Anyone switched from breast to bottle at 3 weeks ish?

(31 Posts)
twolittleboysonetiredmum Fri 18-Dec-15 09:16:13

Here's the situation:
On dc3, breastfed other two exclusively up to 6 mths when we switched to formula as I returned to work. Very well read on benefits of both types of feeding and get that breastfeeding is best. However.
I am really struggling this time. Dc3 feeds fine. She's much like my other two in that she has to sleep on me at the moment. Again, fine. She's not well either which has meant no sleeping in her cot at all. But I feel like I'm going to scream - I need to put her down. My other two are missing out as she's always feeding. I'm sick of getting my horrendously oversized boobs out every two hours or so. I'm sick of the smell of milk on me and breast pads. I'm generally just utterly sick of it and am tired too.
What is it like switching to formula this early on? Is it an easy transition in your experience? Am I opening myself up to other worse problems? (Eg colic, reflux, dairy intolerance etc). She'll be switching to formula at 5 mths isn anyway for work so it's just an earlier transition but I am concerned it might cause her problems. And how often would she need feeding? Is it s nightmare when this little and no routine? Thank you

StoptheRavelry Fri 18-Dec-15 09:22:50

Oh you poor thing

I have been tempted to do this too, at various stages! I don't know if it might cause more problems, it's always a risk I suppose in terms of tolerance to milk and so on - the main clincher for me was that I'd have to get up in the night to heat bottles, and wash and sterilise loads of bottles and in a household where we regularly run out of plates beause they are all in the sink, you can imagine how well that might go grin

Your milk will slowly subside you know, and not be so overwhelming -

have you thought about maybe dropping a feed for a while, see if that reduces your supply? In any case I would suggest a gradual slowing down will be far better and less messy for you than a sudden switch over.

Many any sympathies, it is grim to feel like that, I understand. flowers

FreeWorker1 Fri 18-Dec-15 09:23:44

My DW felt like you do now. Frankly, do what is right for you and your baby.

No harm came to DS1 OR DS2 and they are 14 and 16 now.

Far too much guilt inducing rubbish about breast feeding vs formula feeding. Maybe its because I am a man and can say it dispassionately. Its feeding a baby well all said and done. I know the arguments for breast feeding but no baby died from having formula instead of breast milk in the UK.

StoptheRavelry Fri 18-Dec-15 09:23:52

I mean, mix feeding - so maybe continue BF at night for a while, but bottle or two in the day?

Sorry I'm useless, never done it, but it sounds like it might work for you.

DangerMouth Fri 18-Dec-15 09:32:34

I would second mix feeding, it was a life saver changer for me at 8 weeks and allowed me to continue bf dd1 until 8 months.

Dd2 is now fully ff at 3 months and it is so easy. All these people who talk of faffing with bottles don't obviously ever feel the 'faff' with bf. Tbh, guiltily, I'm much more happy this time ff then l was bf.

Hope you find the right balance for you and your family.

TellMeALittle Fri 18-Dec-15 10:02:39

Congratulations on your new baby.

I'm a bf peer supporter and have seen this situation many times.

I also have 3 dc, and remember the frustration of sitting feeding whilst the older 2 needed me. It did get easier, its such early days still. A routine didn't appear for a while, but by 6 weeks the dust had settled and everything calmed down.

However, if you are feeling this low with it all, then maybe it'll be worth trying the transition earlier? And don't underestimate the importance of your feelings with this.

A friend of mine introduced a bottle in the evening and gradually gave up breastfeeding at a slower pace. This was roughly at 4 weeks, and her baby has taken to it very well.

Whatever you decide to do, please remember that these early days exaggerate every emotion. I remember classing the early days as successful if I managed to get clean knickers on!

tiktok Fri 18-Dec-15 10:07:41

I don't think the OP is worried about her baby dying, FreeWorker...frankly (as you were frank....) your anger at 'guilt-inducing rubbish' is misplaced on a thread which seeks practical support for someone who feels conflicted.

