Just switched from bottle to breast and worried about baby getting enough

(8 Posts)
SniffyBee Wed 29-Jun-16 18:46:30

Hi. I have recently managed to get my 5.5 month old breastfeeding after a very difficult start. Prior to this he was bottle fed expressed breastmilk, plus approx. one bottle of formula a day. Since he first latched around 6 weeks ago we have gradually progressed from occasional comfort feeding to exclusive breastfeeding, phasing out each bottle feed over 2-3 days. He had his last bottle top-up 5 days ago.

During this time I was carefully monitoring his nappies and behaviour but I still can't help feeling anxious about whether he's getting enough. His feeds seem to be quite short (usually about 5-6 mins or less), and I sometimes have to use compressions to keep him going before he either falls asleep (he uses the breast as his prop to fall asleep at night and most naps - I know, 'rod' and all that wink) or takes hhimself off. My main concern is that although he's producing around 5-6 wet nappies a day, they don't seem to be as saturated as when he bottle fed (we use cloth so it's quite easy to tell) - is this normal? He would feed around 7 times a day when bottle fed, taking about 5-6 oz each time. He now bf's about every 2 hours in the day, and at the moment about every 3 hours at night. He has had one dirty nappy in the last 5 days, although that wasn't unusual for him when on ebm. Otherwise he seems happy enough in himself, I'm just worried about his urine output compared to when he was bottle fed.

ZZZZ1111 Wed 29-Jun-16 19:00:47

Wow can't believe how amazingly you have done to get him BF! You must have put in so much work!

I think the worry about "knowing how much they're getting" is a common concern for people who have bottle fed. As you continue to BF you will just get in a different mindset and trust that wet/dirty nappies and appropriate weight gain are your markers.

I would suggest you discuss your concerns with a health visitor for some reassurance, but it sounds like you're doing great. I go to the baby clinic once a month to get my 5 month old weighed. He's doing great weight wise so this is more for curiosity. If I was worried about him I would take him more frequently.

Hope that helps.

calamityjam Wed 29-Jun-16 19:02:42

Firstly, well done for managing to get your dc to latch on after so long, that must have taken some perserverance. I tried so hard to do this with ds1. He was taken from me after an ECS and spent 10 days on SCBU. I expressed and topped up with formula, but try as I might, I couldn't get him to latch on. I should think that if your Dc is content and awake between feeds and is having wet nappies and gaining weight, then he is doing fine. Don't worry too much about bowel movements as long as they happen and don't seem to be too solid or difficult to pass. As far as the length of time at the breast, some babies are efficient feeders and will drain a breast in next to no time at all. They control the flow on their own, unlike with the bottle that is controlled by the size of the hole in the teat. My other Dc's were breastfed and at 5 months I'm sure they only fed for 10 mins or less at each feed, especially the youngest who was a dream to feed.

HandbagFan Wed 29-Jun-16 20:21:34

Are you weighing him? I'd base it on him gaining weight if he's still seeing and pooping as usual.

Really well done on what you've achieved. DS is 18 weeks old and I've been expressing since he was a few days old. I'd love to get him on the breast - how did you manage it? I'm so impressed and completely clueless on how to achieve what you have.

SniffyBee Thu 30-Jun-16 11:44:39

Thanks for the reassurance ladies. I had him weighed yesterday actually and he's still following the same line as before, but as he's only been ebf for a few days I wasn't sure if would have made much difference to his weight at this point. I usually have him weighed once a month but think I might take him again in 2 weeks for peace of mind.

HandbagFan, well done on expressing for so long, I know how hard that is and you deserve a massive pat on the back for sticking with it. Getting my baby to breastfeed was a lot of hard work but we're proof that it can be done. Incidentally it was when my baby was 18 weeks that he first started. I would recommend lots of skin to skin contact - hole yourself up in bed or on the sofa with your baby for a day or so if you can and just offer unlimited access to the breast, with no pressure to feed. Your baby might not be interested in feeding at first but the first step is to teach them that your boobs are a warm and comforting place. A sling is also useful for this and co-bathing worked wonders for us too - apparently it initiates the newborn rooting instinct (google re-birthing - sounds a bit hippy but it does work iME). My baby stared off just comfort feeding initially, but by using breast compressions I was gradually able to encourage him to feed. I also used 'paced' bottle feeding to make the bottle harder work for him and 'train' him to wait for a let down. Once he started feeding more I would see how he seemed after a feed and if he still seemed fussy I would offet a small top up, gradually reducing the amount over a 2-3 days (this was partly so my supply could balance out a bit to meet his needs). Also, it's important to keep b'feeding a positive experience so if he was too frustrated I would take him off straight away, offer a bit from a bottle, then go back to the boob when I thought we both seemed ready. Try not to feel a failure if you end up having to give a bottle - remember, one feed at a time. Best of luck if you do decide to give it a go. Feel free to pm me with any questions smile

ispymincepie Wed 06-Jul-16 19:57:16

Sniffy I can't imagine how happy you are to have achieved this! Im afraid I can't offer much advice about weight concerns but wanted to congratulate you and say you've given me some much needed hope. I'm full time expressing for my 8 week old since we too had a tricky start. He's my fourth baby and the others were bf to between 18-26months and I'm totally devastated not to be feeding him. He gets so agitated when I try, any advice would be much appreciated!

ForTheLoveOfSocks Tue 12-Jul-16 06:56:23

Have you thought about using a supplementer while he is bf?

EightNoineTen Tue 12-Jul-16 07:05:32

Wow that's amazing. Well done. It can't have been easy to get to that point at 5.5months! My advice would be to keep offering the breast throughout the day to make sure your supply is up and to trust your baby. If he's producing the right nappies then take that as a sign everything is going ok. The breast is generally more efficient at producing milk for a baby than it is for a pump so the baby might be getting a lot more than you think in that time.

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