Should I give BF a go for baby?(61 Posts)
DH is really wanting me to do it for the baby. He has outlined the benefits and is keen I BF because he says my only real reason for wanting to not BF is better routine/sleep. He is correct.
To me, these BF studies aren't long term and show no real evidence about development etc. However, I do wonder about mouth and speech development? Midwife is adamant their jaws or something form better with BF.
I want to formula feed. I think (generally), children who are FF sleep better. I know there are rubbish sleepers full stop, but more often than not a baby will sleep better with formula
providing they don't have something like colic etc. I did read a few studies on this. Will try and get the links
I think settling DS might be easier with formula too? BF is all very milk machine maker, on demand 24/7 etc.
I just don't fancy it. Is that selfish of me?
I'm more than happy to give him the colostrum for a few days
You can actually BF on schedule it's just not trendy at the moment. Loads of people will pile in to say it's not advised but if you want to routine and BF it can be done. I managed it.
I would have been no good at being on tap 24/7.
I'd try it if you're feeding for a few days for colostrum anyway and see how it goes but at the end of the day plenty of babies grow up healthy from formula and I don't think we should attach any guilt to it.
I would say give it a bash and see how you feel. Don't decide one way or another and just give it a go. I know plenty of people adamant to bf who ended up ff and those who were definitely not going to bf ended up naturally weaning.
And the sleep thing isn't universal . On average bf mums actually get more sleep at first as they have a soother/hormonal advantage in some respect. Plus easier than doing a bottle etc. Baby just feeds till there full. I did find later on though (6 months plus) it switched over though.
I recommend you give BF a proper go first and if it doesn't work out then you can always switch to formula.
However I have no experience of feeding whatsoever (baby due in 3 weeks), but that's my approach. There are a lot of studies to indicate that BF is better for babies health and bonding with mum, and if nothing else, babies can have more severe wind with FF as they take in more air which you might find more disruptive in the long run.
I would have thought for the first weeks though their sleeping will be rubbish regardless and they'll wake up to feed whenever they are hungry no matter how you feed them - or is it more down to the fact that your DH can do some of the feeding instead of it always being you (in which case you could express)?
I got the impression ff babies sleep a bit better because the formula is really hard to digest. I've done both and found no difference in sleep tbh.
I did find bf miles easier as I didn't have to prep anything and had food with me 24-7, plus he only fed for 20 mins a time.
I really didn't want to BF so made the decision to FF from birth. It's great that your DH is engaged in the process but he's ultimately not the one who will be affected by it. If you really don't want to BF then don't.
There is overwhelming evidence that breastfeeding is better all round. You can choose not to do it, but you can't make the science pretend it is better for your child than breast feeding.
I think you should give it a go. If you can't do it, that's one thing. But to refuse to try seems to me a bit narrow minded and selfish, in an area where you should really be trying to do what is best for your baby.
Maybe start out mix feeding in a routine. Mix feeding is much easier this way as you can replace whole feeds at certain times with formula feeds. EG
7 pm BF (then you go to bed!)
10 pm FF
1 am BF
4 am FF (take this one in turns)
I both ff and bf for the first few months, I found bf at night was a whole lot more conducive to sleep for both of us. That was my personal experience and each baby is different.
To answer your question: Ff babies may sleep better because f is harder to digest so yes that does seem a little selfish of you - given the many other benefits of bf.
Totally your call not your DH's - it's you that has to do it. But I would give BF a shot. Once established it is so much more convenient than bottles, particularly at night, and when you're out and about. I found switching to bottles at 6 months a total PITA (and that was having had a difficult time BF at the start so it wasn't all rosy).
Ultimately though, whichever you decide, the important thing is that the baby is fed. Do what suits you best. Given you can switch to bottles from breast after a while but not the other way round, I'd try BF first.
Feed your baby however you want to, but don't expect it to magically settle/sleep better if it's formula fed.
* to refuse to try seems to me a bit narrow minded and selfish, in an area where you should really be trying to do what is best for your baby*
There's no need to call someone who FF's by choice narrow minded, selfish and without their baby's interests at heart Opinions like that are best kept to yourself and potentially damaging... they add to the guilt some might feel hugely.
