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?

naty1 Wed 05-Feb-14 08:47:58

I had the same where she slept really well for a few weeks then started waking again. I wonder if it was just too soon to drop night feeds and supply dropped

jellyandcake Wed 05-Feb-14 02:27:27

Am remembering the early weeks bfing ds1 and starting to feel a bit panicky. The cluster feeding through the night in the early weeks was so horrendous, however, I could sleep through the day...how will I manage this time with a 3yo? I don't understand how co-sleeping works - the advice is no duvet or pillow so how do you get comfortable and warm enough to sleep yourself even if baby does?

Going back to the OP - my baby never needed winding, it all came out the other end! Mw said that's very common for bf babies. Bfing for me 'clicked' ie became easy at about 8 weeks and it was so, so easy. I was so happy I stuck with it because it gave me so much freedom, never having to sterilize anything or pack up bottles in advance of going out. Also a big money saver! It was very hard 2 weeks in - the night before dh went back to work I didn't sleep at all as baby fed literally all night without a break. I cried all the next day! It got better. I am very apprehensive about going through this with a toddler to look after but it was definitely worth it and it calms down a lot.

My son was sleeping long stretches through the night at 8 weeks. He started doing 10hrs a night about 10 weeks in (and then it all went to shit in the 4month sleep regression, which hit at more like 3.5 months). It can and does happen with bf babies.

qumquat Wed 05-Feb-14 01:21:45

Thank you. Yes latch is bad but no joy so far in getting a deeper latch. I've been to lots of bf cafés where I'm shown latching techniques but just can't make it work. Am giving a few bottles now to save my sanity. Although I know you shouldn't I feel like such a failure.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 03-Feb-14 16:57:07

At four weeks you may have breastfed long enough for your supply not to be negatively affected by mixed feeding. Give it a go. You could express of use formula. It is not poison! Plenty of people successfully mix feed. It can also lead to a reduction in supply, but only you can say if that's something you're happy with.

If it's still very painful at four weeks I'd suggest you get your latch checked. Is there a breastfeeding cafe near you? Are you covering yourself in Lansinoh after every feed? At about five weeks I realised I needed to get DD to latch deeper. Even now at 15 weeks I have to re-latch her regularly to get a pain free feed as she naturally seems to favour a shallow latch.

Oly4 Mon 03-Feb-14 14:17:58

Qumquat, the situation you're in doesn't sound good for anybody. I also cried my way through breastfeeding. Formula feeding saved my sanity. If you really want to continue bf is there anybody can help? Can you express and get somebody else to give your baby a bottle? If you do switch to formula, don't feel guilty. My children are thriving on the stuff! Maybe try mixed feeding first? Yes your supply will drop for those feeds you replace with a bottle but I know plenty of people who've mixed fed for months with success. Do what you feel is right xxx

qumquat Mon 03-Feb-14 13:15:34

Thanks for your post ditsy gal. I'm so desperate to stop bfp but feel so guilty. But I cry every time dd wakes up I'm dreading feeding so much, and that can't be good for her either. All she sees is me crying. I wonder if I switch to formula she might occasionally see me smile.

ditsygal Mon 03-Feb-14 10:31:28

I breastfed for about 4 weeks, then did a couple of weeks of expressing and feeding bm in a bottle. I have to say breast feeding nearly killed me - I got all the help I could find, but I had a little lump on my nipple to start with and I think this always was a problem as it started to bleed early on, eventually as my baby fed almost constantly my other nipple got cracked and bleeding too. I was in agony and crying all the time. Expressing was less painful but meant I seemed to get even less sleep as I had to feed him then express when I put him down.
Eventually I switched to formula - and for us it really was a godsend and saved my physical and mental health. I wish I had taken to breastfeeding better, but it didn't work out and I'm not going to beat my self up about it.
Do what is right for you. If I have a second baby, I will mix feed from early on to see if this helps me breastfeed for longer, and if it doesn't work out I'll switch fully to formula. It really isn't the end of the world. A happy mummy is the most important thing for a baby.

qumquat Mon 03-Feb-14 10:24:01

When do babies tend to stop needing to cluster feed? Dd is nearly 4 weeks and it's killing me. A bit of washing up of formula bottles seems infinitely preferable to constant pain and no sleep to me, but trying to get to 6 weeks.

