Mix feeders support thread

(51 Posts)
1978andallthat Wed 06-Feb-13 21:07:22

I mix fed dd, now 2, and am mix feeding my ds, one month. Both times I have found loads of advice on breast feeding and loads on formula feeding and very little on mix feeding.

So how about we use this thread for questions, help and advice for mix fed babies?

Pinkponiesrock Thu 07-Feb-13 06:15:18

I did mix feeding with all 3 of my DC and it worked for us. I always got really annoyed at being told I couldn't/shouldn't do it! It was 3 months before I started doing it with DS1, 5 weeks with DS2 and from 2 days old with DD.
I find it gives you the best of both worlds and as long as you feed in addition to BF rather than instead of I've found it works fine. Mine get one bottle at night and if needed a smaller one during the day. Both DS are big strong boys, DD, who is 11 weeks old, is more petite but still gaining weight well and doing all the right things. All of mine slept 7 hours plus at night from 5/6 weeks old so mixed feeding can work!

Aliglobetrek Thu 07-Feb-13 08:16:20

I've just started this as going back to work in 5 weeks. Am still bf but adding in a couple of bottles of formula a day. DS is 20 weeks old.

LAF22 Thu 07-Feb-13 08:35:32

I had always intended to bf exclusively, but babs was v ill when born and in intensive care for two weeks. She was on a drip at first but I was encouraged to express and she then moved on to be tube fed my milk. Trying to establish b feeding in nicu in front of all staff and other parents was v stressful and didnt work, so I stuck with expressing and eventually moved on to feeding expressed milk through bottle. babs is now 3 weeks old and home with us. I have a carum pump at home and have continued to express whilst also trying again to establish breast feeding and she latches on but seems to fall asleep after five minutes and when I put her down wakes up ravenous. On tues I resorted to formula as she seemed so hungry and my milk supply seemed to be dwindling. Feel massively guilty about this but im still giving her my milk during day. Any tips on keeping the milk supply up if also supplementing feeds with formula?

scissy Fri 08-Feb-13 02:21:59

LAF22 I'm in a similar situation, my MW suggested Fenugreek (sp?) to try and keep my milk supply up. Baby is not at all interested in the breast, so have to give a combination of expressed milk and formula at every feed. I'm going to try that for as long as my milk supply lasts tbh.

WaitingForMe Fri 08-Feb-13 03:00:37

I've mixed fed DS pretty much from day one where he was screaming for more after feeds. Things eased when my milk came in but I still can't keep up. There comes a point each evening when he wants a mammoth feed and empties both breasts. I know milk production is continuous but he claws at me complaining that it isn't coming through fast enough.

I then stop and switch to formula, anywhere from one to three 5oz bottles (over several hours). HV said fine as long as it's not affecting BF which just seems bonkers - it's a reaction to BF.

All I hear about is supply drying up but I get slightly engorged every evening which DS loves. If I could direct the stuff highly pressured like a pub's soft drink dispenser he'd be delighted!

1978andallthat Fri 08-Feb-13 08:01:07

We're the same waitingforme. Each evening he has 3 bottles about 90ml each and breast in between. Comes a point where my breasts won't produce any more. In the morning when they've had a rest they seem to satisfy him.

CelticPromise Fri 08-Feb-13 14:29:14

LAF22 sounds like you have had a really tough start and done amazingly to keep going. It's definitely possible for your baby to learn to BF if that's what you want. Can you get RL help?

The best way to keep up milk supply is to put your baby to the breast. The more milk removed from the breast, the more you'll make. skin to skin can also help. Fenugreek works for some people but there's no real evidence.

Cluster feeding in the evenings is really common and not a sign that you have run out of milk. it's hard on the sanity though!

Pleasenomorepeppa Fri 08-Feb-13 21:06:07

Due to slow weight gain we're topping up DD2 with formula after every bf. she's nearly 3 weeks & is almost back up to her birth weight. She's also on ranitidine for reflux & has suffered with oral thrush which made bf difficult.
She's been starving today & is struggling to go more than 2.5 hours between feeds!

PennieLane Fri 08-Feb-13 21:42:06

Hi everyone. Great idea! I started at 6 wks 4oz every evening because of poor weight gain and now on 8oz every eve at 12 wks. I love mix feeding and it's the best of both. She's gone up to 9th centile, SH gets to bond with her and I have a couple of hours where I can do other stuff (usually housework!!) LO has a mild tongue tie so feeding still takes up to an hour so not reached that 'easy whip a boob out stage' everyone talks about.

People love to scaremonger about mix feeding-she'll go off the boob; she'll get confused; your supply will dry up etc etc and while this can happen, I don't think it's as bad as everyone goes in about!

waiting I also get that slightly engorged thing and DD loves it!

PennieLane Fri 08-Feb-13 21:42:44

DH not SH!

1978andallthat Fri 08-Feb-13 21:56:56

I mix fed dd from first week after she lost nearly 20% body weight and hated expressing so hardly did any. Also don't believe the nipple confusion thing etc as continued to mix feed until she was 18 months and I was three months pregnant and knackered.

TennisFan42 Wed 13-Feb-13 17:32:38

I am thinking about introducing one formula feed a day in the evening, Has anyone done this and how did it work? I'm worried that once DD (3 months) tries formula she will start rejecting breast milk - is this a risk?

