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Breastfeeding in the day and formula at night, from birth, any tips?

(58 Posts)
ThreaderickDorrit Thu 11-Apr-13 18:07:08

I am hoping to breastfeed my next child during the day and for my DH to take over at nights. I have previously exclusively breastfed day and night but last time round I got so ill from repeated mastitis and sleep deprivation. My DH wanted this baby so badly and he needs very little sleep so before I even got pregnant he promised to do the night feeds to allow me some rest and to ensure that the baby takes a bottle and we can move to formula quickly if the recurrent mastitis is a problem again.

My plan is simply to breastfeed exclusively for a week so that my milk comes in etc and then to hand the baby to DH and the spare room at 11pm and to let him get on with it until 6/7am. We have bought some Avent bottles and a tub of Aptimal (we have never owned a bottle or formula before so this is all new). Do we need to think of anything else?

tiredteddy Thu 11-Apr-13 18:10:33

A good steriliser for the bottles? Lots of muslins squares for sicky bits?

noblegiraffe Thu 11-Apr-13 18:10:59

I'm not an expert but I think that giving formula for all night feeds from a week old would mean that you wouldn't successfully establish your milk supply and this would cause problems for your ability to breastfeed.

CreatureRetorts Thu 11-Apr-13 18:14:14

I think you're likely to have a big drop in supply as milk is higher at night stimulated by night feeds.

If you had recurrent mastitis there was a chance that there was underlying issue. Possibly tongue tie where baby cannot feed efficiently therefore feeds more often and you get mastitis.

Without patronising - there will always be some night wakings with babies. Also your baby might only settle for you, might not take a bottle, might be intolerant to formula. So you may need other ways to deal with the lack of sleep.

rubyslippers Thu 11-Apr-13 18:14:44

I think your supply won't establish and before long you will be exclusively formula feeding

Night feeds are really important for lots of reasons

You run a risk of mastitis of you are sleeping through night feeds too

SarfEasticated Thu 11-Apr-13 18:15:15

yes agree with noblegiraffe I was told that breastfeeding at night really got your milk supply going. This is your second baby though, so you should know how your body works. I would really try to get to see a lactation consultant early on just to make sure latch is OK to prevent mastitis. Good luck!

rubyslippers Thu 11-Apr-13 18:15:20

Co sleeping was great for me in terms of getting more rest

ThreaderickDorrit Thu 11-Apr-13 18:15:23

Oh yes, we have a microwave steriliser but how could I have forgotten about the muslins!?!

I have always been "blessed" with copious supply. My (possibly wrong) understanding is that your body makes what your baby needs. If I don't feed at night then hopefully my body will adjust to not making much milk at night but if I feed all day then it should adjust supply to cope with that and produce plenty of day time ilk. I may be wrong but I think consistency is the key, if I was to introduce random bottles at other times of the day that would be hard for my body to plan for.

AThingInYourLife Thu 11-Apr-13 18:15:50

I don't think a week will be enough to establish your milk supply.

I would give it at least a fortnight.

Then I would introduce one formula feed at a time.

CreatureRetorts Thu 11-Apr-13 18:17:08

Again copious supply can, can, be a sign of tongue tie - in fact you think it's over supply but it isn't.

I co slept with my second. Absolute life saver.

nananaps Thu 11-Apr-13 18:17:38

Ahhh fantastic idea, we are doing this at the moment and its going really well.

The only thing that i do differently is i hand ds over to DH at 8pm and i go to bed. DS has got into his own routine and sleeps from 8pm onwards, so i cluster feed from 5pm till 8.

DH gives little ds a dream feed at 11ish and then i feed him through the night. He wakes from 2am but the last few nights its been 4-5am.
I am getting a good 6/7 hours block sleep.

Its made SUCH a difference as like you, i exclusively BF my other son till he was 7 months and i was a walking dead person.

We have a steriliser and a couple of bottles.
We also started to use Infacol from the get go to avoid colic..which we have done. (DS1 EBF had horrific colic)
Nappies are evil, and he appears to be in discomfort when pooing after a bottle feed, but thats now settled down.

Good luck, its saved my sanity and i hope it does you too xxx

ThreaderickDorrit Thu 11-Apr-13 18:18:28

God "no" to co-sleeping. I liked the idea in theory and tried it with my first two babies and it just does not work for me at all. I am a light sleeper and so wake at every snort, wriggle etc. Also my last child used to latch on while I was asleep but as she was asleep she would not latch properly and it hurt and once I slept through it but dreamt that a wasp was stinging my nipple and I ended up hitting her away in my sleep sad.

nananaps Thu 11-Apr-13 18:18:53

Just to add, we did this from 6 weeks, not 1 week.
Oh and boobs are almost exploding by 4am!!

