to ask about the REALITY of BF'ing Vs FF'ing(178 Posts)
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.
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.
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
Just do whatever you need to to get yourself through the early months OP x
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.
Did both with mine,they all slept better once on formula<dons hard hat and scuttles off>.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
DS1 bf until 6mths when I had to give up due to ill health 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>
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
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.
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.
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.
If you ff and your new dc is a 'bad' sleeper surely that's a whole lot more faff than bf in the night?
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!
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.
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...
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.
I EBF my DDs for quite a short period of time - just 2 weeks with DD1 (she had oesophageal reflux and wasn't gaining weight adequately, so we were advised to use a particular formula) and with DD2, just 4 weeks because after giving it a try, I really, really disliked how my breasts physically altered because of BF (amongst other reasons). I found it uncomfotable, exhausting. I kept getting a blocked duct so my left breast was rock solid for most of those 4 weeks and DD2 really didn't like taking milk from that breast, despite my
agonising efforts. We were all happier once she was on her boccy.
DD1 was a terrible sleeper due to te reflux, despite being FF. It didn't start to get better until she was near 1yo. She's almost 4yo now and her sleep has been excellet for about 1yr.
DD2 is 10mo and has wakeful episodes. It's not usually for food, but for a cuddle (my squadge likes lots of cuddles!)
What I would say is that with FF babies, you know exactly how much milk they've had and, as they tend to feel fuller for longer, they usually go 3-4 hours between feeds, rather than 2-2.5 in my short experience.
Don't rush to make the decision to FF as once your milk goes, it's gone. Maybe EBF and see how it goes - you can then mix feed if EBF doesn't work for you (mixed feeding is good to BF during the day, then FF at night). Don't feel guilty if you want to completely FF - your baby will still have all the nourishment s/he needs!
If you do ff at night, use the cartons- don't need warming, or mixing, just pour and go. You can do powder in the day to keep price reasonable.
I bf'd until 7 weeks (tongue tie + mastitis put an end to this) dd slept through from 3 months BUT as a bf and ff baby was always a good sleeper, wake for 1 feed then snuffle back to sleep. I think it is more baby than bottle that results in good sleep, but wish you luck either way.
Also, could you mix feed? So bf in day but last feed of the day is formula? That way coud be "fuller for longer" and means DH can help out. That's how we switched from bf to ff, starting with the 11pm feed.
Dd ff from 2 weeks. Slept thru once at 4mo, once at 6mo and properly from 12mo.
Ds ebf. He's 12 weeks and has been sleeping through for a week. I know this could stop, but am enjoying it so far!
I ebf ds1 who slept through at eight months - he was mixed fed by then as I weaned using formula for baby rice at 6 months.
Dd didn't sleep through till 16 months, she was ebf with no mix feed.
Ds2 slept through at nine months and was ebf with no mix feeds either.
I think it depends on the baby more than what you feed them. Ds1 has a cousin the same age who was bottle fed, she did sleep through two months before he did, but didn't get on very well with formula so still occasionally woke until she was one as she suffered from indigestion. They are both now five and ds1 is by far the better sleeper, so while your baby may sleep through more quickly with formula, their long-term ability to sleep might be more pot luck.
I hope you get one of the ones who sleeps through from the start - I always wanted one of those!
And yy to not feeling guilty, your baby, your body, your sanity ...your choice!
Mine went like this:
Ds1 ebf - slept thru from 9 wks
Ds2 ebf - slept thru from 6 mths
Ds3 ebf - slept thru from erm about 2.6
FF can be easy, once you know how to make up feeds in advance, and take full advantage of cartons. I've done mixed feeding, EBF and now soley on formula.
But...it is SO expensive. I use the cheapest formula I can find (£7.99) - at the moment, LO will use 1-2 boxes of powder a week. But he did go through a phase of 3 boxes a week for about a month - that's £24 a week! TBH I cannot wait until he's off formula altogether in April.
ff DS from birth and he was the worst sleeper, I had to get a bed in his nursery as there was just no way 2 of us could of coped with no sleep.
DD is 7 months and slept through from 3-4 weeks ( 8-10hrs ) I expressed exclusively for 1 month then mix feed until a few weeks ago and now she is 100% formula and foods, she still sleeps through unless she is ill.
I think it is down to each baby, some are sleepers, some are not.
DS was also a big napper in the day where as DD has very shirt naps and is more alert than DS was at this age.
As many others have said I think it is all dependent on the baby. I know my mum FF my brother and I and whilst I slept through from 6 weeks my brother didn't sleep properly until he was about three years old..
I have three. 1 and 2 I found Bf incredibly hard, had a lot of latching problems and PND aswell so gave up with both after a couple of weeks. #1 slept through from 6 months but from about 3 months he only woke for one feed at about 3 a.m. #2 slept through from 2 months.
Now my third is 6mo and ebf. I enjoy bf and find it a lot more convenient and obviously a ton cheaper! Plus I always felt guilty for giving up with my first two and feel really proud that i've been successful this time But we are having all kinds of issues with her. I don't like to think its the bf that has done it though and rather is just her personality.. She won't be put down. At all. If you put her down she screams as if she is being murdered. Some nights she will be up every hour.. exhausting. But like I said I know my own mum had the same issues with my db so I like to think its nothing to do with bf..
Only you can decide though. They say formula takes longer to digest hence why they sleep longer btw. I do know some ff babies that don't sleep though..
I bf my two for six weeks then went onto mixed feeding and they thrived and slept pretty well so I had stamina to cope and felt human within 3 months of birth. Whether I bf or ff the night wakings were dealt with by yours truly as DH was working mad hours. After 6 months I stopped bf altogether and really don't think anyone should feel embarrassed or awkward about their parenting choices.
Hats off to anyone who has a slumbering babe, I really think it's luck of the draw.
Thanks folks. Think I'm going to ebf for the first few weeks, then mix feed from there on in.
Thanks for the wishes of a good sleeper!
Oh, and mine fed twice in the (normally going straight back to sleep) until he was 6 months, then started sleeping 12 hours straight. Now back to waking at 5am and up and down during the nights. I don't think formula/solids have made much difference.
X post Donkeys.
Sounds like a good plan.
I agree about BFing being the easy option. I'd hate to be faffing around, getting out of bed and making feeds up in the middle of the night!
I ff my first and she was a good sleeper. Edf my second and he was a good sleeper.
I breastfeed for most of my sons first eight months. Although introduced a bottle on day three, and he continued to have one bottle a day for the entire eights months (sometimes more).
He was a dream sleeper. First few weeks he woke frequently during the night as a big hungry baby, but soon the wakings reduced.
I now have a 2.5 yr old that has 1.5 hr afternoon nap, down at 7 and I wake him at 8 (closer to 9 at the weekends).
I honestly that it has very little to do with what you are feeding your baby, and more to do with routine. We did a relaxed version of gina ford from about a week in and really really worked for us.
Expecting my scone in two weeks, and DH and I are desperate to replicate exactly what we did with our first, although appreciate that all babies are different.
Formula is extortionate. When my eldest was on it (he's nearly three) it cost us £7.50 a carton and we thought that was expensive- I had a look the other day and its up to £9.50...
Unfortunately you just can't deem that you won't allow it to happen again. I see so many posters thinking their small babies and toddlers are abnormal or naughty for not sleeping through. I think good decent sleep is the exception rather than the rule, and a lot is down to luck. I ebf all 3 of mine. Dd slept a about 9 months, ds at 2.5, and ds2 is 10 months and still wakes up 4 or 5 timesa night. It's shattering. But it's life with a baby. I've tried all sorts, the boy just needs feeding, I feel like I've spent the last 10 months almost exclusively with my norks out. But it's still easier than ff imo. I don't see that you can blame bfing on not sleeping when you hadn't fed her for two years when she finally slept through.
