Say it with us ladies, "I am a formula-feeding mom." (And say it loud and clear gents, "I am a formula-feeding dad.") There ain't no shame in formula-feeding because #FedIsBest. You know it, we know it, and hopefully most of the world with an open, logical mind can see the perspective. If you're part of the formula-feeding club, chances are you are familiar with formula-feeding mom stereotypes.
We're not here to talk about negative ones. Nor are we going to waste time busting through ones that are so outlandish they couldn't possibly be true. We are here to provide a chuckle at some of the formula-feeding mom stereotypes that are hilariously accurate and true. Read them in between preparing your next bottle or whenever you have a spare moment from baby. And know that you're part of a special, welcoming, organized, slightly stressed bunch. These 17 formula-feeding mom stereotypes hit the nail on the head — or should we say nipple on the bottle?
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Remember that first time that you started using formula? Prior to that point, you probably had all of these visions about being a "perfect" mom and breastfeeding with absolutely no problems. It probably never occurred to you that breastfeeding your little one could be an issue. You probably thought it was just a given, right? Then it wasn't. So, when you made the switch to formula, there was probably a feeling of failure. You felt like you failed yourself. And you felt like you failed your baby. You know what? You didn't. And you are not alone. Pretty much every mom who has ever feed her baby formula feels this way. It doesn't matter she knows fed is best. It can still hurt.
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If you attempted to breastfeed then made the switch to bottle-feeding, you likely went through a complex range of emotions. (See above.) The stronger emotions might have been stress at adjusting to a new feeding system and failure that you somehow let your little one down. Besides those, we bet there was some sense of relief underneath. It might not have been apparent during those first few days, but we bet that as you got a formula-feeding routine down, a bit of inner peace began to take over. The breast might have been a struggle, but this bottle stuff was going smoother. And what's best of all is that baby seemed happy with it.
When you are a formula-feeding mama, you don't just develop an encyclopedic knowledge of formula brands and the stores that have the best selection. You also develop a radar for people who could give you trouble. You can sniff them out in the checkout aisles at stores, at the park, and even on social media. There is just something about that plastic smile in real life or those captions on Facebook that means you have one of those people in proximity. And you will immediately have your plan of attack ready if they try to even utter, "Breast is best."
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One of the common formula-feeding mom stereotypes is that they feel guilty. It exists for a reason and that is because it is true. Your logical brain can explain all of the benefits of your baby getting fed and nourished by formula. Your mom can explain them to you. And your dad can explain them to you again. Then your partner can explain them to you. But, there will be that little part of you that will feel a bit guilty for using formula. You know it is ridiculous, but sometimes you cannot control your feelings. It might not be a very big part, but you can still feel it sitting there on your heart. Some days it is bigger and other days it is smaller.
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There might be a small chunk of guilt in mamas' hearts for formula-feeding, but there is a much, much bigger dent in their wallets. You don't need to tally up your monthly or yearly expenses to know that what you spent in formula would have bought a very nice trip for your family. Although, if you are ever curious, there are plenty of guides that break down how much money families spend on formula a year. We are looking at a couple of hundred a month. For the year, tack on an extra numerical spot. That is why formula-feeders are all about the deals and multi-buys.
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If you were to look at a formula-feeding mom's browsing history, you would see that a good chunk of it is looking up research that compares breastfeeding to formula-feeding and how it impacts a child's development. (The rest of the results likely have to do with deciphering baby gibberish and searches for allergic reactions to formula.) Even if pediatricians have personally explained the facts to you and you have looked at them 284 other times before, you cannot help looking again. You want to ensure your little one will grow up to be the healthy, intelligent, strong person you know he/she is destined to be.
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Even a formula-feeding mom who is a naturally shy, non-confrontational person will be ready to take down those people who dare to be anti-formula. Anyone who has the audacity to spread fake news and misinformation about formula being poison for little ones is going to be in trouble. They are basically stepping into the path of a very protective and angry mother dragon. And you are not going to take anyone judging you for trying to do what is best for your baby. They have no right. Period. Any fellow formula-feeding parents will stand behind you. It is working us up just thinking about the haters. Dracarys.
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Think fast: Tell us how many calories are in your baby's formula without looking. Now tell us what the main ingredients are. How about the total amount of fat, the sodium content, and the percentage of vitamin C? See, we knew you would be able to do it correctly. You have probably scanned that nutritional label of your current formula so many times when comparing it to other brands. Furthermore, you have likely subconsciously looked at it every time you have prepared a bottle. You could write those labels out in your sleep. (Hey, now there is a way to make more money for baby formula.)
