Help re FF

(34 Posts)

I exclusively BF both our two boys, but SIL is now in hospital having her baby as I type. She's not intending to BF but is asking me questions around how often, how much and how FF works. I know nothing so am having a look on here.

My thinking is that in the first weeks, you just feed the baby formula as and when it seems hungry? I know it's hard to tell that, but as I just shoved them on the boob if they seemed upset - or should I say, did baby led feeding, ahem - I don't know what to tell her.

Can you really over feed a FF baby?
You should never thicken up or water it down, should you? Depending on if seems extra hungry or constipated / hot weather.
Can you make it and put it in the fridge?
How long after a bottle has been made, do you get to use it?
You can't re heat formula once it's been used for a feed can you?

I know this will be v basic to some people, but really appreciate guidance as I want to be useful and helpful, and don't want to give the wrong support to her.

Thank you in advance! x

TheDetective Sun 05-May-13 20:45:17

Starlight You can only get the first formulas in cartons (for formula suitable for newborns). You can't get all the different specialist formulas in ready made cartons, frustratingly.

I know my baby, and many others on my PN thread are on different milks, eg: CMP free formula, lactose free formula, anti reflux formula, stay down formula etc. A lot of mums have no choice sometimes.

When we go out there isn't anywhere safe to make up feeds, depending on where we are obviously, but generally, there isn't. So I take a cool bag with ice packs in, with a cold bottle in.

The staydown formula has to be made with cooled boiled water that is chilled from the fridge. These bottles definitely do need making up in advance! Or at least the water does. You have to add the powder cold goes against all my instincts arghhhh!. It took the water about 2.5 hours from kettle to cold enough for the bloody formula to be added.

It isn't black and white, is it?

CornishYarg Sun 05-May-13 09:21:06

That sounds sensible zebra although how do you make sure the volume of water is right? Once the powder is added to the water, the volume of fluid increases e.g. 4 scoops of powder dissolved in 4oz of water will have a volume closer to 5oz rather than 4oz.

So if you dissolve 4 scoops of powder, say, in a bit of boiling water then add cooled boiled water to increase the volume to 4oz, the amount of water added will be lower than the required 4oz. Or do you pre-measure the boiling and cooled water in separate containers before pouring in?

thezebrawearspurple Sat 04-May-13 23:08:10

The quickest way to make up formula is to pour a little bit of boiling water into the bottle to kill any bacteria in the formula, then add the rest of the water, it takes seconds and the bottle will be fresh and ready to drink. You don't want to be waiting for the bottle to be cooling while your hungry baby is screaming!

You can also store bottles in the fridge for up to 24 hours, it's quickest to heat it up in the microwave, just make sure to shake really well to avoid any hot spots.

Formula doesn't harm babies. Making up milk wrongly can have disasterous consequences. People who ignore the safety guidlines are

There are ways to 'manage' the inconvenience of making up milk each time, and many are referred to on the thread I posted.

But the bacteria is not heresay. The first link that came up google

www.nypost.com/p/news/national/third_baby_sickened_by_bacteria_Xlc3TucMBjVFDjlSk431LM

If you really can't do it immediately beforehand in the very early weeks then the safest way of giving formula is to do so with the readymade cartons.

The NHS guidelines publish the safest way of making up milk in advance, but do not state that it is the safest way of feeding your baby. I think it is essential that people know this and safety is not dismissed or diminished by people who state that it can be reduced to a matter of opinion. It cannot.

Runningblue Sat 04-May-13 21:26:12

Ps like stowsettler, we make up feeds in the 'in advance' method as found on the nhs website, twice a day so no bottle is kept in the coldest part of the fridge, for longer than 12 hours. We use cartons when out and not in instant access to a fridge. If we do take a bottle of prepared formula out, we do so when it is completely chilled, transported in a bottle cool bag and then put in a friends fridge when we arrive.
So no, we're not complete numpties...

Runningblue Sat 04-May-13 21:18:36

Thedetective is absolutely right. I am afraid unless you want to manage your baby gina ford style on a strict feeding schedule, it is not practical to make a bottle each time your baby goes from coos of delight to pangs of hunger.
At that point when you're breastfeeding, you can wap a boob out and solve the request for milk instantly. When ff, you also need a quick, safe method. The nhs website itself tells you the safest method of making bottles in advance. Its the silly people who add powder to cold water, leave prepared milk on the worktop all day, or keep offering the same bottle of milk to their child for longer than an hour, who are negligent.

The careful ff mums who have researched the safest method for in advance preparation are doing the best bf alternative for quick response to feeding their hungry baby.

Here is information fyi doubters www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/infant-formula-questions.aspx

Pretty sure I read on a thread here recently that the bacteria in milk thing is nonsense, someone was told so by a paed or a consultant or a baby milk manufacturer. Vague I know, wish I could remember better.

Either way, I am sick of the way people talk about mothers who use formula as though we are somehow harming our babies. I havent once heard, in RL or on here, of a baby becoming sick from bottles being prepared in that way.

TheDetective Sat 04-May-13 18:59:00

Starlight the guidelines offer advice about doing it safely - ie. flash cooling and storing at back of fridge for no longer than 24 hours.

I am very aware of the concequences, and made an educated decision with what to do when it came to my baby.

