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

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#1 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

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#2 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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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.

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#3 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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This will wreck havoc on her supply.
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#4 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 05:04 PM
 
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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.
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#5 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 05:14 PM
 
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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.
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#6 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 05:20 PM
 
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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.

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#7 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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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.
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#8 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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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.
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#9 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 05:26 PM
 
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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.
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#10 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 05:47 PM
 
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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.
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#11 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 05:55 PM
 
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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).

Single mom of 2 boys
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#12 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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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.
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#13 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 05:59 PM
 
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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.
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#14 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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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
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#15 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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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?
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#16 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 06:31 PM
 
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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.

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#17 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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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.
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#18 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 06:46 PM
 
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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!

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#19 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 07:27 PM
 
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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.
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#20 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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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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#21 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 10:01 PM
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i think it's a bit unfair to come crashing down on this woman. she really may not have the information she needs to make a fully informed choice. if you don't know much about breastfeeding and supply or about formula truly giving upset tummies (formula is such the norm many people think all babies are sick to their stomachs at night) then of course it would seem like a GREAT idea.

i ended up having to supplament b/c of medications i was on at the time of 1st DS's birth and must tell you when i breastfed at night it was so darn easy i sometimes didn't quite know i'd been "awake" for a feeding as i was topless and babe was in the bed. that was WAY more condusive to my rest than waking up to get a bottle and i even was so lazy as to keep them in a minifridge by the bed!
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#22 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all the responses! Many moms are better than one. I will share all of your comments (yes, even the grouchy ones!) Oh, one thing, can someone please tell me what SCBU means? I'm new

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#23 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 11:38 PM
 
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Just adding my 2 cents....
Formula to make a baby sleep longer is a myth. And Yes, harder on digestive system, they're much gassier on formula.
Breastmilk is like gold; I never wasted a drop! I had supply issues when my son was 4 mo old. I broke down in tears when he had to have a bottle of formula because I couldn't produce that extra feeding that he needed. The friend might change her mind when the baby actually comes... things are always different after birth.
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#24 of 46 Old 07-31-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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Oh, one thing, can someone please tell me what SCBU means? I'm new
SCBU = Special Care Baby Unit
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#25 of 46 Old 08-01-2007, 12:43 AM
 
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned, but is really important, is "sleeping through the night" is defined for an infant as FIVE HOURS. She's not, in all likelihood, going to put the baby down at 7, and have her wake up 12 hours later. Or even go to bed at 11 when she does and wake up at 6. Yes, there are the rare babies that do that, but these babies also eat every hour on the hour during the day, My son, at nearly 2, only now goes one 5-hour stretch & one 7-hour stretch. And he nurses in between those 2 stretches! Remind her that feeding at night is what staves off ovulation, and therefore menstruation and fertility. Also, washing nipples is a HUGE pain in the rear, and even if the baby's not in her bed (co-sleeping doesn't work for everyone), it's still a lot less work to nurse than it is to fix a bottle - especially in the first 6 months when it's really important for the water and equipment to be sterilized first.
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#26 of 46 Old 08-01-2007, 02:55 AM
 
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I forgot how long it takes for the babies gut to get back in shape after one bottle of formula.

Is it 10 days
It's six weeks.

The formula will change the mix of bugs living in her baby's intestines from those of a breastfed baby to those of an adult. Part of the benefits of breastfeeding come from that unique mix of bugs that help keep bad things from growing, and make the gut's work very easy.

She will easily be able to see this if you have friends who give formula fairly often - instead of slightly sweet smelly mustardy coloured poo the poo is just like a grown-ups - smelly, hard, full of e.coli. They are also prone to constipation, which an exclusively breastfed baby isn't - that shows you how hard it is on the gut.

On the easy issue. When the baby is six, twelve, twenty weeks old her nightime formula helper is probably going to simply roll over and go back to sleep and it's going to be her who actually needs to get out of bed, go to the kitchen, make up or warm the bottle (with screaming child) and then keep the light on so she can give it to them without getting air bbubbles, etc. As opposed to rolling over, grabbing child and going back to sleep.

How about suggesting to your friend that she exclusively BF for six weeks and then see how she feels?
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#27 of 46 Old 08-01-2007, 05:47 AM
 
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We gave a few supplemental formula bottles in the beginning.

My DS's tummy really didn't react well to formula. He got a LOT of gas. If your friend's baby is anything like mine, she'd be up more often having to burp and calm her baby.

I also don't know whether she realises that bottle feeding is a lot more work than breastfeeding.

F/F at night:
Walk to kitchen
Grab bottle
Fill bottle with formula and/or mix and warm formula
Go back to bed
Sit up to feed DS
Wipe DS's chin every 10 seconds
Finish feeding and burp
Burp again
Go back to kitchen and rinse bottle or put in d/w (old formula REALLY stinks)

B/F at night:
Pop breast in DS's mouth
Relax, feed, bond, listen to happy baby noises
Burp DS
Go back to sleep

Also, DS would often reject the bottle from me because he could smell my milk and want to be with mommy, not the bottle. So it took a lot longer to feed him because of that struggle, too.

That's just my experience with the whole deal. Thank God we are formula-free now.
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#28 of 46 Old 08-01-2007, 10:10 AM
 
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You could also tell her about my cousin who was "lucky" in that her new infant slept 7 hours at night, right from the start. Which she thought was great. Until she ended up hosptialized for a week with SEVERE mastitis. Like on IV antibiotics, fever of 105*F etc. Obviously she is no longer breastfeeding AT ALL.

(And yes, I really wish I'd said something when I heard about the baby sleeping so long, but she's my step-cousin, and I didn't want to come off the wrong way, you know?)

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#29 of 46 Old 08-01-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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I don't have anything new to add - everythings been pretty much covered.

I just can't believe someone would want to FF at night. It is such a PITA, and this coming from first hand experience. It's so much easier for me to whip out my boob to a baby lying next to me, and fall back to sleep while he's nursing. Not to mention, the baby doesn't get hysterical because it doesn't take someone 5-8 minutes to whip out a boob. And when the baby doesn't get hysterical, baby sleeps better thru the night with less to no long wake stretches at night.

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#30 of 46 Old 08-01-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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My baby is BF and has been since day one so I don't have any personal experience...but I do have friends that exclusively FF and also did the BF and FF at night thing. And of the ones that were FF, thier mamas still complained about having to get up every 2-3 hours occasionally 4 hours to feed the baby for the frist couple of months (pretty much my schedule too). I've also heard of BF babies that sleep really well at night...but this is usually after the baby is a few months old at least.

Newborn babies, FF or BF, should NOT be sleeping 7-8 hours at night on a regular basis. (some do I know...but I don't think the majority do)

The simple fact is that for the first few months the kid is gonna be waking up at night. There is no way to avoid it, short of stuffing them with rice cereal...and even then that isn't always a guarantee. That is just how babies work. She MAY get an extra hour or so if she uses formula...or she may still get a baby that wakes up every couple of hours like a BF baby. It really just depends on the baby. Is she willing to risk losing her supply by FF at night over the extra hour she may or may not get at night?
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