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Old 05-04-2008, 09:45 PM   #1
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Formula at Night?

I never believed that giving a baby formula would actually help them sleep longer. Until recently. My LO has recently had a growth spurt, and his feedings during the day have slowed back down to normal, but he is still waking every 2-3 hours at night. I'm not wired that way. I just cannot handle it. DH convinced me to let him have a bottle before bed. We used expressed milk. I fed him, then we gave him 3-4 ounces of milk. he fell asleep easier but still woke in 2 hours to eat. We kept doing this to help him get to sleep (and keep a little bit of sanity at bedtime). One day I hadnt had a chance to pump, so DH convinced me to let him have 4 ounces of formula. DS slept for 4 hours. it was heavenly.

I thought it was coincidence, but it's not. The nights he gets formula he falls right asleep and sleeps 4 hours. Otherwise its lots of fussing in getting him to sleep to then only get 2-3 hours maximum.

I feel like if I give the formula on a regular basis that I have given up on BF. I dont like that I cant say that he is EBF anymore. But, i *need* the sleep so that I dont turn into crazy mom.

is it so bad to give formula at night? should I just keep pushing through without sleep?

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Old 05-04-2008, 10:53 PM   #2
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Re: Formula at Night?

Here's some helpful articles from Kellymom resources:

http://parenting.ivillage.com/newbor...,,6fjb,00.html

Quote:
If you need a nap and your toddler doesn't
Childproof a room of the house that has:

a door or a baby gate (so your toddler can't "escape" and play in the toilet while you're resting)
a bed or comfortable spot on the floor where you can lie down and nurse
interesting toys that your toddler is likely play with without much interaction - some moms also put on a favorite video
a snack and a drink for toddler
When you want to nap (or at least rest) while baby naps, close off the door so you can lie down with baby without worrying about what your toddler is getting into. A friend says she would lie on the floor with baby and let her toddlers use mom as a "road" for their matchbox cars - rest and a massage all "rolled" into one!
Maybe there is someone who could watch your ODS a few times a week and then you could nap with baby.
It's possibly that skipping the nightfeedings will cause a sudden drop in your supply. Using formula (as opposed to pumped milk) tends (in my experience) to cause a chain reaction. If you need a little extra sleep why doesn't your DH give some pumped milk at night and let you sleep? Obviously thats up to you guys, but I hope you can come to a decision that you can be happy with!!
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:13 AM   #3
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Re: Formula at Night?

He's still a newborn. He's SUPPOSED to be waking like this? Only waking 2-3 hours at night is awesome. I'm not sure what kind of advice you're looking for? Validation to giving formula? If its what makes you sleep and you don't want to wake up with your baby, then do it.

I guess I just dont' understand why mamas get upset when their newborn wakes 2-3 times a night to eat. Its what they're supposed to do.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:27 AM   #4
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Re: Formula at Night?

Have you tried nursing in bed? My LO still wakes up but, he eats while I sleep. I am a very selfish momma and like to sleep.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:30 AM   #5
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Re: Formula at Night?

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Originally Posted by Maddie'sMom View Post
He's still a newborn. He's SUPPOSED to be waking like this? Only waking 2-3 hours at night is awesome. I'm not sure what kind of advice you're looking for? Validation to giving formula? If its what makes you sleep and you don't want to wake up with your baby, then do it.

I guess I just dont' understand why mamas get upset when their newborn wakes 2-3 times a night to eat. Its what they're supposed to do.


Yeppers, I agree 100%! I wouldn't want to risk giving formula just for an extra hour of sleep.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:33 AM   #6
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Re: Formula at Night?

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Have you tried nursing in bed? My LO still wakes up but, he eats while I sleep. I am a very selfish momma and like to sleep.
This too. My 22 month old still wakes (developmental milestons) at times 5-6 times a night and she just rolls over, nurses and goes back to sleep. Unless she wakes crying for some reason, I never wake for her feeds.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:45 AM   #7
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Re: Formula at Night?

I know the lack of sleep is HARD to handle! But your little one is still a newborn and waking every 2-3 hours is actually really good! At that age my son was waking a lot more than that (and actually still is at 7 months of age). Keep in mind that the reason formula makes them sleep longer is because it's way harder for babies to digest and absorb the nutrients from it. Your breastmilk is the best thing for your baby, especially at this age!! Babies are designed to have frequent feedings, even at night. Also, if you give formula at night, your milk supply may suffer, or you could get overly engorged and end up with plugged ducts or mastitis - not fun!

I would suggest napping when your baby naps - REALLY! I found this advice hard to follow at first, because there were so many things I wanted to get done when he was napping, but seriously, forget about all that stuff and just go to sleep for awhile! You will feel much better. Also enilst the help of anyone who offers - your husband, other family/friends, etc. Don't feel guilty about needing help. Parenting is hard work, and you deserve a break!

Good luck!!!
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:47 AM   #8
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Re: Formula at Night?

I agree that you should nap when your little one naps. I also ditto that it can affect your supply and that it is a slippery slope once you start the formula.

Keep in mind that this will not last long. Your little one will be sleeping through the night, then walking, then running, then driving a car, then going off to college all before you know it. I know because I blinked my eyes and now I have a 7 year old little boy. There was an article I read while I was pregnant with my first child, that said ENJOY every stage that your child is in, because tomorrow it will be something new. This mom in the article was asking when she would be able to take her child to Disney, because she just couldn't wait to do it. The person who responded suggested that she NOT wish away her child's life, that each and every stage should be enjoyed. That really hit me hard because I'm one who always looks to the future. After losing my first daughter I REALLY realized that you can't always think so far ahead and that each and every stage is precious, even the ones that try your patience.

I know sleeping is important, BELIEVE me I LOVE sleep, but really you have to evaluate what kind of trade offs you are willing to make. There is nothing wrong with giving your child formula if that is what you want to do. If you really feel it makes you a better mommy to get that sleep, more power to you; but these moments are fleeting. You will not always get up in the middle of the night for a child. My Feb. 08 baby is my last, so I'm actually enjoying the lack of sleep because I know this will be my last chance to experience it.

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Old 05-05-2008, 08:58 AM   #9
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Re: Formula at Night?

While some moms are able to give formula at night and maintain their supply, many are not. The hormones that control supply in the beginning are strongest at night. So, if you tell your body you don’t need milk at night, it may think you don’t need milk at all.
And its never made sense to me to wake up in the night to pump rather than feed baby directly.

And that growth spurt and the frequent nursing is how your supply increases. The increased demand tells your body to make more milk.

That being said, its your body. If you understand the process and the risks, you make the decision
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:00 AM   #10
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Re: Formula at Night?

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Originally Posted by Maddie'sMom View Post
He's still a newborn. He's SUPPOSED to be waking like this? Only waking 2-3 hours at night is awesome. I'm not sure what kind of advice you're looking for? Validation to giving formula? If its what makes you sleep and you don't want to wake up with your baby, then do it.

I guess I just dont' understand why mamas get upset when their newborn wakes 2-3 times a night to eat. Its what they're supposed to do.


Keep in mind that one of the MAIN reasons LO sleeps longer with formula is that it's so much harder for their little body to digest than BM so they need to sleep so that their bodies can do it. And then longer until their body is able to accept more milkies....

FWIW - I sometimes wish my 14 month DD only woke up every 2-3 hours but then I think about when she gets older and won't want anything to do with me and that helps a little.

Last edited by jaceraden; 05-05-2008 at 09:02 AM.
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