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Formula feeding questions

(16 Posts)
happymonkey13 Wed 10-Jun-15 10:28:37

Hi everyone,

I have a 4 month old baby who I’ve been breastfeeding. However, I have to move onto formula completely by the end of the month to go on medication. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve slowly been increasing bottle feeds but I am finding it so such more of a faff and I have hundreds of questions! I was hoping I could pick your brains as I am getting lots of conflicting advice.

1)Is it safe to co-sleep when you are formula feeding? I co-slept with my daughter for 18 months (and breastfed her for 2 years). This time around we got a bednest where he starts off each night but when he wakes up in the middle of the night it is really hard to settle him so he ends up beside me. We do it safely (no pillows, duvet to waist height and wrapped around me, no drinking etc) but I’m sure I read that breastfeeding also makes it safe? Would it be really irresponsible to continue co-sleeping when I move onto formula completely?

2)I loved co-sleeping as I am lazy and it meant that when feeding in the night I barely had to move! How do I ensure I never need to leave my bed when ff? I thought that if I had some sterilised bottles in my bedside table with some ready made bottles then it would be nice and easy but this could get expensive quickly… Any tips?

3)What do you do when out and about? Again, I know the ready made bottles are easy but the cost will add up quickly. Do you make up bottle before you go and keep them cool? But the guidelines now say bottles should be made up fresh each time and thrown out after 2 hours? Or should I carry a thermos of boiled water with me to make them up fresh? But then how do I get them cool in time? Two thermoses – one with cool boiled water and one with freshly boiled water? But then I’ll feel like a packhorse! Help! What did you do?

4)How long do you leave a bottle at room temperature before throwing it out? And if the baby has had a bit of the milk, how long can it be kept for? He is a snacky feeder so tends to have some milk, sit for 10 mins, want a bit more etc and I don’t know if it is bad that I am using the same milk bottle over the course of an hour or so.

5)It seems to be very messy! When he feeds he gets milk all down his chin and neck. Are we doing something wrong or is this normal?!!

Ok, that’s all I can think of at the moment. Thank you so much everyone!

BlueThursday Wed 10-Jun-15 10:43:49

I've not done co sleeping so can't give any answers there sorry but I can give my FF experiences

If you don't want to leave bed then I guess ready made or a perfect prep at your beside is the way to go.
I'm bad in that I make up a few bottles and just whip them out the fridge for DDs morning feed (she drinks cold grin)

Out and about I do tend to take ready to feeds, or if she's due a feed within 3 hours I'll make one up (read take another I pre-made out the fridge)

I don't leave a bottle out in the room more than 2 hours, although if DD is eating and I know she'll finish in 5 minutes I wouldn't just dump the one I have bang on the 2 hours.

Taking a thermos is an option, we did that on holiday when we didn't have a massive amount of ready to feeds with us. Cafes etc were happy to give us cold water to sit the bottles.

BlueThursday Wed 10-Jun-15 10:44:49

Sorry that should read due a Fred in 2 hours DD is grabbing at my phone

fattymcfatfat Wed 10-Jun-15 10:46:16

hi. I have been known to co sleep with both of my ff DCs on occasion. I've never heard about breastfeeding making it safe (but then again I'm not interested in BF personally so I haven't really looked into things like that)

sorry but as you said, pre-ordermade bottles will get expensive. the only thing you can do for night feeds is to make them up before bed and store them in the back of the fridge which would then require you to go and warm a bottle whenever your DS wanted one.
as for out and about, until I was weaning and they had dropped milk feeds I didn't go anywhere that I would be unable to prepare a bottle, or I would buy pre-made.
a bottle is safe for 2 hours before it has to be discarded (I think, please double check this first) you will probably find he will get into his own routine with bottles and you will be able to judge when you can go out without needing to feed, when he will be getting hungry and start making the bottle then, etc. you will get the hang of it
and finally some babies are just dribbly babies. make sure you keep him clean and dry and all will be fine.

fattymcfatfat Wed 10-Jun-15 10:48:46

(excuse typos, and mine would take cold bottles too! )
I also did the make a bottle and take it if I knew they would want feeding before it went bad

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 10-Jun-15 10:49:15

You may well have looked into this in lots of detail already, but just in case. A lot of GPs and even consultants will say you have to stop bfing to take medications without having much knowledge. The BfN have a very knowledgeable drugs information line which has helped quite a few people on previous threads who didn't want to stop but had been told to.

