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Bedtime bottle for BF 6mo

(11 Posts)
StetsonsAreCool Mon 29-Jun-15 17:32:52

DS is now a strapping 6mo: awesome feeder, terrible sleeper. Six months of sleeping a maximum of 3 hours at a time, and demand feeding all day is taking its toll on me - I'm touched out and snappy. My coping reserves are dwindling.

I want to swap his bedtime feed for a bottle of formula, which will let DH do his bedtime so I can spend half an hour alone with 5yo DD for once.

What's the best way to do it? Should I try not to feed him after a certain time so he's hungry enough?

cabbageleaf Mon 29-Jun-15 19:14:35

I am doing (or rather, trying to do) the same thing at the moment. DS wolfed down the whole bottle the first evening - I just substituted it for his usual six pm feed. He wasn't particularly hungry. Went okay the day after, and he's refused the bottle completely the last two nights. I'd just give him the bottle instead of a normal feed, I wouldn't let him get too hungry or he might be too impatient to have a try with the bottle.

StetsonsAreCool Mon 29-Jun-15 22:08:01

I'm thinking that too. He never refuses a feed - he takes a bottle fine when he needs to. I think I'm just feeling apprehensive about making this an Official Thing.

I think I'll get DH to try the first couple of nights and see how it goes. It will probably confuse him if I try won't it?

dontcryitsonlyajoke Mon 29-Jun-15 22:55:39

Def get your DH to do it - 3 nights at least, 5 if he can. That's how I handled introducing a bottle and/or weaning my 3. Good luck!

TheRachel Mon 29-Jun-15 22:58:09

Gave you considered a 10pm dream feed bottle to possibly help the sleeping?? May or may not work...!

StetsonsAreCool Tue 30-Jun-15 03:50:27

Thanks, yes I've considered a dream feed but he's invariably awake before then anyway. I'm not convinced it will help, as I don't think he's waking from hunger - I think he just wakes and doesn't know how to get himself back off to sleep again.

In fact, I want to night wean him too but I might save that for the summer holidays when it doesn't matter as much if it disrupts DD. but that's a whole other thread! With her we started giving water during the night, but she was falling asleep by herself by the time we did that. Am I right to think I should get the bedtime bottle established first, and then do the night weaning? Don't want him to associate the bottle with water and refuse it at bedtime!

dontcryitsonlyajoke Tue 30-Jun-15 06:18:30

If you're planning on night weaning I wouldn't drop this feed - your boons are going to struggle to go from say 4pm-7am.

I went through this exact thing with adC3 (he was a hideous sleeper - I'll try to find my thread about it as there's a lot of advice which formed the basis of our plan)

In the end I night weaned as he started to get confused about why I would feed him at some wakings and not at others. DH did the nights for 5 days to establish the bottle while I caught up on sleep. It was very hard for DH but necessary. He was a lot better within a week or two (roughly every 3 hours), even better within a month (no evening wakings, maybe one night waking) and then started sleeping through 7.30-5.30/6ish by his first birthday.

dontcryitsonlyajoke Tue 30-Jun-15 06:22:38

The daytime sorted itself out quite quickly after weaning onto solids. Also it was very clear that the sleep thing was a lot to do with maturity and he got it a lot later than the older 2. We were able to improve it so he could settle without a feed but the not feeding for naps and going through the night happened on its own.

I so feel for you. It's awful. Most people with babies aren't still having this at 6 months so I don't think have any real idea how horrendous you feel. Resources depleted, touched out, stressed about ignoring the older DCs. You sound way more together and coherent than I did smile

It WILK get better. I'll search for my thread as there's some fab advice.

dontcryitsonlyajoke Tue 30-Jun-15 06:25:27

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quesadillas Tue 30-Jun-15 07:34:06

I swapped a bedtime bottle at about 5 months. It was brilliant - I got to go to bed a bit earlier and catch up on sleep. However, I was always planning to give up breastfeeding at 6 months anyway so it was just the first step towards that. It didn't seem to affect supply at all, and I happily completely stopped about 6 weeks later.

StetsonsAreCool Tue 30-Jun-15 08:14:56

Wow, that is a brilliant thread, thank you.

Oh my god, the sleep envy, irritable, on the verge of tears - it's spot on! I'm letting so much house and life stuff slide, because I don't know how long I've got to deal with any of it and I can't be bothered to start something I might not finish. I'd resigned myself to him just having to grow out of it, but now I'm going to look at ways we can make those techniques work for us too.

DD was an amazing sleeper, and we still often get a 12 hour sleep from her even at 5.1, so I always thought that sleep training was a matter of resolve. I never appreciated how little resolve you have on 6 months of no sleep - you need a lot of energy to carry it through. But I think it's time we gave it a try.

DH did go up and rock him to sleep at about 9pm, after his 3rd wake up since 7, and then he didn't wake up until 3.15!! So breaking the boob/sleep association will probably work wonders.

Thank you

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