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Why do I feel so crap about giving DS a 'top-up' bottle of formula?

(49 Posts)
Mum2Ela Thu 03-Mar-05 21:27:47

I don't know why, I bottlefed DD, but DS is 4 mths now and he is still feeding 2-3 times a night and I am knackered. I think he is getting a bit used to me feeding him in bed and him falling asleep. Whe I move him then he wakes up and wants to feed again.

So I am going to give him a bottle of formula for his last feed of the day.

The other reason I am doing this is because its becoming more difficult to express. Somtimes I only get half an ounze. Its really not worth it. So when he has his formula feed I will express that feed for the freezer.

God, I feel really crap about this. Why do I feel like I have to justify it to myself?

KBear Thu 03-Mar-05 21:30:57

Rule No. 1 - what is best for you is best for your baby.

Try not to feel guilty, he'll survive!!

from another guilt-ridden mother.

harrogatemum Thu 03-Mar-05 21:31:31

stop beating yourself up - you need a life too! I cant begin to imagine what feeding for 4 months is like - the DTs are also 4 months and have been formula fed since 2 weeks old (bfeeding just too exhausting and depressing with 2) so I really admire you. I'm sure that one bottle of formula wont harm....seriously I know what the feelings of guilt are like but trust will feel better!

biglips Thu 03-Mar-05 21:32:11

what type of formula is he on? as mine used to be like that and i changed from Gold Sma to White Sma (when baba was 8 weeks old), and before we all go to bed (about midnite), an hour before i give her a big bottle of 8oz and ill make sure she drink it all (if she falling asleep, ill gently wake her up so she can carry on sucking the bottle)

biglips Thu 03-Mar-05 21:33:16

but ive only bottle fed baba (not BF) - soz im half asleep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

thedogmother Thu 03-Mar-05 21:33:19

Yep, I did this with ds1 and felt guilty too, but don't! You don't have to justify it to yourself or anyone else.

prunegirl Thu 03-Mar-05 21:34:49

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Mum2Ela Thu 03-Mar-05 21:34:50

biglips he is breastfed atm but I have bought aptimil (sp?) to give him. DD was on this formula. But haven't yet given him formula cos I feel so crap about doing it. Like I have failed or something .

Just want a nights sleep, y'know? Or at least more than 3-4 hours...

kama Thu 03-Mar-05 21:36:06

Message withdrawn

biglips Thu 03-Mar-05 21:36:27

mum2ela - like i said im half asleep zzzzzz .

Mum2Ela Thu 03-Mar-05 21:36:58

thanks guys!

Prunegirl - thats a good idea.

I need to keep the freezer stocked with ebm as I go to circuit class twice a week and always need to leave a bottle in case he wakes whilst I am gone.

The week after next me and DH are away for a night without DD & DS so need to leave lots for that. Only have 10oz stored in freezer atm.

frogs Thu 03-Mar-05 21:37:23

Is it possible that what you have is at least partly a sleeping problem rather than a feeding problem? If you could gradually help him to fall asleep in bed by himself, then you might not need the additional bottle.

Not saying at all that you shouldn't give a bottle, just that it might not be the only possible solution.

Mum2Ela Thu 03-Mar-05 21:38:20

biglips - posts crossed!

prunegirl Thu 03-Mar-05 21:39:07

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HunkerMunker Thu 03-Mar-05 21:40:22

I'd agree with what others have said about sleep associations and also about formula being a temporary solution - please don't feel guilty though hun.

Have you tried expressing with DS on the other boob? I find that the best way to stimulate letdown (11m DS 'helps' me express now...!) - you might find you get a lot that way. I sit DS up, but you can nurse in the rugbyball hold so that DS's feet don't kick them pump!

edam Thu 03-Mar-05 21:43:03

If you are feeling guilty, so should I! We started giving ds a bedtime bottle when he was much younger than 4 months. I gather the risk is that you'll produce less milk and end up completely bottle feeding. Didn't happen that way for me, fortunately. And I would have thought that by four months you've got your supply pretty well established!
After four months of broken nights you deserve some sleep. If this is the way to get that, then it's right for you. Your ds has had so much benefit from four months of breastfeeding, one bottle a day isn't going to damage him!

FairyMum Thu 03-Mar-05 21:57:42

Don't feel guilty. It is around 4 months I start to subsitute a few feeds with formulae too to get some sleep and to be able to leave baby a little. I don't think it's anything wrong with just giving formuale in the night and still bf during the day for example. Let hubby do it
You really don't need that much breast milk for your baby to benefit!!

