On the infrequent occasions I go out without my DS, now 6 week-old, is it ok to leave him with formula? Rather than having to express? He always takes both boobs at each feed so finding a gap in the day in which to express both boobs (ie enough for a feed) is nigh on impossible. So, would it be ok on those occasions to leave the person looking after him with formula? He takes a bottle fine, as early on I expressed for the middle of the night feeds. We are talking once every few weeks....apart from when I go skiing when it would be once a day for 5 days?
My DS has a daily bottle of formula and the occasional (well one so far) extra one if I need to leave him during the day. He's 21 weeks and doing fine and my milk supply is too. I think it's also good to get him used to different tastes.
It's a very personal decision. The best health outcomes are for babies who are exclusively breastfed, but it's not clear how much of a difference it makes. Obviously lots of babies are perfectly healthy when mixed fed or totally formula fed.
Formula will change the baby's gut compared to exclusive breastfeeding, but any difference is repaired fairly quickly once you go back to exclusive breastfeeding. It's worth remembering that the risks are fairly minimal though, especially if you observe good hygiene practices and make up the bottles correctly/use ready made formula.
We do one bottle of formula a day, dd cluster feeds in the evening and never seems to get quite full enough to sleep - the extra couple of oz of formula helps her drift off.
She brings more formula than bm back up, but some of that may be the amount of air she takes in when bottle feeding. Other than that, there doesn't appear to be any difference - except she goes to sleep easier, DH can give her a feed and I get half an hour of 'me' time while he's putting her down. I feel like it's a winning situation all around.
I also leave her with formula if I want to go out; expressing wasn't working well for me. There seems to be no effect other than boob leakage!
I mix fed by ds who is now 22 months and continued feeding until 8 mo.
Using language like "gut repairing" really pisses me off as it implies formula is poison. It's not. And it can also make those that are unable to bf feel utterly shite.
OP - once bf is established then it's completely fine to have bottles too. Take it slowly and carefully at the start to make sure your supply is ok. And in my experience, it makes the transition to stopping bf in the future easier as your baby is happy to take a bottle. I have many friends who reached 6 mo, decided they wanted to cut down or stop bf and were surprised when their dc had other ideas!
OP, tis totally up to you. I doubt your baby would be confused in any way at all by having the occasional bottle of formula. Will it muck his insides up? well, again, difficult to answer. If he is one of the not insignificant % of babies who is allergic or intolerant to cow's milk then it mightn't do him much good. Other than that, it depends whether you subscribe to the virgin gut theory.
FWIW LittleMilla, I do not understand the sensitivity about the gut repairing thing - it's fairly well-established that the gut is changed by feeding formula early on, isn't it? And that going back to EBF can reverse the changes? It pees me off no end when people disparage evidence-based statements (.e.g, BM is the best food for a baby in most cases) because it might make people feel inadequate. And I say that as someone who FF both of my babies at various points - in my DS's case, almost exclusively from around 5 weeks.
It's the implication the formula will damage a child that I find irritating. I'm not disputing that bf is the best. And as I said, was lucky enough to successfully do so for as long as it worked for both of us.
However, some of the language used can imply that a mother that chooses to mix feed of ff is going to do their child damage. They may have intolerances, I knew of bf children who were also unwell because of their mother's diet.
Yes, people need access to information to make informed decisions. I just don't like it when new mothers are made to feel as though they are going to HARM their child by bandying around terms that imply that formula is the devil.
"Will it muck his insides up?" no, lots of babies thrive on formula. Shock! Horror! many babies have been 100% formula fed from birth and still lived to a ripe old age.
" Confuse him?" A lot depends on how often you give him a bottle. If he doesn't have a bottle very couple of days or so, he may refuse to take a bottle later on. To make matters more complicated, if your baby has a bottle too often then he may refuse the breast as its less work to drink milk from the bottle.
If you are doing mixed feeding regularly then it will affect your milk supply. It is far easier to decrease a milk supply than increase it.
Feeding a baby formula has been shown to change the internal flora in their digestive system. But what effect this has on baby's short or long term health is unknown. Most likely this is going to be a small, or nil, effect as so many babies have formula at some stage and obviously suffer no obvious ill effect. But it does "change their insides" - so perhaps the option to express might be best, hard as it is to find the right time to express.
I think if baby takes a bottle and breast, then confusion over the feeding method isn't important. If baby is struggling to attach etc, then bottle feeding might interrupt their feeding from the breast... but if they will do both, then great!