DD now 3, slept through from 8 months, or if she didn't sleep through I didn't wake. We coslept though, so I never had to get up for night feeds. I went back to work full time when she was 14 weeks so it was the best way for us to cope with night wakings.
DS1 was EBF up to 6.5 months, he started sleeping through at 5.5 months.
DS2 was EBF up to 4.5 months (I had to stop for medical reasons). Ff did bugger all for his sleeping habits, he continued to wake up twice a night as before. It did screw up my sleep even more though, as I had to get up to make up the bottles. Now, a month later, he gets up once but I give him a dummy and don't feed him (he doesn't complain). I wouldn't have done that if I was still EBF, because with formula I know he's getting enough during the day. Bottom line though, if I could still BF I would, I found it considerably easier.
I think it's child dependant. Mine was ebf and slept through regularly from 14m. Friends was FF and slept through regularly from 14m.
Personally I think it must be easier (assuming you have no issues bfing) to bf in the night rather than have to think about making up bottles etc?
I find the 'yada yada yada' dismissive remarks about the health benefits of bf puzzling. Bf is the best thing for your baby so why not just do that? I also don't get the do what's best for your baby remarks - how about doing what is best for baby and breastfeeding?!
Dd was ff from 2 weeks and slept 8hrs/ night from 3 months old. Most of my friends bf. Some of them have babies that sleep well, some don't.
I BF DD, she was one of the first babies in our group to sleep though and still sleeps beautifully! howEVERRR I regret BFing her because I took "BFing friendly" antibiotics which gave her a horrible thrush colonisation and long term IBSishness - tummy is very senstive since the antibiotics/thrush
DS is still very wee, it's early days! BFing again but he is doing his longer sleeps at night, from midnights we get a 3 hour stint, then a feed, then a 4 hour stint (sometimes the other way round with the 4 hour one first), which IMO is pretty good going for a newborn - feeds about every 2 hours in the day, SOMETIMES a 3 hour gap but it's usually 2, sometimes 1.
gimme. You sound like the condescending (and childless) MW which has been forcing the BF issue down my throat. (No pun intended!)
It is not just about what is nutritionally (slightly) better for the newborn baby, but about weighing up what's in the best interests for the whole family- including me having the energy to be able to effectively parent my DD.
Also bear in mind that FF may be easier short term, but it is just short term. Imagine that you FF and get a brilliant sleeper, so think you're sorted. Then what if you end up with a "difficult" older child because of something that could have potentially been "fixed" by BF? And what if they were going to be a good sleeper regardless of how they were fed? (btw, my ds1 has asthma and ds2 eczema, both ebf, so I know its not as simple as that, but I hope you can see what I mean?)
I know what you are saying gimme. I couldn't breastfeed and it broke my heart because I knew it was the best thing. However, I think what the OP is saying is that she knows this fully and doesn't need it repeated.
As for what is best for baby the effects of sleep deprivation on parents is fairly likely not to be good for baby.
My tuppence worth is that I expressed for a fortnight so never got the benefits of breastfeeding but all the faff of formula. When we moved from BF to FF there was no change to her sleeping pattern. However, she has always been a very good sleeper and now at 13 weeks sleeps from 11:00 to 7:30 or later sometimes.
I would hesitate to jump on the idea that FF means better sleeping. The digestive problems that formula can sometimes cause could surely create a baby who finds sleeping hard.
At the end of the day if the baby is hungry he or she will wake to eat. My DD is ambivalent about food and likes sleeping. Next one could be the opposite.
I find the 'yada yada yada' dismissive remarks about the health benefits of bf puzzling. Bf is the best thing for your baby so why not just do that? I also don't get the do what's best for your baby remarks - how about doing what is best for baby and breastfeeding?!
gimme did you miss the point where OP said she was aware of all of that and didn't want ^ this kind of post
Oh and btw, I have a "normal" sleeping toddler and the youngest is not sleeping great at the moment (goes down okay, goes back off in the night okay, but seems to think 4am is time to get up ) its hard, but not impossible, and like everything, it will pass
DD1 was EBF, slept 8 hrs a night from 8 weeks old,Cluster feed tp 9pm then slept 9 - 11pm feed then slept 11.30-7.30am.
I shan't depress you with DD2, safe to say she didn't sleep. I knew enough to sleep when dd1 was at pre-school and go to bed v.v. early by then though.
I truly believe that it depends on the baby not the type of milk.
Oh an OP I think your plan of mixed feeding is grand. It should give you a chance to at least feel as if you are givin both a go.0
OP I FF both of mine.
DD1 was a great sleeper at 6 weeks onwards.
DD2 was a good sleeper until about a year then bad until she was about 2.5. I think it really depends on the baby.
FF is expensive, lots of faffing with bottles and carting them around. BUT on the plus side you can share feeds with your DH.
Perhaps you could see how you go with EBF then switch to formula if it isn't working for you?
I combination fed DS1 for 18 months and EBF DS2, who didn't wean until 27 months. Even with the night wakings, breastfeeding in the night was far easier than having to go downstairs and faff about with bottles. There's no sterilisation involved with EBF and it's an awful lot cheaper.
I don't know. I've not tried FF. I bf ds1 till 16 mo, ds2 till he went to school (4 and 3/4) and am now bfing ds3 who is 6 weeks.
Tbh, it wasn't so much the sleeping that worried me, it's the easiness of it - give me a choice between waking 3 times in a night, feeding in bed and going bac to sleep, and getting up once in the night, sterilising a bottle, warming it and then going back to bed, and I would choose the multiple bfs.
Just basically because you can do it all day, anywhere, any time, they have nicer smelling poo and I think it helps their immune system somewhat. And using it for comfort etc.
It's horses for courses. Mine have all slept nicely pretty early on, couldn't say how early because I didn't really notice, having them in bed next to me it all sort of blurred into one and they settled really well, there wasn't any toing and froing into another room etc which would have driven me batshit.
Ff'd DD. up 3 times per night until 18 months and then once a night until she was 3ish.
Bf'd DS. He has always woken once a night but from age 2 tends to trot into our room and curl himself up on my feet, no feeding.
DD1 BF for 6-8wks then FF (problems with BF absolutely wrecked me). She slept through (7-7 with a dream feed at 11pm) from 11 weeks.
DD2 BF for 1 wk found it just as hard as the first time but couldn't afford to be a total wreck again. FF from 1 week, slept through (again 7-7 with a deam feed at 11pm) from 12 weeks.
Both good sleepers, though that could be luck. Won't test the theory with a third though!
I BF both of mine - DS1 was sleeping through (7-6ish) from about 4 months, DS2 took a lot longer (I stopped the night feeds when he was 13 months ish but he'd still wake in the night and need my DH or I to settle him until fairly recently - he's 2 now).
BubblegumPie mentioned co-sleeping - I wouldn't have considered it with DS1 but it's what got me through the first 6 months with DS2 and I'd do it from the start if we have another baby
never going to happen according to DH
After many sleepless nights I was feeling really down and had really had enough of BF. DH was sleeping in the spare room during the week and I started feeding DS2 while lying down in bed and leaving him next to me when he fell asleep (as moving him woke him up). Although I was tired I was "aware" of DS2 in bed - even though I'd fall asleep while he was feeding I wouldn't roll over/move around (something that concerned me about the idea of co-sleeping) and would stay in one position. I realised we were both getting a lot more sleep and researched co-sleeping properly to make sure he was safe.