This is something that can shake parents who feed babies formula to their core. It is one of the formula-feeding mom stereotypes, but it is not a funny situation for anyone to find herself in. In fact, this is why you try to stockpile formula to prevent a crisis like this happening. If you can see one empty row on the formula shelf at the shop, an alarm bell has already started going off in your brain and you are probably making contingency plans. On the dark days the shelf is completely empty, there will be 1,000 questions swirling in your head from debating about switching brands to wondering if you have time to check the next 20 closest stores.
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Like all parents, formula-feeding moms are busy. They need to manage their time well because even then they don't have enough. Parents are on a constant time deficit. In those few precious spare moments between things, formula-feeding mamas might prep a batch of bottles so they will be ready for the next feeding. If you are a formula-feeder, you might have a system in place. Or, you might have all the intentions of getting ahead of the game, but you just never seem to find enough time. We can relate. We are all part of the frazzled formula-feeding club.
If a formula-feeding mom isn't worrying about the stock of formula at the store, she is stressing about how much she has in the house. Or, in her diaper bag, or in the car, or in granny's fridge. There are some questions that are forever swirling in parents' brains. Any formula-feeding parent will tell you that, "Do we have enough formula?" is in their top five. If a formula-feeding mom got a dime for every time she thought of it, she would be rich enough to buy all the formula. Of course, she would still be panicking about whether she would have enough for her present situation.
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You started your baby on one brand of formula because it seemed like a solid pediatrician-recommended and mom-approved option, but is it really good enough? It is a question that mamas are always thinking. What if there is something better? Are those special formulas really that special or are they just a waste of money? Should I have chosen the formula that had a higher amount of vitamin A but less iron? Do not even get us started about organic options. If we had the time, the arguments in our head could go on all day. Thankfully we are too busy preparing a fresh batch of formula to stress out about it too much.
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We hear about people trying breast milk all the time, so why should we exempt formula? If we are feeding it to our precious babies, surely we should know what the stuff tastes like, right? Isn't that what all good mamas bears are supposed to do? We need to test everything little ones eat to ensure it's suitable for their consumption. Then of course there is a part of you that is just curious to see whether formula tastes like cow's milk, almond milk or something totally different. #LiveandLearn If you haven't gotten around to trying the formula yet, we won't spoil the surprise for you.
Spit-ups happen in various situations. You don't have to be a formula-feeder to experience spit-ups by any means. But if you are a formula-feeding mama, every little spit-up will make you question your choices. Should I have really switched to formula-feeding? Is this formula the right choice? Did I change brands too early? Is the formula truly that repulsive that the poor little baby cannot keep it down? You try to use your sensible mind to know that babies spit-up. It's just the way they are. And it is why we have bibs and towels. But, every little hiccup makes you panic about a potential formula-feeding allergy.
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If you are formula-feeding your baby, you expect, nay, demand that the feeding schedule is equal. It is only fair. The bottle and the formula are not attached to anyone's body therefore anyone should be able to feed the baby. If one partner ends up feeding the baby more, then it is expected that the other one will pick up duties somewhere else. This is a partnership, right? If you were breastfeeding, you would also expect your other half to contribute equally to your baby's needs in other ways. Of course, you went into this thing with a partner who innately understands all of this so there was no need for a discussion on it.
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This is one of the formula-feeding mom stereotypes that you do not really understand until the first time you see the *results* of formula-feeding in the, ahem, diaper. You will wonder why no one thought to warn you that a formula diet can change your baby's number twos so drastically. Namely, it can make your little one's poop a lot darker and even smellier. (Yes, it is possible to get smellier.) You will wonder whether your baby can handle the formula or whether you need to switch brands. Changes in color and consistency are actually normal. Does that stop formula-feeders from stressing? Not really.
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Do not even get formula-feeders started on all of the different formulas. If they had some spare time, they could write a book about it all. Special versus regular formula. Organic versus plain old who-knows-what formula. Milk-based formulas against soy-based formulas. Then we get into iron-fortified formulas and hydrolyzed ones. It can sound like mumble-jumble to people who haven't experienced formula-feeding but to you it is just the start of a very long discussion on the pros and cons. You reckon that you could hit 500 pages easily if you had the time and energy to write the information guide.