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Returning to work - switching EBF to formula

(22 Posts)
Bex107 Thu 15-Dec-16 10:39:18

My DS is currently 6 months old and EBF (although we've started weaning it's a very slow process!)

I'll be returning to work P/T in May when DS is 1, and I'm starting to (v.reluctantly) think about introducing formula feeds in preparation. If I didn't have to go back to work I'd continue to EBF, however unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to express enough at work to continue this - I'm out and about a lot with my job, running training days, etc.

So my plan is to formula feed in the day when he's with the childminder, and BF morning and evening. Does anyone have any tips for introducing formula - I'm thinking of gradually switching one feed at a time, is this the best way?

Also any hand-holding advice greatly appreciated (tell me he will be fine and it's not a terrible decision!) smile

JohnLapsleyParlabane Thu 15-Dec-16 10:46:20

If you are going back when baby is one and want to continue to breastfeed then it's perfectly possible to do that without expressing. If you want to introduce formula, the way I did it was to have a special 'milk cup' (just a different colour sippy cup to her water cup) and got her used to that.
However at one, baby is unlikely to 'need' milk in the daytime. Certainly mine doesn't. If I'm around she'll breastfeed as before, but if she's with someone else than she just has meals and water and occasionally some cows milk or formula in her milk cup. My daughter is 13 months and has been like this since about 10 months.

SpeakNoWords Thu 15-Dec-16 12:52:29

I went back to work part time (3 days a week) when my DS was 11 months old, having been EBF. When I was at work he would have a breastfeed in the morning, and then be absolutely fine at nursery with food and water (and then cows milk from 12 months) throughout the day. I would feed him after pick up, and then in the evening as usual. On my non work days he sometimes had a feed in the day as well. I didn't need to use formula at all. It was very straightforward and hassle free.

FraterculaArctica Thu 15-Dec-16 12:55:24

If you're not going back till he's 1 why can't he just have cow's milk?

ShoeJunkie Thu 15-Dec-16 12:55:51

Same - I went back to work 3 days a week when both ds1 and ds2 where about 11 months having been ebf. They both fed in the morning, when I picked them up at 5ish and then again at bedtime. Both were happy with water or cows milk while I was at work.

museumum Thu 15-Dec-16 12:56:41

Personally I would skip the bottles entirely (unless you really want to) and introduce milk (ebm, formula or cows) in a cup.
Cows can't be their main drink till they're 1 but they can have some in addition to bm or formula.

At 1 my ds had cows milk in a cup (formula in a cup 10-12mos) at nursery and bf with me. I worked 3 days. Never expressed.

Babies should be coming off bottles at around 1yr anyway so I wouldn't want to just start them then.

OnTheUp13 Thu 15-Dec-16 13:00:46

He doesn't need formula post 6 months. It's a marketing ploy. He can have cows milk. Also my DD doesn't feed in the day anymore (unless she's sick) since I went back to work at 9 months. She's now 17 months so no problems with supply etc

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 15-Dec-16 13:06:19

Nope - absolutely no need to introduce formula at all if you're going back to work when he's 1, so think no more on it.

TBH, there would be no need to introduce it either if he was just shy of 1 either as he'll take plenty of food during the day with the CM and you can continue to BF morning and evening. He'd have no other real need for milk during the day.

DS1 was 8mo when I went back to work full time. I could express, but since he was a total bottle and cup refuser - total and utter, every single brand on the market - he had no milk during the day when I went back to work, and he thrived. Ate like a horse at nursery (which he never did at home, and still doesn't at 4yo), nursery gave him a few extra yoghurts and put EBM on his porridge, just to assuage my nerves, and got what he needed from me when we were at home.

Normandy144 Thu 15-Dec-16 13:06:41

There's no need to introduce formula. I have a 10 month old EBF baby. She currently has an early morning feed, a 2pm feed and a pre-bed feed. I'm returning to work in February when she's 1. My plan is to continue the early morning and before bed feed. At the childminders she will take solid food, snacks and cows milk/water.

You will see a big change in her milk consumption levels in the next 6 months as she gets used to solids and her appetite grows. She'll cut down her daytime feeds. My advice would be to start her on a sippy cup with water at meals and progress to an open cup around 9 months. You can therefore avoid the bottle entirely. When I'm not around during the day my DD is happy with solid food, snacks and water. I still feed her on demand, so she will breastfeed if I'm home and it's offered,but she's not reliant on it.

