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MN pole !! if you excusively BFed your DC but then gave formula for the last night feed!!

(32 Posts)
3cutedarlings Fri 07-Aug-09 12:31:35

did it help your LO to settle for longer?

DS is 22weeks, and is now on 2 (very small) meals a day and BFed. His sleeping is still hit and miss during the night (sounds about right for a 5mth old, i hear you all say grin). We do get the odd night where he sleeps through (well from 11 til 6) but the norm is 2 feeds through the night , im knackered and longing for longing for a regular 6 hours undisturbed sleep.

So my fellow MNers if you changed the last feed (dreamfeed) to formula did your baby settle for longer? i suppose another advantage for this would be that DH could do the dream feed and i could at least get an early night. At the moment i wait up as i cant bear the thought of another night feed iyswim.

I have never been a believer that FFed babies settle better than BFed LOs.I also breast fed my 2 girls, DD1 slept through <<<<whispers>>>> from birth and DD2 was a little bugger til she was almost 2!!! and i looks like DS is also heading in the same direction..................please help me!! before i run away from home hmm.

3cutedarlings Fri 07-Aug-09 12:55:26


Indith Fri 07-Aug-09 13:04:50

I think there are as many people out there who say it helps as those who say it doesn't, if you are comfortable trying it then just do it and see. We tried with ds once, unmitigated disaster! Dd has had a bottle for her first waking once to give me an early night, she did sleep well afterwards but to be honest I think that was a fluke (the little whatsit still wakes a LOT at night) as she has done similar without a bottle on occasion. When she had the bottle though she still had to be brought to me to feed for a couple of mins as she wouldn't settle without the breast. Has me wrapped round her little finger that girl grin

jimbobsmummy Fri 07-Aug-09 14:55:43

We've been doing it and I think it suits us. DS is 13 weeks and now usually sleeps form about 11.30 when he has his bottle till 6.30 or 7 or thereabouts. Of course we don't know what he would do without it, he may do the same!

For us, I have always had issues with breast feeding and I am not always convinced he is filling himself up from the boob (getting better now though) and so with the formula at least I know he was having a full feed at night. I suspect it was this more than any difference with formula that had the effect.

fruitstick Fri 07-Aug-09 15:03:22

Forgive me for being unorthodox but have you considered dropping the dream feed?

I was waking DS2 everynight before I went to bed and he was still waking once or twice in the night.

2 weeks ago I had a few glasses of wine blush and decided it was probably not the best idea to feed him so left him, thinking he would wake about 1 or 2 for a feed. Little bugger slept straight through til 8am!

I haven't given him a dreamfeed since and he sleeps much much better than he did.

I'll get my coat.

fruitstick Fri 07-Aug-09 15:04:22

he is 24 weeks btw

Indith Fri 07-Aug-09 15:33:20

Don't get your coat fruitsticks, ds was the same, once you disturbed his first sleep he would start to wake up more often.

jimbobsmummy Fri 07-Aug-09 15:34:09

Well ours isn't a dreamfeed. Its an 'I've been awake feeding all evening and am still awake at midnight' feed! Still at least he sleeps properly once he does go to sleep.

AnnieLobeseder Fri 07-Aug-09 15:37:50

Both my DDs had a bottle last thing at night cos I just have supply issues in the evening for some reason, just when they most need a big feed to see them through the night. Worked a treat for us....

artichokes Fri 07-Aug-09 15:38:06

Dream feed never worked for either of mine. Whether it was BF or FF made no difference. All it achieved was keeping me up later, it never reduced subsequent wakings. Really think about experimenting with a week without.

mummydoc Fri 07-Aug-09 15:54:14

form 2 weeks of age my dd2 had formula feed at around 10 ish . i used to give the last breast feed around 6:30 and then put dd1 to bed at 7 pm and go to bed myself and dh would feed dd2 formula during the later part of the evening, she then slept from 10 ish until 4 am when ifed her again but by then i had had a good solid 8-9 hrs sleep, by 6 weeks of age she was having formula at 8pm and sleeping to 6 am, so worked for us

Jackstini Fri 07-Aug-09 15:58:43

dh had to use formula on 3 nights when I was not back from work.
Didn't make a blind bit of difference to sleeping patterns.
ds is 8m and only slept longer than 4 hours twice in his life!

3cutedarlings Fri 07-Aug-09 16:39:40

Mixed experiences, i thought that would be the case grin why? dont these little buggers come with instructions hmmgrin.

fruitstick your not being unorthadox atall!! smile

yep dropping the dreamfeed has to be worth a try, i remember thinking with DD2 that we installed bad feeding habits cos of the dream feed hmm.

NorkilyChallenged Fri 07-Aug-09 16:43:43

We tried this with DD2 and it didn't buy a longer spell of sleep than a bf BUT as you say, DP could do it and so I just went to bed at 8 after feeding DD2 and then he did the next feed (usually 11ish) and put her down again and then I'd do the next feed. Sometimes that would buy me a sleep from (say) 8.30 til 3 or something.

So worth a try from that angle- just giving you a break for one feed?

Babieseverywhere Fri 07-Aug-09 17:08:14

There is a study into this issue and it showed that exclusively breastfed babies slept on average 40 minutes more than a breastfed baby who is given an evening bottle of formula. So adding a formula feed is likely to result in less sleep for you.

Have you considered co-sleeping with your DS ? That way you can sleep whilst nursing.

Or you could feed DS in the evening and then go straight to bed, leaving DS with your DH to deal with and your husband can bring the baby to you in bed when and as needed.

jimbobsmummy Fri 07-Aug-09 17:49:29

40 mins longer on average, maybe, but not every baby.

