7 AM to 7 PM: Ashley Tisdale Is Trying to Shift the Stigma Around Formula Feeding

Ashley Tisdale posing on a couch

Mary Clavering / Getty Images

Parents don’t work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.—we work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., from the moment our kids wake up until they go to sleep. This is an unfiltered look at a day in the life of actor, singer, and wellness blogger Ashley Tisdale.

You probably know Ashley Tisdale from “High School Musical,” but these days, she’s so much more than Sharpay. The actor and singer recently reinvented herself by launching a health, beauty, and wellness blog called Frenshe in August 2020.

Then, in February of 2021, she launched her “passion project,” an interior design business called Frenshe Interiors. And just a month later, on March 23, 2021, she welcomed her baby daughter, Jupiter Iris French.

Her husband of seven years, Christopher French, is a composer, and a very hands-on dad. “He's obsessed with her,” Tisdale says. “I mean, she's the cutest thing ever, but it's really cool to watch.”

Tisdale has been open about everything from postpartum body image to choosing formula to feed her baby for her nearly 14 million Instagram followers. “I felt really great, because once I started sharing my story, I had a lot of friends DM me, a lot of new moms who actually felt real guilt around not being able to breastfeed,” Tisdale says. ‘They were like, ‘Oh my God, I’m so glad that you talked about it.’ I think there's just like this whole stigma around breastfeeding.”

Ashley Tisdale

I felt really great, because once I started sharing my story, I had a lot of friends DM me, a lot of new moms who actually felt real guilt around not being able to breastfeed.

— Ashley Tisdale

Tisdale points out that as a new mom, people ask invasive questions. “One of the first questions I always get is ‘Oh, are you breastfeeding?’ Why is it that the first question? Like, what? It's like, why?,” Tisdale asks. “It's just such a weird thing. We need to give each other a lot of support and grace and know that every baby's different and every journey is different and that there are other trusted, amazing options out there.”

Despite her massive platform, Tisdale says she is like any other mom figuring things out as she goes. “I hate giving advice, because then I feel like I know something more than you do,” Tisdale says. “And I'm still trying to figure it out myself. I guess the biggest advice though, if I were to give any, is that it is true, it gets easier. It gets easier."

Tisdale has been open about infant challenges, as well. "[My daughter] was that baby who had a witching hour," she says. "We were like, ‘What's wrong with her?’ At 5:00 p.m. on, she's crazy."

But she soon learned it was a completely normal milestone. "Our pediatrician was just like, ‘It's the witching hour. It's going to get better.’ But when you're in it, it's really long," says Tisdale. "It's weird how it just magically stops. So [my advice is] just know that it does get better with time.”

As baby Jupiter continues to grow, Tisdale gets giddy watching her personality develop. “She's a big talker, to be honest,” Tisdale says. “I think that it's wild. I can't explain her personality, but she's an observer. She watches everything and she's more like my husband in that way. She smiles, but only when she wants to—you can't make her smile!”

Follow along as Ashley tackles tummy time, auditions for a job while Jupiter naps, and takes a bath while her husband puts the baby to bed.

Ashley Tisdale and her daughter, Juniper

Jordan Zobrist 

Thursday

7 a.m. What’s my schedule today? Every day is a blur. I'm really lucky because my husband is a composer and he has a studio at the house. Both of our schedules are very [flexible] right now. So it's been a real partnership between me and him.

She wakes up at 7 a.m. I feed her. At this point, we're on the schedule of Moms On Call. It tells you how long she should be up, how long she should be playing, then when she should be sleeping. So, it's basically like an hour and a half [time block] at this age.

7:30 a.m. We do tummy time. She was not liking tummy time at first, and it was very hard to watch that. She was really fussy and crying and I was just like, ‘Okay, never mind.’ Then I was like, ‘No, no, no, we've got to do this and we have to get past her being upset about it.’ And I'm not kidding you, we've been really committed and she just broke her record yesterday.

