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Am I overfeeding my ff/bf eight-week-old?

(15 Posts)
DancingLady Tue 02-Feb-16 13:16:51

After ebf for 5 weeks, and DS only just regaining his birth weight, the midwife advised me to top up with formula. BF was incredibly hard - bleeding nipples, cracks, sores, taking painkillers round the clock and dreading every feed. Now DS is mostly ff, I still offer boob before each bottle and he'll go on. Sometimes gets frustrated and pulls at nipple or cries, but often comes off with milky dribble (sorry if tmi) and brings up milk when I burp him, so I assume he's getting something from the breast.

He'll then take a 6oz bottle and usually finishes it. He'll have about 7 bottles like this a day, which I'm worrying is too much (according to Aptamil pack guidelines anyway). Also, as I have no idea how much breastmilk he's taking, could he be drinking too much? He's quite a 'sucky' baby, so I worry he's comfort feeding.

He was 9lbs 6oz at birth, and is now probably about 11lbs, so a big baby, and on the 91st centile. Neither DH or me are especially tall or big.

Any advice or similar experience appreciated. I'm feeling bad about phasing out bf but then I remember how painful and exhausting it was, and how he wasn't gaining weight, and I remember why I started ff.

Floowho Tue 02-Feb-16 20:16:06

Don't feel guilty about ff, if that is what is best for you. I wasted too much time on that guilt myself. I am not an expert, but I imagine if he stays on the same centile he is growing at his rate. I don't know if Aptamil does a hungry baby formula, but it might be worth trying that.

unimaginativename13 Tue 02-Feb-16 20:16:40

Coming from someone who has a bottomless baby, I would say don't panic it'll even out. My DS gained around 2lb over 2 weeks about that age. At about 10 weeks he started dropping bottles to 5 X 7oz now at 4 X 7oz at 12 weeks. He started sleeping through his mid morning one!

I cringed when people saw my 5 week old guzzling 7oz bottles but he perfectly normal.

MoreSnowPlease Tue 02-Feb-16 20:22:40

You can use mam bottles which allow baby to suck without getting any milk, so lots of breaks letting them get a bit of milk and then tipping bottle back do they just suck air. Doing this with my son meant be took much less and was more satisfied

unimaginativename13 Tue 02-Feb-16 20:56:24

I don't understand, you let them just suck air?

MoreSnowPlease Tue 02-Feb-16 21:08:26

Basically yes, similar to the small short sticks they do when breastfeeding. With a MAM bottle (don't think it works with others) to the bottle so they are drinking, then tip it back down slightly so they are still sucking on it but not getting milk. Then to it up again etc....

They don't swallow the air just suck on the bottle without taking any air in. MAM bottles have some system that helps colic but also means you can do this!! Might work with others though.

It really calmed my ds2 down and he had tongue tie and couldn't cope with much milk at a time. He'd take about 3 swallows/3 air sucks/3 swallows/3 air sucks. Otherwise he wouldn't breathe and would choke. But it also helped with regulating the amount that was going in him. After a while he would push the bottle away when he had finished feeding and been sucking air, if I tried to give him more milk, so he very quickly was able to control how much he took.

RandomMess Tue 02-Feb-16 21:17:41

I had a large baby who stayed on the 98th centiles - when switched to FF at 15 weeks (returned to weeks) she downed a full 10oz in what seemed like seconds.

If he's the average weight of a 3 month old then that is how much he'll need rather than what an average 5 week old would need if that makes sense?

MoreSnowPlease Tue 02-Feb-16 21:17:58

Lots of typos, sorry hope it makes sense

MoreSnowPlease Tue 02-Feb-16 21:20:48

I think the best thing it does us give control to the baby over how much they are drinking because they 'ask' fit more milk (frantic sucking) or comfort stuck (fast small sucks)

TitusAndromedon Tue 02-Feb-16 23:41:40

If he has only just regained his birth weight, he may be catching up a little. I started a similar thread a couple of weeks ago because my eight week old twins seemed insatiable. I couldn't believe how much they were eating. Around that time, however, things slowed down. Now they are offered six 7oz bottles each day, but rarely have all 7oz each time. So, they both had most of their feed at 3am, left just under half at 7am, finished their feeds at 1pm, 4pm and 7pm and have just had a dream feed of about 4oz each. They're much more easy going now and rarely get quite so frantically hungry. I haven't had them weighed since the eight week jabs, but I would expect their weight gain has slowed and they will start to find a consistent centile to follow after starting out on the second.

MigGril Wed 03-Feb-16 00:04:22

Ok so your still offering the breast before each bottle, but it sounds like your DS is really getting most of his milk from formula.

I guess you need to ask want do you want to do from hear. Offering the best is fine if he's happy with it. But by the sounds of it you never got breastfeeding well established or got good breastfeeding support. Bleeding, cracked painful nipples are not normal and shows feeding wasn't going well, as well as poor weight gain.

Do you want to try and increase the Breastfeeding, this is totally possible by the way. Are you happy to stop altogether?

I think the weight gain could be him catching up. It could settle back down again.

DancingLady Wed 03-Feb-16 09:33:19

Thanks, I'm going to have him weighed today as I'm sure he's gained loads in the past 2 weeks!

He's feeding in the night every 2-3 hours which seems a lot. I don't think he needs to feed so often, but has got into the habit of waking up and wanting milk, as sometimes he'll only drink 2-3 ounces and go back to sleep.

Last night was crap, up every 90mins - 2 hours. I want to try and get a loose routine going, with a feed every 3 hours, hopefully every 4 in the night. I know I shouldn't compare, but at this age my DD was going 3-4 hours at night between feeds...

I used Mam bottles with DD, didn't realise the baby could just suck air, I'd assume this would cause a lot of wind?

Good to know my baby isn't the only guzzler...

JustWantMyMoneyBack Wed 03-Feb-16 09:38:19

I did a similar thing when bottle feeding my tongue tied baby. Have a google for baby led bottle feeding. It mimics the way baby feeds at the breast and gives baby control over how much milk to take in at each feed.

DancingLady Wed 03-Feb-16 10:21:23

Does this sound doable or totally ridiculous:

Bottle every 3 hours, every 4 at night, and BF in between. I think he is getting some bm as his poos (sorry tmi again) have that curdy texture you get with bf babies.

It's the nights that are the hardest. DH thinks I'm overfeeding the baby as every time he wakes I stick a bottle or boob in his mouth (baby, obvs, not DH).

MoreSnowPlease Wed 03-Feb-16 12:14:52

No it doesn't cause wind, they don't take the air in, just such on the bottle like they would a dummy. It's hard to explain, but it works!

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