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Mixed feeding: Anyone successfully doing it?

(23 Posts)
alibobble Thu 17-Sep-09 20:07:38

Anyone managing to combine bf and bottle feeding with their LO. Currently BF but feeling frustrated as dd2 is v large and HUNGRY and feeds ALL the time. Want a break to get some time with dd1 when I'm not feeding and a chance to establish some sort of a routine however loose.

Celery Thu 17-Sep-09 20:11:43

I mix fed one baby until four months, one until six months, both more or less from birth. How old is your little one?

The key is to give the bottles at the same time every day, and if you want to continue breast feeding for a while longer, not to give more than one or two bottles a day, because obviously, the less you breastfeed, the less milk you will make, and you run the risk of not producing enough.

EightiesChick Thu 17-Sep-09 20:15:29

Hi alibobble,
I have been making moves towards mixed feeding but have pulled back a bit. Basically DS has had a couple of bottles of formula, but then he has also cut down his milk intake overall quite a bit as he is eating more solids. How old is your DD2 and is she taking any solids yet?

alibobble Fri 18-Sep-09 12:34:43

no. by mixed feeding was thinking bf and bottle. dd is 9wks.

Still very undecided.

MoonlightMcKenzie Fri 18-Sep-09 12:46:49

alibobble It IS possible, but there is a real risk of it bringing bfing to a premature end.

The later you introduce the bottle, to no. of bottles you introduce and the way in which you do it can impact on this.

It is often better to first look for alternative solutions to your problems. It could be helpful to talk to a bf helpline to get ideas on how to structure things as well as the feeds so that you can manage the conflicting demands on your time,

herbaceous Fri 18-Sep-09 13:16:17

Hi Ali

I've been mixed feeding my son since birth, and he's now 10 weeks. He started off on bottles, as they were forced upon him in hospital after my milk didn't come in, but I've gradually been reducing the number of bottles. He now gets one around lunchtime, and one at night. I try and bf lots in the morning, and he naturally wants loads in the evening, but I still don't think I'm quite making enough for him to bf exclusively. He also seems to be losing the latching knack, so I may have to go and see one of those scary BF counsellors!

However, it's working pretty well as a system, as I get a bit more time away from the sofa after the lunchtime bottle, and DP can do the night-time one. He's also now sleeping through the night (touch wood!)

MoonlightMcKenzie Fri 18-Sep-09 13:21:12

The thing you need to watch out for is growth spurts. When baby's need to feed more often and pin you to the sofa to up your production, you absolutely must not up the formula. This increases the ff/bf ratio and is the beginning of the end.

MadameDefarge Fri 18-Sep-09 13:25:34

I mixed fed ds for over a year. so it is possible!

herbaceous Fri 18-Sep-09 14:07:14

It is so tempting to give more bottle, though. After even multiple boobs in one feeding, DS is often still peckish, whereas one bottle renders him sleepy and happy-looking. I'm probably doing something wrong BF-wise...

MoonlightMcKenzie Fri 18-Sep-09 14:38:13

herbaceous Sometimes introducing the bottle can mean more time on the breast, because the supply no longer pre-empts his needs and so the baby has to work harder and longer to get a fill.

alibobble Fri 18-Sep-09 20:21:39

find the hardest thing about constantly bf dd2 is not having time for dd1. even at weekends with dh to help, obviously dd2 needs feeding from me. Hard to get any one to one time with her because have all usual jobs to do as well so when not feeding have to get them done too. feel so run down it's hard to decide what is best.

babycat Fri 18-Sep-09 20:46:09

alibobble was just thinking of posting a similar thread grin.

DS is just 5 weeks old & weighed 8lb at birth and already weighs 10lb 10oz. My DD is 2.5 years old and has started misbehaving to try to get my attention and I'm becoming an increasingly shouty mum due to lack of sleep.

I was wondering about giving him a bottle of formula milk before I go to bed so perhaps I could get a little bit of sleep. I breastfed DD until she was 19 months (that was the earliest I could manage to wean her) and don't like the thought of using formula at all but the constant feeding and screaming is getting me down. I have been in tears several times over the last week sad.

Sorry I have no advice to offer but just to let you know I'm in the same boat and bump the thread. I have never used formula so have no idea about what to choose and how to prepare it so advice on that would be welcome too. alibobble if you do choose to mix feed I would like to know what difference it has makes to you.

alibobble Sat 19-Sep-09 08:59:14

will bump the thread for you and hope someone can help you babycat

chocolatefudgebrownie Sat 19-Sep-09 09:06:09

I mixed fed both my dc's for over 6 months. I am still bf my dd who is 20 months. Doesn't appear to have affected my ability to bf her, but maybe I was lucky?

alibobble Sat 19-Sep-09 10:02:04

have a friend wgo mixed fed for the duration. It's complicated for me as dd2 is suspected lactose intolerant like dd1 tho know which formula to use it does cause them to pile on the weight

fledtoscotland Sat 19-Sep-09 12:19:42

I have been mixed feeding DS2 since he was 8 weeks old (he has just turned one). initially it was so that DH could give him a bottle at 11pm and I could get sleep but when i went back to work (i work 3 evenings a week) it became bedtime as well. Now at 1yr, DS2 has a bottle at bedtime and if he wakes during the night and a BF from me 1st thing in the morning, mid afternoon (and generally whenever he decided to help himself hmm)

we used Hipp organic as I understand its the closest in consistency to breast milk but now he just has warmed cows milk.

