Advanced search

We've spent weeks researching and testing breast pumps and bottles in real homes with real families. Read our baby feeding bottle and breast pump reviews to find out which ones were awarded Mumsnet Best.

Express or formula for bottle dream feed

(9 Posts)
philbee Wed 15-May-13 17:31:39

I'm bfing DD2, 3 weeks old. At six weeks we will start trying to give her a bottle in the late evening so I can get a bit more sleep (possibly). I expressed for this for DD1 and it was really grim, took ages and I could never get more than one feed a day out, sometimes not even that. She started having formula for that feed about 6 months. So should I try to express again? Or just give formula for that one feed? A I understand it the thing about bfing and bottle feeding is more about possible nipple confusion, not about whether it's formula or breast milk. Any advice? I'll give expressing a go, but would like to know if I can switch to formula if its awful again or if there are other possible issues I haven't considered.

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 15-May-13 18:46:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dietcokeandwine Wed 15-May-13 21:26:07

Hi philbee and congratulations!

I expressed milk for daily bottles for my older two DC, replacing the expressed feed with formula at around the 6-8 week stage. I have to confess though that with DS3, I haven't expressed at all (don't have time!) and he went straight onto an evening formula feed at about 3 weeks, with all other feeds being breast, and this has worked well.

To be honest, I think providing you wait until breastfeeding is well established before introducing a bottle, and stick to one bottle a day in the early weeks, the nipple confusion thing is a bit of a myth. I can only speak for myself but all three of my babies have had a daily bottle from 2/3 weeks of age and never got nipple confusion at all! But there are a couple of things you'd need to bear in mind in moving straight to formula rather than using expressed milk :

1 - your supply will adjust to take account of that formula feed (as you won't be expressing to give the bottle)
2 - there may be health implications in that the benefits of breastfeeding (protection against allergies etc) might not be quite so effective if formula is introduced.

I decided against giving a bottle late evening because I read that late evening/overnight feeding helps establish milk supply in the early weeks, so we have always offered the bottle in the early evening. DS3 (now 3 months) has a formula feed at about 7pm and this works well for us because he then settles to sleep for a good 4 hour stretch before I bring him into our room for a dreamfeed (breast) at about 11pm. Which means I can then spend a bit of time with my older two at bedtime, reading stories etc without a baby latched to my boob.

However - I did the same thing with DS2 who would take his bottle, sleep 45 minutes and then be awake the rest of the evening! So formula is certainly no guarantee of extended periods of sleep and that is definitely something to be aware of. I have always introduced the bottle to have the flexibility of baby being happy to take either breast or bottle, rather than trying to eke out more sleep, if that makes sense.

BonaDea Wed 15-May-13 21:48:27

As mentioned above, if you use formula you might have issues with your overall supply... Friends I have who started off with a formula feed at night all gradually stopped bf'ing from that point because of supply issues. I say that not to be preachy but just for you to bear in mind.

When are you pumping and do you have a decent pump? My advice is not to try to pump after you have just fed LO, but to try to wait at least an hour so that you are getting lots of milk out. Also, a good electric pump really helps. I have a double pump and can usually express 100-120ml in about 10 mins. It literally (obviously ) halves the time when you have a double pump. I do not have a particularly fast let down or flow (I'm not someone who spurts everywhere if baby comes off the breast for example!) so am pleased with that amount.

Good luck with getting some more sleep. I've built up a bit of a stash and DH is starting a dream feed by bottle as of tonight!

philbee Fri 17-May-13 14:54:53

Thank you all! wouldbe it's so I can sleep in the evenings for longer, not to try to make her sleep longer, and also so DH could feed her, which he really liked with DD1. I had forgotten about the supply stuff. Because I switched to ff later with DD1 she had a more predictable bed time at 6.30 or 7 and I used to get in bed about 8 or 9 and express before sleeping so that I kept up the supply, but that's probably not really possible this time as I get in bed right after feeding DD2 about 7.30ish, so you're right, it wouldn't work.

What double pump do you have? I have the avent hand pump because I had a medela electric one and couldn't get on with it. I looked on kiddicare and the double pumps seem to cost several hundred pounds!

BonaDea Fri 17-May-13 19:50:48

I have the Ameda Lactaline which cost just over £100 iirc. It was recommended to me by a lactation consultant and like I said I find it great. Boots online and nct both have it I think.

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 17-May-13 21:30:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

philbee Mon 20-May-13 12:28:10

Thank you. I think I'll persevere with my pump as managed a bit this morning.

WouldBeHarrietVane Mon 20-May-13 12:35:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: