to ask about the REALITY of BF'ing Vs FF'ing

(178 Posts)
PatButchersEarring Wed 13-Feb-13 16:05:29

OK. Not looking to start a bun fight, nor am I looking for any moralising/judging etc.

Situation as follows: 1 DD (3.5) was ebf until she was around 6 months.

I'm now pregnant again. Yes, I'm aware that BF'ing is healthier all round yada, yada.

However, DD did not sleep through the night until she was 2.5. I was frequently up anything between 3 and 10 times per night. I was at breaking point, as was DP. I just cannot allow that to happen again for the sake of everyone's mental and physical health.

A lot of my friend's who also ebf have experienced the same. However, most people I know who FF have had good sleepers. Coincidence?

Also, it was me who took on the vast majority of night wakings with DD as it seemed to be just me who could settle her. Probably because of initial breastfeeding..whereas DP could obviously take over a couple of nights a week if bottle feeding.

There seems to be a complete lack of unbiased advice on this, for obvious reasons..

Can anyone give me the benefit of their experience?

Bottle fed all 3 of mine, they all stopped night feeds from about 10 weeks naturally - they just stpopped waking up.

TickledOnion Wed 13-Feb-13 16:09:09

DD1 ebf till 6 months. Woke at least once a night till 7 months then slept through 7 to 7.
DD2 ebf till 6 months. Woke at least once a night till 11 months then slept through 7 to 7.
I don't know if that counts as good sleeping or not.

BambieO Wed 13-Feb-13 16:09:40

I Bf for about 6 weeks and then had to stop but I didn't notice a huge difference in DS sleeping pattern, I think babies will sleep when they are ready. He does sleep through now but he is 5 months so age has more to do with it possibly?

I would just do what feels right for you, you never know you might BF and still have an amazing sleeper as many people do

valiumredhead Wed 13-Feb-13 16:10:07

Just do whatever you need to to get yourself through the early months OP x

Psammead Wed 13-Feb-13 16:10:10

DD1 bf to 14 months. Slept totally though (12 hours) at 1 year old. Was waking for one night feed between about 5 months to a year. Two before that.

DD2 - bf, she's 4 months old now - slept through (8 hours) from day 4. Has on occasion gone 10 hours.

I BF and FF DS1, but only FF DS2. DS1 slept through from six weeks, is now 4 and a good sleeper. DS2, now 6 months, has slept through on and off from ten weeks. I think it is down to the baby in all honesty, I don't think formula helps sleep necessarily, although if it helps the Mother and she is more relaxed perhaps this has an impact? I know BF babies that have been great sleepers and others terrible. I think all babies are different.

PolkadotCircus Wed 13-Feb-13 16:11:12

Did both with mine,they all slept better once on formula<dons hard hat and scuttles off>.

sparklekitty Wed 13-Feb-13 16:11:59

I ebf my DD and have same, she's up every 2 hours. Lot's of my friends ebf babies now 'sleep through' at 5mo (apparently) but my friends who FF seem to have had 'sleeping through' babies much earlier.

I thought that generally FF babies sleep through earlier because the formula takes longer to digest.

calandarbear Wed 13-Feb-13 16:12:18

Coincidence.

Feeding and sleeping are two different things and are unrelated. Otherwise why would children continue to wake once weened.

FWIW both of mine were EBF until 6 months then weaned onto purees whilst still drinking breastmilk.
DS didn't sleep through until he was 3 and a half or so and still wakes occasionally in the night aged 6.
DD (second born) is 3 now has slept straight through since about 5 months prior to that woke only once for a feed and went back to sleep.
Neither child has ever even tasted formula.

Moominlandmidwinter Wed 13-Feb-13 16:12:21

It's obviously entirely your choice, but from experience, I can tell you that it does depend on the child. I ebf DD1, and she was a terrible sleeper. DD2 was mixed fed, and slept through from 7 weeks. DD3 was mixed fed, and was another terrible sleeper. DD4 is ebf, is now 4 months, and has been sleeping through (9.30-7.00 ish) since 6 weeks.

Seabird72 Wed 13-Feb-13 16:13:22

My midwife told me that FF will fill a baby up alot faster than bf and of course bf takes alot longer so you often find yourself (or feels like) constantly bf. I ff all my 3 and I was happy to do so. All 3 are healthy now - I like the idea of bf but as with everything in motherhood it's a personal choice and I witnessed many exhausted friends who felt pressurised into bf rather than wanting to do it by choice.

