Breastfeeding but one bottle at night with expressed milk-how soon to implement this?

(21 Posts)
NurseyManisha Thu 10-Mar-11 18:28:30

I have a beautiful 4 week old daughter (today) who I breastfeed and have done so since birth. I love breastfeeding her but daddy wants to be able to give her one bottle (of expressed milk) before bed. I would continue to breastfeed around the clock with exception to this one feed, but I don't know when it would be the best time to implement this, should I wait until she is 5 or 6 weeks old for example? Any advice?

BetamaxBandit Thu 10-Mar-11 18:32:21

If you really want your DD to take a bottle I'd do it now TBH. And make sure you give her one bottle every single day.

I left it too late (on midwives recommendation) and she refused to take one.

<bitter experience>

NurseyManisha Thu 10-Mar-11 19:00:22

At what age did you try?

PatsyPlusOne Thu 10-Mar-11 22:21:33

Our DS took the bottle easily at 4 weeks, but we stopped giving it to him every day and now at 20 weeks he refuses point blank. He's of the opinion that boob is best. smile Ignore anything you've read about nipple confusion and try her on a bottle tonight!

beijingaling Fri 11-Mar-11 04:34:30

I COMPLETELY agree with the others. My DD is exactly the same.

japhrimel Fri 11-Mar-11 06:27:56

If feeding is well established then I don't see why wait. 6 weeks is usually suggested as this is often when feeding is well established by.

Make sure your DH watches you latch LO onto you a few times so he sees how open the mouth is (with tongue down). If he aims for a latch like that with the bottle you're less likely to have any issues IME/O.

NurseyManisha Fri 11-Mar-11 18:27:45

Thank you for everyones advice on the above post. She does latch well but sometimes still (perhaps in times of extreme tiredness or when she is full) she does still make clicking noises or does not take the nipple. Otherwise mind she does it perfectectly but that's why I was a little hesitant for now. I hav no concerns about how she feeds mind. I had heard to try between 4-6 weeks and want to choose the right time. I think I may start this Monday and just give it ago?

beijingaling Fri 11-Mar-11 21:13:27

I would go ahead now. We were told by drs, mw etc to wait til 6w but now she won't take one at all. Just make sure you use newborn teats so she has to work for the milk.

gloyw Fri 11-Mar-11 21:40:19

My excellent pro-BF MW told us to make sure we started offering a bottle BEFORE 6 weeks if we wanted to be able to use one at all with DS.

And to offer it once a day, or every couple of days so he didn't forget.

Apparently there's a narrow window of time up to 6 weeks where babies learn how to manage a bottle teat as well as a nipple. After that they are much less able to learn, and may refuse completely.

This board has SO many women on it who took advice to wait for ages before introducing a bottle, and when their baby refused to take it, faced very worrying times going back to work etc.

We fed expressed milk from just short of 2 weeks, and it worked very well. DS is 8 months and has never had any formula.

If your DD is feeding well and gaining weight etc, I don't see why you should have problems. Clicking doesn't necessarily mean bad latch, if you have no pain and she feeds okay otherwise.

Only do it if you want to, though! Your DP might love doing a feed, but there are so many other ways he can be invaluable and be a fab dad.

MigGril Sat 12-Mar-11 07:06:34

Ok if you want to offer a bottle, but just a couple of point's to remeber. Babies can get bottle preferances, where they prefer the faster flow of the bottle and start refussing the breast. If she starts to become fussy at the breast you may need to drop the bottle, if you don't need her to have one.

Seconed giving one bottle at night isn't always the best time from your supply point of view. Your hormones are higher at night and BF stimulates your supply ,uch better then expressing. If all it's for is so daddy can feed her then a morning bottle is actualy probably a better idea from this point of view. Plus you'll need to express for this feed and getting expressing going can sometime's take a bit of time at first you may not get a hole feed out at once, but giving formula will ovously also effect your supply to. Don't give more then 2oz at this age that is about the size of there stumake.

NurseyManisha Sun 13-Mar-11 22:33:47

Thank you everyone for your invaluable comments. MigGril you mention it best to do the feed in the morning, is this the opinion of eveyone also? what concerns me is time in the morning in respect to my husband giving the bottle of breast milk. We do not want to use formula. If he wasn't able to give her the bottle in the morning because of timing then I wouldn't want to give it to her as it defeats the object? We simply wanted to do this one bottle feed as he wants to be able to feed her, hence choosing the evening before bed. I am confused what would be best to do? If I expressed in the morning in time for the night feed then I would have expressed when she needs that morning feed. She is on a growth spurt and on the breast all the time. I love bf her and don't want me personally to have to resort to me giving her that one bottle for continuity if my husband didn't for any reason. I'm bf because I want to and if I had to take over that one bottle feed I wouldn't like it. Would it be an idea to express at a particular time of the day to save it for the evening? Please help me!

chipmonkey Sun 13-Mar-11 23:38:24

Nursey, I did this from 4 weeks old with ds4 but only every other night as I found expressing to be a PITA. I did it because ds3 had refused bottles from 3 months and it was a nightmare getting back to work.

