Figuring out how to feed your baby

December 16, 2009

So, I thought I'd have it a little easier since our son is bottle fed. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and the drugs I take to combat are toxic and make it impossible for me to breastfeed. (I stopped the drugs while pregnant and resumed them about a month after delivery). Bottles also would mean that I could share feedings with my husband and not have to contemplate cover-ups whenever we wanted to take the baby out for a while.

Not so fast.

For the past three months, we have been taxed trying to find the right formula. The first one made him constipated. The second one gave him explosive gas and diarrhea, even as he spit up ounces. A third mix led to thick chunks on his bib. Another variant turned him off, pushing away from his bottle. Our solution this week is to mix two different brands together. He seems to keep them down without much wear on his system.

There are some other things I've been taught to do to try to keep his formula in his system, not spit up on my shoulder: I hold him at a 45-degree angled as he feeds, rather than letting him lay back. He doesn't always burp, even though I try, but I make sure he at least sits upright for 30 minutes, which half the time means an upright snooze on my shoulder. Another thing you can try: burp after half or even thirds of the bottle.

We're not sure whether our current solution will be the final call. We ruefully look at the barely used cans of formula - they are not cheap - sitting around our kitchen. But then we try to keep it all in perspective: Before we know it, our little guy will be on to cereal and solids.

Here's to Mother Nature and hopes our little guy fares better with strained sweet potatoes, peas and pears!

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