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Realities of formula feeding

(14 Posts)
Clueless79 Thu 31-May-18 12:51:40

I’m bf newborn dc3 and feeling like combi feeding might help me feel like I have a better balance of time to give to my others and also buy me a bit more time to sleep if DH can give a night feed. Im also thinking that a bottle feed would be quicker and easier pre morning school run or if out and about.
I’m desperate for tiredness and general lack of energy and time not to adversely impact on my parenting of my other dc and quality of family life. I don’t want to give up bf completely for the benefits plus easiness.
Could I ask those with experience of ff or combi feeding to comment on how realistic my thoughts are? Is it possible to have the best of both worlds?

mindutopia Thu 31-May-18 23:05:00

There’s no harm in trying it out one morning if you think it might help. From my own personal experience, I ff my first (after bf failure, not by choice) and bf my 2nd. Bf is infinitely easier and quicker and less faff. Mornings were tough to start (not sure how old your dc is), but my dh has to do the morning school run for about the first 6 weeks or so. But now it takes me like 10 minutes to do a feed and then we’re off to school, it would take much longer and involve much more faffing about to deal with making a bottle, giving it, washing and sterilising again later. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try if you think it might work better for you, but I personally am super grateful we didn’t have so many problems this time and I was able to bf because I think I’d be so much more stressed with the extra hassle of bottle feeding.

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Thu 31-May-18 23:09:57

I bf with a bottle a day also!! MAM bottles that sterilise in the microwave were amazing!! Tk maxx at a decent price!! Older siblings loved a bonding session with ds!! Dd 8 was amazing at settling him after a feed!! Supervised of course!!

zindoda Tue 05-Jun-18 14:52:53

I found this on google that might help.

LiteraryDevil1 Tue 05-Jun-18 15:10:38

I expressed from a few days after my milk came in and my stbexh gave our daughters an expressed feed between 12 and 2am do I didn't have to do that feed. I dream fed them around 10.30pm them went to sleep so the next feed was around 3/4am. My dd1 fed hourly during the day for weeks and cluster fed every evening but if she had a nap for longer than an hour in the day I expressed the feed she'd missed as it were and slowly stocked up the freezer.

Seems I had it quite cushy back then as fast forward 7 years to being a single mum with 2 daughters and a newborn son and no one to feed him in the night. I just got on with it because I had no choice and we quickly fell into a nice routine. Yes I was tired, but was also walking 5 miles a day just to get the older ones to school as don't drive. I'm very against formula though so was very determined to bf. I struggled with all 3 with their latch, had thrush with all 3 and strep b infection in my nipple too (dd3).
You have to do what's best for you and your baby but for me breastfeeding was so convenient. I fed anywhere and everywhere and never encountered any funny looks of negativity.
I bf dd1 until she self weaned at 15 months, dd2 until 3.5 years and little man is still going at 3.4 years.
If you are getting on great with bf'ing then that's fab and I'd just carry on.

TrashPanda Tue 05-Jun-18 15:18:14

If you do introduce a bottle, expressed or formula, then do have a quick read up on paced feeding. Bottles can be much easier to get the milk from than breast so baby can become lazy at the breast and develop a bottle preference.

PotOfMemories Tue 05-Jun-18 15:19:26

I breastfed for 6 months then switched to bottle. Personally I find breastfeeding about a million times easier, bottle feeding for me was way more faff.

But I found bfeeding very easy and I did not have a cluster feeding boob monster baby.

Parker231 Tue 05-Jun-18 15:29:15

I ff and it was the best thing I could have decided as I was much less tired as DH, friends and family could do feeds (and were very helpful at sorting out bottles, sterilizing etc). I was able to go out to do shopping, doctors appointment, hairdressers etc without worrying about timings. DC’s did well so I was happy.

MessyBun247 Tue 05-Jun-18 15:29:43

Definitely go for it if you think it would make your life easier. DD2 was a bottle refuser (and a very very frequent feeder) and I found it so hard that all the feeding was down to me and I couldn’t leave her for a few hours to spend time with DD1. In an ideal world, I would have combi fed. Best of both worlds. And I don’t think making up one or two bottles a day is much of a ‘faff’. I think having a baby attached to your chest for hours every day and night when you have other children to care for is more of a faff. But that’s just me.

Do what works for you and your family.

dinosaurkisses Tue 05-Jun-18 15:41:42

Formula Feeding is absolutely not a faff if you have the right kit- we have bottles you can sterilise in the microwave, a perfect prep machine and we use the small premade bottles of formula for when we’re out and about.

The three minutes spent sterilising bottles per day and the one minute per feed is a price I’m willing to pay to not have to be completely responsible for every single feed until dd is fully weaned.

There’s definitely arguments against bottle feeding, but the inconvenience factor isn’t one of them.

PotOfMemories Tue 05-Jun-18 17:41:55

There’s definitely arguments against bottle feeding, but the inconvenience factor isn’t one of them.

I'm sorry but it was for me. All the microwaves and perfect preps in the world don't make up for the fact that if a bf baby wakes at night to feed you barely have to open your eyes - just wake up and stick tit in mouth, job done.

But we used to go between breast and bottle with no bother at all so it was fine for me to leave ds.

biscottie Tue 12-Jun-18 19:06:59

I combi fed DD pretty much from birth due to jaundice and low supply (which I fixed, despite bottle feeding) and I have no regrets at all! It allowed DH and family to give a bottle and me to catch up on sleep when necessary and also meant I could feed comfortably and easily in public. I had loads of problems with BF for the first 8 weeks and very little confidence doing it in public, so being able to give her a bottle was such a relief. However, I did have to work hard from the beginning to establish a good supply, which meant pumping when I 'missed' a feed - bit knackering and a faff at times, but worth it in the long run (I went on to BF for 7.5 months).

I agree with a PP: bottle feeding doesn't have to be a faff. It takes a matter of minutes to clean the bottles and then sterilise them, and in a microwave steriliser they can stay in there and sterilised for 24 hours. We also use a Perfect Prep machine now DD is exclusively on formula and it's brilliant. However, I admit I was still BF when we weaned her off night feeds, and so I am glad we didn't have to regularly prepare bottles in the middle of the night!

Basically, I think combi feeding, if you are able to establish a good supply, is a great balance of both. If it helps you to get more sleep/spend more time with the other kids/lets DH be more involved in this aspect of childcare then give it a go - and don't beat yourself up!

worm79 Wed 13-Jun-18 12:59:04

Might be a daft question but if I sterilise a few bottles in the electric steriliser then do they all stop being sterile the moment I open it to take one out? It says they stay sterile for 24hrs but surely that’s only until it’s opened?

RidingMyBike Wed 13-Jun-18 13:39:53

Did you give it a try? Definitely worth a go, I'd have thought? It's very personal whether you find BFing or formula a faff. We combi fed from day 5 as my milk hadn't come in. When it eventually did I stayed at 50/50 breast/formula as much preferred the bottles to breastfeeding. Combi fed for first year and I'm still BFing a 2.5 yr old.
I found the bottles a lot easier as I could look into her eyes whilst feeding, which really helped us bond. The bottles were a lot quicker than breatfeeds and the prep just means being organised- we washed up bottles once a day at the beginning of the evening dinner wash up (hottest water), rinsed, straight into microwave steriliser. Bottles all ready before rest of washing up finished. Plus the crucial thing is that someone other than you can both feed the baby and wash up/sterilise so it's not totally dependent on you.

The bottles are ok for 24 hours out of the microwave steriliser as long as the cap is on.

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