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Want to continue Bfeeding but introduce a bottle of formula at night... any advice plse..

(31 Posts)
mumeroo Fri 03-Oct-08 20:00:02

Hello, I'd really like some advice on this. I Bfed my DS1 for ten or so months and my DS2 is now 9 weeks but I'm finding bedtime feeds really tough. He's only little but is doing a lot of screaming...I"m not sure if he's getting enough and it's exhausting me trying to get him off to sleep and at the same time look after and get to bed my older (toddler) son who has taken to yelling at the stairgate. If I knew DS1 had definitely had enough milk it would help. Anyone know how much a baby should have for one formula feed and if it will interrupt breastfeeding during the day?

Will I need to express in the evening/morning to create enough supply still. Thanks so much... shattered and can't go on like this... was feeling sad that couldn't just Bfeed like I did first time round but realize being a martyr is just dam silly. blush

angrypixie Fri 03-Oct-08 20:13:51

I introduced an evening ff at around 12 weeks. It was a complete non event. DS accepted it straight away and it had no impact upon feeding during the day. You don't need to express because your body works on supply & demand. You will continue to be able to meet his needs for daytime feeds.

Beina a martyr is silly. FF is not the devil and you can continue with your other feeds for as long as you choose. My ds is now 9 months and I am just doing early morning feed which suits us both.

Good luck

mumeroo Fri 03-Oct-08 20:16:05

too right angrypixie. There's just such a big breast is best thing and it makes me feel like I must continue which is just ridiculous... thanks so much for your advice. sounds a simpler process than i expeced. right i'm off to watch ugly betty and have a smile on my face. ) thank you!!! x

BlueJellie Fri 03-Oct-08 20:17:54

having a similar problem with my ds. He was born on 24th sept last week. Only came out of hospital on Tuesday. When in neonatal ( term baby but was emergency c section for many reasons & he was slightly jaundice). I was BF in the day but he was given formula at night as I was having problems expressing. He now seems perfectly content with day feeds but won't settle at night at all. Seems constantly hungry. Rests for about half hour then starts crying again. Wondering if it's due to him used to the formula & it satisfying him more? I'm exhausted but it's our first week together so was expecting it!

Libra1975 Fri 03-Oct-08 20:20:10

Hello. I would love to do this so DH could do the last feed of the day (11pm) and I could go to bed early in anticipation of the first nightly feed (2am!) so eagerly await answers, my LO is 12 weeks.

However anecdotally (sp!) one of the girls in my NCT class says she does the last 2 day feeds (7pm and 11pm) as formula and it apparently hasn't effected her supply during the day at all.

Libra1975 Fri 03-Oct-08 20:22:48

Bluejellie, you need to wait for one of the experts to come along but I am SURE I read somewhere that there is no researched evidence that backs up the claim that FF babies go longer at night. It sounds more like reflux which would be worse at night as you put him down flat immediately rather than holding him upright after a feed which is what you are more likely to do diring the day.

TettyLouBar Fri 03-Oct-08 20:24:01

First of all, congrats on the new addition!smile

We started giving DD a FF at night from about 6-7 weeks ish - I think <squints intently trying to remember through all of the baby-brain fluff>
It really helped her to settle well in the evenings and initially even helped her to sleep for sometimes even 9 hours in a row!

After a while things settled and she got used to the bottle feeds, and she began falling back into her normal sleep routine. (I made up the amount of formula recommended on the side of the Aptamil Box) I think for a 9 wk old its about 5OZ? She very quickly became used to this amount and has since increased to about 6 sometimes 7 OZ at 7pm. (She's 16wks)

Whilst DH was upstairs giving her the FF, I would express off approx 2-2.5 OZ from each boob (though trial and error I think that approx how much she was having from me at the evening feed)

But recently, I discovered that you can actually mix Formula with EBM. So instead of freezing what I express off ( my freezer was stacked out with EBM!!), I now refridgerate it and give DD whatever I expressed off from the previous night, mixed with 3oz of formula. Making approx 7oz.

