Bottle feeding beef

I’ve got a bone to pick with some parents who bottle feed. It’s not about the kind of bottle you use or what you put in it, it is about the act of feeding itself.

I get full of self-righteous outrage when I see an adult strolling through a store with an infant in one of those damn baby carriers* with a bottle propped by a blanket as said baby feeds itself. This. is. wrong. Babies deserve to be held when they eat.

Or, to phrase it the way it runs through my head whenever I see this little vignette playing live…

PICK YOUR BABY UP, YOU LAZY ASSHOLE, YOU!

No, really. Every time a baby eats, a human should be holding them. Babies need to be touched and held and loved. They need it. It’s actually good for them. Look:

In many cultures, babies are constantly in the arms of caregivers. Anthropologists and psychologists who study the behavior of mothers and babies have observed that when mothers and babies are together, they are constantly shaping one another’s behavior. When her baby whimpers or seems to be in distress, the mother responds and reassures her little one. If her baby seems hungry, she offers her breast. When the baby looks into her eyes, she smiles and talks to her baby, and her baby responds by gazing at her, smiling, or trying to “talk” in baby language. When babies encounter new people or new experiences, mothers and fathers who are holding them can help them overcome their fears and learn more about their world.

These sensitive, personality-shaping interactions happen most readily when babies are in the arms of their parents. When you wear your baby, the two of you move through your day together. You see the world from similar points of view. Your baby hears your voice as you talk to others, picks up on your emotions, and trusts you to provide safety and comfort. Even when a mother is focusing on other people or other tasks, a baby who is held in her arms or tucked into a sling is reassured by the physical contact. Wearing your baby provides closeness even when you can not give your baby one hundred percent of your attention. Via LLL

There’s not one damn thing that’s convenient about a baby. They’re darling, smell nice (um, sometimes), and they’re soft, but- let’s be honest- those tiny little things turn life upside down. The way I see it, you have two choices: 1) Commit to a whirlwind 20-minute shopping trip during the brief window when your baby is fed, dry, awake and happy; 2) Stop what you’re doing, find a place to sit, take your baby out of the carrier, feed it, burp it, change it, then resume shopping. Regardless of what you choose, do the right thing for your kid.

Let’s recap, shall we?

1. Don’t bottle prop. Ever.

2. Babies are not for your convenience. If you want something convenient, you should have skipped the kid and gotten a hamster.

3. Pick your baby up.

4. Don’t be a lazy prick. (see #’s 1-3)

*I hate infant carriers. They’re heavy and bulky and I just really hated them. I carried my babies everywhere. I’ve nothing against them unless you’re using them as a baby-sitter.

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