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Formula Feeders Faff Free Fred.

(172 Posts)
TheDetective Mon 25-Feb-13 23:22:56


As another lovely poster started a thread to discuss formula feeding, and it was sadly hijacked. I am starting this thread for mums who are formula feeding/mixed feeding/expressing and giving via bottle. Hell, it's for anyone who feeds their baby.

It is not for a bun fight, and it is not to discuss the benefits of either method of feeding!

Just to share tips, information and support.

Chat away!

Zara1984 Sun 17-Mar-13 22:38:58

With persistent wind and colicky behaviour, I have heard lots of good things about Dr Browns bottles, too. Obv if you can get some improvement without buying new kit, that's better!

I stressed so much about this when DS was that age but it is a bit of a case of riding it out.

BriocheBriocheBrioche Sat 23-Mar-13 12:09:44

Hello all...

Im just starting to mix feed my 3 month old dd and am getting confused already!!!

I bf on demand and for the moment am replacing the afternoon feed with a bottle of formula. I live in France where the guidlines are to use mineral water and no mention of heating the water to kill bacteria etc. As she feeds on demand its difficult to wait 30 mins for the water to cool down and then cool the bottle after.
Yesterday I put about 60ml of cooled (left it about ten mins) boiled mineral water in the bottle, added formula, shook and then added room temperature mineral water to make it up to 150ml and to a good temperature. Is that ok? Also when im out I will be able to get hot water from a cafe or restaurant but it won't be mineral water?
Any advice or tips would be welcomed!

Phineyj Mon 01-Apr-13 18:55:18

Hi Brioche this thread seems to have died...but what I would recommend for cooling water to the exact temperature needed is this gadget (you keep it in the fridge):

For feeding out and about the easiest thing is to use readymixed formula, if the brand you use offers it (we use the SMA bottles as they're easy to re-seal and I find tetrapaks a pain - the SMA ones can also be used with sterilised teats that you can buy from the supermarket vacuum packed - we keep some in the car in case of long traffic jams). The readymixed bottles are sterile till opened. You can put the prepared bottle into a jug or cup of hot water provided by the cafe or just give it to the baby at room temperature.

Alternatively, ask the cafe for boiling water and mix it with formula you have measured out and brought with you. Avent do a plastic tub thing you can measure up to 3 doses of formula into. Or take your own thermos flask of hot water.

For any of these methods (except if using the SMA teats that screw directly into the bottle) you need to take a pre-sterilised bottle with you, which you could keep in a cool bag if you want to be super careful (again Avent do one).

Another trick for cooling the bottle down quickly is (say if you were after an 180ml feed), make an 120ml feed with powder and boiling water then add 60ml from a readymixed formula bottle, keeping the remainder in the fridge till you need it. However, some posters have said that mixing the powder with boiling water affects the nutrients, so if you're worried about that the Cool Twister avoids that problem. A simple and free alternative is to keep a jug of cold water at the back of the fridge to cool bottles, but it's not as quick as the gadget and again there may be an issue with the nutrients.

Hope that helps -- it will become second nature after a while I'm sure!

iheartshoes Tue 30-Apr-13 19:14:05

Hi everyone hoping someone can help me ... My DD is 18 days old and after struggling with BF I want to get her on to formula. Could anyone give me any tips on the best way to do this ? Is it best to do it one feed at a time? At the moment she is on the boob all day every day it feels like so I couldn't really tell you what her usual times for feeding are, could we maybe start with a 10 pm feed or something tonight and see how we get on? I did start a new thread about this but have already been asked why I wanted to change from bf to ff and I don't really want to have to justify it after being in tears all day I've now had a lovely chat with my DH and decided it is the right thing for me and my DD so hoping to get some useful tips on here x

Charrin10 Tue 30-Apr-13 19:36:28

Hi, I was exactly the same at day 10, just couldn't do it anymore and was in tears. After speaking to the midwife (who was really supportive) we decided to ff at night (so my husband could do it whilst I got some sleep!) and bf in the day. We started straight away with no problems. The only downside to this is that my boobs were really full in the morning which resulted in my baby initially struggling to latch on because they were so hard.

Loads of people told me mixed feeding was a bad idea because my milk would dry up but I didn't find that. We are now on week 5 and over the past week have introduced more ff feeds in the day. I have had to express a little (I can't get much out anyway regardless of how full they are! ) just to relieve the fullness, however you don't want to express too much otherwise your breasts will keep generating more.