ThreaderickDorrit Thu 11-Apr-13 18:20:33

Thanks for that positive story nana. I am so glad it works for you. Did you start from week 1? I am hoping that by starting that early I can avoid bottle refusal as the baby will be so young. My last two refused bottles but we did not try and introduce them until months later.

ThreaderickDorrit Thu 11-Apr-13 18:21:31

Sorry, x-post. Does your supply not adjust to the lack of night time demand? I am sorry to hear that your boobs still feel like they will explode.

badguider Thu 11-Apr-13 18:21:58

I had a thread about ensuring a bf baby can and will take a bottle (I will be working from 3mo) and the general advice and weblinks I was given seemed to indicate the bottle should not be introduced until sometime between 2 and 4 weeks and then should be regular and consistant (e.g once a day or whatever you decide).

It can still put and end to bf for various reasons (nipple confusion, supply etc) but I have decided I have to risk that as I don't want the heartbreak and worry of leaving a baby at 3mo that won't take a bottle. So my first choice is to bf and bottle feed ebm, second choice is bottle only and last choice is baby who will only feed from the breast (that would be a disaster for us as my dh will be primary carer).

nananaps Thu 11-Apr-13 18:29:33

no,my baby is 12 weeks now and my boobs still get very full and painful in the night.
Positive side is that when he does feed in the night he gets a really good full feed very efficiently as there is tons to be had.

EBF with my ds1 undoubtedly contributed to pnd due to the bone drenching utter utter exhaustion caused by 1-2 hourly demand feeding for several months post birth.

I refused to go down that route again.

AThingInYourLife Thu 11-Apr-13 18:54:35

I've had 3 babies and breastfed all of them (still feeding no.3).

I've never done cluster feeding or feeding all night with any of them.

I think a lot of what is said to be crucial is not.

But I don't think you 24-hour supply is anywhere near settled enough after a week to start introducing bottles, particularly of formula.

After a couple if weeks DH has always taken over the bedtime feed (11ish - our bedtime) with EBM.

That has meant I get a rest from around 7pm until 2 or 3am.

With first baby I slept. With later two I did non-child stuff for a few hours, then got some kip.

nananaps Thu 11-Apr-13 19:01:15

I cant seem to produce anywhere near enough when i try to express, athing ideally i would love to give breast milk in the evening.
Dont think i am doing anything wrong, i just dont seem to be able to produce any sad

EhricLovesTeamQhuay Thu 11-Apr-13 19:24:02

I don't think boobs are clever enough to adjust to make lots of milk in the day and little at night. I think supply adjusts to demand overall so overall you will have less, possibly leaving insufficient during the day. Lots of babies don't get bottle/nipple confusion.

orderinformation Thu 11-Apr-13 19:32:08

I mix feed though largely the other way round - mainly bottle by day as I have never made enough milk in the day then bf at night co sleeping from first wake up around 2am.

I suggest formula, bottles, microwave steriliser, and one of those brilliant draining board bottle holders like this:

And a means of warming the bottle at night if like me you have a fusspot who only likes warm milk - a thermos or bottle warmer.

AThingInYourLife Thu 11-Apr-13 21:31:51

"I don't think boobs are clever enough to adjust to make lots of milk in the day and little at night."

They totally are clever enough to do that.

Although in the first couple of weeks when supply is being established, you don't want to push it.

CreatureRetorts Thu 11-Apr-13 21:49:31

Supply takes a bit longer than a couple of weeks to establish I think? By 8-12 weeks it settles down and establishes properly. Before that it's very sensitive.

Have a chat with a bf helpline. Have a think about keeping baby next to you in a side car cot. I honestly think that a 2 week old baby wont settle for its dad some nights especially if having a growth spurt.

narmada Thu 11-Apr-13 21:52:10

BF in the night is thought to be really important for stimulating and establishing BM supply overall. IIRC this is because prolactin levels are higher in the wee small hours. Also not good for supply is long gaps between feeds - e.g. if you left your baby with DH for 8 hours while you got a good solid sleep. You may get away with it, you may not.

I can completely understand why you want to do this, and it is worth a try. I do wonder however whether the long gaps between feeds that will occur will also not do you any favours if you're prone to mastitis - infrequently used breasts (!) are breeding grounds for this.

sittinginthesun Thu 11-Apr-13 22:00:20

I mid fed my second DS. I HATED breastfeeding, was very ill with a thyroid condition, recurring mastitis etc, but wanted to breastfeed.

I had absolutely no problem introducing a bottle at 3 days old, for the occasional feed. No difference to my supply, and I mix fed until 7 months.

I would say, though, that the night feeds are a doddle if you breastfeed. If you bottle feed, you have all the trouble of making up bottles, the baby has to wait for feeds.

I second the suggestion that you go to bed at 8pm, your DH gives a formula feed at 10pm, and you get a block of sleep until the next feed (midnight ish?).

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