Breastfeeding/weaning/formula...so confused, where to start?

(22 Posts)
NotAFuckingChance Fri 25-Sep-15 16:58:41

Could really use some advice on the best way of going about getting DS2 started.

He will be 6 months on Monday and is currently exclusively breastfed. I need to start him on food and I'm hoping to do a mixture of purees (carrots, squash etc) and chunks (banana, broccoli, toast) and will offer water in a cup with each meal.

I am due to be back at work straight after Christmas and DS who will be 9 months will be doing one day and possibly the night before with my parents and 3 days in nursery a week. I never had much luck with expressing so would like him to be off the breast before Christmas so it's not all too much of a big change in one go.

Do I start giving him formula at the same time as I start food or leave it a bit longer? Should I give it in a bottle, never used one before, or cup? What formula should I use?

I'm tying myself in knots trying to do what's best and getting all confused. DS1 was formula fed from 3 months and I didn't have to go back to work so I've never had to think about this really.

CultureSucksDownWords Fri 25-Sep-15 20:21:42

In terms of formula, the "stage 1" first formulas are fine, there's no need to use the "follow on" milks unless you want to. Which brand also doesn't matter, choose whichever is easily available and appeals to you.

I would try and avoid bottles, as you're supposed to stop them at 12 months anyway. So I guess you could try a sippy cup and see how you get on.

Also, you don't necessarily have to stop breastfeeding completely if you don't want to. You can move to mostly cup formula feeds but still keep a morning and/or evening breastfeed.

sleepyelectricsheep Fri 25-Sep-15 20:29:11

Why do you want him to be off the beast by Christmas? Do you think you need to express at work to continue breastfeeding feeding your baby? It's not true, not for an older baby or toddler anyway. I used to think that too, but when I went back to work I just switched to feeding DS in the morning and evenings and it was fine. My boobs and baby adapted, and we just carried on. I really valued BFing after a day at work as it was a lovely way to reconnect when I came home.

If you want to stop for other reasons please forgive me! Just mentioning it in case you got the wrong idea like I did!

Livelifefortoday Fri 25-Sep-15 20:29:20

I was unofficially told by hv that aptamil stage 1 is the preferred choice but tbh they all seem pretty similar. There are websites, maybe nhs ones, that will let you know how much milk your child requires on a daily basis. If you bf after 6 months I think you may need to supplement dc's diet with certain vitamins but hv should be able to advise.

FusionChefGeoff Fri 25-Sep-15 20:30:32

Well, I'm afraid I'm going to confuse you further by suggesting you start daytime formula feeds with a bottle! It's very likely that it will take several weeks or even months before food is reliably a big feature so milk is still the number 1 source of calories and nutrition. My DD had one bottle at night from 5 months (after a fight but we persevered and eventually she took them) and I started her on cups at 6 months with food and she is useless with the cup - just plays with it really - but will consistently guzzle a bottle so I am confident she is taking on enough calories.

If you didn't want to stop BF in the day, then absolutely, yes, skip the bottle and introduce cups alongside - but if formula will be the main source of daytime milk, I would go with a bottle.

CultureSucksDownWords Fri 25-Sep-15 20:49:43

The manufacturers of Aptamil have in the past done a very good job of persuading HCPs that their formula is better than others. It's no better or worse than the other brands, and apparently is almost identical to Cow and Gate which they also manufacture, just more expensive.

Also, if you exclusively breastfeed past 6 months then it's recommended to give a suitable vitamin supplement. That's mainly to ensure that babies get the right amount of iron and I think vitamin d.

Tfoot75 Fri 25-Sep-15 21:01:58

Agree that the aptamil being better myth is a con, they are all pretty much identical, aptamil just has a higher marketing budget hence the higher price.

I agree that he may not get enough milk through a cup at that age. I started weaning onto formula at about 9 months before going back to work and dd wouldn't touch milk (or water) in a cup at that age, so try the cups first but don't worry if he's not keen, you don't need to think about ditching bottles just yet.

