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Friend wants to bf all day, give formula at night - comments?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Hello!
I am very new to this posting stuff, but a recent conversation with a friend has me hoping that all of the mdc experts will be able to share experiences/comments. I have never used formula (dd is 6 months now) so I can't offer her any words of experienced wisdom. Maybe you can!
My friend's baby boy is due to arrive in about 2 months. She is planning to bf except at bedtime, when she plans to use formula to hopefully get a longer stretch of sleep from her little one. I tend to be a little over-opinionated, so I didn't offer much of a response, but it seemed to me that there may be several good reasons not to do that! Not just that formula is yucky. Or maybe this is a good strategy that actually works. What do you think? I was blessed that my little angel slept for 6 hour stretches at 6 weeks old, and I didn't really care if I was sleep deprived anyway (I just figured all moms are!). Comments please!
post #2 of 46
I breastfeed during the day and my dd gets a bottle of formula at bedtime. but that is only because i have severe PPD and it was drs orders so that i get sleep. if i had had my way she would be exclusively breastfed but it's a long story and now she is mostly breastfed, she gets max 2 bottles of formula a day but i try to keep it to only one if i can help it. it did help my dd sleep through the night at first but now she wakes up at least once during the night. so there is no gaurentee that the baby will sleep better. i would suggest first trying to breastfeed exclusively and then see what happens.

-gwerydd

: : :
post #3 of 46
This will wreck havoc on her supply.
post #4 of 46
Just to clarify, she wants to use formula at night because formula will help baby sleep longer? Is that what you're saying?

If that's the case (and even if it's not), tell her to consider this: formula-fed babies sleep longer and eat less frequently because formula is much harder to digest than breastmilk. This means that each time she gives formula, the baby will be skipping a meal that he normally would be waking up for. (In other words, he may sleep 4 hours on formula, where he would be only sleeping 2 hours on breastmilk... so he's missing that second feeding in there.) Which means that he won't be getting as many calories and nutrients as his body really needs. Which means that in order to give herself more sleep, she's going to be depriving the baby of a feeding or two that his body would naturally need. Also, if she gives formula at night and doesn't at least pump, she's likely to sabotage her milk supply and if she's not careful, she'll end up going formula all the way unless she nips it in the bud and corrects the problem by foregoing all bottles.

Babies wake up frequently because that's how their bodies are designed. It's natural, and it's important to respect their natural rhythms. If your baby sleeps longer naturally, then yay, but if he doesn't, it's not something that needs to be "corrected"... he will sleep longer when his body is ready, and when he no longer needs to eat that frequently.

Google "formula risks" and check kellymom.com for facts about formula. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- for moms who truly can't nurse, formula's a great invention, but if there's breastmilk to be had, formula should be avoided at all costs.

ETA: Also, giving a bottle frequently, especially in the first 6 weeks, is a big risk for nipple confusion, which again will likely sabotage the nursing relationship. If she does want to do this, I would recommend at least waiting it out for the first six weeks to avoid nipple preference.
post #5 of 46
Night time nursing is very important for supply building. I did have a friend that supplemented with formula at night, but I don't think that she did it until her supply was well established. She bf'd for a year or so, then did MLW.
I would show her the information on Kelly mom as to how even the introduction of a small amount of formula does effect the development of the digestive system.
post #6 of 46
If I typed out what I think it'd be such a UA violation this thread would get shut down within five minutes.

Let's just say your friend's not too swift.
post #7 of 46
Bottles are a lot of work compared to just putting the baby to the breast, especially in the middle of the night if she was thinking of feeding formula then too. And what if it backfires and gives colicky crying indigestion all night? Also, just one bottle is enough to mess up the developing intestines. And to tax her supply regulation. Also, mention feeding round the clock on demand will stave off fertility (and cycles) return.
post #8 of 46
I personally think it's a bad idea. FF at night will affect her supply, and will likely lead to her ff fulltime within months. I also worry about the baby getting nipple confusion at such an early age. Aside from medical reasons, (such as the pp mention ppd) I think it is very foolish to suppliment at all if you don't HAVE to.
post #9 of 46
Maybe I will get censored for writing this, but I really hate hearing when a parent makes a choice that is detrimental to their child in the interest of getting more sleep. If people aren't willing to miss out on a little sleeping through the night they shouldn't have babies.

