bottle at bedtime for breastfed baby

(20 Posts)
Katekoom Sat 02-May-15 18:53:45

Dd is 4 months and for the last month has woken almost consistently at 45min intervals with a slightly longer sleep at the beginning of the night. She seems genuinely hungry when she wakes.

I'm proud to be solely breastfeeding but now contemplating giving a bottle of formula at night to fill her tum. Am I doing her a disservice by doing this? Will just be filling her with empty calories when she could be having nutritious booby?

I'm aware that it may not even work, but if it does it could mean a lot more sleep for me and her.


eckythumpenallthat Sat 02-May-15 18:55:43

Tbh it might not make any difference at all and my upset her tummy as it's harder to digest than breast. How about express for a bottle In the night?

Bodicea Sat 02-May-15 18:58:23

Formula might not be as good as breast milk but it is far from "empty calories."
I mixed fed from ten weeks and found it worked for me. If you think it will help you then don't feel guilty about it. She still get plenty of breast milk anyway.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Sat 02-May-15 19:00:40

It may not help her sleep longer, but it might and if you have a partner they can muck in so you can.

It certainly isn't empty calories.

icklekid Sat 02-May-15 19:01:22

Will just be filling her with empty calories when she could be having nutritious booby?

Wow that makes those of us who failed to breastfeed feel good!

MrsBojingles Sat 02-May-15 19:31:43

It might make a difference it might not. I've got friends who formula feed and the baby wakes up 6 times a night, and EBF friends whose babies sleep through the night.

If you want to try it, I'd suggest expressing (& freeze) when you give the formula to keep up your supply. If you want to carry on with a bottle you can then stop expressing later.

quesadillas Sat 02-May-15 19:36:06

It helped when I tried it at 4.5 months. He still woke at night, but the pattern became more regular, which helped. It also meant I could get to bed a bit earlier and DH could do the last feed.

Micah Sat 02-May-15 19:37:07

Just be aware that there's a slim chance she may end up preferring bottles- I know many successfully mix feed but for us a bottle was the beginning of the end, it took about a week of one formula bottle a day until she refused the breast completely.

Not saying it will happen, but if for any reason you'd be upset to stop breastfeeding I wouldn't bother. If you'd be OK with a switch try it.

It is likely to be a 4m growth spurt though. Persevere and it'll be fine in a week or so.

melisma Sun 03-May-15 10:08:30

Also 4 months is a prime time for babies' sleep to go awry-google 4 month sleep regression.

Katekoom Sun 03-May-15 15:00:32

Thanks for all the suggestions and
support. I think I'll try tanking her up on boob first before trying formula.

Icklekid - I didn't mean to offend, I just meant that there are something like 30 more ingredients in breast milk compared to formul, and I'd prefer for her to have that if possible.

Roomba Sun 03-May-15 16:14:51

I tried his tactic with both DCs, and neither would take a bottle at all. Very frustrating, especially with DS1 as I returned to work at 6m with him point blank refusing any drink that wasn't BM. Even expressed milk in a cup... it was a hot summer and I worried he would make himself ill. He just fed all night for a few weeks instead until he realised this was how it was now.

I'm not sure formula will help, if they aren't used to it. It may just keep them up with digestive discomfort - not what you need! 4m is a very common time for sleep to go haywire.

ThursdayLast Sun 03-May-15 16:18:41

No harm in trying bottle of ebf or formula so that you can sleep, even if it doesn't help DD sleep longer!

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-May-15 22:25:47

Starting to formula feed can be a total relief for the mum after months of exclusive BFing (from experience). Freedom!! Even better when they learn how to hold the bottle themselves!

Make sure you read up on how to hold the bottle properly and ensure you burp the baby properly after their bottle (again from experience).

Lostinspace1 Fri 08-May-15 14:20:07

My baby was intolerant to cows milk protein and the formula (we started at 6 weeks with a bottle in the evening on advice of HV due to weight loss) started to give him horrible wind a few months in. We were novices so just thought it was normal.

It annoys me so much that we introduced a bottle as I just wanted to ebf. We stopped as he was rejecting bottle at 5 months. The whole thing was a waste of time and caused my baby distress and discomfort.

Hes 16 months now and I'm still happily BF-ing.

If you go down this path look out for symptoms relating to formula intolerance.

Lottiedoubtie Fri 08-May-15 14:25:40

Empty calories?? That implies there is nothing good in formula - which is patently ridiculous.

Catsahoy Fri 08-May-15 14:28:59

It's normal behaviour for babies to wake every 45 minutes. They then need comfort/fed back to sleep or to calm them down to help them settle. 4 months is still young. My opinion would be stick her on the boob to get her to sleep quickly or persevere with rocking, patting, shushing to teach her that not every waking time is feeding time. I stuck with feed every time and it was exhausting! But, I could never be sure that ds wasnt hungry, I couldn't bear the thought that his wee tummy was empty and he couldn't tell me. I know it doesn't feel like it (honestly, I know it feels like it's all consuming) but it won't last forever. Good luck.

Galvanized Fri 08-May-15 14:32:37

I hope you don't talk about boob/formula in these terms in real life OP or you'll be losing lots of mum-friends! FWIW I exclusively bf didn't even express but I would introduce a bottle once a day next time to give me a break (DH would give bottle). Do it if it works for you and DP but not if it creates more hassle.

Kiwiinkits Thu 14-May-15 00:03:03

It's normal behaviour for babies to wake every 45 minutes.

That is absolute Bollocks, sorry, Catsahoy. That is abnormal and learned behaviour, or some sort of dreadful affliction like colic or allergy.

At four months most babies are sleeping between 8 - 12 hours in a stretch.

PterodactylTeaParty Thu 14-May-15 09:07:43

At four months most babies are sleeping between 8 - 12 hours in a stretch.

hmm where are you getting that figure from?

According to the researchers in baby sleep at the ISIS project at Durham uni ( , great source for info on sleep), "By the time they are 5 months old half of them may have started to sleep for an eight-hour stretch on some nights."

Four-month sleep regression where their sleep goes entirely to pot for weeks is really common. It's a developmental thing, not a medical problem or 'abnormal and learned behaviour'.

Go ahead and try a bottle of formula if you want to give it a shot, OP, but don't invest too much hope in it working - if it's the 4-month regression it's her brain messing with her sleep, not her stomach. If she's been doing this for a month, though, you're hopefully coming to the end of it by now. My DD's lasted about six weeks but the last few weren't anywhere near as bad as the first.

Mrsmumb Thu 14-May-15 13:30:41

I've expressed 6weeks old and my ds is now 4.5mo and has always taken the bottle but not enjoyed it. I have a hen do coming up and wanted to maintain expressing for a bottle every night but I can only just express enough in the morning to do so. Therefore I cant really build up a decent supply for the night out without breaking ds's routine. So we have just started to introduce formula here and there to see how he likes it and so my dh and I feel more about me confident going out.
DS much prefers the formula from the expressed milk as it's warmer and I think less confusing with why does this taste like mummy but isn't mummy (probably nonsense but how I feel).
I don't think it does dc any harm whatsoever having sone formula especially alongside bfeeding as they still get all the benefits of bmilk and we get some of the benefits of formula!smile

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