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Infant feeding

Formula - on demand or not?

24 replies

kyaw · 08/01/2006 19:10

Hi, my ds is 7wks old and i'm having to move to formula. I'm really confused about conflicting advice regarding formula feeding. Should this also be on demand these days? Or should I be sticking strictly to the guidelines on the packet? (hv says demand, dr says guidelines?!)

Last time he was weighed (1.5wks ago) he was 8lbs 11. At the moment i'm feeding him approx 4oz (he spews up if more, cries his heart out at less)7-8 in 24 hrs.

Thanks for your help :-)

OP posts:
dandycandyjellybean · 08/01/2006 19:27

I was confused about this too, when I swapped my ds at about 4 weeks. It took me about three weeks to gradually wean him off b/f, a feed every few days, but by the time we were fully f/f (except for first feed on waking), I pretty much followed the guidelines of roughly every four hours, although my ds was hungry for a slightly larger feed each time than the packet recommended. My h/v said this is common in initially b/f babies. Occasionally he would holler a little earlier than four hours, so I wasn't religious about it, but within a couple of weeks it became pretty much routine. At 8 weeks I also started timing his feeding so that his last 'active' bottle of the day came just before bedtime (7pm) and now do a 'dream feed' at ten. Ever since doing that he has slept through until anywhere between four thirty and six thirty. HTH.

Aloha · 08/01/2006 19:31

why do you 'have' to? do you actually want to?

heavenis · 08/01/2006 19:34

When I bottle fed I fed on demand. If you calculatate the amount they have over 24hrs it will usually work out to be the same.
Once they start to drain the bottle regularly increase the feed by an extra oz.
But above all do what you feel comfortable doing.

tribpot · 08/01/2006 19:34

I fed ds on demand, he was quite good at letting me know (a) when he wanted it and (b) how much he wanted. (Although was a champion puker, still is, dear old reflux). It was roughly every 3-4 hours but the formula boxes do state this is just a guideline, bubs will let you know what he needs.

Can't believe your doctor said feed by the clock, is he about 300 years old? (Or related to Gina Ford )

mummytosteven · 08/01/2006 19:35

If you do decide to switch to formula, ignore the packet - lots of babies take more or less than the quantities on the packet. I would demand feed at this age.

QueSerahSerah · 08/01/2006 19:52

PMSL at the aged Dr Ford

I demand-fed formula too. As Tribpot says, the guidelines are just that and your baby will tell you what they need and how often.

kyaw · 08/01/2006 20:07

Hi Cubby........thanks for that ;-)

Hi Aloha....i've had real probs bf and i'm pretty gutted. I tried every medication under the sun to shift thrush in my breasts but with no luck. I had no idea this existed let alone how excruciating it can be.

I also had cracked nipples that never got the chance to heal as a result. These eventually turned into open sores that left me dreading each feed and doing breathing expercises to get through them (joined a bf support group to check positioning and had support from my friend who's a midwife).

This finally got me really down so i've been combining formula and expressed breastmilk to try to let everything heal but i now have mastitis so don't want to pass on the expressed milk at the mo with painkillers/antibiotics in it to ds (hence the question about exclusive formula quantities). Will go back to giving him as much expressed breastmilk as soon as poss when these are finished.

OP posts:
Aloha · 08/01/2006 20:11

oh gosh don't worry about the antbiotics! your milk is fine to give, really it is. finding it hard to post as breastfeeding but i've had mastitis and antbs and didn;t even condsider stopping - the amounts in breastmilk are microscopic.
for thrush - what have you tried? diflucan oral treatment?

kyaw · 08/01/2006 20:14

Thanks all for reassurance about demand feeding :-) Thought i'd have to get the little fella 'hungry baby' formula! Does anybody know why the manufacturers don't give info on the difference to normal formula (or have I missed this?)

OP posts:
Aloha · 08/01/2006 20:16

\link {\thrush info}

Aloha · 08/01/2006 20:17

thrush info

tribpot · 08/01/2006 20:21

kyaw, I wondered about hungry baby formula, couldn't figure out what the hell it was. Eventually after much searching I found some info on the Aptamil website under health professionals' info. I understand there are issues about not 'promoting' formula milk although I'm not sure that deliberately obscuring basic information is that helpful either.

However, to return to the point, I would follow Aloha's advice and give the EBM you have now, fingers crossed you can shift that thrush. It's bad enough in the other parts (if you know what I mean).

Aloha · 08/01/2006 20:31

ah, dh taken baby away! I'm really sorry you've had all these problems. What awful luck. I appreciate how agonizing it is and think you have been pretty heroic to get this far. However, thrush can be fixed and the diflucan (fluconazole) route is the best for thrush right inside the breasts. A lot of gps don't understand that it can be given so it might help to print off that page and take it in. Otherwise you can buy it over the counter but it's very expensive. If you can't face any more of anything I can understand that, I'm really just trying to be helpful.

kyaw · 08/01/2006 20:43

Aloha - Have tried two courses of fluconazole but the thrush seems to have taken hold and won't budge :-( Also treated the nipples with cream and ds with orange flavoured oral treatment. BF councillor and midwife were fab, as well as bf network website info :-)

I had no idea the antibiotic amounts were so small in breastmilk?! Been feeling really guilty about all other medication thrown at the little one in first few weeks of his life so thought he could do without one more! Will get back to giving him what i can :-)

Tribpot - you're right, finding good info about formula milk compared to bf is really difficult.

OP posts:
hercules · 08/01/2006 20:45

what sort of information do you want about formula?

hercules · 08/01/2006 20:45

Brands have websites with helplines.

Aloha · 08/01/2006 20:48

Poor you! Have you looked at the dosages on that link and compared them to what you were given? I think you need a really high loading dose. Lots of sympathy to you. You've certainly had more than your fair share.

kyaw · 08/01/2006 21:03

Will take a look, can't remember off the top of my head. Thanks for the sympathy, it's really appreciated as i've had many a guilt ridden tear about introducing formula :'-(

Hercules - will try the helpline :-) Thought i'd get some independent/firsthand advice from mums first. Just about on-demand feeding with formula really.

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hercules · 08/01/2006 21:04

Remember when they're 18 you cant tell who was formula fed and who was bf!

hunkermunker · 08/01/2006 21:05

Hungry baby milk is casein-based and ordinary infant formula is whey-based. Whey digests faster, casein sits in the stomach longer.

amanada · 08/01/2006 21:15

kyaw, don't feel bad about giving up if you're realy suffering - I lasted 3 1/2 weeks with DS and after 2x mastitis, umpteen antibiotics, the bleeding/sores, compulsory trips to the breastfeeding clinic at the hospital and MW & HV declaring DS as "failing to thrive" ("feed him more often..") I threw in the towel and was sooooo much happier and more importantly - back in control. He took 5oz first bottle, was on hungry baby formula by 3 months (just seems to make them feel more full - no horrid constipation as constantly threatened by HV) and started weaning at 4 months.
Already (19 months old) he doesn't look any different to the other 19 month olds

kyaw · 08/01/2006 21:25

Thanks Amanada :-) Good news about the constipation! Will see how the little fella and I get on ;-)

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heavenis · 08/01/2006 21:29

Don't feel bad about changing to formula. You are doing what is best for your baby and that is having a happy mummy.
Happy Mummy = Happy baby

QueSerahSerah · 08/01/2006 22:08

Its nigh on impossible to get comparative info on the different formulas. The problem with individual company's help lines is you tend to suspect that they will tell you to feed your baby as much of it as possible (given the commercial lead!)

I would avoid hungry baby formulas yet though Kyaw - you don't know if your baby is hungry yet!

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