One of the "great debates," as a new parent, is whether to breastfeed or formula feed. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to do either, of course. Parents who have an easy time latching and producing milk and have great support, will often opt to exclusively breastfeed. Those who have a more difficult time for whatever reason, will usually decide to go for the bottle (or just choose the bottle right away because, you know, choices). Unfortunately, not only does stigma come with breastfeeding, it comes with formula feeding, too. That’s why it’s so important for dads to be there for their formula feeding partners because, in the end, mothers are usually judged and shamed, no matter what they do.
Formula feeding mothers (like any mother) need partners who will support their decision, and who will support them both on an emotional level as well as a physical level. When partners learn bottle feeding hacks to make formula feeding easier, we praise them for their ingenuity and, honestly, love them all the more. When we’re feeling down about having to go the bottle route (if it wasn't our initial plan) and our co-parents is kind enough to point out all the celebrities who are also formula feeding so we don't feel so alone, we know we’ve got a winner on our hands.
Honestly, there's a pretty long list of things one can do for their formula feeding partner, but in case you need a few hints or suggestions, here are some things every grown-ass man does for us formula feeding folks:
They Remember To Buy Formula...
So easy to forget to buy formula in those first few, sleep-deprived weeks. That’s ok! It’s good for us to make parenting mistakes so that we learn from them early on. But grown-ass dudes will learn from those initial mishaps and set reminders on their phone to ensure it doesn’t happen again (especially at 3 a.m. with a starving infant).
...Then They Actually Learn How To Use It
Mixing formula isn’t difficult. If they’re still not sure what to do, grown-ass men know to seek out a guide to mixing bottles for formula feeding on the internet. Or, you know, you can just look at the formula can and follow the directions.
They Sterilize Your Bottles Before You First Use Them
If your partner knows what’s good, they’ll know exactly how and when to sterilize your baby’s bottles (prior to first use, when they’re sick, and in general, at least once a week).
If It’s The Powdered Variety, They’ll Prep Some Bottles
Grown-ass partners have likely looked up some formula feeding FAQs on preparation and storage and found out this time-saving (and sometimes life-saving) tip: you can store pre-mixed formula in the fridge for up to 24 hours to save the trouble of scooping powder at dawn or in the middle of a long night.
They Make Sure To Serve Bottles At The Proper Temperature
Some babies are cool with room temperature bottles, others prefer warmer formula. A solid partner will know this in advance and prepare accordingly.
They Take Their Turn During Night Feeds
Among the many things that every new dad should do for his partner after birth, always taking his turn on the night shift is paramount to maintaining a healthy, happy relationship.
They Seek Out Coupons Because Formula Is Freaking Expensive
Smart partners not only buy the formula, but they also seek out baby formula coupons online to make their purchases less painful.
They Wash Bottles And More Bottles And More Bottles
Just like the laundry, bottle washing in the first year or two of baby’s life is a daily thing and these dudes know it.
They Get A Cozy Chair To Feed The Baby In...
A comfortable chair from which to feed your kid is essential and a strong partner knows to get you a good one in advance.
...And A Feeding Pillow Because They’re Not Just For Breastfeeding
If your partner is wise, they’ll have already done the research on how to buy a feeding pillow that your arms will thank them for.
They Pass You Your Cellphone (Entertainment) While You Feed The Baby
Grown-ass men not only pass you the phone, they also recommend all your favorite 90s shows to binge on Netflix. Winning.
They Never, Ever Shame Or Question You For Not Breastfeeding...
There are so many reasons why we choose to formula feed. Whether it’s because of low milk supply or because we totally hate breastfeeding, our grown-ass partners know better than to shame or question our decision.
...And They Come To Their Defense If Anyone Else Tries To Judge You
Folks should never judge someone for feeding a baby formula, and if someone ever attempts to do it to you, there’s no doubt your grown-ass man will put a stop to that, no questions asked.