Is formula really the magical solution I think it will be?

(108 Posts)
Slh122 Thu 30-Jan-14 06:01:21

I have a 9 day old baby and I'm getting about 2-3 hours sleep on a night.
He settles fine in his Moses basket during the day, feeds every 2-3 hours.
He goes to bed when we go to bed about 11.30 pm then wakes up around 2.
He then feeds constantly till around 7 or 8 am. If he falls asleep on my boob I lay him in his Moses basket and he screams and starts rooting until I feed him again. Repeat constantly.
I can't do it anymore. I feel like leaving him in his crib to cry.
A few people have told me their baby slept longer on formula. Is it true?

ReticulatingSplines Thu 30-Jan-14 08:05:22

Don't wind him! And try to feed in a position that when he delatches you don't need to move him and disturb him.

He's come from an environment where he gets sustenance constantly so it takes a while to adjust.

AnythingNotEverything Thu 30-Jan-14 08:08:30

One cannot disagree with the benefit that someone else can do a formula feed, but the independent ISIS sleep study reports that breastfeeding mums get more sleep than formula feeding mums, even though they feed more often. The sleeping more on formula thing appears to be a myth.

You've had some great advice up thread. It won't always be like this. Your tiny baby still has no idea about the difference between night and day bid you keep it dark at night and bright during the day he should crack this in a couple of weeks.

DD is 14 weeks and I look back on the early days as putting the work in for the reward of super easy feeding later on. It's tough, but get all the rest you can, whenever you can.

Everything else can wait. It helped me a lot to recognise that my only job in the first few weeks was to feed the baby. And eat cake. But mostly feed the baby.

Congratulations.

ChazzerChaser Thu 30-Jan-14 08:09:40

I fed lying down and bed shared. He fed, we both drifted off and slept. He'd relatch as and when and I'd stir and doze. I've never winded him as it looked like it would wake him. And I took him to a cranial osteopath as soon as we were out of hospital, he had tricky birth and spell in neonatal unit. Take what is useful from that - all babies are different. And congratulations and hope it goes well.

BetterWithCheese Thu 30-Jan-14 08:17:54

Slh my DD is 4 weeks old and was just like this at the start up from 2-7 feeding. I can't remember when it changed but probably when she was 2 weeks old she started going 12-4 then resettle and asleep until 7.30. It is so hard at the start then it gets better bit by bit with some steps backwards a well. Can you hand off baby now for a bit of sleep?

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 30-Jan-14 08:27:36

Fairylea- I'm sorry but that is very poor advice.

"(And also you can give a good bottle feed, know they've had a lot to feed and then give a dummy not worrying about supply and demand or whatever whatever else..... "

For a mother with a newborn who wants to continue breastfeeding then this is about the worst advice she could have.
It's clear you know nothing about how breastfeeding works.

Fairylea Thu 30-Jan-14 08:34:05

At the stroke- if you read my post I am talking about IF the op switches to formula feeding - not if she continues with breastfeeding and gives a bottle. Two very different things.

And I know all about how breastfeeding works. Trust me. I suffered severe pnd because of trying to do it and stick to the guidelines.

If you exclusively formula feed you can give a dummy and it obviously doesn't interfere with supply and demand as it would with breastfeeding - that was my point. Perhaps I wasn't clear.

Superworm Thu 30-Jan-14 08:35:14

Fairy I think you were lucky they slept through so early. Most don't and many need night feeds for much, much longer.

That usually involves getting at least once, usually more times a night to make a bottle, hence why BFing mums get more sleep. It's a lot less disruptive.

Coveredinweetabix Thu 30-Jan-14 08:40:24

OP DC1 was just like this and it took her a good three weeks to sort out day & night. I remember posting on here in despair! For a few nights, I went to bed as soon as she finished the feed she wss having around 6pm and then feed her in bed around 10 and then midnight & 2 and then get up & come downstairs with her, put on a DVD and watch that whilst she slept/fed & then go to bed again for a few more hours around 5am. Some how, it was less soul destroying being downstairs than it was in bed. Of course, this can only really be an option with DC1!
FWIW, DD had a massive feeding frenzy when she was 23 days (fed every hour, often for 40-50 minutes, something which really tested my sanity!) and after that cluster fed every evening between about 6pm and 10pm but did then last at least three if not four hours at night which was heaven (although, now that she's 4yrs) sounds like hell!
If you can just hunker down with the TV controls, drinks & plenty of foodfor a few days and ride it out.
Good luck.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 30-Jan-14 08:41:21

Fairy the use of a dummy can interfere with formula feeding too.

