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Feeding conundrum

(29 Posts)
mrsnlw Wed 16-Jul-14 20:05:37

So when we first found I was expecting, I was definitely formula feeding from birth. After some reading around and conversations with my MW (who has been very supportive whether I decide to BF or FF as she did both) I decided I would BF until my milk came in so baby got the goodness of colostrum etc. I then thought well I might aswell go for 6 weeks.

Anyway, after a chat with DH, we have bought some small ready made formula bottles "just in case" I/baby/both of us don't/cant BF.

Now on my various reads etc I read that often BF babies can feed more as BF is digested faster. I also read that if you intend to BF and FF together, that giving a FF too early can scupper BF and that baby can reject the bottle/nipple in favour of the other.

We have bought Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles as eventually, we will swap to FF completely.

So my question is... Has anyone successfully combined BF in the day and FF at night from birth? TIA

*~Please note I am not asking for opinions on which is best but asking if you have combine fed from birth and your experiences~*

LouisaJF Wed 16-Jul-14 20:10:09

I haven't done the combined feeding, but it is generally recommended to avoid giving a bottle until 4 weeks to avoid teat confusion.

You may find that it is a little bit of trial and error as every baby will respond differently.

fledermaus Wed 16-Jul-14 20:13:57

I'm going to do the opposite (FF in the day/BF at night) from about 5 months as I'm going back to work, and am hoping that my supply will be ok. I think it would be hard to do it from birth - I'd breastfeed for the first few weeks until your supply is established.

ChoudeBruxelles Wed 16-Jul-14 20:15:38

I started mixed feeding at about 5 weeks. I would express and dh would stay up to do 11pm feed so I could get a decent block of sleep. We gradually introduced formula and more ff and less bf.

Tbh bf at night was easier as there's no faffing about.

Shahsham Wed 16-Jul-14 20:16:39

There is a breastfeeding and bottle feeding topic (I think under being a parent) which has lots of knowledgeable posters (in case you dont get many answers here)

I cant really help as I ebf, although for medical reasons I had to only bottle feed DS for 48 hours when he was 9 days old and he switched from breast to bottle to breast no problem (unlike his older brother who never accepted a bottle!)

Shahsham Wed 16-Jul-14 20:17:07

Oh and congratulations on your pregnancy!

CountBapula Wed 16-Jul-14 20:19:03

I've never FF but from what I understand, night feeds are essential for establishing your supply, so it might be better to do it the other way round eventually. Also, I imagine BF is quicker and easier at night than FF, because you can just shove a boob in their face to make them go back to sleep rather than faffing with bottles etc.

kd73 Wed 16-Jul-14 20:23:41

If you ff at night you may struggle with your milk supply as your hormones are highest at night, also you won't feel the benefit of getting back to sleep with the breastfeeding hormones released as you feed.

SearchingforSleep Wed 16-Jul-14 20:38:51

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

I suspect you might find it tricky to get your supply established if you aren't feeding at night, even at the outset. Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis so if you have a large chunk of time overnight where your breasts aren't being 'emptied' your body will be sent the signal that milk isn't being taken and to slow down milk production. In the early days you really need to feed at regular intervals 24 hours a day and (unfortunately) especially at night because the hormones that control milk production (eg prolactin) are higher at night. If you were planning on breastfeeding long term, once your body is properly into the swing of making milk, it can be more flexible with longer gaps in the day or night.

Sorry that's probably not what you wanted to hear. hmm I'm not remotely trying to put you off though - by all means give it a go and every feed the baby gets from you will give them antibodies and lots of good stuff. smile

There's good evidence-based info on breastfeeding on kellymom.com which might help you if you wanted to do a bit more research before he/she arrives.

Sounds as though you have already done some research and are trying to avoid things that could damage your option to breastfeed which sounds great.

You could ask for your post to be moved to breast and bottle feeding as you might get some more responses.

Congratulations again and lots of luck with your new baby thanks

Sconeintheoven Wed 16-Jul-14 20:54:07

Yes, I combined breast feeding and formula feeding from the beginning. It worked really well for us.
The original plan was to exclusively breast feed but I simply couldn't produce enough milk - I tried everything I read about to get my milk supply up but to no avail. My dd was hungry. As soon as I introduced more formula she was a much happier baby.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Wed 16-Jul-14 20:55:36

Yes to, what Searching said. Unfortunately.

If you see every bf as a bonus that might not bother you. If you were set on bfing long term I would say it was a risky plan.

Also bear in mind that you personally might get very uncomfortable if you don't bf overnight. You might want to plan at least one overnight feed for that reason alone. smile

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Wed 16-Jul-14 20:56:27

Scone - did you split it day/night or another way?

Sconeintheoven Wed 16-Jul-14 21:11:04

Not day and night exactly. If I remember rightly, I did the just before bedtime at 6.30 and then 10/11pm both as formula feeds and the rest as breast feeding including through the night. I know that at about 4 months I switched the 2pm ish feed to formula too as my milk wasn't satisfying her. I carried on breast feeding at least 2 feeds a day until she was 9 months old.

Itsfab Wed 16-Jul-14 21:19:51

Breast feeding is demand and supply and ime much less faff than FF but it is much more important that your baby gets fed in a way that works for both of you and gives them what they need. The body is a clever thing and will get used to a routine fairly quickly I would think.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Wed 16-Jul-14 21:30:57

Scone - That's interesting. I have heard of people successfully doing it your way round from early on before.

