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'Paced' bottle feeding - really struggling(8 Posts)
I know this may sound ridiculous but I'm really struggling with HOW to bottle feed my combination fed baby. I was told to do paced feeding but then my mother and MIL confused things by telling me I was holding the bottle wrong and I didn't have the right info on paced feeding to be able to challenge it so went back to chucking the milk down the boy's throat old school feeding style - I was using the NUK bottles which he'd down - and ANY amount at that (he's 4 months), but then he'd strain, or cry, or produce an enormous poo during the feed and at night will take ages to settle. Even then my MIL felt I should offer the max amount 'because babies know when their tummies are full'. But apparently they don't and certainly my son's behaviour post-feed would support the latest thinking.
I've just moved to the Dr Brown's bottles to try pacing. He's definitely less troubled at the end of it but I'm just not sure what I should be offering since he still finishes all even when he then pukes half of it back up (indicating full tum). I can't get a good gauge of how much milk my breasts supply each feed as it varies so much so I just don't know what I should offer as top up after a couple of boobs.
I'm scared of creating an eating problem - either because he's always hungry or doesn't recognise satiety. Please help! Thank you
Is there a reason you’re topping up after breast feeds? Combination feeding would make more sense if some feeds are breast and some are bottle unless there’s a specific reason you feel you need to top up after a breast feed
The main thing to remember with paced feeding is to slow right down and allow pauses - a baby won’t recognise “full” quickly so the pauses and slower speed allow them chance to recognise this and stop feeding. With a bottle, even if the baby isn’t actively feeding, the milk drips down their throat so it is easy for them to take more milk than recommended. If he’s being sick after feeds perhaps make smaller feeds and slow them right down and then feed more again when he shows hunger cues?
With regards to MIL, it’s not that she’s wrong, just that advise changes and you’ve been advised to do things differently
Why were you told to pace?
There is no wrong way to hold the bottle, just what's right for baby.
My ds was paced because he wasn't taking breaths, just guzzling. I fed him lying on his side so milk couldn't just pour down his throat, I watched him very closely and would remove the bottle when he needed to take a breather and watched for cues that he was stressed like tensing up. Its slow but it worked. He also had reflux so slowing down the feed help let the milk settle.
Babies do know when their full but it's easy to force feed so you need to look at your babies body language to tell when he's had enough because he can't tell you.
I have no advice but I’m interested to see replies. Currently having the same issue with my 4 week old. I had to do formula top up due to weight loss and despite all the oats, fenugreek and endless pumping my supply is still low. Have managed to reduce the formula by whole 10ml (!) but he will still guzzle it all down and often want more. He’s very rarely sick after though so I guess I’m on the right amount?!
Make a bottle, put teat in babies mouth, let baby do as he/she pleases.
In the nicest way possible it sounds like you are really over thinking this. The baby will drink from the bottle the only way he/she knows how and if you are "pausing" or stop starting this will only lead to frustration.
When the baby has had enough, they will stop drinking. I always made bottles bigger than what I thought they would take and let them stop when they had had enough. They don't over feed just because the milk is there.
Thank you all. @WeSaluteYou, thanks - a really helpful, straightforward explanation. Yes, I was recommended to pace feed - by the local milk spot who just said it's a healthier way to bottle feed.
In response to some of your comments, my baby had been glugging his bottles of up to 180 in around 5 minutes and if I tried to slow things too much he'd go mental. Afterwards all too often I'd have a baby who was grizzly, straining and not overly interested with play opportunities. He was getting way more than the recommended 180 ml per feed when taking the breast milk he is getting from me as well into account. And apparently because of how nutritious breast milk is, breast milk babies tend to take less than formula so he was definitely overdoing it.
Anyway, an update... it has been an interesting 48 hours and @Namechangemum100, with all due respect I've concluded you can definitely overfeed a baby through the old style of feeding... Coinciding with paced feeding (I'm using Dr brown's bottles) - and much less formula than when using the NUK bottles -, we went from the norm - feeding 2 or 3 times a night to a night where he didn't feed once (first time ever). That coincided with a first - full night co-sleeping - because I just couldn't get him to settle in his new cot, but by the by the absence of feeds suggests to me that he was finally eating the right amount because the fact he was able to sleep the night through indicates he got all his calories in the day.
Feeding time is also a much less stressful ordeal and the baby has fallen asleep on the bottle twice (again a first) - though I caveat here that apparently they're not supposed to, so I got a more suitable age-appropriate teat.
So I asked at the same time as trying it and I think we've worked it out and got a much happier baby! Thanks very much all.
Falling asleep on the bottle is fine - same as it would be at the breast. Means they’re tired and not hungry or suitably full or need a rest
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