Same-sex vs Opposite-sex Parenting – Just How ‘Natural’ is it all?

Jerry Mahoney, of Mommy Man fame, mentioned that an article he had written had been re-blogged (Feb 24th) by an Australian site called news.com.au.  After reading the comments that followed Jerry’s re-posted blog, I was rather appalled at the degree of negativity I found in them (well, until I realized that this site has affiliations with Fox).  The general mood of the comments seemed to be that parenting by same-sex couples was wrong, because it was ‘unnatural’.  Here’s a selection of what those who commented had to say:

  •  “nature intended a male and a female to raise offspring”, or
  • “kids need their biological mother and biological father”, or simply
  • “(gays) are not meant to have children because it’s unnatural”

Yes yes – in general, I do know better than to read such comments, but like seeing a car crash, I sometimes can’t stop myself.  Anyways.  My biggest beef about these comments is that their argument is confused… though understandably so.  These people have equated HAVING children with RAISING children.  So in this, their argument is correct; same-sex fertilization is not natural, nor possible.  However, same-sex parenting – or parenting of any kind for that matter – is a completely separate issue.

Fact: stick any two sexually mature humans of the opposite sex together and poof – you’ll eventually get a kid, once they find the right holes and all.  But DO NOT try to tell me that this automatically makes them the best parents for said kid.  Because those two breeders may have been a 14 year old girl, and a 45 year old pedophile.

Let’s have a closer look at that word ‘natural’, as it relates to reproduction and parenting:

1.  Opposite-sex reproduction is ‘natural’.

Well, no.  Life has been around for about 4 billion years – 3 billion of which nobody had any sex whatsoever (ie: all life reproduced asexually).  Which means that sex is relatively new.  Sort of like gay marriage.

Or, let’s talk actual lifeforms, rather than time-frames.  Of all the life that exists – or existed – on Earth, tens of millions of species reproduce(d) asexually.  Only 2 million or so do/did it with sex.  So once again, sexual reproduction is clearly in the minority, if you look at the overall diversity of life on our planet.

2.  Opposite-sex parenting is ‘natural’.

Again, nope.  Most animals don’t even raise their young – they lay their egg(s), then crawl/hop/fly/squirm away.  It’s mostly just mammals (dogs, mice, humans, horses, whales, etc.) who even deign to stick around after the little tykes are born.  And of all the 5500 or so species of mammals, only 200 or so practice any degree of social monogamy (ie: they act as a couple.  Notice I mentioned nothing about sexual monogamy…).

same-sex fertilization does not equal same-sex parenting

opposite-sex fertilization does not equal opposite-sex parenting!

3.  Same-sex parenting is not ‘natural’, and therefore wrong, and henceforth to be avoided.

Well, I agree that it’s not common.  Yet.  But here are a few other things that aren’t ‘natural’, and I’d bet you my last penny (oops – never mind – Canada just got rid of those!) that every single person who finds same-sex parenting ‘unnatural’ is more than happy to embrace:

-polyester clothes;

-automobiles;

-microwaves;

-air conditioning;

-cell phones;

-internet;

-processed foods; and hey – let’s not forget

human rights

.                             …need I go on?

what's natural, indeed?

Great blog by robw77… I couldn’t have said any of it better!

evoL =

ImageGeorge Bernard Shaw once described straight parenting as having ”no test of fitness”.  LGBTQ parents are beyond  the “test”  In recent scrutiny by representatives of the Catholic Church and a group of authors speaking at the Heritage Foundation, the raking LGBTQ parents have received has been unfounded, ridiculous, untrue and frankly, bizarre.  At best, it is bitterly unfair.  At the Heritage Foundation, authors Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson and Dr. Robert  P. George compared LGBTQ parenting to straight parenting and declared  “We should get rid of the idea that mommies can be good daddies and daddies can be good mommies.”  They declared the heterosexual sex act sacrosanct and placed it as the core of the parenting structure.  It is the same theory that the Pope and his team espouse, that the ability to physically make a baby is directly related to one’s ability to effectively parent it.  They would…

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Afterthoughts: what’s x-mas all about, anyways?

So, the post-boxing day (week) sales have all ended, brightly coloured lights no longer festoon every eaves trough and living room window, and I’m left in a contemplative mood.  Figured I’d throw down some thoughts about the Meaning of X-mas

       When it comes to the ‘holidays’ (aka christmas, winter solstice, boxing day, new year’s, etc. etc.), I think most everyone largely fall into one of three camps:

1) Those who shop;

2) Those who pray; and

3) Those who don’t really know what it’s all about (don’t like to shop; can’t be bothered to pray).