I'm so proud of her. You can see her start to learn to prop up, where she's going to start to crawl—I mean, she's not crawling—but you could just see it. And you're like, ‘Oh my gosh, it's going to be happening soon, this is so wild.’

8:30 a.m. Jupiter goes for a nap, and I try to get some work done. Today, I’m writing something for my lifestyle and wellness site, Frenshe.

10 a.m. She wakes, and I give her a bottle. Originally, I was like, ‘I'm going to breastfeed, probably for a couple months.’ Because I knew that once I got back to work, obviously, it's very hard. So I went into it being like, ‘This is what we're going to do, and I'm excited, and hopefully it works out." And it didn't. It did not work out. But that's okay. The crazy thing is that I was making milk, a lot of milk, it's just that she wasn't latching.

I gave it some time but after a week and a half, she was clearly frustrated, even from the very beginning. Then, I was getting frustrated. It felt like we were striving versus thriving in the feeding department. I would hate for her to have some sort of negative response around feeding, so I was like, ‘Okay, that's it. We're going to do formula.’

After doing my research, I found Enspire by Enfamil, which is the closest to breast milk. They have ingredients like lactoferrin and they have omega-3 DHA for her growth and development. So, I felt really good about it. I’ve also I've been on it myself—I was formula fed actually by Enfamil, as well! So, I was like, ‘Oh, this is a no-brainer.’ [Editor's note: Tisdale is a brand ambassador for Enfamil.]

And she's doing so well! I mean, [trying to breastfeed] was just a big thing for us. When that finally was not a problem, it was like, switching was the best thing and we should've done it sooner.

Ashley Tisdale

It’s cool to see these moments—when she first held something for the first time. [My husband and I] both can't wait to see her roll over.

— Ashley Tisdale

1 p.m. Every hour and a half, we're feeding her and playing with her. She has a cool little playmat that gives you monthly advice on what you should be doing with which toys. It’s cool to see these moments—when she first held something for the first time. [My husband and I] both can't wait to see her roll over. We’re hoping not too soon, because then we have to not swaddle anymore, but we're excited for that moment!

2:30 p.m. In our new Zoom world, I audition on tape. My husband had no idea when he married me, [that] he would be [filming me and] doing this stuff. We fit it into her nap schedule. So, it's always like, ‘Okay, let's go, let's do this real fast.’

I had an audition actually pretty early on, and I was like, ‘I don't know if she's going to last in this nap,’ but she did, and I was like, ‘Oh yay!’

7 p.m. We were giving her a bath every night and then she was getting a little bit of dryness. Now we're doing it every other night. She loves baths. After the bath, she's [so tired and happy]. She just loves it so much.

I do the bath and then my husband does bedtime. She has a whole book collection and every night we just pick one out. We have Dr. Seuss' books. We have all the Jimmy Fallon books. She goes to bed around 8:30 p.m. but we're trying to scoot her up to 7 p.m.

While my husband puts her to bed, I drink chamomile tea. I just love tea. It's just something that relaxes me. I'm a huge bath person too—probably where Jupiter got it from! I take a bath around 8 p.m.

My husband is just such a huge piece of this, and he's such a great partner. He’s an amazing dad. When I was going through the first two weeks postpartum—which is obviously not a fun time—he was just doing everything. He was just saying, ‘No, you need to rest and you need to take care of yourself.’

That's pretty much it—anything past 8 p.m.—there's just no way I'm going to get in the bath at 9 p.m. Just not going to happen. I'm in bed at 9. Lights out at 9!

She's still not sleeping through the night. But because she's formula-fed, my husband does the nights, and I do the mornings. I'm just not a night person. And he is someone who has worked until 3:00 a.m. sometimes. He loves the nights. Then I let him sleep in the morning, and I do the mornings. So, basically, we have time shifts. It works!

Ashley Tisdale folding baby clothes

Ashley Tisdale

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