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how to share the load of night feeds - EBF - advice please!

(10 Posts)
littleweed10 Wed 14-Oct-09 11:41:29

hello, happy to express milk, but please can you tell me the practicality of how my DH feeds son in night. (this is because I don't do formula, so have no experience of nighttime bottle feeding).

The idea would be to try to help me sleep through it to give me a full nights sleep, so how does he do it with minium fuss?

Do you warm up the milk, do you carry baby in meantime... etcetc

I know these all sound very minor things, but its a real stumbling block.DH is quite nervous and anxious about it, so much so previuos attempts have been done with me sitting there next to him, or fetching and carrying - which wasn't my idea of a break!!!

Hulla Wed 14-Oct-09 12:41:18

Hi littleweed10 we never mastered it I'm afraid. My dsis is bottle feeding (formula) and finds getting a bottle warmed up while her ds fusses in the night quite stressful.

Have you tried feeding your ds lying down while you snooze? That was what got me the most sleep in the end. DH used to do other things like get me drinks, change dd's nappy, settle her if she just wanted cuddles not milk.

Hope someone a bit more helpful comes along for you! smile

MrsBadger Wed 14-Oct-09 12:51:34

We never mastered it either, but for completely different reasons - main one being I could never face making DH do it when I knew he had to get up for work the next day and I was on matleave so could lie in in the morning and/or nap when dd napped.

What did work was DH doing stories and bath with dd for an hour or more in the evenings so I had a chance to put my feet up. Then I'd do the bedtime feed and put dd to sleep, but that little bit of time off would be just enough to get me through another hard night, iyswim.

Sorry I'm no more help...

tiktok Wed 14-Oct-09 12:57:57

littleweed - giving expressed (or formula) to a breastfed baby to give you a night's sleep has its downside: you will wake up with huge, uncomfortable breasts in the short term (because you need to feed in the night to stay comfortable) and in the longer term you risk reducing your milk supply (because engineering long gaps between feeds is to under-stimulate your production).

So however you do it - you need to know that.

anothercoldcupoftea Wed 14-Oct-09 20:06:56

Hi there - we did this with DD1 (can't do it with DD2 at the moment as she won't take a bottle grr). Only once a week or so, just enough to let me get some sleep - as tiktok says you don't want to do it too often (and I always had oversupply issues anyway, so less postential problems for me).

When DD1 woke up (NB I had earplugs in!), DH would go and get ready prepared bottle from fridge (or in winter, would have it the room as EBM is OK at room temperature for a few hours - see kellymom for recommended times etc). He would boil the kettle, put into a saucepan, and swish the bottle around (keep swishing so doesn't get overheated). Once warm (ish - DD wasn't too fussy), upstairs and feed. Ta da. She would be upstairs crying in the meantime, but only for about 3 minutes or so.

I would then wake up a 7am with exploding boobs, but so worth it! Might have to express a bit after the morning feed if still too full. Ah, fond memories...

NellyTheElephant Wed 14-Oct-09 21:44:30

V similar experience to anothercoldcupoftea here. We did this with all 3 of mine, but only once a week due to supply and exploding boobs issues. Basically I would express a bit off here and there during the week and freeze to make up enough for 2 feeds. Defrost that and leave in the fridge. I would then express at around 10.30pm and leave that milk in the fridge too (while DH giving a feed from the milk I'd expressed earlier) then I'd put earplugs in (an absolute must if you actually want to get any sleep) and sleep until about 6am. For the night feeds DH would warm the bottles in a jug of boiling water (or 20 secs in microwave) - and yes he left the baby had to cry for a couple of mins while he went down to fridge to get the bottle and warm it. In the morning i'd usually be absolutely exploding, so I'd feed immediately and then once the baby had fed I'd be able to express off pretty much a full feed again and freeze it for the next time.

laundrylover Wed 14-Oct-09 22:06:20

Not on MN much these days but saw your post and thought I'd mention a new study which is related to this. My sis tells me that a Spanish study has just been published which found marked differences in BM during the night and day. Daytime milk stimulates the baby and night time milk calms them. Apparently mums returning to work complained of disrupted routines and the study recommends labelling all EBM 'day' or 'night' and using accordingly! Was only a small study but maybe worth looking at? here

Magic stuff it is grin.

From a now redundant bfersad.

BertieBotts Wed 14-Oct-09 22:17:53

My mum EBF me until a year and got my dad involved in the night feeds - he would go and get the baby from the cot, bring her into the bed, mum would get baby latched on (though as baby gets older than a few weeks they do it by themselves), wait around until the feed was finished and then he'd pick the baby back up and take her back to her cot and resettle her if needed. My mum was barely disturbed and the baby got a feed.

I think this is the most practical way to handle it if your DH is willing - and if you don't want to co-sleep. I just made the bed safe so I could feed DS in bed and if I fell asleep I didn't worry. We use a bedside cot now which sort of extends the sleeping space, and means if I want to roll over and sleep with my back to him I just scoot him into the cot space rather than the bed space and then I can't roll on him accidentally.

anothercoldcupoftea Thu 15-Oct-09 07:27:47

Interesting study laundry, amazing stuff indeed grin. The nightfeed milk we used was usually expressed in the evening (used to express at 9pm, to give enough for a late bottle which DH used to do, and surplus for the freezer for the occasional nightfeed), so maybe that's why it worked well?

Longtalljosie Thu 15-Oct-09 07:40:06

I do this - I express in the morning and DH gives the feed before he goes to bed at midnight. He puts the bottle in a bowl of hot water for 6 minutes (this was the result of trial and error - with a difference sized bottle / bowl your time may be different). Then he goes upstairs and (usually - not last night as she woke early and made her views known!) dreamfeeds her - ie lifts her gently out of the cot, puts the bottle to her lips and she drinks it in her sleep.

We did only start this once we'd got DD proficient at bottle feeding - she's exclusively bf so it took some patience and a good few wasted bottles of breast milk but we got there. We taught her (if that's the word) during day feeds simply because you don't want a night feed to be any more hassle than it has to be!

We've been doing this for about 3 weeks now. As Tiktok says, I do wake up with huge, hard boobs - and am keeping a keen eye on my supply and being sure to switch feed to keep it up. But DD keeps going up centiles each time she's weighed so we must be OK so far smile

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