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"persuading" DS to have a before bed feed?

(20 Posts)
suzym1984 Sat 11-Jun-11 10:37:33


At the moment my DS is having 3 or 4 bottles of expressed milk a day ( and BF directly thru the night). My 'problem' is that he has a feed at about 4.30pm ish, so when we put him to bed at 6.45 he refuses his bedtime bottle. This means that we have to dreamfeed him at 8.30ish so he is still waking at 4.30am for a feed.

I would like to get him back to taking a bedtime bottle to see if this will help him get thru the night. is there any way of doing this?

Also, did anyone else have this problem ever? Everyone I know has a bedtime routine of bath, bottle, bed, it makes me feel like I am doing something wrong letting him go to bed without a feed.

Seona1973 Sat 11-Jun-11 11:57:57

what are his feed times during the day? Could you rejig them so that he is having the 4.30pm feed a bit earlier so he is ready for a bedtime feed. e.g. our day tended to start around 7am and feeds were 3 hourly up to 4 months (7, 10, 1, 4, 7) and then 4 hourly from then (7, 11, 3, 7). He did still wake in the night for a feed till he was 8 months though.

japhrimel Sat 11-Jun-11 12:21:02

I'd try and get those day feeds into more, smaller feeds. You don't say how old he is, but 3 day feeds for a baby that is EBF doesn't sound like much.

Could you breastfeed him then? DD likes the comfort of it when tired as much as the food.

jaggythistle Sat 11-Jun-11 13:33:11

how old is he?

if you're doing it just because you feel you need the 'bath, bottle, bed' thing, maybe you're just making work where you don't need it?

I've never even done a bath at night (tends to be mornings for some reason confused), so I've felt a little bit the odd one out too, but definitely not that I'm doing it wrong- just different. smile

i didn't do as much expressing, just for 6 months when i went back to work, but it didn't seem to make a difference whether his last feed was a bottle of ebm with daddy, or me feeding him.

I've always taken the slightly lazy mummy route of not worrying when/how often he fed though, so i may not be the best person to try and offer advice. grin

have you tried a slightly later bed time and he might take some milk then? obviously not an option if he's really too sleepy by then.

hope you get sorted soon, try not to worry too much. smile

Haudyerwheesht Sat 11-Jun-11 14:10:50

Dd was like this until we dropped a bottle at 8m (few weeks ago). She used to have bottles at 7,11,3 and then refuse the 7pm one.

She now has bottles at 830,2 and 620 and it seems to work much better. She also has meals at 7,12 and 5 with fromage frais / water / fruit etc for fluid.

Haudyerwheesht Sat 11-Jun-11 14:10:50

Dd was like this until we dropped a bottle at 8m (few weeks ago). She used to have bottles at 7,11,3 and then refuse the 7pm one.

She now has bottles at 830,2 and 620 and it seems to work much better. She also has meals at 7,12 and 5 with fromage frais / water / fruit etc for fluid.

suzym1984 Sat 11-Jun-11 18:52:41

Thanks for all the replies!

I think part of the problem is that I dont really have set "feed times" and just feed him on demand, is this bad at 4mnths do you think?

He roughly has a bottle on a morning (8.30 ish) then another mid morning (11 ish) then mid afternoon (2ish) then another at 4.30/5 ish and this is it! (apart from a breastfeed in the night).

I have tried to rejig them so that he doesnt have a bottle so near to bedtime, but I dont know what to do, as if he appears hungry then I just feed him.

We have tried a later bedtime, but he gets screamy and overtired by 7pm, so its best for everyone if he just goes to bed at 6.45ish.

I just find it weird that he doesnt have a bedtime bottle, or actual feed times?

japhrimel Sat 11-Jun-11 19:49:12

Feeding on demand is recommended and would be the norm if you were breastfeeding rather than bottle-feeding EBM (why do this if you can breastfeed, I'm curious? hmm )

It really isn't a large number of feeds for a baby that age.

suzym1984 Sat 11-Jun-11 19:57:59

thanks japhrimel so do you think that I should have DS on a schedule? I just dont understand how I can make him eat if he doesnt want to?

The reason for not BF directly is that I am back at work next month and we had a period of bottle refusal which was awful and had me in tears every day. Once I got him to take a bottle I didnt want to risk him rejectting it again, but still wanted him to have breast milk, so have ended up exclusively expressing. I hope that doesnt make me sound selfish sad

suzym1984 Sat 11-Jun-11 20:00:20

I kept a log of todays feed (sad I know!).

4.30am Breastfeed

9.30am bottle 5 oz

12 bottle 6oz

3.30pm bottle 4oz

6.30pm bottle 6oz

and I will probs do a dreamfeed at 10ish (EBM-however much he wants).

So he has had more feeds today, I am just confused as to whether I should have a schedule or just on demand?

