Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been talking to about-to-be-parents several times now when one of them says "and I need the baby to take a bottle so dad can bond. " Or "Dad gives the baby a bottle of formula so he can bond/I can sleep/I can go out." Sometimes it's EBM, but it seems to soon change to formula. Where did the bonding and bottlefeeding thing come from? Why do dads (and mothers too) think that bottlefeeding is the only way to bond with the baby? "I just want to feed my baby too" is another comment I hear. What do you say to people when they say that? I'm usually at a loss for words. Can you give me some words? Or should I just inwardly sigh? And those of you who do this, I know you'll say something, and that's okay. Why do you feel it is that important? Breastfeeding on command is the best for little babies. The breastmilk changes everytime the baby nurses to the milk baby needs right then. It automatically updates. Sometimes the bonding issue for dads is used as an excuse to not breastfeed. So how can we as lactivists fight back?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,869 Posts
Are Dads so unimaginative nowadays that they cannot bond in any other way???<br><br>
Giving baths aren't bonding experiences?<br>
Changing a diaper cannot be a bonding experience? DH used to play with DS all the time while I changed him; the distraction was rather helpful.<br><br>
Holding, walking, rocking a baby isn't bonding???<br><br>
I am astounded at all the breast-envy going on today. As if babies have no other needs or cannot be interacted with in any other manner than by feeding.<br><br>
To me, that's what "dad needs to be able to feed a bottle [of formula]" smacks of. Nothing more, nothing less than pure breast-envy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,329 Posts
I've had pregnant woman ask me that when talking to them about BFing. I just tell them that dad can bond with the baby by doing one of the 10 zillion other things babies need done for them! My DH: changes diapers, burps baby, dresses baby, gives baths, rocks baby, sings to her and plays with her, (now) feeds solids, wears baby (he prefers the Bjorn over the sling though), etc etc. On the rare occasions I've been gone for more than 2 hours (once? twice, maybe since she's been born) he'll give a bottle of EBM. He'll tell you the bottle part is overrated though... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
850 Posts
I am a working mama, and don't get me wrong, dh loves to give ds a bottle of EMB, but only when I have to and it is pretty much a null issue now that he is older and can wait for mama!<br><br>
Dh does other things, bathes ds 6 out 7 nights, due to working late, gets up on the weekends after morning nursie and plays with ds, changes diapers when home, plays with dog with ds, feeds him solids, and moves cars in the driveway! I would say to let the dads be creative, this also starts a traditition between dad and baby!<br><br>
My in-laws were here today, and I was going to put ds down for a nap, and FIL says "does he need a bottle" I say "no, he has his mamas boobie" he says "oh it was so nice giving him a bottle at the beach" (I had gone down the next morning after work and ds had EBM in bottle with dh and in-laws that night) It is cute and fun to particpate but not the only way!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,052 Posts
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
Show me a father who can only bond with a bottle...<br>
(take your pick)<br><br>
And I'll show you a lazy lazy man...<br><br>
And I'll show you a mother who rations her partner's involvment with the baby...<br><br>
And I'll show you a mother who does everything else...<br><br>
And I'll show you a man who isn't actually bonded...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,093 Posts
Look buddy... she can't knock you up... and you can't nurse the baby... get used to it.<br><br>
Love Sarah
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,977 Posts
bleh, what a bunch of hooey. Ds is daddy's shadow, wonder how they ever managed to bond since dh didn't give him bottles... I swear, sometimes I think a dad focuses on that because it's cleaner than changing diapers and distracts from him having to actually parent the child in other ways. Ok not all men, I know good dads too who do lots... but why does this myth persist??? It doesn't help new dads get to know their babies. If they just feed and hand them back, that's not the full fatherhood experience... that's being a grandparent. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,270 Posts
LOL Sarah!<br><br>
My dh was faced with this more than I was (probably because he works with a lot of other fathers and I didn't really get out of the house in the first 4 months.) He would always just say something to the effect of "Well, we bond by bathing together. How sad to only see feeding as bonding. Bath time is a lot more fun!" Then he would walk away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,177 Posts
