Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Bottle All Nursing Mothers (And Babies) Will Surely Love.

This is a sponsored post in accordance to a working partnership with the SITS Girls and Munchkin brand. All opinions expressed are my own.Tracking Pixel 

It's true what they say about babies- each baby is different and that's something that's never rang truer than when it came to the methods of feeding each of my three sweet boys. 

As a first time mother, I struggled with breastfeeding. It wasn't something that came naturally for either of us and our nursing relationship was a rocky one for the four months it survived. As our nursing journey came to an end, I think that we were both so relieved and eager to switch over to a bottle that I'm not sure it really mattered what kind I ended up choosing. I purchased a myriad of bottles in the beginning- expensive ones with a million parts, cheap ones with zero frills and even a few middle of the road ones that boasted a happy medium of the two. It took a few weeks but we eventually got the hang of it. Our breastfeeding journey was over and we never once looked back.

When my second son was born I didn't set any lofty nursing goals. If it didn't work for us, I told myself, it wouldn't be the end of the world. We started off strong- much stronger than my first experience. I waited to introduce a bottle, perhaps in retrospect, I waited too long. I just didn't want to jinx our success. Sometimes that golden window of opportunity is so small, however, that if you don't jump on it, it's gone forever. 

Despite trying a myriad of bottles, the window of opportunity was gone. In the course of the next twenty-three months, or how long our nursing journey lasted, my second son would go on to take a few bottles here and there, under duress mostly and involuntarily but as many nursing mothers will attest, sometimes we just need a break. I'm beyond grateful that my experience nursing my second baby was vastly different from my first but at the same time I knew that when my third was born, I'd want to try to do things a little differently. 

Perhaps strike a happy balance. 

When my third son was born, he too eased right into nursing. In fact, the first few weeks were a dream and I truly couldn't have asked for better. I knew, however, that our magical window was quickly approaching and I didn't want to necessarily make the same lapse in judgment as I did the last time. Once again I invested in a few different types of bottles and around 3 weeks old we began to introduce them on a weekly basis. 

I suddenly remembered three things about bottle feeding:

1. I hated washing bottle parts. It was bad enough I had to wash pump parts but add to that bottles that required multiple valves, rings, caps, etc. and it was just too much. Enough to almost sway me from having to take part in the process to begin with. 

2. It was kind of glorious. It was a wonderful break from constantly being needed every two hours. If I wanted to nap, I could nap without worry of waking up in time for the next feeding. If I wanted to take the older boys out for some one on one time, I could do that, focusing solely on them, not always wondering what time it was and when I'd have to get back to feed the baby. 

3. It gave my husband extra time with the baby, something he didn't always get at the end of a long day at work and it became something that he really looked forward to. There isn't a whole lot our husbands can do for baby in those early weeks aside from rock and change diapers- so giving them the ability to feed baby also is an extra special bonus.

Even though he was my third baby, I wanted to make sure that introducing the bottle didn't alter our nursing relationship in any way. Sure I needed to take a break here and there and it would undoubtedly be a nice alternative for someone else to feed him occasionally but in the long run, I wanted to nurse him for as long as we both could happily endure. 

I knew what whatever bottle I ended up introducing needed to meet two very important criteria: 

1. It didn't include a bazillion parts.

2. It was as close to the real thing as possible and would easily allow baby to switch back and forth between bottle and breast.

The Munchkin LATCH bottle system, available at Target, was the answer to my bottle feeding prayers. Developed with Lactation Consultants, the LATCH bottle mimics the real thing by releasing more breast milk as baby pushes against the nipples base, the same movement that occurs as baby nurses at the breast. While other bottles may look like the breast, the unique LATCH nipple moves, stretches and functions like the breast by allowing baby to latch easily and correctly. 

Without tons of miscellaneous pieces, the LATCH bottle also offers a simple way to reduce colic. The anti-colic valve, located at the bottom of the LATCH bottle, allows for breast milk to flow while ensuring air bubbles don't travel through. 

Immediately, the LATCH bottle met and exceeded my bottle-feeding criteria. With only three parts- the bottle base, o-ring and nipple, I didn't have to worry about tons of bottle parts needing to be washed, dried and pieced together. With it's unique shape and function, the nipple looked and felt like the real thing, more so than many of the other bottles I've tried. When left in the capable care of others, I also didn't need to worry about their ability to piece together the bottle parts correctly to avoid leaks and spills. 

And this ham? He was the bottle's biggest fan. At six months old, he uses the 3+ month flow nipple and it's the perfect size and flow for him. it's also nice that the bottle comes with a pump adapter that I can hook directly to my pump, eliminating the need for a "middle man" bottle of sorts, and extra parts to have to later wash and dry.

As mothers we have plenty to worry about. The Munchkin LATCH bottle system goes one step further by reassuring us mothers that we have one less thing to worry about when it comes to happily feeding our babies, ensuring a safe and easy transition from bottle back to breast. Tell me, have you experienced any challenges or funny moments when it comes to feeding your little ones? 

Use coupon code LOVELATCH at Munchkin.com for Free Shipping on your purchase. U.S. residents only, expires 12/31/14.

For more information on Munchkin LATCH as well as feeding tips and all around encouragement and support for moms, join us for the #LOVELATCH Twitter Party, Wednesday, November 12th, 8am-9am PST/11am-12pm EST. 

This post is brought to you by Munchkin LATCH as part of the #LOVELATCH campaign.

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