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Switching to mixed feeding - advice welcome

(12 Posts)
stillhere Mon 08-Sep-08 10:11:16

I have a 1 week old and am planning to move from exclusively BF to a situation where I BF only at night. Ideally I'd like to give FF during the day although I'm aware that eventually this may lead to exclusive FF.

Can anyone help with the way to do this please? My MW has suggested moving to this by expressing off milk every 4 hours or so (or allowing LO to suckle) during the day although one of my main reasons for wanting to make this change is to have better quality time with DS1 during the day, so the less time I'm tied to the boob/pump the better. I think I may be wanting my cake and eat it (don't we all?) but I do understand from my MW that there are some mums out there who have made this work.

Any advice welcome - thanks in advance!

tiktok Mon 08-Sep-08 10:37:12

Hmmm.....I am gonna disagree with your midwife here. The evidence is that introducing formula and building up to mainly formula as early as this is a very quick way to full formula feeding. Now, if this is what you're aiming for, or at least you're accepting of it, then it's not an issue. But thinking it can work ie will maintain a breastmilk supply sufficient to maintain night feeds for longer than a few days (honestly - a few days, not weeks) is a delusion, sorry You have to know this before you make the choice.

I don't really understand why not breastfeeding in the day increases the quality time with your DS - it could be that bf is not a good experience at the moment, but working on making that experience better is an easier option than the one you're proposing, as far as I can tell. What do you think? Would there be ways of making bf better for you both?

stillhere Mon 08-Sep-08 21:15:01

Cheers for yours tiktok - I'm just going to take some more time to mull over this one I think. One of the other issues I have is that my nipples are getting pretty shredded and I'm not sure I can physically continue much longer. Latching on is getting better day by day for us both - let's face it we both have L plates still - and I have all the FF gear lined up just in case it doesn't work out.

One of the quality/time issues we have is that we had a pretty strict routine with DS1 on FF and I'm not sure how well that would work with BF? Any feedback? I laughed out loud reading some of the BF routines in the books as they seemed completely unrealistic...

I am totally fine with the idea of going to FF exclusively but was interested to read the speed with which this is likely to happen. We're going to sit on this one for a while - I really appreciate your input. Thanks!

pudding25 Mon 08-Sep-08 21:33:31

I am bf but dd has had one bottle a day from 3wks old. Now I know it is nothing like what you want and I would listen to Tiktok but I just wanted to let you know that DD (who is now 4mths) has been in a feeding routine from very early on so it can be done while BF. She is now BF every 4 hrs during the day (and she has just slept through the night 2 nights running!!! not getting too excited though). She was BF every 3 hrs from 7am and then a big split feed before and after bath, dreamfeed at 11pm (which we still do) and one, very occasionally 2 feeds at night. She was doing that from about 2 wks old. Obviously, if I thought she was hungry, I fed her outwith these times.

pudding25 Mon 08-Sep-08 21:36:49

Oh and before I get shot down about breast feeding dd every 4 hrs, I do this to help her feed better. If I try and feed her more regularly, she refuses to feed. This way, I get more food down her.

tiktok Mon 08-Sep-08 21:40:14

pudding - sounds as if your routine is a responsive way to care for/feed your baby which suits you both

Routines can work with bf, but the point is not to distress the baby by shoe-horning the baby into one, in a rigid and unresponsive way. The baby sets the pace.

stillhere - if your nipples are getting better, that's great.

poppy34 Mon 08-Sep-08 21:42:46

I mixed fed for first 6 weeks and always b/f first (and tried to express afterwards to maintain supply) or if I did offer a bottle (eg had to go to consultant for blocked duct hmm) made sure expressed to maintain supply.

to be honest the supply was ok but not brilliant and I'm not sure it woudl have been enough for a night feed (my m/w did it on basis that would have to supplement at this feed if any).

If nipples are sore have you tried shields - might help ease the pain a little...although tiktok prob better placed to advise as there can be potential issues here on flow

stillhere Tue 09-Sep-08 22:25:35

Cheers for your input - really appreciated. Last night was a real shocker and I came to the conclusion that I can't keep having nights like that - loads of 5 - 10 minute feeds with sore boobs and not convinced, by the end of the night, that LO had had enough to eat. Decided to move to expressing during the day and bottle feeding EBM. Depending on how we do, I may try to use boobs during the night although I'm aware LO may not take it now he's had a teat. Will have to wait and see.

Good to hear routines can work with BF and had nightmare with nipple shields with DS1 so didn't try this time. TBH it's the combination of pain, not knowing what he's taking/snacking that are the main factors ATM.

papaya Wed 10-Sep-08 21:41:03

Stillhere - i ff my dd (now 3.8), v strict routine etc etc I loved it at the time, she was so predictable bless her little heart, and i always knew how much milk she had etc etc, great peace of mind....i tried to breastfeed dd but had very bad support, midwives forgot to visit me for 3 days to which point i was convinced dd was starving to death sad anyhoo, at the time switching to formula was not even an issue in my mind and i never turned back.


ds is now 6 months old,I have exclusively breastfed him, i literally started weaning him today. i just wanted to say, that b'fing him has been a totally 'different' routine, its a little more demanding in the early days when they want to suckle all the time, and until wk 3 i had to bite on a wooden spoon handle every time he latched on. But if you can persevere i have found the rewards were mine to reap from about 2 months onwards. Very predictable timing of feeds, which is great, and very short feeds unlike all my fellow formula feeders, who i have never thought any less of may i add, but they all mention how sometimes now when they see me and how easy its all become, how they wish they had persevered.

I have gone off on one here, sorry i didn't mean to!! But i just wanted to say I have

1. got used to understanding i do not know how much ds takes per feed, nor do i care as long as he keeps his chubby wrists [] this was the total opposite to how i understood to care for dd, and its taken me at least all the 6 months of bfing to become confident enough to trust my instincts and that of my sons.
2. ds has always had a dummy, sometimes to try and give me an extra 10 mins before feeding, its never affected his suck, and its been a godsend when in the car, or knee deep in toys with dd.
3. nipple shield and moist wound healing with lanisoh are the onyl 2 things that have got me past week 3 with bfing, let alone any further!! I did ditch the shields once i was healed, and then they seemed my nipples had seemed to harden to it all.

good luck with your decision xx
p.s. this is the 1st time i have breastfed and have only said whats helped me, sory if i have rambled crappy advice!!

papaya Wed 10-Sep-08 21:47:45

p.s. Im not sure you should let time of feeds make you worry about the amount they are getting, DS weighs 23lb, he has generally only ever fed around 5-10 mins every fed (for the past month he only feeds 5 mins per feed shock but he must be a very efficient feeder as my boob feels very drained after he has been on it for five minutes, i cant achieve this in half an hour on a breast pump!!

99redballoons Fri 12-Sep-08 13:58:04

Hi stillhere, no advice on mixed feeding, but if you have sore nipples try the cream Lansinoh (from Boots). It's amazing stuff, really keeps your nipples moisturised and helps with the pain when they latch on. you don't have to wash it off before they latch. HTH.

mppaw Fri 12-Sep-08 14:14:22

Was just typing that aswell 9redballoons.....Lanisol is the best thing ever, plus can still feed after piling it on your nips !! Am not due til Jan with DC2, but have purchased job lot of lanisol already....[grin}wink

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