Problems introducing formula?(20 Posts)
DS is 15w and ebf. He is happy to take a bottle of ebm too. I'm struggling to find the time to express however, and am also going back to work in three/four months. With this in mind, I am hoping to start gradually introducing formula for daytime feeds - am hoping to still bf for first and last feed of day if possible. From what I've read I believe it's best to replace one of the daily feeds at a time, for a week, to give my body time to adjust?
As DS has never had formula I'd started 'softly softly' by offering an oz or so, followed by boob, to make sure he could tolerate it. Did this over a couple of days last week without any obvious issues, so yesterday replaced morning feed with bottle of formula. DS has been really unsettled ever since - fussing, irritable etc - and the dry skin on his tummy seems more 'pronounced' this morning iykwim. (I had eczema as a child which seemed to settle once I stopped drinking lots of milk - never formally dx'd as intolerance/allergy or sensitivity though)
I feel so guilty - was in tears last night. Problem is I don't know whether I'm attributing unrelated stuff to the formula feed and overthinking. DH is of the view that it could be something different - he's also stuffing his hands in his mouth and dribbling a lot (?teething) and I know that there's a growth spurt around now too. He's suggested we need to try again to be sure but I feel like such a bad mummy if I am inflicting this on him with formula. Can't decide on the best way forward. Does anyone have any words of wisdom and experience?
Fwiw, the formula I tried was HIPP organic...
He's also slept a lot more the last couple of days, if that makes any difference?
If you're going back to work in 3 to 4 months, I am not sure why you are introducing formula now (or at all)?
Your ds will be 7 to 8 months old when you go back to work, presumably? At that point you will be well into weaning onto solid food, and your ds could probably go through the day in childcare with solid food/water (or some expressed milk, if you can express). You could breastfeed in the morning, after work and through the evening as normal.
Anyway, it could be a total coincidence that he was more unsettled after a full formula feed, or it could be directly related. Either way, it seems unnecessary for you to introduce formula now.
I went back full time when DD was 7 months. She was EBF and wouldn't take a bottle at all all. At the nursery I gave her a carton of formula (cow &gate) a day and she drank it from a NUK bottle (but self feeding in a seating position). She thought it was part of being a big girl and eating. And she basically stopped drinking the formula around 10mo. She was bf morning and night until 18mo.
They change so much so quickly in the first year. Just because he might be slightly allergic to formula now doesn't mean he will be when 6mo. Just like they aren't supposed to have wheat or meat etc beofre 6mo.
Stop worrying and it probably will all work out fine.
Ofc I have the choice taken out of my hand given she's a bottle refuser. I was really worried but in the end it all worked out. I wish I didn't struggle with the bottle so much and just enjoy my maternity leave more.
Thank you both. DS is my second child but tbh I'd forgotten how much milk they would need at 7-8 months so it's good to hear that he may get away with bf am and pm and solids during the day, or that he may react less to formula once he's a bit older. Both might still be options but in re-reading my post Ive just realised I left out a significant issue Really sorry for the dripfeeding. Was quite upset when I posted (guilty about DS seeming so unhappy) - my only excuse. Can't believe I left this out!
The other reason why I'm looking at formula (other than return to work & struggling to keep up with expressing) is because I'm currently taking meds (for mh issues) which aren't working v well for me. There are other options but none are compatible with bf. So am trying to find some sort of balance. I'm loving bf - much to my amazement as really struggled with dd for lots of reasons - but also know that I'm struggling in other areas at the moment. There will, I think, come a point when DS may lose out in other ways if I continue to bf...
Herein, I think, lies the guilt.
Thanks again for your thoughts
Oh God, I'm being an incompetent poster today. Want to carry on with am and pm bf for as long as poss after introducing formula, but obvs if I change medication that will have to come to an end too eventually
So...it seems you need to persist with the formula.
Offer in small amounts and keep note - make sure you write down - any symptoms you see.
Then stop giving it for a week or more if you can, and keep note of whether anything improves
Your own history of allergy/eczema could be significant. Or your son was unsettled for other reasons... But the only way to find out is to test it, note the results and then try and look at it objectively after some time.
Are you eating dairy and is he otherwise ok? He may just be a little sensitive if he doesn't react to traces of dairy in your milk
Oh sorry to hear that you are having to take meds that can intervene with breast milk. I can understand why you are anxious to introduce formula in that case. Have you tried another brand of formula? Maybe that won't bring out the eczema.
I'm glad another poster posted. What she says make sense. And also if it's really bad, maybe you can see the doctor and they can prescribe those special formula?
Thanks again. Haven't cut out dairy whilst bf-ing and haven't seen any major issues (other than the dry skin on his tummy which has been there since he was born). It's a good idea to write down changes and 'track' how he is for a week with, and a week without - think I just need to bite the bullet re feeling like I'm 'experimenting' on DS.
If no luck, will chat with GP
The GP could easily subscribe you an allergy safe formula that you can try with your LO. Speak to the GP, just say you suspect cows milk protein allergy, and given your history, you would like them to subscribe neocate or aptamil pepti. The only thing is they apparently don't taste like normal formula so your LO might not like it, but it's always worth trying.
Rather than experimenting, try and see it as trial and error. We all have to do a bit of this, as babies are all different and don't come with instructions! They can't tell us anything so all we can go on is what we can observe, and if something doesn't seem to be working - try something else.
It is horrible to feel you are experimenting but unfortunately it is the only way. It sounds like he may just be a little sensitive and since you're now aware of it, you can stop if he has a bad reaction. Though fortunately it sounds mild so worth persisting so you can look after yourself - happy mummy is all important!!
Thank you again. Yes, I think I need to give it another go. Bracing myself for tomorrow! If no luck I'll chat with health visitor or GP
Well, Mon and Tues pretty ok - today's been awful. Can the effects 'build up' or do I just assume DS is having one of those days?
I've just been reading the complete guide to food allergies by a leading professor and I would highly recommend it.
He suggests that if you really can't see a difference with cutting out dairy from your diet but there is still something there, then you should introduce the special formula for 2 weeks and express in the mean time to keep up supply. If that helps baby then you know it is cows milk allergy, and then you can go back to BFing and that way your system has completely cleared of milk proteins too and baby's system has had a chance to rest too.
The chapter on colic is just fab.
Interesting ... I'm not sure I've got enough to go on yet though iykwim.
DS had totally normal days on M&T... It's only been today that he's been very tearful and unsettled. I think I may soldier on til the weekend as feel there's so many other poss explanations - 4m wonder week/growth spurt, teething, tiredness (he slept loads this afternoon) between crying fits) ...
Sorry - that sounded v dismissive. Thank you Artfine - I will bear it in mind and revisit if things continue in today's vein
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