Mixed feeding -few questions(3 Posts)
Baby boy is now 3 weeks and 2 days old. He was ebf but this past week we have introduced a ff from a bottle per day. He is bf all day then around 8 PM he will have a ff from a bottle then 11pm bf then he normally sleeps till 230am then is bf and so on. He normally only takes around 2 oz and normally this is after a bf so it's more like a top up - mainly so partner can fèd him whilst I grab a bath and have a little break or put our 2yr old to bed.
Tonight I went out with the other children and left baby with partner for 2 hours and he had a 4oz feed.
When I bf him he tends to snack so will have 10 mins on then fall asleep then wake after 20 mins wanting to feed again. It's normally at certain times of day mainly after his 230am feed he wakes up to 5 times between 3am -7am, does this sound normal?
Also I am wanting to leave him a bit more with partner for up to a max of 2hrs per time 1 X per day with a ff. Do you think this will mess up my supply missing out a full feed 1 X per day?
I do enjoy bf him and love our quiet time together and would like to continue. When does it get easier?!!
Conventional wisdom is not to do anything that might mess up your supply for the first six weeks or so while you're establishing bf. Could you pump or hand express before/after you go out? Even if you don't express as much as baby would take from a bottle any milk extraction helps maintain supply. On the other hand, if there's a feed that you know will always be formula (e.g. Bedtime or dream feed) then not pumping will teach your body not to produce milk at that time. This will obviously affect supply in that you will produce eg enough for a day minus one feed, but that might be what you're aiming for. Iirc I pumped for missed feeds for the first couple of months, after that I happily skipped the odd feed here and there without any problems.
Yes to falling asleep then waking up and wanting to feed - totally normal. It does ease off as they get more alert and stay awake for longer periods at a time.
If you want to protect BF then it's best to keep FF to one set time and not give any other FFs except this feed. If you feel you don't have enough milk, breastfeed more rather than going to formula. The more you feed the more you make. But certainly you can work around one FF per day I think that giving it as a full feed is much better than topping up, and I'd stick to this. You'll adjust to the routine as long as you stick to it. However, supply is not actually so rigid that you will produce exactly enough for all minus one formula feed. But it helps to have the FF at a predictable time, and not to fall back on FF every time when you feel worried about supply or when you feel that the baby needs a bit extra or when you don't feel like it, especially if it's likely that you'll creep more and more into using FF, and especially if you're doing it for supply worries or baby fullness worries. (Because the way to make more milk is to feed more, so by doing the opposite, it perpetuates the problem.) Of course it's fine to give a FF if you are feeling overwhelmed or you want to go out or whatever, but bear in mind that introducing too many FFs too quickly can impact on supply, which is more fragile before you enter the demand-based phase which happens at 3-4 months.
Hard to give a time scale on when it gets easier, because it's different for every mother-baby pair, but most women find a shift or change after one of these points:
6-8 weeks - past initial "boot camp" and the first growth spurt.
3-4 months - shift from hormonal to demand based supply. You won't feel as uncomfortable between feeds, you may stop leaking. End of "newborn" phase, baby starts to be more alert and interested in the world.
6 months - baby has passed 4 month sleep regression, can now eat solids so BF no longer the only form of nutrition.
However for others it's more of a gradual shift and you can't pin down a specific point where it got better, but over time you just both got better at things.
Might be worth looking at the app called Wonder Weeks, I know friends with babies who absolutely swear by it. It's a nice one to know what's coming up, very reassuring if you like that kind of thing.
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