Mixed feeding advice please(18 Posts)
I am 36+ weeks pregnant. Have two dcs aged 6 and 3 and have only just weaned the younger. The older bf till 18 mths. Thing is I cant have a years MA leave with dc3 as I did with boys as need to go back t work sooner. Also feeling like I cannot exclusively bf for such a long time. Neither of my sons took a bottle but we did not try very hard and we started late.
Am thinking I should mix feed this time around but have neve really properly done this. I went to mothercare today and was totally flummoxed by all the different kits .
I would like a pump just in case I can but also need to ge able to use formula. What is essential? What should I buy? When should I start? No real experience of bottles whatsoever or how to mix feed any advice helpful.
I mix fed ds out of necessity at the start but really liked it so carried on with it. A few tips;
-Try and establish bf first. Leave it maybe 4-6 weeks before introducing formula if your can.
-You'll need bottles, some kind of steriliser and formula;
-Bottles; I'd just but two and try them out with expressed milk at first. Don't buy a massive set of bottles only to find your baby can't stand the brand!
-Steriliser; We have a fantastic Avent microwave steriliser. Our Mothercare bottles fit in it and its just 4 minutes in the microwave to sterilise stuff.
-Formula; Again, don't go mad buying loads as it can go out of date and your baby might not like it. I'd start with some ready to use cartons. (maybe the ones that they sell at your nearest shop?)
-Pump. You can spend a fortune on pumps (mine was over £100) but I'd advise maybe hand expressing to start and see how you go. Hand ones are cheaper than electric ones. I have a double electric (a Lansinoh one) and it's pretty good, particularly since it's a double so you can do both boobs at once. I've heard that your can get good deals on second hand ones (all of the parts can be sterilised) because women often buy them whilst pregnant and then either bf doesn't work out or they struggle to pump.
Thanks so much for replying. I was on th verge of buying a set including loads of stuff but now I think I will wait. I had heard that you need to introduce bottle in first two weeks of baby to accept it. How old was ur baby when u introduced bottle? I have tried pumping in the past and never got on with it at all. Always ended up with hardly anything. Is it ok to bf and then give formula in between then?
Ds had his first bottle at 11 days. He was tongue tied and losing too much weight so we topped up after practically every feed at first. After he had his tt snipped bf got a bit easier and I gradually reduced f but i just really liked being able mix feed so he always had some f in the day. I used to hate feeding in public so if i was somewhere I didn't want to bf I'd give him some f . Also if I wanted to go out for the evening he'd have a f feed. Ds was quite a chilled baby though-he never seemed to really care if he had boob or bottle until around 4.5/5 months when he had a growth spurt and started to prefer the bottle. TBH I'd only ever wanted to bf for 6 months (so we could ttc) so I was quite happy to let bf tail off then.
I think, statistically mix feeding reduces bf success but now our babies are 18 months the only mums who are still bf are the ones who've mix fed.
How long will you be able to be off work? I went back when my little girl was 8 months, started a bottle when she was about 6 weeks, just one or two a week. She was not too impressed the first time but never had any real trouble after that.
We never bought any massive sets, just a pack of tommee tippee bottles, bottle brush and Milton tablets for sterilising.
I think mix feeding very much depends on the baby which probably isn't what you want to hear! Some babies will happily take milk from breast and bottle, some will always only want breast and some will prefer the bottle
My own experience is that dd was mixed fed from birth as she was poorly in scbu for the first week and then I was poorly and having emergency surgery the second week!
However luckily for me dd was quite happy to have milk from me or a bottle.
Personally in your scenario I would plan to bf and then introduce one feed as a bottle feed when the baby is a few weeks old.
I have been in a similar situation with DC2...and totally bewildered by bottles (DC1 never had any!).
I tried a bottle at 4 months, then stopped (couldn't deal with the washing/sterilising when I was so dead easy to bf!). Then again started at 6 months. Both times DD2 took the bottle easily. I researched many options & went with an option that I felt would be easy for an exclusively bf baby. I used NUK bottles with latex teats (size 2, small hole). She took to it easily (may not work for your DC but I found this very close to nipple feeding, so may be worth trying).
At 8 months I have dropped all bf except 1 morning feed (plan to stop that by end of this month).
What you need is
1) 3-4 bottles of the size you want (small/large depending on how much you plan to give)
I tried 1 bottle first & then bought more when the brand worked.
2) steriliser (Philips Avnet here!)
3) bottle brush (Philips Avent again)
4) replacement teats when needed
5) formula (Aptamil here) initially ready made bottles worked but after getting used to freshly made formula DD refused the ready ones so if you are doing ready formula you may want him/her to get used to it.
Start small & it will work out. I never expected DD2 to accept the bottle & formula at 4 or 6 months but she did!
I did try expressing with an electric pump but it hurt too much & I didn't think it was worth it for me as I had bf a LOT so was ok to move to formula.
Sweet I will be off work for only six months whilst I was off for a year with both mY sons.
Girlie yes I will try to introduce slowly at start.
Artistic... When I had my first and second I was quite well off (ha) and spent a small fortune. I had two electric pumps neither of which I got along with. I tried every bottle going. My sons literally clamped their mouths shut and totally refused , there was a lot o crying and eventually I gave up. Prob because I could!
I really have to make bottles work this time!
How do you warm them up? Financially things not good. Dh was made redundant and starting a business and me on mat leave can't spend fortune. Gave almost everything away as dd3 unplanned.
