Formula at night for breastfed baby?

Sabrina - posted on 07/03/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )

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My son is 6 1/2 months old. He is exclusively breastfed, but also gets cereal, oatmeal, fruit, veggies, and juice. BUT MAINLY BREAST MILK.



I have heard that formula lasts longer. A friend of mine who breastfed her baby gave her baby 1 bottle of formula at night before bed to help her sleep longer and not wake as much in the middle of the night.



I am thinking about giving him formula at night even though he's only breastfed. The only time that he got formula was the first 1-5 days after he was born because he was jaundiced. My worry is that he will like the formula so much that he will reject my breast milk. I am trying to breastfeed him until 1 year.



Any suggestions, opinions, and insights on formula feeding a breastfed baby at night....would be much appreciated.

Thanks

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Jamie - posted on 07/04/2009

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I have a 2 weeks old son and i breastfeed during the day and give him a bottle of formula at night. It does help out a lot because then hes full and doesn't wake up as much to feed again. he still breastfeeds even though he gets formula at night. i do not have any problems getting him to feed during the day. he drinks both.

Danielle - posted on 09/09/2011

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the only true advice I can give you, is to tell you that this is YOUR baby, and you need to do what is best for both you and your child. Someone else's opinion is just that, it's THEIR opinion for THEIR situation. As a nusrse though, I can tell you that yes, formula does tend to last longer in a child's tummy, and you would not be doing him any kind of harm by giving him formula. In fact, formula tastes quite gross and many breastfed infants of your son's age will reject it because breastmilk is so much sweeter. I REALLY doubt giving him formula will make him reject breastmilk, because breastfeeding is so much more than feeding to your little man...

Brenda - posted on 07/07/2009

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I have a 2 month old who is also breastfed however I do have my husband give her 1 bottle of formula before bed. This way she sleeps 6 - 8 hours before she needs to be fed again which lets me get a good nights sleep. My husband also loves it because he gets some bonding time with the baby and we can leave her with my parents while we go to a movie or dinner without worrying that she won't take a bottle. I pump while she is getting her bottle just enough to relieve the pressure until she wakes up and I add it to the formula so it is actually more like 25% breast milk / 75% formula.

If a little formula is going to help you get your sleep then there is no harm in giving it. It will make you a happier Mommy!

[deleted account]

Formula doesn't necessarily "last longer", it's just that because it is not breastmilk it is more difficult for their tummies and guts to digest it. Formula takes more work on their bodies to digest and takes longer to go through their system, whereas breastmilk is digested in like 90 minutes or so . That's why breastfed babies like to nurse more often. It is so easily digested (because it is made perfectly for their little bodies), that is doesn't take much work for their guts. So that's the info on why formula "lasts longer".

Just a warning, when some moms supplement at night, it can cause a decrease in your milk supply. And who's to say your child will sleep better with formula? My son didn't sttn until a few weeks ago and he's 21 months old. I would say, keep breastfeeding at night. It's so much easier. Do you really want to get up, warm a bottle...ect, instead of just giving him your breast? Co-sleeping for the first year was a lifesaver for me during those multiple night wakings.

Whatever you decide, make an informed decision. www.kellymom.com has some excellent info and very helpful message boards for breastfeeding mommies.

[deleted account]

I think breast is best. I remember feeling similar to how u are probably feeling now, "you just want some long uninterrupted periods of sleep" but like some of the other ladies said, it's a phase or stage and it will pass. I co-sleep w/ my babies which in my opinion is so much more convenient. congratulations on making it this far, bf is a huge committment, but the benifits are so worth it. I personally would stay as far away from formula as possible (my opinion, not to offend anyone) i visited www.kellymom.com it is very helpful. another idea is to reae the "no cry sleep solution" it has good tips about teaching or learning good sleep patterns.