SpeakNoWords Thu 15-Dec-16 13:08:12

Cows milk isn't suitable as a main drink until 12 months. From 6 months they can have cows milk in/on food, and as an occasional drink.

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 15-Dec-16 13:10:41

OnTheUp Not strictly true - you can't give cow's milk as a milk feed under 12 months as it's too high in sodium. You can give it as part of food (in porridge, on cereal, yoghurts, cheese, puddings, custard), but you shouldn't give a bottleful, IYSWIM. I'm the first to jump on formula company marketing ploys, but milk feeds under 12 months should still be stage 1 formula.

FraterculaArctica Thu 15-Dec-16 13:14:59

Elphaba interesting I didn't know that. I let DS have cow's milk as an occasional drink (including at nursery) from 10 months or so. Didn't know the thing about the sodium.

YesILikeItToo Thu 15-Dec-16 13:22:09

I agree. You don't need to do this. When it seems appropriate as weaning goes on, show him how to use a cup, use water. Leave it until much nearer the time to decide whether he's gong to need milk during the day at 1 year old - if he does, use cows milk.

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 15-Dec-16 13:24:07

Occasional drink e.g. in a sippy cup accompanying food is fine under 12 months, but 8oz or more in a bottle where they're more likely to down the lot is what's not advisable.

Bythebeach Thu 15-Dec-16 13:27:23

I EBFed DS3 when I went back to work when he was 11 months. He just BF morning and evening and had no milk in the daytime. He was offered formula in the daytime from both cup and bottle but shunned it consistently so we just went with BF around work.

OnTheUp13 Thu 15-Dec-16 13:31:48

Ah interesting! My daughter is CMPI so we never went down that route anyway. She still won't take any kind of milk from anything but the boob. Apart from soya yoghurts. Apparently these are ok wink

Bex107 Thu 15-Dec-16 13:38:58

Amazing, thank you all so much! I hadn't really realised that he won't need BFing during the day - it all seems like such a massive change when he's still feeding every couple of hours at the minute! Really appreciate all the advice flowers

OnTheUp13 Thu 15-Dec-16 13:41:13

I think my DD was 9 months when she dropped her last day session which was around 3pm. Literally one day wasn't bothered with it! But she is still very adamant she wants BooBoo at bedtime, in the night and first thing in the morning.

Squidgling Thu 15-Dec-16 13:48:27

I remember worrying about the same thing at about 9 months as my daughter was still feeding a few times in the daytime but people reassured me that there is a big change as they are approaching 1 and they were right. She started nursery at 1 and just had food, water and a cup of cows milk in the day, breastfed morning and bedtime. You don't need to introduce formula smile

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 15-Dec-16 13:55:12

OP - mine never stopped feeding at least 2 hourly around the fucking clock right up until and after I went back to work at the weekends, even as their solids increased, so don't get concerned if he doesn't drop milk feeds and take in more solids naturally as PPs have said he will/might. Accept that these are largely comfort feeds, not nutritional, and a normal baby will sort themselves out when mum isn't around, probably by taking in way more solids than when you're around, and also due to the social influence of the other children at the CM's. This is what panicked me with DS1, but what I was totally chilled about with DS2 (who, conversely to DS1, took two 8oz bottles of EBM a day at nursery for a while...I felt like I should have been mooing gently as I expressed at work hmm)

DappledThings Thu 15-Dec-16 22:00:42

I've just started preparing for this too. DS is 10 months. For about 3 months he's been on 4 feeds at approx. 7, 11, 3 and 7. This week I've dropped the 11 one and replaced it with a bit of fruit and one of those flavoured rice cakes. So far he seems not to have been bothered by it at all. Once he gets past 11 months will old same with the 3 then I can decide what to do about the first and last thing ones later on.

I was really worried he'd be upset about bit he's fine!

teaandbiscuitsforme Fri 16-Dec-16 12:09:02

I agree with Elphaba. DD went to nursery two days a week from 1 and didn't give BF a thought whilst she was there. Didn't mean she didn't go back to feeding every few hours on the days I didn't work!

Don't stress about it. Just enjoy the next months of maternity leave without the stress of formula or expressing!

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