Woman Wonders If She's Wrong For Breastfeeding Her Niece After Running Out Of Formula While Babysitting

She didn't have a choice.

Woman breastfeeding baby on couch SeventyFour / Shutterstock

While babysitting her baby niece, a woman choose a somewhat controversial means of feeding the little one when she ran out of baby formula.

Humans and most mammals have been breastfeeding children since the dawn of time but, even though it shouldn't be, it is still somewhat taboo.

So, after the aunt did what she needed to do, her niece's mom was outraged.

Her sister-in-law was upset to learn she had breastfed the baby while the new mom was out. 

Posting to Reddit's "r/AmItheA--hole" (AITA), the woman wrote that she had been watching her niece while her sister-in-law and brother went out to a formal event.


AITA is a subreddit where users ask for strangers' opinions on a conflict in their life.

She explained that while her sister-in-law and brother were out, her niece started getting hungry.

"Unfortunately we ran out of formula and don't really rely on it in our household as I nurse my own baby most of the time," she wrote in her Reddit post

The woman didn't have any other alternative and since she'd nursed her niece before, she felt as if it were no big deal.

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Eventually, the woman's sister-in-law came back and during a casual conversation, she mentioned that she had breastfed her niece since she'd gotten hungry and they were all out of baby formula.


Her sister-in-law immediately became upset over it and started berating the woman for breastfeeding the baby.

"[My sister-in-law] looks at me sternly with a hint of disgust and berates me for nursing niece. I did not retaliate because I was too shocked at why she would be so agitated when all I did was feed her child," she shared.

The woman was left shocked at the reaction of her sister-in-law, saying that if there had been formula in the house, she would've used it to feed her niece.

It had only been the woman, her baby, and her niece alone in the house, she couldn't leave to go purchase more formula from the store because she didn't have anyone to watch the two babies.

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She also couldn't bring her baby and niece since she didn't have a secure carrier for the two of them to put in her car, nor did she have a stroller to put them in once she arrived at the store.

"If [my sister-in-law] had a preference she should have brought some formula in the baby essentials pack she passed to me."

The woman explained that her sister-in-law had only left diapers, rash cream, and a pacifier in the bag she gave her before leaving for the event.

Since the incident, the woman's sister-in-law hasn't returned her calls, despite wanting to apologize since her decision to breastfeed her niece was upsetting to her sister-in-law.

Most people who commented on the woman's Reddit post were divided on whether or not the woman was in the wrong.

"They did not leave formula so what were you supposed to do? They should have made sure it was available so that this would not happen," one user wrote.


"I can understand SIL being upset, but come on, what was the alternative given that you could not go out to get any?"

Another user chimed in, agreeing with the woman's decision to breastfeed her niece, but also understanding why her sister-in-law was upset.

"Babies need to eat, so I understand why you did what you did. But as a new mom myself I would feel weird about someone else nursing my child. It shouldn't matter really, but my gut feeling is I wouldn't want someone to do that."


A third user added, "It's a sensitive topic, so I can't really fault your SIL for being upset. But, that being said, who the hell leaves their kid without making sure they can be fed? Did they talk about it at all?"

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.