In the end I had the cot "side-car" to the bed (ordinary drop-side cot, took the drop side off and raised the matress up to the level of our matress) so that I could share a bed with DH again. DS2 went to sleep in his cot but when he woke I could pull him to me to feed him back to sleep without having to wake up properly myself and we were all much happier!
We stopped around 6/7 months as it was clear that it wasn't working so well anymore, so although DS2 was still waking once or twice most nights we all (well not DS1 as he slept through everything anyway!) got more sleep when he was in his own room.
I wasn't actually intending on writing so much when I started this! Anyway hopefully it's something to think about - it might not be for you but like I said, I'd never have considered it before having to cope with DS2!
BTW I think that the main reasons for the difference in sleeping between DS1 and 2 were due to the fact that DS1 would suck a dummy and then his fingers so could settle himself back to sleep if he wasn't hungry, whereas the only thing DS2 would accept in his mouth was my boob!
I totally FF my first three children and totally BF my last two. The two experience were very different. My FF children were more to a schedule (I fed on demand but they seemed to settle into their own routines after a matter of a couple of weeks). They slept through the night from about 4 months on and in the day I had a lot of time where they would sit in boucy chairs, or lie on the mats etc. In a way it was easier than my BFed babies who were always near me - being held or in a sling, they didnt sleep well unless co sleeping (withing cms of my boob!) and I was more tied to them.
However reading the bare facts it seems as though BFing was a nightmare compared to FF in reality I wish I had ffed the first three - the realtionship for me was totally different, with Bfing I felt very close to the babies, I loved the way they wanted to be near me and of course I didnt love them MORE but it WAS different - for me. I dont want that to sound liek I have a prob with FF I dont but just my experience.
If I could go back to my first three I would BF.
Far too long ago to remember the details all I do know is BFing is just 1000x less hassle whether the middle of the night, going out for the day or away for a week.
No shelling out £8 a tin and the fussing with bottles, sterilising, keeping cool and warming up milk.
I've no idea when either of mine slept through, no idea why people make such a fuss about this. DD1 bottle fed quickly and went back to her cot, DD2 dreamily BF while I snoozed and stayed in our bed a lot longer, before being returned to her cot. Neither were a great problem once they weren't very small.
DCs gradually wake less in the night and you might not feed them, but undisturbed sleep is never guaranteed. My 11 yo had a nightmare and came in for a cuddle the other night.
Oh and from a sleepign point of view my BF dc4 didnt sleep through until 13 months and 12 month dc5 still isnt .
DD was FF from 7wo.
She was shit at sleeping until 14mo.
sorry that should be wish i hadnt ffd not wish I had !
I know a few mums whose baby who was ebf slept through the night from 3 weeks onwards (by that I mean the whole night).
And quite a few mums who FF and whose baby didn't slepp properly until they were over 2yo.
ds1 was FF and slept through at 3 months old (ie woke up only once at 5.00am).
ds2 didn't need a feed from around 5~6 months old but did need comfort during the night (several ties a night) until he was over 2 yo. As I didn't feed him (even though he was ebf) during these night, bf or ff wouldn't have a jot of difference.
The reality is that whether your baby sleep through the night or not is a lot down to his temperament. You won't know until the baby is born (or later tbh). I would start to bf and then see how it goes. It's easier to introduce ff than to start bfing.
FF all 3 of mine
DS1 - Didn't sleep through til about 18 months
DS2 - Slept through from about 8 weeks
DS3 - Slept through from 7 weeks
DS2 and 3 have much more chilled and relaxed personalities than DS1 so I wonder if that plays a part?
I FF both of mine and neither went more than 5 hours without waking until about 9 months. Neither did 7 -6 until they were about 2.5. <yawns>
I might add that ds3, who is bf, slept for 6 hours on the go the other night. In fact I think it's been two nights running. I can't quite remember though, I'm too tired!
ds- FF, post term, big and chubby
nightmare, up 3-4 times over a year. Nearly killed me traipsing cold flat at night with bottles. Wouldn't settle back down. Nearly lost it/ depressed
dd- EBF, now 8 weeks never up more than twice, sometimes once. Co-sleeping so don't even get out of my warm bed. Fall asleep minutes after latching her on.
Quite pissed off I believed all my family and I never knew ebf could be so bloody easy,love popping out on a whim with nothing but a pack of wipes and a nappy in my handbag.
I FF both of mine and they both slept through from 10 weeks. And I got right from the word go one night off when DH did the night feed, and also the chance to go out for an evening with girlfriends etc and were able to leave the dcs overnight with grandparents to have a child free night out. That "freedom" was very important to me.
Just to balance things:
ds1 FF. Slept 12 hours a night from 12 weeks.
dd FF. Fed every three hours until she was a year old, was up at least twice a night until she was 3 and up at 5 am every morning until she started school [bitter]
ds2 BF. By about 4 months was sleeping through from 9 pm with a quick feed at about 2 am. Dropped night feed completely by 6 months. Good sleeper. Still is!
Another factor For your equation is with BF you can just roll over/pick up baby and feed baby. With formula you need to get up, prepare bottle for hungry baby etc.
I coslept so BF did even better in the sleep equation.
BF both of my babies - DD started sleeping through more or less from 6 months. My second baby DS was terrible and kept waking up - now he is 2.5 yrs only just reliably sleeping thro with the occassional once per night winge. I suspect some of DS was me being too "responsive" to him so he did not wake the rest of the house. My husband would no doubt agree with that conclusion that i was crap at getting him to sleep thro. Both exclusively breastfed till about 7 months when i went back to work and started introducing formula. No doubt if i had been better at getting number 2 to sleep thro i would be considered a better mother generally
Ff my ds. he slept through from 6 weeks. 10 - 6/7 and then until about half 10 in the morning. He was sleeping around thr clock by 12 weeks.
oh and I did all my bottles the night before so a quick blast in the microwave and job was a gooden.
Anything was easier than my experience of bf though so I may be bias.
ds, totally bf, slept 10 hours at night at 8 weeks, 12 hours at 10 weeks, still a great seeper 6 years on.
dd, totally bf, woke every 2/3 hours thoughout the night, slept though at 11 months, still a 'light' sleeper now.
imo bf is the lazy option, I could imagine nothing worse than having to get out of bed and make up bottles etc. However I don't think it matters how / what you feed your baby, they will only sleep though when they are ready. Also, with all the will in the world, could you carrying on sleeping whilst your dh is trying to feed / comfort a crying baby? Would he even wake up?
Have you considered mixed feeding?
I don't see how you think breast feeding until 6 months stopped your DD sleeping until she was 2.5. If you want to formula feed so you can share the feeding then do it, but don't expect that your child will sleep through because of it.
Sleeping habits IME depend on the child and how you deal with them waking up at night once they have stopped waking for a feed.
In the very early days I think formula feeding means less sleep as you have to get up make the bottle where as you can breast feed without getting out of bed plus it tends to make you feel sleepy.
I have formula fed all 3 of my daughters from the word go and have absolutely no regrets about it all, it didn't in my experience help them sleep any better. I has one brilliant sleeper, one dreadful and one in between.
Both of mine were FF. DS slept thorough from 20 weeks (7-7), DD slept through from 18 weeks (7-7). A large part of this I am sure was because they were in their own cot and we didn't disturb them.
Best friend BF and her DS still wakes and wants to feed during the night, they co-sleep. He is 2. It is driving her slowly insane.
FF all 3. The older 2 didn't sleep longer than 3/4 hours at a time till they were about 3. Youngest slept like a dream until she moved into her own cot and room at 5 months. She now co sleeps so we can actually rest... Nothing to do with feeding style and everything to do with the baby!