RitaMorgan Sat 11-Jun-11 20:57:30

Totally up to you if you schedule or demand feed, personally I find demand feeding easier/nicer for both of us and still do at 10 months. Over time I think they become fairly predictable and find their own routines anyway without scheduling them, as feeds fit around naps, meals etc.

Is it a problem to dreamfeed him? Unless it's difficult for you I wouldn't mess around with his bedtime routine just because other people do things differently.

As for the 4.30am feed - by ds didn't drop that til about 6 months, despite having a bedtime feed and a dreamfeed. I think it's totally normal for a 4 month old to feed a couple of times in the night.

suzym1984 Sat 11-Jun-11 21:06:48

Thanks rita (and for replying to my other post!)

I think I am confused as I feel like I am neither "breastfeeding" or "bottle feeding" so not sure what advice to follow. As I exclusively breastfed for 15 weeks I feel like I should just continue feeding on demand, as this is what I am used to. I just hate putting him to bed without a feed, as it seems pointless when I know that he is going to be hungry soon.

No problem to dreamfeed him, although I find it kind of "unnatural" if you see what I mean? But at least he gets another feed.

I think maybe I am expecting a bit much for him to drop the 4.30 feed, but most of my friends' babies seem to be sleeping through and it makes me wonder what I am doing wrong, if it;s my routine (or lack of it!).

Seona1973 Sat 11-Jun-11 21:18:04

my dd was bottle fed and didnt sleep through till 5 1/2 months. DS was also bottlefed and didnt sleep through till 8 months and that was with a bit of gentle persuasion that started at 6 months (started reducing the middle of the night feed). I didnt expect them to sleep through without a feed until at least 6 months so wasnt too bothered by the wake up. Technically, sleeping 5/6 hours counts as sleeping through so you can tell your friends that your lo is doing it too!!

jaggythistle Sat 11-Jun-11 21:27:25

not sad at all if it helps you. smile

expressing doesn't make you sound selfish, but sounds like hard work so well done!

i went back to work (full time/shifts) when my DS was 5 months 3 wks and ebf. i hadn't had major bottle refusal so can't help with that. I'd practiced with 1-2 bottles a week. he had 2 bottles of ebm a day at first, going down to 1 after a few months.

at weekends and holidays i just bf with no expressing, which was a nice break from the bottle washing! i was able to ditch expressing and bottles by about 11.5 months by adding the odd cup of cow milk. it would have been much earlier if i didn't work evenings and have to cover bedtime!

we've ended up still going strong with a few feeds a day at 20 months.

i can't comment on the schedule as i didn't have one and just fed on demand. in my vast experience of one baby blush, it organised itself once he started having meals really.

good luck and feel free to pm me if you want a chat about going back to work, i know i was pooing it!

jaggythistle Sun 12-Jun-11 05:31:28

<disclaimer-had a wee glass of wine or 2 last night so hope i didn't sound like a crazy stalker there>

forgot to say 4 months is quite tiny really and some of your friends might be exaggerating the sleeping of their wee ones a tiny bit. smile

PenguinArmy Sun 12-Jun-11 05:49:05

If your DC doesn't sleep through (and he does pretty darn well) you are not at fault at all.

I think you're doing just great, amounts seem more than enough and I think it's good to go on demand. I went back to work ft at 4 months and DH gave expressed milk, there was a rough pattern but no schedule.

suzym1984 Sun 12-Jun-11 09:36:22

Thanks again for all the replies! ts so hard not to compare yourself with other mums (and their perfect sleeping through babies!)

jaggythistle thats really kind, and I might take you up on that offer (unless you take it back now the wine has worn off grin )

DS had a feed at 3.30am last night, got up at 6.30am and still hasnt had his breakfast bottle! So 6 hiours since his middle of the night feed! I think my baby may have an eating disorder!

jaggythistle Sun 12-Jun-11 10:05:44

haha nope! i am much less shy after a wee wine. blush

hope it goes well. smile

japhrimel Sun 12-Jun-11 10:12:29

Feeding on demand is good IMO. Most people who are FF don't because it's harder and you're more likely to waste formula as it can't be kept for that long. If you're coping with it, then great.

If you don't do a dream feed, what happens? I think expecting a child this young to sleep through from 6.30pm is unrealistic in most cases so I wouldn't even aim for it TBH.

suzym1984 Sun 12-Jun-11 10:29:39

Thanks again!

japhrimel I cant honestly see any other way than demand feeding, as if I decide that DS is hungry and want to feed him, he refuses unless he is hungry. So I just try and feed to his cues. problem is that after 5pm he is tired and not interested in food, and I think he makes up for this through the night.

Not sure the dreamfeed does much to be honest, as last night he had 4oz at 10.30 and still woke up at 3.30. However, when I heard him stirring at 1am I didnt go through and feed him (as I usually would) and he just went back to sleep. So it probably does help in some ways.

I just cant get my head around not feeding first thing and last thing, but it might just be my DS's pattern.

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