My dd was about 8/9 months before solid food would satisfy her hunger: although she'd eat solids fine, if she was hungry it had to be milk, so just see how you go and don't Rush anything

LaceyLee Fri 25-Sep-15 21:37:15

I went back to work at 8 months and was still breastfeeding. Had tried formula but dd was not at all interested so now (9minths) she just has breast milk morning and evening (when I get in at 5ish and before bed at 7ish) and water the rest of the day. She's a really good eater. Boobs don't really get full now but still plenty of milk there for her. So try your dc with formula from whenever really and if they take to it then great, but if not don't worry too much because you could keep up breastfeeding (unless you don't want to that is - totally up to you). Dd has a vit d spray once a day, that's all they need in terms of vitamins I believe.

museumum Fri 25-Sep-15 21:45:01

I went to work at 6mo and da was ebf and bottle refusing. We started good at 5.5mo for this reason and formula in a sippy cup. I bf morning, after work and bedtime. No expressing. It was all totally fine. I was so so so so stressed about it before I went to work but it was fine. By 9mo your ds is likely to be able to use a sippy cup and likely to eat enough to get by in childcare. If you're happy bfing then just carry on along with weaning and teaching him to use a cup.

NotAFuckingChance Sat 26-Sep-15 09:49:06

Thanks everyone, lots to try and work out but at least I have an idea now.

The wanting to stop bfing is more to do with the overnight stay with my parents. We would need to drop him about 6pm and wouldn't be back with him until 5pm the next day which is probably a bit long to go. The other days it would just be 8-4/5 so not as difficult.

Will talk to DP about him doing formula feeds to start with to see if he will take them from him.

cdwales Mon 28-Sep-15 12:57:13

First the most important thing for any baby is that they get their mother's colostrum in the first 48 hours after birth. After that anything else is a bonus.
Second can we not call artificial babymilk 'formula'? This is a term invented for marketing purposes.
My two started day nursery at 5 months when I went back to work and I expressed using an electric breast pump leant to me by my boss's secretary! One loved sweet human milk and the other cba re the effort involved once she started having it out of a bottle during the day. They are all different so you are the best judge (as usual).
Apart from the Golden Rule about Colostrum the other thing they do not tell new mothers is that if baby does not start day nursery (it only need be part -time whilst you do the shopping) by the age of 7 months when separation anxiety kicks in as a developmental stage then you are in for a lot of unnecessary stress.
Oh and of course it seems that we now have a third GR - start the healthy diet and folic acid 6 months before conceiving to set your child up for lifelong health and longevity...
All the best!

CultureSucksDownWords Mon 28-Sep-15 13:30:53

cdwales, have you replied to the wrong thread? The OPs baby is 6 months old, so comments about colostrum are not relevant.

I will respond to one of your points specifically, even though this may be the wrong thread... There is no such thing as a Golden Rule about starting nursery before 7 months. My DS started nursery at 11 months, and was quite happy and settled from day 1. Never had any wobbles at all. Separation anxiety can happen, from 6 month ish onwards, but isn't inevitable. Even if it does happen, it may not cause any big issues with childcare anyway.

Focusfocus Wed 30-Sep-15 17:42:20

Cdwales this is the second pits I am seeing from you that's pretty insane. You were caught on the last one under childbirth where you made claims that women with stretch marks tear badly and should have ELCS, that poor husbands need some fun and therefore vsginas need to be in good order otherwise it's like bags for men, and this one that anything more than colostrum is a bonus. Many people were outraged and you didn't return to respond. And again I see this about anything beyond colostrum is a bonus. FFS.

BumWad Sun 04-Oct-15 01:48:22

Second can we not call artificial babymilk 'formula'? This is a term invented for marketing purposes.

confused

NotAFuckingChance Sun 08-Nov-15 12:46:09

I have only just seen the slightly random advice from cdwales so just thought I would update a bit.

DS is now 7mo and still breastfed on demand. Offered water with every meal but not interested. Won't yet take water/formula/ebm from a bottle, closed or open cup.

He eats though, doesn't like any of the purees I made and doesn't like jars so we have sort of fallen into blw by default. He loves anything and everything that he can give a good chew, beef casserole, stirfry, spag bol, sausage and mash, chicken curry etc.

