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occasional formula ok for EBF 9MO?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I am going back to school soon and my baby will be about 9 months old when I do.  She is EBF, I recently started pumping so we could introduce her to a bottle so my husband can give her a bottle at nap time when I am gone.  My problem is when I pump I hardly get enough to mix her cereal let alone a fill a bottle.  My question is, would it be ok for my husband to give her formula instead?  It would only be one bottles worth twice a week (if that, because she only needs it at nap time for comfort).  Any experience or knowledge here?

 

***I think I should expand on my original enquiry.  I will only be gone for two hours, twice a week.  My fear is that my husband wont be able to help her to sleep at nap time because she likes to nurse herself to sleep.  That being said, I dont even know if it is worth it to pump for that.  Has anyones husbands had luck putting nap time nursers down for a nap with other methods?  I should note most days this may not even be an issue as a walk in the stroller will put her out as well.  I am just an overthinker, always wanting a back up plan so things run smoothly.  I should note my baby does not like pacifiers (except to use as teethers!).  I am also worried that introducing a bottle could interfere with BF.  She was a NICU baby and it took me three agonizing weeks of pumping and exausting effort to get her off the bottle and onto the breast when she came home from the hospital.  I LOVE BF her and I dont want to jepordize it!!

 

*side note:  I also have alot sad feelings associated with pumping, maybe thats why its not going well now?


Edited by mountain ma - 6/1/13 at 5:05pm
post #2 of 25

At 9 months, if it's only twice a week, I would not give a bottle. I gave bottles (and formula) to my kids when they were babies, so I'm not against them. But it's just not worth it, IMO. If you introduce a bottle, then you'll have to wean her off later on. Too much hassle.

I was back to school and my mom gave ds bottles twice a week when he was 5 mo old, and it was more stressful than comforting for my ds. Especially with formula. The taste is quite different from BM. Ds wouldn't drink it unless he was really hungry.

 

At 9 mo, and if it's for comfort, I would try a pacifier or rocking to sleep. At that age, my dh was much better than me at putting the baby down for a nap; nursing to sleep didn't work for us anymore at that point. So you might be pleasantly surprised.

 

HTH

post #3 of 25

I agree a good bit with the previous poster.  Just b/c the breast is comfort doesn't mean a bottle will be.

 

However, on the pumping note: Just because you can't pump much when you're nursing her full time doesn't mean you won't be able to when you're skipping one of her meals.  When I pump for my guy's cereal, it's tough.  But, when I've gotta pump to replace a feeding I didn't give him, it's much easier - though still takes much longer than the feeding would have.

post #4 of 25
I think the bottle is a good resource for your partner to have, although it might be a struggle to get the baby to take it. Spoon foods, like yogurt, might help him out more.

I would say that pumping at school is tough. I did it, for a fairly demanding school schedule, but finding space was a nightmare, and every moment I could have spent networking with professorsand classmates, I was locked in a closet, pumping. It was terrible for my career, and I'd definitely have gotten more out of my education if I'd gone with formula. With my second, I started having crying jags when I pumped when she was about seven months, so I stopped pumping, sent her to daycare with formula and nursed at home.
post #5 of 25

If you do decide to do the bottle, I would start pumping now after every feeding to build up a supply. You may not get a ton ( an ounce or 2), but at least he'll get the breast milk. Maybe I was lucky. My daughter took the bottle when I had to be out and someone else fed her. She didn't have trouble transitioning, but then again it wasn't a regular thing. She also at about that age would take breast milk out of a sippy. That might work for you too.

post #6 of 25
Formula has it's place. If your baby will take a bottle, then it might be worth it for your DH. You might have to experiment with which formula LO will take. I had bought the organic walmart brand (it was the only organic formula they sold) :-\
Ds hates it! Although he's not real fond of the bottle anyway. Just saying, don't buy the big can right off the bat.
post #7 of 25

Skip the cereal - it's got almost zero nutritional value esp in comparisson to breastmilk - and save what you pump for the bottle so at least the breastmilk at naptime is consistent.  My DD is 18mos and had cereal MAYBE 5x in her life bc my IL's were fanatcis about being able to feed cereal (it was familiar to them whereas breast feeding and self feeding were totally foreign) and I threw it away.  I'd personally rather my kiddos have all the breastmilk they want but then for me DD is also sensitive to dairy so milk-based formula would be out of the question anyways. 

 

Pumping and school/work is not impossible.  You sometimes have to fight to get it done but it works out.  I went back to wrk part time when DD was 6mos and was pumping once a day during my 4 hours at work.  When I mentioned needing a space the 'HR" person initially asked why I couldn't just use the bathroom and I damn near lost it.  They asked around, found an unused office with a locking door, even made me a "do not enter, room in use" sign to hang outside it.  By 9 mos however DD shifted her nursing habits and I was able to skip the pumping at work and just nurse her right before leaving and once I got home, so with drive times it was a 5 hour span and she was fine.  Now at 18mos I can cover the ocassional full day shift when someone is out, still not have to pump and she's fine nursing before and after work, and just has water or ocassionally coconut milk while I'm away.  My FIL watches her at the house and she's used to the routine and doesn't need anything special for naptime other than her thumb and her blankie!

post #8 of 25
You might find lo doesn't need / want to nurse if you're not there. Suggest your husband practises "warm snuggles" where baby can rub against his chest hair if tired. Men also get quite resourceful when they are alone. Not to criticise but at 9 months have h considered solid food? Maybe some avacado or other rich food can be day's job to give
post #9 of 25

Honestly, for two hours twice a week I wouldn't leave formula or pump. When I was working 3 to 4 hours one day a week, I would just nurse immediatly before and after and they were fine. Not in the nb stage, but by 6 months or so. 

