Hi Ladies, i have no-one else to ask so here goes. My little guy is 16 weeks old and is breast fed. He is growing very fast and i feel he needs more milk in the evening to settle otherwise he spends the evening being really irritable. Is it ok to do the last feed before bed as a formula feed and then the rest of his feeds carry on with breast feeding. Is combination feeding ok, i dont want to mess up his system, hope someone can give me some advice x

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Nicole - posted on 02/01/2009

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Quoting Lorilynne:



Supplementing with formula will affect your supply.  If you want to up your milk supply so your body produces the milk that your son needs, nurse more.  Lots of breastfed babies tend to cluster feed at night before falling asleep.  My son does this right now because he is needing more milk.  He usually eats about 3 or 4 times between 6 and 8pm before falling asleep about 8:30pm.  Once my supply catches up with his demand (usually just takes a couple days) then he stops cluster feeding at night.  How often are you nursing during the day?  If you feed him more frequently during the day, he may not need the cluster feeding at night.  My son is five months old and he eats every 2-3 hours during the day. 






Lorilynne said this SO well!!!  Supplementing will affect your milk supply.  Supplementing can also become a very hard habit to break.  What may start as one formula bottle at bedtime can turn into another and another and so on.  I know it works for some moms, but formula is harder to digest than breastmilk and therefore can stretch a baby's stomach and then it becomes a cycle: you give the baby a bottle of formula because it goes longer between feedings and then at the next feeding it doesn't feel as full as with the harder to digest formula, so you give another and so on.  Eventually you can be formua feeding more than your breastfeeding and your milk supply WILL be low.  And, supplemented babies are more likely to be fed solids too early (before 6 months) and feeding solids too early are now being linked to allergy problems in children. 



I would do as Lorilynne said and increase the amount of feedings per day.  If baby is not fed enough during the day, he will try to compensate for it at night.  If you could spend a day or two, putting the baby to the breast every 30 mins to an hour, your milk supply will increase dramatically in a few days.



Good luck and keep up the hard work!



Nicole, Certified Lactation Counselor

Emily - posted on 02/02/2009

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I would just encourage the cluster feedings in the afternoon and evenings. It will help boost your supply and help baby fill up before bedtime. There's no need to supplement. Your supply is based totally on your babies demand. So if he needs more, he will nurse more and your body will produce more to meet his needs. After he goes to sleep you can try pumping a bit more to stimulate your breasts even more. But the best thing would just be to nurse your son as often as he needs.

Ashley - posted on 02/01/2009

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Are you able to pump extra in the morning after you've finished feeding? If you can pump a little extra when your supply is increased (that's when I get the best pumping done), you can nurse in the evening, then top-off with a few ounces of pumped milk. Maybe that's too much of a hassle, but at least you won't have to worry about messing with your supply and whether or not it'll be hard for your LO to digest. Plus, since it's in a bottle, maybe you can have someone help you out with that last feeding and a bedtime routine so you can get a few minutes to yourself!

Marie - posted on 02/01/2009

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Eventually babies find their own feeding patterns. Alex (8 months old) is up around 8am, feeds, plays for about 20 minutes then nurses back to his morning nap. Up at 11 feeds, plays, cereal, feeds, 3 hour nap, feeds, solid food, plays for about 3 hours, last feeding at 8 to bed at 830-ish, and up at 1130 for his overnight feeding. He'll sleep for a total of about 3-4 hours during the day depending how busy his day has been. It's the pattern that's just "happened" for us. He has been sleeping through the night since he was about 6-8 weeks old.

[deleted account]

Quoting Jackie:



Thank you everyone for your responses. Well against all my principles i tried the formula and it must be a sign because my little fella was having none of it, spat out the first mouthful and then closed his mouth and shook his head and refused anymore, i will stick to breast feeding for the time being. Thank you all for your advice. I do pump milk so i will up the times i pump over the next couple of days and see if that works x





Hi Jackie,



As long as babe is gaining and growing accordingly, do not supplement if you plan on continuing your special nursing relationship!  Babies always nurse more at night (and sometimes will continue waking up 3-4 times a night for months to come!).   You're doing the best thing by nursing your baby without offering formula!  Go mommy!