The reality is every baby is different.
Sleeping through the night is about more than just what kind of milk is in their tummy.
Isn't it more about a bit of luck with what temperament your baby has rather than the milk you feed it?
I BF dd until she was 3 months, and she slept through from about 10 days (midnight to 6ish anyway). She was just a very easy baby really, and slept a lot. Still does.
The main difference when I went to formula is that when dd possetted (she was a very possetty baby) it bloody stank when on formula, when it didn't at all when it was bf. In any case never really noticed that formula made her sleep through any longer. And all that bottle washing, milton, making up feeds was a pain in the arse.
DS was EBF till around 5 months, then started weaning, then went onto formula around 7 mths, I can tell you it made absolutely no difference to his sleeping whatsoever
it was crap when EBF, and crap when FF He didn't sleep through till he started walking. And he was late walking.
I don't buy into the idea that feeding method = sleeping ability. Although if you do have a wakeful child I think it's easier to pop them onto the boob than crash about the house making bottles. The only benefit I can see to bottle feeding a poor sleeper is that someone else can feed.
DD was EBF for 5.5 months. She slept through from 13 weeks. Like others, she just stopped waking. Although in fairness she never was bad at night. I had one period of three days where she woke every hour, other than that she only woke twice a night. She was still BF until 9 mos when she decided that bottles were easier and made it easier to look about I'd started mixed feeding when I'd gone back to work at 8mos.
Currently pregnant with DC2 and keeping everything crossed for another sleeper. We're terrified of getting a night time demon this time around as we recognise we got VERY lucky with this one!!
On the basis of my limited experience and that of my friends I think it depends far more on the baby than on what kind of milk you feed it.
Surely if her sleeping pattern were down to the feeding method, once you'd stopped ebf at 6 months her sleep would've changed?
Pat - have you considered mixed feeding? With ds3, I breastfed during the daytime, but his last feed of the evening was formula, and when/if he woke in the night, he had formula.
That way, I think he and I got most of the benefits of breastfeeding, but because formula takes longer to digest, he went longer between feeds at night, and we all got some sleep.
having done both ff is easier.no it's not a faff,not sore,and can share it
I know pro-bf always make out ff is faff,time consuming.it isn't at all
but do whatever works for you.not b pressured or preached to
My dd was exclusively FF from 4 weeks (not my choice, my stupid body didnt produce milk). She is 18 months and still wakes up once most nights. Next time around I hope to BF. My dd was a very sickly baby and seemed to catch every bug going and I cant help but think that if my body had worked properly and I had been able to BF she would have been more protected. I am grateful for formula. It was nice to have something to turn to when I was unable to produce milk. However, I do not think ff is the answer to a good nights sleep. HTH
don't berate self body isn't stupid.good mum isn't defined by mode of feeding
theres more to being mum than mode of feeding
DS1 ebf for 13 months, didn't sleep through til 15 months
DS2 ebf is sleeping though the night and has been since around 9 weeks.
Every baby is different.
My friends ff baby who was born on same day as DS2, she feeds every three hours through the night.
Every baby is different.
My only point is bf'ing is easy if baby decides to feed all the time.
Mama don't berate yourself. It is easy to fall in that mindset - I felt terribly guilty about stopping BF when I went back to work and because I couldn't get a drop out when expressing. I felt awful about it for ages.
But SM is right, feeding your baby is just one tiny aspect of being a mum, it just seems huge at the time. 17 years later I don't feel guilty any more - somewhat wistful (and wished there was something like MN back then to support) but how I fed dd has had no impact in reality.
I wanted to bf right from the start and never considered not doing it. I lasted 10 days and I was sore, he didn't latch on correctly and i was literally mashed to pieces and bleeding. I was stressed out, depressed and very emotional. The second i decided to ff i felt instantly better.
It was just right for us.
However, I felt guilty in my emotional state because EVERYTHING I looked at to do with feeding started off with the sentence that breast milk was best for babies. The formula packet, the emergency ready-to-use milk, the sterilizer instructions, everything online, leaflets from NHS... I could go on. This upset me to be honest. I think it is good that it is promoted and support is available but I felt pressured when I wanted to stop.
I'm glad I did stop, but if I have another baby I will give it another go! I just won't feel bad if it doesn't work out.
I don't find FF much of a faff at all once you get the hang of it. It really doesn't take long to pour ready made into a pre-sterilised bottle in the middle of the night and you always know how much milk the baby has had, which I find reassuring.
BF, on the other hand, I found an enormous faff and I don't know why people say it's free when you take into account the special bras, special tops and the expressing kit -- and the value of your time, because other people can take a turn feeding. I think I would have gone bonkers if it had been entirely my responsibility to feed DD for 6 months.
DD sleeps very well although I agree it can't be as simple as what they eat. DH and I were both formula fed and I sleep fine while he is an insomniac...
Each to their own though.
I ebf my two til.about 4 months. I then gave them formula at night.
Op if you mix feed and give formula in the.night, I recommend taking a sterilized bottle and a carton to bed with you. No faffing, just pour and go (neither of mine bothered about having it warmed).
Good luck.with a great sleeper this time!
DC 1 EBF for 7 weeks then mix fed until 6 months. Slept through (10pm -7am) at 10 weeks. Had a few phases of waking in the night but always settled down again after a few weeks.
DC 2 FF from about 3 weeks, slept through 7-7 at about 4 weeks and never woke in the night. Did go through a long phase in toddlerhood of waking at the crack of dawn though. Still an early riser now at 5 but not inhumanly early any more.
DC 3 EBF until 6 months then mix fed until 9 months. Woke at least 2 times a night until 9 months then started sleeping through 12 hours. Still prone to random night waking at 18 months but mostly sleeps through the night now. I spent most of the first 9 months utterly exhausted and can't remember much of it.
The reason I EBF DC 3 despite all that is that DC 2 has a nut allergy and I wanted to do all I could to avoid the same happening with DC 3.
DS2 - we tried to do everything we thought we were supposed to do. Had a nightmare in the hospital establishing BF and ended up stopping after about 3 days and FF. Tried to get him to sleep in his cot. He didn't sleep through until he was nearly 3.
DS2 - after the faff of all the above, we went for a completely low-effort approach. He took to BF like a pro. We introduced one bottle a week from very early on (only used when I wasn't around) and he happily fed from both until he was weaned off boob onto cows milk at 13mths. Co-slept, which made BF much easier. He didn't sleep through immediately but was reliably sleeping from when he turned 2yrs old.
So basically I found a really relaxed approach worked a treat (including sling wearing, BLW, etc) and meant that even when he didn't want to cooperate, it had very little impact on me. Plan to do the same again for DC3.
I have breastfed my children - it wasn't easy and I had to go through problems and sleepless nights to do so and bf is not just 'slightly' better it is a LOT better. If you find my tone condescending that is your problem not mine and bf IS better for a baby whereas what you are talking about - what is best for the family - is choosing something else for other reasons.
DS, EBF, slept through from 7 months.
DD, EBF, slept through from about 9-10 months, but we emigrated when she was 8 months and had a fairly disruptive series of house moves from the age of 4 months when we sold our house, moved and rented for a while, stayed with DH's parents for a month before moving to the other side of the world. So all bets are off as to when she might have slept through, had it not been for that.
I'll be honest. I was and am passionate about breastfeeding, and as far as I was concerned, that was the way children were going to be fed.
