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Help re FF

(34 Posts)
BirdFromDaNorf Fri 03-May-13 19:01:53

I exclusively BF both our two boys, but SIL is now in hospital having her baby as I type. She's not intending to BF but is asking me questions around how often, how much and how FF works. I know nothing so am having a look on here.

My thinking is that in the first weeks, you just feed the baby formula as and when it seems hungry? I know it's hard to tell that, but as I just shoved them on the boob if they seemed upset - or should I say, did baby led feeding, ahem - I don't know what to tell her.

Can you really over feed a FF baby?
You should never thicken up or water it down, should you? Depending on if seems extra hungry or constipated / hot weather.
Can you make it and put it in the fridge?
How long after a bottle has been made, do you get to use it?
You can't re heat formula once it's been used for a feed can you?

I know this will be v basic to some people, but really appreciate guidance as I want to be useful and helpful, and don't want to give the wrong support to her.

Thank you in advance! x

scampidoodle Fri 03-May-13 19:55:27

I chose to FF this time and was given a load of info on it by the midwife, so your SIL should hopefully get some info too.

Yes, you can make bottles up and cool them quickly in cold water then store in the fridge for up to 2 hours. Apparently once the baby starts drinking the bottle, you have to throw it away after one hour but once the bottle's made up and ready to drink you can keep it for two hours out of the fridge (or so I was told) as long as you follow the other one hour rule!

We got confused and thought the baby could drink it over two hours so there were times when we did that and our DD is fine (not recommending it, just saying).

You can reheat it during the same feed as long as you chuck it after an hour (my HV told me that so it must be true).

No, don't put extra water or powder in. FF babies can have small amounts of cooled, boiled water from birth in between feeds. People will argue about this but midwife and HV advised me to do this and we've had no problems.

Yes, you just do feeding on demand and it was very much like bf for the first couple of months but has settled down now. I was advised by someone to only feed every 3-5 hours - from birth - but that was completely impossible! That's what we do now though (14 weeks) but only because that's the routine that DD has fallen into (and 5 hours is rare!).

It is tricky to make sure you've got enough milk made up/bottles sterilised at first, but I found it useful to keep sterlising bottles and make full bottles with a lid, rather than a teat, so I could just transfer a bit to into a sterilised bottle as necessary rather than keep wasting lots of formula.


CornishYarg Fri 03-May-13 22:19:57

Agree with scampi's post, except I think there's a typo about how long pre-made bottles can be kept in the fridge and it should say 24 hours rather than 2 hours. Once it's out the fridge, then it's 2 hours. Officially the advice is to make the bottles up just before feeding but in practice, most FF'ers I know found this impractical especially in the early days when feeds are unpredictable.

I also gave a little cooled boiled water between feeds, as per HV advice.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 03-May-13 22:30:11 NHS guidlines here.

It is not considered safe to store feeds for any length of time, fridge or no fridge.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 03-May-13 22:37:32


You might find this ^ thread useful for creative ways to make things easier but still safe.


I have FF both my girls. Both times I went (and currently do) against the guidelines. I make the bottles with boiling water, cool quickly in cold water and store in the fridge. We have never had any issues. Its really personal opinion. The guidelines are useful too.

Never thicken up or water down. Its one levelled scoop of powder (scoops come in each tub) to 30ml or 1oz of water. Measure the water into the bottle first, then add powder.

I demand fed. Routines are a personal choice though. I just wouldnt have been able to let them cry when hungry to fit a routine.

If you follow the babys cues its quite hard to over feed. However, refluxy babies are prone to overfeed. DD2 ad a little reflux in the early weeks. She would feed until she vomited it straight back up. We did have to deny her feeds then, for her own good.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 03-May-13 22:45:44

It isn't really a personal opinion Wanna. It causes a very real risk of getting an extremely sick baby. It is a health issue. You can choose to ignore the risk, but it doesn't suddenly not exist because of anything you do or believe.

Guidelines are guidelines. Not law. smile

DuelingFanjo Fri 03-May-13 23:03:30

FF Guidelines are there to protect children from getting sick.

TheDetective Fri 03-May-13 23:12:10

Starlight The guidance does discuss this:

'A feed should be freshly made up when it is needed to reduce the risk of infection that can make your baby ill. If you have no choice and need to store a feed, it should always be stored at the back of the fridge and for no longer than 24 hours.'