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Sally - posted on 02/05/2009

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i had no choice but 2 combination feed wen my baby girl was newborn as she wouldnt latch.....worked well 4 us. then wen came home from hosp she drank me dry in eves so i used 2 top her up wiv formula, worked a treat! she doesnt ever need bottle, always breast! u will prob find as ur baby gets older u wont need 2 do this anymore, but if it helps him settle nothin wrong wiv it! do whatever works 4 u and ur baby. like the other mums say tho ur baby may prefer the bottle!

Kathryn - posted on 02/05/2009

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Try taking fenugreek capsules 2-3 times a day. That might help boost your supply. You should also talk to your OB/GYN or midwife to make sure there is nothing else going on effecting your supply. As frustrating as it is as long as your baby is gaining the right amount of weight then he is getting enough milk. It could be he is going through a growth spurt and that's making it hard. If he naps during the day then you can pump one side to supplement your night feeding. When you pump remember to massage your breasts to release all the milk and always let your baby nurse off the pumped breast. One other thing-look into your pump. I had to get larger shields because I was getting nothing out when I pumped and that made a huge difference. It can be very frustrating. Definately talk to your doctor or a midwife with your concerns.

Jackie - posted on 02/05/2009

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I have tried more pumping and feeding but its seems to be making thngs worse.  Now my let downs are letting me down  and its affecting my little guys sleep, he wont sleep unless he is full and it seems by evening there is nothing being produced, its really worrying me

Jackie - posted on 02/05/2009

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I have tried more pumping and feeding but its seems to be making thngs worse.  Now my let downs are letting me down  and its affecting my little guys sleep, he wont sleep unless he is full and it seems by evening there is nothing being produced, its really worrying me

Chantelle - posted on 02/03/2009

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I had the same issue too. In the evenings I used to breastfeed, then top up with a bottle. My doctor recommended it, and it worked great. I did however try get someone else to give him the bottle. That way he would no associate me with the bottle, but the breast. I got an extra few hours of sleep, and a happy baby at night. I also started breastfeeding every two hours during the day to pump up my supply. It seems to have worked, Im back to breast only:)

Sonya - posted on 02/03/2009

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i found my lil one only did this for awhile. I only had a few weeks of an evening bottle, but i would nurse her first, then after her nursing on both sides, if she was still fussy i would offer a bottle of either formula or pumped milk when available. she only did this during her growth spurts for me tho. now that she is on solids she has been completely off bottles again. (still waking at night tho, oh well...)

Marianne - posted on 02/03/2009

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Just let him keep nursing until he is finished...your breasts will make more milk according to his needs. My little boy is just over 2 months and he does the same thing. He's just tanking up for a long sleep. He's a little piggy! You don't need to supplement with formula, he'll be fine with your milk. It just takes patience to wait until he's finally done.

Kathryn - posted on 02/03/2009

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my little one seemed very frustrated in the evenings too as my supply was very low then. he was also eating every 1-2 hours throughout the day and i was exhausted. what has worked for me is to give him a bottle of pumped milk right before bed. I then pump right after-you should always pump when he gets any bottle. he is three months and has slept for up to 7 hours which is wonderful but my breasts woke me up screaming to be pumped. i usually nurse from one side over night and then pump the other side in the morning. pumping at morning and night gives me enough to feed him before bed and some to freeze for when i go back to work. he is going through a growth spurt right now so we are nursing a lot and he started waking up more so i increased his night feeding a bit. this seems to work for me. i don't have an abundant supply and take fenugreek to keep up what i have and drink lots and lots of water.i am very envious of women who have to pump because they have too much milk or babies who eat every 3-4 hours-that is not happening in my house!



i think you can order gripe water or colic calm online. we put it in the night bottle. good luck! and i will probably have to supplement with some formula when i go back to work and that's okay too. you do the best you can.

Jackie - posted on 02/03/2009

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The extra feeding is making his colic worse, any suggestions for what i should eat.  I live in netherlands and i cant find gripe water just tlc

Lynn - posted on 02/01/2009

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this is exactly what I did and it worked out GREAT. I started feeding Charlie a bottle before bed to fill him up, so he slept longer... he slept 8 hrs at 1 mos and hasn't had a problem since. I always supplemented with a little formula and now do 1/2 breast milk / 1/2 formula since I'm back to work FT.  He eats great & sleeps great. Don't fret...  breast feeding is not an 'all or nothing' thing-- its all about what works! 



Good Luck! 



