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Thread: Bottle during the day/BF at night

  1. #1
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    Question Bottle during the day/BF at night

    Does anyone have any experience with nursing only at night and bottle during the day...without pumping? my son is 6 months almost and still eats about 9 times a day. He is also still waking up on most night twice a night. I began cutting out the nursing sessions during the day and replaced with bottles so I can have a break. If I would go longer than 3-4 hours I would feel as though I would explode. I now nurse him before bed, in the middle of the night and first feeding in the morning. I'm just curious to how many others have tried this and how long you think I can keep this routine. I want him to receive as much breastmilk as possible but needed a break.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bottle during the day/BF at night

    This sounds like a setup for low milk supply and things like nipple confusion and plugged ducts/mastitis. Is there a way that you can nurse him in a sling or something so that you don't feel like you're "tied down" to a chair?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bottle during the day/BF at night

    Julian's Mommy, I have a 11 month old son and since he was 2 months old we started him to get used to bottles since I was returning to work when he turned 3mos old. I have been pumping since but he only takes bottles of expressed milk during the day. Right now I am down to 2 pumping sessions but will soon drop the pumping sessions and will continue to nurse him at night. I've done it slowly so my body and my son can adjust and have not had a problem yet. My milk supply has gone down since he started solids but that is understandable. I have read of other moms that are able to only nurse at night without problems once their milk production is established. Maybe one of them can share their experiences.

    I think that it is important that you do what works best for you and your baby, and from what I've seen here in the boards that means a lot of different things to different people.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bottle during the day/BF at night

    My son will only nurse at night and I'm thinking about letting him drink some pre-mixed soy formula in the day since it is the only formula I have found that he will take. Glenn is 10 months old now. He nurses at night anywhere from 3-6 times (usually 5 times). He outright refuses in the day time. I'm hoping to reduce his night time feedings to 3 times like you before bed, middle of the night and in the morning. My milk supply does drop sometimes but it is established enough to do this plus I want him weaned by 12 months--I desperately need a break/sleep!. He has been doing this reverse cycling/night-time feeding only since 7 months--although he didn't sleep before this either. Don't let other people make you feel guilty for giving your baby formula. Some people can do both just fine, but unfortunately you won't know unless you try. I wouldn't be too concerned about nipple confusion at this point but there is a chance your baby will find formula feeding much easier and prefer it. My son refused formula. You have to be prepared that he may stop wanting to nurse. I'm going to go out and buy some soy premixed formula again today and see if he takes it. My doctor says it is safe despite all I have read. He is starting day care soon and it would help if he starts to drink some sort of milk from a sippy cup instead of just water during the day. I want to feel comfortable reducing the amount of times I need to nurse him at night. Good luck to you. I hope it works out.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bottle during the day/BF at night

    Julian's Mommy ~ I'm not sure I quite understand your circumstances. Let me tell you what I gathered from your post and you correct me if I'm wrong, okay?

    You'd like to nurse your baby only at night, right? So instead of nursing during the day time you've been giving bottles of expressed breastmilk but you'd like to discontinue the pumping, give bottles of formula throughout the day and then only nurse before bed, throughout the night and first thing in the morning? You are wanting to do this because you need a break from nursing during the day?

    If so, isn't it more work to feed bottles during the day than it is to just nurse baby directly? Maybe you could tell us more about your lifestyle and we might offer some suggestions on how best to deal with those challenges If you want baby to have as much breastmilk as possible, the simple answer is to continue to breastfeed with the knowledge that it won't last forever. Even if you nurse your baby for 12 months (the minimum recommendation on breastfeeding), that is only like, 1/80th of your life. And the benefits you and baby reap are for a lifetime. There ARE risks to baby's health when breastmilk is removed, either wholly or in part, from his diet. So no, you shouldn't feel guilty for offering formula but you deserve to be fully informed about the decision you are making

    Nursing a baby can be challenging because sometimes we feel like that's ALL we do, but I promise, it does pass and as baby gets older, nursing frequency usually lessens.