BubblegumPie Wed 13-Feb-13 16:14:06

Not always a popular opinion, but there is research to suggest that babies are not supposed to sleep heavily and that ff babies sleep much deeper and are less likely to wake themselves if they stop breathing (or something to that effect).

Have you considered bf and co sleeping? That way night feeds are not such a big deal, you just stick baby on and go back to sleep. Lots of research into and guidance on safe co sleeping.

I bottle fed all 5 of mine from birth. No1 son slept through from about 11pm-midnight until 6-7 am from being 6 weeks old, and from 7-7 from 6 months old.
No2 son didn't sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time until he was two, the first time he slept for five hours I RAN and grabbed him and thought he was dead blush but he didn't used to feed during the night when he woke, once he was about 3 months or so, he would just wake and winge a bit and I would put his dummy in or shushshush and find teddy and he would go back off.
The other 3 all slept through from about 12 weeks, from a last feed at about 11pm ish, until 6-7 am and were well under a year when they stopped having that last late feed and went from about 8pm until 7am.

Horsemad Wed 13-Feb-13 16:14:17

DS1 bf until 6mths when I had to give up due to ill health sad He had formula for last feed before bed from 5mths to get him to go longer through the night.

DS2 bf for 1yr

I remember a midwife telling me 'you really have to want to do it as it can be difficult.'

I didn't have problems and loved it for the convenience and cheapness!!

Bf slept through from 11 weeks. <smug>

Emsmaman Wed 13-Feb-13 16:14:38

I thought DD would sleep better once on formula and solids <<hollow laugh>> nearly 2 yo and still waiting for this magical sleeping through the night...IMO most good/bad sleepers are born not made. Hop on over to the sleep threads and you will find plenty of bad sleepers that are ff. Good luck x

wibblyjelly Wed 13-Feb-13 16:15:01

Ds is 4 and a half months. He was bf until 12 weeks. He has slept better since on formula quite a lot of the time, (goes to sleep at 9am, wakes at 3am, then 7am) however, we still get 2 or 3 days every 10 days or so, where he wakes every couple of hours. I think this may be more to do with teething though.

galwaygirl Wed 13-Feb-13 16:15:20

DD was FF from the start and a terrible sleeper - she was never a good eater and I wonder if this affected it more than anything else. She slepw through now though at 20 months - unless she's not feeling well.

Lostonthemoors Wed 13-Feb-13 16:17:51

Research has now shown that it is a myth that ff babies sleep much better - see the Isos Project website.

Hope your new dc is more of a sleeper.

poppy283 Wed 13-Feb-13 16:18:06

If you ff and your new dc is a 'bad' sleeper surely that's a whole lot more faff than bf in the night?

Kveta Wed 13-Feb-13 16:18:28

it depends on the child. I know a friend who ebf her DS and he was sleeping 13 hour nights from 6 weeks old. And then there's us, with DS who was ebf and finally slept through at 3.3 years old (he is 3.4yo now and still has the odd awful night). And DD who occasionally sleeps through at 8 months.

I think the REALITY as you put it will differ from child to child, so you cannot tell until baby is here. And there is nothing wrong with mix feeding etc if you find that easier to cope. But make sure you're choosing it for the right reasons, because if you end up FF and baby doesn't sleep well, you may well end up kicking yourself. (or be thrilled that your DH can deal with night wakings, who knows?!)

it is generally thought that bfing mums do get more sleep overall than ffing mums, as less prep time for each feed. But you cannot tell what will be the case in your situation.

best of luck in getting one that sleeps this time!

CelticPromise Wed 13-Feb-13 16:21:06

DS was BF and slept beautifully, was sleeping 12 hours a night from about 9 months and only waking once for a good while before that.

My understanding is that formula its harder to digest, and therefore makes babies sleep longer, but the effect wears off as they get used to it.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 13-Feb-13 16:21:13

BF is so the lazy option. No sterilising or making up feeds, just milk there already made and at the right temp, what's not to like. And if DC wakes up just whop a boob in their mouth, no faffing with bottles in the wee hours...

SomethingOnce Wed 13-Feb-13 16:21:51

I EBF for six months and continued BF until DD was nearly 2. She didn't sleep through until she was 20 months (tbh, I think that could've been managed better, but I was a rookie). Very tough.

However, I don't think there's enough evidence to show that breast milk isn't optimal or that formula is equally good, so I'd do it again.

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