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Recently switched from BF to FF and concerned about intake

(12 Posts)
thomsonf Sat 18-Oct-08 20:34:20

Hi all

I am working myself up into a tizz about this so I am hoping someone can help....

My LO will be 6 months next week, although was just over 7 weeks prem so is more like a 4-4.5mo and weighs less than 12lb still. I BF her from when we got her out of SCBU except for one bottle at 11pm which was originally EBM, then 50:50 EBM:formula and then totally formula.

I go back to work in four weeks so after much deliberation started dropping BF and introducing bottles of formula about 3 weeks ago, dropping a feed every few days so that I did my last feed last Wednesday (a very emotional moment for me!). However, since going to bottles, she will only take a maximum of 3oz a feed and is taking on average 17-20 oz in 24 hours (not yet weaning so no solids). When BF, she would rarely need a night feed anymore but she has woken every nights since I stopped BF, whether for comfort or hunger I am not sure.

I am worried she is not taking enough - even with a night feed it is only 20oz and with her still being such a little one I am concerned she will start to slow her weight gain. I will take her to be weighed on Thursday to check how she has done in the last few weeks but in the meantime has anyone got any advice on whether this is an acceptable intake and if not, how I can get her to take more?

We are using Aptimel Easy Digest, feeding at approximately 7am, 10.30/10.45am, 2.00/2.15pm, 5.30pm and at bedtime at 6.45 then a dream feed at 11pm and about half the nights a 2-3oz bottle sometime between 3.30 and 5am(these are the same times we fed when BF except for the night feed which she didn't take when BF). I have wondered if stretching her more than 3.5 hours would mean she is hungrier and will take more but I am nervous about trying this as it would mean we lose the 5.30pm + bedtime top up to just a bedtime feed so if she doesn't take more at each feed all we have done is decreased it further!

She has silent reflux which is medicated with omeprazole and we add gaviscon to feeds so have tried using fast flow teats in case the milk was too thick but this has made no difference to how much she takes.

Another thought I have had is that it is still early days from stopping BF and maybe she takes little, hoping a BF will come. For those of you who have switched from BF to FF after a reasonable length of time BF, did it take your LO's a while to start taking full feeds?

Finally (sorry for such a long post) I need to start about weaning her as my HV and bliss guidelines for prem babies both suggest weaning at 6months actual age not adjusted age but I am worried further by this in case she drops her milk intake even further. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks for any help you can give. It may just be the hormone change from stopping BF but this is making me really emotional and concerned.

Fiona

angel1976 Sat 18-Oct-08 20:54:55

Hi Fiona,

I'm no expert and no good advice... Just wanted to send you hugs and try not to worry too much (I know it's easy to say...). My DS NEVER took much milk EVER. At most, he took about 28-30 oz but most of the time, he took about 25 oz or less and that was with me fighting to get him to take it (warming up milk, feed, warm up milk, feed - REPEAT). I worried like mad for a long time... But he follows the growth line as he should. Now he is almost 8 months and fully weaned and I still worry about his milk intake as most of the time, he takes only about 15 oz a day at a push (17-20 oz is the recommended). But I try to give him lots of diary stuff. Some babies are just not big milk drinkers... My DS never was but he obviously processed what he does take okay as he has the cutest chubby thighs!

Ax

thingamajig Sat 18-Oct-08 21:08:02

Im no expert on this, some other people on here are much mkore knowledgable on this subject that me, and I'm sure they will be along soon.

First, dont worry, it will all work out OK. Well done for getting your dd onto formula, I havnt managed to get my daughter to take a bottle at all, and she is 10mo. She is also small, bottom centile and only just in 6-9 m clothes.

I suspect that when you start introducing solids, her overall intake will increase, as she will hopefull eat aswell as, not instead of, taking her milk. Also, as they get bigger and more active, they get hungrier.

Another thought is that since you do not know how much milk she took when BF, she may be taking much the same now. Her weight gain pattern may show you the answer to this one.

Something I find helpful when despairing about the intake of food, and night wakings of my daughter is that she is the same weight and her tummiy is the same size as a younger baby, so you would expect her to take a smaller feed and wake more than another child of her age.

LazySleepy Sat 18-Oct-08 21:38:49

Hi , Im in the same situation, in the process of weaning off the breast and am trying to wean her off night feeds as well. My daughter doesnt take more than 400-450 ml either in a day. She is 6.5 mo old weighs about 15 lbs and I have just started her on solids. I try and give her a lot of dairy, she loves cheese and mix formula in her food. I know this is not of much help but just wanted to let you know there's someone else in the same boat. Hopefully someone wiser will help.