PamRavenscroft Mon 03-Feb-14 01:47:12

I tried that danny, but it didn't make any difference. I just saw the child health nurse & she was happy with dd's weight gain & said to keep an eye on her nappies to make sure she's getting everything she needs. She said it sounds like she's a very efficient feeder but does need to suck, she suggested trying a dummy. So we'll try that @ see how we go. Glad I didn't bother with infacol!

MrChow Sun 02-Feb-14 21:45:49

Infacol study link here. infacol study

dannydyerismydad Sun 02-Feb-14 14:43:24

Pam, it sounds like you may have oversupply or a fast let down. Have you tried feeding in the biological nurturing or "laid back breastfeeding" position? Your little one may find it more comfortable with gravity helping to control the flow.

naty1 Sun 02-Feb-14 09:30:46

We used infacol and it does make them burp. But now she is allergic to soya and im just wondering.. As the only food before 6m

PamRavenscroft Sun 02-Feb-14 03:42:26

Really glad I found this thread - I'm ebf dd2 (4 weeks) & finding it really hard. I bf dd1 till she was 1 with no real problems, but this time around it is proving to be far more challenging. She feeds a little, then starts squirming, goes red in the face, cries & fusses. She is full of wind but even once I've brought it up she is desperate to get back on and suck but as soon as the milk starts flowing she pulls off & claws at me & herself, bobs on and off & cries. It's very distressing for both of us! I've been to a bf support clinic & while I agree with them that she looks hungry when all this happens, i don't think she is. Her weight gain is great, as are here wee & poo output. I think she's getting what she needs early on in the feed & then she's too full for anymore but still has an urge to suck. We introduced a dummy a couple of days ago & so far so good but I'm quite paranoid about whether its going to muck everything up, so it's good to hear that it didn't ruin bf'ing for many of you.
Sorry for the long post, OP I genuinely think at 9 days I would give it a bit longer for things to settle down on their own, ff at night this early could affect your supply & it can be hard to go back. Even a dummy I would try to hold off a bit longer. I co-slept with my first and swore I wouldn't do it again as we never got rid of her but I'm so shattered I've ended up doing it again - it's also really nice to have some calm cuddle time when she's not screaming at my boob.
Good luck, don't feel guilty if you do decide to introduce formula, but do be prepared that it might not be something you can go back on down the track. You're doing a great job & it's brilliant that you're giving bf'ing such a good go & thinking through all your options properly.

MrChow Sun 02-Feb-14 00:28:30

I think there was a recent study that showed infacol does diddly squat.

harverina Sat 01-Feb-14 21:44:15

Trying I feel the same at times but it does get easier - feeds become quicker and sometimes less frequent. For me dd2 feeds less when we go out so I try and make plans like play dates, trips to soft play etc as it means dd1, who is 3, gets plenty of time to play.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 01-Feb-14 20:30:40

At three weeks old DS was still only wanting to sleep on us and was formula fed and feeding every two hours night and day. It's not a magic cure, it just takes time.

We bought a slumber bear, it was the only thing to settle DS in his cot. Babies take a while to learn what night and day is too. It all sounds normal to me.

Oly4 Sat 01-Feb-14 19:31:34

I wish I had found it easy, I was always so jealous of anyone who did. For me it was an exceptionally difficult, emotionally draining experience. The switch to formula was a relief. Again, I'm not anti breastfeeding at all, I wish it had worked. But every mum needs to do what she thinks is best for her family. Good luck to everyone! X

atthestrokeoftwelve Sat 01-Feb-14 17:19:06

Oly4 that's interesting. I found breastfeeding so easy, especially with an older child around.

