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Has mixed feeding worked for anyone?

(30 Posts)
Allboxedin Thu 29-Sep-11 20:16:32

I BF for a short while with dd but changed to bottle fairly quickly after lots of pain and finding it really difficult to get on with. I admit I also didn't enjoy it in the least with dd.
I am due again in October and although I would like to BF, I am thinking about possibly mixed feeding after a little while,maybe in the evenings/night time.

I don't mean to be rude but I know sole BF is best grin ect.... so wanted to hear from some mums who this had worked for specifically.
I have an autoimmune problem which makes me extremely tired at the best of times and comes and goes and I am really worried about dealing with a toddler and being woken up several times at night time to BF. I know it all sounds terribly selfish but I know how I work and I feel somehow this might be the best way.

Nevercan Thu 29-Sep-11 20:38:43

I started out solely breastfeeding both dd1 and dd2 for 3 months. I then mixed fed them for another month until switching over with no issues smile

Allboxedin Thu 29-Sep-11 20:47:16

Thanks never, did you have certain times you used bottle when you mixed fed ?

BedHog Thu 29-Sep-11 20:47:47

I mix fed for 9 weeks until DS went on nursing strike, and decided he didn't want to BF any more. Then we had a miserable couple of months with a combination of expressing a pitiful few oz of milk per day, FF, and the occasional dreamfeed if I could catch him before he woke up and started howling at the sight of my nipples.

As I understand it, you are less likely to get problems with nipple confusion and breast refusal if you introduce a bottle between 3 and 8 weeks old, so if you can manage to exclusively BF for a few weeks, you'll probably have more chance of success long term with the mix feeding.

AppleAndBlackberry Thu 29-Sep-11 20:48:14

I haven't done it but I know quite a few people who mainly breastfed but gave 1 bedtime bottle and found that worked for them. I think the recommendation is to wait a few weeks before introducing formula so that you can get your supply established.

The only thing I would say about night feeds is that I find breastfeeding in bed a couple of times a night is fairly manageable (not necessarily co-sleeping, I don't). You don't wake up as much as if you have to get up and make a bottle and baby doesn't wake up as much because there's no waiting so he/she goes back to sleep more quickly and so do you. Of course if your DH/P can do it without disturbing you at all that might be even better but you'll know if that's realistic or not (mine couldn't!).

Allboxedin Thu 29-Sep-11 20:53:19

Bedhog, I was trying to express too and it would take me forever to get anything out. Apple I don't think DH would want ot do it much at night time.
I thought that with a bottle they actually woke up less but I can see your point if you are having to get up and make bottles etc.

mamasmissionimpossible Thu 29-Sep-11 20:56:36

I used to give one bottle of formula at night for my dd and ds, but otherwise I just bf them. I stopped the formula once dd was eating solids, but carried on with the bf until she was 2. For some reason I could not express bm easily and that bottle of ff gave me a chance to get some much needed sleep, whilst dh fed dd.

girliefriend Thu 29-Sep-11 21:06:42

I had to mix feed from day 1 as dd was ill at birth and then I was ill 2 weeks later!!! Infact when I was ill (in hospital) she was entirely bottlefed for about 3 days and then I with the support of a lovely midwife was able to return to bfing.

It can be done but does depend on the baby, luckily for me my dd never seemed to have a pref for either method of feeding and didn't seem to get confused. I was quite determined to bf and I think my perservence helped.

I always bf 1st and then would 'top up' if I felt she was still hungry and this seemed to be the case esp in the evenings. However by the time dd was about 12wks I just bf and didn't reintroduce a bottle until I had to go back to wk when dd was about 7mo.

Allboxedin Thu 29-Sep-11 21:14:04

mama, did they sleep longer at night on a bottle do you think?
Thanks girlie, its interesting and I guess all babies are different so it is a bit unpredictable.

