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Calling all bottle feeding mums(11 Posts)
I need your help. After struggling with bf and having to move to bottle feeding with my LO and experiencing the lack of support available for mums bottle feeding and being left to work out the many challenges faced on your own. I am going to write an article for my blog to help others and would like to hear from bottle feeding mums any tips, techniques, advice and challenges and best bottles /products you found etc, you have that I can feature in the article which you would like to share/help for other new parents out there who bottle feed. I will of course quote your name against anything I use. Looking forward to hearing from you.
I've been mixed feeding my 3 month old after a struggle with breastfeeding. I try to mimic some of the breastfeeding routines with the bottle - brushing the teat against his top lip to encourage him to gape, cuddling him close to my breast and making lots of eye
Nuk bottles worked best with tongue tie baby here!
contact. I use a Medela teat which is not free flowing and encourages baby to suck a little harder. But the teat is quite long and rigid, and unlike the shape of the nipple. We've tried other softer tests - baby used to use disposable nuk teats - but he current take to them anymore.
MAM anti colic bottles have been a life saver in my house after failed bf, they literally suck the air out of the milk and you can hear the little squeaking of air escaping out the base! It’s weirdly thrilling to know that my dd won’t be gulping all that air down and the noise it makes it’s very satisfying haha! Also they’re self sterilising just pop them in the microwave.
Bottle feeding is really hard, you’re correct that there’s not as much help out there and people just assume because we’re using bottles we’ve got it easier when that’s not always the case and most of the time we wish we could still bf.
My biggest biggest piece of advice for mums turning to bottle feeding is to not beat themselves up I cried for three days not being able to bf it broke me but the realisation I had is that im putting my dd first by ensuring she has the nutrients she needs and you can still have an amzing bond without bf’ing and they’re only really consuming milk for 6-12 months so it’s not a lifetime!
I've got to second what Wiggles last paragraph says. The biggest issue I had with switching to formula/bottle was the feeling of failing my baby in some way.
We were admitted back to hospital after a 12% weight loss within 36 hours of birth, and even with a bit of formula top up my baby was still losing weight. (Tried expressing as well)
We got shot down so hard by the nurses when we said we'd like to try exclusive formula. Eventually (after almost a week of this) we had a nice nurse who supported us and baby started thriving on formula. Despite the turn around in baby the majority of nurses still tried saying we should be breast feeding, breast is best etc.
All of that on top of baby blues made for a very teary few days. The doctor that discharged us caught me in one of my 'episodes' and was very kind and said baby will be happy and healthy on formula, plenty of babies are, so not to beat myself up.
The advice I would give is fed is best. And happy mum - happy baby.
The extra bit of sleep you can get with partner/grandparents/etc taking on a feed doesn't hurt either :P
Our tommee tippee perfect prep machine has been a lifesaver (we have one upstairs as well now for night feeds).
Also, tommee tippee do these little pots to prepare amounts of formula in - I've found prepping up a bunch of those once a day makes it much easier to make each bottle (had a few tired 'was that the 2nd or 3rd scoop' moments)
Making feeds on the go was the thing I've had the most trouble with - am now taking boiled water out with me in a flask, along with some cooled boiled water in a bottle. Then putting a small amount of boiling water in a bottle, adding the formula, mixing then topping up with cooled boiled water. Seems to be working so far.
- combination feeding
- top ups
- how to safely make up feeds at home
- same for out & about
- feed quantities
- feeding a fussy baby
- transitioning from breast to bottle and finally away from bottles
My DD is 5 weeks old and after establishing breastfeeding is being quickly transferred to bottles as I am about to start a medical treatment plan which does not allow breastfeeding. She also needs to sleep through the night as I will need to employ childcare help in house when treatment does not guarantee I will be able to wake.
Struggling a little with the abrupt change and going from on demand feeding to bottles.
The only helpful advice I have found which helps out circumstances is Gina Ford. I am adapting the 6-8 week breastfeeding regime for bottles, changing teats when bottles are consumed to quickly, using anti-colic bottles (MAM) and finally realising the value of a dummy when a sucky bottle fed baby no longer has a breast for comfort.
For bonding, I am trying skin on skin during evening feeds, eye contact during feeds and making the feeds into a little peaceful ritual.
Early days - but this is the best I have found.
I fully agree that there is so little support for formula feeding... this is mostly down to the WHO Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and the rules that health visitors and midwives have to follow (such as not being able to suggest using formula etc). It's also against WHO (voluntary) rules to promote bottles, formula and anything that isn't breast feeding. This is why all bottles are marketed as great for feeding breast milk.
The guilt that is laid on mum's who can't or don't want to breastfeed is off the charts and the fact is many of the breast is best benefits are overstated or indeed unproven. Aside from the practicalities there is a whole other discussion around the politics and science of breast vs bottle. I'll post a link to a recent article about the WHO Breatsfeeding guidelines. I've read a lot about this since my own breast feeding struggles and I'm quite passionate about sharing what I've learned with others (if they'll listen lol)
Anyway... the practicalities;
*mam anti colic bottles worked best for us and still using 6 months in (now with the fast flow teet)
*Milton cold water sterilizing; old fashioned but very handy!
*ready to feed formula; absolute life saver! Granted not everyone can afford it, but if you can then do it. With all the madness of the newborn days and baby feeding on demand and sometimes wanting more than the guidelines on the pack, being able to just splash a bit more in the bottle was fabulous. (I was always looking for a cost comparison of powder vs ready mixed and never found one. Did it myself in the end and worked out approx £11 per week more expensive to use ready mixed vs powder if feeding aptamil and to me that was well worth the massive time saving and convenience and not needing to buy perfect prep machine )
*night feeds we used the single use ready to feed bottles (200ml) and kept these on the beside table with sterilized bottles so no trips to the kitchen at 3am
*feed formula at room temp if baby will take it (ours does) this is probably one of the best things we ever did and we did It right from the start. It means when we are out and about we don't need any other equipment or hot water from a cafe, just pour from the single serve bottle and you're good to go. Same thing with night feeds; no need to warm the milk up as it's at room temp. When we have a 1 litre bottle in the fridge we microwave for about 20 seconds for a 7oz feed or 30s for an 8oz feed which brings it up to about room temp...
*infacol for wind (applies to Brest fed babies too)
*don't bother with gripe water because we could never get him to actually swallow it, and my other mom friends reported the same
Think that's it. Where is your blog, I'd love to have a read?
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