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just given my baby the evil formula milk - will he settle easier?

(19 Posts)
hostelgirl74 Mon 23-Jan-12 14:59:51

My baby is now nearly 7 weeks old. It is not really that he doesnt sleep well as once asleep he sleeps as long as other babies. Problem is settling him can take forever. I m talking on average 3 hours to get him to sleep at night. On an average night we start at about 6 with a view to having him asleep for 9ish. Last night it was actually more like 10.45pm so he excelled himself! This involves breast feeding often 1.5 hours then he will need changing, then feeding a bit more to sleep. Then dad walks him round for a bit. Finally we are completely knackered and he will sleep. In which case we then have to move him into the cot which is like trying to steal keys from the guard. This itself can often be a procedure we have to try several times as he wakes so we then have to start again. This means me and my OH have no evening and just end up going to sleep when baby does. Anyway after weeks of being patient and hoping that things will improve, today I have had it completely. So the plan is to give him a formula feed tonight before he goes to bed in the hope it will tank him up and get him off quickly. I have just tried him with about half a feed this afternoon to see if he will take bottle/likes the milk and so far so good. I will then be free to express some milk this evening (so it doesnt dry up as i do want to continue). What do people think? I tried a dummy (in the last couple of days), again - didnt really want to but he seems happier with it in day but not at night.

NewYearEverything Mon 23-Jan-12 15:01:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Mon 23-Jan-12 15:05:47

Honestly- he's a tiny baby. Of course you don't get an evening! That's the way it is when they are little- they don't have bedtimes or even really night times. They just eat when they are hungry and sleep when they are tired. Don't try to getnhim to sleep- just let him sleep when he wants. If
You're sitting on the sofa feeding, why can't you and your dp have an evening with the baby there? Watching tv or whatever?

MigGril Mon 23-Jan-12 15:09:17

Well it's up to you but, there is no evidance that formula fed baby's sleep any better. In fact apperently BF mum's get on average 20min sleep more a night.

He's only 7 week's which is still really tiny, Feeding frequently in the evenings is totaly normal for a BF baby. It's often reffered to as cluster feeding.

How about just keeping baby down stairs with you and feeding cuddling and relaxing as a family in the evening. Just untill he starts to natrualy settal into a bedtime of his own.

Indith Mon 23-Jan-12 15:10:50

Might work. Might not. No harm in trying if that is what you want to do. If you are expressing in the evening too and bf on demand the rest of the time your supply should be fine.

But as NewYear said, your baby is behaving like a perfectly normal baby. Feeding lots in the evening is normal normal normal. All babies will stop doing it in their own time, some earlier than yours (those annoyingly smug women at baby groups who can put baby down at 7, go out for a meal and come back to feed at 11) and some later than yours. Having no evening is just part of having a baby and for a short while you have to accept that and sleep when you can. And it is a short while, I know it feels like forever but is 7 weeks really a long time? Would 8, 9 or 12 weeks be a long time? Remember your baby was inside you for 9 months with food delivered 24/7 and being rocked and soothed to sleep by your movements and your heartbeat, it takes longer than 7 weeks for a heck of a lot of babies to begin sleeping by themselves of an evening! It might be easier to just forget about bedtime routine until that evening cluster feeding has stopped, at least that way you can slob on the sofa and feed/rock baby rather than tiring yourselves out.

tiktok Mon 23-Jan-12 15:17:29

hostelgirl - yep, agree with NewYear....your baby is showing all the signs of being 7 weeks old smile

It's often a whole lot easier to accept this - snuggle up on the sofa with him and stop trying to get him to settle, and stop the putting down/listening for crying/picking up/feeding/putting down caper smile You just 'cluster feed' for a few hours, and then see if he will settle when you yourselves go to bed. Try co-sleeping if that's something you can do safely.

