What You Need to Know About Guilt-Free Formula Feeding



What I Thought I Wanted

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was certain I would breastfeed. I learned all about the challenges and I prepared by buying all the breastfeeding accessories you can imagine. Then, Reagan was born with PKU and had to be on a medical formula. This was absolutely devastating for me! I hadn’t even bought a single bottle other than what came with my breast pump. I had no idea what to do when we left the house – how do you even travel with formula? (Hey, I was a first time mom, ok) I was still able to supplement her formula with breastmilk for several months, but in time, being a busy working mom and only being able to feed a little bit of breastmilk made my supply suffer. Eventually, I made the decision to switch from supplementing with breastmilk to supplementing her medical formula with regular formula.

At first, I carried a lot of guilt about this. I wanted to give my daughter the best and I felt like I failed her or was somehow being selfish. With time, I began to understand that I WAS doing the best I could for Reagan and that there is no guilt in that.We live in an amazing time with many healthy options for our babies and I am grateful for that.Harrison loves Happy Baby Infant Formula

When my second child, Noah, was also born with PKU, I made the switch even earlier. We were moving, I had to go back to work sooner, I was juggling a life-consuming job as a theatre teacher with having two babies under two. Noah never had a great latch and every time was painful and frustrating. I had already come to accept that formula was a great option when breastfeeding just wasn’t a good fit for my family, so this time there was less guilt and more understanding that just as our babies grow and change, so do our families and our circumstances.

A Second Chance

Harrison, my third child, was the first born without PKU. Suddenly, my dream of exclusively breastfeeding became a reality. For the first six months of his life, Harrison was fed only breastmilk. Here’s the thing though, being a working mom is hard. Now, I know that there are all sorts of laws in place to protect working mothers and give them the opportunities they need for pumping, but that does not mean that it is easy.



For four months after returning to work, I dutifully took my pump to work and pumped twice a day. I wanted to make sure that I was doing the best I could for my baby. It didn’t take long for me to notice that I was never going to be able to keep up with his daily intake . . . and if you’ve ever breastfed, you know what that means. My supply started dwindling until it was no longer worth it to bring my pump to work with me and spend my entire prep period and an hour after school stuck in the girls dressing room. I knew that 6 months was going to be my limit, so I started making the transition.


Happy Baby Stage 2 Organic Infant Formula

After three kids and three very different feeding experiences, I learned a few things about formula feeding that maybe don’t get the attention they deserve.

#1: Formula is not an all or nothing choice

Plenty of breastfeeding mamas choose to supplement with formula. Whether it’s a lifestyle choice (like it was for me) or driven from a health need, you don’t have to choose a side in the mommy wars here. Continuing to breastfeed while also supplementing with formula is a completely valid choice and there are multiple ways of doing this. With Reagan, she finished her prescribed amount of formula and then “topped off” with breastmilk (most supplementing moms will do this in reverse). With Harrison, I kept evening and nighttime feedings at the breast because it was easier, but used formula during the day.


#2: Not all formulas are equal


There are so many different options out there and they all serve different needs. I was concerned when I started seeing things like “corn syrup solids” listed as the first ingredient on many popular formulas. A great choice for moms concerned about these kinds of ingredients is Happy Baby Stage 2 Organic Infant Formula. I first learned about the Happy Baby brand when Reagan was a baby and they had so many organic baby food options that Reagan could actually eat! I quickly began seeking out Happy Baby products whenever I could. Happy Baby has a whole list of ingredients they DON’T include in their formula and first on that list is corn syrup solids.

Check out their awesome high-quality ingredients.

#3: You will still bond with your baby

While breastfeeding does offer an incredible bond between mother and child, it isn’t the only way to bond with your child. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting with my feet up, snuggling my little man with a bottle and seeing how he looks at me like I’m the greatest person in the world. All three of my children have been fed formula and I have an incredible and unique bond with each one of them.


#4: Not your Grandma’s (or mother’s) formula

The research and development in the area of infant formula has come such a long way. Today’s formulas include so much more nutrition to help the changing needs of babies than formulas of the past. Popular additions to formulas today include DHA for healthy brain development and prebiotics to help with digestion, and calcium, folic acid and other vitamins and minerals found in breastmilk. Happy Baby Stage 2 Organic Infant Formula includes all of this and more to make sure that your baby is are getting what he or she needs to thrive. Plus, have you ever heard about how breastmilk changes as your baby ages to meet new developmental needs? Happy Baby modeled their infant formula after breastmilk and that’s why they offer Stage 2 starting at 6 months.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Happy Baby Stage 2 Organic Infant Formula.

#5: Formula feeding can offer flexibility

Breastfeeding Harrison was a wonderful experience. It truly is amazing how our bodies can provide nourishment for our children. However, modern life can be overwhelming and the endless cycle of feeding and pumping can wear you down. Formula gives you options. Your partner can help with more feedings (without you having to pump to maintain supply), baby can easily eat on the go, and as a working mom, after awhile, I needed another option. I am so grateful that I can continue to provide the best for my kids, both by working to support our family and through providing excellent nutrition.

Happy Baby Infant Formula
Check out this built in scoop holder!

Did You Know?

