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?

Angelico Fri 23-Nov-12 10:03:05

Willsingforcake did you go all night from 7 till the following morning without BFing? Did you have to express? Think my boobs would expolde confused They have adapted to going 6-7 hours.

Is cluster feeding just feeding loads in the evening? She definitely has more feeds in the evening. Tried putting her in cot about 11.30 last night then she wanted fed again at midnight. She only slurped for 5 mins and conked out so I was a bit hmm but she slept until 06:45 so got a much needed 6.5 hours. Cold seems to be away thankfully (hers, mine is just beginning...)

fraktion Fri 23-Nov-12 10:06:53

She may have been feeding to help clear her nose and deal with the annoying drip feeling you get at the back of the throat.

You are doing brilliantly so I wouldn't introduce a bottle.

MrsHoarder Fri 23-Nov-12 10:12:20

Op: once ds was reliably doing over 10 hours at night my boobs settled down within a few days. Don't express at night if she's sleeping through, that will so your body adjusting. If you have problems at first, I recommend sleeping on a towel.

MrsHoarder Fri 23-Nov-12 10:12:46

And hurrah for the long sleep!

spiderlight Fri 23-Nov-12 10:15:38

I did for a couple of nights around 6 weeks when I was literally so tired I was hallucinating, but then started pumping a feed in the morning for DH to give in the evening so I could go to bed a bit earlier and get a longer stretch of sleep and that seemed to work far better. Those couple of nights when he'd had formula he was really uncomfortable, windy and grumpy the next day. Next time I would just make more of an effort to pumnp and give a bedtime bottle of EBF.

Angelico Fri 23-Nov-12 10:15:38

True Fraktion - and thanks for encouragement. MrsHoarder when did yours start doing the reliable ten hours? <salivates at prospect> wink And good to know boobs don't pop grin

Angelico Fri 23-Nov-12 10:16:40

Good to know Spider. We did do this at about 4 weeks and it was great but I strated getting blocked ducts and have been put off ever since. If I get a week or two clear might try it again...

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Fri 23-Nov-12 10:22:48

I tried with DD1. Never worked. I just lost my evening milk as my body adjusted its production.

I did it bother for DD2 and DS1.

Do what you want to do, but the promises are unbroken sleep are just promises. There is usually mor than the bottle vs breast behind a good sleeper.
Like birth weight, temper, evening routines, middle of the night delaying feeds, etc.

Talking to my friends who formula fed, they sleep trained earlier and use delaying tactics earlier too.

Good luck!

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Fri 23-Nov-12 10:23:50

Saw your update re long sleep. Well done you!

gwenniebee Fri 23-Nov-12 10:28:08

No, I don't. Mine was doing 5/6 hour stretches at 8 weeks (which is amazing, btw) and 9 or so hours by 12/13 weeks and 11 or twelve hours soon after. (She's just gone thru a bit of a regression at 19 weeks but fingers crossed is through that now!) Keep doing what you're doing!

MrsHoarder Fri 23-Nov-12 13:52:54

He first did it at 8-9 weeks. Took another few weeks before he did it every night so I didn't need to fret as much.

He's never gone to sleep for the night before 8 though. But usually wakes up around 9 and only before 7 when he's ill.

AlexanderS Fri 23-Nov-12 14:01:22

Yes, I did do this, I started at about eight weeks and DS did sleep better (and put weight on and chubbed out), but eight weeks is about the time you can expect them to start sleeping for longer periods during the night anyway (as that's when they start to distinguish between night and day).

Startail Fri 23-Nov-12 14:02:31

No, why on earth would you, the whole point of BFing is no faffing with bottles.

Feeding a baby, toddler, small child to sleep is the most beautiful thing I've ever done.

In any case DD2 only once drank out of a bottle. She was 5 and put her own squash in one she was using to feed dolly.

AlexanderS Fri 23-Nov-12 14:05:07

P.S. I'd give him a bottle at about 7.30pm then breastfeed him at bedtime (10.30-11pm) so that my boobs didn't get too full overnight.

