Author Topic: Change to formula from breastmilk with 16wo... many doubts!!  (Read 278 times)

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Offline SaraMamma

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Change to formula from breastmilk with 16wo... many doubts!!
« on: November 09, 2016, 10:52:33 am »
Hello mums!

I have thought about starting transitioning my baby to formula feeding (he’s used to both breast and bottle) in a few weeks. He’ll be 4 months on the 24th November, and I really would like for him to start feeding at 4 hours (very hard apparently when breastfed) and, more important, I need to find back my identity and have a bit more time for myself.

As bad as it sounds, I wish I could keep going breastfeeding him all the time, but I have compromised with myself, so I’ll keep giving him the first and last feed of the day, but for the rest I’ll try introducing formula…

Has anyone had troubles in doing it???

My concerns are:

-   COLICS! Many people say they are more common when formula fed… What can I do for him to help avoid them? He is already full of gas (expels a lot of it…) I don’t want to worsen the situation.

-   He is very fast with the bottle!! He’ll go through 180ml of breastmilk in 10 minutes (if we pause him…), and we even use the slow release bottle!! Can that cause more problems with formula and bottle feeding all the time?

-   I have NO IDEA of how many ml he needs??!?!?!? He’s almost 4 months (16weeks in a few days), weighs almost 6kg and eats every 3 hours or so, 5 times during the day (7, 10, 1pm. 4pm, 6:30pm top up) plus the dreamfeed at 10:30pm. Nothing throughout the night.
I’m not sure how much breastmilk he gets as I can’t seem to express successfully anymore (even if my breast is full I can’t really get it out properly with the breast pump… My son is much more efficient than the pump could ever be!)

-   I have read on Tracy’s book how to express gradually less in order to get my body used to feed only twice a day… any suggestions or additions to that?

Also, would you suggest I just start one day to swap all the feeds (apart from the 7am and the 6:30pm ones) to formula?

Sorry, many questions, but I’m not really sure how to handle this… :-/

Offline becj86

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Re: Change to formula from breastmilk with 16wo... many doubts!!
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2016, 19:30:54 pm »
Hi :)

I don't have a lot of bottle feeding experience so hopefully someone will be along soon with formula-specific advice for you. Just wanted to say that what your LO is doing in terms of BF is pretty good for his age - most are still having a NF in addition to a DF.

I really would like for him to start feeding at 4 hours (very hard apparently when breastfed)
Your LO may actually do 4hrly feeds fine given what he's currently doing (especially the long period without a feed in the night). You could increase the time between feeds incrementally as you add A time to get to the 4hr EASY and see how you go. Some BF babies don't manage it but plenty do.

How much breastmilk he gets is not equivalent to formula - you feed based on the recommendation on the tin and leaving an ounce or so in the bottle at the end of a feed to ensure he's satisfied - there's a balance to be struck between these two. Hopefully someone can expand on that.

Just mainly wanted to say that about this age, most of the mums in my mothers group were feeling the same way about BF and had stopped or were stopping. By 6 months, they were envious of me and the one other lady who was still BFing because they were finding it a chore to prep bottles for days out, etc. and we didn't have to. Totally understand wanting your identity back but just to let you know that you may actually find that you end up spending more time prepping and feeding with bottles in a few months' time that you spend breastfeeding.

To drop feeds in the most comfortable way for you, I'd drop one at a time if you can to minimise the engorgement. If you're a bite the bullet kind of lady, you can just drop then all and deal with the pain and potential mastitis while your supply decreases in the day - it would really increase the likelihood of colic after the BT feed for those first few days/week if you were to feed in the evening with very engorged breasts as its a bit like drinking from a firehose and babies tend to gulp in a lot of air in that situation.

