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new to being a mum and really need help re formula feeding

(30 Posts)
bumbly Sun 29-Jul-07 17:08:54

Day 9 post-partum....long not breast feeding. managed to give Lo colostrum for 2 and half totally on formula

not sure how this formula malarky works..
sometimes LO feeds after 3-4 hour sleep and having 70-80 ml feeds but today been waking up every 2 hours or so and taking little feeds of 40 ml

any guidelines re formula feeding/sleeping

any help anywhere...I went to all the breast feeding classes and was pumped silly on milking machines at the hospital but when couldn't breast feed no support or guidelines for a newbie re formula feed

really really really need help!!!

what is one meant to do? how often should Lo feed? midwife said he should have more than 70mls - buit we can't seem to (and don't want to) force feed him more then what he is getting.


EscapeFrom Sun 29-Jul-07 17:13:20

There is no reason why, at 9 days old, he should be taking more than 70 ml - this is about 3 oz, right? That's quite a lot!

Maybe because it has been hot today he is thristy, and wants to snack a bit.

EscapeFrom Sun 29-Jul-07 17:14:49

Midwife is being slightly unrealistic, I feel. he will take what he needs, how much (if you can remember!) do you think he has drunk inthe last 24 hours?

sarahlou1uk Sun 29-Jul-07 17:15:46

If he's feeding every 2 hours and taking 40ml then that's ok. Try to start getting into a routine where you try and keep the gap between feeds to 4 hours. Try singing, rocking, dare I say it - a dummy between feeds. He's only just over a week old so I wouldn't worry too much. Don't get into the habit of giving water between feeds like some mw/hv suggest.
If you think about it, his little tummy is still tiny and if he's having 40 ml and then just as it's gone out of his tummy, it's getting filled again, he will be a bit grumpy. Their stomachs are tiny at this age. Try gradually increasing time between bottles by 15 mins at a time until you get to 4 hours between feeds. This worked for both my two.
The most important thing to remember is that he is taking the milk and that every baby is different. The first few weeks are the hardest until baby gets into a routine of sorts. Keep persevering and if you need any help, mumsnetters are always here to give you the benefit of their experiences.

pobletsmum Sun 29-Jul-07 17:16:33

Sorry you've been having a hard time bumbly. I don't really have much advice, but what I do know is that you can't force a baby to feed, and it's very early days. LO's tummy will be soooo tiny right now, I don't know how much you can expect to cram into it???

If the midwife says he should have more than 70mls, does she have any suggestions for you?

alexw Sun 29-Jul-07 17:17:10

Maybe try cooled boiled water in between feeds if ff. your lo may be thirsty. It does take about 3 hours for them to digest formula. My dd only took 3oz for ages and then suddenly it went up. Let your lo decide how much they want.

NadineBaggott Sun 29-Jul-07 17:17:35

yes 3ozs sounds fine.

as a rule of thumb every 4 hours but you'll get to know the hungry cry.

may not be waking for food. may need changing or cuddle or winding.

EscapeFrom Sun 29-Jul-07 17:17:43

When it's really hot I feel that 4 hours is a very long time to go without a drink, so I personally would not recommend 4 hours and no water, certainly not in the summer.

EscapeFrom Sun 29-Jul-07 17:17:52

When it's really hot I feel that 4 hours is a very long time to go without a drink, so I personally would not recommend 4 hours and no water, certainly not in the summer.

NadineBaggott Sun 29-Jul-07 17:19:01

of deffo - don't be rigid about it.

Troutpout Sun 29-Jul-07 17:26:29

That sounds fine Bumbly
It's hard to make them go 4 hours or so when they are little.... He'll get there within the next week or so though i expect and you'll see a more definite pattern.
You are right about ff...there isn't much advice or support is there!
Congratulations btw

bumbly Sun 29-Jul-07 17:27:26

thanks guys - i just have no where to go re amounts etc for the first few weeks..

tip re increasing gap by 15 mins seems a good one..but little one will be so fretful

currently I usually feed him in two stages...first half then as soon as he goes in drunken stupor I change nappy to wake him up and feed him more...then I call it quits as am petrified am force feeding him..making him snack..making him obese prone etc....

midwife said 70ml (which is 2 1/2 ounces i think)...was too little..and this she told me Day6

LO lost 9% body weight by Day3: after colostrum feeding my nipples cracked and bled and then his appetitie went up and I knew my breasts couldn't had a fever..and 3 horrible perineum tears stiches got infected so went on antibiotics (strongly felt didn't want antibiotics to go to LO and breasts were bleeding anyway)..took couple days off breast feeding

and then went on the milking machines with no success to re-stumulate breasts

which brings me back to LO now at home....he is slowly starting to regain weight lost in hopsital but have no idea how much/when he should have!


plus I noticed all top brand formulas have fish oil!! rang cow and gate and they said it was tuna oil..
I spent 9 months completely avoiding tuna!!! so not omegas but pure fish oil!!
how crazy! even pregnacare vits contain purified omegas vs fish oil!

formula fish oil isnt purified..hence full of mercury/PCBs etc!?


Kif Sun 29-Jul-07 17:31:02

I'd try a dummy - you might find he's a 'sucky' baby.

Having said that, 'demand feeding' applies to formula feeding too - try to watch him carefully to learn to distinguish when he's really hungry.

NearlyHeddaslessNick Sun 29-Jul-07 17:42:42

Agree with what other say, re amounts look on the formula tin as a rough guide.

It may also help to know that I have been told, by HV and MIL, that a baby will not starve itself. They are just like us, some days they are more hungry than others.


NearlyHeddaslessNick Sun 29-Jul-07 17:46:57

and try not to worry about everything. Its hard with a newborn but just learn together.

