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Gradual shift to formula from bf?

(4 Posts)
HolidaysQueen Mon 22-Sep-08 09:45:14

My DS is 6 months old next week. He has a bottle of formula at night but other than that he is breastfed - which I'm very proud about as it was such a struggle for the first 3 months, and then we had a hairy patch about a month ago, plus he's a very faffy feeder. I'm amazed we're still bf really. At the moment it is going fairly well, but it has been so up and down that I can't say that I have ever loved breastfeeding and think I have stuck at it largely out of 'duty' (it's one of the reasons I'm on mat leave after all) and because it's best for him rather than because I truly enjoy it. So I know the end is in sight (i.e. I will wean him rather than letting him self-wean, and will probably have stopped before he's a year old so will need to switch him to formula).

We were on holiday last week, and for the first time I really started to think about giving up bf. I'm beginning to feel I need more time away from him on the odd occasion without having to pump etc. which I know is selfish, but it's been a hard slog at times so I feel I need that break now. But I don't want to stop suddenly, especially as we are in the process of introducing solids at the moment, so I'm not sure when is the best time to start winding it down or how quickly to go.

Has anyone done a very gradual shift to formula - e.g. introduce one ff say at lunchtime, then over a number of months gradually switch to formula? Or did introducing one bottle during the day bugger up supply so that bf stopped quite quickly?

angrypixie Mon 22-Sep-08 09:54:03

You are NOT selfish! You have done a great job. I also began to introduce more ff at 6 months, in exactly the way you mentioned, one feed at a time. Had no problems at all, ds took it all in his stride and appeared to have sufficient milk for the feeds I was doing.

8 weeks later I am just doing the morning feed which I quite enjoy and the rest of the family enjoy having a chance to feed him during the day.

It sounds as though you have thought about this and are ready, good luck!

merryberry Mon 22-Sep-08 10:47:32

hq, as you know i had to give up quite quickly recently at 6 mths as well, and i stopped with ds1 at 8 months in a month. from those experiences i'd say that introducing 1ff every now and then will most likely make diddly squat difference to supply. things nork wise seem very different with an established supply than in the early days. i stopped 9 days ago and still have milk (ouch, on thursday night, like you wouldn't believe). i think switching slowly now is a great idea if you're ready, because (1)you've got plenty of time to get him into it - ds1 was more refusnik of the change at 8 months and (2) when you get to the end of it, your breasts will have less of an extreme transition!

monthlymayhem Mon 22-Sep-08 23:32:24

Hi HQ! LO is now on two ff per day. I introduced a bottle for his 11pm feed about 4 weeks ago, and then introduced another for his 11am feed a couple of weeks ago. LO actually taking the bottle is another story, but in terms of supply and norks they seem to have been absolutely fine. I think phasing in a ff every couple of weeks seems gradual enough for my norks to adjust iyswim.

Now that LO is on two meals a day he is actually starting to phase out his late afternoon feed himself, or at least doesn't seem that interested, so planning on making that the next one to go later this week

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