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To give up breastfeeding so I can spend more time with my toddler?

(36 Posts)
Stripylikeatiger Thu 18-Dec-14 20:41:53

My baby wants to breastfeed all the time, it's constant, day and night. I'm lucky if I get 20 minutes between feeds. I was leaving it longer between feeds but he would get upset and then go to sleep, he wasn't gaining weight fast enough so it seems he is just a slow feeder.

My first child fed really efficiently, i was never stuck to the sofa feeding him so this is quite a surprise.

The problem is I feel terrible about my toddler, he goes to nursery 3 days a week and dp is home in the evenings and weekends but the 2 days he's with me and the baby we just sit and watch tv or I try to chat to him whilst he plays alone but that doesn't work so well, the baby is fussy about the position he's fed in so I can't feed in a sling or walk around feeding (things I did with dc1)

Aibu to think that the negatives for my toddler outweigh the positives the baby is getting from breastfeeding? The baby won't remember (or care) how he was fed but the toddler might remember days sat watching tv (he seems quite happy to watch tv so maybe he won't mind.)

If the baby was my only child I'd quite happily spend every day and night feeding him but I'm struggling with the balancing act of having 2 dc with desperate very different needs.

Has anyone given up breastfeeding for similar reasons? Was it the right thing to do?

Funkytown Thu 18-Dec-14 20:43:28

if you want to stop for whatever reason then stop
no one can tell you what to do in this situation it is what is best for you can your children

Bulbasaur Thu 18-Dec-14 20:44:20

I FF and love it.

Feeding is just a personal choice. You don't get a medal for BF anymore than you do for FF.

So do what works best for you and your situation.

Asleeponasunbeam Thu 18-Dec-14 20:45:36

My DSIL did for these very reasons (with 2 babies, she has 3 DC). It was right for her. She became less anxious, certainly.

Wouldn't have worked for me as I was the primary carer at all times (DH worked long hours and no family around), so I would still have had to prepare and feed bottles myself while managing toddler. So I just found BF easier (after very difficult starts with both of them).

Tanaqui Thu 18-Dec-14 20:48:06

He may be no faster with a bottle- can you try mix feeding for a bit so your dh can do some of it?

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 18-Dec-14 20:48:17

If you want to stop, stop. Parenting two children is always about balancing their needs.

Have you thought about starting by just adding in some bottles if you aren't sure you want to stop totally? If you're not massively worried about long term supply issues (I am assuming your baby is pretty young from the description), you could just keep a few bfs each day and see how you go?

But as I said, if stopping is best for your family as a whole, stop. smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 18-Dec-14 20:48:25

How old is your baby?

I know how you feel, I do remember feeling like I had abandoned DS1 when I had DS2. It is hard to now have a split loyalty to two children when you are used to being able to prioritise your child absolutely.

Will he not sit with you and be read to while you feed? I used to do that a lot.

My personal view is that babies only feed in this way for a very short time, and that an overdose of Cbeebies for a few weeks doesn't do any damage.

WhereIsMySantaHat Thu 18-Dec-14 20:49:33

While what you describe is normal behaviour, if you want to stop, just stop.

I'm not sure it'll be any less work for you to bottle feed though. How about a dummy, have you tried one, it really helped me with my 1st and 2nd babies.

Cheby Thu 18-Dec-14 20:52:47

Have you checked why he might be feeding slowly? Some babies jut do but for some there is an underlying cause, for example tongue tie.

MehsMum Thu 18-Dec-14 20:58:53

If your baby is very young still, perhaps persist a bit and see if feeds get faster (all of my DC got faster at feeding as they got older). As a PP suggested, you could read at least some of the time to your older DC. Or sit on the floor and feed with one arm and move the plastic animals of the Duplo around with the other hand... I did those things a lot.

carlywurly Thu 18-Dec-14 21:03:43

I did for very similar reasons. Ds1 was only 2 and i spent most of my time chasing him round the house semi clothed with ds2 hanging off me. I just didn't have the time to sit and feed.

Bottle feeding was infinitely easier. I expressed as much as I could too.

CrohnicChristmas Thu 18-Dec-14 21:07:36

Means about to suggest the same as cheby. My daughter had a hard to diagnose tongue tie and she was also very fussy about the position she fed in, literally couldn't latch any other way.

The problem was, she was just as inefficient with a bottle.

As well as the slow and frequent feeding, she was very noisy- constant clicking noises- and dribbled loads of milk. She was windy and unsettled a lot of the time. My nipples were sore and misshapen in one particular spot where it rubbed on the roof of her mouth, aggravated by the fact that I couldn't move her round.

