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how realistic do you think it is to ex bf till 6 months

(59 Posts)
robinredbreast Tue 02-Oct-07 21:36:40

dd is 14 weeks and has been ex bf so far.....

suppose my ideal dream is to keep that going till 6 months tbh
but im finding it quite demanding and am considering giving 1 bottle a day for a bit of a rest after dd has her last jabs in 2 weeks

just wondered on all of your views as to your views on ex bf to 6 months

MerlinsBeard Tue 02-Oct-07 21:39:16

i would say to not set targets and feed until you feel you want to stop.

I couldn't feed ds1 (long story) and set myself ridiculous targets with ds2 which i felt i had failed. i managed 16 weeks with him before i admited defeat ( i wasn't a reg on here by then)

mrshedgehog Tue 02-Oct-07 21:45:48

Well done you so far. At this age they change so quickly i agree with mofm just take it one step at a time.

I ex bf to 20 weeks then slowly started with baby rice etc didn't wait until 6m to wean as wanted to take it really slow which worked well as could take time to get my head around making food and not just bf. I planned in my head to feed until 6 months but actually carried on to 12 m mainly due to dd dairy intolerance.

Habbibu Tue 02-Oct-07 21:46:00

Did it, and found it tough sometimes, but am a lazy arse, and so liked the excuse to sit on sofa for hours. House was a tip, but in the end it was fun, and I am so pleased I managed it. To be honest, I've forgotten the tough bits, though I do know they happened. Just see how you go - well done for getting so far, and if you do change to mix feeding, don't beat yourself up - you've given your little one a cracking start.

laundrylover Tue 02-Oct-07 21:46:00

It is very realistic to exc bfeed until 6 months and millions of women do BUT it is also realistic for some people to mix feed!

Word of warning - I mix fed DD1 due to pressure (she was very small) and regretted it afterwards as I stoppped bfing at 8 months. With DD2 I am still bfing at 18 months and much happier. However this is just my experiencesmile.

You've done really well to bfeed so far and to want to bfeed for longer...just be aware that introducing formula now may be a slippery slope. Also consider that formula feeding brings extra work too...how about trying to stretch out the times between feeds a bit or giving ebm in a bottle so you can have a night out or afternoon off?

JiminyCricket Tue 02-Oct-07 21:57:46

glad its going well - bear in mind that some of the benefits of breastfeeding are to do with the gut being sterile..and this only happens with ex bf to 6 months, hence the advice. There are links to an article and people who explain it better on old threads (look up something like 'just one bottle...'. I mix fed dd1 who had a difficult start to bf, and ex bf dd2 to about 5 1/2 m - if I had another one i would be keen to extend it further. tbh i find bfing much more straightforward. Yes, dh would have been sad not to be involved in feeding, but its one little thing, (used to express some feeds, but that gets to be a hassle sometimes). Now we're further down the line dh understands a bit more and is really pro ex bfing.

MrsJohnCusack Tue 02-Oct-07 22:02:08

well I've just done it....and he was 10lb 5oz at birth and has stayed on his growth centile

and I have lost an extra stone plus the 2 or so I put on, which is a benefit not to be sniffed at

he's eating solids like there's no tomorrow now but it's made naff all difference to his sleeping. He slept far better a few months ago, before the advent of teeth. So I'm glad I didn't try the solids earlier in an attempt to make him sleep better.

Obv this is my experience only, but it is possible, and I have a 2 year old too & have done a few stints of working in the evenings. My house and sanity have suffered, but hey it's only for a short time in the grand scheme of things

spookthief Tue 02-Oct-07 22:04:56

Well it was entirely realistic for me in that we did it. I expressed for quite a bit at the start so I have to say that I didn't see giving a bottle a day as likely to give me a bit of a rest - rather the opposite! I wasn't able to miss a feed without getting engorged until about 4/5 months anyway.

In our case, growth spurts aside, the thing that would have been most likely to have got me weaning ds earlier would have been the intense pressure from all and sundry around me to give him solids. This ranged from expressions of polite disbelief that he wasn't on pureed carrot at 5 months, to accusations of starving him from one particularly rabid aunt.

Ds however was perfectly happy on bm alone so I stuck with it. Mumsnet was very helpful in this as I literally knew noone in rl who did wait till 6 months.

Habbibu Wed 03-Oct-07 09:58:35

Oh Lord yes - the weight loss! Although that doesn't work for everyone, but was a huge benefit to me.

Jomaja Wed 03-Oct-07 10:14:33

Very realistic for us too. Ds was not interested too much in food once he reached 6 months either so we continued.
As someone else said: I am lazy too and ejoyed sitting and having the cuddly time with ds.

Dropdeadfred Wed 03-Oct-07 10:15:41

i bf dd3 exc. for 6 1/2 months and even after that she had very little solid food til about 8 months..she wasn't interested.

Bundle Wed 03-Oct-07 10:18:01

I think it is realistic to exclusively bf for 6 months, and v desirable given the health benefits.

snowleopard Wed 03-Oct-07 10:25:32

This is a hot MN topic and some people get very irate about it... but I think it does depend on the child. If you set it as a cast-iron target then things can happen that make you feel like a failure. (for example my DS lost a lot of weight after birth and had to have a formula top-up as a matter of urgency). Some people bottle-feed from birth without a second thought - if you are mainly bf and give the occasional bottle of formula - especially if that is what you feel you need to do to save you from exhaustion - then you're still doing pretty well by your baby IMO. Also you could consider expressing milk for the bottle, if that works for you. On the plus side, if you have a partner, an occasional bottle helps them to feed the baby and be more involved and bond with them.