I firmly believe that moms should offer love and support for each other however our parenting choices may differ. Did you know that Happy Baby offers free expert feeding advice online? You can chat in real-time with lactation specialists and Cornell-Certified nutritionists (who are all moms themselves!) when you need help solving your feeding problems or answering any questions you may have.

Get the help you need today by clicking here and scrolling down.


Whatever way you choose to feed your baby, know that there are moms that would love to share their advice and their stories. Tell us in the comments below what choices you made for feeding your little ones.

22 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Guilt-Free Formula Feeding”

  • I am a first-time mom. I wanted so badly to exclusively breastfeed my son, but I wasn’t able to. I had to switch him to formula after 2 months because I wasn’t producing enough. I remember seeing posts of moms picking sides of which is better for baby. I didn’t choose sides. I just felt really bad after seeing posts of moms able to breastfeed. At the end of the day, I just needed to remember that my baby was being well-fed no matter what. Thank you for this post! Also, my son loved the Clearly Crafted food pouches from Happy Baby Organics. Great company you have sponsoring your post! 🙂

    • It’s so hard sometimes when we think we should be doing something a certain way. Sometimes I think other moms can be thoughtless about how they speak to other moms when they are particularly passionate about an issue and breastfeeding vs formula seems to be one of those issues. As long as we have happy, healthy babies, that is what counts. And we LOVE Happy Baby here.

  • Your post really hit home. I have one child and thought that a mother just made a choice in if they wanted to breast or bottle feed. I was blindsided by the challenges of lip ties, low birth rate, and low supply. It certainly brought a sense of guilt but I quickly realized that a fed baby is best! I nursed all I could then supplemented and have a healthy, happy, and thriving baby. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • I’m so glad to hear your baby is thriving! It can be so challenging to let go of the vision of the mom you thought you would be.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. I had planned on breastfeeding exclusively and, due to a number of postpartum health issues, I just couldn’t. It took me far longer than it should have to shake off the guilt that came with that. Even though I honestly had a great support system those once in a while comments about formula feeding would pop up and I would feel completely torn down. I felt as if my body had betrayed me and I was somehow unfit to be a good mom. Even though I had always preached that fed is best it took months for me to apply that philosophy to my own life and realize that I was in fact doing what was right for my daughter. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for building up other mommas!!

  • Great post! My middle son was born with a cleft lip and palate and was completely unable to nurse. Having a one year old running around I knew I would not be able to pump and sustain his needs so I made the choice to go with bottle from the beginning. I struggled with so much guilt, but you know what? He’s 8 now and we are closer in bond then my other two whom I nursed. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of nursing being the only way to bond with a newborn, but that’s just not the case! Kudos to you for putting this out there. Love it!

    • My mom has a cleft palate and cleft lip, I know that is not an easy situation to handle. I’m glad to hear your son is doing well.

  • Such a great post! I am a first time mom to a now one year old and I wanted so bad to breast feed him but after at about 6 months, my supply started to dwindle. I did the best I could and supplemented for a while before finally making the full transition to formula. I was so ashamed at first that I refused to tell people that I was using formula, but it’s so silly to think about it now. You just do what is best for your baby and your situation and enjoy the time you have together. It passes by way to fast!

    • Exactly Maria! You do whatever is best for your situation to take care of your baby. My sister in law felt guilty as well, especially when a friend said something unkind, but I reminded her that there is no checkbox on college applications for being breastfed.

  • This is GREAT advice! With my first breastfeeding wasn’t possible for a bit for me because of an infection I got at the hospital. I was so sad about it and it really affected my supply. It took me a long time to accept that formula was okay.

  • After a lot of struggle with breastfeeding a little guy who was losing weight pretty rapidly I figured out that for formula didn’t make me any less of a mom. I did what was right for my child. And his little sister was mostly formula fed as well. Love the tone of support in your post!

  • A very emotive subject which is such a personal choice but everyone has an opinion on! I breastfed 2 and bottle fed my third, I think third time round I was not so influenced by those around me and followed my gut! Thank you for sharing.

  • It’s important that kids get fed and that families do what’s right for them! I hate the breastfeeding/formula feeding debate! Good for you for doing what was best for you guys! <3

  • Thank you for this post. I actually did a mix of feeding formula and breastfeeding for my first baby too. While I wanted to breastfeed her, I also really wanted my body back and did not want a baby on me all the time. It almost feels like a relief sometimes too — not need to have that pressure of being their sole source of food.

  • I went through so many struggles to attempt to breastfeed. I succeeded with one out of four for longer than a month. It is so hard with society shoving it down your throats right now that “breast is best.” I get that and know that and if I could have. I would. I won’t go into my complications but each one was real and switching was not an option it was the option. I’m so glad you were able to push away the guilt. I still would always prefer to exclusively breastfeed but I wish the guilt surrounding formula would be eliminated.

  • I LOVE this post. I wrote a post about my experience with difficulty breastfeeding my first child and how I felt so much guilt but I now realize that my child was healthy and that is what truly mattered. I have sense breastfed our second child exclusively and I truly loved it. However I am eternally grateful that we live in a time where we have formula in times of need when breastfeeding does not work out for any reason. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.