In my nurse-in-public paralysis, a pumped bottle of breastmilk might have come in handy. Since I was already trying to pump once a day for a "daddy's bottle," though, that was enough for me.
Uh, let me clarify: by "daddy's bottle", I mean a bottle that Tom could feed to Peter. It was to serve three purposes. Well, it was supposed to, anyway. Here's how it worked out:
1) Bonding. No way I was going to be a selfish mother hoarding all of our son's feeding to myself! Didn't my husband deserve the opportunity to gaze into the eyes of his suckling son? If they didn't have this opportunity to bond, surely we'd be sowing the seeds of an emotionally distant family.
So to prevent that whole Cat's in the Cradle thing, I'd hand Tom the baby, burp cloth and bottle when he got home from work. Father and son would fumble along on the couch, Tom awkwardly holding Peter as he sputtered and fussed and spit up more than his usual share. It was painful to watch, really, but I reminded myself that they were bonding.
Until one day I passed the bottle to Tom, who sighed and asked, "Do I have to?"
Next go round, I think we'll reserve daddy-bonding time to baths, tummy raspberries, and a little bit of babywearing.
2) A Break. The books said that having daddy give a bottle would be a nice little break for me. So each day, in anticipation of this break, I would find twenty minutes to pump. Then I would rinse and sometimes boil the pump parts. When Tom got home, I'd warm the bottle then coach him through the feeding session. Finally, I'd clean the bottle.
Gotta love those breaks.
3) Babysitters. If my infant couldn't take a bottle, I couldn't leave him with a sitter, right? It was imperative, I decided, that my son take bottles several times a week so that he wouldn't forget how. The first time we left Peter, he was five months old. I was helping to host a party, which meant I was gone for five solid hours. That's a long time. Thank goodness my son could take a bottle (well, sort of), right?
Soon after I left, the sitter offered the bottle. Peter took less than an ounce, then slept peacefully for the remainder of the time we were gone...