I would try to approach the issue of fighting back as fighting back on behalf of the fathers, babies, and mothers who are asking these questions; as opposed to fighting them about the issue. If you KWIM. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wild.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wild"><br><br>
I say this because we were totally and completely unprepared for the vast differences between breast and bottle feeding in our family. I mean TOTALLY. Unless a family is already involved and aware of, say, LLL, or Mothering Magazine, or other resources that naturally support breastfeeding as the norm, that family will very likely only hear about the differences between breast and bottle from the odd friend or two, if at all.<br><br>
We were devastated, truly devastated, at the difference between breast and bottle and its effect on bonding (both with mom and dad). Thankfully, after much heartache and work and many many many months of struggle we were able to end the supplementation and free ourselves for true family bonding through breastfeeding. Oh, bad memories, I'm shaking as I write this. In our case there was a medical necessity issue <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> but we didn't ever count on it affecting bonding. We are thankful to have recovered. I plan to NEVER wean. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Again, I know it's difficult because the formula companies have sooooo much money and our culture is so attuned to formula being the norm; but thinking of fighting FOR families might help us give clear information as well as compassionate support.<br><br>
OTOH, I don't know what to do about folks who just don't care. I've personally decided to focus on folks who are really wanting help. I commend others who are willing to get more out there and go after folks who don't want to be gone after.<br><br>
This is a toughie. Sigh...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,691 Posts
I suspect it may be a reaction to the way a mother bonds with her child.<br><br>
Think how much and how quickly you felt for your child (because of the hormonal priming, and the hormones from BFing), and how it probably took the father a few days or weeks to be besotted. Then look at the differences between how a mother and a father would associate with their baby in the 50s/60s/70s - mother cuddling, playing, etc (including feeding), father off at work and kissing the kids before bed.<br><br>
Now, if you didn't want to admit that fathers needed to spend more time playing with their kids, isn't it easier to say "the mother must bond more because she is the only one who feeds the baby", than say "wow, I need to step up and spend some time getting to know this baby and really caring for it".<br><br>
Alternatively, are they just jealous of that wonderful placid time when a half asleep baby reaches a hand up to play with your mouth, or that "huh, huh" sound of pure contentment?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,933 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Show me a father who can only bond with a bottle... (take your pick)<br>
And I'll show you a lazy lazy man...<br>
And I'll show you a mother who rations her partner's involvment with the baby...<br>
And I'll show you a mother who does everything else...<br>
And I'll show you a man who isn't actually bonded...</td>
</tr></table></div>
Brilliant!<br><br>
DH had been insisting on me getting a pump/bottles so that he could "feed the baby and bond" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"> . I first told him that he would have plenty of opportunities to bond by doing SO MANY other things with the baby. He kept harping on the feeding issue and I was finally like "DUDE...ya gotta wait just a few months and you can feed the baby SOLIDS". (Little does he know that I am planning to delay solids as much as possible, but he doesn't have to know that right now...) That seemed to satisfy him and he hasn't brought it up since.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,269 Posts
This issue always annoys me. My cat is very bonded to me yet I didn't breastfeed her. I didn't even bottle feed her. I did spend time playing and cuddling her.<br>
does everyone remember Harry Harlow from Psychology class? I was always fascinated by his experiments with the baby monkeys and the wire vs cloth mommies. I have finally found a way to apply it to real life! The baby monkeys did not bond with the wire mommy that fed them. They bonded to the cloth mommies that they cuddled with.<br><br><a href="http://www.a2zpsychology.com/great_psychologists/HARLOW.HTM" target="_blank">http://www.a2zpsychology.com/great_p...sts/HARLOW.HTM</a><br><br>
"Harlow's famous wire/cloth "mother" monkey studies demonstrated that the need for affection created a stronger bond between mother and infant than did physical needs (food)."<br><br>
Dads don't need to feed babies. They need to cuddle them.<br><br>
Suzy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,885 Posts
my SIL convinced her dh to bottle feeding during the night (EBM for awhile, then formula) because she "couldn't function as a mother without 8 hours of uninterupted sleep". He works out of home, she doesn't have a paying job. He did it. Of couse, their son always prefers dad to mom.<br>
