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HELP- giving up breastfeeding, how?

(21 Posts)
Junosmum Fri 04-Mar-16 21:23:41

DS is 9 weeks old. EBF so far. Hoped I'd do 6 months EBF and let him self wean but I don't think that'll happen. I've tried expressing milk - I get loads, and DS will drink from the bottle but won't settle with it - he cries until put on the boob, even if he then doesn't feed, so I know it isn't a volume issue. If we don't put him on the boob he just screams until he makes himself sick. It is always DH who gives him the bottle and I have gone out (to the corner shop or the car, so I can come back quickly if needed), so I know it isn't because he can hear/ see/ smell me.

I think the only way to proceed is to switch to formula full time and take away 'comfort boob' all together.

It's a shame because I do like feeding him and bfing has been easy and straight forward, no sore nipples, no supply issues, just pop newborn DS on and away we went.

However, I want to sleep for more than 1.5/ 2 hours at a time, I am exhausted. I get 8 hours a night but because it's broken I'm exhausted and just can't catch up. He feeds every 2 hours without fail, sometimes more frequently in the day. He feeds for between 10 and 40 mins, with no difference in the time between feeds. I have fantastic supply and he's gaining weight well (from 9th centile to 38th).

I just want to be able to go out - to the cinema, for dinner with DH, to have a long bath. Not weekends away or anything just 4 hours of sleep or alone time. I want DH o be able to put him to bed.

So what's the quickest way to switch to formula? Just starve him in to it? (Gosh, that sounds worse than I mean).

purplepopple Fri 04-Mar-16 21:50:45

Hi junosmum, my dd would boob to sleep, I just gradually started taking her off just as she was starting to nod off, this seemed to break the cycle. Then dh started to put her in bed, with me out the room, the first week was tough, screaming for me (well, for boob) every night. She got there though!
9 weeks is still very young tho, he'll be up in the night for a while yet and remember if you are doing formula you or your dh will have to prepare bottles which could mean you are up for longer!
Good luck!

NickyEds Sat 05-Mar-16 07:14:04

Have you tried a dummy?

mrsmugoo Sat 05-Mar-16 07:27:50

If breastfeeding is going smoothly then I would reconsider just sticking it out a bit longer. "Comfort boob" is very normal and natural at that age and beads no relation to their sleep habits as an older baby / toddler.

I know the sleep deprivation is hard, I've been there! But switching to bottles does not guarantee longer sleeps and then you have all the faff of FF to contend with.

Mine was exactly the same but at around 16 weeks I did as pp described and just stopped letting him fall asleep on the boob by detaching while he was awake and we persevered with helping him self settle. He still night fed until 8 months but I could always put him down sleepy but awake.

He's 2 now and a very reliable independent sleeper.

NickyEds Sat 05-Mar-16 07:50:17

If you're ebf and have a good supply then you'll need to give up slowly as you don't want to get mastitis. Could you try replacing a single feed with formula for a day or two, then a second feed and so on?

Junosmum Sat 05-Mar-16 08:25:31

He won't take a dummy, we keep trying.

He doesn't fall asleep on the boob, he comes off 'milk drunk' but awake and falls asleep being winded.

I know ff won't necessarily make him sleep better but at least my husband could do some feeds, giving me a longer period of sleep.

If I could just get a chunk of sleep once I think I'd feel better, it's starting to affect my health- ulcers, hair falling out and I'm losing concentration to the point where I can't maintain a conversation and driving is becoming dangerous.

I think we'll have to make the switch all at once as mixed feeding isnt working, if it was I wouldn't be giving up! but I'll express to reduce supply slowly and prevent mastitis.

cestfini Sat 05-Mar-16 09:31:17

From what you're describing he doesn't settle with a bottle? And wants boob

Okay, then how will moving to FF help this? He would still not settle with the bottle? Whether the bottle has breastmilk or formula he would react the same way?

LillyBugg Sat 05-Mar-16 09:36:07

Can't really help with the feeding thing...but did you know that losing hair is a normal post birth thing? It happens to a lot of women, all that luscious hair you grew whilst pregnant then falls out. I reckon I had hair loss for a good few months after I had DS, nothing to do with exhaustion at all.

It does sound a shame that you want to give up when in the main it's going well. Could dh do one night with expressed bottles so you could get some proper sleep? Not sustainable long term, but a good nights sleep might give you a fresh perspective.

DangerMouth Sat 05-Mar-16 09:37:59

Did op not just say her dh could at least help hmm helps trtf

If you are ebf you are going to have to be very careful about weaning. It took me 3 weeks with dd2 and l felt that was moving very quickly.

I agree though I'd probably persevere. It took until dd1 was 12 weeks for bf to click for us. It was hard with lack of sleep etc but you are almost there! (Assuming 12 weeks is your lucky number too smile)

LittleBearPad Sat 05-Mar-16 10:25:16

I found 8-10 weeks the worst bit. After that it really did get better and bf was so much easier in terms of stuff to remember (dc1 was ff so can directly compare) and just feeding at night without having to get out of bed. I had a bednest and so whilst we didn't co-sleep he wasn't far away at all in terms of effort.

Ff will not mean he sleeps more. I'm sorry but it's true but mixed feeding might help you with sleeping. If DH can give him a bottle at night of EBM or formula you could get some sleep. Experiment with different bottles and you may find one he likes best. DS is 15 months and I'm still feeding him once a day - not something I'd have believed at 2 months but he also had a least one bottle of formula from 8 weeks.

The hair falling out thing just happens regardless btw.

Can DH also take him out for a good walk so you have some time to yourself

MigGril Sat 05-Mar-16 10:31:34

From what you discrib breastfeeding is actually going really well. You need strategys to cope you've done the really hard bit it does get better.

