Breast-feeders: did you / do you give a bottle of formula at bedtime?

(65 Posts)
Angelico Thu 22-Nov-12 20:25:36

Just curious about this. Have a few friends who found it helpful for getting babies to sleep through the night a bit sooner. Our daughter is 8 weeks old and usually does one longish 5-5.5 hour stretch (had one blissful 7 hr night but has a cold this week and not doing so well.) Did you find a bottle of formula useful for filling tummy more?

AThingInYourLife Thu 22-Nov-12 20:30:46

DH gives a bottle of EBF before we go to bed.

It gives me a bit of a break and he likes to do a feed. It's basically the only time he gets with DD3.

It sounds like you're doing pretty well sleep-wise for 8 weeks.

Do you really want to introduce something harder to digest?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 22-Nov-12 20:32:35

No never.

I think 5hours is pretty good at 8 weeks and I wouldn't run the risk of disrupting that!

JoinTheDots Thu 22-Nov-12 20:34:17

We never did this. The only friend I know who tried it said it made her little one windy and uncomfy in the night so she woke more, but I have heard people on here say it worked for them.

Tried it, as I had three babies who refused to sleep through until 18mths, but it had absolutely no effect whatsoever on the DSs sleep patterns so didn't continue. DD was a total bottle refuser so she didn't even get the option smile

8 weeks is very young to sleep through, although I'm sure there's one or two that do.

BranchingOut Thu 22-Nov-12 20:35:57

No, but I really wanted to exclusively bf, so he never had any formula.

However, I did do a lot of evening cluster feeding - lovely lying there in the dark, watching a film...

If I were to have another baby I would probably try to do a nighttime bottle of expressed milk on a more regular basis.

Angelico Thu 22-Nov-12 20:36:54

Dots she is a bit colicky which was one of the things that put me off the bottle. I found the 5 hours manageable but because she's not well she was waking every 2-3 hours last night so I'm knackered and dreaming of lovely sleeeeeeeep... grin

Trazzletoes Thu 22-Nov-12 20:37:10

I did a bedtime (7pm) bottle with DS from 12 weeks. This gave me a bit of a break from his cluster feeding which I was really struggling with after 3 months.

It gave me my evenings back and helped me to relax more with him. But he didn't sleep through fully til 6 months - that was fine with me.

DD didn't cluster feed but I tried the same thing with her - she wouldn't take a bottle for love nor money but slept better than DS.

moojie Thu 22-Nov-12 20:37:35

With ds1 I did but I personally found it a slippery slope and it was easy to just give him another bottle of formula at times and by 4 months he was mixed fed and ended up preferring the bottle sad

With ds2 I haven't given him any formula and infact he has only had 2 bottles so far at 7 months. Only because it has been far easier to bf than to sterilise/ express! Ds2 has slept long stretches from a few weeks old where as ds1 didn't sleep through until about 6 months. For me formula made no difference but each baby is different.

Angelico Thu 22-Nov-12 20:38:08

I'm not ambitious enough to want her to sleep through, don't see that happening any time soon but if she could just repeat the 7 hour stretch that would be magic! grin

llamallama Thu 22-Nov-12 20:38:16

Nope, never used formula and had a bottle refuser anyway! So no expressed either.

Sounds like your 8 week old is doing great, keep her on that fantastic breast milk!

lottiegarbanzo Thu 22-Nov-12 20:40:35

No. I think you're doing well too.

We do a feed at 10.30pm (expressed). Dd starting giving an impression of 'sleeping through' for about six or even seven hours at around three-four months, when in a habit of eating every two hours during the day, but didn't really keep it up.

Now, at eight months and on follow-on formula and solids (blw so not always massive quantities but three meals), I still expect to get up once at 2 or 3am and feed her at least half the time. When she sleeps through to five or six we feel we're doing well. So not much has changed!

mamasmissionimpossible Thu 22-Nov-12 20:42:01

Yes, we started giving a bottle of formula from 3 months. I am still bf during the day, I don't think it's affected my supply too much. I tried to express, but only got 2oz after about 30mins pumping! DS is 8 months. It seems to work for us.

aimingtobeaperfectionist Thu 22-Nov-12 20:44:01

No. DD slept through from about 6/8 weeks although I use the term loosely as I'm sure other will disagree, she sleeps from 9.30/10pm to 8am which is fine for me. Never used formula just boobs.

