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?

1978andallthat Sat 16-Feb-13 20:56:39

40oz?!! I only ever managed 1

GraceSpeaker Sat 16-Feb-13 21:15:27

Hooray! Glad I found this thread.

I've mix fed DD from the very beginning, because she didn't initially take to breastfeeding well. BF's continued to be uncomfortable (I had it all checked out early on - it just seems to be me), but I've persevered with 3-4 a day. DD's on formula the rest of the time, which I don't have a problem with at all. She's bang on what her weight should be and doing well.

Has anyone had a baby feed pretty constantly on mainly formula at 4 weeks? We're running a bottle factory during the day at the moment! Likely to be a growth spurt? I've tried looking this up, but mostly get stuff on EBF babies!

EATmum Sat 16-Feb-13 21:16:48

I am a firm fan of mixed feeding. We knew that's what we wanted for DD3, so started when she was about 6 weeks to do a bottle every evening. I still did the night feeds and day feeds and it never negatively affected my supply - quite the reverse. My husband loved giving her a 7pm bottle, having his own time with her after work. And it meant that by the 10pm feed I had enough milk to give her a good feed, rather than the relentless cluster snacks I did with the other 2.
It makes me frustrated, not be because I think this is for everyone, but because our society seems completely polarised - that you have to be 100% one thing or the other. No one wants to admit that both FF and BF have good things and that it can suit some people to combine it.
Off soap box now ...

GraceSpeaker Sat 16-Feb-13 21:16:56

Oh, also, how much were/are babies likely to be eating at 4 weeks? She's going through at least 6-7 125ml bottles a day at the moment, which seems a lot. She's 10lb almost exactly.

GraceSpeaker Sat 16-Feb-13 21:18:36

Agree with you, EATmum. Mixed feeding makes a lot of sense and there should be more guidance on it. I've been getting very cross recently about the complete focus on breastfeeding and how wonderful it all is without going into any of the potential negatives or problems in nearly enough detail.

1978andallthat Sat 16-Feb-13 21:36:30

GraceSpeaker - babycentre website says 150-200ml per kg.

Ds is 5.5kg so that's 875-1100ml per day milk. I give him about 400-500ml formula a day (roughly 8am, 1pm, 6pm, 10pm and sometimes middle of the night) so as he's a big hungry baby I reckon that's about half the milk he gets.

NewFerry Sat 16-Feb-13 21:37:11

Just wanted to pop in and add my support for mixed feeing. We introduced a bottle at 8 weeks with DS1 given at about 11pm by DH. This meant I was able to go to bed at 9ish and get a few hours sleep before baby woke at 3 for a night feed. And it gave DH a chance to feed the baby. Over the next few months, I introduced more bottles each time to replace a bf.

Worked so well that I did mixed feeds for DS2 and then later for DD.

The was a long time ago now, and guess what? All 3 have grown/are growing up perfectly fit, healthy, bright, funny, secure, infuriating and much loved.

GraceSpeaker Sat 16-Feb-13 21:42:27

Thanks 1978, that's really helpful and matches what she's eating at the moment! Phew!

ValiumQueen Sat 16-Feb-13 22:16:59

Thank you newferry that is encouraging.

eatmum I wish I had been more open minded about this issue as feeding DC3 has been so much harder. It was the best bit of parenting with the girls, but the worst bit with boy. I have been so hung up on treating them all the same, when they are clearly not the same.

I gave him a bottle tonight. He played with it mostly, but was happy and giggling. He took 20mls so I will do the same tomorrow and he will get used to it. I felt ok emotionally doing it which I was pleased about. DH looked horrified.

I think pikz should name change to ExpressingQueen or something similar. As always, respect to you x

EATmum Sat 16-Feb-13 23:14:47

Agreed Valium - it's so hard to be open to mixed feeding as all HVs seem to see it as the slippery slope to stopping BF - rather than recognising that for some, it is a way to keep that going. More honesty about BF (for some people it hurts, hurt me badly each time, but I persevered) so that expectations are realistic, that'd really help too. But being able to share the feeding a bit, and to know that life didn't revolve entirely around me - that all the other people who love my DD could feed her if she needed it - was also massively reassuring.

AnnaBBad Sat 16-Feb-13 23:51:14

Hello all, lots of interesting points here. I have been trying to get 10 week DS to take a bottle for a few weeks now (although not every day) and he just hates it. I only want to do it so DH can do a feed in the evenings or maybe even we could go out one evening! I have tried Avent, NUK and Playtex latex teats. Sometimes he does suck and I think we've cracked it by then I look and almost no milk has gone. I got faster flowing teats but still no joy.

Any tips on how to encourage him please?

NewFerry Sun 17-Feb-13 10:22:14

Sorry Anna, no tips really. I used avent bottles and teats, and DH fed him to start with rather than me. And feed when he's hungry, ie at least 2-3 hours after last bf.

1978andallthat Sun 17-Feb-13 16:04:42

We've always found tommy tippee good Anna but the people I know with bottle refusers finally got lucky with Nuk.

ValiumQueen Sun 17-Feb-13 17:43:25

Apparently the cheap rubbery brown latex teats can work with a bottle refuser sometimes.