I spotted her tongue tie myself but it took a while to get it officially diagnosed- she kept getting dismissed by Gps, midwives etc as she doesn't have the classic tip of the tongue tie. It took an infant feeding specialist to diagnose it.

If you want to know how I spotted it just PM me.

CrohnicChristmas Thu 18-Dec-14 21:11:09

I don't mean to sound like a bf fanatic or anything. It's just it would be a shame if you gave it up because of the time it took, only to find that baby is almost as slow with a bottle, and now you have the sterilising and making up bottles to do too.

If baby is quicker feeding with a bottle and it means you can have more time spent with your toddler then you have to weigh up which is more important to you!

museumum Thu 18-Dec-14 21:11:20

You don't have to stop bf soon or even at all in order to introduce a bottle. I'd try one or two bottles at certain times of day to see how they go down. Your baby might not be any easier to manage on bottles.
There seems to be some evidence that mixed feeding does not cause bfing issues in those who choose mix feeding.

Stripylikeatiger Thu 18-Dec-14 21:11:48

The baby is 6 weeks. Toddler will only look at books in bed confused but maybe we could have a cosy time in bed reading, we watch videos on YouTube of books being read out loud and he likes that.

I was really precious about dc1 and breastfeeding and it's good to get some perspective here. Dp is on holiday soon so maybe I'll wait until after the Christmas break and hope feeding gets quicker.

I don't think there are underling feeding problems, dc1 did have a tongue tie but I'm pretty sure this baby doesn't, he was a really big baby at birth and I wonder if he just needs quite a lot of food to sustain him. I'm seeing the HV on Monday so I'll ask her opinion about his latch and why he takes so long to feed.

Stripylikeatiger Thu 18-Dec-14 21:13:12

Oh no, I had no idea babies could take ages to feed from a bottle!

Popalina Thu 18-Dec-14 21:14:50

I stopped at two months with DC 2 partly for TT, excruciating pain, and also as I had an under two who needed my time. We all ended up happier and of course DC 2 didn't care whether it came out of the boob or bottle.

ThePointyAndTheIvy Thu 18-Dec-14 21:36:30

A slow feeder is a slow feeder... Bottles may very well make no difference at all, except to add the faff of mixing and warming formula.

It's hard though, with a baby and a toddler. brew

calmexterior Thu 18-Dec-14 21:44:03

It is hard with a baby and toddler, probably the hardest thing I've done. But I remember I bf dd2 while playing with dd1. Lots of things were don done handed and it was indeed hard, especially when dd1 wanted to crawl on my lap. Just remember it gets a whole lot easier, especially as you've got through the first six weeks. And a bit too much cbeebies is ok, as is easy food, be kind to yourself and don't try and be perfect.

Justgotosleepnow Thu 18-Dec-14 21:44:24

They will probably speed up in a few weeks. See how you feel after christmas. Do whatever you think is best.

calmexterior Thu 18-Dec-14 21:44:29

Done one handed....

MrsKoala Thu 18-Dec-14 21:44:39

i have a similar issue. ds1 is 2.3 and ds2 is 3mo. i do bottle feed too but tbh it makes not much difference, the baby takes just as long to feed. DS1 doesn't go to nursery at all and dh works long hours and away a lot. So it means lots of neglect and ceebeebies. sad

i try to go to a toddler group every morning with him so he can play and i can bf/ff. Then after lunch go for a walk and just bung baby in buggy after a biggish feed and hope the motion sends him to sleep for an hour (sometimes works, sometimes doesn't). Home then and ceebeebies/thomas/singing/dancing (with baby latched!) etc. Dinner with baby crying. Bath with baby crying. Books with baby crying...

PortofinoVino Thu 18-Dec-14 22:24:37

He may be a slow feeder on a bottle, too........but at least your DP will be able to help out smile

Pregnantagain7 Thu 18-Dec-14 22:30:32

While he may be a slow feeder on the bottle you should get a bit longer in between feeds. My 4th dc is now 9 weeks old and I decided to bottle feed this time because I had no idea how I would fit in breast feeding. That said I'm sure if I was adamant that was the way I wanted to breast feed I would have found a way.

Pregnantagain7 Thu 18-Dec-14 22:34:25

Sorry that sounded a bit abrupt! blush
For me ffing has worked really well Ds usually finishes a bottle within15 mins and will go between 3-4 hrs so by the time ds1 has watched an episode of balamory ds2 usually fed and winded and we can get on with doing thingssmile

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