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Thread: Has anyone had sucess with giving formula to BF baby who doesn't like it?

  1. #1
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    Default How to get 9 mo old to take formula?

    My son has gone on many nursing strikes, fights and beats me up while nursing (nothing new), is biting frequently and won't nurse in the day except before his nap (he used to nap 3 times a day but is on a napping strike as well). He wakes me up every 1-2 hours at night and this will continue unless I start letting him cry more at night. I haven't been refusing nursing at night because he doesn't get enough fluids in the day. I'd like it if he would drink formula in the day because he will start day care in another month. When I give it to him (Nestle Good Start) he makes a face and throws it down and won't drink anymore of it. I tried mixing it with EBM but he does the same thing. I will continue nursing him but I want to start the weaning process and I NEED SLEEP--especially since I am going back to work in May and I'm accident prone--I've had some close calls on the road which scare me. I don't want to pump--tried that and my son doesn't drink much if it is expressed and I'm not a successful pumper. My son just bites the end of the bottle nipples if I give him one. Most people say don't use a bottle at this point but how can I get the recommended amount of fluids in him when he only drinks an ounce at a time from a sippy cup? Has anyone had success getting a baby who doesn't like formula to take it? Any recommended formula, bottles, cups? I tried soy pre-mixed formula and he seemed to like it enough but then I read a lot of scarry stuff about it being equivalent to giving baby birth control pills so I scrapped that. Thanks.
    Last edited by glennysmom; March 28th, 2006 at 01:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Has anyone had sucess with giving formula to BF baby who doesn't like it?

    Hi there. You sound frustrated and understandably so. Have you considered pumping and giving it in a cup?

    Is he sleeping in or near your bed?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Has anyone had sucess with giving formula to BF baby who doesn't like it?

    I know exactly what you are going through. I have a similar story with my 13 month old. She refuses ebm or formula (or water or juice) out of any type of cup/bottle etc. Doesn't nurse much during the day but reverse cycles and feeds lots during the night. I have found the best way to deal with it is to add lots of milk to her breakfast cereal, and offer yoghurts. At least I know she is getting adequate calcium etc. that way. I also keep offering a cup of water in the hope that one day she will drink more than a sip before she throws it across the room .
    She sleeps in her cot at the start of the night, but we co-sleep from about midnight onwards-I find I get lots more sleep that way. She is beginning to sleep a little better now but she is only very tiny ( on the ninth percentile) and doesnt eat brilliantly so I dont really want to night wean yet.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Has anyone had success with giving formula to BF baby who doesn't like it?

    Just an update:
    By continually offering a sippy cup at meals with formula instead of a little water he has started to drink a little--about an ounce. He likes the cheap plastic disposable sippy cups the best. The soft nipple ones he just ends up leaking everywhere and the others are really hard to suck. I don't know how to get him to drink more. He was up most of the night--continuosly from 1 AM till 4 AM. I tried giving him a bottle when he was sleepy but it just wakes him up--he likes to bite it and won't drink from it. I would like to just nurse him morning and before bed and have him weaned once he is a year--he is almost 10 months old. This all night waking (every hour or two) is really wearing me down. I nurse him before his naps (usually 2) and bedtime and throughout the night. Once he is in day care, (starting part-time in 3 weeks and full time in 5 weeks) I won't be able to nurse him before his naps. He doesn't want to nurse in the morning unless I catch him before he wakes up. He usually nurses around 5AM anyway. He will be up all night to nurse or be dehydrated once he starts day care unless I can get him to drink more formula (unless not nursing at night forces him to drink more in the day). How much formula does a 10 month old need to drink? Of course, I don't know how much breastmilk he is consuming. I will try only nursing him before bed, once at night and in the morning and just check on him the rest of the times he cries and tell him to go to sleep. Everyone else in the household is just going to have to put up with the screaming and lack of sleep for better sleep in the future. I so desparately need to get him on a schedule that works for both of us. Any advice or comments are very much appreciated. Thank you.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Has anyone had sucess with giving formula to BF baby who doesn't like it?

    I just finished reading a LLL recommended book called My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Gonzalez, M.D. I would really recommend it for this situation.

    After reading the book about situations like you are describing it seems your son is behaving perfectly normal and does not have a need for supplemental formula at all. Radical I know but if he is nursing at night ( I would recommend co-sleeping so you both get enough rest) then he may not need any extra fluids during the day. Your child is smart and will not take more fluid then he needs so he is fighting your efforts to offer him things his body is not telling him that he needs. He may also be resisting because of allergies.

    Dr. Gonzalez recommends letting a child this age self feed, you offer appropriate meals and snacks at regular time and allow the child to choose how much he needs to eat and continue to offer the breast on demand. No tricks or games to make him eat more. Trust the baby to take what he needs.

