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FF babies sleep better myth

(25 Posts)
Famzilla Wed 22-Jan-14 10:29:23

DD is 10mo EBF/BLW.

She has just started to stand up properly and is getting more and more mobile every day. As such it's pretty obvious to me she's going through some major developmental leaps at the moment and that's why her sleep is buggered.

However it seems like every man and his dog is telling me to give her a bottle before bed like some wonder cure. I know it won't help, just wondering if someone can guide me to some credible source so I can show it to them before shoving it up their arses?

Sorry if I come across as a bitch there, am very tired!

jumperooo Wed 22-Jan-14 10:37:29

I don't know. Whenever it's come up on here before everyone says there's no difference in sleep with FF or ebf. I am in a group on another site with mums and their 20 odd babies of the same age, the babies that sleep and have slept the most consistently are nearly all the ones who have never been breastfed. I don't think that's anything to do with the content of formula/cows milk, but more likely to relate to the nature of on demand breast feeding and the propensity to co sleep. But that's just my experience.

TarkaTheOtter Wed 22-Jan-14 10:41:03

I don't know as I have ebf both of mine.. But at least when you are ff you can get someone else to do a feed so you can get a longer block of sleep I suppose.

I got lots I this advice from relatives/friends - smile and nod and ignore.

jumperooo Wed 22-Jan-14 10:44:43

Sleep regressions happen to all babies though. My daughter had a terrible period of sleep between 8-10 months, it felt like forever because we weren't used to it , but in hindsight she learnt to crawl, stand and walk in that short period, she was toddling about by 10.5 months and apart from teething/colds, her sleep has been pretty good again since then. In my experience if babies have slept well before then they will go back to it. If they have always had sleep issues then its their nature more than anything else.

jumperooo Wed 22-Jan-14 10:47:00

There does seem to be more allergies with the ebf babies, I'm not sure why that is either.

TarkaTheOtter Wed 22-Jan-14 10:51:39

I'm pretty sure the isisonline website talks about the research showing mixed feeders get the least sleep so that would be the place to look for evidence.

batfuttocks Wed 22-Jan-14 10:51:50

I've done both with my children, changing to formula after 1-4 months bf due to poor or no weight gain.
They slept much better on formula as they were not starving hungry! But still went through developmental regressions etc. which upset sleep for a period, before returning to a good pattern. If you have plenty of milk and good weight gain in your baby, I doubt its the method of feeding that makes the difference. It's all the other behaviours that come along with bf that may contribute to poor sleep: smaller, more frequent feeds, comfort from snuggly breast feeds rather than bottle feeds, not knowing how much milk they've had already leading to offering bf as a first line option when they cry, whereas a formula feeder will know what they've taken and be perhaps more likely to settle the baby without feeding again.

I think you have to remember bf is the norm and how babies are supposed to behave. We had to formula feed, it caused much guilt but the upside was (probably) more sleep. I still wish I could have bf longer though.

Maybe83 Wed 22-Jan-14 11:21:57

I don't understand why you would want to bother proving they are wrong as you put it? And each child is different so you have no idea if their babies did sleep better after a bottle. Studies don't cover the response of every child ever born!

When people give so called baby advice I just see it as making conversation as such in response to what I'm saying. If giving a bottle worked for them and their children great for them. So they are talking from a personal perspective. If it's not something you want to do don't. Stock response I use oh thanks great you found something that worked for you and change conversation.

If it make s you feel better my dd is 5 mths ff and still waking during the night and I look like I need match stick s most days! So I don't think that its even true my self.

I read post after post of mam s getting upset over co sleeping v cot ff v bf spoon feeding before the magic 6 months...I don't understand it everyone knows there baby best so you know what she needs smile and nod and forget it as soon as the words have left their mouth unless it actually something you think might add value or want to try. You don't have to validate your parenting choices to any one.

Famzilla Wed 22-Jan-14 11:56:31

Sorry my post wasn't very clear, I'm actually just looking for studies etc that disprove this myth - not anecdotes.

It's not a case of smiling and nodding I'm afraid, I won't go into detail but these people can be very persistent and I have found the only way to shut them up is to point them in the direction of solid research. Had to do the same when I chose BLW over purees, and I still get the odd "are you sure she's not going to choke?"

minipie Wed 22-Jan-14 12:00:03

Purely from looking at the babies I know, it does seem that on average the FF babies sleep better (sleep through earlier, less likely to go through "regressions" etc). Of course there are exceptions but in general it seems true.

There are multiple reasons why this might be (and I am only guessing here):

- some BF babies have a poor latch due to tongue tie or other reasons, and so are actually unable to take a large enough feed to see them through a long sleep period, whereas this is far less likely to be a problem with a FF baby

- FF babies are less likely to learn "feed to sleep" associations (as they , so they can get back to sleep more easily by themselves if they wake for any reason.

