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Formula feed before bed.

(23 Posts)
Bubnbutton Sun 27-Dec-20 20:59:13

I have an 11 week old (FTM) and sleep has never changed nor got any better since he was born really.
I’m EBF, however I’ve started to notice my supply dwindle between 8pm- midnight ish which makes it hard for me to put baby down to sleep as I believe he isn’t getting enough food to sleep and wakes up 20 mins later hungry.... when he’s finally asleep he’s usually up every 1.5 hrs after that till 6/7am. I have milk in the night as I’m dripping, dripping in morning/lunchtime it’s just the ‘before bed’ feed I’m struggling to provide so I’m debating formula...(have tried pumping to give him a full bottle before bed so I know he’s had something but physically can’t do this every day for every night)I know formula doesn’t usually help them sleep longer but is this correct? Is he waking more frequently because he is hungry? Or is this normal for his age? I know babies a few weeks younger and their stretches of sleep seem to be longer than my sons have ever been!

I don’t want to give him formula because I’ve done 11 weeks without it and heard it could give him tummy ache, increase SIDS etc and I want to continue EBF but feel I’m letting him down and he’s starving through the night? Any advice or tips would be greatly received and obviously a few extra hours sleep would be great 😉 thanks x

OP’s posts: |
AliceMcK Sun 27-Dec-20 21:08:21

I always mixed fed, each child varied. I personally found formula more filling and baby slept longer. My 2nd who was breastfed more was a nightmare, she’d graze and doze off and as soon as I moved would want more.

Do what feels right for you. I didn’t listen to others but did exactly what was right for us.

Note: if you do give formula and they have reflux or colic afterwards (works with breast fed too), hold baby upright over your shoulder for 20-30 mins for the feed to settle in their tummy, making sure they have been winded. All 3 of mine had bad reflux and colic but I didn’t learn this trick till number 3, it worked amazingly and she slept so much better and hardly any spillages x

Good luck x

Thatwentbadly Sun 27-Dec-20 21:15:51

Your boobs are river not lakes. They can store milk but they also make milk on demand. If output is good, wee, poo and weight then your baby is not starving. He sounds like a normally baby.

You can always try to give formula and see how it goes or if your baby to keep ebf then keep going. If you can safely cosleep then try feeding laying down, it’s a total game changer.

Bubnbutton Sun 27-Dec-20 21:27:04

Thank you! Yes, we’ve dealt with wind before, gripe water usually does the trick for us.

Right now I really want to give him formula but know once I do I’ll be so disappointed in myself. Nothing wrong with it I know, I just really wanted to EBF but may have to accept that my supply just isn’t good enough.

I have some cow and gate in the cupboard just incase this ever happened so if I do get my head round giving him some now can I just give it to him straight? It’s a ready made one so pour into bottle? If he doesn’t drink it all how long is it ok before I have to throw remainder away?

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyHoonMain Sun 27-Dec-20 21:27:20

Waking up every 1.5 hours or more frequently is normal at 11 weeks as it’s about the time of a developmental leap so they need more milk. DS woke up every 30mins for a feed at that age.

The thing with using formula when you want to breastfeed is that it does reduce your supply long term. The milk baby doesn’t drink eventually stops being produced so it’s in your interest, if you want to EBF for as long as possible, to avoid formula in the first 6 months. Google the Kelly Mom’s website - it gives you good quality info on breastfeeding and also clears up misconceptions we have about our supply drying up.

Remember your 8pm feed is draining your breast and that’s why you’re full and dripping later. If that milk doesn’t get drained eventually you won’t be as full later.

Bubnbutton Sun 27-Dec-20 21:29:25

Also - I don’t want to co sleep either. I do think he would sleep better in the bed as he usually sleeps in there for hours if we’re both awake in bed and i think that’s down to warmth but I just do not trust myself should we fall asleep. I know there are safe ways but I just can’t do it 😢 xx

OP’s posts: |
Bubnbutton Sun 27-Dec-20 21:31:42

Thank you, I’ve tried squeezing/massaging and I just can’t get anything out for him. I really feel empty right now hence to him not getting anything...
I feel like giving him a bottle now and by midnight I know I’ll be full again and he’ll get a good big feed then...

OP’s posts: |
TracyTomatoes Sun 27-Dec-20 21:32:02

Look, the formula's not going to kill him. That said DS2 was EBF til about the same age and I understand the conflict in your mind.

