Having sung the praises of those oh-so-cute 10-month-old babies, I have to add: not so much fun to feed. As in, jab spoon at mouth while waving away baby’s frantic attempts to (a) capture spoon, (b) mash cereal all over hands, face, and hair, and (c) throw spoon to floor. Which has prompted me to consider the relative merits of breastfeeding a baby vs. wrestling a meal into a toddler.
Food Preparation: Advantage – Breastfeeding.
- Preparation of breastmilk is quick and easy. In fact, you can pretty much let the autonomic nervous system take care of it and still wind up with 8-12 nutritionally balanced meals delivered to your baby each day. And flavour = yummy! (a bit like vanilla ice cream).
- Preparation of toddler meals can be a bit more challenging. It’s best to follow a series of steps: (1) Distract hungry toddler with yogourt while you boil water and add macaroni. (2) Boil macaroni for 7 minutes while toddler screams hysterically, "Camoni cheese! Camoni cheese!" (3) Stir in powder, margarine, and milk. (4) Serve. Caution: warn toddler that macaroni and cheese is "Hot, very hot!" (5) Clean up macaroni and cheese from floor while toddler howls in pain, having jammed mouth full of giant handfuls of very hot macaroni. (Why, you ask, do you give the macaroni and cheese to the toddler while it’s still hot? Answer: see step #2.)
Food Delivery: Advantage – Toddler feeding.
- Load up your toddler’s plate with a variety of nutritious snacks: chick peas, raisins, almonds, whole wheat crackers, sliced banana, and carrots. Be careful to arrange these foods so that none of them are touching. Hand to toddler, then retire to couch and consume bon bons.
- Breastfeeding, on the other hand, can be time consuming (if you consider 8 hours/day to be a lot of time to spend feeding your child). Retire to couch with everything you need within arm’s reach: TV remote, portable phone, magazines … you’ll be here awhile.
Side Effects: Advantage – Toddler feeding.
- Toddler feeding side effects include: boredom, irritability, difficulty eating an uninterrupted meal.
- Breastfeeding side effects, on the other hand, include mastitis, thrush, blocked milk ducts, and cracked, bleeding nipples. And those are the temporary side effects. Permanent side effects = boobs that point downward.
Final Score: Toddler feeding: 2, Breastfeeding: 1.