I did it every second night. What I would do was, around 8pm I would express while dh gave ds4 a bottle of milk that had been expressied 48 hours earlier. Dh didn't particularly care about feeding ds4, it was simply that we wanted him to stay used to the bottle. I expressed at the same time as the baby was being fed for the simple reason that I wanted to mimic as closely as possible with the bottle, what would be happening if I didn't express.

NoWayNoHow Sun 13-Mar-11 23:49:10

We followed MW advice and waited till 6 weeks, and thankfully DS took to the bottle very well (DH loved that bedtime feed too).

However, as others have said, if you are certain that BF is well established then I don't see any reason to hold off really. I'd also recommend Tommee Tippee bottles as the teats are really good for newbies.

chocolateteabag Tue 15-Mar-11 14:04:37

I followed my (v pro BF) MW advice and started giving my DS a bottle of expressed milk every night at the 10.30pm feed when he was 3 weeks old.
My milk was well established but I also had a bout of thrush and the bottle took the pressure off.

At 8 weeks he had a growth spurt and I stopped expressing and he now has FF for that feed.

It hasn't had any impact on bf for the rest of the days feed. (He is now 18 weeks old)
My friends have tried bottles from later on and really struggled to get their lo's to take them so I'm glad I did this early

MigGril Tue 15-Mar-11 14:24:33

I think it depends on how important BF is for you and if you need to switch to bottle's at some point or not. The thinking is that your milk production is supply and demand led if you pump to give a bottle you may not be able to express enough in one go for a full feed (of couse some people can). Or as in chocolateteabag case you may end up having to give formula for this feed.

Expressing in the morning for a night feed will mean you wount produce that milk in the evening, so you'll need to express in the evening's to. It's a PITA to do if you don't really need to. There are other ways dad can help. afterall they are capable of doing everything else.

If you need baby to take a bottle then as chipmonkey says you can just do it every other day or maybe 3 times a week.

If you want to read a bit more on hoe BF works have a look hear.

MigGril Tue 15-Mar-11 14:39:05

The thinking is that your milk production is supply and demand led Sorry that should read the milk production is supply and demand led.

Read Kellymom it explains it better then I can.

NurseyManisha Tue 15-Mar-11 22:34:50

It's all very labour intensive to do this for one feed so dad can have a go. I don't need to do so but will be going back to work unfortunately in nov when she will be 9 months. This in mind would it be best to go down this route even if dad didn't want to feed? I really appreciate everyones advice it's invaluable and I'm learning a lot. I must admit I still haven't done it yet as i really don't want to make the wrong decision or mess it up so I can't feed her by breast.

chipmonkey Tue 15-Mar-11 23:47:49

Nursey, you will get varying opinions on that on here but IMO you can rest easier going back to work, knowing that baby will take a bottle. I worried about bottle-refusing ds3 more than any of my others!

jaggythistle Wed 16-Mar-11 03:43:15


once a day just for dad to get a go at feeding does sound like a lot of work. (i like the lazy no prep or washing required aspect of bf )

we did about one bottle of ebm a week from 4 weeks as i knew i had to go back to work just before DS turned 6 months.

not sure if we were just lucky but he always took a bottle really well without a fuss.

at first you'd maybe need to express while she drank the bottle to avoid being uncomfortably full.

hope you get on ok. fwiw DS was down to one bottle a day while i was at work by 9 months.

neepsntatties Wed 16-Mar-11 07:20:55

I would just give it a go. That way you will know how easy it is for you to express. Also as others have said you don't have to do it everyday.

My hv said to do it earlier and regularly so they don't forget. Ds had loads of expressed bottles because I had cracked nipples and I had ni problem. Dd took a couple of bottles but now won't so I am worried about this.

Try it a couple of times, if you don't like it you can stop.

susiey Wed 16-Mar-11 23:56:38

I started from about 1 week giving one bottle of expressed milk, then from about 3 weeks gave it as formula instead. This had always been my plan and I have done it with 2 of my 3 children.
It makes returning to work so much easier when you know they'll take a bottle and going out on dates too!
Make sure you do it everyday and at the same time. I used to get my dh to give the bottle at the 11pm feed so I could go to bed when the kids did and get 5 hoursor more in a row.
Now she's only having 1 feed at 3am my dh gives a ff at 5 when he comes in from work. Find out what works for your family and go for it.

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