If some of a baby's time is spend on the fruitless suckling of a dummy then they can be less inclined to feed milk- whether formula or breast.

One of the things to keep an eye on is a baby's weight if you decide to introduce a dummy- irrespective of feeding method.
The younger the baby the more the risk.

You were lucky that your baby was unaffected by the use of the dummy- but please don'y aassume that applies to all babies.

Neetalu Thu 30-Jan-14 08:45:34

Hi, my lo is now 11weeks old is I remember my little one was the same.

It was horrendous. I remember one weekend we did pretty much a full 36hour stint....exhausting. We ended up back in hospital so I could sleep and then feed my baby whilst having our every latched checked by midwives.

I ended up cosleeping for the first 6 weeks with my boob pretty much stuck in des mouth 24/7 ans used lots of lansinoh in between.

My biggest light bulb moment was learning to accept this is temporarily how it's going to be so just to hunker down. I moved from bed to settee with all essentials and entertainment at arms length and forgot about anything else.

It was difficult and everyday I wanted to switch completely to formula ( I also got very cracked nipples and a painful deep tissue infection) because I dreaded and feared every feed but it slowly got better. Week by week it did.

Now I'm starting to enjoy feeds and starting to enjoy my lo. I'm wanting to carry on to 6months but if I don't it doesn't matter my daughter will still be fed. I give one small bottle of formula night that my partner does whilst I make tea then I follow. With the boob for the rest of the time she's bf. we introduced that at 9 weeks.

Seek lots of support of bf groups, HV, family and friends.

And do not put pressure on yourself or let anyone put pressure on. There's a big bf guilt brigade out there but don't fall victim to them.

All the best x

Fairylea Thu 30-Jan-14 08:48:42

Most babies unless severely underweight or with medical issues will let you know when they are genuinely hungry and will refuse a dummy - but yes of course you have to be vigilant and always offer a feed if a baby seems unsettled. Mine fed every 2 hours for the first few weeks and I fully accept I was probably just lucky that they both slept through so early, I'm just sharing my experiences.

Offering a formula feed at night is easy - you can use ready made cartons and just pop into a sterilised bottle - you can even buy prepared sterile bottles now like the ones hospitals have.

Formula feeding is more expensive. But I wanted to post to show that for some people there are benefits to formula feeding.

Neetalu Thu 30-Jan-14 08:57:54

Ps sorry for all the typos the keyboard is very small and bloody predictive text!

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 30-Jan-14 08:58:11

slh122 I know it's a struggle atm. You may want to give one of the breastfeeding organisations a ring- La Leche League are fantasic and very knowledgeable. Their phone lines are open 24/7 and wiil provide practical and emotional support and are happy just to have a chat when things seem tough.

It's your choice whether to give formula or not- do be aware however that introducing formula at such an early stage may see a downward spiral of your milk supply, necessitating more formula whch again will impact your supply.

The introduction of formula at such an early styage is one of the main reasons women stop breastfeeding within the first few weeks.

I don't want to impinge upon your choices- just a heads up- I don't know how important breastfeeding is to you.

Formula is rarely the answer to make breastfeeding easier.

Overcooked Thu 30-Jan-14 10:49:33

atthe please link to your studies showing that firstly nipple confusion has to be shown to exist and secondly that it can cause babies to feed less and lose weight.

I have two friends that are BF counsellors and both used dummies.

Surely this is better than giving up all together if the OP has a sucky baby!

Slh122 Thu 30-Jan-14 11:01:18

Thanks everyone for the advice. We've just slept for about 4 hours then he's had a feed and he's back asleep again now so will try get some more sleep.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 30-Jan-14 11:57:06

I have know hundreds of babies who have nipple confusion.

https://www.llli.org/nb/nbnippleconfusion.html
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a8491/what-is-nipple-confusion
http://www.evidence.nhs.uk/search?q=nipple%20confusion
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/breastfeeding/common-problems/nipple-confusion

Lj8893 Thu 30-Jan-14 12:06:13

I'm with fairylea. I switched to ff at about day 5, and instantly it was like I had a different baby. Thinking about it now though, I think had problems with my supply as dd had lost a lot of weight, and for the first 12 hours of her life was on a drip so we couldn't bf straight away.