We ended up being advised to give small top ups throughout the day totalling 4ozs. After a week or so I started acing the 4ozs and giving it at the end of the day immediately before I went to sleep. By then I knew there was nothing more coming from my boobs, I had tried, and the bottle meant his tummy was full and he was fed before we both went to sleep.

I can't remember at what point I dropped that - but we're still feeding at 2yrs 7m and he has cows milk before he drifts off to sleep. I'm ok with that, I have no regrets or worries.

The thing is you just need to do what works for you, so it's your decision to make. But I wouldn't judge you either way.

Nom19 Sun 27-Dec-20 21:36:32

I am currently EBF my 3rd baby having EBF all 3 for 6months and they have all been completely different. My first was very much like your baby sounds and it didn’t matter what I did it didn’t make a difference to my sleep, this baby is sleeping through the night at 14weeks and I have done nothing differently.

I wouldn’t worry about your milk supply if baby is gaining weight etc how full your breasts feel isn’t a true indicator or how much milk baby is getting and also I think sometimes when your breasts are full there is more ‘watery’ less fatty milk which isn’t as filling but that’s just my experience from pumping etc.

I know how exhausting it is so sometimes you just need to do whatever you can to get by and if formula would mean someone else could give baby a bottle so you could get some extra sleep then that might work for you but I don’t think it will necessarily be a magic solution to make him sleep longer!

Good luck!

GrumpyHoonMain Sun 27-Dec-20 21:36:35

Bubnbutton

Thank you, I’ve tried squeezing/massaging and I just can’t get anything out for him. I really feel empty right now hence to him not getting anything...
I feel like giving him a bottle now and by midnight I know I’ll be full again and he’ll get a good big feed then...

That’s not a sign of low supply though. It’s very normal - I never really expressed much once baby’s tonguetie was fixed and was never (even in the early days when I expressed 100ml per breast every 2 hours) able to hand express. The only sign of good supply is baby gaining weight and pooing and weeing normally. At the end of the day it’s your choice but from what you’ve told us there doesn’t seem to be anything physically wrong with you.

Thatwentbadly Sun 27-Dec-20 21:42:51

I can’t express anymore than a few drops of milk and DD2 was ebf from 6 weeks to 6 months when she started having food too. She is growing well. Expressing is not an indication of how much milk you have. I would say sleeping for 1.5 hours by himself at 11 weeks is the norm.

After 6 weeks your milk supply becomes established and starts to settle down which is why you nolonger get that over full for engorged feeling.

ToastandJammy Sun 27-Dec-20 21:44:58

Give formula. Don't beat yourself up. In a line of primary school kids, you can't tell who was breast fed.

If a bottle of formula means you can relax, sleep etc then absolutely do it.

You won't get this time back. You need to take care of yourself so you can enjoy this time with your precious little one.

lcdododo Sun 27-Dec-20 21:45:50

OP, you need to firstly stop comparing your child to others and secondly stop thinking that a baby waking every 1.5 isn't normal because it is

lockdownpregnancy Sun 27-Dec-20 21:46:54

Please may I ask where you got the theory that formula increases SIDS?

I formula feed my 3 month old and have done so since birth as I have something wrong with my boobs (there is a medical term for it but I can't remember what it is) and I couldn't produce a single drop.
He has been sleeping through the night since around the 9 week mark. I totally believe it's because I can give him a good feed each time and having a full tummy before bed, definitely helps with baby sleeping for longer.
I'm not saying that every baby should be sleeping through, as that's absurd, as every baby is different (I think I'm really lucky tbf!) but a good bedtime feed will help a lot.
Don't feel ashamed to go to formula. I'd also make sure it's warm milk. Bare in mind your breast milk is nice and warm so giving your baby cold milk (if it's the ready made formula) may not go down well with your baby. Mine didn't care if it was cold or warm, but over the last few weeks his preference has changed and will now only have his bottle if it's warm.
If people judge you, then tell them to p!ss off! You do what is best for you, but formula is not the devil. If it helps then do it! 👍🏻

FallenLeavesAreFalling Sun 27-Dec-20 21:49:50

Don't feel guilty about wanting to formula feed, if you want to try it, then you can and you should.

I exclusively fed my first and though he appeared to feed well and was gaining weight etc he was terribly unsettled and miserable. After months of misery we tried formula. I felt so so guilty. But it was the right thing for him and he was so much better for it. Formula was right for him and as a result I felt better too.