 

Marianne - posted on 02/01/2009

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my little one was not sleeping at all well at night. she has one bowl of baby rice made with breast milk at lunch time every day and now sleeps for between 6 and 8 hours in one go. She likes it more than bottles too.

Aphie - posted on 02/01/2009

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Hey Jackie,
just wanted to let you know that IME cluster-feeding in the afternoons really is totally normal - and now that my bub's 8 months old, it turns into him wanting to be at the breast when his Arsenic Hour hits, which is an easy way to cut back on fussing. I've made some adjustments (preparing dinner earlier so I can just reheat it one-handed, learned to breastfeed and move about) since my partner works in the evenings and that last hpur or two of him wanting feed almost non-stop before bed is actually almost enjoyable now - we have a cuddle and calm down after the day, and he goes off to sleep leaving me feeling nice and relaxed after the endorphin release from breastfeeding. ;o)

Jackie - posted on 02/01/2009

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Thank you everyone for your responses.  Well against all my principles i tried the formula and it must be a sign because my little fella was having none of it, spat out the first mouthful and then closed his mouth and shook his head and refused anymore, i will stick to breast feeding for the time being.  Thank you all for your advice.  I do pump milk so i will up the times i pump over the next couple of days and see if that works x

Lorilynne - posted on 02/01/2009

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Supplementing with formula will affect your supply.  If you want to up your milk supply so your body produces the milk that your son needs, nurse more.  Lots of breastfed babies tend to cluster feed at night before falling asleep.  My son does this right now because he is needing more milk.  He usually eats about 3 or 4 times between 6 and 8pm before falling asleep about 8:30pm.  Once my supply catches up with his demand (usually just takes a couple days) then he stops cluster feeding at night.  How often are you nursing during the day?  If you feed him more frequently during the day, he may not need the cluster feeding at night.  My son is five months old and he eats every 2-3 hours during the day. 

Cynthia - posted on 02/01/2009

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introducing formula is fine. make sure you have your baby fully empty your breasts otherwise your production will drop. so breastfeed first and if he's not getting enough supply a bottle of formula. First try massaging your breasts to have the hind milk drop down, the really fatty milk that can sometimes be slow to move down the milk ducts, massage in a direction from the base of the breast towards the nipple. good luck

Jamilla - posted on 02/01/2009

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I had to suppliment with formula in the evening as well. I needed my little one to finally sleep through the night. Although he did not have a problem with preferring the bottle to me.

Alison - posted on 02/01/2009

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i do this....and feel guilty about it. first formula i tried caused constipation (sma) now use aptimel with no problems....i know they say you shouldnt do it, but it works for us. i give one bottle at ten and baby sleeps till 3(ish) then i have her in my bed were we nurse and sleep till 7!!! If i didnt do this i would be a zombie!! Been doing it a few weeks now and its going well. Im more rested, baby doesnt seem to mind, and i have the energy to play with my very demanding two year old!!

Suzanne - posted on 02/01/2009

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Hi, I am a breatfeeding mother of twins and found the same problem... in the evening they just seemed to not be getting enough...my health centre said it is quite normal for your supply to go down in the evening and suggested I could A) Let them suck on me all evening until my supply went up or B) top them up with formula.....I tried letting them suck but found it too time consuming and I also had an older daughter to look after as well so I decided to top them up. It worked well for me I still gave them their last feed with my breast to keep building up my supply and then topped them up with formula and they only drank as much as they needed and eventually at around 6months, when they started solids they dropped the top up and are now fully breast fed again.......they are currently 10 months old and Im still going. So it's worth a try if you want to continue breastfeeding and in particular for your sanity at night,however I have heard that some babies end up prefering the bottle....Good luck

Jessica - posted on 02/01/2009

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yeah the same thing happened to me...little ratbag decided it was easier to suck from a bottle so he stopped wanting to breastfeed. Hes 4 months old now and he eats rice cereal and puree apple in the mornings and pumkin for dinner

Joanne - posted on 02/01/2009

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I would say yes. My little man was not getting enough and has ended up on full formula, much to my dislike. jJst be careful as they can want the bottle more and more due to the milk flowing quicker and they don't have to work at it. I have introduced vegies to Riley's diet and he is 4 months hoping to fill him up too.

Jessica - posted on 02/01/2009

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Hi, I did this with my little man, and it seemed to work really well. I had the same problem with my little man when he was breast fed it just didnt seem to be enough for him in the afternoons. Good luck

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