You are new to being a mum and lo is new to the whole world. You will soon get into your own routine. No 2 babies are the same so everything you are told by HVs, in mags, in books, by other people should only be taken as a guide. You will learn to know your baby better than anyone else and will soon know what they want/need.

MN is a very good resource though since you will get varied opinions and advice from people with real life experience.

lazyemma Sun 29-Jul-07 19:49:14

bumbly, my daughter was 2 weeks old at least before she started taking more than 2 oz a feed. She just wasn't all that hungry at first. When your son is hungry for more, he'll let you know. Your trick of changing mid-feed is a good one, so stick with that. Try not to worry, it'll all fall into place soon (even though it might not feel like it!)

Seona1973 Sun 29-Jul-07 20:18:31

4 hours is an unreasonable (and probably unrealistic) amount of time to make a newborn baby go between feeds. My ds fed 2 1/2 - 3 hourly to begin with (sometimes only just made 2 1/2hrs) and then slowly went from 3 hours to 4 hours but not till he was 16 weeks old. 3 Hours is a normal amount of time between formula feeds at this age. I used to try a dummy to hold him off for a for 5/10 minutes - I never used water as at this age milk is preferable as water has no nutritional value and may put your lo off their milk feeds. It sounds like your lo is having a growth spurt and once it has passed his feeding will probably settle again. Go with the flow as slowly you will see a bit more routine developing and as your lo gets bigger he will be able to take more at each feed and that will help him go a bit longer between them.

elkiedee Sun 29-Jul-07 20:19:35

When my baby was taken back into hospital having lost too much weight and we were bottle feeding him some expressed milk/some formula, we started off on 60 ml/2 oz at 10/11 days, and I think they suggested we increased that right at the end of the hospital stay (15 days).

elkiedee Sun 29-Jul-07 20:22:29

oh, and we were told 3 hours. We are now pretty much demand feeding - the bottles are 7 oz (since about 9/10 weeks) but he eats at variable intervals. He's big for his age - 15 lb at just under 12 weeks - but apparently very much in proportion to length and head circumference.

flowerybeanbag Sun 29-Jul-07 20:32:11

my DS is 11 weeks now, and goes 4 hours, has been for a couple of weeks, but certainly didn't to start with - he was every 2-3 hours at the beginning and definitely wasn't having as much as 70mls at a feed - midwife advice to us at same stage was aim for 50-60, but feed on demand at least initially even with formula.
Worked for us, we followed his lead and he started increasing the times he went between feeds and taking more at each feed himself.
There was a stage where we were feeding him whenever he was grizzly, then realised it wasn't always hunger signs, but you get to know these, and in between if he is desperate to suck you could try a dummy or even some water as suggested above, although we avoided this and still do as it may put him off his next feed and I would prefer his tummy be full of formula rather than water.
We have a dummy for DS as when bottlefeeding they can't 'comfort suck' as breastfed babies can.
You do get left on your own a bit when bottlefeeding, and there aren't equivalents to some of the good websites and organisations like there are with breastfeeding, but we did find when we asked specific questions of the midwife and HV they were quite helpful. And obviously mumsnet is a good place to ask people who have been through it.

flowerybeanbag Sun 29-Jul-07 20:36:10

oh, and we do the two stage thing as well, most feeds he needs a 'rest' midway through, when we change his nappy or whatever, then he has 'seconds', so don't worry you are force feeding him. I'm sure if he is definitely full he will either firmly shut his mouth, or take some then spit it out or throw it up! If you feed in two stages you are making sure he gets as much as he needs which means he will go a decent interval til the next one.
9 days is v young to be in any kind of routine though, or going a significant length of time between feeds. He will settle himself into it in a while.

eandh Sun 29-Jul-07 20:41:15

both of mine were/are formula fed for us every 3-4 hours was normal and around 3-4oz by 3 weeks it as definatley nearer 4 hours between feeds and they developed their own pattern. Generally I used to feed at 6am,10am,2pm,6pm and dreamfeed at 10pm ish.

I dont know if you have read about 'dream feeds' but as baby gets a few weeks older I tweaked feeds so that she had bottle around 6pm then bed and then around 10pmish I used to feed her in her sleep and then head to bed myslef, she would go through till 2am ish then 6am which meant only 1 night feed, by 12 weeks both dd's had dropped the 2am feed but continued with the dreamfeed till around 5months

bumbly Tue 14-Aug-07 14:42:12

ok update - 25 days old

still feeding every 2 hours except when we go out in car

he falls asleep and can last 3 hours

so no sleep this normal for LO

no sign of going longer

he is now someimes taking 100ml but mainly 60-80ml

tummy still seems small and vomits badly when goes over 100ml

will i ever sleep again?

bumbly Tue 14-Aug-07 15:24:50

ps: it seems to worsen when he feeds...

how can i check it is not a formula allergy??

Theclosetpagan Tue 14-Aug-07 15:32:25

Hi bumbly,

Don't worry about getting him to take over 100mls if it seems too much for him. Yes - you will sleep again but I remember those early weeks as being the hardest ones. If he's gaining weight and weeing plus pooing with no problems then you are unlikely to have a baby with a formula allergy - just a normal baby who needs his feeds little and often - mine did too as he had reflux.
I think my DS was nearly 12 weeks before he began to settle in the evenings (prior to that he screamed with colic between 6 and 10pm). He was 9-10 months before he went through the night (but did sleep for longer periods).
Your little one will get there too. Is there support around you so that you can get some sleep occasionally? These first few weeks are sooo exhausting and it's hard to see beyond them when you are going through it.

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