(I make the formula up about an hour before bedtime and let it cool to room temp, then take the EBM out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temp for 10 mins. I mix the two together at room temp and warm the bottle in a jug of hot water)

She seems to love it and normally has 6oz and will sleep til about midnight ish.

I hope this helps! Good luck gringringrin

llareggub Fri 03-Oct-08 20:27:15

I've been breastfeeding DS as much as I can for nearly two years now. He has always had formula for much the same reason as you, bluejellie.

I think there was a period of about 6 weeks when he was exclusively breastfed when he was about 3 months old onwards, but in the early weeks he had more formula than breastmilk.

I think I was lucky though. Although I struggled at the beginning I was v stubborn and determined to make it work. I am currently pregnant with number 2 and DS is feeding as much as ever.

I say I was lucky because I've read lots of stories on here about breastfeeding being really affected by the introduction of formula. I think I really am the exception to the rule, and I certainly wouldn't want to say that it would be fine just because it was for me.

In the end you need to do what you feel comfortable with.

llareggub Fri 03-Oct-08 20:29:54

Just cross posted with someone.

I can safely say that formula definitely did not make my baby sleep any longer than when he just had breastmilk. It didn't make any difference at all!

In fact, the little mite barely slept at all for 3 months and any formula we gave was to give me a rest rather than him! Still, he got there in the end and started sleeping through when he got a bit bigger and his tummy grew big enough to be filled enough to sleep through.

VeniVidiVickiQV Fri 03-Oct-08 20:31:07

If you introduce formula it will inevitably undermine your b/feeding supply. You'd need to express to keep up your supply in these early months because your body works on supply and demand. Often the introduction of a formula feed signals the demise of b/feeding altogether. As long as you are okay with this, and are aware of all the risks then that's fine.

Have you considered expressing and giving it during the night instead?

When you say bedtime feeds, do you put your baby and toddler to bed at the same time? How are you trying to work it? Why do you think giving a bottle might make it easier?

My DS was Not Good at sleeping either. Completely unlike my DD. It was hard work. It usually is with two.

Maybe some more info could help us help you?

Grammaticus Fri 03-Oct-08 20:35:41

I introduced one formula feed at 7pm with no discernible effect on my supply (later though, around 12 weeks). No biggie. You may find baby will take it from you but not DH, or vice versa.

Libra1975 Fri 03-Oct-08 20:36:37

I don't understand, how on one hand can it be supply and demand and on the other if you give one bottle of formula and keep all the other feeds suddenly your supply might dry up?

VictorianSqualor Fri 03-Oct-08 20:40:49

I agree with the woman with all the Vs.grin
This early on it could cause massive problems with your milk supply.

It may not, you could be really lucky but if you look at threads from a poster named ruty from about two/three months ago she was in despair as her LO had decided to stop taking the breast when a bottle was introduced, so be aware that can happen.

Would I be right in thinking it is the evening cluster feed that is the problem? When you're putting the toddler to sleep the baby wants continuous feeding? If so I'd suggest trying to express in the morning, possibly at the same time as a feed, give a small feed in the evening before you put the toddler to bed, and then leave someone else to give the bottle whilst you sort the toddler out.

Or, even better, hand toddler's bedtime over to that someone else that would feed the baby for you.

cockles Fri 03-Oct-08 20:40:54

It won't dry up but you will have less, and the more you feed/express the more you will have.
It is very unlikely you don't have enough milk but completely understandable you worry about it. Have you tried having lots to drink in the afternoon and a bowl of porridge late in the day - oats are fab for supply.
Formula is harder work to digest than bm which is why some babies may sleep more soundly after having it. But there is no evidence that it does make for better nights.

VictorianSqualor Fri 03-Oct-08 20:44:36

Libra, it's because, at this stage, the supply needs all the stimulation it can get, and evening cluster feeds is supposedly linked to when the hormone to produce milk is at it's lowest, ergo the long feed needed to produce enough iyswim.

