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Do breastfed babies sleep better with a bottle of formula at night?

(49 Posts)
ifeellikechickentonight Wed 02-Nov-16 18:50:45

DC1 was combi fed, I desperately wanted to EBF but I basically fucked that up from day 1 which landed her in hospital with severe dehydration and 18% weight loss at 5 days old sad so we mixed fed for 6 months before dropping the boob when she started on food.

Next time around I'd really like toEBF but I can't help but notice purely anecdotally out of the people I know that not one EBF baby sleeps well. My first baby slept like a dream. This could well be coincidence. But I have a niggling feeling it might not be. So we've thought about DH giving a bottle of formula last thing in the evening once BF is established ans me pumping a bit for the freezer to build up our stash and not affect my supply.

Is this a good idea? Maybe there are EBF babies out there who sleep brilliantly, or is my oldest child just a naturally good sleeper and it's coincidence that she slept best when she had a bottle of formula last thing?

(PS, I don't want this to turn into a tedious breast vs bottle debate though so in the nicest possible way I don't want to know if you think formula is evil and I'm the devil's mistress for considering poisoning my precious babe with it, ta v much wink)

Lovewatchingrainfall Wed 02-Nov-16 18:53:36

From experience no. My DD wax bottle fed at night and made no difference but then at 3 she does not sleep well now.

My nephew who is 100% boob also does not sleep well at night so could just be a family thing.

I'm hoping the next one sleeps through.

JenLindleyShitMom Wed 02-Nov-16 18:57:11

I have two DC

Baby 1: EBF until 5 weeks then I introduced a bottle of formula at night and had totally stopped BFi g by 7 weeks. He slept 7pm-7am from 9 weeks old. Like clockwork. He was a dream. Only waking during the night when he was teething.

Baby 2: EBF until 6 months when solids were introduced. BF until 20 months. He's 7 now and still doesn't know how to fucking sleep! grin I co-slept with him as it was easier for feeding and the little imp is still in my bed every night!

If I was to have a 3rd baby I would FF from day 1. Sleep matters!!

JennyOnAPlate Wed 02-Nov-16 18:59:25

My 2 had a bottle of formula before bed from a few weeks old. Dd1 slept a 6 hour stretch at 6 weeks, and dd2 did the same at 10 weeks. I can't say for definite if it was the formula or if they would have been good sleepers regardless though!

FranticalFidget Wed 02-Nov-16 18:59:33

Dd was ebf. Fucking nightmare sleeper, still us in fact and she's three!

Ds is seven months now, also ebf, and he sleeps like a log. Spark out from 7pm every night. One or two dream feeds sometimes.

I really do think it's the luck of the draw grin

Eminybob Wed 02-Nov-16 18:59:53

Well I can only go by my experience and it could have been age rather than purely the difference in milk but my DS only started sleeping through when I introduced formula before bed at 6 months.
Well he got slowly better from that point I should say while I was mix feeding, then fully slept through at about 8 months when I switched completely to formula.

BikeRunSki Wed 02-Nov-16 18:59:58

Formula feeding does not necessarily mean a baby sleeps well. Dd was ff from 3 weeks old and only slept longer than 4 hrs when she was 3 years and 2 weeks old. It then took her another year or so to make it through the night.

OnlyEatsToast Wed 02-Nov-16 19:00:52

No. having had officially the worst sleeping baby in all time I researched this extensively and can say that ff will not make a baby sleep for longer. Sorry! Am afraid there's no magic answer - babies either sleep or they don't! (Until they get old enough to teach to self settle)

ChocChocPorridge Wed 02-Nov-16 19:00:52

I think it's child dependent.

Both my kids EBF.

DS1 nightmare sleeper, didn't stop night feeds until he was 18 months, took an hour to go to sleep still at 3 etc. DS2, sleeping through (as in 10 till 7) from 5 months, and was easy before that too.

Of course now, DS1 goes to bed without a fuss, rolls over and goes to sleep, but DS2 is currently sat beside me protesting that he's not tired (in between yawns)

NotSpartacus Wed 02-Nov-16 19:01:57

My DDs were both ebf for a while. Dd1 slept like a dream from 7 weeks or so but dd2 took about 7 months! Interestingly my milk seemed far better with DD1 (looked very creamy) , while for DD2 it seemed thinner and also couldn't be frozen without turning.
I know people who have introduced formula to get a better nights sleep and found it has had the opposite effect (those cases where formula disagrees with the baby's tummy).

YokoUhOh Wed 02-Nov-16 19:02:09

Breastfed DS1 until he was 2.6, am currently breastfeeding DS2 (5 mo).

I'm convinced that FF babies sleep better and that a bottle before bed would guarantee you more sleep.

