Now before I get flack for dissing formula feeding mothers let me just make a few things clear. I have no issues with how a mother feeds their child. I have had to formula feed 3 of my children from different ages and for various reasons, which I will go into more detail at a later date. I fully understand and support that some women choose to bottle feed from the start, that is their right. Nobody should ever be shamed or made to feel guilty for not wanting to breastfeed, or wanting to for that matter! Okay enough of my disclaimer and onto the actual post
One of the most annoying questions I seem to be getting a lot at the moment, actually since O was born is:
‘Is he sleeping through the night yet?’
Why are people so obsessed with if my child is sleeping 12 solid hours at night? But it isn’t even the question that annoys me the most. It is the fact that when I say he wakes a couple of times to feed people automatically feel the right to presume that it is because I am still breastfeeding and if I gave him formula milk he would sleep.
Yes he probably would, but they never seem to realise that they also ask this same question to bottle feeding mothers and their only reply to if their child still wakes is usually something along the lines of:
‘Well… it will come eventually’
‘It’s just one of those things’
I have even heard the same woman who, a few weeks earlier had advised that I switched to bottle feeding, then have complete sympathy with a sleep deprived formula feeding mother of a 6 month old and stating that their own child still wakes up at 5am every morning for a bottle and refused to go back to sleep at the age of two!
What they don’t seem to realise (and mostly don’t give me chance to explain) is that yes, my nine month old child wakes at 1am then again at between 4 and 5am. But he also goes straight back to sleep. I don’t mean I feed him, then we go back to sleep. I mean I pop a boob in his mouth and within a minute we are both flat out again. In the early morning I can usually lull him back to sleep till after 7am by keeping him snuggled up close to me, feeding if he wants.
I don’t have to wake up fully, get out of bed, make a bottle, give that bottle, burp baby then try and go back to sleep. If he is already in bed with me I don’t even have to sit up. Just turn over with him on my tummy then pop him on the other side. Obviously if he is in his cot I have to sit up and he has stirred more but he still goes off easily.
We have our bad nights of course, as does everyone else, but I actually feel that I have the better end of the deal!
In fact, far from looking down on bottle feeding mothers, I pity them having to go down to the freezing cold kitchen to make up a bottle. I applaud them for being sleep deprived yet managing to get on with their day even after being woken at 3am but not able to go back to sleep until 5.30am knowing that baby will probably be awake again at 6am.
To all those formula feeding mothers who wish to suggest that I, or anyone else, stop breastfeeding just to get a full nights sleep, how about you don’t? If you would still like to know if my child wakes at night ask away but please, unless you have breastfed a baby yourself, don’t offer me advice, just give me the same sympathy as you would have liked to be given yourself.
Do/did you get asked this question a lot? Did you also get the same advice as me or similar? Or maybe you’ve had your own annoying questions or advice? I’d love to know.