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Infant feeding

Breast to bottle advise

22 replies

Megs1993 · 14/06/2017 20:46

Hi all,

My three month old is exclusively breastfed, we had a rough start with it as my colostrum didn't come in and it was a nightmare but I stuck with it and went on to love it!

However I'm becoming more and more tempted to switch to formula, over the past few weeks I've felt like she's always on the breast and when I try to express it feels like there's nothing coming out or I'll get 2oz at the most!

I want to do what's best for my little one and although she's gaining weight well and thriving off the milk I don't know if f it's right for her to be on the boob so much and I worry she's struggling to get the amount she needs :(

Has anyone else gone through similar? Or what's the opinion on combination feeding?

OP posts:
AlfaMummy · 14/06/2017 21:00

I've breastfed my daughter, apart from a week or two of topping up with formula at the very start. With regard to FF, have you ever made a bottle of formula? I know it sounds silly, but it takes about 45 mins from start to finish (without using a perfect prep machine due to cleanliness concerns). It's a seriously long time to wait in the middle of the night, although you could always use ready made. I just found FF so much more work than BF. Sterilising, carting around bottles etc. Also, don't underestimate the comfort factor with BF, handy when they get poorly or are teething. If baby is gaining weight then don't worry about them getting enough. To be honest, is stick with it if I were you, I've found it so much easier than formula.

Megs1993 · 14/06/2017 21:05

I admit I would miss the convenience of breastfeeding as it is so quick and easy, but she is sleeping through the night now so I at least wouldn't have to worry about faffing on late at night! My Mam used to have a days worth of bottles made up in the fridge when I was a bairn so I figured I'd do that which might save time :)

OP posts:
InDubiousBattle · 14/06/2017 21:15

When you say she's feeding so much can you give a bit more detail? At this age my dd (who I would consider a champion breast feeder!)fed every two hours from 6 am until 7-8 pm ish when she would more or less take up residence on my lap for two hours on and off the boob. I introduced a ff at bedtime (mine that is)so 10.30 ish at around a month old and mix fed her from then on. Just one feed a day which I switched to 7 pm ish at 6 months or so. Tbh exclusive bf was never for me but mainly bf was very convenient, not having to take a bottle out etc. Would this be something you would ever consider? The choice doesn't have to be ebf or fully ff in my opinion, lots of women I know mix fed.

Megs1993 · 14/06/2017 21:22

If I'm at home all day I'd say she would feed every hour, sometimes less, if I go out though she will sleep in the pram for a few hours. It tends to be on a night when it's more frustrating, the feeding will start about six and be nonstop till 9/10 then she sleeps through the night, HV said it could be cluster feeding but I just worry when LO gets annoyed at boob!

I really love breastfeeding if I'm honest I just hate that you can't see how much they are getting so I think combination feeding could be for me

OP posts:
troodiedoo · 14/06/2017 21:27

My dd is ten weeks and I'm the same, considering combination feeding as it would give me more freedom. But guilt always puts me off. If they are happy on the boob then carry on. If she's gaining then you know she's getting enough.

InDubiousBattle · 14/06/2017 21:28

If you like bf then I'd carry on if I were you tbh. I swore that I wouldn't get frustrated with the whole 'siting under the baby for 3 hours every evening' thing with dd as she'll most likely be my last baby but in fact I did if I'm honest. However we moved the ff from 10.30-11 to 7 at 6 months and dd then started to have a proper bedtime and I got evenings back. For me it was worth keeping up bf despite the frustrating evenings for the convenience the rest of the time! You could always give a small bottle of f once in a while to give yourself abreak? Would that help? If she's gaining weight don't let knowing if she's getting enough affect you - she is!

Orangedaisy · 14/06/2017 21:30

Just because she sleeps through now doesn't mean she will stick to that. Worth factoring into your considerations. DD1 slept through at 3 months (10pm-6am ish) and then it all went to pot and she didn't sleep through again until she was 2 (years).

InDubiousBattle · 14/06/2017 21:35

I also found sleep to be ..not linear! Dd slept through at 3 months then stopped at 6 months or so and introduced another night feed- I just breast fed her for any night feeds.

bobblyorangerug · 14/06/2017 21:38

With regard to FF, have you ever made a bottle of formula? I know it sounds silly, but it takes about 45 mins from start to finish


^^Absolute nonsense.

There are various ways people do it, making 1 fresh each time, making batches and refrigerating then warming up, using ready mixed formula....

Providing bottles are already sterilised and ready to use, making up 1 bottle and getting to the right temperature to drink takes 5/10 minutes max.

Anyway, if you want to continue then do so, or maybe just replace 1 or 2 feeds a day to give yourself a break.

If you have had enough, formula is fine.

Happy mum is just as important as a happy baby!

Killerqueen2244 · 14/06/2017 21:42

I've just started trying my baby on bottles and have to say I'm finding it quite a faff with the sterilisation and the boiling/cooking water, mind you I'm following manufacturers instructions so not sure about the storing of formula in the fridge. It's also a pain cause breastfeeding you can sit and watch tv/phone whereas I find I need to be watching the bottle to make sure there's not too much air being sucked in/positioning of baby.