However, the reason BF babies wake more at night is that prolactin levels are higher, which means babies suckle at night to boost your supply, so you could see your supply drop.

daisydalrymple Wed 02-Nov-16 19:02:09

I have 3 dcs, age 9,7 and just turned 2. Dc3 is still BF (dairy intolerant and just never managed to drop it). He still wakes a couple of times at night and still won't settle for dh at bedtime / through the night. Both ds and dd were waking once or twice a night till two.

If I was to have a fourth there would definitely be an element of mixed feeding after a few months. A woman at work brought her 7 week old in and was telling us she's already sleeping 8pm-5am. I wanted to weep.

Formula doesn't guarantee a good sleeper. BF doesn't guarantee a bad sleeper. But I would say 90% of the ff babies I've known have slept much better much earlier than the BF babies.

rabbitmummy Wed 02-Nov-16 19:03:08

Not in my experience.
DD 4 months & sleeps 7-7 is EBF.

reallyanotherone Wed 02-Nov-16 19:05:32

Generally, as formula is less easily digested formula fed babies will go longer between feeds.

You have no idea what your baby will be like though and what difference it will make. Fwiw it made nights hell for us - reflux meant because formula stayed in the stomach longer it refluxed easier and for longer, so i had a screaming baby in pain all night. Stuck to bf.

Some babies don't mix feed well. I always say if you really want to bf, don't introduce formula unless you have to. My second took to formula straight away and started refusing the breast, so be prepared mentally.

zzzzz Wed 02-Nov-16 19:09:25

Worked brilliantly for me and dc 2,3,4 and 5.grin.

I would bf for 6 weeks then give a bedtime bottle till past 12 months.

maroda16 Wed 02-Nov-16 19:09:26

I breastfed for 2 months, used formula top ups too especially in the first week or so, did a few weeks of ebf and a few combination and honestly there was no difference in my ds sleeping patterns!! I think they'll sleep whatever way they're going to sleep regardless!! Once they're fed they're fed regardless of the vesselsmilesmile

SquirrelPaws Wed 02-Nov-16 19:11:14

My DD was EBF and slept brilliantly from about 12 weeks. It's luck.

NancyJoan Wed 02-Nov-16 19:17:03

It depends on the baby, tbh. My DD had nothing but breastmilk, slept like a dream. DS was mixed fed once my supply packed up at about 3 months, he was a rubbish sleeper.

Jojobythesea Wed 02-Nov-16 19:22:58

One of mine was breastfed the other bottle fed and both slept really well really soon. I think it just depends on the child. I'd always fed them for ages, winded them for ages (most important bit I reckon sometimes) and then fed a bit more on the pre bedtime feed and seemed to work a treat. And you didn't fuck it up, it just really isn't as easy for some people as it is for others. And, as with me, breast feeding was fab with one and really didn't pan out well with my second. smileflowers

Careycontrary Wed 02-Nov-16 19:23:37

Ime yes. But more to the point you get a longer stretch without feeding because someone else can do it. Which means more sleep.

Rollonbedtime7pm Wed 02-Nov-16 19:25:19

My eldest DD was FF from 6 weeks and slept like shit until she was 3 1/2.

So er, no - I can't see it makes any difference.

doleritedinosaur Wed 02-Nov-16 19:26:51

I breastfed DS & he does sleep through when he wants to.

But I know FF babies who don't sleep, it's a massive mixed bag. It just depends on the baby.

peardroplets Wed 02-Nov-16 19:38:02

I had a terrible ebf sleeper so at nine months I decided to see what the research said about introducing formula as I too heard loads of anecdotes about how it helped sleep.I found research by Swansea uni which found ff babies wake just as much as bf babies it's just they're not fed in the night . Breastfeeding is such a useful tool in getting them back to sleep quickly in the night and I had formula feeding friends who had to deal with hours of screaming and rocking in the night which I never had to do. So that combined with the protective nature of breastfeeding against SIDS convinced me to stick with just boob. She basically started sleeping well at one year old with no change to anything on my part.

I have a friend with nonidentical twins who are both ff. One sleeps the other doesn't. I really think it's mostly genetic -one got the sleeping gene and the other didn't!

Thingvellir Wed 02-Nov-16 20:03:20

2DC, both EBF (1st to 13 months, 2nd to 7 months). Both were excellent sleepers from 6 weeks in.

Sleep patterns depend on the baby so I suggest you ebf if you want, or mixed or ff. sleep is not the determining factor for this decision

IAmAPaleontologist Wed 02-Nov-16 20:08:37

Research shows that while I the early weeks formula fed babies do sleep better than be babies, the be mum's actually get more sleep because it is quicker plus it gives off sleepy hormones. After that what you give your baby, breast milk, formula or solids, has no impact on the average number of night wakings.

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