Do I need a bottle warmer? Do I need a steam steriliser ? I saw one brand that bottles can sterilise in microwave but of course need steriliser for other stuff later on.
And the ready ones are they good cos that sounds lovely and easy!
My daughter would only take NUK bottles but was quite happy to do so occasionally.
To sterilise you can use an electric, microwave or cold water method.
You won't need a bottle warmer, if you're making fresh bottles they'll still be hot and if you're making in advance and heating then a jug of boiling water for a few minutes does the same thing as a fancy electric one.
Ready made formula is handy but much more expensive than powdered stuff.
What is the cold water method shitebag? Is that Milton! Yes you are right powder cheaper. Ridiculously nervous about getting this right! Mil and hubby will have to get hang of it too so trying to get easiest method in place. There are So many bottles on the market. Which one is closest to breast? Also can't decide where to bother with breast pump as was rubbish at I before.
Yes, cold water is Milton. You can just use any old Tupperware box with a lid, chuck in liquid/half a tablet fill with cold water and then you can just submerge stuff as required for 15 minutes then its ready to go.
Personally I bought an electric steriliser because I liked being able to just switch it on/off once a day and forget about rather than remembering to change water etc. I got mine for £10 on our local Facebook selling page.
You'll be fine, I bottle fed my first because I didn't really know anything about breastfeeding (ridiculous I know but my family were/are set against it and had no friends who breastfed either) and you soon get into a routine.
You can either make each bottle fresh as you go by putting in 3/4 boiling water, adding recommended powder, shake then add last 1/4 cooled boiled water, shake again and you're ready to go.
Or you can make in advance.
Sterilise your bottles, fill each one with correct amount of boiling water, add recommended powder, shake, cool in basin of cold water for 15 minutes and put in back of fridge for up to 24 hours.
I found the second method easier as it meant I could prep the next days feed at bedtime and that was it sorted.
I breastfed my second for 16 months and tried lots of different bottles but NUK was the only one that she would take, MAM are supposed to be good for mix feeding but I think it is trial and error.
I found the Avent manual and hand expressing much better than the electric pumps I tried (Spectra 3, Medela Mini and Tommee Tippee) but I never managed more than 4oz at once.
I mix fed as my son was failing to thrive.
I used cold and water sterilising - dead easy but it's DH's job to change the water! I also use just ready made aptimil. In the little bottles when out and the big (500ml) ones at home - you can keep an opened bottle in the fridge for 48 hours.
I introduced a bottle at 8 weeks and he took to it fine, oh and he drinks it room temperature so that's nice and easy. We use Avent natural bottles and a slow teat (he still has newborn teat and he's 8 months). We also swap sides halfway through a feed to try to mimic breastfeeding a bit. Basically trying to minimise the difference in easiness for him!
It's worked out well for us although I'm still very sad that I never managed to ebf last the first couple of months.
The ready made f is great but a bit pricey. We used it for going out as you just need a bottles and the carton (ds would take the ready made stuff at room temperature). Powder is cheaper, although it does have a shelf life when opened so it depends on how much f you give (not cheaper if you have to waste some). I used to make up a bottles when ds was nearly due a feed and have the ready made for emergencies.
We used Mothercare Innosense bottles and they were fine. Phillips Avent steriliser here which I would really recommend as it's quick and we just shoved everything in it (dummies etc). TK Max had one on sale for £12 last time i went in. Also once you've got it you don't have to buy tablets etc and you can always flog it when you're done.
If money's a bit tight the main tip would be not to buy too much of any one thing. We've just got two of the Mother care bottles with first size teats for £8.99 (I'm 36 weeks and planning to mix feed again), so them, a steriliser, a tin of f and some cartons should do you.
Ff really isn't the "big faff" that it's often portrayed on the feeding boards. With ds I could do an entire weeks worth of washing up/making bottles up in the time it took to do one cluster feed!!
Agree Nicky. I used to spend sometimes 6 hours feeding constantly. That's an awful lot of bottle washing time! I'm not saying it's a reason to chose formula but I certainly wouldn't say it was inconvenient.
A few best practices that might help you succeed with the bottle:
Have the bottle ready 10 minutes before the feed is due (this way you won't have a over hungry/screaming baby to feed. Also the feed will not be too hot/cold as its ready before time)
If making fresh you can do 1/3 or 1/4 boiled hot water & add formula & top with boiled cool water. No need to heat/cool any further after that.
Wash bottles & sterilise at night so all bottles are ready for next day!
If baby refuses the bottle try again & again for a few days each time when baby is more & more hungry. A truly hungry (not over hungry) baby might be more willing to try the bottle (mine did!)
Mine refused expressed breast milk in a bottle so I happily switched to formula in the bottle (and breast milk from me)
If you try it like you have no choice it will work!
Wow that is o helpful ladies. I have always assumed ff is harder than breast feeding but my mom used Milton and made bottles night before she said also.
Ok so I have a plan now which makes me feel loads calmer.
Nicky what is a cluster feed?
I imagine I will be too tired to sit expressing as well as bf and be there for my boys so formula sounds good. Tracking down some second hand stuff now.
A cluster feed is where your baby just has short feeds then short nap, short feed, short nap (ds wouldn't be put down during them!) for ages. Ds did this every night until 12-14 weeks so I spent every evening with him attached to boob- it's one of those things where some people don't seem to mind at all but it drove me nuts. I went to see a band for a few hours when he was about 8-9weeks and he had one bottle and went to sleep in his moses instead!
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