PrincessScrumpy Fri 30-Sep-11 10:46:14

I have twins (4 weeks old) and have been struggluing with bfing as we all have thrush and my boob is still painful as tablets haven't worked yet. I was emotionally drained. We'd been giving them a bottle of ebm from 3w to ensure they could take a bottle (made the mistake of not giving dd1 a bottle until 12 weeks and then she wouldn't take it). But still, I was at the verge of quitting bfing as I wasn't enjoying it and it hurt so much. I tried a support group who just told me to persevere (not helpful). After lots of tears, my hv arrived and was fab, she advised mixed feeding and a little expressing if I can but not to get too stressed.

I loved feeding dd1 and did so until 8months so feel really guilty and like I'm failing, but the option to not give up completely has helped a lot. She told me to ensure bottles are given at the same time each day so it won't mess up my milk supply and we are doing the two night feeds with bottles, one ebm and one formula and then I express the 2nd time as my boobs were painfully full.

dtds had been faffing around latching on but this morning after 2 bottles (it was the first night we'd done it) they both latched beautifully and dtd1 probably had the best feed from me so far. dtd2 latched well but took very little and then slept so will poke her in 15 mins if she hasn't woken.

33goingon64 Fri 30-Sep-11 11:10:56

We give DS formula before bed and also when he wakes (once) in night. Rest of day is bf (about 3 feeds as he s now 7mo). Works fine for us.

thefurryone Fri 30-Sep-11 21:21:09

I EBF until the 6 week growth spurt broke me, so DS has had 1 bottle before bed since then (he's now 22 weeks), this is great for us as it gives me a break after a long day on my own with him and DH a chance to spend a bit of time with him before bed. We are lucky in that he has always happily accept the bottle and now knows to expect that the before bed feed is different, although if I'm the one giving the bottle he often also expects a BF, but I'm a bit of a softy and now that BF no longer hurts I don't mind topping him up a bit.

Not sure it really helps him to sleep longer though, he's only slept through once and has recently gone from once a nignt to 2-3 times a night!! Although saying that he does sleep for at least 5 hours for the first part of the night, and I think this is much more to do with DS's natural approach to sleep than how he is fed.

mamasmissionimpossible Fri 30-Sep-11 21:40:43

Allboxedin - Unfortunately, the bottle didn't help my dc's sleep. My dd in particular was an atrocius sleeper, until she was around 2.5. At least I was able to get to bed earlier, whilst dh gave the last feed, allowing me about 4 hours sleep before she woke up screaming for more bm, happy days!! hmm

Zipitydooda Fri 30-Sep-11 21:45:56

I have given my DS3 (4 months) a bottle of formula at bedtime and BF the rest of the time since he was about 6 weeks. For night feeds BF is much easier as you can lie in bed feeding and doze, I really haven't suffered from tiredness too much with DS3. He slept through the night (11 hours) much earlier than DS1 and DS2 who didn't until they they had food at 5/6 months however they both had formula at bedtime so don't assume that your baby will sleep through earlier with formula.

kd73 Fri 30-Sep-11 21:56:08

I have excl bf 2 children and have found from talking with friends the bottle / breast debate has no bearing on sleep. You either have a child that sleeps or one that doesn't.

However it should be noted that when bf, your body releases hormones which relax you making it easier for you to return to sleep, which is great for night feeds.

thehairybabysmum Fri 30-Sep-11 21:59:41

Worked great for me.. I gave 1 Oz of formula on ds2s first night as my milk hadn't come in (but lots of bf first); then bf for six wks then I mix fed til 5 months. I fed him bf til about 5 pm then bottle as I found it easier than the 6-8pm cluster feeding as I had to get a toddler to bed. Bf in night. But not much as he was a good sleeper.

I also used bottles out and about as I never found it easy to bf out without loads of cushions!

thehairybabysmum Fri 30-Sep-11 22:00:54

Ds2 slept through night at 6 weeks when still excl bf so don't think sleep related to type of milk.