I did feel extremely guilty at first, but now I think ff was the best thing I did for my baby and for myself.
She's 3 months old now and sleeps through 8pm to 8am. (I know that may be coincidence)

Purely anecdotal, but I used a dummy with one baby, the next wouldn't take it at all. Bleeding nipples both times. I found the dummy gave me a welcome break and ds clearly enjoyed it while making massive weight gains. I would have probably given up without its help. The other thing you could try is giving some expressed milk as a top up feed. Or when you have really had enough, give baby to your oh to walk around in pram or sling till they settle. My dh has been known to walk the streets in the very early hours when I have been at my wits end! Not a long term solution but a lifesaver at the time. Hang in there.

Purely anecdotal, but I used a dummy with one baby, the next wouldn't take it at all. Bleeding nipples both times. I found the dummy gave me a welcome break and ds clearly enjoyed it while making massive weight gains. I would have probably given up without its help. The other thing you could try is giving some expressed milk as a top up feed. Or when you have really had enough, give baby to your oh to walk around in pram or sling till they settle. My dh has been known to walk the streets in the very early hours when I have been at my wits end! Not a long term solution but a lifesaver at the time. Hang in there.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 30-Jan-14 12:24:43

Lj8893 Fine. God for you. If you don't rate breastfeeding and fall at the first hurdle then that's simply your choice.
Some mothers think breastfeeding is worth persevering for.

Wingdingdong Thu 30-Jan-14 12:25:02

Sounds completely normal to me too, which is probably not what you want to hear. I still have the feeding diary I showed to the HV at the 10-day check-up, thinking there was something seriously wrong. It's along the lines of 45 mins feeding, 23 min break, hour on, 30 min break, 25 mins feeding, 5 mins off... The HV laughed and told me that it was perfectly normal but would settle down around 2 or 3 weeks in. She was right, it did, and exactly the same thing happened with DC2.

Hang on in there.

Oh and formula - yes you might get slightly more of a break as formula takes longer to digest, but you're more likely to be dealing with constipation at this stage and you'll also be spending that break time washing and sterilising bottles and making up formula. Heads you win, tails you lose. No easy answers with a newborn, apart from snatching every minute of sleep you can and making the most of other people's goodwill, because it all disappears around the 6-week mark when you just have to get on with it! Good luck, it will get better and quite quickly, even though it doesn't feel that way when you're sleep-deprived.

TarkaTheOtter Thu 30-Jan-14 12:25:38

OP a 4hr stretch at 9/10 days is brilliant. My 4 week old ds is still only doing 2hr stretches and that's in bed with me!

9/10 days is growth spurt time. They feed and feed but it increases your supply so you can meet their growing needs. This means that if you introduce a bottle you could end up not being able to supply enough if you wanted to return to ebf. I always found with dd that she started sleeping a longer stretch after each growth spurt as her tummy was bigger. She too could sleep 7-7 without a feed at 12 weeks and she never took a bottle.

Fairylea Thu 30-Jan-14 12:28:37

Atthestoke - you're being very rude to suggest someone "falls at the first hurdle" just because they decide not to breastfeed. You have no idea of the thought processes and experiences that go into making a decision to formula feed.

Personally I do rate breastfeeding but I chose to formula feed because of a myriad of reasons, none of which I have to justify to anyone else.

I hope the op feeds however she wants to and gets the support she needs to do so, whether that is breastfeeding or formula feeding.

Lj8893 Thu 30-Jan-14 12:29:19

strokeoftwelve its attitudes like yours that made me extremely guilty!!!! I wasent suggesting everyone who struggles with bf to switch to ff, was just sharing my positive experience of ff.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 30-Jan-14 12:30:14

Fairylea- " You have no idea of the thought processes and experiences that go into making a decision to formula feed"

I know a great deal of the challenges that breastfeeding can bring.

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