Oly4 Sat 01-Feb-14 17:08:24

I breastfeed for 9 weeks and switched to formula for various reasons. i found it FAR easier to bottle feed and sterilise etc than to breastfeed. I'm not anti breastfeeding, this is just my experience. My son is never ill and is thriving. Good luck op with whatever you do

AnythingNotEverything Sat 01-Feb-14 16:47:37

Trying - you might be best to start anew thread, but only you known of formula will help. My gut feeling would be that formula would take you away from the older one more through warming up and washing etc.

You've bf before so know it gets easier in leaps and bounds. How about a special box of toys or books especially for when you're feeding the little one? How about a bit more tv time than usual?

Tryingmybest123 Sat 01-Feb-14 14:00:33

In a similar situation. Have a toddler and a 15 day old. Seem to breastfeed 24 hours a day! Am getting about two hours max a night. Shall I switch to formula? I fed the first one to nine months, do feel guilty. Nine days is early and it is worth persevering. I Am only considering the switch because I cannot spend time with my eldest.

JustLetMeSleep Sat 01-Feb-14 08:55:47

Have you tried giving him infacol or another colic relief medicine? You give a squirt of infacol before feeding and it helps them burp after. It helped both of mine, and DD1 was like your DS, sucking and then screaming.

You could also try the NCT breastfeeding helpline - I really despaired with DD1, it was just feed feed feed scream scream scream and the person I talked to had suggestions that made a big difference. On her advice we did give her a dummy and also started swaddling, which helped her to settle a lot. She really needed to suck to get to sleep and I found it really unbearable to be feeding her for so long. She never had problems with the dummy and nipple confusion luckily. I was very careful about watching if her latch or anything changed and was going to take the dummy away if it did to try to avoid it but for us it was just not working without that. I don't know about formula so young but I'd try other things first. Have you tried feeding him wrapped in a blanket so that when you transfer him it's warm already? Or wrapping him in a t shirt you've worn so he can still smell you? That worked for a friend of mine.

With DD2 she wouldn't take a dummy, hated swaddling, wouldn't go in the cot or basket but just about managed to be in bed with me at night (but only slept on us in the day). I just had to make it as safe as possible for her and accept it. You only need one solution, and right now it doesn't have to be a cot or Moses basket. I hope you can find something that works better for you. It will change quickly, but those early days are extremely hard, I know.

MissRatty Sat 01-Feb-14 03:38:47

We had this too at 9 days...there are a LOT of growth spurts in the first few weeks. I was at my wits end. I did get some help from a breastfeeding group run by the NHS, help with my technique which helped my LO feed more effectively ( he had quite a shallow latch). It does get better. My DH was giving bm top ups and one bm feed at night via bottle which helped me sleep for a few hours, but that is a choice we made x

harverina Thu 30-Jan-14 23:36:37

At 9 days it is normal for your baby to feed frequently. That doesn't make it any easier, but be assured that what you are experiencing is not unusual and the only way to get through it is to rest when your baby is sleeping or happy being held by someone else.

Is formula the answer? Well of course it means that someone else can feed your baby instead of you, so you could maybe get some more rest. It doesn't necessarily mean that your baby will sleep any better though.

Ultimately it really depends on whether or not you really want to keep breastfeeding. Cluster feeding is natural as is wanting to be held constantly. I recently posted on here when my, now 3 month old, newborn baby was cluster feeding overnight for 8 hours at a time. It was exhausting. At the time it's hard to see how you can keep going, but you do and in a few weeks things will be much easier.

Hope you have managed to get some more rest - honestly it does get better grin

intheround Thu 30-Jan-14 19:35:04

Also, as a mum, I think get to know when your baby is hungry and when he is comfort sucking.

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