I have no real stake in the bottle vs. breastfeeding game that the internet tries to stir up every 12.2 seconds. I unapologetically formula fed my first daughter, and then attempted, but ultimately stopped, breastfeeding my second child after a painful colic and reflux filled three months. Four years passed between that time and when I would find myself pregnant again. In that time, I moved out of the intense “Oh my God, everything I do is so important and so life altering and so full of pressure” baby years, and into the wild world of elementary school kids. I learned that formula fed kids can still end up smarter than their parents, and that breastfed kids can still bring home various strains of every illness known to man after playing in the “Bounce and Play” gym. Teachers group kids by every skill and interest available, but as far as I know “Boobs vs. Bottles” has never made the cut. And while I have noticed an undercurrent of “So what preschool did you send her to?” when discussing kindergarten progress with other moms, I have not noticed my “liquid gold” come up in casual conversation since my middle child was two.
So when my son was born, I did my best to give myself some slack. I wanted to try breastfeeding once more, but without a timeline or goal past “How’s it going today?” I knew the challenges to expect, and I knew that life would go on should I default to formula. So it came as somewhat of a surprise that my son was a bit of a natural. Like clockwork he would latch every three hours, and he jumped from seven pounds to 15 pounds in record time. Six weeks turned to six months and now, a year. While I enjoyed a lot of the experience, I assumed twelve months would be it. In my research, Dr. Google and the subsequent articles on weaning at a year indicated that my goal here was to come to a “mutual decision” that our breastfeeding relationship was coming to a close.