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To introduce formula?

(23 Posts)
LorruhB Sun 27-Jan-19 11:05:26


My LO is 14 weeks old today and is currently exclusively breastfed.

Weve had a few issues with reflux and a cows milk intolerance and she is now on baby gavsicon which seems to help with that.

The trouble I'm having now is that she is still waking every two hours in the night - sometimes it can be after 1.5hours! I try not to feed her and very occasionally she will settle back to sleep with a shush and a rock but mostly she will want a feed before she settles again.

I'm trying to make sure she naps better in the day but this doesn't seem to make alot of difference.
She goes to bed around 8-7 but the constant waking inbetween is really starting to drain me.

I'm wandering whether a formula feed at bed would help keep her full? But with her reflux settled I'm worried introducing another milk would upset that.

I also don't know if this is just normal and that I'm worrying over nothing.

Any advice hugely appreciated! Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
FalldereedilIdo Sun 27-Jan-19 11:16:56

Few things: if she has a problem with cow’s milk then normal formula will make her much worse as it’s cow’s milk based. You would need to d/w GP re: alternatives (I think things like Neocate?)
A few other things you could try instead tho which might help; 1. Try and build in a long breast feed before bed time - I was doing a 45min feed at that age, at least 20min both sides, would sometimes have to wake him up a bit in between. That way he was abt to do a longer stretch from bedtime. A friend used to give a bottle of expressed milk at bed time to achieve same thing.

FalldereedilIdo Sun 27-Jan-19 11:18:46

2. I used to hold him upright (asleep on me shoulder) rocking gently for 15-20 min after feeding, this stopped him waking up with reflux 1hr later

FalldereedilIdo Sun 27-Jan-19 11:20:26

3. Is she warm enough? DS was not warm enough when following the grobag guidelines (chest & back too cool), draft blocker & 1 extra layer made a huge difference!

FalldereedilIdo Sun 27-Jan-19 11:21:30

To clarify, he was warm when I put him down but when he woke up later his back felt cool, so built up the layers slowly)

FalldereedilIdo Sun 27-Jan-19 11:22:47

When you say cows milk intolerance do you mean you’ve had to cut out dairy yourself?

Foggymist Sun 27-Jan-19 11:23:35

It's normal for such a young baby to still wake/feed frequently, and it's not advised to adjust or withhold night feeds until 12 months or after.

Alyosha Sun 27-Jan-19 11:56:36

How often does she feed in the day? Do you always offer both breasts? How much does she sleep in the day?

abbsisspartacus Sun 27-Jan-19 11:59:19

Is she getting enough hind milk? (Do they still call it that?) It keeps them fuller longer would your oh let you feed then sleep while he settles her a couple of times in the night

bedtimestories Sun 27-Jan-19 12:06:12

Breast milk helps ease reflux. You can get more effective medicine for reflux called renitedine

TheVeryHungryTortoise Sun 27-Jan-19 12:57:08

If reflux is still a problem ask the GP to prescribe some Ranitidine- doesn't work for every baby but has been very effective for mine.

Some people swear by formula before bed. You could give it a try if you like, there is absolutely no shame in mixed feeding if it works for you and your baby! Although as others have said you'll need a special formula if there's intolerance.

I feed breastmilk, but due to numerous issues I have to solely express and give him expressed bottles. He started sleeping through the night at about 7 weeks and now averages a stretch of about 6-8 hours without waking (10 weeks.) Not sure if this is due to expressed bottle before bed or my technique.
We had stopped him ever feeding to sleep in the hopes that this would help him self settle and for us this really has worked! I still have to wake up in the middle of the night to express and sometimes I see or hear him wake up, but he just resettles himself until around 7am when he has his morning bottle. I know this probably won't last though!

I must admit that when we were stopping his 4am feed we did give him a dummy for the first few nights that he woke up (we don't use dummies at any other time of day or for sleeping now!) He is a huge baby so the GP agreed that this was safe to do for his weight and he is still gaining well. Could a dummy replacement be an idea for you? I know some people are very anti-dummy (I thought I was) and also very pro night feeds, but our baby clearly didn't need it so this worked for us.

Whatever happens, I hope things improve for you soon!

LorruhB Sun 27-Jan-19 18:42:08

Thanks for all the replies! Sorry for some reason they didn't come through as notifications.

Yes i've cut dairy out of my diet as I'd read that could be the cause and for us it has definitely made a huge difference.

Ive actually just made up a bottle of expressed milk to try that tonight to see a) how much she feeds and b) if maybe she just needs to be on the boob longer.

Often she will feed for a while and then stop after a couple of seconds even if i change sides - I often think that means she is full but maybe she is just windy and needs a break for a minute or two.

We do actually give her a dummy as she used to suckle just to comfort rather than feed and the dummy does help soothe her but not always.