With my second I decided I'd exclusively breast feed until I didn't want to, or until it didn't 'work'. I promised myself that I would just not beat myself up about it. Fed him myself for 6 weeks, mixed fed for a year. The pressure was off so it was much better.

Bubnbutton Sun 27-Dec-20 21:56:00

Thank you - I’ve caved and my husband is giving him his first every formula as I could feel his tummy rumbling. I feel sad but happy he’s having something now and suppose he’s still getting good vitamins and nutrients. It will be interesting to see how tonight’s sleep goes. Whether it’s any better or not.
Thanks everyone x

OP’s posts: |
missanony Sun 27-Dec-20 22:00:12

Last feed as a bottle is a win as you can get an early night!

Miljea Sun 27-Dec-20 22:00:23

You sound completely on top of this, OP.

Why not experiment with a bit of formula? You seem very in tune to what your baby needs and wants (not always the same thing! 😉)

But one thing you have to move away from is any sense of 'failure'. I can laugh at the mantra 'All fed, none dead' now mine are 19 and 21 😂; but god, I was a martyr to the breast! What an idiot.

If you feel the formula is reducing DC's bf; and providing the weight gain/poo/wee is on track, you can surmise you maybe need to bf more, formula less; but if the result of some formula is more sleep for both of you, bloody do it!

I wish I had; but I was at least 'lucky' in that where I did all this (MC suburban coastal Australia...) you were 'allowed' to introduce rice at 4 months!!

You sound like you're forging through this FTM thing with sense and perception. You won't always look back and go 'Winning at this!' 😊 but you sound like you're on the right track.

Formula is not the work of the devil; it's a means of feeding a baby.

Miljea Sun 27-Dec-20 22:07:13

And, little 'sadnesses' are part and parcel.

DS is changing, growing. It's quite dynamic.

It'll be a week next Thursday that you're sobbing on WIWIKAU (MN inspired FB for What I Wish I Knew About University) as your strapping son strides out further into that world of change (believe me 😢😊)

Why not take the attitude 'Okaay, what now?'.

Right now, this formula/bf is understandably central to you, but in your mind's eye, try and step back, mentally and see the bigger picture.

I don't think you'll care about at what week you gave formula, or bf less, 2 years from now, let alone 18.

And give it a couple of days before judging the result. It's easy to panic as young baby parenting seems minute-by-minute, when you're in the midst of it.

Bubnbutton Sun 27-Dec-20 22:08:41

@missanony thank you!!!

@Miljea thank you!! I needed to hear that! Xx

OP’s posts: |
Nowisthemonthofmaying Sun 27-Dec-20 22:21:06

Look, if you're really struggling then give some formula - it's not the end of the world. There's no point being brought to your knees from lack of sleep! But please don't get caught up in this idea that you're not giving him enough milk by breastfeeding - if he's producing lots of wet and dirty nappies and putting on weight then he's getting enough! It's totally normal for a baby that age to wake up lots, catnap and suckle all the time in the evenings. They do it for comfort as much as for food. Your milk supply is naturally a bit lower in the evenings - everyone's is- but just because you're not leaking or can't express it doesn't mean it's not enough for your baby. It sounds like you're doing really well so try and chill out a bit and trust your body.

Bubnbutton Sun 27-Dec-20 22:31:36

Thank you - he’s fast asleep now so will be interesting to see how long it lasts tonight x

OP’s posts: |
FizzingWhizzbee123 Mon 28-Dec-20 10:47:03

Exactly what @Nowisthemonthofmaying said. If you want to give a bottle of formula, that’s fine. However everyone’s milk supply dips in the evening, it’s totally normally and why a lot of babies cluster feed. If you’ve got this far with just breast milk, it seems unlikely your supply has suddenly dipped for no reason and you can increase it by offering more feeds. You can try offering feeds more often in the evening to see if baby can tank up a bit before bed? I mixfed my first son from about 6 months and sadly it did nothing to help his sleep. DS2 (currently 9 weeks old) is EBF so far and a better sleeper - although it can be hit and miss, just had a very rough night! I totally get that sleep deprivation is hard, I’m frazzled today. But not all sleep issues are food related. A huge amount of disrupted sleep can be down to brain development, milestones, feeding for comfort etc so don’t be too disappointed if formula isn’t the magic answer. By all means, mix feed if you want to, and there’s no need for the guilt trip, but also remember that baby sleep goes up and down for at least the first year for so many reasons. Good luck. Don’t doubt yourself.

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