if you swapped to FF after BF what positives did you find?(21 Posts)
At what stage did you swap to FF? did it alter their poos or upset their tummy at all? DS is 6mo old and I've been excl BF, apart from some first tastes of purees the last few weeks. Since 3 months his sleep went to pot and he feeds about 3 times a night (going from 1 feed at 5am at 3mo). I am now absolutely knackered and can't carry on like this much longer. I'm wondering if now swapping to FF might help his sleep as it worries me that he's not getting good quality sleep now either, as well as my own disrupted nights.
I intended to BF for 6mo and am so proud to have done so, and was thinking I'd just carry on until DS got to 12mo, unless he decided to stop sooner, but I'm barely able to function some days now and wonder if the time has come to change, but don't want to unless it might help.
I'd be grateful to hear from anybody who has swapped to FF after BF at any stage - also, did you regret changing?
I have asked a similar question before, but got replies mainly from people still BF and encouraging me to do so. I know all the benefits of BF and am grateful for any advice, but really want to hear from FF mums to help me make my mind up from both sides.
choolie my best friend just switched to ff from bf for same reasons as you but her ds is only 16 weeks. She's found it's made no difference whatsoever to his sleep or the number of times he wakes in the night to feed. If you are determined to try ff why not swap one of the night feeds for a bottle and see if he goes longer? Why do you need to completely stop bf? Can't you mix feed? Seems to me to be better than stopping bf completely ,but then I bf my dd for 13 months and wouldn't have had it any other way even though at times I felt like you do now! Good luck whatever you decide.
thanks Sar, I've really loved feeding him, but it's not been at all easy, he's a reluctant feeder (world too interesting), so since 3mo, I've had to feed him just as he naps in the day, so spend hours sitting in my bed in the dark feeding, he usually naps in my arms as he feeds on and off throughout the feed, and if he doesn't take much during a feed, he won't top up from me once awake, but is getting more interested in feeding from a cup and bottle.
i just can't go back to expressing more than once a day, as I've always had a fairly good supply and as soon as I start expressing more my boobs just leak all day long. after 6 months in black tops and dark rooms, I feel maybe the time has come to try something new. DH keeps telling me I should be proud to have done 6mo and not to worry now if we have to stop, but i still end up on a guilt trip and worrying i might regret it.
choolie - it doesnt matter what age you stop you'll still feel guilty.
choolie - I would be hacked off feeding in dark rooms too. Can you not change that? You should be able to feed whenever and wherever. Your baby needs to be introduced to being out and about and not need darkness to feed and sleep.
Some babies also breastfeed very quickly - I have 2 friends whose feeds did not last more than 5 minutes literally. If he is so distracted, perhaps he is getting what he needs quicker than you think.
Dropping one (breast) feed, like the last one at night before you go to bed, shouldn't require you to express in place of that feed for too many days - your body will adapt fairly quickly. I'd say give that a go and if you don't feel its making any difference then you'll know that's probably not the answer?
Oh and I meant replacing that feed with formula rather than expressed milk. Mixed feeding at 6 months isn't something you should feel guilty about if it works for you and prevents both of you from exhaustion.
Choolie dont feel guilty you have done so well feeding this long, I fed my dd until she was 7months but was fed up from about 5 months but had to carry on as she was allergic to formula. I loved feeding her but after that long I had had enough. At 6 months your ds can start having a lot more solids and maybe needs it if he has started waking more. Maybe carry on with feeding him in the morning and at bed time but start offering my solids and some formula in a bottle or a beaker. I found by 6 month my dd really needed the solids to fill her up. Good luck.
My DD (7.5 months) used to wake 3 times a night for a bf. When she got to 6 months I got her onto solids (3 meals a day) and put her in her own room (she was in crib next to me) and she started sleeping right through the night. So you may find once you are giving more solids and your DS tummy is more full he might sleep for longer and not bf so much at night.
Although DD has just started waking again due to teething!
I am also thinking of switching to FF now though for lots of reasons.
Hope you get some sleep soon I know how tough it is.
Choolie you have done really well so far and if you decide to FF you shouldn't feel guilty at all.
But I have to tell you that my DS is bottle fed EBM and still has 2-3 feeds at night and he is nearly 12m. I am slowly weaning him off. I think it would be the same whether he had the milk direct from the breast. It is completely knackering and you have my sympathy...but making up bottles and warming them in the middle of the night is a lot more tiring than just BF. If you don't like those night feeds then maybe you need to think about how to get him to eat more in the daytime and less at night, however he feeds?
Oh, and the better sleep properties of FF are a big old myth I'm afraid. Several of my friends went onto FF for this reason and were very disappointed. In my own experience, on the odd occasion where DS has had formula it has not made one jot of difference to his rubbish sleep, unfortunately.
Oh, and my DS did the same as yours at about 3m...why oh why oh why?
I exclusively BF for 4 months, and then was so sick of it I started introducing formula.
DS did sleep for longer - he was going through to about 5 am on the breast, but made it through to 6.30 - 7 am on formula.
You know all about the benefits of BF-ing so I won't repeat them all here, but for me the benefits of bottle feeding were:
More predictable feed times - ds would go for a consistent 4 hours on bottles, but timing was a bit more hit and miss when bfed.