I will try all your suggestions and see if any of them work before introducing formula! I have seen cow and gate (i think) now do a anti-reflux one so that may be an option.

OP’s posts: |
TheVeryHungryTortoise Sun 27-Jan-19 19:19:09

@LorruhB Just for reference my 10 week old drinks between 5 and 6oz of expressed milk at every feed (fed on demand but roughly every 1.5-2.5 hours during the day and more when cluster feeding in the evening!) I read somewhere- possibly the amazing Kellymom website- that babies regardless of age never need more than ~6oz of expressed breastmilk per feed which is different to the increasing amounts of formula with age.

By the way antireflux formula tends to just be thicker (so is less easy to bring as it sits heavy in the stomach.) Some people aren't very keen on it, personally I've never tried it but if you decide to remember that formula is more likely to constipate baby than breastmilk and this would be even more likely with anti-reflux milk and gaviscon. My (long winded) point is if you decide to try that formula maybe try it first without the gaviscon.

I hope something on here works for you!

TheVeryHungryTortoise Sun 27-Jan-19 19:24:21

Forgot to say that we found that if my partner tried to settle him in the night he was more likely to settle, so maybe try this? I think it's probably because we smell of milk so the baby just goes into hangry mode!!

FalldereedilIdo Sun 27-Jan-19 20:41:04

Foggymist I’ve not heard that before, what’s your source for that info? NHS website says ‘by 6 months many babies will sleep through the night although some may not yet.’ Genuinely curious not meaning to sound interrogatory.

mindutopia Tue 29-Jan-19 07:04:15

Anti reflux milk is not dairy free. You would need a special prescription formula if there is actually a cow’s milk protein allergy. I don’t think any commercially available formulas are dairy free. But I also wouldn’t see formula as a magic sleep potion. My first was ff by that point. She was still waking every 2 hours. My second was ebf, never even had expressed milk, and was sleeping through by 3 months (though didn’t last but he did sleep through for several months).

What you are descending though sounds pretty normal for a 3 month old though. Making sure she is warm enough and co-sleeping may help. And definitely do not withhold feeds. That will get her in a cycle of constantly waking hungry. You can think about night weaning around a year but now is too soon (and she’ll just wake more). It’s easy to just feed them back to sleep and get back to bed yourself, so for now, do whatever you need to do to get the most sleep.

planespotting Tue 29-Jan-19 07:08:50

Formula does not help them sleep longer.

Alyosha Tue 29-Jan-19 07:59:56

Formula does help babies sleep longer, that is one of the reasons it is correlated with higher sids risk...

brookshelley Tue 29-Jan-19 08:07:15

LorruhB you cannot buy Cow and Gate if your baby has a cow's milk allergy or intolerance. All commercial baby formula is made from cow's milk, goat's milk, or soy. If you need something else it is prescription only. So before you start worrying about formula making the baby sleep, you need to understand exactly which type of formula your baby can take.

From what I've heard from friends Neocate has a very different taste to breast milk so for the hope of longer sleep it might be a bit overkill.

sheerjewl Tue 29-Jan-19 08:38:22

My DC would wake every 1.5-2 hours for a feed when breastfeeding at that age.
I exclusively breastfed for 6 months. It does get better eventually but some babies do feed a lot. He also suffered with reflux and had to be held upright for 30 mins after every feed. It was so tiring. That passed when he was about 4 months old though and his reflux improved. We used carobel too which you can buy off amazon to thicken the feed. You syringe it in before feeding. He had gaviscon and ranitidine but nothing really made much difference. It was just a stage that had to get through.

Like others have said - you can't give cow and gate and other "normal" formula if he has CMPA. You have to get prescription formula from the doctors.

Bobfossil2 Tue 29-Jan-19 08:41:45

Formula does help babies sleep longer, that is one of the reasons it is correlated with higher sids risk...

What’s a source for that Aloysha? It was my understanding that breastfeeding reduced sids risk, not that ff increased the risk of sids.

Bobfossil2 Tue 29-Jan-19 08:45:31

You’re ok aloysha- I used google myself grin

LorruhB Tue 29-Jan-19 11:20:08

Thanks all!

I wouldn't ever withhold a feed from her, I just didn't want to get in to the habit of feeding her in the night if thats not actually what she needs.

I've also been worried that the frequent waking was due to the fact she isn't getting enough from me so thats why I was thinking of introducing formula.

I'm not expecting her to sleep for 8 hours straight but 3-4 would be nice!! - wishful thinking of my part.

Thanks @sheerjewl i'm glad I'm not the only one going through this, thanks @brookshelley & @mindutopia for the info on formula too - to be honest i've seen so many different ones in the shops and had on obviously got myself confused!

Hopefully this is a phase we will get through together and I wont actually need to introduce anything else yet!

OP’s posts: |

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