Hope that helps and great job!!!! Follow your heart on this one.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

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Naomi - posted on 07/07/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:

Formula doesn't necessarily "last longer", it's just that because it is not breastmilk it is more difficult for their tummies and guts to digest it. Formula takes more work on their bodies to digest and takes longer to go through their system, whereas breastmilk is digested in like 90 minutes or so . That's why breastfed babies like to nurse more often. It is so easily digested (because it is made perfectly for their little bodies), that is doesn't take much work for their guts. So that's the info on why formula "lasts longer".

Just a warning, when some moms supplement at night, it can cause a decrease in your milk supply. And who's to say your child will sleep better with formula? My son didn't sttn until a few weeks ago and he's 21 months old. I would say, keep breastfeeding at night. It's so much easier. Do you really want to get up, warm a bottle...ect, instead of just giving him your breast? Co-sleeping for the first year was a lifesaver for me during those multiple night wakings.

Whatever you decide, make an informed decision. www.kellymom.com has some excellent info and very helpful message boards for breastfeeding mommies.


ditto



http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids...



http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/...

Ruth - posted on 07/07/2009

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There is a lot of excellent advise posted above, everyone and every baby are different. For me, I BF exclusively for 4 weeks then decided to introduce a bottle as we went through hell trying to convince my older daughter to take one! So I expressed for a week to give her a bottle during the day. To be honest, I was shattered between feeding and pumping so I had a good long chat with myself. I felt SO guilty to be honest that I was in tears trying to decide what to do. In the end I gave her a bottle of half formula half breast milk. This worked really well for me and I eventually reduced it down to full formula once a day. I would give this bottle as the 2nd or 3rd feed of the day, she would still nurse now and again at the wrong time but I tried to stick to it.



She then slept from midnight til 6 am every night from 6 weeks. Now, I am really lucky as she is a very easy baby and has never needed much convincing if we changed something in her routine.



Hope this helps and good luck...

[deleted account]

Your baby will do what you want him to, you just have to stick with the plan. I am breastfeeding twins and one of them has gotten a formula bottle at night since about 6 weeks old. We did this when my freezer stash started to wane. We give them bottles at bedtime (one formula, one breastmilk), and I pump two bottles worth to save for the future (and now it is used to mix with cereal.)

The formula fed baby took longer to STTN (like 2 months...he still wouldn't give up the 5 am feed), but he is bigger than my little girl, so he needed more nutrition. One 5 am I just decided to give him the pacifier instead and roll him on his tummy. Now we do this pretty much every morning at around 6 am and he sleeps in until 8 like his sister.

If I have extra breastmilk I give him a breastmilk bottle and he pretty much lasts the same amount of time either way.

So the moral of my story is: the substance doesn't matter as much, but giving a bottle assures you are giving him/her a consistent amount each night. I found that I was too tired to bf for the last feeding and some nights I pump 8 ounces, some nights I pump 12 ounces. So the bottle helps us be consistent (and allows mommy a night out once in a while...)

I do agree with the previous poster who mentioned pumping. If you want to make sure you're matching him try to pump after bedtime. (I wait about 2 hours after their final feed so I'm closest to my bedtime.)

GOOD LUCK!! Do what you need to do. You are the mommy and your gut knows what's best for your fam.

Andrea - posted on 07/05/2009

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I alternated just fine because I had to.. but if you believe your child might become attached to one over the other then don't do it. How ever encourage a sweet deal.. drink grape juice or sweet potato smoothie.. something to make baby go mmmm! and then he will want breast milk still :)

Kylie - posted on 07/05/2009

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I started giving a formula feed before bed at night at 3 months. Although this was more to do with reflux, she has a special formula before bed to prevent it, but I have found she will sleep up to six hrs sometimes rather than 3hrs with the bf. I always make sure I express though to maintain my supply and then I use the expressed milk to mix with cereal etc. At first she did not like the formula and it changes the bowel movements so she seemed to have tummy aches at first, but now she takes whatever is offered. Just do what feels right for you and your bub and the important thing is not to feel bad about it.