The baby doesn't benefit from sleeping longer nor, as was said well by PPs,. does the mama's milk supply.

A caveat--It's true that in some specific cases, like a PP mentioned, there may be medical reasons for the choice.
post #10 of 46
tell her to PLEASE look for ingo regarding this. tell her to google everything she can, to go to any LLL meetings or something similar.
she needs to nurse her baby at night, especially the frist months. if she doesnñt her supply will dissapear withing a a few months and she will be formula feeding her baby at 4-5 months with any luck.
tell her her baby is designed to wake up at night for her survival, the baby needs to feed many times, as many times as she asks, becasue it´s her way of surviving. tell her not to jump imto conclusions too early, and tell her that if she sleeps with her baby right beside her, she will not miss a nights sleep ever!
i 6months later she´s tired and want to formula feed her baby at night, it is her desicion, but the ost important part of her babys life she will have given her the best thing in the world, her milk and her comfort during the night. it makes me sad that mothers jump to doing things out of ignorance. we can´t hink bad about her, or say that she is egoistic. she´s not a mother yet! once she sees her baby (and has al the info she needs), she will make the right desicion.
post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by cricketsmomma View Post
Hello!
I am very new to this posting stuff, but a recent conversation with a friend has me hoping that all of the mdc experts will be able to share experiences/comments. I have never used formula (dd is 6 months now) so I can't offer her any words of experienced wisdom. Maybe you can!
My friend's baby boy is due to arrive in about 2 months. She is planning to bf except at bedtime, when she plans to use formula to hopefully get a longer stretch of sleep from her little one. I tend to be a little over-opinionated, so I didn't offer much of a response, but it seemed to me that there may be several good reasons not to do that! Not just that formula is yucky. Or maybe this is a good strategy that actually works. What do you think? I was blessed that my little angel slept for 6 hour stretches at 6 weeks old, and I didn't really care if I was sleep deprived anyway (I just figured all moms are!). Comments please!
I don't see how it would work with a newborn because you'd have to get up to pump during the missed feeding if the baby doesn't get up, so getting baby sleeping longer doesn't help the mom any. If she just sleeps through it in the early weeks or even months she will cause immediate problems with engorgement and plugged ducts, and cause long term problems with milk supply. It's just not a good idea in the early weeks (or ever IMO, but putting my opinion aside and just talking about the practical application, it wouldn't work becaus that's just not how milk supply works).
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by torio View Post
Maybe I will get censored for writing this, but I really hate hearing when a parent makes a choice that is detrimental to their child in the interest of getting more sleep. If people aren't willing to miss out on a little sleeping through the night they shouldn't have babies.

The baby doesn't benefit from sleeping longer nor, as was said well by PPs,. does the mama's milk supply.

A caveat--It's true that in some specific cases, like a PP mentioned, there may be medical reasons for the choice.
Ditto on all counts. If the mother's health will seriously suffer, then it may be in everyone's best interest to try to find a solution that may not be optimal under different circumstances. The previous poster is an example of that. But if it's for convenience, or "I just need my sleep or else I'm grouchy," then we need to suck it up. Mothers dealt with it for millenia, and there's a reason for that.
post #13 of 46
Maybe you can mention to your friend that you talked to a few of your breastfeeding buddies (us!) and some of us had babies who STTN quite early? My daughter was only on mother's milk in her early months and she slept like a dream from about three weeks on! If formula does seem to help some babies sleep longer, it's because it's hard to digest.
post #14 of 46
Welcome to MDC!

I would not do this for several reasons.

First, unless it's medically necessary, I will not feed my baby formula. Formula is more likely to upset my baby's digestive system and it's inferior food (it is an acceptable and welcome substitute when needed).