No wonder you're sick of it all - you;ve been trying it this way for weeks, but all you are doing is fighting the normal, physiological, age-appropriate needs and behaviour of a newborn, and fighting makes things worse not better smile

Of course you can try formula/ebm, but there is no guarentee that it will work any better than just letting your baby's natural 'maturing' take its course smile

hostelgirl74 Mon 23-Jan-12 15:44:36

Will let you know if it works. At least my oh will be able to help feed him a bit and i will be able to have a few hours off one night. Havent been anywhere without him yet. Just feeling sleep deprived. At least I know he will take a bottle so can use for expressing if it doesnt work out.

showtunesgirl Mon 23-Jan-12 18:55:17

My DD is 9 weeks old tomorrow and right now won't go down before 11. I've tried putting her down earlier but she's just not ready so we're just going with the flow. It just wasn't worth wasting time trying to make her sleep when she wasn't ready. Now at 11, she has a feed and she's out like a light with no fuss.

At some point, we'll try earlier but I think it can wait for a bit.

LiamsMummyJaz Mon 23-Jan-12 23:32:49

I breast fed for 10 days and we found it wasn't for us.. From then on my LO has slept through the night from 9-6 and from 8 weeks old 10-12 hours a night. He is now 11 weeks old and he hasn't woken in the night for nearly 2 months... I'm sure one bottle of formula won't hurt. Well done for continuing the BF though. I hope your LO gives you some shut eye soon x

harverina Mon 23-Jan-12 23:38:36

Everything you describe sounds just like my DD at that age. Some nights she cluster fed for 5-6 hours.

I got stressed out when we tried to fight it - for example, if we tried rocking here etc in the hope that she might go to sleep. Of course, it didnt work! The best advice I can give you if you want to keep breastfeeding is to just go with the flow and keep feeding on demand. Sit yourself on the couch and relax!

BreeVanDerTramp Mon 23-Jan-12 23:45:12

Have no advice on how you feed your baby as that is up to you but your post made me sad, very soon your DC won't be a newborn and the time you have now is precious - try to enjoy it. It is perfectly normal for the mother of a 7 week old to not have spent time apart from baby. Of you are very over whelmed then obviously do what it takes to get through the early days/nights.

hostelgirl74 Tue 24-Jan-12 10:13:06

i tried it but i was so anxious (allergies etc) that i didnt sleep much anyway. He seemed to go down better anyway. I ended up waking him to be fed later on as i was worried he was sleeping too long!
I feel like my post has been misconstrued as that i do not want to spend time with him and he is a hassle or something. Completely the opposite. I love breast feeding him and do not want to stop. I will be very sad when it is over. It has just been a hard few weeks. I fed him on and off all evening til 9pm, it was only then i gave him the bottle as a last one to help him sleep. I am just doing my best.

Gribble Tue 24-Jan-12 10:39:39

OP all us parents can do is our best, and I totally get where you are coming from.

Like you I found the constant on / off / on again very draining so we started giving DS2 a FF at night and he is definitely more settled and satisfied, just having a couple of precious hours sleep / relaxation does a world of good.

It does get easier, DS2 is a lot more predictable with his feeds now, but then come the growth spurts and its on / off / on again grin

showtunesgirl Tue 24-Jan-12 11:29:59

OP we all try our best. I think what I was trying to say is that your bedtime expectation is a little unrealistic at this point. I too would love my DD to go down earlier but she's just not ready and forcing it would just make her and us more frustrated.

I know the cluster feeding is hard. Last night I started feeding her at 930pm and then finally at 11pm she went to sleep! I was knackered and the stolen hour after this with DH where we had a glass of wine and watched some TV was amazing. I'd rather doing something like that with DH was the norm rather than the exception but DD is 9 weeks old and we figure it won't be forever.

ArcticRain Tue 24-Jan-12 11:45:53

Hi OP. My LO is 6 weeks and I have started expressing some milk in the day , and DH gives her it from a bottle in the evening around 9. I think she takes more when feed from my expressed milk and sleeps till 0100, however I am then up every hour and a half from then on. This morning , I brought her into our bed at 0530 and we fed and slept on and off till 1030, so I could catch up on sleep. It's also lovely because she likes to chatter to me during that time too . I'm just 'going with the flow'.

