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advice on how to start mixed feeding

(15 Posts)
Focusfocus Mon 11-Jan-16 12:32:05

Hi all

My breastfed baby is 3 months old in a few days time. He's fed on demand and feeds about 10 times a day, sleeps 6 hours at night.

I'm finding the evenings increasingly tough- he is fractious in the evenings and combines rooting for the breast with refusing it, not colicy rather enormously unsettled from 6-11 pm at night and my energy seems to dissipate after 7/8 pm. Feeds become difficult to commence despite lots of rooting and very long when they do happen and he clearly isn't very happy at that time. We've tried various combinations of winding letting be dark and lit rooms etc.

My post isn't about how to continue on breastmilk alone but rather how to introduce a formula feed or two into his day to give the evenings a bit more sanity and me a break because my own health and rest is important too.

Obviously he'll continue to be breastfed from what I see 8 times right up till the evening and then o wish to do a breastfeed before adults all go to bed and maybe one breastfeed in the early evening. I would like to do a formula feed of a medium size 4/5 ounces or whatever suits dropping the off and on shouting and in off the boob between 6-10 pm.

He takes BM fine from bottles. But We experimented with formula and he screwed his face up and refuses it. We put BM in same type of bottle and he guzzles it down.

Any ideas? Also any thoughts on a timing for the evening bottles?

Thanks in advance. I'd asked this question on a BF group on Facebook recently and the responses were unfortunately very unfriendly so hopefully someone can help here :-)

Sandsnake Mon 11-Jan-16 12:45:31

This is very similar to my DS in the evening. So frustrating! I have no advice re the mixed feeding as DS seems to be intolerant to cow's milk and formula makes him ill so this is something we can't do. But just a couple of things that we've found that help with the unsettled evening / feeding period - 1) our DS can get his cues 'wrong' when he is overtired during this period and often will be rooting when he actually isn't hungry - hence pulling away from the breast. The constant latching, pulling away when he realises this isn't what he wants just frustrates and tires him more when this is the case. As a result of this when we suspect this is the case we try other comforting techniques as opposed to feeding, which often work better (and is less hard on your nipples!!).
2) We've found that putting on loud white noise (there's a great track in YouTube called 'Baby Got Colic') can help our DS calm down enough to latch on and have a proper feed when he is hungry. It's like it switches his brain off enough for him to do it. Babies are weird...!

Obviously the above might be completely irrelevant / unhelpful for your baby but thought I'd share just in case smile

Focusfocus Mon 11-Jan-16 13:38:44

Thanks very much yes frustration is a part of it all I think. He's never offered the boob if he rejected it but he asks again!

I noted his breastfeeds yesterday and am thinking of replacing the highlighted ones with a FF. The advantage being I suppose that in the period I'm mixed feeding boobs aren't going more than 3/4 hours without a feed.

Just note the rough times not which boobs etc as that's obviously specific and changes

5 am: 20 mins LB, RB offered not taken

8am 15 Mins RB

930 am 15 minutes RB

12 noon 15 mins from LB

1 pm 15 minute BF RB

330 pm both sides 25 mins

5 pm *RB 10 mins replace with FF?
7 pm both breasts**
8:15 pm RB 20 mins replace with ff?

Fussiness till 10:20 with a BF at 10 pm

ReluctantCamper Mon 11-Jan-16 13:44:45

I mix fed my ds2. He had a ff at 6.30, then went to bed. I had my evening, then woke him around 9.30-10 for a BF before I went to sleep. That worked really well for us. My experience was that my milk supply could handle me giving one ff, but when I tried two,it caused my supply to dwindle.

Best of luck!

Focusfocus Mon 11-Jan-16 14:02:44

Hi Reluctant how many BFs was your baby on when you have a FF and how big was the FF ? I don't know of mine will take enough to give a whole evening free!

NickyEds Mon 11-Jan-16 14:59:00

I'm mix feeding dd, 6 months and have since she was 3/4 weeks old. We started off giving a very small amount at 10.30pm when we went to bed, gradually increasing it to a full feed. At 3 months dd was having bf every 2 hours throughout the day and then cluster feeding in the evening before having 4/5 oz of f at bedtime (then sleeping until 5am). Just before Christmas we moved the ff to 7/7.30 to try and put dd to bed with mixed success!! Dds sleep has deteriorated over the last few weeks and I've found us using f at 10.30 to settle dd too and as Reluctant says I feel that my supply is dwindling now- but it was fine with just one ff a day.

whatsoever Mon 11-Jan-16 15:26:53

I mixed fed DS for a while as slowly weaned him from boob to bottle between 6.5m and 8m. I swapped 1 feed every few days and started with the bedtime one then worked backwards every other feed until they were all swapped (so my boobs didn't get too engorged as I always had a rather too-eager supply). I left the night feed until last as I didn't want to be faffing with bottles in the night.