OP, it might help you to talk to someone in real life about your options, and help you decide if what you are experiencing is on the normal spectrum for motherhood with a third baby whose siblings still need your care and attention....when it's Christmas and all the extra work that entails....with a baby who is poorly...and where the problems will tend to ease as time goes on. The risk is probably not so much colic/reflux etc with formula, but rather that you will be formula feeding at a time when breastfeeding would have become easier than formula feeding.

There's certainly no way of knowing that a three week old baby switching to formula will be any less needy of your arms, or will sleep better, especially as you say she is not well and does not sleep in her cot (formula may not change that in any way). You would still be feeding often....someone else could feed her of course, if you have someone around who could do that, so you could factor that in.

It's hard - but the only problems I can see that would def be resolved with switching to formula would be that after a couple of weeks you can ditch the breastpads, and you wouldn't smell of milk (most bf women don't smell of milk, IME - but if you don't like it then of course this would disappear, too).

Is there anyone in your life around often enough to help you with your children? Would they be able to step up a bit more?

Hope you can find a way that helps you resolve your dilemma.

StoptheRavelry Fri 18-Dec-15 11:50:08

Gosh I don't think there was any need to pitch BF against FF, Dangermouth, in quite that manner - yes I mentioned some downsides to bottle feeding but in a context of encouraging the OP to do what works best for her.

And no, for me BF brought its own set of issues at various points but I am the sort of person who gets on better with these things than I do with washing bottles, which isn't necessarily anything to be proud of!

OP I hope my comments weren't taken amiss. I am naturally quite lazy so took the easiest option for me, in my situation, and I'd suggest you do the same - whatever is easiest and makes you feel the most positive and the least exhausted and upset. Your baby will be fine either way.

FreeWorker1 Fri 18-Dec-15 12:13:35

ticktok - you and I have exchanged words about this issue before. Lets not go there.

DangerMouth Fri 18-Dec-15 13:22:52

Wtf stop confused how very fucking dare l talk about my experience eh? I've bf and ff. I personally have found ff this time easier. Sorry l know I'm not meant to say that but tough.

And just an fyi, l was strictly answering the OP not replying to your post....

tiktok Fri 18-Dec-15 14:35:16

Danger and stop, I don't think any of your observations are objectionable smile

Free worker, can't remember engaging before with you, but you might have had a different user name. Happy not to 'go there' ;)

OP, shame it's got a bit messy on the thread sad

I hope you will find an option that works for you. My very personal opinion is that it's prob too soon to be sure burning your bridges with breastfeeding ( ie switching to formula completely - and you'd have to do it gradually anyway) is going to resolve your difficulties. Your other options are to experiment a bit with some formula, or wait it out to see if things get better , and/or getting more help.

Good luck.

StoptheRavelry Fri 18-Dec-15 16:40:58

OP I am sorry too that there has been a disagreement.

Dangermouth, I really think you have misunderstood me, and perhaps I you?

I was referring to your comment about the faff of bottle feeding/breastfeeding, which sounded to me as though you resented people who advocate breastfeeding - and I thought you might be commenting in t he light of my post, so I was attempting to defend my comments.

I am sorry if you took it as an attack
I have no issue with your discussing your experiences
I just misunderstood the comments about those who breastfeed.

StoptheRavelry Fri 18-Dec-15 16:42:43

and why wouldn't you be 'meant to say that' about finding formula feeding easier?

I don't get it.

VashtaNerada Fri 18-Dec-15 16:45:06

I switched at 3 weeks following utter dispair at how my tongue-tied DS was ripping me to shreds! (Diagnosed after I'd switched to bottles). For me if was wonderful, a massive relief and helped us bond. Different in every situation though, obviously. Good luck!

captainproton Fri 18-Dec-15 16:54:26

You might just have one of those babies that will still want constant cuddling whether BF or FF. Have you tried a sling/dummy?

My friend is due DC5 and she never used slings before because when she started having kids they were thought of as a bit woo. Not saying you the same, but a sling can be very useful and with practice you can get baby on whilst in a sling and have hands free feeding.

captainproton Fri 18-Dec-15 16:56:18

even if you do FF look into a good sling

DangerMouth Fri 18-Dec-15 18:10:43

I didn't read your post stop but 'faffing with bottles' is always trotted out like that's a reason not to give up bf. Dd1 was undiagnosed tt and it was hell for 12 weeks.