No more leaky boobs!! My boobs never really settled down, and would still leak through 2 breast pads, a bra and a nightie every night. Not sick of waking up dripping and smelly every morning, bot to mention the endless washing.
Got my sex drive back - DH very pleased at this point!
Freedom to leave ds with someone else for the day. DS would always take EBM from a bottle, so from his point of view, leaving him wasn't a problem, but my boobs felt like they would explode if I missed too many feeds.
DH could get more involved, and became more independant when looking after ds - not always passing him to me every time he grumbled.
Found I lost weight once I stopped. Unlike what they lead you to believe, I never lost much weight while breast feeding, but lost 1/2 stone once I stopped.
Felt like I had my body back. Can't realy explain it but it was good!!
Minus points were:
Having to wash up, sterilize etc.
When out and about, having to get bottled warmed, or try to keep them cool.
Guilt on having stopped - but this passed fairly quickly with me!!
I think some babies like the comfort of bfing, and may miss that. My ds was never that bothered, as long as his appetite was met with something, but I think some babies miss it a bit. I'm sure it passes fairly quickly though.
For me, 4 months was the right time to stop. I went back to work shortly after, and I felt I'd given my baby a really good start. I don't regret stopping at all, and my ds is doing really well.
Do what is right for you and your family.
You know the facts, only you can make the decision.
Good Luck with whatever you decide!!!
thanks so much for all the replies, it's really helpful to hear how other people have found this.
He does really enjoy his solids, but I've been wary of bringing them in too soon, incase he cuts the milk too much - but it's definitely not managing to fill him enough now on it's own, so I'll keep going with the purees and mash bits. he's on 2 meals a day, so maybe time for breakfast as well.
Mears, the reason I have to feed him at nap time is that he all but stopped feeding in the day and would take all feeds between 4pm through to 9am the next day. It's the only way I can get him to take anything now in the daytime, if I try to feed him in the living room or anywhere else, the world is just too interesting, so he arches his back and pushes away, he just won't feed from the boob that way
thanks again all.
I found that introducing bits of pureed fruit and veg didn't really affect ds's appetite for milk, and it wasn't until I introduced carbs and protein (meat) that he started to cut back on the milk, ie it made him feel fuller.
There's very few calories in fruit and veg, and often not much fibre in soft fruits either, so it doesn't really fill them up.
If he's over 6 months now, have you considered moving him on to more filling solids, with carbs and/or meat included?
I started my ds on solids at 6 months, and then introduced meat and carbs about 3 weeks later, on my HV's advice and to no adverse effects to my son.
IME this will satisfy his appetite much more than formula will.
Start off with a bit of chicken pureed in with veg or fruit - babies seem to like strange, sweet combinations - with some mashed potato or something like that - a bit of cheese is also good.
Good luck - HTH
Forgot to say, if he's bf throughout the day and also 3 times in the night, he's getting more than enough milk to meet his needs. It doesn't matter if he cuts back a bit.
thanks jojay, thats really helpful. funnily enough we'd just upped the baby rice in with the purees and it's getting better already, so am getting ready for potato, pasta, then a bit of protein next. his sleep has been much better the last couple of nights since doing this. I've also started mixing his rice & cereal with formula rather than BM & going fine so far. cheers
ds i bf from 6 mths
ds bf til 13mths
looking back i should have stuck with dd but 1st baby, anxious etc.
my ds at 7months only had a morning and 2pm and evening feed from me by 9mths it was morn and even only til 13mths.
solids started at 6mths and he was a good eater.
he was always a good sleeper,
so to answer your question yes i regret changing on dd.
that should read dd i bf til 6mths
and ds til 13mths, one of each.
Choolie - congrats on 6 months BF! that's a real achievement.
I formula fed from 4 weeks. I was sad about it, but there have been benefits.
I must add that night waking HASN'T improved with formula. I agree that it's a myth
But day feeds became more spaced out straight away, which is nice. And it helps MY sleep now that someone else can feed her, though I suppose the could be said if you are able to express.
However, formula feeding is a right old faff, so there are plenty of practical downsides, as well as forgoing the health benefits of bf.
the only other thing i can suggest is maybe trying a dummy, if you're comfortable with them, when your ds wakes. This allows you to see if he's hungry, or wants a suck and a cuddle to get back to sleep. We cut down to just one night feed doing this.
(Of course, you then might have the "needing dummy to sleep" issue to deal with, but that's a whole other story )
I'm sure whatever you choose will work out fine for you and LO.
thanks, as I've just posted on another thread last night, i'm now awaiting test results which mean i might have to FF anyway if I need medication, so decision might be taken out of my hands now , but at least I've got this far
Benefits of FF:
--No worse whatsoever for your baby's health (I am not about to argue this on this board, but it is my firm view).
--Feeds more spaced out
--Your own diet not set with baby in mind
--Baby more easily fed by DP or other relatives
--You know how much baby is eating
--Making bottles (but this is easier and quicker than--say--doing one load of laundry so it should not be overdone)
--No support from state health professionals (you have to be very forthright: "This is what I have chosen to do" and then they will more likely respect your decision, otherwise they will tend to undermine your choice)
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