Chicksy Fri 30-Sep-11 22:03:38

I did it for my first two DC from about 1 week old, both have a dietary condition so EBF was a no no. I would give 2 - 3 oz in a bottle and then topped up with bf. This worked really well for me and I kept bf until 7 months. Never had any issue between switching or milk supply this way.

RIZZ0 Fri 30-Sep-11 22:09:57

Yes worked great for me as I couldn't express. I used Aptamil and Hipp Organic.

DS I breast feed for a few weeks then mix-fed until 5 months when recurring thrush and breast damage got the better of me.
DD solely breast fed until 3 months apart from the odd get out of jail top up with formula, then mix fed for another three months. Had no probs with the damaged breast second time around as she was gentler and I was more confident (although now she is two and not been breast fed for a long time I am getting boob pain a lot hmm )

Beware however, dropping too many feeds until you are really sure of your supply. I was really happy mix feeding and could have gone on for ages but dropped a feed when in hindsight, supply wasn't ample and suddenly it all dried up sad - I was gutted.

wasabipeanut Fri 30-Sep-11 22:13:01

I mix fed DS from about 3 months. I introduced a bed time bottle at that age and then a lunch time bottle at about 4 months. I continued with this 3 x breast feeds and 2 bottle feeds until around 6 months and then continued 50/50 until around 7 months. I exclusively bf'd DD but my milk started to dry up at about 7 months when periods returned. I managed to bf her morning and night until about 8 months but it is interesting to note that mix feeding made little difference to milk supply. With DS I believe it allowed me to continue giving him breast milk for longer than I would have done had I insisted on exclusive feeding.

Allboxedin Sat 01-Oct-11 08:28:14

Thanks everyone, it is good to know it is possible, dd didn't sleep through for quite a long time anyway so I agree that it probably has no bearing on how they sleep.

I have written another post actually about another concern I have because dd had a milk allergy and I wonder if that had affected BF in the early days.

I am going to ask HV/midwife about it but I guess with a second I need to be aware that this baby might follow suit.
I had no idea about allergies or eczema until I had dd so it's been a learning curb for us both (although hubby had some as a child)

I know it sounds really prude of me but I am not really confident about BF in public as some of the other mums seem to be, even though I am 31!!
I know one or two who can just flip out a boob standing up in the middle of the park and I know I wouldn't be comfortable doing that.

Allboxedin Sat 01-Oct-11 08:30:03

'but it is interesting to note that mix feeding made little difference to milk supply. With DS I believe it allowed me to continue giving him breast milk for longer than I would have done had I insisted on exclusive feeding.'
- Interesting to hear someone say that! smile because you always seem to hear the opposite.

PrincessScrumpy Sat 01-Oct-11 08:41:51

re bf in public - get a bebe au lait shawl from mothercare website - it's fab.

Ragwort Sat 01-Oct-11 08:48:57

Yes, I mix fed from fairly early on (can't remember exactly - it was 10 years ago grin) - three-four weeks I think - I just felt that I wasn't producing enough milk - tried pumping etc which was horrendous. I personally found it easier to give the occasional bottle - there was no set time, could be day or evening - I wasn't always comfortable about b/feeding in public and it meant I could always leave DS with DH or someone else. DS was a very good sleeper but not sure if that had anything to do with it.

I think mixed feeding is really under publicised, it worked for me very well. I continued to BF for eight months and then DS went straight onto beakers as I personally don't like seeing older babies with bottles - but that is my personal issue !!

Allboxedin Sat 01-Oct-11 19:43:01

WIll have a look at that
I think it is too ragwort, I actually think if it were mentioned more often as an option it would help mums to be more psoitive about breast feeding.
I get really frustrated and overwhelmed by all the advertising now about how BF is best and I honestly think it puts some people off it altogether - but lets not go there on this thread grin
Agree with the beaker thing too.

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