But - it is probably the single biggest reason why I won't have any more children. I found being the sole night time feeder excruciating. Never having a full night's sleep for months and months on end (the thought of expressing and being tied to the machine on top of feeding nearly tipped me over the edge), and I'm pretty sure I'd have sunk into PND.
no one disputing bf better,but pragmatically ff can be more achievable,easier
and frankly ff is adequate nutrition,safe and its how vast majority babies are fed
no one should ever berate self about ff.it's safe,it's adequate,it's good enough
I find your tone condescending, gimme and I EBF both my children for well over a year each.
I hope FF and mixed feeders don't take gimme's stance as typical of other breastfeeders.
I bf until my ds was 2. he slepy through from about 9 months, I found bf was easier for us as I co-slept, which worked for us. I wouldnt say bf stopped ur dc from sleeping but if you choose not to do it then don't theres no need to justify it to whoever
I think it's completely hit or miss, and down to 'luck'. I've done ebf, mix feeding and ff and had periods of fantastic sleepers and periods of hell on earth. No obvious relation with the feeding method.
For me, with DD2, I persevered with the bf because I reasoned what if formula didn't help her sleep any better, and I had to actually get off my arse and make up bottles, rather than rolling over and popping a tit in her mouth
DD mixed fed
DS exclusively breast fed.
Now DD was a fabulous sleeper but afaik, that has fuck all to do with breastfeeding.
However, I did get pretty depressed with the whole ebf situation. I couldn't go anywhere without DS for a year. It was mentally and physically exhausting. I also massively go off sex when bf and frankly I hate that! Normally I love sex! It makes me sad that I've spent two years of my life not wanting to even be touched.
I wish people were more honest about the fact that ebf can feel miserable and isolating, because I feel like a freak if I ever mention disliking it in rl!
Next child will be mixed fed again.
Anecdotally it appears to me that sleeping has naff all to do with how the baby is fed. And you stopped bf at 6 months, well before most babies sleep through anyway, so the next two years of poor sleeping had nothing to do with the way the child was fed.
You can't ensure that your child isn't another bad sleeper. It's (IMO) a mix of genetics, personality and parenting. One and two generally outweigh three but there are plenty of techniques you can try. Good luck with whatever you decide.
I was ff I didn't sleep more than 2 hours until 18 mo as my mother REGULARLY reminds me. Dd ebf, slept through at 6 mo, ds ebf (co slept) so as not to go mad started sleeping 7-7 at 9 months (was eating a lot at 6 months).
My bf ebf her 3 boys, all slept 6pm-8am from between 3 & 5 weeks
I hate her
Ff does not guarantee a sleep & there is a reason for it digesting more slowly anyway.
DD1 BF and slept like a dream from the start.
DD2 Faffed around trying to BF for a few months - up for 2 hrs at a time throughout the night. Moved to FF at 4 months. Now aged 3.5 and has only slept through a fee times in her life.
I think some babies are great sleepers and others are not. Do whatever makes YOU feel better.
(Personally I enjoyed the speed of BF but the detachment of FF)
What a stance that I will choose to bf because it is better for my babies?! Wow, if they makes me 'condescending' so be it.
My DD is 1 in two weeks.
I EBF until 6 months. Started combination feeding at about 7/8 months.
Now she has 2 bottles a day and about 4 breastfeeds (at least 1 in the night)
She has never slept more than 3/4 hours in a row....usually wakes up 3-8 times a night STILL
I'm. So. Tired.
you seem somewhat strident feed your baby how you want,butt out let others feed their baby how they want
in scheme of things mode of feeding isn't biggest significant factor
maternal physical/mental health is paramount too.and if ff suits mum better that us in itself good enough reason to ff
I think it depends on the baby. DD1 - ebf - slept 10 till 7.30 from 10 weeks.
Dd2 - ebf - didn't sleep through until about 11 months old, but was a very quick feeder (both sides in 15 mins, straight back to sleep) so that was no hardship either.
I think the problem arises if they don't settle well after a feed, for whatever reason.
Each baby is a new totally different human, you cant really compare this next DC with the other.
A really good thing would be to forget what happened with the first one and think of this new one as a totally new slate or you will just create problems that arnt there.
However what some BF mothers do - is give one bottle of FF at night before baby goes down, to really fill them up.
You could always try that.
The accusations of condescension are not because of how you choose to feed your baby, but rather the way you came onto a thread to be deliberately provocative and to make a mother who's worried about the impact of sleep deprivation and exhaustion feel bad.
But then, you knew that already, and didn't need me to point it out. The faux innocent routine is pure disingenuity.
Mumsnet is a place where people come for support and advice. Your first post wasn't helpful in either respect. Sorry if people picking up on that annoys you, gimme.
So.... Here is my totally random theory.... (both kids end till 1 he old, FFS slept 7 till 7 from 4 months, dd didn't until 18 months btw). It's possible there is a correlation between ebf and sleeping though at a later age..... But I reckon that it's also possible that it's not the breast feeding thats the casual factor. So for example perhaps bfing mums are less likely to ignore low level cries, or more likely to feed back to sleep, or less likely to do controlled crying or ... Whatever... You get my point, maybe if you bf then you are more likely to adopt certain attitudes/methods which make it less likely that buns will sleep?
Personally I reckon you can do what the hell ever you like ...kids seem to have a tendency to be settled/sleep or they don't
My DD, who first slept through at around 9 months, has gone on to be a fairly bad sleeper, full stop.
Even now at 2.6 she usually wakes at least once during the night. Of course now DH and I can split going into her so it's easier to deal with.
But I do tend to think it is down to the child. ATEOTD, you have to do what is right for you and your family.
Gimme bf is not 'a lot better' than ff. it's a bit better. For some kids. Maybe. Anyone who (a) knows what they are talking about and (b) is being honest will tell you that it is very unlikely to make any difference to any individual child once other factors are considered .
My dd was always a very good sleeper, I ebf for about 8 weeks then I switched to formula. Her sleeping pattern didn't change to be honest.
My take on it is that most normal people donr give a flying fook about how/what anyone elses babies eat, and why should they, ultimately you will do what's right for you. Some, not all, but some will argue their way is best until the cows come home to validate their own decision. Thats how I see it, could he wrong but in the grand scheme of things why does it matter what someone else is doing so long as you're happy with what you're doing. Other people need to learn how to butt out as scottishmummy rightly said.
I did both, im happy with my decisions because at the end of the day my DD is the only child at this moment in time that I give two hoots about
I'm surprised more people haven't mentioned the biggest advantage of FF/mixed feeding, which is that your partner has no excuse not to share the night wakings
I also don't see why FF is a faff. Washing and sterilising takes 2 minutes a day. Pouring a carton into a bottle is what, 3 seconds? And the feeds themselves are a lot shorter.
I think unfortunately though you'll just have to see how it goes, I don't think there's any correlation between feeding and sleeping.
My dd is combi fed, bf during day except if I need a break or am at college and then ff fed if with DH or in middle of the night. In my experience she sleeps through (3 months) randomly, sometimes after a bf and sometimes after ff and sometimes she'll wake in the night regardless. That doesn't help does it?
Anyhoo, combi feeding has really worked for me, my DH can help with feeding, I can go out (not that I do), it takes a lot of pressure off and no guilt because she's mostly bf (not that you should feel guilty for how you feel your child)
Sorry OP you started out saying you did not want a bf/ff bunfight and there I am merrily feeding the troll. If you feel you might regret not bf why not try a bottle of formula for last feed? Worked for me and for a few others I know. Not scientific i know but no harm in trying!