The hair loss is totally normal post pregnancy thing I'm afraid happens no matter what. A good hair dresser will know about this.

What you could try, introducing one bottle of formula at say 10 or 11 and DH could do this you could get a block of sleep/go out and have a break. This may work now or may not as your baby does seem to want you rather then a bottle.

You are lucky that he will take a bottle but feeding isn't actually a problem, switching to bottles won't always solve this problem. But remember babies need you he doesn't know yet that he's a separate person from you be still thinks he's part of you, that kicks in when separation anxiety starts at around 9 months when they suddenly realise you can leave them. Their brains are so underdeveloped compared to ours they survive on pure instinct and as parents we just have to try and adapt to support their needs. It's hard to start with but they really are tiny for such a short time. In a few months you'll be back to going out and this will be a distant memory. It's just surviving these early months that is hard. For you your almost there just a few more weeks, even just tweaking your routine now may make a big difference. But feeding alone very rarely is the solution even if it seems like it.

LittleBearPad Sat 05-Mar-16 10:37:33

Thinking about it DS will drink from a bottle. Then that's fine. Send DH and DS off for an afternoon or even a day with a bottle/bottles and have the house to yourself. If he's walking in the pram he'll likely fall asleep and if he doesn't then he won't be hungry because he can have the bottle.

I really do remember the 'trapped' feeling and needing my own space. In a few weeks things will have changed again no matter how you feed DC. He'll go longer between feeds and you'll start to feel more yourself.

Ocelotsmama Sat 05-Mar-16 11:38:43

I'm just wondering if you're still taking your pregnancy vitamins? You really need them while BF - I get ulcers when I stop. Also my hair fell out in fistfuls daily for a long time - it terrified me and covered the floor which was gross. Its just a post pregnancy thing but I remember feeling like I was falling apart. Don't worry - it grows back!
Sending daddy out with the pram while you have a long bath is a great plan.

Ocelotsmama Sat 05-Mar-16 11:46:15

Also his weight gain sounds great (well done) but he still isn't even average weight and will have growth spurts and things so that might explain why its important for him to feed so frequently, though those intervals sound fairly normal (if exhausting).

cestfini Sat 05-Mar-16 12:26:28

I'm sorry but there is no "average weight" that is somehow to be aspired for. There is this misconception people have that a higher centile is a "better" centile and that the 50th centile is the gold standard.

This is untrue if you ask absolutely any informed health care professional. The centile chart describes a range of healthy babies. The baby following his own line on the 2nd centile without jumping or dropping more than 2 lines is as healthy as a baby on the 91st centile who is also following her own line without suddenly jumping or dropping centiles.

If all babies were going to need to go up to "average" weight then those charts would have just one line. The line of the 50th. And everyone else under it would be "not even up to average".

This does need pointing out, lots of people might be lurking reading this and thinking about their perfectly healthy 25th centile baby causing along his line that "oh my god he isn't even Average yet".

villainousbroodmare Sat 05-Mar-16 12:42:58

I completely understand your exhaustion and sympathise totally, but on reading your OP, I don't think that ff will solve your problem really. The actual problem seems to be that your baby wants breasts for comfort very frequently. And probably, a lot of the time, that's fine for you and you don't mind, but you do need some rest and time to yourself?
So you need to discover other ways of soothing the baby, like the dummy (keep trying!) or rocking, or white noise, or sling carrying, or swaddling, or pram pushing, or sssh-pat, or anything that you don't have to be the one to do 100% of the time?
A 9 week old baby can easily go 4 hours between feeds if necessary. Even if he wouldn't take a bottle, he'd be fine for 4 hours (though he'd be hungry then of course). Since your little boy will take a bottle, I think you must just hand him over and get your sleep or outing. Go further than the corner. Go properly away for a few hours. And not just once, as a desperate experiment, never to be repeated if DH reports tears. There may well be tears, but it'll still be okay.

mrsmugoo Sat 05-Mar-16 13:04:08

One of the greatest things my MIL ever did for me at around 8/9 weeks when my EBF, bottle refuser was waking all night and I was unravelling with sleep deprivation was come and stay over and have him and the Moses basket in with her. If he woke less than 3 hours after a feed she cuddle/rock him back to sleep and only brought him in to me for proper feeds and then took him back to resettle so I got a nights sleep with just 3 half hour feeds breaking it up. It really was the most incredible thing another human could have ever done for me, given he wouldn't take milk from anything other than my boob.

Junosmum Sat 05-Mar-16 15:10:57

Thanks guys, I've got somethings to try. May send DS and DH out for 4 hours following a big feed and get some sleep.

I suspect if I get a decent chunk of sleep I'll feel much better and be able to continue.

villainousbroodmare Sun 06-Mar-16 08:40:08

Oh, the best of luck with it, Junosmum.
I was just thinking about you, and, with the very greatest of respect for my DH, he wasn't the very best person to take on the squawling baby for four hours. I suppose that first time fathers, especially those of ebf babies, are generally inexperienced and may not be much at ease with a grumbly screamy baby who wants what they have not got. I found that our childminder, who was very experienced and great at distracting DS "Let's look in the mirror! Fly through the sky! etc etc" was really helpful.

Ocelotsmama Sun 06-Mar-16 16:28:08

Thanks cestfini - sorry I obvs really didn't understand this percentile thing and I certainly didn't mean to cause any concern to op or anyone else! Hope I haven't! Thanks for explaining it.

Junosmum Sun 06-Mar-16 21:26:00

No worries ocelot I'd asked the health visitor about it when he was weighed and she told me the same as cestfini.

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