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Stage two formula?(16 Posts)
For a few weeks now DS (just 5 months) has been waking at 4am ready to play and start his day.
Last night he woke at 2am, had two bottles of formula (one of them 'hungry milk') and then went back to bed at 3am for an hour (!!).
My health visitor's advice was to put him onto stage two milk now.
Having looked at the ingredients, it does not seem that different from hungry milk - similar balance of curds v whey but with more iron.
Has anyone tried stage two formula earlier than 6 months? Is there any benefit to giving it?
Any advice appreciated please!
I don't have any experience of this. Have you tried hungry milk first?
What about having an overhaul of his sleeping and feeding routine throughout the 24 hour period?
If you can feed at 2am and he wakes again at 4am it would actually suggest he's just had enough sleep rather than waking for hunger.
So possibly changing his sleep and feeding times through the day, with a view to getting wake up time nearer a more reasonable 7am, would be something worth trying?
I would love to change his sleep pattern but it's proving tricky. He catnaps (20-40 mins) around twice during the day then goes down around 4.30-5ish and we wake him from this sleep at about 7 (if left he would go through to 1am) and he's back down for the night around 930-10 when he sleeps until 4 or 5.
That late 5pm-7pm will be the culprit for his early wakes. I very much doubt changing the milk your DS is on will change his 4am wake up time until you change around his daytime sleeps.
It sounds like he exhausts himself through the day and 'zonks' when he can't keep going anymore. Could you work on ways to encourage longer sleeps in the morning and afternoon?
Stage 1 is first stage milk suitable from birth to 1 year, Stage 2 is hungry milk, Stage 3 is follow on milk. Stage 3 shouldn't be given before 6 months.
There's little point giving anything other than Stage 1 milk tbh. The extra iron could constipate such a little baby. And Hungry Baby milk isn't any more calorific, it's just harder to digest so you might find that they're still hungry anyway, you're just delaying them getting the calories they need.
I agree that napping until 7pm is your problem re the early waking. But is it a problem? There's nothing wrong at all with a baby needing to wake for a feed at that age. Would it be easier to adjust your expectations and sleep around your baby's routine rather than fiddling about and potentially struggling with forcing the baby to fit with you? Otherwise, you need to think about how you're going to shift the routine round which is probably gentle, trial and error nudging in the right direction at which point the baby changes again and starts a whole new routine.
Bear in mind the developmental spurts at this age can cause lots of night waking too.
Thanks for all the replies and advice - really helpful.
The health visitor meant post-6 month milk - so stage three then, I guess. She recommended this when he was four months but it didn't feel right.
Showy, you're right it's not the end of the world and could be much worse. I do mirror his sleep but starting the day at 4am instead of 5am or 6am isn't making me a better mum and I'm not sure the hour or two difference will be a big deal for him - that was my thinking.
Fate, you confirm my suspicions about the lack of sleep in the day and then the late quality nap. He just went down at 3pm (after massage class) so I could wake him at 4.30?
Of course it's hard to keep a sleepy baby awake for long - may be easier to get an awake baby to snooze more though.
If massage class makes him sleepy - how about giving him a massage at 11am ish. A big long massage at home in a warm room with the curtains closed and quiet background. Then a restful feed when finished. Maybe this would encourage a long lunchtime sleep?
I really don't think follow on milk will make a difference. As far as I know, it has a bit more iron in, that's all.
So she means follow on? Then your HV is shit. The advice she's given contradicts official NHS guidance, which states that if you do use follow on milk it shouldn't ever be before 6 months.
Personally I wouldn't bother even then, though. NHS guidance is that they should ideally stay on 1st stage for 12 months. Follow on milk does contain more iron, but we're born with enough to last at least the first six months so it's just pointless at his age. He will still be using his own stocks. Even after six months, it can be problematic because some babies get constipated due to the iron and it can also reduce appetite. Not what you want when you're introducing solids. We as a species just didn't evolve to be getting the bulk of our iron in milk- there isn't much in breastmilk either. I agree with others that the napping routine is more likely to be the key to this problem, though fixing that is obviously easier said than done!
Yet more helpful advice - many thanks.
I had to trust my instincts and not do as HV suggested and now very glad. This is the same HV who, when I questioned whether DS had silent reflux or colic, told me "could be either so take medication for both".
Thanks for the reassurance about the formula and that is really interesting about staying on stage one. Someone should let Boots Advantage card people know, too!
The nap thing is getting interesting. On MN advice I cut his afternoon nap radically yesterday and he slept through to 6am which was great -such a difference. Hope it's not a fluke!
I have heard that stage 2 milk only exists because the manufacturers aren't allowed to advertise stage 1 milk so as not to put new mums off breastfeeding, really stage 1 milk is absolutely fine for older babies. I don't know if that's a tin hat conspiracy theory, but certainly the ingredients seem very similar except the iron, which they're supposed to be getting more of at 6 months from solids anyway.
Maybe things will improve when he starts solids? That's what I'm telling myself
while banging my head against the wall with my DS at 3am every night.
I meant follow on milk, not hungry milk there.
Agree with Lettice, that's my understanding too. DS stayed on stage 1 til he went onto cow's milk at age 1.
I follow the loose routine of my 5 month old DS getting 4 hours of sleep through the day (so between his get up of around 7am and a bed of around 7-8pm). This can be in 3 chunks, but I try to make the last nap end 2-2.5 hour before bedtime at 7.30. If he wakes a bit earlier or later we go with 7pm or 8pm bed. It sounds like he is treating the 4.30-7 nap as the start of his night sleep so is waking up at 4am having had 10-12 hours. A longer nap ending at 5 then a defined playtime ending with bath and bed routine means he sleeps in his cot until 6-7am (with a couple of feeds, but sleepy night feeda that he doesn't really wake for). It's such a balancing act, but I find without 4 hours of naps spread through the day he's a nightmare, poor little thing! I have to hold him for parts of the naps to extend them beyond 45 mins as well as he often stirs awake if left to his own devices.
Obviously that answer was about the nap thing, not the formula thing I also looked at Hungry milk but when I realised it wasn't more calories just denser I decided against and go with offering feeds as much as possible during the day.
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