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6 months old, weaning from breast to bottle, sleep issues, food issues, waaah.

(5 Posts)
mamahug Wed 30-Sep-09 15:08:21

Sorry for this massively long post, but if anyone has the time....
Until now my 6 month old dd2 has been exclusively breast fed - I kept meaning to do the odd bottle to get her used to it, but we have been so busy that it has been much easier just to feed her myself - plus it was the only time in the day I got to sit down!!
But now, for various reasons, not least being that I am soooo knackered, I really want to stop breast feeding and get her onto the bottle in a bit of a hurry. I have been slowly trying to get her to have two, then three out of four feeds from the bottle over the last three weeks and now I feel we should be ready to go for all bottle feeds.
My problems are:
- She won't take the bottle unless she is starving, so that is putting all her routine to pieces. It isn't a strict routine, but it is useful for me.
- She has suddenly had three big events happen in the last month - she is sitting up, she cut two teeth in the space of a week and she has had solids for the first time.
- She has been sleeping all the way through the night from 7.30pm - 7.30am since she was two months old without a single broken night (miracle), but is now waking two or three times in the night and has been for the last two weeks.
Everything just seems to be going pear-shaped and I thought we were doing so well until now!
I would like to be doing roughly:

7.30am wake up, bottle
8am breakfast
morning nap
11.30am small bottle
12 lunch
lunchtime nap
3pm small bottle
short nap
5pm supper
6.30pm bottle and bed

instead it is something like:
2am wake up crying - try to put back to bed without feed
5.30am wake up - give breast feed because seems so hungry
8am wake up - bottle not accepted, fruit for breakfast
morning nap
11.30am bottle not accepted - maybe has an ounce
12 lunch - not v good on the veg but will eat a cube or so, then fruit
lunchtime nap
3pm bottle not accepted, - maybe an ounce or so. Give sneaky breast feed because so worried.
5pm supper
7pm struggle, but usually has full bottle because so hungry
11pm sometimes wakes, much more fretful in her sleep than she used to be.

I am panicking that she is going to be dehydrated / not get enough milk / get into really bad sleep habits / get constipated etc etc, but I have no idea what to do. I have tried getting dh to do her bottle, but she still hates it unless she is starving. Should I just let her get really hungry so that she takes the bottle then and hope that she gets used to it in her own time? At the moment I am really fighting her to get the teat into her mouth because someone said 'just keep persevering' but I just don't think this is working.
Sorry for the longest post in the world, but I am at the end of my tether.

cassell Wed 30-Sep-09 18:07:24

Sorry to hear you are having problems. My ds is 6mo too and he's starting waking at night as well. Not trying to move from breast to bottle though so don't have that to contend with! I'm no expert but a few thoughts (and bumping this for you!)

When you say giving her a bottle - is it EBM or formula? If it is formula it may be that it is the taste she doesn't like as it's different to what she is used to so maybe you should try a different one? Or get her used to taking ebm in a bottle first before going to formula? Or could it be the teat that she doesn't like? When I have given my ds ebm it has been with tommy tippee freedom bottles/teats and he has taken to those fine. Have you tried slightly varying the temperature of the milk in the bottle? (My ds is v fussy about that!)

Could you try giving her the milk from a cup instead if she really won't take the bottle?

I'm guessing the sleep issues are because she's not getting enough milk during the day but I'm no expert, hopefully there will be one along soon!

Best of luck

thisisyesterday Wed 30-Sep-09 18:15:29

i would imagine she is waking at night because she is hungry if she is going without milk during the day due to refusing bottle
you're giving her 2 breastfeeds and one bottle right? that really isn't much for a 6 month old

might it be worth carrying on bf until she has settled into her routine with solids and she has calmed a bit development-wise?

then work on introducing the bottle again, but just one feed at a time so she doesn't get so hungry?

mamahug Mon 05-Oct-09 14:23:05

thanks heaps for the advice - I think I was a bit hormonal from stopping breast feeding! it does seem to have calmed down a bit now - I was trying to get 20oz into her and yesterday she did finally take nearly that (mix of EBM and formula) and slept from 9pm till 6.30am, so not as good as it was, but still, much better! Couldn't carry on with breast feeding because of moving house/ work etc. Was still doing four feeds a day though thisisyesterday - they just weren't going down very well! We have gone wiith Nuk bottles which we used for my older daughter, but she doesn't like them much, the flow is really fast. Persevering for now though, because I spent a fortune trying every single different type of bottle for dd1 and she ended up with the ones we bought first!

NellyTheElephant Mon 05-Oct-09 16:01:02

My DS is 6 months, I have just weaned him from breast to bottle and started weaning with solids too. He has slept 7pm to 7am from about 12 weeks but suddenly over the last week he has been regularly waking once in the night. I have no idea why... maybe teeth or digestion as all this food is so new for him... who knows. I have been resettling him without feeding though (although it can be a real effort, cooled boiled water - slightly warm does help), as I know that if I feed him in the night it will throw everything off track. I am sure he will soon be through whatever is unsettling him and hopefully your DD2 will be too - although I would really try not to feed her in the night if you can avoid it as it is bound to effect her feeding in the day.

Re the transition to bottles, luckily I had no issue with DS as I'd always given him the odd bottle of EBM so he was used to it. With DD2 though it was a disaster, she'd never had bottles at all. I decided to wean around 6 months and she absolutely refused the bottle (like you I tried every bottle under the sun, but once she started taking a bottle at all she didn't care which one of the many i used). In the end I went cold turkey. No bf at all. She was in fantastic health at the time and would take a small amount of milk from the bottle so I knew she'd be fine but she took it with much screaming and anger and stress and not nearly as much as I would like. Within 2 days of not giving her any bf she was taking bottles absolutely fine with no fuss. I expressed to stop myself getting too uncomfortable and put that milk into the bottles with the formula. I think you can try this for a day or two without worrying - sounds like she's improving already though.

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