For moms, there’s something particularly primal about feeding a newborn baby. Because of that, some serious stress around the topic can build up. Moms who have emerged from the throes and woes of feeding a newborn baby have a special gift they can give first-time and expectant moms – and even themselves, if-and-when round two comes along.
Moms can give the gift of hindsight.
So, we reached out to our Dr. Brown’s Ambassadors to ask them this question:
If you could go back to those early days of feeding your baby, what would you tell yourself? What advice would you give?
And, they delivered (hehe). Check out these leading ladies’ insightful and compassionate responses that give us all much to reflect on.
Bethany McLean of Simply Bethany Says It’s Tough
Breastfeeding is hard and so demanding. This is the one thing I wish I would have known before having Asher. I’m so thankful for the time I had to breastfeed but switching to formula was freeing almost. If you exclusively BF, you are your babies only source of food….nobody else. There were moments where I just wanted to nap or relax but Asher needed me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful feeling and you create an amazing bond with your precious baby but it’s hard! I expected the pain, which was mainly in the beginning, but I was not prepared for how demanding it was. Also, if you are expecting and plan to breastfeed, google cluster feeding…you’ll thank me later.
Learn more about Bethany in her bio.
Follow along with her on Instagram: @simplybethanyxo
Shaheen Khan of Lows to Luxe Believes in ‘Stress Less’
I actually think about this often and wonder how different it would be if we ever had another child. The whole newborn stage is a blur, you are exhausted, worried about doing everything right and feeding your baby is all you think about. I would have definitely told myself to relax! In the end everything works out and it is all about finding that unique balance that works for your family. I wish I had stressed less and enjoyed more because that stage goes by so quickly!
Learn more about Shaheen in her bio.
Follow along with her on Instagram: @lowstoluxe
Valentina Guerrero of That Valentina Girl Would Say It’s OK to Change it Up
The first that comes to mind is, I wish I would have known sooner that it’s ok to change to preemie nipples even if your baby was full term. My little Carter man would drink his formula so fast, that he would scream for more food even though I was giving him enough. And every time I tried giving him more ounces after that, he would spit up because he was over eating. So, after talking to many friends and family members, I switched to preemie nipples with my normal Dr. Brown’s bottles, and it worked right away! He had to work a little harder to get his food, but he would be content and even fall asleep after each bottle, compared to getting upset from drinking it too fast and asking for more.
Also, I wish I would have known that it’s ok to feed your baby small amounts throughout the day, instead of the full bottle every time. I guess each child is different, and mine did a lot better with less ounces, [being fed] every 2 hours instead of his full bottle every 3 or 4 hours.
And last but not least, eating patterns change. What I mean by that is, sometimes your baby will eat more and sometimes he or she will eat less. They go through growth spurts and they will let you know what they need. So, I wish I could tell myself “don’t worry if you think he’s eating too much, or if you think he’s not eating enough.” He will let you know one way or another, and he will be ok!
Learn more about Valentina in her bio.
Follow along with her on Instagram: @thatvalentinagirl
Carrie Greenberg of Forever Freckled Wishes She Would’ve Gone with Her Gut
Lately, I have been flooded with memories of the newborn stage and the nerves that surround feeding a new baby. With my 2nd baby’s arrival just a short 2 months away, I feel much more confident this time around. I wish I could have given my younger self some advice that I learned from personal experience as well as watching my sisters with their own children.
The best advice I ever got when it came to feeding was to go with your instinct. Making myself crazy with lists and schedules did not work for me, personally. I learned to follow my motherly instinct on when my baby needed to be fed. I was so worried about sticking to a timeline and didn’t always listen to the own cues my baby was giving me. When it came to bottle feeding vs breastfeeding, I felt an enormous amount of guilt and pressure about giving my baby a bottle after he was born. It ended up being the best decision I ever made and gave me as a mother a bit more freedom. It also allowed my husband to be involved in the feeding process with our newborn and that made him feel included.
Advice from experienced family and friends is a wonderful thing. In the end, always go with your gut and motherly instinct. It will never steer you wrong.
Learn more about Carrie in her bio.
Follow along with her on Instagram: @foreverfreckledblog
Mytha Reyna of Mytha’s Homestead Says No Matter What, Enjoy It
If I could go back to the early days of feeding my first newborn, I would have spent less time stressing. Just follow your instincts and go with whatever works for you and your baby. No two babies are alike, my daughter’s nursing sessions were long. My son was the complete opposite, his nursing sessions were short and frequent. Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, both amazing ways to bond with your little one. Enjoy those frequent feedings and snuggles with your newborn. Time goes by so fast, treasure those little moments.
Learn more about Mytha in her bio.
Follow along with her on Instagram: @mythashomestead
Brett Firdman of Her Tasty Life Would Be More Willing to Let Go
As a first-time mom, in the early days of feeding Blake, I was a nervous wreck. I was hyper-focused on having a successful, healthy breastfeeding relationship with my son, despite the other plans my body had for me. I encountered so many issues… you name it, overproducing, underproducing, mastitis, clogged ducts. I was at battle with my body. It was so frustrating encountering all of these setbacks when I just thought, isn’t my body supposed to be built to feed and nourish my baby? Stressed out doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Looking back, I would have told myself to relax, let go of all the preconceived notions about how to feed Blake, and give myself the permission to let go of my nursing struggles. I stayed in it for months, struggling, and didn’t listen to my body that was trying to tell me it wanted to stop. It’s ok to let nature take its course and to remember that fed is best. Blake started his journey with formula at five months and we made sure to choose an all organic, natural formula that we felt comfortable transitioning him to. It was so easy and went shockingly smoothly, I wish I would have known about all of the options sooner. I also wish I had been better researched about the formula products that are now available but since I had planned to breastfeed, I was a bit lost, admittedly.
Always remember it takes a village… ask for support and help when you need it, and always remember to listen to your body. It’s rarely wrong!
Learn more about Brett in her bio.
Follow along with her on Instagram: @hertastylife
Shay Mone Would’ve Stocked Up
If I could go back to the early days of feeding my first born, I would have definitely pumped and saved milk starting at the beginning. I didn’t start to save my breast milk until I went back to work and later on regretted it because I realized how much milk I could have had for him to drink later on. If you are nursing, make sure to use the storage bags for milk and freeze because it definitely comes in handy. With my second and third child, I feel more comfortable leaving them and going to work because I know they will have breast milk to drink even in my absence.
Learn more about Shay in her bio.
Follow along with her on Instagram: @shaymone
The Salty Blondes Each Have Something Different to Offer
I wish I would have never used nipple shields! They wouldn’t allow my breasts to empty fully and I probably would have saved myself from so much pain and sickness from mastitis if I hadn’t used them, which eventually led to me giving up on nursing.
I wish I would have not worried so much as to how my baby was feeding, and just focused on him getting the nutrition he needed, which is, in the end, what ended up happening anyways! My baby ended up needing a g-tube, but I spent the first couple of months in the NICU stressing and trying so hard to get him to nurse and drink from a bottle.
Learn more about Paige and Regan in their bio.
Follow along with them on Instagram: @salty_blondes
From the mouths of moms. And remember, your feeding journey with your newborn will be as unique as them, so take your time to figure out what works best for your baby. Special thanks to all the women who offered some helpful wisdom and shared their story with us.