We were lucky in that he didn't reject formula but might be that the temperature isn't quite the same as breastmilk (too hot/too cold?) or might be worth trying ready made if you've tried powdered or vice versa? Best of luck.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 11-Jan-16 15:32:02

Try warming the formula a little bit more. Also you could try mixing some F with some EBM and gradually reducing the amount of BM over a period?

ReluctantCamper Mon 11-Jan-16 16:21:59

Focusfocus at 3 months I offered 5oz and he took between 3 and 5. I often used what ever I'd managed to express the previous day and topped it up with formula - maybe you could try this? It worked well when weaning from formula to cows milk.

I also forgot to say that I used to express a couple of ounces at 7 ish to try to make up for the missed feed. I always felt my supply was a bit fragile and wanted to keep production up iyswim.

Focusfocus Mon 11-Jan-16 16:28:45

Thanks everyone very useful. Will try all of what you've suggested.

Cornberry Tue 12-Jan-16 20:32:21

We have a very similar situation. My LO is 4 months and for the last month she's been a massive pain to feed. I want to avoid formula as long as possible and she also does the disgusted face when we have offered her formula. One small tip, when she's doing the infuriating I'm hungry but I won't eat thing, if I lie down on the bed and feed her with both of us on our sides she usually takes it. That's the only way I can tell if she's actually hungry now!

Focusfocus Tue 12-Jan-16 20:43:36

You spoke my mind! Right now up in bed side to side with him skin to skin and he fed after fussing about downstairs

daluze Tue 12-Jan-16 21:47:00

When my boy fusses latching, I turn the hairdrier on. He calms down almost immediately and latches nicely. The same worked with his brother. None of white noise apps help though - needs to be actual hairdrier. Just an idea to try...

ACatCalledFang Fri 15-Jan-16 11:07:43

I can't help with how to persuade your baby to drink formula, but I definitely recognise the evening fussing you describe. DS is 4.5 months now and went through a similar stage around 3 months: he wanted to feed, except he didn't, except he did....and would wail with outrage whenever said nipple was removed from his mouth (usually by him pulling off confused).

Firstly, this turned out to be a phase for us so, rest assured, it will pass!

Secondly, my amateurish conclusion (and your baby may be different) is that DS was trying to feed to sleep and getting frustrated when it didn't work (as a younger baby, he spent much of the evening in the living room on my lap cluster feeding and snoozing).

We have now introduced a bit of a bedtime routine - an hour or so after his early evening breastfeed, so usually around 1930-2000, DS now has a bath, clean sleepsuit, maybe a bit of a massage, then goes into his sleeping bag, white noise on, and feeds to sleep in the darkened bedroom. By this stage, he's usually hungry enough for feeding to sleep to work (though not always, but that's a whole other thread!). Previously, bedtime for him was around 2200-2300; now, he's usually down in his crib between 2030 and 2100 whether he stays there is another matter

So you could try an earlier bedtime to see if overtiredness is partly to blame. I really sympathise, though, I found the fussing really hard to cope with, and DS would roar if I left the room, even just to go to the loo. Do whatever you feel will help to give you the chance to catch your breath at this stage of the day.

This may not be for you, and you certainly won't want to try this if you feel hunger is the issue, but we have tried introducing a dummy for comfort sucking (at a point where I'm confident DS has had enough milk). DS rejects it 9 times out of 10, but it may be something to consider.

ACatCalledFang Fri 15-Jan-16 11:14:00

Oh, and on a practical note, when mine takes a bottle, he normally accepts around 3 oz. I wouldn't offer more to start with.

DS is pretty much EBF now but was mix fed from week 1 due to weight issues; as with many BF babies, he's a snacker and likes to comfort-suck. The one time I offered 4 oz, he knocked back the lot - and then gave us the worst night we'd had since week 1. So I'd offer a small amount to start with - you can always increase it if you think he needs it.

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