I wouldn't ff in the night as that's when your body requires prolactin. This is the stuff that "tells" your body to make milk which can lead to supply issues. Also formula is a larger amount and stretches the baby's stomach meaning they won't feel as full with breast milk and it'll get processed a lot quicker than f, you'll also have bf babies that cluster feed (particularly in the early days) and this doesn't really lend itself to routine unfortunately.
I can remember one of my male colleagues telling me that his only advice to me was to breastfeed because you don't want to be faffing about sterilizing bottles, making formula and waiting for it to cool to the right temp while you have a baby crying with hunger in the middle of the night - he and his wife had done both FF and BF and he said that BF was a lot easier.
Honestly, however you want to feed will ultimately be what's best for both you and baby. Anyone could go on and on about the benefits of breastfeeding, but if YOU don't feel happy with it, then baby will be better off with a mum feeding it how she wants and being happy with that. No one will ever be able to tell how a child was fed when they were a baby, or even when they are a baby unless they're seen being fed!
If that doesn't make any sense it's because my
breastfed on demand 6 month old has been up every 1.5 hours for a week and my brain has turned to mush
IME, formula did make my baby sleep much better. Without a 10pm bottle he'd literally feed all night from 6pm til 3am, with a 10pm bottle he'd usually conk out and sleep for 6 hours or so.
You've nothing to lose from giving it a try so why not wait until baby is here and see how it goes? Some people take to breast feeding relatively easily and you might actually find it easier than all the faffing about with bottles etc. In my experience routine and sleep depend on much more than just mode of feeding and often switching to formula doesn't make much of a difference.
Ultimately of course your DP is entitled to express an opinion but the final decision must be yours
Do give it a go and see how you feel after the first few days. It is important to realise that a newborn wanting to be close to its mother 24/7 is completely normal. Baby has spent 9 months in the confines of your womb, hearing your voice and your heartbeat, when he or she is born it will, naturally, freak out about the big wife world and want to be where it feels safest, with you.
There aren't only health benefits to the baby but numerous benefits to the mother, including a reduced risk of heart disease, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis in later life.
A baby's sleep is completely developmental, they are meant to wake up regularly during the night as a protection against SIDS.
In making your decision it might be useful to have a read about normal newborn behaviour. This is a very helpful article: https://sarahockwell-smith.com/2012/11/04/the-fourth-trimester-aka-why-your-newborn-baby-is-only-happy-in-your-arms/
Of course it is completely your decision to make, not your husband's. His role is to support you, not criticise your parenting choices.
snowgirl1 I'm sure he did, from his nice warm bed and full nights sleep!!
It's up to you. I could not remotely imagine what bfing felt like before I actually did it (the good and the bad).
I am fairly lazy and loved the ability to comfort the babies in seconds by just offering a breast. Those where the day, now they want my bank card.
Your newborn will want you on demand 24/7 whichever way you feed, that's how they're programmed.
If you opt for BF, may I recommend applying pure lanolin to your nipples every day for a month before your baby is born. No-one I know who has done this has ever suffered from cracked nipples.
Personally I found BF easier, especially if the child sleeps in your room or you co-sleep.
I would give it a go. Aside from the health benefits Bf is so much more convenient- sterilising and making up bottles is a PITA. Far easier to pop baby on the boob, especially in the early days when baby is hungry constantly as their tummies are so tiny and they pretty much wee and poo everything out immediately and need filling up again
Bear in mind that BF is much easier than FF when you are out and about and especially if you're staying away from home. You don't need to bring anything except a cover/shawl. BF is also free!
I BF my 5 month old DS and he has been a fantastic sleeper since he was 8 weeks old. My sister FF my 7 month old DN and he is a terrible sleeper.
Although you will have to do all the night feeds if you BF I feel it's probably easier in the night than FF. Baby wakes, lift from crib, place on breast, baby falls to sleep, place back in crib.
Newborns just don't sleep that well however they are fed.
I went into BF with an open mind and found it so straight forward. Some people find it easy, others struggle. You won't know until you try.
IME and from what I've heard from others the second night is the WORST so be prepared for that. They are building up your supply. My DS screamed all night, constantly attached to me. The next day he started feeding two hourly in the day and three hourly at night.
With my DS I found he did make a routine of his own quite early on. He now feeds every 2 hours in the day and wakes once in the night for a 15 minute feed.
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