Need advice about bottlefeeding and preventing gas - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-02-2004, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My MIL is caring for my niece (long story) who is unable to be BF. Both my MIL and I only BF our kids, so even though we have nursed five children between us, we need some help figuring out the best way to feed my niece.

She was born January 6 and spent seven weeks in the hospital (part of the long story - but she is healthy & fine). In the hospital she was feed using those two ounce ready-to-go containers of Similac.

My MIL has tried using the Playtex drop-in nursers with Similac formula made from powder. She seems to get very gassy and uncomfortable during feedings.

Are there any bottles or nipples that you found better than others in preventing gas? Are the Dr. Brown's bottles better? Does ready-made formula do better than powdered? Any advice about burping or better feeding positions for preventing gas?

Also, any advice about preparing bottles and formula would be welcome. How did you organize and clean your bottles and nipples?

Thank you for any advice or suggestions!

Tanya
Mom to John (age 11), James (age 9) & Katherine (age 5)
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Old 03-02-2004, 07:46 PM
 
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My mom recently told me that this was the reason she breastfed me: when she was two years old, her mom got an absessed breast while breastfeeding her younger sister, and the baby had to have formula. (what do you want, it was 1950.) My mom remembers how her grandmother and aunt stressed out about making the bottles, and how hard it seemed to bottle-feed.

I'm also writing with advice, not just a story! I breastfeed and my dh uses bottles to feed ds the milk I express while I'm at work. So it's not 100% the same. I have gotten into a rhythm of washing and boiling the bottles and pump parts, usually early in the morning. I boil them in a pot on the stove because we don't have a microwave or a dishwasher. The easiest would be to use a dishwasher and use the sanicycle. There are also special plastic bags for boiling pump parts and bottles in the microwave. I think you could use them for formula bottles just as well. We use the Avent bottles because the nipples have the reputation of causing the least nipple confusion. My son has never had gas from bottle or breast.

In the olden days, the protocol after nursing or bottle feeding was always to put the baby on your shoulder and pat them on the back. so my dad taught me to do that. With a bfed baby you don't need to burp them, but they like it! I guess with a bottle you should burp them to help prevent gas.

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Old 03-02-2004, 07:50 PM
 
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Moving this to Life with a Babe...

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Old 03-02-2004, 08:10 PM
 
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I'm willing to bet she's allergic to the formula... try something else... i've heard that Carnation GoodStart is a good one... but don't have any first-hand experience. I have a couple of bottle-feeding friends, and i think similac can cause a lot of allergies/gassyness etc...
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:14 PM
 
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I have had two clients whose baby had reflux that used Dr . Brown and thought they helped. Avent is good too.

nak
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:24 PM
 
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We've had very good success with Enfalac from powder. Make sure the ratio of water:formula is correct. Fill bottle with water FIRST then add the powder, otherwise you wont have enough water and babe could have trouble digesting. Sorry, I dont have any advice about bottles. We just used the plain old clear plastic gerber with latex nipples. When feeding, keep her more upright and give her little breaks in between. What I mean is, let her suck for a few minutes then take bottle out for a few seconds. And burp frequently during the feed as well.
I hope this helps!
laura
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice.

I wasn't allowed in the nursery at the hospital (policy only permitted parents & grandparetns) so I am just getting to know my niece. Hopefully I can learn her cues soon.

Tanya
Mom to John (age 11), James (age 9) & Katherine (age 5)
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:17 PM
 
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Is your mom making the bottles as she goes? Is she shaking it to mix it? That creates tons of tiny bubbles that aren't going to squeeze out of that bag. Better to make a small batch, let it settle in the fridge and warm the bottles for feedings.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:19 PM
 
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Huge recommendation: get some simethicone drops. This is a gas-reducer. It goes under the trade name Mylicon, but you can get store-brand simethicone drops for cheaper than the Mylicon brand (like the difference between buying Advil or cheaper store-brand ibuprofen). It costs about $7 for a bottle that will last a month. We used about 3 drops per 2 ounces of formula (not as much as the medicine instructions recommend), but used more if our son was gassier. It really reduces their discomfort.

It made a WORLD of difference for our first son when I had to supplement with formula. It's safe if used in moderation.

Another suggestion: if you're using the powder, make three or four bottles in advance (1 hour or more), using room temperature or warmer water (so the powder dissolves completely), then let them sit in the fridge and the bubbles will settle. When you want to feed the baby, put the bottle in a warm bowl of water to warm (the way you'd warm up breastmilk). This drastically reduces the gas issue as well.
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:34 AM
 
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Like trishshak said, making a batch and putting it in the fridge is a better way to mix the formula. I bottlefeed and found the ds had a hard time digesting Similac when he was younger and was also having problems with the amount of iron that regualr formula contained. He was on Enfamil low iron for a while and is now on Similac Isomil and is doing well.

As for bottle washing, we have those baskets that go on the top rack of the diswasher. So the bottles and nipples and tops all get handwashed with mild soap, and then sterilized in the dishwasher.
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Old 03-03-2004, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the advice - I will pass it on to my MIL also!

Tanya
Mom to John (age 11), James (age 9) & Katherine (age 5)
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Old 03-03-2004, 01:21 PM
 
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Avent bottles are the bomb!

Have you tried a lactose free formula, maybe soy based?

Good luck!
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Old 03-03-2004, 10:35 PM
 
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My daughter was a spitter. We tried the anti-gas drops, but they only seemed to make her worse. She is lactose-intolerant, so switching to soy-based formula helped, but...she kept spitting up all the time. She is still a gassy little thing! Our second (foster) baby was not a spitter. He only spit up once or twice the whole time.

I/we usually washed bottles every night & made formula at the same time. I made about 8-10 a night. We used regular bottles, but we had one avent bottle that was really nice. The wide mouth made it super easy to mix formula.

Good luck! At least bottles are around for only a year!
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Old 03-04-2004, 12:47 AM
 
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i used a homeopathic compound for gassiness i got at the local herbal shop, loved it!! both of my babes had gassiness..... also used Avent with ds as we had some trouble bf and he weaned early, he did great with them...
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:26 PM
 
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Ok it could be a bunch of things:

1) for formula you need to sterlize the water first (even city water). Boil the water and then let it cool off. Make a batch of formula from that.
In the first month, we would make a quart, later, it got to almost a gallon at a time and Goo would finish that before the 48 hours is up. (Formula is only good for 48 hours after being made).

2) I used the playtex liners/bottles and Goo had very few gas problems. However, I have heard that Avent and Dr. Browns are THE BEST to try if she can't take playtex.

3) Check with her doctor about switching to a soy based formula. Sometimes it is an early reaction to the lactose

4)mylicon! These simethicone drops are great!

5) burp more during the feeding. From what I saw with BF, you don't seem to need to burp as often as you do with a bottle. I guess there isn't as much air stuck in the breasts (unless you do jumping jacks before bf?)

For washing and organizing:
We washed all fo the bottles in the dishwasher. We washed all of the nipples by hand in hot water. We also got one of those baskets that go in the top rack of the dishwasher. That will keep the bottle tops from flying all over the place in the dishwasher.

We also cleared out one shelf in the cupboard for her bottle stuff. It works well and today it is filled with sipppy cups.

Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:23 PM
 
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I've had a lot of success with Dr. Browns bottles this time around. Much less gas. I also found out the hard way that little one is violently allergic to cows milk formula so we do soy when I have to supplement.

Hope the baby gets happier soon.

Darshani

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