with Wriggly has not been anything like it. Because of Jumpy’s multiple allergies, I had decided not to give her any formula. I was not in a hurry to give her a bottle and although I expressed some milk every day for the first four weeks or so, I froze it all and she was three or four months old when we first tried giving her a bottle. She was having none of it!

Instagram - I love mummy's milk

I bought every bottle ever made (we have quite a collection at home!), but she would not have a drop of milk coming out of a teat. I had to go back to work much earlier than planned, when she was nine months old.

Instagram - determined to have breast milk only

Wriggly would still not touch a bottle of milk, expressed or formula. She would feed a lot at night and in the morning, but during the day, all she would drink was water out of a beaker. At least she kept hydrated!

Do I look like I want milk out of a bottle

She is now eighteen months old and her favourite thing in the world is still breastfeeding, no questioning that, but I think it is more of a comfort thing and she now has one small bottle of formula every single night, thanks to Munchkin who introduced us to their LATCH Bottle. If you have not seen these bottles before, check them out; they changed our lives!

Wriggly drinking milk out of her LATCH bottle

Our journey to bottle feeding Wriggly has not been an easy one, probably because we started way too late, but since LATCH is more like the breast than any other bottle I have even seen, it has really helped a lot. Click here for more information.

Disclosure:

  • This is a sponsored post.
  • I am part of Amazon’s affiliate program so if you click on the link that takes you to Amazon and purchase a bottle; I will receive a small commission.
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Comments

  1. 09/12/2015 / 8:45 pm

    I’m so pleased that LATCH has worked the miracles you had hoped it would. I swear if I’d only known about it six months before I did I’d have saved myself so much heart ache with F xxx

    • 10/12/2015 / 12:19 am

      It really is the best bottle I’ve ever tried… and I’ve tried a few both here and in France! Thanks again for telling me about Munchkin: you rock, lady!

  2. 10/12/2015 / 6:02 pm

    LATCH bottles really are brilliant. I used them with my youngest after we couldn’t breastfeed due to tongue tie.

    • 10/12/2015 / 11:20 pm

      We certainly love ours!

  3. 10/12/2015 / 7:51 pm

    I wish we’d had that. Like you my breastfed baby wouldn’t consider drinking out of a bottle. I just put everything on hold for about a year,

    • 10/12/2015 / 11:19 pm

      It’s been 18 months… Slowly but surely, she’s starting to take a bottle, phew!

  4. 10/12/2015 / 8:21 pm

    I breastfed all mine and none of them would ever take a bottle which was a little frustrating for me at the time

    • 10/12/2015 / 11:15 pm

      One the one hand, you’ve got that wonderful, strong bond, but on the other, you can’t do anything on your own, he he!

  5. 11/12/2015 / 10:45 am

    Neither of my girls have had a bottle, they just didn’t know what to do with it. Convincing them would have been such a battle, I didn’t even go there. They both have their issues and challenges for sure

    • 12/12/2015 / 12:22 am

      I can confirm it is a real battle convincing Wriggly! I was just dreading Christmas in France and breastfeeding when my mum and my nan constantly nag about my extended breastfeeding. My mum took me to see her doctor last year, when Wriggly was only 6 months old and he told me I had to wean her off the boob there and then!

  6. 11/12/2015 / 2:13 pm

    I didn’t breast feed any of my four. For many reasons, bottle feeding worked out best for us. I do think I was made to feel guilty though. Kaz x

    • 12/12/2015 / 12:15 am

      I find it very odd that women so often say they are made to feel guilty for choosing to bottle feed. What works for you just works for you, end of. It’s nobody else’s business. xxx

  7. 11/12/2015 / 5:18 pm

    Boo didn’t like a bottle at all, she would take it as a last resort and only when I wasn’t there but still breastfeeds a lot and she is two on Sunday. I wonder if it would have been easier with bottles like the latch one?

    • 12/12/2015 / 12:18 am

      Boo sounds very much like Wriggly! To be honest, I wouldn’t have bothered about the bottle if my family in France were not making remarks (every single time I feed her) about still breastfeeding.

  8. 11/12/2015 / 11:40 pm

    Personally, I would say bottle feeding is harder! To wake up and trudge downstairs in the middle of the cold, dark night to clean and fill a bottle … argh! Snuggle in bed with a baby latched to your breast – perfect!

    • 12/12/2015 / 12:19 am

      I know, easy peasy! My little one spends every single night latched on to my breast though, ha ha!

  9. 12/12/2015 / 11:09 pm

    I found bottle feeding a nightmare at first because of having to clean, sterilise, pack loads of stuff, worry about temperature etc! Toby finally accepted Lansinoh bottles free a few failed tries with others and I’ve got a couple of LATCH bottles ready to go with Baby Girl in the hope of combining breastfeeding and expressing more successfully than before xx

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