       When I was growing up, we’d often spend X-mas’s up in my Dad’s home town (predominantly Catholic; predominantly francophone), and I remember those as some of the best ones I ever experienced.   There  was a feeling of something special going on at that time of year – the carol singing, the snow, the glowing X-mas trees in every living room, the ubiquitous baked goods, the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins (who often only saw each other at X-mas, despite living in the same town of population 5000).  Then, there was midnight mass at the cathedral – all the town’s (good) Catholics in their X-mas best, sitting hushed in the dimly lit church as the priest and choir droned on incoherently (ie: French) – followed by Reveillon – a huge, hot meal served after everyone trudged home from church in the snow and dark.

       Now, I am not – nor have I ever been – a Catholic (good or otherwise); nevertheless, when you linked all those events together with a common theme, there was something special – I’d even go so far as to say magical – about the whole affair.  Did you notice that I didn’t even mention presents?  Well – they were there too.  After Reveillon, all the cousins, brothers and sisters (wired to the hilt on sugar and butter) would tear into the presents under the tree, as the adults found a chair somewhere and  fell into food-induced comas.  However, the presents are not what I remember about those times.  Christmas was more than that.

       I grew older, and we grew apart from my Dad’s extended family, as families do.  X-mas with my folks and my sister was still one of the most special times of the year, but it never seemed quite so magical, in comparison to the ones spent in franco-land.  I’m an atheist, as was my sister by default (this was back when she did anything her big brother did), and my parents were devout non-practitioners of their own parents’ faiths, so no element of religiosity ever entered our holiday season.  Once I began to earn my own money, I needed to spend it, of course: I vividly remember spending hours in the mall with my secret little list, buying hundreds of dollars of useless junk for each of my family members.  And as time went on, that’s what X-mas became for me: buying and receiving junk.

       (yes, Mother – it was also about spending time with each other, and enjoying a nice meal.  Now get out of my head.)

       Now, we come to the present (as in present tense, not presents from Santa).  Neither hubby nor I can stand shopping.  Yeah, I know – not terribly gay of us.  On top of this, we have both adopted a sort of non-materialistic philosophy where we’ve realized that possession of crap just ain’t what it’s cracked up to be.  He and I have been purging junk from our attic, garage, closets, etc. for years, and (before we got the boys) we’d reached a good balance in our house of more useful stuff than junk.  Yeah, and then came the boys.  Baby towels, baby cloths, baby bibs, baby socks, baby onesies, baby sleepers, baby blankets, baby crib sheets, baby powders, baby oils, baby lotions, baby soaps, baby ointments, baby seats, baby soothers, baby toys… then wait one year, replace most of the ‘baby‘s with ‘toddler‘s, and start over.  UGH.

       So we have a situation where 1) we don’t like to shop (aka: acquire junk); and 2) we don’t pray (and won’t, even for the sake of X-mas).  So that leaves us as category 3’ers: we don’t really know what X-mas should be all about (combine that with the fact that we’re still learning how to be a family with two dads, and you can imagine some of the conversations that hubby and I get into late at night).

       And finally, we get to our two boys – one of whom has reached the age where Santa and presents and snow make him squeal with toddler delight.  What kind of memories do we want our sons to have about X-mas, when they’re all grown up and writing their own blogs?  I desperately want X-mas to mean more than just acquisition of material goods crap, but I’m not interested in following the rituals of one religion or another, simply because they’ve decided that the season is theirs (hey – it’s originally pagan, folks, plus the likelihood of Jesus having been born on the 25th of Dec – much less in the year ‘0’ is next to nil… but who cares about details?).

       So what’s left, if you take away traditional rituals and presents?  (yes, Mom – a nice meal with family – I KNOW).  Ahem… You’re left with a nice meal with family.  Which is basically Thanksgiving 2.0.  Thanksgiving is nice, but X-mas should mean something… more.  Incidentally, Hubby and I have had a no-presents-X-mas (we forced it on his parents one year).  It sucked.  There was nothing jolly about that X-mas.