Do babies cluster feed in the mornings ?

pat123 Tue 24-Jan-12 16:17:31

I have a 13 week old baby who did exactly the same at about weeks 5-8 and I did the same as yourself and tried formula. Sorry can't say it worked miracles..... and I gave up and went back to EBF. If you want a break you could get your OH to try a bottle but I agree with many of the comments above and speaking with other mums this behaviour is completely normal for a 7week old baby BF or bottle. I always keep bathtime at the same time and aim for 7pm bedtime but bring her downstairs, watch tv and feed her on demand/walk her if she isn't settled. I also aim to get her up at around 715/730am most mornings. SLOWLY she has started to settle earlier and earlier getting nearer to the 7pm bedtime I hope for. Hang on in there and don't worry your baby will settle. Just when you think it'll never get any easier all off a sudden they suprise you!

harverina Wed 25-Jan-12 20:26:10

Hi OP,
You sound like your doing a fab job - agree with some of the others, just remember what is normal and don't have unrealistic expectations. It can be sooo overwhelming in the early weeks. I remember calling my husband a selfish b*****d because I was having to get up to breastfeed again and didnt it suit him for me to be breastfeeding! (I am blush to admit that sad)The tiredness can be hard and the relentless cluster feeding can become draining. BUT...with all that said, like you, I love breastfeeding and the hard days pass so quickly. When you feel like all you have been doing is breastfeeding just remember that it is normal at your baby's age, but also make sure that in between feeds you are getting some time to yourself, even for a soak in the bath, while daddy/granny/friend has a cuddle. And while your DC is cluster feeding make sure you are sitting comfortably, watching tv or reading (whatever helps you relax) and that you have plenty of supplies nearby (or someone who can bring them to you!)

Mum2be79 Wed 25-Jan-12 20:48:14

You have given your newborn a fabulous start.

I have a nearly 4 week old and began by exclusively BFing. It was a nightmare. Despite the 'it's normal' lectures, to me this wasn't normal. I was a physical and emotional wreck. We kept track one day of feeds and found our little boy to be nuzzling for up to 15 hours a day!!! I was on a meltdown to PND until my mum stepped in.

I was pro BFing (still am for those who take to it like a duck does to water!) and my mum (with experience on her side) was supportive of any decision I made. My DH could see that BFing was not doing our family unit any good. Our little boy would latch on at 5pm and still be there until 2am!!! When I mentioned this to my doctor when I saw him for another reason, he said that it was difficult to know if babies were hungry or 'comfort sucking'.

We then decided to combination feed from 2 weeks via bottle (expressing breast milk). For us it worked brilliantly. I was able to see exactly how much our son needed and my breasts expressed the desired amount in less than half the time it took for our son to suckle. We don't find sterilising time consuming - in fact the prep work, expressing and feeding takes less time than breast feeding!! Our evenings were our own again which proved that our little boy was indeed comfort sucking.

He is actually thriving. You can get a lot of conflicting advice from professionals so the best thing to do is listen but choose which path you think is suited for your family. Our little boy is a happy little boy because he has a happy daddy and especially a happy mummy!

Apaterson Wed 05-Aug-15 23:34:45

I know this is a really really old post. But wondered what did you do in the end? I am having the same problem with our little boy. He is now 4 and half months, and we are still finding it hard to get him to sleep. During the day I have to take him out in the pram for half an hour, about an hour and half after feeding so he can sleep, I am unable to put him down in the cot, he just fusses and crys. In the evenings I spend hours breastfeeding him, rocking or my partner walks around with him to get him to sleep. Then we move him to the cot. Sometimes It gets to 12-1am and he's still not asleep, then I usually give up and give him formula which sends him to sleep straight away. We do the same thing every night starting from around 7. bath bottle bed routine, and then put him in a sleeping bag.

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