PennieLane Sun 17-Feb-13 21:20:10

Hi EATmum I think your posts are excellent and I completely agree. The recent debate on the Open Lecture on Is Breast Best shows how polarised everything has become unnecessarily. I feel pleased to have walked a medium middle ground that incorporates the best of both. I do wish people would stop the scare mongering about mixed feeding!

GrandPoohBah Tue 19-Feb-13 15:20:08

We mix feed - we started because after cluster feeding all evening, I then didn't have enough milk to fill dd so she'd sleep a decent amount at night - so we give her a bottle then instead. It works for us and it gives me a break as DH takes her up and settles her. Sometimes she fusses and I'll give her boob too, others not. Every other feed is breast.

I think the problem is that FFs tend to be people who didn't want to BF or had lots of problems, so won't be BFing at all, and there are a certain proportion of 'lactivists' who wouldn't countenance giving their baby formula.

This works for us and I have a happy, healthy baby smile

PoppyWearer Tue 19-Feb-13 16:07:15

Just jumping on to mark my place.

Ebf my DC1 for first 9 months, I turned into the human dummy, she bottle-refused to 9mo. We then had a more pleasant mix of bf and ff to 14mo, when I stopped bf'ing.

With DC2 we set out mix-feeding from about day three, just one bottle a day at bedtime. I found the whole thing much easier, and DH enjoyed being more involved. I eventually stopped bf'ing at 15mo, would have kept going longer but had to stop for medical reasons (mine). He's now 18mo so this was quite recent.

I should add that part of my motivation to mix-feed was because I had nipple problems on one side, causing acute pain in the nipple, mastitis and repeated blocked ducts when feeding DC1. It was so nice this time to just forget about feeding from my "problem" side, safe in the knowledge that I could use the bottle as a backup if the side I did use couldn't keep up with demand.

I know that most of my NCT group mix-fed the second time around and I see no shame in doing so, you get the best of both worlds!

For the poster asking about bottles for bottle-refusers, I really did try 'em all, even the special needs ones (yes, really, I found them recently) and Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature were what worked. Nuk looked like they should work, but DC1 hated them. Medela were a good second, maybe because they were what I used with my expressed milk.

ValiumQueen Tue 19-Feb-13 16:48:29

poppywearer did you just feed from the one breast then? Did you have any problems? I have one side that is very poor and is beginning to give up. It did with DD2 at about 8 months and I continued feeding with the other for a year. She was however on solids. DS is barely 4 months so a way off solids. I would love to just use my good side.

PoppyWearer Tue 19-Feb-13 16:53:52

I did just feed from one side with DC2.

No problems as such (after all, my friend with twins does it!) but I did look a bit lopsided for a while. I wore a neck scarf most days which I hope covered it up. DH never really noticed, anyway.

Now feeding is over, the breast that did all of the feeding is back to the same size as the other one, but definitely a bit saggier.

ValiumQueen Tue 19-Feb-13 22:15:28

Thank you poppy I am a bit lopsided anyway grin and could not be more saggy! I have been putting on him that side first, but it just gets him annoyed. I might ease off a bit. I am prone to blocked ducts on that side.

1978andallthat Tue 19-Feb-13 22:48:05

Ds, 7 wks, mix fed approx 50/50 has hardly wanted boob today. Just rejecting it then crying a hungry cry. When I give in after half hour of putting him to breast (one then other) and him rejecting it he greedily has 120ml bottle. Then he'll have both breasts after that. At night he mostly just bfs (co sleeper) so no bottle between about 10pm-8.30pm. Am
Worried he'll start rejecting boob altogether as hoping to mix feed for 18mo as I did for dd

Any suggestions? I think it doesn't come out fast enough to satisfy him when he's really hungry, which he is for the three feeds after night time, after a 3 hour morning nap which I would be very loathe to wake him from as it's when I can get stuff done, and after a shorter afternoon nap.

Will also start thread on this to maximise responses.

Contradictionincarnate Tue 19-Feb-13 23:54:55

grand refreshing ... when did you Start mix feeding?

Contradictionincarnate Wed 20-Feb-13 00:41:53

Anna wrote massive reply then phone froze and I lost it angry
some thoughts and things you may want to try from reading more than experience my dd is quite good I think its the luck of the draw a lot of the time.
try
skin to skin -dh could feed bottle top off with lo in just a nappy snuggled under a blanket.
try giving milk at different temps (my dd has it cold) your lo may prefer room temperature.
if you haven't done already try expressed breast milk before formula.
hope I'm not patronising you if you have already tried these techniques.
let us know how you got on!

Contradictionincarnate Wed 20-Feb-13 00:42:59

ps I need advice re bottles if anyone can on seperate thread.

I am having a similar issue 1978. DS is 16wks and has been mix fed from 11wks due to a late diagnosis of TT which was preventing him from gaining weight.

I was hoping to go back to ebf once he had gained some weight but can't see it happening now. He's doing a similar thing to yours, fussing at the breast and not taking milk from it even when hungry. However night feeds are still going well & haven't been affected so that may give you some hope! I'm in two minds about what to do during the day; getting a lot of pressure from DM to increase formula but think that will have a worse effect on my supply which I struggle with anyway.

Not sure if that helps but you have my sympathy. It's hard.

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