The bottles must be made completely correctly though, with thoroughly clean and sterilised bottles, freshly boiled tap water, and the most important bit of killing bacteria (which is where most people fall down) powder hitting the water above 70 degrees. Flash cooled and in to back of fridge.

Tbh it makes me very anxious hearing of people not following the guidelines and making up feeds as needed especially in the early weeks. The consequences can be devastating.

The powder contains potentially harmful bacteria that needs to hit very hot water to ensure the majority is killed and then disposed of before the bacteria develops again. An older baby with a strengthened immune system may not suffer so badly so I'm not too bothered how things develop, but please do things safely to start with.

stowsettler Sat 04-May-13 17:29:33

Sorry clicked too early... Agree with all wannabe posts. I make up feeds twice a day, cool and store in the bacK of the fridge. They're there a max of about 12 hours. It's really no hassle to make stuff up twice a day and I feel more comfortable that they've not been hanging around too long.

stowsettler Sat 04-May-13 17:26:02

Gecko in unwanted 'breast is best' lecture shocker...this is becoming a habit.

wigglesrock summed it up well.

And your human milk for human babies statement is just ridiculous. You are entitled to your opinion. Just dont make out that FFeeding is wrong please. Because it isnt.

whatsoever Sat 04-May-13 16:00:20

TheDetective no, I wasn't.

Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 15:31:08

I think I gave pretty good advice actually. The OP can take it or leave it.

Here is some advice re bottle feeding I found on Mumsnet, OP, you might like to show it to your SIL.

http://www.mumsnet.com/babies/bottlefeeding

<signed interfering, opinionated, concerned mother of two>

wigglesrock Germany Sat 04-May-13 15:22:56

God, no of course your entitled to your opinion. I just don't really get why you would comment on a thread that is so obviously geared towards formula feeding from birth. I don't even open threads about breastfeeding because I have no useful info to add. As it seems neither do you.

Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 15:18:29

wannabe sil has indeed made her choice to which she is entitled. Hopefully it's a fully informed one. She should ask parents who bottle fed from birth, not a mother who's only ever breastfed. <Commonsense, surely?> What part of of my post is rude? Or is it just that I'm not entitled to my opinion because I advocate human milk for human babies?

mikkii Sat 04-May-13 15:05:14

I primarily BF but topped up both DDs in early days due to weight loss. Changed to ff at 5 months DD1 and DD2 went to mixed feeding at 4 months. I used to sterilise the bottles and add the boiling water, storing at room temp. Then, when needed added boiling water to correct temp and added powder which I kept in the avent containers. I expect his breaks all the guidelines, but worked for us.

Thats an extremely rude post Gecko.

The OPs SIL has made her decision. Please respect it. <sigh>

Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 14:50:36

Can't she Bf for a few weeks then gradually introduce formula? Easier & baby gets the colostrum, the correct volume of milk for him/her, at the right temp, etc. I've never understood why a mother would feed her baby breast milk substitute from birth & not the real stuff. Each to their own I guess. <sighs>

You've never ff I take it, so why's your sil asking you, doesn't she know anyone who's ff their newborn? who could better advise her.

wigglesrock Germany Sat 04-May-13 14:30:04

The hospital will have the Bottle Feeding leaflet - I have formula fed all 3 of my dds from birth and have always had a wee run through of everything before leaving hospital.

All my kids were fed on demand and also cluster fed which I know took some friends that were ffing by surprise.

The little glass bottles and disposable tests that my hospital used were a god send for the first week and are available in Asda, Boots, Tescos.

If she's not breastfeeding at all - she'll need to be prepared for her milk coming in - keep a good bra on, take a decent painkiller and don't touch the breasts at all - I didn't even let water from the shower touch mine and the pain only lasted a day or so.

Her community midwife will go over this with her and if she doesn't ask her to.

TheDetective Sat 04-May-13 13:46:44

Are you referring to me whatsoever? confused

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Sat 04-May-13 09:04:14

Ff is easy peasy. I made about 3 feeds up in advance, chill quickly, fridge, then bang in microwave when needed. Ive done both ff and bf and didn't find eit her way easier tbh

whatsoever Sat 04-May-13 09:01:15

I hate how when anyone shares how they pragmatically manage something like formula feeding, someone always jumps on it and tries to close down the discussion by quoting the guidelines as if they are an immovable beast. Same thing always happens with the SIDS guidelines about sleeping in the same room. sad

TheDetective Fri 03-May-13 23:14:23

Bird get your sister to read that leaflet online as soon as she is home. She will quite likely be given it on discharge from hospital though.

Also, if she has any questions her midwife should be able to answer them either before discharge or on her first visit the next day. I do appreciate though that it isn't easy to get correct advice, even from health professionals.

TheDetective Fri 03-May-13 23:12:10

Starlight The guidance does discuss this:

'A feed should be freshly made up when it is needed to reduce the risk of infection that can make your baby ill. If you have no choice and need to store a feed, it should always be stored at the back of the fridge and for no longer than 24 hours.'

That is from the DOH guidance leaflet published. smile

FWIW we make up and store the milk, but our baby was so unpredictable with feeding, we needed to have them ready. He is finally in more of a routine at over 5 months, so we probably could make them fresh if we wanted now.

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