Same goes for weaning before 6 months. Yes bf only until 6 months is the guideline, but some of us have given in to our very hungry babies and given them solids a little before that and I for one don't feel bad about it. (That guideline has recently been questioned by some scientists anyway.)

Meanwhile other babies will be happy and contented on nothing but breast milk until 7 or 8 months.

In short, I think it's good to aim for exclusive bf for 6 months, but not to feel too bad if you can't quite manage it.

MeAndMyBoys Wed 03-Oct-07 10:30:45

You need to do what is right for you. Might be worth looking at what is causing you to feel that bf is demanding. I ex bf DS2 until 7ish months and only stopped last week and he is 11mths - he self weaned, totally lost interest otherwise I would have carried on as long as possible.
DS1 is 4 so we have to fit round school runs etc. Found bf much more simple than trying to sterilise bottles, make up formula etc etc (but then I am really disorganised this time round and just sticking to the basics of feeding us all and getting DS to school on time, everything else, literally, has been ditched until I'm more organised).

Rather than using bottles if you do decide to mix feed, might be worth looking at a beaker of some sort, something with out a valve of anysort. You feed her from it rather than give it to her to feed herself? we did this with DS2 and he didn't ever use a bottle and can easily feed himself water/milk out of a beaker, just keep her sat up straight rather than lying back as you would with a bottle.

Notyummy Wed 03-Oct-07 10:34:22

Like Mrs John Cusack, I had a fattie, who stayed at the 98th centile whilst being exc bf for 6 months. I expressed and found this was an excellent way to give me a break, get dh involved, and egnerally spread the load. I did 3 days at work during the 6 months, and stayed away one night at the work xmas do, and she was fed ebm, either fresh, or from a stock I had built up in the freezer.

In reply to your question, yes it is realistic, but I am glad I expressed to give me another option without using formula....but each to their own.

Lorayn Wed 03-Oct-07 10:46:40

It is definitely realistic, I did it with ds although we stopped bf at 8 months as he would not stop biting me!
Having asid that though, it is possible for most people, but not necessarily the best route to follow.
Remember she is your daughter, and you ahve done really well so far, so although I personally reccommend trying to get to 6 months, don't feel bad if you decide not to.

rainbow83 Wed 03-Oct-07 10:49:04

hi, I actually found it very easy to exclusively breastfeed, especially in comparison with the weaning period, when you have to deal with mess, preparing healthy foods that your lo likes, taking it out with you, etc etc.

i exclusively bfed dd2 for 7.5 months !!and now at 8.5 months she is eating a little everyday but now that she wants food it is more hassle.

Twigaletto Wed 03-Oct-07 10:59:36

well I did it so I think its very realistic

Piffle Wed 03-Oct-07 11:03:23

piece of cake
I'm doing it for the 3rd time
why do people think bottles are easier?

Nightynight Wed 03-Oct-07 11:15:50

robin, it wasnt at all realistic for me. the babies just wanted too much milk. I felt dreadful, dragged down, dizzy and grey. When I started weaning them (I am not going to say how young, as the thread would probably explode), I felt as though I had lost 2 stone overnight and the world went back to glorious technicolour.

Other people manage ex bf til 6 months - I just know I couldnt.

youngest dd was mix fed with breast supplemented by bottle, it was fine.

Lorayn Wed 03-Oct-07 11:16:25

I have no idea piffle, the word bottle brings shivers down my spine and involuntray twitches just down to the thought of all that preparation!!!

Nightynight Wed 03-Oct-07 11:16:48

ha rainbow - JARS smile

scareybee Wed 03-Oct-07 11:17:53

I have just started to introduce ff at 6 1/2 months as I'm going back to work soon and it's a complete pita. Bfing is sooooo much easier

snowleopard Wed 03-Oct-07 11:59:24

It really is not easy for everyone. Some people have problems and find it difficult, painful and exhausting. They often struggle on into a state of misery because of the pressure to bf and then get made to feel bad if they decide to mix feed. Yes, people should be encouraged to breastfeed and the OP is bf. But we should also be understanding when it doesn't all go according to plan. It can't be easy if you're struggling to have people going "Oh it's the easiest thing in the world, what's your problem?" Bf is one of those things that is different for everybody.

Spidermama Wed 03-Oct-07 12:04:50

Easy as pie.
I've done it four times over sometimes beyond six months and a don't understand why anyone finds it hard tbh. It means you can be really spontanious, just leave the house when you need to as you have all the equipment you need already plumbed in. What could possibly be easier?

Imagine if other mammals suddenly had to think about bottles and sterilising and getting all sorts of kit. Madness.

If you introduce bottles it messes up the unique and perfect communication between your baby and you and milk production will no longer be precisly right so you'll find you're not making the right amount and it could be the thin end of the wedge. I think this idea that you can or should sneak in the odd bottle is responsible for many people having to give up breastfeeding as they've been badly advised and messed things up.

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