SOLUTION:  I think the key is in moderation, and variety ==>

1) Rituals and ceremonies add magic to the season, but they don’t have to be religious in nature:

  • celebrate the solstice;
  • make the Santa Claus parade a yearly event, followed by a nice meal with friends;
  • make a yearly ritual out of putting up a tree, some lights and starting to play X-mas music;
  • make sure to make a snowman, if it snows enough before X-mas day;
  • help out at a food bank over the holidays, or make a donation to a canned food-drive (do this each year);
  • establish a special routine for X-mas day – certain meals or events that only happen on that day; and, speaking of meals…
  • plan at least one nice meal* with extended family and/or friends (see, Mom – I do listen).
Everyone loves a good roast beast.

               Everyone loves a good roast beast.

2)  Presents are fun and exciting (especially for kids), but quality should be the focus, rather than quantity:

  • one special present per kid, with a small stocking stuffer for each adult;
  • make present-buying one of the rituals of the holiday season – a time to go into town and enjoy the lights, music and mood of the season; and
  • make present-opening another, small ritual, placed between other rituals or events, so that it doesn’t dominate the mood of the day (a family walk with the dogs in the woods, followed by presents, followed by a nice family brunch, for example).

 *meals – your X-mas meal can become an elaborate ritual in itself, with multiple courses, courses that only appear on X-mas day, party favours and X-mas crackers, mini-games at the table, taking time to reflect on the year, as you eat, etc. etc.

       Anyways – X-mas is over, and nobody likes to dwell on X-mas after the fact, so I’ll stop there.  But if you’re so inclined, drop me your thoughts regarding the meaning of the holidays, and about how you might make your own Christmas more meaningful in future years.

       Oh… and Happy Belated New Years to you all!!!

2 Dads and 2 Sons ROCK!

Here’s why:

1)  We leave our toilet seat up.  Nobody complains.  We also use only a fraction of the toilet paper that those… other families use (you know – the ones with  two or more genders);

2) We have two sets of shoulders for two little boys.  Nobody has to wait for a free-ride;

3)  We all drink right out of the milk jug – without having to hide behind the fridge door when we do it;

4)  We only need two sets of clothes in our home – one set for hubby & me, and one set for the boys;

5)  No girls means we won’t ever have to send our kids into a change room without us, to the mercy of random strangers;

6)  We can all take a piss in the woods, and never have to worry about wiping with a poison ivy leaf;

7)  Everyone gets the same haircut (done by Daddy): #2 sides and back (we’re talking savings of $50-$100 per month here!);

8)  We’ll never lack (well, once the boys are a bit older) for extra sets of strong arms around the house (I’m talking lawn cutting, wood chopping, taking the garbage out,  bringing the groceries in ‘cuz I’m too lazy to do it myself, etc.);

9)  We don’t have – and will NEVER HAVE (notice my upper-case lettering, sons?) – a closet full of useless shoes; and…

…the final reason why 2 dads and 2 sons in a family rock:

10)  No periods, Period.

       See?  I told you so. 😉

4_penguins

Taking a Break From it All

Enough was enough.  Diapers, formula, toys everywhere, unending dishes and laundry, driving here there and everywhere for preschool, playgroups, appointments and visits.   Constant (though endearing) nagging by an ultra-high-energy three-year-old (“More Mini Wheats please!”; “Daddy, come play!”; “I don’t want to nap!”; “Bum-wipe please!” etc., etc.), and incessant demands from an eight-month old who had just learned how to grunt commands (translations: “gimme food!”; “gimme that toy!”; “gimme cuddles!”; etc. etc.)…

Phew!

We needed a break.  So we took one.  Hubby got his folks to come down and “spend some quality time” with the kids (aka: “free babysitting”), and we jumped in the car and drove away without looking back! 

Ok.  Well, it wasn’t quite that spontaneous, but an escape from kids never really can be.  Hubby and I had taken a trip this time last year to New Orleans, and it was the best five days we’d spent in years.  It worked out that we’d both have this time off again this year, so we planned a nice trip to New York City.  Of course, this was before Hurricane Sandy.  Not wanting to be total pricks by expecting a city still picking up pieces from a major natural catastrophe to drop everything and show us a good time, we chose to just go somewhere up here – Montreal.

We’ve planned to stay for five days – so far we’re on our fourth, and we’ve had a great time so far.  We’re staying at a B&B in the village, and hubby took it upon himself to organize our every waking moment – perfectly optimizing our tourist experience. 😐  So far, we’ve made excellent use of our three-day Metro passes, gotten in lots of walking and jogging, taken in as much history of the city as we can handle, not to mention lots of awesome food.  Tonight, we will enjoy some music at Place des Arts, then up to the ‘Mountain’ (it’s a hill, but Montrealers apparently get in a tizzy if you call it that) for a jog tomorrow morning, and then back home to the boys in the afternoon.