1978andallthat Wed 13-Feb-13 18:07:18

I have started taking fenugreek today to up milk supply. Hopefully it'll work. Still happy to mix feed but want to tip the balance more in favour of breast than bottle.

Contradictionincarnate Fri 15-Feb-13 11:42:35

some very refreshing posts my plan had been to mix feed but mw put me off ... there is some scary anti ff of any kind on mn and breast feeding Nazi at bf support group seemed to think I was being so bad if I just did a formula feed in the night ... I want to give a bottle when she is doing her 5 hour stints... "your supply will dry up" ... she gave me womanly art of bf and then just looked at me pitifully when I was saying I couldn't go on with these mamoth cluster feeds and said "that's normal " but surely it doesn't have to be that way!

1978andallthat Fri 15-Feb-13 12:34:02

Personally I think a sane well rested mummy is a good mummy however they feed. But what do I know as a low supply mix feeder.

I've always fed both breast and bottle when it's me doing the feeds but when dd was 6 weeks I started working one evening a week so dh or my mum had to ff and it never stopped me bf the rest of the time (though I never had enough to ebf so of I had who knows what would have happened to supply.) But some babies sleep through the night from a couple of months and I think it would be madness to wake them for a bf just to maintain supply.

CelticPromise Fri 15-Feb-13 13:33:21

After a couple of months your supply would usually be robust enough not to drop a lot. It's the cycle of introducing formula early leading to fewer feeds leading to low supply that can be a concern.

I'm a BF peer supporter and we get lots of mix feeding mums at the group I volunteer at. All we try to do is give the right info so that mothers can make an informed choice. I always ask what they want first- advice for a mum who is happy mixed feeding is going to be different than for one who wants to get back to breast only. I'm sorry you had a bad experience with BF support, it shouldn't be like that!

Hi, I am doing formula top ups for slow weight gain/ftt. DS 16wks had ptt snipped at 11 wks but had fallen off the chart so supplemented to get his strength up. He's now just above 0.4 line. I give 3x4oz per day after feeds, plus 2-3oz expressed if I can manage it.

He still feeds from the breast with no probs at night. During the day he fusses but he's also had a lot of tummy probs so I'm not sure if its that. I've just gone dairy-free and been prescribed Nutramigen AA for CMPI so am hopeful things will improve. It's hard work.

Like 1978 I am taking Fenugreek & was hoping to reduce ff but at the moment we will continue as we are. I do feel frustrated that we haven't hit the 'sweet spot' where bf is so easy, but at least we are still going.

I know what you mean about all the advice being for ff or bf, good idea for a thread. smile

ValiumQueen Fri 15-Feb-13 20:36:05

Lurking as a would-be mixed feeder. Fed both my girls exclusively for 8 and 18 months, but my son, 16 weeks, is draining the very life out of me. He is a big boy, and does not like to sleep at night. With two older children, one aged 2 (after sympathy here) I am run ragged with no time to rest. Perhaps my milk is shite because I am so very tired, but to look at fat boy, it seems to be doing its job.

I am looking to introduce a bottle or two max a day, and don't really know where to start. I want to keep bfing for as long as he wants, and I do not expect it to cure his sleep, but I would like a bit of relief from the cluster feeding at night. He has had a couple of bottles and seems fine taking formula. I do not have the time or energy to express, and on the one occasion I did, he rejected it as it was fishy. He has been unwell since a week old with colds and bronchiolitis. I have wondered at times if he has silent reflux.

Any helpful hints appreciated.

VQ I would think about an evening bottle. We do one post-feed about 7pm, then after burping and sometimes a little fuss he snoozes on me (or occasionally in basket) till 9pm. We then change him, I do a bf upstairs and he goes into bed.

We've had bad sleep lately due to his snuffles but in terms of feeding, we usually go till 3 or 4am.

Worth a try?

ValiumQueen Fri 15-Feb-13 21:46:31

Cheers blonder anything is worth a try. I had a bottle sterilised tonight and a carton of ready made, but did not have the heart as DS was really tired. I just took him up to bed and he fed to sleep. It needs to be when he is not so tired I guess.

Do I give boob first then bottle? Or bottle first? Or just bottle? The evenings still feel like one long feed. I need to write down what he does for a couple of days to see if there is a pattern.

1978andallthat Fri 15-Feb-13 23:38:28

VQ - I don't know that I do it right but when giving both I do both breasts then burp then bottle (6 weeks old, 90-120ml) then offer breasts again if still hungry. But am trying to up supply. If I was doing to give me a break I would personally start by trying a big bottle feed before bed and seeing how long he slept for then doing the middle of the night feed as a bf.

ValiumQueen Sat 16-Feb-13 12:15:35

1978 yes, it is to give me a break. Nothing wrong with my supply, I just have a baby who takes ages to feed and gets bad wind. Slightly concerned the wind may get worse with a bottle. I think bf at night is the way to go as less faff and usually my milk is plenty quick enough for him. I feel as if I am wishing away time to get him to 6 months for solids. I do not want to wean him early even though many do.

ValiumQueen Sat 16-Feb-13 12:16:26

And there is no right or wrong with this. So long as baby gets fed.

Pikz Sat 16-Feb-13 20:43:33

Absolutely VQ. It's what works for each baby.

We are a mixed express/formula feeder since last week.

VQ I would say write down all the feeds. When I did it thinking he was all over the place I saw a small pattern. It was enough the know the beat times to try and give some formula.

It doesn't help him sleep longer but it gives me a break from expressing 40oz a day.

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