Thanks (nearly) everyone- that has really helped to get a balanced view.
hettie I totally see what you're saying. I do believe there is a correlation between breastfed babies and later sleeping. But why, I don't know. I would hazard a guess that it's because bf'ing mums are probably more sensitive to low level cries etc, and possibly remain to be so. Afterall, the babies' cry is a trigger for breastmilk production etc..plus, as you say, it may be that this demographic is less likely to do CC etc.
To the other posters who are talking about mixed feeding- yes, I think this will be the way I end up going. Perhaps aiming to ebf for first 6 weeks to ensure the colostrum has got through, but switching to FF during the night feeds at least after this. Most importantly though, if it's not working out, not beating myself up about it and remembering to see the bigger picture.
gimme Ironically, it's people evangelising about the whole process that has the potential to put someone such as myself off completely. Have you considered getting 'Breast Is Best' fridge magnets made up to hand out to your friends and family? Or perhaps adding 'preaching about breastfeeding' to the hobbies section in your CV?
What rubber says and also what about expressing for night feeds this sharing the burden?
My LO simply didn't get BF. her latch was perfect apparently and according to many a midwife I had 'lovely wee boobs'. One even exclaimed 'oh! Look at thae smashin nipples!'
My point is that I came home from an extended stay in hospital armed with bottles of expressed milk. My DH insisted on doing the night feeds for the first two nights and then we settled to one each. It was this partnership that made me a bit weird about BF to the point where I was desperately trying to get her to feed but at the same time willing her not to.
I like making up the bottles. It is therapeutic and I get a sense of satisfaction from seeing them all lined up and ready in the fridge.
passmethecrisps you make up bottles of formula in advance?
Myrubberduck - actually I DO know what I'm on about and bf DOES make a big difference in the vast majority of cases but if you want to ignore that fine.
Op - you sound quite defensive, probably cause you know I'm right.
I do babies. I know that is not the WHO guidelines but two things:
1. I am very careful and figure that I have a clean home with a very efficient fridge which keeps things fresh.
2. When DD was admitted to hospital recently the nurses were not aware of the guidelines themselves.
Actually, now she is much more in a routine I could probably now make up fresh.
babiesinslings so did I, good god call the police! !!
gimmie I'm actually with you. I don't really get how people can say 'I was fed up being glued to the sofa/I didn't think it was fair for me to do all the nights' etc
It is IMO incredibly important, speaking as someone given baby rice at 6 weeks & ff I have a seriously poor digestive system & a ridiculous amount of food intolerances. It's hard to know what caused these, but it doesn't run in the family.
Plus I'm lazy & bf is perfect for that!
I am pretty laissez faire with lots of 'guidelines' but milk is such a perfect breeding ground for bacteria that its not a risk I'd take
I have EBF 3 DC all slept 11/12 hours a night without feeding by 7-12 weeks.
Don't call the police, but I would question your priorities. Just saying.
I know, gawd im a terrible mother!
But BF is only good for 'lazy people' if it actually works.
Sorry - I thought your post was a genuine query rather than a dig.
Christ on a bike - I have no desire to be part of a bun fight.
For me - both were ebf
dd1 - slep through at 7 weeks / I was a fab parent
ds1 - slept through about 14 month / I realised i was lucky first time round!
I combine fed both my babies, and stopped breastfeeding during the day at around 6 months with both. Dd naturally let go of night time breastfeeds at 11 months. DS will only be comforted by breastfeeding during the night, even when I give him a bottle before he sleeps. He's 13 months. My DN was FF and he used to wake up every night for a bottle feed up until 3 years. I think it's coincidence, but I do feel it's a comfort element and that some children need that extra comfort than others. My DS is a hugger, DD isn't.
I bf'd three boys, and haven't had much sleep for the last six years.
Have just weaned a v reluctant DS3, and after a looong fight, got him to take a bottle of formula last week. This week he's finally slept through. He's 13 months.
I ff both dc. Both slept through, 12 hours a night, from 8 weeks.
However I also think it helped having a strict bedtime routine (dark room, chair by cot for feeding, put down with dummy, stroke head, leave room) from about 6 weeks. Yep I'm an awful mother - I put them in their own rooms for nights and all naps from 6 weeks.
I do know the sids advice. But I had to do what works for me and my sanity. And I have no other risk factors and follow all other advice correctly.
I fed on demand. Both were feeding every 2 hours, 8oz bottles from quite early on.
Worked for me and I wouldn't hesitate to formula feed again.
DD1- bottlefed after I had to have several breast abscesses removed surgically when she was 6 weeks old.
she was a calm, placid baby who slept through from 10 weeks.
DD2- breastfeed from birth to 2nd birthday. exclusively for 10 months without solids , night weaned at 18 months, fully self weaned without my input at 2 years (just didn't ask for it on her second birthday)
With DD1 I had more sleep.
With DD2 I was happier and enjoyed breastfeeding, but I was more tired as up until 18 months she was having upto 5 feeds a night.
<makes room for fairylea and passmethecrisps on awful mother bench and passes and >
My dd is ebf and has been sleeping through since about 8 weeks. She is now 14 weeks and typically can go 8pmish to 7am. She feeds a lot during the day (every 1.5hrs) so I assume she has enough calories to last the night. There is another baby in my Nct group who is ebf and sleeps 12 hrs from about 8 weeks old too. I just think I am incredibly lucky in having a sleeper.
My ebf 5 month old wakes at least 3 times between 9 and 7am
DS mix fed. Was still on up to 2 bottles a night until 16 months.
DD is six weeks old, ebf. Norm is one waking a night ATM.
DS1 was a very big baby. I was advised to offer him formula after each feed, and I fed him on both breasts each feed. I noticed that in the morning, he wouldn't take any bottle after the breast. By the afternoon he might take an oz or two, and by the last feed (about 7pm), he would drain 7oz of formula after both breasts! So I stopped bothering to offer the breast at the 7pm feed, bottled him, and if he needed feeding in the night he had breast and a cuddle. I figured that by not doing the 7pm feed myself, I was giving myself time to build up the reserves for a night time feed. He slept through from 6 weeks.
So with DD I automatically just gave her a bottle for her 7pm feed, and breast the rest of the time. She also slept through from about 8 weeks.
I get that "breast is best" blah blah, but I just don't see why it has to be one or the other. Whatever works for you....
Both of mine are/were ff. Dc1 slept from 6.30-4.30 from about 6 months, no matter how i tried to alter her sleep pattern. Now 2 and still wakes about half 4-5 most mornings. Dc2 is 10 months and wakes every few hours and is up for the day between 4 and 5am. I co sleep with dc2, have good routines and try really hard but he won't sleep through.
Just do what you are comfortable with, op. Good luck, hope you get a better sleeper then i did!
The OP's question relates to getting decent amounts of sleep.
Generally speaking, babies stop us sleeping well overnight because they wake needing to be fed.
Ebf puts the pressure of nightfeeding on one person only (unless mother expresses and father bottle feeds).
On that basis alone, ff allows for a shared burden of night wakings, meaning (ideally) everyone gets the minimum sleep required ro keep functioning.
Therefore, if sleep is the primary concern, ff should be the answer!
[mixed fed from day 1 with first and only DC, she started sleeping through at about 4mo].
I breasted all mine initially. But later switched to formula (and solids).
DD slept though night 10-7 from 6 weeks, started solids at 20 weeks, switched to formula at 6 months, cut out 10pm at 8 months.
Ds1 slept through night at 10 weeks but at 16 weeks he was hungry in night waking up every 3 hours, switched to formula which resulted in one night waking, once he was having solids at 20 weeks slept through night again. Cut out 10pm fed at 8 months.
Ds2 slept through night at 10 weeks but at 20 weeks waking up in night and refused solids . By 6 months formula fed and solids and sleeping through night again.