 

My almost 11mo is loving the little pouches of food they have out now. They are kinda pricy but she can self-feed with them. You might look into that as something to fill her tummy for the short time you'll be gone.

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

thanks!  I think I need to just let go and let dad figure it out :)  He is amazing and Im sure he would find his own rhythm with her at nap time.  I guess I just cant picture putting her down for a nap without nursing because thats how we have always done it.  I was more concerned with comfort than feeling hungry, because I will nurse before I leave and dad can give her snacks :)

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moving toward View Post

You might find lo doesn't need / want to nurse if you're not there. Suggest your husband practises "warm snuggles" where baby can rub against his chest hair if tired. Men also get quite resourceful when they are alone. Not to criticise but at 9 months have h considered solid food? Maybe some avacado or other rich food can be day's job to give

She has started solids, I see I accidentally wrote that she is EBF, we just started solids a few weeks ago, Im still not used to it!  thanks!

post #12 of 25

I understand how you feel! I went back to work part time when my son was 9 months. Although I never had to leave him for more than 4 hours at a time, I was really worried about how he'd do. Usually, we nursed every two hours.

 

I found pumping breastmilk not to be worth it. He was eating some solids by then, so the babysitter could give him a bit of banana or something and some water or cow's milk in a sippy cup if he was thirsty. He learned sippy cup at about that age, and has never in his life had a bottle.

 

Dad will probably be able to put your son to sleep by rocking or by going for a stroller walk. The bottle is a new thing for your baby, so he probably won't find it particularly comforting.

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain ma View Post
I guess I just cant picture putting her down for a nap without nursing because thats how we have always done it.  I was more concerned with comfort than feeling hungry, because I will nurse before I leave and dad can give her snacks :)

I can totally understand that. I have nursed my DS down for naps and bed for the past 2, nearly 3 years. In the past couple months he's begun falling asleep off the breast, but up until then, with me, he only fell asleep at the breast. For the first two years, I was the only person to ever put him down for a nap or to sleep at night. Never had anyone else try. The first night he ever spent away from me, I was a wreck. Turned out he hardly noticed I was gone until morning. Despite having never done it before in two years, he fell asleep for my friend without a problem, not even a tear. Prior to that, I would occasionally leave him with my friend for 1-3 hours during the day for doctor's appointments (beginning sometime after he started solids). He never napped for her, but she never tried, and I never asked her to. Also, I've never pumped for him and he's never had a bottle. I nursed him before I left him with her, then nursed him again when I came back. He felt secure with her and never got upset over me being gone. Ever. Kind of hurt my feelings sometimes. lol He knows who has the mama milk, and he is all about having it when I'm around. When I'm not around, he gets that it isn't an option and has always been fine with that. DS and my friend have their own rhythm, their own ways to comfort.

 

More than likely, Dad and DD will develop their own ways to comfort during your absense and they'll both be just fine. It may go as smoothly from the beginning as it did with my DS, or it may take some time (my oldest wasn't quite so easygoing), but I bet they'll figure it out. Two hours isn't such a long time, though I know it can seem like eternity.

post #14 of 25
I just wanted to say you seem like a very thoughtful and caring mom. Good luck, it should work out with all of your forethought. What a lucky baby!
post #15 of 25
You're only going two hours? I'd skip the bottle because in three months you'd have to wean off. Leave her with a cup to start playing with and something to eat if she's hungry. Dh can rock, snuggle, stroll etc to get her down. You could pump if you wanted, or just nurse her when you get home. If she were much younger like 4m I'd say to pump for sure, but she's eating now. As long as you nurse her to replace that session your supply shouldn't really drop. You're a good mom.
post #16 of 25
I have a 9 mo old and dd will be left with husband three afternoons starting this week for a little over 2 hours. IMO she will not be hungry during this time. If she acts hungry husband will give her food. I am not considering formula at all. She nurses to sleep as well but outside in baby carrier she will fall asleep as well. For such a short time baby should be fine with dad and a walk outside.
post #17 of 25

I would also have dh feed the baby food while you're away, with water or some watered down juice in a cup or bottle. 

 

The ingredients in conventional infant formula just aren't very good and if you can stick with real foods, it would be healthier.

post #18 of 25

If it's actually the formula you're worried about rather than the breast milk too, just remember - she's started solids so there's things other than breast milk in the mix anyway!! and besides you'll still be there majority of the time offering breast when it's right

I agree with the others that it may not be her preferred way to get to sleep with something other than breast milk.  It may be a little tough for dad initially, but they will find their own groove.  For him it will be a time of remembering that crying is a way of saying "I'm tired and I don't know what to do to get to sleep" and him just being there to offer comfort with cuddles and so on will help them establish a closer bond I think!

Good luck

post #19 of 25

Babies can go a year on breast milk alone! 

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by moving toward View Post

You might find lo doesn't need / want to nurse if you're not there. Suggest your husband practises "warm snuggles" where baby can rub against his chest hair if tired. Men also get quite resourceful when they are alone. Not to criticise but at 9 months have h considered solid food? Maybe some avacado or other rich food can be day's job to give

Babies can go a year on breast milk alone. :)

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