Secnarf Mon 30-Nov-15 02:11:32

Hi,

I'm new here, but can I ask a loosely related question? (I don't know if that's the done thing to minimise the number of similar threads, or whether the etiquette is to start a new thread so as not to hijack someone else's).

Anyway, my baby is 4 months old. I'm thinking ahead to weaning onto solids. We're EBF, and all being well, I'm intending to continue this way and then start introducing 'real food' at 6 months. I assumed that unless there were problems, I'd continue breastfeeding after that, and hopefully skip formula altogether.

However, recent comments now make me doubt this. Initially my mother saying that baby will need to change to formula when she weans, and then my aunt casually saying that she'll be moving onto bottles soon.

Is that really correct? Should babies switch to formula as a matter of course? I'd prefer to continue breastfeeding as I enjoy the simplicity of it, but I am not ideologically fixed on it, and if the right thing is to switch over then I have no problem with it. Am just feeling a bit clueless.

Thanks.

(And if I should have started a new thread, just tell me to butt out and do it!)

Secnarf Mon 30-Nov-15 02:17:01

Oh, and best of luck to the OP with the return to work and everything!

captainproton Mon 30-Nov-15 02:31:56

Think most on MN like you to start a new thread. But I'm awake and also a BF peer supporters and I don't mind helping you.

Babies do not need to switch to formula and the WHO actually recommends infants are BF up to the age of 2.

It is true in this country that for social/cultural reasons and not helped at all by formula manufacturers creating second stage formula to get around the marketing rules on infant formula, some women feel they need to stop BF at 6 months. Just in time for introducing solids.

If you are worried about vitamin D you can buy drops from the supermarket that are cheaper and last longer than formula. This is the other argument often peddled against BF from 6 months.

In short do what is right for you and your baby, up until 1 year your baby will get all their nutritional needs from your milk, think of introducing solids as practice eating. Certainly more of it will end up on the floor/their hair etc than in their mouth.

Of course you can introduce formula if you like, spend an arm and a leg on the powder, bottles, sterilisers etc. But there is no need to do it from a health point of view.

jobrum Mon 30-Nov-15 03:56:31

My dd is ten months old and I still bf her. My dm thinks I should have swapped to formula months ago but she dislikes me bf so I pay no attention. I love it for the reasons you state but obviously its still me getting up in the night! My dd has been ill recently so demanding more feeds again but she gets so much comfort from it.

I weaned at 24 weeks when she started grabbing at food. I let her grab my banana, take a bite eat and the evidence she chewed and swallowed was in her nappy so I thought it was the right time to start! I carried on bfing and let her reduce the feeds when she wanted. Returning to work or nursery etc might complicate things but I've been at work a month and just bf before and after work, she eats food and drinks water during the day.

If you are happy and want to keep bfing then definitely do. The vitamin d drops should be all you need extra once your baby starts weaning and lots of people dont bother if their baby us trying lots of different foods. Hoppe this is helpful - Im very tired!

Secnarf Mon 30-Nov-15 06:49:27

Thank you both very much. I am reassured.

Thanks also for tip re forum etiquette. smile

TrashPanda Mon 30-Nov-15 13:32:44

I don't mind at all. Still bf here but will now take water from an open cup. Back to work after Christmas and we'll move to morning and evening feeds with solids and water during the day. He eats really well which makes it easier. I was worried when I originally posted but now he's that much older I feel more confident that he will cope just fine smile

BertieBotts Mon 30-Nov-15 13:43:47

Honestly OP don't stress too much about it smile When you go back to work at 9 months, baby will be well established on solids and it's typical that they can go the full nursery day with solids and water and then breastfeed just when you're at home. You could supply some formula for them to try in case he wants it, but at that age, it's not really as important, and that kind of mixing is fine. Supply will even adjust so you're not leaking while you're at work, so don't worry about that aspect.

Similarly, with overnights, they have this maddening ability to be total boob monsters when you're around and a perfect angel for anyone else, taking a bottle without a hitch and sometimes even falling asleep totally unprompted confused

If you are worried about it, it might be an idea to do a trial run a few weeks before where you can pick him up if he really won't take the bottle, but honestly I expect he'll do just fine and surprise you.

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