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Thread: Help! Thinking about giving formula, confused, stressed

  1. #1

    Unhappy Help! Thinking about giving formula, confused, stressed

    Hey everyone, looking for some support. Baby girl is 8 months, very healthy 21 lbs - exclusively breastfed, not eating much by way of solids. I work at home so I have been mostly directly nursing her, only pumping to store milk, although she has no problem taking a bottle of breast milk. Lately I have been trying to pump so husband can feed her to sleep at night and nanny can feed her once during the day to give me relief - I can barely pump two feedings worth, leaving me none to store.

    I have to leave her for two days in late September and am worried for two reasons: 1) I'm afraid she will not have enough milk, I don't know how much she drinks? When we bottle feed her she only takes 3-3 1/2 oz? How is this possible? I think she gets more from my breast? 2) Lately she has been nightwaking and feeding a LOT, like hourly? I have no idea what this is about. For months she only woke up once or twice a night to feed? What will she do when I'm gone?

    I've been considering formula 1) to get her used to it in case my husband needs to use it and 2)maybe it will help fill her up so she can sleep better?

    I'm also looking to put her in her crib sometime soon considering she is crawling and I'm afraid of her falling off the bed when I'm not next to her. But I can't even begin to see this as a possibility without figuring out all these night feedings.

    Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Help! Thinking about giving formula, confused, stressed

    When we bottle feed her she only takes 3-3 1/2 oz? How is this possible?
    Each feeding or each day? That is a perfectly normal feeding size for an 8 month old. Anything from 1-4 ounces would be normal intake, although some babies might take more at once at this age.

    How about stop or cut back on the nanny and husband bottles when you are there to nurse, and save what you are able to pump for the trip. You can guesstimate the amount you will need to leave many ways. One rule of thumb is that a baby will drink 1 to 1 and a half ounces per hour of separation-but this estimate is for a 3 month old baby who is living entirely on breastmilk, an 8 month old who is eating any solids may well not need that much, in part because they are eating some solids and in part because an 8 month old is growing so much more slowly than a 3 or 4 month old.

    You can also count up how often your child nurses (include those bottles too) and divide that into what the typical daily intake for a baby is. Again, this is intake for a younger, very rapidly gaining baby living entirely on breastmilk, not an 8 month old, so if anything, it will probably slightly over estimate what your baby will need. Here is an article and a milk calculator: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

    There is zero evidence formula helps a baby sleep "better." Babies sleep the way they do because biology compels them to wake and eat frequently, to nurse to sleep, and to seek closeness with mom (or another trusted adult) frequently. It has nothing to do with what they eat. If your husband and nanny run out of your milk while you are gone, they are capable of going to the store and buying formula. I would suggest be sure they know how to give a bottle properly (paced bottle feeding) to prevent over feeding.

    For the sleep questions, I suggest the book Sweet Sleep and maybe posting your questions in the sleep or lack of it forum. There are many reasons an 8 month old might nurse lots overnight, and this is usually simply a normal sleep variation. Some simple things to try are to nurse more often during the day, and look at sleep arrangements and see if there is anything that might be causing discomfort (too hot or cold, etc.)

    if you want to try to have your child sleep in a crib, that is one option, and if you would like ideas for how to continue to safely share sleep with your child, that is another. When moms have to take trips sometimes they bring a caregiver and baby along with them. If you cannot, be sure to bring your pump so you can pump.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Help! Thinking about giving formula, confused, stressed

    with MaddieB!

    it sounds like the prospect of being separated from your baby for 2 days is causing you a lot of stress- over h ow much milk you're going to need to leave, over sleep arrangements, etc. That's completely normal. A lot of moms just don't feel comfortable being separated from their young babies, which I suppose is Mother Nature's way of keeping the species going! Often it can be helpful to rearrange your life rather than try to "fix" your biology. So, would it be possible for your baby and a caregiver (either dad or nanny) to come with you on your trip?

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