Some parents we know haven’t had a night away from their kids in six years.  They talk about a feeling of guilt that descends upon them when they even contemplate leaving their offspring, to go out and have fun.  Of course, we also know some parents who still get out two to four times per month, unwilling to sacrifice their life style from the ‘good old days’ of clubbing and drinking.  Hubby and I fit pretty comfortably in the middle, I think.

We both understand the value of taking a break.  Sometimes a break can be as little as one hour – one of us stays at home with the boys while the other goes food shopping (yes, food shopping can feel like a break, if done sans enfants).  Or at the other extreme, a break is both of us heading to New Orleans or Montreal for a week.  Regardless, the time away is undeniably therapeutic and restorative.  As much as I love my boys, and love my house, the chaos-that-is-my-life just gets to be too much at times – it’s all trees, and I can’t enjoy the beauty of the forest.

Right about now – four days into our getaway – we are starting to pine after the boys, wondering what they are doing, and giggling like school girls as we recall their antics – antics which we were not finding so terribly amusing as they occurred.  And just now, Hubby couldn’t resist – he called home just to hear our eldest son’s voice.  Both father and son were tickled pink to hear one another (with our youngest son squealing away in delight, in the background).   And so our trip has done the trick: we are ready to go home now.  Refreshed, renewed and in love with our two little rascals again.

So, take a break from the kids every now and then, eh?  It’s worth it – for everyone!

 

 

 

Heterosexism & Misandry from a Gay Dad’s Perspective

Here I am, waiting for my car to be repaired; I figured that a good use of my time would be to fire off a blog… so here it is!  Ohh, be warned though: it’s another rant-y one, so if you’re in the mood for an uplifting online experience, go google kittens or something.

If, however, you’re willing to humour me while I relate to you a couple little things that irk me, then please read on!

To start off with, let’s define a few terms, just so we’re all on the same page:

Heterosexism: Discrimination or prejudice against gays and lesbians based on the presumption that everyone in the world is heterosexual.  Example: asking a gay man what his wife does for a living.

Misandry: disdain or hatred for men.  Most of you have likely heard of misogyny; this is the male version.  Example: almost ANY baby book you can find… I’ll elaborate later.

Ever since becoming fathers, hubby and I have been literally bombarded with heterosexist comments and misandrist marketing, making it quite clear that – despite living in one of the most accepting nations on the planet when it comes to same-sex relationships – we still don’t quite fit in properly.   In case you are wondering what exactly I’m talking about, have a look at this short list of typical heterosexist comments that people make when meeting either him or me out in public with our kids:

Heterosexist Comments

1.  “Where’s is his mommy?” (bending over and squeezing son’s cheek)

2.  “Awwww – are you giving mommy a break?” (to me, in patronizing tone)

3.  “Dad’s turn to do some shopping, eh?” <nudge, nudge>

4.  “Out with daddy today for a change, are you?” (to my son)

5.  “Oh – you’ve got the day off from work?” (assuming that my ‘wife’ is – of course – raising the kids)

          or, when they find out that I’m  a stay-at-home-Dad:

6.  “Didn’t your wife take maternity leave?” (slightly worried, covertly checking over my son for obvious signs of neglect)

6.  “So what does your wife do?”

7.  “Oh – so your wife wears the pants in the family!” (chuckle, chuckle)

Gay dads have a couple of options when faced with this.  When I first began to get those comments, I just chuckled them off, as if I were amused by people’s playful prodding.  Later on though, it began to get a bit tedious, and I would – on occasion – gently explain that my son didn’t have a ‘mommy’, and that his other daddy was at home, or at work, or in another store.  Nowadays, I find comments like that downright infuriating, and my replies have begun to take on a more aggressive tone: I usual ‘educate’ the offending party on what heterosexism means, and how it makes me feel.  Sometimes, they take my lesson in good humour.  Sometimes they don’t.

It doesn’t stop there, though (woe is me!).  I’ve found that marketing for and around anything “baby” is insidiously and ubiquitously misandrist (disdainful of men’s role).  In a world where there were no gay dads, and all straight dads are big, burly and leave all the mothering to their women, nobody would bat an eyelash at this stuff.  However, gay dads are here to stay, and ALL DADS today have an obligation to be off their asses and co-parenting with their partners in equal proportions.  We no longer live in the 1950’s, boys. 

