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Back to work - bottle feeding advice

(14 Posts)
TallulahBelly14 Thu 28-Jul-11 09:03:23

My son is six months old this week and I need to start thinking about winding down breastfeeding sniff. Can someone please give me some words of advice, as I'm not sure how to manage it:

a. Can you talk me through the process of making up bottles? So far he's only had expressed breast milk, but my freezer stash is running low, so I suppose we'll have to start using formula soon.

Now I get that I need to do them with hot water, but how do you do that if you're making them up in advance, e.g. for a 4am feed? Do I need to boil a kettle every time? I've been told that you can make bottles with cooled water, but doesn't that mean that the bottle then wouldn't be sterile? We're not very regimented with our feed times so I won't necessarily know when he's likely to wake up in advance.


b. How gradually should I stop BFing? I was hoping to continue doing early morning and before bedtime feeds indefinitely, and then giving him bottles at all other times. BUT at the moment I can’t give him bottles myself, only his dad / childminder can (I guess because he can smell breastmilk on me – he turns towards me and tries to BF instead). So what do I do at weekends if I have him on my own? And does this mean I have to stop cold turkey? There might not be an answer to this, but I’d really like to hear other people’s experiences.

DuelingFanjo Thu 28-Jul-11 11:52:34

bumping for you.

I am going back to work when ds is six months and have been given lots of advice RE continuing to feed.

hopefully someone will have info for you but in short I have been told it is possible and babies can go all day without a milk feed and just be fed in the mornings and evening. Hopefully someone will also have the correct ino RE making up formula because IIRC you must use water of 70 degrees to make each bottle.

AppleyEverAfter Thu 28-Jul-11 11:55:01

I'm no expert but I don't think you're supposed to make up the bottles in advance any more. Stupid health rules.

AppleyEverAfter Thu 28-Jul-11 11:57:34

NHS formula feeding advice

Kveta Thu 28-Jul-11 11:57:46

you don't have to stop bfing if you don't want to!

I went back to work when DS was 7 months old, and although I did express every day initially, I didn't enjoy it at all, and didn't get much out. So DS got a carton of formula every day (I'm lazy, and the nanny he was with initially didn't want to make up formula, so I just decanted it into a sterilised bottle in the morning when he was with her - the childminder was more on the ball, and happy to make it up. We stopped using the nanny after a couple of months because she was bloody awful). I would bfeed in the morning when he woke up, then sometimes just before setting off to drop him off, and then he would get a feed when I got home from work, and another immediately before bed (then about a zillion through the night, little sod!).

I invested in a wee cool bag and some freezer packs, so it would be kept cool - DS didn't mind what temp it was at, which was good!

Anyway, he is still having morning and evening feeds at 22 months, and I am still supposedly working grin

TallulahBelly14 Thu 28-Jul-11 12:30:11

OK, thanks all. It seems like I should expect some sleepless nights if we're moving over to bottles. So do people who bottle feed have to wait for the boiling water to cool, while soothing a hungry baby? I thought there must be another solution.

And does anyone have a baby who won't take a bottle from you, but will take it from someone else? My son has very fixed ideas on this subject!

BenRoo Thu 28-Jul-11 13:02:49

Hi Tallulah!
I also went back to work when my DS was 6 months old.
I panicked terribly because he just would not take a bottle from ANYONE!!
For the 1st couple of weeks he would only accept 10mls very reluctantly from a sippy cup,and the night feeds did increase! (co-sleeping helped LOADS)
But the nursery girls were so helpful and bought different bottles,teats & cups and tried him with them all until he found one he 'liked'.(MAM trainer cup)
He now guzzles away quite happily at nursery but still doesn't from me,DH or Nanny envy
We use a doidy cup instead!
I started expressing twice a day when I first returned (exhausting) and now once a day as his milk feeds have dropped due to solid intake.
Try not to worry,you'll both find a solution,and as a pp has already said this doesn't have to mean the end of your brestfeeding journey!
Good luck!

Elpis Thu 28-Jul-11 23:41:11

Kveta's right - you can make it work. I expressed twice a day when I returned to work at 5.5 months (too early for my liking, but my boss pressured me and I was frightened of being demoted). At about 14 months I reduced it to once a day, and when DD was two I stopped expressing. No doubt this is a bit exceptional, but it worked for me and means I still have enough milk to feed DD to sleep during her nap on my days off. We both appreciate that.

My main tip, if you decide to express, would be to invest in a good pump so you can do it quickly and reliably.

PenguinArmy Fri 29-Jul-11 00:54:49

I went back at four months, luckily for me work had a breastfeeding/pumping rooms with hospital grade pumps (mothers brought their own attachment bits). This made pumping so much easier and I rented one for home use as well.

Until 7 months I expressed twice a day, then she was on one bottle at lunch time and I fed her twice before leaving and twice early evening (6 and at 8 both am and pm) plus night feeds (she was a night waker anyway so no regression).

At 10 months we had her weaned of daytime milk. Plenty of mothers let their DCs go without milk during the day due to bottle refusing etc. from 6 months. If the child can sleep through the night then they can go 8/10 hours during the day is my theory. Alternatively you can give FF during the day and BF at night. Otherwise the cartons could work for those middle of the night feeds.

There isn't a right or wrong answer, just what works best for you and your family. Good luck and we all find it a muddle until we've got our routine started.

TallulahBelly14 Fri 29-Jul-11 15:13:56

Thanks so much - I really appreciate hearing about your experiences.

I'm still easing back in to working (half days only), so expressing just once a day is quite doable for now. I think I'll wait to see how quickly he adapts to solids and bottles over the next month (have ordered a doidy cup - thanks Benroo for the suggestion), and decide from then on. Thanks again for the help.

SAS25 Fri 29-Jul-11 21:35:06

I go back to work in four weeks when baby will be 5 months, problem is she refuses a bottle and my partner has been away so occasionally others have tried with a little success but now, she refuses. i work a shift day of long hours and small company with no private space to express. I am seriously worried about how baby and I will cope. how can i persuade her to take a bottle over next few weeks? or should i skip and go straight to a cup. she is four months today.

PenguinArmy Fri 29-Jul-11 23:36:38

DD took a sippy cup from 4 months. Can someone bring her in to feed at lunchtime or you go to her? I thought the law said a space had to be provided, even if it's just borrowing a room once or twice a day (manager's office?)

I would suggest starting a new thread with bottle refuser, going to work with baby just 5months mentioned.

Elpis Sat 30-Jul-11 15:28:43

My DD refused a bottle before I started leaving her with her nanny. The problem was that she could smell my milk or see me and saw no reason to take the milk from anyone else. Warming the bottle is important, too. If you can do a trial run or two before returning to work you may well find that she'll accept it from the caregiver. Good luck!

SarahScot Sat 30-Jul-11 17:25:38

Oops, I just started a similar thread! Some reassuring advice on here.

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