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Combination feeding to relieve colic at night and help with weight gain - advice?

(11 Posts)
aamia Wed 19-Sep-12 20:26:18

Hi,
My son is now 4 days old. He was just breast fed to start with, but has always struggled at night after a feed, being a little uncomfortable. Once my milk came in this progressed to rock hard tummy, inconsolable crying, arms and legs punching in all directions, and lots of wind - but ONLY at night. Last night, wondering if it was something to do with my changing milk, I gave him some formula. The wind eased, he stopped crying and slept. Today we were back to breast feeding and he was fine with that, sucking well and feeding every 2 hours or so. He's also had early jaundice and lost some weight while being over sleepy with that and on the light beds.

So - would it be wrong to feed him formula at night, to soothe his tummy, then breastfeed during the day?

And - he's obv used to little and often, so doesn't take the recommended amount (on the packet) of formula - more like 1/3 to 1/2 of it before he falls asleep. I'm thinking this is def better than not eating at all (which is what he was doing last night before I tried formula), but will his stomach expand or will he make up the rest during the day?

Iggly Wed 19-Sep-12 21:10:57

Well recommended amounts are just guidelines - babies come in different sizes so don't get too hung up on that.

If you want to keep up BF, I wouldn't feed formula at night not this young. Have you seen a BF counsellor to check his feeding? It could be that he's overtired hence the reaction (my DD was like this) and it's harder for baby to BF as takes a bit more effort. He might have slept after the formula as it was quicker to fill his tummy.

breaghmum Wed 19-Sep-12 21:22:59

Your breast milk should be fine & not cause your baby any problems. It is tailor made to your babies needs. When babies have jaundice they can become very sleepy & go off their feeds. It's important to keep them well hydrated & encourage feeding. It's really good that baby still wants to b/f but if you find baby is not taking enough you can top up each feed with a bottle of formula which will improve weight gain. Bear in mind it is common for babies to loose up to 10% of their birth weight in 1st 10 days of life. Your midwife should be monitoring this. You def don't want them loosing any more than 10%. Anything under that is usually ok.
Is your baby having regular bowel movements? Sometimes constipation Can cause them to be unsettled or have a firm tummy...
I would keep up regular b/f if you want to continue to b/f. Milk production is highest at night so it's really important to do note feeds or express to keep your supply up & establish feeding. I would b/f then top up occasional feed by bottle so you get a longer gap between feeds as baby will be fuller for longer. It's recommended you b/f for no longer than 30mins then offer a bottle after for no longer than about 20mins. If baby is at breast too long they will be too tired to bottle feed.
Hope this helps. I know how stressful it can be when b/f & having poorly baby.

breaghmum Wed 19-Sep-12 21:26:20

Iggly is right don't get too hung up on volumes. As long as baby is satisfied & gaining reasonable weight it's fine smile

MigGril Thu 20-Sep-12 06:42:28

Breag - really only breastfeeding for 30min. A breastfeed can take anywhere from 5 - 60 min both are normal and anything inbetween is normal to. Epically in a baby this young.

Iggly is right adding formula at this stage could Comoros your ability to continue breastfeeding. You run the risk of not establishing a good supply especially as giving formula at night when your hormones are higher will interrupt your milk protection.

It's very normal for babies to be fussy in the evening and want to cluster feed.

I think you should talk to your midwife about his tummy, they should be able to offer some help.

He will have slept longer with formula as it fills them for longer at this age, baily as it's hard for them to digest.

breaghmum Thu 20-Sep-12 08:33:44

Yes that is right a breast feed between 5-69mins is normal. But if baby is not getting enough or loosing weight rapidly then this is the best method to get back on track & improve weight gain.
I did state that it would not be a good idea to drop night feeds because of milk production levels. Sometimes in some cases mums do need to supplement their milk with formula for various reasons. There is nothing wrong with giving formula from birth.
Midwives should advise what is best option in this case.

breaghmum Thu 20-Sep-12 08:34:12

Sorry 5-60mins!

aamia Thu 20-Sep-12 11:09:14

Thanks everyone smile. Was very careful not to eat anything that upset me in pregnancy yesterday, and we had a better night last night. Could be related, could not be, but I needed some sleep and it was worth a try! Will discuss this with the midwife today - when in hospital they did advocate 'topping up' if baby wouldn't wake enough for a decent breast feed as they were worried about weight gain. Will see how much he weighs today at the appt and go from there.

stripeyZ Thu 20-Sep-12 17:48:13

Babies are very windy in the beginning as digesting and food is so new. It takes a good few weeks for their little tums to settle down. Breastmilk will be much more digestible as it is designed for them :-) Formula is made from cows milk which is obviously a different species, this is why it kind of 'knocks them out' as their bodies have to work so much harder to digest it.

I found this useful when making my decision.

aamia Fri 21-Sep-12 13:30:36

Hmm, might have found the problem. Too much milk and too forceful a let-down. Matches the symptoms. Have started thread to ask about it, and when I can get hold of a midwife to ask, will ask them!

squirreling Fri 21-Sep-12 21:41:26

Hiya-have you tried colief? I am in a similar boat-5 week old baby who for the last couple of weeks has shown colicy symptoms. We were recommended colief and dr browns bottles which have worked wonders (we were using tommee tippee bottles before). However I think giving himbottles this early on (I have been expressing since 10 days old-otherwise I am pretty sure I would havegivenup bf with the amount of time feeding was taking) has caused some problems-he seems more fussy on the breast to the extent I have found myself giving him cartons of formula when out and about-I have spoken to bf councellor who has sais she thinks usng bottles so early has made him lazy but also my milk production has decreased where we've been using formula so really I wish I;d been more careful with using formula so ealry on. People do seem to say it's possible to combine breast and formula but I'm not sure how long for as I can only see it gradually decreasing milk supply etc.

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