AlexanderS Fri 23-Nov-12 14:07:30

No different sterilising a bottle to sterilising dummies, teething rings etc. and ready-made formula is a godsend if you can afford it.

Welovecouscous Fri 23-Nov-12 14:08:27

No - much nicer to have a cosy cuddly feed to sleep. Also being ebf has significant health benefits as it preserves a 'virgin gut' and makes children less open to allergy and infection. Cheaper and less faff too.

Giving occasional bottles can also reduce your supply and cause nipple confusion, potentially causing problems for continuing to bf.

Welovecouscous Fri 23-Nov-12 14:12:56

I agree with everyone else that you ate doing brilliantly with the ebf btw - you just need to keep doing what you're doing smile

No, I didn't. And DD was an angel sleeper sleeping through from 2mo to 6mo. Solids and then sickness (which ended up with a week stay in hospital) killed her ability to sleep through. And she didn't stop waking up till about 15mo. And now at 19mo she still doesn't sleep through maybe once a week.

Yes, but I've mostly mix fed my LO anyway. Bottle at the end of the day meant him and dad could have a cuddle, and my arms could have a break!

5 hours at night would be considering 'sleeping through'. I considered my LO to be sleeping through when he was going to bed at 7pm, waking at 11pm for a feed, and again at 3am for food, then sleeping till 7am. As long as all he was doing was feeding twice and sleeping between 7pm and 7am, I would say I was getting a good nights sleep!

He now sleeps 12-13 hours with no feeds.

alexanders ah the trick is not to give dummies either. Then you don't sterilise a thing. Do you need teething rings before 6mo anyway?

dietcokeandwine Sat 24-Nov-12 14:29:54

I didn't use formula to get mine to sleep through the night but I did find it useful to give a formula top up to help them settle in the evening when my breastmilk supply was low - I know you are supposed to cluster feed in the evenings of course but I just found cluster feeding profoundly depressing! I found that offering a few ounces of formula after the evening breastfeed helped them settle to sleep in the evening, I would then get a bit of rest and respite before doing a later breastfeed at around 10:30/11pm, and demand fed through the night as they needed.

I found that as long as I kept bottles to certain times of day (ie one at bedtime) it didn't affect milk supply through the day and there was no nipple confusion either - they just adapted and so did I.

Both mine actually slept through from that 11pm feed till 7am at around 8/9 weeks but I am aware that is more unusual than usual! Formula didn't help them do that, though, as they only ever had breastmilk at the late feed and in the night. Whoever said 'There is usually more than the bottle vs breast behind a good sleeper' is absolutely right. Babies 'sleeping through' is far more about them learning to settle themselves to sleep, and then resettling themselves if they stir during the night. Mine just seemed to learn that quite early on. No sleep training, cunning tactics, dummies, delaying night feeds or anything used either, they just did it on their own, and gradually pushed their night feeds later and later until they were sleeping till 7am.

Welovecouscous Sat 24-Nov-12 14:55:30

Diet it's amazing how different people are as I found the cluster feeding really cosy most of the time - used to do it in bed while reading! Kind of miss it now tbh

EdgarAllanPond Sat 24-Nov-12 14:58:59

no, and now on DC4 they all slept pretty well.

did do evening cluster feeding, but that doesn't last forever, and it did get long periods of sleep after

the research on this is it makes sleep worse - 45 mins less sleep for BF babies given a bottle of formula at bedtime

dietcokeandwine Sat 24-Nov-12 14:59:22

I know, it's wierd, isn't it. I loved absolutely every other aspect of breastfeeding except the cluster feeding! I used to sit there in tears hating it, it felt so relentless and draining! I just wanted a couple of hours in the evening, watching TV with DH...couldn't relax with the baby feeding at the same time and would just go to bed too stressed out to sleep! Just goes to show how different we all are I suppose.

dietcokeandwine Sat 24-Nov-12 14:59:53

sorry that response was to welovecouscous

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