(If you’re a straight dad and you’re sitting on your ass, letting your woman raise the kids, get off your ass right now and start co-parenting in equal proportion to your partner)

Ahem.  Anywho – I was talking about insidious, misandrist marketing.  Here are some examples of misandry that you might have noticed, but not noticed:

Misandrist Marketing

1.  Parking spots for expectant and new mothers – yes, the ‘expectant’ part is for mothers alone, but there are new dads out there too who would really appreciate the odd conveniently-located parking spot on occasion!

2.  Virtually 100% of literature dealing with newborn babies.

      -the covers of these items either have babies on them, or babies AND doting mothers.  Find me a generic baby book that has a baby and her daddy on the cover, and I will give you… well, I probably won’t give you anything, but I will send that book’s publisher a personal letter of thanks and appreciation.

       -the inside of these books often treat “daddies” as inconvenient necessities for new mothers.  These ‘daddy’ creatures (we’re told) need to be given very specific make-work tasks, as well as provide for every comfort that a mother may need, while she coddles and cuddles and does all the important bonding stuff with the new baby.  I got about 30 pages into one of these books (back when hubby and I were first adopting son #1) when I hurled it into the trash can, so sick was I of the male-bashing that permeated the pages.  I was wholly revolted by the degree of lecturing to men about how to overcome our baser urges and animal instincts, such that I completely missed any valuable information that may have been in there.  Eventually, we came across a book that seemed to indicate that ‘daddy’ could contribute in a meaningful manner, and was even capable of holding a child while not forgetting that it was not a football.

3.  “Moms & Tots” – a category of activities that can be enjoyed by… babies and their mothers.  Only.  Think play groups, think baby swimming time, think little tyke skating hours – you name it.  There is a ‘Moms & Tot’s skating hour that we have been taking our eldest son to for a few years, which costs $1.  They leave a box outside the rink, cutely labelled “Kids – free; Mom’s – $1”.  Since my son is a kid and I’m not a mom, I have yet to pay even once.  And no, I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty.  Ironically, that particular kids skate is attended almost exclusively by dads and grandparents – I expect that the arena doesn’t depend on the income from this skate, else they would have been out of business ages ago.

4.  Slogans by companies peddling baby-related products – look up any website selling baby products and tell me what pics you see.  Yep, babies.  And?  Mommies.  You have to search pretty thoroughly to find a generic website picture with just a dad and his baby (sure, there’ll be the odd ‘daddy-can-help-too!’ section; however, I’m not helping to raise my kids, I AM raising them, so to hell with those areas).  Some of the slogans or tags  I’ve come across (without identifying the guilty parties) include:

  • we’re here for You, Mom!
  • Mommy Tools
  • All About Mom
  • Moms and their babies
  • Mommy answers
  • Calling all Mothers
  • You’re Doing Ok, Mom!
  • Maternal Instincts

ugh.

Ok, so about now, you straight readers are wondering: why is he making such a big deal about this stuff?  Well, the deal is that there is a more inclusive way of going about your daily business, whether as a pedestrian or a business owner.  Yes, 90% of males you’ll meet out there are at least nominally straight, so asking about their wives won’t be discriminatory.  However, asking about somebody’s spouse or partner includes EVERYBODY (uhm… well everybody that has a spouse or partner, I guess… sorry single parents!).  And yes, pictures of cutsie babies and MILF’s undeniably help to sell products.  Well, cosmetics companies learned about 35 years ago that marketing solely to white women was starting to hurt their bottom line.  Wisely, most of them (the ones that are still in business) diversified their products and started advertising to ALL women.  Perhaps it’s about time baby product companies featured some eye-catching DILF’s on – say – half their product labels; pictures of cute dads would still appeal to all the straight women out there, as well as all us gay dads!  Lesbians could buy the products with traditional labels, of course 😉

Anyways – some food for thought next time you see a Dad out with his kid. 🙂

Got some heterosexist / misandrist experiences to tell?  Leave them below and share the pain!