As I said, ignore me if you're already very clear on this point. I've just been amazed on past threads the number of people whose no has turned into yes after more research!

Roseybee10 Wed 10-Jun-15 11:03:19

You would still need to store the pre made bottles in the fridge until use. You couldn't leave it in your room until a feed.

Best bet is to buy a perfect prep as the bottle is ready in two mins at perfect temp. You could either have it at your bedside or nip down and make the bottle then bring it up. Would only take two mins.

I don't feed my dd in our room as she's not a great feeder and would wake hubby but we're in a flat so the living room is only across the hall.

I co slept with dd1 at times and she was ff. k think the only reason they say it's safer with BF is that you're meant to be more in tune with baby and aware of where they are but if you've already BF hen you should be.

You should discard any formula no more than two hours after it's been made. If you're out and about a flask of boiling water is a good bet.

Basically, the science behind it is this.
Formula contains bacteria. In order to kill the bacteria then you have to add boiling water to mix it. (A lot of people seem to think as long as the water has been boiled it can sterilise the formula, even if it's cooled but it's the temperature of the water that kills it). If the bottle is left at room temperature for more than an hour or two then the bacteria starts to breed again.

happymonkey13 Wed 10-Jun-15 11:23:51

Thanks everyone for your advice. I'll have a think about a perfect prep machine for the nightfeeds. Did many of you get one and did you think it was worth it? Though maybe he will drop a nightfeed soon? My daughter was quite the guzzler at night but maybe it will be different this time (wishful thinking!). When did your ff babies stop feeding at night?

Or do you think a cool box with a bottle in it would do overnight? I have this ( from expressing last time around that I could use to keep a bottle cold overnight? Though maybe that's not quite as safe as the back of the fridge.

Thanks Penguin but I did look into whether I could keep breastfeeding but I think it is safer to stop. It is methotrexate which does pass into the milk in small quantities. They don't know for sure if it can harm the baby but as it is a pretty toxic drug I think it is safer to stop. I's feel so guilty if his liver was damaged because of my medication.

happymonkey13 Wed 10-Jun-15 11:26:35

Oh another question... Do people warm milk for the babies just because it is nicer for them or is there another reason? I'm trying to get him used to milk at different temperatures (straight from fridge, room temperature and a bit warm) so that he isn't fussy but maybe I shouldn't be doing that?

happymonkey13 Wed 10-Jun-15 11:26:49

Sorry for all the questions!

lexyloub Wed 10-Jun-15 11:32:03

Invest in a perfect prep machine they are definitely worth the money, either bring it upstairs or nip down to make it it literally takes 2 minutes. You might find your dc will start to sleep through and not need a night feed If they had previously been waking for a comfort breastfeed rather than being hungry. I don't personally co sleep so I can't help you with that im afraid. As for going out if a feeds due within 2 hrs I make it up before I go and sometimes pick up a ready made bottle for easiness. My ds sometimes takes his time during feeds he'll have half then have a 15 min break then carry on as long as the lid is put on during the break

tiggy2610 Wed 10-Jun-15 11:48:00

We use a cool bag and ice packs at night to keep bottles cool, DS is 21 weeks and he's survived thus far wink luckily he only wakes around 5am for a feed but the bottles are still cold at that time. I've also never warmed a bottle since realising he'll take it straight from the fridge.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 10-Jun-15 11:51:05

Just wanted to mention it smile

On warming milk, obviously if making from powder the hot water is a safety thing. If using pre-made or re-heating a pre-made bottle, it's just the baby's preference. If they will take it cold then life is easier!

happymonkey13 Wed 10-Jun-15 18:42:37

Thank you so much everyone!

I warm milk because cold milk turns dd's stomach. I don't know why. I just stand it in a jug if hot water.

Never heard the co sleep thing. I don't know how bf makes sleeping habits safe.

Get a perfect prep. Often on offer on Amazon.
My dd has stopped night feeds from about 2 months old. I don't know why. But I'll often take her downstairs of she does wake as she is a gunter!

Lagoonablue Wed 10-Jun-15 22:21:00

Co sleeping should only really be done if BFing. Something about baby not being in such a deep sleep when BFing and same for the mother.

Google it. Something like that anyway.

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