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BF DD won't sleep - give formula for last feed?

(17 Posts)
Civciv Tue 16-Jun-09 12:27:59


hope you can help. My DD is now 8 weeks and she won't sleep much during the day. In the evenings she stays with us half asleep until 10pm. Once I take her upstairs for the last feed she takes around an hour and struggles with sleep till midnight!!!

I decided to put her down at 8 and give her a bottle for last feed but I can only express 4oz a day and I use that for when we go out

Im toying with giving her formula for last feed, please please any advice?

mrsflux Tue 16-Jun-09 13:20:29

we found that night time went a lot smoother when we had a routine.
we did a last feed (well awake one) at 8ish in darkened room and then put LO to bed. he slept a lot better then.

we then introduced formula at bedtime and that helped too but i also think it coincided with him dropping a feed.

it's up to you about the formula but i do think once you start on it you may decide to swap over completely. i found it a very difficult decision but as i was in so much pain every feed we decided a happy mum was better than me sometimes crying through feeds.

it won't guarantee a better nights sleep so don't make that your only reason for changing - just in case it doesn't work!

Danceswithchickens Tue 16-Jun-09 13:28:57

I agree with the routine, she is only 8 weeks & if you are thinking of introducing formula, do it much later - let her digestive system develop more.

My dd's were bf & slept very well, from about 7pm from about 8 weeks. I did ensure they slept in the day though. I used to get into bed with DD2 at lunch time, feed her laying down & then when she was asleep, I'd slid out of bed. I didn't do this ever with DD1 (I was much more regimented, which I regret). I'd have chance to have a little nap & enjoyed the bonding time. I feel this got DD2 into the habit of daytime sleeping ( I didn't do it for very long)

Make sure her room is dark, do the bathtime, we did cluster feeding (which meant DH made tea which was great!) so I sat with my feet up watching tv. Then off to bed. The lounge felt very quiet.

Also some babies (most I think) need to learn to fall asleep, you'd think it's the most natural thing, but it really isn't.

NellyNoKnicks Tue 16-Jun-09 13:42:10

I have a little experience with this and will tell you what worked for me.

When I had a hungry baby in the first few weeks what I did was give a bottle of formula for the last feed (but I gave an ounce less than the recommended feed so that it didn't stretch DS's stomach too much)but first I would offer the breast so that I could give him as much as I could. Once the little one takes the bottle I would express the milk which as you know will make your body produce more milk for the night feed.

Then in a couple of days once your body has caught up you should be able to drop the formula and just give the expressed milk or feel more confident that you have enough milk available to settle the little one.

One thing that really settles my son is when we lie down together and he feeds that way, but I agree that a darkened (quiet) room is a good way to relax the LO.

One of the main things that made me stop formula feeding my son for the last feed was the terrible wind it gave him which made him crabby the next day, so I had to decide whether getting more sleep was worth making my son miserable for.

I hope this helps

Civciv Tue 16-Jun-09 14:59:26

thank you so so much for your advice. I think I may try the formula for a day feed to see how DD reacts and if not too bad would try for last feed.

Until Im brave enough to do so I will definitely try to feed in bed with me which sounds a wonderful way to get her to sleep.

thanks so much again

luvaduck Tue 16-Jun-09 15:05:14

or instead you could express in the morning and give her that as a top up (and express then as well) - then if you want to give her a bottle top up at least it'll be your milk.

i gave my ds one bottle of formula at 5 weeks old and really regret it. didn't make any difference to his sleep and just wish i'd stuck to my milk. anyway at 21 months he is still breastfed (with food as well of course)

Danceswithchickens Tue 16-Jun-09 18:08:09

yes, I should add that I regret giving DD1 formula, so DD2 never had any.

Both girls have always been good sleepers too.

iwantitnow Tue 16-Jun-09 19:25:21

I don't know if there are allerfies in your family if so it is much better to not give formula until 17 weeks. Sounds very typical for an 8 week BF baby.

NellyNoKnicks Wed 17-Jun-09 09:59:00

Hi again, did you manage to get your DD settled any easier last night? did you try lying down to feed her?

Civciv Wed 17-Jun-09 11:04:04

thanks again so much for your help. Nelly I tried lying down to feed her and she fell asleep straight away but when I tried leavng she woke up but I kept on and it took nearly two hours so still by midnight tho this time when I put her down she didin't wake up! she did sleep till 5 so I feel like a new person It may have been a fluke though so fingers crossed.

Unfortunately there are allergies on DH s side so I may wait to see how I cope before giving her formula thank you.

I am feeling guilty now, I always thought she had ebnough when she fell asleep, it could have been that she was just tired but still hungry.

thanks again so much and Ill keep you posted! wishing you lots and lots of sleep

NellyNoKnicks Wed 17-Jun-09 11:12:18

Well thats a great start I'm really pleased for you, lets hope its the start of better nights for you will be keeping fingers crossed for you... i think it used to take about that long when i started putting ds down at first and now its about half an hour best of luck x

sweetkitty Wed 17-Jun-09 11:15:08

I have asked the exact same question before and the resounding answer was no formula does nothing to help them sleep better or longer.

DD3 is 11 months now having loads of food and water in the day and still doesn't sleep more than 3 hours at a time.

Civciv Thu 18-Jun-09 12:29:42

def decided to wait a bit longer. I think I may start doing the night time routine a bit earlier everyday and hope that works.

thanks again all

scarletlilybug Thu 18-Jun-09 12:49:59

My fully bf dd was sleeping 10 hours per night by 10 weeks. Not trying to boast, but just to say that bf is necessarily incompatible with babies sleeping well.

I found a gentle routine really helped. I used Tracy Hogg's (The "Baby Whisperer" ) "EASY" routine which worked very well both for dd and for me. (What I would emphasise, though, is that Tracy Hogg's advice about bfing is very dubious in places, so I would ignore that part and just concentrate on getting your routine in place.) Honestly, after just a couple of days everything just fell into place. Regular naps, regular feeds, a good long sleep at night.... and that was just me grin. Dd still sleeps well now, at 3 1/2.

NellyNoKnicks Thu 18-Jun-09 17:47:26

Well I hope it all goes well for you.... best of luck, sending you zzzz's for luck!

Civciv Fri 19-Jun-09 10:03:01

I think Ill just have to accept I have a sleepless baby blush

thanks again Nelly

NellyNoKnicks Fri 19-Jun-09 15:22:37

Civciv, you just need to keep persevering with it, I'm sure it will get easier over time. I wish you all the luck in getting some sleep!!! take care

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