So I not convinced it makes that much difference esp once solids introduced.
detox co sleeping has been mentioned more than once. I did this with dc 2 and I hardly woke at all. Best of both worlds?
I get that in theory ff (or ebm for that matter) means that the night feeds can be shared, but I have a strong feeling that it is usually the person on maternity leave who gets up in the night. Threads on here seem to back that up.
DD, bf until 6mo, FF from then. She first slept through at 4yo.
DS1, bf until 4mo, FF from then. He first slept through at 4y11mo.
DS2, bf until 3mo, FF from then. He slept through from 7pm-7am from 7 weeks old, whilst still ebf. Always been a brilliant sleeper, and still is at 9yo.
DS3, bf for a year, on hypoallergenic formula from then onwards due to allergies. He's just turned 2yo. Still nowhere near sleeping through.
So, to me, there was NO difference between bf & FF, the only difference was that DS2 was a good sleeper and DD, DS1 & DS3 are crap sleepers.
Tbh, I found FF more of a PITA because they STILL didn't sleep through, but I had to wake right up, traipse down the stairs in the cold, make up a bottle, heat it up, listen to baby screaming while waiting for it, then they would take aaaaages to go back to sleep. And I would take even longer.
Bf? Co-sleep, roll over, half asleep, baby latches on, nodded off before feed even finished, far more sleep.
I HATE FF because I'm too lazy to be arsed with all the faffing when bf is quick, easy, and I don't have to leave my warm bed to do it, and I don't have to sterilise my tits!
Thank you cheeeeeeeeese
It would seem that cosleeping is a way of getting both sleep and BFing.
Definitely not being jaggy here but is cosleeping not also considered 'not on'? I know we discussed it and it was a total no go for us. I once had to rescue the cat from a duvet tomb between DH's legs
DD FF woke for feeds until 2 & still wakes during the night now she is 10
DS FF I used to line up bottle in his cot as he would wake so often until 2.5-3
DS2 BF is 1 now & wakes approx every 2 hours.
See ebf all three and I really just can't fecking remember these details. Youngest is 6.5 and the rose tinted specs are on.
It will pass and you will cope, whatever choice you make.
I can remember however a couple of things - don't always feed them to sleep. If they have finished their last feed and still awake then into bed awake from a tiny. They learn to settle themselves, regardless of how you are feeding them. And think about how much they are having during the day and make sure you get as many feeds into the day/early evening as possible. With bf I found on busy days I maybe didn't feed so often or for so long when out and about. This meant more feeding of a night. Go with the tea time cluster feed as much as you can. Fill them right up for the night ahead.
The first six weeks involve a certain amount of horrifying sleep deprivation whatever you do, surely? With an older baby, they can latch on themselves without actually waking you up, so I didn't care that much if they did wake up.
I suppose it depends what you are used to and your personal preferences. I sometimes gave mine expressed milk and found the whole sterilising thing to be hugely time consuming, but maybe if you do it all the time you stop really noticing it. As for the being glued to the sofa because of breast feeding, the FF mums I've known spend just as much time glued to sofas because people generally like to spend a lot of time cuddling their babies, whether the baby has a nipple in its mouth or not.
I breast fed both of mine because I really enjoyed it. If somebody doesn't enjoy it, they shouldn't be made to feel they are obliged to do it.
I only have one child so have nothing to compare but my bf baby fed all day long and hardly slept for at least the forst 3 momths. Then from about 3-6 months he slept from 11am-5am or 6am. That was like a long lie!
We then started solids at 6 months and he has never slept through since!
When he wakes I settle him with a bf because I bring him into bed...it is the only way I can survive the lack of sleep. I don't believe, at 11 months, he needs the feed as dh can also settle him without....he just likes cuddles. He also thinks 2am is party time!
I have a friend whose ebf baby slept from 7pm-7am from a few weeks and still is at nearly a year.
I'm not convinced, despite bf being easier to digest etc, that the method of feeding is the answer...just based on various friends/familys experiences.
If I'm fortunate enough to have another child I would like to ebf...it beats sterlilising and is much cheaper! But, feeding methods really are a personal choice.
True co sleeping is frowned upon by many, and that is something that annoys me. I was too terrified to consider it with dd but read up on how to do it properly. If risk factors like smoking, alcohol & thick duvets are eliminated it is safe, if you're bf. not recommended if ff as the baby & therefore mum sleep too deeply.
It's the norm in Japan & discussed openly & their level of SIDS is low. A good friend of mine is Japanese & her dm is a HV, she can't believe the misconceptions in this country.
There is a statistic somewhere that a majority (something like 60/70%) of people resort to co sleeping in desperation at some point. I can well believe this. A good reason to have a grown up discussion about it.
DS1 ebf slept brilliantly, to begin with we had to set an alarm for 3 hourly feeds (jaundice), once we stopped doing that he never woke more regularly than 4 hours and quickly did 6/7 hour stretches. Slept through from 14 weeks.
DS2 ebf and a terrible sleeper, better since 18 months but still not brilliant.
I don't think method of feeding has anything to do with sleep, DS1 slept through much, much earlier than lots of ff babies I know.
Bf both DCs, both terrible sleepers (martyrs to their teeth, THAT'S the real dividing line if you ask me) but a boob is the original mute button. No contest for me when it's 2am and I have to Make The Noise Stop before my head caves in.
Especially when I don't have to get out of bed or stay awake to the end of the feed.
I think freya has it in a nutshell.
Haven't read all the thread so apologies if what I say has already been covered.
Dd was ebf. Slept well from the beginning with 8 hours more often than not from 12 weeks.
Until she started teething at 7 months. She was then pretty hellish for months. But I don't think I can blame the bf for that.
The big advantage of bf IMO is the sleepy hormones it produces in you. I'd feed dd, go back to bed, close eyes and fall back asleep. Once I stopped feeding her if she woke up I'd get her back to sleep then lie in bed wide awake forever which was worse than being up with her!
DD is 20 weeks and BF. Swaddling helped her to go longer through the night without a feed (the magic period was 12-15 weeks when she would go 11 or 12 hours through without needing a feed!!! But from about 6 -8 weeks she would do 5-8 hours). Then we hit sleep regression from 15-17 weeks. Having emerged the other side and no longer swaddling (she was escaping ) she normally feeds once ON.
BUT now she has started creche I can see the advantages of mixed feeding. I'm currently expressing bottles but it meant I had a few days of low milk when she was going hungry and waking twice / 3 times ON to feed. Hoping milk supply will increase to allow me to express a bottle a day for her, otherwise will keep BFing at home and introduce a bottle of Formula for creche.
And btw I don't co-sleep but DD is in cot beside my bed. It is easy to jump up and feed her but if I had been FFing would definitely have used the cartons for ON!!!
Actually babies when we were readmitted due to DD's lacsidasical attitude to sucking I resorted to cuddling her in bed to try to get both of us some rest. It was noted in my records in quite a cat's bum tone.
I didn't actually know I was 'co-sleeping'. It was sheer instinct and survival I think.
Fast forward to this morning having had broken sleep due to snoring DH and DD snoring all I wanted to do was snuggle on the bed together. Couldn't make myself do it. Too scared.
passmethecrisps I insisted on co sleeping in hospital with ds & was all prepared for patronising comments, instead one midwife congratulated me on meeting his needs, but then she pulled the curtain. I was meeting my needs, he was a large baby
ripped me a new one & I couldn't move.
I was however terrified with dd. I think reading up on it, funnily enough due to the same concern as the OP helped me to feel confident. I'm not massively evangelical about it, I was keen to get the little blighter in his own room/cot at 9 months.