I hope this helps. I know others may have done things differently / can suggest other tips, but good luck! You need to do what's best for you all and a happy mummy equals a happy baby.

iheartshoes Tue 30-Apr-13 19:40:54

Thank you Charrin . Can I ask how often you give your baby a bottle of a night ?

Charrin10 Tue 30-Apr-13 19:54:16

Initially I bf him about 8pm but then gave him an ff top up as he was constantly rooting for more, then about 11 he had about 3oz ff which if I remember rightly he slept solidly until about 3 ( i think it was the shock of having so much milk, he almost had s 'drunk' look bless him) when he had another 3oz then about 6 I'd bf again. So initially he was having 2-3 bottles. Then we gradually introduced further bottles over the weeks.

I've found though that he will still have the odd constantly feeding stage (we are going through that now ) where he will want a bottle every 1 1/2 - 2 hours in the day but at night he usually sleeps in 3 hour stints. The only downside I've found to ff opposed to bf is when he's screaming for food you need the time to prepare the food rather than just puting him on the boob. But I suppose it just takes practice!

tiktok Tue 30-Apr-13 21:40:01

iheart, it's always best to change gradually if you can, and one bottle every few days (I don't mean one bottle every few days only - I mean if you give a bottle at X o'clock, then do it every day and then wait a few days before adding a bottle at Y o'clock smile ) This not only gives your breasts a chance to wind down production gradually and comfortably, but it leaves you with some flexibility in maintaining some bf if you want to for a wee while, and you can work out which pattern/timetabling of feeds suits you and your baby best.

The HV should be able to help you fine tune things.

Hope things work out for you.

roamingwest Tue 30-Apr-13 21:41:56

Oh I'm so glad I found this thread! 14 wo DD has been EBF and we've overcome thrush and tongue tie and I have loved bf her, and would love to do so for many more months.

However, when she is 5 months we will have a lot of changes to contend with - new city, new house, me going back to work and her starting nursery. None of this is avoidable or can be spread out timewise. I've thought about it a lot and am going to gradually switch to ff over the next month or so, to limit the amount of change she will have in July (well to take one change out of the equation anyway sad).

I have to be on the ball in work, I can't risk her screaming in nursery and refusing to drink, or reverse cycling and feeding all night. I'm not in the UK and while I know all the legal stuff about time off to bf / pump, my job just wouldn't be compatible with that approach i.e. I'm still in training. I'm getting comfortable with my decision... and I like having somewhere on MN that I don't have to justify it and am looking forward to DH and DM being able to feed her too.

So practically...I'm dropping her 2pm-ish feed first, and yesterday she downed a 3oz bottle of 50% ebm 50% formula. I thought she would have taken a lot more if there had been more in the bottle. Today however, there was 2/3 formula (thought I was onto a good thing!) and she only drank 2oz and was upset for the rest of the afternoon (I bf'd her after an hour or so - didn't want her to go hungry!), missed her nap and was generally out of sorts. I didn't know whether she stopped drinking because she was full up or whether she realised it was a bottle and freaked out - how can you tell!!?? I only have a teeny bit of ebm left in the freezer, so can't rely on mixing with formula for much longer. Also, if I'm pumping in the mornings to put ebm into bottles, doesn't this defeat the point somewhat?

I know this is a bit of an essay! Is it always this hard switching? RL friends have just 'dropped a feed and given a bottle instead' and it has gone smoothly. It's a very emotional thing for me to give up and even though she is only 3 months I think she is upset too and confused. I'm probably overthinking all of this, and definitely underestimated how hard it would be. Would appreciate some hand-holding from others who have been through similar smile.

Phineyj Tue 30-Apr-13 21:59:14

Hi ladies, I can't offer any practical advice on switching as I only got to about day 5 before I decided I was not prepared to put up with the pain of bf, but I just wanted to say please don't beat yourselves up. My DD is thriving on formula milk, my DH really likes being able to participate and I am sure it was the right decision for us.

I can suggest trying more than one type of formula if your DC doesn't take to the first one. Our DD is very happy on SMA but Aptamil didn't agree with her at all. Also, the bottles available differ greatly and your DC may prefer a specific type (the 'Mam' ones to me look more like nipples). Possibly bf babies may find the bottles very plasticky smelling to begin with? (no evidence for this, but I was just wondering about it the other day when I unpacked some new teats). Perhaps a few soaks in boiling water before sterilising would help reduce the plasticky smell.

I seem to keep recommending this gadget (I'm not on commission, honest) but it is brilliant as it takes about 5 mins out of the ff preparation process, which is helpful when DC is screaming for food!

