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can you combine breast + bottle from start?

(13 Posts)
vannah Thu 27-Sep-07 14:40:36

Hi all
Im really confused about this. I remember with my first I was advised to breast feed exclusively, which i did for 3 months but it was so hard, he was very unsettled and needed so many night feeds.

He is now 2, and still a poor sleeper, and I am due to have no2 in december.
Panicking a bit about waking up to settle toddler, and breast feeding newborn - will I ever sleep?

Thought might give baby benefit of breast milk but with a 'top up' at night. Is it really disastrous? I was so frightened of doing it with ds1, as Id heard about babies getting used to bottle nipple flow and becoming lazy on breast. But is that true in most people's experience?


RGPargy Thu 27-Sep-07 14:42:33

I have no personal experience, but apparently it gives them nipple confusion if you combine the two too early.

Someone will come along in a mo with first hand experience and/or good advice.

FabulousKbear Thu 27-Sep-07 14:42:43

I did mixed feeding from two weeks, basically because I thought I would be going into hospital for surgery and couldn't have a baby reliant on b/fing. DS took to it really well, I just gave one bottle a day (found expressing really difficult so it was formula) and had no problems combining the two. It turned out I could delay the surgery but it was nice for DH to give a feed sometimes so I kept the one bottle a day. Continued to b/f for 5/6 months.

daisyandbabybootoo Thu 27-Sep-07 14:44:10

afaik vanna, you need to bf exclusively to get your supply established, although some people do manage it.

I think if you were prepared to express the missed feeds then it might work, butas your LO will be up through the night for a feed initially, is there any point?

lindso Thu 27-Sep-07 14:45:35

my little girl has a bottle of expressed milk every night, and has done from three/four weeks - never been any probs with latching on the breast or being lazy.

hope all goes well.

wildpatch Thu 27-Sep-07 14:45:45

my experience is no.
ds1 was given bottle sin the hospital as latching on was a problem, and he had very bad jaundice, and they wanted to keep him hydrated.
i really wanted to breastfeed. at home he started out one bottle and five breastfeeds a day, and ended up on one breastfeed and five bottles a day by the time he was ready for solids at 16 weeks, (advice at thetime) when he started solids, it coincided with my mom coming over, so i tried to ditch the bottles entirely, but he had his own ideas, and refued to breastfeed smile so i had to give him his bottles.
with dc 2 and 3 i refused to allow any formula in the house. they were also healthy, and latching on wasnt too difficuld. neither took a bottle itll about 8 months. andtwo weeks later both refused breastfeeds.

strawberry Thu 27-Sep-07 14:48:53

You may find that no2 is different and breastfeeding is easier this time. I have 2 ds's both bfed to 1 yr. But I found it very difficult first time and intoduced a bottle of formula in the evening from about 2 weeks. I found it virtually impossible to express more than 1oz. I know people say you can get nipple confusion and you need to get the supply going but I never found this to be a problem.

However, it is my understanding that some of the benefits of bfeeding are diluted or even lost if you introduce formula. Of course the antibodies are still there but I think the allergy benefits are lost - hopefully someone else will correct me!

With DS2, I exclusively bfed for months but still could not express.
Tyr not to worry and go with the flow. HTH

strawberry Thu 27-Sep-07 14:49:28

Gosh I'm a slow typer!

vannah Thu 27-Sep-07 14:57:08

thanks everyone. Interesting to read your experiences...

justaphase Thu 27-Sep-07 15:07:10

I had no problem switching between breast and bottle. I found that ds had periods - I think it was during growth spurts - when breast was just not enough. So sometimes he had up to three bottles a day. After a few days he would settle down and go back to just one bottle. When he was about 3 months old we went on holiday abroad and I could not be asked to take bottles - so he was exclusively breastfed from then until I returned to work when he was 6mo. I hear the this is quite unusual though.

I did go through a complete nightmare establishing breastfeeding in the first place but that's a whole other thread.

I'm mix feeding my 7 week old, I've been giving him a bottle now and then since about 2 or 3 weeks old (initially introduced it because I was frazzled and had been sitting there for literally days feeding him almost constantly and was dehydrated, knackered and he was STILL hungry and losing weight) but whatever the percieved rights and wrongs of the formula debate, mix feeding is working well for us.

He only has one definite bottle a day, at bedtime, which lets us all get some sleep. Some days he will have a bottle in the daytime if we are going out somewhere, but I don't give him more than 3 or 4 ounces at a time. You don't want to stretch their stomachs so they wouldn't be satisfied with breastmilk.

I think it was tiktok who said "the key to mixfeeding is keeping a lid on it" because it IS convenient, and it's easy to give them more and more because they seem so satisfied by it and they sleep! We are sticking to one or two bottles a day and breastfeeding the rest of the time and it's working out great. My supply is fine, he's putting on weight nicely and it's taken a lot of pressure off us and lets us sleep!

We started him off with avent slow flow/newborn teats, he hasn't suffered any kind of nipple confusion but then he's such a hungry horace he'd drink it out of an old boot, to be honest! lol

teabag007 Thu 27-Sep-07 16:35:51

DD is now 12 weeks, has late evening (9-11pm, depends when boobs run dry) 4-5oz bottle of EBM (otherwise BF through the day) and sleeps to 6-8am . I introduced a night bottle at about 4 weeks, initially about 3oz at 10-11pm, to try and get a break from constant feeding, day and night - and it worked, DD would sleep for 5-6 hours after it. I expressed what I could but gave 3-4 formula feeds over a couple of weeks whilst I was still building up milk supply (by pretty constant expressing whenever she wasn't feeding). I have also used only avent new born teats for slow flow. DD does sometimes fuss and get frustrated with my slower flowing right boob compared to the bottle (it's much harder work to get it going), but otherwise, have had no problems. I now express for the nightly 4oz feed each morning during first feed although it took time to build up to be able to get this amount in one go. I had previously pretty much expressed through the day and I appreciate that others, particularly those with more children, may not have the time to do this. I would not have an issue if I had to give formula in the bottle but I understand it could well affect my milk supply over time.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

Jojay Thu 27-Sep-07 16:37:36

Haven't read the whole thread, but my ds had a bottle of EBM from 3 days old and never had any problem with nipple confusion

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