With my breasts all dried up and on the shelf so entered another phase of baby raising. The formula era.
Breastfeeding hadn’t been easy for our little girl, but drinking from a bottle wasn’t either. Formula tins provide you with a guide of how much to mix up depending on age, you can find the same information online too. For a while there Curly was drinking about a third of this amount per bottle, at times not even that.
I experimented with various techniques for getting more milk into her, one such approach involved standing under our skylight and rocking back and forth whilst trying to get the bottle teat in her mouth as she stared distractedly at the ceiling. This particular period created some anxiety and stress for me as I tried to work out if this belonged somewhere on the spectrum of normal or if it was due to some controllable external factor. To rule any external factors out I went on the hunt for the ‘perfect’ bottle and ‘perfect’ formula. Initially I tried S26, but this seemed to block the plumbing up pretty bad so we ditched that. I really wanted to use Bellamy’s, mostly due to it’s “organic” claim I’m ashamed to admit. Though I justified my purchase as supporting an Australian owned company. Still we were sitting on an intake of barely 40ml per bottle. Eventually we landed on the Karicare Goats milk. The most expensive on the shelf. But Curly seemed the most settled on this, it digested well (in other words no green slimy presents in the nappy like Heinz presented us with). She also began to drink more. So with a dent to our wallets we fed Curly goats milk formula for the next 6 months.
Whilst searching for the ideal formula I also experimented with various bottles. At the children’s hospital they used Medela bottles, and these had been fine, when we got home I had some avent bottles we used and they seemed to work okay. But I had to make sure we couldn’t do better. I really wanted glass bottles, these were expensive and hard to come buy so we didn’t start there (though I did end up wasting money on three different glass bottles, none of which were met with Curly’s approval!).
What I learnt in the end was (even though people told me and I didn’t listen to them), it really was a very short phase in her baby life. So much so, that I can barely remember it now, except for the giant box of bottles I have stashed in my cupboard to remind me.
I realised that babies require loads and loads of patience. Some formulas I gave a day at most to prove themselves, poor Curly may have just needed a bit more time to adjust. Not to mention that babies cry…sometimes you just have to roll with that, a difficult thing for a control freak like me.