Amber - posted on 07/05/2009

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Remember if you don't feed him from the breast then you need to pump or your supply will decrease going so many hours between feedings.

Tricia - posted on 07/04/2009

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I agree with Nicole. If he needs to eat at night, he needs to eat at night. I know it's hard to lose sleep, but it's only a stage. He will grow out of it. And remember, the research says giving formula doesn't actually help babies sleep better. He may even sleep worse if the cow's milk proteins are hurting his tummy.

Nicole - posted on 07/04/2009

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knows what your baby needs at night and any other time too, so I would just go with it.

Nicole - posted on 07/04/2009

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I too concur with Jennifer. Keep up the good work with nursing. Remeber, your son nurses at night because he needs it. It may be vexing for you but the benefits are boundless for him. The formula that you would give him pales in comparison to your milk- breastmilk changes its fat, calorie, and water content based on baby's latch. Can formula do that. NOPE! Especially at night, a baby doesn't need the cowmilk proteins and the constant amount of fat that formula has. Your body

Ariane - posted on 07/04/2009

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I 100% agree with what Jennifer - couldn't have said it better myself :)

Heather - posted on 07/03/2009

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My son is 10 months old, and i do give him a formula bottle before bed. I believe he does sleep better. He was def fuller. I also remember at about 61/2 months he slept through the night. He won't reject your breastmilk. He may not like the formula. My son didnt like the formula at first. I am also trying to breastfeed until he's 1, but cheat with formula at night.

Jessica - posted on 07/03/2009

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Congrats on trying to breastfeed him until he is a year old! That is awesome!

Have you tried a focal feed or tried pumping a feeding him a bottle. My daughter was in bed by 7-730 at night and I woke her to feed her at 10pm. I would usually pump so that I knew she was getting a good amount of milk and not falling asleep at the breast.

I have to admit that I have tried the formula "trick" and I didn't see any improvement. I know that it does take longer for formula to digest then breastmilk, but I just didn't see any sleep stretching. I also thought that cereal right before bed would help..that didn't either.

SOoo if you are comfortable with doing it then try it. As far as your baby boy wanting formula over your breast...I don't see it happening..The breast not only feeds, but comforts so you shouldn't have any problems with that. Good Luck! And do keep in mind that your baby isn't the only one that wakes in the night for a feed...The more research that I do that more I learn that 50% of the time babies do wake through the night and that sleeping through the night for a baby is actually considered 5 straight hours..( Wish I viewed it that way LOL)

For a long time I wondered if my daughter was just waking so she could have the breast to help her back to sleep. Until one night I actually heard her tummy rumble..If felt a bit guilty for trying to hold off on the feedings after that.

Good Luck!

Nathalie - posted on 07/03/2009

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i give my doughter formula before bed, this is no problem. and she sleeps longer with that, i was doing it beacause i didn't sleep anymore, she was drinking at my breast three times at night. now one time at night.

at day she still drinks breastmilk and she preferes it. i don't think that baby's reject breastmilk when they have always had it.

they will eather reject formula.

you have to take care of yourself and get anough sleep,

i was trying to keep giving only breastmilk at night but i was sooooo tired that it was a problem to stay awake at day.

i have did it until two weeks ago, i feel so much better now. she is seven months old and i will try to feed her with breastmilk until she is nine months old, or longer.

greats, nathalie

Nathalie - posted on 07/03/2009

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i give my doughter formula before bed, this is no problem. and she sleeps longer with that, i was doing it beacause i didn't sleep anymore, she was drinking at my breast three times at night. now one time at night.

at day she still drinks breastmilk and she preferes it. i don't think that baby's reject breastmilk when they have always had it.

they will eather reject formula.

you have to take care of yourself and get anough sleep,

i was trying to keep giving only breastmilk at night but i was sooooo tired that it was a problem to stay awake at day.

i have did it until two weeks ago, i feel so much better now. she is seven months old and i will try to feed her with breastmilk until she is nine months old, or longer.

greats, nathalie

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