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Replacing 10.30pm feed with formula - advice please


KateW

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Our little girl is 7.5 weeks old and is exclusively breastfed. She feeds well and I've had no concerns about her not getting enough. From about 4 weeks she started to sleep for longer stretches at night and often went 4.5 - 5 hours after her 10.30pm feed. For the past week though, she has started waking for her feed after 3 - 3.5 hours (despite taking a full feed at 10.30pm). I'd love her to start sleeping through (who wouldn't?!) but I'm worried she's not getting enough from me at 10.30pm. I've tried giving her cooled boiled water when she wakes but she's not interested. I've been thinking about giving her a formula feed at 10.30pm in the hope that the richer feed will keep her going for longer. I've no qualms about forumla feeding and will probably switch around 4 months. I was wondering if people had any experiences they'd be willing to share of giving a formula feed at 10.30pm? Many thanks, Kate.
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We did that too and it worked very well. Once she started sleeping through after the 10:30pm/late feed (at 3-4 months) we dropped this "dream"feed and gave her formula at 7pm/bedtime and I would just give her a little (breastfeed) top-up if she'd wake in the middle of the night. Right now at 5-6 months she's mostly on formula/bottles and we don't dreamfeed. If we do give her a late feed and she does wake for another feed before 7am she does a poo during that feed (too much milk in her system I guess) and then she's really up. So for us giving that late feed up at some point has been the key to sleeping through.
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Hi Kate-


Little Saff had an occasional bottle of formula when I couldn't express enough milk, although it didn't help her to sleep through the night, grrr. Anyway, I just wanted to say that we found Breastflow brand bottles to be very good b/c they really seemed to stimulate the same muscle movement as bf, and the milk doesn't come out too quickly. So if you want to keep bfing for a while before you switch over to formula completely, I can recommend these. I still have 2 bottles w/ slow-flow teats suitable for new babies. PM if you want them.


xx Saff xx

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You might also want to consider whether or not she might just be going through a growth spurt and need an extra feed for a while. Or a developmental spurt and so needs the 'comfort' from breastfeeding rather than the milk (check out the Wonderweeks book, which talks about the 'Patterns' leap and a baby's craving for extra physical comfort at around 8 weeks). If so, formula might not make much difference. Also, bear in mind that formula feeding will affect your milk supply (not saying that this is a reason not to introduce a bottle if you want to - just want you to be aware).
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my baby is just over 3 months and about 4 weeks ago we started doing what Sanne Panne did - bottle at 8pm and, if she wakes up in the middle of the night, I top her up with breast milk. It works well as I have a lot of milk for that top up, and I can fill her up quickly.


It is generally more likely she will sleep through on formula, however she went through a growth spurt at 10 and then at 12 weeks, and I was up two-three times a night again. I guess we just need to wait for another 3 months to get a proper all night sleep!


good luck

x

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