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Failing at breastfeeding. How to bottle feed?

(11 Posts)
Lopistrikke Sun 22-Nov-15 12:11:54

Ds is seven weeks old and breastfed on demand. Which means hours and hours a day. He's got a crap latch which I just cannot seem to figure out how to fix - I can do a nice textbook deep latch, but ... he spits any deep latch out, clenches his gums and sucks the nipple back in. He chews. It hurts. Why won't he stay latched on correctly? I've tried so many different positions etc.

My nipples are like hamburger and the whole breast hurts, right to the chest wall and armpit. I'm dreading the next feed and it's affecting my bonding with my son. Frankly, I think I'm becoming withdrawn and depressed and I can see it's affecting him. Fewer smiles etc, more frantic crying. I'm resenting him and have had a couple of worrying episodes where I don't recognise him or see him looking sort of distorted and malevolent.

So I've failed at breastfeeding - how does one bottle feed? I just gave him a bottle, he's downed almost 200ml and now looks content and tired. For the first time in a week sad

How much and how often do I give a bottle? On demand? To a schedule? If I've made up a bottle and he takes some of it, after how long do j need to discard it?
It's taken him a few minutes to down a bottle - he is spending hours on the breast. How will this difference in time spent feeding work?
Will he cluster feed still? If so do I just offer on demand? I don't want to over feed him.

Any other tips gratefully received. Ta.

Caterina99 Sun 22-Nov-15 13:36:42

I struggled with breastfeeding too and mix fed. So I kept the night feeds and the morning feed as it was easier than bottles and DS always fed ok at night, then I expressed mostly and bottle fed formula or breast milk during the day. Something you could try if you feel it could work for you?

Personally I bottle fed on demand, just the same as breast feeding. Offered him a bottle if he seemed hungry. It was amazing not having to spend all day feeding - suddenly time to enjoy my baby as they're awake for such short time periods. And I felt I could actually leave the house! After a few weeks of this I figured out his pattern and so I do mostly feed based on his schedule now, but it's flexible and if he's hungry then he gets fed!

The advice here in the US is to discard any formula milk that the baby has started and not drunk within an hour. The UK may be different. It depends on how you make up the formula.

My DS won't eat if he doesn't want it. He would turn his head away and push the bottle out with his tongue when he was smaller. Now at 5 months he bats it away with his hand. So I dont worry about over feeding. He still cluster feeds sort of as his 2 bottles before bed are much closer together than the rest of the day. And during growth spurts all routine goes out the window.

GenevaMaybe Sun 22-Nov-15 13:41:07

I would aim for 180ml every 2-3 hours in the day and the same every 4-6 hours between 7pm and 7am.
Get a perfect prep machine. Bottle ready in 90 seconds at the perfect temperature.
Enjoy your lovely baby, hope your boobs recover soon

LittleBearPad Sun 22-Nov-15 13:51:27

Feed on demand with bottles as with BF. Discard milk after two hours. So 5-6 oz at this age. Don't stress if he doesn't drink it all.

Use ready to feed when out and about to begin with or just generally. Less faff.

Get him used to drinking bottles at room temp. Even less faff.

Don't necessarily stop BF unless you want to. I've mix fed my 11 month old since 8 weeks. If I'm not there (or have had wine) he has bottles. He's switched back and forth with no trouble.

Google the 'flipple' that helped us get a decent latch.

comeagainforbigfudge Sun 22-Nov-15 13:54:27

Oh well done you for trying! I didn't manage at all!

Perfect prep machine is brilliant.

We fed on demand. You might find as he's 7weeks he can handle bigger volumes so you may find he's finishing his bottles anyway.

My rule of thumb was to discard after an hour if already started but not finished or if just made up and left at room temp, throw away after two hours.

Get a bottle bag for when out and about.
Bottles - I use NUK ones but it can be a bit trial & error, particularly if he starts struggling with trapped wind. Have also got Dr brown.

Speaking of trapped wind, we used infacol then gripe water once old enough. Have now moved onto dentinox colic drops as can add it to the bottle.

Although we fed on demand, dd soon settled into a 5 bottles a day routine, dropping overnight feeds herself. The formula boxes give a guide of how much formula/day but I think the rule of thumb is baby weight in lbs X2. 5 = no of oz PER 24 hrs


Gillypop Wed 25-Nov-15 08:39:40

Well done on the bf front - you have not 'failed' you have given ds the best start possible! I wish I could have been as sensible first time round; I kept going through all sorts of difficulties ultimately ended up on the verge of PND. Have you spoken to your health visitor about formula feeding? I found mine pretty helpful and non judgmental.

knaffedoff Wed 25-Nov-15 08:49:47

7 weeks is incredible and not a fail, well done and congratulations on your baby flowers

poocatcherchampion Wed 25-Nov-15 08:54:14

I can't help on the bottle instructions but if you don't feel better emotionally soon then find a doc, hv or midwife to mention it to. Better to get help early on.

Enjoy your baby flowers

tabulahrasa Wed 25-Nov-15 09:05:14

You just feed on'll find he soon settles into a routine and you can anticipate a bit when he'll want one.

You're very unlikely to manage to over feed him by giving him milk when he wants it, it's more that people think they should be having x amount and carry on trying to feed when they've had enough.

If you want to, you can carry on breastfeeding just at certain feeds, or try expressing and bottle feeding or any combination of them...but if you decide to feed just formula, don't feel bad about it or like you failed. Formula is a perfectly good way of feeding a baby and it's a good thing that you can pick what suits both of you.

Peaceloveandpartyrings Wed 25-Nov-15 09:44:01

You haven't failed.
I struggled to breastfeed too, and decided to express after three weeks. I also had these "hallucinations" about the baby looking at me malevolently and spitefully, and it is a real mind fuck. I think you should tell the GP about it, and get some support.
If you want to try again with breastfeeding find your local breastfeeding advice cafe (HV will signpost) - they helped me restart breastfeeding at three months.
Your HV might be able to refer you to baby massage courses eg to help you bond with your baby.
It's so fucking hard but you're doing so well, and reaching out for help is very brave.

Ifiwasabadger Wed 25-Nov-15 09:47:35

You are not a failure! I didn't breastfeed, I tried for a week or so, went through all the hideous negative emotions described here, then embraced the bottle. It was the best thing ever. People who say it is a faff, I genuinely don't know why. Takes approx 6 mins to watch and sterilise bottles (I had a microwave steriliser, done in two mins). And prepping them takes no time at all.

Then you can also get DH or others onboard with the feeds. It is so liberating. You have to give yourself permission to stop breastfeeding and to release the guilt.

If I ever had another child I would go straight to bottles, I wish I hadn't wasted so much time crying, weeping and generally hating motherhood and breastfeeding. It was like a weight lifted when I switched.

Best of luck in whatever you decide.

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