I remember the time i stopped by my MIL house. She was keeping her grandson (other SIL this time) for a week because "jill (SIL) hasn't slept a nigth through in 3 months". Her ds was 3 mos. I just responded (i was just about to get preg with #3) "i haven't slept all night in over 3 yrs. I thought that was part of the deal".<br>
Maybe my dh was content to let me feed the baby because he's like his sister's and is lazy about waking during the night. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> He'd tell his coworkers they'd get their sleep if their wive's were breastfeeding. He'd say it was much easier on the family if mom was breastfeeding. He's right.<br>
And for the record, he found many other ways to bond or help out. He's made many meals while i was camped out on the coach nursing! As for bonding, he's snuggled up next to me many times while i was nursing, and stroke the baby. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,491 Posts
Although I agree that there is nothing inherently "bonding" about someone giving the baby a bottle- my son does take bottles of EBM while I go to school and he does occasionally take a bottle of EBM when I let my mom keep him so I can have some "me" time. He has never had a drop of formula and didn't have any bottles at all for the first 3 months. I don't think there is anything "wrong" with EBM bottles but certainly no one should be under the assumption that giving my son one somehow = "bonding." I think the old "we bottlefed so Dad could feed and bond with the baby too" line is the worst reason to BF- can he not hold the baby, rock the baby, change a diaper, give a bath, play with the baby? feeding is not the only way to bond!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
DH is plenty bonded with DD. All you need to do is spend time with them. For DH, his big thing was he loved taking naps with DD. Have her sleep on his chest. DH works a very physically demanding job and when she was little was working 70-80 hour work weeks, and he didn't have the energy to do much else. That was just fine with me. He didn't even correlate bottle=bonding. Food was something the mommy took care of (DH was EBF until 18 months, younger brothers as much as 2 years, so maybe he has a unique perspective).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,288 Posts
When I nurse DS in the bed side-lying, DH sometimes lays behind me (spooning, I guess) and watches DS nurse, plays with his hands, DS plays with DH's mouth and beard, ect. I think this is a great alternative to "dad has to give a bottle to bond" scenario. By doing this, the baby doesn't end up with formula and dad gets a more intimate view of nursing.<br><br>
It might be worth mentioning. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,093 Posts
I don't think it's about bonding. I think that some fathers see their partner sitting down, resting while feeding the baby, and want in on some of that lazy-time, do-nothing action. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I do understand the appeal to bottle feed a baby, though. It's just cozy and comforting, and kind of fun. When I was 13, my baby brother was born. My sisters and I would all fight and beg to give him a bottle. But my step-mother stuck to her guns and continued to EBF him. We were allowed to bathe him, though, and that worked well to fill our need to help care for him. :p As a side note, now that I think of it, not a single person in my family has ever asked to feed either of my kids. They ask to hold the baby, of course. But the topic of bottles has never come up. I guess we've evolved. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
DH bonds with the baby in so many ways. And he's never fed him. They play peek-a-boo, they snuggle in bed together in the morning after I sneak out, they bond over diaper changes. If DS wakes up in the night crying, and isn't interested in food, DH swoops him up and takes him downstairs for some "man time", while I get some much needed sleep.<br><br>
There are SO many ways to bond, that don't include food. I think the monkey study mentioned above is an excellent source of proof that there are BETTER ways to bond. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,962 Posts
I hate that, if you ask my husband he'll tell you he's plenty bonded with our son. And guess what? My son has NEVER taken a bottle. What I think is funny is if you mention how breastfeeding bonds the mom and baby the bottle pushers all say "Feeding isn't the only way to bond" while in the same breath they say "Dad needs to feed a bottle so he can bond" WTH? Can't have it both ways!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,329 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">What I think is funny is if you mention how breastfeeding bonds the mom and baby the bottle pushers all say "Feeding isn't the only way to bond" while in the same breath they say "Dad needs to feed a bottle so he can bond" WTH? Can't have it both ways!!</td>
</tr></table></div>
Excellent point!!!
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top