    When you go to work he will adjust, he will get some of his fluids from the foods he eats or his sippy cup and the rest he will get from the breast when you are home.

    Maybe there really is not a reason to be engaged in a power struggle over this at all. You can trust your child to know what his body needs and to take enough milk from the breast.

    Momuvseven and one more on the way.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Has anyone had sucess with giving formula to BF baby who doesn't like it?

    Update:
    I've scrapped the idea of trying to get him to take formula or expressed milk. I'm just nursing him approx 5 times at night and not pushing it on him at all during the day because he just pushes me away and gets frustrated. My doctor is not concerned about him only nursing at night although I am terribly sleep deprived--nurse approx 730, 930, 12, 2, 530 sometimes 730, 11, 1, 4, 7 (preferred), some nights every 90 minutes--although half the time he is just chewing on me. We can not co-sleep because he won't sleep because he is too entertained by pulling my skin, hair, getting down from the bed etc.. He is 10 months now and walking. He is having aweful teething pain and fevers (his ears have been checked). He will be starting day care in 5 days. I may allow them to try to give him formula but if he still isn't interested he will just have water of juice during the day. I will give him cows milk as soon as he is one in hopes to further along the weaning process. I will just night nurse until then. I don't know how I will function at work but I just don't have any other choice right now.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Has anyone had sucess with giving formula to BF baby who doesn't like it?

    Well, I've changed my mind again and decided to try soy formula again. My doctor says it is safe and I need to look more carefully at the sources of the information I have read. I wish my son would take the milk based formula but he won't. I have to buy the premixed soy formula. Well yesterday I gave him about 5 sippy cups of about 2-3 oz and still breastfed him about 5 times and he slept from 8 till 130 and then 130 to 7--amazing! Hope this continues. Glenn is going to day care next week and I thought it would be better for him to drink something of substance during the day and then I will breastfeed him in the morning, after work about 5 PM 7PM once in the middle of the night will be fine! I really do hope this routine lasts. I plan to switch the formula over to cows milk once he reach a year old--only 1 1/2 months away and then let him wean the breastmilk on his own.

  8. #8
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    LLLJacqui is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Default Re: Has anyone had sucess with giving formula to BF baby who doesn't like it?

    If the biting and chewing thing is about teething, then you might want to give him a frozen wash cloth to chew on before he nurses to keep that from happening... it might also help him to take the cup/bottle better b/c he won't feel the need to chew on it. Hylands teething tablets have also helped other moms I know in your situation.

    Also, the frequent night waking is VERY common among babies who are learning to walk and such... it really has nothing to do with nursing/feeding as much as it does with the new skill set just really throws off their entire body rhythm... ya know?

    Jacqui

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Has anyone had sucess with giving formula to BF baby who doesn't like it?

    I wonder if it might be an issue with cow's milk in the regular formula and your diet?

    You might want to try a lactose-free or reduced-lactose formula (I forget the name, but one of the major brands makes it with little or no lactose). He might take that instead of the soy and be a little cheaper. Another thought is to try cutting dairy from your diet for two weeks to see if his behavior is a rejection of cow's milk proteins. Just be sure to take your vitamins since you will be cutting out a food category, and have a alternative like soy milk or rice milk for yourself so that you can still have cereal and such. I have a family history of allergies, so when I've tried cutting out milk, having alternatives really helped. Good news--I had to have soy formula myself as an infant, but I did outgrow it and drink cow's milk just fine. I'm not sure whether mom was able to try it at one year or later, but soy milk and rice milk can be used when they are past the age for formula.

    Don't know if that helps, but I would talk to a lactation consultant or LLL leader about the fact that he bites and all, esp. if cutting out dairy doesn't do anything, maybe even first so that you don't have to go through that unnecessarily. I'm sure there are breastfeeding-friendly doctors out there, but most of mine have been downright clueless. Even with the nice one I have now, I still think that the lactation consultant has had more training to be more knowledgeable about how to fix things and what is or isn't normal. The one at our hospital is free!!! (in PA) She solves a lot of stuff over the phone, and will have me bring the baby to the office if she needs to actually look.

    I've heard that some people use a pendant (like something hung on a necklace) for baby to feel and hold (and probably pull on) while nursing...basically a distraction to keep baby from grabbing your skin and hair. My dd used to pull my hair, so I started redirecting her hand to her own hair, and now she fingers her hair while sucking her thumb (she's long since weaned)...it did teach her not to pull so hard, either, and after a while she stopped grabbing mine...with my new baby, I have been holding his hand with my free hand, and it is working so far, but he's young (4mo).

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