Second, there is no guarantee that a bottle of formula will result in more sleep, or that this is desireable at all for a newborn. It's quite possible she won't get any more sleep by feeding formula at night. In fact, she may get a lot less if it upsets her baby's tummy or digestive system.

Third, doing this will vastly decrease her supply. Night nursing does a lot to help keep mom's supply up. If she feeds formula at night, she'll probably end up supplementing during the day, and before you know it, BAM! the baby is FF-only.

Fourth, the baby may refuse the bottle. Or the bottle nipple may cause nipple confusion and result in the baby refusing the breast. Or it may make the baby frustrated that milk comes easier from the bottle and without the need to wait for let-down.

Finally, engorgement. If the baby is nursing through the night, at least once or twice, she shouldn't have much trouble with engorgement. However, if the baby is nursing through the day and getting formula at night, I would expect huge, painful, difficult engorgement. And of course when the engorgement goes away, so does the milk supply. Engorgement is a recognition of oversupply and it will decrease her overall supply, not just her night-time supply.

There are probably more reasons than that not to do it, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. If she wants to breastfeed, she should NOT do this. I can see no benefit to her or the baby that makes doing this worthwhile for the stated goal (i.e., the possibility of her getting a little more sleep) and I can see plenty of detriments to her, the baby, and the BF relationship.

Julia
post #15 of 46
I breastfed my dd and by the time she was 6 weeks old, she STTN, well at least until she was 3.5 months, and then that all stopped

But early STTN is possible with breastfeeding especially with big evening cluster feeds.

However, there is a huge advantage to nighttime nursing which is the increase in prolactin levels which leads to larger supply.

Also, I had to give a few bottles and top ups to dd when she was in SCBU. I hated having to do it and if I was more informed and knowledgeable I would have fought it, but because of those bottles, my dd ended up with severe colic. She would scream all day for most days, with the only time she wasn't crying when she was feeding or sleeping. Not all babies have such reactions to formula, but what if your friends baby is one?
post #16 of 46
It seems like it'd be a lot more work. I'd recommend co-sleeping instead. Rolling over and whipping out a boob and going back to sleep seems a lot easier than getting up, going to the kitchen, fumbling with making a bottle, warming the bottle, making sure the bottle isn't too hot, consoling your baby who's screaming because he/she's hungry and making a bottle takes time, feeding the bottle to the baby, spending a lot of time burping the baby because he/she got air in his/her tummy from the screaming and then from hungrily gulping, and then finally getting yourself destressed from the screaming, etc, so you can get back to sleep.

Maybe I'm crazy, but that doesn't seem like you'd get any more sleep.
post #17 of 46
I forgot how long it takes for the babies gut to get back in shape after one bottle of formula.

Is it 10 days

Edited to add that my newest baby sleep through the night most nights, some night she wakes between 4am and 7am but most of the time she sleep 10-12 hours straight. She been doing that since she was 2 weeks old, shes now 10 weeks

I have a friend whos first was this way also, and another friend whos last child is like this.

She my first to do so. I have had one dd who did 4 hour stretches and that was nice.

You never know what a baby will be like for their routines.
post #18 of 46
Sounds like a pain in the butt to me.

Formula has not been documented to make babies sleep longer anyway. It does take longer to digest but that is because its much harder on their digestive system.
Even if she did use formula at night she's only going to get maybe an hour more of sleep. Those tummies are so tiny!
post #19 of 46
I just don't see the point. She is still going to have to get out of bed, prepare the bottle, heat it, and then feed the kid. Wouldn't it be easier to just nurse the and go back to sleep?

Try to explain to her that a bottle would be more of a PITA than a help.
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagesgirl View Post
If I typed out what I think it'd be such a UA violation this thread would get shut down within five minutes.

Let's just say your friend's not too swift.
ITA. This kind of thinking really annoys me. I know a mom-to-be who says she's going to BF but not from the breast- she'll pump from the start because she has to go back to work and weaning baby from the breast will be too hard... plus she doesn't want to be "tied down" so she'll only do it for a limited amount of time.
Here's a newsflash...
babies and kids equal sleep deprivation and major life changes.
IDK what to tell your friend... but good luck anyway
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