VeniVidiVickiQV Fri 03-Oct-08 20:45:05

Because you are 'demanding' less often/frequently libra.

Cluster feeding is a possibility. I'd like to know what is happening as to the toddler yelling at the stairgate.....

angrypixie Fri 03-Oct-08 20:57:13

Yes but I found (and perhaps I was lucky) that the demand was less so the supply was less but that cancelled each other out. ie I didn't want to produce enough for an evening feed because I had replaced that with a ff feed.

I'm with Grammaticus it all seemed very straightforward. It has been with all of my children. I think there is a lot of scaremongering about introducing a ff, but then again perhaps I have been absurdly lucky....4 times.

VictorianSqualor Fri 03-Oct-08 21:00:41

Maybe you are a person who establishes their supply pretty early on angrypixie?
I've been very lucky with both DS's, no real problem apart from thrush and never had to worry about latch etc.
Just one of those things isn;t it?

VeniVidiVickiQV Fri 03-Oct-08 21:05:37

Oh gosh yes...DD (my first) was an absolute breeze.

DS (second), was a farking nightmare to b/feed. I had thrush, mastitis, he wouldnt feed at night. It was as though i'd never b/fed before. Completely threw me. I ended up feeding him over 2 years though, miraculously.

All babies adn breasts are different. Thus it's important to express all possibilities to ensure the person is fully aware of any pitfalls.

Grammaticus Fri 03-Oct-08 21:06:37

I just don't see how your supply will disappear if you are still feeding 5 times a day! And, for me, it didn't.

angrypixie Fri 03-Oct-08 21:07:41

I agree 'v' ladies grin

VeniVidiVickiQV Fri 03-Oct-08 21:10:01

It doesnt for everyone, I'm sure grammaticus. But, it does happen and it's important to point that out I think. smile

fabsmum Fri 03-Oct-08 21:19:32

"I think there is a lot of scaremongering about introducing a ff"

I think the research bears out the belief that IN GENERAL introducing formula may shorten the duration of breastfeeding. Most women in the UK introduce formula before their baby is 6 weeks old, and most women stop breastfeeding altogether before their baby is six months old. You have to weigh it up how important it is to you to be able to continue bf in the long term, and how you feel about the health risks that are associated with using formula on its own or alongside breastfeeding.

Are you on your own mumaroo? It really is tough getting through the evening feeding frenzies with a toddler in tow. God - my youngest is 3 now and I remember the chaos and madness of those days, trying to get my middle one to settle (there are 22 months between my middle and my youngest) while feeding my youngest and bellowing at my eldest (who was 6) to brush her teeth, get ready for bed etc. shock

If you're not on your own, can you and your dp find a way of working things out between you when it comes to bedtimes? Things change so rapidly at this age. You may well find that if you just go with it for now that the landscape will have changed in a few weeks (this could well be a big growth spurt and if you ride it out it will pass). Or you could try expressing in the morning and giving that in the evening. Hope you don't mind me suggesting this, it's just a thought - another option for you to consider.

MoonlightMcKenzie Fri 03-Oct-08 21:31:44

Babies 'usually* signal their milk demands during the cluster feed period in the evenings. As mothers can find this challenging, these are often the feeds they choose to replace with formula.

As the baby grows, they will demand more and more milk at this time and if the mothers supply is not enabled to keep up, the ratio of formula to breastmilk will increase.

Add to that the social factors, potential rejection of the breast after the easiness of getting milk from a bottle etc etc and we will very possibly have the end of bfing.

Libra1975 Fri 03-Oct-08 21:51:09

I don't cluster feed in the evening, I feed at 7pm and then he goes down without any fuss until 10:30-11pm.

If you are going to invoke the argument of supply and demand it is exactly that supply to demand, you will produce what your baby demands the OP is talking about dropping one feed.

I agree that there is a risk of your LO rejecting the breast once they have tried to bottle.

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