- formula is harder to digest than BM and therefore makes them feel full for longer.

- I would also guess that BFing mothers are less routine led than FF mothers (with exceptions obviously) and I think a set routine helps somewhat with night sleep.

I say all this as someone who is very much pro BF by the way! Personally I think the benefits of BF are so great that it's worth it.

TarkaTheOtter Wed 22-Jan-14 12:03:37

Here is what you are looking for I think.

I don't think it will help at 10 months because the night wakings are developmental. The Wonder Weeks might help because if I am right it sets out what's happening when and can give you something to pin the night waking on.

Can't you just lie and say she's sleeping great or if you're needing an excuse for tiredness or something, say she's teething?

Or just say "Hey thanks for the bottle tip. I tried it and now she sleeps great! smile" Unless they're there at bedtime they won't know will they?

fancyanotherfez Wed 22-Jan-14 12:12:50

I agree with bertie lie to shut them up, or say " I tried but it made no difference!" which was how I would deal with my mother and had the added bonus of making her not right! Who are they to be so persistent? Unless they are your childs mother, it's none of their business! You are the one who is up with her, I presume, not them!

MillyONaire Wed 22-Jan-14 12:18:53

I bf my baby for 16 months. He was a terrible sleeper and one day someone said: oh that's because he's bf...I weaned him pretty much immediately and he's been sleeping through the night ever since!! (well he is 5 now) Anyway, he was a bad sleeper from day one and whenever he woke I would (for 16 months) get up and feed him and cuddle hm back to sleep so really, what was he going to do??? Learn to self soothe himself back to sleep?? Not at all!! Warm mummy cuddles and boob all the way! I was much stricter (and Gina Ford-ish) with my first baby who was also bf and she slept through from 3 months or so - and that's what I put that bit of advice down to!

minipie Wed 22-Jan-14 12:19:37

Sorry my post wasn't really relevant to your OP. For a 10 month old who is waking for developmental reasons there's no way switching to formula is suddenly going to make them sleep!

(that said - are you sure it's just for developmental reasons - it was at about that age that my BF baby went through a massive growth spurt and starting needing a night feed again so is it possible she actually is a bit hungry?)

MillyONaire Wed 22-Jan-14 12:20:50

oops didn't realise you don't want anecdotes. Well just nod and smile or scowl.....surely this is not the only bit of unsolicited advice you've ever been given?

AntoinetteCosway Wed 22-Jan-14 12:30:38

I've noticed too that among the babies I know the BF ones have far more allergies. It makes no sense to me-I thought BF was meant to protect against them! Not a huge sample though, only about 20 babies. Weird though, right?

roamer2 Wed 22-Jan-14 12:37:56

Instead of a bottle at bed time could try bath,hot chocolate in a cup, story, songs. Worked for us when ds was 11 months

Famzilla Wed 22-Jan-14 13:02:02

Unfortunately it's DH's batty old aunt who is living with us temporarily.. So she is here at bedtime and also hears DD wake up throughout the night!

Famzilla Wed 22-Jan-14 13:44:01

Thanks tarka, I'll have a look through that.

Famzilla Wed 22-Jan-14 13:47:16

And yeah definitely developmental. I have no problem feeding her throughout the night (she has only slept through twice) but this is just her being awake and ready to play.

Unfortunately for me she has mastered "mum" so when she wakes up it's just mumumumumumummmmmmy!!!! Complete with sitting on my head, putting her fingers up my nostrils and pulling my hair. You know, all the delightful things one could want having done at 3am.

minipie Wed 22-Jan-14 15:20:14

Oh, I remember that phase well!

TBH I got a bit impatient at that point ... Once it was clear she just wanted to play I would put her back in her cot with some soft toys and left her to yell get on with it. I figured there wasn't anything wrong with her so no real need for me iyswim. The phase didn't last long but I don't know whether that was because of how I handled it or if she just grew out of it naturally.

Alina77 Thu 23-Jan-14 14:18:09

Gina Ford advice is to express and give last feed of the evening in a bottle to be sure baby is taking enough milk and not falling asleep on the breast before being full. It makes sense to me that this gives you best of both worlds - and it helped with my baby. Worth a try if that can proof your aunt wrong in case it works. Plus you can get her to give the bottle and go to bed early smile

Cavort Thu 23-Jan-14 17:17:42

Famzilla I feel your pain! My (EBF) DD is only 6.5 months and ever since she was 4 months she has experienced prolonged wakings of around 1.5-2 hours most nights. We have tried everything to get her back to sleep but she is simply not tired. As soon as she shows tired signs we put her down and she goes back off to sleep for the rest of the night.

It's not what you are asking for, but here is a link explaining that extended night wakings are developmentally normal in many babies.

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