Mrsnlw - I also don't really get the appeal of doing all the night feeds formula if you are bfing in the day? It's the night feeds that are more faff. As I mentioned, you'd probably also find you were up at least once in the night from discomfort, even if someone is offering to do all the night feeds for you if ff.

mrsnlw Wed 16-Jul-14 21:35:54

Its personal choice and as I said, I didn't want opinions on what is considered best... Just what people had experienced.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Wed 16-Jul-14 21:39:50

Yes, I'm not trying to convince you to do anything. Just that your plan is likely to be a difficult one to have work, so if you wanted to share your aims people might have suggestions about things they'd done that were likely to be easier. As Scones did.

Also, it's quite an unusual choice to mix feed this way round (I know quite a few people who have mixed fed by adding bottles at various points in daytime, but they have always done bf at night as they have said it is easier), so I was just chatting really in enquiring about why you wanted to do it that way. Obviously don't say if you don't want to. smile

theborrower Wed 16-Jul-14 22:07:42

A friend successfully breastfed her DC2 and gave a formula feed in the evening, but it was just one bottle around 11pm. She did this from week one, because she left introducing a bottle to DC1 quite late and the baby wouldn't take it. She had no issues with DC2.

mrsnlw Thu 17-Jul-14 16:57:15

Sorry for the short reply Penguin sometimes difficult to see the tone of messages. I would just like to give one bottle of FF in the first 6 weeks as theborrower did so to introduce bottle and formula to avoid rejection later on and also to perhaps minimise night feeds and to give me a break after bf all day.x

slightlyinsane Thu 17-Jul-14 19:17:06

I have mixed from day 1 with my twins and around day 5 ish for 2 of my others. Never had a problem with milk supply. I didn't have a specific feed for formula, it changed every day depending on what we were doing. The twins have been different in that from day 1 we had to top up after every bf. At 8 wks one has bf then top up the other ff then swap next feed. It was a faff doing bothto sstart but once I'd got into a routine it's fine. Oneof the common reasons you will be told to wait is nipple confusion. I've never had any problems with this.FFriends who have had problems it has been the other way round. The longer they left it the harder they found it to introduce a teat.

Errrr2012 Thu 17-Jul-14 19:41:36

I agree with insane in that the longer you leave it the harder it is to introduce a bottle. Mine was breast, bottle (and NG tube to start with) cause he was premature. He started on the bottle as soon as he was able to suck, swallow and breath all at the same time (approx 34 weeks gestation so pretty early!) as the nurses bottle fed him when I wasn't at the hospital at night. However, I did express A LOT!! Including setting my alarm to get up in the night while DS was still in hospital. Mainly to ensure that I kept ahead of his demand so that probably helped to establish BF longer term. However, my back up supply of stored breast milk ran out a few weeks after we got him home and he wasn't remotely fussed about switching to formula milk for one bottle a day. I was a little offended grin but very relieved that he took it!
From then on he was on 1 FF in day and BF the rest of the time until 6 months when I gradually increased the FF in the day and had dropped BF completely at 9 months. I have friends who have left introducing a bottle until later, or have done it and then left it for a few weeks, and haven't been able to get their babies to take bottles at all from then on. I'm not sure what we'd have done if not guided by the hospital mind. It just worked out well for us (one of the few advantages to having a baby on SCBU).

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Thu 17-Jul-14 20:54:07

A bottle of formula around 11pm (either done as a dream feed or on the first waking) is quite a popular choice for introducing one bottle feed a day.

The problem with doing no overnight feeds from day one is that you stand a good chance of supply issues. And if you don't, it's probably because your supply is so strong that you're up at least once in the night pumping because you're in pain (particularly frustrating if you were also the one who did the night bottle feeds!).

If you do a late bottle, and have someone to help, you can often get a good stretch of sleep if you have an early night. Plus you aren't going for a long stretch without feeding, so less likely to cause either of the issues. And the feeds you actually have to wake up in the night for are easy (once you get the hang of bfing) as opposed to getting up to get bottles, etc. I fully bf myself, but I have quite a few friends who've done this with success. Generally when they've wanted to introduce a second bottle they've then picked a day one, mostly for their own comfort so their boobs don't go long periods between feeds and get sore.

Would that sort of plan be any good to you? If your heart isn't totally set on bfing, then the risk of supply is probably worth it for the freedom and the block of time (as opposed to someone who would be devastated not to bf, where the advice would generally be to get it well established before bottles).

I am trying DS on a bottle at the moment. Thankfully, unlike his refusing sisters, he doesn't seem to much mind as long as he gets fed (it's EBM, so no taste difference, but his sisters just starved themselves until I came back). He's 2.5 months. smile

AnythingNotEverything Thu 17-Jul-14 21:03:38

I wish there were more info available on successfully mixed feeding. I think we could really improve breastfeeding rates if people could confidently give a few bottles of formula alongside bf.

Anyway. I just wanted to ask who was going to do the night ff feeds? It looks to me as if you could end up with less sleep than more if you're having to get out of bed, prep bottle etc rather than just put baby to breast.

Incidentally, the ISIS infant sleep study shows that bf mums get more sleep overall on average than ff mums, if that was something you were hoping to achieve.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Thu 17-Jul-14 21:07:58

Nope, I unsuccessfully combined breast and bottle and it was very stressful and difficult.
I honestly think, of you are going to go to the bother of breastfeeding for a few weeks that you should just power through with the breast until you have had enough then switch to formula. Mixing from birth seems to be the worst of both worlds.
(I didn't choose to do it btw)

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Thu 17-Jul-14 21:08:02

Anything - I have heard that study cited a lot. Personally I think it's because lots of people (i.e. partners!) promise to help with night feeds if ffing and then never do. If you have someone helping with the feeds surely you must get more sleep.

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