I simply don't believe my DS would be sleeping as long as he does with just breastfeeding.

My supply is so rubbish in the evenings, he just feeds continuously and by 11pm there is nothing there left to give him, yet he is still hungry (takes a 7oz bottle) - he wouldn't be anywhere approaching filled up without a bottle!

Plus DH gives him it, and it is the only time since about 6 pm I get a break, that by itself is so worth it!

hunkermunker Fri 07-Aug-09 17:58:32

Jimbobsmummy, your post shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how breastfeeding works (ooh, good name for a website, eh? wink).

Babies will often drink formula even if they're full. Mears has likened it to the "still having room for pudding" thing adults do, even if they've stuffed themselves with dinner. It's just a different thing.

Breasts are never empty and you make more milk if you feed more. Feeding continuously in the evenings can be normal behaviour in a baby this age - feeding's about more than getting milk into tummies for bf babies.

Am, of course, not telling you not to give the formula. Just having a discussion about the reasons you give for giving it.

To the OP - can you try co-sleeping to get a bit more rest?

3cutedarlings Fri 07-Aug-09 17:58:38

babieseverywhere yes i do occasionally end up co sleeping anyhow, cos im just so tired i cant keep awake. I find that i dont sleep very well though.

Interesting what you say about BF babies sleeping less.

jimbobsmummy Fri 07-Aug-09 18:32:12

Its not a fundamental misunderstanding. I know how breastfeeding works and we had this discussion on here at length only a few days ago.

I'll say again what I said then. Yes, theoretically breasts can never empty and there is always milk there. But it can happen that the baby has been suckling for hours constantly, and taken all the stored milk but is clearly still hungry, distressed, screaming and pulling away, meanwhile mum is getting more and more wound up and tired. And if then having a break for a while allows the stores to replenish and get a let down etc and then the baby is happy... For all practical purposes, there was insufficient milk and the breast was 'empty'.

It may not be technically 'correct' to describe it in that way but nevertheless it is a situation that is very common. In my case I was having a nightmare feeding. Everyone kept saying 'just let him suckle as much as he wants.' But after several weeks and he was still doing it for literally 2 or 3 hours with no break every evening I couldn't stand it any more and was in too much pain. In that situation it was not doing either of us any good at all to say 'oh theres always milk there' when clearly there wasn't, at least not where hecould get it.

And again, also in my case, I'm sure he is hungry at night. During the res of the day he feeds well and stops feeds by himself then is happy, playing etc. Satisfied. But in the evening this doesn't happen and he is hungry and distressed. Given the bottle, suddenly calm again.

I know this may not be the case for evryone who gives a bottle at night, but in our case it was a life saver. Stopped me getting exhausted, stressed and generally P'd off with the whole thing. If I hadn't done it I'm sure I would have gone to formula entirely weeks ago (probably at about 3 or 4 weeks of age) but with it, at 13 weeks he is fully breastfed apart from that one feed. I'm getting enough sleep and am not exhausted. I'm happy with that!

3cutedarlings Fri 07-Aug-09 19:44:33

jimbobsmummy sounds to me like you made an excellent choice based on your sons needs, if one bottle of formula equals a happy mother and baby!!! smile

Babieseverywhere Fri 07-Aug-09 21:48:26


If you choose to give a formula feed and it gives you more sleep/rest/peace of mind...good on you. It might help your child, who knows, every child is very different.

However as the OP's baby does not react anything like how your child was during evening feeds, therefore your solution does not necessarily suit her and her child.

She is asking help for additional sleep and this can be dealt with in a number of ways, not just limited to formula feeding.

Hopefully something will help the OP

indiehendrix Sat 08-Aug-09 00:15:41

you said you ve always had issues with breastfeeding and women who do usually have pr
oblems with exclusive feeding
cluster feeding as night draws close is normal and how it should be and if we all understood the nature of feeding our babies it wouldn't be an issue but alas we don't and compare it to bottle feeding and the expectations for human infants to sleep most of the night which they dont unless filled with cows milk!
Exclusive breast feeding is what a baby deserves and we should be recommending that

indiehendrix Sat 08-Aug-09 00:31:42

there are no advantages to mix or bottle feeding to the baby
sorry you ve got to do it all but your

partner can help you support you feed you etc

jimbobsmummy Sat 08-Aug-09 00:45:24


There are plenty of advantages to me mixed feeding my baby. As it is, he gets the vast majority of his milk from me, if I hadn't done this he would have been entirely on formula by now. Nothing wrong with that but it wasn't what I wanted. I'm not totally exhausted and sore and pouring blood into his mouth as I was before. We are both happy and not stressed. That is a huge advantage and I'm sure is also why I continued breastfeeding. We were both utterly miserable and fed up with it before. Cluster feeding is normal, yes, but not continuously for 3 hours straight while getting more and more distressed. That is totally unsustainable.

Of course what suits us may not work for others. But I would do the same again with no hesitation.

Babieseverywhere Sat 08-Aug-09 07:30:52

3cutedarlings, I think you have misread my post as you commented "Interesting what you say about BF babies sleeping less."
I was trying to say :-
:Fully breastfed babies sleep more
:Mixed fed babies (i.e. some breastfeeding and a bottle of formula) sleep less

...on average of course every baby will react in their own way.

jimbobsmummy, It sounds like you have had a terrible time feeding your child and a lack of decent breastfeeding support.

Exclusive breastfeeeding does not mean having to accept "totally exhausted and sore and pouring blood into his mouth" type suffering and I am angry that noone helped you.

There is nothing wrong with mixed feeding or fully formula feeding if that is what the mother wants, however it sounds like you had little choice in the matter.

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