That is from the DOH guidance leaflet published. smile

FWIW we make up and store the milk, but our baby was so unpredictable with feeding, we needed to have them ready. He is finally in more of a routine at over 5 months, so we probably could make them fresh if we wanted now.

TheDetective Fri 03-May-13 23:14:23

Bird get your sister to read that leaflet online as soon as she is home. She will quite likely be given it on discharge from hospital though.

Also, if she has any questions her midwife should be able to answer them either before discharge or on her first visit the next day. I do appreciate though that it isn't easy to get correct advice, even from health professionals.

whatsoever Sat 04-May-13 09:01:15

I hate how when anyone shares how they pragmatically manage something like formula feeding, someone always jumps on it and tries to close down the discussion by quoting the guidelines as if they are an immovable beast. Same thing always happens with the SIDS guidelines about sleeping in the same room. sad

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Sat 04-May-13 09:04:14

Ff is easy peasy. I made about 3 feeds up in advance, chill quickly, fridge, then bang in microwave when needed. Ive done both ff and bf and didn't find eit her way easier tbh

TheDetective Sat 04-May-13 13:46:44

Are you referring to me whatsoever? confused

wigglesrock Sat 04-May-13 14:30:04

The hospital will have the Bottle Feeding leaflet - I have formula fed all 3 of my dds from birth and have always had a wee run through of everything before leaving hospital.

All my kids were fed on demand and also cluster fed which I know took some friends that were ffing by surprise.

The little glass bottles and disposable tests that my hospital used were a god send for the first week and are available in Asda, Boots, Tescos.

If she's not breastfeeding at all - she'll need to be prepared for her milk coming in - keep a good bra on, take a decent painkiller and don't touch the breasts at all - I didn't even let water from the shower touch mine and the pain only lasted a day or so.

Her community midwife will go over this with her and if she doesn't ask her to.

Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 14:50:36

Can't she Bf for a few weeks then gradually introduce formula? Easier & baby gets the colostrum, the correct volume of milk for him/her, at the right temp, etc. I've never understood why a mother would feed her baby breast milk substitute from birth & not the real stuff. Each to their own I guess. <sighs>

You've never ff I take it, so why's your sil asking you, doesn't she know anyone who's ff their newborn? who could better advise her.

Thats an extremely rude post Gecko.

The OPs SIL has made her decision. Please respect it. <sigh>

mikkii Sat 04-May-13 15:05:14

I primarily BF but topped up both DDs in early days due to weight loss. Changed to ff at 5 months DD1 and DD2 went to mixed feeding at 4 months. I used to sterilise the bottles and add the boiling water, storing at room temp. Then, when needed added boiling water to correct temp and added powder which I kept in the avent containers. I expect his breaks all the guidelines, but worked for us.

Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 15:18:29

wannabe sil has indeed made her choice to which she is entitled. Hopefully it's a fully informed one. She should ask parents who bottle fed from birth, not a mother who's only ever breastfed. <Commonsense, surely?> What part of of my post is rude? Or is it just that I'm not entitled to my opinion because I advocate human milk for human babies?

wigglesrock Sat 04-May-13 15:22:56

God, no of course your entitled to your opinion. I just don't really get why you would comment on a thread that is so obviously geared towards formula feeding from birth. I don't even open threads about breastfeeding because I have no useful info to add. As it seems neither do you.

Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 15:31:08

I think I gave pretty good advice actually. The OP can take it or leave it.

Here is some advice re bottle feeding I found on Mumsnet, OP, you might like to show it to your SIL.

<signed interfering, opinionated, concerned mother of two>

whatsoever Sat 04-May-13 16:00:20

TheDetective no, I wasn't.

wigglesrock summed it up well.

And your human milk for human babies statement is just ridiculous. You are entitled to your opinion. Just dont make out that FFeeding is wrong please. Because it isnt.

stowsettler Sat 04-May-13 17:26:02

Gecko in unwanted 'breast is best' lecture shocker...this is becoming a habit.

stowsettler Sat 04-May-13 17:29:33

Sorry clicked too early... Agree with all wannabe posts. I make up feeds twice a day, cool and store in the bacK of the fridge. They're there a max of about 12 hours. It's really no hassle to make stuff up twice a day and I feel more comfortable that they've not been hanging around too long.

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