I don't know whether you really need to know how much your baby's having, your instinct would know if she was still hungry- she probably wouldn't sleep through the night! I reckon enjoy the next couple of months with her breastfeeding then come weaning age start looking at moving to formula.

sauceyorange · 14/06/2017 21:43

Sounds totally normal to me, OP. You're doing a great job by the sounds of it.

InDubiousBattle · 14/06/2017 21:46

Tbh the 'faff' of making up bottles never really bothered me as it was usually only one feed a day so we just made it up fresh at around the right time.

missanony · 14/06/2017 21:47

If you don't want to switch entirely you could try a dummy to eek her out a bit? Or only feed every 3 hours? Hourly sounds a lot to me

AlfaMummy · 14/06/2017 22:32

Bobbly, my saying 45 mins is following the instructions and not storing pre-made bottles, as this is NOT advised. From memory, you have to boil 1 litre of water and let it cool for 30 mins, mix the formula and then let it cool further.


InDubiousBattle · 14/06/2017 22:42

But you don't have to leave it 30 minutes- just no more than 30 minutes or it will have cooled too much. You can also cool the bottle quicker under a cold tap/in iced water etc.

Fisherwoman14 · 14/06/2017 22:43

Sleeping through at 3 months is brilliant! You obviously produce fab milk and give baba lots of comfort when feeding. I wouldn't change it anything if I were you! My little ones definitely fed/feed more when I'm at home, whereas when we're out and about we can stretch out feeds.

AssassinatedBeauty · 15/06/2017 00:02

You know that your baby is getting plenty of milk because she's putting on weight well. That's how you measure it, plus plenty of wet and dirty nappies. How much you can or can't express is no indication of what the baby is getting. Some women can't express anything at all and yet their babies thrive.

The cluster feeding in the evening might well be why she's sleeping a decent chunk at night.

bobblyorangerug · 15/06/2017 01:55

It is nonsense really. It obviously will take that long if you faff around timing how long the kettle has boiled and sit waiting counting down the minutes.

30 minutes is a limit to how long the water is safe to use after boiling, rather than the point at which it must be used.

I don't know of anyone who actually times 30 minutes from the kettle boiling to using the water. Most people surely just use the water within 30 minutes? As the important thing is that it is hot enough to kill any potential bacteria?

You can use hot boiled water soon after the kettle has finished boiling and when the bottle has been made up it can be flash cooled quickly with cold water. It needn't take 45 minutes to make one bottle. It takes me 5-10 from boiling the kettle to putting the bottle to baby's mouth.

There is also ready to use formula that can be poured straight into a bottle and given at room temperature or quickly warmed up. Bottles and cartons have their own storage time limits for keeping in the fridge.

There is also the option of not following official guidelines and making up small batches to keep in the fridge then warm up as and when needed. My MW friend said they can't advise patients to do this as not everyone practices good hygiene. Not everyone is sensible enough to use boiling water, doesn't sterilise adequately, doesn't refrigerate within an appropriate time or use/discard milk within 24 hours etc, however she said when it is done properly it is perfectly safe.

There are plenty of options, and I think putting someone off on the basis that it takes so long isn't really a true reflection.

Formula feeding is a faff compared to breastfeeding, of course it is, there is so much more to do and think about, but in itself it's not terribly time consuming in my experience.

GreenGoblin0 · 15/06/2017 08:53

it sounds like typical evening cluster feeding to me. if as you say her weight gain is good then there's no need to introduce formula if your concern is that she is struggling to get enough milk, as it doesn't sound like she is. you don't need to know how much milk a baby is consuming when bfing as long as baby is happy and thriving that's all that matters.

FartnissEverbeans · 17/06/2017 06:45

Bobbly, my saying 45 mins is following the instructions and not storing pre-made bottles, as this is NOT advised. From memory, you have to boil 1 litre of water and let it cool for 30 mins, mix the formula and then let it cool further.


Yes, complete nonsense, sorry. Easiest way to make up a bottle without perfect prep is to have a Thermos, put in about 10ml of hot water per scoop, shake it up with the powder, top up with cooled boiled water from the fridge. We had to do it for a while when our prep machine broke and it was so easy I almost didn't bother buying another machine.

Do you formula feed yourself? Because I do, and everyone is always saying what a 'faff' it is when actually I've found it pretty easy and convenient and certainly less 'faffy' than cluster feeding a hungry baby for hours at a time.

RedSkySuperStar · 17/06/2017 15:29

We formula feed and find it very easy but to be honest it sounds like you're doing a great job if she's sleeping through! How long has this been going on, could it be a growth spurt? Have a look at the wonder weeks. You could try introducing a lunchtime bottle to see if that helps x

RedSkySuperStar · 17/06/2017 15:30

Oh forgot to say, don't worry about how much you express it isn't an indicator of how much baby is getting at all Smile and if she's gaining weight that's fab

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