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Thread: Breastmilk - Bottle Fed Babes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    175

    Default Breastmilk - Bottle Fed Babes

    Friends - I have a couple questions for those of you who exclusively feed baby breastmilk by bottle. Our baby came 2 months early and despite all my grandeous plans of nursing, it turned out the only way we could get our dd to feed successfully was by bottle. I do nurse at least once a day, but find that she spits up much more when I nurse then when she is bottled fed. I'm guessing because she is taking in too much air and not latching right. So I have 2 questions: When baby is bottle fed and follows a schedule - does baby know when he/she is full? We were feeding our lo 3 oz every 3 hours. In the past week she is wanting more and is ready every 1 1/2 hours. Yesterday in fact she had two feedings that were over 5 oz and she hardly spit up. She just turned 3 months yesterday, but really would be considered a month if she was born on time. What's a normal amount at this age?

    Second question, the daycare is going every 3 hours. I told my dh that they need to start feeding her every 2 hours. He is concerned that she will be trained to eat every 2 hours so we won't be able to sleep at night - that's our current situation. My understanding is that if they fill up on their calories in the day, they are more likely to rest and spread out the feedings at night. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Should we increase the amount and keep it every 3 hours? BTW - we are in between the scheduled feedings and demand feeding - I'll never let her go hungry, just don't want to start a bad habit of her overeating.

    Thanks for your help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    103

    Default Re: Breastmilk - Bottle Fed Babes

    Baby will know when she's full, but you have to pay better attention when feeding with a bottle (turning away, slowing way down). Breastmilk is easy to digest whether it comes from the breast or a bottle. Every two hours sounds a little more realistic than three. And 3 ounces every 3 hours sounds like too little milk (how much does she weigh?) I would do around 3 oz every 2 hours or maybe 5 ounces every 3....try and see what works best for you. As for dh, just because she eats every 2 hours during the day doesn't necessarily mean she'll want to continue every 2 hours around the clock. If she eats more often during the day that will probably help her to sleep longer at night...that's the case with mine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    175

    Default Re: Breastmilk - Bottle Fed Babes

    Jocelyn - your daughter is adorable! Thanks for your response. Aly is now 8 lbs 4 oz. My ped said she should be taking in about 22-24 oz a day. I think we are up to 28-30 oz a day on average. She has reflux which causes her to spit up quite a bit, plus her digestive system is so immature due to her coming early. At 3 months though, she seems to be very healthy and doing some of the thngs that 3 months old are supposed to do. Lift head, smile when I smile. she has normal wet diapers. I notice she spits up more when she has not pooped for a couple days. It has nowhere to go. I think the downside to bottle feeding is that it is easy to stress out more about the amount she is getting because it is right there in front of you. It's difficult to know for sure when lo is nursing.

    I do love the feeling when she wants to nurse though. When she turns her head to my breast, I just melt knowing I have something she needs. I just wish I was more patient and disciplined to work with her to have a better latch. With work and trying to maintain the house, I find that bottle feeding makes my life easier and I know that sounds selfish. I convinced myself that as long as she was getting my breast milk that's all that mattered. I try to do other things to keep the closeness between us, including pulling her into bed with me at 4:00 a.m. so we can cuddle and sleep for 2 hours before I go to work. When I hear all the wonderful nursing stories on this forum, I feel incredibly guilty, but I am glad that I made a commitment to ensure she is 100% breastmilk fed. Thanks for listening.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: Breastmilk - Bottle Fed Babes

    Hi there! No need to feel guilty AT ALL! You are doing a wonderful job providing milk for your daughter. Pumping is hard work, and you should be proud of what you are doing. Sometimes preemies do have trouble learning to latch and nurse. It's not something you should feel guilty about. It's great that your are able to nurse her directly at least occasionally (since it sounds like you really would like to do that more). You may find that her latch improves just as she gets bigger and stronger. She is just now about the weight of many newborns, and even full-term newborns sometimes have trouble with latch due to small mouth vs. large breast.

    Regarding the amount to feed, it's funny how you say that it's easier to stress about with the bottle since you can see it. So many BFing moms stress because they CAN'T tell exactly how much baby is getting. I think we all are doomed to worry no matter what . I think that with bottle feeding, it is still best to try to follow baby's cues. Whether from the breast or bottle, babies will often eat more one day, less the next depending on how much they are growing, activity level, etc. Bottle-fed babies will still have growth spurts where they eat more, and sleepy days where they eat less. It is possible for babies to overeat from a bottle, since the milk comes out so much more easily. But, I think you can try to watch baby's cues, maybe stop and start the feeding occasionally and hold the bottle a little less upright so baby is more easily able to cue "I'm done", kwim?

    I also think baby is more likely to sleep longer at night if they eat more during the day, not the other way around. However, some babies will wake a lot regardless. That's still completely normal.

    You are doing a wonderful job!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: Breastmilk - Bottle Fed Babes

    It is true that if babies eat more during the day they sleep better since they need a certain number of calories and they will want it either during the day or else
    However, even if she gets all the calories she needs during the day, she may not sleep long stretches since sleeping long requires a separate ability (my son at 15 months still doesn't have it but as far as I've heard some babies start to sleep for about 6-10 hours straight around 4-6 months though there are some super duper 6 week-olds who do it too ). Being a preemie your baby will learn it according to her adjusted age so it could be a while until she sleeps for 6-7 hours in a row.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    42

    Default Re: Breastmilk - Bottle Fed Babes

    our girl is 4 wks tommorow.. sometimtes she takes 5 oz, sometimes 1!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    72

    Default Re: Breastmilk - Bottle Fed Babes

    Our 5 month old never latched -- She's been exclusively breastfed via a bottle... And, we dealt with reflux for the first 3 months (projectile vomitting, the works). Isabella doesn't really ahve an "off" button when it comes to feeding. she would eat a 4 ounce bottle and scream til we gave her more. she'd eat 10 ounces then throw it all up. What has finally worked for our family is smaller amounts more often. Lately she's been taking about 4-5 ounces every 1 1/2 - 2 hours and there's been no throwing up for 6 days and counting!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    2,866

    Default Re: Breastmilk - Bottle Fed Babes

    Your baby is about 5 weeks adjusted, right? In that case, she would pretty much be expected to eat and sleep like a newborn. Newborns NEED to wake at night to eat. They have to eat a lot of calories in order to double their birth weight by six months. So, no matter how often your baby eats during the day, chances are she will still have a need to wake and eat at night. Night-waking is not a habit at all. It's a survival instinct (on more than one level!). Night waking not only helps babies take in all the nutrition they need, it is also is a preventative for SIDS.

    Whether fed baby bottle or breast, it is recommended that babies be fed on cue (when they are showing signs of hunger). It is also recommended if feeding by bottle to use paced feeding methods with pauses as needed and a switch in sides halfway though.

    HTH!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    381

    Default Re: Breastmilk - Bottle Fed Babes

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ Dyno-mite View Post
    When I hear all the wonderful nursing stories on this forum, I feel incredibly guilty, but I am glad that I made a commitment to ensure she is 100% breastmilk fed. Thanks for listening.
    Be proud! Regardless of how she is getting it, you are still providing your daughter with your breastmilk and that is what is important!

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