Breastfeeding vs. Baby Formula

Yeah, so we’re two gay dudes; as such, breastfeeding is pretty much out.  Very briefly after they were born, both our boys’ biological mothers tried to breast feed.  Both women dried up pretty quickly however, for which I was quite thankful – both women were heavy smokers, and the one-and-only time that breast milk was sent home to us by our eldest son’s birth mother, I nearly gagged and had to pour it down the drain.  “Poured out breast milk?!  But think of the poor children,”  you poo-poo’ers out there are saying!  Well, please remember: I’m gay, and I find breasts and/or the fluids they leak mildly revolting.  Best interests of the child or not, there ain’t no way I’m handling a sticky, warm cup full of chunky orange slurpy from some random lady’s boob.  NO WAY.

(ugh, ok – clearing my cache of mental images and moving on…)

Breast milk is undeniably the first choice for a baby, since it is created by humans, for humans.  So, if it is available for your baby (and you can handle it without being physically ill), then by all means use breast milk.  The nice ladies at www.maternalinstinct.ca have thoughtfully come up with a top-10 list of  the benefits of breastfeeding, just to make those of us who don’t/can’t do it feel even more like bad parents:

10 Benefits of Breastfeeding
1. Boosts immune function and may prevent a variety of illnesses
2. May prevent allergies
3. May prevent SIDS
4. Is easier to digest
5. Is made specifically for your baby
6. Is always available, sterile and the correct temperature
7. Is free!
8. May prevent certain types of cancer in the mother
9. May prevent postpartum depression
10. Helps moms get more sleep!

(*Notice the number of may’s in that list [5 of them], as well as the (accidental, I’m sure) absence of the word dads in #10.)

 Health Canada reported that while about 87% of mothers try breastfeeding, only about 26% are still plugging away at it six months later.  The numbers for the United States are a bit different, but the general trend holds.  Everyone else?  Well, we’re mixing drinks like madmen, for our tubby little buggers => between six and eight times per day for the first 4-6 months or so.

I was bottle fed when I was a babe, as was my hubby.  Our three-year old was bottle-fed, and now our youngest is being too.  What harm did our mothers do to us by bottle feeding us, and what damage are we now doing to our sons?  Arguably, I would say none.  I have no allergies, no asthma, no ADHD, and I didn’t die of SIDS as a kid.  Ditto for hubby.  In fact, I would go so far as to say (in my non-medical opinion) that bottle feeding is superior to breast feeding, except for fact that we evolved to be fed on the stuff until we grew teeth (pshaw! minor details!).  And so, in recognition of all the dads, moms, or other parental units out there who bottle feed their children for whatever reason, here is MY top-1o list of the benefits of bottle feeding:

Top-10 Benefits of Bottle Feeding

10.  You don’t need to give your baby vitamin-D or iron supplements, like some breastfed babies (baby formula already has enough of both added in);

9.  Your baby should drink from a sterilized source for the first few months of life – I know my dishwasher’s ‘sanitize’ cycle cleans my bottles properly… but  who knows where that breast has been?!?

8.  You can eat and drink what you like, or take any medications you need, and know that your baby is still getting  the nutrients and vitamins that she needs from her bottle;

7.  Bottles allow you to monitor how much your baby is drinking (short of weighing a mother to the exact ounce before and after breast feeding, there is very little way to keep track of what your little breast-drinking tyke is sucking in);

6.  Baby formula can be used as coffee whitener in a pinch – try asking any woman if she’d mind a pinch for some coffee cream!

5.  Anyone can feed the baby (your parents, your friends, Jehovah’s Witnesses who come to the door [that’ll be the last time they bug you, I can guarantee], etc.), which ultimately allows your baby to bond with other adults, other than just the boob-donor;

4.  When your baby starts to eat infant cereal that calls for breast milk or formula, it’s much easier to just add a scoop of formula than to… squirt in (?) some breast milk (honestly, I don’t even know how that would work!);

3.  When your baby has developed enough manual dexterity, he can drink all by himself (around 5-7 months, each of our boys were able to grasp and lift their bottle by themselves.  This allowed us to place them in their doughnut or their rocking chair somewhere close to us and let them do all the work by themselves while we chatted with them, but continued to do whatever we were doing);

2.  Bottle-fed babies typically eat less-frequently than their breast-fed buddies.  This means that they can go for longer stretches through the night, sooner than said buddies (ie: you get to sleep through the night MUCH SOONER than your breastfeeding friends!);

      and the top benefit to bottle feeding your baby:

1.  no breasts to deal with (Yay!).

       And with that, it’s time for me to get a good (FULL) night’s sleep!