Successful breast feeding with bedtime bottle?

(7 Posts)
fluffandnonsense Sat 01-Mar-14 17:36:04

Has anyone successfully carried on breastfeeding whilst giving a bedtime bottle of formula? My DD is 7 weeks on Tuesday and feeds pretty much all night long, she starts cluster feeding from around 4pm with little or no break until 4am when I give up and give her to my OH with a bottle of expressed milk. The longest she goes down for is about 1.5 hours and only once a night and in her swing not the moss basket as she wakes. I'm totally drained and getting increasingly stressed with her nighttime antics. It's been going on for around 3 weeks now hmm

At the moment she's been having EBM at between 4-5 am in the morning but I'm thinking of trying formula at around midnight to see if it settles her for longer periods in the middle of the night. But I'm worried about introducing formula on a regular basis as I don't want it to affect breastfeeding. Any advice or similar experiences?

MorganLeFey Sat 01-Mar-14 20:06:00

Yep. We topped up with formula Day 2 (still in hospital) as various concerns & never really made it completely off formula so had x1 bedtime bottle a day till about 5 months I think then added in another bottle in the afternoon. After 6 months having a bit more formula in with breakfast/food as weaning but still BFing alongside the 2 bottles at 10 months.

By 7 weeks your supply is probably more established... but I think it can be a 'slipery slope' in that once you start a bottle you might start getting paranoid with every unsettled moment your supply is dipped, perhaps she needs formula, 'just one more' bottle etc. & you're already over the psychological hurdle (if there is one for you!) of giving a bottle/formula. So it might make the length of time you BF for shorter but then also it might be the thing to stop you from giving up completely? Hard to tell - I feel like I've needed to be a bit bloodyminded to keep going! smile

Chocolateteabag Sun 02-Mar-14 03:19:19

I gave DS1 a formula bottle at 10.30-11pm from 8 weeks, had given him expressed milk at this feed from 3 weeks. Fed him to 6months like this

Ds2 has started an ff bottle at 8 weeks (now 10 weeks) at the same time.

I am giving ff as I find expressing vv draining and too hard to do every day with a toddler as well. Doing one bottle of ff at same feed time each day to try to keep supply regular at the rest of the time

Chocolateteabag Sun 02-Mar-14 03:22:12

But doesn't settle them for any longer - gives you a break though!

Tommy Tippee closer to nature bottles seem to be the best judging by threads on here, ds2 flatly refused Avent but took TT at 8 weeks.

NormHonal Sun 02-Mar-14 04:24:49

My experience with DC2 was almost the same as ChocolateTeabag. We started giving expressed and then ff bottle (also Closer to Nature bottles) from early on, one a day at bedtime.

It didn't settle him for any longer, but gave me a break, and also meant I could have the (very) occasional night out or soak in the bath or early night whilst DH took over.

It didn't affect breastfeeding for us, and I carried on to 15mo.

But please don't expect ff to be your magic answer. I have two DCs who are bad sleepers (hence on MN at 4.20am after 2.5yo DC2 woke up - and this is a good night) and have tried all sorts. It will be worth a try thought if you are feeling this way, just so you can get a break.

Good luck. It does get easier!

Frenchsticker Tue 04-Mar-14 22:42:22

Yes. DD and I struggled with bf at first and she wasn't putting on enough weight so I always gave a bottle at bedtime. You will hear scare stories about bottle feeding damaging your supply but I really don't believe that. Some days I would give her 3 bottles a day if I thought she wasn't getting enough bf, some days I would just give 1. It had no effect on my supply at all. In fact my supply increased as the months went by - I do wonder if getting more sleep and eating better as a result of the bottle breaks had a positive effect.

But... if DD is waking a lot because she's actually hungry, then filling her up with a bottle will make her sleep longer. But she could just be one of those babies who wakes a lot so as someone else said you shouldn't bank on it being a magic bullet. I hope it is for you though. And the best thing about a bedtime bottle is that you can go to bed for a few hours while DH does the feed smile

Worked for us. Started giving her a bottle of formula as a dreamfeed at 10.30pm from 5 weeks, and bfed the rest of the time. Didn't affect my supply at all.

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