Thinking of switching to formula(8 Posts)
Just looking for some advice.
I'm thinking of switching to formula because I'm stressing myself out wondering how much milk my 6 week old, 5kg DS is taking. He's perfectly healthy but snack feeds a lot because I offer him the boob too often for fear he hasn't had enough! I also rely on it too much for getting him settled and to sleep for naps. But I'm worried about switching for these reasons:
1) Are FF babies more vulnerable to illness? It's winter so lots of germs around!
2) What do you do if your baby isn't settled after a feed? I feed my DS a bottle at 7pm and tonight he wasn't settled afterwards so I popped him on the boob for a couple of minutes and that was that. What do I do when I don't have that option? He doesn't seem to respond to rocking and cuddling or ssh and patting and spits out a dummy (I've tried very hard to get him to like it!). I would leave him to cry for a few minutes but he'd wake my DS1.
3) When he wakes in the night, do I give him smaller or bigger feeds than normal? I loosely follow Gina Ford's routine and she suggests a big dream feed and then smaller feeds if and when they wake in the night but I'm not doing the dream feed so do I give a bigger one when he wakes for the first time? At the moment he sleeps 7pm-midnight/2am (anywhere in-between).
Any advice much appreciated. Thank you!!
In answer to your questions
1) yes, statistically speaking.
2) no idea. I guess you just have to persevere with shushing and patting.
3) no idea. The NHS recommends feeding on demand, so that's probably what I would do.
To answer you more generally, with breastfeeding it isn't at all important or helpful to know how much milk your baby is having. You have to use other more meaningful ways of knowing how well your baby is feeding. So if they are having lots of wet and dirty nappies, then they're feeding well. If they're roughly following their centile line if you weigh them monthly, then they're feeding well. If they seem well in themselves then they're feeding well.
Imo, being able to settle a baby with a quick feed is a remarkably helpful tool. I wouldn't want to lose that. This idea of "snack" feeding comes from formula feeding schedules where babies are supposed to take x amount every 4 hours etc etc. It's got nothing to do with a supply and demand breastfeeding relationship. There's nothing wrong with offering a quick feed if that would settle your baby, I also don't have any issue with feeding to sleep, if it's not causing you any problems at the moment.
He feeds a lot because he's 6 weeks old Newborns feed really often, I was amazed how often it really was. www.kellymom.com is a nice site for "what's normal" when feeding a newborn. I found it really useful.
Also settling to sleep with feeding is totally normal and not a bad habit.
1) no I don't think bf babies necessarily pick up less bugs, all of mine seem to get the usual colds etc. FF babies are statistically more susceptible to particular types of illness e.g ear or gastrointestinal infections though I believe.
2) I'm not sure either! Cuddles I guess...I'd probably try carrying them in a sling once they seemed to have had enough milk.
3) I'd ignore Gina Ford. Babies are all different.
You'd just have to see how much milk they take just like during the day as speak said.
I'm also a fan of being able to offer a bf to help them sleep etc. I've always found it helpful to calm them when they do get ill as well. Bf is easy on their wee tummy, so it's easier to keep them hydrated if they can keep it down.
If you are both happy, there's really nothing wrong with feeding to sleep on the boob. He won't do it forever, and he's so tiny that getting a full tummy is probably the single biggest thing you can do to get him to settle - no amount of shushing and rocking is going to compensate for being hungry!
Bear in mind he's going into a growth spurt period, so feeding for longer and more frequently is completely normal, even if it's completely knackering for you
^^ nailed it
I can't imagine having to keep washing, sterilising bottles, carrying extra stuff everywhere and checking I have enough formula. Plus, boobs are free
We're led to believe there's a certain way babies 'should' be, but nobody told a baby that... if boob helps your baby go to sleep and it's not a problem for you, why mess with that?
The settling to sleep would be a reason to continue breast feeding imo!
Why stress yourself out trying to find another way to settle your baby when you have something that works now?
And don't worry about snacking etc, baby will take however much he needs. Just make sure you have him weighed regularly and check he's having plenty of wet/dirty nappies.
And enjoy this time while you are breastfeeding if it's not causing you any problems. I switched to formula when DS was 8 months old and it was a pain in the arse having to worry about having bottles and formula ready when out and about etc, I couldn't imagine having to do it when he was 6 weeks old and feeding more frequently, what a faff!
If you're not struggling to breast feed then I would still to that at this stage. It's really normal for babies to feed constantly and for different lengths at this age and i read that it takes 6 weeks for your supply to establish properly so feeding on demand is important at this age. I don't think you can over feed a newborn - he's feeding because he needs to feed, it's much easier to know he's having the right amount breastfeeding than formula feeding I think.
The feeding to sleep thing is great, stick with that for your own sanity! Yes at some point you might want to help him get to sleep by himself but I wouldn't worry about it yet. My 4 month old occasionally will self settle to sleep but boob still works every time and is what I rely on particularly with naps.
All that said if you are struggling with having a baby constantly attached to you then now is a good time to start expressing a bit to give yourself a break and introduce the idea of a bottle to your DS so your DH can feed him and give you a break. We started giving occasional bottle of breast milk at 6 weeks and then at 12 weeks introduced formula for night time feed (which incidentally made no difference to his sleeping but meant my DH could take over some bedtime duties)
Thanks everyone. Sounds like I should stick to breastfeeding for now! I'll see how I get on!
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