    All that said, I'll wait for your response
    Last edited by LLLErin; April 17th, 2006 at 12:02 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bottle during the day/BF at night

    Yes...I want to feel like giving my son bottles now is OK. I don't want to feel so guilty, which is somewhat how I feel. But...he has been such a challenging baby and I am exhausted. At 4 months he weighed almost 18 lbs. He is now almost 6 months and eats as much as he did when he was newborn, even with eating solids occassionaly. The problem is that he "snacks" all day. A couple ounces (2-2 1/2) every 2 hours so I nurse constantly. If I need to go somewhere...I produce so much milk that I feel like I'm about to explode after about 3-4 hours. He eats about 10 x a day. Still up at least 2x a night. The way I am trying it now, he still gets bm half the time. I'm trying to lower my milk supply so I can feel more comfortable.
    Any suggestions on how to get him to eat more a one setting or just leave it up to him as I have been?I feel like if he ate more at a time that he would go longer stretches. I thought eventually he would. He will be 6 months on Monday. He also is eating solids. Not alot but cereal once a day nad sometimes veggies.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bottle during the day/BF at night

    Hi again You mention that after about 3-4 hours, your breasts are uncomfortable. This is because he's nursing every 2 hours. Of course your breasts feel so full after 3 or 4 hours But rest assured, nursing every 2 hours is very normal for a 6 month old baby. I wonder, have you tried block nursing? This is where you nurse only on one breast for a specific block of time -- so for instance, from 12-3 p.m. you'd nurse only from your left breast. From 3-6 p.m., only from your right breast and so on and so forth. The theory is that your breasts are stimulated less and so they begin to produce less milk. Also though, by nursing from the same breast like this baby will get more of the fattier hindmilk which may encourage him to go a bit longer between feedings. But as I mentioned, it's pretty typical for a 6 month old baby to need to nurse every 2 hours, especially if he's home with mom all day Try to keep in mind that it won't always be this way though -- as baby gets older, he'll probably begin to space out his feedings more.

    You mention that you feel guilty -- can you tell us why? Is it because of the bottles or is it because you've been giving him formula? (I'm unclear as to what has been in the bottles).

    Do you think you'd feel less stressed (and perhaps, less guilty) if baby got just one bottle a day instead of bottles all day long? At least this way you'd get a bit of a break throughout the day and then there wouldn't be very many bottles to mess with. I'm curious too though - bottle feeding requires just as much, if not more than breastfeeding so I'm wondering if you are feeling a little "touched out"?

    I apologize for all of the questions! I'm just trying to get a better idea of what is going on in your life so that I can offer suitable suggestions

    You really are doing a great job! Becoming a mother is very hard work and extremely challenging.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bottle during the day/BF at night

    Quote Originally Posted by MomtoGustavo
    I think that it is important that you do what works best for you and your baby, and from what I've seen here in the boards that means a lot of different things to different people.
    Right on!

    Quote Originally Posted by LLLCarol
    Even if you nurse your baby exclusively for 12 months (the minimum recommendation on breastfeeding), that is only like, 1/80th of your life. And the benefits you and baby reap are for a lifetime. There ARE risks to baby's health when breastmilk is removed, either wholly or in part, from his diet. So no, you shouldn't feel guilty for offering formula but you deserve to be fully informed about the decision you are making.
    I think your information might be off. No organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 12 months.


    Julian's Mommy,

    I hope that you haven't been made to feel like your choices are "wrong". (((hugs)))

    I'm sorry you're so exhausted. Maybe you could try offering one bottle a day and go on from there?

    When you're out and about and your breasts become uncomforably full, you could excuse yourself to the restroom and hand express, or bring along a manual pump and express, just enough to feel comfortable.

    I think the concerns with your plan as it stands might be that you could develop plugged ducts and/or mastitis from not removing milk frequently. It's a good idea to decrease milk production gradually. Also, babies NEED their mamas. Breastfeeding is SO much more than nutrition! Weaning over time is just kind.

    You should know, too, that your baby's feeding pattern will space out naturally over time. Especially once he is taking solids more frequently and he becomes more mobile. You should know that your days of nursing frequently will be over soon without you having to go completely to bottles during the day! Soon, your baby will find crumbs on the floor waaaaay more interesting than nursing.

    Hang in there! And good luck!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bottle during the day/BF at night

    Home Exec --

    I think your information might be off. No organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 12 months.
    I wasn't suggesting that any health organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 12 months. I meant that the minimum recommendation for breastfeeding is 12 months and even IF mom choose to nurse exclusively for a year, it would still only be 1/80th (roughly) of her life. I apologize for that not being clear.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bottle during the day/BF at night

    Yeah. That was unclear. It sounded like you were saying that the recommendation was to ebf for 12 months.

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