Babies - those of us with babies AND older DC's were actually ADVISED to make up 24 hrs worth of formula and keep it in the fridge for our older DC's.
It was what I was advised with DD, DS1 & DS2. I then had a big gap between DS2 & DS3, and the advice had changed.
It was very hard to stop doing things the way I had for my previous 3 DC's. It was only the science behind it that meant that I bothered to follow the new guidelines with DS3.
Most of my friends in a similar position (I have 3/4 other friends who have both teenagers AND toddlers) have ignored the new advice as "their older DC's didn't die, did they?!"
I chose to follow science - but it's a far worse faff and PITA to FF now than it was 15 years ago when you made up a day's worth at once!!
My 2 cents I have both ff and bf. My ff daughters were dream sleepers my bf ds has not been much of a sleeper. However my eldest dd has had tummy pains all her life joyfully it turns out she is intolerant of cows milk so I feel a bit of a shit having given it to her almost all her life and dd2 has had multiple convulsions nothing to do with ff but she has been a damn sight sicker than my bf little man. In fact both dds had 4 antibiotics before 1 but ds has never been to a doctor except vaccinations. So while on the sleeping front they were better that was not the whole picture and to be honest with co sleeping which I swore I would never do I have rarely felt like I have missed out on sleeping
Weird babies! I had a curtain puller as well. Someone popped in, raised the bar on the bed, pulled the curtain and left. I was vaguely aware of their presence and knew the room had changed.
With regard to any advice I just want to be treated like an adult with a brain and common sense.
My mantra has been this far and remains "come what may"
Fully BF & co-slept with two - DS woke up every two hours for two years and still doesn't reliably sleep through now at 3.5, whereas DD was sleeping through before I had even been signed off by the midwives. Probably about two weeks old. She's now 13 months and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times she has woken in the night, she's unbelievable.
Thank goodness I had the difficult child first, if it had been the other way round I wouldn't have known what had hit me, I'm not sure how well I would have coped!
I didn't PLAN to cosleep with my first DC, but it just happened through sleep deprivation.
After that, I realised that it was so much fecking easier than FF, or bf with them in a cot, and I got more sleep, so I did it with the subsequent 3 DC's from day one.
The bottom line is you need more support.
If you had a job that involved being on call for seven nights a week for months on end you'd schedule in extra day time help. In some golden yesteryear point your sister/mother/neighbor would be around to scope toddler and baby up and allow you to disengage your brain for a few hours.
BF is n't a one way thing, no one in four pages has noted the hormonal rush that let down produces. This is designed to trick your sleep deprived brain into not killing the thing that's just woken you up. Its a chemical cosh not to be under estimated.
I EBF both kids.
DD1 slept her first whole night at 4 weeks (8 hour sleep) and was sleeping 12 hours a night, without waking a month later. This increased to 14 hours by age 3 months. Her sleep patterns were regular. She had 2 long sleeps in the day as well as her mammoth sleep at night. I think she was unusual in the sheer amount of sleep she took. I think other than the people close to us who witnessed it, people simply don't believe me when I tell them about my wee sleep-monster. She didn't drop her afternoon nap until she was almost 4. Her afternoon nap was from 2-6pm and bedtime proper was at 7.30 on the dot. Didn't ever co sleep with DD1. Other than a couple of times when she was ill, she always slept through in her own cot. She fed at 9.30, on waking, napped from 10.30- 12.30, fed again at lunchtime, maybe twice, napped from 2-5, then fed in the evening on waking and again at 7pm. 7.30 went straight to sleep, was laid down awake, however. When she dropped her morning nap (can't remember exactly when, but before she was 11 months), she lengthened her afternoon nap to 4 hours.
DD2 slept her first whole night at 6 weeks and slept through til 5 months when she decided sleep wasn't really for her. She didn't regularly start sleeping through again until she started nursery at 19 months. We had to co sleep just to get some sleep. I'd wake up some nights and she'd already be latched on and having her feed...I was the one dreamfeeding, not her! She napped during the day but not in a set pattern like DD1.
Only managed to read the first page, but just wanted to mention the benefit of wacking a boob in and having an instantly calm baby!
Also I've only ever FF while looking after my niece, but I found getting up twice and sorting out bottles each time much more tiring than waving a boob in the general direction of baby while half asleep 5/6 times with (terrible sleeper but due to long stay in hospital not bf imo) BF co-sleeping DD.
Though obviously do what you feel happiest with. Maybe try breast feeding for a few weeks, then change over if you are finding it too tiring, or try expressing if you do decide to BF so DH can help with some feeds
not a personal favourite, I'd rather be sleepy than be a dairy cow tbh!
Or just FF from day 1, but is there anyone FF family/close friend's DC wise who you could look after between now and then to have an experience of what FF involves? (Sure you could find it great, but maybe an idea to try it first, as I found it way too much fuss for my
slightly lazy ways!!)
I breastfeed my 18-month-old just once a day now, but he's been EBF since birth. As soon as his horrendous silent reflux eased up at seven months, he slept through the night. We co-slept for the first three months, but he's been in his own space since then.
He still clocks in 11.5-12 hours at night, and 60-90 minutes of napping during the day.
There is research, and I'll say what it shows in a moment, but firstly I want to point out that research is across a community, and may or may not be applicable to you anyway! So with this in mind you can use the research to give you something to think about, then work out what is right for you. My additional thoughts in square brackets.
1) Formula fed babies seem to more often go longer between feeds than breastfed babies, which may mean they sleep longer [unless they react to formula in which case they may be kept awake].
2) FF babies are about twice as likely as BF babies to die from SIDS, possibly because if they sleep longer and more deeply their immature brains do not wake them from sleep if they stop breathing. [However, while "twice as likely" sounds very scary, bear in mind that the risk of SIDS is extremely small, and twice a very small number is still a very small number. You may consider that driving in a car is more likely to lead to your baby being killed but this isn't something that people worry about as they do SIDS].
3) Because FF babies may sleep longer, parents may get more hours of sleep. However, the sleepy hormones released while night time breastfeeding mean that across a community, breastfeeding mums get more QUALITY sleep than FF mums. [This one is very much a person to person issue and dependent on the baby in question]
4) In the early weeks, BFing at night can be seriously intense, exhausting, painful and tiring in a way that no one who has not had children can really understand, and it's all down to you. FF may be easier because it can be shared. However, if you can get through the first few weeks and especially if you consider safe bad sharing, BFing can be the easiest way to get through the night as there comes a point where a baby can attach himself, hardly waking the mum, or at least a boob can be waved in the general direction and the baby just latches and drops back to sleep. Mums can then just wake for a few moments then go back off again while her baby gets on with it. So longer term, that's soooo much easier than getting up with the baby, getting the formula, feeding the baby until he's asleep, putting him down etc.
References for above from isisonline.org.uk
Separate to that are how an individual baby is, and how they react to their food. Some babies will react dreadfully to cow's milk formula, and then if breastmilk isn't available the only option is a prescription milk-free formula which will feed a baby but is to be avoided unless it's the only option. Other babies will (very rarely) be so intolerant of some food or another that their breastfeeding mum has to completely remove it from her diet and this may be more than she's able to do.
In the end, it depends on how important breastfeeding is to you and if it is important, to work through those first weeks and then reap the benefits. If it's not important and you'd rather formula feed, working our a strategy with a partner so that you can enjoy the fact that you are able to share night feeds would make sense, so that you're not ending up with the worst of all worlds and you can get some lovely, long sleeps!
I hope you find a solution that is right for you
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