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Breast feeding during the day and bottle at night

(9 Posts)
Lyns22 Mon 31-Dec-12 11:09:02

I just wanted some opinions on this please.
I exclusively bf my 3 months old but the longest she goes between feeds is 3 hours. My friend has started bottles of formula at night and lo is sleeping from 10-6. Is this a bad thing to do? I want the best for my baba but hubby and I are exhausted.

ThreeWheelsGood Mon 31-Dec-12 11:39:06

formula takes longer to digest, hence longer sleep. it's up to you - we don't to up with formula because it's a faff to make up (in our opinion) and when we once tried expressed breastmilk DD didn't really "get"how to use the bottle.

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 31-Dec-12 12:03:28

also you must bear in mind that feeding method or contents of the bottle may not have any effect on the baby's sleep pattern, so the extra faff of preparing formula, sterilising etc may not result in more sleep

Plus of course people lie!

PinkPepper Mon 31-Dec-12 12:06:23

3 months is still very young, no guarantee whatsoever formula would make a difference.
My exclusively breastfed baby sleeps through most nights and has from about 4 months so its not impossible to happen.
I think it depends on the baby more so than feeding methods

GEM33 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:20:40

hey lyns. well done for ebf your baby til now. I think the way you have to look at it is that most parents with newborns are exhausted! not just breast fed ones.
The science- a babys gut isn't fully sealed until they are about 6 months old. milk they take in may leak across the gut lining. Breast milk is unique and less likely to cause allergies unlike formula that doesnt have the perfect balance of nutrients and fats like breast milk. By ebf'ing until 6 months you are giving your baby the best chance of not developing allergies/eczma.
your baby will be going through several growth spurts during the first year and so will feed more often sometimes to increase milk supply and keep her tiny tummy topped up.
You could try using a hand pump on one side while baby feeds on the other and just keep expressing a little all through the day and then give a bottle at night so someone else could feed her and you could have a little break-get some rest. (also will reduce the chance of a boob/sleep association which can sometimes happen when baby uses boob for comfort more than anything to get back to sleep ---like MINE!! wish someone had suggested this to me when mine was 3 months old!!).

However, if you really feel that you're too tired to express or carry on b'fing at night there are plenty of healthy babies being formula fed/mixed fed. A happy mummy is better for baby than one struggling to carry on b'fing when it just doesn't suit them.

Could you co sleep? look on amazon you can get little co sleeper beds that attach to the side of yours and you can have babs by the side of you feeding all night and you barely have to open your eyes. 3 hours between feeds is pretty good and perfectly normal btw. xx

Lyns22 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:40:42

Thanks for all the responses girls, think ill just have to suck it up and keep with the bf'ing!
Really dont want to start co sleeping as I would be a nervous wreck about lying on baby on my sleep.
Go bf!! i can sleep next year hehe xx

Iggly Mon 31-Dec-12 13:44:41

There's nothing wrong with a boob=sleep association as such because it works. For a reason. Then as baby gets older, you give them a chance to fall asleep after a feed and work to self settling.

Formula on average might give you am extra hour. The other thing about FF is people tend to use more of a feeding schedule/routine which might encourage longer night stretches. I'm sure I've read that somewhere.

I do know of mums who EBF whose babies slept through earlyb- as early as 10 weeks shock

emsyj Mon 31-Dec-12 13:47:52

I think you have to be a bit careful with this one as night time is when your body makes its orders for how much milk to make the next day. You can get more info probably by posting on the Breast & Bottle Feeding board, and I am not a trained expert, but this is what I have read. It also bears out my personal experience which was that, as soon as I night weaned my DD (albeit she was much older than 3 months and was also on solids, so not exclusively taking milk by then) my supply pretty much dried up within about 3 days.

I am currently expecting DC2 and am exhausted at the mere prospect of the sleepless nights that will be starting in a few weeks' time (all being well). It's a really tough time!!! I do plan to offer an expressed bottle every day in the evening this time to try and get a bit of a break and a hot bath/dinner whilst DH takes over for a short while, and after the first couple of months I will think about giving a bottle of formula at bedtime - but I am wary of replacing all night feeds with expressed or formula simply because of the supply issue.

If you want to consider a bedtime bottle of formula, do post again on the feeding board for some proper advice - there are lots of posters on there who have real life training and expertise and can give you information and links to further reading about this before you decide what to do.

GEM33 Mon 31-Dec-12 13:55:18

hey lyns, i agree with emsyj, the breast and bottle feeding topic is a good place to get more advice if you like.
You can safely co sleep if you dont drink or smoke and follow a safe co sleeping guide. H/v dont really talk about it but ask for a leaflet on safe co sleeping. I reckon its one of the survival tools of breast feeding!!

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