I was advised as the beginning not to introduce bottles until breastfeeding was established both to avoid nipple confusion and to ensure your milk supply is good.


babycat Sat 19-Sep-09 19:33:34

alibobble thanks for bumping your post for me - I sort of hijacked it blush!

Think I'll try & persevere for a little longer just with breastfeeding. I think it is likely that I will have to use formula at some point in the future though, especially when I go back to work. I started expressing when DD was about 4 weeks & DH used to give her a bottle of EBM before we went to bed so she had a good volume to keep her settled for a bit longer. Didn't have any problem with so-called 'nipple confusion'. Haven't managed to do this with DS as he is on the boob too much & I just haven't had the time or energy.

I usually work 2 split nights per week (don't have any childcare & no family support nearby) and when DD was a baby I expressed milk in the mornings and put it the freezer for DH to feed her with when she woke in the night. I can't imagine at the moment managing to do that as well as entertain the 2 of them and get all the household chores done sad.

trixie123 Sat 19-Sep-09 21:32:50


totally agree with herbaceous. mine DS (now 7 weeks) was formula fed at birth cos of low blood sugar and my milk not coming in for 6 days and after a slightly shaky start on BF (poor latch - nothing to do with nipple confusion)he now happily bounces between the two regardless of the time of day. it gives us so much flexibility about who feeds him and how long we can leave him with grandparents for etc (mostly it was to get him to sleep much longer at night that we started with the nighttime bottle). I hear lots of conflicting things about the timing - introduce a bottle too soon and they'll not bf, leave it too late and they won't take a bottle. I have no idea what the "truth" is on that but common sense would suggest to me that as with most things, the earlier you do something the more "normal" it is. DS will sometimes take a second or two longer to latch on if his last feed was a bottle but always manages it. Is prob. true about endangering supply though. I have loads of milk in the morning but definitely not enought to go through the whole day - am usually feeling "empty" by mid afternoon so you have to sort of find a balance. good luck

unyummy Sun 20-Sep-09 21:05:42

I'm trying to mix feed 2 week old, it's working in terms of baby being satisfied, gaining weight and sleeping but wondered if anyone who's made it work could tell me what kind of routine - if any - you followed and what you do about engorged boobs when you miss a breastfeed?

I'm mixed feeding due to bad latch causing overlong feeding and v sore nipples and I'm currently pumping about every other feed to relieve boobs and keep up supply while i try to improve the latch - it works but seems like lots of work and a bit chaotic sterilizing pump/bottles, pumping, bottle and occasional bf.

womble1 Sun 20-Sep-09 21:16:01

I tried this for the same reasons as you. Expecting again, so have been thinking about this too.

Last time, I breastfeed then topped up with formular then expressed any remaining breast milk and put that in the fridge. This meant that the 10pm feed by DH did whilst I went to bed with expressed milk. My boobs were bleeding and I was in so much pain!

Good luck!

herbaceous Mon 21-Sep-09 15:06:11

Does anyone manage to have any sort of routine with the BF part of the day? DS seems to want to feed every hour or so until lunchtime, when I relent and give him a bottle, then every hour or so again from about 4 until 10 when he goes to bed.

Is it because my boobs aren't making enough because I give the bottle? But surely the frequency and number of boob feeds - about 12 a day – would up the supply?

If I could get him to only feed every two or three hours, I could probably drop the bottles...

alibobble Mon 21-Sep-09 20:14:52

might be worth starting a defferent thread for that question. How old is Lo, how big etc. dd2 feeds every 2-3 hours regularly taking both sides and sleeps well between alot of the time but when going through a growth spurt feeds almost none stop hence the mixed feeding question. if LO is feeding well and not getting too much foremilk cf hind milk then maybe just very hungry but if feeds are quite short or if you swap side too early can lead to needing to feed more often. Not an expert at all. Is hard not to put them on the boob for any and all cries. takes time to work out which is the hungry cry and which is the tired/bored cry.

trixie123 Tue 22-Sep-09 21:54:01

don't know if this helps but regarding using the boob to stop crying, at about 2 weeks we were doing that with either boob or bottle, thinking fist sucking = hunger but DS was clearly full and couldn't keep down any more milk. getting v frustrated - at 3am had brainwave and gave him a dummy for the first time and he slept peacefully. Felt so stupid for not thinking of it before (blush)

as far as timing goes in my v limited experience when they are this little, just do whatever they want and try to get your head round the impossibility of planning anything. resign yourself to the sofa for the next few weeks/months and ignore the chores as far as poss.

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