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Help! Starting transition from on-demand BF to scheduled FF and it's NOT going well

(7 Posts)
corgikelly Tue 11-Aug-09 10:35:13

Sorry to plague everyone with a long list of BF to FF questions, but am feeling completely at sea!

Funny that what one reads on the internet about transitioning from BF to FF is mostly about mixing formula with breast milk in each bottle, and gradually cutting down on the proportion of breast milk. Since that's not what ladies on our March mums' board do, nor what a couple of friends have done, I decided to go the route of just subbing one formula feed for a breast feed every 3-4 days, and today was the day to start.

Well, DS HATED the formula. We tried at room temp first (I really wanted to see if I can get away with that for simplicity's sake). He drank an ounce and howled. We warmed it. He drank three more sips and categorically turned his nose up at it with an outraged expression.

So. Now what?

1) If he refuses the formula, do I top up with nursing or let him howl with hunger until he gives up and goes for the formula? (Today, I nursed as who knows how long the hunger would take and I didn't want microbes breeding in the bottle!)

2) Do I keep offering the formula at every feed until he takes it, or do I keep offering it only at the feed I wanted to start switching out (i.e., the late morning feed)?

3) Do I keep trying him on this formula, or try a few different brands to see if he prefers another one?

4) I'm seriously worried about managing the transition from an on-demand BF system to a scheduled FF system -- simply because DS does NOT like to eat very much at any given feed. At 19 weeks, he feeds every two hours during the day and every three hours at night, because he refuses to do much more than get rid of the initial hunger pains. Does anyone have any tips on how to get babies to eat more at each feed?

5) And finally: when I topped him up nursing today, he didn't drink much anyway, and kept pulling off and/or tugging at his ear. Have read somewhere that this is another teething sign and that nursing can put pressure on sore gums. Have also read that one shouldn't try to transition/wean when the baby is teething, but as it seems he'll be teething for the next two years...what to do? Wait? Soldier on?

Thanks much to any and all for words o' wisdom.

Habbibu Tue 11-Aug-09 10:39:58

Not too much advice, I'm afraid, but I do know that the mixing expressed and formula milk worked quite well for some friends - same as going from formula to cows. How old is he? I gave dd formula at about 10-11 months, and she hated Aptamil (so did I - stank like old cabbage) but was happy enough with SMA Gold. Perhaps going for two changes at once is a bit much - formula PLUS schedule seems like a lot for him to take in.

So - there will be better advice along soon, I'm sure, but try switching brands, and maybe slow down the transition. I found formula an enormous faff compared to bf on demand, I have to say!

corgikelly Tue 11-Aug-09 10:46:26

Thanks, Habbibu. DS is only 19 weeks, but I'm going back to work full time on Sept. 1st and recognise that I don't have what it takes to pump enough for him to continue on EBM all day (especially given his tendency to nip only a couple of ounces at a time -- the nursery is probably going to be quite cross about coping with that, which is another reason I'd really like to get him down to fewer, larger feeds).

EBM has been a lifesaver for the past two months for getting out for a haircut, etc., but isn't a long-term at-work solution for me. sad

A friend is going to give me a couple of feeds' worth of Enfamil, so I'll try that tomorrow...

Habbibu Tue 11-Aug-09 10:48:42

Oh, fair enough. I think nursery should really adjust to how your DS feeds, rather than you worry about changing his habits for them - that's what you're paying for, after all. A few brands come with wee cartons of ready made formula, so you could try a little selection without shelling out on a big tub.

Good luck.

TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Tue 11-Aug-09 10:51:13

Why do you need to schedule ff? Can you ff on demand, as you would with bf-ing?

Second the suggestion of SMA Gold, it seems a bit sweeter than the Aptamil, most of the friends I know who ff used that one. I think it's cheaper too (always a bonus!).

Also, everyone I know who switched from breast to formula, started with topping up bottles of EBM with formula and gradually reduced the EBM until it was a whole bottle of formula IYSWIM.

jollyjoanne Tue 11-Aug-09 11:11:15

Corgi another vote for SMA gold if you can find it, we have been using the ready made cartons for the odd feed. But also the glass bottles and teats that hospitals in the UK use which DD seems quite fond of.

AitchTwoOh Tue 11-Aug-09 11:16:05

you really don't need to schedule ff, in fact docs tend to advise against it, on demand seems better for appetite etc. cow and gate smells less stinky than aptamil, i've used both.
remember that soon enough he'll be eating little bits and bobs, so the nursery will have that in their armoury also. it's only another six weeks.
i know friends who bf around nursery, didn't express, and left bottles that went untouched the whole day. their babies preferred to eat and have water and then drink their fill when they got home. they were working three days a week, though.

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