Offline SaraMamma

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Re: Change to formula from breastmilk with 16wo... many doubts!!
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2016, 01:55:16 am »
Hi, thank you for your reply.  :)

I know, my initial idea was to feed until he turns 6months honestly, but now I feel like I have no time for myself anymore...
He's pretty good I know, not having to wake up at night anymore is great, but he is with his Daddy two days a week (we are together and happy, he just has 2 days off work ;) ) and I take advantage of those days to catch up with a few friends, going to the gym or similar... While breastfeeding though, I still have only a few hours for myself, then I must be back home for the next feed (or to express if Daddy feeds him...) So I feel a bit frustrated at that.
I have no family here in Australia, so I don't have many people who can come and "entertain" me at home... I need to get out by myself every now and then...  ::)

I understand though , I wanna think this through a lot...

As for the reduction of breastfeeding, I'm thinking to follow Tracy's advice and express less and less as the days go. However, in her book she spoke about expressing for 15, 10' and so on... but what about in terms of ml???
The breast pump does not work for me very well atm, so not sure how to handle that part when it'll come...  :-\

Thank you for your suggestions though, I appreciate you taking the time to answer me! :)


Offline becj86

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Re: Change to formula from breastmilk with 16wo... many doubts!!
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2016, 03:08:08 am »
Gosh, I hope you don't think I was judging you for wanting time to yourself or wanting to formula feed during the day. That's the last thing I was trying to do. I was a new mum in a country town with no family around to help either - BTDT. Its hard.

While breastfeeding though, I still have only a few hours for myself, then I must be back home for the next feed (or to express if Daddy feeds him...) So I feel a bit frustrated at that.
Getting that time to yourself is so important for your own mental health. I'm not sure you have to be back in a few hours though, you know, you could try getting LO's dad to feed with formula when you're out. Yes, you may find you get engorged or you may not - I didn't after about 5-6 months of feeding but all our bodies are different.

Something I did when I wanted to have some expressed milk for the odd feed was to express first thing in the morning when my supply was highest (I hand expressed as I found it easier than the pump) then let DS feed - he still got plenty as he was far more efficient than expressing. There are plenty of women who can't express - just how their bodies are.

WRT expressing less and less, if you're wanting to stop feeding at those times, I'd just express minimal for comfort rather than expressing a certain amount per day - the idea is to stop production at that time of day and the way to do that is to send your body the message the full breasts send - plenty of milk here, no more required to be made, thanks. Its a supply and demand feedback system in your body so if you keep expressing, you will keep making milk. If I were in your shoes, I'd feed LO a few bottles of formula or get your partner to while you're out and make sure he'll actually take it before dropping your supply too much.

Hugs xx

Offline SaraMamma

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Re: Change to formula from breastmilk with 16wo... many doubts!!
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 08:57:03 am »
Oh no, I did not think you were judging me, don't worry!  :)

I think I'm simply finding excuses for myself, because on one side I'd like to keep breastfeeding him, but on the other hand I really feel I'm a bit over it... You know, I feel a bit guilty so I need some good excuses ;P

I appreciate your suggestions, thank you!

I'll see how I go I guess... We are also travelling to see my family in Italy for Christmas, so dropping a few feeds now would be the best thing as I'd have more time to actually spend some time with my friends there. However, at the same time the time difference (they are -10h) might cause several problems with my supply... I had problems for 1 week when I went there in September, imagine now if add to the time difference also the decrease in production!

OMG, I'm such a trouble maker!  :-\

Anyway, thank you again for your reply, you've actually helped me... I'm too much of a control freak sometimes, I guess that if I do not express within 1 hour from the feed for once it won't be the end of the world.  ???


Offline becj86

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Re: Change to formula from breastmilk with 16wo... many doubts!!
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 09:14:26 am »
Actually, you might be surprised how much you can vary from 'what should be done' without the world stopping spinning. Honestly, you truly can just do a formula feed here and there without expressing. If you're not doing it too regularly it shouldn't upset your supply much if at all. Christmas is another 1.5 months away and feeds will be different again by then and you might find he reverse cycles if you're not there long. I'd not get too set in your ways when things will be so different in 6 weeks' time with the time difference etc. I think if you can get to a point of knowing he will take a bottle of formula if offered, you can have the flexibility you're looking for and still BF when you want to.