Snufflebufty Sat 18-Oct-08 22:20:10

Hello, I'm also in the same situation as you. My DD is 6 mo and will only take 2 or maybe 3 oz from a bottle. We started on Aptimil today and after leaving DD 4 hours between feeds, finally managed to get her to take 4oz from one of the bottles before she fell asleep. I have only given one daytime bf today (bedtime), although she woke through the night at 1am, 3am and 5am and got a feed and she had solids made with ebm for breakfast. I'm now wondering if I should be gradually dropping the bf's rather than taking my HV advice and stopping all at once! Its all really worrying, but I'm going to give her a few days to see if she ups her milk intake. I'll keep an eye on this thread for any advice you are given. Sorry I cant be of help, but I'm sure someone will be able to help soon!

thomsonf Sun 19-Oct-08 19:44:31

Wow, seems like there are quite a few of us fighting the same battle here! No improvement here today, in fact even worse at 11oz so far today with an expectation that the most she will take during the nights is another 5 even if she has two feeds. Oh well, as a few of you have said, so long as she is gaining weight maybe this is all she needs. It's a long wait to Thursday to find out though so may trek to the ridiculously busy Monday baby clinic tomorrow - not sure my nerves can take it though. I get such pressure to keep her on or moving up the centiles as she gets plotted as her adjusted age of almost 19 weeks and she is still only on the 2nd centile.

If any of you have a break through let me know what worked! Otherwise I'll update once I have had her weighed.

Thanks to you all for taking the time to reply and good luck with getting your LOs to take more

Fiona

monthlymayhem Sun 19-Oct-08 20:18:34

Hello!

I've been weaning my LO (7mo) for the last few weeks dropping feeds very slowly. My DS also took only 2 or 3 oz at first for a long time, even if we left 4 hours in between feeds.

I changed the bottle teat size to a 6 month + last week and since then he has been taking 5 or 6 oz at some feeds. The consequence is though that he has now dropped all bfs, except nighttime ones, as I guess the milk is coming out quicker from the bottle (I had hoped to keep up his bedtime and wake up feeds as bf).

I've been weaning him onto solids for the last few weeks, and although it's hard to know how many ounces he took when ebf, it seems as though he's drastically dropped daytime feeds - often just one or two feeds now during the day, but unfortunately makes up for it during the night!

Anyway, not sure that I can be of any help but Good luck!

madmouse Sun 19-Oct-08 21:12:11

I have just dropped the first feed in preparation for return to work in 6 weeks. My son is 8.5 months old and eating 3 meals a day. I am offering him some formula in a cup but he is not bothered and takes a few sips, maybe an ounce.

the main thing I wanted to say is about centiles

when they made those charts years ago they simply weighed a few thousand babies fed however and plotted them on a chart. all centiles show normal weights. bottom line is not bad. it just is. my rather active ds is somewhere at the very bottom but he is very bright and both my dh and me, and come to think of it my dad simply did not put on the weight. were all fine now. so don't worry about those charts too much (took me months not to btw!)

thomsonf Mon 20-Oct-08 20:48:42

Well, I had her weighed today and she is still gaining, albeit at a slower rate so she is back down to the 2nd centile for her adjusted age. She has gained just under 9oz in three weeks which is less than the normal 5-6 per week but still seems ok. Have just realised this info is useless though as no idea whether she gained 5-6 as normal in the first of these weeks while I was still BF and only 3 across the last two - or whether she has gained 3 a week. Oh well, will keep going for another couple weeks and get her weighed again. At another all time low today of 11oz with her unlikely to take more than another 2-4 to complete the 24 hours. Trying not to get too stressed about it - if she's hungry, she will eat right????

angel1976 Mon 20-Oct-08 22:11:21

Hi thomsonf, your DD will gain weight at a much slower rate at around this age... My DS was gaining 6-8 oz a week at one time, even gaining 9 oz in one week as a record when he was around the 2-4 months period! Now, he is only gaining 3-4 oz a week, sometimes less. This is perfectly normal. My HV never has any concerns about his weight, it's always me stressing out! People always say that babies will eat if they are hungry, hmmmmm, I'm sure if that was really true, we would never worry! Mind you, my DS did not want to eat breakfast today, throwing everything I give him onto the floor. When lunchtime came, he ate really quick and everything he was given, followed by downing 7 oz of milk in the afternoon, which he HARDLY ever does so maybe it's true. I was going to ask if you are planning to wean her but I just read your original post and you have said you are going to start. Just start really slow with your DD if you don't want her to drop any milk feed. I started really slowly and it took about 8-10 weeks before DS would eat a decent amount! He did then start dropping his feeds. I also made sure that he got plenty of diary in his diet (lots of cheese sauces, yoghurts and sometimes I even make a fruit milkshake with cow's milk if I feel he is not having enough diary in his diet!). GL!

becaroo Wed 22-Oct-08 17:31:58

I changed from bf to ff with my ds2 a couple of weeks ago - he is also on aptamil easy digest.

*Note: do you use really hot water to make up the formula & medium or fast flow teats? -We didnt for a couple of days til I rang the helpline and they put my right*

At first, he would only take 30-60 ml every 2 hours. He has gradually increased to 5 oz every 3/4 hours!!! smile

Give her time - although some babies never drink a full bottle.....

Snufflebufty Sun 26-Oct-08 23:18:39

Just an update from my last post - we bought some 6m+ fast flow teats and the difference was amazing. DD now takes between 6 and 7 oz each bottle, feeding 7ish, 11ish, 3ish, 7.30pm then bf at 11pm ish. Who would have known that a week on things would be going so well. I'm not even thinking about centiles at moment, DD has always been straddling 9th centile and depending on which HV I saw, it was either nothing to worry about or a big problem!
I'm doing the 'boiled water cooled for 30 minutes then mixed with formula' thing. Dont know if this is right or not smile

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