NoWayNoHow Thu 22-Nov-12 20:52:49

We started at 7 weeks giving a bottle of expressed milk at 11pm so that DH could be more involved and have some time with DS and I could go to bed early and catch some shut eye in time for the middle-of-the-night feeds.

When he was about 4 months old, I started to struggle more and more with expressing (just wasn't getting the volume required for his increased appetite), so we gave him Aptamil in his bottle instead of expressed milk.

We didn't find it filled him up or anything like that, but it allowed us to continue giving him some time with his Dad, and as he got older, we mixed it up timing wise so that the one formula feed could coincide with outings/afternoons with the grandparents etc.

Metalhead Thu 22-Nov-12 21:13:29

DD had a bottle of formula every night from about 5-6 weeks old. Can't say whether it helped her sleep, but it saved my sanity as I just could not cope with the cluster-feeding!

Didn't affect my supply, and apart from that one bottle a day she was bf for 9 months.

Seriouslysleepdeprived Fri 23-Nov-12 02:30:14

DH did a dreamfeed for a couple if months & it made no difference at all, so stopped it.

I found this really useful when decided whether or not to introduce formula.

Yes, and it worked for us. From the age of 5 weeks, I'd bf DD through the day and also when I put her to bed at 7pm, then DH would do a formula dream-feed around 11pm. She started sleeping a lot longer then, and it didn't seem to affect my supply.

MrsHoarder Fri 23-Nov-12 08:17:18

No. ds started sleeping through not much older than that anyway, except when he has a cold. I would Get clear of the cold and see where you are first. She clearly can do 7 hours on bm, so changing mills may make things worse.

StiffyByng Fri 23-Nov-12 08:28:07

I did give my daughter formula in the evenings as I had to do top ups, and my supply was always lowest at that time. She didn't sleep through till 15 months.

teacher123 Fri 23-Nov-12 08:30:01

DS had a small bottle of formula every night at bedtime from about 4 1/2 months to when we started weaning. Annoyingly enough he wouldn't let anyone else give him the bottle... So didn't make my life any easier! Certainly didn't make him sleep through, but if he was having a hungry day he'd drink it! Now at 7mo he will. Not. Have. A. Bottle!

DilysPrice Fri 23-Nov-12 08:33:28

Yes but not to help sleep, they were dropping down the centiles and I could cope with evening cluster feed.

DilysPrice Fri 23-Nov-12 08:35:12

Agree that in your situation I wouldn't ff, good luck for speedy cold cure.

VolumeOfACone Fri 23-Nov-12 08:37:02

We gave a bottle of expressed milk for a few months, so I went to bed at 8 and DH fed her at 10, until baby decided bottles were an absolute no. She never had one again. I missed those bottles sad I never found expressing a problem. Bloody-minded stubborn bottle disliking baby.

mumstonic Fri 23-Nov-12 09:11:18

I introduced formula 'top ups' at night with DD1 and DD2 at about 6 weeks as both were hungry babies and didnt seem to settle after their evening bf. I also struggled with latching on and suffered with really sore nipples. Often by the evening I would be in so much pain, I found a formula feed gave me a break and settled both babies and they'd sleep through from 10pm-7am, however this routine adversely effected my milk supply and eventually I found myself using top ups more and more. I gave up bf altogether at 3 months as my milk supply was just too low.

With DD3, I've exclusively breast fed after receiving excellent help by a superb midwife and to date (7months) my milk supply is good and I’m really chuffed I persevered. I did find myself cluster feeding for hours on end in the evening, but the result was a long 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep so worth it! The flip side is DD3 will not take to a bottle, so my advice is to introduce a bottle early with expressed milk!!

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