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Reducing breastfeeds and going back to work

(9 Posts)
Twicethehugs Fri 15-Nov-13 15:36:57

I'm guessing this has been asked before but wanted to ask a couple of things. I've got twins and at the moment they have breastfeeds first thing, mid-am, around 1.30, around 4 (in the process of dropping this one), then before bed and a fair few times in the night (varies with teething etc). I know not to stop suddenly to avoid mastitis if possible so I'm dropping the 4pm one gradually - as with other feeds this is often a case of I forget and they don't remind me! I'm going back to work in Feb so ideally would like them not to need to breastfeed in the day while I'm at work, they'll be just over a year old. So a couple of questions - should I replace breastfeeds with snacks? - they have 3 meals per day at the moment. They feed to sleep usually - any tips for phasing this out esp for naps? I'm not into controlled crying at all, am trying things from No Cry Seep Solution e.g. Gentle removal plan but doesn't always work too well with twins. I want to make their transition to nursery as easy as possible though so feel I need to make some changes. Thanks in advance.

Boltonlass1972 Sat 16-Nov-13 08:35:53

How old are they? I mix fed when I went back to work; I replaced a breastfeed with a bottleand then just expressed enough to take the edge off the fullness in my boobs. Dropped a feed over about a week:hv recommended 3-4 days but if my memory serves, I only did one a week. My baby was not weaned, but if your twins are over one, I would replace boob with bottle and keep the milk they are used to, then if you want to drop milk feeds for snacks, do that separately

Rhododendron Sat 16-Nov-13 09:52:17

Hi Twicethehugs,
So your babies are 9mo and taking 5 feeds during the day and several in the night, is that right?

My HV advised at 7m that it would be sufficient to just breastfeed twice a day, morning and evening, and then keep them going during the day on snacks and water; apparently babies can still get enough that way by feeding for extra long. That wasn't something I personally felt comfortable doing at that age (and it would have been less convenient for me as a SAHM anyway). However, I dropped to two feeds for going back to work at 14m, and that's been no problem, so I wouldn't worry at all for doing it at 12m. As you suggest, I would drop the feeds one by one between now and then.

I too started with bf to sleep, tried No Cry Sleep Solution, and managed to get my baby to reliably fall asleep on her own, so hang on in there!

I totally don't want to be prescriptive, but AIUI 7-8 feeds in 24 hours (on top of 3 solid meals) is a fair few when your baby is 9mo. I'm not at all saying it's a problem per se, but a suggestion I had was that if you bf too often, it encourages the baby to expect frequent feeds including if they wake up in the night. Apparently they can actually last a bit longer without food, and if you teach them that doing so is OK, it helps them to do it in the night as well. Just a thought, I think it was helpful for my baby, YMMV.

Twicethehugs Sat 16-Nov-13 15:36:13

They are 9 months, forgot to mention that bit! Given their age and the fact it was a challenge at the start, I'm not keen on introducing bottles as would just need to replace them soonish. Thanks for the encouragement Rhodedendron - interesting what you say about frequency of feeds, I thought it was better to feed more often in the daytime so they don't need to take so much milk at night,it's helpful to know that worked for you.

mammy2012 Sun 17-Nov-13 08:04:48

I went back at 11 months - dd drank water at nursery (no bottle) then bf on demand at home. I hadn't done any preparation apart from the settling in sessions. For sleeping they rocked her to sleep initially on a bouncy chair. My only advice is not to worry about it too much and enjoy the remainder of your leave :-)

Bambamb Sun 17-Nov-13 08:09:10

I went back at 11 months too and in the run up began to give formula in a sippy cup at lunch time to replace his day time feed, I continued to breastfeed first thing in the morning and just before bed. Switched to ordinary milk in the day at 1 year but continued breastfeeding until he was just over 2.

MigGril Sun 17-Nov-13 08:36:26

rhodod, that'san interesting idea that I've never come across before. I'm a breastfeeding supporter and we would always gowith feed more in the day as they will wake more at night of they don't get enough in the day.

I would say at 12months you can get away with feeding morning and night only with just food and snacks in the day. We would say aim to drop one feed a week before going back, to give you time to adjust, you could go back while still doing one day feed. So you maybe don't need to rush to drop lots of feeds now. Babies are often happy without taking milk when you aren't there and will happily expect different thing's from different caregivers. Same on the sleep front as nursery wellbe used to dealing with these things as well.

I'd agree that it's pointless introducing bottles now as they are supposed to be off them by 12months anyway. so stick with cups for now.

Rhododendron Sun 17-Nov-13 09:44:19

Yes, for me too my instinct was that I should make sure my baby had plenty of milk during the day to keep her going during the night, and anecdotally I think I've seen this be the relevant issue.

However, in retrospect, I now think I went through a phase where I was feeding my baby too often. I know the advice is to demand feed, but I found reading my baby difficult, I didn't understand how to expect my baby's feeding pattern to change as she got older, and I got fixated on cramming as much milk down her throat as possible during the day so as to keep her quiet at night. The result of this was that I tried to bully her into feeding when she wasn't interested, she was grumpy during feeds, and she only took really short ones (which possibly weren't as nutritionally balanced as longer ones??). Instead, I ought to have just chilled out! smile

Hopefully Twicethehugs isn't falling into the same trap as me (you sound far too sensible!), but perhaps it's something for people to be aware of.

Even leaving aside my hang-ups, my understanding is that breastfeeding should be a baby's solution to hunger or thirst, but not to boredom or crossness. And I assume this helps at night.

PS. Total respect for breastfeeding twins!!

Twicethehugs Sun 17-Nov-13 10:20:00

Thanks all, mammy - my sister did the same and her kids were fine at nursery too, I probably shouldn't worry so much but hate the thought of them crying and not being able to sleep at nursery. I think fr now I'll just drop the 4pm feed as they don't always want it anyway, then work on them getting to sleep for naps without always feeding to sleep. Hindsight would be wonderful Rhodedendron, I'm sure we'd all do things differently with it - meanwhile we do the best we can with the knowledge we've got (and usually on too little sleep!)

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