Pros/cons of using some formula once EBF is weaning (8m+)(19 Posts)
My baby was EBF before I started weaning her at 6m, and I have never used formula. I express milk for her when I need to be away from her and she happily takes a bottle.
She is now a very enthusiastic eater of solids and has cut down her BF to maybe 4 a day (plus overnight feeds, which is partly comfort - a separate issue). I've never felt like I needed/wanted to stop BF (although the night feeding is draining) and have kind of assumed I will just carry on as long as she wants, but I am now encountering the expectation from others that I would be wanting to stop sometime soon.
Some people have suggested that I start using some formula now, so that I can ease up on the pumping and it's easier to feed her now i am back at work PT, but I still find myself very resistant to the idea of formula. I'm not sure why, since my baby is eating all sorts of food now, and it would probably make my life easier. I suppose I'd just appreciate some help thinking through the issue and working out where my resistance to the idea comes from and whether it is justified.
For me, I'm not entirely sure it's necessary while you're still bf. I've not found any sources online I'm happy with that can advise how much bm my DD should be having now she's 10 months, and the HV has just said she'll take what she needs
Do you want to stop bf or are you talking about supplementing?
No I guess I'm talking about supplementing, eg giving an occasional formula feed when I don't have enough milk pumped and someone else is caring for her. I think I had quite a purist attitude to it (exclusively BF) when she was little, but I am not sure how much that matters now she is eating a range of food.
Other people's expectations should NOT impact on your decision!
Your BF experience is just that, yours and your daughters of course.
FWIW I introduced formula at about this time. Previously, DS had a bottle of expressed milk at least once a day with his father. However, once weaning was established pumping was causing me more stress than it was worth, so when the frozen supply was used up, we used formula instead.
But only because it worked for us. DS and I stopped BF a couple of weeks ago around 18mo
I figured if I managed to get to 6 months with a mammoth effort and not using formula, why on earth would I bother buying bottles and paraphernalia and learn how to make it up and all that jazz when I got to the easy stage.
So I didn't. Neither of my two ever had formula. I'm too lazy. Once they get older they can miss feeds or delay feeds anyway by being given food.
DS has always been breastfed. I tried formula at around 8-9 months but it was such a faff and he didn't like it really so I gave up trying and tbh from this age onwards the feeds reduce anyway, so it gets easier.
DS went down to a morning and evening feed per day from about a year. He still has a morning feed at 2.5 years and it's a lovely way to start the day.
With 2 DCs now I don't have time to express, also have issues of oversupply so adding in extra expressing causes issues.
I'm going back to work in a month and don't want to pump at work do need to get adjusted to having a bottle feed during the day so I don't get engorgement issues when I'm at work.
I do want to keep BF though so will hopefully keep morning, evening and night feeds.
I'm of the opinion you do what's right for you and your baby - other people's opinion is just that, you will know what works best fir you.
We've just dropped to morning and bedtime feeds at 10 months, led totally by DD. She eats amazingly well and isn't keen on formula or bottles so I'm not pushing extra feeds. I think you can relax a little about volume at this age. The levels recommended for ff babies aren't relevant for bf babies I think.
If it's for when you aren't there, then I can't see any negatives really. It's not going to do any harm or impact her health.
Considering the same here. We will have formula in the house to use if needed and try and consider it like a food supplement - it's cows milk + vitamins and minerals, isn't it?
DD is 21 months and stopped BF at 20 months. She's never had formula in that time and wouldn't take a bottle so hasn't had expressed either apart from when I tried to get her to take a bottle originally.
I went back to work PT at 9 months and she just had a feed before and a feed when I picked her up then a bedtime feed. She just had extra yogurt/cheese/porridge etc and drank water when in childcare
Worth noting that post 6 months if your child isn't having at least 500ml of formula a day (whether because bfing or otherwise) you should be giving a vitamin supplement.
I went back to work FT when DS1 was eight months old - he was a bottle/cup refuser so never had formula or
the gallons of expressed milk I had stockpiled for months either, just extra yoghurts and expressed milk added to porridge at nursery to make up the calories. I don't see the point in spending any money on formula now, especially since you're only going to be working PT.
I went back to work 3dpw when mine were 6m old. I gave formula when they were at nursery once expressing at work seemed too much hassle, which was 6 weeks after returning to work for DD. They continued to have BM otherwise until 14m. Having realised it was actually more hassle to prepare bottles, I expressed for 3 months for DS until a ridiculously busy period at work (combined with having to go to another building to express) made it too difficult. So my advice is stick with expressing if you can and want to but if it becomes too difficult then perfectly OK to use some formula. But definitely do what you want not what others think you should do.
My ds is 10 months and has been bf. I don't express well (typically get 60-80 ml after 20 min) and I hate it, so he gets formula when he needs milk and is away from me. Now that I'm going back to work and he's not night feeding, he will be getting formula 2 or 3 times per day. If he had self weaned and dropped those feeds I wouldn't mind, but because he still demands and wants those feeds, and still eats his meals, I'm not comfortable dropping them.
Just a quick note on the practicalities to say that my nearly 6 month old isn't keen on bottles but can feed himself with a sippy cup which is less fiddly to sterilise than the bottles, though for powdered formula you would still need a sterilised bottle or something with a lid to make it up as you need to shake it. You could use ready made with a sippy cup though.
I stopped sterilising at 6 months
This is all v helpful experience, thank you.
I am not feeling under pressure from any quarters to start giving formula or give up BF, I just thought it was interesting to observe that post 6m there seems to be a general assumption/attitude around that BF might be phased out, and more of an acceptance of formula. I think it was very easy to decide on a position on it all early days (BM only til 6m, and I was lucky enough to be able to carry this out) but post 6m/during weaning it all seems a bit more flexible and there is less advice about.
I suppose one way of thinking about it is that post-introduction of solids, formula is just another complementary food to breastmilk, should you have to give the odd bottle while at work or whatever.
On the other hand, I personally found BF so much easier post 6 months both times (feeds reduced a lot) and I didn't have any expressing issues (only needed to do it once a day when I went back to work initially, then didn't express at all), I never really needed to introduce it.
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