Phineyj Tue 30-Apr-13 21:59:36

iheartshoes Tue 30-Apr-13 23:07:22

Thanks tiktok and phiney , roamingwest I hope the switch goes well for you smile

dottypyjamas Wed 01-May-13 09:24:13

This thread is brilliant - I'm currently 36 weeks pg and for various reasons planning to ff and have been able to find hardly any info, so thanks guys - can see me returning again and again to re-read the tips! Also like the look of that cooling gadget - amazon 1click ordering is dangerous!

iheartshoes Wed 01-May-13 12:06:43

It's good isn't it dotty, I almost cried with relief when I found it and read all the info !!

TheFalconsmistress Wed 01-May-13 12:33:37

Great thread please keep it going 19 Weeks with DC 2 and planning to ff or mf depending if boob comes easy to her grin

Jsa1980 Wed 01-May-13 18:40:41

Glad I found this. Gave up BF at ten days after having fed on the hour for 30 mins every hour then fed solidly for five hours. I just couldn't go on. Gave a bottle of ready made formula and baby (and me) slept for three hours, which is the longest he's slept since birth. I am much much happier vand so is baby, he also seems much more alert. I am sad that my body couldn't give him what he needed but that amount of feeding was not sustainable for any longer.

iheartshoes Wed 01-May-13 21:42:22

It's such a useful thread isn't it. My DD took a bottle at 1am last night which seemed to go down well and I gave her another one at 730 she is now sleeping peacefully in her crib and I've enjoyed my first relaxing bath in three weeks rather than having to just jump in the shower as quickly as poss. JSA my reasons for stopping are the same as yours she was just on me all the time feeding I didn't feel confident to leave the house as didn't want to feed in public and am very happy with my decision. Question though.... I would like to go into town with DD tomorrow or Friday ... I have the ready made cartons of milk to take with me but what should I take in terms of bottles? Do you just sterilise bottle as normal before you go out and pop in a bag ?

kllews26 Wed 01-May-13 22:45:08

Can I check that I've understood all this correctly? Any more advice is welcome.
I am expecting twins first week in June and probably going to FF with aptamil. The thought of making every single feed (for two babies) from scratch and waiting for the kettle to cool to 70 degrees seems overwhelming when you have babies screaming to be fed. Even more so in the middle of the night.
From the tips above, the issue seems to be that the powder needs to hit hot water (70 degrees) when mixed.
Does anyone else make up enough feeds for half a day or so, and then store in fridge. I have a bottle warmer.
Wondering if this approach is pragmatic or risky. Any thoughts?

Jsa1980 Thu 02-May-13 02:47:19

Iheartshoes - it's nice to know I'm not on my own!

As far as I'm aware that is what you do, but I've only been doing it two days so you might want to get reassurance from someone else!

OooohShiny Thu 02-May-13 21:14:26

kllews26 Yes, I did a couple of days trying the recommended way of making up each one fresh and the whole screaming baby whilst you waited on the boiled water cooling enough to put the formula in then cooling the bottle once made up.

I mentioned this to the midwife who came out on day 3 of being home and she said it was fine to boil a kettle, let it cool and then put it in a flask for nighttime and make up the formula from flask water. She also said it was ok to make up a bottle, flash cool it then store it in the fridge if i needed one to take out and about with me. I remember after her saying that I checked the NHS website and it also said it was ok to make one up in advance so long as it was used within 24 hours. That was when I made the decision to do just that but only make up 2 or 3 bottles at a time, flash cool then straight up to the back of the fridge.

I'm 8 months down the line now and have made a few up at a time since my DS was a couple of weeks old and have never had any problems. The only thing I have rigidly stuck to is chucking a bottle down the sink if it isn't used within 24 hours.

OooohShiny Thu 02-May-13 21:17:07

iheartshoes Yes, sterilise your bottles then they are fine to go out so long as you keep them 'done up' and lid on until you're ready to add in your ready made.

iheartshoes Fri 03-May-13 01:11:14

Thanks Shiny smile

iheartshoes Fri 03-May-13 21:55:54

Best way to warm a bottle of formula in the night... I have made up a bottle of formula just now for the 1am/2am feed and its currently in back of fridge... To heat it up in the night should I just dunk it in a jug of boiling water for a couple of minutes ? Or am I better off running it under a hot tap? If I dunk it in a jug of water do I need to be very careful about what part of the bottle the water touches ?

TheFalconsmistress Fri 03-May-13 22:32:39

Chucking it in boiled water in a jug is fine iheartshoes smile

OooohShiny Sat 04-May-13 21:06:34

I always did the jug of boiling water, initially to warm and then gradually over a few weeks to just long enough to take the chill off

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