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Thread: Weaning and formula use

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Weaning and formula use

    My LO is 10 months old and this week, I am taking an L3 medicine with which nursing is not recommended. I am still nursing her but waiting until 6 hours after taking each dose to nurse to try to minimize the amount that is in my system when she nurses. (This is after talking with the people at Infant Risk regarding my medicine.) Anyways, I have no clue how to replace nursing with formula during the hours that I can't nurse. Is one ounce of breastmilk equal to one ounce of formula? Or does it take more/less formula to equal breastmilk? So far, I have replaced it ounce for ounce. But I noticed that the formula container has instructions for mixing up an 8 ounce bottle. The most breastmilk my LO has ever drank from a bottle in one feeding was 4 ounces. That made me wonder if maybe I am supposed to give more formula than I would breastmilk. I just want to make sure she is getting enough nutrition!

    Also, I only occassionally give my LO a sippy cup of water since she has been EBF and I didn't think it was really necessary. Once she is drinking more formula, is it more necessary for her to drink water? I've heard water is more important for formula-fed babies than for nursing babies.

    I know this a forum about breastfeeding but hopefully someone here can help me figure out how this formula stuff works! I know I am not the first mother to need to replace some nursing sessions with formula. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Weaning and formula use

    Since breastmilk has slightly more calories/oz than formula, it makes sense that you'd need to feed baby a little more formula than breastmilk. However, the key word here is "slightly"- see http://kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/milkcalories/ for a side-by-side comparison- so I don't think you need to start giving 8 oz bottles! I know a lot of formula-feeding moms do give their kids HUGE bottles and I think that is more for convenience, because mom won't have to give another bottle as soon, and also because formula-fed kids get used to consuming the maximum every single time they eat and can end up with tummies that only feel satisfied with the largest possible meal. Since you've nursed your baby for so long, I don't think you're going to need to give her huge bottles. Just try to read her cues- if she seems satisfied with 4-5 oz, she probably got plenty to eat.

    I don't think you absolutely need to give water. AFAIK, water has been recommended for formula-fed babies for 2 reasons: first, because babies who are bottle-fed from birth often overeat and water fills their tummies without adding calories, and second, because formula sometimes causes constipation, and water helps with that. So I'd give water only if your baby is getting stopped up.

    Take all this advice for what it's worth- I only had to use formula for a few weeks with my first baby and I don't know much about formula and older babies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Landof2toddlers, Oregon

    Default Re: Weaning and formula use

    my kiddo never had more than 6oz of formula in a bottle. so i dont think you would need much extra. there are a few moms on here who have had to convert our kids over because of pregnancy and supply loss or some highly unusual and extreme allergies. i had a very hard time with this myself.
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Weaning and formula use

    I supplement, in my house we treat 1oz of formula the same as 1oz of breastmilk. My girls are on a schedule, so if they usually drink a 4oz bottle and I have 2oz of breastmilk, we will add 2oz of formula.

    Consider the time between nursings and estimate 1oz per hour and give that amount in formula. But if you are only going 6hours without nursing, and nursing right before you take the medicine and 6hours later, you should not need 6oz of formula. Maybe 2-3oz.

    I also use powdered formula, which can be mixed in 2oz increments. If the instructions on your formula is for 8oz, make that and then divide into smaller bottles (once well mixed/shaken).
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

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