Dd2 was seen to re her tt but l think she also has a lip tie and never really got on with bf. Now at 12 weeks I moved to ff and the 'faff' of cleaning bottles seems like nothing to the faff that was bf.

It's ok to encourage the OP to continue bf, she's on dc3 so has some idea l would think about the hurdles you need to get over for bf to be 'easy'. But I'm also able to share my experience of switching.

And we're not allowed to say ff is easier. For some reason those that bf came easy to can't fathom that no, persevering for 12 weeks until it becomes easier is not worth.

DangerMouth Fri 18-Dec-15 18:18:36

I didn't read in your post that should say about faffing with bottles.

And if OP's dc bf well l still agree with your suggestion of mixed feeding being a nice compromise.

twolittleboysonetiredmum Fri 18-Dec-15 19:24:48

Thank you for the erm, varied, replies grin
I hadn't thought of just starting with a few feeds. I'm quite black and white normally so hadn't considered that, doh! I do use a sling and a dummy. She's actually far less demanding than my first two feed wise. I think it's partly that I'm much more routined since having my other two and breastfeeding makes me feel out of control? As its so random. I have it in my head that formula will be more structured?! Or is that the age of the baby than the feeding method? I'm very lazy hence why I chose breastfeeding but actually do find it rather faffy with having to think about clothes I wear, diet etc I do have a great husband but he works long hours and realistically can only help so much with kids and wouldn't do other feeds etc
I'm very torn as I know it'll get easier, and I know it's best. There's just part of me that dislikes it and I can't put my finger on why.

CultureSucksDownWords Fri 18-Dec-15 19:45:52

Could you make a list of pros and cons and weigh it up from there? If you're not actually going to get any extra help from your DH then formula means that you've got to do the prep for that as well as the feeds. You might find that easy or you might find it an extra job that you don't need. You could use ready made formula to cut down on some of the prep, which is a bit more expensive than powdered formula but you might find it worth it.

Could your DH commit to doing one formula feed in the evening so that you can get a bit of rest? He may well be doing long hours at work, but you're doing long hours with 3 children too and no respite overnight.

CheshireChat Fri 18-Dec-15 19:51:55

Mixed feeding worked great for me after a rocky start with BF, but I honestly found FF so much easier, though that's probably because DS hardly ever slept when BF and he also took forever.

CwtchMeQuick Fri 18-Dec-15 20:04:32

DS couldn't take the breast so I expressed for him initially. By about 3 weeks I was tearing my hair out with it all. He was solely formula fed by 1 month and I have no regrets.
We all know breast is best nutritionally, but for me, my sanity was more important. I did feel it allowed me to have some aspect of control over my own body back, and it meant that other people could occasionally help out

findit Fri 18-Dec-15 20:15:09

OP I had to mix feed from the beginning due DS's weight. I gave up BF after 2 weeks. In my experience it was a huge relief. And yes FF did give me more structure - quite soon I could see a feed pattern emerge. But obviously every baby is different.

TBH I don't find the washing of bottles etc a hassle. If you do decide to go with FF just buy enough bottles that you only have to wash up once a day at the end of the day and bung them all in a cold water steriliser. Oh and the perfect prep machine is amazing.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do and congratulations on your baby.

FannyTheChampionOfTheWorld Fri 18-Dec-15 21:20:55

FF mine pretty much from birth. I don't really have experience of transitioning as such, but found FFing newborns to be fine. We used premade, makes life easier. Mine weren't in any kind of routine though, you'd need to feed a small baby on demand and while they'll probably go a bit longer than BF babies do and not cluster feed etc, they aren't necessarily predictable either. Basically I wouldn't assume there are going to be issues with reflux etc, but nor would I assume baby will go straight to a predictable schedule.

CheshireChat Fri 18-Dec-15 22:02:37

Just wanted to say that it took close to 6-7 months to actually establish a routine even when FF DS and even now at 1 it doesn't need to be followed as he'll happily adapt, it all depends on the child.

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