I give Vito fresh milk. He weaned suddenly when he was just 13 months old. Absolutely refused to drink my breastmilk. So I just gave him goat's milk formula, which he had drunk sporadically since he was about 5 months old. It was the standby milk in case I was away from home too long and my expressed breastmilk ran out, which was rare. So a small can of goat's milk formula back then would last us two to three months. But when he weaned, he was consuming 10 cans a month. No kidding. We were spending a minimum of P4000 a month on goat's milk formula.
We can afford it but I didn't want to spend that much money. That's crazy money! The pedia said that since Vito was already 18 months old, he can drink ordinary milk. He didn't need formula. She said he hasn't needed formula since he turned a year old. Plus, he should be drinking just 16 oz of milk a day. That's just 2 glasses. So Vito drinks fresh cow's milk twice a day. That's it. When I have extra expressed breastmilk, I sneak it into Vito's milk!
I give Iñigo breastmilk. Mine. I give him fruit juice and I've given him a few sips of fresh milk but he prefers mine. So mama's breastmilk pa rin. And I'm not quitting nursing anytime soon.
Okay, now here comes the difficult part.
I've been feeling guilty about something. A few weeks ago, I blogged about NIDO sending us milk samples. The milk was clearly for preschoolers so I thought there was nothing wrong about writing about it. It's not infant milk. It's not even toddler milk. But then I got an email this morning, which I'll paraphrase:
"I saw that Vito and Iñigo are drinking NIDO. Why did you choose this milk? I'm thinking of weaning and I'm choosing what milk to give my one-year-old baby and I find that the formulas are very expensive. Since you give NIDO to your kids, I'll give NIDO to mine."
Oh no. No. I do NOT give NIDO to my kids. Nowhere in the blog post did I say that they drank NIDO. I even said that Vito and Iñigo do not drink formula or special milk for infants and toddlers. All I said was Vito wanted to taste the chocolate flavor. He did taste it but he didn't like it. But you'll have to take my word for it because I deleted the blog post before I could do more damage.
I am very upset because I didn't think the post could be harmful. For me, the milk was for preschoolers. But because I posted a photo of my kids playing with the boxes (they weren't drinking it!), readers who did not read the post thought my boys drink formula/special milk and, more alarming, thought of giving formula/special milk to their babies.
I'm not saying formula is evil. I will never say formula is evil because my Vito drank it. But I will say that I feel very guilty that one reader (and I hope it really is just one reader) was swayed by clever marketing that also swayed me. I'm a smart woman but apparently, I wasn't smart enough to see this. My stand on breastfeeding was compromised and I apologize if my integrity was compromised. I didn't see the harm because it was clearly preschool milk! But apparently many mothers don't see the difference and this upsets me.
Breastmilk is best for your children. It will always be the best starting food for your kids from birth to early childhood, even preschool years. If you can breastfeed up to the school years, then that's great. If you choose to give formula to your kids, then please do so upon the advice of your pediatrician. That's the reason why I never say the brand of goat's milk formula that Vito once drank. I don't want moms to go and buy milk that my child's pedia recommended for him. I believe that formula milk is like prescription drugs. They should only be given upon the advice of a pediatrician. I know that's a controversial stand but that is what I believe.
Again, I apologize if my integrity was compromised.