Mum2Ela Thu 03-Mar-05 22:07:02

Frogs and Hunkermunker - I agree, it is a sleep problem. He goes to sleep on his own for his daytime naps and also when he goes to bed at 6pm. Its after that is the problem as I don't want him to cry during the night as he disturbs DD. I think I should sit up to feed him during the night and put him straight down but at 2am in a cold bedroom I always go for the easiest option unfortunatel. He always tends to fall asleep at the breast too but I don't know how to get around this.

mears Thu 03-Mar-05 22:13:43

Have you tried a dummy Mum2Ela?

HunkerMunker Thu 03-Mar-05 22:16:23

Totally know what you mean about taking the easy option I've done it myself with DS (still do sometimes!), especially in the wee hours.

One thing I used to do was put a hot water bottle in the cot (get DH to fill it up and put it in the cot - lol!) so that I wasn't putting DS back into a cold cot. Also he wears a grobag so that he wasn't being put back into cold blankets. And he also has a lullaby light (the vtech ugly bear one from Mothercare) which he loves watching. I'd also put him down and pat him, then the mattress near him, then move my hand away until he fell asleep if he wouldn't settle (pick-up, put-down did nothing for him - just enraged him!).

Have you tried expressing when your DS nurses?

Mum2Ela Thu 03-Mar-05 22:23:57

mears he has a dummy (bad mummy!).

Hunkermunker, I do get more off when I express as DS feeds, but usually I only get to do this once a day (by the time the pump has been wahed in between etc.). Also, if DS then wants both boobs at that sitting, he fusses a lot on the second boob as it doesn't come out quick enough (or enough milk I usupect).

Do you think if I move his cot into his bedroom that would stop me putting him into bed with me. I could put a chair in his room, feed him there and put him back down?

I suspect he will wake during the night until he is weaned perhaps.

HunkerMunker Thu 03-Mar-05 22:30:58

Which pump do you use? I have an Avent Isis that I use at work and if I express twice, I keep it n the fridge between expressions (in the coolbag) and don't wash it. Perhaps you could try that?

I found that when DS stirred in the night when he was in with us, he woke me, then I lay awake wondering if he was actually going to wake up for a feed - are you waiting until he cries for a feed or using the boob to get him back into deep sleep (totally guilty of that myself )?

I also found that DS went through a really bad patch of not sleeping when he was about four months old (the traditional 'sign of weaning' which is not really that at all, just your baby being four months old and realising there's a world beyond the boob which distracts them when they wake up!). He did settle down again and didn't show any real interest in food until he was about 8 months old.

Am I helping or drivelling?

Mum2Ela Thu 03-Mar-05 22:39:32

Hunkermunker - def helping!

I am not taking it as a sign to wean him, want to leave that as long as poss (can't be arsed with the mess atm!).

I am wondering now if he actually wants to feed each time he wakes. Sometimes he doesn't fully wake, but I grab him and stick him on my boob as I don't want him disturbing the rest of the house. Thats wrong, isn't it? I just assume that if he stirs he wants to be fed, i'm not very good at this breastfeeding malarky. Should I try to settle him using other methods first? But if I put his dummy back in if he has lost it, he sucks like mad, so is that a sign of hunger?

I didn't think about putting the pump in the fridge (its avent too) between uses - perhaps I will start doing that and just put it in the dishwasher at night. Thanks.

HunkerMunker Thu 03-Mar-05 22:45:01

Phew - thought I may just be wittering aimlessly (has been known...!).

Totally understand about not wanting to give food for as long as possible - I've been thinking recently that it would be great if DS could survive on breastmilk till he was about six, then I needn't bother with all the buggeration (and I'm really lazy with it - he has had finger food and our food since he started eating!).

It does sound as though you might be feeding DS before he actually needs it, but I do understand the dilemma - sometimes I'd wait and see if DS actually woke up properly, by which time he'd be awake properly (duh!) and need a long feed to get back to sleep, whereas if I'd just stuck him on the boob immediately, he'd have had a little suck and drifted back off quickly. But sometimes picking him up woke him more than leaving him - it's trial and error (mainly error in my case!).

The one thing that I've found invaluable for getting more sleep is having DH settle DS. DS knows that DH doesn't produce milk and he settles more easily for him. Would your DH try that for a couple of nights? Could you sleep somewhere else and leave your DH in the room with him?

HunkerMunker Thu 03-Mar-05 22:46:55

Didn't read the sucks like mad bit - DS doesn't hae a dummy but does suck his fingers (always makes me laugh to read that breastfed babies don't need non-nutritive sucking - DS actually breaks away from breastfeeding to give his fingers a quick suck!!). He will suck his fingers madly to get off to sleep - I've heard him stirring in the night, then frantic 'suck-suck-suck' and he goes back to sleep again. Sucking's very soothing for babies - it doesn't mean that they're hungry when they do it.

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